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How do you know when a relationship needs to end?
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How do you know when a relationship needs to end?

This may be a no-brainer, but I'm not sure. I've never been in this situation before. My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years. We started dating at 16 and are now 23. We've lived together for almost 6 of those 7 years. Problem is, I feel like there is no connection anymore. I know I love him, but don't feel like I'm in love. I know he is my best friend, but I can't help but wonder if that is all that it is. When I am gone during the days at work, or out with friends, I feel like I know it's over. But when I come home and see him, I think, it's not that bad. After 7 years, people think we should be getting married. I know he would make a good husband because he is a great guy. Im also curious as to what else is out there. I've never really had any independence, and a chance to grow on my own. Has this relationship run full circle? And if so... how do I get out? We own a home together. Share friends. And I don't want to hurt him!!

"Im also curious as to what else is out there." What else is you have a home and a person who cares about you, and someone will consider this is a good thing. The relationship may not longer be as exciting as before but at least it's solid. By being curious if you are trying to say that you think you are missing out on something better, then I can tell you that in most cases you are not. Why? Because we are all human beings and everybody has his strengths and flaws. Sounds like you just bored and I think now it's time to get that Independence and Grow on your own thing going.

In your case, it's no different than having been married 7 years or having been married at 16. At first reading, it just sounded like your relationship was in a rut. That isn't that uncommon and you just have to try and revive the things that made you fall in love to begin with. But when you added "how do I get out?" and "I don't want to hurt him", it sounds like you already know it isn't what you want for the rest of your life. It sounds like the problem is that you never had a life on your own. I get that, but that doesn't mean the grass is greener. In fact, it could be much, much worse. Do you love him or not? That is what it comes down to. Some people would describe the perfect relationship/ marriage as being married to their best friend. If you need more freedom, then talk to him. He may be feeling the same way OR as your best friend as well, would almost certainly support whatever you need to do to grow as a person. All good marriages have to have that and as I said before, other than a piece of paper, you have actually had a marriage. I must say that I am impressed with your honesty and the fact you have apparently been faithful. Many married people, let alone young people on here can't say that. You need to do some soul searching after you talk to him. You say he would make a great husband...do you have ANY idea how hard those are to find? I don't think so. That is not to say I think you should settle but you have to decide what you want your life to be like and accept the fact that stay or break up, it may be the wrong decision and it may be years before you realize it. But, you sound very mature so I know you know that describes life in general, not just relationships.

Sometimes relationships just end. I hate to break that to people but sometimes they are just over. I understand that you don't want to hurt him but it is going to hurt worse later when things change. Since you believe you aren't in love anymore what if you find the one you are in love with. Then, it will seem as if you cheated when in reality you had no intentions. I was in this situation once and I didn't get out. I ended up hanging out when new people that he didn't like and I started because I didn't care about him more than a friend, I didn't care if they irritated him. He turned quickly into a bad situation. Now I was in college and we didn;t live together or own a house so that tends to turn into an issue. I did the same exact thing when I was out it seemed like ending it was ok but then when I was with him everything changed. Honestly, I believe that called settling. I think we would rather just deal with what we have because it won't cause conflict but we should be going after the best that there is. Don't settle....trust me it might hurt him for awhile but staying with him might hurt him forever. I wish I could help other than this but no one can tell you what to do in this case. Sorry.

The Kitten Juggler
You got together so young and you are always wondering what else is out there. You'll probably never shake that feeling. The only way to know, is to break it off and go out there and be single again. You'll find it's good and bad. You may find that you are wishing for what you used to have once you realize that everybodies grass is just about as green as everyone elses.

Don't get pregnant. Make sure your on the pill. I say when the respect ends for him > that's when you can tell. That is what happened to me. Once I lost respect the love went with it. It was 7 yrs into the relationship and I got the divorce. I gave him most everything just to get out of it. I am glad I moved on in life. I see posts like yours all the time on here of people who start off at 16 and never have had any independence and resent being stuck in the relationship and never experiencing dating anyone else. So this is common. But try telling a person this to not pigeon hole themselves into a relationship or put all their eggs into one basket. They WON'T LISTEN TO YOU. I didn't You didn't. So now you need to step back and punt......Yes your gonna hurt him it can't be helped. You can't stay on and feel sorry for him. You have to live your life. I had to do that too. He got over it. I moved on. I am much better having done it. So will you.

Have you tried talking to him? Bringing it up as a casual conversation would probably be best. Ask him what his plans are?, what he is looking for in a near future?, and what he thinks about your relationship going for so long and making through all the good and bad things? Maybe if you hear his ideas and thoughts about your relationship you will be able to come to a more clear idea of what is really going on in your relationship and whether is best to go apart and work on your relationship. If after talking to him you feel that there is still a connection then maybe try planning a trip for a week or weekend. Like a get away. Wish you the best of luck :-)

I'm sorry, but you're going to hurt him. Please get it out of your mind because there is no way to not hurt him. However, you cannot stay in a relationship just because you don't want to hurt the other person. the problem is that you were so young when you got together and you have never been able to date other people. You need to figure out if you want to have that experience or marry this man.

this is why people say you should enjoy yourself before you get into a serious relationship!!! You are bored with him but once you leave him and find out that its hard to find a good man, you will come back running to him!!! You better hope that it is not too late!!! A lot of women would be happy with your good man!!!!

When you're not happy. You'll both survive the split of the property and friends. It happens all the time.

marcy minzel
It sounds more to me like you're unhappy. Looking at green pastures, not that you want to date other guys or anything. You feel like your relationship has gotten complacent. There's mo more mystery, and you want to have the feeling of something new. My view is that relationships need to end when one side of the relationship doesn't want to work things out. There are other obvious deal breakers like infidelity, abuse..etc. The issue isn't your relationship, cause it sounds like things are going fine. The issue is you. Find out what is missing from in your life then look to see if the relationship must end for you to fulfill what's missing. Otherwise one of two things will happen, you won't end the relationship, and build up resentment towards your boyfriend, or you'll end the relationship prematurely and regret that you lost something that was very special to you.

when you have a gut feeling that like you feel that you dont have a future with him

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