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incredibly sad over short term relationship ending.


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I haven't dated very many people seriously in my life. I had one long term relationship in my 20s, that broke up due to distance and was long distance for a lot of it. (Started out in person with him having to leave to his home country.) It was intense but easy with the long distance because I could have my space when I needed it, even though we skyped about 3-6 hours almost every day. Then, I got into a bad situation in my later 20s with a man who started out as a fling (not a real relationship) and then turned into an on again off again (years between) abusive toxic partner. Temper, cheating, stringing me along like a yo-yo and I was so "in love" with him and so sensitive/compassionate that I let him do these things. By the time we were official for awhile and living together I had enough. Finally, I got the strength to end it when I was about 34 or 35. I grew so much from this and am way more confident.

Now I'm in my later 30s and I hadn't really dated anyone else, and I decide I'm ready again after two and a half years. This is big for me. I mean I've been in therapy and read books. I meet someone who I think is great. He comes on strong. We date for two months, then are official for two more months. I'm so into him but at the same time I have so much relationship anxiety because I realize I've never had a steady, normal day to day relationship before. I freeze up. He ends it because "we don't talk to each other the way we should and we should be closer by now" and I can't help but blame myself for freezing and being afraid to open up to him or really talk about anything I was scared of, or thinking about, or wanting with him. I passively let myself be in the passenger seat the entire time until he kicked me out the side door. It hurts more than my first break up and it hurts more than my final break up. Because I thought I had grown, was ready for something real, and was finally getting to know someone I deserved. He was great in about every way that matters to me.

We broke up a few days ago. He came over on his way to work and ended it very abruptly. I was in shock even though with my anxiety felt it was coming. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I realize this is self sabotage. We talked the next day and the day after we spent a final day/night together, my idea, because I am bad at letting go so abruptly. We had a lot of fun, laughing, and a pleasant night. Later I asked again for clarification, he repeated he really liked me but just thought we didn't talk enough or easily enough to each other the way two people should who are about to take a serious relationship more seriously. I wish he would have said something to me because I feel like I could have pinpointed it and why, but in his perspective it's either 'there' by now or it's not. I think (because I know me and was aware of my inner thoughts) we could have worked on it. Because he didn't give me that chance, I have to assume he just wasn't feeling into me the way I was feeling into him. I am so sad and I feel defeated. I was more than okay being single; I am so used to being single. I definitely have never needed to jump into a relationship. I know I am standoffish. But having a taste of something nice again and then immediately losing it is sending me on a spiral of heartache, almost worse than any I have felt, and we only knew each other for four months. I really just thought everything was fine, even though I wasn't opening up fully yet. I figured it would come. This is the first time I've spent that much time with someone and yet so little time with someone -- that weird in between area -- where I can't tell if he will miss me or if I'm just another notch in his bedpost, a soon to be distant memory. Do I have the right to be this sad? Is it horrible that I am literally making myself feel better by watching "how to get your ex back" youtube videos just because it tricks me momentarily into feeling less awful? I am sure he isn't this broken up over me. He probably thinks my crying is stupid and ridiculous. I think about dating again and can't. I don't want to be alone but this is horrible, and I don't know how anyone does it. I am too easily hurt, too emotional, too sensitive for this kind of ok I'm here for you / ok bye thing people do to each other.

Edited by lovelystar
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  • lovelystar changed the title to incredibly sad over short term relationship ending.

I am so sorry that it turned out that way.   He didn't feel connected to you but that may not necessarily be about you. 

Maybe there is something to be learned by this.  There is lesson in every relationship ending.

Could you have shared more intimate parts about yourself?  Maybe? But all of this could be written off as a lack of chemistry.  Somethings just can't be explained.  

Please don't be so don't be so hard on yourself and don't take on all the blame.

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So sorry you are hurting so much with this... yes, loss hurts :(.

When you feel so ready.. so okay to get into it again... But, as mentioned above may not all be on YOU.

It takes two, yes.. but if someone is not willing to 'give' or to keep trying, they may not be as into it... sucks! 

And every relationship is different.

I was quickly into someone once (after a good break from relationships).. I think I kinda took to him quite quickly.. then he went distant on me.. and it was like yours (short term).. For some reason the whole experience set me off for a good while - not sure if it was like a 'trigger'?  But was rough....

It sounds like you felt you just couldn't do it?  Open up, comunicate properly, etc?  So, maybe this stuff is something you need to work on a little more?

And by no means.. go looking again for someone else.. (not while you are still reeling from this experience).

I am at the point I have no more 'emotional energy' for this stuff.  I've been on my own for almost 2 yrs and am still not willing to go there.  I may never attempt again.. Has just been too much.

Yes, sometimes, in ways we are broken :(..  which means we need to keep trying to focus on ourselves and to try & work through some things.

Is okay to vent... thru tears.. journal some maybe?  If you have had prof help before, maybe look into that again,

I had 4 yrs ongoing.  It all takes time.

Is never anything wrong with being single.. honestly there are quite a few out there who need that!

 

But take some time... keep on being you ❤️ .  You are a good person inside, you know it.  Someday, you may very well come across someone who will be truly into you as much as you are , them.

One day at a time.

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Sorry this happened. At 16 weeks dating, even if it's seemingly going well, people start to reflect on things.

Frankly, given the abruptness of this, it's doubtful it has anything to do with you.

This whole "opening up" thing makes no sense unless you hid things, refused intimacy or shut him out of areas of your life.

Dating is not a therapeutic relationship or truth or dare game.

It's spending time together getting to know each other.

Unfortunately it seems therapy and self help materials aren't addressing the issues of chronic despondency, chronic guilt, ruminating and self-defeating thinking.

Make an appointment with a physician for a complete evaluation and referral to more results-oriented therapy.

In this case it seems it's about him but used an excuse (that you probably provided for him) to exit.

In general a more positive and less analysis paralysis approach will help you.

 

Edited by Wiseman2
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Absolutely you can be this sad about it, let yourself feel what you’re feeling. 
 

I think, if this person was generally all ‘round a nicer person than the last partner this is a big credit to the work that you’ve done on yourself, your picker is getting better (this is great, keep going). Identifying and connecting with better people is still only part of the puzzle. You’ve got to be feeling them, they’ve got to be feeling you, and dating is a process of feeling that out, it is very normal for one or the other to get a little way in and realise their feeling faded.

There’s another variable I’m paraphrasing from a great blog post (I no longer remember where I read this, maaaaybe baggage reclaim). When you only date someone for a few months, you’re not just left grieving your impression of them on their best behaviour, you’re also grieving the idea that you thought you had found your forever person (because you haven’t dated long enough to see the full price of admission). These two factors combine to make the loss seem extra loss like (when really it isn’t because if this person was meant to be walking with you a while longer they would still be doing so). 
 

Be kind to yourself. Line up some assistance from a mental health professional if you feel like you get stuck on grief and self doubt, they’ll be able to help you work through that. 

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15 hours ago, lovelystar said:

I know I am standoffish

So first I want to echo what 1a1a said - I cannot agree more.  And I would consider whether it's true that you're standoffish - I know a number of people like that and sometimes it's worth the work and sometimes it is not.  And with sparse free time people sometimes make choices.  He said he didn't find it easy to talk to you - I know how that feels from his end, I know how it feels to feel like you're pulling teeth with someone you should be close to.  It's awkward, often stressful.  

Dating requires a very thick skin.  For me dating was worth it (dated people/looked to date people for 24 years during those periods of time I was not in a serious relationship) - because I wanted marriage and the opportunity to try to have a baby.  I know for sure otherwise it would not have been worth it. I know for sure I had to do the work of developing a thick skin and the work was worth it because of the goal.  Other people have different goals in dating but the bottom line is -you decide whether your purpose in dating is worth the work.  

I had two short term relationships in 2003 and 2005 -one was 5 months, one about 4.  The first I was over the moon. He never was.  He ended things right before my birthday and right before what would have been our first mini vacation.  It hurt a lot.  I was in my late 30s.  I was able to mostly resist his invitations to continue to hook up - only succumbed once although we did not have sex thank goodness. But moving on and walking away -best thing I could have done. He met his future wife 6 months later -he, a confirmed former player and bachelor -so I'm so glad I didn't go there with the overthinking of "oh he's just a player he'll never marry".  i will tell you he continued to contact me inappropriately while he was dating, engaged and married to her.  So there's that. 

 

Short term number two -again I was the one over the moon.  I ended things because he pulled the trigger so to speak -he all of a sudden showed me a side of him that showed me he actually still had the disorder he'd referenced and was not going to seek therapy (no, he did not hurt me in the least!).  I reconnected with my future husband 2 months later.  So I'm thrilled I was able to move on quickly because with my future husband timing played a huge role in whether we could make a go of it a second time.

So first decide why you want to date people in the first place - and sure it's fine to be single -you're still single even if you're dating or exclusively dating - it's just a label - but I wouldn't do the whole "being single is better because I have freedom, I won't get harassed, I won't get hurt".  I enjoyed being single.  And at the same exact time I was completely honest with myself that I did not want to be single ultimately -I wanted marriage and family.  I feel freer being married than when I was single.  I don't miss being single even though I had fun and had a busy, fulfilling social life.

I'd also look into why you choose to be standoffish.

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I want to thank you SooSad and Batya for actually hearing me and what I am saying. Telling this story, and having people respond with, "Well, there just wasn't chemistry" feels really like I am being belittled or condescended. I am telling my story and telling my experience, and I am telling you that we got on like fire in the beginning, talking on the phone for hours and hours... until I know I pulled away as he tried to get closer. If he tried to make eye contact with me, I couldn't. If he asked me, "Do you feel loved?" I froze up and wanted to push him away. Not completely, but I just let myself pull inward and didn't want to rock the boat too much and am afraid of getting too close, so just held my breath. I knew most relationships ended at three months, and thought "if I do absolutely nothing to provoke a break up, we won't break up...and we'll get closer later." But we broke up because I did absolutely nothing. He said it was because we were both introverts and weren't pulling each other out enough. 

When I explain this and people correct me and tell me "he just didn't feel that connection with you," I feel like I'm not being listened to and my story isn't being respected.

Again, thank you for actually hearing me.

I can't do better if I just tell myself "it wasn't meant to be," and make no reflections on my anxious attachment style of dating. I don't want to behave again like this, where I'm not even living in the moment but instead worried about the outcome. I retreat inside my head, I stop talking, I don't try to connect, and it ruins things.

Edited by lovelystar
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The one thing that our solo confidence-building forgets to teach us is the resilience we're going to need in order to wade through a lot of bad matches to get to the RIGHT match.

Instead, we believe that our confidence will lead us to the perfect romance fresh from the gate. I'm sooo much better now, sooo improved--then BASH--we get the dose of reality that teaches us that this doesn't mean we are right for EVERYbody.

Your intuition was telling you all along that this was not a guy with whom you felt safe, and the guy picked that up, too. And he was right to point out that the two of you did not enjoy simpatico. It was an attempt to force a fit, and it felt wrong for both of you.

This just means that you'll need to complete your education about natural odds--most people are NOT our match. We can't force a good match--this is a level playing field for everyone.

Hold out for the kind of simpatico you deserve. Someone who 'gets you'. Someone to whom you feel safe whispering your secrets. Someone who views you through the right lens and can appreciate your unique value. Someone with whom you won't need to question whether to reveal your true Self.

This isn't a setback, no matter how lousy it feels. You have not lost your growth, you're learning why it's important to hold out for the needle in the haystack--and why you deserve true simpatico. Without that, an otherwise 'perfect' relationship is just a place to pose for a while.

Head high, and write more if it helps.

 

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IMO if he really felt something for you he would have np sitting down and talked more open with you how he felt, but instead just dumped you and told you after...that speaks volumes about him and how he really wasn't that into it in the first place...this has nothing to do with you...sometime people simply don't connect or feel the right chemistry. You were not a match. There will be a day when you finally meet someone and you both will feel excited about each other, and things flow smoothly. Don't fight it, or blame yourself...it happens to everyone. You just gotta dust yourself off and go forward with head held high.

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I don't know why, but I'm getting increasingly annoyed at every person in this thread telling me that what I know is true (that I shut down with people and caused a rift) is not true and that it was just a lack of chemistry. "He just wasn't that into you" is not the amazing break up advice y'all think it is. 

1. It makes me feel helpless, and this is just a thing that will continuously happen. There is no room for improvement or growth.

2. It makes me feel like the way I behaved in the relationship was completely fine and will work for the next person, when I know it isn't true.

3. It makes me annoyed that people are projecting their own experiences or beliefs onto me and ignoring my lived experiences. I hid things about myself, I never invited him to my apartment, I barely opened up at all, and I could have done any of those things. His words were "we didn't draw each other out, we are both introverts, we didn't bring out the best in each other" tells me all I need to know about that. Maybe a guy MORE into me would have taken the time to work on us, but I don't think it means we couldn't have been better together or that I should have expected it from anyone for any reason. Chemistry is a thing that happens when people are open to each other; it's not some magic spell wizards put on certain people in the world and then they go and find their other enchanted match. 

Edited by lovelystar
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The advice you're looking for would be better coming from a licensed qualified therapist.

First see your physician about the depression, ruminating and anger. Then get a referral to a therapist specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for on going support.

This way you can address self-defeating cognative distortions, feelings and thoughts and replace those with positive productive thoughts and behaviors.

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10 hours ago, lovelystar said:

I don't know why, but I'm getting increasingly annoyed at every person in this thread telling me that what I know is true (that I shut down with people and caused a rift) is not true and that it was just a lack of chemistry. "He just wasn't that into you" is not the amazing break up advice y'all think it is. 

I hear you, OP. 

I think you're probably correct that your own avoidant behaviour contributed to this break-up, and I don't necessarily agree with those saying he just wasn't into you enough to make this work. When you repeatedly shut someone out, they often feel they have little choice to but respect the wall you're throwing up and retreat. It sounds like he did indeed try to get closer to you, but you would not allow it. There's not a lot for the other person to work with, in that case. 

So now, you have to ask yourself if the therapy you've been doing is actually helping. Did you speak to your therapist about this relationship and your desire to pull away? 

 

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So, are you going to enlist the aid of a mental health professional to assist you with your self identified avoidant behaviours? What do you need any of us to tell you what to work on for? You already know what you want to improve, go forth, level up. 

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15 hours ago, lovelystar said:

I don't know why, but I'm getting increasingly annoyed at every person in this thread telling me that what I know is true  is not true and that it was just a lack of chemistry.

It makes me annoyed that people are projecting their own experiences or beliefs onto me and ignoring my lived experiences. 

ok .

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9 hours ago, lovelystar said:

Ah, I wasn't looking for you guys to fix anything, that would be over your pay grade. I'm just venting and looking for comfort / listening on a website called enotalone.com. 😅

I had a sincere response to your complaint about not being heard.  But with the *pay grade mention I'll change my course.

Makes one wonder if there isn't something else to this that you aren't sharing.

Good luck

 

Edited by reinventmyself
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We all tried but you didn’t agree with the perception shifts that ultimately bring healing. 
 

Good luck 🙂

Edited by 1a1a
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14 hours ago, lovelystar said:

I am not trying to be difficult. Understand by the way I am coming from a place of hurt. So feeling like I'm not being heard isn't helping me with that hurt.

maybe stop seeing yourself as a victim. Empower yourself to say, I may be hurting but I'm still kind to others,  I'm healing myself because I am worthy of my own love. I can appreciate what I've been through and when I feel unheard and misunderstood, I take a deep breath and know my feelings are valid and this too shall pass 

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14 hours ago, lovelystar said:

I am not trying to be difficult. Understand by the way I am coming from a place of hurt. So feeling like I'm not being heard isn't helping me with that hurt.

I'm sorry, I know you don't want to hear it, but unfortunately because we're not your therapist and no we are not getting paid, people on this forum will be blunt about things as they see them. Remember too that we don't know you or anything about you and it's actually you telling us your story. And it's from that story that we get the impression we get.

The way I see it is that it's not 100% possible that you were totally closed off and not showing your ex how much he meant to you. Because you were crazy about him and excited to be with him. I'm sure he could see that. You have to remember also that sometimes when people aren't "feeling it" they sometimes don't know what to say or are too cowardly to tell the truth. So they say something to actually blame us for the fact they want to break up. Eleven years ago I was dating a guy for three months. He was pretty busy with two jobs. On Christmas Day he broke up with me by sending the text: "It's hard to see you much because you're too busy so I want to end it." I wasn't busy! I wasn't even working at the time. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because someone gives us a reason when they're dumping us that it's gospel truth.

And yeah unfortunately "he wasn't into you" because ultimately that's the final reason for a break up - the person stops being into you. If someone loves you they would want to give you a chance to change and improve things. That's how relationships work. You talk about issues and if you want to be together, you resolve them. He didn't want to resolve it.

Even if you were too closed off, take this as an opportunity to learn from it and grow and do things differently next time.

No doubt you can truly like (even love) someone in four months but it seems these feelings were more on your part than his. I think the reason why you took this relationship so seriously was because you hadn't had many others. Technically four months isn't that long but you just don't have longer and more serious relationships to compare it to. I had some short term things like that too but I don't even think of them that fondly.

I think you need to really think about what you're looking for in terms of dating. If you want a stable relationship I think you definitely can't waste time on "on and off" things for years. Try to be more open and vulnerable but also remember that even if you do, it doesn't mean the relationship will work out. I'm the least closed off person you'll ever meet. I'm very open, honest, "wear my heart on my sleeve" type of person. But I still had plenty of rejections and heartbreak because some people weren't into me either. Sometimes you need to date dozens of people to find the right one. This man was obviously not the right match for you so you need to keep looking for someone who is.

 

 

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14 hours ago, lovelystar said:

We have different ideas of healing. Self improvement is healing for me. Not passive shrugging and continuing the same patterns.

OK so what are you planning to do differently this time? Maybe you made some mistakes, maybe you didn't, but that's in the past now. Don't keep being angry at yourself and try to forgive yourself. Also the right person who loved you would have allowed you a bit more time to open up and improve. So it's not all just on you. It's not the end of the world. You still have another fifty years to live provided you don't chug wine at the same rate as I do 😂 This guy wasn't: "The one that got away". He's "A" guy that got away. That's what dating is, you date people and you see how it goes. Of course you are hurting and that is very normal, especially because you liked him a lot. Of course you're worrying that you did something wrong. But even if you did then you can learn from it and do better next time.

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I see two things.. 1. He wasnt the one for you. There is someone out there for you that when you two talk, its just going to feel right, its going to click and talking to him is going to feel natural. What you had with this guy was just forced and didnt seem like you two were a good match. You are a lock, he is a key and no matter how hard he tried, just didnt fit. So dont worry about it too much, dont look into it or change anything or go into any deep thoughts about it. Its quite simple.. It just didnt work out. 

Now for #2.. I think the pain you missing is that you built up that the next relationship was probably going to be THE ONE. That the next guy you meet is going to be the one you marry or at least be the one you deeply fall in love and have that perfect relationship. Now that it didnt happen, I think that what you are missing is the illusion of the perfect relationship and not the guy himself. 

Dont change a thing about you, or think you need to open up or be something or someone you are not. You will meet a guy that you click with and you will see just how natural a conversation can be. Its going to happen, just keep an open mind and heart. 

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