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Broken up because of distance, but I can't shake the feeling he's the one for me


Long-Distance Relationships Coping with geographical distance can make or break a LDR. Share your experiences and questions here.

Old 26th February 2013, 3:41 AM   #1
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Broken up because of distance, but I can't shake the feeling he's the one for me

First post but I have been reading the Forum since December. This might be a bit of a long one, so I apologize in advance and thank you guys for taking the time to read and give me some input - God knows I need it

Me and this guy met through work in the second semester of 2011 (he was a casual at my company and only worked there every now and then). We flirted a few times but it was only in January last year that we kissed at our work function and started sort of seeing each other around February. Although no one from work knew, I had already bought flight tickets and was going to leave the country in August to go on a travelling adventure for a few months, then to live in Canada for a few months on a working visa (we both lived in Australia and I was going to be overseas for around a year altogether). I told him I was leaving in August, so I wasn't looking for a relationship. He only had one long term (7 years) relationship his whole life which ended nearly 8 years ago and he had never had a girlfriend ever since, only casual flings, and everytime the topic relationship was brought up, he sounded negative and very skeptical about it, like he just didnt believe you could actually be happy with someone long term. He often said he felt happy/comfortable "living in his cave". It was clear he had commitment issues but i didn't care, since I was leaving in 6 months anyway and just wanted someone to hang out with.

Seeing each other on a casual basis worked out for the first couple of months, till we both started liking each other but were too scared to admit it, so we started pushing each other away and fighting constantly, even though we werent even in an official relationship. We took a month break but stayed in touch and when we reunited it was nothing short of explosive. It was clear to both of us that there was something there so we stopped fighting it and decided to enjoy whatever time we had left before my departure.

For the last 3 months before I left we were inseparable and it was definitely the happiest months i ever spent with someone. We got on in every way: physically, intellectually, same sense of humour, everything. I was always at his house, met his brothers (he lives with them), he met some of my friends, we were basically a couple without the title. We never spoke much about the fact that I was leaving, but we did agree we wouldn't try a long distance relationship, that it would be too much pressure and too painful to do.

3 nights before my departure date, I got quite drunk at my farewell and ended up telling him (in tears) that I was in love with him. He said he was too, but that it didnt change the fact that i was leaving. I assumed he only said it because i said first, and kinda left it. He spent the weekend with me and helped me packed and was loving and caring the whole time. On my leaving day, we said our goodbyes in the morning (i was leaving in the evening), quick and drama-less, like we had agreed. However he texted in the afternoon saying he wanted to see me one last time. i was out so i came back to find him sitting on my doorstep IN TEARS. He came back just to tell me that he loved me too. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life to date.

I took off to Europe and for the whole 11 weeks that I was there, we texted pretty much every day and spoke on the phone a few times too. Even though we had previously agreed not to try a long distance relationship, we ended up somehow getting into one (although we did agree that we were both free to do whatever we wanted, including hook up with other people and no need to tell each other unless it was about to turn into something more meaningful/serious). The messages were always very sweet, we used pet names and everything, full of "i miss you's", reminiscing moments etc.

After Europe I went to South America for 2 and a half months to see my family. A few weeks after I got there, he started to change and become a bit more distant (he had already hinted he was struggling with the distance even towards the end of my stay in Europe, but he'd still message every day). He started going for 2, 3 days without contacting me, which never happened before. I had a few talks with him but always walked on eggshells, since I couldnt really make any demands as we werent in an official relationship. I was going to come to Canada to live for half a year after South America, and we had spoken about him coming to either visit me or live here with me for a few months, but his mum was sick and doing chemo till February, so he had to wait to be able to make a decision. I understood this completely so never pressured him about it. He also hates anything technology related and only got a smartphone so we could chat on whatsapp, but he hated skype, so we only skyped a couple of times. I missed him so much and really wanted to see his face/hear his voice, but i tried being ok with only texting on whatsapp so as to not put more pressure on the whole thing or make demands. Basically I knew he had commitment issues and was struggling to deal with the fact that he had finally fallen for someone and she had left the country and all of these things, so I tried to make it as easy for him as possible.

Around December I could really feel him drifting away so I started confronting him about it. We'd fight over messages and he'd say things like he was confused, he loved me but also loved his freedom, that some days he was excited about the possibility of meeting me in Canada and other days he felt unsure etc etc. Every time we had one of these fights, I'd say we should take a break from each other and not speak for a while and he'd get really upset, he couldnt stand the thought of not talking to me, I'd sometimes go to sleep and wake up to these really long messages about how hard it was for him, how much he missed me, a list of all the things he loved and missed about me, that he knew he was losing me and that scared the hell outta him, etc etc. However he could never step up to the plate and say he wanted to meet me in Canada, or even that he couldnt but that he was willing to wait for me. After all, whats a few months of waiting when you really love someone?! Apparently too hard for him.

For the whole of December and January we went on like this: "breaking up" then making up, having long dramatic conversations over text, trying to let each other go but unable to. In January I found out from a friend he had kissed a girl on NYE, and although we had the agreement of being free to do whatever, it got to me and although he said it was "just a rush of blood to the head", it led to a huge fight and we didnt speak for days. When we spoke again, we came to a mutual agreement of staying in touch but just as friends, no more promises, or plans, or expectations, and just see what happened down the track.

Late January I finally came to Canada (it has been nearly a month now) and thats when things really went downhill. I felt we were growing further and further apart, with longer gaps between each message (2, 3, even 4 days sometimes). Even though we were technically "just friends", to me nothing had changed so I was really struggling to cope with this change.Two weeks ago I went to Seattle and we had no contact for 4 days. When I got back, I texted him and asked straight out if he still had feelings for me. His answer was that he has "become somewhat indifferent in the sense of feelings I'm probably talking about, but that doesnt mean i dont pop into his head from time to time, deeply reminescent". I was massively hurt by the word indifferent and thanked him for being honest and said that was going to help me in a lot of decisions from now on. He then said "it seems the difference between me and you is that you either love or hate. that doesnt mean i dont love you, what im indifferent about is this whole process and the brain damage it entails". I replied that it seems he loves me as a friend and that is not enough for me right now, that i have tried to move on but still cant get him out of my head, and that i really had to move on now, for my own good. His reply was "you're killing me...".

We didnt speak for 2 days but then he called me for my birthday. We had a chat for a few minutes and I talked about the new job i was going to start the following week and my travel plans before i get back to Aus later this year. I then asked him if he had any travel plans for the year and he simply said "maybe go somewhere later in the year, putting a bit of money aside every month, not too sure about anything yet". I was upset straight away - he acts like all the conversations about him coming to Canada never happened. His mum is now done with chemo and is much better so he could easily come for a month at least just for a visit, he gets paid well and could easily afford a ticket and get a month off. I said I was getting on the train and had to go, we said goodbye and hung up.

This was 11 days ago and we have had absolutely no contact at all since. The longest we had ever gone before was 4 days, so I guess it's really over. From the minute we hung up I had decided to go NC so the fact that he hasnt contacted me has helped but at the same time i just cant believe it. I started a new job last week and he didnt even message to ask how my first day/week was, he never would have done this in the past. 2 months ago he was professing his undying love for me and now it's all gone. Maybe he is seeing someone, I dont know. I'm glad I have a new job which is keeping me busy but at the same time im finding it so hard to give my 100% because of the huge whole in my chest every single day.

The worst thing is...i have come to accept it is over for now, but not for down the track. i keep visualizing me coming back to Australia in 6 months or so and him contacting me and wanting to meet up and trying to get back together. I know it's unhealthy but i cant stop it. With every other ex i knew deep down they werent right for me even when i was hurting from a break up, but with him i just dont feel that way. He was amazing to me as a man, we were great together. I cant even get properly mad at him to help the moving on process because even when he was confused he was always so open and honest and shared all his thoughts and doubts with me, never acted like a jerk. I truly believe that he started freaking out about commitment because he couldnt see me or feel me there with him, but that if i was there, things would have been different.

I believe after our last conversation he realized us being friends was too painful for me and that i wanted more, and that he cant/doesnt want to give me what i need right now, he cant do this long distance, so he decided to let me go.

Should I continue NC? i dont want him to think i dont want to speak to him but i guess he knows how i feel and why im keeping a distance, so if he thought he could give me what i need, he would message.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment, I'll be massive grateful for any input/thoughts on this.

ps: wasnt sure whether to post it here or on the Coping thread so i posted it on both.
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Old 26th February 2013, 1:14 PM   #2
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Wow, that sounds really difficult, I'm sorry what you're going through cause I'm kind of going through it myself at the moment, but the two replies I've gotten on here really helped me. I'd say definitely stick with the NC. That's what I'm trying to do right now as my partner " thinks it over" but it's not looking too good, and at least this way you get a jump start on the healing. You pretty much nailed it, if he thought he could give you what you needed he'd probably message you. I'd keep going with the NC and if you get back to Australia and things work out then great! But if not, at least you didn't waste all of your adventure stuck on him. I know this is easier said than done though, but NC really is the only way forward, or at least probably the best way forward.
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Old 26th February 2013, 4:59 PM   #3
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Thank you for taking the time to read and reply, really appreciate it I just read your story and our stories do have a lot of similarities, both guys hesitant in making a real commitment. Just like your guy, mine also sounded unsure and vague everytime I tried to talk about concrete plans to be together, but kept saying the idea of losing me really scared him and everytime i went silent for a while he'd freak out.

I guess NC really is the best thing to do right now. I still have hopes of reconnecting when I move back in a few months time but at the same time I feel like I shouldnt because when things got difficult he chose not to fight for me, he just gave up. Is this a selfish way to think? I mean, is it presumptious to assume that if a guy loves me he should fight for me?
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Old 26th February 2013, 7:23 PM   #4
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I'm asking myself that question a lot too right now, and what I've come up with thus far the longer he takes to think it over, is rationally I know carrying on beating a dead horse never ends well. I tend to be of the same opinion that if it was really meant to be, they would at least DISCUSS some kind of plan and what's possible as opposed to either just bailing or changing the subject. I know personally if my bf comes back trying to say, " I don't know" or " I'm not ready" after a year, then I'm definitely going to have to move on, and you seem like a nice girl, so I'm sure there's got to be at least one guy in Australia that would be willing to stick things out with you.
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Old 26th February 2013, 9:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by breakmyfall View Post
I still have hopes of reconnecting when I move back in a few months time
He couldn't wait a few months more? That might be the problem. The reality of you will be harder to deal with than the fantasy. He can control the fantasy.
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Old 28th February 2013, 4:10 AM   #6
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@SalientPoint - Thank you I guess what frustrates me the most is that i feel like we swam for ages, only to end up dying at the shore. We were able to somehow make it for nearly 6 months, without any official commitment or anything in place and mostly over written communication and very few skype sessions and phone calls. Now it would have only been another month or so till April, which is when he had said he'd come to Canada to see me, then another 4 or so months after that till i'm back in Australia. Not a very long time at all, so if he loved me, i'm sure that wouldn't have been an issue.

Quote:
He couldn't wait a few months more? That might be the problem. The reality of you will be harder to deal with than the fantasy. He can control the fantasy.
@FitChick - you're absolutely right and i have thought about this too before. I often think that being the commitment phobe that he is/has been for years since his only relationship ended, he probably only allowed himself to let go of the bull**** and fall for me, because he knew it would have to be short-lived cause i was going away. I always wonder if we had met under other circumstances and i hadnt had any plans of leaving, if he would have stayed with me for longer than a couple of months, he would have probably rushed out the door in no time.

He knows i'm coming back in around 6 months or so, that really wouldnt be a big deal for someone who loves somebody else, which obviously he doesn't. So maybe the issue is the fact that he knows if we stay together and then get together once i move back, that it'll be for real, official, and he wont be able to keep it casual/ a fantasy anymore.
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