I have a girlfriend, but I feel like she’s only my girlfriend because someone told her that it was the right thing to do…. I feel really badly thinking this, and I don’t know what to do. Besides, she acts very reserved with me, while with her other friends I see her acting happier and smiling. If I hug and kiss her on the cheek, she tells me to be careful, that someone could see us. It’s a big headache, because I treat her like a queen, with respect, gifts, appreciation, and love. I hope you can help me, because I love her but don’t want her to suffer by my side.

Dear Friend,

We don’t know about you, but most people begin relationships because they feel physically attracted to one another. They tell their friends how beautiful or handsome the new girlfriend or boyfriend is. The spark of attraction feels like the romance of the movies. But just like in the movies, they may know very little about the person’s character, temperament, or beliefs. Many times they do not discover what is really important until they are already entangled in a negative relationship. That is when they usually tell us their story and ask for advice.

Beyond physical attraction, the most important foundation of any successful relationship is a shared worldview. That means that both individuals look at the world from the same perspective. Do both believe that God has a perfect will for their lives? Have both decided to put God’s will as first priority in their lives as individuals? Do both strive to use the teachings of the Bible as the standard for behavior and choices? When one individual has a Godly worldview but the other person does not, only a very tumultuous and painful relationship can be the result.

In your case, someone may have encouraged your girlfriend to be with you because of your character, family heritage, or because you have the same worldview that she does. But you are aware that there is something missing in your relationship. We congratulate you for being observant and for caring how she feels.

Just as important as the beginning of a relationship is the end. It is common for couples to continue trying to be together even when one or both know that there is something wrong. They ignore the signals or warning signs because they don’t want to hurt the other person or to feel their own hurt. It is especially difficult in your situation, because you are invested in the relationship but she is probably not.

It is better to end the relationship now rather than to keep investing your emotions in someone who will probably not change. So tell her that you just want to be friends. Don’t tell her that it is her fault or that she has hurt you. Instead, let her go with kind words and good wishes. If she is the one for you, your respectful and caring actions will cause her to come back when she realizes what she is missing. If not, then you can save your emotion and energy for a girl who will feel the same for you as you feel for her.

We wish you the best,