Our special double issue brings you two questions in one column. These letters are similar but required opposite advice. Enjoy!
I've been with my boyfriend for two years. At this point, I don't really enjoy his company. Also, he's in college, and I'm working, which only allows us to see each other on the weekends — and I don't miss him one bit. I just want to be close to someone (I don't really have friends) but not necessarily him. Honestly, anyone but him would be fine. He's my first boyfriend, and I have been thinking about moving on, but the problem is that there's nothing wrong with the relationship or him. Even when we spent almost every day together, our relationship was good. Should I just stay, or should I break up with him? I feel like a complete bitch.
Dear Total B.,
All I needed to hear was "anyone but him." It's over. Break up.
You know this relationship is kaput. What you need is a friend. Go out and make a few. Find yourself — by yourself.
P.S. A relationship doesn't have to be hell on Earth to be worth ending. Sometimes it's a shoulder-shrug, ho-hum, blah kind of thing, and that's reason enough to peace out. Don't stay in anything you're not enjoying. You can do better. You deserve it. Acknowledging that does not make you a bitch.
My boyfriend and I are dating long distance. He's only a couple of hours away, but we're both busy college students with families to go back to. I don't see him that often, but I'm not one of those girls who needs to be with or talk to someone all the time. I prefer time to myself. I like my space, and he knew that going into the relationship. He wants to talk every night for a minimum of an hour — not intentionally; it just kind of happens — and he always says "I love you" and "I miss you." Is it bad that I don't miss him all that often? Sure, there are days I really do, but most of the time I'm totally fine with the distance. Does this make me a bad girlfriend? I always feel really guilty when I don't say it back, but I don't like saying things I feel guilted into saying or that I don't really mean.
It's totally healthy not to want to talk to your BF for an hour every day or say "I love you" at every turn. And it's totally cool that he likes those things. No one is "bad" here. What would be bad is if you did anything you didn't genuinely want to do just to please him. As long as you each don't mind how the other expresses their love, you guys are solid.
But if he's disappointed and expressing that to you, be direct. Try picking one night a week for a long phone call so you don't feel guilt-tripped into it every night and can be more effusive with your feelings when you do talk. Codependency doesn't make the heart grow fonder. Be proud of your independence and of your strong relationship. And enjoy this time in your life — it goes by in a flash.