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I'm Feeling Stuck After Separating With my Ex-Boyfriend of 4 Years.


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To start off this long explanation, I feel it's ideal to provide a bit of background context. Hi, I'm a 25 year old female. A week ago I broke up with my (now ex) boyfriend whom I was with for an entire 4 years. I have to make it clear that we were long distance all that time, but we had a fantastic run. I learnt a lot from him, but most importantly I discovered a lot about myself and how to be intimate with someone, since being close to someone sexually was a deep seated issue of mine. I can confidently say I am a completely different person to who I was 4 years when I got together with him. But even though "doing the deed" was hard for me to even do (and we never ended up having sex in the end) I was slowly getting used to the possibility of losing my virginity to my ex-boyfriend and he had been there supporting me throughout my journey. During the same time, I even seeked out therapy to help work through my abandonment issues from the past to help with the issue of intimacy (granted, it was expensive to the point where I couldn't afford it long term, so I was forced to cut my time with my therapist short).

When I first got together with my ex boyfriend, I made it clear from day one that I didn't want children, and he did, but I could tell he wasn't serious about children at the time and was fine with not even thinking about that possibility, especially since we had only just got together. After 2 years, we had a conversation where he sat me down and said that he had changed his mind on children and said he wasn't sure if that was what he wanted yet. He also said he was happy to not have them if we ever decided that. You can imagine I was relieved at this news, and it felt a weight had been lifting off my shoulders a little bit as I felt at the time, a little bit of pressure was on me too even have sex with him, let alone have children. He never pressured me into doing things in the bedroom I didn't want too do, he always respected my boundaries and wants. But I always felt that I was keeping something from him and he would one day leave me (notice how that thought pattern is apart of the abandonment issues I was working on in therapy). 

Once again we go about our business to present day. The last time I saw him in person was 2 weeks ago, and that's when another conversation happened. Except, he had changed his mind again and told me that he 100% wanted children and wanted to know if my feelings had swayed on the matter. Too which they have not. He was making some big positive changes too his life which were changing jobs and moving into a better household for his mental health, I'm still proud of him even to this day. But it was over as soon as he changed his mind about the children. I felt like he had stabbed me in the heart and I felt my entire world come crashing down at the thought of losing him. The sad thing is, we had always known that if we were to ever split it wouldn't be over any deception or finance issues, but it would be over children and that was the biggest deal breaker. I also felt a bit betrayed because he didn't give traveling a chance. I love traveling, it's what I want to do for a lot of my life, and so did he except he wanted to settle down by the end of it and I didn't want to settle down at all. 4 days after that I went home and did a lot of thinking and came to the conclusion that it was best to let him go as this was something none-negotiable. We left on good terms like we always knew we would, but I could never be friends like he wanted after we've both healed and have cut him out completely. 

I've always been the type of person to solider on, and I have been through a lot worse and come out on top. But this week I've been struggling with the aftermath of it all and had a talk with my dad. He said that I needed to make goals for my future in order to move on and don't look back on what happened. He's right.. but I feel so lost, stuck, empty, unmotivated - you get the picture. I'm just trying to get up each day, let alone think about who I want to be in 3 years time. Most of my friends live far away and I don't have any local friends to help me through this. I live in a small town and there is no opportunity here for me. I do have a job, but when I got that job a couple months ago, I took a leap of fate on it because it suited the hours I wanted to see my ex-boyfriend since we were distant. Also it's turning really toxic and I strongly don't want to remain there any longer. 

I've been thinking about my goals like my dad advised me too, but my mind comes up blank and I get struck with this fear that I can't achieve them alone because I've always had my ex-boyfriend by my side supporting me. I want to stop feeling so scared. 

Here are a few of the goals I had in mind: 

Move out locally within 2 years. Although my dad and I are doing up a house to turn into a Bed & Breakfast business for me in the future, so is it even worth moving out? 

Go to Japan when covid is better (I've already got plenty of savings for the trip ready to be used. But it's the case of waiting for covid to be better in order to go as Japan's borders are shut).

I want to change my current part time job. Like previously stated, I took a leap of faith on this job because it suited me and my ex-boyfriend in terms of seeing one another regularly. But now he's not apart of the picture anymore, I don't see the point anymore. I feel burying myself in a full time job will give me a good distraction and earn me more money. 

 

And that's all I have for now in terms of goals. I don't know what type of answers I'm expecting from this but I'm curious to know how others have made personal goals after a breakup. Specifically what goals have you set, and what have you accomplished? How have you coped after a breakup of many years? I'd like some guidance at the end of the day because I feel I've lost my purpose in life. 

Thank you for reading this far if you have! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Blue.. and Welcome 🙂 .

Yes, sounds like you have had some wild things going on in your life at the moment.

And it happens.  It's a transition, which can be a challenge. 😕 .

Break ups alone are hard, as one becomes emotionally invested, so then you have to work on accepting and healing from that - which takes some time. (so be easy on yourself, don't over do anything and focus on you for a bit - self care ❤️ ).

As for your future, is maybe a good idea to look for F/T like you mentioned - better away from the issue's with the place you are at now and more hrs, etc.

As for your terms/ goals. Is great you have something set, but you are still young, see how the next year goes, then years to follow.. We have no idea what can happen in that time...right?

Yes, ablilty to travel can very well happen soon enough.. and yes, it may be a success with you and your dad's plans of a B&B.

 

I feel you are handling everything quite well, considering the circumstances.  (the BU, work issues/ your future).

So, one day at a time . as I said, be easy on yourself.  Give it all time to work through your emotions and get yourself back to good ❤️ .

I often Journal, as a means to 'get it out'... almost same as voicing things. It's a vent.  And it has helped me work through some things many times.. All I want to say to someone, I will journal it all, lol. 

So... take it easy for a bit.. give yourself time.  In time, things will feel okay again.. Believe.  🙂 

 

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A four year relationship isn't something to just bounce back from.

Allow yourself to grieve.

Read up on grief. Learn about the stages of it. Understand that these are not neat and measurable stages, but rather a combo plate of intense, conflicting feelings interspersed with numbness.

You can try to squelch grief and walk right over it, but that will just make it come out sideways. So don't do that.

Trust the process. You'll thank yourself later.

 

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I'm sorry, OP. Break-ups are hard, even when we know it's for the best. 

Have your future goals in mind, yes, but remember that healing is going to take a while. It's very fresh and you were together for 4 years. It will likely be a few months before you feel a bit more "normal" again, so to speak. 

And that's perfectly fine. Be patient with the process. Give youself little goals each day, too: call a friend, practice some self-care, do a workout, write in a journal. It sounds cliché, but I have always found that daily mini-objectives help keep me focused in tougher times. 

You will get there. 

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