Sparks Don't Fly

Dear Dategirl,

I met my boyfriend a year ago at a party. I was hammered, and we hooked up (but no sex). We went on a few dates, and about two weeks later we were a couple. He was actually in the middle of a divorce at the time, but I think that's irrelevant since it's now been finalized. I did find it odd that he wanted to get into another relationship when he was still technically married, though.

In any case, he is a great guy, is in love with me, no emotional issues, he listens, cooks, cleans up after himself, the whole nine yards. Overall, he is a great boyfriend. We live together. He proposed the idea about a month or two into the relationship. I was hesitant because it felt too soon, but I did it anyway.

The issue is that I feel like I don't love him. You know, that "spark" that everyone talks about? It's just not there and it never was. Everyone says it would be crazy for me to break up with him because there are no guys out there like him, and I would agree. But should I stay with someone because it's convenient and we get along? I feel like it's not fair to both of us—especially me, because I want to be with someone whom I truly love and am crazy about. There are five months left on the lease. What to do here?

—The Settler

So basically, you're living with a great guy who—despite his talent both for feeding himself and picking up after himself—you don't love. You're convinced you should dump him, but "everyone" says you shouldn't. Despite what this collective advises, you are writing to me so I can tell you what you want to hear, which is often the scenario when people write advice columnists.

Of course you should dump him! Duh. Happy? This is what will happen if you stay with him: It's only going to get worse. You're going to grow to hate his guts. Maybe you'll even cheat on him. You'll get mean, and, really, it's not his fault.

The important thing to take from this is not to repeat your mistakes. The guy was married when you hooked up, and while you thought it was "odd," you still moved in with him. Why?

You were right to be wary; some people—like your boyfriend—are incapable of being alone for more than five seconds. One relationship ends, and since they get all their self-worth from another human's approval, they get in another one ASAP. They just need a warm body, and pretty much anyone remotely acceptable will do. Right now, you are that someone. But the good news is, while you might feel a little guilty when you give this guy the heave-ho, don't. Chances are he'll have lined up a replacement before you've even boxed up your books.

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