Ask Evie: I’m Not Sure Whether I Should End My Relationship, Even Though There’s No Spark

Welcome to Ask Evie, our advice column. Readers can submit their questions, and our editors will dish out their best advice!

By Evie3 min read
Pexels/Alexander Mass

READER’S QUESTION: "Hello, I have been dating a girl for about four years (I’m a man). We met at the start of Covid on a dating app. The relationship quickly moved forward due to Covid lockdowns in my country. We met each other’s parents, and spent more time than normal together and with family. Because of this, I feel I was roped into a relationship I knew was not right for me. We align on our values and have similar interests, which has made staying in this relationship fairly easy. I have taken the path of least resistance, even though I know it is not the right thing to do. Even my friends realize she is not the one for me. I have tried to break up with her twice in the past year, and each time, she cries and says she will change and she knows our relationship is right and I am her person. I just don’t feel that way. Each time I try to break it off, we talk for around two hours, and she ends up lawyering her way to me saying okay, we can try again (she is a lawyer and is good at arguing). I can see a life with her, but just don’t think I will be as happy as I could be. Her family is great, and we all get along famously, which makes breaking up more difficult as I feel I am letting down multiple people. We even have a trip planned in a couple weeks with her family. A few weeks after, she is planning to move into my house. I think I need to break it off with her before she moves in to make things easier, but there is only a short window after the trip and before she moves in.

I can elaborate further, but I need advice on how to break up. Also, how do I know if I am making the right decision? I can see a life with her and we will have a great combined income, kids, and a comfortable life. I just don’t feel that spark, and don’t think I ever did. What should I do, and how do I do it?"

EVIE’S ADVICE: This may be difficult to hear, but based on everything you’re saying, the answer is crystal clear: You need to break up immediately. Ideally, you break up with her before this upcoming family trip, even if that means reimbursing her family for your expenses if they were covering your travel, lodging, etc. Of course, everyone will be upset initially, but even they probably know deep down that the two of you aren’t truly meant to be if they’ve spent enough time around you together. This will give her an opportunity to go on a trip away from you and be surrounded by her family to grieve the relationship in the best possible way. Sure, it may put a damper on her trip, but you going on this vacation with her family and faking the relationship for another week while talking about her moving into your place only a few weeks later is worse. Give her a clean break as soon as possible; no contact is extremely important in a situation like this and the two of you being in different locations (her on vacation and you at home) will be helpful for that.  

At the end of the day, no one is forcing you to be in a relationship with her. It sounds like you need to do the difficult but right thing in this situation, which is part of the virtue of masculinity. Breaking up with someone takes courage and is uncomfortable, but it’s the honorable thing to do when you genuinely don’t see a future with them. Stop wasting both of your time and stringing her along; it will only hurt more in the end if you continue on this path.

A relationship can’t stand when both parties do not agree to be in it. 

When breaking up with her, don’t provide reasons or an argument, just state that you no longer want to be in a relationship with her. Reasoning and trying to soften the blow with made-up excuses only gives the person something to grab onto and an empty hope to fix the relationship. Don’t provide any solutions or statements that include a false hope, like “In the future, maybe we can try again,” as this will only prolong her hurting and the necessary ending of the relationship. A relationship can’t stand when both parties do not agree to be in it. You need to make the decision and stick to it, no matter how lonely or doubtful you may feel in the weeks following the breakup. 

It’s not that you fell deeply in love with this person and, for various reasons, are going through a tough season – it’s that you admit you never thought you felt that “spark” in the first place and felt as if you were forced into a relationship due to Covid lockdowns. That is not a reason to marry someone, have children with them, and spend the rest of your life by their side. Having a “great combined income” and a “comfortable life” are also not reasons to marry someone. The likelihood that this relationship could lead to an unhappy marriage and eventual divorce with children involved is high. It may feel selfish of you to break up with someone who so desperately wants to make things work, but the honest truth is that it’s actually much more selfish to stay with someone you genuinely do not love. She deserves better than that. You both deserve to be with someone who doesn’t question their love or commitment. 

Post-breakup, you need to cut all contact with her. No texting, no calling, no meeting up for “closure.” Unfollow her and her family and friends on social media and resist the urge to stalk her Stories or check in on what her friends or family are posting. This may seem harsh and unnecessary, but we promise it will make things much easier for both of you and allow you both to move on more quickly. Start hanging out with your friends, fill up your time with work and hobbies, and focus on your future. A year from now, both of you will have moved on and realized that as difficult as this decision and breakup were, they were truly for the best. 

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