I'm in my mid-20s and recently hit it off with a 30-something guy at a bar. He's finalizing a divorce and has a couple of kids; I've been contemplating a break from my three-year boyfriend. He advised me to leave while I'm young, as he knew his marriage was a mistake from the beginning. We've been texting, hanging out, and we've kissed. He's enjoying the single life and acts like a guy in his 20s: last-minute plans, indecisiveness. But sometimes I think he wants more than friendship or booty because he'll act chivalrous, hold my hand, and say certain things. For my part, I don't have the heart/strength to break it off with my boyfriend right now, yet I'm flirting with this man because I've never really dated much. I've either been totally single or in a relationship.
How do you make a graceful exit out of a live-in relationship? We’ve gotten a lot out of the past four years together, but I want more and he can't commit. It's a struggle for us to find stuff we like to do together, and I can't help but think we belong with other people who share our interests and with whom we can have a stronger bond. There are no big fights, betrayals, etc., but it's hard for us to even talk about our relationship. So I'm at a loss as to how to break up. Even good old-fashioned crushes on other people haven't been enough for me to pull the trigger. I'd like to end things with respect and as little damage as possible.
He Said: Unfortunately, the breakups I've initiated involved either me leaving town or convincing my girlfriend at the time to do so for a career upgrade. Effective, but overkill as an exit strategy. The good news, for you anyway, is I've had a lot of experience with women initiating breakups with me. And from these I've learned that the best separation route from traveling down life’s highway with your boyfriend is not crashing into a dead-end street, but a turning onto some other quieter avenue.