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How to move on without a support network?

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How do you move forward or even just find friends?

My (32F) BF left a few days ago. We’d been together nearly 5 years. We had our ups and downs. But I thought we were in a good place. I also knew deep down he hated the state we lived in and deeply missed his family 6-8 hours away. I knew it was coming with how he was acting recently. He was growing distant and would break down crying after talking to his family. But I still feel blindsided. 

He’d left once before for the same reason. But he came back and I thought that meant he’d chosen a life together, that he’d made a CONSCIOUS choice to be together. And could live without seeing his family very often. The night before we cuddled and watched movies. Then he asked to talk the next morning. He packed and left in just a few hours. And now he’s gone. 

I’d let myself be optimistic for once that things would work out, that I’d found my person. And now I just feel shattered and alone. I moved here for my career. He was the only person I knew here. All my friends are in other states. And I have no one for support or to talk to. At least he’s going home to his family. 

And I can’t bring myself to hate him. I understand why he did it. I knew family was very important to him. He tried. I hope he can find happiness. But it doesn’t make it hurt any less for me. Especially when I let him come back after the first time he did this.  

I know it’ll get easier with time. But what do you do when you feel like there’s nothing left? How do you find friends and a support group when you’re in such a miserable state that you can’t even eat or sleep?

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Posted (edited)

Volunteer work - specifically find a community theater and volunteer backstage.  Support group is a tall order but start with that IMO. Or swing dancing lessons or a hiking group. 

I know personally of several people who met great people volunteering at a theater. Including our friend who was a very shy engineer and widowed in his 40s.  After years of being his wife's caregiver.  He'd never been involved in any theater and wasn't a theater fan and it's been such a godsend to him.  And I know of a number of relationships and marriages that started this way.  And many close friendships. 

I'm sorry you're so upset.  Also a great reminder never to stop making your own friends, your own fun, having your own life whether or not you have a partner.

Edited by Batya33
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Venting here might help. Alternatively a journal helps as well to get out any thoughts or reservations you may have had about the relationship. Validate your thoughts and feelings and then let them go. 

He left so let him. When you're ready and feeling better about yourself you'll feel a bit more like meeting new people. You're also discovering it's not healthy to revolve your entire or whole life around one person. In future you'll know to manage and maintain a life outside of a relationship as well.

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I would also try therapy. It affects you to the point you cant eat or sleep. As you dont have "support network", even having somebody to listen to you would make you feel a bit better and on your way to acceptance.

Its good that you dont hate him. However, you need to move on with your life. Try to focus on other stuff like your career. In time you should get over all this and be ready to move on.

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3 hours ago, Aniell28 said:

he hated the state we lived in and deeply missed his family 6-8 hours away. I knew it was coming with how he was acting recently. He was growing distant and would break down crying after talking to his family. But I still feel blindsided. He’d left once before for the same reason.

Sorry this happened. Do you like living there? The new job and area? Sadly he sounds quite homesick and there's nothing you could have done about that. How long have you lived in this area? Are you from the same hometown?

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You do now what you should have done when you first moved to the area - get involved and engaged in the community you live in.

What you can do immediately as a distraction is get more involved in your job/career by either taking on some additional projects or getting involved in other ways. For example, if your company does any kind of charity work or events, get involved and volunteer your time.

As for personal friendships, try meetup.com. Pick and choose groups that interest you - hobbies, sports, hiking, outdoors, etc. Do things that you genuinely want to do though and you'll meet like minded people there. Plus it will cheer you up to get out of the house and do something instead of sitting around alone dwelling on things. Fresh happy faces can do wonders for your own mood.

Finally, do allow yourself to be sad and wallow, but then stop and go do something. Anything. Even chores. One way to alleviate that sense of loss is to redecorate your place. Make it truly yours. Your style, your taste, your comfort and if you feel like you don't even know where to start, then that's where you start. Looking around, magazines, online, ideas, etc. Yes, it's a distraction but it helps so you don't get stuck in a rut of grief. Let yourself grieve, but then distract yourself as well.

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As pathetic as any rom-com will make it sound, it's true. You have to be your own best friend. 

Start researching where you live and find things you want to do and check out.  Then start doing them.  Find activities that interest you that have meet up groups. Take a class- exercise, photography, a language. 

Start taking yourself out to dinner or for coffee and don't sit staring at your phone. Eat at the bar and chat up the bar tender.

Get a pet. Research what to get, what works with your lifestyle.  Then go to an animal shelter and volunteer to play with the animals. 

Vent on here. Call your out of town friends. Start thinking about a trip or a room to redecorate. Are you a religious person? Join a church or place of worship. Join a gym or volunteer somewhere. 

there are endless things you can do but a big part of it is also allowing space to feel how you feel, until you feel better 

It's ok. It's all going to be OK. you'll get through this and meet someone else.  

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I'm sorry you're hurting. You mention friends out of state, have you kept in touch, and can you ring them to talk? How about a family member?

This is a time to research your city and get creative in new efforts to introduce yourself to your community. Often learning where we can pitch in or where we can explore new interests can open a new world that went ignored while isolating with one other person.

Consider this isolation as a primary reason for BF's unhappiness--even introverts need some degree of neighborly investment in other people.

Have you made any friends at work?

Also, learn whether your company offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) where you can use a number of free counseling sessions to help you through a life event. You may want to choose a therapist who is also on your insurance plan in case you'll want to keep working with this therapist beyond the free sessions.

Head high, and write more if it helps.


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