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My ex and I met online and had a serious relationship for two-and-a-half years. I work as a lawyer in Asia (age 32) and he works as a freelance graphic artist in the US (also age 32). We were surprised to find out we both had the same ethnicities and since meeting, we never stopped talking/video-chatting everyday. This was my first time experiencing a long-distance relationship (LDR) and this was his second, for context.

 

I know this part may seem sickening to hear... but at the first year of our relationship, we constantly expressed to each other how our connection was like none other. We were both artists and found creative ways to express our affections for each other online. Chemistry was the best I've ever experienced in all my 32 years. Everywhere I went, he was with me. Everyone in my life, he knew. We talked about our dreams, our vulnerabilities, our lives, our pains, everything.

 

During the span of the relationship, I visited him twice (1 month per year). I got along really well with his family and friends. He and I did new things together, traveled a lot, and even exchanged promise rings. A few months later, just as he was saving up to come visit me, he broke up with me.

 

Now, during the seven (7) months leading up to the break-up, our relationship was strained. We argued a lot. Both big and petty things. (I wanted him to visit me as well and meet my family. I wanted to see him actually save up money from his freelance job and show me how our relationship could surpass the online world, etc.) At the time, I felt like I was truly in the right and did my absolute best to be transparent and healthy in communicating. As amazing as our connection was, he seemed to have had difficulties with money, finding a career, and sustaining the vision for the relationship on a 'realistic' level (bridging the gap.) During 2 separate occassions, I admit I lost my temper and said some hurtful things because he would stonewall me or immediately discontinue the conversation. He was able to pick up a job serving food at a bar to help with savings, and I was very supportive.

 

In truth, he tried breaking up with me once before he ended things, but we always managed to "work through it" hours later or the following day. Perhaps we were codependent without knowing it. There was a good mix of both happy days and bad days, until the bad days became the majority. There was no cheating or abuse involved, but resentment and emotional distance.

 

The day before we broke up, he said to me that although he noticed I did everything "right" towards the end (we were no longer fighting), his heart was no longer in it anymore.

 

When we had a "closure" talk, I asked him what I did wrong to improve upon. He said that the 3 things which stood out to him during the last year were:

 

1. I made him feel like he was not enough/he didn't do enough,

2. My emotional outbursts got pretty overwhelming for him, and

3. My insecurities manifested in ways that made him question if our values were aligned.

 

He also said the distance made things worse, and upon long introspection, he needed to learn how to exist outside of a relationship and stop seeking validation from one (get his '****' together). He said he could no longer reciprocate the things I willingly did for him, and that I ultimately deserved better.

 

It was a swift break-up. He just told me very calmly that he didn't want to be in a relationship anymore and that he was no longer happy. I was anxious. I begged and pleaded immediately after (I know, super wrong move) but I truly did not want to lose him. He was my bestfriend and I told him that our conflicts should make us stronger as a unit and not fall apart. But he simply told me to respect his decision, especially since it was the "hardest decision" he ever had to make, for himself.

 

I went No Contact a week after our break up (05 June 2019). I was a wreck, grieving from the trauma, but I knew I had to respect his decision.

 

He reached out to me 2 weeks after No Contact only to say: "I hope you are being kind to yourself. Please remember you are whole."

 

The following day, (I initiated the conversation) we asked each other how we were doing. He said he was struggling emotionally because he felt like our connection truly was amazing and that he "genuinely missed and still misses" me "very much".

 

Seeing that we were doing okay with the communication so far, I sent him a video (like the ones we used to make for each other) where I wrote the words: "It's still you" on a whiteboard. *cringe*

 

He replied coldly, "Thank you for sharing your truth." He also asked me if talking to him was good for my healing. My anxiety got to the best of me and I ended up apologizing for the video and asking him if he had completely lost feelings. We told each other how we would love each other 'forever' and have given each other the best days of our lives.

 

But what hurt the most was that he told me he wouldn't reconcile with me at all... and even if the future was uncertain for reconsideration, he was neither "hoping for, working towards, or considering" us being together in the future. I was devastated. It had been almost 4 weeks after our break up, and his decision was still the same. I was back to square one, crying again. I eventually asked him politely not to reach out to me anymore to which he agreed. This took place 8 days ago. Yesterday, he unfollowed me on social media and deleted our pictures together.

 

Is it completely over for us at this point? 😞 I still truly want him back. If this is no longer an option, how do I move on?

 

(Please be gentle?)

Edited by mecastillo1987
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Most likely, he has chosen to search for (or has already found) someone he can see more than 30 out of 365 days a year.

 

A screen and a voice on a speaker is no substitute for a live human you can hold and hug and actually interact with in person.

 

At some point, anyone would get tired of not being able to do those things.

 

I would imagine you want that too.

 

I'm sorry for your pain. But it's really better to meet someone you can see in person regularly.

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I'm sorry if I sound patronising, but I just don't really understand how basically a 98% online relationship can be "serious"? I understand that you can still get to know each other through messages, video chatting, phone calls and so on. I can see that you can still know that you have a lot in common, such as the creativity you shared. So that part was real. However, as far as calling it a serious relationship, or even an actual romantic relationship, I wonder whether you could actually call it that. To me it seems more like a friendship.

 

You did share the common interests and perhaps emotional connection, but with spending only very short amounts of time in person in 2.5 years, I don't think you could have truly known each other.

 

To really know someone I think you need to spend significant amounts of time together. Months, if not years. The problem with predominantly talking online and meeting only briefly is that you have a very one-sided view of that person. You don't see how they behave in everyday situations, don't see their attitudes towards everything in life, how they are around all their friends and family. You simply don't end up in enough situations and events with that person to see what they're really like.

 

E.g. imagine if you talked to someone online and they seemed lovely. Then you go on a date in real life and they start acting really stingy about spending money on the date. That's not something you could have known online because it's a very closed off environment. Do you see what I'm getting at?

 

I do understand why your ex decided that he didn't want to continue being "in a relationship" with you. After 2.5 years he probably realised that he needed more from it. I think connecting online can be good for a friendship, but for a romantic relationship it's just not enough. You need to hold, kiss, hug that person and actually spend time together face-to-face.

 

I know that you wanted him to visit you in Asia and to start thinking about your future together. But obviously he was not actually in love with you or see a future with you. If he did then I think he would have at least made an effort to visit you in your country.

 

May I ask why you had a 2.5 online relationship? Are you not able to meet any men where you actually live? If you're an artist, do you not meet other creative people through your work or hobbies? Or even online dating to find men in your own area?

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I can sense this being the most possible realization for him too. I always brought up the possibility of closing the gap with him for good but we also knew it was going to be incredibly difficult and would take a huge sacrifice. Perhaps I'm being foolish and stuck in the fantasy, but I was sincerely willing to put in the work for us and relocate for him. Thank you for being direct and kind with your advice and thoughts on the matter... I just wish I knew how to keep moving forward after having invested and poured so much of myself into us...

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It's alright... I do understand how this may not seem like a real relationship to some people. I've been in 4 different serious relationships throughout my life (two of which I lived in with my exes) and indeed, nothing beats having that person with you physically. It's a feeling I cannot describe. I wish I knew how to. I'm not after money or citizenship. I'm genuinely in-love with him as a person.

 

Though brief, we spent as much time as we could together and always made it a point to be true and show each other our "not-so-attractive" sides (farts, fights, weird habits, etc.) It still felt organic, yet for a limited time.

 

I grew up living in different places since childhood (my parents worked for the government) so I have quite a bit of monochopsis. English is my first language, and having been exposed to so many different cultures during my formative years, dating locally can be a bit of a challenge, although still pleasant.

 

Thank you for your input on the matter and helping me see things through a different perspective.

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Starting a relationship as an LDR, you now see it takes so much longer to find out a person doesn't match you in all the major ways. His lack of financial stability is something important to you, and apparently not to him. If this was a local guy, you would've probably found this out by month 6.

 

When you feel the need to nag someone, as you did to him to have him save to come your way, it means the relationship isn't right for you. You nagged him because you wanted him to change to suit you. He has the right to be who he is, and you have the right to walk away because you will only be happy if he changes, and most people don't change in major ways like this.

 

The first mistake you made is putting in effort twice to see him before waiting for him to reciprocate in a timely manner. Because as the saying goes, "Your feet take you to where your heart is." His didn't, either because he doesn't care enough, or perhaps he did but isn't a logical person and didn't have the foresight of thinking how he couldn't afford a LDR, because yes, in person visits are necessary.

 

It will take you 3 times longer to find a longterm partner if you're going to continue with LDRs. He is not your match. Take this as a learning experience and date locally.

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That does make complete sense. We always talked about it 4 months into the LDR, and I genuinely felt like he saw things the same way I did. It wasn't until much later when I didn't see him initiating talks about wanting to meet my family and friends too that I began getting worried... I appreciate your advice. Thank you.

 

I'm struggling now with... rebooting my system. Having enjoyed this connection, however online, in all aspects of my life for 2.5 years... He was constantly in my ears and head... (phone = home/work/everything in between) it felt like easy habit to simply reach for a piece of technology and connect to someone. It's as if I needed to install a completely different OS in my body now just to function through the grief. 😞

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That does make complete sense. We always talked about it 4 months into the LDR, and I genuinely felt like he saw things the same way I did. It wasn't until much later when I didn't see him initiating talks about wanting to meet my family and friends too that I began getting worried... I appreciate your advice. Thank you.

 

I'm struggling now with... rebooting my system. Having enjoyed this connection, however online, in all aspects of my life for 2.5 years... He was constantly in my ears and head... (phone = home/work/everything in between) it felt like easy habit to simply reach for a piece of technology and connect to someone. It's as if I needed to install a completely different OS in my body now just to function through the grief. 😞

 

It's understandable that it hurts but really I think you need to be careful in thinking that something is a serious relationship and imagining there is a future. I'm sorry to sound negative but you seemed sure there was a future and you barely even spent any time together in real life. I think you were viewing the whole thing through rose-coloured glasses. A relationship takes so much more than just talking. You simply can't build that in only two months in real life. And he had never met anyone in your country or visited your life at all.

 

Are you scared to meet men in real life? There must be some reason why you pursued this and closed yourself off to all other men. When I used to do online dating, I had men from overseas message me and I didn't reply because I didn't think a long distance relationship was going to work. I preferred to focus on men I could be with physically.

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These oncreen things never work. You need to be able to interact with someone physically on a regular basis. The relationship was a fantasy.

 

Find someone local that you can have a real relationship with.

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That does make complete sense. We always talked about it 4 months into the LDR, and I genuinely felt like he saw things the same way I did. It wasn't until much later when I didn't see him initiating talks about wanting to meet my family and friends too that I began getting worried... I appreciate your advice. Thank you.

 

I'm struggling now with... rebooting my system. Having enjoyed this connection, however online, in all aspects of my life for 2.5 years... He was constantly in my ears and head... (phone = home/work/everything in between) it felt like easy habit to simply reach for a piece of technology and connect to someone. It's as if I needed to install a completely different OS in my body now just to function through the grief. 😞

 

But doesn't having someone in your actual physical presence sound more appealing? Or maybe you prefer the impersonality of electronic communication because you can avoid actual physical and emotional vulnerability?

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I've been with other men in real life. Two of my earlier relationships were for 2 and 4 years, respectively, living in. My circumstances are perhaps different. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up living in different places since childhood, relocating every 7 years to another continent, so I have quite a bit of monochopsis. Having been exposed to so many different cultures during my formative years, dating locally has been a bit of a challenge (there's a sense of feeling limited to connecting with me completely) although it is still pleasant.

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Yes, I would truly 100% always prefer actual physical presence. I took a chance. After having dated locally and truly engaging in actual relationships, meeting this ex (both online and in person) just felt like I had finally met the one that 'fit' my personality like a glove, just with the wrong circumstance of distance. Sure, there may have been an easy sense of novelty with the convenience of connecting to someone easily over the phone... and there have been plenty of success stories in today's digital age... I suppose I just took a leap of faith, hoping he was feeling the same way. 😞 But I was wrong... and it's been the most painful heartache for me to date. 😞

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But what hurt the most was that he told me he wouldn't reconcile with me at all... and even if the future was uncertain for reconsideration, he was neither "hoping for, working towards, or considering" us being together in the future. I was devastated. It had been almost 4 weeks after our break up, and his decision was still the same. I was back to square one, crying again. I eventually asked him politely not to reach out to me anymore to which he agreed. This took place 8 days ago. Yesterday, he unfollowed me on social media and deleted our pictures together.

 

Is it completely over for us at this point? 😞 I still truly want him back. If this is no longer an option, how do I move on?

 

I know it hurts and you want us to tell you that the two of you will possibly get back together, but he answered your question. Believe him. He means it.

 

In order to move forward, you need to wake up and decide every day that you are going to try to fall out of love with this person. It may take a long time before you are not in pain anymore, but chasing him when he's made a firm decision will not help matters.

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It is over. He told you he would not reconcile. Take time to let yourself heal...it will not be easy, but you can do it. Don't try to contact him; this will make things harder.

 

You can get over this by putting one foot in front of the other. Exercise. Spend time with friends and family. Read books (not romances). Turn off the television and do things.

 

In the words of the AMAZING Carol King:

"You've got to get up every morning

With a smile in your face

And show the world all the love in your heart

Then people gonna treat you better

You're gonna find, yes you will

That you're beautiful as you feel."

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Yes, I think this is over for good.

 

What was a mostly-online relationship lost its appeal for him and he noticed incompatibilities. He likely realized the logistics of continuing would be incredibly complicated, and his interest level was no longer high enough to try to work through it. You also admit he tried to end it once before; this is a man who really did have one foot out the door from that point on.

 

It is for the best that you cannot connect with him on social media anymore. You don't want a front-row seat to his life as you watch him move on. That would hurt even more than not being in touch. It will sting for a while. Let yourself grieve and heal. Date locally next time.

 

I am curious, though, what sort of hurtful things you said to him when you were frustrated by the distance? Can you elaborate on what happened here? "I admit I lost my temper and said some hurtful things because he would stonewall me or immediately discontinue the conversation."

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Unfortunately, he made it pretty clear it was over. It seems you were way more invested than he was.

 

He didn't make the effort to visit you in your country. You were willing to move to his country. Did he ever offer to move to your country?

 

He wasn't willing to move to your country which would have made more sense since you have an established career in law and he worked freelance.

 

I agree with the others to date locally as you can get to know someone much easier in person than online.

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Sadly if he had wanted to close that gap, he would have made more of an effort. I think a part of you knew that he wasn't which was probably causing division and anxiety.

 

My husband and I met thru a playstation game and we've talked for 6 months. Out of the 6 months, 4 of those months he decided in order to move to my city he had to get out of his little town in order to find work. So he moved to Las Vegas and started working two to three odd jobs to save up and move to my city. Everyone thought he was crazy including me but here we are three years later and doing fine.

 

Date however you want to date... just know when to spot a dead end. You can have the best chemistry but if you both aren't willing to put the work and effort, be willing to accept that it's not a glove that fits you.

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Thank you, sincerely. I had a good cry last night after posting this.

 

Will it be a good idea to text him saying that I understand his decision more now? And sincerely wish him well in life?

 

It's been over a week of No Contact. The last thing I said to him 9 days ago was, "May I kindly ask you not to talk to me anymore?" to which he agreed. I know it hurt him a bit, because he preferred that we ended things on good terms. It's just that I was in so much pain from the rejection after our last conversation with him saying we needed to move forward with our lives. (I was still in denial at the time.)

Edited by mecastillo1987
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You are still in denial.

 

Honestly, you are hoping if you reach out he'll say he made a terrible mistake and ask for another chance.

 

I say leave it. You can't move forward if you keep looking backward.

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Yes. A huge part of me thinks it might not be a good idea to say my piece. This thread has been immensely helpful at helping me see things from his POV and from a more logical standpoint.

 

The thought of reaching out stems from my sincere wanting for him to feel at peace with his decision. I know how much inner turmoil he tends to deal with (in terms of his guilt, self esteem, and confidence.) Perhaps seeing that I'm okay and accept things a bit more now will help him cope better? Come to think of it, I know it should be the least of my concerns at this point.

 

I guess I've succumbed to the idea that perhaps... we'd be better off as friends... distance and all. Not now, but maybe in a year's time or somewhere farther down the road. He is a genuinely GOOD person that I wouldn't mind keeping in my life still, even as a 'distant' friend. Although maybe I need to completely heal first and feel 100% whole again before doing so. I could just be saying this now because I particularly feel strong today.

Edited by mecastillo1987
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What has he said in the past few days that proves he is having difficulty "coping" or feeling guilty?

 

You are looking for excuses to contact him, which proves you are not yet in the place where you can be fine with being "friends".

 

The true test is...how would you feel if he told you he's dating someone else, maybe someone local? Would that hurt?

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What has he said in the past few days that proves he is having difficulty "coping" or feeling guilty?

 

When we last spoke, he told me he was doing okay physically, but was struggling to cope emotionally and practice self-compassion. But also that he was just trying his best to remember the 'reasons' and keep moving forward. "Head down, watching my feet", as he put it.

 

Yes, ofcourse it would hurt if I found out he was with someone locally. I wouldn't beg for him back or make a scene out of it though. I've resigned to the fact that the distance is too much for the both of us to overcome.

 

But point is taken, I should focus on my healing and keep to myself.

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He is a genuinely GOOD person that I wouldn't mind keeping in my life still, even as a 'distant' friend.

 

Not good for you when you find a new partner. How would you like it if a guy you were dating was staying touch with a distant friend he once wanted as a lifetime partner and was crushed when she ended it? Take yourself out of cyberspace and get yourself out into your local world.

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