Religion Breaks Them Up
Q: I was very happily seeing a guy for two months. Everything between us was great, there was a lot of love, and we always had fun together. But then one day he decided that we should end it because we would never be able to be together for the long-term. He is Jewish and I am Catholic and he knows we wouldn't be able to get married someday because of that. Instead of delaying the inevitable break-up, he believed it was better to end it sooner. We still talk to each other and we still love each other. I am having a hard time coping with this. I don't even have a bad memory of our relationship to go by so what can I do to stop loving him romantically and just be friends? -- Jackie
Dr. Susan: You can't expect your emotions to turn on a dime from love to friendship. It's probably best if you don't have any contact with him at all for a while, at least until your deepest feelings are directed toward someone else. I certainly wouldn't spend any time alone with him, for now. The other thing you can do is face reality: your guy acted with unusual wisdom and maturity by ending your affair now rather than later. It would only have gotten more and more difficult as time went by. Apparently he values his religion enough to realize that he wouldn't want his future kids raised in a different religion, which is what could happen if he stuck with you. Give him credit for recognizing that he was wasting your time, and you his, by continuing to go out when there was absolutely no future in your relationship. Sure it hurts, but he's a long-term thinker, and that's a rare and good thing.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.