First off, thanks so much for what you provide here. I know it’s centered around dating and relationship advice, but as far as I can tell, it’s just as much about being an actual decent person. I hope you appreciate your work as much as I do.
I suppose the best way to start is to just dive in, so here goes.
My ex recently got engaged. On one level I’m happy for her, or at least I want to be. She’s by all accounts an improbably lovely person and even after splitting, I’d like to know she’s fulfilled, or at the least happy.
Our breakup, though in no way mutual, was amicable. We were a good couple, not of the fantastical “the world has never seen a love like this before” bullshit variety, but a respectful, mature and compatible one. After nearly 4 years together, I suppose we should be. So needless to say, I was pretty well blindsided when one day she said “I can’t do this anymore.” And shortly afterwards, I found out she moved in with her now fiance. It was pretty devastating.
There have been a lot of unresolved issues for me personally since then. There was never any closure, which is fine in the sense that she didn’t owe me anything, that maybe there was nothing to close off. She said her piece, I respected her choice, and she got in her car and drove off. End scene.
So, I went through the ceremonial mental gymnastics post break to fill in the blanks myself for questions such as:
What was wrong with me?
How did I fuck this up?
Why wasn’t I worth an effort (Seriously, there was no moment where she said there was something she needed or wanted from me, all things seemed fine until she ended it and tipped out)
What if I had fought more for the relationship then?
What if I never meet someone like her again?
What if…and on and on it goes until that bastard of a mental roommate, that inner critic, speaks up and says “Forget it you piece of shit, just keep swiping right on Bumble until you’ve grown comfortable enough with the understanding that you’re gonna die alone”
Hey, thanks mental dialoguing. Knew I could count on you.
Since, I’ve tried really hard to grow from it. The love and attention I was putting into her, I started putting into relationships I have, like my parents and siblings. Tried new things, whether it’s scuba diving or meditating or dancing (thanks for that tip, ballroom is great). Began getting involved in my community and volunteering again.
I feel that I’ve grown emotionally and understand that in retrospect, despite seemingly checking a lot of boxes, I didn’t put in the work to become more emotionally vulnerable and intimate.
But then this news comes up, and all these questions come flooding back as well as the hurt. I’m wondering if this is the way it’ll be until I meet someone else. Or am I not emotionally fit to be available now? Despite being cool with where I am and who I am, there’s still a void. How long does that last?
Appreciate your time and thanks again for the great work you do,
Picking At The Scab