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So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

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I could really use some help. Please don't hate instead. Pleae read till the end. I'm 21 and am in a relationship since 16. Everything was fine until 4 years ago when we suddenly realised my boyfriend's parents had run into debt. He was in his freshman year of college and had started looking for ways to earn money, giving up his plans to continue his education abroad. I joined the same college as him a year later but due to his busy schedule, we couldn't meet a single day in college. Growing up, I had always wanted to try campus dating so this hurt my 18-year-old self a lot. I understood his busy schedule and limitations but it had already been 2 years that way; I just wanted to make the best of my youth. So I broke up. But soon, I felt extremely guilty and I had grown so attached to him that when he insisted, I got back. We were always on-off since then. I longed for him, but whenever we met, happiness was nowhere. He would play games when I would talk to him, his reason being that it's the only free time for the day. He would never understand my loneliness because his own problems were overwhelming for him. None of my expectations was ever met; I'd always be so drained and hurt. It's been a year but even thinking about the time still gives me goosebumps... Then the pandemic happened and we haven't met for 18 months now.. but the silver lining is, since I don't claim his time anymore, we don't break up that often. But he can't even manage his family to speak to me over call (he's 23). Which parent makes it so impossible for a guy of that age to call a girl? I can't help but feel that he isn't trying enough. If we are in long-distance, we should speak regularly at least; I can't talk about everything via texts, I feel distant.. We also break up over little issues like: 1. Once he requested me to draw a portrait of us together. I did and in return, I playfully asked for a stick figure but he didn't even daw that for me, even after I broke up with him for that. 2. I asked him to install a fitness app and try it, he could uninstall it if he didn't like it. He didn't, even after I cried ( cried because I felt even my little requests were so unimportant to him) These keep going on... yesterday, while talking to him, he told me their loans had kept growing because of the interest and they couldn't pay back anything yet. I realised he didn't earn anything for the past 4 years, despite trying so much... My heart hurts for him but I'm more scared of how long I'll have to explain to myself to wait, wait for a normal relationship with him. I'm a 21 and insecure, overthinker and don't like to be alone at all... I can not carry on like this anymore. The worst part is, I know we'll fight even more like before once the situation gets better and we meet physically. I have guy friends who constantly hit on me, despite me making it very clear that I'm taken. One of them, who has been around for 5 years now, treats me so well even though I've always made it clear and even ignored his flirting. Recently, I've started talking to him and it feels so better to have someone who is actually available for me ( I'm socially awkward, I only texted my boyfriend by myself and talked to friends only when they needed me or we met up. I liked it that way). In my present scenario, I know I like no one except my boyfriend but I've seen that people change. What if I change and start to like this guy in future? I don't want myself to do anything like that, I want to be loyal... and my second question is, should I break up? Because this relationship is far from giving me any happiness, I miss him when we break up but at least I can explore new ways that way? But, if we think about it, the reason for my breakup will be his financial condition. Isn't my breaking up so wrong then? Also, we can't get married unless he succeeds a lot in his life because all thanks to god, I'm a little well off.. my parents won't consent to such a marriage happily.

So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

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The years 16 to 21 is a long and important time for personal growth. It sounds like much was missed for you in order to grow into an independent woman. It’s difficult now, you are finding out. Your BF is revealing a lot about himself and his family. You are seeing this and it’s upsetting. You don’t have to DO anything right now but grow as a person. The more you do that, the clearer things will become. Don’t make any decisions or feel pressured into committing to anyone’s demands. You need to spend time on yourself now.

So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

DOJABOYTELLEM profile image
Two maxims come to my mind as I read this: -You cannot control how you feel, only how you act. -Sometimes you have to give up something good to give up something great. I was in a long-term and at times long-distance relationship with an emotionally abusive partner from age 21-30. I drank to cope and eventually became a drunk, suicidal deadbeat. Once I'd hit rock bottom, my girlfriend really had no use for me anymore because I had become dependent on her and was now holding her back. So she kicked me out one day (I lived with her the last several month we were together). She got her life back in no time, and I struggled hard for about a year. Four years later, I'm still struggling but slightly less than before. And in reality, I was struggling before I met her and wasn't able to focus on myself when we were together. I take better care of myself now and haven't drank since 2016. Your story reminds me of mine in a way. I'm not saying you're abusive but he sounds like he's not in the best place and could be holding you back (without trying to). You sound unfulfilled emotionally (which means this is not a money-related issue). You don't have to suffer just because he is. He can still be a part of your life even if he's not your boyfriend. And if you do decide to break up but keep in touch, y'all could always get back together one day if enough of these issues get straightened out.

So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

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Edit: I meant to say at the beginning of my comment "Sometimes you have to give up something good to GET something great."

So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

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I'll try my best to grow as a person and be independent. I didn't know self-growth would help. Thank you so much for reading and suggesting, I really needed it.

So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

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DOJABOYTELLEM Thank you so much. You overcame a much worse situation and this gives me so much hope. Honestly, a part of me always said I couldn't manage without him. But you seemed to have the same issues, just to a much greater extent. I'm now starting to believe I can break free too. Somehow through your story, I realised where I'm actually wrong. I can't thank you enough for this. And, I can't be friends with him or have him in my life if I break up with him. He knows I will need him and uses that. Whenever we break up, he neither talks to me nor helps me. He becomes a different person altogether. That is another reason why we keep getting back; he never supports me when I break up. I have explained to him and he has admitted that he can't make me happy right now but whenever we break up, it's never mutual. If I ask him anything post-breakup, he says he doesn't want to be used by an ex. Trust me; I don't use him. I only ask for his suggestions at times or share things; because he knows everything about me, I don't have to explain the context and all. He says he doesn't want to let me go because he loves me but I clearly don't feel any love or even attachment from him...

So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

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You can break up with him (and it sounds like you should.) But you're completely out of line to demand he continue to be your friend after you do. He doesn't have to. You don't 'need' him. What would you do if the two of you had never met? Do that. You're not entitled to someone's support after you dump him or her. He's free from any and all responsibility to you. Your post is very confusing - you sound unhappy *and* entitled.

So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

DOJABOYTELLEM profile image
@Platinum: Thank YOU for your kind words and for taking the time to read my story. I've always said that I'm willing to suffer if I can help others not suffer later on. So I'm extremely happy to hear that I could assist you during your time of need. And the second paragraph from your response...yeah I get that. My ex and I haven't spoken since 2017 and to be honest it's probably best that way. It sucks because we were great friends with a lot in common before we started messing around. On paper I'd love to have her back in my social circle but in reality it just wouldn't work due to our history together. So be proud that you have the foresight to set that boundary for yourself ahead of time.

So confused I don't know where my happiness lies anymore

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@Oldmainer and @Dojaboytellem thank you for clearing another problem of mine. I always felt like being so cold after breakup was wrong but it seems like it's for the best. Thank you so much. Whatever step I take now or in future, your suggestions will really help. I needed them.

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