How to end the post-break-up sting??- Advice needed

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
How to end the post-break-up sting??- Advice needed
4
Tue, 05-07-2013 - 9:09am

I recently broke up with my girlfriend of 3 years just short of a month ago.  I’m the one that finally pulled the trigger to end it, but it was clear that it was destined to end.  It’s not what I wanted to do, but clear that it was time.

Needless to say, this separation hasn’t been easy to cope with.  Despite putting a great deal of thought into ending this, and coming close on many occasions this past year to pulling the plug, I still feel a great deal of pain and confusion in my heart over this.

Not only does it hurt not having her to love, but knowing that she is actually dealing with the breakup pretty well, and moving on easier than I am hurts the most.   I don’t jump into a relationship very quickly, nor do I find it easy to meet women to work on developing one.  For one, because I tend to be incredibly shy and a bit socially “unseasoned”, but also I am picky about people I invite into my circle. 

What’s the best way to overcome this?  We agreed to be civil and remain friends of some sort, but I don’t know if and how that would work, especially if she is seeing or hooking up with other men.  And she has not expressed an interest in talking.  I found out that almost immediately after we broke up, she put herself on a dating website looking to “hang out’, and “Casual dating with no commitment”.  AKA, a “friend with benefits”.  This, I think, is what hurts the most, on top of the history and good times we shared.  It seems as if she is easily writing off the past three years.

So what do I do?  Dating prospects on my end have not been as fruitful as I wished they’d be at this point that would purge her from my heart.  And I’m not too keen on pursuing (nor knowledgeable on how to even start ) a FWB thing.  I’m itching to open up a line of communication again with her, but in all seriousness, I don’t know what it would accomplish other than deepening the wounds on my end.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

What seems to happen a lot with men is that they jump right from one relationship to the next with no down time, and maybe it's to avoid the hurt & thinking about the loss, but I think it's not that great a way to do things.  It's only been a month--after a 3 yr relationship, it's not like you are going to be able to get over her that soon--I didn't say forget her because you are never going to forget someone you had a long relationship with.  I would recommend not dating right away--instead hang out with family & friends, do things that you like to do and recognize that your heart is going to be hurting for a while.  You should also do some thinking about what went wrong in this relationship so you aren't doomed to just repeat the same pattern--did you do some things that contributed to the bad relationship?  If you feel ike you picked the wrong kind of person for you, what about her was wrong for you, so that you don't look for that in your next partner?  And I think trying to stay friends with her right now is a big mistake--I really don't see any reason to try to be friends with an ex unless you have to (like you work together so you have to see each other).  I think it prolongs the hurt esp. when you know that eventually you will have to see her with someone else.  I know some people can manage to do that, but it's pretty rare.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

YOU initiated the breakup, therefore you must have thought long and hard about doing it.  You did it, it's done.  What SHE does, how SHE reacts, is not your concern in any way shape or form.  It's her life, and she can live it as she sees fit.  You opted out of her life, it was your choice, so accept that her life is no longer of any interest to you.  Forget the "lets be friends"........that doesn't work, as you're now finding out.  It's good not to be mortal enemies, but at the same time, trying to be "just friends" doesn't work.   You need to be "friendly", meaning if you meet in public, you're nice to each other, nothing more.  She's moved on........that's her prerogative. What makes you think it was/is easy for her?  Life isn't always "easy"......but she's doing the right thing.  I suppose you think she should be sitting home and mournig like you are? You ended it......that was your prerogative.

As for you.......you need to take some time to assess your life, what you want in your life, and how to be happy in your life.  You don't have to be in a relationship to be happy.  You've put a lot of constraints on yourself.  Now is the time for you to think about the things that you've wanted to to, but didn't have time because you were in a relationship.  Want to join a softball team?  Want to join a golf league?  Maybe take some classes at a community college?  How about volunteering your time at a hospital or nursing home?  They're always begging for help.  Don't worry about FWB's........work on finding REAL friends.  Life doesn't end when a relationship does.  It goes on, and you have to make the choice of either moving on with it, or sitting and sulking for the rest of your life.  If you make yourself the best and happiest person you can be, you will meet people, and you will find new relationships.......let the old one die a peaceful death.  Do NOT contact her........because you didn't want to be with her....and now you're not.  Move on!!!

PS:  FWB's don't work, because usually the female expects more from you than occasional sex.  They want a relationship......that's how women are made.  They agree to FWB, but eventually they want a lot more from you.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

mrblue732 wrote:
<p><span style="font-family:Calibri; color:#000000; font-size:small">I recently broke up with my girlfriend of 3 years just short of a month ago.<span>  </span>I’m the one that finally pulled the trigger to end it, but it was clear that it was destined to end.<span>  </span>It’s not what I wanted to do, but clear that it was time.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:Calibri; color:#000000; font-size:small">Needless to say, this separation hasn’t been easy to cope with.<span>  </span>Despite putting a great deal of thought into ending this, and coming close on many occasions this past year to pulling the plug, I still feel a great deal of pain and confusion in my heart over this.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:small"><span style="color:#000000"><span style="font-family:Calibri">Not only does it hurt not having her to love, but knowing that she is actually dealing with the breakup pretty well, and moving on easier than I am hurts the most.<span>   </span>I don’t jump into a relationship very quickly, nor do I find it easy to meet women to work on developing one.<span>  </span>For one, because I tend to be incredibly shy and a bit socially “unseasoned”, but also I am picky about people I invite into my circle.<span>  </span></span></span></span></p><p><span style="font-family:Calibri; color:#000000; font-size:small">What’s the best way to overcome this?<span>  </span>We agreed to be civil and remain friends of some sort, but I don’t know if and how that would work, especially if she is seeing or hooking up with other men.<span>  </span>And she has not expressed an interest in talking.<span>  </span>I found out that almost immediately after we broke up, she put herself on a dating website looking to “hang out’, and “Casual dating with no commitment”.<span>  </span>AKA, a “friend with benefits”.<span>  </span>This, I think, is what hurts the most, on top of the history and good times we shared.<span>  </span>It seems as if she is easily writing off the past three years.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:Calibri; color:#000000; font-size:small">So what do I do?<span>  </span>Dating prospects on my end have not been as fruitful as I wished they’d be at this point that would purge her from my heart.<span>  </span>And I’m not too keen on pursuing (nor knowledgeable on how to even start ) a FWB thing.<span>  </span>I’m itching to open up a line of communication again with her, but in all seriousness, I don’t know what it would accomplish other than deepening the wounds on my end.</span></p>

First off, casual dating with no commitment doesn't not necessarily equal FWB, so get off of the line of thinking that she's out trying to screw you out of her system.  Chances are, that's not what she's after.. but even if it was, as Fissatore aptly put it, it's no longer your concern if she is because YOU LEFT HER.  It would stand to reason that she wouldn't have any interest in talking with you since you thought long and hard and went through with breaking up with her. What else is there to discuss?  She probably doesn't want to get hooked emotionally back in or she may feel that your only  reason for wanting "to be friends" is to keep her from moving on in her life while you move on in yours. 

Secondly, you need to work on getting over whatever barriers you've put in place for yourself to meet new women.  If you're "socially unseasoned" or picky, then join a meet ups group and work on seasoning yourself socially.  You also need to get over being picky. Learn to find value in people instead of focusing on their imperfections.  Everything you listed can be vanquished if you only had the will to do so instead of the will to complain about it.

It may do you a bit of good to be on your own for the time being. You're still way too conflicted in your emotions to be fair to a new woman. You are still too hung up on maintaining communication with the woman you left, which means that emotionally, you're unavailable. Could be the reason why your prospects have been slim--they're picking up your vibe that you're not done with your ex.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008

I have a nephew who's 41 now, he's been divorced three times, and within months of the last one he's already living with a new girlfriend.  The whole family was hoping and praying he'd simply just "be" for awhile.  But....he hurts too much to do that and appears to be unable to be alone.  Don't be him.  Even if you realize it's just the right thing to do to just split up, that doesn't mean it won't hurt or that you won't obsess.  What she's doing is no longer your business, but that doesn't mean you're "over it", even if this was your idea.  Is she hurting, too?  Maybe her jumping onto a dating site is her way of coping with things, I kinda doubt she's moving on as easily as you might think.  But as you said, you were the one to call things off, I know few women who'd be anxious to be with you under those circumstances.  What you said about dating to hopefully purge her from your mind?  That's what I think my nephew does, he doesn't know what else to do, he simply cannot be alone....so he finds someone quickly, thinking that's the solution, and then he either marries them waaay too fast or they break up.  Just try being you for awhile, find out what it is you truly want out of life, and learn to relax.  In the meantime you'll find out whether you did the right thing by calling it quits with her and find out you don't miss her anymore.  It's normal to grieve, that's what I think you are doing.  Stop thinking or worrying about what SHE is doing, instead get busier so your mind is occupied elsewhere, easier said than done, I know.  Grieving takes time, couples break up all the time.  You said it was inevitable you'd break up - there's a reason for that, so keep it in mind.