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Dear Roseanna: Do I wait for New Year to dump her?

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Rosanna Davison

Rosanna Davison

Rosanna Davison

Agony aunt Rosanna Davison answers your questions

My girlfriend of five years has long been dropping hints about settling down for good and she somehow convinced herself that I will be proposing with a ring this Christmas or New Year. Not only am I not there yet - I actually want to break up with her as I know I do not love her enough to foresee a lifetime for us as a couple.

Do I tell her before Christmas or wait until January when all the fake cheer has passed?

It's clear that you and your girlfriend have very different ideas about the future of your relationship.

It's a real shame that she has no idea how you feel about her and the fact that you don't see yourselves having a future together.

But there's really no point in continuing on with the relationship for too much longer if you have decided that nothing will change your mind. I'm sure she's excited about the festive season and will no doubt be disappointed at the lack of a proposal, but my advice is to wait until January to break the bad news to her.

As she believes that your relationship is at a point where a ring is the next step, you're going to have to plan the break-up carefully so as to cause the least amount of hurt and anger possible.

It will inevitably be difficult for both of you but it's the best thing to do if you feel the relationship has run its course.

My brother and sister-in-law are staying with my parents this year with their kids and my mum told me at the weekend that I'll be sleeping on the couch instead of in my old room when I come home.

There was no discussion, she just said that as they were married and had children of course they would need the bedrooms.

She said it in a way that made me feel completely unimportant and that my own need for privacy as an adult, not to mention my sense of being entitled to have my needs considered as an immediate family member, were beyond irrelevant.

I feel like not showing up at all as even thinking about how I am being side-lined for not being married or reproducing brings tears to my eyes.

I think that you're being a little bit dramatic and overly sensitive. It's perfectly reasonable for your brother and his wife to be given the bed as they're guests, and they can hardly both sleep on the sofa together.

Your mum is probably feeling the pressure to make everyone happy and ensure they enjoy their stay, so I'm sure she didn't mean to make you feel small and insignificant. But it's her house and her decision.

My advice is to not overreact, and to spend a couple of days sorting out your feelings and thinking rationally about the situation.

There's no point acting selfishly and causing upset to your family at a time of the year when families need to be together and supporting one another.

You may feel calmer about the whole thing in a few days, and if not then I suggest you have a little chat with your mum about it to sort out any tension.

My older sister has always been my life line socially as I am incredibly shy. I find it hard to make friends and mingle but conversely I like being out and part of a crowd.

She has always included me in her outings - cinema, discos, little trips - I was invited to them all and she never complained about it. Five months ago she met a lad and now they are getting very serious and spend a lot of time together.

I can't exactly tag along as a third wheel so my social life has pretty much ended and I miss being part of a crowd and doing things.

I'm happy for my sister and haven't said how I feel as it will only seem selfish but I would rather be a hermit than go out without her to make me feel safe.

It's great to hear that you get along so well with your sister, and that she's always included you in all of her excursions and social events.

But now that she has settled down a little bit with her boyfriend, it's the perfect opportunity for you to start building your own confidence and self-identity. As safe as you feel in the shadow of your sister, you can't go through life hiding behind her.

So now is the time to take a deep breath and get out into the world, meeting new friends and exploring your own interests.

My advice is to join a local group or club, whether it be a sports, book club or drama group, to start meeting others with similar interests.

You can then start to build your social group and even invite your sister to join you when she can. She'll be so impressed that you've established yourself as an individual, and your own confidence will grow enormously.


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