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Left her to pursue my own well being, now regretting everything


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

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Old 26th December 2017, 7:30 PM   #1
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Left her to pursue my own well being, now regretting everything

32 yr old male here.
For some reasons or another, I was feeling really unfulfilled in my 2 year relationship and my life. I decided to go on a journey of self-reflection and to improve my well being by traveling and participating in a big art project. When I left the city I was living in with my extremely attractive gf (30), Unfortunately, I wasn't able to give her a definite answer to when I would return, or what my plans were. I even suggested we break up... seemed like that would be easier than the turmoil of long distance. Just taking a break I guess. But with all this I was positively sure I didn't want to be with anyone else and she was it for me. I knew I wouldn't be tempted or meet anyone new because I just wasn't open to that. I tried to tell her this but I didn't sound confident about it at the time and she didn't believe me. She asked me "what if I changed my mind" and my response was stupidly - "well anything could happen I guess". And that's not really what I felt. I dont know why that came out of my mouth. Another reason for her not to believe me. 6 months was kind of what was projected for this journey, worse it was more open-ended. I had talked to her about wanting to travel for 12 months. So understandably I sounded really unsure and uncommitted to the relationship. She was not ok with this and didn't want me to leave. Yet we both knew our relationship was rocky to say the least. But we were addicted to each other.

On one hand, I could stay and continue to be stuck in my rut, which was affecting the relationship because my love tanks were on zero. I was dead inside. My other option was to pursue this opportunity, feel good about myself again, and re-enter the relationship with that momentum and happiness. I guess a 3rd option was to try and do something locally, but that wasn't really something that was calling me for whatever reason. I needed to travel.

I decided to go. 5 Months later the journey has completed. It was a success and I'm feeling more confident about myself and what I accomplished. I didn't even so much as flirt with anyone.

She slept with someone 3 weeks after I left town. A one night stand. She didn't believe anything I was trying to communicate with her and felt like I was abandoning her (with good reason I suppose). I did tell her to do whatever she wanted to do in an effort to not make her feel trapped or "waiting"... but I guess I was hoping she would chose NOT TO DO THAT. She did.

We lost contact for a little bit. We just got back in touch after 3 weeks of no communication (5 months since I left town). It sounds like she is dating again and totally moved on. I am completely devastated.

I thought what we had was strong enough to weather the storm. I thought space between us would help past traumas of the relationship heal. I lost her for good and I've entered a deep deep depression. I've been crying myself to sleep. I barely eaten anything in 4 days (I ate 1 bowl of cereal on christmas eve, and 3 pieces of bread on Christmas day. I just wasn't hungry despite all the food around me).

I dont know how to get her out of my head. I can't believe it's over. She told me she was the best I'd ever find and I lost a great catch. I believe her. I can't stop thinking about the way we looked into eachothers eyes and just got lost in love. I've never experienced anything so special and intense. Now I feel so much regret for not caring for it.

I'm writing here to vent a little and maybe find some advice to help me cope.

**** me.


Edit: Also, the idea of dating again seems awful. Dating apps, instant gratifcation, meaningless hookups. I will not be a part of that. I feel like I won't find a high quality person becuase of the the culture we are in today. The next girl I meet will have already sexted or slept with 30 people on a dating app. GROSS.

Last edited by regretregret; 26th December 2017 at 7:53 PM..
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Old 28th December 2017, 2:54 AM   #2
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I would recommend you do some self examination. Maybe you have an issue with indecisiveness. Make a list of the things about her that are important to you, and a list of your pursuits that you feel may be more worthwhile than her. Most of your post surrounded you talking about how great she is. So maybe that's your answer.

Please answer minr. Thanks
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Old 28th December 2017, 10:45 AM   #3
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You thought that you would be able to go off and pursue your own adventures, expecting that she would wait for you, and you could not have been more wrong... I can't say that I blame her at all, I would have done the same thing.

No great advice here except self-care, grieve the loss of the relationship, and slowly start to consider how you plan to move in with your life and start dating again. It certainly sounds like this ship has sailed...
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:13 AM   #4
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My advice to you is to move on.
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by regretregret View Post
I thought what we had was strong enough to weather the storm.
It probably was, only you decided to make it all seem as if it was not solid and unshakeable, but that it was all airy fairy and nothing she could believe in.
Any time she wanted reassurance you did not quell her fears and give her hope, you did the opposite, making her think it was hopeless.
"Space" as you have found never really solves anything.
If it is rocky you need to cement those bonds, not disappear for 5 months...

Had you handled this differently, you may indeed have come back to a loving gf.
Sorry to say.
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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It probably was, only you decided to make it all seem as if it was not solid and unshakeable, but that it was all airy fairy and nothing she could believe in.
Any time she wanted reassurance you did not quell her fears and give her hope, you did the opposite, making her think it was hopeless.
"Space" as you have found never really solves anything.
If it is rocky you need to cement those bonds, not disappear for 5 months...

Had you handled this differently, you may indeed have come back to a loving gf.
Sorry to say.
Yup.

OP - I have a hard time sympathizing with you because you basically threw away what you had and expected her to wait for you coming back "sometime, maybe". What did you think was going to happen? Did you think she would stay alone as a beautiful woman? Nope - they get snatched up quick.

I don't see much you can do here. You basically broke her heart and now are feeling what she did. Finding a compatible woman isn't easy and dating sucks as you are aware.

That said, if she meant that much to you I do not think you would have left. I can't imagine "traveling" having more of a pull than spending time with someone you love and working to fix a relationship. Which leads me to believe she wasn't right for you after all. It's very possible that had she waited you wouldn't have wanted her back and your feelings now are because you cannot have her. Think about it - if you really loved her would you have taken this chance??

Not to beat you up, we all make mistakes, but we all have to learn to live with them. That's what you've got to do. The hard thing is this was completely avoidable. You may have to live with it for a long time.
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Old 28th December 2017, 11:51 AM   #7
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Things happened for a reason OP. The answer is in your post.

Travelling was something you had to do for you and that's perfectly fine. Had you not done this, your relationship would have eventually come to an end anyway because you needed this and felt constrained by your relationship.

But your mistake was expecting her to wait for you. Can't do that. Not in this day an age. From her perspective, she didn't know if you'd be coming back or not. She didn't know if you were telling the truth. You wanted her to extend her absolute trust and hope to a guy who was leaving her in a day and age where people lie/cheat and abuse these qualites on the regular. It would have broken her down to hold onto you with all the fear/anxiety. Although you knew how you felt because you were the one that decided to do this, all she could have done was helplessly hope you wouldn't screw her over. I've been in her position, it's damaging. Regardless, no one is at fault here. You did what you had to do for your well-being and she did what she had to do for hers. This outcome was always going to be outcome.

This is a particular case where I would let her know how you feel. Not about how much you want her back and love her and all that. She doesn't care to hear that. But something along the lines of telling her what you were up to the whole time over there. Don't talk about how you met all these cool people...talk about your work. Talk about the Art. And then let her know you never messed around overseas and that your heart was with her the whole time but you understand why she moved on. Wish her well.

Don't expect she'll run back to your arms after saying this. She won't. You may even get a cold response or perhaps nothing at all. This is simply for you to release the regret you are feeling (Which could completely consume you for years because it is a powerful emotion) and to let her know you did care for her. And then you go No Contact. Block her off of social media so you don't see updates and refrain from texting, calling or anything. This isn't to win her back, this is to help you heal, grieve and carry forward.

You don't have to do this but I know how it is to hold onto guilt/regret. Also, talk to 1 or 2 close friends, use Loveshack, and even talk to a Therapist/Life Coach/Relationship Coach to help assist you in your path to recovery again.

What she does after this is up to her. We don't know what the future will hold but for your well-being, assume you will never hear from her again and put all your energy into healing.

Goodluck man

Last edited by Beachead; 28th December 2017 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 29th December 2017, 4:55 AM   #8
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I don't think it was wrong of you to go on this journey of self discovery. If you felt like you needed that, then that's fine. I think it's good to do and to get to know yourself and gain some amazing experiences.

Of course it's hard to expect your then gf to just be like okay see you next year. Even more if you didn't reassure her. But that's how it is now. You chose to do this for yourself and I don't think you should regret it.

Treasure your journey and all that came with it. It's sad your relationship came to an end because of this but it seems you really needed to take that break.

See it as a new chapter.
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Old 29th December 2017, 1:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for the responses.

We are connecting again and we clearly still have feelings for eachother.

The idea of us rekindling things sounds exciting to me, especially now since I really think I could treat her and give her what she needs. I'm also seeing a therapist to examine my role in things so I don't repeat the same mistakes.

My lingering fear is how to get past her being with someone new. I fear the more I fall in love with her again, the more that might bother me. I don't want it to be a new source of drama.

Just to be clear, we haven't decided on getting back together, it was never even mentioned really. But it's clear we both miss each other and love is still there.
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Old 29th December 2017, 1:39 PM   #10
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I'm also seeing a therapist to examine my role in things so I don't repeat the same mistakes.

My lingering fear is how to get past her being with someone new. I fear the more I fall in love with her again, the more that might bother me.
Good plan.

By "get past her being with someone else" do you mean while you were off traveling, or in the future? Because, if it was while you were off traveling, you do realize that you have absolutely no right to be upset over the fact that she chose to date or have sex with someone else, right. The fact that she was dating someone else was a direct consequence of the fact that you left her and went traveling "indefinitely." If you didn't want her to date someone else, you shouldn't have taken off and left her hanging...

Why do I have Ross's voice in my head right now... "We were on a break!"
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Old 29th December 2017, 2:48 PM   #11
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I'm not sure if she would ever get past the fact that you left her hanging for many months while expecting her to wait for you; you sound selfish and entitled.
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Old 30th December 2017, 8:53 PM   #12
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You did what you needed to do at the time it felt right.

Me, personally, I would forgive the guy if he did that -It may take a little time but I would.

If she says she still loves you there is hope, hang in there - if not then, well, wow she moved on with her feelings quick.
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Old 30th December 2017, 9:05 PM   #13
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Good plan.

By "get past her being with someone else" do you mean while you were off traveling, or in the future? Because, if it was while you were off traveling, you do realize that you have absolutely no right to be upset over the fact that she chose to date or have sex with someone else, right. The fact that she was dating someone else was a direct consequence of the fact that you left her and went traveling "indefinitely." If you didn't want her to date someone else, you shouldn't have taken off and left her hanging...

Why do I have Ross's voice in my head right now... "We were on a break!"
Regardless if someone has the right or not, itís a valid feeling to be upset if someone you care about sleeps with someone else. He wouldnít have the right if she up and left him but he would be upset as well

Just because he had no right doesnít mean he canít be upset about it.
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Old 30th December 2017, 11:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by regretregret View Post
Thanks for the responses.

We are connecting again and we clearly still have feelings for eachother.

The idea of us rekindling things sounds exciting to me, especially now since I really think I could treat her and give her what she needs. I'm also seeing a therapist to examine my role in things so I don't repeat the same mistakes.

My lingering fear is how to get past her being with someone new. I fear the more I fall in love with her again, the more that might bother me. I don't want it to be a new source of drama.

Just to be clear, we haven't decided on getting back together, it was never even mentioned really. But it's clear we both miss each other and love is still there.
That's actually good to hear. You seem to have a handle on it. Just be careful.

Goodluck
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Old 5th January 2018, 2:17 PM   #15
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I think I'm crazy.

She's open to the idea of seeing me again and say's she loves me more than anyone she's ever met. Understandably she wants to see some sort of commitment. I found out she dated someone for a month - someone in her friend's circle. This is driving me mad. It's all I can think about now.

I left the relationship because I felt like I was in a lot of pain and needed to take a step back an re-evaluate. Now in order to get back into the relationship, I have to accept that she pretty much had another relationship while I was gone, along with a one night stand. This stuff really hurts and just makes me want to take more space to heal... in which time she will sleep with more people.

I have so much anger in me and it's not helping the situation. Yes I realize I don't have the right to be angry at her, but the thought of her being intimate with other men really kills me. It seems like it would be easier to shut the relationship out so I don't have to face that pain. But then I'll miss her and in another month I'll be in the same position except she'll have slept with more people. Cycle repeat.

I have to accept her past and be with her or never talk to her again. Accepting that she's been having sex with other men really haunts me. It's all I'll think about for a long time.
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