Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

missing my ex to the point of it affecting my daily life

Home Forums Advice & Chat missing my ex to the point of it affecting my daily life

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  • #1097154 Reply

    My ex and I were high school sweethearts who dated from freshman year of high school to the last semester of college. It was somewhat rocky, with us breaking up a few times between our total of 7 years (with the longest break lasting a year), but we always found ourselves back together. He would be the one to break up with me usually, but this last time, I broke up with him. That was a little two years ago at this point. We haven’t talked since then.

    I dated a couple people since then but nothing has felt the same and two years later, I’m at the point where I am dreaming of him nightly. It’s sucking the fun out of daily life just thinking about how much happier I am in my dreams. I haven’t dared search him on social media or try to check in with him, I have a sinking feeling after the longest we’ve gone without talking, he’s moved on. It wasn’t an amicable breakup by any means, there were a lot of tears. It feels pretty insignificant but he unfollowed me on spotify a few months ago out of the blue and it felt very final.

    I’m stuck in a really awkward place. I can’t decide if I want to contact him and talk to him again (and risk getting the let down of my lifetime), moving on from a high school relationship that I might just be reminiscing over because things were simpler back then, or if I should really just go get therapy and forget about all of this. it’s tearing me apart and i’m spending my days off laying around and sleeping just in the hopes of having a nice dream again.

    #1097157 Reply

    I would suggest therapy for you. You really need to move on from this, and I’m glad you seem to recognize it.

    You’ve already broken up with him several times before, so your relationship wasn’t as good as you in retrospect think it was. You’re feeling nostalgic about something in your past that wasn’t as good then as you imagine it now. If it had been, you wouldn’t have broken up.

    Getting back together with an ex very rarely works out. It works out just often enough that many people are fooled into believing their relationship could be one of the exceptions. But it only works out if both parties have enough self-awareness to understand why it didn’t work out before, and are willing to work on that to ensure their relationship is rebuilt on a stable foundation.

    #1097162 Reply

    Well you broke up for a reason. What was it? Why do you think that might have changed?

    I think you’re going through your quarter-life crisis and looking for something simpler. I remember being about 25 and thinking “this is it? I’m going to get up every day and go to work for the next forty years? WTF!?” So I do think you’re escaping into a time when things seemed to be easier.

    But if you think about those times without the rose colored glasses, they were probably just as complicated, it’s just that you figured it out and got through each hurdle. That’s being an adult (well human really). As soon as you figure out the challenge presented, the powers that be present you with the next challenge.

    I’d love to say go on some dates where you set absolutely no expectations for finding love, but just to see if someone can carry a conversation, but COVID fucks that all up right now I suppose.

    #1097163 Reply

    I don’t think you long for this relationship, you long for feeling like you did back then.

    But you aren’t the same as you were back then, so it’s not going to be the same. It’s kind of like McDonalds. Kids love that crap. Going there is sort of magical because it’s a treat. Then you grow up. You can go back, but you’re never going to enjoy it like you did when you were a kid. Not because THEY’VE changed, but because YOU have.

    Of course you miss aspects of a relationship you had when you were coming into adulthood. You have many of the freedoms of being an adult with almost none of the responsibility. Everything should be easy. But, even then, it wasn’t. You kept breaking up. How do you think this relationship would work when you actually have to layer in adult responsibilities?

    So, enjoy the (rose tinted) memories. But, if you can’t get past this, you need to think about therapy to process this. The relationship didn’t sound that great (objectively speaking) so you need to be able to put it behind you.

    #1097166 Reply

    Go get a new skill. Isn’t there something you’ve always wanted to do?

    Get really good with money/investing, for example; since you’re young, you could start very small and become a millionaire without much effort. (No, I am not exaggerating.)
    Or, learn a language. That will literally change your brain pathways.
    Use youtube to learn how to dance. Learn an instrument. Read all of Charles Dickens.

    Do something else with your mind and your attention.

    #1097169 Reply

    I think that none of your questions matter. What matters is: why now? What happens in your life now that is triggered by your past relationship ? Why do you react so strongly to being unfollowed on social media? It is common after a breakup, and it is also normal for him and for you to move on. Do you have any activity in the dating department? If not, give it a try, go a bit out of your comfort zone. How about your professional life? Anything interesting, challenging? Do you have personal or career projects, something that you can really figure out and invest emotionally? If not, act on this side. Do something that really rocks your boat. Focus on yourself, not your ex.
    And yes, therapy is a good idea. But this obsession about the ex-boyfriend is not about him. Like all obsessions, it is about a void in your present life. A difficulty to really embrace your life, yourself, your future, and project yourself in it. It is an escape.
    Perhaps you need also to process those difficult moments of the breakup. But again: nothing to expect about the boyfriend and this past relationship: this is a red herring. You need to lay it to rest.
    I think this is a moult phase in your life. Like an old skin which falls and leaves you vulnerable for a while. Embrace your own life.

    #1097171 Reply

    So I agree that if this is still going on over two years after the break-up, it’s time to see a therapist. Like other posters have said, I think you knew and know this relationship wasn’t working — there were enough problems that you had multiple break-ups over the years. I also agree that what you’re feeling probably has far less to do with him than you may realize and more to do with things like loneliness, boredom, missing the good parts of being partnered up, etc. Working with a professional can help you sort these feelings out and find healthy ways of processing any pangs of uncomfortable feelings while you move forward.

    #1097172 Reply

    This is a relationship which didn’t work. Multiple breakups prove that. The last break-up is a long one and he has moved on. You are suffering from nostalgia and loneliness, because you don’t have enough people and interests in your life today. Therapy is a good idea, but basically you solve this problem by filling your life with interesting people and things to do. Moping in bed hoping to dream of your ex is very self-destructive. Force yourself out of bed and into an activity.

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