After seven years of dating my boyfriend, I broke up with him. I had known in my heart for a while that I couldn't marry him and I had been very unhappy for a long time. Among many other problems, I felt that he wasn't attentive enough. He tried in his way, but I was left lonely and miserable. My friends and family, seeing my loneliness, constantly told me I could do better and were probably tired of my complaining (I know I was).
Our main contact was daily phone calls. He was one of the first people I called when anything happened. We talked when we were bored and just to hear the other's voice, but toward the end, I avoided him at all costs. So my question is this: Why do I feel so awful? I was fine immediately after the breakup — I knew I had to do it — but now I'm a wreck. I have been crying for days now. I feel terrible about breaking his heart and about my passive-aggressive treatment toward him for the last six months. I guess it comes down to the fact that we were best friends but terrible lovers, but I still can't help feeling a loss. Any suggestions? — Dumped Him Heidi
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Dear Dumped Him Heidi,
Breakups are hard no matter who initiated the split, and they are usually accompanied by feelings of guilt, loss, confusion, loneliness, and sadness. You two were together for a really long time, so instead of being so hard on yourself, take a step back and realize that moving on and letting go of the past seven years of your life isn't going to happen overnight.
It sounds to me like your relationship was more about friendship and companionship than romance, but losing a friend can often be even harder than losing a lover. As with all things, time will help heal your sadness. While I don't doubt that you loved him, it's pretty clear that you did the right thing by ending it — you'd be doing him a disservice by staying together only to break up later down the road.
The best advice I can give you is to take care of yourself right now. Lean on your friends and family for support and most importantly, realize that you did what was right for you. Hopefully once the dust settles, you two can be friends, but for right now, do whatever it takes to mourn the loss of your relationship so you can put it behind you sooner rather than later — you deserve to be happy and loved in a relationship, not miserable and lonely.