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Short Term Relationship Ended - Struggling to Move On


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Some background - I've known this guy(29 M) online for about 10 years. We were never really close for most of it - mostly superficial gaming circles. In Jan. we began playing daily as a group in a game. Talked a lot on the side just - joking around. He's funny, charming, and sweet. One night in Feb. I reached out to him and said I liked him and gave him my number. We then began texting and talking DAILY. The first few nights we talked until 4 in the morning. It got intense - VERY QUICKLY(I love you's were said by both side and HE talked about moving in and even marriage and holidays very early on).


Downsides on him:

-He lives 4 states away

-He has not had any real steady employment in ever - the only job he had he was an orderly at a hospital until he was about 24-25. He became very ill and had to move back home with his mother and has not attempted to work since he recovered.

-In talking with him he seems to have pushed every real friendship he has had away - he keeps people at arms length. He tends to "ghost" on people for months at a time and says he will just need space and then suddenly reappear as if nothing happened. So ostensibly he had no "in life" friends. What he had were all online and sort of surface level - aside from one close friend who was a woman who had at one point had feelings for and lives across the country.

-He is incredibly morose, unambitious, and just bitter about his current life affairs but has no real desire to fix it -- not even basic like "I want money for video game, I need a job".

-Has NEVER had an adult relationship and as far as I can tell has never really tried or attempted to date. He did say he tried OkCupid but he was never successful. The last relationship was when he was 19 which ended when he got her pregnant and then ghosted on her(she did not have the baby as far as I know). In comparison I've had two adult, long term relationships where I've lived with my partner and we broke up after it just was not working.


All of this - I know is just "no - run the other direction. nothing good will come of it". I have a steady career(31/F). Nice apartment. Friends. A life. But he was very sweet, he was considerate, he was actually very communicative during the first few weeks. Didn't get jumpy or weird when I would voice concerns or want to be upfront about boundaries. It was really refreshing. I thought despite all of the above he seemed a pretty even-keeled guy and we gelled really well. I thought - ok let's so where this goes. As I said it got intense quickly and he just seemed so excited. I thought - well since we're LDR - why don't you come out sooner rather than later and let's see how this is and visits in the beginning of April for 5 days. He was awkward. Unaffectionate. A bit detached. After a few days though it was really nice. We just hung out and had a great time. good conversation and physically got better, and I was excited to see where this went. He went home and was radio silent which was odd. I left him be thinking he was tired but was pretty certain he was 'done'. The next day confirmed my fears. We had 'the talk' - he said he just wasn't feeling it. There wasn't a "spark" despite are really good connection. He said he realized he didn't want any relationship in general. Didn't want to deal with anybody at this level. and just couldn't see being fulfilled sitting in my apartment and not being able to contribute monetarily. I said I understood and wouldn't force anything that wasn't there and wished him well and said goodbye.


I've left him alone since then - but I'm really struggling just moving on. I was so excited by the prospect. And I know in the harsh light of day when I look at the facts - where were not a great match despite some of the other emotional connections. But I'm still smarting from it. It hurts. I miss him. I miss talking to him most of all. Tl;DR - Looking for tips on moving on from short but intense relationship

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The short term relationships can be harder to move on from IMO. The reason being, you don't feel as much closure and you haven't seen the relationship "run its course" the way you would have expected. You'd think that certain issues that split a couple up would be obvious to both, but in this case you couldn't get the relationship off the ground in the first place and its probably left you with a lot of questions about what you could have done better. And in the back of your mind, wondering constantly what could have been, maybe if this or that were different


Without wanting to be cliche here, you will need to give yourself closure. Take a little time to grieve and process what happened, and then make a decision about your version of the events. Decide for yourself what went wrong - for whatever reason, this guy was emotionally unavailable. Maybe you decide that's because he has mental health issues, or maybe it's because he is just immature (Peter Pan Syndrome). Whatever it is, if you give yourself a little time, I am sure you will find a reason that satisfies your logic and the circumstances of your situation. Hold onto that, accept it without feeling a need to change it, and let yourself grow from it so that when you see similar signs of it in others in the future, you can avoid those people

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I think for obvious reasons it's good that the relationship ended; however, I get why it's upsetting. I've had many short-term relationships which were very hard to get over. I think it was mostly because that dream I had in my head was shattered. Also, the rejections was such a blow to my ego. I had a lot of negative self-talk afterward. "Why don't I have what it takes?" "I'm too good for him. Why doesn't he feel lucky to have me?" "How could he let me go?" on and on.... What I've come to realize is that a relationship ending makes room for a new and better relationship.

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Thanks for the responses - I usually don't jump in like this. This was all pretty new territory for me. The last two relationships were people I met through friends. Lived nearby. We dated and then it was serious(so... "normal"). He said a lot of sweet things and as I said was actually wonderfully communicative -- so traits I hope to find in a new partner -- but I know that happens when people want to get some[which frankly whatever - we had a good time there too]. Again - breaking it down he was a mess emotionally and as far as I can tell always kind of has been. I think as the weeks have gone on it's more that I just miss our friendship - and I hope one day to reforge that but I'm thinking it's unlikely. Which is the bummer part. And that's where I'm grieving the most -- along with the lost fantasy. He talked A LOT of big talk about marriage/moving in/even planning upcoming holidays -- none of which I initiated or even participated in. All signs that should have said to me 'no - he's not ready' and slammed the brakes. I'm trying to just chalk it up to a nice fling -- he wasn't as into it as I was -- and that's ok(that pragmatism is hard at this point -- but kind of the mantra I keep trying to tell myself everyday).

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I am also in the same boat. My ex and I ended 5 months ago, after being together for 3 intense months. I'm still struggling and I really just want him back but he is now with someone new. All I can say is that you are not alone, and short term relationships are truly the most hurtful. All the dreams you were excited about, suddenly gone. Try to stay in the moment and know that it's for the better. If you see all his flaws now, you will still see them if you are together. It seems like you haven't messed up as much as I did, so maybe you can still talk to him as friends.

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