Our beautiful reader, who has signed her name "Defeated", is desperately looking for advice on surviving a breakup. She has spent the last 5 and a half years with her boyfriend only to have him suddenly breakup with her and move to another city.
Here's her story:
I could do with some advice..
My boyfriend and I were together for 5 and a half years. We lived together for 5. We hardly ever argued and loved each other very very much.
It was a good relationship, we had no issues about control, trust, money. We integrated into each others families, our parents met. It was a serious relationship. We shared so many good times together and supported each other completely through both good and bad.
The problem we did have was that he couldn't commit further. I remember clearly a conversation we had about a year and a half into our relationship, I told him that this was it for me that I knew he was who I wanted to settle down with. That by the time I was 30 I wanted to be either married or engaged to him.
I told him my biggest fear was being single at 30 and having to start again.
Well fast forward a few years and out of the blue he breaks up with me. Ends a 5 and a half year long relationship in less than half an hour.
It was a month before my 30th birthday.
No arguments lead up to it or anything. He was still telling me he loved me and planning to take a trip abroad together right up until the morning when he just woke up, sat me down and said 'I can't do this anymore'.
Its now 2 months since that terrible morning and I can't move on.
He says that we need to cut all contact. He acts like he wants to block me out completely. He's even moved to a different city, 6 hours away. But..we are supposed to meet up in September to see if he's changed his mind.
He says that he doesn't know. That he doesn't think he will want to get back together and if he had to decide now he'd say he doesn't want to but that having time apart might change the way he feels and that- if I want to- I can give him time to see if it does and so that he can be 100% sure.
Of course I want him to be sure and of course I'm going to cling onto any minuscule of hope I can get. However unhealthy, painful and damaging it is for me. I love him and want it to work so have to give it every chance possible but its just so hard.
He says that its not fair on me if he asked me to wait but he's done it by saying 'if you want to wait till September you can'. Do you know what I mean?
I feel like I'm going crazy! How can I let him go yet wait for him to decide at the same time?! Its impossible. This means that I can't even grieve the relationship properly because it may not be over for good. I can't not wait for him to decide.
He says he knows its him who has the problems, that there's nothing he would change about me and nothing I've done wrong yet when I get angry at him and push him to better communicate what he feels he then starts saying its that we grew apart, that he really felt like he was very distant from me.
It hurts that he's able to not contact me when the longest I've been able to go without contacting him is 3 days.
I just don't know what to do anymore.
I so hear your pain, Defeated. It's never easy surviving a breakup like this. I feel the depth of your heartbreak.
When you say you’re willing to “cling onto any minuscule of hope I can get. However unhealthy, painful and damaging it is for me”, you can know that you've given your power away.
Of course it feels crazy.
Of course it’s hard to do this, because it’s not what we’re meant to do. It’s not what real love is about. Love is never about making anyone commit to us, or love us, or give us what they don’t have to give.
It may have been that you turning 30 – and the terms you set for that “milestone” - was in the back of his mind as a milestone for him, too. He came to terms with where he was at and what he was able to give you, and recognized that he wasn't there on the same page as you.
And so you heard where he was at when he said “if you want to wait till September you can'.” He’s put the ball in your court letting you know where he stands, and leaving it up to you what you want to do with that.
Don’t wait for September, Defeated. You’re not defeated! You’re empowered! You set the terms of what you knew in your heart you were not willing to settle for and now you know what his terms are. This is huge! Now you know what page he’s on. Now you know what he can and can’t give you. I know it may not feel that way right now, but knowledge is powerful!
I have a feeling you’re questioning yourself more than anything else. You’re not sure if you have a right to say what you need and refuse to settle for anything less than that. You’re afraid you made a mistake by setting your own boundaries and making them known to him.
Don’t second-guess yourself. We say what we do for a reason. We define what it is we’re looking for so we can find it. We remain true to ourselves so we can live with ourselves.
As hard as it is to accept this, the reality is that someone can only be the one who’s right for you if they want to be that one.
Don’t blame yourself, don’t look back with regrets at what you didn't do or didn't know or wish you’d done differently. Start right where you are right now with a huge dose of self-love for who you are and what you bring to the table. Nothing’s changed. You’re still the beautiful woman with so much to offer someone who’s looking for the long-term picture the way you are.
Don’t put your life on hold between now and September. Find it in you, D. Trust me, it's there.
The key to surviving a breakup like this is to start creating the life that you were made for. There’s a world out there for you to find and discover that will resonate with your heart and soul and the longing you have for someone to share your dreams and your life with you.
Surround yourself with the people who love and support you, discover the activities and hobbies and things that you’re passionate about and bring more of what you want into your life.
Do what makes you happy, what makes you feel alive and what shows you all the beautiful things about this life of yours.
This isn't about giving up on a dream; it’s finding out what the dream really was and if it was only your own.
I know the last thing you wanted to do was to start over. I know you feel you shouldn't have to. I know you’re angry that you’re in this position.
And underneath all those feelings is so much fear.
But you’re not alone and you’re going to get through this to the other side and discover the life that will make you happier than you ever could have been otherwise. With someone who’s on the same page and wants the same thing and doesn't have to be convinced of this by anyone outside of himself.
And most importantly, let go of the September timeline. It doesn't mean anything unless something changes on his end, and that can come at any time – or not. But don’t build your life around it. If he gets on your page, if he comes to where you are, you’ll absolutely be the first to know.
You’re the living, loving kind, not the waiting kind. And right now, you've got a life to live.
What do you think Defeated should do in this situation? Tell us in the comments!