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Confused After a Breakup

"I Don't Understand My Ex's Reaction to Our Breakup"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Yesterday, I broke up with my boyfriend without actually intending to. After coming back from a three-week trip to Europe, I realized things weren't the same between us anymore. I wasn't sure where our relationship was going, so I went to his house to tell him. Two months ago, we bought train tickets to go on a one-week camping trip with his family, and I wanted to tell him that I'd decided not to go. After telling him, he said that he expected I'd say something like that and that he didn't want me to come, either — he just didn't know how to tell me since the train tickets had been so expensive. We talked a bit more and realized that we didn't have any good reasons to stay together, and that we had become more like friends with benefits than an actual couple. He seemed very relieved after we both decided to break up.

We have the same friends and had planned to go out together that night, so he asked me if I still wanted to go. I said yes and we were on our way out when it started to rain outside, so we got all covered up in plastic bags and left on our bikes. We were laughing and teasing each other, which I found weird since it was as if nothing had happened. All the way down to the bar, he couldn't stop talking and making jokes, saying, ''Does this mean I'm free to hit on anyone I like?'' and ''Tell your parents I loved their food!'' I had absolutely nothing to say and felt kind of sad that he was taking it so well.


As soon as we got to the bar, I felt 10 times better and talking to my friends made things less awkward. I played pool, danced, and had a good time. He sat down at a table almost alone, while everyone talked and walked around. He drank all night and didn't say much. As I was about to leave, I remembered he had locked our bikes together so I went over to him to ask if he could unlock them. We stepped outside and he said, ''I don't know what happened, but I feel really down. It kind of hit me that there's going to be this big hole in my life now." We chatted a bit and I said that I hoped he would get through it quickly, have a nice trip, etc. He said he'd probably need to think a lot this week. I'm totally confused by his reaction: did he want to break up, or was it just to save his ego? How should I react?

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Silje Silje 5 years
Just because you both want the break up, it doesn't mean that it's not going to be hard for the both of you in one way or another. At first he may have been relieved that you felt the same as he did, that he hadn't hurt your feelings or anything. But then, seeing you all happy and fun with your friends at the bar may have reminded him of when you two first were going out and all the things that he likes about you but had temporarily forgotten. And he was mentioning your family, by breaking up he is also losing them, as you are losing his family by not being with him. He's going to miss you, even if you *were* only FWB in the end, and you will probably miss him at some point too. That doesn't mean you have to get back together.     I think you should give him what he wants, time. If you plan on staying friends, seeing as you have a lot of friends in common, maybe check in on him in a week - week and a half to see how he's doing. Then just take it from there. I hope the both of you move on nicely with your fabulous, separate lives :) 
healthyteenager healthyteenager 5 years
Thank you, very wise words.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Saying it's over and experiencing the reality of that person actually being gone from the intimate place in your life are very different things. Even if it was time to end the relationship, the actual ending of a thing can be sad. You move from a place of knowing what's happening in your life to a place of not knowing exactly what will happen again. It can be disorienting. Every break up needs a little mourning, or grieving before you move on. You were sad while alone, and he found himself alone even in the midst of friends and a social setting. Give him some time, some space. If you're concerned about him, give him a week or so, and then give him a call, say hi, just checking to see how you're doing. You're breakup was mutual, not bitter, so showing your concern doesn't need to be a minefield. But keep it casual. This is an adjustment, and getting through the emotional stuff without that partner there to help can be tough. He said he needs time to think, to process, so give him that.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
sometimes it takes a while for the reality of a thing to set in. It could be he was masking his ego with jokes, or it just might not have really hit him until he had some time to think it over by himself.
submergedunder submergedunder 5 years
I honestly think its his ego. There are some guys who want to put on an act as if it doesn't/work hurt them. I think the fact that you ended up enjoying yourself and didn't sit to sulk with him made him realize that you are truly done with him.
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