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How to deal with an imminent mutually beneficial breakup?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Raju 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #299993

    Kristen
    Participant

    We’ve been together for almost a year, but he’s moving away for work to another state in less than a month. For the entire time that we’ve been dating, I’ve always known he’ll be moving away soon and that we will not do long distance. We’ve always been on the same page and always been aware that we will end our relationship when the time comes.

    And now it is coming, and I am nowhere near ready for it yet. I can’t stop thinking about the fact that we’ll be apart soon. I can’t stop reminiscing about the memories we shared together for the past year.

    I’m a recent college grad with a promising career and a supportive network of family and friends. I just finished studying for a competitive professional exam last week, which I spent 5 months studying for. In these 5 months, I was juggling working a full-time job and studying for the exam, which means staying at the office to study until midnight and constantly feeling stressed out and anxious. My life revolved around going to work, studying and spending time with him 2 – 3 nights a week. Now that the exam is over, I have all this free time to do whatever I want.

    However, I just can’t stop feeling this inexplicable sadness that starts bothering me the moment I wake up in the morning. It’s nothing dramatic or unbearable. It’s just…sad. It goes away for a while during the day when I’m at the office, but it creeps back in the moment my mind is not preoccupied with work. I try to distract myself by spending 2 hours at the gym, cooking my favorite dishes or watching new TV shows. But none of these things help. I still feel sad about something that has not even happened yet.

    Even the little things make me want to cry. I think about how I will see his address saved as “Favorite” in my uber app after he’s gone, how I will pass by some of our favorite bars and restaurants, how I will not get off at that metro station near his place…

    The worst part is probably the mornings after spending the evening with him, when I have to wake up and leave for work. I realize how little time we have left. I realize how everything that I’ve grown accustomed to over the past year is going to disappear in just a few weeks. My heart sinks every time I think about it.

    And I never tell him how I feel. I never want to talk about this with him for fear of crying in front of him. As ridiculous as it sounds, I never feel comfortable crying in front of anyone but my mom. I’d feel weak and emotionally exposed if he ever saw me crying because of him.

    I really wish there was a way to be numb to all these feelings. I really wish I hated him, maybe that’d be easier than having to break up when we still have strong feelings for each other.

    So here I am, seeking advice from the lovely community of tinybuddha. I don’t expect to feel better immediately. I’m just hoping to know how to cope with this a healthy way.

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  tinybuddha.
    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Kristen.
    #300007

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kristen:

    “For the entire time that we’ve been dating, I’ve always known he’ll be moving away soon and that we will not do long distance. We’ve always been  on the same page and always aware that we will end our relationship when the time comes”-

    – You had a rational understanding that didn’t take into account emotions. Emotions are powerful. You didn’t know, now you know that emotionally you are not on the same page that you were on rationally. Your logical plan has encountered an emotional difficulty.

    What if you shared this with him, without crying. If you fear that you will cry, type him a letter, tell him honestly and in such a way that you don’t appear demanding or blaming or any such thing, matter of fact, tell him how you feel and that you didn’t expect it. Ask him how he feels, that you really want to know and that you don’t expect or ask of him to change his plans.

    Get his answer and take it from there…?

    anita

     

    #300059

    Mark
    Participant

    Kristen,
    You want to know how to cope with this in a healthy way?I wonder if you have had to experience loss in other ways? A loss of a loved one? A loss of a job? A loss of a friendship? A loss of another romantic relationship?
    How did you cope with any of those?

    He is going away and your relationship is shifting, nothing is permanent. Put that in perspective. I know that this won’t be comforting but it has been less than a year of knowing each other. You two never got out of the honeymoon phase where you idealize him and project all those great qualities without really getting to experience the nitty gritty.

    Buddhism talks about sitting with our feelings rather pushing them away or distracting ourselves from them. It is easier said than done (at least for me). The best way of coping and moving on is to do that.

    You are pre-grieving. Make the most of the present moment rather than spoiling your time together by becoming sad before he leaves.

    Does any of this make sense?
    Mark

    #300129

    Kristen
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for reminding that emotions are powerful. I think it finally dawned on me that I’ve always put my feelings second to rationality. And now my feelings are finally trying to catch up…

    And I do wish I had the courage to type that letter for him. I plan on keeping these feelings to myself until after he’s gone, and I’ll maybe tell him how I feel then over text.

    #300131

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Kristen:

    You are welcome. What is your rational thinking behind your plan to maybe tell him how you feel later, after his move?

    anita

    #300135

    Kristen
    Participant

    Dear Mark,

    It is true that we have not had enough time to really get to know each other. We do have very conflicting viewpoints on major political/social issues, which sometimes makes me question whether I can be with someone like him in the long run.

    Thank you so much for the advice on sitting with our feelings. It really gives me hope! I do feel better after spending some time trying to process all these emotions by myself (which is just a way of saying that I spent an hour crying while mindlessly binge-watching my favorite show).

    #300141

    Kristen
    Participant

    I think it’s because I’m afraid that maybe he does not feel as strongly about this as I do. I actually will probably never find out because I’m so afraid to even start this conversation with him. I also don’t want to make everything awkward between us while he’s still here.

    #300161

    anita
    Participant

    Dear  Kristen:

    You feel strongly about this and abut him. But if you can bring up the topic in almost a matter of fact way, not in an emotional way, even downplaying your emotions a bit, you will have an opportunity to find out valuable information that will affect how you feel in the future. Maybe he will share that he feels the same, that will give you valuable information. Maybe he will suggest that he doesn’t feel this way, that will also be valuable information.

    The information you can get now/ soon, before he leaves, can lead you to suffer less/ not to suffer. I recommend that and will be glad to help you compose a short draft of what to tell him/ how to bring it up to him, if you want, of course.

    anita

    #300443

    Raju
    Participant

    Kristen,

    Nothing is permanent on this earth, which is quite often in the case of ‘relationship’!  Relationship always has its side effects.  Here, I do endorse your point that we should never share our fear to others otherwise they will take advantage of it.

    You were together only for a year or so.  The time you both spent together is not sufficient enough to mature your relationship, hence it’s easy to come out of it rather quickly.  Being in the relationship is not the responsibility of one person it is always two-way when one partner thinks of leaving then it means that he/she was not deeply involved into it, so it is better to let it go!

    In your case, only one person can help you that is ‘you’ yourself and none else.  You have to accept the reality and accordingly deal with it.  Life is a journey where you will be meeting many travellers, like a train journey where the passenger gets departed on reaching their destination.  Similarly, we will be meeting many persons in our life and seeing them departed.  Just move on but always remember to cherish good memories of life.  Just cherish them and focus on your future journey of life and don’t cling to your past, otherwise life would become quite miserable.

    Raju

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