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I want my boyfriend back

How can I tell her it is over while causing her the minimum amount of pain?

I have been going out with my girlfriend for 3 years. To me the relationship has always been a comfortable one - we are the best of friends and I share everything with her. Everything except the fact that I have recently discovered that I don't love her, while I have the impression that she loves me a lot. She has always pushed the relationship along a lot, and I guess I have sort of gone with the flow. It has got to the stage now when she wants us to live together. I think I got into the whole relationship because I was lonely, but I did not expect things to go on this long or get so serious. Now I feel I want to break up, to avoid the seriousness of living together, and so that I can have the freedom to peruse another relationship where I can have the chance to find love and friendship together (or am I dreaming ?!) I am not courageous enough to tell her this because  she is happy in the relationship (well, except when she sensed my doubts) and we are such good friends I hate to upset her. I need simple practical advice on how to tell her that it's over while causing her the minimum of pain.. I would really appreciate any advice you could give. signed Phil, age 27

Dear Phil:
Thank you for the email.  The best approach is the direct approach.  Set up a meeting with her in a public place.  Find a quite corner and tell her how you feel.  You can't keep her from hurting over what you have to say.   She is responsible for how she reacts.  She is responsible for how she feels. You are responsible for your actions and your thoughts.  No one can make you do anything.  It is time you be honest with yourself and her.  Honor her enough to tell it straight and don't feel responsible for her reactions.

Love and friendship is a reality for anyone that seeks it.  I wish you all the best.

Please understand you have free will.  This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling.  We wish you well.

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