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“She Dumped Me, But I Can’t Let Her Go”

Broken heart

I’m from Canada and and my girlfriend of three years is from France. We’re presently located in New Zealand on working holiday visas, after finishing a year long excursion in Australia. She’s mentioned to me on occasion that she wants to move back to France to be with her family but I want to move to Canada. Neither one of us is willing to compromise moving to one place or the other. She hates the Canadian winters. I wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable living in France (I don’t speak the language and the one time I visited, I saw it as more of a holiday destination). We’ve had several conversations about the topic – we just never settled on a solution. It got to the point where we agreed that there is certainly an expiration date to this relationship.

About two weeks ago where she sat me down and I knew what was coming. She was going to end the relationship. What I didn’t see coming was that she was developing feelings for another man. I knew who the man was and immediately put the blame on myself for pushing the two of them closer together. I had said to her on multiple occasions that I was okay with her hanging out with other people who weren’t me. It’s good for her to have friends outside of me, right? That’s what a healthy/balanced relationship is.

Suffice to say, I didn’t deal with this news very well. There was lots of crying. A lot of yelling. This had to be one of those most uncomfortable situations I had ever been placed in. And despite all this, I couldn’t let her go and I can’t bear the thought of living without her. So I suggested that we immigrate to New Zealand. I asked her to consider not going back to France and just starting a life with me here, to which she quickly countered: “Are you only saying that so we don’t break up?” Well, yes. But at the same time, knowing how I feel about her and how much she’s meant to me why would I want to lose her?

A lot our discussions had escalated over that fateful weekend. She confronted me about what I wanted for the future — what kind of career and life I wanted. And to be quite honest, I don’t really know. I take life as it comes and have never considered where I see myself in the future. Instead of answering, I stormed out of the apartment with a pretty severe panic attack.

When I came back home I found that she packed a bag and was staying with a friend. She left. And I wasn’t sure where to go from here. In the aftermath of all this I’ve consulted with friends and family who have told me to either: a) give her up and move back home; or b) have a heart-to-heart talk about what she wants and what we should do.

We’ve been cordial with one another about the living situation (we share an apartment and a bank account). I’ve even offered the flat back to her for a weekend while I stayed with friends to re-charge the batteries. There were moments I yelled at her via text and on the phone (admittedly, the latter being more alcohol influenced) about what she had done and how this was affecting to me. And the only responses I got were quiet apologies for what had happened and how she was concerned for my well-being. She’d say: “I hope you’re okay” or “I hope you’re feeling better.” But, how could I be feeling better?

I’m still waiting for her answer as to what she wants to do and if she sees herself with me. Despite all that’s gone on, I do love her and do want to stay with her. My thinking is that if she wants to be with me, we can somehow find a way to stick together. I’ve offered a compromise of living in NZ for a few years and hopefully finding work in the UK which would allow her to visit her family on the weekends. To be frank, I just don’t see how I can fit into her life in France. I’m more of a city person whereas she grew up in a small village. If I were to make the leap and try and live in France I can see myself resenting the decision immediately and abandoning her. I understand her need to be close to family but when she herself called me family, why would she want to abandon that? It confuses me.

All of this has left me incredibly tired, both physically and mentally. I can’t discuss the issue anymore with my friends. I’m afraid I’m boring them with my constant worries and woes about it. I’ve heard a lot in the last two weeks but maybe, with an outside perspective, you’ll be able to help? — Can’t Let Her Go

Dude, she broke up with you. What is there to figure out? She’s told you that she doesn’t want to be with you, so whether or not you’re ready to give her up, the decision has been made for you. Not only do neither of you want to live in the same place, but she has feelings for another man. When she gives you quiet apologies, expresses concern about your well-being, and asks if you are OK when you call her up and yell at her for what she’s done to you, she’s letting you know in her own way that you need to move on. The reason she hasn’t answered you about your compromise to live in NZ for a few years and then “hopefully find work the UK,” is because she doesn’t want to continue this relationship, regardless of where you’re willing to live with her.

You don’t say how old you are, but clearly you’re old enough to have lived on your own for a while, in a foreign country, with a girlfriend of a few years. That means you’re old enough to start thinking about your future and what you want to do with your life. Think of this breakup as an opportunity to really consider what YOU want, not how you can mold your life around what someone else wants.

This relationship is not meant to be, at least not between the people you two currently are. So go figure some shit out, grow up a little, and see where things settle. All relationships require some compromise, but you have to know what you really want and what you don’t want or you’re going to have problems longer-term. So focus on that for now and trust that your love life will only benefit from a little soul-searching.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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{ 87 comments… add one }

  • avatar Bunnycsp July 8, 2013, 9:23 am

    LW, I think you are focusing on a random problem rather than the real problem. It isn’t “where are we going to live” it is that she no longer sees you as going down the same life road. It is too late and you need to let it go.

  • avatar muffy July 8, 2013, 9:25 am

    You sound so genuinely torn up about this and I’m sorry you’re going through it. I know the feeling of scrambling to come up with ideas just so you can maybe convince them to stay; thinking that “maybe if I do this she’ll want to be with me again!”. But that never works – because if that was the case she would have had a discussion with you about options for you two moving forward once you’re work visas in NZ were over. Instead she broke up with you. I know it’s hard but the best thing for you to do right now is to move on. Don’t contact her by cellphone anymore and alternate days in the apartment. Cut off contact. This is going to sound harsh but when you contact her it seems like begging and that appears pathetic.

    Move back to Canada or wherever in the world you want to move next and know that you will meet someone else and it will be just as good if not better than it was with her.

  • avatar Taylor July 8, 2013, 9:26 am

    WWS!
    LW, look at your ex’s actions and words- you’re broken up. It sucks, and there’s a process to this. You’re in denial, angry and looking to bargain with her. You can and will work through this. You yourself say that if you moved to a small town in France, you could see yourself “abandoning her”. You can see a future where you aren’t together, you just need to expand that a little. People can be great together, and still be unable to work out the logistics – geography, having kids, money etc. Life isn’t like the movies, good chemistry and love only get you so far. Good luck.

  • avatar AmyP July 8, 2013, 9:28 am

    If the usual Canadian winters bother her, how about British Columbia? It’s expensive, but it is Canada, and your girlfriend might be able to benefit from a lot of job opportunities, being bilingual.

    As to the big picture, I don’t hear you saying, “I want to be with her for the rest of my life. I want to get married. I want to have kids together.” You sound very short-term, whereas your girlfriend is thinking long-term. Unfortunately, the short-term decisions that you make now (as to place of residence) are going to affect your and your girlfriend’s long-term. Your place of residence is going to determine the opportunities that come your way.

    • avatar AmyP July 8, 2013, 9:32 am

      I didn’t read what Wendy said (always a mistake), so WWS.

      There are lots of women in Canada. Find one who wants to live there.

    • lemongrass lemongrass July 8, 2013, 11:09 am

      I’m from BC and I love living here, even though it is really expensive. It is so beautiful, everywhere you go.

  • avatar SasLinna July 8, 2013, 9:32 am

    My last relationship ended in a similar way, with me being in the ex gf’s role. We ultimately broke up for good, it was very painful, but also clearly necessary. Although we were compatible in many ways, we weren’t meant to be together in the long term. This break up will open up so many opportunities for you – for example, you can simply do what you want and move back to Canada and avoid all those complications with living in France etc. But I definitely feel your pain.

    Some things that stood out to me that also happened in my last relationship: 1) Interest in another man. I think this shows clearly that your ex has started moving on. She is putting her energy elsewhere already. 2) You only making concrete plans to live together once she was leaving you. I think you weren’t as invested as you now believe. Otherwise you would have suggested a plan for you to stay together long ago. My ex also did this – coming around on making concrete plans for the future once I already had one foot out the door (actually more like 90% of my feet if that makes sense). I reacted in the same way to that as your ex did – and I think it’s justified. Because you know, at that point, talk is cheap. You can make these grand plans and suggest them and you already know it won’t make a difference. But, even if you had made these plans earlier, I think she still would have left you anyway, so don’t take it as an “If only you would have”….

    Definitely move on. Cut contact, grieve this relationship, and go create your own life. Good look.

    • avatar SasLinna July 8, 2013, 9:37 am

      I’ll add that there can be ambiguous feelings on both sides in these cases – the one who’s leaving can genuinely feel awful when the ex is calling and also still massively care about them, without there be any chance for a reconciliation. So whatever the ex gf may be saying to him can be true without it changing anything.

  • theattack theattack July 8, 2013, 9:34 am

    It’s too late to compromise. It’s over, dude. This probably isn’t just about France either.

  • avatar ktfran July 8, 2013, 9:40 am

    Drama, drama, drama….

    And not from the girl, I might add.

    • avatar snarkymarc July 8, 2013, 12:20 pm

      The guy shows himself to be vulnerable, writes a heartfelt, emotional letter and you call him out for it. Nice.

  • avatar Older and (hopefully) wiser July 8, 2013, 9:54 am

    Wendy is absolutely right. If it makes you feel any better, marriage is hard enough when you share similar goals, values and backgrounds. In a few years, after the raging passion subsided,you probably would have resented each other.

  • avatar Scooze July 8, 2013, 10:03 am

    First, who gets a bank account with someone they know from the start they will not be with in the long-term?

    Also, the third sentence says it all “Neither one of us is willing to compromise moving to one place or the other.” None of the LW’s solutions involve him actually moving to France with her. The most he can offer is to move to a nearby country (the UK) and let her visit her family on the weekends. She has made it clear that she wants to move home. So even if she takes him back (she won’t), the relationship is simply not compatible, which is why she broke it off.

  • avatar Sara July 8, 2013, 10:08 am

    LW, the next time someone asks you where you see yourself in the future, I hope you have an answer. And even if you don’t, I hope you at least ask the person where she sees herself in the future to open up a dialog about goals and dreams. It sounds like you don’t have solid plans and don’t care about her goals and dreams that she may have. A partnership, to me, includes helping each other achieve goals that make you both the best people you can be.

  • avatar sarolabelle July 8, 2013, 10:20 am

    He would abandon her if they lived in France yet he can’t live without her?

    • avatar pamplemousse July 8, 2013, 10:34 am

      I thought the same thing. Also, he drunkenly calls her just to yell at her, yet he can’t understand why she doesn’t want to be with him?

    • avatar SasLinna July 8, 2013, 10:41 am

      You’re making a great point, but I can really understood being in this guy’s place, trying to somehow ignore these contradictions, and adding a huge dose of wishful thinking just to believe in it a little longer… I’ve been there. It hurts like hell to lose a loved partner – and she used to be that to him – and the mental contortions to avoid confronting the loss can be significant. But you’re right. I hope he sees the contradiction.

  • avatar pamplemousse July 8, 2013, 10:33 am

    LW, if your response to her asking what you want to do with your life is: “Instead of answering, I stormed out of the apartment with a pretty severe panic attack,” I think you should forget about dating for a while and see a therapist.

  • Fabelle Fabelle July 8, 2013, 10:37 am

    WWS. Sorry, but you need to give this relationship up—for your sake, AND hers. It’s not a matter of creating a balanced compromise by finding the perfect place to live…it’s a matter of taking this woman at her word (that she wants to end the relationship), & moving on.

    You’re looking at this all a bit selfishly, I think. (Which isn’t a disparagement of your overall character, but I want to outline how warped your perception is of this situation.) Like, I’m using “selfishly” to also mean “self-centeredly”—just look at your interpretation of her having feelings for somebody else. Why do you think this development has anything to do with you having encouraged her to have outside interests & friends? (Something that, yeah, is a necessary part of not only a healthy relationship, but being a well-rounded person.)

    I feel like you’re blaming yourself in order to regain control? (as screwed as that sounds.) In other words, as long as you take responsibility, then you can imagine that you have some kind of hold? But you don’t. She appears to have recognized that your life goals are too divergent, & attempted to act accordingly. It’s time for you to catch up with her (very reasonable) thought process.

    It sucks, obviously, & it hurts, but you’ll get there eventually. You already realize that living in France would cause you to resent, and “abandon” her—so maybe try to flipping this in order to see her point of view? (i.e. can you ~not~ see how she might grow to resent you from keeping her away from her family in France, where she’s firmly stated she wants to live?) I can tell right now your goal is to save the relationship, so you’re not thinking as long term. But you need to. I think you’ll realize—just as she has—that this relationship is not going to work.

    • avatar Lily in NYC July 8, 2013, 11:23 am

      Great points Fabelle! He is looking at everything from the lens of “how could she do this to me” instead of seeing the entire picture.

  • avatar painted_lady July 8, 2013, 10:54 am

    Hey, so, here’s something that’ll come as a shock to you: she doesn’t need your permission to break up with you.

    In breakups, when we’re hurting and we want things to go back to “normal” rather than be shitty and broken and life-changing, we believe that what our newly-minted ex is *not* saying is actually more important than what they *are* saying. Her apologies and hoping you’re okay, etc, aren’t secret code for “It’s only a matter of time, we can work this out.” It’s that she doesn’t want to be with you but feels badly and wishes you well. She meant it when she said she didn’t want to be with you and has feelings for another man. Think about how hard those things are to say to someone you care about and don’t want to hurt; no one would ever say those things if they didn’t absolutely need to be said. In fact, she had probably at least suspected those things for awhile. I know that hurts, but you need to hear that she isn’t just saying this stuff to provoke you into actions, or for funsies. It’s this whole not-believing thing that causes some people to feel like they need to be assholes to their exes; if the other person is going to take every kindness and every attempt to be cordial as a secret, “I didn’t really mean it and I secretly love you!” then it discourages those kindnesses.

    Also, when you say stuff like, “I’m waiting to hear what she wants to do, despite all that’s gone on I still love her, I figure if we want to be together we can find a way…” it sounds a little scary, to be perfectly honest. I know you’re hurting, but that doesn’t give you the right to ignore every word she said to you. What she wants to do is live her life without you as her boyfriend. What’s gone on is she’s broken up with you and doesn’t love you anymore, regardless of your feelings for her, and I’m not sure how much more clearly she can communicate that she doesn’t want to be with you. I know that sucks, and that hurts, but she gets to choose that for herself, and as much as it’s painful and awful, you don’t get a say. This isn’t a negotiation, and hopefully you’re just speaking out of hurt and have no plans to act, but that kind of talk can be really frightening. If you love her, please take this into consideration and give her the space and distance she’s asked for.

    Please be well, and please use this as an opportunity to make your life as much what you want it to be as possible. Breakups suck, but sometimes they can also be wonderful opportunities to fix the things you don’t like about your life. Going with the flow is all well and good, but you need to make sure that you have more in your life making you happy than just having a girlfriend.

    • avatar iseeshiny July 8, 2013, 11:02 am

      Perfect. You said it much better than I did.

    • findingtheearth findingtheearth July 8, 2013, 11:42 am

      I wish I had the opening line of your response to email to my ex last year when he would not let the relationship go. I do not need your permission to break up with you. Gorgeous.

    • Classic Classic July 8, 2013, 12:24 pm

      A long time ago, I was breaking up with a man, and he said “You can’t just unilaterally decide to end the relationship.” I didn’t stare in amazement too long, though. Ah, OK then, I am just going to unilaterally end my own involvement in the relationship, alrighty?

  • avatar iseeshiny July 8, 2013, 11:01 am

    The most important lesson I’ve learned as an adult is that you can’t make people change their minds about whether or not they love you and want to have a life with you. You are learning that now, and as painful as it is, it is super important that you learn it too.

    I’m reading over your letter, LW, and I’s seeing a lot of genuine pain, but also a lot of entitled selfishness. You have prioritized your feelings over hers, and are not accepting that her feelings are not yours to control. You don’t want to move to France, and she is moving to France. Wendy said it, there is nothing to talk about – you’ve broken up. You’re allowed to be sad and angry and disappointed. Listen to sad music, eat ice cream, go running – whatever you do to manage your sad feelings and help yourself feel better when you’ve been disappointed. That’s normal. But you also really need to accept her decision. Let her go.

  • Miel Miel July 8, 2013, 11:07 am

    For a long time, my boyfriend didn’t want to talk about his ex and how he broke up with her, because he was too ashamed of it. When he finally accepted to say what happened, he said something similar to what you said : “she broke up with me, but I couldn’t accept it, so I talked and begged and cried and yelled, and I did everything I could to win her back…” He began doing certain hobby because she was doing them, he gave her huge birthday presents, and he kept thinking for a while that “if he shows her how awesome he is, she will want him back”.

    Well, it didn’t happen. He finally realized he would never have her back. He moved on. He decided to work on himself because he actually had self-esteem problem. He became a better, more interesting, more mature person. And then he met me.

    When he thinks back, he knows trying to win his ex back was the stupidest thing ever. He wished he would have moved on sooner. He wished he hadn’t been crawling on the floor with no pride just so she would take him back. Now he’s ashamed of all of it, and he grew from it.

    Just don’t make the same mistake my boyfriend did. In a few years, you’ll look back and you’ll feel bad.

  • lemongrass lemongrass July 8, 2013, 11:07 am

    You sound really selfish. Figure out how to be a good partner before you find your next girlfriend and leave this poor girl alone.

  • avatar redessa July 8, 2013, 11:19 am

    ” It got to the point where we agreed that there is certainly an expiration date to this relationship.”

    I’m not sure when you thought the expiration date was or how you pictured the two of you parting, but this is it. It might not be how you wanted things to end but you need to find a way to accept that they have.

    “I’m still waiting for her answer as to what she wants to do and if she sees herself with me.”

    She’s already answered those questions. She’s told you from the beginning what she wants to do with her life. As for seeing herself with you, she told you she has feelings for someone else and then she moved out. It really doesn’t get more clear than that.

    I’m sorry for your pain. Get some therapy if you need help processing this breakup. Then work on having a life plan of your own. Even if your plan is to travel the world, moving wherever the next opportunity takes you, that’s fine. It’s a perfectly valid choice. As are a LOT of other choices. Just make sure your next girlfriend shares your vision (whatever your vision for the future is) and is not set on planting roots somewhere you don’t want to be.

  • avatar Sophronisba July 8, 2013, 11:19 am

    It is indeed time to grow up. Discover some dignity and quit texting and calling; you’re making a fool of yourself, proving your immaturity, and confirming for her that she made an excellent decision to move on. You knew there was a major deal-breaker in this relationship and that it had an expiration date. Sorry, but time’s up. Concentrate on you, work on getting a career or life plan or a passion for something other than holidaying and floating along.

  • avatar Lily in NYC July 8, 2013, 11:20 am

    Hey, guess what? If someone dumps you, you don’t get to say “no, we are not breaking up.” Life is not a romantic movie. Everything Wendy wrote is spot on.
    And your “compromise” is nothing of the sort because it only benefits you. But anyway, I don’t think you have a choice in the matter – it seems obvious to me that you are the only one that wants to make this work and that your gf has moved on. Please note that her texts back to your yelling have reached that point where she is simply patronizing you at this point. You sound pretty young or inexperienced in relationships; please treat this as what it was – a fun fling and nothing more. This woman is done with you. Yelling and dramatic tests are only pissing her off and making you look desperate, not making her miss you.

  • mrmidtwenties mrmidtwenties July 8, 2013, 11:22 am

    This really sucks bud. But she’s made it clear that there’s no bargaining to be had, so you’ve gotta move on. Stop drunkenly calling her and decide your next move, whether it’s staying in new zealand, or coming back to Canada.

  • avatar Amanda July 8, 2013, 11:22 am

    “It got to the point where we agreed that there is certainly an expiration date to this relationship.”

    LW, I know you’re hurting because breakups SUCK, but you knew that this relationship was going to end. Now you just have to accept it. I don’t think that you are creepy/selfish/a bad person, you are clearly in a lot of pain right now. I know that when I was dumped that I did some really stupid things, but I learned from the experience, grew as a person and now I am a better partner to my husband because of the hard work that I did before we met. My best advice for you is to cut off all contact with your ex, reach out to your friends and family, and immerse yourself in activities that you enjoy. It will take a lot of time, but one day you will realize that you didn’t think about your ex and that you are happy because of it. Good luck LW

  • Diablo Diablo July 8, 2013, 11:24 am

    I think she knew your answer (or lack of one) to the question of where you see your life going before she asked it. Shared vision is a basic criterion for a life relationship. That being said, if you are so in love, what’s so wrong with France? Wine, food, history, culture, I’d say you could make lemonade here. As a Canadian you probably have at least a bit of French, but even if not, then learn.

    When you stormed out as a response to this question, i think you slammed the door shut in your own face. If you’re over 18, this question should not cause a panic attack, even if the answer is, “I’m not really sure yet.” The “panic attack” was just you refusing to deal with the reality you were being faced with, because you knew your answer wasn’t going to fix the problem by then.

    If I’m her and I’m in the process of dumping you (for another guy, so never mind where YOU want or don’t want to live), that act just totally confirms how you are not up for a real LT relationship. I now feel there is nothing left to discuss, so I pack a bag and begin moving on.

    I don’t mean to be cruel, but ask yourself how you would react to your bailing like that? What’s gonna happen when she asks if you are ready for marriage or a child?

  • avatar GatorGirl July 8, 2013, 11:24 am

    So your GF dumped you and in the same breath said she had feelings for someone else. Then you suggested you immigrate to NZ, followed by storming out, lots of crying, and angry drunken shouting matches…

    This is not a healthy relationship. Move one, get yourself some counseling, stay single for a while.

    And seriously, who opens a bank account with someone they aren’t in a forever type relationship with?!

    • avatar lets_be_honest July 8, 2013, 11:39 am

      You’re the second commenter to mention the bank account, I think. I’m surprised that’s so weird. Surely there are plenty of long term relationships that have good reason for it, even if they haven’t decided whether they are in it for the long haul? I’m thinking a shared account for any couple that lives together to pay rent or whatever.

      • theattack theattack July 8, 2013, 11:41 am

        Really? It’s just not necessary though. I never had a joint account with any college roommates. Why a live-in SO if you’re not long term?

        • avatar lets_be_honest July 8, 2013, 11:43 am

          True. I mean, I wouldn’t, but I don’t think its all that strange. I still don’t have a shared account with Peter, haha.

          • avatar GatorGirl July 8, 2013, 11:45 am

            I was going to say that but I didn’t want to be rude!

            • avatar lets_be_honest July 8, 2013, 11:49 am

              Haha, I wouldn’t have thought that was rude!

        • katie katie July 8, 2013, 11:46 am

          well i mean, these two THOUGHT they were long term though. they got the account when they moved in, most likely, and everything was rainbows and butterflies

          • theattack theattack July 8, 2013, 12:05 pm

            That’s true. But I just think it’s much less messy if you wait until you’re long term committed and not just live-in bf/gf. Maybe that’s what happened here, I don’t know. I think of couples like you and Jake as long term committed because you two have real life goals together. This couple didn’t even have a plan for what continent to live on together, and it doesn’t sound like they had a realistic ability to even do that. It’s just a personal preference, but it’s risky.

            • avatar GatorGirl July 8, 2013, 12:10 pm

              Yes. This is what I’m trying to say.

              Sure, time wise they have been committed long term, but if there is no future plan (even for something as simple as which continent to live on)…I think it’s incredibly risky to mix something like banking up together.

              “Long term” in my eyes isn’t just about X number of months or years have gone by…it’s about a future plan of action which includes you both and that you both are working towards a common life together.

              • theattack theattack July 8, 2013, 12:14 pm

                Exactly. And a lot of couples live together just for kicks and giggles instead of because they’re committed. Nothing wrong with that, but to me there’s no reason to act like a long term couple if they’re not. Not when you can just safely write checks to pay each other for stuff.

              • Lindsay Lindsay July 8, 2013, 12:23 pm

                Yeah, especially because this couple knew they had an “expiration date,” as he calls it. It’s one thing to make that commitment if you don’t know for sure things will work out, and another to do it if you KNOW that you’re going to break up.

      • avatar GatorGirl July 8, 2013, 11:42 am

        Yeah, whatever floats your boat, but I would not open a bank account with a person who I could not agree to live on the same continent as.

        • avatar lets_be_honest July 8, 2013, 11:43 am

          Also true, but I also wouldn’t seriously date someone who didn’t want to live on the same continent as me.

        • avatar Sue Jones July 8, 2013, 12:17 pm

          I’ve been with my husband for 18 years. It is only in the past 4 years that we have some joint accounts together and POA on each others’ money. Mainly because we are both self-employed and it is easier to keep money separate. I just don’t get premature mixing of finances with someone that you are not even married to. That, along with LW lack of direction just reeks of co-dependency. LW, figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Make a plan and follow it, and gain some traction on your career and ambition. Think about a long term professional career as opposed to just a job. Think about where/how you want to live. Think about settling (or not) Think about whether you want a wife (or long term domestic partner) and children and if you do, how you will provide for them. This “taking life as it comes” thing is fine for a while when you are very young, in your 20′s perhaps, but it just isn’t pretty when I see middle-aged people living that way. Truth.

          • avatar MMcG July 8, 2013, 4:40 pm

            “… is fine for a while when you are very young, in your 20′s perhaps, but it just isn’t pretty when I see middle-aged people living that way”

            SO SO SO many things could be described like this!!!

      • katie katie July 8, 2013, 11:45 am

        i dont think its all that weird either- i mean its only a bank account. unless they are putting their whole paychecks into it -or worse, only one is putting their whole paycheck into it- its just an easier way to pay for rent, im assuming.

        sharing a bank account doesnt tether you together forever. its seriously just a bank account.

        • avatar GatorGirl July 8, 2013, 11:52 am

          It is “just a bank account” but sharing it has the potential to create MAJOR drama during a break up. Arguing about who’s paid what, who’s put what in, one person potentially wiping the account out mid break up leaving the other high and dry, buying things that the other doesn’t “approve” of…it’s just endless in my eyes. I would never advise people who weren’t married or about to be (or life commitment) to share banking. Way too messy, IMO.

          • avatar lets_be_honest July 8, 2013, 11:54 am

            All those things can happen if you’re married/committed too, though.

            • avatar GatorGirl July 8, 2013, 11:57 am

              Yup. I completely agree. I’m not saying the confines of marriage would make this issues disappear, but there is distinction between dating and legally bound.

            • katie katie July 8, 2013, 12:04 pm

              and id argue that its much harder to get out of a marriage then it is to get out of a bank account.

              i mean a joint bank account is just one way to tie someone to someone else- parents and kids have them together all the time, for example. but you do need to pick and choose and be smart about who you open one with. in the same ways that you need to be smart about who you marry, buy a house with, own cars with, ect.

              • avatar GatorGirl July 8, 2013, 12:13 pm

                Well of course getting out of a marriage is more difficult than just a bank account. I’m not trying to say it’s always irresponsible to share banking with someone outside of a marriage, but I do think it’s irresponsible to share banking with someone who it’s pretty clear your life paths are on different paths. Make that continents.

        • avatar Nadine July 8, 2013, 11:54 am

          I’m not surprised, seeing as they are doing the two-year visa thing in another country. Me and my SO did that, mostly out of necessity. Do you know how many hoops you need to jump through to open a bank account in a new country when you have no fixed abode, or job? It took us a month, to get one set up, there was no way I was doing that all over again for myself, just so we could seperate our money. If you will be somewhere with someone for a set time, probably doing all your side trips and fun-having together, its really not that dramatic. Of course we had our old accounts with all our savings etc in them,and I’m sure this couple did the same.

          Side note: This LW freaks me out with all his crazy talk. That is all I’ve got.

          • Nookie Nookie July 9, 2013, 4:53 am

            Yes, I was thinking the same. It’s not the easiest for foreign people to open bank accounts so maybe it was just easier that way, maybe not the wisest though.

  • avatar SpaceySteph July 8, 2013, 11:39 am

    “I had said to her on multiple occasions that I was okay with her hanging out with other people who weren’t me. It’s good for her to have friends outside of me, right? That’s what a healthy/balanced relationship is.”

    Story time: My ex and I were long distance and I pushed him to go out and have a life and he ended up dumping me to date a girl that I had been encouraging him to hang out with. You know what, that sucked. But the right reaction would not have been to forbid my next boyfriend from ever hanging out with girls.
    So basically, I think it sucks that because she was not the right girl for you she ended up falling for that guy instead. But that is not your fault or her fault or anyone’s fault. That’s life. Do not overcompensate here by becoming controlling and not letting the next girl you date ever hang out with other men. That will not end better for you.

    As for the rest of it, yeah you have already gotten your answer. Stop thinking that if you ask the question the right way, you’ll get the answer you want. It’s over between you two.

  • findingtheearth findingtheearth July 8, 2013, 11:54 am

    Last summer, when I found out I was pregnant, I was dating someone who was not the father. After telling him i was pregnant, that I wanted to keep the child, etc., he said he did not want to be a father figure, and we ended our relationship. He then began to text me, email me, call me, pester my friends in real life and on Facebook, to the point where I had law enforcement involved and had spoken to a judge about a restraining order. It was extremely stressful and horrible, and I rarely responded to his attempts, except to advise him that I was no longer interested and to please move on with his life. We had only been together a couple of months.

    At some point, LW, you have to realize what you want and what she wants are not the same thing. Pining over her, threatening her, yelling at her, lamenting over her, do not solve the issue at hand. I think you need to seek therapy, if only to help you figure out what YOU want from life, as it sounds like you have no idea.

    I did find it interesting you said that you could live without her, but then said you would abandon her if you had to go to France. That’s not love, that’s control. You want control over the situation, and that is not what she wants. You don’t abandon people you love.

  • avatar Addie Pray July 8, 2013, 12:03 pm

    LW, break ups are hard! I would advise you to do what I do: wallow in your sadness for days/weeks/months and remember only the good times you had. Wait, no. Instead figure out how to get your shit together. One thing that helped me was Bikram and red wine and veganism….

    • katie katie July 8, 2013, 12:05 pm

      hmmm, is that 3 drinks or 4 drinks? im calling “do i what do” as a reference to the ex. 4.

  • avatar Boosker July 8, 2013, 12:11 pm

    I’m sorry this break up isn’t what you wanted, but it is a break up. LIke Wendy said, I would use this as an opportunity to grow. At some point, at some age, not planning ahead, investing in a career or at least a goal, isn’t cute any more. I’m guessing that could be a big factor in the break up and the France vs. Canada debate is a bit of a red herring. Work on being the type of person someone can picture spending the rest of their lives with, raising a family, etc. (if that’s what you want). If you’re just looking for a comfortable relationship that never grows, well, you clearly need to find someone who wants that too.

  • Lindsay Lindsay July 8, 2013, 12:16 pm

    It sounds like you have a hard time not being in control, saying that it’s because of you that she found another guy (hint: “letting” your girlfriend hang out with other people isn’t pushing her into another man’s arms, it’s called not being a dick) and saying that YOU are waiting for HER answer when she’s the one who dumped you. She already gave her answer.

    You also seem confused as to why it’s not OK to try to “compromise” with someone ONLY when faced with a breakup. The fact is, if you had really cared about having a future with this girl, then you would have tried to fix your problems BEFORE, because you loved her, not because you don’t like getting dumped.

    So, I think going forward, you need to take a few lessons with you. Figure out what you want and learn to articulate that with your partner. Try to find someone who wants the same things that you want. Address relationship concerns BEFORE it leads to a breakup. Accept that the other person might meet someone else or tire of the relationship for reasons out of your control. Learn to communicate maturely, without yelling all the time or storming out.

  • avatar painted_lady July 8, 2013, 12:43 pm

    hint: “letting” your girlfriend hang out with other people isn’t pushing her into another man’s arms, it’s called not being a dick

    Thank you for addressing this! I got so bogged down in the shitshow, I completely forgot about that part. LW, letting your girlfriend have a life beyond you is like, bare fucking minimum for being a decent human being. Sometimes you do very thing right, and you still get left. Treating someone decently does not entitle you to having a relationship with them, and being dumped by someone you treated decently doesn’t give you license to behave like a raging doucheapotamus to the next woman you date.

    • avatar painted_lady July 8, 2013, 12:44 pm

      That comment was meant for Lindsay!

      • avatar BreezyAM July 8, 2013, 12:48 pm

        this guy really seems to want to gorge on a whole bakery of feminist cookies.
        http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Feminist_cookie

        • avatar painted_lady July 8, 2013, 12:51 pm

          I think I need to keep some in stock that read “Congratulations! You’re not a total dickhead!” and hand them out in situations like these.

    • Lindsay Lindsay July 8, 2013, 12:55 pm

      Yeah, I found it totally weird that he seemed to think that her having other friends and interacting with other people was a question. The fact that a person feels like they need to give permission to do that is almost as bad as telling someone they can’t hang out with other people. It’s just as controlling.

  • AKchic_ AKchic_ July 8, 2013, 12:45 pm

    Dude, seriously? She left. She is not discussing compromises with you. She says she’s “concerned about” but not “loves” you. It’s time to face facts – you two ARE broken up, and she’s not coming back.

    The two of you have different life-plans. Meaning – she has them and knows what she wants, while you let things lay undecided until you’re forced to make a decision at the last second (or even after that second has passed) and have no real life plan.

    So you like her and still want a relationship. It can’t be on your terms alone. Relationship is about compromise, and she isn’t going to compromise on where she wants to live when she has already stated her side of the argument and then broke up with you.

    It’s time to put your big-boy pants on and realize it’s over. No more drunk calls and “yelling” texts. That is harassment, and depending on what you’ve said – attempts to intimidate or bully into getting back with you. Do you really want to be THAT ex? You already are sliding into that territory.

    Be cordial, be polite, but stop trying to fix a shattered lightbulb. It’s time to find other things to do with your time, and avoid the booze if you can’t control yourself.

  • avatar BreezyAM July 8, 2013, 12:46 pm

    I like how you were fine with breaking up till she started sexing up some other dude.
    Possessive much? Pissed the geographically convenient pussy moved on before you trotted back to the frozen north?
    Pretty sure she sees that too and yeah, you do sound scary, nuts, and like you have no idea wtf you actually want. She does. And it’s not you, or living in Canada.

    • avatar lets_be_honest July 8, 2013, 1:03 pm

      I’d be curious how many of us would feel a little sting of possession/jealousy (or whatever you want to call it) when finding out your ex (or soon to be ex) is sexing up someone else. In all honesty, I know it would burn for me.

      • LadyinPurpleNotRed LadyinPurpleNotRed July 8, 2013, 1:04 pm

        Burn yes. Spiral out of control? That crosses a line.

        • avatar painted_lady July 8, 2013, 1:16 pm

          Yeah. I mean, I would be PISSED, but that would be it. The LW is calling in drunken rages, texting, and seems to genuinely not understand that he was dumped. It doesn’t work to offer a compromise when the person you’re compromising for has removed themselves from the equation.

      • bagge72 bagge72 July 8, 2013, 1:18 pm

        Oh yeah definitely burn, and I think his reaction (not his actions though) are some what justified. I’m the opposite type of person though, I would be pissed, and just walk away, if you don’t want me you don’t want me, even if I was crying on the way out haha.

      • avatar GatorGirl July 8, 2013, 1:22 pm

        Oh I’d be furious. No doubt. But that doesn’t justify acting like a crazy person.

    • bagge72 bagge72 July 8, 2013, 1:13 pm

      Yeah I mean really, he is fine when he thinks she is going to be home alone watching golden girls, and eating ice cream, but now that there is another guy in the picture, he loves her so much it hurts. Then he says he is willing to do anything…but move to France with her. News Flash you don’t really love her that much, you just want what you can’t have, because she ended things before your mutual end date, because she met somebody else.

    • avatar MMcG July 8, 2013, 4:44 pm

      “Pissed the geographically convenient pussy moved on before you trotted back to the frozen north?”

      Comment of the week and it’s only Monday! LOVE THIS BreezyAM :)

  • landygirl landygirl July 8, 2013, 1:15 pm

    George Costanza’s girlfriend wouldn’t allow him to break up with her either.

    Maura: I refuse to give up on this relationship. It’s like… launching missiles from a submarine. Both of us have to turn our keys.
    George: Well, then, I am gonna have to ask you to turn your key.
    Maura: (assertive) I’m sorry, George, I can’t do that.
    George: Turn your key, Maura. Turn your key!

    • bagge72 bagge72 July 8, 2013, 1:21 pm

      I love it, and then he cheats on her with the too tan girl who went on vacation to Maine, but when the two girls find out about each other, neither of them will break it off with him!

  • Lindsay Lindsay July 8, 2013, 1:27 pm

    I wanna know what BGM has to say about this. I feel like it could go in two distinctly different directions.

  • Northern Mermaid Northern Mermaid July 8, 2013, 1:54 pm

    1. Changer her name in your phone to DO NOT CONTACT, because if you delete her number you’ll just memorize it

    2. A lot of people go a little break up crazy. Stop doing it now. You’ll never get back together with this chick, but wouldn’t you rather have her remember you wistfully as the man that got away and gave her good memories of a once in a life time holiday, rather than a crazy person who made her break up hell and left her feeling scared and awful? Right now you might want her to feel your pain, but try to consider the long term on this one.

  • Tracey Tracey July 8, 2013, 2:14 pm

    Hey LW…just between you and me (for real, no one else is listening)…are you upset because she’s no longer in your life or because she beat you to the punch on calling this relationship’s expiration date? And do you think that crying, yelling, drunk dialing, or any of the other inappropriate behavior you’ve exhibited since she broke up with you – something she had every right to do whether you like it or not – will entice her to keep you in her life in any way shape or form?

    This relationship, I’m sorry to say, is over. But you knew that before it even came to crying jags, panic attacks, or holding out for the answer you want to hear, not the message she’s given you. She’s not coming back. She’s moved on. She’s with someone else. There is no confusion here.

    Except your unwillingness to accept the reality in front of you. Just between you and me, it’s time to face reality – the expiration date you knew was certain on this relationship has come and gone. Let go, let your friends off the hook from your constant nagging about how to win back someone who doesn’t want to come back to you, and let yourself move on. If you can’t find the strength to do it on your own, then (just between you and me) you need to go and talk to a professional about how to find it.

  • fast eddie fast eddie July 8, 2013, 5:41 pm

    Of the 13+ million people in Canada and at least 10% are of marriage age therefore about 65,000 are women looking for men. Trust me Dud, at least 2 or 3 of them will put up with you and are at least as desirable as ms France. In the meantime I remember the girls in NZ as being very eager to sooth your tattered heart strings. Let it happen mate.

    • Diablo Diablo July 8, 2013, 6:01 pm

      Gotta take issue with your math here, Eddie baby. Firstly, Canada is around 35 million. Assuming your 10 percent premise and never minding gay folks, that’s 1.75 million women looking for men. But 10 percent sounds low. It prorates down to 65,000 after you discount the ones who are pining for me.

      • fast eddie fast eddie July 9, 2013, 12:12 am

        Oops, your right Diablo. Maybe you could cut a few of yours loose for the LW??? In the meantime those NZ ladies are really nice, take my word for it. 1963 was a very good year there. I miss the fish & chips also.

  • avatar AliceInDairyland July 8, 2013, 6:49 pm

    LW, how is New Zealand?! I am tentatively planning a 2-3 week trip out there over my winter to do a lot of hiking and working on some farms. I need travel advice!

    …also, sorry to hear about your break-up.

    • avatar Taylor July 8, 2013, 8:32 pm

      Loved NZ!!

    • avatar Lily in NYC July 9, 2013, 9:31 am

      I hope you like sheep! Just kidding. It’s gorgeous.

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