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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Ditched

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Author Topic: Ditched
treetops
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So, I've just been dumped this evening by my partner, didn't see it coming at all. In fact, I thought we were in a pretty good place in our relationship. It turns out he isn't in love with me any more.

It was an amicable break-up, but I still can't quite believe it has happened, it was so out of the blue for me. I still love him. Feeling pretty crappy about it, really.

Just wanted to feel like I'm not alone and other people have been through this and been ok.

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Heather
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I'm so sorry, treetops. [Frown]

Unfortunately, all too often with breakups, the partner who knows their feelings are changing keeps that information to themselves, only announcing it at breakup time, rather than voicing those feelings when they come up. Not everyone does this, but it's very common, especially given how relatively few people really communicate with partners.

By all means, love doesn't just come to a screeching halt when we get dumped. You may still love him months or years from now in some way: that's okay. If we really love someone, at least some of that feeling will always be there, even if a given relationship didn't work out. For now, I'd give yourself time to grieve this: being over this in a night would be pretty unusual in a relationship you invested yourself in.

If there's a kind of breakup to have gone through, at this point in my life, I've been through it, alas. And I've been where you're at before: it completely blows. But here I am, alive and well.

--------------------
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

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treetops
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Thanks, Heather.

He said that he only really realised he'd been feeling this way a couple of weeks ago, but realised that it hadn't felt right for some time prior to that.
We did have pretty good communication I think, not all the time though.

I feel like it's partly my fault, as he was tracing the route of the problem maybe back to last summer when we were apart for a few months (not out of my choice; it kind of had to be that way). I feel like I should have made more effort to see him then, and I feel like maybe things would have been different.
I'm not sure if that's really the case though. Maybe we would have broken up anyway, who knows. I'd just like to stop feeling like I could/should have done something differently, when in reality things were the way they were and I don't think I did anything wrong.

He was really my closest friend, as well, and I find it very difficult to get close to people, so I'm pretty anxious about that. I'm trying to get out there and meet people though, it's just hard.

I just want to feel like there's nothing I could have done, and that's just the way it is. I think that would be easier to accept. I miss him pretty bad already.

How can I let myself grieve this without feeling bad all the time, or thinking about what we had all the time? I just want it to stop hurting.

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Heather
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I'm not sure that unless we're just people who tend to ditch accountability that in any relationship that ends or changes, any of us will figure there's nothing we could have done, because we know relationships are about more than one person. You know?

That said, over time, people's feelings will commonly change in relationships: relationships that stay pretty much the same and endure for years and years with everyone in them happy are pretty unusual. Not impossible, but unusual, and my personal thought is that when we're younger, it's even more rare since we're all still changing so much.

However things went is how they went, and it's so easy to figure if we did this one thing or that one different, the whole situation would be radically different. But that's also uncommon. Often, relationships ending don't hinge on just one thing.

It is really rough if someone says they've only had different feelings for a few weeks, then splits in a long-term relationship, rather than talking it out some more first. But I don't know this guy, so you're going to have a much better idea of his way of processing things and the way he makes choices than I could.

My opinion with not feeling so bad is that when a breakup is fresh, and we feel bad, we just give ourselves some time to go ahead and feel bad. It's okay to feel bad, it's part of processing a breakup. (Then again, as someone who is also an artist, it may be that I put a little too much value on the power of bottoming out sometimes. hard to say.)

Do you have other friends you can call up or come have hang out with you for a while? Being able to just let loose on a friend who cares about you is often really helpful and therapeutic.

--------------------
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

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treetops
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Yeah, I've been talking to friends and spending time with people.

I've also had some talks with my ex and we agreed to be friends. Although at times I've felt really bad about our break-up, in some ways I feel lighter and it's easier to be around him. Maybe the type of relationship wasn't right for either of us any more. I'm also not sure that my feelings hadn't changed during the relationship as well - I often had a lot of anxiety about the relationship and in some ways it felt like it had become routine.

I also think that I'd been placing more importance on the relationship and less on myself, or my own interests. Recently I'd been pursuing my own things and breaking up has given me more of a chance to do so.

I've been wondering if a change to a different type of relationship might be the way forward - he's indicated that he might be interested in this as well. Some sort of more FWB/casual thing, perhaps. (If this did potentially happen, we agreed we'd not consider it until after a period of just chilling out and hanging out sometimes, just as friends, so that we can see how we feel and how things are between us.)

This is by no means a definite thing - I'm still working through stuff, obviously, and I'm sure he is too - but I wondered what you thought about it. I've only been in monogamous relationships or had single casual things before, not a more complex situation like this might potentially be.

Neither of us want to rush into anything, in any case. I just wanted an outsider's perspective. Thanks [Smile]

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Heather
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From what I've observed with people, FWB or casual sex between people who used to be serious partners, save as a one-off kind of thing, doesn't tend to be something most folks find work for them. It seems it more commonly brings up some rough feelings, especially if sustained, rather than one-time, and especially if it happens sooner rather than later (as in, years later).

I also tend to notice more folks seem to frame this as a possibility right after a breakup than they do later on, that people tend to move on over time more than they'd think, or wind up in new relationships where sex with an ex isn't doable or wanted.

But ultimately, I'd say that you'd just have to see about how both of you feel in a few months; if that really is something you want, and also if neither of you really has romantic feelings anymore. That seems unlikely, but you'll just have to feel it out.

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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

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treetops
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OK, thanks. I'm not really sure what 'romantic feelings' means, to be honest. I mean, I care about him, I like spending time with him, I find him attractive, I like cuddling with him, we have lots in common, and I enjoy sex with him. And all of that's mutual. I'm not so clear on there being a clear-cut difference, really.

I don't know if it would be bad to still have romantic feelings and be in a more open situation. One of the reasons I came to Scarleteen about this was because I've read so much here about finding different kinds of relationships that work, and shifting between them if you find one no longer fits. If it was framed more like that, do you think it would be more likely to work?
Perhaps I need to find out from him if he still feels like *he* has romantic feelings for me, even if they're not in-love type feelings.

I certainly don't want to do this for the wrong reasons (for instance, if it's really just that I still want to be in that relationship with him, and I'm taking the next best thing. Or that I like the fact that we're really sexually compatible. Or something.). I need to work that out.

Any other thoughts would be much appreciated, I'm trying to work a lot of stuff out.

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Heather
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I agree: putting each kind of feelings into a clearly-defined box isn't so easy, especially sometimes. Often, it can all get a bit mushy. But maybe if we frame what I'm talking about not as romantic feelings, but as attachment, on either part, to the relationship you had before, and/or attachment to the idea of being together in a similar way again? Does that help?

It might also help to recognize that he broke up with you: he didn't have discussions with you about changing the model of your relationship. Doing a sudden breakup, rather than having those kinds of conversations -- as in "Is a serious romantic relationship really the right thing for us? I'm not feeling that way. How would you feel about trying X model instead?" and such -- suggests to me this is about more than his wanting a change of model. And that talking about that is premature, since that's not how this went.

I also think "casual" sexual relationships with exes tends to require a lot of honesty and communication for everyone to really be okay. Again, a sudden breakup like this tells me that the communication was not likely ace, at the very least on one part. Would someone basically making big decisions like this without including you in the process be more workable for you in a casual relationship?

I can't speak for you, but I know that for me, in any kind of relationship that I care about, sexual, friends, what have you, that doesn't tend to work for me or be in alignment with my being able to feel safe being open enough to make relationships, even the casual ones, very worthwhile.

Really, this is just something I'd set aside for right now. I think, from the sounds of the whole situation, it's just premature to be thinking about what your relationship may or may not be later.

I'd try and focus on your now, you know?

--------------------
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

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treetops
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We actually did discuss changing the model of our relationship, and went back and forth, really. The 'break-up conversation' lasted three hours, and we discussed lots of stuff. He didn't actually go into that conversation aiming to break up with me; it was supposed to be a talk, and see what we thought. There are so many different things to think about, though, and it kind of ended with agreeing to break up. However, as I say, he has indicated a potential interest in some other kind of relationship.

So in some ways it kind of does feel like it would be more of a transition. I'd definitely need to talk more about it with him though, as we are 'broken-up' at the moment. Again, it feels less clear-cut than just being a break-up, and I'm not sure that either of our feelings are as straightforward as that. (I could be wrong about his, though.)

I hear what you're saying about communication, though, and that's definitely something I need to think about. I think the communication between him and me was good in some parts, and less good in others. I feel like it's easier to talk to him now though, to be honest.

I need to think about what you've said. Any further thoughts, now that I've explained a bit more, would be great. Do you think it would be a good idea to show him this thread (not now, but at some point)?

I see what you mean about focussing on my now, as well. Thanks so much.

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Heather
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I think that right NOW, you really should focus on accepting the breakup, rather than thinking about future relations with him. Really.

You're right, this sounds a bit different per the whole of the conversation than I thought, however, you two did still agree to break up. And when you first posted about this, you clearly FELT dumped (rather than like you two negotiated together), and also felt like it came out of left field, or else I doubt you would have put it that way. I think that's something to pay attention to.

If we keep going to the "well, maybe we'll be this" place, it's mighty hard to accept what we are right now, and see how that feels, and also hard to regroup after a breakup and start reconstructing your own life -- ditto for the other person -- on your own. [Smile]

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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

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treetops
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I'm struggling with this a bit - I know that what you say is right, Heather, but I'm finding it difficult.

I'm having feelings of anger now, which I think is healthier, because he wasn't totally honest with me. It's making me see the bad points as well as the good points of the relationship, and making me realise I am definitely better off out of a relationship where I could not wholly trust my partner and where the communication was not what I need it to be.

I need to focus on myself, getting my own life back, and not worry too much about being friends, or FWB, or anything. I just need to make sure I'm OK. He's not a bad person, but he was the one in the wrong here (there's more to it than I've posted here), and I deserve to be happy.

At this point I think I know what to do for the best - I could just do with a hug or some words of comfort, really.

[ 02-10-2010, 07:12 PM: Message edited by: treetops ]

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Heather
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I often wish we had a way of pushing a button and giving a hug here. Pity we don't, but here's a virtual one from me.

I'm glad to hear you're cultivating some anger: I agree that that's healthy and positive. Do you want to talk about the new stuff that's come up?

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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

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treetops
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Sorry to keep bumping this, I just wanted to vent about something that happened today.
My friend from back home came up to spend the day with me, he's been great since my break-up of two weeks ago. This friend is someone I was in a relationship with for 3 years when we were younger (the relationship lasted much longer than it should have, we were both unhappy in it for quite some time, but ultimately no-one was at fault, it just fell apart like wet cake) but I was happy that we'd got past that and could be friends.

So I was looking forward to seeing him and hanging out and taking my mind off the bad stuff that's getting me down at the moment, and we had a fun day just hanging out in town. When he left he gave me boxes which among other tokens of love contain a letter telling me he still loves me and begging me to get back with him.

I have no wish to get back with him at all. And on top of this I feel quite angry/upset that knowing I'm having a hard time at the moment, he chose to dump this on me.
I'm also sad because I thought he came up to see me because he's a good friend and wanted to cheer me up, but now I feel like there was an ulterior motive.

Right now I just need friends who don't want or expect anything more from me than friendship, and I'm feeling guilty because I'm going to have to hurt him, and sad because I don't think I can be friends with him while he feels this way.

Sorry this was pretty rambly, I just need to get it out and I have no-one to talk to about this.

[ 02-13-2010, 05:18 PM: Message edited by: treetops ]

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Heather
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I've so been there, and I agree, it blows.

I think though that we have to try and recognize that the other person in that situation probably isn't aware of how much that blows, nor can they likely know what we do and don't want and need in that situation. It's also pretty common for people to figure that if there's someone they do have feelings for, post-breakup is their window to see if the other person has interest.

That all said? For sure, that really sucks. [Frown]

--------------------
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

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