brena asks: My boyfriend does not spend time with me. He hardly texts or even calls me. I used to love him, but now my love for him has died. I want to leave him, but we have been through so much, it’s kind of hard for me to do. He is the best boyfriend I have ever had, and he used to show me how much he really loves and cares for me, but not now. I am really hurt. He keeps accusing me of cheating, which I would not do – but it has got to so I’ve thought about it (but I won’t do it because I know it’s not right to do such a thing). What do you think I must do? I really want it to work, but does he? It hurts!
Hi brena –
Your letter makes me think of a squirrel I was chasing a few weeks ago. I was having the best time chasing it, and then I caught it, and was so excited. And I grabbed it and threw it in the air, and it was all scared and yelling at me, and I threw it in the air again, and it was chattering and yelling at me, and I grabbed it in my mouth and shook it really hard… and it went limp.
Now I know that the goal of hunting small animals includes killing them – that’s part of being a dog. But I didn’t really want the game to end. But what I wanted really didn’t matter. The fact was that this squirrel was dead, and there was nothing I could do about it.
You and your boyfriend sound like you’re in the same situation as I was. You had wanted this relationship, and for a while, you were both really enjoying it; you loved each other, you were good to each other, all was great. But then it kind of died.
And now, your boyfriend isn’t in touch much. And he accuses you of cheating. And you’re even thinking about it. And neither of you wants to be the one to say the relationship’s over, but… it’s really just a dead squirrel hanging limp in your mouth.
I’m sorry to say it, brena, but it sounds like the best possible thing for you to do is to tell him that it’s over. To part as friends, to tell each other that you’re the best relationship either of you has ever had, to promise to be there to help the other when they need you (and they will!)… but also to let this go.
If you two were married, or if you had children, I might be arguing a different way. I might say that you should go to a therapist and try to work it out, and see if there’s any way that you can stay together.
But the fact – the really wonderful fact – is that you’re not. You’re just boyfriend-and-girlfriend, and you’re supposed to not last forever. The best thing possible for each of you is that you have a number of good relationships before you ever think of settling down permanently with someone.
In other words, this isn’t really bad news. Because you still think so highly of each other, this is something fine and great. And you can both move on from it, and move into new relationships that give you the spark you once gave each other.
And who knows, maybe you’ll even get back together someday.
But for now, the best thing is to part with respect and affection, and become something new to each other: great exes! And as that, you can be something so special, so magical, in each other’s lives, that you’ll always be happy that you met, that you had this relationship, and that you ended it when you did.
Best of luck to you,