Survey Says She Should Break Up With Him

Survey Says She Should Break Up With Him

If you suspect there's someone better, but love the one you're with, should you end it?

Yesterday Salon's advice columnist answered a question from a woman in her mid-twenties who was wondering if she should marry her boyfriend of three years or break up with him because she thinks he might not be the right person for her. He's a "great guy," and they love each other but she's worried that differences in sex preferences, emotional needs and personality might mean they're not right for each other.

Marriage feels somewhat imminent, but looking at it right now, I don't think I would say yes… I look at my parents, who embody passionate, romantic love…it's hard not to want that. I'm not sure if I'm being unrealistic in my expectations or I'm cheating myself by not moving on. Should I wait it out? I don't want to ruin a good thing, but also don't want to limit my own happiness ... or his.


Cary Tennis gives an excellent response to her question—he says that in your twenties you become your "authentic self, a vantage point from which you are no longer in doubt about what you want from life." She's grown apart from her boyfriend, but it's not his fault—this type of maturation is just what happens in your twenties. He advises her to break up with the boyfriend and find someone who fits with the adult she has become.

This brings us back to the great settling debate: Should you keep looking for Mr. Right, or be content with Mr. Good Enough? Tennis' answer suggests that if you're younger, ending it with an almost-but-not-quite guy is the right answer. You need to listen to the person you've become; she "can make fine, subtle judgments about what will lead to happiness and what will lead to disappointment."

The commenters mostly agree. Several of them share their stories of breaking up in their mid-twenties and being happy they did. Others point out that mid-20s is very young, and that there's lots of time to meet someone else. The consensus is that she should end it. Do you agree?


Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.