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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Just broke up... need advice

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Author Topic: Just broke up... need advice
12redtulips
Neophyte
Member # 44219

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Hi,
I VERY recently broke up with my long-term boyfriend. We had dated continuously for almost three years.
Without getting into too much detail, we basically ended things because he's under a lot of stress at school (we both attend the same university) and doesn't feel like he can be there for me emotionally and that he just needs some time to figure things out.
I'm somewhat glad things ended while we both still love each other because now I feel like I am able to think about him and our relationship in a positive manner.
However, I'm struggling because after three years together basically everything I see reminds me of him in some way.
What's more, I'm not sure of what to do with the handful of gifts I've received from him. It seems pointless to throw them away, as everyday objects remind me of him anyway. Also, I don't feel negative towards these objects and I even like them a lot and don't want to waste them.
I have a necklace and a stuffed dog from him, both of which I've used almost daily for the last year. I sleep with the dog and feel like I need it to sleep well now. I still love the necklace and am accustomed to wearing it around.
But, I'm concerned that having these objects around will stop me from moving on from him. I don't want to end up pining over him and miss out on other great guys.
Is it alright to continue to use some of his gifts since they make me happy, partially because they remind me of the great three years I had with him? Or, will they only hinder me emotionally?
Also, any suggestions you may have about getting over a long-term relationship would be appreciated. I'm not angry or bitter and we both still want to meet up on occasion.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I'm sorry about your breakup, 12redtulips. Can you fill me in on HOW recently this was?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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12redtulips
Neophyte
Member # 44219

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Last night.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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That sure is very recently!

Here's the thing: this JUST happened. As in, it happened in the emotional equivalent of two seconds ago. So, right now, what you get to do is to do whatever you need to to grieve.

After a loss, the emotionally healthy thing to do is to grieve. As long as the way we're grieving doesn't do anyone else any harm, and we aren't harming ourselves -- nothing you're describing here even suggests that -- we get to just do what we need to to comfort ourselves, to feel our loss, and to barely start to process it.

Later on down the road, days, weeks, maybe even months later, it makes sense to start thinking about some of the things you are, like how much of an exes' stuff it's healthy to keep around. Later on, we're going to want to be checking in with ourselves to be sure we're taking steps to move on, and if everything we see in the world reminds us of what/who we have lost, we're going to want to get some help to move forward.

But you're not there yet, and you don't need to be there yet. Right now you just need to go with your gut and so whatever it is that you find either makes you feel better, or allows you to just feel what it is that you're feeling.

Do you have some friends you can call on whose shoulders are available for tears?

--------------------
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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12redtulips
Neophyte
Member # 44219

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Not really, as I'm no longer close with my high school friends and my college friends live farther away. I won't be going back to school for another couple of weeks
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Can you at least call your college friends if you need some support?

--------------------
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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12redtulips
Neophyte
Member # 44219

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Okay, so after a couple of weeks, I feel like I'm beginning to get more accustomed to the fact that I'm single again. I less frequently feel a need to text him about something or that I want to see him.
But instead, I'm feeling left out and unwanted. I feel like even though he told me that we should break up because of his busy schedule, it happened because he was tired/annoyed/embarrassed by me. Admittedly, my confidence in our relationship had been drooping for a while, but this is way worse than before.
As for left behind, I feel like he's out having an amazing time with his frat brothers, probably meeting many girls who are completely charmed by him. I, however, have been working and can't see my college friends just yet as they are somewhat busy. I feel like he's going about his life, not impacted by our breakup, while I'm devastated. I imagine him going to parties with other girls, while I can't see myself finding a new guy and that kills me.
Lately, I worry that I'll never be able to get another boyfriend. I'm not saying I want one immediately, but our breakup has rather dented my confidence. And being in college, all the guys here seem only interested in hook ups (which I don't want) and I can't think of where I might meet new people as I'm very shy.
I don't want to be single forever, but I can't help feeling horrible about myself. Help

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I think one of the things we always have to know about breakups -- and it's never easy to know -- is that when they happen, it's usually because a relationship/person just didn't feel like a good fit for someone else.

Was a breakup of a serious relationship probably only about being busy? Eh, probably not. Probably part of it was also about not feeling like it was working anymore or feeling dissatisfied.

But I think it's important to remember that that's not usually about someone's value or worth as a person or a partner but about a very unique alchemy. In other words: about how any two people fit or don't, worked or didn't, seemed to be a good mix or didn't. In other words, this was probably not just about YOU, but about the both of you.

I know saying not to think about what he's doing now would probably be worthless advice, because we do tend to think about things like that, and if we imagine someone else's experiences post-breakup are better than ours are, it's rough. So, the best thing I can tell you there is that the more you move on and let go, the less often you'll likely think about that stuff, and the less weight it'll likely carry.

Because, three weeks post-breakup, it doesn't look like there may be anyone else for you to get involved with, or avenues for you to do that doesn't mean it'll be that way FOREVER. I know that right now it may look or feel like forever, but it's just really not. There likely also are male people in your school who want something more than casual sex. A college that has NO guys, at all, who want anything else would be beyond unusual.

Again, I don't think you're going to be single forever, and I also think that maybe right now your vision probably isn't so clear about what the future might hold. That's understandable, given the timing of everything and how raw you still feel. But I'd suggest maybe trying not to focus on the scenario you're envisioning which is very unlikely to be related to reality, okay?

--------------------
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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12redtulips
Neophyte
Member # 44219

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So, after two months, I feel like I've come a long way towards getting over him. I have gotten to a point where I'm okay with (and even happy at times) being single. I also have started to see the negative sides of the relationship (as well as the positives) and have begun to appreciate the opportunities and changes that have come with it being over.
BUT, what still bothers me are the self-esteem issues. I feel like I have absolutely no self-confidence anymore. I lay awake almost every night wondering "what's wrong with me?" or "why am I not good enough for him anymore?"
I don't really know how to deal with this. Is it something that I should just continue with because it will eventually go away? I've tried talking to my friends, but I can't really get my point across. They think they're reassuring me, but it really doesn't do anything.

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