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Breaking up with a girl who's done nothing wrong


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Hi, I was wondering if someone on here has any advice that could help me with something I'm finding very difficult. I'm 30, and I've been in a relationship for a bit over 4 years (last 1 year or so living together) with a wonderful girl, M. She is selfless, caring, generous, loving, intelligent, gorgeous, and more. We were totally happy together, we've never had a fight or argued or even raised voices the whole time. She would do anything for me, she's never grumpy or angry or anything less than happy when she's with me. She is my first real love, I was very shy growing up and I only had one other short relationship before M, which finished when we moved to different countries and we both kind of weren't really upset, as we knew it wasn't really working out. So I've never been dumped nor dumped someone in my life, and I've never hurt anybody or been hurt myself (beyond self-inflicted hurt caused by me pining after girls that weren't interested).


It's a long story but I met a girl L some months ago, and over some time I realised that we have the most incredible mental connection, like nothing I've ever had with anyone else, friend/partner/male/female/anything. We can talk for hours about any topic, we have the same interests. She makes me laugh more than anyone I've ever met. It's like she actually understands who I am better even than I do. M obviously knows me back to front after 4 years, but I've never felt that she actually understands why I'm like that. At the beginning with L it was just like two people separated at birth talking to each other, it wasn't really flirty or anything like that. It became more so, but we stopped as it was wrong to go that far. She has made it clear she wants me to be with her though, even now.


During the time L and I were spending time together I became more and more withdrawn and unhappy at home. I love M so dearly that I thought I should forget L and try to be happy without her, but I can't. The longer I go without L the more I miss her. M and I tried having a break by living separately, first me moving out and and now her, but I don't miss her when she's away, I want to but I don't. I feel like M has no faults except that she can't make me laugh or feel stimulated like I do with L, but that's not her fault, she hasn't changed, and everything else about her is just perfect to me.


After beating myself up about it for over a month now that I'm alone (as well as the months I was talking to L) I feel like all I can do is break up with M, I'm depressed, and desperately unhappy and it's all I can think to do. As an example of how selfless M is she has even said to me, "I don't know why I'm saying this, and I love you more than anything, but I don't want you to be unhappy, if you think someone cooler or funnier than me will make you happier than me then you can tell me", but I just burst into tears at that point and said no because it's not about something being wrong with her. I'm so distraught about doing it, I was going through it in my head yesterday and I suddenly vomited. I don't even have a reason to give her, and she is going to be so devastated that I physically just start panicking. Hurting someone to try to make myself happy seems just so totally wrong to me and it's like my brain shuts down and refuses to let me think about it.


I don't even really know what I'm asking. Has anyone felt like this before? How did you deal with it? How can I forgive myself for hurting someone like this? Does it sound like I'm doing something stupid? Thanks so much, I don't like making my first post on a forum to ask for help but I'm feeling so lost with this that I don't know what else to do.

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Well my friend sounds like you are experiencing grass is greener syndrome. A new girl has come along to turn your head and you think the new relationship will be better than the old one. But after 4 years with the new girl I bet it wouldn't seem quite so nice anymore.


You're cheating on your girlfriend and there is nothing nice or noble about that. You're willing to throw away a great relationship with a nice girl for someone new who makes your head spin. Problem is, after the honeymoon period is over, the new girl will have flaws of her own and you may not like them. She's not better, just different than your old giirlfriend now. That will fade.


If you must breakup, come right out and tell the truth and then move on. Don't give her any false hope.


I actually feel sorry for both girls involved but not you.

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It's normal to feel like that before you break up with someone. No one ever wants to break anyone's heart so there's a lot of resistance in behalf of your heart to make you not do it as a defense mechanism—to avoid guilt. But I think that if you think it's gonna make you happy, even produce relief, you have to tell her. It's selfish to breakup with someone but if that selfishness leads to your happiness, you have no other choice but to do it—to you, you must be the most important thing in this world.


It's gonna take a lot of courage to end it but just focus on the things that will go better once it's done. Also keep in mind that she'll also appreciate your honesty. You don't have to give her a reason—since in this case, doing so would only hurt her even more—but just be honest. You can tell her it hasn't been working out in a while and that you both seem to be aware of that. Stop torturing yourself, it's okay to breakup. In the long run, it'll be the best thing for both of you if one person isn't happy in the relationship you've been struggling to keep alive.

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This is true too. When a relationship is sucking, you find someone and you think they are better than the other one but in reality, they might just seem amazing because the relationship you're currently in isn't making you happy.


It would be unfair to L to use her as a rebound so if you end up breaking up, give yourself a breather to make sure it wasn't GIGS, or else, you'll end up causing heartache to everyone involved.


And yes, I agree with Eocsor that you are cheating. As someone who's had this happen to them... It hurts. So I would recommend you do breakup with M if you're not happy. If not, you're just using her. It's just disrespectful to keep on being with her if you feel more strongly about someone else, and in the long run, a breakup is way better (if that's even possible) than actually continue to be cheated on.

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Eocsor: I should clarify that L and I never did anything physical, not even kissing. I know that talking to someone else as much as we did is wrong, but I can't help that now, and in all honesty at first I didn't realise it was heading towards more than friendship. I even introduced M to her thinking she was my friend, and we met as a group a couple of times. At the point at which I knew, I told L we couldn't be like that anymore. It's not so much grass is greener syndrome, as the issue is that I can no longer feel happy when we're together, not because I'm thinking about someone else, but because I just can't help feeling that something is missing with what I have.

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I'm sure people here have been in this situation, or been in M's, or L's situation, and will chime in soon.



It sounds like you want to end your relationship with M, but you're afraid that will hurt her. I think that not ending the relationship, because of this fear, will actually hurt her a lot more than ending the relationship now. As others have said, you are emotionally cheating on L right now, even if you don't mean to be.


Breaking up with someone is a terrible feeling, but you just bear it and get through it. You'll feel bad and guilty about it, but it might be like a huge weight lifted off your chest once it's done. You won't know how you react until it happens though.


I think regardless of whether you actually begin an "official" relationship with L (since you pretty much already have a romantic relationship going) or not, you will break with with M.


You are emotionally cheating on M, but I'm not going to tell you that I think you are a terrible person for it. I don't. I think you're being somewhat silly. Tryptophan said "It's okay to break up," which I wholeheartedly agree with. It's okay to break up. She's totally right that it's okay. But be honest to M and let her have dignity in the break up. Be honest and do it face to face on neutral grounds.

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Eocsor: I should clarify that L and I never did anything physical, not even kissing. I know that talking to someone else as much as we did is wrong, but I can't help that now, and in all honesty at first I didn't realise it was heading towards more than friendship. I even introduced M to her thinking she was my friend, and we met as a group a couple of times. At the point at which I knew, I told L we couldn't be like that anymore. It's not so much grass is greener syndrome, as the issue is that I can no longer feel happy when we're together, not because I'm thinking about someone else, but because I just can't help feeling that something is missing with what I have.


Emotional cheating is painful and a lot of people here have been through that, so they really aren't going to sympathize with you because it was "only physical."


Where you happy with M before you met L?

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I'm definitely not expecting any sympathy, don't get me wrong, I know that I let a friendship develop too far. In my defense now, as I say, I told L over a month ago that we couldn't contact each other like we were, and I've not talked to her since.


I was happy with M before, yes. I don't believe in "soulmates" or there being one right person, so there were things that bothered me but I thought they were minor and I ignored them. I guess I tried to make this (ie feeling like we weren't similar enough with interests and things) the same but for some reason it's bothering me more and to the point that I can't ignore it anymore.


I'm also thinking people have might have got the wrong idea that I'm trying to find ways of getting out of doing anything, but as the title says, I don't want to prolong this. People do break up all the time but I've never done it before so I was just hoping for advice on how to do it so it's as gentle as possible, and there are some definite helpful things here, so thank you for those!

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oh boy.


i experienced nearly the same thing.


long story short dated the worlds greatest guy for over 6 years. girls would have died to have a guy love them like this guy loved me. we were best friends. he had no major faults, but i always knew i didnt want to marry him. tried to break it off few times bc he wanted to marry so bad and i knew we would never be, but it is hard to break something off when no one has done any wrong. i also had never been dumped or dumped soemone either at that time.


a new guy started at work, he eneded up being my partner, and 6 months in i had fell for him. i knew it was something special that i had to pursue. broke up with the bf and dated this new guy. it was def worth it.


i must say though, our story differs cause i knew my great bf wasnt the one and i knew this new guy and i would totally work...

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For advice on breaking up- as someone who has been broken up with-- be honest and be firm. Definitely do it face to face. Give her time to loose it. To cry and ask questions and don't be cruel but be honest. Tell her how she has done nothing wrong and you hate yourself for doing it but you must. Handle whatever response she has with love and try to be as kind as possible without blurring the lines.


You said you live together- are the households completely separate now. If not, get that taken care of as soon as possible. Don't let the logistics of separation keep you lingering in connection any longer than you need too. And don't be a false sense of comfort for her. Don't let it drag out too long. I feel like she may want to talk a few more times after the bomb drops and that is to be expected and I think it is definitely something you should honor and again try to be kind but honest. Then after the logistics of the break up are taken care of and she has asked her questions- do not contact her. Especially to make yourself feel better about how she is doing. You are choosing to leave her life- so let her move on- don't try to assuage your guilt by contacting her to see if she is ok. She will be ok sooner if you leave her alone.


Breaking up is more than ok-- it is the right thing to do if you no longer think she is the one for you. Let her go to find someone that will value her and cherish long term. If you can't do that any longer the cruel thing to do is to keep her hanging on-- letting her go with kindness is the right thing.


Good luck!

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Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side, and it takes meeting someone to make you realize that. Just because someone has really great qualities, doesn't mean they are the right person for you and it seems perfectly possible that you found a better match. It is a shame that you have to break someone's heart, but she also deserves to be with someone who thinks of her the way you think of L.


I was with a perfectly decent guy for 4 years, but deep down I've always had a feeling that he wasn't the one. I was lucky to realise that before meeting someone else, but there was no real reason for breaking up other than feeling that there was someone out there who could understand me better. One year later, that did happen, and now I know I'm with someone who compliments me infinitely better. I have another friend who was a guy for 6 years that treated her like a queen, but it also didn't work out simply because there was a nagging feeling that something wasn't right.

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Using someone else as the backup plan until someone better comes along is gutless. And stringing someone along just because it's hard to break up with them is pathetic. No one should stay in a relationship if they are truly unhappy but as soon as you know that you owe it to the other person to let them go.

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I think some of the responses are a little harsh on the OP. Yes, he's a bit confused, and needs to resolve the situation as honestly as possible (using some of the good advice that has also been posted here), but he doesn't seem like a bad person to me. The tone of his original post is honest and concerned. I'm sure many people have been in this kind of situation.


I do agree that he needs to break up with M, and do that in an honest and straightforward way (as Sugarbeet described so well). And then probably just get his own head clear before deciding what he really wants. It may be that L turns out to be the better person for you, or somewhere down the line you might realise that M was the one you wanted all along - there's no guarantee that you'll be able to have her back of course, but that's the risk you have to take in order to know for sure.


The alternative is to fully commit to M, explain everything to her, and see if there are ways you can communicate better to improve what you already have. L might have turned your head because of things that, deep down, you were already unhappy about with M. They may be things you can improve together, or they may not. It's up to you if you want to find out.


I think the biggest question is whether you feel M is right for you or not. And really this question is independent of anything to do with L. Regardless of anything to do with L, if you feel that M is not right for you then you do have to leave.

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As the recipient of this sort of breakup recently, and having my x not be totally honest/honest with herself about the situation, sucks. She had been distant and talking with other guys, even from another state (we'll call him W), they had gotten pretty close and I knew that she was talking to W more and more often. She slowly distanced herself from me, and it was more or less me not giving her what she wanted/needed so she found it elsewhere. The emotional connection wasn't there as much, and physical love slipped away, she told me that she didn't see a future and didn't want to be unfair and waste my time. I respect her being honest, but she doesn't completely understand how her past actions have caused me to believe that the 'space' she asked for, is so that another guy or guys can try and fill it in. She said that she wanted to be single, see what else is out there, and within a week of BU she had gone on 2 dates.


I am one who believes that severing the relationship all together without ACTUALLY delving into the issues and seeing if there is any chance to recover is not the right action. I told my x that when we broke up, but she is rather stubborn and I could see that she had thought it through. I wasn't going to beg or plead.


Regardless if you love her or not, be honest with her, let her talk and deal with it how she needs to. If she is understanding of the issues and it seems salvageable I would consider the option of taking things slowly and working out the kinks. In the end you're going to do what is right for you, and nobody here can blame you.


Best of luck.

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To you it's all about what's new. you think that just because you met someone who's really interesting and "knows you better than you know yourself" that the sparkle and shine of meeting someone new is always going to be there just like it was there with your current girl, but as time goes on relationships always change and it's what's beyond the surface that counts. She's good to you and she loves you. You have absolutely no loyalty to your woman bro and apparently she's something to be discarded when something that you feel is better comes along. You've already been cheating on her imo.


Never turn your back on people who are loyal and true to you just because you meet someone exciting. That goes for friends as well as lovers. You know why? because they've been with you through both the good times and the bad and they're still by your side. they have proven themselves to be real friends and partners and you're willing to just throw it all away because you are selfish. She's better off without you.

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I suggest you take a look at "Not just friends" by Dr. Shirley Glass. You may think a book about infidelity its not for you, but it explains how easy it is to fall into the emotional affair trap just by encouraging a way too friendly attitude towards someone who is not your partner. How things are not so unique and special as they seem and quite the opposite, very common and predictable.


As some other people here pointed out already, what you are doing is cheating, it doesn't matter its not physical. Emotional cheating can be sometimes worse than the physical one.

Ending a relationship because of someone else will hurt your girlfriend no matter how nice you`ll try to deliver the message. From what I've been reading here, you had nothing missing from your current relationship till this new friendship developed.

Not my intention to sound harsh, but I`m not the one to believe things like "I am not happy with X/something is missing/and so on, but yet did nothing to remove myself from this situation and now Y is all I ever wanted". To me this is rewriting history to make the feelings of guilt go away and look for justifications.

What you`re trying to do is comparing the new and exciting relationship to the one you`re already used to for years. The old one has slim chances to win if you look at it that way.

Being at the receiving end of a similar breakup, I`m way too aware of the hell that such an "incredible" friendship can cause.


I`m not encouraging you to stay with your girlfriend or to break up with her. That`s entirely your call. But to me it looks you`re one foot out the door already and all I can say at this point is just don't drag her more into this mess if you are 100% sure all you can think about and want is the new girl. You should respect her enough to let her find someone who deserves her and can really appreciate her.

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a new guy started at work, he eneded up being my partner, and 6 months in i had fell for him. i knew it was something special that i had to pursue. broke up with the bf and dated this new guy. it was def worth it.


i must say though, our story differs cause i knew my great bf wasnt the one and i knew this new guy and i would totally work...


How long are you and the new guy together now for?

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I agree that people on here are being a bit harsh. Maybe it's cheating or was in some people's minds- he's said he feels bad about it and is trying to figure out a way to right the situation. Try to be constructive and helpful people. We've all been in tough spots before.

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I read through some of the thread, not all of it. It's a long thread, don't have time to read it all. I just want to say that I think there are some very judgemental people on here probably because they've been hurt before and I don't blame them but I don't blame you either. When it comes to physical vs emotional cheating, emotional cheating definitely hurts but people are much more at fault when they physically cheat then when they emotionally cheat. The logic??? You have control over your actions. You have no control over your emotions. Did you choose to have emotions for this other girl? Of course not, you simply met her, you became good friends and you like her very much. This risk is always there when you get into a relationship, you're going to get outside and meet other people and make other friends and acquaintances and you can't prevent yourself from liking other people. Go to you-tube, type in emotional cheating, you're going to find a video with a guy who talks about this and he's very knowledgeable about it. I tend to agree with him.


I believe that if you're in a relationship you're allowed to be close friends with someone else as long as your signigicant other is #1 in your life and you're not acting on any of these outside connections physically. The problem comes when you start falling for someone else to the point where you are no longer willing to make that daily choice of choosing your significant other as is happening to you right now. You have options, you are free to make your own decisions regarding what makes you happy and don't let anyone judge you or call you a cheater for this. If you are unhappy then you cannot make anyone else happy. You can try to save your relationship prior to making any decisions if you feel it's worth a try, go to couples counseling, do things with your partner that made you fall in love with her in the first place or if you know in your heart that you are truly unhappy then kindly break up with her so that she can find a new love. You're not married, you don't have kids, so just follow your heart. It looks like you really do have a connection with this other girl so go ahead and date her if you do decide to break up. Life is all about risk and taking chances. That's life.


I am in a similar situation but not the same as yours. I've been in a relationship for 11 years and developed a crush on someone. In my case I need to use my brain instead of just following my heart. This guy I'm crushing on is no more than a bus acquaintance and face book friend and although he likes me just like that we don't have a romantic connection (except in my fantasies) so my boyfriend and I owe it to each other to work on our relationship and get our love back. If we find that after trying the save my relationship I'm not happy we may break up but not because of this other guy. Many times attractions to other people can by signs that something is missing in your relationship and it's up to you to figure out what that is and try to get that in your relationship or if that's not possible, free yourself from the relationship so you may actively find it.

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Your situation doesn't sound to me like grass is green syndrome as some people say. I had a similar situation - long term partner who is lovely but met someone else. We spoke constantly every day. This person became my best friend and i clicked more than I ever had with anyone. It had nothing to do with the grass being greener but everything to do with connecting and I fell for this person in a big way... For four years I had the most amazing amazing experience and connection but because it felt wrong to hurt others etc and me rejecting this person in that way, they let me go. Now I am the most heartbroken I've ever been - it's gone and boy will I live with regret for a long long time. My advice is not to sacrifice your happiness for someone's else's because in the long run you'll live with regret and your partner will be unfulfilled because your heart won't ever really be in it. All I can say is I wish I had my time again because I'd have left my partner to start a more fulfilled relationship and now all I can do is know that this person lost their love for me whilst mine still burns as strong as ever and that hurts.

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I've been cheated on, and trust me, it hurts. But here, he's doing the right thing because AT LEAST it hasn't gotten physical. It's harsh but it could be a lot worse and I can see how dumping her now would be a lot better. Just be honest with her, man.


Whatever you do, don't go into the relationship so quickly with L, have some mercy for M. I know what that's like and the pain is unimaginable, and you'll feel a lot better about yourself if you're actually nice about the breakup.


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There's 12 steps to a breakup that I wish I would have known before.

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