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Thread: What should I do following break up?

  1. #1

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    What should I do following break up?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm 22M dated 21F for about 2 years until she broke up a few days ago. Now first, here's some background:
    The reason she broke up is because she did not feel "well" in the relationship anymore. Things that led to this feeling includes different values, and also neglect in the sense that I, said hurtful and did hurtful things. Although these things were not "major" in the sense that I did not cheat, on her or anything. It does accumulate. It was small things, small "jokes" which I found funny but profoundly affected her. She tried talking to me about it before but I guess I never took it seriously enough. I know I sound like a jerk but honestly, I think I lacked empathy, respect, and in sum, I think I was / am just too immature. The final aspect she mentioned is tarot cards. At first, I did not believe that tarot cards had anything to do with our breakup and it was hard to accept. However, after discussing with many people, I began to view it under a different light. A friend of mine suggested that the tarot cards has the effect on her as God has effects on him. That is, tarot cards only helped her realize the underlying issues of our relationship and sent her "a sign".

    So yeah, this is the brief summary of how our relationship was, and why we broke up. I think that besides this, the relationship was a good one, in the sense that it involved two people who cared for each other ( I know I have failed to show this many many times - but really, I do). When she initially broke up, I begged, I cried, I pleaded, I promised I'd change. Do I regret doing so? Maybe. I realize that it showed weakness and all, but hey that's truly how I felt when it all happened. All this happened 4 days ago. After apologizing for my behavior 2 days ago, I initiated NC and I'm not on my 3rd day of NC. When we broke up, she asked me to let her go if I truly love her. I asked her if I was allowed to contact her at some point in the future and she said yes, but she doesn't want to give me false hope. Her sister recently told me that she believes it's best for me to move on and stop hurting myself.

    Now here's the questions I have. I know it's only been a few days but I've done a lot like really a lot of thinking. I'm still hurting so my brain is surely biased. However, I understand some things now. I realize the mistakes I've made and looking back on the relationship, I realize many things, instances where I've hurt my ex. I understand that she left not because she no longer loved me (she did) but rather because she had to stop hurting herself, letting herself be hurt. I've come to realize that all this comes a bit too late and now I'm unsure about what to do next.

    I came up with this "plan". This plan, is to learn from what happened, own my mistakes, and try and improve myself. I try to convince myself that this is for the better. That if I date someone else, these mistakes must be avoided. If I date my ex again, these mistakes must be avoided. In summary, I realized I have to grow up. However, I'm hurting, and I'm confused. I have this gut feeling that it is with my ex that I want to be, it is with her that I want to improve and so on. So the plan is to have this general direction - self improvement, but I'd like to set timeframes to track progress, track how I feel about her and so on. I'd like to think that I'm not doing this for her (but really, who am I trying to fool, it is partly for her).

    Now people, as the dumpee, as the one who has initiated NC in a scenario where we ended on "ok terms", where we departed with a hug and kind words, what should I do next?

    Should I really listen to all these people telling me / writing on forums that it is up to the dumper to come to realize that they lost something? Is this really fair for them considering I made mistakes aswell?

    Should I instead, try to contact her again after idk, 2 weeks, 1 month? Is this disrespectful considering she asked me to let her go? How can I let her go if I love her? Shouldn't instead I accept the mistakes I made and try to "win her again"? Shouldn't I contact her to prove to her that despite everything I still love her, that I still believe she is worth it, shouldn't I atleast try to prove to her that I am also still worth it?

    Sorry for this very long post. I'm not feeling well, I think it's the first time in my life I admit not feeling well. I thank you all in advance for your advice but please be gentle. Please don't bash either her/me, especially her. She was a good person, a genuine person, a kind person, she was at some point "my person". As much as I am saddened by what she did, it saddens me even more to think of her badly.

    Thank you all

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    People will see your worth regardless of who you try to win over. You don't have to try so hard. Slow down, give yourself some time to recover, go off the radar, take care of yourself and nurture yourself. There's a lot of pain and confusion after a break up like this.

    Are you writing on a lot of forums asking for advice? The more you solicit advice especially from different groups, the harder and harder it will be listening to your own instincts and inner voice telling you what you already know.

    You know what you have to do. You're just fighting it and in denial. Find time with friends and family or don't do anything at all. You need time to process that the relationship is over. Never convince yourself that you have to prove anything to anyone.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    No, you shouldn't contact her. She asked you not to. I was pissed off when a guy contacted me 4 months after he dumped me, because it set my closure back to square one. Even though she did the dumping, she still has to mourn and heal and move on, and she doesn't need to hear from someone who is now her past.

    It's too little, too late for you to become the person for her you should've been in the past. Even though you say you love her, it wasn't enough to be worthy of her. Otherwise, you would've listened to her when she asked you not to make your hurtful jokes.

    The only thing you can do is to read relationship books on communication and how to behave in a loving way to a partner for future relationships, but leave your ex alone. It's not all about you.

  4. #4

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    @ Andrina
    Your response was hard to read but fair. I think you're right saying I must respect her boundaries, having already failed her once. I like your quote tho...the "you can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending". I hope you're this will be true.

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  6. #5

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    @ Rose Mosse
    Thank you, I will try to take some time off and find myself again. I'll do my best, thanks

  7. #6
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    I think that right now you are really fresh and raw from the break up and that's OK. Give yourself some time to grieve and deal with that pain. You sound kind of like you are in the bargaining stage of grief. If I change and fix this and do that...that's bargaining. Acceptance does come around eventually though.

    That said, a lot of your thinking and processing is correct in that you do need to learn from your mistakes and become a better person, a better bf...it's just going to be for someone else. That's the part that you need to accept and right now it's hard because it's so fresh. As time goes on, it will become easier and you'll start to feel more comfortable. Just be patient and kind to yourself. Let yourself grieve, but then do move on. Do respect her decision to end things and do not contact her. That's not just for her benefit but also for your own - helps you heal. Every time you contact your ex it's like ripping a scab off....eventually the wound will start to fester because you won't let it heal. So just don't. Your goal should be no more contact. Second goal is do work on yourself, learn from your mistakes, be single and have some fun and become comfortable in your own skin. You are only 22. Don't waste that on pining, spend it on living life and growing. Look forward not backwards in life.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Breakups are necessary...it's life's way of teaching you, what you can do better for the next one, know if they are right for you, know your own wants and needs, and learn compromise/communication/working through problems....and of course you learn things about yourself. You hurt, learn, grow and move on. For now your grieve your loss, work on self reflection/improvement.

  9. #8
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    There’s no specific time frame. It just comes down to whenever you are truly happy with yourself without the need for anyone. So don’t work on self improvement for others only do it for yourself.
    Breakups do hurt but in time you’ll find that it was necessary so you could grow. I wouldn’t bank on a reunion with her I would only count on you being more self assured, happy and confident for your own future and current state of well being.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Good for you for investing in self improvement over wallowing. We all feel like wallowing when we're grieving--it's natural. But if we wait until we 'feel like' moving forward, we'll stagnate.

    When it comes to healing, emotions follow our behaviors, not the other way around.

    Should I instead, try to contact her again after idk, 2 weeks, 1 month? Is this disrespectful considering she asked me to let her go?
    I would not. First off, 2 weeks is nothing, so contact would be irritating. Nobody grows into their changes in only 2 weeks.

    Instead, I'd invest in measuring my self improvements and healing by the degree to which I'm able to minimize my investment in trying to show them to my ex.

    The more focused and involved I can become in my own life, the less relevant it becomes to impress ex--or anyone else. I trust that this means I might someday become ready to meet ex on higher ground. If our paths cross again in the FAR future, then we might be able to have a conversation. But it needs to be far enough ahead to avoid the implication of stalking (word to the wise).

    The problem with dwelling on exes is that it means you're stuck in wanting your old relationship back. But no ex wants to return to the exact same relationship with the exact same person they've left. So if you're the one pining for ex enough to contact her, the real message you'll send is that you're still stuck where she left you. That's not attractive, no matter how new-and-improved you'd claim to be.

    Head high, and take baby steps forward.


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