Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Kkasxo,</p>
    I know the score. I’ve read all the advice. To be honest, I didn’t even need a therapist to tell me that unless the relationship is different, unless HE’S different and I’M different – we will end up with the same result. I don’t want to try and get back with him, like the last time, just because I can’t be without him and miss him too much. Plus I doubt he’s grown in this short amount of time. So I suppose that’s what stops me. I don’t want to be a fool and hurt again. I don’t feel strong yet, strong enough to endure another rejection if I try to get back together with him, so I know I’m not ready. Until I’m ready to stomach what he says and walk away if needs be and say ‘his loss’, I don’t think I’m ready.

    Also, I think you’re doing just fine. Given what’s approaching, you’re surviving and that’s all that can be expected, keep going, you’re resilient.


    I had no idea the experiences of heartbreak could be so universal in some ways. Your memories are almost exactly what I’m experiencing right now. Thank you for your empathy and advice.

    I suppose it comes down to my lack of faith that the future could be any better. He’s still on the pedestal which is frustrating. I didn’t see all those things as my inner voice- I kinda felt they were the voice of my therapist and all the bloggers who have written about heartbreak, just telling me what to do, rather than too much conscious thought on my own part. I feel like calling my inner voice Sylvie- don’t ask me why!!!! It just popped into my head. Martha is pretty loud and mean though, sylvie is much quieter and frail! I love to walk, but have been walking a lot lately with other people so I might try to go back to walking alone. The weather here today is freezing but bright with sunshine and frost on the ground, so perfect walking weather!


    Hi All,

    I can relate so much. Here is my story:

    Thanks so much for listening. I have been stuck in my head and I don’t know what to do anymore. My head and heart are conflicted.

    We broke up in November. we broke up (I honestly can’t even really remember) but because we weren’t happy, he was struggling with self worth and self esteem and wasn’t able to take care of me and didn’t feel good enough. we said that in order to be in a relationship he needed to be happy on his own first. That’s all I can remember, because everything has changed so much. So I don’t even know if that’s even why we broke up. He didn’t have a job for almost a year, he just got employed in November but hates his job, he applied for the military but isn’t sure what he wants to do. We were living together but in October I moved out because that’s what we agreed upon and his lease was up in December and I took some space and time to heal. I was doing okay by mid-December so when he asked to see me to show me his new apartment and for me to pick up some stuff I agreed. I acted very casual, but he was flirting and touching me and said we should go out for drinks, he talked the whole night and then kissed me in public and said he missed me and all that, and we ended up having sex. We parted ways and then between Christmas and New Years he talked to me, flirted with me and it was great! On new years I saw him again and he chased me all night, I told him I was going to go home and he asked me to come over to his place, so I did. We had sex again that night and in the morning. Then we watched some tv and hung out, he asked about my life and then I left. After that he seemed a little distant so I gave him some space.

    A couple days later I found out that he’s on dating sites. When he invited me over on Monday jan 7th to watch a movie at his place, I went, we had fun, he was being flirty and kissy but I kept my distance and before I left I told him that I really like spending time with him and that this is super fun but that I found out he’s on dating sites and that hurt me and left me confused. I told him that he can’t have his cake and eat it too and if he wanted options then I couldn’t be one. He asked if we could continue being exclusive and he could still go on dating sites and I said no, I wasn’t going to sleep with him until he found something better that came along. I told him again that if he wanted options then I wasn’t one and that I wanted to be exclusive. I told him I thought dating sites were not good for him and he said he was using them for self esteem and validation. I told him I wasn’t on dating sites because that’s not what I’m looking for and I couldn’t do it right now. It was late so he said he would sleep on it/ think about it. I left his place. I regret not kissing him goodbye, but oh well.

    That was on January 7th. I didn’t hear from him for a few days. Then I had to accept an etransfer from him before it expired. He texted me saying he got an email saying I accepted the money. I said thanks.

    Side note: we have the same friend group, we play sports together like frisbee and softball and we have all the same friends (every single one). So we have multiple Facebook group chats and Snapchat group chats.

    Then later that week a friend posted in a group chat sayin we should do an escape room. I private message her and tell her I’m in. Later that same week my ex posted in the same Facebook group chat that I’m also in saying that we should all do a pub crawl soon.

    I message my friend asking if she knows what this pub crawl is, and she says that she’s been planning it with my ex. I told her that I was starting to feel sad not being invited/ knowing about it. Saturday night I get a text from my ex saying that

    “Hey, just wanted to let you know that I wouldn’t organize and post in a group you’re in about a pub crawl and not invite you!! ?” and “Also, you’re in the group so if it ever gets organized you’re invited!”

    I reply saying thanks. He then responds with: “Also, text Melissa. She’s lonely ?” (Melissa is another mutual friend)

    I didn’t reply as I was seeing Melissa that night anyways. I found out that my ex (Ben) had every single one of our friends over to his apartment on Saturday night and didn’t invite me. While I understand not being invited I didn’t appreciate getting a text saying I was invited if it was posted in the group. It hurt and felt like his actions were mean.

    It also hurt that no one else had the guts to tell me what was happening and I feel like everyone (or most people) are going behind my back and I thought they were my friends too.

    On the Wednesday of the following week, the escape room happens. I post saying I can’t make it since I have other plans and I get a text from Ben saying: “ Hey that sucks you can’t make it on Wednesday. I know you’ve wanted to do one for so long. Is it because of me? I can sit it out!”

    It felt like a pity text, and he was being nice.. but it also hurt. Why is he still texting me? I didn’t reply to his message. I had other plans and didn’t want to see him, I’m a little angry and hurt and confused by all this.

    Ben has been hanging out with our mutual friend Bryson a lot. Bryson and I used to be close but now I hardly hear from him and I don’t think Bryson is the best influence. A lot of my other friends don’t really like him so I’ve tried to maintain my distance, but Ben and Bryson seem to host a lot of the events in our group and I feel like I need to be friends with Bryson to be in the group.

    Ben has also (according to friends) been bragging about his girls and being on dating sites and drinking often. I don’t ofcourse know any of this, but it looks like he is having the time of his life.

    Thursday of this week I get another text from Ben. It says: You were right about the dating apps. Stupid. Deleted them all.

    Last night: Ben sent a snap to the group (I haven’t opened it) but my friend said it was a picture of him with a cat, he was drunk. He knows I’m in the group.

    Then he posted a picture on Instagram and updated his profile.. he never ever used to go on Instagram when we were together, it seems like he just re-downloaded it this week.

    I don’t know why Ben is messaging me those things and I am torn between moving on and just forgetting him and deleting him and all our friends and starting over from 0, but I really do love him and care about him and I know he has to figure things out, but I don’t want to be played and I still kind of hope that he’ll want me back as embarrassing as that may be.

    I didn’t answer his last 3 messages and I haven’t heard from him since he sent that last message since Thursday and I last answered last Sunday. It’s been a week since he’s sent anything, I just miss him, miss talking to him and knowing what’s going on in his life. It kind of feels like he’s just forgotten I exist and has moved on and that is that. Obvs I don’t actually know that but yeah feels like that. It’s not like I’m sitting around doing nothing, I go to the gym, I see friends, I make plans and eat healthy and go to work, but i check my phone all the time hoping he’s texted or idk sent some sort of follow up message. This week, his sister snap chatted me twice, she’s so wonderful, but idk if she’s telling him things, so I have to watch what I say haha. I sound a little pathetic and silly, I even think about like hey maybe in April we can be together, idk. I know he’s figuring out his life and what he wants, he was unemployed for almost a year trying his own thing, now is working for the city but hates his job and is applying to join the military in Air Force.. and I feel weird making future plans knowing he’s not in them and he won’t even know about them and I’m sure he’s just fine without me and when I don’t hear from him it makes me think that he doesn’t want me in his life. I know with time it will get better, but right now time is going supppperr slowly.

    And like seeing him online on Facebook is hard because I think, well why doesn’t he just message me! He can see me online too! (I unfollowed him, but because of all our mutual friends I can’t delete him, that would be too awkward). We also play clash of clans together and I’ve stopped playing that for now, but it’s still a way to feel connected at least for me. I’m in his clan with his family, so far no ones kicked me out lol.

    I guess because it didn’t feel like he closed the door 100% the second time around I want my shitty relationship back. I’ve thought about being friends, but I think I would just want more, or not be able to not be attracted to him if I saw him or something. Everyday I just think, ok tomorrow he’ll reach out. And it hurts too much to think that he’s choosing and would rather be /live life without me (ouch!) And idk when tomorrow will be.

    Sorry this is so long, I haven’t really been able to talk to too many people about it mutual friends deal and all. And I don’t want to just ask him to get back together, I want him to want it and it to come from him otherwise what’s the point, so then I kind of sit here stuck because there’s nothing I can do. And I know that it’s a break up because something is wrong, but if he could just be happy or work on himself and then we can be together is the other story I’m telling myself. Maybe in a year from now crap. And it’s hard to tell myself that maybe he doesn’t care because of him flirting with me and texting me and stuff (until I guess I stopped answering him). I know I sound dumb, but oh well ?‍♀️


    I didn’t reply to his last three texts, and it has been two weeks of not hearing from him. My housemate said she saw him on a dating site again and i’m so disappointed and hurt. how am i wanting someone so much when he seems like a different person? Does he not want me? Why doesn’t he want me? those thoughts go through my head all day, every day..  I just want him to reach out to me so I know that he’s thinking of me too instead of moving on and living his life happily with no concern.

    I dream about him every night too and wish i could just stay in those dreams. It’s nice to know that you are both here with me




    I’m sorry you’re having such a turbulent time at the moment. It sucks. To be honest, it really seems ye are not meant to be together right now. He’s not showing you the level of respect someone should expect in a committed loving relationship. Now I know that’s not what you want to hear because you love him, of course you do. I don’t want to hear anything about my ex either because I still love him.

    But the evidence is there if you choose to look – he’s on dating websites, he’s monopolizing your group of friends without too much consideration for how it affects you. He is seeking validation in the wrong places, so he’s not really working on himself and his self esteem – that takes hard hard work and deep introspection, not nights out with Bryson!

    I’m not going to say he’s off living his best life without you, I’d say he’s pretty messed up in his head. However, he’s not doing anything serious about addressing it or finding out what truly makes him happy. You can’t put your life on hold for someone who would not and is not doing the same for you, it will eventually eat you up.

    This I realise is easier said than done though, trust me, everyone on this thread knows that. But you HAVE done so well by getting off the hamster wheel with him and not responded to his messages. Only get back on that wheel if there is significant change. Also, it’s hard to do, but you’re going to have to expand your friendship circle if possible –  even try making one new friend who has no connection to your ex. Online activity will not not not help you, this I can assure you. Mute everything, block him, without deleting him if needs be. Private message some of your closer friends in the whatsapp groups and say you’re signing out for a bit, just for a break as things are a little awkward at times and obviously Im sure your friends will understand.

    The urgent need to be with him and think about him fades after about 6 weeks when certain chemicals and hormones die down, you’ll still want to be with him but the cray cray need to be with him (that I have very much experienced) eases off slightly.

    Remember you have this forum and are doing so well, standing up for what you’re worth – well done. I’m not even that strong, so well done you! Tiny Buddha is a gift too.


    Good morning all,

    Well it’s a new month and I thought I’d feel better but unfortunately not much is changing. I’m still sad, with no direction and missing my ex like crazy. I have not reached any kind of enlightened moment yet or understand the ‘big lesson’ this situation is purportedly teaching me.

    The feeling of being blue and meh is continuous.



    Hi Shelbyville,

    Thank you for responding and being there for me! I agree with you that he’s messed up in the head and that he is figuring things out right now and it’s not a good time to be in a relationship, I think he’s trying to see how it affects me by still trying to include me in larger events, but not realizing that I find out about all the other stuff too. I wish he would just mature and grow up and work on himself, but one can only hope. It seems that things have settled down for him a bit, (i’m not sure if he’s on or off dating sites) but he’s spending more time alone from what I can tell as our friends have gotten busier.

    The hardest part for me is hoping that he will reach out and he will message me and update me on his life and where he is at. I know that this is out of my control, but everyday goes by and i have the same hope that maybe today i’ll hear from him.

    I’m also still feeling blue, crying often but going about my day and doing activities while feeling lonely and alone. I am having a hard time not judging myself for wanting to be with someone who so clearly doesn’t want me and isn’t being respectful to me.


    Hi grounded.

    Its not easy. I know I don’t want to be someone who wants someone who is making it clear they don’t want me. Similar to you, it’s hard to accept that we feel this way and we feel guilty for it. But I guess we just have to try and accept it as it is, while moving on at the same time.

    I don’t know how other people do it. Maybe everyone is just winging it and from the outside appear strong but are all just one text away each day from contacting their ex. And then they do that every day for however long until the urges subsides somewhat!



    Thinking of you this weekend. Hope everything is okay.


    @ Kkasxo, likewise, hoping you are making it through this one ok.

    Hey Shelby – and welcome to Sylvie, a grand name! Yep, she’s quiet and sometimes real hard to hear but she’s always there and truly wants what’s best for you, unlike Martha. The more you listen and trust in her, the quieter Martha will get. But it takes time and practice and effort.  A thought for you to ponder on a walk on this wonderful sunny day – when you find yourself spending a lot of time missing him, thinking about him and the relationship etc and reminding yourself and Martha of what you are missing out on – how much effort do you put into consciously choosing to think about something else? It may feel strange to willfully “change the subject” in your head but what we choose to focus out attention on naturally then has our attention. It can be perversely comforting to go down the same old rat-holes and round and round the same ‘problem’, looking for a different way to ‘fix’ it this time. When in reality there is no magical new solution and there is no answer, just more mental energy wasted.

    One thing that helped me was to consciously choose to focus on other ‘problems’ to solve in my life as if you have a brain that likes to problem-solve and analyse things out, it can be easier to refocus it that way instead of simply trying to stop thinking about the relationship problem and focus on other areas of your life instead.  You mentioned previously issues at work you’d like to deal with, focus on planning how to attack those. Or start to think about planning a big hairy scary adventure trip like you used to do. Just something not relationship-focused in the least.

    Martha will scream at you for giving up on her favourite topic but it’s literally like a bad habit that needs the cycle breaking.



    Thanks for the advice. I need it tonight. I’m just feeling more and more hurt and lost without my ex. This evening I went on a short casual date. A nice guy, but I realise I’m definitely not ready. It was just another approach, on the advice of others trying to help me, so I said I’d give it a shot. But it didn’t work and in fact, made me miss my ex more.

    Every single day is given to thinking of him, of us in the past etc. I assumed that’s how it is, until it isn’t. I haven’t consciously tried to divert my thoughts from the topic, I guess because I was afraid that’s not dealing with it. But I hope I can start planning something soon.


    Ah, yes, old friends meaning well and setting you up, remember it well. It was also a disaster for me too, was nowhere near ready for that and everything just felt entirely foreign, strange, the wrong person in front of me.  It’s ok to just say I appreciate you want to help but no thanks, it’s just part of sticking up for Sylvie.

    I would actually say the opposite about trying to focus on something else. Think of it as a bruise or a cut, you know, when you keep poking it to see if it still hurts and unsurprisingly the constant poking just makes it worse and it takes longer to heal.  It’s the same with emotional pain.  Most definitely you don’t want to avoid the topic but it’s all about how you are thinking about it. I bet you spend most of your time remembering the good stuff, whether true or not and taking perverse pleasure in trawling through all your good times together and how perfect he was for you etc etc? Which is just keeping your attention in the past and isn’t actually dealing with anything at all, it’s just poking the bruise, scratching the itch.  It’s another way of keeping the relationship alive and not letting go. And a new future with a happy you and either him in it or not in a new happy relationship is just not possible until you let go of the old.  Absolutely you need to work through this – why did you became so dependent, isolated with this guy, why did you accept less than you deserve, looking to improve your own self-esteem & confidence, on listening to yourself, to Sylvie. Basically, don’t ignore it at all but deal with it by working on you – not the relationship.  That’s the difference and you will be amazed at the impact.  When you feel the need to scratch that itch, that’s when I would use the other ‘mini-projects’ to distract myself from the habitual romanticising of the past.



    You’re right. Everything you have said there has relevance to me. I’m feeling particularly blue today, which is in stark contrast to the ambivalence I experienced in January. It’s so frustrating not knowing what to expect. Lately I have been trying to talk to myself to tell myself it’s over. To try and get it to sink in. Because ultimately, I still don’t believe it I guess. I know I have been surviving but I am most definitely holding on to it and don’t know how to let go.

    I do indeed want to be in a healthier space myself, that’s probably the only reason for me not contacting him – because I want to be strong enough to endure whatever may come. My therapist is great but lately I’ve been feeling as though there has not been a whole amount of progress on my part, that I’m plateauing. I can’t go back it seems, but I have no desire to go forward to something I don’t want. It’s a strange old place to be.

    Also, now I’m in the awkward position of having to let someone down gently (the date) – who wants to go on another date. He is a nice person, but definitely not for me, why do I bring these situations upon myself – I hate hurting people’s feelings!

    P.S- I hope you are well?


    Honestly, I think even if you did contact him then at this point you’d realise what a different person he was in reality to the one you have in your head. Which is probably another reason you aren’t getting in touch with him I would suspect.

    I really don’t think you can talk yourself into believing it’s over. You can decide it is – but that you are unwilling to do as yet. You can have the cold reality shock of him not wanting to try again/do anything different to previous/dating someone else, which gives you no choice but to accept it. You have no faith in a better future, which is understandable but is an area you can work on. Seriously, try it for just a week, literally re-directing your thoughts and focusing on now, the present, on something that improves your life with zero link to a romantic relationship – what’ve you got to lose eh….stop poking that bruise for a bit…

    And ha, sorry, not laughing at you but with you as remembering all too well having to do the letting down gently thing after getting myself into a similar situation, all be it through all my own doing. The only way I can do these things is an open and honest “I’m just not ready for this”. Good luck & next time don’t get talked into things just to please people…. 😉

    PS – All great here, I’m irritatingly happy and excited about the trip – 6 days to go!



    I am going to start the redirection of my thoughts tomorrow morning and see how I get on. Thank you.

    I was as respectful and honest as I could be in letting down the potential suitor so I hope he doesn’t hate me now. But it’s done at least.

    I don’t think I even know how to decide it’s over. I’m completely lost in the wind these days!

    I can’t believe your trip is nearly here. I imagine it will be all kinds of wonderful!


    Well done, at least it’s done. He won’t hate you but will be disappointed probably. Either way, it’s not something you can do anything about and it’s all part of learning how being self-assertive is ok, especially when a natural people-pleaser, it’s scary opening yourself up to people not liking you for doing or saying something you think will upset them.

    Glad you are having a go – it’s a bit like that old joke, if someone says not to think about an elephant, all you can think about is exactly that!  It’s probably worth mentioning to your therapist you feel like you are plateauing and seeing what he/she suggests to help?

    It may help to spend your new-found thinking time to write down what your perfect life would look like in 5 years time, across all areas, family, friends, health, work, hobbies and relationships. Forget reality for a while, just literally recognise and acknowledge what you & Sylvie would like it to be if you had the proverbial fairy godmother with magic wand.  Try to be as detailed and imaginative as you can without being specific on people/things . I.e. “I would like to be married to X, have two kids and be promoted at work and etc etc ” are pretty lazy answers…. For example, if you think about it properly,  what someone with that statement really means when they say “I would like to be married to X” is actually something along the lines of  “I want to be in a healthy, balanced, committed, loving relationship where we are making plans for our future together, where he respects me, we do x, y, z together, our sex-life is great, we are emotionally close, we can discuss issues and agree where to disagree, we help each other grow as people etc etc…..”   The more you can imagine and know what you want, the easier it is to then say no to things that don’t bring that into your life. And simply by doing that, you leave space for those things to become part of your life instead of it already being full of something you don’t want.  Make any sense???!?  Don’t worry or think about how it’s all going to happen – for now this is just about listening and getting to know what you want and what you don’t. Feel free to share it if you can/want. The next parts the really fun bit about making it happen 🙂

    @ Kkasxo. Hope to hear from you soon, regardless of what happened over the weekend and if you are back with your ex or whatever, just be good to know you made it through ok.



    Wow, that’s a new suggestion which has not been mentioned to me by anybody! I can’t imagine having a magical fairy godmother with a blank canvas, imagine! I’ll give it a go.

    I too hope Kkasxo is okay, I know she was taking a few extra days off around the weekend too as part of her break away, so she may not be back yet. I hope everything went okay for her and she is doing okay.

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