Dear Family Ties,

This is a tough situation because everybody involved seems to be behaving honestly and openly, which is tough to argue with. And though the Venn-diagram circles of "emotion" and "reason" only barely overlap, you can't fault anyone for being honest about their feelings and communicating that clearly, which both of you seem to be doing. As much as I'd love to crow some new Miss Info catchphrase ("Nudity, not prude-ity!" Print up the tote bags, Marketing Department!), I don't see anybody at fault here.

I give you a lot of credit for recognizing what happened without beating yourself up. At its root, this is a difference in values: you didn't see a problem with publicising your scantily-clad body, and he did. Neither is wrong. And you demonstrate a lot of maturity and tenderness in your letter. My only question is, why don't you have anybody to talk to? Breakups are terrible, but a breakup plus isolation is a volatile combination. Is there literally nobody else you can reach out to? If you have no support network outside of your boyfriend, that is a bigger and arguably more important problem. Everyone should have confidantes and cheerleaders outside of their partner. Don't let a significant-other be the only important relationship in your life.

That said, I see no particular reason for you to cut communication with his cousin. It sounds like your boyfriend referred you to her because of genuine concern, and as long as you trust her — meaning that you feel comfortable talking to her candidly, and believe that there is no behind-the-scenes weirdness — then I think you're okay. Find support where you can.

Her advice to remind him you love him but give him space seems sound. Now just make sure you're using that space to your benefit, too. Try to fortify yourself during this time; put down some roots outside of your relationship. If a break has to happen, make it useful for you as well as him.