My boyfriend and I broke up, and I feel guilty for my decision.

HomeForumsTough TimesMy boyfriend and I broke up, and I feel guilty for my decision.

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    I’m moving across the world in a bit over a month, for at least two years. The time zone difference between here and there would be really difficult, even though my boyfriend and I are both sort of long-distance veterans. Today we talked about it for hours. I cried and stumbled over my words. I love this guy with all of my heart…he is the most kind, gentle, loving, and caring soul. But I found myself torn.

    He told me that he was proud of me for making the move, as I need a change in my life. I’ve been struggling with depression for a while now, and through therapy I’ve found that people and my family and past abused me emotionally. He had been helping me cope with these things…I’m so fucking grateful for him.

    He admitted that he didn’t want to break up at all, but that he didn’t want to hold me back. He thought it would be selfish of him, and unfair for me to “be stuck” with him. I sort of jokingly begged him to fight with me, or something, so that we wouldn’t have to make a decision over this. But we only ended up laughing, because we couldn’t find anything we didn’t like about one another, or even figure out how to insult each other.

    Eventually, I decided that we should “try being friends for a few days”, as we both still wanted to talk, and just to be open with each other about how it feels. Things were kind of amiable so far, and I felt like, even though I would miss being with him, that they would all turn out okay.

    But then he started crying. I’d never seen him cry before, and it fucking broke my heart. He said that I was the best thing that ever happened to him, and kept asking if we had to do this. He told me that whoever I was going to be with would be lucky, but that he knew he wouldn’t find someone else again. He kept saying I was perfect. When I told him that I thought he was perfect for me, he denied it to the ends of the earth. I didn’t say anything, but I felt like he was kind of talking about somebody else, if that makes any sense. I’m not perfect. I’m an insecure, impulsive, emotional mess.

    We said ‘ I love you’s ‘, over and over, and that was it. I can’t stop thinking about him crying…I’m overcome with guilt. I love him, but I didn’t know that he felt the way he said he did about me. I don’t think deserve him at all, or that I ever have deserved him. He’s way too good and kind for me. I’m nothing. I feel like I’m a terrible person for choosing everything that I did. I don’t know how to deal with all of this guilt, what it will be like to just be friends, or even know if I made the right decision. I think I’m torn all over again.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this mess. <3


    Dear Lane:

    I didn’t understand this part: “He kept saying I was perfect. When I told him that I thought he was perfect for me, he denied it to the ends of the earth”- you mean he denied that he is perfect for you?

    If so, what did he say in regard to him not being perfect for you?



    Dear Anonymous,

    It sounds like you are facing a really gut-wrenching crossroad in your future life planning, and I am sorry to read of your guilt and to imagine how torn you’re feeling.

    One question jumps out at me:  is the only reason why you’ve had to consider breaking up the distance that being on the other side of the world would impose?  Or is there more to the story?  There are many examples of people successfully navigating long-distance relationships across continents, and you mention that you are “veterans,” so if anyone could weather the storms of long periods of absence, perhaps you two could?

    It sounds like he is wanting to let go of you to be supportive of your dreams, ambitions and happiness.  Your post reads like he is wanting to put your happiness above the happiness that being together brings him.  That level of selflessness is a wonderful quality to find in anyone, be they partner, family member of friend.  But you needn’t let it guilt you into making a decision that isn’t right for you.

    It may be that you need this time apart, and you need a change in scenery, to truly value and appreciate each other more than you possibly could have if you stayed put.

    As someone who has relocated to a new state twice (once in their 20s and now in their early 30s), I would say that such a change of scenery is one of the best ways to step outside your comfort zone, to challenge yourself and to find new experiences and social circles.  It can also really help you appreciate your original “home” in a new light that you couldn’t before.

    Do you need to decide to end the relationship right now?  Is there another option agreeable to you both?  You both seem to agree that you need the change of scenery, so I wonder if you need to make the drastic decision of ending the relationship here and now.  Is it possible you could see how you are both feeling three to six months into your relocation overseas, and whether your relationship is still tenable from that vantage point?  Or would it be better, from your point of view, to have a clean break and give yourselves the freedom to find where your hearts truly lie?

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