He’s the same person he was five years ago

I've been dating my boyfriend for five years now. We met when we were both working at a restaurant. To be honest, I didn't find him attractive at first. But one day he invited me to get a drink, and we sat at the bar and started asking each other questions. It was easy to talk to him and I didn't feel nervous.

Weeks later, we went out again, and he leaned over at the bar and kissed me. He asked me what I was going to be doing after, and he invited me to a hotel. It sounded like fun. We got to the hotel and BOOM, our clothes came off we were behaving like we were the last humans in the world. It was AMAZING.

After a few days of sneaking out together after work and having sex in hotels, we actually became pretty close. I thought he was funny, intelligent, and carefree, and at the age of 20 that's all I really paid attention to. I was focused on how good the sex was. I guess I didn't really think we were gonna become a thing, and that it was all fun and games.

Well, fast forward five years, and here I am writing this letter. Our sex life is pretty much nonexistent. Our connection, well, that's not really there either. A lot has happened in the past five years – ups and downs, but mostly downs in my eyes.

I no longer enjoy sex with him, I constantly complain to him about everything, and I just think he's stuck as a person. Back when I was 20, I didn't care about the kind of job he had or that he didn't care about his health. I didn't care that he didn't really have any goals in life. But now that's all I think about. I drive myself crazy sometimes when I see the way he is (which is exactly how he was five years ago).

I love him as a best friend but I'm no longer in love with him or sexually attracted to him. Am I crazy for staying with him because I love him and our memories?

– 5 Years


It's interesting that you don't bring up his reaction to any of this. Like ... what does he say when you ask him about self-improvement? How does he respond when you inquire about his goals?

If he's made it clear that he enjoys the status quo – and understands that you don't – he shouldn't be surprised that you need to move on. Based on what you've told us, he also shouldn't be surprised that you want to remain friends. Maybe that's something you can work toward in the future.

The bigger question here is why it's been so difficult for you to walk away. Yes, you love him, but you've been very aware that he can't make you happy. You need to think about what's kept you from making a change. Is it loyalty – or fear of being alone? Figure that out so you can trust yourself to leave future relationships when you need to.

Also know that memories are yours to keep, even after a relationship is over. No matter what happens, you can think about that first night in the hotel whenever you want.

– Meredith

Readers? Any reason to give this more time?