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You Asked: How Do I Deal With a Breakup?

Dear Sugar,

I met a guy who was coming out of a five-year relationship with a girl who was his first love. He even asked her to marry him, but she said no. He was a mess, and I was the friend, then the friend-with-benefits, then the more-than-friends, and then his new girlfriend.

In the beginning of our relationship, I found out he lied to me (a lot). He would still call the ex, see her, and frankly I know he was still in love with her. I didn't learn even after fighting, making up, breaking up, jealousy, then resentment, and hurting each other purposely. We fought a lot, but we really loved each other, so we remained together.

Recently, he moved back home, which is in another country, and he told his family he wanted to marry me. We had major trust issues, and things were hard due to the major time change. Plus I felt like he was changing into someone else, and basically everything “bad” from our relationship hit me at once and I broke up with him.

Those around me who have seen me cry about him and see that we weren't compatible keep telling me it'll get easier and that it was the right decision. I know they're right. It wasn’t fair for the both of us to continue in such an unhealthy relationship, but I'm having the hardest time getting over this. I've literally blocked him out of my life, and I don't pick up his phone calls or reply to his emails, but I can't stop thinking I made the wrong decision, and I miss him so much. How do I stop hurting and feeling so bitter? How do I snap out of it?

—Depressed and Lonely Lenore

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Depressed and Lonely Lenore,

My heart goes out to you, because I know how hurt and alone you are feeling. Everyone feels this horrible after a breakup, and everyone questions if it was the right decision. You did make the right decision, and it's going to take some time for your heart to heal. Cutting off contact with him was an excellent move on your part, because it will allow your mind the space it needs to forget about him.

You shouldn't have to go through this on your own either. Every time you feel really low and have the urge to talk to him, call your best friend. He or she can lift your spirits and remind you that you are a beautiful human being who deserves to be in a loving relationship. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your friend, you could write down your thoughts in a journal. Just don't keep your feelings bottled up inside. Letting them out will validate them and make you feel much better.

Take this time to do things that make you feel happy and good about yourself. When I'm going through a breakup, I like to go to the gym to work through my emotions, but maybe you'd prefer shopping, baking, or spending time with your family. Do things that take your mind off of him, and with time, you'll be ready to open your heart to someone new.


Join The Conversation
marthalilian126 marthalilian126 9 years
Wow. I am going through a very similar thing, though we were only officially a couple for a year and a half. He also started seeing me when he was getting over someone and I don't think he ever really did. I think you are very brave to cut off all contact. I haven't been able to do that yet (I am still moving out of the apartment that we shared) but I know that it is what is best. Do know that you made the right choice. And I hope that I am as brave as you.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
I know I can think of so many times in my life I was going through something and I felt like I was dying and the pain would never go away. But it does. It just takes time. Hang in there. Take time and be selfish for a little bit. Spoil yourself. Spend time with family and friends! Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
agree with all the above. You need to make yourself happy and stop picking at this scab. Go out, be busy, meet other people (meet! NOT date!) and be happy. Don't talk about him like "yeah, well there was this guy..." cuz that's all in the past. And once you're happy....REALLY happy and content with the way your life is going, all of his begging and phone calls will strike you as annoying, and you'll eventually fall out of love because you've become a different person WITHOUT him. This takes time. It took me 2 years, lol, but u know what? It was so worth it, cuz I got to meet some awesome people, I got to go to so many fun places and it was SWEET not thinking about the person who made me cry and fight and bring out the worst in me. Now I'm with someone who not only brings out the best in me, but REALLY WANTS TO BE WITH ME AND NOT AN EX. bottom line, you'll be fine. It's natural to think about the past, but that's where it should stay.
barjar1122 barjar1122 9 years
You will meet someone who treats you like you deserve and then look back and wonder what the hell you were thinking being upset over this one. Dont look back, only forward. NO REGRETS!!
jaxon jaxon 9 years
krenelk so right so right! I did the same thing it's like a cleansing I think. My girlfriends and I were joking about why women chop off and color their hair when it's over! It will get better! My ex and I separated after 3 yrs and to make matters worse we had a child. But after some time and perpective, and a lot of Mojitos lol! you just find that place. I personally gave myself a deadline of the new year(since it was a couple of months away at the time) I would wallow (if I needed to) until then and after that I just wouldn't worry about him anymore. ANd that worked for me. Not that I didn't love him anymore but I was going to be sucked into the "quicksand" of sadness about it
alltherage alltherage 9 years
DS knows what's up!
Marci Marci 9 years
My heart goes out to you because we've all been there and breakups are just so hard. I think you have to keep busy, but I also think you have to go through the pain in order to come out the other side. See your friends, go to the gym, take a class - but also allow yourself a good cry now and then. And remember, there WILL be someone else who will come into your life, and it will be right for you. Hang in there.
krEnElk krEnElk 9 years
I totally agree with DearSugar's advice! When my boyfriend of 3 years broke up with me, I was devastated. I cut off contact (the best first step, i think) then I got a gym membership, a membership to a tanning salon (which i know is bad, but I always feel better with a sick tan!) and I colored and cut my hair. I realize that doing stuff like that might not work for some people, but making changes that were just for me really helped me get through it. Good luck to you!
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Stay strong girl!!! With time you will get over this. Take DS advice and journal your thoughts! Start some new hobbies get involved in things that can take up some of your spare time. Later after you've healed and moved on you'll find the right man and you will know that this hard time was worth every second. Take this as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. It will get better you deserve better!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
You'll probably think "what if" until the next guy comes around to prove to you that this guy was definitely not right for you. It's hard to end an unhealthy relationship, especially if there are strong feelings of love. My mantra during a similar break up was Tina Turner's "What's Love got to do with it?" In the end, you have to be able to live with another person for the rest of your life. No matter how much you love someone, no one wants to spend their life unable to trust their partner and fighting non-stop. It will get easier with time. Stay strong!
graceunderfire graceunderfire 9 years
I was in a four year relationship that ended pretty badly. Everytime he contacted me, I was tempted to respond. But ultimately, cutting all contact was the healthiest thing to do. It allowed me to recover completely and stop asking "what if..." Stay strong, don't look back.
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