Recovering from a Long-Term Relationship Break-Up

Ending a long-term relationship can feel traumatic. You may encounter some emotional hurdles before you can relax and enjoy the single life.

When you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, even if it didn’t end well, you’ll probably experience a sense of loss: Loss of companionship, intimacy, routines, rituals, and shared pleasures. Suddenly you have more time than you know what to do with. There’s no one to talk to about the ordinary day-to-day concerns, and you have to start inventing things to do on a Saturday night.

Remember Why You’re Separating

The emotional intimacy is something you can’t immediately replace. If you initiated the break up, you may start to have a creeping sense of regret as the benefits of companionship come to light. If it was your partner who initiated it, you may feel a sting of painful emotion whenever you’re reminded of things you’ll miss.

While you’re in that period of adjustment, you need to come up with ways to see this as a positive time in your life. Don’t wallow in thoughts of what you miss; concentrate instead on all the things about the relationship that led you to leave.

Even if your partner initiated the break up, you should realize that it’s for the best: You deserve someone who wholeheartedly wants to be with you. And regardless of whether you wanted a separation, there’s a good chance that your relationship was strained in the end – you probably feel as if a burden has lifted. Try to fixate more on that feeling of freedom that any sense of loss.

A New Beginning

It’s important to look at the emptiness of the post-break weeks and months as the germination period for a brand new beginning. You’re free to explore the social world and seek some of the things you missed in the relationship.

The time after a break up of a long relationship is the chance to investigate who you are as an individual, what you love, and how you enjoy spending your time. In as many ways as you can, surround yourself with things that give you pleasure and people who share your passions.

It’s also important that you spend time with yourself during the post-break-up time, and not rush desperately into finding a replacement. Rebound relationships rarely work (unless they’ve been simmering for a long time already) because they are undertaken to fill a void.

Whether you’re open to a new sexual relationship may depend on how vulnerable and emotionally stable you feel (as well as whether you prefer to save sex for a committed relationship).  But if you’re seeking a substantial relationship before you’re recovered, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Confidence in the Future

You might feel anxious about your future prospects, and be filled with doubt over whether you’ll ever be happy, especially if this is your first major relationship.  Just realize that anxiety and painful emotions are fleeting, and keep the phrase “this too will pass” as your mantra.  Life often works like this: You experience some hardship, but then your future brings unexpected people and events that make you grateful for the experience.  Take pleasure in imagining a future that’s much more fulfilling than your recent past.

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34 Responses to “Recovering from a Long-Term Relationship Break-Up”

  • Alexa says:

    This post really helped.
    I just recently had a bad break up. I tried to fix it, but all i did was humiliate myself and let him have the last word. He just walked away and said its done. I felt like my world was coming to an end. We planned our lives together, and i didnt know where to go next, but maybe i do need time to myself & to realize im worth more.

    Thank you

  • Shaquille Schmelzinger says:

    post helped out nbut im still feeling guilty for breaking up with my girl friend. im having good and bad dreams about her. the thing i dont get is that why do i miss her so much and constantly think about her 24 7 if she is the one who messed up. she was the one who cheated and lied. and she also couldnt leave a guy a alone who wanted a tattoo on his chest of her name. why do i feel so depressed and sick. no matter what i do all i can remeber is the old her and i miss that so much but no one can change her but herself and ive realized that. and ive tried to find other girls and even have sex with other girls but none of them compare to her well atleast the old her and i dont know why i cannot just realize she isnt good for me. i just do not know what to do or how to get her of my mind!

  • Totally informative writing. I have added it witout a doubt.

  • littloldme says:

    when you break up with someone you love, you feel like a massive part of you is missing. It’s awful. You don’t wanna do things you used to do, they seem not worth it… My advice is keep looking for another ‘someone special’. They will come along. Believe me. X

  • john says:

    I’m going through a tough loss here. I spent everyday with her for two years. I was so mean at the end. I couldn’t leave my wife (which I recently did) and she needed me. I pushed her away . Finally she left. So now I spend night’s waiting for a call that will never come. I want to write her and call her but she has moved on. Now I’m alone…it’s rough

  • pierre kassar says:

    i recently broke up with my Gf who i was suppose to marry her next summer 2012 after 8 years of relationship !!!! its soo hard to forget her cz i see her in every move i make every day . she doesnt have feelings for me anymore . but i moved more to prayers and friends companions to forget her but i dont hide that every day i think of her more than 100 times . break up is hars especially when i thought we would never break up and after 8 years we were going to get marry next summer …

  • jim says:

    Nice post. Has anyone got grammar/spellcheck? For the love of God!

  • Jennifer says:

    My partner of 5 years recently broke up with me. He said that he loves me but is not in love with me anymore. I was devastated but I think I am coping well. If I am honest with myself, I believe that it was for the best. We were growing apart, and hardly had anything to say to eachother anymore. I have good days and bad days. I am positive and excited for the future, but I am also sad to have lost my best friend. Just about everything reminds me of him, but I am trying to feel at peace with the whole situation. Accepting that we spent 5 years together and had lots of great memories. Not denying that these things happened. But also accepting that out time together is over and it is time to move forward. We parted on good terms, and he said to keep in touch and I can take ‘our’ dog (now his) for a walk whenever I want, or call him if I feel like talking. But I think that would be too hard. I need to accept that he will no longer be in my life anymore and I think that seeing him or remaining friends will halt any progress. It seems a bit harsh, but I need to cut him out of my life and put myself first and focus on me. All I can say to anyone who is going through a long-term relationship break up is to stay strong and if possible, take comfort that you’re not the only one going through hurt like this. PS- Facebook is a bitch though because I can’t seem to resist the urge to click on his profile and see what he’s up to even though it makes me feel sad lol.

  • Ryan says:

    Jennifer, I am in almost the exact same boat as you. Hopefully I too can somehow realize that losing her was for the best. I dunno about that though. Most of my plans and thoughts were to do with her. We were together almost 6 years and lived together for 4. We got into workout out and she lost a lot of weight. Now that she is skinny and confident I guess she thinks she can do better? I dunno. All I know is that I lost my first love and my best friend.

  • logan says:

    I left my gilfriend a year ago, ever since I been beging her to take me back and she has been tellling no.
    A few weeks ago a propose to be friends with benifits(sex life was never a problem )and she agree to it
    but I cant do it because I have feelings for her .
    I have been suspecting that she is sleeping with a coworker and she denies it, buit yestarday I check her emails and I found out that she has been sending pictures of her breast and they go out every weekend for the most part . Any how I confronted her about it and she still denies it she erase the pictures from her google account .
    I left her and we have a baby toguether I miss her even though aour relation ship was not doing that good , I dont know how to move on I fgeel so depressed, please anyone that has done something similar please advice I feel like I goona die .

  • Broken girl says:

    This post helped me so much! Not enough to heal completely but to atleast have some hope to look forward to in the future. So I know I might be able to do this… If its not too much to ask I would be so grateful if you would please check outt blog… I just started it but it would mean a lot of you checked it out and left a comment or anything I would so appreciate!! It’s URL is,

  • Broken girl says:

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  • Broken girl says:

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  • Paul says:

    Hi all, just reading all your comments makes me realise that I’m not alone,

    My partner of 12 years left me 6 weeks ago, and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.
    Reading some of your posts has give me some strength and the realisation that other people go through this, and I’m not alone.
    Thank you all for sharing your feelings.

  • Sapphire says:

    I have just discovered this website and hope to gain comfort from others going through the same thing. Paul, I feel for you.. and all of you. My partner of 7 years left me 2 weeks ago (on our 7th anniversary!). He says its a 2 month break and he is still calling and visiting me. I dont think he is telling me everything cos he doesnt want to hurt me, but surely its better to know the truth. Deep down I know that it is over for good, but I cant get any closure because he is telling me he needs time to think.. and may come back! I have never lived alone (at the age of 47) and feel extremely depressed and lonely as all my family and friends are far away. I am trying to stay positive and have joined a gym. I am also working and studying, but felt so down this week that I couldnt go to work. I just cant stop crying :(

  • Tash says:

    This post has really helped me so much. A month ago my 9 years of marriage came to an end. Kids are involved as well. Even though it was me that ended it, he would have sooner rather than later. I’m struggling with feelings of loss, guilt, losing my what I thought life partner and have had feelings of not being able to cope anymore. I broke down at work and the kids are sad. But I still know long term this is the right decision. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get over this but whenever it comes to mind to try again I just know that’s not an option!

  • Sapphire says:

    Stay strong Tash. If you ever need anyone to talk to.. I can completely empathise. I am getting stronger each day, but there are times when I feel unable to continue. Although its hard, at least you have got your children to keep you going.. I dont even have that.. I gave up my chance to have children to be with him as he couldnt have any :(

  • indigo says:

    After 4+ years of “trying to make it work”, I left the relationship for the 4th time. I lasted 5 months the last time. It felt “so close” to working, but I couldn’t accept him for the person he was – I think. He wouldn’t talk to me about our trust issues. It was mostly about internet porn, and my feelings of betrayal. We were engaged once, and split up for 5 months. Back together for almost a year, and found my self realizing one day, that things would never change. I admit, we both brought alot of garbage to our relationship, but now after two months of being apart, I seem to focus more on what I did wrong. I’m having difficulty moving on. Very painful and such dissappointment. I’m mid fifties, and never thought I’d be dealing with this. I love my life and want to feel peace, but we’re not talking and rarely see each other in passing. We also live in a very small rural community and everyone knows us as “a couple”. I hate the thought of internet dating because we lie to each other in person, so what’s the liklihood of being honest online?

  • espanol42 says:


    I want to share my story. I had a 4 years of amazing relationship. We have lived in Istanbul, Barcelona, London, Madrid and Dubai. I kinda dedicated my life to him and he was my one and only. However after 2 years I discovered he was talking with strangers on dating sites. I have warned him but he kept on doing it with the secret profiles. However I am sure at the same time he was still so much in love and he tells me he really never slept any of them and he needed friends. His behaviour has really hurt me and he was about to get a new job in Dubai and I dindn’t wanna move on there first. I found a job in Barcelona and told myself if he lives his life in London, I will do the same. However we kept in touch and he fell more in love whereas I was cheating him and living my life in Barcelona. And I was still loving him, but I cheated because it was a long distance relationship and I make myself believe if he is having fun in London, I will so do the same. And it made me feel so good. There were no drama between us, I was getting stronger so do the relationship. However he found out the cheating when I was visiting him in London. And his heart really got broken. And he left me but I knew he was still loving me. He got the job in Dubai and I went back to Barcelona, but couldn’t stop thinking of him. I was crying everyday like I lost my Mum. So I decided to move to Dubai to fight for the love because he was my one and only love and I really regret cheating on him. In Dubai things were going good between us, however he wasn’t brave enough to introduce me to his friends. So we started have a relationship in the closed doors and he kept on his second life with his friends. I felt so upset as he discriminated me from his friends. But inside the closed the doors he was an amazing lover. I fell in love deeper and deeper with him. When I thought that we really made it, we are back again, He broke up with me without a reason. He had to make a decision between his independent life with his closed friends or his life with me. I believed his friends forced him to make a choice because he wanted to introduce me to them first but they never accepted me.

    At the end it is hurting so much. 4 years of very special relationship. I always thought if we both couldn’t move on after the first broke up, that means that we are meant to be together. Because we never could stay seperated. But this time, he is trying to kill his emotions. Eventhough he is still loving me, he stopped the communication with me. I know he is still loving me because just 2 days ago he hold me and with teary eyes that he loves me :( I felt like my whole world collapsed. I so believed we made it and we were for each other after all we have been through in 4 years.

    Especially separating while you both in love is the hardest. This pain never goes away. Every morning I wake up with an incredible pain in my heart and I feel it every second until I sleep. And I can’t handle the pain any more. I am counting the seconds for the next meeting but he is not planning to see me until all the emotions are dead. And until then when the emotions are dead he is saying we would be best friends. Too difficult, I so wished he could fight for this love instead of killing it. It was an unordinary love.

  • Mer says:

    My boyfriend on 7 years has just left me, and has cited me as the problem in the relationship from start to finish. I realise that I have been completely broken down as a person now- I feel so worthless and scared to have to face life alone. I guess there is no other option, but I just cannot believe this is happening to me. It just seems like one of those things that happens to other people and not to you. I resorted to practically begging him, and nothing has worked. It is good to know we are not alone.

  • Ben Mayer says:

    Hey Everyone,
    I just ended a year and a half relationship with my definite first love and my best friend. I love this girl a shit ton , we have been through a lot. I have been so unclear about life and what path I want to take. I thought grad school was the best option but mostly because she thought it was the best option for me right now. Deep down though I want to experience life more. I am 23 and want to be out in the real world on my own trying to find work with the skills and degree I have before I just resort to getting a masters. Two years of me living alone and finding my way I think will do me good. If i have to go back for a masters then fine. Everything was perfect in our relationship but I just couldnt maintain it because I knew something in myself was missing. Because of this missing link we had broken up a few times during the relationsihp and I made out with a girl at this bar, which was a total mistake and I hated myself for doing it, i knew it happened though because I have been so dissalusioned for so long about my relationship. Its an absolute shame, I hate that I amnot with her but deep down I think it is the best option. I want to find who i am and live on my own and just be me for awhile. I hope i can figure my shit out so one day i find someone and i can actually take care of them and be there for them. ONe day i hope . Right now is not the right time for me to settle I gotta figure life out. Is anyone else out there going through this?

  • Sadguy says:

    Post might help soon, and storys of other people sharing my pain helps. So here is mine:

    Me and my girlfriend met very young. I was 21, she was 18, in a few moths 6 years will have passed, she was my first girlfriend, and the first and only i have ever had intercourse with. I was her first serious relationship.

    We broke up once a year ago, got back together after about 3 weeks. We know we dont work together (atleast now, probably never?). It was a mutual breakup as we are growing apart, want diffrent things…

    She needs to explore herself as an individual as she moved right from her parents to my place. She needs to find herself.

    I need someone who share my intressts, someone who knows that beeing happy is so much more important then beeing rich, or successful. Someone who knows life is about having fun and beeing comfortable and happy, not about getting a promotion.

    I truely belive we will both be happier, but it feels like loosing everything i know, it feels like my personality is “US”, i’v always put the relationship before anything else, And it feels like i’v lost an arm, or a leg.

    We have promised to stay close friends, try very very hard to not be jelous or get mad at eachother, just go our seperate ways, while still keeping contact. Not to split up our friends, and force them to choose sides. But it will be hard.

    We broke up today. She will live here for another couple of days, then move in at a friends place, and he will move here (For a while, untill she can find another apartment.)

    This will be HARD. Very hard. But im hoping, in the end we will both be better people… Happier people.

    This is my story.

  • Tori says:

    Reading other people’s stories makes me feel like I’m not completely crazy, but I can’t seem to figure out how to feel better. About 5 months ago I broke up with my boyfriend of almost 4 years, he was my first boyfriend (I’m 23). It was mutual and we decided to remain friends, especially since we have a lot of mutual friends. When I moved out of our apartment I felt good, and confident. It was too the point where I felt a little cold about the whole deal and staying friends wasn’t too hard…I was glad for it. However I recently found out he’s started seeing someone and everything came crashing down. Even though I keep trying to remind myself of why we broke up, I miss him more than ever and almost wish we could get back together (which is against better judgement and completely irrational). I haven’t met the new girl, but I already hate her. I have no idea how to feel or cope with this. I’ve tried talking to some friends…but I don’t really have any friends I’m close enough to feel comfortable talking to. If I had previous relationships I might know how to deal…but I don’t. Now I’m just trying to push through, hoping that things will become clearer soon and I can actually move on.

  • Shell says:

    Like everyone it\\\\\\\’s good to know I\\\\\\\’m not alone. My partner and I had been together for 12 years, we have 2 kids and he has been sleeping with someone he works with. I almost feel like I\\\\\\\’m dying inside. When I was 19 when we had a car accident, I was in a coma and had to learn to walk and talk again. That was when he first decided he was more important than me/us and slept with another woman. He told me after I\\\\\\\’d been home from hospital for a month and we broke up for 3 months. It should have stayed that way, but as we live in a small town we talked and kept talking and one thing led to another. 6 years ago we broke up again when he told me he wasn\\\\\\\’t in love with me. We had 1 child by then (the bedroom has never been a problem with us) and I remember sitting outside with my child on my lap ready to go. I was ready to walk away from everything we had built, cars, house, kid, pets, ect. but once again we were talking, talking about everything, making plans for the house, the future, just generally getting our thoughts and feelings out in the open, so we got back together. This time, is too painful to even say but, once again he has been with someone else and it\\\\\\\’s over. This time I\\\\\\\’m taking the house, we have 2 kids who I\\\\\\\’m with 24/7 and I work 2 jobs, but after 12 years together nothing I do is enough to stop me from aching for him.

  • Missinghim says:

    My boyfriend of 5 years officially ended our relationship just yesterday. I have felt like it was coming for the last couple of weeks though as he had been extremely distant. My heart is aching. My whole body feels completely numb. All I can think about is the “what ifs” and what I could have done differently. He is my best friend, my everything and somehow I have to find the strength to keep going. So my first step was of course to hear other stories. Make sure I’m not crazy for hurting as bad as I do. So here I am and here is my story.

    I met him through a co-workers son when I was 19 years old. We hit it off right away. He told everyone how beautiful I was. He was so easy to talk to. So outgoing. Always up to doing anything and everything. The only problem was that I had just ended a 3 year relationship just a month or so before and wasn’t completely sure I should jump right back in to another relationship. But I adored him and figured I would give it a chance. We had our rough patches. We split a couple of times but always came back to eachother. This should have obviously been my first clue we would not be together forever. We tried living together for a little while but money was tight and we couldn’t afford it anymore. So he moved out and I lived by myself for a month and then rented a room from a girl I work with. We have been trying to make things work for the last 5 months. Since we were apart and work completely different shifts it was hard to spend time together. I really thought things were going well. We even talked about moving back out together. I believe he is choosing to listen to other people’s opinions about me and I also believe he is choosing being able to go drinking and not have to worry about how I feel about it.

    The break-up happened while I was at work. After 5 years he called me in the middle of the day on a Tuesday while I was working and ended it. After 5 years he did it via a phone call! It was short and left my head spinning a million different ways. But really, what else do you say if you don’t want to be with someone? There is no easy way to break the news that a relationship is over.

    I love him. I thought we were going to make it. He had a rough upbringing and still has a lot going on in his life. I wanted to be the one that was always there for him. His confidant. And he mine.

    I have to keep moving. I have been reassured by friends and family that as much as I feel like I am dying from a broken heart, it really will not happen. So I have no choice. My life will keep going and I have to try and stay positive. I’m sure with each day it will get a little easier. Right now I just am missing my best friend.

  • Marisa says:

    It is still difficult for me to talk about it as I have not fully accepted it yet. My boyfriend(oh dear, I have to get used to saying ex) broke up with me recently after living together for 5 years and being friends for 4 years prior to that. He is in the police force and I had always heard that they can be quite controlling which is why we were just friends initially. I finally caved in and we immediately started dating. I had just moved back to my mom’s house as I had just ended my previous relationship with someone 20 years my senior because I wanted to settle down, have kids etc, and he had already done that. It broke my heart, I was still very vulnerable, when my friend heard about my break up, he came knocking on my door. During the 5 years that we have lived together I have not been allowed to see my friends, go out dancing or view my opinions without making him angry. Our arguments have been violent and he always blamed me for everything.

    He did something that really upset me recently and I had had enough so I went to my mom for a few days, while there my best friend asked me to go dancing with her to cheer me up and someone he knows saw me and he broke up with me. I am now running after him and he keeps on rejecting me, I feel like such a fool but I feel so lost without him. He was in the wrong all these years (not saying that I am perfect) yet I keep on apologizing, begging him to take me back. He is carrying on like he does not have a care in the world, he never took me anywhere and now he is going everywhere. I am trying to concentrate on myself but all my focus is on him. I am up and down like a roller coaster, I can’t believe he can be so cruel, did he ever really love me.

  • Val says:

    My boyfriend and I met at the University. We found each other and it felt so right. He became my best friend, advisor, and romantic partner. After our first kiss he told me he loved me and he really meant it. It was too soon for me to know that I loved him too but i felt butterflies in my tummy. We grew stronger and closer to each other as the months went by. We became an intimate couple and told ourselves the most beautiful things. Everything felt so right but our main problem was just starting..we wanted to see each other more often and wanted to make each other happy without looking out for our individual happiness and space. Our relationship was becoming a vicious cycle and we created maladaptive behaviors. Both of us are codependant people, therefore we depend more on each other than focusing on
    Giving each other the space that we needed. Now after 3 days of breaking our 1year8 months he says he feels like he is on a tight leash and feels that we are very different and not compatible. I feel that these are just excuses because he just needs his space. I also was very anxious for him to move out of his sisters house so we can establish our own place and have our own privacy. Since we never gave each other the space that we each needed, he did not want to take that step in our relationship. I feel as he is confused and still very much cares about me because he still wants yo talk and know how I am, knowing that this is not easy for either one of us. When I ask to see him he is there for me in a heartbeat. I want to work things out and have considered counseling because I feel anxious, stress, depression, so many feelings of regret for my own behaviors that now that he has broken up with me I can see what I was doing wrong. Our love is still alive and I am slowly through conversation trying to change all of this. At the same time, not seeking help would not help us understand our flaws. I hope we are able to come back together. I need him so much in my life.

  • Aamir says:

    My girlfriend broke up our 5 year relationship yesterday. I never imagined that we would ever part ways because we had been through so much these past 5 years together. We lived in different cities in India and we met online. Our chats longed almost all day and our friendship turned into a relationship.
    We belong to different faiths and this is a big issue in my country. So we decided to move out and we came to New Zealand to be together. After a year her parents came to know about our relationship and they asked her to end it. She told them that she has but still kept seeing me and then yesterday she said that its too much to handle and that she can’t lie to her family and she has to go.

    Its not that we haven’t split in the past. We’ve had arguments and fights a million times but we never went to bed angry. We always made up. All those memories come back haunting me. Last night I woke up with my chest burning and in pain. I was covered in sweat and hyperventilating. I just couldn’t get her out of my sight. I could just see her there. I don’t know if I am going crazy or I am in depression or I had a stroke. All I know is that I begged her to stay. And she said that she would tell her brother to get rid of me.

    It shattered my already broken heart. I changed a lot for her you know. I was a possessive guy in terms of relationships but I let her do what she wanted. Just recently I found out that she’s talking to another guy and they talk all day and all night. She told me that he’s even giving her massages and that she doesn’t resent his touch but mine. Still, I kneeled down with my self respect spilled on the ground and asked her to stay. But she left.

    I changed my life for her. For the past 5 years my life had been revolving around her. Every morning I woke up to talk to her to see her and slept after listening to her voice. All my days used to be about her. How I kept thinking of ways to surprise her, t make her happy. Its all gone now. What do I do with my life now? it was all about her and now she’s gone. What do I do now.

  • debs says:

    i just split with my partner of three years last week, i had the horrible exchange of “stuff” on tuesday and it was horrendous. the breakup was mostly to do with his 19 year old daughter deciding that she didnt want me in her fathers life any more. she tried and succeeded finally to make him choose between us both it was horrible and not a position i would ever want to find myself in again. i tried with his daughters he has 2 and i thought we were all getting on fine but she just decided i think one morning she got up and thought today is the day i am gonna destroy my dad and her lives !
    on the exchange visit my ex partner and i both cried for an age we have exhausted all avenues of trying to work round and overcome all of the “problems” but to no avail she has decided that its me or her i was happy to have him and his girls in my life i have a heart as big as the ocean and have plenty room in it. in the real world there was plenty of him to go around if you like !but she has just decided nope if he chose me then she would run away and live rough then he would never know where she was or what she was doing. the emotional blackmail she put him under was hellish. he said if he chooses me which he really wants to do then the guilt of her doing the things she said would just kill him and destroy us anyway. so after three years i am a casualty as well as her dad. people can say leave her to it let her go she will come back blah blah blah she decided and thats it he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. i would never make any father choose between me and his daughter because my two boys are the most important people in the world to me and i would never choose a man over them . the difference being my children are decent human beings who want nothing but hapinwess for their mum. i am so sad and i feel i am mourning the loss of our future we were so happy now i just feel so lost. he made his choice now i have to pick the peices of my broken life up and try to move on. i just feel so lost without him. i want him to call me and say its all been a huge mistake and everything will be ok its hell and it just feels like its gonna go on forever.

  • Vita says:

    Ben Mayer…. everyone on the breaking side…I’m right there with you. I ended a relationship that spanned 7 years off and on. We were high school and college sweethearts. I have to say, that from the very beginning, something just wasn’t right. The truth was that I loved this person as I do my family, I was just never felt in love in all those years. Tragic really. Our relationship was perfect on paper, he is a fantastic and loving person, but I could never buy the car because it didn’t have an engine. I tried to convince myself that my unhappiness was unjustified- that I was being whimsical, selfish, and vain. You know, “me” problems. The issue was that I could not work on myself with this person, because he was so stable, so secure, a solid friend. Regardless, I couldn’t stay, and it has been the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make.

    We stayed in a still space in college, then real life hits you, and you have to evaluate yourself in ways that weren’t pressing before. He had a life track, and I was still trying the figure myself out. He wanted me to follow him, and I just imagined myself resenting him for it. Not a good place to be.

    I broke it off twice officially, but we were always softoftogether sortofnottogether. Finally, he had enough, there is someone else in his life and he is following his dream. It’s good to know he is no longer on my back porch, but I tell you, the first time that realization hit me I thought I would physically die. Security net gone. You’re on your own, girl, this is what you signed up for. It sucks to carry the burden of regret while also nursing with the stings of rejection, but I have hope that one day I will see the benefits of our decisions outweighing what we lost.

    The past year has been a journey, but I’m finally beginning to see the light. Its reassuring to know that he found someone else who cares for him in a way I never could- if one of us deserves happiness, its him. I hope one day to find that too, but I want to become the person that I can admire instead of this person I have become. Frankly, I don’t think I want the type of person who would be interested in the type of person I am now ;) I have to become a person that someone I admire would like. I’m on my way.

    I am taking the next year to travel, enjoy the 17 books I have piled up the past few months beside my bed, learn to develop film photography, refine my love of art, cooking, and writing, and move into the city. Besides the fear of dying alone (irrational ? / !) I know I have made the right decision. It’s encouraging to read these posts, thank you everyone for sharing.

  • Nikki says:

    If you love something let it go. If it comes back, HIT IGNORE!

    My on-again/off-again boyfriend (and best friend) of 14 years and I went our separate ways this week. We have known each other for half our lives. We just reunited (him pleading for my heart yet again/ me falling for his love) last year following our longest break up of which I even dated someone and he shacked up with a coworker and her kid. Our relationship had been fine this year, but with a few bumps in the road, then 4 weeks ago he asked for us to move in this fall to finally work toward marriage and build our future. I started preparing myself and looking forward to us getting over that hump.

    Well, he abruptly took back his words and now decided “we want different things”. Things like marriage and stability after so so many years of ups and downs. I feel so deceived and my hands are tied because I can’t stay on his road to nowhere. So, like some of you, I’m back to square one and tasked with healing myself and my heart but for good this time. I feel your pain, the hurt of losing a lover and companion, the anxiety about what tomorrow holds, the waking up, lack of appetite, haunting thoughts, battle with time, reluctance to do things, and being fragile at random moments. It stings to know I have to move on and cut off this “limb” of my life then regrow it. I really must close this chapter and turn the page. He even suggested we keep in touch and “transition” into being apart (I’m sure for his convenience as usual). Well, I can’t, it’s too hard to do that and truly move on because I’d “die” slowly again and again watching all the things we can’t be. I do not want to bear witness to him ultimately giving everything to someone he doesn’t even love more or is more compatible with…and vice versa. I get so scared that I may never love another man as much as I love my ex but I am praying for the faith to believe I will. I just don’t want to live with that type of regret.

    Whatever it is that’s truly stopping him from taking the next step in our relationship could not be worth the ultimate regret and shoulda/coulda/woulda crap. It saddens me to know it will not be us in the end but I definitely can’t dishonor myself for an inconsistent guy. I have to choose me, even through the tears and pain of missing him. What’s also real is that part of me posting this is so I do not forget the impact of what he’s done and end up repeating the cycle. Each day forward I’ll be praying for strength, peace, clarity, faith and a lasting love. I dearly wish the same for any of you facing heartache, betrayal and doubt. One day, I hope to have a husband and child I can share my life with and give my love to forever.

    Thanks so much for sharing your stories and helping me take one more step toward healing. Cheers!

  • Dee73 says:

    After 6yrs together my bf said he was not in love with me anymore and that he could not go through to a future lying to himself and me.
    It is such a shock as I thought we were fine, more than fine, happy together. Did I miss the signs?
    The week leading up to this he was telling me how he will always be their for me. Not now tho.
    Im 40 and he is 42, we didnt come to this relationship without history nor problems, but we always worked well together and arguments were few and far between, never serious with each of us talking or laughing over things. We are/was best friends and I still cant believe he has done this!!
    I am breaking up inside and cant cope at the loss. Our plans for the future, near plans, our lives were so intertwined that I can see him all over my home. We never lived together but were looking forward to when we did as my son goes off to uni soon and more time would have been ours, seems so sad that he has changed now.
    I think of him every waking moment, I cant sleep, even shopping at the local store made me so upset that we wouldnt be doing this together anymore, that I couldnt drive home. (my son has been so supportive thank goodness)
    We spoke after a few days of no-contact, far too painful too loose a wonderful friendship so we both decided to help each other through this together.
    We as a couple were far from conventional and this feels right for now.
    I do hope that in my grief that I dont become dependent on this. I must take each day as it comes and look for the silver lining.
    But until I do, this empty, sick feeling washes over me every time I think of what we have lost and how I miss him so much.
    It is comforting to find others here feeling, going through the same as I thought it was just me

  • Brian says:

    I’m glad I fell upon this post. My wife of 17 years told me last month that she was done. She tried for years to get me to straighten my crap up. For much of the time we fought about a lot of things, we seem to never be on the same page and I didn’t do anything but manipulate and crush her dreams. She stuck with me all those years in hopes of making things work. Now I’ve gotten help, change my life around but it’s too late. She looks at me with love and disgust and it kills me down to the bone. Like everyone else, I feel completely lost, alone, and I don’t know what to do. I feel like a school kid begging her for another chance. She says she wants time and space to figure out what she wants but I think she already knows and is just so kind she doesn’t want to crush me even more. I feel sick to my stomach that I could treat another human being as bad as I treated her. She is the woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I want to walk hand-in-hand down the beach, down the street, I wanted to hold and watch a sunset with her, but I screwed that up. She to started to go to the gym about a year and half ago, and is in the best shape of her life more confident and laughs more than any time but it’s all without me and that hurts a lot. I really feel alone and lost. I thank all of you for showing me that I’m not alone, for those that say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, I’m not sure they’ve ever lost to know how crushed you feel.
    “I understand that if you have never suffered a broken heart, then you have never really known what it is to truly be alive. And I understand that at that precise moment, when your heart breaks open, that all you want to do is lay down and die! Because you know that is the only way the pain is ever going to stop.”
    ? Patti Roberts, Progeny of Innocence

  • Nooks says:

    I am glad I found this website too… It does help, because I think the worst thing is to feel you\\\’re on your own and nobody else knows in what kind of pain you\\\’re in. A few weeks ago, after 7.5 years my boyfriend broke up with me.

    This is my story:
    We met in 2006 at work. We fell in love straight away and I was the happiest girl on the planet! We had a few bumpy moments and the more I think about them it makes me think that things never changed really. The problems that were there from the beginning remained for the life of the relationship and probably became a reason for a break up..
    I really felt that we would be together forever and that love we had was unique and nothing can ever break that. Then, he actually broke up with me after 1.5years… I was devastated!!! He quickly realised that it was a big mistake and came back. Then, in the period of a few years we had times when he was saying: I am not happy with our relationship, I love you but I cant stand things anymore. Every time I would talk him through things and explain why things happen, and why it sometimes go wrong. I feel I am emotionally much more mature than him, I have experienced much more sh!t in my life and am used to coping with the bad. Then we went oversees together, just me and him, very far away from home…and he did it again. This time I left. I packed y bags and stayed with my friend. Again, he apologised and asked me to come back… and I did accept him back, but warned him that this is the last time. A few months late it turned out I was seriously ill, had an operation and am now fine….but he did it again!!!! He broke up with me pretty much as I nearly recovered from my illness. This time he moved out and it\\\’s real. We\\\’ve been going back and forth a bit, but the worst thing is that he blames me for everything. I feel like I don\\\’t know how to talk to him anymore. Of course I have my faults, but he\\\’s got them too. And, as always, he said: I love you but it\\\’s for best. I\\\’ve been unhappy for the past few years and it\\\’s been on my mind on and off…..

    I\\\’m not taking it well. This relationship was the only thing in my life (apart from my health and family) that I loved and looked after and couldn\\\’t ever imagine to be without it. And now it happened. I do try and talk to him but all he says: I don\\\’t know, maybe we can work on things…. Then I think to myself that I really need to look after myself! Also, I feel like I wont ever meet anyone like that and will never love them how I loved him.
    I am scared, lonely, terrified and miss him like hell!!!!!

    Also, I am far from home, without friends and family…

    Thanks for sharing your stories! It\\\’s good to know they\\\’re all a bit different, but really very much the same.

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