I am thirty years old and single…. For the past year I have been in a romantic relationship with a woman… who has a positive attitude. She is compassionate, helpful, and a single mother, but I have come to realize that I don’t love her. In order to be completely honest with her, I have told her how I feel, but she has gotten so attached to me that she cries when I remind her, and that breaks my heart. I don’t want to see her suffer…. I ask myself sometimes why it is that I can’t love such a good woman and marry her…. I don’t know what is wrong with me.

Dear Friend,

There is nothing wrong with you! As you have experienced, romantic love is often not very logical. Your girlfriend may be exactly the type of woman that you want to marry someday, but she may not be the woman for you to marry.

We believe that you did the right thing by telling your girlfriend how you feel, even though it has been very traumatic for her. She may really love you and not want to lose you, or she may be subconsciously terrified of a future without a husband or father for her son. Either way, the kindest and most compassionate thing you can do is to stop seeing her. Every time you are with her is another opportunity for her to get her hopes up and then be disappointed yet again. The sooner she stops seeing you, the sooner that she will be able to find a man who will love and cherish her.

Some men continue relationships with women that they know they don’t love because they want to continue having sexual relations with them. It is said that women agree to sex because they want love, while men declare their love because they want sex. But God created sex to be an expression of love between a husband and wife, and the brain chemicals produced during sex were designed by Him to make a marriage stronger. Those brain chemicals can bind a couple together emotionally, causing unmarried sexually active couples to sometimes plan a wedding even though they aren’t sure that they love each other.

If you are having a sexual relationship with your girlfriend, it will be even more difficult to break up with her, but it is critical that you do so as soon as possible. No one should stay in any (unmarried) romantic relationship, for any reason, if his or her heart is not in it. Sadness, devastation, and even threats of suicide from the other person are not justifiable reasons to continue going out with that person.

Those who have already taken marriage vows can learn to love, but those who are not yet married can avoid difficulty and heartache by being honest, as you have been, and by having the courage to walk away even though it hurts the other person.

We wish you the best,