Stay or start dating? 

I don’t know if I want to stay with my boyfriend but I don’t want to break his heart. 

Our elder counsels a 21 year old who’s never had a chance to ‘just date’.


Dear EWC

Hi, I am a 21-year-old college student. I have been with my boyfriend for a year now. We recently broke up and during our break up I met a guy who I’ve connected with on a deep level. Today my boyfriend pleaded for me to get back with him and I did for certain reasons but I can’t get this other guy out of my head. My current boyfriend and I have history but we also argue and break up often. I’m just conflicted on what I should do. I don’t know if I want to stay in this relationship or just break it off to just date (I’ve never really had that opportunity). I really don’t want to break my boyfriend’s heart but I don’t think I should be feeling this way. I’m not even sure if I actually do just want to call it quits all together. I’m just really confused.


Mrs.G replies

I think you are not as confused as you think you are. It seems to me you have the answer inside you as far as what to do now, but fear is stopping you. I’m sorry that all this thinking is causing you unhappiness and, therefore, I hope to be of help.

To begin with, I will explain why I’m suggesting that fear is stopping you from taking action. I have a hunch that this fear stems from the fact that you are afraid of being alone with no boyfriend at all. You are afraid that if you break up with your current boyfriend and pursue the other guy, this fellow could not want you after all, and you will be alone. Your thinking makes a lot of sense, but I think it’s a risk you need to take.

Also, you are afraid of hurting your current boyfriend, and you well could; but you need to realize that this should not be your problem or concern. How he reacts to the breakup is his problem – not yours, and I predict he will do just fine. He might be upset for a while, but it will pass.

I can see why you returned to your boyfriend after he pleaded to get you back, but since you have this other guy on your mind, that tells me you will not be happy continuing in this relationship. I know you’ve been together for a year, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay with him the rest of your life.

If I were you, I would break up with this guy making sure I did it in a nice way. And then I would move on and not look back. I wouldn’t suggest you and he remain friends because that can be a trap, so I would just say goodbye nicely and put him in the background.

Once you do this, you will be free to pursue this other fellow or just start dating different ones. You said yourself you have had little experience in doing that, so I think the time has come. You are 21 with many, many years ahead of you to be tied with one person, so why not ‘play the field’ as they say?! This is a time in your life where you can have the most fun. You can be free to do whatever you want and free to have all kinds of plans and dreams. Make this a time for you and enjoy it.

I hope I’ve lifted the burden off your shoulders, to where you no longer feel confused. As I said, this is your time so start living free of worry, OK?

Article #: 409542

Category: Dating/Relationship


  1. Geoffrey Hall Reply
    May 13, 2022

    please can I have more information

    1. Administration Reply
      May 13, 2022

      If you would like more information about our free advice-giving service at EWC, please click on this link

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