I had been dating this one guy for 4 years, everything was great until a couple months ago. He always told me he wasn’t happy with his life but it also had nothing to do with me, he was happy with me. Or so he said. He decided to break up with me the day before our 4 year anniversary. He tells me he doesn’t want me out of his life. Since the day he broke up with me, I haven’t been sleeping, I haven’t eaten. The break up has put me in physical pain. During the relationship, he knew I was struggling with depression, and now I feel like it’s only gotten worse. I don’t know what to do anymore, and I don’t know if he actually wants me in his life or if I’m just there in case he changes his mind and wants to get back together.
I appreciate you asking us this question. At 18 you have been with him for a significant portion of your life so it makes sense that you would feel this so deeply. But this is more than trying to figure out if he wants to be with you. This is a time for you to reappraise whether or not this is the right relationship for you to be in.
I would never push this. I would not try to make something happen. The essence of a good relationship is to be able to celebrate each other and share your mutual vulnerabilities. Neither of these things are happening with the two of you now.
I would grieve this loss. Grieving is not easy but is an essential part of life. And while it may seem overwhelming at the moment — giving yourself a chance to heal from this may help you see that you deserve to be in a relationship with somebody that is in as much love with you as you are with them.
I would give this some time for you to heal. But I would also rely heavily on your friends now to help you through this and give yourself a chance to let them help you recover and find some new interests.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
Tomasulo, D. (2018). A Hard Break Up. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/01/a-hard-break-up/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 1 May 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.