Love of My Life

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      I am so incredibly in love with the most gorgeous, talented, funny, kind, compassionate, wonderful man. We have spent the last 2 1/2 years together, always hand-in-hand, always laughing and holding one another. Things have not always been perfect, but what relationship really is?

      Several days ago, my boyfriend told me that we needed to break up. I knew that he had been feeling off for some time, but we always tried to look for other things to blame his negative feelings toward our relationship on. I have been his first serious relationship, and I have done nothing for the last 2 1/2 years but love and support him, trying to do anything and everything I could to help him through the issues that kept reoccurring between us.

      For the entirety of our relationship, he has had periods of extreme anxiety, where he says he doesn’t know if he loves me or not, and becomes obsessed with the feeling. No matter what he was doing, he would have that thought in the back of his mind. His actions have completely contradicted that thought, though he seems convinced that the thoughtfulness and affection was all just some sort of act that he forced himself into with me.

      He has told me several times before that he feels physically ill when he is near me, speaks to me, thinks about me, or even talks about our relationship with someone else. He gets a sick feeling that he has described as a blackness in the pit of his stomach, he has difficulty breathing, he begins to sweat, he can’t find the words he wants to say to me, his heartbeat becomes irregular which causes his “heart to hurt,” and he loses all interest in me, in our relationship, and in loving me. He says that he feels as if he is two different people, and that he has trouble even feeling connected to those he wishes to be friends with. The only people he can effectively communicate with are his family members, and because of this, he often says he just wants to go home or that he misses his family when he becomes distressed about me or our relationship. He says that the only time he feels like himself is when he’s at home.

      I can’t even imagine how painful that must be for him, but it also is incredibly painful for me. It breaks my heart to watch him suffer, and know that I am somehow causing the issues, though I only try to help as much as I can. I am so drawn to him, and he is drawn to me, but these symptoms have caused him to pull away from me and doubt his love for me at all. He has created very high expectations of what a relationship should be, although he has never experienced a serious one before ours, and always seems disappointed that I cannot satisfy every need life presents him. He does not appreciate me or the effort I put into helping and keeping things together, and he has admitted this many times. He often feels an intense need to confess any thought or feeling he has had that makes him feel guilty about me or our relationship, and will say hurtful things to me because of this. It’s almost as if he has no filter. As much as I appreciate his honesty, I sometimes just can’t stand to hear what he’s thinking.

      I accidentally came across philophobia today, and the symptoms I read about it sound as if he’d written the articles himself. I showed them to him this morning, and he laughed out loud because he said it sounded like what he’s been telling me word-for-word. Despite this, however, he still shrugged at me when I asked him if he thought this could be the answer. I have still managed to hold onto him, and he has admitted within the last few days that he obviously has feelings for me, but still will not tell me that he loves me anymore.

      I’m begging for any advice I can possibly get for this issue. We have an appointment for this coming Thursday to speak with a counselor, so at least it can be brought up then. But until the appointment, I would greatly appreciate any advice at all on how to handle this relationship. I know with every fiber of my being that I am supposed to be with him to help him and to grow with him. I have been drawn to him since the day we met, and I love him with all my heart.

      It’s hard sometimes, because we are both only 21, and are also dealing with college. But I have not given up hope yet, and I won’t. So, please, any advice at all would be incredible.

      Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to read this and respond.

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