Dear Miss Emily:

My boyfriend, whom I LOVE, and been with for almost nine months, everyday, just broke up with me last week saying things like "I'm not happy anymore" and "I cant handle the pressure of a relationship" and "I feel that I'm holding you back from doing things you need to do." I told him that I would do ANYTHING to get him back.  I'm completely in love with him, and I can’t live without him. I know most people say this about like, every boyfriend/girlfriend they have, but I don’t, and he told me he wants to be my best friend.  But I want us to be so much more than that!!  I have with him EVERYTHING, and more.  He promised me almost everyday that we would be together "Forever and Ever."  Now I think he likes this girl that he works with who, by the way, hates me for no reason, and I never met her in my life. And she likes him.  I REALLY don’t want him to fall in love with her and forget all about me. He did tell me that we were definitely going to get back together, but I don’t see it happening now. I don’t know what to do, and I need your help.
Frantic

-------------------Miss Emily’s advice--------------

Dear Frantic:

When a guy tells you “I feel like I’m holding you back from things you want to do,” he actually means, “You are holding me back from things I want to do.”  You are unwise to put yourself in the position of looking as if you can’t live without him, because that’s one reason he’s justified in saying,  “I can’t handle the pressure of a relationship.”  You have abandoned your sense-of-self  while being with him and, without him, you feel useless.  By telling him you'd do anything to get him back, it reinforces his reasons for breaking up with you. I don’t know if you have this in you, but the only way you will ever be able to see a future with him is by giving him a chance to move freely into this new phase of his life without your theatrics. Show him that you can live without him! You are probably right about this girl at work, and that hurts!  In fairness to you, I think he’s being incredibly insensitive when he says he still wants you to be his best friend.  This is unrealistic.  Best friends are honest and confide in each other.  If he is involved with someone else, you are not the one for the job.  Maintain some type of friendship if you can but, hopefully, it will be on your terms and not his.  Like it or not, you have two choices:  Put yourself together and make plans for your future; or suffer by inches.