Coping Strategies to Deal With A Failed Relationship?

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picot

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Hey Giantbomb OT,

I created this thread because I'm hoping for some advice regarding my recent relationship ending and ways to cope with the emotions I've been feeling since. Perhaps I should make my intended goal clear first, that I'm sincerely hoping to get back together if possible because I really do love her, but having said that, I do understand that there are aspects about myself that requires change before that even becomes a possibility.

To start off, my partner and I were together for a year, and the relationship has definitely seen better days leading to the break up. We're both working, and I'm 2 years older than she is. We met online, and got together after a couple of dates and the relationship was fine for the first 8 months or so. Around that period, I had to take a long trip abroad for work (1 month) and that's when things went wrong. She initially expressed some anxiety and anger towards the news, which I had dismissed for being needy - she tends to get this way when we're physically apart but I've never had to go away this long before. Sure enough, we had tons of fights while I was away, and I was always busy so I didn't really have too much time to appease her.

Normally, our tension only sparks when we're apart, so it did shock me when I returned and the fighting continued. I don't know if this is normal for couples after a certain point, because she was my most serious relationship to date, but we had arguments almost every week for the last 2 months over a bunch of stupid stuff. We were both exhausted, and finally decided to call the relationship off last week mutually. We agreed to give each other space before meeting up again, but I found out yesterday that she has started dating someone new. Right now, I don't know what I should be doing, and I really don't know if I still stand a chance, but I'm thinking about asking her to meet me to talk things out. I know it's not the best of ideas, but I don't know what else I should do, because I don't want to lose her and it feels like I will if I don't do something.

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TurtleFish

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Ouch man, sorry to hear all that.

FWIW - the hardest lesson I learned about relationships was that you can care about somebody very much, and they can care about you, but both of you together can be utterly incompatible. (Relationships are always about compromises - and sometimes, you can't find a middle ground.)

If you have unresolved feelings, you need to talk them out (if she wants - if she's already dating starting new, it's usually a sign she's moved on or is trying to move on), but also make sure you're not trying to breathe life into something that isn't around anymore.

I know this is kinda wishy-washy and vague, but each relationship is different, and what is right for one relationship is totally wrong for another one.

Good luck.

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Marcsman

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She's moved on, you should do the same. Have a few casual flings, meet new people. Forget about her.

Trust me, like Trent Reznor said " nothing quite like the taste of something new"

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oldenglishc

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Get drunk and plow indiscriminately. That used to work for me.

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Welding

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The relationship didn't work for a reason. You both made a decision that seemed pretty reasonable to me.

While any break-up sucks, you should stick to your guns; your past self was right.

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flagranterror

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OK, tough love. It sounds like your girl was looking for a reason to bail and used your work trip as the reason, honestly. If she wanted to make it work, she would've put the work in instead of arguing about petty nonsense.

"I don't know what I should be doing"

Sign up for that Tinder or whatever it is young people use to meet girls.

"and I really don't know if I still stand a chance"

You don't. She already moved on.

"but I'm thinking about asking her to meet me to talk things out"

There is almost no way this ends well for you.

"I don't want to lose her"

She's gone, bro. Sorry. It really sucks. You will not move on from reading my post, and that's OK. Take your time, and use it constructively. Get off the Internet. Work out. Learn something. Volunteer, it's a great way to meet people. Don't try too hard. You will not be able to completely avoid the pain, but the worst thing you can do is stew. Recognize that you are not trapped by your longing, that you really are free to find someone else, that your pain is fleeting and an opportunity for growth. Listen to The Cranberries. Hope that your ex-girl has a nice life, and be glad you're not part of it, she wasn't worth your time.

Your healing process will be a little rocky, but know that it's up to you, and you can start that process today, right now, by moving on. You. Will. Heal.

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Torrim

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@picot said:

I created this thread because I'm hoping for some advice regarding my recent relationship ending and ways to cope with the emotions I've been feeling since. Perhaps I should make my intended goal clear first, that I'm sincerely hoping to get back together if possible because I really do love her, but having said that, I do understand that there are aspects about myself that requires change before that even becomes a possibility.

I don't know if this is normal for couples after a certain point, because she was my most serious relationship to date, but we had arguments almost every week for the last 2 months over a bunch of stupid stuff. We were both exhausted, and finally decided to call the relationship off last week mutually. We agreed to give each other space before meeting up again, but I found out yesterday that she has started dating someone new. Right now, I don't know what I should be doing, and I really don't know if I still stand a chance, but I'm thinking about asking her to meet me to talk things out. I know it's not the best of ideas, but I don't know what else I should do, because I don't want to lose her and it feels like I will if I don't do something.

So, I had a relationship of four years end and I felt similarly. In some ways I was just sort of waiting for things to turn back up and for her to call me again and blah blah. Turns out, space and distance and time let these issues resolve themselves. Sure, feelings came back every once and a while, but a mere two years later getting out of that relationship as the best thing that ever happened. I was able to see clearly the problems that we had and that my efforts (or lack of effort) to resolve them were always going to be fruitless.

Sometimes you don't know you can do better for yourself until you try.

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MrPlatitude

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#9  Edited By MrPlatitude

If she's dating someone new it's time to give yourself space, for healing and moving on. Call up some friends you haven't seen in a while, treat yourself to eating out at your favorite restaurant, play a bunch of video games, etc. Also, just because she has jumped into something else quickly, doesn't mean you have to as well. You can re-enter the dating world again when you're ready.

Also, unfollow her on Facebook so you don't see her updates on your home page, and resist the temptation to go peaking at her profile. No good can come from that.

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hatking

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This sounds so much like younger me I almost feel attacked.

Best thing you can do is take some time. Give it a month or two, see how you feel. Try dating or making new friends or even starting a new hobby. Make something new whether it's on a creative level, social level, or professional level. Just do something that isn't this relationship for a bit.

I'm not going to sit here and say you're done with each other, because although that's very likely the case, crazy things happen. But, I can pretty confidently say that you're not ready for each other at this moment. You don't want to be in a relationship with a person who doesn't also want to be in that relationship. Give it some time, if down the road you're both in a better place, then why the hell not? But for now, focus on you, and don't burn bridges.

First real relationships are hard, and when they end it's calamitous. It'll probably fuck you up for a long time and will fundamentally change what you look for in relationships, but for the better. I remember my first serious relationship ending, that's close to a decade ago now, at the time it felt insurmountable. I couldn't imagine what my life was going to be like. Turns out it would be mostly the same, a lot of really cool stuff still happened and more bad things too. This much time later, and that relationship, while significant in my development as an adult, doesn't feel like anything anymore.

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diz

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#11  Edited By diz

I'd ask work if there were any more trips abroad on the cards.

Like others have said, it is harder to pine for an old relationship than to take the knock, learn from it, be easy on yourself and keep half an eye out for your next relationship. It will be all the better because of this experience.

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somberton

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#12  Edited By somberton
@picot said:

Perhaps I should make my intended goal clear first, that I'm sincerely hoping to get back together if possible because I really do love her, but having said that, I do understand that there are aspects about myself that requires change before that even becomes a possibility.

This sounds to me like you're blaming yourself for "not being good enough" or something similar. The truth is most relationships end without anyone being at fault but simply because the couple grows out of sync and in different directions. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

If there are things about yourself you'd like to change and improve then great! Life should be spent in constant pursuit of your best self, but that's something you need to for yourself and no one else. The thing is we have no control over how others feel about us so you should only ever try to become someone you like. If that person happens to be someone your ex wants to get back together with that's awesome but it should be a nice bonus, not the goal.

Like everyone else here I don't think you should try and get back together, if she's already dating then she probably moved on before the relationship even ended. Now that doesn't mean you should completely forget about her; this was your first long-term relationship and because of that you will always love her in a certain way and love is something that should always be embraced.

But the thing is loving someone and being in love are different things and you haven't been in love with her for the last couple months and it's unlikely you ever will be again. It might seem impossible right now but one day you will be able to look back on this relationship and appreciate it for what it was, not long for what it wasn't.

For now, just focus on yourself. Exercise is always good, it might be a cliche answer but that's because it works. Running, in particular, has always helped me. Playing games can be helpful but it's also easy to wallow in familiar activities, especially gaming. Try picking up a new hobby you've been thinking about trying, new kinds of mental stimulation are good for distracting from negative thoughts.

Hope some of this help, good luck : )

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Pezen

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A year long relationship isn't that long and having deal breaking issues at what should more or less be the honeymoon phase sounds pretty much like a big red flag. It sounds to me like your ex was slightly possessive (as you say she got very 'needy' when you two were not together and even got angry at your work trip) and that can spiral out of control if you don't put your foot down early. It may lead to losing friends and limiting what you do in life (I say this from experience). However, it also sounds like you didn't communicate with her around these issues and dismissed her feelings on it rather than try to come to an understanding, which is a bad way to go about it. Especially if you are to leave for a month and let those emotions fester. But, I also don't think going out of town for a month is big enough deal for it to turn into a big fight that can't be resolved, so I'm mostly wondering if the two of you are just not really long term material. It may be that you require a lot more flexible time together while she is the type of person that want a lot more contact and reassurance than you do. It isn't an insurmountable obstacle, but unless two parties that are different really excell at communicating those ideas and come to an understanding that works for both of them, eventually someone is going to end up miserable.

Her dating someone else doesn't have to imply anything specific. But, whatever she is doing isn't really relevant because you said you should both give each other some space. So give her space. All of the space. You may meet up again, or maybe not. But the more time you spend obsessing over what she is doing or not doing is time you're not spending on yourself. Which should be priority number one.

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WillyOD

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Communication breakdown, can happen to anyone,

it can be a mess, so just open your mouths and talk it out.

Be honest, for without trust, it can't be done.

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mike

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#15  Edited By mike

Why hasn't anyone posted the traditional image yet?

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alistercat

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#16  Edited By alistercat

@mike: maybe we've grown up.

Nope.

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csl316

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Look back and be honest about how happy you made each other. If you're only focusing on the good, it can be easy to ignore the bad. If your life was better before the last few months of the relationship then maybe this is the better route for you.

Regardless of what happens, take this time to work on yourself. Do that, and you can be happy with or without her.

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nnickers

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@mike said:

Why hasn't anyone posted the traditional image yet?

This is definitely our best Time To Dating Hotline ever, right?

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#20  Edited By MezZa

As others have already said, the best thing to do is to take some time and space away from the situation. I can't speak for your relationship, but in my experience once things get bad enough to break up you shouldn't try to force something to reconnect you. If you both start talking and go out again that's great, but never ask her to meet up out of the blue with the sole intention to win her back. Movies and love stories tell us we should fight for the other person, but it doesn't go well unless the other person is willing to fight for you.

It's usually best just to put yourself back out there and find out that there's even better people waiting to meet you. To be honest if you having to go away for a work trip broke the relationship that early then it probably wouldn't have gone the distance anyway.

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nicksmi56

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Dude, as someone who's been there:

Move. On.

I once knew this girl named Katie. We had an on and off relationship from the end of middle school to our freshman years of college. Finally she decided that she was tired of the back and forth and cut off all communication with me. I was devastated, because despite our crazy relationship I really did love her. I honestly considered quitting dating altogether, because I was convinced I never would find anyone as amazing as she was.

3 years later and I'm with another girl that's everything Katie was and more. The thing is I never would've found her if I was spending my days constantly messaging Katie to see if she would take me back or looking for the next big relationship to fill the void. These kinds of things rarely happen when you're actively looking for them. In order to be happy with another person, you must first be happy with yourself. I'm not saying become arrogant, but you have to be able to function as an individual. People come and go, some of which we really care about, and it sucks, but that's life. It's too fleeting to spend hung up on one person who's obviously moved on.

So basically, just do you, and learn to be happy doing that.

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notnert427

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Whiskey.

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Newfangled

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#23  Edited By Newfangled

@mrplatitude said:

Also, unfollow her on Facebook so you don't see her updates on your home page, and resist the temptation to go peaking at her profile. No good can come from that.

I must emphasise just how important this is. Not only must you accept that you need to sever ties physically, you also have to separate yourself digitally, too. She has moved on. Wallowing in the past, and potentially exposing yourself to emotional trauma through seeing photographs of her with somebody else is absolutely a worst-case scenario in the painfully raw short-term if you still have feelings for her. You can't hang your hat on the thought of her coming back--it isn't healthy.

It's a good idea to work on re-establishing yourself as a single, independent entity. Bring joy to your life by focusing on yourself. As others have suggested, this is achievable by doing things that make you feel good about yourself: exercise, organising something special (a trip; attending an event of some description; a party with close friends), and indulging in a hobby (or hobbies), new or old.

You may have low points, and everybody resurrects themselves post-breakup on different timescales, so there's no magic point at which I can guarantee you're going to be 100% 'over it', but it will happen eventually--you just have to put yourself on a healthy coping programme in the meantime until it does.

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OpusOfTheMagnum

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My biggest bit of advice is to not live with the goal of getting back together, because that goal will rarely be achieved by directly persuing it in my experience. If God (/life/the universe/whatever guiding force you believe in) has it in your plan, it'll happen. You just have to work on being happy and healthy in your own self.

I broke up with my high school sweetheart after 7 years because I was bad at giving her what she needed and eventually had a complete melt down from focusing so much on my own anxiety and desires in the relationship. It has taken two years to make significant progress towards making myself a better man, focusing on personal growth rather than just trying to make it back into the arms of the love of my life.

Best thing you can do is move on, be a good person, and recognize anything you can do to be a better partner in the future. Take a month or two to yourself, give YOURSELF space (which will give her space but be healthier and easier to maintain because you aren't doing it for her). Get out in nature. Not for some hippy dippy bullshit but for the comfort and incubation that such solitude and simplicity can bring. When I say nature I mean as wild as you can find, not the city park.

Spend time with friends, try something new, go on a date.

It'll take time, just think and reflect and move on. Be grateful for the good times, be grateful it was only a year (I still sometimes struggle with the concept of "throwing away" 7 incredible years of my life, but I'm getting better at dealing with that as well).

I have since dated a few girls, and am currently just engaging in casual dating while I work towards my own personal goals around my self and my future, and have learned to trust God to put the right people in my life so long as I go after being the best man I can be. Faith has helped me really appreciate what I have and the blessing that our love was and to appreciate the importance of the lessons taught by that relationship crumbling away.

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#25  Edited By FlappyHands

OK, tough love. It sounds like your girl was looking for a reason to bail and used your work trip as the reason, honestly. If she wanted to make it work, she would've put the work in instead of arguing about petty nonsense.

"I don't know what I should be doing"

Sign up for that Tinder or whatever it is young people use to meet girls.

"and I really don't know if I still stand a chance"

You don't. She already moved on.

"but I'm thinking about asking her to meet me to talk things out"

There is almost no way this ends well for you.

"I don't want to lose her"

She's gone, bro. Sorry. It really sucks. You will not move on from reading my post, and that's OK. Take your time, and use it constructively. Get off the Internet. Work out. Learn something. Volunteer, it's a great way to meet people. Don't try too hard. You will not be able to completely avoid the pain, but the worst thing you can do is stew. Recognize that you are not trapped by your longing, that you really are free to find someone else, that your pain is fleeting and an opportunity for growth. Listen to The Cranberries. Hope that your ex-girl has a nice life, and be glad you're not part of it, she wasn't worth your time.

Your healing process will be a little rocky, but know that it's up to you, and you can start that process today, right now, by moving on. You. Will. Heal.

This guy is right.

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gamer_152

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#26 gamer_152  Moderator

If she's moved on to a new relationship then she's made her choice and you can't expect her to drop that relationship to be with you. Like the other posters in here, I'd echo that you should move on to something that works for you as well, but I also think that it's important to understand that in future relationships you can't brush other peoples' serious concerns aside for your personal plans. Taking a month-long stretch away from a person is going to put a strain on most relationships and your girlfriend understandably expressed that she was unhappy with that. Maybe you want to be in a relationship where you can take month-long trips away from another person and that's fine, but you also can't approach a situation in which someone might have a problem with that as some sort of failing or character flaw on their part. When you and a partner have a difference of opinion, you need to take care to listen to them and reach a compromise. You also need to consider that most relationships won't survive long periods of separation with minimal communication; that's not good for them, and that having regular arguments is not part of a healthy relationship. It sucks that this happened, but dust yourself off, find some activities to get involved with to take your mind off the breakup, and when you go into your next serious relationship, make sure that you are never dismissive when someone tells you they're unhappy with the way things are headed between you.

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Rich666

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After ending a 7 year relationship, I just did what I enjoyed. Because I realized the only one who has my back at the end of the day is myself. That doesn't mean to not give others a chance, just know that the only one in your head is you.

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wmoyer83

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Two things:

The hardest part is not dwelling on it, and getting over it.

Likely after a relationship ends, you dwell on the relationship, think about the other person and generally have terrible feelings of sadness and misplaced optimism of reigniting the relationship. The first thing you will have to do is control your feelings. I’m not saying suppress them or put on a facade of pleasantness when you feel like shit. What I’m saying is sit with the moment of sadness, recognize it is real. Do what you have to do with that moment. Then think to yourself, you are still here, as a person. You still have things to do, with or without someone by your side at the moment. The sadness would not exist without you, because you are part of the equation in this relationship that has ended, and you are still part of an equation somewhere. Maybe that will go on and end too. And that’s ok, because there is nothing permanent in life. Just don’t ever think you can’t go on without this person, because that’s far from the truth. Be selfish for a while. Be self involved, start to think what you want. I wish I knew this a while ago, because once you get in this mind set you will attract someone who is more compatible and you will have new experiences.

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asmo917

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My advice comes in two parts. First - you are probably grieving. Recognizing that and coping with it in a way that helps you move on from what you've lost is important. There's no one right way to do it. Secondly, that's what I was told when a long term (5+ years) relationship ended and I had a very hard time with it. It was, for me, what helped me the most and it came from a therapist I started seeing for depression-like symptoms. If you have the means, a therapist can be a fantastic, fair, objective party in trying to help you work through issues emotional and/or clinical. This was also like the third therapist I'd seen in a few months, because I wasn't clicking with others; it can take time and effort to find someone who helps you. You also have to be ready and open for therapy, which I probably wasn't with docs 1 and 2. It can be a few sessions or you could find it to be useful longer term. It's another support system, like an internet video game message board or long term IRL friends.

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Zevvion

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29 comments and no one posted the picture yet? How is this possible?

As for OP, no one can give you proper advice because no one knows you, her, or anything in your situation. Not really anyway. But it sounds like it's just not going to work. You obviously feel differently about each other. You want her back, think about her and have no desire to date other people immediately, and she does. The truth can be telling.

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afabs515

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#31  Edited By afabs515

As someone who has a bad habit of definitively ending relationships, waiting a week, questioning my decision, then trying to reach out to the girl, let me tell you, it never works out. Ever. I don't know your exact situation, but personally, I always regret showing weakness and reaching out after the relationship is objectively over. I would echo everyone else telling you to do what you have to do to accept that the relationship is over and move on to someone else.

EDIT: Just realized this isn't here yet.

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picot

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#32  Edited By picot
@ghoti221 said:

Ouch man, sorry to hear all that.

FWIW - the hardest lesson I learned about relationships was that you can care about somebody very much, and they can care about you, but both of you together can be utterly incompatible. (Relationships are always about compromises - and sometimes, you can't find a middle ground.)

If you have unresolved feelings, you need to talk them out (if she wants - if she's already dating starting new, it's usually a sign she's moved on or is trying to move on), but also make sure you're not trying to breathe life into something that isn't around anymore.

I know this is kinda wishy-washy and vague, but each relationship is different, and what is right for one relationship is totally wrong for another one.

Good luck.

Thank you for your reply. You are right. We both cared about each other. But we just weren't compatible. We just didn't communicate well. I was hoping there was someway I can work on my communication skills so I we can understand each other better. But maybe it's too late for that.

@welding said:

The relationship didn't work for a reason. You both made a decision that seemed pretty reasonable to me.

While any break-up sucks, you should stick to your guns; your past self was right.

What if I was wrong? That's the question that plagues me. What if we could work it out and learn to understand each other?

OK, tough love. It sounds like your girl was looking for a reason to bail and used your work trip as the reason, honestly. If she wanted to make it work, she would've put the work in instead of arguing about petty nonsense.

"I don't know what I should be doing"

Sign up for that Tinder or whatever it is young people use to meet girls.

"and I really don't know if I still stand a chance"

You don't. She already moved on.

"but I'm thinking about asking her to meet me to talk things out"

There is almost no way this ends well for you.

"I don't want to lose her"

She's gone, bro. Sorry. It really sucks. You will not move on from reading my post, and that's OK. Take your time, and use it constructively. Get off the Internet. Work out. Learn something. Volunteer, it's a great way to meet people. Don't try too hard. You will not be able to completely avoid the pain, but the worst thing you can do is stew. Recognize that you are not trapped by your longing, that you really are free to find someone else, that your pain is fleeting and an opportunity for growth. Listen to The Cranberries. Hope that your ex-girl has a nice life, and be glad you're not part of it, she wasn't worth your time.

Your healing process will be a little rocky, but know that it's up to you, and you can start that process today, right now, by moving on. You. Will. Heal.

Thank you for replying. I know I'll heal. A part of me still wants her back. I think it'll take some time before I am truly over her.

If she's moved on to a new relationship then she's made her choice and you can't expect her to drop that relationship to be with you. Like the other posters in here, I'd echo that you should move on to something that works for you as well, but I also think that it's important to understand that in future relationships you can't brush other peoples' serious concerns aside for your personal plans. Taking a month-long stretch away from a person is going to put a strain on most relationships and your girlfriend understandably expressed that she was unhappy with that. Maybe you want to be in a relationship where you can take month-long trips away from another person and that's fine, but you also can't approach a situation in which someone might have a problem with that as some sort of failing or character flaw on their part. When you and a partner have a difference of opinion, you need to take care to listen to them and reach a compromise. You also need to consider that most relationships won't survive long periods of separation with minimal communication; that's not good for them, and that having regular arguments is not part of a healthy relationship. It sucks that this happened, but dust yourself off, find some activities to get involved with to take your mind off the breakup, and when you go into your next serious relationship, make sure that you are never dismissive when someone tells you they're unhappy with the way things are headed between you.

Thank you. I understood my mistake in the relationship. I didn't give her the importance that she deserved. She wasn't a priority. The long distance made it worse. I was hoping I can work on myself and reach out to her once to see if she wants to try again. I read an article on getting her back (https://getyourexbackpermanently.com/win-your-ex-girlfriend-back/) that basically said I should not contact her for a while and try again if I am ready. The article suggested I should figure out what went wrong in the relationship and improve yourself before trying again.

I think one of the main reason the breakup happened was because of my lack of communication. I could have communicated more effectively. I am thinking of reading some books on communication before contacting her.

@mrplatitude said:

Also, unfollow her on Facebook so you don't see her updates on your home page, and resist the temptation to go peaking at her profile. No good can come from that.

I must emphasise just how important this is. Not only must you accept that you need to sever ties physically, you also have to separate yourself digitally, too. She has moved on. Wallowing in the past, and potentially exposing yourself to emotional trauma through seeing photographs of her with somebody else is absolutely a worst-case scenario in the painfully raw short-term if you still have feelings for her. You can't hang your hat on the thought of her coming back--it isn't healthy.

It's a good idea to work on re-establishing yourself as a single, independent entity. Bring joy to your life by focusing on yourself. As others have suggested, this is achievable by doing things that make you feel good about yourself: exercise, organising something special (a trip; attending an event of some description; a party with close friends), and indulging in a hobby (or hobbies), new or old.

You may have low points, and everybody resurrects themselves post-breakup on different timescales, so there's no magic point at which I can guarantee you're going to be 100% 'over it', but it will happen eventually--you just have to put yourself on a healthy coping programme in the meantime until it does.

Thank you for your advice. It's hard to get back in the dating game. But I am feeling better slowly. I am feeling a bit of freedom but I still miss her everyday.

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Rebel_Scum

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@cramsy said:
@picot said:

Thank you. I understood my mistake in the relationship. I didn't give her the importance that she deserved. She wasn't a priority. The long distance made it worse. I was hoping I can work on myself and reach out to her once to see if she wants to try again. I read an article on getting her back (https://getyourexbackpermanently.com/win-your-ex-girlfriend-back/) that basically said I should not contact her for a while and try again if I am ready. The article suggested I should figure out what went wrong in the relationship and improve yourself before trying again.

I think one of the main reason the breakup happened was because of my lack of communication. I could have communicated more effectively. I am thinking of reading some books on communication before contacting her.

Do not do this.

@picot ^ He's right. What you seem to be wanting to do with that notion is prolonging your own misery. There's plenty more fish in the sea and plenty of better things you can do with your time.

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@cramsy said:
@picot said:

Thank you. I understood my mistake in the relationship. I didn't give her the importance that she deserved. She wasn't a priority. The long distance made it worse. I was hoping I can work on myself and reach out to her once to see if she wants to try again. I read an article on getting her back (https://getyourexbackpermanently.com/win-your-ex-girlfriend-back/) that basically said I should not contact her for a while and try again if I am ready. The article suggested I should figure out what went wrong in the relationship and improve yourself before trying again.

I think one of the main reason the breakup happened was because of my lack of communication. I could have communicated more effectively. I am thinking of reading some books on communication before contacting her.

Do not do this.

Heed this advice.

Reflecting on the relationship and what you could have done better is good. Thinking deeply and critically about what you do and don't want in a relationship is good. Spending your time waiting around for the right moment to try and reconnect with your ex, which is more than likely to end in rejection or another break up further down the line, is a bad idea.

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"I am thinking of reading some books on communication before contacting her."

Every second you spend reading books is another second you could've spent putting yourself out there to meet someone new. It is really hard to see right now, but this thinking is delusional. Seriously. And I say that as someone who has been through the same thing that you are going through. Don't do it.

You posted that this was a "mutual" break up, but have you considered that she actually broke up with you as soon as you left for your trip? That you got back and she was looking for any excuse to get into an argument because she had already met someone else, and wanted to end it without "ending it" so to speak? I'm not saying she's conniving or evil, but she likely met that "someone new" well before you decided to call it quits, and wasn't willing/able to have the conversation with you more directly.