He left - I'm not Sure What To Do

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I was recently broken up with by my long-term boyfriend. We lived together for two years and we were close friends before we were together. I made extreme changes in my life to be with him: I changed jobs and moved out of state away from my friends and family. I was happy here, though. This relationship has made me realize that I can love and it has raised my respect for both myself and others.

I've spent my entire adult with him. Also, he is my first lover. I was always too busy with work to give myself the chance to love somebody before. When I was asked out, I would kindly turn down. Something was different about him because he was my friend and we shared similar experiences. It was such a wonderful relationship, though we both made mistakes and we've both hurt each other at some point.

The problem was: he didn't express his hurt to me, so I did not know that I was negatively affecting him. He has hurt me, though I do not hide my hurt. There have been times that I have been down when I would not talk to him about my sadness (and I know he wanted me to). I gave my all to him but he did not give back. We both were very comfortable with each other and our living situation and I thought he loved me back.

Now he's broken up with me in the middle of our lease (=financial "situation"). I am absolutely devastated and I have and continue to grieve. I go from two extremes: the first, I want to put him behind me and move on to find somebody who'll love me in return and the second, I want him back and I feel an overwhelming sadness and vulnerability toward him. He's the type of guy who still made me feel loved and weak in the knees when he hugged me. Now it's over, and I have spent weeks crying. I've lost ten pounds over him. For awhile, I couldn't sleep or eat - but now, I am back on my feet taking care of myself.

I move tomorrow into my new place. This is our last night living together and I know I'm going to miss him terribly. Everywhere I go I am reminded of memories we've shared (our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, stores, parks, even taking the bus). What hurts the most is that he has not grieved over the loss of this relationship. He laughs a lot and goes out with his friends more.

It's still hard to sleep alone. I miss intimacy and companionship the most. I am afraid to move on, because a part of me believes he'll come back (he broke up with me in the middle of a stressful point in his life unrelated to our relationship). If he wants me back, that puts me on the spot to give it a second chance or to say no and move on. It's a position of power I do not want. Or I move on - and each day it becomes easier, though some days I am back at the initial shock of crying and insomnia and lost appetite.

How do I fully let go of the man I love? I want to love again because it's been such a wonderful experience and I want to avoid rebound relationships. How soon is too soon? I worry about the future. It is not my focus to find somebody new until I am fully healed - but I need to learn to heal.

RomanceClass.com Advice
It is always extremely hard to be in the middle of a break-up. It is not going to be easy. Give yourself that time. You'll be up and down, upset and stunned and everything else. It takes time. Be patient.

We all deal with grief in different ways. His way may be to pretend everything is OK. Don't worry about how he deals with it. He is not you and that is fine. You have your own way of dealing with grief. Don't let yourself be bothered by how he seems to act. It could easily all be a front. Just take care of yourself for now.

Give it time to settle out. It could be this is temporary, it could be this is the turning point for your new life. Don't worry right now about what it will be. There's no way to know. Just take it day by day and let yourself heal. The future will present itself when you get there.

On learning to share emotions, that is a challenge all humans face. We all learn and grow and build that skill over time. So if he wasn't good at it, that is OK. Don't be too upset that you couldn't get him to talk. You can only try your best, and going forward hopefully you will learn even more techniques to help that happen. But it's never easy.

-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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