How to stop self-torture….

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    Hi everyone,
    This is my first post here, although I have been reading Tiny Buddha for a while. It is full of useful advices but I came to a point in my life where I do not seem to be able to use them. Here is my issue:
    I am 24 and I broke up with my first serious boyfriend a month ago. By ’serious’ I mean that I have been dating boys earlier but after a couple of dates we drifted apart or I ended it because I was not really into them. Shortly: I have never had issues with breaking up so that I would not waste my or his time. It just seemed to be fair.
    It is also important to know that I am not a really outgoing person. I do love hiking and I do several sports but I have never enjoyed partying. I prefer spending some time with my friends (who are all girls, and all of them are single). I matured quite ’late’ regarding boys: at high school I was not really into relationships. I had my plans, focusing on college etc. After my senior year I had to face a serious health problem that I luckily managed to bring under control. It made me realize that a career is not everything. That is when I got more interested in relationships. But the moment I WANTED a relationship there seemed to be no boys interested in me. It made me more and more desperate.
    Finally, I met my ex. He is two years younger and I was his first love,too. We started dating in the end of the schoolyear. During Summer I moved back to my hometown and we met 3-4 times. He was the first guy that I told about my health problem and I was so happy that he accepted it. The problems started in September, when we both went back to college (the same college) and we started to spend more time together. Some habits started to emerge that I did not know about (like he is a gamer, quite lazy) but I wanted this relationship so badly that I was willing to compromise. Sometimes I broke down and cried to him. He has always said that he could not change. Not now. And now, looking back I am aware, that it was a huge red flag that I constantly wanted to change him. It was like I fell in love with the ideal version of him not with the human who he is.
    Another issue that I could not accept was that I was not always his priority: often friends and sometimes games came before me. On the other hand I gave up everything for him (I know that it is a big NO). I spent less time with my friends, and spent more time with his friends, etc. Sometimes I felt like I was his mother (his parents did not really care about him. They were rich, gave him all the money needed, but not enough attention and help) and after a while it became tiring. He has never asked me to do it but I felt this huge urge that I needed to help him.
    As our first anniversary was drawing closer I started to feel that something was bad. I was constantly stressed and unhappy but I always tried to find another reason for my feelings. Reasons, like my work, pressure at college and the upcoming graduation. After a while I felt like I did not love him anymore and everything about him started to disturb me.
    I broke up with him a month ago (we have been together for about 14 months). In the beginning I felt relieved but after a month I still cry about the break up sometimes. We tried to give it a second chance but I just could not do it. Since then we are trying NC, although I have to admit that I broke it several times. Talking to him on FB felt good for the time being then I felt worse than before.
    So, I , better said, my brain sais that I made the right decision BUT sometimes I cannot stop thinking about him and us. I cannot say that I do no love him anymore, but my feelings are not the same as before. I am trying to find myself: focus more on school, try new activities and I try to learn to find happiness in me, not the outside world.
    All in all, I just wonder whether I made the right decision. And I wonder what else I could do for moving on faster.
    Thank you for the answer in advance!


    Hi M,

    It sounds like he was “OK” but not “Great”. If being a gamer and hanging out with his friends was a deal breaker, then there wasn’t enough going on with him for you to stay. It’s like being in a restaurant and everyone’s raving about it, giving it five stars, and you’re all, “But it’s McDonalds”. But you own stock in the company, so you stay and finish the burger.

    I think you’re feeling dejected. It will pass. Even if you stayed together it sounds like there wasn’t enough “glue” there to last through your twenties. Time will heal this. Maybe “Hide” him on FaceBook so you don’t see him everyday?


    You need time to heal. That’s it, plain and simple. You can’t push a chain – it just gets bungled up. Do things for yourself that make you feel good and nurtured. Practice mindfulness. Ain’t no way to move on faster, it takes the time it takes, but it will pass and you will be whole and happy again. Remember that happiness comes from inside yourself and your connection to the Universe (or God, or whatever works for you), and that you don’t need someone else to complete you. A loving relationship is wonderful, it’s groovy, but it’s not the end all.

    Breathe. Rest. Cry. Eat well, exercise and pray. You will be ok. It’s just gonna take time.

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