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Scars from breakup with first love

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Hey all,


7.5 months ago, the beginning of september, I was dumped by my ex girlfriend. It was really difficult for me to get over, and I am still not sure if I am over it, and lately I have been feeling worse instead of healing and moving on.


Specifically, the thing that still bothers me is just the way it happened. There is no easy way to breakup with people, but there are certainly harsh ways, and I think mine falls into the latter category. I want to give a bit of info here before I ask my real question at the end...




Me and her dated for 2.25 years, and went to the same university. We knew each other for a few years before we started dating, not well, but good enough that it was easy to dive in quickly. However, the thing is she was still getting over a really bad breakup (her ex of 3 years cheated on her, she walked in on him having sex with someone else... also i think he was really verbally cruel to her). Also though, she was seeing another guy right after the breakup. He was a rebound, she admitted it, but that started up a few weeks after her nasty breakup, and lasted for a month, then I entered the picture. Obviously, 1.5 months is not long enough to get over that kind of breakup and so I think in retrospect I may have been a rebound also. I had been single for awhile, so I was really wasn't coming into this relationship with any sort of baggage, and I would say that I was probably in the best place of my life at that time. Like I said though, things heated up quickly and we both dove into this relationship. In a lot of ways, she was the girl of my dreams and I was always happy in the relationship. She finished up her undergraduate degree and 1 year masters degree while we dated, and I finished up my 2 undergraduate degrees. We both finished our time at that school together, and were planning on moving in together, to a new city. I was going to start my masters and she a new job.


We spent all summer looking for a great place for us, and put alot of effort into it, and got a great place we were both excited for. She stressed out a few times about various things about the move, but overall she was a stressful person so I didn't put too much extra thought into the meaning of it. Obviously now I know that she must have been having doubts all along. Well the day before we were supposed to move her stuff into our apartment, a week before I was about to start school, she dropped the BOMB.. She wanted to be single. The actual breakup process was horrible. It wasn't just that night, it took about 3 days of back and forth, and a week "break" but the obvious happened and she said she wanted to break up for real.


The reason I think it hurt me so much was because, yea I was moving to be with her, she found the job first and I could have done my masters anywhere, so I was sort of following her to a new city I knew no one in, a new masters program, far away from my family and friends. Mostly it hurt because I was happy and wanted to be with her and thought she wanted the same. Thought she was happy, thought we had a good relationship. Turns out, she had been straying a little towards the end, and gotten drunk and made out with some guys at bars. That hurt as well. Also I am sure more happened, but she didn't admit to it and it took a lot of effort just to get her to admit to making out with other guys. Also, what 24 year old women gets totally hammered drunk and makes out with random guys at a bar? I guess the immaturity that she had that I used to find endearing ended up being a serious breaking point for us. What also hurt is that SHE wanted to break up with ME! I know eh? The gall it takes for her to want to dump me. Ha.


But in all seriousness, I had actually been the rock of our relationship for pretty much the whole time, she was going through some serious stuff during our 2.25 years. Eating disorders, depression, her grandma dying. I was always there, and I felt like she used me, and abandoned me when the relationship just wasn't for her. Like she didn't want to be alone, so she dated me for 2 years and then when it was time for her to upgrade, she did. Thats about the only thing that can get me mad. I am a very calm dude, but that one thought gets to me still. I hope its not true, and I think it would be a bad thing to assume she "used" me for 2 year as a rebound, but its a hard thought to escape sometimes. Oh yea, and she definitly got involved with some guy she just met that summer. 1 week after we broke up. In a long distance relationship with a guy in the army.


So that was it, I was expecting to move in with the love of my life, that day when we were going to move her stuff into OUR apartment was the happiest day of my life. A week before I was about to start my new life with her, in a new city, it was scary but I was really excited cuz I thought I had a partner to be with me. Then BAM! She told me she had been cheating on me all summer and wanted to breakup. And that was it, we talked a few times the following weeks, all by email, because we had to sort things out, but basically I moved out and never spoke to her again. Its been 8 months of NC, but it certainly still weighs heavily on my mind from time to time.


That was a deep cut, it left a deep scar, and I cannot shake it totally off. I am much better now, I was a wreck for quite awhile after, but it affected me greatly.




Here is my real question though... (YES there is a point to this, not just my sad sob story)


Am I ever really going to be able to get over it? I didn't get seriously involved with anyone right after because I didn't want to rebound, but then I got to a point where I figured I was "as over it as I could get while still being single". Thats how I thought of it. I needed to experience another person to get over the rest, the lingering issues of trusting another person, putting my heart back out there, that kind of stuff.


Now I have a new girlfriend, actually I got involved with a girl who I was madly in love with in high school, who after 10 years of being friends with me realized that she too had feelings for me (the stuff of RomComs!). And its been great, and new and exciting, and something I have always wanted (we kind of lost touch while me and the ex were dating for those 2+ years). Also the sex is mind blowing. She is mature, very mature, and has had a real tough life yet still is super positive and has dealt with her issues so well. Whereas my ex had so many issues and dealt with them in a child like manner (although I shouldn't compare).


However, it didn't work out that way I wanted. Being in a new relationship didn't magically finish the healing process for me. It still hurts, and now it seems like its hurting a bit more these days. Although I realize its all about the ebb and flow, 2 steps forward, 1 step backward, and its a long process to heal. I am happy with my new girlfriend, but the thing that gets to me is I am starting this relationship with serious baggage, where as my last relationship with my ex, I had been single and happy for some time before we got involved, was in a great place in my life, and that made things so much easier for me. Now I have this baggage.


Anyways, does that make sense to anyone? How does one get over the heartbreak from a first love? I am wondering if I ever will these days, which sucks because I was kinda hoping that the pain would eventually go away, and its really not.


Thanks for anyone who read this novel.

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hey,wow, that was a long read indeed! haha, but i read every single sentence, and i have to say to u, thumbs up dude! ur doing great. ur alive, ur well and ur still a fine dude so cheer up alright?


alrights now b to the main point. i understand your plight. becuz i just broje up with my first love, my gf of 4 years. so the hurt..the emotional baggage..i totally understand it. they say, first love is always the hardest to get over. because all the first happens in it [first kiss, first sex, first hand holding etc etc].


but how many people in the world can truly marry the first girl they love? things change. people change. feelings change. nothing is permanent. when one partner drops out of the mutual partnership, we just have to accept it. remember, no one is indispensable in love.


it was less than a year ago, that is why u are still feeling the hurt. especially the way the r/s ended..it wasnt mutual, it wasnt pretty. there was cheating, there was the abrupt bombshell, u were so happy and then the next moment she dropped it on you. the ending of this r/s was simply very unpleasant, and so this adds to the hurt definitely. i believe u have spent many nites recounting and reliving thosemoments, the words she said, why why why? too many whys.


but in the end, you will get over it. im sorry for this cliche, and as someone fresh from a breakup i might not be the most experienced or qualified to say this, but i have spoken to people with much worst first love breakups and they have all gotten over it. of course no doubt with the passing of time she will always hold a very special place in your heart, being your first love and all. but you wont remember her in a i-want-her way, or it hurts so badly way, but rather thanx-God-for-those-happy-times-which-i-will-never-forget way. hope u reach taht stage soon.


meanwhile, stay strong, cmon man ur awesome and u noe that. from your post i can u are a humorous and confident dude whose just had a rough first breakup. u can do it!


PS: btw, the very reason why i always feel that a r/s after a breakup of a long term, committed r/s when one is still hurting/hasnt gotten over it truly is not good, because of the emotional baggage that still exist. its a lose lose situation, and its unfair to both yourself and your new partner. sth for u to ponder.

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Ha, well I tried to make the post as short as possible, and if I talked about the things I like about her I would have gone on forever. There was so much I loved about her, but thats not really the point of my original post.

But since you asked, she was very smart, but had a quick wit that perfectly matched with mine, fun and cute and not too serious about herself, or into herself. She was just normal and nice and cute and sweet. She had flaws, everyone does, I do. I still loved her for it, although it took a toll on our relationship, and I think played into our downfall, that is why that negative sounded stuff was included in my post, and not so much the positive stuff that I liked about her.


But lately I haven't been thinking about the things I like about her and miss about her, the thing that has been weighing on my mind is my inability to let go of the pain from the breakup. I sometimes dwell on it, and for me its a weird feeling to have these painful emotions while still being involved with someone new. That is my main question. Am I being too impatient and just need more time to heal, and can I sustain a new relationship while still not being 100% healed?


Thanks for your response.

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I understand where you are coming from, but a new relationship can't take away the pain of the past, rebounds might temporarily but you seem like you are going steady with this new woman.

Do you communicate your feelings to your new gf does she know about your history, can you let her in to your heart without making her feel uncomfy in the process.


Are you happy in this relationship?

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Thanks yonanz for your uplifting response. Yea man, I am awesome! Ha, thats funny you said that because I kinda use that as my mantra. Kinda annoys some of my friends sometimes though.


Dusk.. Yea, me and my new woman talk about everything. She knows what happened, like I said we've been friends for 10 years. I often say she is my best friend, and I had some serious feelings for her in high school. I would say I was in love with her, but the growed up version of me knows it was more of a one-sided crush. Apparently though, as I found out a few months ago, she always had feelings for me, but because both of us were never single at the same time, and both of us would never dump a partner for someone else, we just never explored a relationship together.


Its actually amazing how mature and good our relationship is together, on a deeper level. I see now that as much as I loved my ex, our relationship was somewhat superficial in the sense we never talked about serious things, we were both young and immature and not great at communicating our true feelings. My current partner is a very strong, secure, woman. My ex was very insecure, and childish and immature (although I often found her immaturity quite endearing - I can be very immature too. Its fun!). I think I was often passive aggressive towards her issues, as much as I tried to do my best in helping her. At the time I thought we were good at communicating, now I realize with my new girlfriend what real communication is like. It can be exhausting sometimes though! So yea, we talk, she knows, and she has been though some tough breakups before too (although she is usually the dumper so sometimes I find it easier to sympathize with her exes. Although I would never say that to her!). We know everything about each other, like absolutely everything. We hide nothing from each other. Which is quite nice, to not be lied to. Well, my ex never LIED to me (well yes, at the end), but lies of omission can take there toll.


Am I happy? I think I am as happy as I can be to be honest. That is sort of my concern. I am not going into this new relationship from a great place, which is to be expected. I am not as happy as I was when I was with my ex, but that has little to do with the difference between my current partner and ex partner. I was naive and young and willing to fall in love with my ex, thinking that we would be together forever. I had never been dumped before so I didn't know what heartbreak felt like. Now have this, what I feel like, is a permanent scar, a reminder of my heartbreak. And I don't want to carry it into my new relationship, or any future relationship with anyone, but to be be perfectly honest I cannot see it going away, ever.


I have sort of been really lucky in life. I have never really had anything bad happen to me. I can remember joking with my dad after the breakup about how he did too good of a job raising me and I had too good of a life because getting dumped was by far the worse thing that ever happened to me. Sometimes I can rationalize that it happens to everyone, its part of the growing up thing, but man, after 8 months I wish it would go away. Sometimes it doesn't bother me, sometimes it does.

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But since you asked, she was very smart, but had a quick wit that perfectly matched with mine, fun and cute and not too serious about herself, or into herself. She was just normal and nice and cute and sweet.

Fair enough. I ask because a lot of people fall in love with the idea of being in love, more than the actual person they are with . . . especially if it's their first "real" relationship. They want that ideal to the point they will love someone even when it's not reciprocated, which is the impression I get when you said that you think she used you for two years then abandoned you.


Sometimes, some introspection will make you realize that the relationship, while still very important to you, wasn't all that it appeared to be. This can make it easier to let go, as it were.

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You might always have a scar. My fiance was very hurt by his first love, and I know that thinking about how she betrayed him will always hurt, even if he's glad it happened now. It doesn't affect our relationship with each other, and I know he's happier with me than he ever has been.


Here are my questions for you: If your ex called tomorrow and asked for you back, would you go back to her? Would you be seriously tempted? What if you were single?


Even though it might always hurt a little, you need to get to the point where you can truly recognize that she was not right for you, for whatever reason. Ideally, you would reach the point where, even if you were both single, a request to get back together with you would be met with a "Sorry, but I really don't think we're right for each other." You can't put your all into your relationship with your girlfriend until you can let go of the the past...

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I have to say Mr. dd, that despite the conflict you are going through, I am very impressed with your outlook on your new relationship. You seem to be very mature and very respectful about this new girl, and that is something that will only grow in time.


Things might not seem the same as they did with your ex, but if things were, it would only pose the same problems all over again. In time, things will get better and you will feel happier, you just have to give it a chance. You won't ever forget your ex, but it's not fair to compare one relationship to another, especially if only after a few months. In time feelings change and grow. I guarantee you won't feel the same in a years time (if it works out).


You will get over your first relationship, however, you will never truly forget it. It's the memory of how it felt like to love and be loved that keeps us hanging on, and once you can find those feelings again, things will get a lot easier.

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Yea, I honestly don't know what I would do in that situation. But thanks for your story, its good to hear stories about people who have been hurt yet became happy again like your fiance. I mean I know they exist because almost everyone has heartbreak at some point, but still I like hearing of examples.


If my ex came back, bear in mind she is still with her new army guy that she pseudo left me for, I would say "No thanks, I am with someone else".


Since I am a fan of the hypothetical game, I will answer your question. If I was single, different story. Also, in that hypothetical situation I would not accept anyone who came crawling back, I would be too suspicious of their motives. I would just be setting myself up to be her rebound again. If there was a reconciled friendship first, where we could feel each other out and see if we still were a good match for each other, and handled it in a mature way, maybe. I guess my point is I never close the door on anybody, you never know where love will come from. I never thought I would be with my current partner. I was in love with her for years, never thought anything would happen, yet amazingly we got together. Everyone I know is in awe that it finally happened, imagine hooking up with your best friend of 10 years. Its quite an awesome thing. I am with my new partner because I want to be with her, not because I am lonely. I love so much about her, but I still find myself treading lightly in this new relationship...


I think your right I can't put my all into this new relationship like I did with my old one. I definitely had no problem putting all the chips on the table with my ex, like I said, I was young and naive. I had no reason not to go in head first. With the new one I can't do that, at least not now. I don't want to feel bad about that, about not being able to put my all into this new relationship, because that is life and sometimes people go at different paces. It may or may not work out, but if I move at a pace too fast for me it DEFINITELY won't work out. Yet I still wonder if I ever will be able to. I hope I can. I guess its best not to stress out about what may or may not happen, and just live in the present, and see how this new love develops.

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"It's the memory of how it felt like to love and be loved that keeps us hanging on, and once you can find those feelings again, things will get a lot easier."


Wow, that was deep. Great f**king response, your probably right. Thanks for the insight.

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I'm glad to hear you wouldn't just get back together with your ex, no questions asked. It seems like you are in a fairly healthy place there.


Don't get me wrong... the last thing you should do is feel guilty about "not giving everything" to your current relationship. Guilt won't fix anything, and I'm glad you don't want to feel bad. I guess I'm suggesting you should work on figuring out why you can't give it your all. Maybe you are still somewhat attached to the idea of being with your ex... maybe you are having issues trusting your new girlfriend because of what happened... more than likely it's a combination of a few different reasons.


But you seem like a guy that can adequately analyze your own feelings and be honest with yourself. If you can really figure yourself out, you can start to work on the attitudes that are causing you pain, fear, whatever.


Good luck with everything! You'll be just fine.

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IMO you are in no place to start a new relationship as comforting as it may be matey. You have baggage, you are carrying it into your new relationship, and lots of it. Not once have you said you are in love with your new girlfriend, only that you were. As regards your ex, anyone reading your posts would know (including your new girl) that you are nowhere near ready for anything. I think you need more time to heal before enbarking on anything new.


Just my two cents. be careful.

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Well mi-amor, that is sort of my dilemma. I obviously feel I am ready for a relationship, but maybe on borderline ready at best. I am not sure sometimes, and quite sure other times. You are right about it being comforting.


What are peoples experiences with starting up a relationship after heartbreak? Was the first one doomed, or were they able to commit themselves again (and how did it work out for them)? Yea, if any of my fellow ENA-ers can share their experiences with that it would be great for me!



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