Tortured by regret of breaking up with him

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    I genuinely never thought I would find a post that resonated so much with my situation. I was/am exactly like Elle – I was in one of the darkest places of my life, for me, I was so stressed about climate change (I’m in environmental studies) and felt so hopeless all the time. This translated to my relationship where I prioritized literally everything above him, because I was so lost, unhappy, that I felt I needed to get a grip on my life by giving less to someone else. I think I was in desparate need of feeling complete and confident in who I was as a person and needed to let go of my relationship as I felt like I was constantly falling short and not giving enough into it when he was. I was so relieved initially, but then I went into a horrendous month of non-stop crying and being so extremely depressed without him. (It was because about a week after our mutual breakup I asked to get back together and he said no, something I thought would never happen). After that month, I genuinely felt ok – I felt at peace, I was like ‘ok, this is good, I have my life, I can do what I want and focus on myself.’ And now with the Corona quarantine… all I have now is time to think and I was so shocked by my feelings of regret and longing for this specific person. I’ve realized a lot of unhealthy patterns I had in my past and have been literally acheing to reach out to this person to talk and reconcile. I’m hesitant because I know he doesn’t want contact, it’s been almost 4 months and he has never reached out. What I think I’m going to do, is take a bit more time (yes, I signed up for a mindvalley class that helps you “consciously uncouple”), really understand the breakup and what happened, my part in things, and hopefully after all those things I will have clarity on whether I just want to apologize for my part in things, or ask to reconcile. The hardest part is being faced with rejection, that this person still does not want you back, but I know that decision would be for the best and I could live with it knowing I was as vulnerable, honest, and open as possible.

    What are people’s thoughts when they are wanting to reach out to their ex so badly? I’ve cried so much about it, it hurts so much to be without this person, but I know I need to do a bit more work on understanding myself and what happened before I reach out, otherwise it wouldn’t be fair to that person.


    Hi Brynna- I am glad my story resonate with you (or sad to hear…guess it’s a catch-22 there!) I know exactly how you feel. If I can give anyone any advice is that I would wait until you’re completely emotionally calm and have understood how you feel and are confident in yourself before reaching back out. I understand when you’re alone it hurts the most, but keep in mind it’s still fresh (4 months isn’t that long) and everyone in the world, including yourself, is feeling lonely and scared because of this pandemic and it’s easy to resort back to comfort. I would tell you to wait before reaching out. Wait until you feel like you’ve fully figured yourself out and what went wrong, because there is a strong chance of rejection (even if you think it’s meant to be on your end) and you will need to be fully ready to bounce back from that and accept it for what it is if it happens. Not to be a debbie downer, but just protect your heart! I realized that I was simply lonely and putting my ex on a pedestal and I was only able to see that once I gave myself a long, long time to heal.


    Wow what incredible timing to be finding this thread. I’ve never googled relationship regrets, and here is a post started 4 years ago that has just recently been reactivated! I relate so much to so many of your stories. Mine sounds a bit crazy as my relationship was only a few months long and I ended it over 3 years ago. Similar to Elle, he was so good to me, we got along very well, had the same interests, morals, and values. However I  was always questioning  the relationship and felt he was more into it than I was. I was in a point in my life where I wanted to travel and work and not be tied down and we just weren’t in the same place.

    It took me almost a year to realize I regretted my decision of breaking up, but usually I’ve been able to put it out of my head and move on. I  was just recently thinking about him and checked his instagram, and saw that he is now engaged. For the last few days I can’t stop crying and have ever felt regret like this before. I feel like I’ll never find anyone like him again and am so angry with myself for not seeing all the good things we had at the time.

    I tend to get very irritable in relationships and I don’t know why. Very similar to Brynna I am also an environmentalist and get very depressed over the state of the world. Once I’m in the comfortable stage of a relationship, I tend to pay less attention to my partner as I am too busy dwelling with other stuff.

    Anyway, maybe it’s this quarantine that has everyone remeniscing, but it’s so strange to suddenly be so hurt and feel so much loss over someone I broke up 3 years ago.

    It is giving me some relief reading everyone’s stories and knowing I’m not the only one going through this. Also hearing how others have healed and it can happen. Im sure the decision to break up at the time was the right one, but it’s hard convincing yourself that during a time like this when everything in life is so uncertain.


    Exact same experience here. I’ve been googling relationship advice for the past few months looking for hints to justify my breakup, but the pain hasn’t subsided. I’ve never commented on any stories, but this thread that’s spanned 4 years was the first out of all self-help articles to give me hope. Hope that even if I don’t find anyone close to comparable with him, I can still be happy.

    I broke up with my boyfriend mid-January after a 4-year relationship, because I had developed feelings for another guy. It wasn’t the first occurrence either, but I had gotten over my infatuation previously, as it only lasted for a few months. This time however, my boyfriend had gone back to his hometown to visit his parents, and I was still trying in vain to find a job after graduation. I was alone, partied, had alcohol, and did something that tore my soul apart. My boyfriend wanted to video chat with me the next day, but I just couldn’t meet his eyes. After a few minutes, I had to abruptly end the call and burst into tears.

    I didn’t know what to reply to his messages, and felt unworthy of his attention. He started getting worried about why I wasn’t responding, and finally sent me a long message asking if I wanted to break up with him. He said he had imagined a future with me, but wouldn’t stop me if I decided he wasn’t the one. He said he would try not to ask why, and would respect my decision.

    I had wanted to wait until he came back to tell him face to face, but his message expedited the process. I broke up with him through video chat.

    He called me later that night making one last attempt to reconcile, where I told him I wanted to break up because “I needed time to be with myself”. He scoffed and asked:” Do you need time to be with yourself or to be with other people?”. I broke down and told him “Yes that’s exactly right, I need to be with other people.” That was the closest I could get to telling him the truth without breaking whatever we had left.

    He didn’t call again after that. He messaged a few times, to which I replied distantly. I was adamant about breaking up (at the time), and I did not want to give him any hopes of reconciliation. I even moved out of our shared apartment to live with a friend, so that he could live alone when he returned. He would only be back for a few weeks before relocating to another city anyways.

    I started living the single life, attending all social events, but still cried every time alcohol was involved. I had felt all the signs that should have led to a break up (listed on google): my mind was drifting, sex was becoming routine, I preferred spending time with my friends instead of going back home…but I still cried. I cried when I thought about how I could’ve tried to communicate with him more openly about sex, how I could have tried to initiate more physical attention, how I could have been more curious about him as a person and view him as an individual instead of an extension of myself. He had all the traits that I looked for in a boyfriend, loyal, loving, generous, ambitious, hard working, smart.

    It’s June now, and 5 months have passed. I sent him a long, heartfelt letter a week ago, after truly thinking about what didn’t work in our relationship, and how I was prepared to change. I wanted to go to his city to see him, but he advised against it saying it wouldn’t be safe with the corona-virus. He said we would meet again after the virus, and for once I felt hopeful.

    Then a few days ago, I found that he had a new girlfriend (my classmate’s ex girlfriend). A little ironic, I found out by stalking her social media where she was posting roses and her valentines day gift (Point: Valentines day is February). I felt like Sherlock, putting together the puzzles and pieces. She posted a video of her playing the piano, and I realized that the piano looked like ours (in our shared apartment). The gifts that she showed off were placed on our kitchen countertop. They had started going out early February, right after he came back. She’s now living with him in his new apartment (the floor colorings were the same on their social media).

    I felt my whole world was falling apart. Guilt had been eating away at me throughout the year, as I imagined him alone in his new apartment in a new city trying to navigate his new job amidst the quarantine. Now it turns out he had a nice warm body to lavish all his love and attention on. But who am I to blame, when I was the one that pushed him away in the first place?

    We met once after breaking up, early February over lunch. He said he had thought about the breakup, and realized I was right, we really weren’t compatible. He liked girls who liked to travel, who were good at math, who liked to play video games. He said that he had gotten used to being taken care of in our relationship, but he actually liked taking care of his significant other. What I’ll never forget though, is when he said:” Anyways, you’re not my type. I like girls with whiter skin tone.” At the time, it stung, but I brushed it off as a joke. I thought his reasons were quite well thought out. Now I realize that he was just describing his new girlfriend to me.

    I wondered if he ever loved me at all. It didn’t seem to matter who the person was, he just needed someone to be with him. But after countless sleepless nights, I decided that perhaps it was just meant to be. He just wanted to settle down with someone who was willing to settle down with him, while I still wanted to explore my options. He needed someone cute and girly (and with light skin tone!) to fawn over his gifts and flaunt everything on social media. Not me, when I try to keep the room tidy and tell him off for spending too much and avoid over-expensive excursions. It just so happened that he found the right person immediately, and I’ve only been meeting commitment-phobic jobless college boys. Still, I just can’t help feeling like I lost the one person who could’ve treated me like a princess.

    I wonder if he ever thinks about me, because I still think about him every day, and I can’t seem to stop. No amount of exercising, re-arranging my room, or studying is helping. But if it takes 2.5 years for me to get over him, then I will wait those years. After which I’ll come back to this thread and post an update on my new life.


    * Dear Al: I read your post and would like to read your update on your new life when you post it here. You are also  welcome to start your own thread if you want to communicate with members outside this thread.



    this sounds like the other side to my story. I feel like I was the guy in this story. The only thing is she ruined me. She cheated countless times yet always came back professing her love to me. I was young and naive my mother told me if I went to war I would come back single because that’s the kind of girl she was. She potentially exposed me to so many things while I put my sweat and blood into a fruitless love.

    since then I’ve broken so many hearts and I regret it deeply. I had to learn to love myself. I got in shape, grew a beard, enhanced my style all because I reverted that love I was trying to give away to myself. I’m an all around better person now.

    She came back to my state after leaving for college. Idk if she came back for me but she tried to reinsert herself into my life with reminders of those days and I just couldn’t care less her and I are cordial now but she’s did her and still feels entitled. Like I jacked her swag and she had to get it back. Like me not accepting her back was wrong but I don’t know.

    She only ever felt wrong for hurting me because she wanted me back. Not because she grew. She’s  always exuding personal growth but new contains the real thing. She’s tried to homewreck me and girls I’ve talked to.





    Oh God this is me. I literally broke up with him 6 hours ago. And I’m already hurting. Except I don’t think I can ask for him back ever. He’s been in love with me for 5 years but I only started dating him about 6 months ago. The first few months were great. He treated me like a queen. But then I don’t know what happened, I just stopped feeling the same way. I would look for excuses to not talk to him, I would actively avoid him, and then yesterday I simply couldn’t tell him I loved him without feeling guilty. But literally 6 hours after having a difficult break up with him, I find myself missing him so much it’s hurting. Did I take a rash decision? Did I mess up a good thing? I can’t imagine being in the headspace I was in last night when I couldn’t stomach the thought of saying I love you. Or is this just me being lonely?

    Either way, I know I do not have a chance of getting him back. I rejected him once a few years ago and he did not take it well at all so his friends got super protective. Then I started dating him again and he was so happy, but now I have dumped him again. I know already that I want to get back, but I don’t think it will last. I am all over the place. It’s so much pain.


    * Dear liz:

    I think that it will be unfair to him if you try to get him back. He was already hurt when you rejected him before, so better let him recover and deal with your pain in some other way, other than trying to get him back. If you want to, you can start your own thread, telling your story and the story of this relationship. You can click FORUMS above, scroll down to RELATIONSHIPS, and take it from there. I will be glad to read and reply to you on your own thread.




    Hi I know it’s been a while, but as i read your story i couldn’t help but connect. i recently in fact 3 days ago, just broke up with my boyfriend of eight months. our relationship was perfect, he was perfect and honestly i was happy but not in the way i wanted to be. As dumb as it sounds i wanted to feel free and i felt like i couldn’t get that if i was with him despite him always supporting what i wanted to do. i felt like i had outgrown the relationship, and i just couldn’t picture him in my future and i knew that he deserved to be with someone who wanted what he wanted, a future. so i broke up with him. i think it’s safe to say i not only blindsided him but myself too. i didn’t even plan to do it i just did.  i barley understood what i was doing it felt like i had just shattered everything to pieces in a matter of seconds. i wanted to die.

    now the part where the story differs is my age i’m 16, and he was my first relationship and my first love. now all i can feel is regret and sadness, not only do i not know how to handle a break up in general let alone one i’m already regretting. he was a great person and i really did love him and it hurts me so bad to see how much i hurt him. every night i lay awake in bed missing him and all the little things we did. our breakup was so sudden and i keep wishing i never broke up with him and we could just be happy together. i know young first relationships almost never last forever and i’ll find someone new eventually but i really truly love him and i am in so much pain thinking i just threw away the most perfect relationship id ever have. so please just anybody tell me i will be ok that this will pass, because i just wanna feel happy again.


    Dear cass:

    I hope you no longer lie awake in bed at night regretting that you broke up with him. I hope you have peace of mind and heart.

    You wrote: “he deserved to be with someone who wanted what he wanted, a future, so I broke up with him”- you didn’t want what he wanted, and that’s okay to want something different. At 16, most people are too young to commit to a future with another person.

    “I wanted to feel free”- at 16, it’s understandable, to want to be free from a commitment to another person.

    You can start your own thread if you want (go to Forums at the top, go to Categories, choose Relationships and scroll down to the empty boxes), and share more, express yourself, if it helps, and I will read and reply to you. I hope other members do as well.




    This story touched me so deeply because it resonates what I’m going through right now and I have never felt so utterly hopeless and desperate and depressed than I do this moment.

    I cannot type this without crying, but I broke up with my best friend; someone I had loved for 2 years before he even asked me on a date. He had dated someone before me, which was one of the most difficult periods of my young life, hurt that he saw something in her before he saw something in me, now the pain is a million times worse knowing I inflicted it when I broke up with him and I severely regret it. He is on my mind literally 24/7, I attempted to rekindle the relationship and he replied that he thinks that we will never be able to get back together, he constantly felt as if he was losing me and things were never just “easy” when, to some extent they should be.

    I had been fine up until he said these things, because on some level I had held out hope that he would just return to me once I confessed to making a mistake a few weeks ago breaking up with him. But he is far more rational than I am, and I doubt his faith in his response will only strengthen; he will not doubt and come running back to me. Why would he? Would I if he had broken up with me?

    I completely regret everything, I wish I could go back in time and unsay everything. The reasons for the breakup were that I was constantly unsure of wanting to be in the relationship, and essentially wanted to spare him of my uncertainty, though I did love him and still do, extremely. I know he still loves me, in a way that makes it worse, I feel so much guilt I cannot sleep and I am crying several times throughout the day; my life just isn’t functioning anymore. I do hope time is a healer, because at the moment it feels like I just destroyed the only thing that could have made me happy.


    Dear Carly:

    If you would like to share more about your experience, about the “so much guilt” that keeps you from sleeping at night, please do: what is your guilt abut, what are the words you wish you could “go back in time and unsay”?


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