I’ve been engaged to my boyfriend for six months but we never got round to setting a date for the wedding.
Then a week ago, he hit me with the bombshell that he wants us to take a break from the relationship so he can be single for a while and be free to “experience life” and even see other women.
I haven’t stopped crying since that conversation and had no idea he felt like that. It was the first I knew of him being unhappy.
We got together quite young – we were both 21 and we’re 26 now, so I think he feels he’s missed out on doing a lot of the stuff his mates got to do because he was in a serious relationship from a young age.
He says he’s not ruling out getting married in the future, but he’s just not ready at the moment.
My parents are furious with him and have told me to walk away and move on, but I’m in love with him and want to make it work if I can.
I’m not even angry with him, just hurt and desperate to find a way to get back to where we were.
Can you help?
I can empathise with how heartbroken you must feel, but at least you know this now before getting married.
And if this is really how he’s feeling, I’m afraid you have to accept it because you can’t force him to feel the same way you do.
Even if you did talk him into staying with you, you’d always be thinking, “He doesn’t want to be here” and you’d be expecting him to up sticks and leave at any moment. Both of you have to want to be in the relationship for it to work.
I think the way to approach it is to say to him, “OK, have a break, but I’m not going to guarantee that, if you get to a point where you realise it’s actually me you want, I’ll still be here. I might have met someone else who offers me more”.
It’s a gamble on both sides and he should understand that.
I wouldn’t say you’ll never take him back because you don’t know that.
I’m friends with a couple and the female partner woke up one morning and said she didn’t know if the relationship was right for her.
She took time out and went travelling and, when she came back, they did get back together and they’re now married and blissfully happy.
I remember saying to him at the time, “Wow, you’ve taken this so well” and he just said, “What can I do? She has to find out for herself”.
So sometimes a break can help you to realise what’s important to you. Maybe your partner will get things out of his system and then want to give it another shot.
Just don’t put your life on hold while he’s off doing his own thing.
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