DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My boyfriend of 2-1/2 years is depressed and it's taking a toll on our relationship. We don't live together, nor do we go to the same university. This year has been chaotic for him due to family, school and work stress and indecisiveness in what he wants next in life. He'd have graduated in May but has put off the one final project to allow that. He says he can't love me right now and he feels that he can't make me happy. I want to be with him and help him through this, but he keeps pushing me away. His indecisiveness within his own life has carried over to our relationship and this is causing me excessive amounts of stress, especially around final exams and end of term papers. I know that I can't force him to love me, but I can still hope that he will get better and get back to being the man I love and who loves me back. I worry that if he loses me, he will only get worse. Should I stand by him no matter how hard it gets and how long it takes, or would it be best for the both of us if we just moved on? -- Stay or Go, Winnipeg
Dear Stay or Go: Move on, girlfriend! It wasn't meant to be, so don't waste any more time for either of you. Here's a rule of love: You don't keep standing by a guy who doesn't want you standing there. Maybe his depression would lift if he just let go. He's told you clearly he can't love you and he doesn't want to be with you. And, he keeps "giving up" for reasons you must accept and respect. Instead you act like a mother -- like you know better what he feels and what he wants than he does. Do you really want to play that role? Why can't you let go? That's the question you must explore, with professional help.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: OK, I don't get this. My girlfriend refuses to stay overnight at my house. I'm sick of staying at her place which is halfway across the city. Every morning I have to go home and get my stuff for work and go to work -- a ridiculous circular drive in the cold of almost one hour. It's like living 50 miles from work. If we stayed at my place I could get there in 10 to 15 minutes. I suspect she's trying to force me to make a commitment this Christmas to marry her. I love her, but not that much. I love my work as a new lawyer and it takes up a lot of my time. Should I break up with her? -- Fed Up, Winnipeg
Dear Fed Up: By pushing for you to be in her sphere with lots of privacy, she's trying to show you how great it would be to be married to her. She wants you to get dressed for work together and keep your work stuff at her place. You're balking like a stubborn donkey, not getting the hint. She deserves to know you won't co-operate with her plan, because she is not The One. But, gentlemen don't break up 10 days before Christmas. When she doesn't get the diamond ring for Christmas, she will be disappointed. Give it a few weeks and then have a long, honest talk about where this is not going. It's up to the one who wants to leave to break it off. Don't pull the male trick of behaving so badly she punts you. As a lawyer, you'll be good with words, but don't get tricky and try to make it look like you're doing her a favour in some way. Just be plain and honest and let her know clearly it's not a marriage situation for you, and it's time to say goodbye.
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