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My boyfriend of 3 years suddenly broke up with me after a small argument but our relationship was good?


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My (now ex) boyfriend and I had an argument, which to me felt minor. For days following this, my boyfriend was being cold with me. I found this strange and had a feeling there was more to it. I drove to his to speak to him, otherwise he would of continued to avoid me. When I got to his, my boyfriend said he needed “space” and “to think about things”. He said he isn’t sure whether we are compatible and how we have different interests. This came out of nowhere, we had been together for 3 years and suddenly we were on the verge of breaking up. He said he didn’t know whether this relationship was right… I said deep down you know what’s right and I can’t wait for you to decide whether you want to be with me or not because it’s not fair on me, so, let’s go our separate ways. he said he didn’t want to upset me, which to me implies he has been thinking about breaking up with me. I have spoke to him since and he has gave me multiple reasons: you want commitment and I don’t think this relationship has been good enough for me to think that it could work for long-term, I don’t think we would stay happy and healthy, we have different interests - when I ask what interests he can’t back it up, you want commitment and I’m not ready for that. I can only assume this is because he is a big extrovert and a socialite, whereas, I am introverted but we were like best friends and had a great relationship. I’m not a big drinker whereas he often goes out drinking. I just don’t see the enjoyment in going out drinking and coming in at 3am multiple times a week - he would get back from work and then go out. My point is, I’m really hurt and I don’t understand how this has all stemmed from a minor argument. he was my best friend and boyfriend of 3 years, last week we were talking about going away for my birthday, today we are cut from each other’s lives like I never mattered - I just don’t understand why this has suddenly happened and my ex’s reasons all seem to vary. An outsider’s perspective would be appreciated. 

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  • anon2021 changed the title to My boyfriend of 3 years suddenly broke up with me after a small argument but our relationship was good?
28 minutes ago, jjohnson said:

 he has gave me multiple reasons: you want commitment and I don’t think this relationship

he often goes out drinking. I just don’t see the enjoyment in going out drinking and coming in at 3am multiple times a week - he would get back from work and then go out.

Sorry this happened. It seems he picked a petty fight as an exit. He wants a commitment to and relationship with booze. 

You dodged a bullet. Dealing with an immature heavy drinker would have been nothing but headaches and heartaches.

You've probably argued about the partying before as well as his lack of commitment.

 Now you are free to find a decent man whose priority is a relationship with you, not getting drunk with his friends most of the time.

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@Wiseman2thank you for replying. We’re both 21 so I completely get the whole wanting to make the most of your youth and spending time with friends, which I always let him do without complaint (unless it meant he was hardly seeing me) and coming back at 3am. I think you’re probably right, I don’t think he wants to face growing up and thinking about committing to someone but I just wonder why did he wait 3 years to break the news and why now… he is able to carry on with his antics and go out drinking, although I believe he’s hurting too I don’t think he is half as much as I am

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@MissCanuckwell… I had picked him up from a friend’s house, where he had been drinking. He wanted me to stay up and watch a film but I wanted to go to sleep… he then began saying how I always go to bed early, I never go out drinking with him, how other couple’s go out drinking together and how it might not be important to me but it’s important to him. Although he was basically calling me boring, I tried to rectify things the next day - I said now I know I’m happy to go out with him more and that’s when he began giving me the cold shoulder and was reluctant to sort things. he has mentioned this before, saying how I never drink with him but I personally don’t enjoy drinking for the sake of it but I will here and there. Would that really be a deal breaker if you loved someone? I just wonder why has he broke up with me now and not before? I don’t know whether to buy the commitment reason although I do feel he has always had commitment issues due to his past - I have always felt like he planned his future but I was just there for the ride, he never wanted to guarantee anything, it was always “if we stay happy” whenever I mentioned anything far future related 

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1 minute ago, anon2021 said:

. he has mentioned this before, saying how I never drink with him but I personally don’t enjoy drinking for the sake of it but I will here and there. Would that really be a deal breaker if you loved someone?

I don't think it's the lack of drinking, in and of itself, but rather the growing feeling inside him that you two are very different to the point of being incompatible. He's in his hard-partying stage, it seems, and wants a girlfriend who is more similar to him. You are right not to change yourself to suit him, to be perfecty clear, and well within your rights to not enjoy going out and getting wrecked all the time. However, it does mean that you two are leading very different lifestyles. 

 

4 minutes ago, anon2021 said:

it was always “if we stay happy” whenever I mentioned anything far future related 

You are both very young and have dated since you were about 18, I gather? My guess is that he is nowhere near ready to commit to one person forever and has thus put off much talk of big future commitments. He knew on some level that he wasn't done exploring yet. 

 

8 minutes ago, anon2021 said:

I just wonder why has he broke up with me now and not before?

That's anyone's guess, really. Maybe (probably) it'd been building for a while inside him, maybe someone else has caught his eye out at the bars, maybe he just realized he couldn't continue when he didn't feel the same way anymore. Why he chose now to end it doesn't really matter, at the end of they day. 

I agree with @Wiseman2 that he likely staged this fight as a way out of the relationship, though.  People who have difficulty with being honest and respectful often manufacture conflict rather than sitting their partner down and plainly saying it's time to say goodbye. He also gets to feel like less of the "bad guy" if he can somehow make this your fault, which speaks to his lack of maturity. 

I am sorry this happened, though. You must feel quite bewildered by all of it, and it will take time to work through your feelings. 

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42 minutes ago, anon2021 said:

We’re both 21 so I completely get the whole wanting to make the most of your youth and spending time with friends, which I always let him do without complaint (unless it meant he was hardly seeing me)

How often was this happening?

You said he was going out direclty after work, multiple nights a week, and not coming home until the wee hours. So when did he make time for you and your relationship?

 

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1 hour ago, anon2021 said:

My (now ex) boyfriend and I had an argument, which to me felt minor. For days following this, my boyfriend was being cold with me. I found this strange and had a feeling there was more to it. I drove to his to speak to him, otherwise he would of continued to avoid me. When I got to his, my boyfriend said he needed “space” and “to think about things”. He said he isn’t sure whether we are compatible and how we have different interests. This came out of nowhere, we had been together for 3 years and suddenly we were on the verge of breaking up. He said he didn’t know whether this relationship was right… I said deep down you know what’s right and I can’t wait for you to decide whether you want to be with me or not because it’s not fair on me, so, let’s go our separate ways. he said he didn’t want to upset me, which to me implies he has been thinking about breaking up with me. I have spoke to him since and he has gave me multiple reasons: you want commitment and I don’t think this relationship has been good enough for me to think that it could work for long-term, I don’t think we would stay happy and healthy, we have different interests - when I ask what interests he can’t back it up, you want commitment and I’m not ready for that. I can only assume this is because he is a big extrovert and a socialite, whereas, I am introverted but we were like best friends and had a great relationship. I’m not a big drinker whereas he often goes out drinking. I just don’t see the enjoyment in going out drinking and coming in at 3am multiple times a week - he would get back from work and then go out. My point is, I’m really hurt and I don’t understand how this has all stemmed from a minor argument. he was my best friend and boyfriend of 3 years, last week we were talking about going away for my birthday, today we are cut from each other’s lives like I never mattered - I just don’t understand why this has suddenly happened and my ex’s reasons all seem to vary. An outsider’s perspective would be appreciated. 

Carefully read everything you wrote, and realize that all the answers as to why he ended it..are in what you wrote.

You had compatibilities, and not small ones...quite big ones that were starting to get in the way of your happiness, and his happiness.

The things you mentioned, were definite deal breakers and would not work for long term.

Logically speaking, he did the right thing in ending it.

Speaking from the heart and from the ego...it's very painful to lose someone and to feel like it was easy for them to let you go.

I don't think it was easy for him to come to that decision, personally...I think he more than likely thought it out quite a bit before he came to that conclusion.

But I do think if you looked at the logic side of it, it did make sense to end things.

You both needed different things, you were both going in different directions and neither of you were having your meets fully met and only accepting different from what you actually wanted.

Your loss will be hard, and yes, you will mourn the loss.

But it won't last forever, and you will heal and move on.

Just give yourself time, be gentle with yourself. Don't take it personally and think it was you, or that there is something wrong with you.

There is nothing wrong with you. You are loveable, you are valued, and you are worthy.

You and he are just going in different directions.

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22 minutes ago, anon2021 said:

I had picked him up from a friend’s house, where he had been drinking. . I never drink with him but I personally don’t enjoy drinking for the sake of it but 

You're too smart for him. He'll end up with cirrhosis, ED by the time he's 40 and brain issues and you'll find a much better guy. Never chauffer anyone.

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@MissCanuck@SherrySher you’re both right - what you’ve said definitely hit home but it’s true and what I needed to hear. I think a part of me is just in shock and unable to accept what’s happened because despite the evident incompatibility we did have a great relationship, and although I was sharing similar thoughts deep down (which are hard to remember at the minute because I’m hurting) re his heavy partying, drinking and not being hopeful towards a future together or committed enough to me, because I love him I was willing to make it work and also hoped that this is just a stage in his life.

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3 hours ago, anon2021 said:

I have spoke to him since and he has gave me multiple reasons: you want commitment and I don’t think this relationship has been good enough for me to think that it could work for long-term,

This has not stemmed from one argument.. sounds like he's been stewing over this for a little while... he just finally spoke up.

Fact is, he does not see it lasting long-term.

sadly, your differences are too large 😕 .. And one cannot 'fake it' for long.

Sorry.. but it happens.  Was best to admit the truth , so you can both work on accepting what is, heal & move on.

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I mean, he is kinda right. He wants somebody casual who would go out drinking with him, watch a movie with him at 3am after etc. You, from your own words, are not like that. You want commitment, safe harbor. Somebody who would go out with you, stay home with you and somebody who you wouldnt have to pick at 3am from friends home. He cant give you that and you cant give him what he wants. So, at current point, you are incompatible. I say "kinda right" because its not really a good life. Sure, 21 is young age, but to go to work then go out drinking until 3am muiltiple times a week is not really a life anybody who is in commited relationship should tolerate. And what you shouldnt have tolerated either. Because from your own words, you are not like that. 

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This type of boyfriend is all you know. I think with time you'll realize he did you a favor by breaking up, because you haven't had enough dating experiences to know a happy relationship involves so much more than caring about someone. 

Can I ask if you have a fulfilling life besides having a bf? Even if you're a homebody and introvert, make sure you have hobbies and interests outside of having a bf, and also enjoy friendships with girlfriends. If you don't, it will become smothering to your partner.

One thing you assumed and hoped for is that a person might be going through a youthful and temporary stage. It could be true, but never count on that when deciding to continue dating someone. It's too high risk. Best to think that what you see is what you get and not hope for change. Only be in a relationship when you don't want the person to change in a major way.

Most people aren't okay with their partners going out drinking several nights a week and coming home at 3 a.m. If that's their hobby and addiction, leave them to that toxic life. 

Take this time solo to really think about what type of man you want for a lifetime partner. Write down the traits that are must-haves and traits that are dealbreakers to make it more clear for yourself. One day when you're ready to date again, stick to that list for your own good.

Pamper yourself now as you enter another stage of your life. It'll take a while to get through every needed stage, so be realistic about this. Going no contact with him will help you get closure sooner than if you stayed friends. Take care.

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There's a huge range between staying home all the time and going out drinking half the night regularly.  I've never been drunk.  I drank very little when I was in my teens and 20s but I went out dancing a lot to lots of really fun clubs, never took illegal drugs, never had casual sex and had loads of fun.  Stayed out late quite a bit. 

In my early 20s I had a boyfriend for a couple of years who drank too much but yes I tagged along with him very often and we had a good time.  He decreased the drinking some after a party where because he was drunk we both almost got into serious trouble. 

Here's the thing though -from what I know he struggled with alcohol issues well into his 40s.  We're in our 50s now and I think -I hope -he's ok with that situation.  Not everyone can stop in their teens/20s and it sounds like your ex boyfriend is a hard core partyer. 

Socializing need not be about getting drunk or staying out all night.  I used to go to parties, to the theater, the opera, to game nights with friends, karaoke, out to dinner, sometimes dancing, comedy shows, movies, cafes, etc.  None of us were heavy drinkers in our 30s.  We all had fun.  Sometimes my boyfriend at the time would have a night in with me too.  Or he'd go out with out me and vice versa.  A balance.

I would probably not expect a guy in his 20s to want to be home all the time with you but you need not sign on to getting drunk on any regular basis.  That's not fun -seems really boring after awhile actually.  

I think he used the argument as an excuse. I'm sorry but when one door closes another one opens and i hope you find someone you have more in common with.  All the best to you.  

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I am sorry.  You are understandably very hurt and it does seem like wow, after 3 years you're just cut from each others life.  It is a shock. 

Take some time. don't talk to him, even if he contacts you, for a while.  You're more likely to say things out of hurt and fear.  Neither are helpful.

Fear is a big part of the pain of breaking up.  And until you give it time, you really can't know how you feel and what you were so afraid of...

One of the things I thought about when reading your post, is your ages.  As painful as it is, right now, it's common for first loves and relationships to end.  The other thing is, you might be over romanticizing or only seeing what was working.  Both are common.  You love the guy. 

But what about what as not working??

That's why it's good to give it some time.  In a few weeks, you may find, you agree-- you aren't that compatible.  That the daily contact etc was habitual not really because you were growing together. 

If you are not into the party lifestyle, you probably will be happier with someone that is also not into drinking.  You just can't see that right now.  You are blinded by pain and hurt feelings.

The truth is, he has probably been thinking about this for a while and he used the argument to end it.  If it wasn't this argument, it would have been something else.  So don't beat yourself up.  He had time to process all of this and come to a conclusion

It is hard to end things.  Even when you know it's the right thing.  It hurts you and it hurts  to know you hurt the other person.  Should you be mad?  Yes.  He broke up with you.  Is he the lowest of the low?  Probably not.  There is no good way to end it.  But telling you and talking about with you, is probably as good as it gets.

Going forward, as @andrina mentioned, focus on yourself.  Stay away from him for a while.  It's hard to do because of your emotions.  But try to not be lead by your emotions. 

You will get through this and you'll meet someone better.  Don't let him jerk you around.  Accept the break up and keep it a clean break.  It's the breaking up and making up that will really mess with your head and heart.  

It's going to be ok.  Lean on your friends and family.  ❤️

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8 hours ago, Andrina said:

This type of boyfriend is all you know. I think with time you'll realize he did you a favor by breaking up, because you haven't had enough dating experiences to know a happy relationship involves so much more than caring about someone. 

Can I ask if you have a fulfilling life besides having a bf? Even if you're a homebody and introvert, make sure you have hobbies and interests outside of having a bf, and also enjoy friendships with girlfriends. If you don't, it will become smothering to your partner.

One thing you assumed and hoped for is that a person might be going through a youthful and temporary stage. It could be true, but never count on that when deciding to continue dating someone. It's too high risk. Best to think that what you see is what you get and not hope for change. Only be in a relationship when you don't want the person to change in a major way.

Most people aren't okay with their partners going out drinking several nights a week and coming home at 3 a.m. If that's their hobby and addiction, leave them to that toxic life. 

Take this time solo to really think about what type of man you want for a lifetime partner. Write down the traits that are must-haves and traits that are dealbreakers to make it more clear for yourself. One day when you're ready to date again, stick to that list for your own good.

Pamper yourself now as you enter another stage of your life. It'll take a while to get through every needed stage, so be realistic about this. Going no contact with him will help you get closure sooner than if you stayed friends. Take care.

Thank you @AndrinaI agree, once I come to terms with the situation I think I will see why I am better off.
 

I have friends, go to the gym and have just finished a nursing degree so I do have my own life but as much as I love going out and doing things, exploring new places, frequently going out drinking doesn’t appeal to me. 

Your advice re not relying that this is just a stage of his life is very true too. A part of me always had a fear it might not be as his dad is often out drinking too. 
 

I will do just that, thank you. We are still speaking here and there at the minute, a part of me thinks it’s best to block him on social media because seeing what’s he’s doing will upset me, especially if another girl comes into the picture, but another part of me wants to know what he’s doing too. What do you think is the right thing to do? 

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6 hours ago, Lambert said:

I am sorry.  You are understandably very hurt and it does seem like wow, after 3 years you're just cut from each others life.  It is a shock. 

Take some time. don't talk to him, even if he contacts you, for a while.  You're more likely to say things out of hurt and fear.  Neither are helpful.

Fear is a big part of the pain of breaking up.  And until you give it time, you really can't know how you feel and what you were so afraid of...

One of the things I thought about when reading your post, is your ages.  As painful as it is, right now, it's common for first loves and relationships to end.  The other thing is, you might be over romanticizing or only seeing what was working.  Both are common.  You love the guy. 

But what about what as not working??

That's why it's good to give it some time.  In a few weeks, you may find, you agree-- you aren't that compatible.  That the daily contact etc was habitual not really because you were growing together. 

If you are not into the party lifestyle, you probably will be happier with someone that is also not into drinking.  You just can't see that right now.  You are blinded by pain and hurt feelings.

The truth is, he has probably been thinking about this for a while and he used the argument to end it.  If it wasn't this argument, it would have been something else.  So don't beat yourself up.  He had time to process all of this and come to a conclusion

It is hard to end things.  Even when you know it's the right thing.  It hurts you and it hurts  to know you hurt the other person.  Should you be mad?  Yes.  He broke up with you.  Is he the lowest of the low?  Probably not.  There is no good way to end it.  But telling you and talking about with you, is probably as good as it gets.

Going forward, as @andrina mentioned, focus on yourself.  Stay away from him for a while.  It's hard to do because of your emotions.  But try to not be lead by your emotions. 

You will get through this and you'll meet someone better.  Don't let him jerk you around.  Accept the break up and keep it a clean break.  It's the breaking up and making up that will really mess with your head and heart.  

It's going to be ok.  Lean on your friends and family.  ❤️

Thank you @LambertI appreciate your advice and support. I agree with everything you have said, it’s helping me see things more clearly. 
 

I have still been talking to him here and there at the minute, I think it is best for me to go no contact now. I don’t know whether to block him on social media - a part of me finds comfort in still having him on there and being able to see what he’s doing but it also brings me a lot of anxiety incase I see something I don’t like. What do you think? 

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1 hour ago, anon2021 said:

Your advice re not relying that this is just a stage of his life is very true too. A part of me always had a fear it might not be as his dad is often out drinking too. 

Then he's grown up with this as his norm. He might tone it down some as he grows up more, but it's likely to stick as his lifestyle if Dad has always modeled the same behaviour. 

 

1 hour ago, anon2021 said:

don’t know whether to block him on social media - a part of me finds comfort in still having him on there and being able to see what he’s doing but it also brings me a lot of anxiety incase I see something I don’t like. What do you think? 

I think blocking him would be smart. As you already said, you are eventually going to see something that hurts - whether it's him with another girl, or just him out whooping it up and having fun without you. You are not going to want a front-row seat as he moves on, trust me on this. 

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17 hours ago, anon2021 said:

My point is, I’m really hurt and I don’t understand how this has all stemmed from a minor argument.

It hasn't. As you sensed, there's more to the story. I wouldn't be surprised if, years from now, you found out that he cheated. But, that's not even important right now. The important thing is, this relationship is over. 

17 hours ago, anon2021 said:

He said he isn’t sure whether we are compatible and how we have different interests....

He said he didn’t know whether this relationship was right… 

you want commitment and I don’t think this relationship has been good enough for me to think that it could work for long-term, I don’t think we would stay happy and healthy, we have different interests - when I ask what interests he can’t back it up

He wants out. And frankly I think that's the best case scenario for you. This is a guy who goes on benders three times a week, and you're not good enough for him? What a joke.

You can do a lot better. Three years is enough with this dude. Don't waste any more time.

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5 hours ago, anon2021 said:

Thank you @LambertI appreciate your advice and support. I agree with everything you have said, it’s helping me see things more clearly. 
 

I have still been talking to him here and there at the minute, I think it is best for me to go no contact now. I don’t know whether to block him on social media - a part of me finds comfort in still having him on there and being able to see what he’s doing but it also brings me a lot of anxiety incase I see something I don’t like. What do you think? 

So glad to help..

No contact is the way to go. I know it's really hard to block on social media. but I also know the worst thing you can do is look at his social media or 'talk here and there.'

Sporadic contact and social media keeps you connected and your heart wants that connection. But! you need to be logical and strong, not emotional and wishy washy.

Keep telling yourself you are better off. Anyone that dumps you doesn't deserve access to you.  You're not sayng he can't eat. Just not at your table. You know?

block him and keep going on with your own life.  he may ask you why or even pick a fight over it. let him and that's when you show you're strength and say, I need MY space. it's not about you.  Be cold.

Make everything you do, about you and your life.  Getting yourself to the next chapter.  The chapter after the break up. And the fastest way there is cutting all ties and communications with and about him.  

It is hard. I won't say it's not.  but nothing is more attractive than a strong person. Focus on that and some new cute guys will find you. 

This is not the end for you.  You'll meet someone else and have a lot of other experiences with guys and relationships.  Keep this in perspective. is it sad?  yep. is it the last guy on earth? no. ((((hugs)))

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1 hour ago, Lambert said:

So glad to help..

No contact is the way to go. I know it's really hard to block on social media. but I also know the worst thing you can do is look at his social media or 'talk here and there.'

Sporadic contact and social media keeps you connected and your heart wants that connection. But! you need to be logical and strong, not emotional and wishy washy.

Keep telling yourself you are better off. Anyone that dumps you doesn't deserve access to you.  You're not sayng he can't eat. Just not at your table. You know?

block him and keep going on with your own life.  he may ask you why or even pick a fight over it. let him and that's when you show you're strength and say, I need MY space. it's not about you.  Be cold.

Make everything you do, about you and your life.  Getting yourself to the next chapter.  The chapter after the break up. And the fastest way there is cutting all ties and communications with and about him.  

It is hard. I won't say it's not.  but nothing is more attractive than a strong person. Focus on that and some new cute guys will find you. 

This is not the end for you.  You'll meet someone else and have a lot of other experiences with guys and relationships.  Keep this in perspective. is it sad?  yep. is it the last guy on earth? no. ((((hugs)))

@Lambert that’s all so true, thank you very much. I blocked him on social media this afternoon, seeing him post photos out with friends like he’s having a great time without me just feels like he’s rubbing salt in the wound, even if it might be unintentional. 

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49 minutes ago, anon2021 said:

@Lambert that’s all so true, thank you very much. I blocked him on social media this afternoon, seeing him post photos out with friends like he’s having a great time without me just feels like he’s rubbing salt in the wound, even if it might be unintentional. 

Good for you. It does feel like that.  You are highly emotional and hurt right now. Give yourself compassion, just as you would your friends.

Believe it or not, he is effected by this, too. he is trying to prove he is OK, too.

that's another reason to block. he's taking care of himself and all that... let him and stay out of it.

When there's a break up, you become none of either other's business. 

Just know alcohol is a depressant. he may be posting party picture that look super fun... but he is avoiding the problem and that will at some point blow up on him. Again, not your monkey, not your circus.

You on the other hand,  you heal and love yourself. Fill your spirit with your interests. Be with your family and friends... watch TV and lots of movies,, take walks or ride your bike, if you do that. eat junk food, feel how you feel. ride it out. In the long run, you'll be OK. Set some new goals for yourself. learn something new or work on your health.

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Hard to go from 3 years of communication to zero communication. You talked here and there so think of that as a temporary stage where you got used to a lot less communication. Now it's time to rip the entire band-aid off and block his phone number. Being friends won't be conducive to future romances. He was your first major love, but not your lifelong love.

Enjoy some time being single for a while. I wished I'd done that at your age before becoming serious with someone so young. I would've made a wiser decision for my first marriage if I'd had more dating experiences well throughout my twenties. My first marriage ended in divorce. Luckily I was older and wiser the second time around and made the right decision. Just celebrated our 10 anniversary. Take care.

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On 7/18/2021 at 2:22 PM, anon2021 said:

he then began saying how I always go to bed early, I never go out drinking with him, how other couple’s go out drinking together and how it might not be important to me but it’s important to him.

If couples "go out drinking together", that doesn't sound like a great life to me.  If instead he wanted to go out with friends once in awhile with you and you always declined when other couples invited you both over for dinner and you never had a good reason other than that you wanted to always be home -- then I would totally be with him.  But he sounds like he socializes in a way that is not comfortable for you and is always getting drunk. I would be thankful that he broke it off

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