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Moving on from my long distance breakup

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I left my girlfriend of a year and half because I was unhappy doing long distance to the point that it gave me major anxiety. However, I regret leaving her but she's dating someone else now and I can't seem to move on.


Long version (if you have the time please read this):


So, I was in a relationship for a year and a half with this amazing girl. We met in February of 2017 and dated till about August 2017. Then came the time for me to move abroad to study for a 2 year masters degree. At this point I decided to break up with her because I had done long distance before but it wasn't for me. The break-up lasted for 3 days before we talked again and we both decided to give it a go. So following that we did long distance for almost another year (until July 2018).


The year that we did long distance for was a rollercoaster of emotions. Every time we met I felt like the happiest man on Earth. However, we had some slight issues. Such as, her not being to keen on moving abroad and me wanting to spend a couple of years abroad to work and explore. Eventually she warmed up to the idea but I still felt unsure about her wanting to move here. We also missed each other a lot which meant I was feeling sad for the most part because I missed her, and then also had a lot of stress from the coursework that I had.


The sadness and issues of long distance and my masters had given me so much anxiety that every day I woke up I felt miserable and I would always tell myself that I felt this way because I was in a long distance relationship. No matter how much I tried to think otherwise, my mind would eventually take me there. But I loved her and I kept going through it. However, like I said, in July we broke up. I initiated the break-up and it was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do.


In August I went back home for a 1 month holiday and in that time we met quite a lot. I was also seeing a psychologist for my anxiety because I had started to get panic attacks sometimes (something which I never had before). I know that it probably wasn't the best of ideas to meet but if it wasn't for the distance then we had no other problems and we just wanted to see each other.


She asked me multiple times to get back together and a part of me wanted to but another part of me just kept remembering how I felt when I was away and this just triggered my anxiety even more. So I decided that it's best not to get back together, at least until I finish my studies.


We had agreed on this but a week after leaving again she had a change of heart. She told me that she didn't want to just be friends and that I had to choose either getting back together or never speaking to each other again. At this point I was starting to feel calm again but this had just brought back all the anxiety I had. Once again I couldn't handle it and I told her it's best we stay broken up.


The first 2-3 weeks were fine, I felt calm and thought I made the right decision for myself. However, around 4 weeks later I started to miss her. I went on Google and looked for advice and everywhere I read that you should just ride it through because missing your ex at this stage is normal. So I tried doing that for a couple of weeks but it wasn't working for me.

So basically we cut all contact in mid-September and apparently in mid-october she had met someone and started to see this person. She told my friend that she still loves me and she's just hanging out with this guy to try and forget the pain.


Then, in the first week of November she had her birthday. I found out on her birthday that she was dating someone because I asked a friend if she thought it was a good idea for me to say Happy birthday to her. My friend gave me weird excuses as to why I shouldn't do that and I quickly realized what the real reason was. I was devastated, I had to leave work because I couldn't stop crying and I started to get a panic attack in the parking lot of my job. But I was thinking to myself "why are you feeling this way? You left her and she gave you multiple chances to get back together back in August and even a part of September". However, I still felt a lot of sadness. I still wanted to speak to her and so I sent her a Facebook message wishing her a happy birthday.


She immediately replied and we had what I thought was a pleasant conversation. I actually felt hopeful again and told her that I'd like to speak with her more often and that I missed her. Everything seemed fine, until the next morning I realized she had blocked me from Facebook and Instagram. I was hurt and confused. Why not just tell me to not speak to you? Why did you have to block me? I understand that I hurt her when I left her but I didn't leave her to be with someone else or for some stupid reason. I ended the relationship because it wasn't good for me mentally. I expected a bit more compassion I guess.


Anyway, after that I felt okay for 2-3 weeks. I thought to myself, well she doesn't want me speaking to her and so that's it. But deep down I was still sad. Every morning I woke up sad and I sometimes cried at night because I just missed her so much. And in the 4th week (so beginning of December) I spoke to her again, this time through my "last" means of communicating with her, over WhatsApp.


I basically spilled my heart out to her. I told her how much I loved her and that my anxiety had gotten great better of me before and I was literally willing to do anything to get her back. Remember how before I said I wanted to work abroad for some time? Well I was willing to just go back home immediately after my masters. This may not sound like a big deal but I've been wanting to work abroad for years, way before I met her, so me wanting to give this up to be with her was a big deal to me. However, she told me that it's too late.


She told me that I had taken that decision and that she had given me plenty of chances back in August but I put her in second place and she didn't deserve that. She proceeded to tell me that this new guy makes her happy and she feels happy now so I should just move on.


Even though this hurt, in a way I felt calmer after seeing that. I was feeling distraught because I missed her and I was thinking that there might still be a chance for us and I was going to lose it. But now that I saw what she said, all hope was gone and maybe I could start moving on.


My issue is here, I can't seem to really let go. I try to fill up my time but I'm honestly so busy with my masters that I spend all my time either studying or working to make some extra money. I go out once in a while but not so much because I don't have much time. I always wake up in the morning feeling sad and missing her deeply. Sometimes it hurts so much that for a brief second I just wish I didn't wake up. Then during the day I feel "fine" although sometimes I catch myself fantasizing about her. Usually it's not fantasizing sexually, but more just about conversations that we had. How she used to smile, how I felt when I could just cuddle up next to her and all my problems seemed to disappear. Then I it hits me that it's over and I just feel sad. Sometimes I feel that my mind is f***ing with me because I won't think about her for a whole day and then at night I'll dream about her and it's always some sad dream. Like dreaming about finding a way to go to the past and stop myself from breaking up.


Also, something else which kind of bothers me is how fast she seemed to move on. In August and September she kept telling me how much she loves me and that it's going to take her a really long time for her to feel better and even think about dating. However, a month later she was able to do so and i can't even think about talking to another girl because it just reminds me of my ex and how much I love her and miss her.


What can I do to help myself and move on? It's been almost 3 months now and although admittedly I feel myself getting better, I still get moments where I'm just so sad and I miss her so much that I don't even know what to do.

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Sorry to hear this. You did the right thing. 2 years ldr is unsustainable. It will still hurt now and then and there will be some moments of nostalgia, but as you point out, overall you are doing better.

I was unhappy doing long distance to the point that it gave me major anxiety.

Then came the time for me to move abroad to study for a 2 year masters degree.

It's been almost 3 months now and although admittedly I feel myself getting better.

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I think it's not HER, but your anxiety that's making you fixate on her as the solution to all your problems. Remember you were having anxiety attacks when you two were still together? So thinking getting her back would fix all that is a fallacy.


What are you doing to deal with your anxiety, panic attacks and excessive crying? Are you seeing a doctor? A counselor or therapist?

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I've seen a psychologist that showed me some coping mechanisms for my anxiety (such as breathing exercises) but after a few sessions she (my therapist) told me that she doesn't think that I needed to go anymore. Also, I didn't get panic/anxiety attacks when I was with her. I actually started to get them after we broke up, the first time when I broke up with her, then twice when I was kind of pressured to give an answer and the fourth time when I found out she was dating already. The crying came in "waves" were I'd be okay for say 2 weeks and then suddenly there is just one week were I started to miss her excessively and the slightest thought or memory about our time together would upset me because I felt that it was my fault that things are the way they are now.


I still kind of feel that it's my fault and that maybe I should have kept trying but then again my anxiety was crippling me and I didn't even know what it was back then.

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You had something like 5 or 6 threads where you talked about wanting to break up with her. Like, over a year or more.


Why do you suddenly think it was a mistake?


Again, I think you have a mistaken belief that she can "fix" or relieve your anxiety. That's a big burden to place on someone.

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I don't think she will fix my anxiety. I have to fix my anxiety. It's true that I posted multiple threads before, like I said I was struggling with doing an LDR but I loved her and I wanted to keep trying. Fact is that I still love her and I miss her. Anyway, I just wanted to vent here and maybe get some replies which can help me, but I would never put that burden on her or anyone else for that matter. I know it is my issue to solve.

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yeah stop the contact.

stop thinking about her

move on.


you just need to commit to it, spend your energies and commit your mind to somethign else - and it will happen for you. doesn't mean you won't have phases where you think about her - jsut actively minimize those and remind yourself to stop and think about something else and it will get progressively easier.


hang in there.

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