Ask Brian: I want to break up with my boyfriend but am scared he'll reveal secrets from my past as revenge
Our no-nonsense agony uncle gets straight to the point of your most pressing issues.
I've been going out with my current boyfriend since the end of last year. It all seemed lovely at the start but everything has moved incredibly quickly. Two weeks after we met, he brought me to meet his parents.
He has recently started to tell me he loves me. Every time he tells me that, it makes me secretly recoil in disgust. I know he wants to hear it back but I just can't bring myself to say it. He also says that he'd like me to move in with him and his parents. That's definitely not on the cards
He is a really nice guy and we do get on but I just feel absolutely no sexual attraction towards him whatsoever. (Our sex life is completely disastrous and I regularly come up with excuses or fantasise about other men.) Although we do have other hobbies together that we both enjoy.
I don't want to break up with him because I'm afraid he could turn vicious and reveal to others things from my past that I've only told him. He also has struggled with depression and keeps telling me that his whole world would be destroyed if he ever lost me.
I don't know how to progress without hurting him.
Please help me!
(Portions of this letter have been edited to preserve anonymity)
You're completely right here, things are moving way too fast.
If somebody asked me to meet their parents two weeks after we'd started dating I'd be doing Google searches for 'how to get a restraining order' and self defence classes.
I jest - slightly - as he obviously grows attached very quickly.
From what you've described, it seems that you would be far more suited as friends.
You don't love him, the sexual chemistry is non-existent but you do share common hobbies and interests.
I do understand your concern for him given he has struggled with his mental health - but these are his issues, don't let them become yours.
Now your worries that he might reveal secrets about you - well, he might.
So let's for a second say he is major ass and does tell everyone all these secrets.
What will happen? Well, you'll probably be pretty embarrassed for a few days, or maybe weeks. But it will pass.
Your alternative is to stay with him for the rest of your life because you're afraid of him revealing your secrets.
Again this is worst case - but your choice seems to be a few weeks of embarrassment or years of being miserable. That seems like a simple choice to me.
In the vast majority of relationship break downs however, things will stay relatively civil. There's a sort of mutually assured destruction - you know just as much about them as they know about you, so you both have good reason to stay quiet.
If you are worried about how he will react to you breaking up with him, do it in a public place where you feel safe.
It seems like you would quite happily be friends with him - however his feelings seem very real so this might not be something that is good for him, so make it a clean break for him.
There probably is no way to progress without hurting him, but hurt now is better than hurt years down the line.
Unfortunately breaking up is never easy to do, but you know deep down things aren't right.