Should you stay in a relationship with someone who says it can’t last long-term?

Suzyz asks:

I have been with my boyfriend for over a year and I love him very much.  We belong to different religions. He sometimes says he will be with be and sometimes says that there will be a lot of problems we could not face and stay strong. He says he would have to separate from his family which he can’t do. He says let’s just be together till time permits and then we will go our separate ways. When I try to reason, he says that this is life and you have to move on. I know I am going to lose him but why is this happening to me?  If he can’t stay with me in the future because of his parents, then why not leave me today? I just don’t have the courage to stop talking to him or end this relationship. We are in the same college and class which only makes the situation worse.  Plz help, I am tired of crying. 

Hi Suzyz –

I’m so sorry! I hate it when my friends cry!

Have you ever heard of John Gray?  He wrote a famous book called Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and a number of sequels to it.  At one point, he wrote about the question of whether couples should share interests, or have an “opposites attract” dynamic.  

His answer was that it doesn’t matter.  That it can be delightful when both of you like horror movies or football, and it can be fun when you disagree about lots of things. But, he argued, what matters is that the partners share Values. Core moral values.  Especially if they’re thinking of having and raising children.

So she loves reading sappy romantic novels while he plays violent first-person-shooter video games?  That can be okay, if they agree about those big issues – like whether it’s ever okay to break the law, or about religion in their lives.  

That last one is a big one.  Because you can disagree about politics and just avoid discussing it, but religion is about values, and about eternity.

So you can probably see where I’m going with this.  You say you’re in college.  Well that’s a good age for casual dating – so if you want to have someone to go to dancing with, then all I care about is that he treats you respectfully. But if you’re thinking about a serious partnership – then my simple answer is No.  You have different religions, and he’s treating you like I treat a chew toy – enjoying it but tearing it to bits and leaving it strewn around the yard.

You. Can. Do. Better!

And so can he.  Better for him to find a woman who fits his religion (who’ll probably then turn his life upside down by being ten times as demanding as you’d ever have been!), while you find a good guy who respects you, works to understand you, and maybe even shares your religious beliefs.

Some questions are hard.  This one’s easy.  For me anyway.

For you, now comes the hard part.  Especially as you’re in classes together.  And it will hurt like blazes, I know – especially as you love him so much.  But once you’ve freed each other, your lives will be so much better! 

Best of luck with it,


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