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Hello ENA,

I've been a longtime lurker of this page and as I am currently going through a breakup I am looking for some advice on how to move on from my situation. I was dating my bf for almost 8 years, since early college. We essentially ended up breaking up a couple months ago because I wanted to move the relationship forward (marriage) and he coulddn't make up his mind about what he wanted. I was pretty heartbroken about it but I accepted the fact that he did't want to marry me even though over the years he had reassured me that he wanted to and talked about the future.


I went into NC right away to help me heal. A couple weeks after our breakup, he started talking to someone else and got into a relationship with her right away which was hurtful to see. Love really is blind because we had other issues but because I loved him so much, I ignored all the other red flags: being indecisive about any major decisions in life; he lies about big and small things, flirts with other women, drinks excessively; very much a selfish person. I don't want to be with him anymore so I'm not looking for advice to get him back but more of how to move on. I'm more just hurt that he moved on so quickly with a new person and after 2 months of dating; they are talking about moving in together and getting pretty serious. Mutual friends have mentioned that he has been dishonest with the new person about our relationship and how it ended; so not sure what he has told her.


On my end, I have been working out, hanging out with friends and family, just trying to stay busy but at nighttime, when I'm alone with my thoughts; it gets hard to deal with everything that has happened. Seems like he walked away and found happiness with someone else and Im left trying to deal with this sucky situation on my own. I did end up going on a date recently a few weeks ago which got back to my ex through the grapevine, and I heard that he lost his when he found out but I guess it doesn't really matter now since has someone else. I appreciate any thoughts/advice you can give me on my situation. Can you guys share your stories, experiences of what happened if you were in a similar situation? How did you end up letting go and moving on? What happened once you started moving on?

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Best advice? Spot connecting the the grape vine. Tell your friend and other folks connected to him that you don't want to know what he is up to at this moment and they should keep it to themselves. You need space to heal. That means space from information about him at this point. It sounds like you are doing all the right things otherwise. It just takes time. And I understand the hurt of realizing that he isn't the person you thought and hoped he was. That is shocking on top of the hurt. Be kind to yourself. Give it time.

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From a physical perspective, the way you're feeling will only last 3 to 6 months. Emotionally, though, is another story all together. It helps that you realize that this guy is a very bad partner. You can also rejoice in the fact that most likely he'll never be truly happy with someone else and all his relationships will end up failing unless he reflects on his faults and tries to grow/learn (I know this is petty, but it helps when healing).


All in all, there's not much else you can do. The body heals fast, especially since you already know what to do. The brain though, it might linger on for a while.


As for your questions...my first breakup was very hard on me. Last year of college with highschool sweetheart that I genuinely thought I was going to marry and love forever, but thing is...too many little things added up and I ended up a paranoid/jealous mess (reasonably so) and she grew distant as she discovered the joys of single life for a 21 year old girl in college I don't blame her and I forgave her very quickly because it was me who initiated the breakup. I knew it had to end. It lasted too long and only because we truly loved each other. I say now that a lot of needed to happen for us to grow apart and it did. On both sides because we were kids. Anyway, I was in the sh*t house for the first months, but once I decided to consciously react, there was no stopping me. I remember it was one day when I was trying to decide if I should go out and let loose or let this breakup keep defining me and my behavior. That was a very valuable lesson. I was still hurt and sad and heartbroken ofc, but from that night on I decided to do the things that I knew were going to make me happy or at least the things I knew I would regret NOT doing. I started going out more, I relearned how to flirt and how to pick up girls (4 years in a relationship and you can forget how it works x) and I ended up with a couple of rebounds (never promised them anything though) and fully enjoyed my last year in College. I graduated top of my class even though I was barely functional for the first semester.


When I started moving on, the thing that happened and was most enjoyable was all that weight that I was carrying was kinda gone or lifting away. As I said, the breakup stopped defining me. I refused to be that sad guy that lost his girlfriend. I started being more of my old self, but with valuable lessons. I honestly know that the relationship and the breakup was one of the best things that happened to me. In hindsight I was such a kid in so many core things it was a wonder we lasted 4 years (neither of us were perfect though, but I can only control myself). The years that followed were deep on introspection and self-growing. I remained single for 5 years with the occasional fling, but nothing sexual because I knew I wasn't ready to love again and didn't want to hurt anyone - this may have been a mistake, but what is done is done.


What am I trying to say? My first BU was very hard and devastated me, but in the end it prepared me for a better relationship down the road. My last relationship (which it's over - she broke up with me) was the best I've had. We were in perfect harmony, no neediness, no clinginess, no jealousy, no pride issues, we talked about what bothered us. It was a very mature relationship and I 100% know that I was a very good boyfriend - which she told me several times. In the end it didn't work out. She said she didn't feel the same, but nothing special happened. We didn't have any major arguments, no end of relationship fights, no emotional abuse, no physical abuse, etc. She just lost feelings and I kinda forced (again) the breakup because I was getting tired of little things she kept pointing out in the end. From blatant lies to just being trying to fight over the smallest thing, I understood she was tired/bored of me and the relationship - maybe that was the problem, I'm a very stable person in a relationship. I'm loyal AF and I do my very best to reassure my girlfriend that she's the only one for me, she's the best and that I'm proud/admire/love her so very much.


In the end, I think she kinda took me for granted and probably wanted a challenge or whatever. I'll never know. Also, if you're wondering, the sex was amazing. We were very open about our likes/needs and we tried to fulfill them. Honestly, I think it was the sex that kept her from breaking up sooner. We were very compatible though. Same humour, same values/morals/objectives. Only "problem" was we live 50 min away from each other and I was unemployed for 7 months in our 9 month relationship so I could only drive down to see her once a week on the weekends, but we always tried to compensate. We'd spend the whole day together and it was never boring - even though we had many "nap dates" which we loved. Just cuddled together falling asleep to the sound of rain hitting her window.


About once a month she would come to spend a full weekend with me (3 days) and it was also great and served to compensate not seeing each other every day or every two days.


Anyway, this is too long now, but what I'm trying to say is: every relationship and consequent breakup (if it happens) is a chance for you to grow and learn.


What did I learn with this last one?


a) love isn't enough

b) sometimes it's just not meant to be (I was/am a believer in "true love)

c) I get way too defensive when people criticize me - she told me this once and I though she was being unfair, but I think there's some truth to that - even though she was kind picking on little things everyday just for the sake of it

d) believe people when they tell you what they are. My ex told me very early in the relationship that she was very manipulative and more than once told me that "if I ever break up with you..." - I shrugged it off thinking I was special and that she didn't know what a manipulative person is

e) I learned I could love and feel loved again and I found out - after 5 years of being single - that I have SO MUCH to give. I know now that I deserved to be loved properly and I need to beware of early red flags in the relationship

f) I learned you can't save others with your feelings. My ex showed me she was very unstable emotionally early on. She also was very self-centered and selfish in some aspects. She rarely talked as "we". It was always mostly about "her". What she wanted, what she was going to do, where she was going. In her future, there was never a place for me. For example she'd say "I'm going to buy a house a like this" instead of something "I want us to live together in this house" or "I'm going to visit this country" instead of "I'd like to go to this country with you". It might seem small, but it was like this in many things between us. It was always what she wanted above all. She wouldn't think for a second about me or how it would make me feel. She involuntary (I hope) hurt me many times over, but I always let it pass because I learned from previous relationship that you should accept people as they are and love them regardless. I still believe this though, so I don't know what to make of it. Anyway, point is: I loved her so I accepted these little things as quirks - something imperfect in her that I loved. It probably was misguided, but it is what it is. I'm not perfect as well and she accepted me (until she longer didn't), so it's only normal for me to do the same for her. I did everything to ignore continuously red flags: from emotional trauma caused by her parents marriage to the simple thing that she absolutely refused any major commitments (even though she was the one always talking about living together).

g) Being unemployed takes a toll on the relationship and I vow now to never let it happen again - I know it's out of my control for the most part, but I refused a job offer early in the relationship because my gut instinct told me it was a bad call. I ended up being unemployed for 7 months and I could no longer take her on dinner dates or out to special places. We kinda made up for it though. We'd find things we could do for free and every once in a while I had an influx of money and we'd go pass a weekend out of town. I should also mention that she was also unemployed for a long part of the relationship and then she found a 2 hour part time that turned into a full time job many months later, so the dynamic between was about the same. We were both unemployed. Exactly 1 month after she was offered a full time position in the same company, she broke up with me. Don't know how that influenced her feelings towards me but I would be a fool to think it didn't. Try as we might to deny that a man shouldn't provide, I fully realize that a guy without money (even though I tried very hard to make up for it) isn't that appealing anymore.


I think that's enough. It's the first time I talked so much about it and it ended up being a full wall of text xD



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