Should I Break Up with my Boyfriend of Five Years?

I’ve been with my boyfriend for five years. He is six years younger. The relationship has taken some hard blows due to work and his infidelity, which for the first time in my life I decided to forgive because we were going through a rough patch and of course because I love him.

We live in Greece, where the mentality is traditional, so me dating a younger guy is frowned upon. I don’t care but I can feel the pressure of: What are you doing wasting your time, he is going to leave you for a younger woman, he’s going to leave you because you will not be able to have children when he is ready, etc.

He and I haven’t had a healthy relationship in and out of bed for the last few years, just spurts of happiness, but when we try to break up, we both end up in tears and stay together to try to make this work. He says he doesn’t believe in marriage and I didn’t either, until now. I don’t want to lose him, but at the same time I don’t want to be alone and miss an opportunity to meet someone.

My logic tells me to leave but my heart says to stay. We have many differences but at the end of the day, we are best friends. What should I do? —Akasha

Hi Akasha,

If you thought dating a guy six years younger was radical, I’m going to ask you to do something even more so! It’s interesting that even guys who say they don’t believe in marriage or don’t want to get married again, end up doing so. I’m thinking of Hugh Hefner’s recent engagement to his girlfriend of less than two years, after refusing to marry his previous girlfriend, Holly Madison, who had been with him for over five years!

You seem to have trouble letting go, so I’m not going to tell you to just walk away, as you’ve already tried to do too many times, only to not be able to go through with it. I’m going to suggest that you date other men AND keep your boyfriend. Yes, that’s right.

Your biological clock is ticking, and it’s unfair of him to keep you in limbo, so it’s up to you to take matters into your own hands. You will need to say something like:

“I love you very much, and I can’t imagine myself with anyone else. However, I believe in marriage, and you say you don’t. I wouldn’t want to put pressure on you, so you can take as much time as you want to make up your mind about it, but you can’t have me all to yourself while you are deciding.”

Be prepared for any and all reactions. He’ll think you are bluffing, playing games, trying to be manipulative, etc. However, you need to follow through and start dating other men. If they ask, let them know you are not exclusive.

I would not suggest you sleep with anyone else, until you meet someone who you feel more strongly about than your boyfriend. At that time, you will not have any trouble moving on to someone else, that is, unless your boyfriend proposes before that happens.

Write to Lucia at Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.