T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 55254
posted 07-07-2013 03:31 AM
I broke up with my boyfriend of a year and a half last week, and I've been feeling a lot sadder and more emotional than I anticipated. I had been not really sure for a few months whether or not I wanted to continue dating him, but didn't really want to stop a 'good thing' for 'no good reason', other than I wasn't sure.
The main reason for the break up now was that he was leaving town for at least six months and wants to continue a sort of nomadic lifestyle for a couple of years before going back to school. I had been pretty clear about not being excited about the prospect of an LDR, but in the absence of anyone else I was interested and no apparent reason for feeling that way, I said I'd give it a try for these six months. Less than a month in, I decided I'd had enough. I'm sad because we'd been friends for over three years before dating and I'm afraid we won't be friends again. (I told him to contact me when he's ready- I am planning on waiting a month before contacting him.) I'm also angry and frustrated as to why such an understanding person would simply fail to understand that I didn't want an LDR even when I explained my reasons (physical contact is really important to me and I feel really emotionally involved in the relationship regardless of proximity). At the same time, I don't feel like it's alright to be angry, because I was the one who chose to break it off, and he's supposed to be the 'injured party', so to speak. I found myself unable to refute his points very well, because he would be like, 'well, how is physical contact going to be different if we're dating far away vs. not dating at all', and the truth is, it wouldn't be. But I wouldn't have this relationship taking all of this emotional energy that I don't feel is addressing my needs or reasons for wanting to be in a relationship. I found it really hard to explain why that was valid, and I think it's because I'm sort of uncomfortable with emotions dictating things, or trying to explain things like 'emotional energy' to people who don't get it. Mostly, I'm frustrated that he seemed upset and surprised that I would be breaking it off since I had said over the course of the past few months that I haven't been sure. (He complained the last and only other time we broke up that it seemed to come out of nowhere, so I made sure to bring up my ambivalence.) He knew that having plans for the future was important to me, not really what they were, but just having them, and he was unwilling to put any effort into finding a date (six months, two years, whatever) when we would be in the same geographical location. I'm pissed off at the presumption that things would all work out, that he could have his cake and go do all of the cool things he wanted to do, and eat it too, which I suppose would be continuing to date me and my waiting for him for an indeterminate length of time to see if we would actually work out in the long run. I said frequently that that seemed like a long shot, that in two or three years we would probably have changed a lot, and it seemed really risky in terms of energy invested versus likelihood of things working out. He always responded that maybe it could work out and be really nice. I think a lot of his lack of understanding is a refusal to think about breaking up, which he really, really didn't want. To make myself feel better and not so guilty about breaking off something that was clearly not right for me anymore, I try to think of it in terms of him changing the rules of the relationship by moving away for a long period of time, and my ability to agree or not to those new rules. I suppose I grudgingly did agree to give the LDR a try, but, frankly, it sucks, and it doesn't work for ME. It might work for him, it might work for most other people in our situation, but I don't feel okay about it, I think, because I could never get him to understand why. I'm frustrated because I always felt like the bad guy when I always brought up difficult topics, and that I had to be the one to ask that the status quo be changed, even though clearly it takes two people to make the relationship work. Thinking about what I've just written here makes me realize that I have been bottling a lot of this up for a while, and that I'm a lot more ticked off at him than I thought. I was mostly pretending it was the long distance situation, because I think that was the final catalyst, but I feel like had I been feeling more sure about things in general I would have had few reservations about switching to a LDR. I've been missing talking to him these past few days, but I've tried writing journal 'letters' to him that I'm never going to send, and connecting with other friends, so I can try to get over it and be friends again eventually in the long run. TL;DR version: I broke up with my boyfriend and now have all of these confusing feelings I didn't anticipate that are mostly negative. Is a month too short/just right/too long for going without contact? I know someone is going to chime in that there is no 'right' length of time, but if I'm feeling pretty good at that point, is there any reason I shouldn't? Also, since I told him to contact me, thinking he might need more time and also be reluctant to initiate unless specifically told to, if he does and I don't feel ready to reinitiate contact, is it bad to just ignore his email, or should I at least email back and say I'm not ready to talk yet?
Jacob at Scarleteen
Member # 66249
posted 07-07-2013 04:51 AM
Hey moon goddess, I'm glad you're able to get the rant out!
It seems like you've made all the decisions that felt right to you and I think you're spot on to criticise how your ex behaved and discarded many of your concerns. I do think it's worthwhile to think about what might be hurtful for him regarding ignored emails. If letting him know that you're not ready to speak is going to be unbearably upsetting for you, then I suppose you can't help but ignore. Otherwise I think it's much kinder to allow someone to know where we're at, getting stonewalled can be pretty painful. It sounds to me like you guys have parted ways even in terms of what each of you might want from a relationship or from life. You know that a long distance relationship is something you can't do. You seem to ask for reassurance of whether your reasons to break up were justified reasons for break up. My main thought there is that there don't seem to be be many reasons to pursue a continuation of a relationship that was no longer feeling good, with someone who berated you for not enjoying or wanting what was happening. [ 07-07-2013, 05:10 AM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]
Member # 55254
posted 07-07-2013 01:05 PM