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Did I make a mistake?


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I had posted a few times about this situation already in other places on the forum, but I need to post again.


As of like an hour ago, I just broke up with my girlfriend of 3 months. We never really had any problems but recently, I just wasnt into it as much anymore. I felt like I had lost the spark. I was originally trying to wait it out and see if I felt it again or if I was just going through a rough patch and would come around. She called me out on my behavior a little over a week ago, then went away for the week to give us time to think.


We never really had any problems, no fighting, nothing like that, the spark and for me some of the sexual chemistry had just left. I saw her today for the first time in about two weeks and we hung out for a while but of course the talk was coming. And I started talking and telling her how I felt and that I just didnt think it was fair for either of us to stay in the relationship with me feeling this way. I had been stressing over this so much and that was the only thing I could think to say.


It obviously bothered her and she told me that she wasnt questioning how she felt, but of course I have been. She wasnt mad, but she was definitely upset. Either way, I feel terrible. I know I am going to miss her company, but still that spark just isnt really there. Once we talked it was very short, the conversation lasted maybe 5 minutes, she got my stuff, and I left.


Did I make more out of a little issue than I needed to? Was that the wrong decision? I know its unfair to keep her in it while I figure things out, but I just feel so bad right now that I am questioning whether it really was the right thing to do. I was stressing whether breaking up really was the right thing to do, then when it came down to it, I couldnt really say anything else, I just didnt want to hurt her more than I had to and I was worried that staying in it would just hurt her by my inability to really get excited about the relationship.

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On some level I know its the right thing for the way I am feeling right now, and the reason I did it was because I didnt want to keep her hanging on while I try to figure something out that may have ending this way anyways.


But I feel terrible, worse than I expected. I know I will be alright, but I am stuck wondering if I feel this way maybe I was mistaken. I just need to know that my reasons were correct, that I didnt put her through this only to realize in a few days or weeks that what we had was worth fighting for, worth waiting myself out a little longer...

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You always pretty much turned back to this decision. It seemed to be your gut instinct. You've got to learn to trust yourself a little, Mustachio. My guess is if you DID make a 'sudden realization', it would be based more out of your loneliness or fear of another change than anything else.

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I turned back to this decision for a few reasons. First out of respect to her. I knew how unfair it was, and I have been put in a situation before where my ex stayed with me because she was afraid of being alone, and only ended up hurting me worse in the end. Beyond that, continuing on while I am unsure has only caused me stress.


I know that some of it will be out of loneliness, even just the idea that there is someone there to turn to is appealing, even with the lack of that spark. I doubt because I really do like her, and there was nothing wrong with the relationship beyond what I have mentioned. Should I have fought harder?


I try to trust myself, but its so hard, this is the first time I have had to deal with a situation like this. I have only been in one relationship before, and it was so crazy mixed up and I was so dependent on it that my experiences there cant and shouldnt be applied... But I still doubt myself, and I am worried I am going to come to the conclusion that I threw away something good for a somewhat insignificant reason.

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Well, I think you did the right thing given the amount of uncertainty you were feeling. It's clear that whatever was happening was an issue within yourself, so it wasn't something that you could both work on to build a better relationship.


I don't think that your reason could be considered insignificant since it was causing you confusion and distress, so please know that you're doing the best that you can. Whether the issue will remain to be significant in the grand scheme of things and whether you’ve prematurely given up on a good thing will only become clear in time, unfortunately.


What happened was one of three things, I think:


1) She wasn’t right for you.


2) The previously mentioned theories from other threads that you associate the highs and lows of a dysfunctional relationship to be synonymous with love and with the sparks that you found were missing from a stable situation with a mature and available person. You were not ready to find happiness within stability or you weren’t yet aware that this was an issue for you.


3) She was unintentionally a rebound to you. Now that you feel healed and have gotten back in the game, you no longer feel connected with her. She may have been someone that you would have been happy with if you had met at a better time in your life. In hindsight, you probably were not ready to begin dating.


Given what you've described about your relationship, I think it was either the 2nd or the 3rd scenario. Both of them would seem to indicate that although you had nothing but good intentions, it was too soon for you to try to be in a relationship.

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Cadence, Thanks, I know its not insignificant if for nothing else than for the fact that it is causing me distress.


If the reason is your first reason, then this is absolutely the right decision, as much as it may hurt me or her, its something that needs to be done.\


But if its the second or third then I really do feel that breaking it off would be a mistake. But beyond just not feeling that spark, I am also not really feeling the sexual chemistry, which I interpret as part of that spark. Is it possible that the sexual chemistry could be directly related or separate. And if it is the second or third scenario, then there has to be something that can be done to fix the way I feel or think about things.


Whether or not it was too soon, I will continue to search for someone. I may have issues left to deal with from my last relationship, but the raw emotions from the breakup have mostly subsided.


This breakup just feels wrong... I just dont know if it feels wrong for the wrong reasons... if that makes sense. I am very worried that I this is just a big mistake I am making.

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its a little hard to trust yourself and your decision at the moment. based on what you have written it was a mature and considerate action to break it off. perhaps go with it for a while and see what happens. acknowledge your fears for what they are.


if she was one of the many women 'out there' who is a fit for you... i wouldn't think at three months you would be having significant doubts... now if on the other hand you two had been in the relationship for over a year and come to the power struggle stage then that would be an entirely different issue.

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Yes it is hard to trust i made the right decision. I am aware of my fears. I am afraid that I am giving up a good relationship for the unknown. For all I know, I could spend the rest of my life searching for a relationship with someone who I dont get along with as well or chasing that spark only to discover that my expectations now are all wrong. Not to mention the uncertainty of if or when I might find someone else... I still have a bit of a left over confidence issue from before and from my last relationship.


That was also part of my considerations... I am realistic. I know that the excitement you feel at the beginning, the honeymoon stage, doesnt last. It changes to something more stable. And I too have thought that while maybe my feelings are just changing in that way, 3 months seems too early for that, especially considering I have been feeling this way for about a month already. But of course, its all circular and no matter how much I tell myself that this is probably the right decision, it keeps going around to me feeling that this is a mistake.


I talked to her a bit tonight, and I promised her an email trying to more clearly define to her how I am feeling and what Im confused about. I didnt promise her anything one way or another, but maybe after explaining it there will be some ground for more discussion and maybe a way to make it work, or it will further cement for both of us that this relationship isnt right, for now at least. But if thats the case, I will not be dragging it on further than that... as that wouldnt be fair to either of us, which would take me back to the original decision anyways.


Still so confused.

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Mustachio, I might sound rude saying this, but it made me sick to read your post!


This is exactly what I had to go through with my ex. My ex (being in your shoes) and me being in your recent ex's shoes.


When I read your post everything you said was right on the dot of what happened between us. I started to notice that my ex was drifting away & when all was said and done he confess that the spark was gone. We also dated around the 3 month mark. Just everything you said....I almost thought for a sec that you were my ex posting this! lol


What I notice is a pattern, my ex was also involved in a long-term relationship that ended. When I met him (something told me he couldn't be over his ex or at least the healing process of that break-up!) but he was so in love with me & really wanted to pursue a relationship with me. I fell for him! I was single, not recently attached to anyone, I had a open heart! I guess now that I look back we were on different pages. He was looking for someone to fill the spot of his ex (I'm guessing to get over her, move on, fill the loneliness void..etc) and maybe eventually having it become the real thing. I, on the other hand was looking to start a new relationship and had no baggage/problems to drag along with me!


I know he had a hard time letting me go just like you did & was probably dreading the break-up or at least was convincing himself to stay awhile longer to get the spark back....whatever it was I couldn't take his weird distant behavior anymore...I remember being in tears and telling him that although he was sitting in front of me, I had missed him so much because he wasn't the same anymore!


Anyways, I guess my advice to you is to NOT date anyone else SERIOUSLY until you are over your ex! Because doing so, you could be HURTING someone wonderful! In my eyes, if my ex would have met me down the line when he was over his ex/breakup....maybe things would have worked out better. And that guilt that you have is because this girl you dated (assuming that she was normal/wonderful to you) was someone who treated you the way a gf should treat you & you broke it off with her, so now you are stuck with the "What if's?" Unless you woke up on day and she completely change....I'm going to say that you are the one with the problem and you really need to fix whatever it is that is wrong with you (issues left by your breakup!) before getting into a relationship with someone else.


Can you put yourself in your ex's shoes? I would hope that you felt guilty for putting her in the position you did.


In my case and definitely your case according to what Cadence44 posted, you are a #3 for sure! Please don't hurt her anymore, stay single & take time to heal yourself before giving her another chance or going out with anyone else for that matter. You are not ready to date!

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Kelly, thanks for the response. I will try and address a few of the points you made.


First thing, I know that everyone talks about not dating seriously again until you are fully healed. In my case though, my past relationship was almost 7 years, and I didnt start dating this girl until I had been out of that relationship for about 7 months. I know there is no way I was fully healed, but I was past the worst of it, the desire to go back to my ex. If I am to hold off on dating until I am fully healed, its going to be years, and that just sounds like a horribly long time to not be out there trying to find someone for me.


Sure there might be some baggage, but I would be willing to bet that everyone carries some baggage from previous relationships, and I dont know whether this baggage is something I would be able to take of being single or if I just need the experience of dating to learn whats what.


I also didnt plan from the beginning to be in a serious relationship, my original intent was date some people casually and see what develops... and this developed into a relationship. I dont know if I had met her in the future would things have been different. I dont know if I had carried less baggage would I feel the same. Its like I have compatibility with her, but not passion, and if the passion I thought I felt at the beginning was just there because it was something new and different, then im not sure it would have ever developed no matter when I met her. In my case thought I am more concerned about whether compatibility or passion are more important to a long term relationship, and my decision was based on the fact that I need to have both in mostly equal parts, which I just dont.


Of course I feel guilty, but not because I strung her along, or because I rushed into something before I was ready. I did not knowingly try and put her in a situation to hurt her for my own benefit. I just feel guilty because I dont feel the same way right now and it hurt her.... And I apologize if I sound defensive, but to call me out on feeling guilty... I didnt knowingly put her in this situation and I would never intentionally hurt her, and it almost feels as if you are implying I did.


And Im not sure it necessarily is number 3 as cadence posted, and if anything I think its probably a combination of all 3 things. Being ready to date, well its closing in on a year now since the big breakup, and my remaining issues arent about the pain, or about wondering what could have been, my remaining issues are simply trying to find and define who I am and I dont necessarily think that means I shouldnt be dating.

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I have to say, I really think you did the right thing in this situation and you should be commended for it. If you are this wishy washy, it's clear that your heart is not in it and it's time to let go before you date her for a long long time.


At the same time, I do notice that there is some disconnect here in what you say. To a large extent, people cannot necessarily control their emotions. So when you are dating someone and saying that you want to 'date casually' and you 'didn't plan to get serious', I have to say that this is one of those slightly unempathetic statements people seem to make at times. Think of it this way ... you are doing things to fall in love (whether you want to or not). Going on dates, communicating, having sex. So, then you cannot be surprised when the other person develops feelings because, really, that's what those actions lead to over time.


What I'm hearing is that you want to have sex or physical intimacy before you are ready for a relationship. I think that's fine. I think what you have to do in the future, to be honest, is not get into a relationship until you have had enough time to determine if you are ready for one with that person. Really. I think the mistake here was telling this girl you love her and becoming her bf. Of course, ideally, you'd wait until you were healed before dating, which would stimulate you to do things to help you heal faster (like therapy). But we know that's unlikely for most people. So, instead, I would say just be honest, avoid 'titles' and 'labels', and don't go into things until you are really really sure.


The girls with their heads on straight (who want a relationship), won't accept casual with you and move on to a more promising prospect.

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Well thats why I did it, the whole confusion over whether this was right or not was the reason I broke it off, because its not fair to her. The confusion sets back in when i start to wonder whether it was the right thing for me.


I think I should explain that disconnect, my words just didnt come accross right. I just meant that I didnt necessarily go into the relationship expecting to find my wife or anything, just to take things slow at first and see what develops... and we both developed feelings and a relationship came out of it. Whether I was ready for one or not, it happened, and whether we moved too quickly or not, all I knew was how I was feeling at the time, and how I am feeling now.


The thing about waiting to get into a relationship before I was ready wasnt really a factor in my head. I have been in similar situations before this girl since my breakup. I never pursued things to a relationship level because I knew I wasnt ready. This was the first time I felt ready, so we went forward. And I have been doing plenty of things to heal myself, started working out, working on friendships, etc, and I have been in therapy since the breakup.


I still cant shake the feeling that I may have made a mistake... I am concerned that I am hurting myself by walking away from this... but at the same time I need to make sure I dont hurt her more than I already have.

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Do a list of pros and cons and see if one outweighs the other. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Romantic Love Phase! This is the early stage of a romantic relationship where we wear rose-colored glasses and idealize our mate. It ends after 3-5 months or so, and we either see enough potential to hang in there, or don't and leave. Many people throw away real love because they think the romantic love period should last forever. The stages are:


Romantic Love


Power Struggle



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I am aware of the different phases we go through, however, I feel like spark should have lasted longer than it did, I know its not going to be crazy passionate forever, but I am concerned that I am not feeling enough or any real passion. Part of my issue has been trying to determine what the reason for me feeling that way is, then making decisions based on that to make sure I minimize any potential pain for her and myself.



We get along great

We dont fight

We share similar interests

I dont feel pressured to do things i dont want

She is a nice person

We have fun together

... it basically comes down to, we get along great, have somewhat similar interests, and we can be just as happy spending an evening just relaxing and watching tv or going out and doing something else



I am not really feeling the spark, the excitement

Sexually, I am just not all that into her

I find myself having trouble fully fully opening up to her (although this is probably more of my own problem then her... but I dont know)

Location... I am not a big city person and she lives in the city.


The big issue for me is trying to give weight to the pros and the cons. I can think of more pros than cons, but determining which are more important is tough.

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I wanted to also throw in since I seemed to have left this out... one of the other reasons why I doubt my decision is because Im worried that the lack of a spark I have been feeling may also be because I am currently overwhelmed with life. I got a layoff notice a month and a half ago and so far I have yet to even get an interview. I have two weeks of work left. And now it seems I need to either figure out my working situation or try and figure some things out that I have put off figuring out for a very long time. In addition to that, my living situation is very stressful, between dirty roomates, annoying roomates and a very annoying dog that isnt mine, I just cant really come home and destress.


So I worry that the lack of spark I am feeling may be directly related to having to deal with all these other stresses...

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In addition to pros and cons, there's also timing.


I think your statement about not being able to fully open up to her is significant. In the aftermath of a breakup, learning to trust and be vulnerable to a new person is one of the last hurdles to overcome. You can be over your feelings for your ex, you can be ready to move forward, but unless you're willing to give the next person 100% of yourself, you're not ready.


It gives your subconscious a sense of control if you hold back, because you can't get your heart broken again if you don't hand it over.


I feel for your recent ex, but you absolutely did the right thing given how you were feeling.

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I mean I know its probably the right thing, but I just hate that I am feeling this way. I have all these other feelings too and I almost feel that theres something more going on, preventing me from letting myself feel more for her. I feel as if I should feel more. I know I cant force it, but damn this is hard and breaking up really isnt what I want.

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Do you have a friend that you can pour your heart out to? Someone that knows your history with your old ex and also knows the happenings with the new ex?


You might be able to gain more understanding if there's someone who knows all the characters involved and who isn't likely to be biased.

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Cadence, I do and have talked to them... and I have an appointment scheduled with my therapist for friday, which should be good to help me get some perspective.


Unfortunately my friends are always biased, but biased towards my best interests. So far most people have told me that I made the right decision, not only for myself, but for her too. And although I believe that, it just doesnt feel right... and I may be making more of this than I should. I obviously dont want to hurt her, but I cant help but look at things for the long term and my mind brings me back to unhappy scenarios.

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For what it's worth, I have been in your recent ex's position, and you definitely did the right thing. My ex started seeing me when he was not even close to being ready to embark on any sort of relationship -- even just to date, probably -- and the result has been a very, very complicated and sad (for me, anyway) 3 years in which he has drawn toward me and pulled away several times and even gone back to his previous ex once, only to have her dump him again. I wish he'd never gotten involved with me to begin with when he wasn't ready, but the fact that he sent so many mixed signals because he wasn't sure that breaking things off with me was the right thing -- or, he thought it was the right thing then changed his mind -- really messed with my head, and the result is...well...I'm not sure when I will be ready to try to date again as I am still hurting over the whole thing. He didn't break up with me becaue of a lack of spark/passion -- those were pretty huge for us -- but because of the baggage from his previous relationship. The point is, he kept it going WAY too long, when he should have just ended it early on and left it at that.


Trust me, you did the right thing. If you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it. The doubts you are having right now are normal. A lot of it probably stems from the fact that you hate hurting her because she's such a nice girl; that could definitely trick your mind into thinking "Wait! Did I make a mistake?"


Sure, it's always possible that you DID make a mistake, but right now, things are probably too cloudy for you to make that determination. Give it a little time. Perhaps down the road a bit, when the dust settles, you'll have a better handle on whether or not you broke up with her too hastily. If you realize you made a mistake, you can always try to patch things up with her. Of course, there's a chance she won't be willing to do that, but it's the risk you take when you break up with someone, as you know.


Hang in there. You did the right thing.

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I know everyone keeps coming back to saying that a lot of this is because I am not fully over my ex and not ready to date yet... but I dont think thats it, at least if anything its probably only a small part of it.


I also know that this is probably the right thing to do, and considering its already done, I know at the very least I shouldnt even attempt to go back until I am sure, if I ever get to that point.


I am confused, part of me wants to date other people. I have extremely limited dating experience so as far as I know that spark I am looking for doesnt exist. But I would sure like to know if there is a girl out there who is as nice and I have that attraction to as well.


Up until I saw her on Saturday I hadnt seen her in almost two weeks and I was ok with that, we were talking on most days, but I just didnt expect myself to be just as confused and feel this bad after the decision was made, which is making me doubt.


I am still just struggling with this decision and there is a part of me thats still convinced I made the wrong one.

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