Me [28F] with my sort-of/sort-of-not (sometimes ex)boyfriend [31M] of 8.5 years, I have it baaaaad; he doesn't, maybe.. sort of?

First of all, congratulations of separating from John. I can tell that ending things is not easy for you.

Secondly, love =/= pain and unhappiness. You are stuck on the potential of what could be if only.. it were different. But it's not different. This is what it is. If this relationship were real, you would be in it. It would be a partnership on both of your terms - not you contorting yourself to fit his terms, convincing yourself you're happy until your repressed needs can no longer be silenced. Travis is bad for you. He is in a relationship with another woman.

We are very compatible and fit each other well. I could not ask for more.

He has told me that he does not want to be in a relationship. Period. That he has goals and focuses he wants to achieve at work. He is a self-professed workaholic who works 60+ hours a week. He says I would be a distraction to that. He has openly referred to me as an addiction before. A relationship of that magnitude is at the bottom of the bottom of priorities for him.

You need more. This will never make you happy. I am saying this because I have recently made similar realizations (although the degree of dysfunction was a lot lower).

Do you have a job? Your own goals? Friends? Focus on those. Focus on the people who actually love you - the ones who are there. Travis isn't there. He has everything he wants, and you have nothing that you want.

One day, you will have to break this cycle, and it's going to be hard. It's going to hurt, and it's going to feel hopeless. But weeks or months later, you'll wake up and it won't hurt as much, and you'll feel kind of.. free. You're 28... there are so many possibilities ahead of you. You don't want to wake up at 45 or 65 and realize that you wasted your life living in your own head, and that you spent most of your life in pain.

Travis will never be good for you. If he loves you, why do you feel so alone? He is not your solution. This relationship is terrible. If he really, truly wanted you - you'd be together. He knows you're there. If he really, truly loved you, he wouldn't continue to string you along like this - he'd either be with you or he would let you go. Instead he gives you just enough to keep you attached, but not enough to make you happy.

There are so many people in the world. This one person will never, ever be a good partner. You have conducted this experiment for years and years. The results are conclusive. Release yourself from this obsession. You owe it to yourself.

Good luck. Lots of love.

/r/relationships Thread