How should he walk away from a 15-year relationship? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

DEAR Emily,


My girlfriend and I have been dating for 15 years since college. We’re now both 32 years old. She is very pretty, and a quiet person. Coming from a boisterous brood of 12, I found that character of hers relaxing and attractive.


We got along well in campus because all we did was study. It was expected we’d get married right after graduation. We even had a joint bank account and made an investment in one piece of real estate.


But I went on a two-year scholarship abroad. I’ve been caught in a whirlwind of constant travel and job promotions that made me re-evaluate our plans. She herself has a successful career.


Things aren’t the same anymore. I feel I have outgrown our relationship. I have started to make excuses every time we’d make plans to be together. I have great affection for her—but I am not in love with her anymore.


I don’t remember when this started. Her passive nature and the way she’d consent to everything I say, despite it being different from what she wanted, started an irritation toward her that just grew.


Life with her was like driving in that part of the highway reserved for the slow-driving, disabled people—no bumps, no curves. Just one long, monotonous road. Boring, in short.


As for me, I’ve become more gregarious and people-oriented. Two years ago, in one of my meetings abroad, I met someone older than me who is her exact opposite—in temperament (witty, quick on her feet), looks (a plain Jane but sure of herself), and a youthful, exciting frame of mind.


In our talks, I found out she has just come from a long relationship. I didn’t make any move then because I consider myself an honorable man, honest and loyal to my girlfriend. But even without meeting the other woman, I know we’ve reached this dead end.


I have no second thoughts in giving her all the savings and investments we’ve made to cushion the hurt I will be subjecting her to. It’s only money.


I am more mature now than when we first met in college, and I know that we’re done. Finished. I don’t want all the time and emotion I’ve gone through with her disintegrating, but still forcing ourselves into marriage. Will it be cruel to be completely honest?






The tragedy of love is not death or separation, someone said. The tragedy of love is indifference. When that freeze settles into your psyche, there’s no use picking up whatever residue is left. There’s no use in going through the motions of turning back time anymore. It’ll all be downhill, and you know it’s time to go.


You must have been brought up well to be this honorable and considerate, before doing something cowardly like just disappearing from her life with nary a word. Many men would rather do a song-and-dance and everything else just to avoid a nasty but honest confrontation.


Or, as the really pretty creepy would say: “Hindi naman kita iiwanan … dadagdagan lang!”


The universe will look kindly at this one good deed of yours.


Yes, better leave her now than later. Fifteen years is not such a long investment to leave behind and start life anew separately. As to the savings you’ve put together— she’d appreciate your gesture of giving every last dime to her, but she’d probably want to be fair and split everything down the middle with you. That’s good, too, as you both probably wouldn’t want to leave a relationship with a bad taste in the mouth.


Hurray for your honesty. It is still the best policy.


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