Trying to get over EX. Adivce?

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    Hey Everyone,

    So I broke up with my 1st long-term (almost 2 yrs) boyfriend (I’ll refer to him as “Bob”) about 2 months ago. I am still feeling alot of pain, guilt, and sometimes longing to be back with Bob. I am really looking for advice from how other people coped with their breakup; any encouragement. Here’s what happened:
    Basically, I feel that we didn’t “clique,” per say. I was frustrated with him almost every other day. It got to the point where almost everything about him frustrated me- his views on my religion, the way he communicated (of lack thereof), his family (the family he lived with rather hated me), his personality- everything. I had to end it; my friends and family all thought we made a terrible couple. Nonetheless, everyone liked Bob; he was extremely patient, kind, loving. Bob seemed to love me more than anything in the world. But I was disappointed in him- he didn’t drive, didn’t work (not even part-time minimum wage), didn’t care about his school grades and didn’t have very realistic plans for the future- all things I cared deeply about. But he wasn’t just “a bum,” to me; we have known each other since we were little kids. And he grew up in a pretty angry, unstable, unsupportive (emotionally. Not financially) family. I had alot of sympathy for him, alot of pity; but the stress of being with him was too much for me. I broke up and got back together with him a number of times. I finally bit the bullet, and stopped seeing him, stopped talking to him on the phone. We would communicate via text. That was it. When I talked to him, we would either argue or he would guilt me.
    Now I still cared deeply for Bob as a person, and hoped college (he finally signed up) would go well for him, that he would learn to drive, and become more mature in general. So I would talk to him almost everyday via text to see how things were going. This was probably a bad idea; we argued so much, I finally blocked him just yesterday. Now I feel very guilty for blocking him. I am kind of still hoping he would become the person I wanted/expected him to be. I have alot of trouble forgiving myself; alot of time wondering if I made a mistake. I miss having someone to talk to at the end of the day, someone to hug. It just has me a bit depressed right now; most of the time I’m happier without him. But sometimes I break down crying at night. Any advice or encouragement would be greatly, greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this long post!


    Hi, heartfelt hugs – I believe if you re read your post, you will see that this guy is not a good match for you for the long haul. Seems you are opposite on some pretty big issues. That doesn’t mean that love wasn’t present- and it may still be, keep that part and junk the rest – the guilt, the missing him. There were red flags everywhere in that relationship. It’s going to hurt, of course, you’ve lost a dream and a hope.

    Eyes forward sister – every moment you spend in a loser relationship keeps you another moment from having the relationship that suits you and will endure and which you deserve with an equal. Please give yourself time to grief the loss (not to discourage you, but I just passed the first anniversary of splitting with my beloved and it still hurts but not as much).

    How to get through this? stay the course, don’t go backwards…grieve and give yourself time to heal and grow. Rest, eat, exercise. When you feel able to do so, fill your days with things that you are passionate about, this is a GREAT time to stretch your wings because you aren’t responsible to anyone but yourself – travel? new hobby? volunteer? You will find someone new to talk to at the end of the day. DON’T settle! That’s the bird in the hand is worth two in the bush mentality. Mix it up, have fun.

    Good luck, and be good to yourself.


    PS “I am kind of still hoping he would become the person I wanted/expected him to be.” It is really really important to know that you cannot put this kind of pressure on someone to become what YOU want or expect. He is who he is. Not that we cannot improve as individuals but if this is fundamentally who he is, he will not change. It is critical that you accept people for who they are, including this guys.

    HE has to want to change for HIMSELF, not because you want him too.

    Banu Sekendur

    Hi Cynthia,
    Good for you for reaching out and seeking a solution for what you think could be a hindrance to your happiness in the long run. Hanging onto an ex is very common and the best medicine is time. I happen to be working on an article on this topic so here are my highlights that might help. There are a few main reasons why we hang onto our Ex.

    1)We tend to glorify the good and forget the “bad” (bad: what was incompatible)
    2) We are afraid of our grief and hanging onto them helps us delay our process (most people fear their feelings!)
    3) We feel guilt for the mistakes we made and a part of us fantasizes about getting back together and doing everything right this time.
    4) Heart takes time to let go. In my experience, if you really want to let go and move on, it takes about 1-2 years. It doesn’t mean that it will be excruciating the whole time. It all depends on your perspective.
    5) We forget that relationships are spiritual assignments. They have their expiration and that is OK. Not all of them are supposed to last a lifetime. It does not mean that the relationship was bad or meaningless. It means that you got what you needed out of it. Now process, extract wisdom, make necessary changes (do your inner work). When you’re ready, the next relationship (next assignment) will show up.

    Here is what worked for me:
    Make a list of what worked and didn’t work. Be realistic.
    Keep a journal and process what comes up.
    Delete him from your Facebook (constant FB checking does not help at all!)
    Get out and start doing new stuff (volunteer, take a new class, start a book club, etc..)
    Give yourself permission to feel your feelings. Don’t resist what comes up but don’t indulge.

    Hope this helps. Additionally, I wrote an article posted here on TB about my experience after my break-up that might speak to you:



    Thank you guys for the responses! Yes, I know I can’t change him. Funny thing is, I would tell him he shouldn’t change for me; we’re not compatible. Period. But he said he would change for me, and then would be frustrated/angry at me for not seeing the “change.” It was a…peculiar situation I suppose. Yes, I have deleted most contact with him; which was surprisingly scary for me to do. But, like I said, when I had contact with him, we would just end up arguing and I would waste my time.
    I am actually quite busy- I think that’s why I miss him. In my nth year of college, looking for a job, working part time, volunteering, and studying constantly; I feel I don’t really get a break. “Bob” used to be my break. He was what made me take a second, step away from the chaos of my life, and talk about fun things; little things; gossip; news. We may have had fundamental differences, but at one point in time, he was someone I did enjoy talking to.
    Right now I have a couple great friends who have been really supportive. I still find myself wanting to be in a relationship with someone- with “Bob” I suppose. I become a bit sadden when I see that my 2 great friends are also in great relationships with their long-term partners. It makes me feel lonely. And like you said Banu, I think I do glorify the good moments in our relationship. At times I feel like being with him is better than being “alone.” But it really wasn’t. I suppose I just need some time and patience. I can’t wait to read your article Banu 🙂 Thanks again for your responses!

    Mango Luv

    People are not here to fit your expectations. We are not all ready to take the next step in life, and maybe he has an entirely different life path ahead of him than you. That dosen’t make him less of a person, it just means that you don’t see to eye to eye.

    The more you expect of people in life, the more dissapointment you will have. Its okay to have “standards” for how you would like to be treated (of course!) But expecting someone to live a life that YOU want them to live, is actually selfish on your part. Extremely so.

    Focus on yourself and what you want out of life first, don’t project it onto other people. You will continue to drive people away and will suffer endless dissapointments. Again, people dont live their lives for you, they live it for themselves. You dont like it? Then get out.

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