Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,
My boyfriend and I recently broke up, but we decided to remain friends. It was easier in the beginning but now it has hit me that when I am around him, I miss him as my boyfriend. He really is a good friend and I would hate to lose him, but I don’t think I can bear to be around him and not be with him. I know he has begun to move on because he’s gone out with a few girls, but I haven’t started yet. What should I do?


Dear Heartbroken,
“There’s nothing like unrequited love to take the flavor out of a peanut butter sandwich,” Charlie Brown once said, and I think he summed it up best. Depending on how close you were and the duration of the relationship, breakups can be extremely difficult to deal with. The fact that your ex still wants to be part of your life shows his maturity and that you do hold a special place in his heart.
Feeling the typical aftermath of a breakup is completely normal. You are no longer together for a reason, and perhaps you need to re-think why you have separated in the first place. It is very possible you are simply missing the familiarity and security of the relationship, or simply the person you have grown attached to. If you consider these factors, and still believe this guy is worth it enough to give it a second try, discuss it with him. Find out if these feelings are one-sided, that way, if they are, you can begin to move on as well and occupy your time with activities that you enjoy. On the bright side, being single allows independence and time to focus on you.

Dear Devil’s Advocate,
My girlfriend and I have been together since high school and I’m strongly focused on studying for my major, as is my girlfriend. The problem is the other night she suggested we move in together. I was left speechless and didn’t give an immediate reply, which made her upset, and I told her I needed time to think. I’m not ready for such a big commitment and not sure if I want to take this huge step. It’s not that I can’t picture myself with her in the future, but the timing isn’t right. How can I explain this to her without sounding insensitive?

-Worried Boyfriend

Dear Worried,
You have a right to feel the way you do; merging your lives together physically is certainly a big leap. Obviously you two are serious about your relationship; otherwise your girlfriend would have not brought up moving in together. It is definitely understandable that she was hurt by your reaction, as she may think this is reflective of your feelings towards her or the relationship as a whole.
Be honest with her and explain that moving in together at this point in both of your educational careers may cause the two of you to become less focused on your work, and then subsequently hinder your success in the future. Explain that you are concerned about your future life together, and wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt that.

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