My boyfriend of four years and I broke up on the morning of Christmas Eve. Talk about bad timing. Christmas Day was really, really hard on me. We've been together since I was really young, and I feel like I don't know myself without him. I’m so attached to him and even though things hadn't been right with our relationship for a long time and I knew it had to end, it’s still the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. After four years, he's honestly my best friend, and I want to stay that way. We plan on seeing each other and hanging out and doing the fun things we used to do together.
It might sound strange, but I feel like I belong with him. I think about "my side" of the bed, and the drawer at his place where I kept my things, and the passenger side of his car being "my seat." I feel so empty and even though it was time for it to end, I miss him with all my heart. I'm trying to be as strong as I can be and not show my weakness around him. How do I get over this? I want to be excited again. I have my whole life ahead of me (I’m 21), and I haven’t been single since junior high school. But I just feel so depressed and usually when I’m upset, I run to him. So I have no idea what to do. Please help!
— Devastated Devon
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Dear Devastated Devon,
Break ups are the hardest thing in the world while you’re going through them. It’s going to take some time in order for your heart to heal and for you to feel like you can live your life without him. Take comfort in the fact that deep down inside, you knew this relationship wasn’t right and that breaking up was the best thing.
With all that said, my advice is to have space from him. I know you said you want to remain friends, but you need to grieve your relationship first. There is no way you’ll be able to get over him if you continue to see and talk to him. It will give you a false sense of hope that you’ll get back together. So be strong on your own without him. Spend time with your friends and do what makes you happy. When you're upset, talk about your feelings or write them down in a journal. Keeping them inside will only make you feel more lonely and depressed.
This relationship was like a habit and of course for a while, everything that you do will make you think of him. So as you spend time being single, you’ll get used to being on your own. The first few weeks and even months will be awful, but every day that passes will get easier and easier, until you get over him (and you will get over him). Breaking up with this guy will allow room in your heart for new relationships, so just be patient and try to think about the amazing life you have ahead of you.