Should couples stay together when they know they don’t have a future with each other?

Chdeep asks:

What to do when you love each other but there is no future?
Break up or stay together as long as possible?

Hi Chdeep –

This is SOOO difficult, and there’s no answer that’s always correct for everyone.  The one advice I can give on this is that the two of you need to discuss this issue, openly, with each other.  And be totally honest.

Let’s say you two agree that it’s fun right now, and so you’d like to keep things going until a particular point, and then move on.  As long as you don’t do anything that will make you responsible later (such as create a child!), that can work fine, and you can look back on each other with great appreciation as the years go by.

Or let’s say you two agree that it’s too painful to stay together when you agree there’s no future, so you break up to protect each other from higher pain.  Okay, again, you can appreciate each other for the rest of your lives.

But what if one of you feels “let’s keep it while it’s fun” and the other says “I have to protect myself from pain.”  Then, I know it’s disappointing, but I think you have to go with what the second one says.  Better to miss out on some fun than to cause deep pain to someone you like or love.

But if you’re not open about it, if you’re not honest with yourselves and each other, then someone is likely to get REALLY hurt, and feel betrayed.  And then, instead of appreciating each other forever, you’ll have to live with suspicion and resentment.  Yucch.

Look, we dogs know the bad news; we don’t live as long as you humans.  So we always are in relationships with “no future,” as we know our people are very likely to live on after we’re gone.  And that’s always really sad for both of us.  But there’s never a resentment over it – no person feels betrayed or abandoned by us when we go.  And we’re able to give each other so much love and joy while we’re both still around.

So talk with each other, and be kind for each other.   And that will make whatever you decide the right choice.

All my best,


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