If anything forces you to choose between your loved ones and your ascent, my advice is to punch them, and move on.
Ascend, as fast as, as intensely as,you please, with whatever.
What is power? The ability to make the world yours. Make yourself happy. The idea that you are powerful and happy are heavily intertwined, for what is power when not used?
Only those who suffer from extreme delusions have all the power of the worlds at their fingertips and yet never put any of it to use and never get any results. Empty and hollow promises are not power, power is power.
Love is an aspect of ascent. As is Power, as is Knowledge. This trinity is the one my life is molded around. It may not work for you, but it definitely works for me.
As for how to hide your practices from your boyfriend, it is definitely more than possible. E.A. once mentioned knowing a black magician who was a Baptist minister, and who’s wife and kids know nothing about what he does. Every magician needs to know how to be a chameleon.
I’ve written a bit about the Broom Closet and the Assumption of Manforms here. Remember that you are the master of your own destiny, and that is your only destiny.
What kind of down to Earth person is he? A skeptic who disbelieves magic? A religious person who fears it? Something else?
There are so many different ways to approach this, both light and dark. I think that if this guy truly loves you, he’ll let you be as weird as need be, which would mean that even if he doesn’t believe in your magic, he’d be cool with knowing you use it. And then, he could see the results as they come( because results DO come if you’re doing your job properly), and know for a fact that the things that happen to you cannot be labelled coincidence.
If religious he can walk the lighter aspect of your path(because you certainly have more to you than that Satanic part).
If you’re interested in getting him into this, my best advice is to start with the non-crazy(no visions, no voices in your head, no magical thinking,etc.) and non-dark(no demons, no blood rites, no sex magic, etc.) magic stuff like crystal healing, or shamanic core-journeying, and then move away both in lunacy and intensity, and just stop when you feel you’ve gone far enough.
This was advice Eva had given me on bringing other people into magic, by the way. Just making sure she gets the proper credit.
In any case, this is not nearly as worrisome a situation. My best advice is get some good spirit buddies, and have them help you and guide you in this type of thing. But even above that, master divination, maybe even contact your Higher Self, and/or godform and address it with them. Since Big You has all the benefits of the spirits without the biases they may come with.
Just my suggestions.