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Thread: Breaking up after 4 years to let him travel

  1. #11
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    I'm sure he cares about you, but he definitely lacks the deep feeling it takes to make a good lifetime partner for you. As others have said, a person who truly loved you like that wouldn't risk freeing you, knowing that the breakup could last forever. A committed person would have an end date to the travel period, and would ask you to visit at least once, or to meet you halfway a few times, and to keep in touch at least weekly, because people can have more than one priority.

    It's best you go cold turkey with no communication for closure. Putting yourself on ice for a high risk partner is just a huge waste of your time and not in your best interest. You can still have good memories of your time together, but realize that your fate lies with someone who is so crazy about you, he will never let you go--not even once.

  2. #12
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    I would add that if years from now he comes back to you and wants to give it a go I would not "forget" that he let you go once but at least listen to why he wants another chance and see then if you're still into him. But until then - if that even happens - he needs to be off your radar 100%.

  3. #13
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    I'm sorry, but I think that the relationship is over. You should end it now, then go complete no contact.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry for this moment.

    I very much agree with the sentiment many have expressed that this must be treated as the end, hard stop, for your own health, happiness, and emotional growth. While I can very much relate to your boyfriend—longtime traveler and chaser of big dreams here!—there is really no avoiding the hard math that if he wanted to be with you and travel he would do exactly that. Plenty do it, just like plenty of people are in relationships—with actors, musicians, activists, researchers, diplomats—that involve occasional stretches of separation.

    He has chosen the opposite, and it's a choice that is telling: telling of where he's at in life (very young still) and telling of how seriously he takes your relationship (not as seriously as you). Hard pills to swallow, I know. But I think not swallowing them is more detrimental in the long run, since it means valuing another's dreams at a level higher than your own.

    I've been him, I've been you. At 25 I broke up with someone because I could reconcile something I wanted (six months driving through the south, settling for a stretch in a funky town to work on a creative project) with being in a relationship. Flash forward to 33 and I was with a woman who had her own similar itches to scratch, and couldn't see (as I could!) that they could be scratched and we could remain together. In both those cases—wonderful women, wonderful relationships—there was more going on than just travel. Places we needed to grow but couldn't alongside each other, places we just didn't quite fit. Past all the wanderlust and existential stuff, what you had in both those stories are people who no longer wanted to be in a relationship.

    I would wish him the best on his voyage, but in much the same way if he weren't traveling at all, but just wanted to live his life without being in a relationship. Because that's the hard truth here. Should he change his mind, he can try to see about you, but living your own life with that door open—and keeping contact simmering to ensure it stays open—may come to quickly feel like your own life being half lived.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    Adriana and ThatwasThen are right.

    He's leaving on a trip. The key word here is leaving. He's leaving you. People who love you don't want to leave you.

    Some young people are not ready to fall in love yet.

  7. #16
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    My friend went through something similar, though she was the one embarking on extended world travels and ending her relationship. It was right around the same age you are now, too.

    She had initially planned to be gone for a year, but it wound up being closer to 2. She just enjoyed the experience so much that that she kept going, stopping every few months in whatever locale she happened to be, to do casual work to fund the next leg of her journeys. And yes, she met men along the way and had a few short vacation flings. I don't think she and her ex kept in touch much, though this was the days before social media and smartphones. I am not sure they would have anyway, as she seemed pretty consumed by the whole experience.

    By the time she finally got back, he had moved on and met someone else. She didn't seem to have an interest in reconciling at that point either, to be fair, as she had grown and changed a lot in her time abroad and probably would not have been very compatible with her previous partner. It's not that she was somehow better than him, but she was different in certain ways and wanted very different things out of life as compared to her pre-travel days.

    I would treat this as a break-up, and limit your contact while he is gone. Give yourself space to heal. Don't put yourself on hold him, hard as it will feel not to. You will need time to adjust, of course, but be patient with yourself.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    As a mother of two young adult sons, I can only add that young men (for the most part) really feel a pull to either accomplish things or experience things before they settle down.

    My oldest son had two serious girlfriends during a time that he was wanting to travel and have experiences. After almost 10 years he finally landed the job of his dream that afforded him the privilege to do so.

    I don't think he could have articulated it to these girlfriends, that were patiently betting on potential in him. But he would have never settled down until he got that out of his system. From the sidelines, I could see it happening.

    The girlfriends got frustrated and resentful and the relationships ended dramatically. I think both young women ultimately would have been good partners for him, had they let him go and got on with their lives. He very well could have returned to them. At the same time it wouldn't have been fair for them to wait.

    After a couple years of traveling he finally has it out of his system. Add to that he has a new, very secure and independent girlfriend that perfectly suites him at this point in his life.

    It's just timing. Unfortunately, the timing is not in your favor.
    And you're correct, he will mature and evolve from his experiences.
    It remains to be seen if you find your way back to each other.

    My best advise would be to close this door on high note.
    Wish him well and get busy with your own life.
    Any drama in the meantime will be his last memory of you. You don't want that.

    I am sorry. I know it's not what you want to hear.
    Your only choice at this point, is how you handle your end and how you want him to remember you.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I personally didn't have a similar situation as yours. However, I can give you my opinion as I step back and look at your picture.

    I'm very sorry. It's awful to be rejected and dumped.

    Even though you don't see this now, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise to break up because he's not the right man for you. He's not willing to give you a committed relationship. He wants to see the world and travel.

    I agree with both of you. LDRs have a high failure rate. Better to break up now than later.

    There is another plan for your life.

    Whenever a person wishes to exit a relationship or friendship, you need to respect their choice even though you may not agree with their decision. The reason is because their desire is dead already and if they're moving on, you should, too even if you must with hesitance.

    In the beginning, let there be no mistake, you will feel hurt. Next, your pain will transform into resentment and bitterness because you'll feel that you've wasted your time (years), youth and resources (money) on a person (or man in your case) for a relationship that eventually dissolved. This is the normal transition.

    Then as time marches on as in months and years, it is true about "out of sight, out of mind." You will become busy with your life, socialize and there will be existing and new people who will waft in and out of your lifetime. Your ex-boyfriend will become a blur.

    The secret to moving on is to stay busy! You'll wallow in your misery if you have too much time on your hands. Get busy with work, running your household, exercising, dieting, intellectual pursuits, hobbies, friends, family, a dog or pets if you have any. You'll become so preoccupied that you'll feel too exhausted to care about nostalgia and heartache.

    This is how it has been for me. Whenever I'm extremely busy, I'm too fatigued to care about whatever caused me angst whether today, yesterday or tomorrow. You'll realize there's more important focuses in your life than worrying about a person who is certainly not devoting the same time and energy into you. Return the favor and give yourself numerous healthy distractions.

    Also, support systems other than forums are helpful. Get together with a friend for tea or coffee, take a walk with a friend, meet for a meal and have balance in your life for yourself and others.

    Stay strong and hang tough.

  10. #19
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    Your problem is the story of my life.
    When I bought my airplane ticket, she said "have a nice life' and we never contacted again.
    He is not coming back, and even if he does he will be a completely different person.
    You were'nt invited on the trip.
    move on. he's not coming back.

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