Flabbergasted by breakup

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    Hello all, thank you for reading and for your opinions/thoughts.

    Recently my girlfriend/fiance decided to dissolve our relationship. This was a surprise to me to say the least and things had been going swimmingly as far as I knew. We’ve been together for over 15 months in a long-distance-relationship, but talked every day and saw each other several days a week (usually weekends). We were head over heels in love and looking at a future together. We had talked marriage seriously and I was taking steps to move to her area of the state (2 hours away). I began looking for jobs, and she was my biggest cheerleader. Wanting me to take a job I deserve and not one that will take just to move down. I had to be conscious of my move, as I have two children and a house, and all the responsibilities that go along with all of that. I couldn’t take a job for less money. She had been patient and excited about our future. She purchased a house from family members for us to move in to. She begged her family to sell it to her for room for us and my kids, she couldn’t afford it on her own, so it was sold to her knowing I was living with her. She asked me to move in. Everything is going well, and she began talking remodeling and where the rooms for the kids were going to be. After that talk, I was invested, she was talking about my kids and excited for the future, so I’m all in.

    She then takes a trip with a friend for a marathon, and is training for another endurance race, so we haven’t seen each other in a few weeks. She heads off to her race with her mother (I went last year, but couldn’t afford it or the time this year) lets me know how things are going on her trip, how the race was, and all is well.

    She then gets back and breaks it off the day I tell her I got a job offer in her area. She tells me that she’s not there anymore, and this isn’t working. Part of it was the distance, but she admitted that she hadn’t been putting in the effort to see me, she was training and gone on trips. She said “I can’t have you leave your kids, and if things don’t work out, I’ve made you leave your life, family, friends….I would have ruined your life. I can’t live with that. I can’t carry that guilt around on my shoulders for the rest of my life.” I told her that this was part of the plan, the kids gave me their blessing and that we’ve known and been planning this for about 5 months! She said it’s taking me months to find a job and that she didn’t know if we were living together already or soon would make a difference. “It may, it may not, I don’t know.” Almost every question I asked was replied with “I don’t know.” She said I was the nicest guy she’s met, best guy she’s ever dated, loves my kids, and admitted to wanting to see more of me and asking me to move in, and having tons in common and enjoying doing things with me, but said; “I’m not there anymore.” “I like to do my own thing, you know that.” We’ve never had a disagreement, or any bad times. Only once I can remember that we had friction in 15 months. Everything else was great! so to say I’m devastated is an understatement. 2 weeks prior, after spending a long weekend at her parents’ house, she sent me a card saying how wonderful I am, how much she loved me, how special I was to her, etc. Her mom sent me a 2 page email saying how nice it is seeing her daughter so happy and so in love. Her whole family adores me, and her friends all called me her “future husband” because it was well known that we were looking that way! I don’t know what happened, or how things could change so quickly.

    Here is some background on her and myself: I”m mid-30’s, divorced for 4 years, 2 kids; 11, 14 yrs old. I’m a professional in IT, and have been on my own since 21.

    She is early 30’s, divorced for 7 years, no kids, doesn’t want any, but likes mine because they’re older. Has never lived alone, always had roommates, or lived with family. Works at brother’s company, and lives with brother & his family. doesn’t pay rent, etc. All she pays for is her car, dog, insurance, and now a house she can’t afford. She trains constantly for endurance events, cycling, marathons, etc. etc. goes to the pool to tan during summer afternoons, and works mostly part time when she wants. Her brother said he can’t have this any more and that he needs someone full time and may replace her soon. I love this woman and am kind of worried about what is going on with her. Part of me feels that this isn’t a “real” life for a 30-something woman. She comes and goes as she pleases, does what she wants, when she wants and has no real responsibility, except for herself. I’m wondering if all of this stuff coming together at once and overwhelming her, or if we are really done? Her brother is upset and has no reason, her mother is devastated, and has no insight. We have yet to exchange our items with each other and discuss things, because of holidays, and because last week she took off to visit friends several states away and has yet to return and let me know when she’s back in town.

    I’ve taken the position in her area, and am in the process of moving down into my own apartment. I am wondering what my next play is? Try to discuss things as adults, see if we can try again? Give her space and time and see if that helps? Let it go? I’m happy solo, as I have been for years, and I don’t need her. But it felt like this was the one to last forever.
    I wrote her a letter basically letting her know that I still care for her, I know she has a lot going on, and I’ll be in the area now because it’s what’s best for me and my family’s future. I want her to be in that future, but I’m giving her the time and space to think about it, as I’m not going any where now. I’m making my life in this area of the state. I also stated that I hope that she could share her thoughts or events that brought her to her decision to end things because I would like to have some closure or to have a better understanding of what’s going on.

    Thoughts my tiny Buddha friends?


    Believe it or not, the almost exact thing happen or is happening to me. I am 68 though and she is 64 and a widow. Nevertheless, she also said she loves me and I am a great guy but….. I don’t really know what the but is and neither does she. I so want her in my life but I know I can’t make it work as much as I hope. My family says she has issues that prevent her from commuting further-maybe she still loves her dead husband, I don’t know. It is now about 1 month since she departed in a therapists office where she made this decision for the most part. I know from reading everything that the worst thing I can do is call or write as much as I want to. Everyone tells me not to as well, so I haven’t but the pain just stays with me all the time.
    So I can sympathize or empathize with you 100%. Let’s keep in touch and keep each other posted.


    ‘I am wondering what my next play is?’

    Your next play should probably be about the difference between
    game* and intimacy.

    And another one: “How to quit writing”. You could make millions**

    * – I assume you’re a vegetarian.



    I’m sorry for your suffering, and admire your strength in approaching this with detachment and curiosity. Sometimes when we remain well rooted (such as knowing you can be happy alone, strong love for your children and others, sense of purpose) we can approach a situation with detachment and look for a path of mutual growth and desire. A few things came to heart as I read your words.

    Consider that its not surprising that she might become panicked and run. She has a lot of fun on her path, and with the house, husband, kids… her fear of responsibility may be overwhelming her. Sometimes, when we have a big task list, we forget that the tasks are fun, and see it as a million things that need tending (preventing us from what we really want). Sometimes we need help seeing that the “list” is actually a series of fun adventures. For instance, cooking dinner with the kids is fun. Remodelling is a path of creativity to build your safe space, your home. Its not just a list of responsibilities, its fun.

    So, what to do? Consider the possibilities, and trust your heart to aim. Perhaps her interest in the intimacy has been eroding for awhile, and she was either trying too hard or being disingenuous to hide. If you think you two are genuinely compatible, you could move back to flirting… reminding her that you’re a man in love with her, find her beautiful, fun to play with, and so on (in actions). If it was just a startle response, her heart may rekindle as she is reminded how you two dance together. Said differently, if she has some assurance that the move is additive to her joy, not “shackling” it, perhaps her fear will pass.

    That being said, if she is still in love with you, and is simply scared and avoiding, then approach her with space. Give her time, but let her know you would love to talk to her whenever she’s ready. When you do talk, perhaps you could just offer her compassion, letting her know her running (emotionally and her hobby) doesn’t scare you or decrease your love and respect for her. Of course it would be a lot of change all at once… but what does she really want? The approach here, in my opinion, will be to have a steadfast direction you desire (being with her) but a lot of flexibility in what actually happens. As in “I know what I want, but more than getting what I want, I want you to have your dreams come true. If I get to be a part of that, awesome.”

    Finally, don’t be afraid to say what comes to heart. You love her and find her beautiful. Don’t be afraid to let her be a muse, and sing to her in your own way. If your hearts are connected, following your heartsong will give you both the best chance of finding home, wherever that might be.

    With warmth,


    Thanks Matt, that is basically what I’m going for in my letter and hopefully when we get a chance to speak. If it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work, but I’d hate to give up on something if she’s scared or there is a chance of working it out. I want her to be happy and if she’s not happy with me, that’s fine. Just tell me, I’m a grown man. I can handle it. Just give me a/the reason(s) as to the quick change of heart. Explain it to me so I may accept it and move on, or give her time and space to deal with it.


    Matt, that is so well said.


    The only thing I can add to all this other wisdom is that I view relationships as self selecting, i.e. if it does not work out then there is a reason why it should not. 15 months is around the time when reality sets in and the “honeymoon” phase ends. You highlighted a couple of reasons why she is not “the one” from her lifestyle, a life of no real responsibility. Yes it is a big leap into your life so no wonder she bailed. She has no one to answer to except to herself.

    I believe people fool themselves. They/we live on thinking how we “should” be happy with certain things and in reality we are not. So she probably did not know herself that she really did not want this life until something clicked for her.

    My guess even if she does change her mind, she won’t change her stripes as a woman who is beholden to no one, who does what she wants, when she wants to. If you do marry her I am not confident that you will keep her.

    If you move on then I would recommend examine why you decided to choose her for a life mate, do some self examination for we each play a part in what we attract in our lives.



    Sean, distance kills a lot of things, but nothing kills love , only if its true.
    I want you to get onto your feet again and re live.

    In the end – She wasnt worth it!



    Thanks Mark,

    I have been examining things for some time since the break up a month ago. We are very similar, have many of the same interests, fun together, etc. etc. I chose her because it was so effortless. It was instant love and we both enjoyed it. There were some things that I maybe should have noticed, but didn’t think it would be the end of things. Her training was more important than seeing me sometimes. She’d never had a boyfriend for longer than a year after her divorce 7 years ago. (Commitment issues?) no real responsibilities, so how would we afford the house and food and utilities if I was the only one making an effort. She said she didn’t want me to resent her for her activities and I never did, as we were both each others greatest supporters. But I think she either ended it before anything bad could happen (sabotage) or you’re correct, she wanted that life until she realized it wasn’t it. she wants to do her things more than be with me and the life we discussed.

    thanks for your thoughts, I’m working on moving on, as she is traveling and hasn’t had much contact with me. I too believe that if things work it’s because they’re meant to, if not, they weren’t. so I’m trying to live in the present moment, and not dwell on the past or look into the future. it’s getting easier having not seen her in almost 2 months now, but still would like some closure on it. we need to exchange items and will do so in the next few days. I want to talk to her, but don’t know how she’ll receive it or want to. or even if she can give me a reason why


    I agree, she wasn’t!

    Now, at last, she can breathe smoothly, calmly, perhaps someone else is worth it, finally, hypothetically, what a relief.


    Sean, I’m going through a similar situation, but def saw it coming one way or another. I felt it a few months ago and knew it was a bad match long before then. But the fire that had ignited, had to run it’s course I think. I’m only about two weeks out of it but am slowly feeling myself again. Just know you are not alone and go easy and gentle with your self. That’s insanity at it’s best us being our own enemy lol. Anyhow, love and light to you my friend. : )


    Hi, I am in a very similar situation.

    My bf of 15 months (we are both divorced 40 & 44). It was also an amazing relationship. We never talked about the future we were just happy and totally in love with one another – not able to get enough…you know the drill.

    Then at 15 months I brought up living together and he fell apart on me. So much so I was so hurt by his response of “not being ready” that I broke up with him. He begged me just a week later and 2 days later he broke up with me bc he could not “see ever” having to do the “family thing” again.

    He had a very tough marriage for 18 years with a very demanding woman..that is his excuse.

    3.5 weeks later I contacted him and he was falling apart he missed me so much. So we got back together at my urging to try again. And here we are – 13 days into our “second try” and there is a very obvious distance and pain between us. He hardly calls me (I have nothing to say right now anyways). I think we are both “processing”…

    I am only giving him this opportunity because he is an honest and good man – and has shown me nothing different. But I am backing up as much as I can. I am going to go on living my life and if he decides to start contacting me more often I will see how I feel at that point.

    I know who I am and what I have to offer. I beat up myself tremendously over this thinking “why the hell did I have to say anything about living together and wanting to be a family” – but I am done with that…

    I thought its what normal people did in a relationship that is going great, they talk about the future.

    He is not ready because he doesn’t want responsibility of a life partner, or responsibility of a child (I have a 6 year old boy). He has a 13 and 16 year old girl, and just like he said, he is almost done with his parenting gig.

    This experience has made me grown spiritually more than I could have ever imagined. Taking it day by day – feeling that although my BF is right down the street (he is my neighbor practically) .

    But I am loving to live in uncertainty. I have cried for the last 10 weeks. I am finally starting to get over this…every day is a little bit better.
    Daily meditation and reading about Buddha and the noble truths have really helped me.

    Hang in there. Life is uncertain. And full of surprises.


    I see a woman who is immature, has no responsibilities or obligations in her life, she is not independent and relies on family and friends for everything and she can’t live alone or be on her own. I don’t mean that meanly, it’s just who she is. She may be the kindest loving soul…. You say that effortless with her, that’s fine now but as time goes on, it won’t be. I think deep down she is scared of a whole life change. Her life is simple with carefree attitude, come and go as she pleases, can travel and rely on others to get her by. You have children and she may not be ready for a lifetime of being a step mom?

    It’s good you’re focusing on your own life and settling in regardless of what she is doing or not doing.



    Consider that sometimes “giving them space” means “being content and patient with the mystery”. It makes sense that you’d want to know why, but if she’s struggling (conflicted internally) asking her to self reflect in that way might increase her feeling of pressure. Instead, consider figuring it out yourself as you stay on her side. Said differently, perhaps if you simply ask how her heart has been weathering things, how she is doing, and is she OK, listening to her responses will give you what you need to understand (or perhaps to know what to do next).

    In contrast to some of the “find someone who isn’t playing games” or “she’s not worth it” perspectives, I usually think its worth it. If we have the strength and stability, of course… but you do (or seem to). With a little patience, it should become clear whether she’s like an ostridge, sticking her head in the sand trying to avoid it all, or like a butterfly, fearful her wings will break. The cool part is that by cultivating patience and space for her side, even if it doesn’t work out, the grief will be simpler (and as you find someone new, you’ll naturally carry that space with you which helps intimacy grow). This makes being patient with the mystery a win-win. Said differently, they’re always worth it, the question is only whether both hearts are invested, compatible, and feel safe enough to stay open.

    With warmth,


    Thank you all for your thoughts and opinions.
    Here is an update. We met and exchanged items, had a nice conversation. Caught up, laughed, talked, etc. It was good to see her. I did ask some questions, and all I asked was for honesty. She said she didn’t know if this is what she wanted (break up) and didn’t know why, except that she didnt’ miss me as much as she thought she should when she was on some recent trips. Thought that if she missed me like she used to, then she loved me the same, but she didn’t, so maybe she doesn’t as much any more? She was traveling with friends on those trips, and I reminded her of that, I didn’t miss her the whole time either, because I was busy with my things and always knew I could talk to her or catch up later. She agreed to a point.
    She admitted to wanting me to move in and love me, but hadn’t gotten any further than living together/moving in. That was her expectation. I told her if she didn’t love me to tell me there and I’d leave her alone. She couldn’t. Also, asked if she’d like to give it another shot sometime, because I’m living in the area now for myself, my job, etc. I don’t need her to make me happy, and don’t need her in my life. I would enjoy sharing my life with her and hope she feels the same way. she didn’t know….I asked what she wanted in life….she doesn’t know. So, I told her, you have a love in life of your training and your events. People may or may not be able to see that. I can and I accept it. I’m her biggest supporter and cheerleader. I told her others won’t put up with it, and if she’s ok with out sharing her life with anyone and doing this, that’s great! many people don’t find their true love,but it will be lonely down the road. She said she’s been on her own for so long she doesn’t know how to be with someone and if she wants to. I asked if it’s because she is afraid to be hurt again, because she thinks of her first marriage as a failure. she said “yes, that probably has a lot to do with it, I am afraid.”
    I told her that I know she has a lot going on (the house is a WHOLE different story now), a lot to think about, and I’d give her the space and time to do it.
    I don’t want to lose her, but it seems that it’s more of a one sided relationship, with me giving and giving. I hope the old saying is correct, if you love it, let it go, and if it comes back it’s meant to be. I feel that it’s not over yet, and that we were put in each others lives for a reason. maybe she will think on things and realize what is important to her? maybe not. I need to let go, and move on….I have put out my hand and if she wants back in my life, she needs to reach out to me. I can’t live in the past anymore, and think about what ifs in the future. I must live in the present and accept what comes to me.

    With love, thank you all

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