Post # 1
I’ve been engaged for about six months now to my best friend in the world. He’s funny, kind, and caring, and I love him more than, well, anyone else.
But I love him like a friend. I’ve never been attracted to him, and when we have sex, it’s because I want to have sex, not because I want to have sex with him.
I’ve been putting off wedding planning over and over again, pushing back the date, and this summer I hooked up with another man. It was a one-time thing and there was no emotional involvement, and I don’t feel guilty about it at all. I’d be worried about how he would feel, but I can’t really think it was the wrong thing to do. There is not, and has never been a spark.
He deserves better. He will be an amazing husband and father and he should be that for someone who can love him the same way he loves her. Unfortunately, I’ve been trying for three years now, but that someone is not me.
Does anyone have any advice for this? I love him and I don’t want to hurt him. We live together and have a dog and another year left on our lease, too, which complicates things.
He is truly one of the most important people in my life but I can’t marry him. He deserves better than that. What should I do?
Post # 3
Be honest. tell him how you feel, and how you don’t feel. Don’t keep leading him on into thinking he is going to start his life with you if you aren’t “in” love with him.
Post # 4
First make plans to leave, especially making sure that money-wise you can cover all the new expenses. Where will you go, if the dog goes with you will he be allowed in that place, what’s happening with your half of the rent, etc. Make sure one or two people know where you will be and what is happening in advance just in case. Pack at least one bag of essentials to take–you can return for the rest later, with a friend, unless you think he is the kind of person that might destroy your things.
Once you have all of that in place, talk to him. Be honest. Don’t be mean or insulting, just honest. And go. Do not look back because it will just make it harder for both of you. Good luck.
Post # 5
@lost436: I am sorry but no matter what I think he will be hurt. However, it is way worse for you to continue the engagement/relationship if you are not IN love with him and you don’t want to spend your life with him. You are going to have to be honest with him and tell him how you feel if you really do love him (even as a friend).
Post # 6
Thanks so much, you guys. I’m suprised to find this kind of support. I kind of expected people to tell me to stick it out because I know attraction is just not that important in a lifelong relationship. But I’m only 23. So is he. I feel like if I were 30 or even 25 it would be different.
But then I also wonder if I’ll regret it. I know I’ll regret losing my best friend, but I don’t know if I’ll regret not marrying him later. Does anyone have experience with this?
Post # 7
@lost436: that is the risk you take. Go with your gut.
Post # 8
@lost436: You should do what is best for you and your relationship. I have been with my FI for over 9 years and we have had our ups and downs. We are 24 and 26 now and will get married in 8 months.
Honestly, a few years ago, I felt the same way you did. He was my best friend and very important to me, but I WAS NOT physically attracted to him. I never wanted to have sex in general. We hit a rough patch of sorts when we felt more like friends than a couple. It resulted in us taking a break for 3 months (I was studying abroad, so technically we couldn’t visit each other anyway).
It was difficult and it took a good year or two to get back on track and become a stable, loving couple again. I can honestly say that now, I am physically attracted to him and I want to have sex with him. The last 3 years have been the best years of our relationship and feels like a completely different relationship all together.
I attribute our troubles to lack of good communication, us growing up/going through changes in our early 20’s and partly because of my multiple changes in birth control.
In the end, you should do what feels right. I am NOT saying you should stay or go. It may or may not work out. Lastly, do not regret the decision you make because it is your decision and it is what is best for you at the time.
Post # 9
@bmo88: Don’t marry him because you think you might regret it. Marry him because it’s 100% what you want and you can’t imagine your life without him. I would write yourself a note, write down all your thoughts and feelings on your relationship, why you don’t feel that the marriage would work (or why you feel he deserves better) and keep it in a safe place. After you break up, if you start to regret your decision, I would take out the letter and read it. I think it’s really telling that your thread title is “How to call off an engagement” and not “Should I call off this engagement”. You already know how you feel and what you want. Go with your gut.
Post # 10
@lost436: it won’t be easy and it will be painful but it will be the best for both of you. let him know that even though you love and care for him, you are not “in love” with him. he deserves more than you can offer him. it would be completely unfair for both of you to remain in this relationship. it’s time to part ways as friends before resentment sets in, then it could get ugly.
Post # 11
Well done for being so self aware.
Now with every kindness in the world you tell him how you feel. Gently explain your reasons and help him understand that it wouldn’t be right to continue.
Post # 12
Gently tell him how you feel and return the ring. I sort of know what you mean, I dated someone I deep down saw as more of a good friend for a while and he was pushing for us to marry. I wasn’t sure at first if I should because I knew no one would be perfect and whether it would be “good compromise” to marry him or “bad settling.” Now that I met FI, I realized I would have been miserable married to my ex. (also, I was around 26 when I broke up with my ex).
Lucky you realized now, before you two were married!
Post # 13
Thanks, bees 🙂 This is really hard because I don’t have anyone to turn to here–just moved to a new city. Does anyone have any advice for what to tell my parents? They love him, and they’re also convinced that no one else will ever love me again. I’m almost as worried about having this conversation with them as I am about what I’ll say to him.
Post # 14
@lost436: Bullet points because I’m typing on my iPad:
- There is no way to break up with someone that will leave them unhurt. Your fiancé cares about you so of course he will be devastated. However, calling off the engagement is absolutely the right thing to do.
- Best practices for breaking things off. I don’t know exactly. Don’t be unnecessarily mean, but BE CLEAR. The worst thing you could do is string him along by giving him the tiniest glimmer of hope. Cut ties cleanly, and don’t try to maintain any sort of relationship with him. It may seem hard, but if you truly have his best interests at heart you must be willing to give up your friendship as well.
- “and they’re also convinced that no one else will ever love me again” that is one of the most awful things I’ve heard. they don’t deserve an explanation if that’s what they’ve been telling you. You’re young and smart and considerate. I guarantee you will find someone else who will satisfy you on all levels. Until then, I’d recommend keeping your distance from your family and not going to them for emotional support if this is the hogwash they’re giving you.
Post # 15
Breaking away from my ex’s parents was worse than breaking up with my ex, time helps 🙁