Holly in St. Louis, MO asks:
I’ve been with my boyfriend on and off for six years. I’m 26 years old, and he is 28. We seem to break up about three to four times a year, mostly because he wants to. He says that we should just be friends, but then we always get back together. My life seems to go up and down while I wait for the next breakup. First, he says he can’t live without me, and then he’ll say that he needs space for a while. What do you see as being behind this, and what can I do about it?
Unfortunately, what I see for you right away is more of the same. Your boyfriend has been going back and forth, serious and not serious, for six years. I believe that he has commitment issues which he does not attempt to resolve, and lacks respect for you as well, while he swings from north to south on this.
This is obviously not fair to you at all. If he wants to spend his life in and out of a relationship, well, that’s his choice. But you’re not happy with this type of arrangement, and most wouldn’t be. Building a relationship doesn’t mean leveling it to the ground every few months and starting over again. Life is just way too short.
What I see in your future is that you have two choices regarding this. You can, obviously, stay in the relationship and have these repeated breakup episodes and emotional see-sawing with no sense of security at all. A large part of your life will be taken like this.
Or, your alternative choice is to make plain to your boyfriend that this cannot continue. Either he or both of you, go into counseling and resolve this, or you will terminate the relationship once and for all. This is up to you, but I do urge you to give this a great deal of thought before you choose which course to take.