Long story short: Two months ago I broke up with my boyfriend and ever since I've been a wreck. It seems like two months should be enough time to heal and move on with one's life, right? I'm wondering if my intense depression has to do with my inability to move on, or if it means that breaking up was a mistake.
I feel strange calling him my "ex". I have known him for three years and more than anything, he has felt like a kindred spirit and a best-friend. Naturally we started dating. However, our romantic relationship was anything but smooth. We broke up dozens of times over the course of two years. These breakups happened mostly because of personality differences. After dating for a year, we started to ask ourselves where it was leading. For some reason, I could not picture myself marrying him. He was not comfortable with the idea of marriage either. We are both unique people. I would even go so far to say that we are both a little eccentric. He likes to meet new people and is constantly in the midst of an identity crisis. His charm with total strangers always made me extremely jealous. I am looking for someone who wants to eventually get married and be "in love" with one person. It seems that he will never be able to be with one person, nor does he want to do that.
Despite these painful disappointments, I felt that we were soul-mates and we always had so much fun together. The hardest part is being away from him. We spent time together 5 times a week or more since we work at the same company and live in the same town.
After we broke up I dated someone for a few weeks and then that ended in total disaster. I cut all ties with this guy and don't regret it at all. It made me feel even worse about not being with my ex. I will admit that in desperation I called him a few nights later. I poured my heart out and cried and cried. I didn't say that we should get back together, I just wanted us to hang out again like old times. He said that he could not. We could not be friends because then we would wind up being more than that. We could not try dating again because we failed too many times and this was simply the last straw. He said that he was horribly depressed without me, but that he must move on wants to start seeing other people. Even though I understand where he's coming from, I was totally devastated to hear this. I had never been rejected like that before.
It's been a few weeks since then. We did see each other one time for coffee and another time during work. After seeing him again and talking just like we used to, I thought maybe I was healed and I had the strength to go my own way. But lately, I've been crying randomly and it seems I think about him all the time. He has stopped contacting me and I rarely see him unless we bump into each other somewhere. I have been going to some parties with other people (which I NEVER do usually), exercise almost every day, have been doing hobbies, etc. I'm doing everything I can but I still cannot get over the fact that 1) He doesn't feel the same way I do and 2) Everyone I meet is just not the same as what we had.
Why are my feelings so much stronger than his? When we were together, it seemed that he felt the same way and I was pretty confident that we would always be in each other's lives. Is it possible that he never did feel as deeply as I did? What I am writing here probably makes it sounds like I am 'needy'. Quite the contrary. In fact, when we were dating he complained that I was not affectionate enough and that I was cold sometimes. That's probably true, but it doesn't mean that I didn't love him. Maybe I was cold because I always had a sense that we weren't meant for each other.
Now I have little motivation to trust anyone for both friendships and dating. What's the point of investing your feelings, trust, and love if they will just drop it all from one day to the next? Is our society totally devoid of devotion and compassion now? Do we only seek instant gratification in the moment and then jump to the next thing that catches our eye? It's really sad.
As much as I really, really don't want to admit it, it's probably true that we should not date again. Or is it? And why do we have to stop being friends? Why does he not care about me anymore? Why doesn't he miss me?
Thanks for reading...
[ 12-31-2012, 05:13 PM: Message edited by: tbelle ]
Posts: 107 | From: New England | Registered: Jan 2007
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Hey, tbelle. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been having such a hard time.
One of the first things that I take away from this is that, no matter what, right now isn't the time for you to be considering whether or not to get back together again. It sounds to me like your motivation around that has more to do with feeling lonely than anything else, and with struggling to find your own identify and place in things now that you're not part of that relationship.
To walk into any relationship healthy, I always think we have to be really happy in our own company, and have a strong sense of who we are without another person. Know what I mean?
I hear you asking some questions about the world and society and a "they," but I'm not sure I get why, since none of this is about the world or society or "they." It's about this guy and you.
I also hear you asking why your feelings are/have been stronger than his. Obviously, I can't know that they were or are, and I'm not actually seeing anything in any of this that reflects that you felt so much stronger than he did. Maybe you can explain that to me? Are you assuming he must not have strong feelings because he doesn't feel getting involved again is the best choice for him? If so, can I ask why you think that must be about not feeling at a certain level? After all, we can have very strong feelings for someone, but still know a relationship just isn't the right one for us, them, or both of us.
But let's say he didn't: usually, there's no why's for our feelings. We simply feel how we feel.
I actually don't think two months is always the right amount of time for getting past the loss of a relationship. In fact, I tend to observe that however long a relationship lasted, it often takes people about half that amount of time -- give or take more or less, depending on the person and the relationship -- to move forward once whoever that person is has decided or started to lean towards a breakup.
I hear you say you tried dating: do you think it was perhaps too soon for that? And equally too soon to expect to deeply connect to someone new, anyone new? It strikes me that while I understand how much you miss the kind of connection you had with this person, you certainly had more than a couple of months to build that.
Can I ask what you're doing to take care of yourself, and have been over the last couple of months? What's your grieving and healing process looked like? I hear you about some parties, exercise and hobbies, but that sounds like plain old life to me. Good to be moving on with that, for sure, but are there any other things you have been doing expressly to let you grieve and to move into the future?
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 63421 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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From the situation you've described, it doesn't sound like your feelings are stronger than his, rather you are dealing with the situation in different ways.
He is obviously hurting, given his admission of depression, but perhaps feels that the only way to get you out of his mind is to move on with others. I think you need to respect the boundaries he is setting around you. Seeing you right now might derail his ability to move on and hurt him more; I get the feeling his reluctance to hang out is more a measure of self-protection than a rejection of you. It might just be a matter of time before he's ready to engage as friends with you. On the other hand, he may feel there has been too much hurt to face you even as a friend. Either way you have to respect his decision.
Of course this isn't much help for you. A few months really isn't a long time when it comes to getting over someone we love. It takes as long as it takes. It might be tempting to try and find another partner to fill the void but I think it is more important to take the time to heal ourselves and learn to stand alone - it gives a great foundation for future relationships.
It sounds like you're on the right track, engaging socially and with hobbies. It would be great if you could bring yourself to trust someone as a friend. I think most of what you need is time though, and to try and put your ex out of your mind.
Do you have any friends or family you can talk to about how you're feeling?
Posts: 465 | From: Canberra, ACT, Australia | Registered: Jan 2001
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Yes, I agree that trying to date someone so soon was probably a bad idea. Maybe it wouldn't have been bad if the person I met turned out to be a great person, but he was not a quality person at all and that just exacerbated my anguish and loneliness.
You are asking what I have been doing to help nurse my broken heart. I am not sure what else I can do besides things I usually like to do with my time and trying to be social? I know that it's healthy to express how you feel rather than bottle it up, which is what I have been doing. I have tried writing diary entries sort of like this post, and crying a lot. After I cry I usually feel better afterwards, but of course too much can actually be self-perpetuating into more crying and sadness.
I have talked to a girlfriend and she has counseled me a little bit. She has also advised that I avoid seeing him for a while and instead just focus on my life. Easier said than done.
I have talked to my parents but I think parents are not always the best advisors on this kinds of things. They have the attitude of "just get over it, you have plenty going on in your life, why are you so sad". They have seen us breakup a bunch of times and are probably just sick of hearing about the situation. In a way, I don't really blame them much.
I know that I cannot force him to feel a certain way. And I understand that he needs to be away from me in order to move on. Honestly I don't understand why I feel so weak. You're right - I know that I am not yet able to stand alone. Part of me feels like I just don't want to. Why would I want that instead of spending my time with someone I like so much? It's hard to get used to an idea like that.
It doesn't help that I'm prone to anxiety issues and occasional bouts of depression. Events like this tend to plunge me into despair.
I appreciate your thoughtful responses. I hope that time will provide me answers or at least more clarity.
Posts: 107 | From: New England | Registered: Jan 2007
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