I am a 24-year-old straight male. I have been dating a girl off-and-on for three years. It’s a good relationship over all and it usually always starts out strong when we get back together after a breakup. But after a while every little thing she does starts to irritate me, like the slow way she talks and her pet names for me and basically everything. I know most of the things she does that annoy me are ridiculous things for me to be annoyed by but I just can't help it and she is otherwise such a good person, albeit a somewhat crazy person, and all of that it makes me feel even worse when I get mean. There has been some discussion of marriage but I am not sure if I can do it but I feel really bad about the idea of breaking her heart once again, so what do you think I should do?

Not A Baby

P.S. We are currently in a long-distance relationship and that is making things a little harder.

My response after the jump...


When someone is so ambivalent toward a potential spouse that he could take or leave that person—and in your case you’ve already taken and left this person more than once—I generally come down on the “leave” side, particularly when the takers and leavers are so young.

Do bear in mind, however, that all long-term relationships involve a long discovery process, during which a partner’s every last annoying habit is identified, named, and cataloged. It also involves a long recovery process, as a person works to accept and/or ignore all of the annoying habits he spent so much time identifying, naming, and cataloging. You’ll do all of this for your future partners, they’ll do all of this for you—and, yes, you also have annoying habits (like getting mean?), even if you can’t name any off the top of your head.

P.S. The fact that you're currently long-distancing this relationship should make dumping her a little easier—and you may wind up doing her a favor by dumping her while you're apart. There might be a nice guy where she is right now, someone she finds attractive, but she isn't pursuing anything with that guy because she's still officially with you. If you wait until she gets back to dump her, or until you get back, she may regret not going after the dude she was kindasorta into while you were apart. If you want out, NAB, do her the favor of dumping her now.