June 20, 2012 at 11:56 am #30771
So I am probably getting broken up with this evening, and I need advice. We have been together for a little over two years, and I graduated college in May and got a job in my hometown. He works in a different city and has been working there for a year. I wanted to work there as well, but with the way everything played out, I had to take this job. After November, my current boss knows I want to work in the other city, and plans on helping me make that happen.
We were an hour and a half apart for my senior year last year, and only got to see one another on the weekends, but everything was still great. Now we are 4.5 hours apart, but have only been for about 2 months. We each went to visit each other once, and I thought things were okay. I went to his city for work last week, and stayed with him. Things felt a little strained, and I was confused but he was stressed from work and I thought it was that. He has remained distant, and yesterday he ignored me all day. Finally today I asked for an explanation, and he replied that he feels like he is growing apart from me, and needs time to think what would make him happy. He said he would call me after work today and we could talk about how he’s feeling.
I don’t want to break up at all, and if he needs space I will give it to him, but I also feel like someone is ripping my heart from my chest, and I would like to be able to rationally discuss this with him tonight and not just sob. Nothing has happened between us specifically aside from the new distance, and things were great up until last week. I just want him to know that I don’t want to break up, and I don’t know why we can’t try before we just end things, especially when I will probably be living down the street in 6 months.
Do you guys have any advice for what I can ask and say to help me understand what’s going on?June 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm #30782
This is so tough, I’m sorry
I’ve been on both ends of this equation, and it’s a helpless position to be in when you’re the one getting broken up with. My advice is to just listen to him (& keep in mind that maybe he won’t dump you? maybe there WILL be things he wants to work on?)
If, however, the conversation is more “this isn’t working” instead of “this is what we should work on” I’d advise you to not counter it by asking why, offering to do x, y, z or saying he needs to do x,y,z, etc. This might be tempting, because it’ll feel like he’s “giving up” on the relationship– but if he truly DOES want to break up with you, then convincing him otherwise won’t do either of you any favors.
As for what TO say/ask, I definitely find it interesting he seems to be having doubts even though the distance has an end-date? I’d inquire about aspects of that– try to keep any questions fact-based (this helps me, at least, when I feel on the brink of tears)June 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm #30791
I’m sorry I’ve been on the receiving end of this before and it really just sucks balls.
Because I’m kind of a dork, I find lists are really helpful to make before conversations like this. Like, if there is anything you really, really want to say or ask- write it down so you don’t forget it! Having said that, I do agree with Fabelle. Trying to convince him to give it another try if what he wants is to break up is ultimately doing neither of you a favour.
And while this is a matter of personal opinion, mine is that “breaks” are almost universally bad ideas and it’s better to make a clean break.June 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm #30798
I’m sorry this is happening. It’s so hard when you feel like the other person is pulling away, and you still want to be together. The best you can do is state your feelings, calmly and clearly. So, your first step would be figuring out what those are. He’s taken all the power in this situation, so take some back by deciding why exactly you guys work, and be honest with yourself about whatever issues you think might be there. And I agree, if he approaches you clearly intending to end things, then all I can advise is to be as brave as possible and know that you can’t debate someone into being with you. Even if you succeeded temporarily, that would feel crappy and you deserve more. You deserve someone who really wants to be in a relationship with you, so if he doesn’t, you have to do your best to graciously let him go. Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you think he’s making a mistake, because it takes two people to want a relationship to have even a chance of it working and being healthy.
Be strong, think about what you want, and remember there is someone else out there who will love and appreciate you, if this guy decides this doesn’t work for him anymore. And if you know this is what you really want, and he clearly wants to work on things, then be prepared to tell him as calmly as possible your side of the issues you’re having.
Good luck and positive vibes to you!June 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm #30800
I’m sorry – that sounds rough. Maybe you lead the conversation to see if he has needs that aren’t being met and to see if there is a solution the two of you can come up with to make sure everyone’s needs are met. If it becomes clear from the beginning though that really he just wants out then I guess there is nothing you can do. It really does suck but I think Catie is right – a break up is way better than any type of break…June 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm #30803
I’m really sorry you’re going through this. I second Caitie’s list idea. From someone who often has trouble holding tears back, I’ve used lists like this to be as clear as possible about my thoughts, feelings and motivations regarding a relationship. I think it’s worthy to make suggestions of how you can work on things/work through things, but if he continues to pull away, just know that you deserve more than that. Try to keep your head held high. The DWers will be here if you need us!June 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm #30810
I think the list idea is great, and while you’re on the phone, keep the pen and paper handy so that if you think of something to say, jot it down so you don’t forget it, and don’t interrupt him while he’s talking. When I was broken up with long distance, I hung up the phone and kicked myself because I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to say, which caused a long drawn out breakup for us. I don’t think it could hurt to ask him calmly if there’s anything you can do to keep the relationship going, but also say that you understand if there isn’t. You tell him that you love him and do not want to break up, but if that’s his decision you’ll accept that. If the answer’s no, you accept it and tell him you appreciate his honesty. I find that if I have a kind of a script like that for the possibility of what I want to say in certain situations, I’m a lot calmer and can speak without whining or my voice breaking and crying.
I would also say make dinner or post phone call plans with a friend so you don’t just sit there and cry all night tonight if a breakup is in fact what happens.
If a break up does happen, then no more contact (unless you need stuff from each other…then get your stuff and then no more contact). It’s a lot easier to get into a new normal when that person is completely out of your life.
I hope it’s not the case, but if it happens, we’re here for you! Let us know how it goes!June 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm #30811
I know this is going to sound harsh, but keep in mind that while his statement, “he feels like you’re growing apart” seems sudden, for him it probably isn’t. This is probably something he’s been feeling for awhile. So I would spend some time thinking back and really try to see when things started to change. Is there anything, other than the distance, that changed in his life or yours? Maybe he sees your graduating as a sign that he has to take the next step and make a bigger commitment and that scares him. There are lots of reasons that he could be feeling this way. It could have absolutely nothing to do with you. I would recommend just trying your best to remain calm and listen. Try not to freak out. I’m so sorry this is happening. It seems like men are better at hiding how they are feeling so it seems like it is coming out of left field when they say that they don’t want to be in a relationship anymore. Let us know how the conversation turns out. We’re here for you!June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm #30818
I think everyone has some great ideas above, and I agree that this might have been pending in his mind for awhile.
Just breathe. And hell, isnt it going to be funny if he totally doesnt initiate THE BREAKUP TALK?
I agree with the obove especially in that if he does break it off, accept it and dont do the needy routine and the crying and the trying to reason him out of the breakup. I cringe thinking of a few breakups when I was younger, both on the receiving and giving ends of breakups…UGH. The Long Drawn Out Breakup is heinous too, believe me. Double UGH.
We’re here for you!June 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm #30846
Hey everyone, it did happen, we broke up.
But I want to say thank you for all of the advice and kind words, because it really helped me be rational and calm. I made a list, and though I told him I loved him and didn’t want to break up, I was able to stay calm and stick to the things I wrote down. I probably would have screamed and sobbed if I hadn’t heard from you all. Because I stayed rational, I was able to ask everything I needed, and get a few answers. I didn’t like many of them, but that doesn’t change anything. Apparently he has been feeling like this for awhile, and he regretted not talking to me about it sooner, but it didn’t change anything. I am proud to say although I cried the whole time, I said my piece but did not beg, and I think it went as well as one person breaking another’s heart could go.
I was willing to put much, much more into our relationship, and although he was my best friend, I hope someday I can find someone who is willing to give as much as I am.June 20, 2012 at 8:51 pm #30850
Sorry to hear it, mllryjo. It sounds like you’re taking it fairly well. And the DW community is here to listen if you need.June 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm #30852
aw, im sorry… i was totally hoping this was going to be a big joke when you came back and was like wow i totally went pessimistic on my situation…
congrats though on being calm and rational. that is really something to be proud of!June 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm #30853
I’m so sorry to hear that. It sucks being broken up with. I can’t imagine a worse feeling. After my relationship ended recently, I just made a point to focus on myself for a little while and do things that make me happy. And I also relied on my friends a lot to help me through it, including many friends on DW. I’ve never found a place so supportive and wonderful so anytime you’re feeling down I would recommend talking to someone here. If you are up at crazy late/early morning hours, I am usually online because I work 3rd shift. Hang in there. *hugs*June 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm #30857
I am so very sorry. I think that a lot of people can relate to what you’re feeling right now, and I know that it isn’t a feeling I would wish on my biggest enemy (well, I don’t really have enemies, but you get the point!). Everything you said is so healthy and true. And I know your feelings have probably not caught up to your brain yet with those thoughts, I promise you, they will. Bottom line is you deserve someone who really wants to be with you, and that person wouldn’t break up with you. Don’t fixate too much on the reasons he articulated- two people can be wrong for each other without there being anything wrong with either person, and often times I think people sort of paint a story over their feelings to help understand and explain them. He doesn’t want to be in it, and that’s really all you need to know.
You said what you needed to say, ask the questions you wanted to ask, and didn’t beg. That’s extremely mature, and I think you are going to look back and be very glad. Handling a break up with dignity is maybe the emotionally most difficult thing I can imagine most people ever have to go through.
Lots of hugs your way. Reach out to friends. There are so many amazing people in this world. You are going to be just fine.June 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm #30891
Hey, I’m really sorry this is going on.
I’ve been through a lot of tough relationships myself, so I can really empathize with what you’re struggling through right now. My only advice would be: don’t let him go.
I know it’s rough, but just because he said it’s over doesn’t really mean it’s over. People will always try to make it look positive to you, but let’s face it , he makes you happy and it’s okay to say that.
Truly wish you the best of luck
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