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He Ended Our Relationship and I’m Struggling to Cope

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From an 18 year old woman in Scotland: My boyfriend ended our relationship of quite a few months a week ago. He made me call him, he was sobbing and told me he was sorry, he couldn’t do it, that we were ‘too far apart when we weren’t together’ and that he was ‘different with me than to his friends’.

We’d been having problems with distance, but we were talking and fixing it. He’d made plans with me the night before for the upcoming weekend, then 12 hours later he ended it. He’d made loads of promises to me and he spoke about the future loads, but then he just gave in on things. A couple of close friends think it’s just a case of him not knowing what he wants, or simply us being the right people at the wrong time.

I miss him terribly. I can’t keep myself busy because I live on a farm and have no way out, and my friends are all annoyed with me because I’m so depressed all the time. I realize that I’ll never get him back, but I still love him dearly. He just seems to have moved on so quickly (new job, out clubbing/partying every night, his band is┬ádoing really well) whereas I can’t let go.

His social media presence has picked up a lot too; it’s like he’s free without me. I just feel so inadequate, so lonely and shut out from everything and everyone. I haven’t contacted him since things ended, and he hasn’t tried to speak to me either. I don’t think he even wants to be friends. I’m just hurting so much, and I realise I’ll get past it eventually.

I just want things back to being the way they were before it all just fell apart. I’ve started doubting everything since he ended it; university, jobs, the future, dreams, I just feel like I don’t know anything anymore.

He Ended Our Relationship and I’m Struggling to Cope

Answered by on -

A.

Sometimes two people who are involved with each other are having a very different time. You were clearly attached. He wasn’t in the same place. As painful as it is to be rejected, he has done you the favor of ending it before you became even more attached when he wasn’t. It would have been so much worse if he had strung you along and then left you after a year or so.

Although it may feel to you like you’re doubting everything due to the break-up, I have another perspective. At 18, it is normal for you to be concerned about your future. Decisions about university, career goals, and what directions to take toward your future can feel huge. For many young people, becoming 18 is fraught with meaning. Are you an adult? Are you really ready to be independent? Do you have a direction? It can feel as if you have to make the absolutely right decisions. Planning a future with the boyfriend seemed to settle some of those questions. You were under the illusion that you didn’t have to think about your own future because you were thinking about a future with him. For many young people, that’s a relief.

But here’s my wisdom for the day: You have plenty of time. You don’t have to decide your whole life now. You do have to take a risk and do something to claim your own adulthood — not as part of a couple but as your own full self. That is what will build your self-esteem. That is what will eventually help you find a partner who is also a complete adult.

I suggest you seek out a favorite teacher or other adults you trust and talk with them about the decisions they made at your age and what they learned from doing so. Ask those who know you well what they think are directions for you to take. Then do something to start getting off the farm for awhile. You may eventually decide that farm living is actually something you like. But you will be more committed to it and will be more successful at it, if it is a clear choice rather than something you do just because you are too afraid to try anything else.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

He Ended Our Relationship and I’m Struggling to Cope

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). He Ended Our Relationship and I’m Struggling to Cope. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/09/21/he-ended-our-relationship-and-im-struggling-to-cope/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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