Help me decide if there's any life left in my LDR.
April 7, 2011 1:28 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend of 3.5 years (I'm 25 and a he, she's 24) just dumped me after I moved out to another city for a job. Help me decide if there's any life left here.

She gave me no warning - in fact, she promised me that she was "good in long distance relationships" and that we would talk every night - we even went so far as to buy webcams for each other so we could talk every night. She knew this would be hard for me; we literally spend almost every free moment together, but we planned to see each other every two weeks to make the pangs of separation anxiety a little easier.

She even came with me a few days before my job started for a little mini vacation, and we had some great sex as well. Fast forward to about 1.5 weeks ago, three days after she had flown home. We had talked about her starting to look for jobs in my new city, and I asked her if she started looking on a career site that she had used to
find the job she's in now. She said no, and that she was breaking up with me, and that was final. I was completely shattered, to say the least.

We have problems that couples have, but I had no idea she was so desperately unhappy - even though I had sensed it for a few weeks and was constantly asking her/trying to do what I could to make her feel better.

She railed on me. She thought we ate too much fast food and loved being able to cook again (she had never mentioned she had an issue with eating out, as we were both very stressed and busy in our old city), she thought I had too many possessions (again, this was never once mentioned to me except in an oblique "you should get rid of some boxes in the back room" way), and worst of all that she wasn't attracted to me any longer (we were both in the process of losing weight, although I was admittedly heavier than her). I thought she was still attracted to me since she still told me that frequently, and recently sex had been getting better and more frequent... she told me this was because she had been reenergized" by other men's attention.

I don't think she could have cheated on me while I was in town, as there really wouldn't even have been time for it, as far as I know, unless she was incredibly sneaky and stayed out less than a few hours. She said she had stopped being attracted to me for over a year, even though SIX MONTHS ago she had been begging me to look for a wedding ring.

So, I broke down, but having been through a breakup before I know that you can't yell someone into loving you more. I told her that, now that I knew, I would get back into shape (I'm already down 10 pounds since we talked). I told her that her fears that I would be threatened by other men's attention were unfounded and always have been - I don't care if she likes to look good, as long as she doesn't act on it, that's fine. I told her that she didn't have to move with me right away, in fact, she could take as long as she wanted. I took complete responsibility (even though I certainly don't feel like I deserved to) for the failure in the relationship in the perhaps futile attempt to save it... as I really, truly do love her. In a moment of desperation, I tell her that I deserve another shot, because even though I perhaps should have known how she elt (even though I constantly asked her about it and she refused to tell me), I would make the changes needed for us to stay together. No dice.

She's so much happier without me, apparently, being able to go out with her friends and getting all sorts of lurid glances. I NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH GOING OUT WITH HER! She told me she hated clubs and dancing, and she went clubbing the first night after she returned home!

Three days later, she called me back and said she wanted to do a trial separation, with us talking twice a week or so. I was elated and immediately agreed. I was set to see her that weekend per our previous "every two weeks" agreement, but I changed the flight to three weeks from then, a date she indicated would provide good time apart.

Four days passed, and I texted her telling her I wanted to talk. She told me she didn't want to talk for another week, but I asked her to call me so she did. "I just don't want to talk about our relationship", she said, and I obliged... we just caught up on our jobs and our cats and other smalltalk. At the end, we told each other we enjoyed talking to each other but that "she'll see" about calling me back again.

Am I completely wrong for feeling completely violated and shattered by all of this? We fought, but we were very communicative - at least I thought. I would have changed anything for her as I care about her more than anything in the world... and after telling me that she would never dump me, after telling me a few scant months ago she wanted to get married, she dumps me after 3 days apart, and then renegs on the trial separation? I feel that it's very unfair, and that any relationship that long deserves at least an ultimatum that "things need to change or I'm out". At this point, I'll try my best not to call her again - obviously if she doesn't call me, it's pretty much over.

We've been through a lot together - the worst job market since the Great Depression, crappy jobs overall, and the general post-collegiate depression that comes with having to enter the working world. I want her back, but can I ever make this work, despite my willingness to change? I'm already at the weight I was at when she met me...
posted by speedgraphic to Human Relations (46 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Too much drama. If she's 24, and has been in a relationship since she was 20, chances are that she's grown up and wanted something different anyway, and your move just precipitated the breakup.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:33 PM on April 7, 2011 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Then why was she trying to marry me?
posted by speedgraphic at 1:34 PM on April 7, 2011

That's the wrong question to ask. At this point, she's decided she likes being single. It totally sucks for you, and it doubly sucks because it blindsided you, but she's pretty much made her decision and you're going to have to move on, one way or the other.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:36 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

Am I completely wrong for feeling completely violated and shattered by all of this?

Of course not! That's what a breakup is, it's rough. Nothing anyone can say here will make you feel better. Get yourself a nice treat, put on your PJs, lock up your phone, and wallow. Resist the urge to chase after her- it'll just prolong the pain. You two are very young and each have a lot to look forward to in life. Good luck to you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:37 PM on April 7, 2011 [5 favorites]

This person is treating you like shit and will continue to do so as long as you allow it. Put a stop to it now. I know this isn't what you want to hear but you need to hear it. You deserve to be happy. You will never be happy with someone that would treat you like this. Start working through your pain now and start moving on.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:37 PM on April 7, 2011 [13 favorites]

Best answer: I'm really sorry you're going through this, but: it's over. There aren't changes you can do to "win her back" or change her mind. She doesn't owe you a trial separation or an ultimatum. She wants to be out of the relationship, and that's pretty much it.

None of that changes the pain you're clearly experiencing, and I've been there, especially with regard to losing a long-distance relationship. The thing with long-distance, though, is that no one's "good at them", they just may have been good at all of them up to now. Sort of like regular relationships, really. So no one knows how it's going to affect them until you try it and see. And this one, for any number of clearly-expressed reasons, wasn't going to work.

It sucks, and I'm sorry. But it is over, and you should get used to that idea.
posted by Errant at 1:38 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

Man, that sucks.

But here's the thing: it doesn't look like she's willing to do here other than get over her. Which is obviously something that isn't going to happen right away, but it will happen. Either way, there's no going back, so all that's really left for you to do is just move on.

This, I contend, is a situation for which God created whiskey.
posted by valkyryn at 1:39 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

You can absolutely let yourself grieve this relationship.

When I was 24, I had no idea who I was and what I wanted. Let yourself grieve this loss, and work on moving forward. I know it'll be hard, but it gets easier as time goes on.
posted by Zophi at 1:39 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: Then why was she trying to marry me?

Some people mistakenly think that doubling down on commitment will fix what's missing emotionally.

Am I completely wrong for feeling completely violated and shattered by all of this?

Shattered? No. You had a very stable, long-term relationship, until suddenly you didn't. The rug got yanked out from under you, and the pain is nothing compared to the surprise.

Violated? Yes. People change, relationships fail, nothing is guaranteed. You can blame her for not raising the breakup issues earlier, but that doesn't invalidate the issues themselves. Whether or not they're "real" issues or she's confused about why she no longer wants to be with you, the brute fact is that she doesn't want to be with you. It happens, it's shitty for you, and you deserve some time to grieve the loss of the relationship. But at the end of the day, you're moving on, whether you want to or not. Embrace that when you're ready.
posted by fatbird at 1:41 PM on April 7, 2011 [16 favorites]

End contact with her. It will be easier for you. She's changed too much and wants something different. It's unfair and sucks, but it's just how it is right now.
posted by elpea at 1:41 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think you should call her bluffs and call her and tell her, "Listen, I've thought about this, and as much as I love you, no relationship deserves the kind of shitty treatment you're giving it. I've met you half way. I've accommodated your every need. I've even shouldered the blame for things that I decidedly do not deserve to be blamed for. I think it's time for you to do some growing up, and this needs to be done outside of our relationship. Thank you for all the good times and for a wonderful 4 years."

And then ignore her calls and stick to your guns. She's having a mini breakdown and she's irrational about it. Work through your pain, continue improving yourself, and look forward to meeting someone new. You DEFINITELY deserve that.
posted by patronuscharms at 1:41 PM on April 7, 2011 [26 favorites]

Best answer: Sometimes in relationships it's hard to escape inertia. You feel like what you have is better than having to start over again. When you decided to move, you broke her out of the inertia of your relationship and then she spent a bunch of time rationalizing why it's your fault that she wanted to break up with you. The reality is probably that she had grown apart from you but didn't have the guts to move on and you moving away was the thing that helped her have a clean break.

It's a totally horrible and immature way to end a relationship and I'm really sorry you have to go through this. Let me just tell you though that you will ultimately be better off without her. You should not have to change to make her happy, you deserve to be with someone who loves you for who you are fat or thin, cooking or not, etc.

This is an opportunity for you to get a new start. Even if you could win her back, odds are good you will never really be able to trust that she loves you. No one needs that kind of drama.
posted by Kimberly at 1:41 PM on April 7, 2011 [8 favorites]

Then why was she trying to marry me?

The plain, hard truth about this and much of life is that "it doesn't have to make sense."

She said she doesn't want to be with and did it in a shitty fashion. You need to cut ties with her, now, immediately otherwise you're in for a lot of pain. Treat yourself better than that and better than she'll treat you.

She's gone, she isn't coming back and you have to move on, starting now. Grieve, be miserable, but whatever you do, stop communicating with her, 'cause there's nothing there anymore.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:41 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I had a very (very) similar thing happen to me a few years back. I'm sorry you're going through this. She's being a major douchebag and treating you like crap. The best thing (in my opinion) that you can do is to take a step back, accept that it's over, and try to pick up the pieces and move on. In time, you'll realize that this has very little to do with you and a lot more to do with her and her maturity level.

In the meantime, enjoy your new city and your new job. Things will get better without her in your life.
posted by phunniemee at 1:43 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: Why do you want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you? Wouldn't you rather be with someone who desires to be with you as much as you desire to be with them?

Of course you're not completely wrong for feeling violated and shattered by this. But I can pretty much guarantee you that you will continue to feel these feelings so long as you let her continue to walk all over you. And once you step up and stop letting her treat you like trash, you will start feeling better and more certain about yourself.

It's fine to question what went wrong, to try and troubleshoot things so as to not make the same mistakes in your next relationship - but do understand that you will never truly get completely satisfying answers to all your questions. Most times these answers simply don't exist, no matter how much we believe the other person has them. You will have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes in life things happen and they have no explanation or recourse, they just are.

Time will heal your wounds. Reflection may as well, whether this is done through personal meditation, therapy, reading self help books, talking with friends, etc.
posted by Meagan at 1:43 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You've already wisely accepted this: "I know that you can't yell someone into loving you more."

You can't anything someone into loving you more. I know you're trying and I know it hurts, but it's time to let her go and heal yourself. Don't contact her. If it helps to think that there's a chance you might find your way back to each other in the future, then you can think that; but in my experience, by the time you are healed from this you will already be very ready to fall in love with someone new. And it will happen. And it'll be even better.
posted by juliplease at 1:44 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: Then why was she trying to marry me?

Your answer is in your original post:
We've been through a lot together - the worst job market since the Great Depression, crappy jobs overall, and the general post-collegiate depression that comes with having to enter the working world.

She was afraid. The whole move thing was looming. Then you left. And she realized she could live without you. So she's now rooting out all the things she tells herself justify her leaving. Fact is simple; she's no longer into you.

And you know that panicky feeling you're having that makes you want to do anything to get her back? That will enable her to keep you as her fallback. Please, hon, DO NOT LET HER.
posted by likeso at 1:44 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

There is such a thing as being geographically undesirable. Some people just don't want to put in the effort. Let it go for a few weeks/months and if you happen to be going back for some reason give her a call /email and mention that you'd like to have coffee. It hurts now, but don't dwell on it.
posted by Gungho at 1:45 PM on April 7, 2011

I think you should call her bluffs and call her and tell her, ...

Don't do this. It's petty and you'll regret it later. Relationships don't end at the breakup, they end when you get over the breakup. If you talk to her now, you'll still be having a relationship talk, and it'll be ugly and accusatory and you'll be looking for some kind of closure that she can't and won't give you.

It's time for you to take care of yourself, and the way to do that is to give yourself whatever you need to move on.
posted by fatbird at 1:46 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'm betting with you out of the house she suddenly realized what it would be like to be single and regretted spending the early 20s in a relationship. She then blows up all of the little annoyances in order to justify getting out of it, because "I want to be single and have fun" sounds like a flighty reason to break up.

She wanted to marry you because when you're chest-deep in the middle of a long-term relationship you have no idea what it's like to be out of it, especially if it's lasted the length of your formative early-adult years. She was probably suffering from little resentments and regrets, and those all came to a head as soon as she was on her own.

She doesn't want you back. In a couple of weeks she'll probably want to take you back because she'll remember all the nice parts of being in a relationship--regular cuddling, emotional support, etc--but that doesn't mean she's ready to be in the relationship again or she's interested in you.

Cut contact. It's over.
posted by schroedinger at 1:47 PM on April 7, 2011 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Whatever, this is what happened:

She was excited to go out with and sleep with other people when she got home so she dumped you. Then she realized that maybe she should keep you around if possible so she calls you up to go on hiatus. She felt like exploring her options while keeping you on the back burner.

You accepted because right now you are vulnerable, alone, whiny and wondering "WHYYY???".

Take some time to grieve. Get back with her if you want too but go on some dates yourself if you can tolerate it. You'll find someone better for yourself.
posted by zephyr_words at 1:48 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The reason you should avoid any further contact with her is the stark difference between the woman you loved and the woman she really is. They're two different people. The woman you loved is not the same person you're agreeing to go on hiatus with.
posted by teg4rvn at 1:52 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: She said she had stopped being attracted to me for over a year, even though SIX MONTHS ago she had been begging me to look for a wedding ring.

Why didn't you buy her a wedding ring six months ago, if she was begging? Why on earth did you drag your feet? She got impatient with your lack of action. She got bored. The things she was putting up with became problems instead of minor nuisances.

I have done the long distance relationship thing, and she's probably doing you a very nice favor by breaking it off now instead of pretending the relationship still exists. Truly. Think of this as a new start on life in a new place. You're hurting now, and that sucks. Take responsibility for the mistakes you made and accept that she left you because of how you behaved. You got too comfortable, maybe. It doesn't make you a bad person, but it is what it is. She is gone. Learn from this and see how you can be a better boyfriend to your next girlfriend.
posted by griselda at 1:54 PM on April 7, 2011 [12 favorites]

Best answer: Even if we totally backed you up on all of your points about how she should have done this and that differently (should have given you an ultimatum first, etc.), where would that get you? You can't go back in time to change these things, and you have very little chance of convincing her to reverse course now.

As interesting as it might be for us to make comment's like zephyr_words' that purport to know exactly why it ended, none of us commenters can read her mind. We can only read what she's said, via your post, and what she's said makes it pretty clear things are over. Sorry. Take some time to grieve, try not to wallow in misery too long, and then go out and find someone new. Hopefully, someone who doesn't treat you like this.
posted by John Cohen at 2:00 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: Ugh, what a mess.

She sounds confused about what she wants -- but don't assume from that that you know what she wants. Back off and respect her decisions. If she figures out what she wants and it's you, great....but seriously don't be her doormat and take care of yourself.

The best thing I ever learned about dating (and being married and being divorced) is that you should take what people say at absolute face value only when it matches what they are doing. What she's saying is that she wasn't happy when she acting like she was hoping for a ring -- therefore, you can't trust either what she says now or what she did then as the truth. She's also saying that she wants a hiatus is making no effort to repair the relationship or keep in communication. In fact, it sounds like she's actively trying to hurt you. Maybe she's trying to hurt you into hating her so she doesn't have to pick back up off the hiatus? I wish I could say I've always been above such tactics.

When she says she wants to break up and then won't talk to you, THAT is the message you can trust because the words sync with the actions. As for your path from there....get hammered this weekend. Then work hard all next week, make new friends and explore your new city. Lots of time and you'll be OK, you'll see.
posted by motsque at 2:01 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: This sucks, but hopefully the responses you've gotten here will make it clear that there is *nothing* to do here but move on with your life. It's not happening unless some weird bolt of lightning strikes her and makes her suddenly decide she screwed up. The ball is not in your court.

Maybe this lack of choice in the matter will make it easier?
posted by pjaust at 2:03 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: She's being immature by blaming everything on you. It doesn't mean everything was a lie when it felt good. Relationships are more complicated than that. Don't internalize the hypocritical insults she's throwing at you; recognize them as things she has to say to convince herself she's right about this. You're collateral damage.

But she's actually doing you a favor by being shitty right now. It gives you the excuse to take all the room you need to make a clean break, and not to fall back into a bad relationship if and when she starts to regret the breakup. This is a fantastic opportunity to start anew. You're young and in a new place and totally free of obligation. It's a little terrifying but try to embrace it.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 2:06 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: Sometimes people just want their freedom. Has nothing to do with you, somewhat to do with her, and mostly that when you are young sometimes freedom starts to look good.

I broke up with my first fiance under similar circumstances. He'd flunked out of the college I had just begun going to, and he'd moved back to the midwest, meaning we had a longdistance engagement (no date had been set.) After a frantic phonecall from him stating he wanted to elope and us live with his folks (no. just no.) and my getting some attention from people who were actually in my physical proximity I realized that a) my fiance was not thinking clearly and b) that I was missing my freedom.

I was 18 and never looked back.

Please realize that a breakup now is much better than a divorce later. And that altho you will miss the security of your relationship, on the other hand this gives you a clean break to go forth and begin a new life in your new area, with all the freedom that goes with it.

This is not to excuse her cruelty in the way she split with you-she could have spoken up earlier and been more kind. But it isn't easy to tell someone who loves you that it's over. Sometimes people do a messy job of it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:15 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Then why was she trying to marry me?

Relationships sometimes suddenly hit this crossroads: get married or move on? Sometimes, "move on" is exactly the right, though painful, decision, but -- and I know this may seem counterintuitive -- the need to break up is actually mistaken for the need to get married. I think this happens for a couple of reasons. First, as noted upthread, there may be a general sense that "something's missing" -- and the "something" is mistakenly assumed to be marriage.

A second and related factor is that I think people can be so frightened of the pain that they sense a breakup will inevitably bring that they (not altogether consciously) want to come up with some way to postpone or avoid the pain entirely. I think this can be pretty easy to do in our culture where weddings are so fetishized and women in particular are almost constantly bombarded with messages about how a wedding is THE Greatest Day Ever. After all, on some level, you know you want some sort of change, something new and dfferent and exciting -- and what could be more exciting than a wedding?

Honestly, I have known a lot of couples who hit their mid-20s or late 20s at this sort of Wedding or Breakup? crossroads who have gone down the marriage path when they really should have gone down the breakup path. These are usually the couples who end up getting divorces in their 30s. My ex-husband and I were among them.

None of this may help with the hurt and grieving you are (naturally) going through, but I hope it might take a little bit of the mystery/sting out of what seems to be such a terrible inconsistency.
posted by scody at 2:23 PM on April 7, 2011 [13 favorites]

She said some unnecessarily harsh and even cruel things that make me think that on some level she wanted to make sure she couldn't undo the breakup if she changed her mind later. You're both young, and it sounds like she isn't exactly sure what she wants, so don't waste your time and emotional energy ripping the bandage off slowly. Cut off all contact with her for at least six months, and use the time to explore your own interests and new romantic freedom.
posted by ladypants at 2:28 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: Many people don't understand why they feel what they feel, and end up making decisions that seem random or cruel. There are reasons, and you might be able to figure out some of them, but you can't have a relationship built on second-guessing what the other person really wants.

I guess that you two were pretty wrapped up in each other and didn't really have independent social lives or even much of a social life at all. That gets old in a LTR-- you gotta have your own friends and activities, and frequent new things, to keep things interesting. You also need to do more than half of the planning for these activities. (this was my experience)

You could probably win her back by being impressive (dating someone else for awhile, having an amazing social life full of interesting activities that you lead, and a successful career) and seeing her regularly (for platonic social reasons, ideally including said interesting activities). To take this to the extreme: buy a nice camera, do something new, adventurous and fun every day with a group of other attractive people, and post pictures on facebook.

But, that doesn't really change things. For now: follow the standard just-got-dumped advice to stay busy with things you like. For the future: follow your dreams, and work on creating better relationships if you feel like it.

Thanks for giving me a chance to remember crazy times in my life. I am only slightly less clueless now. Good luck.
posted by sninctown at 2:29 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: You can't logic her back into love. I'm willing to bet she met someone or got a bunch of male attention, and decided that she could manage without you. Walk away, don't live in hope, and if and when she calls you someday, be nice, but don't get fooled again. There's a certain "puppet on a string" quality to her actions, and I don't think that bodes well for a future together.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:33 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My take is the same as so many others said here. She just doesn't know who she is right now. She's in the process of trying new stuff and everything's a revelation. I know it was for me in my 20's. You were together and she was talking about wedding rings. You left and she tried cooking at home and it was the biggest thing in the world for her.

THAT is where her head is. THAT says everything you need to know. She has no life experience and sounds like she needs 10 years or so worth of it just to get enough going to realize that making pasta on your own stove isn't that big a deal.

The upshot? You're young. She's MUCH younger. And right now this is a really good lesson and something that, in the best of circumstances of long distances relationships, was always a longshot. Move on. Someday maybe she'll get a better handle on who she is. But by then you'll be a lot further down that road too. In the meantime, go get really drunk. It doesn't always help but bad hangovers hurt more than breakups. And it's distracting.
posted by rileyray3000 at 2:38 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

DTMFA. Move on. You'll be fine.
posted by empath at 2:42 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: She thought we ate too much fast food and loved being able to cook again (she had never mentioned she had an issue with eating out, as we were both very stressed and busy in our old city

We've been through a lot together - the worst job market since the Great Depression, crappy jobs overall, and the general post-collegiate depression that comes with having to enter the working world. I want her back, but can I ever make this work, despite my willingness to change? I'm already at the weight I was at when she met me...

There's no way to know this because I'm not her, but it's just an idea.

I don't think your weight is the be-all, end-all of why she lost interest. I think she might associate your relationship with struggle, stress, depression, being overweight, co-dependence, crappy jobs, desperation. Two people struggling and being miserable together. Now, she's going out with her friends, clubbing, getting lurid glances, feeling hot, having FUN!

If I'm in the ball park, then, no, this is not fair to you. No, it's not rational. No, you are not wrong to feel devastated, destroyed, and despondent. I would, too.

I think the way she treated you, by acting like everything was fine, pushing for marriage, then yanking out the rug from under you, was really cruel.

I think the best thing to do is just let her go, and find someone who wants what you have to offer.
posted by Ashley801 at 2:44 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The plain, hard truth about this and much of life is that "it doesn't have to make sense."

You're getting several versions of this above and it's good advice. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth I was seeing a psychologist and having an issue in my relationships. After some umpteenth time I said that I didn't understand something my shrink commented "You don't necessarily need to understand, or maybe you'll never have what you need to be able to. But you have to accept."

It was the best advice I got in all those sessions, both about that situation and about life in general. It's not always easy or possible to know what motivates other people. A lot of time they don't know themselves. The simplest thing for you to do here is simply assume that everything your ex told you was true, as far as she believed it to be so, and focus on her actions.

She's ended the relationship and is resisting efforts to connect. Accept that. When there's a disconnect between what she says and what she does, focus on what she does. She's dropped a lot on you here, some of it (in my not so humble opinion) unfairly. After all, what good did it do you to drop all those retroactive complaints on you?

So accept the end and try to move on. If you do make strides towards reconciliation please don't just ignore the fact that you were blindsided this way once. I'm not advocating mistrust but you need to be careful about someone who would seeth over those things and then react unilaterally rather than bringing them up as they happen and/or try to work things out.
posted by phearlez at 2:57 PM on April 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: She thought we ate too much fast food and loved being able to cook again (she had never mentioned she had an issue with eating out, as we were both very stressed and busy in our old city

Most of her "reasons" strike me as retroactive justifications for breaking up. For whatever reason, she didn't want to do a long distance relationship, broke it off, and now her list of gripes about the relationship has turned into her breakup rationale. Nobody wants to say "You're not worth a long distance relationship or moving" so they invent other reasons, or stage some drama that forces the other person to dump them.

As phearlez notes, if she wasn't actively doing anything about those gripes before the breakup, they weren't a big deal. If you think her gripes were justified, now is your time to improve on those aspects of your life (congrats on the weight loss) so your next relationship will be better.

If you had married her, these same problems would have surfaced later on, likely when you had kids. Be glad it's done with while you're young and not tied down.
posted by benzenedream at 3:17 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Most of her "reasons" strike me as retroactive justifications for breaking up.

Ah yes, this is one thing I meant to say in my earlier comment but forgot. In my experience, someone in the aftermath of a breakup is often extremely unreliable in explaining how/why the breakup happened. You simply cannot take her descriptions in this context as the truth. They might be the truth, or she might just be trying to say something that sounds decent and will get you to stop talking about it.
posted by John Cohen at 3:22 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Follow these instructions carefully:

* throw your pillow on the floor.
* kneel on the pillow.
* bow your head.
* close your eyes.
* now thank GOD you figured this out now, and didn't marry her.

Listen... you dated someone who is extremely immature, otherwise she could have simply explained why she didn't want to see you anymore. I know she was sexy... and fun... and willing... but there is another one waiting out there who will fit like a glove. I promise.
posted by brownrd at 3:57 PM on April 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: She finally got some space to herself to analyze who she is and what she wants, and realized she had no clue. That's what happens when you're 24 and you've been in a relationship since college. When you were together, in the same city, it was impossible to imagine any other future. You left -- nudging the relationship out of its rut -- and she suddenly realized the infinite possible, and saw that she wasn't ready to shut it out. She just doesn't have the language to explain that yet, so she's falling back on excuses that may be tangentially related, but aren't the core of the thing.

I know it hurts like fuck right now. But after you grieve and recover, you'll feel the infinite possible, too. And you'll realize that this is the best thing that ever happened to you.
posted by crackingdes at 5:22 PM on April 7, 2011 [5 favorites]

I was with a guy for five years, we had our problems but I was going to MAKE it work. He broke it off with me, he was as cold as ice, unfeeling but sorry I was as hurt as I was. One thing you can do for yourself is keep your dignity, I on the other hand begged and cried for him to change his mind which he did not do. I accepted it was over about a month after it had ended. It took a long time for me to recover from this breakup. I then met a wonderful guy who I married and am still with today (16 years) and I can say that I APPRECIATE him and our relationship more due to the above bad relationship. This will be a learning experience, you will recover and appreciate the person you will meet and are meant to be with. Stay strong, keep busy with hobbies you enjoy to keep your mind off of the breakup. I wish you the best!
posted by sandyp at 6:26 PM on April 7, 2011

Be thankful you didn't get married. You're both young, have been in a LTR and she's decided since you left that she wants her freedom. Go forth into your own brave new world.
posted by mleigh at 6:37 PM on April 7, 2011

Best answer: We have problems that couples have,

A lot of times, this is code for "we had really serious problems that I chose to ignore." Every relationship has its issues, and no relationship is 100% perfect at every moment, but in a good relationship those issues are discussed and solved in ways that strengthen the relationship.

Like sandyp says, keep your dignity. Don't beg her to come back, don't get drunk and start calling her at 2am, and don't take her back after some asshole dumps her and breaks her heart.

What you describe is totally normal -- it's not just younger people who wake up one day and realize that they have been missing out on HAWT SEX and fast times; I know people in their 60s and older who have broken marriages for this reason. It sucks, but usually there were warning signs for a long time before, and I'm honestly not sure there is anything you can do about it. I mean, if she wants to get drunk and dance all night and blow random dudes in the club bathroom, is there some way you can provide that at home? Renting a different movie on Netflix, maybe? Date night? There's no way -- she'll leave now, or leave later, and it's way better for her to leave now.

People are self-destructive and confused, sometimes, and that's ok. Your job now is to focus on yourself, and make sure that when you are ready to date again, you find someone who is completely in the same place as you.
posted by Forktine at 7:31 PM on April 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Maybe six months ago part of you knew that getting that ring wasn't the wisest move. Maybe that part of you needed to test the waters some more to see that if you get married it will be for real and for the right reasons. Well you can thank that part now as obviously it kept you from committing to someone that really isn't able to commit right now, someone that can switch what they want and think quickly or withhold their truth from you. You're a lucky guy that you can trust your intuition and unconscious mind to help with those important decisions. That isn't to say that you didn't lose a lot right now. You did. But you will be better for it down the line after the pain subsides you will still have all the experiences, good and bad, and the wisdom that comes from going through something like this.
posted by blueyellow at 9:23 PM on April 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm a little late to the game here, but this is my take on things.

She's 24. She's probably bombarded every day with her friends on Facebook getting engaged and other like stuff. She's been in a relationship with you for four years. I bet she was starting to feel like she should feel compelled to get married - so she acted on that without the true feeling. Then she got impatient. Then you moved and aren't around all the time, so it became more convenient to break up, which reveals that she wasn't truely interested in marriage in the first place - she was interested in progress and change, which in her mind incorrectly correlated to marriage. Thisis all kind of crappy, but not outside the realm of ethical.

She's being a huge douchebag though when she tries to blame it on fast food and boxes of stuff.

I think you should allow yourself to grieve and move on.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:11 AM on April 8, 2011

Obviously this is mere speculation, but consider this condensed version of your story:

You rejected her offer of marriage and moved out of town. After realizing that she could survive without you, she discovered how angry she was, and she turned on you. You were shocked.

I'd say you both had your reasons. Try to be thankful for the love she gave you, and move on.
posted by jcrcarter at 11:23 AM on April 8, 2011 [4 favorites]

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