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Hey everyone, first time on this forum/site, I'm feeling really terrible today so I thought I'd post. I'm not sure what exactly I'm looking to get out of this, but any advice or anything would be great. 

So yeah, we were in a 4 year long long distance relationship, NC for a little over 2 months now. I know it was long, but I was in college the first 3 years and in the 4th I was staying at home, looking for a proper job so that I wouldn't be a financial burden. She had asked me once or twice to just move in with her during the final semester (covid made everything remote) and after but I didn't want to do that, citing the reason I just said, which she seemed to understand. From the times I visited her, I could tell that there was a definite strain on her wallet, even with the extra couple hundred dollars I was able to save up between visits, and that wasn't something I wanted to subject her to. 

Anyway, most of the "fault" of the breakup has lain with me. I have this terrible trauma response of shutting down while I spiral out of control due to anxiety. It's happened before and she made it clear that she didn't like it, because it went on for a few months the first time. I told her I'd work on it, and I did. Unfortunately the last year, trying to find a good job that pays well that's also remote as a recent graduate with no marketable skills or connections is rough. I talked to her about it and how much it stressed me out, embarrassed me, and caused me anxiety on a few occasions. It got to the point where I had panic attacks on a few occasions while on the phone for an interview. But then I closed up, and we'd barely talk again. I recognized what I was doing wrong and knew I was hurting her while I was at a wedding, and I asked if we could talk to try and fix things. I guess she thought I wanted to breakup, based off of what she started with, but even after I told her that that wasn't my intention, she followed through, stating at the end "I hope there's a chance we can find each other again in the future"

That sentence has plagued my mind for this entire time. She's reached out twice since then, 2 weeks after the breakup for my birthday, and then 2 weeks after that to tell me that she dreamt of me. I asked her on that second occasion where we stood. She told me "I'm not in a place where I can be a good partner to you right now". Since then, she hasn't reached out at all. 

I'm not a perfect person. I have vices. One of them is checking her social media. Usually it helps calm me down, and I really needed to be calmed down today, since I had a dream of her and I back together last night. At the beginning of the week, she had posted "I been thinking of you", naturally making me really happy, but still wondering why she hadn't reached out, causing my neurosis to flare up. Unfortunately, checking her twitter was a terrible idea this time around. The first post today was a picture of her. My god she is so beautiful. The second post was her talking about "solo work" (I don't think there's NSFW filters here so I'll just leave it at that). Something about her talking about doing that, smoking marijuana, and playing video games made me spiral today. I know it honestly isn't any of my business and it's my fault for not being able to maintain a proper NC. I just wish I knew if she really wanted to come back or not. 

That's pretty much the end of it, feel free to ask questions, I'm sure I left stuff out in order to condense as much as possible, and like I said, I'm not too sure what I'm looking for here, but I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on this

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How did you meet?  Why were the first three years long distance?  

What did you do to treat your anxiety?  Did you visit your primary care physician and tell him or her that you suffer from anxiety, are having panic attacks, and need help?  Or did you just try to deal with it on your own?  

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8 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

How did you meet?  Why were the first three years long distance?  

What did you do to treat your anxiety?  Did you visit your primary care physician and tell him or her that you suffer from anxiety, are having panic attacks, and need help?  Or did you just try to deal with it on your own?  

Thank you for your response!

We are/were both avid gamers. We met in a large community of which I was a moderator of. I got to know her a bit better and we became friends/"talked" for a few months before I asked her to be my girlfriend.

I've gone to therapy since the week after our breakup, which has helped me understand why I act out the way I do, how to manage the symptoms as well as the anxiety itself. I actually was offered a great job a week after we broke up, so the specific stressor is not impacting my life anymore, although it does come with it's fair share of stress

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So how long was it before you actually met her?  And by "met" I mean you were physically in the same place.  How much time did you spend physically together before you two got into a  relationship?  And how much time would you say you spent together each month?  A week, two weeks?

As for going to therapy AFTER the breakup, I presume that means you didn't seek treatment during the relationship.  That could be interpreted by her as you not being willing to make any kind of changes or improvements.  Too late, in essence.

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4 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

So how long was it before you actually met her?  And by "met" I mean you were physically in the same place.  How much time did you spend physically together before you two got into a  relationship?  And how much time would you say you spent together each month?  A week, two weeks?

As for going to therapy AFTER the breakup, I presume that means you didn't seek treatment during the relationship.  That could be interpreted by her as you not being willing to make any kind of changes or improvements.  Too late, in essence.

We met for the first time a few weeks after we started dating, for about a month. We started dating before that. I actually realized I really liked her before I even knew what she looked like. Every year I'd spend about a month or two with her since I was in college. We weren't able to spend any time together in the last year, neither of us brought up a visit since I was so stressed about finding a job to get our lives started.

She knew that I was interested in therapy for quite a while. The reason that I hadn't gotten any beforehand was because of financial issues, and that was something she understood. I do think she thought that I wasn't willing to make changes or improvements or give her what she needed. I wish there was a way to show her how much I've grown/how much I understand now that I've gone to therapy myself and have read about attachment theory, codependency, and love in general. I know that's just me wanting some control and it's essentially manipulation, which is why I haven't posted about all of the insights and breakthroughs that I've come across. I just want her to know that it's possible for me to change and grow. Of course, personal development is a lifelong endeavor and no one can say that they've fully changed in a little over 2 months, but I have made improvements and have put a lot of effort into learning how to be a better romantic partner as well as just a better person in general

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So, just so I can get a clearer picture, in 4 years you spent a total of about five or six months together in person?  Would you say that's accurate?  Was that a month solid or weekends or a week here and there? And you haven't seen one another at all since 2019?  How far apart are the two of you?

That isn't sustainable as a relationship.  You have to be together in person unless you had a solid, in person foundation prior to being separated (such as a military couple).

The fact that she hasn't reached out at all since the second time means she isn't in the same place as you regarding the relationship or reconciling, at least not right now.  Will she change her mind?  It's hard to say.  But I can tell you that an in-person relationship where you can actually spend real time together, not over an electronic device, is always better.  Maybe she realizes this now.

The therapy is going to be good for you because you'll be better prepared for your next relationship, whether it's a reconciliation with her or someone else.

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11 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

So, just so I can get a clearer picture, in 4 years you spent a total of about five or six months together in person?  Would you say that's accurate?  Was that a month solid or weekends or a week here and there? And you haven't seen one another at all since 2019?  How far apart are the two of you?

That isn't sustainable as a relationship.  You have to be together in person unless you had a solid, in person foundation prior to being separated (such as a military couple).

The fact that she hasn't reached out at all since the second time means she isn't in the same place as you regarding the relationship or reconciling, at least not right now.  Will she change her mind?  It's hard to say.  But I can tell you that an in-person relationship where you can actually spend real time together, not over an electronic device, is always better.  Maybe she realizes this now.

The therapy is going to be good for you because you'll be better prepared for your next relationship, whether it's a reconciliation with her or someone else.

I saw her last year actually, I visited in October. We spent full blocks of time together, not just sprinklings here and there. I'm in Florida and she's in Illinois, so it's quite a bit of distance. I understand what you're saying and I tried to cover that in my original post, I know that 4 years of LDR is not a good thing, and we had plans in place to close that distance, it was just a matter of me finding a job. It would also be one of the more specific things that I'd bring up if we ever did reconcile, moving in/nearby each other.

I left out my reply to her last breadcrumb which basically said 'although I think this is a mistake, I understand your decision and hope you're able to solve your issues. If you change your mind in the future, please feel free to reach out. If not, I will always cherish the memories and I hope you have a good life' her response was 'I will' with a heart emoji (a pretty unsatisfactory response, but it is what it is, not really sure what I should've expected)

Just thought I'd include that. I know that unless she reaches out, I need to take it to mean she isn't interested in reconciliation, but I can't stop attaching meaning to her tweets. This is probably the kick in the pants I needed to stop checking her social media, so hopefully I can stay strong in that.



 

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She wouldn't bother posting mysterious tweets if she wanted to reconcile.  No matter how "stubborn" or "shy" you might tell yourself she is.  She would contact you asking to talk, especially since she knows you want to reconcile.

I would carry on under the assumption you two will not reconcile.  Continue to do whatever it is you think will make your life the way you want it to be because that's good for you.  And you truly don't know who you'll meet in the future.  Not right now because it's too soon, but when the time is right.

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I am sorry you are having a rough time. I agree with Boltnrun.  I married my ex fiancee and we got back together almost 8 years after we ended things.  So yes it can happen but when it did we were both on the same page so expressing our interest in getting back together was a couple of sentences back and forth conversation in person. 

He asked, I hesitated for 30 seconds -scared because we'd broken up and cancelled our wedding years earlier -then said yes!  We had a really short discussion about our intentions - exclusive couple, goal of marriage.  When you're on the same page there's no need to read signs or tea leaves or Facebook posts.  And if you're not on the same page then it's ridiculous to even try to get back together or read into "signs".

I think you contact her when:  you are with the right therapist and/or on the right meds.  You have a good, stable job for the better part of a year or at least 6 months where things are going solidly.  You can perform daily living stuff without a panic attack including at work, etc.  I would wait at least a year if not longer.  That will be the indicia of real change, change you can describe briefly and concretely.  Not with your aspirations for the future, not with abstractions or vague references to "working on yourself".  Show her the fruits of your labor and show her in simple, concrete ways. 

She's not your therapist or a parent figure.  If she is interested and available she won't want to hear a long monologue.  She'll want to see that you have a healthy temperament, that you carry yourself with reasonable confidence, that you're living like a stable, responsible adult.  And if not her someone else will benefit from your changes.  Good luck.

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First off, NC doesnt work when you "stalk" her social media. Block her or just dont watch them at all. 

Second off all, too many issues. Your mental health, both of you unable to support even yourself etc. So I suggest working on yourself. Lay off video games aside of maybe as a hobby. Use that time to work on yourself. Mainly putting more time to find work. Invest yourself more there in any means necessery, search for jobs, send CVs, go to interviews. That is your primary concern and that is what you should be doing instead of stalking her socials.

Also, I might add, somebody who talks in her social media about masturbation, smoking weed and video games, is not really a good match to anyone who is serious about settling down. But again, you will first need to put on the work on yourself first and then you will maybe see that also.

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On 11/29/2021 at 5:48 AM, Wiseman2 said:

It's unclear why she has public posts about this on social media.

You need to get off the game console, quit all the "vices" and find income producing work. 

Who supports you? 

 

 

 

23 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

First off, NC doesnt work when you "stalk" her social media. Block her or just dont watch them at all. 

Second off all, too many issues. Your mental health, both of you unable to support even yourself etc. So I suggest working on yourself. Lay off video games aside of maybe as a hobby. Use that time to work on yourself. Mainly putting more time to find work. Invest yourself more there in any means necessery, search for jobs, send CVs, go to interviews. That is your primary concern and that is what you should be doing instead of stalking her socials.

Also, I might add, somebody who talks in her social media about masturbation, smoking weed and video games, is not really a good match to anyone who is serious about settling down. But again, you will first need to put on the work on yourself first and then you will maybe see that also.

Hey y'all thanks for the replies. To answer both of y'all, I forgot to include that around a week and a half after the break up, I found the exact type of job I wanted, it's hectic and there is some level of imposter syndrome, but it isn't that bad and I've been having a pretty solid relationship with my boss.

I currently don't play games because they remind me of her, as weird as that sounds. I also don't have much time after work most days, since my evening routine is around 2 hours give or take, I've got 2 hours to myself every day pretty much to do what I want and in that time, I try to find new ways of letting go. 

I currently live with my parents and have lived with them for the last 2 years of college and the last year while trying to find a job. The plan is to continue living with them (although it's a bit stressful) until I move early next year.

@Kwothe- to specifically reply to some of your concerns that you've brought up:
I know that NC doesn't work when you stalk their social media, it's a bad habit that I hope this anxious episode helps me kick. I haven't had the urge to look yet and I have set a goal to not check until after the new year. Hopefully by then I can keep my conviction and not want to check.

Currently working solely on letting go of my attachment to her and the relationship on my own, and working with a therapist on my past trauma, but yeah, other than that I haven't picked up any bad habits or vices besides the SM stalking which I hope I can kick soon.

To answer your last comment, I know that what she did was kind of weird, and taking some time to reflect, it has made her a little less desirable in my eyes. I know she did it for attention, whether from me or just from all of the random horndogs online. 
_____________________________________________________________________________________

I read something yesterday and it did resonate with me: If it didn't happen now, it would've happened later. Maybe I would've done it myself, looking back, there were times I was unhappy as well, I just never pulled the trigger because I felt like maybe it was a mistake, so maybe it's okay that this happened. The break up was for the best, I have no doubt about that. I do want to reconcile but it's out of my control. I've done everything I can do, as far as I'm concerned. I let her know that I was interested in reconciliation as well, and I told her I was working on myself in therapy. I'm sure one of our mutual friends/her mom told her I got a job. If she decides that "the love of my life" is worth another shot, then that's great. If she doesn't, then that just means we weren't meant to be, and I'm glad it ended now, rather than after we moved in together or got married.

Right now, it's just a constant battle to keep this thought process and rationale at the ready whenever I feel some type of way, just wish there was a way to do that subconsciously/instantly, there's always a time where you get overwhelmed and can't react like you should, and that's where mistakes and blacksliding happen.

 

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22 hours ago, boltnrun said:

How would her mom know you got a job?

I think your mindset of realizing if she doesn't approach you to reconcile that means it's not meant to be is a good one.

Her mom and I were fairly close, I had reached out to her for 2 weeks following the break up because I felt like I had no one else to talk to (honestly, I still don't feel like I do, which is why I post on forums like this, 55 minute therapy sessions don't really help when any second feels like it could be a landmine of emotion), and that is one thing we discussed. 

I'm happy with the mindset, it's just hard for me to emotionally accept, even though I logically do. Even this morning, I find myself thinking of her when I know that it makes no sense and hurts my growth, not helps it. I also feel like she has taken over my resting thoughts. Even when I feel peaceful and am not busy, I'll think of her instead of the 101 random things I could be thinking of, and it's tough 

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You can only control the reactions to your feelings.  Not your feelings and as far as acceptance that comes with time.

Your feelings will be more likely to stay on the periphery - you don't need to "emotionally accept" - if you react by doing things like brisk cardio (fast walking, dancing in your living room, angry cleaning, biking, whatever) or small kindnesses including listening to a friend without talking about yourself/your ex, being kind to a cashier or bigger things like getting involved in volunteer work if at all possible.  Yesterday I was stressed about work/life and I stopped on my way out of a polling place to help an elderly gentleman who could not find the ADA accessible entrance.  It got me out of my head.  And hopefully helped him.  Things like that keep the thoughts/feelings that bother you more on the periphery or off radar entirely.

Also stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks - try to drink 10-11 glasses of water a day, over time- the actual drinking relaxes me-maybe will do the same for you.  Are you a healthy weight and fit now?  Because if not that exacerbates the frustrating thoughts/stressful feelings.

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Definitely stop communicating with her mom. You need to get your support from someone who isn't related to your ex. Her mom will understand.

You can't expect for her to diminish from your thoughts when you're actively communicating with her own mother. Plus, she will see it as a ploy to get her mom to say nice things about you. It's not a good look.

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21 hours ago, Batya33 said:

You can only control the reactions to your feelings.  Not your feelings and as far as acceptance that comes with time.

Your feelings will be more likely to stay on the periphery - you don't need to "emotionally accept" - if you react by doing things like brisk cardio (fast walking, dancing in your living room, angry cleaning, biking, whatever) or small kindnesses including listening to a friend without talking about yourself/your ex, being kind to a cashier or bigger things like getting involved in volunteer work if at all possible.  Yesterday I was stressed about work/life and I stopped on my way out of a polling place to help an elderly gentleman who could not find the ADA accessible entrance.  It got me out of my head.  And hopefully helped him.  Things like that keep the thoughts/feelings that bother you more on the periphery or off radar entirely.

Also stay hydrated and avoid sugary drinks - try to drink 10-11 glasses of water a day, over time- the actual drinking relaxes me-maybe will do the same for you.  Are you a healthy weight and fit now?  Because if not that exacerbates the frustrating thoughts/stressful feelings.

Yeah, that's a good idea. I don't get out much currently because of how much I work, but I try to provide all the teams I'm in contact with with as much help as possible. Maybe in the future I will be able to pick up volunteer work.

I'm at a healthy weight due to diet, but I don't exercise much more than walking for an hour each night after dinner.

21 hours ago, boltnrun said:

Definitely stop communicating with her mom. You need to get your support from someone who isn't related to your ex. Her mom will understand.

You can't expect for her to diminish from your thoughts when you're actively communicating with her own mother. Plus, she will see it as a ploy to get her mom to say nice things about you. It's not a good look.

Yeah, like I said, I talked to her for 2 weeks, it's been around 2 months since I've talked to her mom at all, I'm sure it must've felt kind of manipulative though.

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2 hours ago, Cloud said:

Yeah, that's a good idea. I don't get out much currently because of how much I work, but I try to provide all the teams I'm in contact with with as much help as possible. Maybe in the future I will be able to pick up volunteer work.

I worked way way more than full time for 15 years.  Weekends, nights, unpredictable work deadlines, on call 24/7.  For 7 of those years I volunteered weekly at a shelter, reading to children.  It took me a half hour to walk there and back.  I was there for one hour.  It was at 6:30 in the evening which meant leaving work "early" most of the time.  But after 9-11-01 I knew it was time to get back to volunteering which I'd done on and off since 1981.  I made the commitment and I don't think I ever missed going.  You can make the time and find something that doesn't require a huge time commitment. 

When my son was young I made the time to volunteer at the public radio station to help with fundraising.  That often meant a third to a half of the time he was in school I was there - I did this every few months and also volunteered at his school more often. 

During lockdown when we were all home teleworking/virtual school I knew I needed to do something for my sanity lol.  I made the time to volunteer with a program where I was to call elderly people in my community who lived alone to check in and chat and make sure they were doing ok pandemic-wise. 

You can make the time if you want to.  Very often it can get you out of your head and you're then contributing to your community.  It's such a win win.  I highly recommend it.  Don't just "try" "in the future" - start looking for an opportunity you can commit to.  And you might meet your next girlfriend.  I met a lot of people that way including friends I am still in touch with after 40 years.

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