Relationship Help Forum: September

This blog has been running a relationship help forum, assisting women who're desperately sad about the way the men in their lives have treated them. Here's September's story (edited to protect identities). In this instance, the relationship seems to have ended for no 'serious reason'. I'm sure many of you have been in this position before. I know I have.
the relationship breakdown left her feeling isolated from everyone

Relationship has left a hole in your life
Here's what 'Rita' said:

I did like your advice! I just feel that I have nothing to look forward to anymore. I lost the one thing
that I really looked forward to. My friends aren’t cutting it. I love them to death and they are my support system, but it just does not feel like enough right now. I’m being sociable and I’m moving on with my life, I just don’t know anymore what will make me happy. I used to go to the gym every day before I met my now ex. I’m scared to even go do that because that is where I met him at. I do remember that going to the gym did make me happy but now I am in a maze debating which way to go next. This was my first serious relationship and it has been my decision to stay single up until this one. I loved being single I do remember that, but when this guy came into my life I knew I could not let him pass me by. I wish I had stuck to my initial mindset of staying single until college was over. 
Luckily he does not attend that gym anymore.

Trying to rationalise the relationship breakdown

I really feel like he is confused about what he wants in life right now. There is a 9 year gap between the two of us. He hates his job. And I feel that maybe the reasoning behind him breaking up with me was completely irrational because of everything that is going wrong in his life. Anne, the puzzle pieces fit perfectly when we were together. Every time he saw me his eyes lit up. Even after 9 months. (That’s how long we dated) He would point out every little detail that he loved about me. He will never find someone like me, and I know that. The bars are set extremely high for the next girl, although he told me he’s not looking to date anyone he just needs to get his life in order.

Hope for a reconciliation

And another thing, Anne is why would it be so horrible to be friend if I was able to get the emotions and feelings out of my heart? I want to still be his friend. He became such an inspirational part of my life and the one good thing that I had to look forward to on the weekend.

The Relationship help I provided

Tia, you cannot be a friend. Not now. Many people have tried this and failed. You would never get those feelings out of your heart while there is any remote possibility of a reconciliation.

You will always want more, and you’ll only get hurt deeper. It’s best to make a clean cut now that you can.
He obviously loves you, but also feels unsettled about what he wants for himself. This is where he’s growing into who he will be for the rest of his life; ‘a mini mid-life crises’ so to speak. He is right not to pull you into it as well. You have your life and studies, so please let your friends and family support you. If the shoes were on the other foot, you would’ve done the same thing. He is thinking of your well-being. Let him.

As you say, if it is to be, it will be. Finish your studies, decide where you’re going. By then, he would’ve sorted his personal turmoil out and would’ve settled down into the life he wants to lead. If you meet up then, you’ll find out if you’re still in love with him. You may have moved on.

Either way, it sounds as though moving outward from each other is the best thing to do. This avoids the inevitable combustion of what could otherwise have been a pleasant memory in times of future upsets.

(And yes, I have felt that someone was right for me, only to find years later that there was someone even ‘righter’. Then more years went by and I found the ‘rightest’ someone, to whom I’m now married. Only time has taught me that if I had gotten together with that first person, we would’ve been divorced and maybe even had children. A break-up like that would’ve left me mortally wounded emotionally, and maybe unable to enjoy what I now have with my soul mate.)

You are brave and confident, I was like that even at your age. You are also educated and articulate. If he didn’t want to continue with you, he must seriously be having a desperate crisis in his soul. For some reason, he’s chosen not to let you help him deal with this. You may never know why, but in the mean-time life is tick-tocking…

Have you got any tips of how to deal with relationships that end for no obvious reasons? These seem to be the hardest to get over. More real relationship issues here at the relationship forum page.


Icy BC September 27, 2011 at 3:25 PM  

Anne, I agree with your advice on being friend with an X. It never work out, and many can testify to this too. It only gets more confusion, and complication.

Anne Lyken-Garner May 2, 2012 at 2:43 PM  

That's right. The puzzling thing is, why so many people still think they can do it. I think the struggle to hold onto what is lost blinds them from seeing the truth.

Thanks for your input.

Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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