Dear Miss Emily:

I am 24 years old. I have been dating my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. He is my best friend. I can do and say anything around him. We have the same interests. He is moving toward getting a better job and bettering his life that way. Although all these things point to me wanting to be with him forever, I am distancing myself from him. I have no sex drive and I am pushing myself away. But I don't know why! I talked to him last night and we have agreed to take a break, but he is devastated and I don't know what to tell him b/c I don't really know my own feelings! What is wrong with me? What should I do? Also, he told me today that he thought we were moving towards marriage -- he was thinking about getting a ring and buying a house! yet he never told me any of this!

-------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------

I don't think his thoughts on marriage, and getting a house was any great surprise to you, was it? You seem to have an excellent bond, in so many ways, and it wasn't out of the realm of possibility.  But all that isn't important, now. What's important is that you take that break. You need some distance to figure out where you are headed in this relationship. You blame yourself for having these feelings, but it's okay, and you were right to be honest with him. That's the kind of relationship you have, an honest one and, although painful, living a lie is even worse. It does no one any favors, and prolongs the inevitable. During this break, you might want to seek some counseling to help guide you in the right direction. Be careful about your choice, and make sure that person is willing to add insight and not let you flounder, endlessly, for your own truth. But if that's not an option, time will give you the ability to explore what you think you might be missing in this relationship, or decide to go back to him with a new understanding and a readiness to proceed. Marriage should only be considered when both individuals truly believe they can make a go of it in good times, and in bad. Until you are sure this is what you want, do not make a commitment under any circumstances.  It's tough. But life is tough -- a lot of the time.