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GF broke up because "it felt wrong" but can't say why exactly

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Hi all, this is my first post.


I've found this forum a godsend after I realised that friends and family can support you for only so long.


My girlfriend broke up with me after a year of being together. I'm 28 and working, she's 22 and had completed the penultimate year of her studies at university when she decided to end the relationship.


For all of the year we were together, we were happy. I know that sounds smug to say it like that, but she often told me that her girlfriends were envious of the kind of good, caring relationship that we had. Things came under strain during her exam period: she was always someone who wants the man in her life to be reassuring, to be the "knight in shining armour", but the exams were her own battle and my being around didn't help. If I were honest, it might have been a hindrance, because I'd sometimes get impatient by not having the quality time with her that I'd like. This carried on to right after the exams were over, because she spent time celebrating with her university friends, and I became grouchy that I didn't get to see much of her until a good couple of days after the exams ended.


Her summer vacation started in July, we went on holiday abroad for a week as we'd planned. Sadly, there are so many people on this forum who say that a holiday became some kind of turning point between a couple -- because after we came back, she went to stay with her parents for a while, and during this time her feelings towards me changed. As she said much later, she'd been having second thoughts about the relationship for a while, maybe they just came to a head when she had time to think during the vacation and at her folks'. The only thing I blame her for here is that she sat on her anxieties for far too long until they got critical - she didn't let me know anything, as a result not giving me any chance to do something about the issues she was worried about.


In August, she was uncommunicative, texting rarely whereas in the past we'd been in constant contact everyday. I'd invite her for dinner at mine, and conversation was strained. Finally, when I had to confront her and plead that she let me know what was going on, she said that "the idea of us felt wrong". She couldn't tell me why, because she said she didn't know herself what exactly was wrong with us. And then came three agonising weeks during which I texted, emailed, wrote letters to her, re-thinking every small thing that had gone wrong since the exams and asking for a chance to make it up to her. Her communication to me at this time was sparse, a text here or there, to say we could meet up. Finally one day she said the reason we couldn't go any further in the relationship was because we don't have a spark anymore. She was nice about it: said that I was a good man, that she loved me, enjoyed my company, had fun, but that all this wasn't enough.


I'm writing this on the forum now some weeks after this has all happened, so maybe you don't find me as agonised as the first few days after it took place. Take my word for it, I fell apart in a way I've hardly ever done before. My parents, bless them, came over to take care of me and I was inconsolable. This woman had been the one great love I had waited years for, and the speed with which our relationship went from being solid and good, to an empty shell, shocked me beyond belief.


Since then I've attended counselling, and tried to get some perspective on why it is she became the way she did. In the immediate aftermath of the break-up, I was collapsing under the blame and self-recrimination for having done all those small things, small misunderstandings that I felt were the cause of her walking away. These days I'm blaming myself a little less, although there are still those painful moments when I wake up in the middle of the night. I am seeing though, that some issues were simply down to her being younger than me, at a transition point in her studies and (something I had always observed) never very "in touch" with difficult feelings when they arose in her. Her method was always to try to gloss over them and hope they would go away.


Well, all that was the story.


Where am I now? I've been feverishly reading the posts on the "Breaking Up" and "Healing after .." fora out of a basic human need to find others whose story might be like mine. Every so often I have. I am not out of the worst of the break-up though .... my sleep is frequently interrupted, I get panic attacks in the middle of the night, sometimes I have to kneel by the bed holding the bedclothes, and cry remembering that she once used to sleep on there. My view of the future went from hopeful when I was with her (we would talk about starting a family one day), to pitch black now with no coherent plan or hope of what will happen to me. Most of all, at my age (28), I'm plagued with thoughts that there will never be another like her. There were so many ways that the way we met was magical and almost heaven-sent that I despair I'd ever get a chance like that to meet someone else ever. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to detract from how perfect she felt when we were together -- she was the first great love for me, and having been alone for many years, I'd give thanks that I had the chance to meet someone with her beauty, both on the outside and inside. I've wanted to have a stable partner for years, and suddenly now that my hopes are up in smoke, my basic self-respect for my lifestyle, job and work ethic has taken a severe beating. For days I found it hard to go to work - mornings are still the worst -


I've tried to make this a readable narrative, but there is so much that I haven't been able to put in, otherwise it would just be pages and pages long. But I have tried to stay faithful to what happened between us. I want to figure out what happened for my ex-girlfriend to change her mind so much, from any of you out there who've been through similar (have maintained strict NC since break-up). I just want to share my story with others out there because even more important than what happened so far is, where I can go from here. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

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when she says "the idea of us felt wrong" it usually means there is no exact, logical reason that she is no longer attracted to you (attraction is not just physical, and it is a subconscious thing that cannot be controlled by her but can be manipulated by you) .. she feels that you are a good guy, the "nice guy" .. but the relationship lost the spark ... hmmmm, how typical ... i've read through thousands of posts on this forum and others and it is the same story for 3 out of 4 guys being dumped ... its a result of becoming needy, approval-seeking, always available, supplicating, and suffocating chumps with little life outside their LTRs.


happens to most guys, happened to me


you'll get a lot of emotional support here from well wishers but if you really what to know what happened, look inside yourself first.

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i strongly suggest you back off and give it 2 -3 weeks with no contact between you two. even if she calls, writes, etc, ignore it FOR NOW and get yourself some perspective. plus when she realizes the serious consequences of her actions, it should move her to think more deeply about the whole reason why. at that point you should get a much clearer answer from her...whether it be good or bad news no one can tell. but if it is bad news at least you have started the healing process very soon by separating yourself form her for a bit.

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Hi, I read your response to my post, thanks for that - it's always comforting to know that someone else is going through similar experiences and emotions, not that I would wish them on anyone!!


I'm not sure if you read my next post but to cut a long story short it's over, completely.


You say you are writing this some weeks after the event, it's been 4 months now since we first split and we were apart for nearly 3 months, and I must say many of your emotions sound familiar. The feeling your entire future has gone up in smoke is one I found damn hard to cope with, like you I had envisioned marriage, a family, it had seemed so perfect and for a time we were a perfect couple - then when the relationship ended it was hard to even begin imagining any of these things with someone else.


I want you to know that things do get easier, after a couple of weeks of terrible depression, I started to try and make a few changes, the first and most helpful was to get rid of anything that reminded me of her. This meant new bedding and rearranging bedroom furniture intially and it really helped, it's hard to do of course. The memories were and still are painful when I think of the happy times but in order to move on it's necessary to try and change those thought patterns and getting rid of or moving those things that remind you of her is a good place to start.


It took me probably a couple of months before I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, that time seems like forever when your going through it but trust me, things do improve.


I turned to a therapist after a couple of months because I felt like I wasn't making the improvements I felt I should have been. That was helpful and still is, she gives me an outlet to talk and get out some of those emotions whilst offering impartial advice and comment.


This being my first serious relationship was another biggie for me too as I'm sure it is for you, I honestly never got concerned with being single before it. I felt happy to be myself and do my own thing, this is really where I want to get back to, I'm not sure if this is the same for you but for me self-confidence is the biggest thing I need to work on. The most helpful thing I've heard so far is that love doesn't come when your searching desperately for it, when you're happy and content with yourself and your life then love will come. This makes me determined to not pine over my loneliness and focus on trying to improve myself and learn to love myself now, I want to be happy to be me again. It also explains why on the rare occasions I went out drinking shortly after the breakup none of the girls i saw responded to my "Oh my god, I'm so lonely, please love me" stare...


Well, I could waffle for hours but I won't, just know that I wish you the best and I know how painful things are. Also keep in mind we'll get through this, me, you and everyone else on this site, and we'll grow and be stronger for it. Whenever I feel bad I come on here, and the last few days that's been very regular! I also found a number of good self-help books and websites that whilst slightly cheesey were uplifting to read and helped me shift my focus off what had happened and onto what I wanted to happen in the future. Stay strong mate and if you need to talk I'm here, usually!

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Thanks for posting your reply. It's only by sharing some opinions that I can make some sense of what's happened.


I know it's no big deal but I felt like I had to make a couple of points.


You're right, I was the "nice guy", but my impression of her was that she too was a "nice girl". What I didn't realise was that her mind could turn so quickly.


I wanted to mention though, that I was far from "approval-seeking, always available, supplicating, and suffocating chumps with little life outside their LTRs". In fact, there were times when I intentionally put my own priorities before her, because I felt that to be always available made the relationship one-sided. However, there is the "inner wuss" in me that you speak of - although I went out and did things with my male friends, now after the break-up, I have lost count of the number of hours I have tortured myself with self-blame for not putting her first. In my feverish mind now, I wish these events had never happened, because I feel as though they may have contributed to the demise of the relationship.


You are in favour of looking inside myself to gain an understanding of what happened .... here I have to say, I already do so much of this that I am going mad. And it's uncomfortable coming up against my issues, which I know I have, like everyone else. Guys on this forum have had different reactions when the break-up happened - mine has been to go through feverish self-doubt about things I said and did in some of the disagreements which she and I had in the final months. I keep thinking If only ... If only I hadn't reacted exactly like that.... One good friend said to me, after hearing the stories, that it seemed like however I reacted, the outcome would have been the same ie she would have ended up one day saying the spark had gone. I wish I were stronger and that I could believe him fully. It would make my life now a whole lot easier.

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i know my words are harsh... maybe i'm overdoing it to balance out on the typical advice given on forums like this which is usually more along the lines of providing emotional support for people going through a tough time in their life. people sure are very compassionate on these forums .. when i first started reading these threads, at first it helped me feel better about myself, but as i looked deeper, i realized the solution was not in feel-good factor .. rather in learning, understanding and correcting whatever is in my control to do so.


i really believe that the solution to all problems in life lies within ourselves. that's why my main focus is to stop putting blame on others like the ex (unless they were abusive, cheaters or had psychological issues) and look inside yourself ... also our thinking, our state of mind, somehow really does manifest into our reality


during my relationship (and seems during yours) there was a lot more negative thinking on my part ... whatever you think, becomes ... so ultimately I got what I kept thinking about ...


i always like to study successful relationships i see in real life. it is the mindset of one of the person in the relationship ... if this one person is grounded in reality ... they have the ability to handle any crap the other throws at them, to reframe the crap into something positive, and thereby taking the relationship to a higher level. i've seen this in many very long term LTR/marriages where you really just need one person (out of the two) that can guide the relationship into .. heavenly .. hehe.


i think it is extremely extremely rare that both parties in the couple have this .. shall i say talent. i'm trying to be that one person so that next time I get into an LTR, I can guide it to success by addressing all the wants, needs and utter crap thrown at me by my significant other.


something i read, probably in some NLP book .. there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. so i try to look at my last LTR not as a failure, but as feedback ... feedback for myself, what I could have done differently to make the outcome different. so next time i'll use what i've leart.. who knows if it will work or not ... life is one big lesson anyway, no???

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Thanks for your offer to communicate hpsowce. I know that I'll be coming to this site a lot.


Yes, i've followed your story and you said that after a break in the middle, your ex wanted to come back, then changed her mind YET again. I am sorry for the way you've had that rough deal, to have hopes raised and dashed.


The dreams of the future that have now evaporated are hard. I am having a tough time replacing them with something else. Some wise friends have said to me not to bother with thinking of the long-term future, and I say, If only. I am racked with those thoughts too often.


It is hopeful that you say it gets better. There are times I feel lucid, I think, this is the way things are meant to happen. Or, that this experience is leading me on a path I can't see the end of, but i should have faith that the path will lead somewhere good. Couple that with the times, especially at the weekends, when I drown in thoughts of guilt and shame for not being successful at this relationship. I have too much the culture of the "post mortem" - dissecting the past to try to figure out answers.


Family members are understandably getting tired of my talking in circles. I don't want to alienate them, yet the feelings are so difficult sometimes, I gasp for air and the comfort of speaking them out to someone close to me. In my heart of hearts, I know I cannot keep going on in this state for long. A shake-up is needed.


As to positive steps, one of the first things I did was to return her things, and clear my home of reminders of her. In my distressed state, I even took most of her presents back because they really were too painful for me to keep. This however, caused our very last encounter to be one where she became furious that i was trying to "erase" memories of her from my life. I wish it hadn't been that way, but then, the last talk was never going to be any good. I only hope she realises in time that I was acting out of hurt, not spite.


Getting to a state where I am okay with myself is really a tough goal - you see, I was never very good at that to start off with! I hope one day ....


All the best and see you on the forum again soon.

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