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Was breaking up with her a huge mistake?


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Is it possible that it could take breaking up with someone to make you realize she may be the one?

 

I ended a relationship with my girlfriend of almost two years Friday night. It was the most difficult and painful thing I've ever done. We had a great relationship, had almost everything in common, and spent essentially all our time together outside of work. We still had our own apartments, but I hadn't actually slept at my place in about a year and a half.

 

The reason I decided to end it was that I couldn't picture myself ending up with her. I knew she envisioned spending the rest of her life with me, and while for the most part I was happy with her in the present, there was a sense of impending doom building inside me because I knew I would eventually have to break her heart by ending it. I couldn't get this thought out of my head, and the longer our relationship went on, the more I obsessed about it. (I'm a fairly obsessive-compulsive person in general.)

 

I think I even subconsciously started treating her a little worse (nothing terrible, but little things like running late a lot, not doing as many nice little things for her, not initiating "I love you" as much, etc.), perhaps in the subconscious hope that it would make her like me less so I wouldn't have to hurt her as badly. I'd pondered breaking up with her on and off for several months, and planned to possibly do it a couple times before but gotten scared and hadn't been able to go through with it.

 

However, the moment I broke up with her, I began to fear I'd made the worst mistake of my life, and I've felt this way nonstop for the past two days. I keep trying to remind myself that despite all the time we spent together and all the moments we shared over two years, I was still never able to see myself ending up with her. But when I try to figure out what it was about her that was standing in the way of me seeing that future with her, I can't come up with anything. The only concrete things that bothered me seem so meaningless now compared to all her amazing qualities.

 

To a certain extent, I was prepared to feel this way. I know breaking up always makes you focus on only the good qualities of your former partner. But when my last relationship ended (which was mutual), although I started to harbor false feelings of being in love as a result of missing her, I was always still able to bring myself back to all the reasons she wasn't right for me. This time around, I can't seem to do that.

 

I've been trying to tell myself that a lot of what I'm missing is the comfort of having someone to share my life with rather than specifically her. But I can't convince myself this is the case or envision myself being as happy with someone else. I wish I could write my prior concerns off to a "fear of commitment," but I don't think I've felt afraid to commit or scared of the future.

 

So essentially, the reason I broke up with her had nothing to do with the present, which was going great. It was all about the future, not being able to see myself marrying her, knowing this meant I had to break her heart, and forcing myself to do it now since it would only hurt her more if I continued to wait. But now that I've broken up with her, spending my life with her is the only thing I can think about. I've barely been able to make myself get out of bed or even function this weekend because I miss her so much.

 

I guess my question is this: Is it possible that it could take breaking up with someone to make you realize she may be the one? The people I've opened up to about this keep telling me no, that I'm just sad and lonely and confused right now and it's making me feel things that aren't true. But is there any way that could not be the case? Is it possible breaking up with her was something I needed to do to help me become able to envision a future with her?

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Probably the people you are opening up to are telling you no, you didnt make a mistake, because they know how painful it would be to face if you realised you had been a fool and potentially lost this chance of amazing happiness with a girl that loved you.

 

Why did you have to "envision a future" with her anyway, during that phase of your relationship? You might be the kind of person who is just not able to think about those things until later in life, somehow you let your worry about what MIGHT happen become more significant than what was actually happening at the time. You forgot to stop and smell the flowers. And it is only now in hindsight you are able to see how good you actually had it with her.

 

2 years is a long time apart, and your broke her heart - can you make this right? I dont know. But you can try. It's really never to late to try and redeem yourself - at least in your own heart you will know that though you made a mistake, you did your best to try and make it right - you can't control how other people will feel about it though.

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Are you sure you wrote that post???? Sounds like you wrote it for me. It is the same situation, same feelings, etc.

 

What can we do about it??? We just have to think that it was the best thing to do and take care of ourselves....

 

There's nothing else we can do....for now....

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perhaps this is your conscience talking, eh?

whats worse is that you've really given no real valid reasons for leaving her. at all. and now that you realize that, its upsetting you.

well heres the deal. suck it up and tell her you made a mistake and fix it. or live with this constant 'small voice' in the back of your head saying you screwed up.

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OR maybe just maybe you really truly love her but you were stupid.

 

Okay - if my ex came here and wrote that then that is what I would hope people would tell him.

 

However, I will say this - it has only been two days. Perhaps you should take the next two weeks and really think about things. If the feelings persist then you should get in contact with her.

 

I wish you good luck.

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First of all, thank you to everyone who took the time to read my post and reply. This board has been extremely helpful for me over the past 24 hours, not just from this thread about my own experience but also from reading other people's stories.

 

When I go back and read my original post, I realize that although I was being completely honest, I also believe I may have been expressing myself in a way that would make people tell me to get back together with her. I've had so many voices in my life telling me it's for the best and encouraging me to move on that I've felt alone in questioning if I made a mistake.

 

I'm not sure I adequately expressed my thought process before breaking up with her. It definitely was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. We were together for almost two years, and for practically the entire time, I couldn't envision myself ever marrying her. But I was happy with the way things were and didn't want to hurt her, so I continued to stay with her. I'm not scared of commitment in general, but I didn't ever want to suggest moving in with her (even though we spent all our time together at her place) because I didn't see us ending up together.

 

What makes it tough is that she has so many great qualities and we have so much in common, and now that I don't have her in my life, the individual things about her that bothered me seem miniscule compared to all the great things about her. But the bottom line is that for a long time, I felt strongly that despite all these great things, she was not "the one" for me. What I'm trying to figure out now is what it was that made me feel that way. I'm usually a very logical thinker, and it bothers me that I can't logically explain the feeling I had that she wasn't "the one."

 

The one thing I'm trying to focus on to comfort myself is that regardless of how things turn out, this was something I needed to do. I had thought about breaking up with her for a long time, and there's no way that thought was magically going to vanish from my head if I stayed with her. So whether we end up back together or not, I feel this was something that needed to happen.

 

I also recognize it's only been two days and I'm not anywhere close to distanced enough from it to begin thinking rationally. I realize I can't make any decision this important while in this state. I don't want to get back together with her if I'm going to end up feeling the same way and breaking her heart all over again, but I don't want to lose her either.

 

I tried to express this to her as well as I could, and all things considered, she was quite understanding. I suppose all I can do at this point is see how time affects my feelings toward her. In the meantime, I'm stuck feeling depressed, lonely, and confused... but I guess that's the way love goes.

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I think I understand a bit better. It sounds like you just weren't feeling it and made the right decision. I think if you have had continuing doubts then it just won't work. The more I think about it, if it were meant to be, you would not have broken up with her. People who are head over heels in love and want to be with someone don't break up with them. Yes, sometimes people break up over issues such as trust etc even though they love the person, but this case doesn't seem like one of those.

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To respond to some of your questions...

 

Why did you have to "envision a future" with her anyway, during that phase of your relationship?

 

It's not so much envisioning a specific future as it is being able to see myself ending up with her. I'm at a place in my life where two years into a relationship, I'd be ready to take steps toward a lifelong commitment if I were convinced the person was right for me. I'm not afraid of commitment, and I have absolutely no desire to be single.

 

I had a pseudo-relationship back in college (it was more like a messy "roommates with benefits" situation), and with her, even though there were issues that made both of us not desire a relationship in the present, I was able to see myself ending up with her. With my recent relationship, that hasn't been the case.

 

what was it specifically that you kept seeing that you DIDNT want in the future?

 

There are specifics I could list...

 

- We had a great connection when it was just the two of us, but things were always a little awkward when we socialized with others. I can't quite put a finger on why... I think it's just how she is in general.

 

- I feel she sometimes judged people too quickly and made assumptions instead of being open-minded.

 

- Tying into that, my progressive/liberal world view is very important to me and she didn't share it. She was raised by a conservative family and after dating me had become middle-of-the-road, but there are certain issues (such as my belief in the right of all people, straight or gay, to get married) on which she didn't agree with me that I was unable to get past.

 

- Further along in the relationship, I was finding myself less attracted to her, and our sex life went downhill, primarily because I wasn't as interested.

 

Of course, I also have counter-arguments for those specifics...

 

- In terms of being open-minded, she came a long, long way while we were together, and she constantly expressed a desire to understand the way I viewed things.

 

- In terms of our sex life, it's not as if I was constantly finding myself turned on by other girls either, so now, I'm wondering if maybe I was depressed and didn't realize it.

 

But it's not like I just thought up these counter-arguments after we broke up; they went through my mind all the time when we were together, yet I was still convinced she wasn't "the one."

 

Are you sure you wrote that post???? Sounds like you wrote it for me. It is the same situation, same feelings, etc.

 

What can we do about it??? We just have to think that it was the best thing to do and take care of ourselves....

 

There's nothing else we can do....for now....

 

Thanks for the post. I agree, and it's comforting to know there's someone else out there who's going through something so similar that my words could've been theirs.

 

I think I understand a bit better. It sounds like you just weren't feeling it and made the right decision. I think if you have had continuing doubts then it just won't work. The more I think about it, if it were meant to be, you would not have broken up with her. People who are head over heels in love and want to be with someone don't break up with them. Yes, sometimes people break up over issues such as trust etc even though they love the person, but this case doesn't seem like one of those.

 

Thanks. And yes, you're correct that trust definitely was not an issue for us. We were both very committed to each other and never would've compromised the other person's trust in any way.

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If your gut was really telling you she was not the one, then you were probably right.

 

I was with someone a long time ago for almost a year, and the whole time I felt like we had no future. But I stuck it out for my own reasons... not wanting to be by myself, not wanting to hurt her, my family just loved her, her family just loved me, etc etc etc... I guess I just didn't want to leave that comfort zome. And then she cheated on me.

 

And it's only been two days. Has it really even hit you yet? How did she take it?

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And it's only been two days. Has it really even hit you yet? How did she take it?

 

I guess it hasn't really hit me yet... I just keep feeling like since I'm the one who broke up with her, it should already have hit me. But being alone sucks, and I'm not the kind of person who ever liked going out and trying to meet girls. I'm terrible at it and I don't enjoy it at all. I really just want to be in a relationship, and that's going to make it even harder for me to figure out if I made a mistake by breaking up with her... Drawing the line between wanting to be with someone and wanting to be with her is going to be a daunting task, to say the least.

 

How did she take it? She was completely devastated. We both cried a lot. Her because she thought she was going to end up with me and her whole life was crashing down on her. Me because I didn't want to be alone and (after I started the break-up) was afraid I was making a mistake, but mostly because how much I was hurting her was killing me. She went to her parents' house for the weekend because she couldn't bear to be alone in her apartment.

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Have you discussed these concerns with her? I mean REALLY told her what's missing in the relationship and why it causes you to doubt your future together? You should give your relationship the chance it deserves - don't worry about being brutally honest with her about the concerns, don't worry that telling her will hurt her. What will hurt her most, in the end, is you walking away without giving her a solid chance to understand, respond, and change, if that's possible. Offer to go to counseling, either individually or together, and take the opportunity to understand yourself and your needs. You have a chance, here, to make the relationship stronger instead of just letting it go.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi guys. Many of you went out of your way to help me out when I was dealing with this break-up a few months ago, so I wanted to come back here to follow up on the situation and offer a little advice of my own...

 

GO WITH YOUR GUT... AND THEN GIVE IT TIME.

 

I am now as close to positive as a person can be that I did the right thing by breaking up with her. We'd become so close after nearly two years, and the break-up was so hard on both of us. The loneliness that ensued caused me to question everything and wonder if I'd made a terrible mistake. Fortunately, I was at least able to recognize that I wasn't thinking clearly and give it time. The more distance I gained from the relationship, the more I realized she was not the right one for me. The bottom line is that there were reasons my gut was constantly telling me to get out of the relationship, and there were reasons why I was not able to see a future with her.

 

After being single for 2-3 months, I have recently met someone new. (This happened MUCH sooner than I expected it would, but, of course, love is unpredictable.) All the things I couldn't put a finger on that were missing from day one in my last relationship are present in this one. From the first night we met, I was able to envision a potential future with this girl, which is something I was never once able to do with my ex. With my new relationship, we were both comfortable talking (hypothetically, of course) about things like marriage and children on our first date, issues I could never bring up in close to two years with my ex because I couldn't ever envision a future with her.

 

I think it takes a long time to discover whether you could spend the rest of your life with someone, but a lot less time to realize that you couldn't. Deep down, I believe I probably knew I wouldn't end up with my ex from our first date, but I ignored my gut. Ultimately, I fell in love with being in a relationship... and confused that with falling in love with her. My life merged with hers to such a degree that I lost some of my sense of self, and this made me question everything after I broke up with her and had to adjust to being on my own. In retrospect, I just wish I could've taken that step sooner and lessened the hurt I caused her.

 

Hopefully, this post will help someone who finds himself or herself in a similar situation! Thanks again for all of your advice back in February.

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Very interesting story! You do have a point about following your gut and doing what it tells you to. To continue a relationship when one party is not as invested as the other will only result in severe heartbreak, so be glad that you ended it when you did. Happy to hear that you found someone that you can envision yourself with.

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  • 4 months later...

While this is months later after your situation. My new ex-boyfriend and I are going through the same thing. Up to about three weeks ago, we were together for a year and a half, and living together for half a year. He brought up marrying me early on, and we spent the time talking about our future together. Then he broke up with me saying that over the past few months, he couldn't picture marrying me anymore. While I admit that we may have moved so fast, and that a few months ago, we've hit a few rough patches from finding emails to strange women he wrote to us losing a baby, and me really being unappreciative of him, he does say he liked a possibility of us working things out...but in the future, when he figures out what he wants. We have tentative plans to have a fun date for next week, but I think I am chickening out on th idea, even though he tells me stories of how others were in the same situation, but got their stuff together and are now married. We still love each other and miss each other, though...my question to you is, did it work out with you and the new woman, or did you ignite passion with your ex? I would so appreciate a reply.

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This post sounds like my ex. I guess it just reaffirms that he is not coming back. I think this post has really helped me to move on.

 

How could you go on a date with someone and know from the 1st date that they're the one? I've never felt like that about anyone, but grew closer to them over time.

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How can you avoid men that string women along? Or is this just a risk you take in being in any relationship?

 

I don't think people often intentionally string each other along. I think sometimes they just aren't sure. Sometimes they can become sure over time, but sometimes they don't and it seems like stringing along. I don't know...sorry for the incoherence here but it's just a thought.

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I don't think people often intentionally string each other along. I think sometimes they just aren't sure. Sometimes they can become sure over time, but sometimes they don't and it seems like stringing along. I don't know...sorry for the incoherence here but it's just a thought.

 

That makes sense.

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my question to you is, did it work out with you and the new woman, or did you ignite passion with your ex? I would so appreciate a reply.

 

I'm glad I subscribed to this thread! It's amazing to me that it's still alive and well after eight months, and I'm glad to see it's helping out others who can relate.

 

I am still with the new woman, and things are going very well. Next week, we'll have been together six months.

 

It's been more than six months now since I've had any contact with my ex. We tried to be friends at first, but it led to her asking me to come back to her and me suggesting it would probably be best for both of us to have some distance until (if) we both felt confident we could handle a friendship.

 

Both our birthdays were in April, and we sent each other cards. In hers, she said she'd be in contact soon, but I never heard from her. That was around the time I met my current girlfriend, and my hunch is that my ex was hurt by that and realized it would be best to keep her distance. She ended her friendship with me on Facebook shortly thereafter, likely because she was seeing from my profile and my status updates that I was happy with a new woman and was upset by that. I certainly understand the decision and don't blame her for that at all. In fact, I give her a tremendous amount of credit for her maturity throughout the whole ordeal.

 

I still feel guilty for the hurt I put her through by breaking up with her, and I still worry about how she's doing. I also still miss my friendship with her quite regularly. However, I also still remain certain that I did the right thing by breaking up with her and that she wasn't "the one." I don't know where things will lead with my current girlfriend, but I do know that I'm able to envision a future with her, which is something I was never really able to do with my ex.

 

I hope this helps. Best wishes!

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I knew that OP was just lonely and as soon as he "met someone" he would stand firm in his decision that he did the right thing. I am surprised he was able to move on so quickly, but since he was not the dumpee, that is common, I guess.

 

I admire the fact that he was able to break up with her BEFORE he met someone instead of stringing her along until he met someone. He has heart and strength for that.

 

Thank you. I really appreciate that. It was tremendously hard at the time (not just seeing how much I was hurting her, but dealing with the break-up myself, as well), but it was worth it to be able to look back and feel confident I did the right thing.

 

How could you go on a date with someone and know from the 1st date that they're the one? I've never felt like that about anyone, but grew closer to them over time.

 

In my opinion, there's no way you could ever know someone is "the one" after one date. I think figuring out someone is "the one" takes years of shared experiences. Figuring out someone isn't "the one" can often be a much quicker process, though. If I'd had the relationship experience I've had now when I started dating my ex, I think I would've figured out she wasn't "the one" a lot sooner.

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