Despite having had four long-term boyfriends in my short lifetime, I am still inexperienced with love. While this boggles my mind because I have loved to my heart’s content time and time again, the relationship between my choices and risk have changed.

Things with Sherman have been great, but there has been one persisting issue we have been trying to iron out. He has been upset with the way that we met and the way that our love story has unraveled. He cites the speed of our relationship whenever he gets the chance, regardless of whether he realizes it or not. This behavior has been off-putting, to say the least.

We have had many discussions over the short time we have known each other about how there is nothing I can possibly do to change how we met. Whenever he talks about how fast our relationship started off, he talks condescendingly toward me, as if to blame me. He talks about how some girls are just too quick, and all of his judging comments are lashes at my heart.

In our arguments, I told him the pace was not my fault. Things just happened the way they did, and that I was frankly so glad for them. And that I was so glad that we are as close as we are now, and that I wouldn’t have changed anything because I wanted him as he is in my life. My heart was feeling ripe and gold and sweet. I thought he would be able to look the other way on our beginnings because he saw the good in me. But he hasn’t given up on his conflict with timing.

And I know I can’t give him this perfect vision of pace. I can’t give him the beginning he wants. There’s no changing the past, and I just don’t want to deal with being spoken down on repeatedly. We had this same argument today, and I don’t know how much more I can take.

I feel like giving up.

My first instinct is to give up on Sherman. I have not been this frustrated at the way someone talks to me since being with my middle school boyfriend.

For the last few weeks, I had been feeling like I was falling in love with him. I knew that I wanted to see him long-term regardless of distance because we were so compatible. I knew I would fight to make things work because I wanted to love him.

But his language is killing me. It seems like he loves me one second, then the next he talks to me like he knows more than I do. After all of our arguments, today’s really changed me.

I am suddenly feeling like I can’t handle this anymore. I don’t want to keep fighting. I already feel heartbroken.

I am scared of putting effort into this.

We are a distance relationship at work. If we can’t get it together now, what would happen in the future if we were to move further apart? I am scared that I will start loving him beyond words can describe only to find that I will be arguing with him daily, then lose him because distance makes things difficult.

I don’t have to see him if I don’t want to.

Unlike my previous relationships, I won’t be seeing Sherman at school. I don’t have to ever see him if I don’t put effort into seeing him. That is: I could just stop responding on my phone, and there would be no more us. He wouldn’t be able to rush to my dorm room to check on me. He wouldn’t be able to see me the next day in homeroom. He would let go. Move on.

It’s a risky situation, me being as I am, a silent treatment extraordinaire. But I’ve been trying so hard. I really have.

I am wilting.

I feel at odds with myself, and I push myself to the extremes of patience because I am certainly loving the process of getting to know Sherman. It’s just hard for me. I hate to feel doubted or rejected when I fully accept him as he is. I want us to be happy, but I truly fear that happiness will always be a reach away.

A single golf clap? Or a long standing ovation?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.