Dear Stranger: Should I Break Up With My Live-In Girlfriend?

My question is in regards to my relationship.

It's over, isn't it? (Yes, yes it is)
It’s over, isn’t it? (Yes, yes it is) Flickr Creative Commons

Welcome to “Dear Stranger,” the Observer’s new advice column.

Who am I? Well, I’m Dana Schwartz, a girl who spends too much time on Twitter, and who orders in too often when she should really cook the vegetables she bought at the grocery store the other day that are slowly rotting in the fridge. But, more importantly, I’m also a stranger. And sometimes you need advice from a completely unbiased party (who just happens to always be right.)

Email with your questions or concerns, big or small. Put “Dear Stranger” in the subject line so I pay attention to it.

Dear Stranger,

My question is in regards to my relationship. I have been living with my girlfriend for five months and we have been dating for a year and five months. We get along very well most days and I feel like she is very good for me, as I have been struggling with trying to figure out what to do with my life.

If I know I am not going to marry her, should I continue dating her or should I leave her so she can find someone who would be able to love her fully and treat her as well as she deserves?


Oh my god, break up with her as soon as possible. I can only hope you’ve come to your senses on your own in the hours since you’ve sent me this email and the two of you are amicably dividing your DVD collection as I type.

It would appear the only thing keeping you two together at this point is a combination of inertia and complacency, and that’s only going to get harder to combat the longer you stay together.

“Get along well most days” is how you should feel about your prickly neighbors, not your live-in girlfriend of a year and a half. You don’t say you love her anywhere in the email. You do say you know you’re not going to marry her, which means this relationship already has an expiration date, and you just needed a stranger to tell you that, yes, it’s definitely expired.

Well, here I am.

Break up, break up now. You both deserve to go and fall in love with new people. Love is wonderful and comfortable and certain and fantastic, and the right relationship won’t have you writing emails to advice columns about whether or not to end it (when you already kind of know the answer).

Dear Stranger: Should I Break Up With My Live-In Girlfriend?