I wanted to thank everybody who contributed their thoughts in this thread, which I posted while trying to decide what to do with my relationship. You guys helped me to clarify my thinking and to consider angles of the decision I hadn’t thought of before, and I really appreciate it. In case anyone was curious what happened, I thought I’d post this.
Ultimately, I realized the best thing would be to get out of the relationship. About two weeks ago, my former s.o. and I decided to end the relationship since we want different things. Acknowledging reality can sometimes be so difficult! It hurts, but it’s also been a great relief and feeling of freedom. Now we both have a chance to pursue our (divergent) goals. We are still going to be friends, as we were before pursuing a romantic relationship. It’s the most peacable breakup I’ve ever been through. I’m planning on dating casually for now, if I happen to meet anybody. I definitely don’t want to “rebound” on anybody, so I’m going to be careful for a while.
Okay, with that said, any single Doper dudes out there?? Who don’t already think I’m really screwed up?
Thanks again, everybody whose thoughtful answers helped me to think more rationally about my life.