The boyfriend at home

A quick note: Some of you have emailed to tell me that whenever you try to make a comment, you get bumped off Love Letters. The tech folks are working on this glitch, but in the meantime, if that happens to you, try a different browser. I've heard that Explorer doesn't work so well but that anything else is fine. I use Firefox and it seems to work for me.

I've also been told that it helps to clear your cache, as they say.

And now a back to school letter ...

Dear Meredith,

I am a young college student in the city with promising career options. I have experienced a lot since I have moved to Boston and have found that this is possibly the place I see myself spending the rest of my life in.

I have been dating the same guy for 2 years. He is sweet, quirky, loving, and can get me to laugh when all else fails. We have gone through many ups and downs in these past 2 years. He lives two hours away in another state. I met him when I was home visiting my parents from college. He has become my best friend, my boyfriend, and we haven't gone a day without talking to each other.

My dilemma? We are on two different planes in our lives. While I am in college, interning, working, etc., he is back at home working a part-time gig and living with his parents. While this doesn't completely faze me, it's his lack of motivation that stinks. He has different values (I am family oriented and an animal lover while he could do without both) and he has very strong, negative views about things while I am fairly optimistic.

These past few months have seemed to get the best of us. He was testy, angry, and at one point was talking down to me. I threatened to leave him, and he seems to be trying to be better. The problem is that I have this bad taste in my mouth that I can't get rid of.

I love him, and it has been a hard but fulfilling 2 years. I just keep thinking about our relationship and whether I still have it in me to push through this awkward standstill. Should I work on things or do I leave? I don't like thinking of him not being with me, but I don't know if this relationship is the end all. What should I do?

– At a Loss, Boston


The answer is in your third paragraph, AAL. Your relationship has deteriorated and requires too much work. That bad taste in your mouth is important. That's your gut talking.

Sometimes it makes sense for people in rocky relationships to wait until they hit a wall so that they can feel confident about their decision to leave. But in your case, you've already hit the wall, right? That's why you're writing me this letter. You're not confused about what has to happen. You just don't like it.
It sounds like you're asking for permission to initiate this breakup. And if that's the case, I'm happy to give it to you. You don't need his negativity right now.

Go enjoy Boston. Because you're right -- it is awesome.

Readers? Does she have to break up with him? What about that first paragraph? How can a student balance a relationship with someone who isn't in school? Help.

– Meredith