Can you help me understand the end of my 2.5 year relationship?
May 8, 2014 5:25 PM Subscribe
How do I move past this constant feeling of regret and sadness? I blame myself, we mutually ended a 2.5 year long term and long distance relationship (UK and Canada). I can't believe she's gone from my life, we decided to go No Contact because I read that it is the healthiest thing to do and she's just gone, I can't comprehend it. I'm [M 22], she's [F21]. This was my first relationship with anyone and her second. I'm so inexperienced and that's why I feel that I messed everything up. I keep thinking about all the happy memories we shared together, I can't get them out of my head. It feels like we came to a permanent solution to a temporary problem, it was so sudden.
I guess I'm looking for validation by asking this question which is probably a bit cheap so I apologise for it. I know I should just let this all go, but it isn't easy, I've never had a break up before. I really want closure but I know that will have to come from me.
posted by fallingleaves to Human Relations (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We broke up last Friday, it felt like it was mutual at first but now it feels like it was more her that wanted it than me. It feels like we rushed into a decision, we wanted resolution that day, I'd had some bad news that morning which was unrelated to it but it didn't help. We talked about continuing in the relationship but we made it clear that we were both unhappy and had been for just over a month - we hadn't communicated this even though we were usually great communicators. We'd both gone through some big changes, me coming home and moving house, her living on her own in the apartment I left behind (previous AskMeFi question). She really came out of her shell after I left, cut her hair and became more outgoing, developing as a person and making new friendships.
In hindsight though, I'm really upset because we didn't even try addressing the problems we were having, lack of sex, passion, feeling more like friends than lovers, not putting enough effort into the relationship - complacency I guess. Although from my readings, these are perfectly normal things to go through! I really think these problems could have been at least attempted to be resolved when we spoke that day but we didn't take that option.
She also said that she didn't want to do the distance anymore and that she was tired of waiting to see me and wanted to be with me but in the same place. Due to financial reasons, we weren't going to be able to see each other till August and even then it was just a week. When we lived together for six months, it was really hard because I felt like I put my life on hold and was mostly unemployed which put pressure on her financially. I told her the truth that I found it hard to look into the future of the relationship and that I was happy living in the present with her. I wasn't sure if I wanted to try living with her again because of hard it was to find unemployment, does a relationship have to always have a shared future? Also, we both have had and do have occasional mental health issues (anxiety, insecurities, depression etc.) which made things hard at times.
We spoke again on Monday and it was clear that it was over, she didn't regret her decision - she felt it was right for the both of us but I regretted mine, she wanted to move on. She seemed relieved. It was very clear, I told her I wanted her back and was willing to change things but she wasn't interested. She told me that she still loved me but that her feelings had changed.
How do I deal with this pain and internal turmoil? I regret my expression of unhappiness with the relationship so much and I feel like I gave her a false impression of how bad it was for me. I've been reading advice about how it's important to work on relationship problems and to not make hasty decisions which is exactly what we did wrong. I'm blaming myself (unhealthy I know) even though it takes two to make a relationship work.
The trouble is if she doesn't want a relationship, then effectively it doesn't exist anymore, I told her that I accepted this even though it was horrible to hear. She told me she wants to be alone and that she isn't ready to date anyone else for a long time. During the relationship she frequently expressed to me that she needed to be alone a lot of the time (probably why long distance worked so well!) and that she had trouble with boundaries and losing her sense of self when we were physically together and felt that she was losing herself in the relationship - this was definitely an unhealthy for the both of us.
Despite all the trouble at the end we were extremely compatible in a lot of ways: shared ideals - music tastes, she had so many attractive qualities, good communication - no issues with trust or faithfulness. Things did change at the end but that didn't have to be permanent. She told me that I hadn't done anything wrong and to not be so hard or blame myself.
I've read a lot of old AskMeFi posts about similar experiences but none of them fitted what I'm going through exactly, I'm aware that I'm probably a bit deluded right now and in denial but I think that's because everything is so fresh in my mind.