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Trey

Grieving Girlfriend left me out of the blue

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I'll try and be concise but give a backstory in case that makes a difference. I met a girl in Months ago and knew we had a liking to each other from day 1. Fast forward a week or two and we'd begun to interact and I asked her out, to which she said yes. At that time her father already had terminal cancer, and she knew it was just a matter of time before he passes. She'd had a boyfriend when we had met, but broke up with him after we'd been seeing each other a few weeks (she'd also often mentioned how insensitive he was of her situation, and how he offered her little to know support. So we'd begun dating, and for about a month everything was good, she'd even hinted she was in love. Then her dad passed away after his condition rapidly deteriorated. I was one of the first person she broke the news to over text, I replied telling here that I was there whenever she needed me, but felt that on that day she needed to be with family. Although we were very new, I made the decision to stick by her and offer her any kind of solace and relief I could. The next day I visited her and her mother, and brought them a few supplies I thought they'd need, to which they seemed grateful. Over the next weeks I essentially dropped everything in my life to be there for her, which was something bother she and her mother noticed, and they constantly thanked me for my efforts. It seemed that I was able to provide her with some comfort, and I was happy to do that for her. What I later found out however, was that she had reached out to her ex-boyfriend in search for his support, which he refused to give her. I also periodically found out that she was blocking him and unblocking him, switching between asking for his support, and insulting him for being so inhumanely insensitive. I still stuck by her because I knew how difficult a time it was for her, and I tried to ignore that, and do anything I could to support her and give her moments of happiness (which again she repeatedly thanked me for). A few weeks after her fathers death, she went away for a vacation to change scenery for a couple week, here is where she'd first mentioned that she could not consider us a couple at the time, but would be honest with whether we were best suited to be friend or lovers in the future. It hurt, but again I accepted it and tried to check up on her and comfort her daily. While there she did continue to text me when she was feeling depressed, and I would always do my best to comfort her (she then told me how much I meant to her and how she would never want to lose me, and that she would always be there for me like I was for her, but also that I shouldn't feel obliged to stick by her, and that if I met someone else it would be ok). Fast forward about a month and a half after her fathers death and things seemed to be getting better for her, and we starting spending more time enjoying each others company. Throughout this time, I had mentioned to her several times that if she felt that she needed more time or to take a break from me that it was ok, I wanted what was best for her and that I only asked for her honesty (she said that was definitely not the case). A couple weeks after that, she had come over to my place, for only the second or third time since her father passed, she was speaking about her ex again, only this time she kept referring to him as her boyfriend (freudian slip), we had just spend a good weekend together (and she thanked me for making her laugh again then) and that evening its self overall was better than average. I began to ask her that night what I'd asked before, and she cut me off saying she still wanted me in her life. I made the mistake the next day of telling her that I was hurt by how she kept speaking with her ex and it seemed she still loved him, she said she did... We didn't speak for a couple days after that, then I initiated contact as per usual, but things seemed off and cold. I asked her if we were ok, she said she didn't know and that we would talk the next day. I called her the next day, she told me that she felt that I wanted her to be my girlfriend but that she wasn't ready for that, and still thought about her ex. She said she needed time to focus on herself and that we could still remain close, but only gave me a 10 minute call. I wanted to respect that so I didn't contact her, and she didn't contact me, for a week. I texted her again to see if she was ok and if we could meet (and noticed she'd begun delaying her replys to my messages). she accepted, but said she couldn't that day (and I was away the next week) but things felt cold now. She also said that she was feeling much much better. I texted her again when I returned, asking when she felt comfortable to meet, again after delaying her reply (for half the day) she said she couldn't now and that she was busy. I told her I didn't understand her sudden coldness to me, and that if she wanted me out of her life that it was ok, and I just wanted some closure. She didn't acknowledge any of those comments, and simply replied (maybe next week). It's been over two weeks now since we had that phone call, and I'm just hurt and confused. She said repeatedly that I meant alot to her, and how valuable my support had been to her before and after her father's death. I changed myself for her so I could be as supportive as possible (if at all relevant, when we'd met she was infatuated with me, as I was considered by many as the most desirable guy on campus, and someone who very confident and admired, for her I changed to be more sensitive, and down to earth, neglecting my friend and responsibilities as a result). I'm just so confused, how could she just cut me off like that after everything she said to me? is it because I changed and she was no longer attracted to this new person, is it her grief, her ex?

I'm sorry if this is not appropriate, but I consulted this site before when I was trying to learn how to be a good support system for her, and it seemed a good place to turn to. I know our relationship was short before, but I'd never made myself so vulnerable for someone before, and I resent the fact that I feel taken advantage of.

 

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If you look through Loss of Love section you will notice many similar stories...mine was one of them...of people breaking up with their partner due to grief over parent dying.  In my case we'd been engaged for a year and his mom was dying, although no definitive diagnosis, failure to thrive would be my best guess, and I knew from experience that could continue for years or go fast, no way to predict.  As it turned out, it was about 2 1/2 months process.  He broke up with me with no explanation, by Fed Ex, no less, to my job, note said, "Sorry it didn't work out"...what?!!  I was shocked!  It totally blindsided me!

The only thing I can derive from these similar stories, of which there are over 100 threads, is that a certain segment of people can't handle doing a relationship at the same time as they are grieving.  My ex fiance accepted help from his neighbors, his roommate, his ex-wife, but not me!  It didn't make any sense to me but we have to accept their decisions.  Honestly, I'd want more for my life than to be with someone who could so easily drop me when life got rough.  I didn't deserve that.  Neither do you.

It's important to focus on YOU and YOUR LIFE, spend time with your friends and family, with your interests.  There is nothing we can do to change their minds and it's never good to try to control or manipulate in or to affect change, so we really have no choice but to respect their decisions, even if we don't get it.  Closure is nice when we can get it but sometimes we have to provide our own closure in lieu of no explanation and no understanding of what the heck just happened!

I'm sorry you're going through this, I know it's puzzling and it hurts.  It isn't about you, it's about her, she doesn't know what she wants, she is confused, and she alone needs to make her way through this and figure it out.  The situations are uncannily similar when you read through the different threads.

If you want more response, you may want to ask the administrator to move this over to the Loss of Love section as some keep an eye on that section but not on this one...although you're right, it really is about behavior due to grief.

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KayC, you really are a saint to personally go through and reply to everyone's messages. There have been days since I last posted where I have felt at peace with her doing what she needed to do and what was best for her, but most days have been filled with mixed emotions. I have been pretty good about not following her social media presence, and I haven't texted here at all since (so it was just the two days where we very briefly spoke at the beginning, each a week apart). I saw in other posts that you had mentioned that you had only seen one case where things ended up working out, I was wondering if you could add the link that that post? There have been some posts that have given me comfort, and I feel like reading that post could give me some of the closure that I'm otherwise missing.

Looking back to the month before we had THAT phone call, I've been picking up on different pieces which should have been a clearer warning sign I suppose. There were a few times during that month where she had told me that it was not fair for me to wait for her, and that if I felt that things weren't enough for me that I was free to pursue other girls, and that all she asked was for me to be transparent with her. There were nights where I'd go out with friends and she'd ask me if I had hooked up with anyone, it started to feel like she was hoping that I would find someone else???? I remember mostly telling her that I had no interest in finding anyone else, and my only focus at the moment was on helping her however she needed.

Maybe someone can help me clarify this a bit better? It seems like she wanted me gone (although I told her, several times actually, that I knew things were hard for her, and that if she got the feeling that she needed me gone for whatever reason that all I asked was for her to be honest with me, she always very quickly shot me down when I said that, even on that night a couple days before our phone call, and then was cold when she actually did it). She broke up with her ex-boyfriend, partly because of me, and I feel like with the loss of her father her thoughts kept reverting back to the other person she recently lost, but one that was not permanently gone. Does she resent me for the role that I played in her breaking up with her ex?? I don't think either of her parents or her friends ever really got along with him, but he was the person she had stayed with the longest amount of time in her life. 

To wrap things up, I've been remembering the days before her fathers death where she would tell me that she felt we had a passion for each other, and that she thought that I was perfect. She even let it slip that she loved me once, and that was after less than a month of being together. Also one day asked us what our hypothetical wedding would look like since we came from different cultures and backgrounds. I also remember a few days after her fathers death where I put in big efforts to surprise her or make her happy, and succeeded. On those days (and others) she said she looks forward to a future where she could make me happy as well. 

I'm still fairly confused, part of me tells me that she was genuine when she told me all those things, and that maybe just maybe one day in the future she would want to give us a real chance again. Other parts tell me that a girl like her could have anyone she wanted, and that regardless of how she felt about me or what she thought of me, that she wouldn't pick to be with someone that reminds her of this past. It's heartbreaking to think that we could be a case of 'right person, wrong time'. 

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I would have to go back a re-read each and every one...that would take hours and hours, literally.  I don't think it was anything different that they did, than the others.  I can't help but wonder if there's something about the person we were with that we would have discovered even if the loss had never occurred...something about how THEY handle things.  I know in my past I had a bad habit of rushing into relationships, or replacing one lost relationship with another too quickly.  This is dangerous because it doesn't allow you to see red flags or get to know the person adequately before establishing a commitment with them.  Perhaps they were uncomfortable for the same reason and the first thing sent them flying.  I know that's not true for every couple represented here, not by any means, just speaking for myself.  I've had an eight year hiatus, no dating, just friendships.  It's helped me learn so much about myself, my own self-reliance.  I'm actually in a much more ready place now, but I really don't want to date and I've kind of come full circle to where I'm totally okay being alone for life.  "Friends" is another thing, we need them!

I think your GF did mean the things she said at the time, but perhaps her journey has made her more self-aware and she's exploring what she wants or doesn't want, or she sees she's not ready for a commitment.  In my situation, my ex...the year following the breakup he very much did not know his own mind and since has also become content on his own and is still working on his own personal issues.

All of our journeys are unique but the commonality seems to be that those who have a breakup due to loss were not right for each other or in a state of readiness for a relationship.  It doesn't speak well for their way they deal with things, but that's not necessarily set in stone, they can work on that with a therapist so that they don't remain in that type of response for their whole lifetime.  Still, it's a huge red flag that I'd be wary of...before reentering a relationship with such a person in the future, I'd want to see it demonstrated that they didn't "run" when the going got tough, that they could work with someone as a team.  It really does require a lot of investment as they'd have to demonstrate effective communication, commitment, caring, self-awareness of how they personally affect others.

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Thanks again for your words KayC. I understand that it's in my best interest to move on, because having spent the some time reading most posts on this forum it's becoming more and more clear that there really is not much hope of her coming back. That hasn't kept me from desperately hoping that I'll be an exception, one of the last things she'd told me was that she could never forget how much I helped her despite knowing each other only briefly. It seems I still haven't managed to come to terms with things really.

On another note I have, unwisely, been checking up on her social media activity every so often, which has left me concerned. She was supposed to be on a trip with a friend right now, which it seems she cancelled, and now goes days without making a presence on her messenger. This is really unlike her. She has always been a very social person, even in the months after her fathers death, and the only time I've seen her go longer than an hour without her phone were on our date nights. Maybe this is a normal stage of her grief, but I am concerned none the less. I'm torn between my heart telling me that I should check up on her knowing this is unusual behavior, and my brain doubting that it would do either of us any good and thinking that it would just further crowd her and deteriorate the already slim chance of any possible reconciliation in the future (thought being that I still sense our last encounter would not be the last, and that some point down the line she will reach out to me again). I have thought about sending her flowers or something of that sort, just as a means of very indirect contact, something that may bring a smile to her face if she is in a dark place, but again I don't know if she would be appreciative of it. I have still not contacted her, nor she me, since our brief texts about 3 weeks ago. Any advice would be welcome, I know it's unwise on my part to make emotionally fueled decisions, but I still care for this girl and know that what she is going through is 1000 times worse than anything I'm experiencing. Any advice would be welcome.

Something I hadn't mentioned earlier is that about a month or so before she'd broken off contact with me, she had told me that she's not in a place where she could consider us a couple, but still had feelings for me was afraid to lose me and our friendship. Before her fathers death, she mentioned that she thought we were made for each other, and that we were perfect for each other. Those words still haunt me, because I thought that too, and I dream that with time she will remember me, and those thoughts would resurface. I dream that by allowing her space that I don't ruin the possibility of those thoughts reentering her head, but it pains me to see how negativity things seems to turn out in the experience of others. I can't help but feel that this is a case of 'right person, wrong time'.

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My best advice:  cancel her on your social media!  ASAP!  This is unhealthy for you and doesn't allow you to heal or move on.  Let her be.

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You're right, I will let her be.

I admit I should be focusing on her less, and more on myself. I'm still young and this was my fourth relationship, but the only one where I felt I could fall in love and have a future with my partner. I hope to shift my attention from now on away from her, but deleting her would effectively eliminate any chance of us ever crossing paths again, whether that's a month or years from now. I hope in the future I can come back here with good news of a reconciliation, but she means too much to me to delete her existence.

KayC your advice is probably the smart way to go, but I don't think I could ever forgive myself if I did not at least try and play my cards right and hope that it works. Following my heart is bound to hurt, but it's a risk I want to take, there's a sports quote that goes something along the lines of "you're already hurt, don't quit, get your reward for it", I knew that I had set myself up to be hurt when I first decided to part of her support system (although my feeling grew with time which made it hurt worse than I'd expected), and who knows maybe one day I'll get "my reward". 

Either way I'll post an update when I feel one is relevant, I might be in this for the long haul although I hope to get some form of an answer sooner than later. I won't shut myself off from the idea of meeting someone new, but if down the line I still think of this girl as 'the one that got away' I'd like to have the option of contacting her.

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1 hour ago, Trey said:

You're right, I will let her be.

I admit I should be focusing on her less, and more on myself. I'm still young and this was my fourth relationship, but the only one where I felt I could fall in love and have a future with my partner. I hope to shift my attention from now on away from her, but deleting her would effectively eliminate any chance of us ever crossing paths again, whether that's a month or years from now. I hope in the future I can come back here with good news of a reconciliation, but she means too much to me to delete her existence.

KayC your advice is probably the smart way to go, but I don't think I could ever forgive myself if I did not at least try and play my cards right and hope that it works. Following my heart is bound to hurt, but it's a risk I want to take, there's a sports quote that goes something along the lines of "you're already hurt, don't quit, get your reward for it", I knew that I had set myself up to be hurt when I first decided to part of her support system (although my feeling grew with time which made it hurt worse than I'd expected), and who knows maybe one day I'll get "my reward". 

Either way I'll post an update when I feel one is relevant, I might be in this for the long haul although I hope to get some form of an answer sooner than later. I won't shut myself off from the idea of meeting someone new, but if down the line I still think of this girl as 'the one that got away' I'd like to have the option of contacting her.

Hi Trey,

I echo everything KayC has already said. It's in your best interest to remove her from your social media, at least for now. Don't think about "what could be/what if" this will only harm you in the long run and potentially damage your relationships in the future because it will make you believe you and her still have some sort of "unfinished business" that isn't real. "The one that got away" will do the same; When my ex-fiance Joe and I broke up after he was cheating, I used to believe this too. And in the year or so following, it damaged any potential connections I could've had because I was convinced I was missing out on a better relationship with Joe. It's not fair to you, and not fair to any date/relationship you could have later in life. You said you're young, I am too. Joe and I broke up when I was 21-22, I'll be 27 next month. My ex Tim, is what brought me to this forum because I felt so lost, upset and helpless over the situations that transpired resulting in our breaking up.

Send a card or something if you want, but leave as that and move forward. You can't sit around pining over a person that has made it clear they don't want you back. Would you really want to be with someone who reacts this way every time something bad happens to them? They just throw you out and then let you come back at their next earliest convenience or need? It's unfair to you and shows glaring character flaws. 

You say "don't quit until you get your reward," there is no reward in allowing yourself to be set on fire and suffer for someone who wouldn't do the same for you. All that will happen is you're left in a pile of smoldering pieces whilst they are still whole and warm because you sacrificed yourself for them. In this regard, there is no valiant reward, no riding off into the sunset together. And, if you're not going to delete her, at least remove her updates. Trying to stay in the shadows surrounding her, reaching out and showing any interest may have the opposite effect you intend it to. As you're making it obvious you're waiting around for her to come back, and she may perceive that as disrespect and you attempting to force your wants/feelings unto her and she may drift further away.

What you're setting yourself up to do could result in you missing out on potentially years of life, happiness and possibly even better relationships than what you had based on false hopes, dreams, "what ifs," pretty words and the assumption you're deserving of a reward for the self-induced suffering. Please, don't do that to yourself. Take it from a person who spent over a year of her life trying to get over a 7 year relationship because I actively chose not to let go of someone who had let go of me long ago because I was hard headedly convinced we were meant to be.

Almost 5 years later (2017) he contacted me, tried to apologize, reconcile and tell me that he missed me and that he would like to work on getting back together. I thought about it, but came to the conclusion that if he hadn't left me, my life wouldn't have turned into what it is now, and that I wouldn't have been able to experience the love, friendships, goal achievements and relationships I was now grateful to have had. And that going back to him would only undermine any progress and accomplishments I had made after I rebuilt my entire life because of what he had done, and what I allowed him to do to me some 5 years earlier. I told him that I no longer see him as the love of my life, but that I wish him well and will always love him, but only as a friend and nothing more.

Please, do not waste your time pining over someone who doesn't want you back. Let go, move forward, preserve the feelings you have for her and live your life. If they do come back later on, then you are of sound mind and have the freedom to make a choice in the matter that will be unburdened by the past. A year is long time, and a lot changes within it. Don't assume she'll wait around for you, either. Live your best life possible. 

--Rae :)

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It's true what you say, my head is mired in 'what if's' and thoughts of that sort. Every time I feel my confidence and strength coming back a thought will manifest its self that takes me back to square one. I'm stuck in a place where I consciously know everything you and KayC are saying is true, that I need to move on and let her be, but the thought of never seeing her again for whatever reason scares me, to the point of panic at times. The months before her fathers death were almost cinematically perfect, it's hard to believe the reality of what was and what is now. I keep finding myself making excuses for her (I still don't think I would've lost her if the timing was different) and I'm not sure how to stop. It just seems too cruel to be real.

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1 hour ago, Trey said:

It's true what you say, my head is mired in 'what if's' and thoughts of that sort. Every time I feel my confidence and strength coming back a thought will manifest its self that takes me back to square one. I'm stuck in a place where I consciously know everything you and KayC are saying is true, that I need to move on and let her be, but the thought of never seeing her again for whatever reason scares me, to the point of panic at times. The months before her fathers death were almost cinematically perfect, it's hard to believe the reality of what was and what is now. I keep finding myself making excuses for her (I still don't think I would've lost her if the timing was different) and I'm not sure how to stop. It just seems too cruel to be real.

I know exactly how you feel. The 14 months Tim and I were together before his father's sudden death were seemingly perfect. We had so much in common and could talk for hours, we lifted weights together, made meals, had fun, supported one another's goals and expressed how lucky we were to have each other.

But here's the thing: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In the days/weeks/months following his dad's death he was the opposite of the person he had made me believe he was and it turned out that who I had fallen in love with was not who he truly was. He was cold, cruel, indifferent and treated me as if I was somehow responsible for his feelings. Maybe the red flags had always been there, and I was blind to them because of our chemistry and eventual love. But it doesn't change the fact that he wasn't who I fell in love with. I fell in love with the representative of Tim, not who he truly was. Truthfully, until his father's death, I had no idea about his past trauma, abuse or his fragmented short romantic relationships in which he'd ghosted all of his ex-girlfriends for no real reason at all. He was deeply emotionally unavailable and refused to communicate with me.

It is cruel, it is unfair, it is heartbreaking, but you can't make someone love you or show up and be there for you, no matter how much you love them back. I fought with myself for weeks about walking away but felt guilty that I was "giving up" on him. Tim made me feel guilty for expecting him to treat me better. Some days I'd feel great, and then my mind would circle back and say, "wait, you're heartbroken, you don't deserve to feel better" and I'd start bawling my eyes out again.

See, we build them up into an idea of what we want them to be because we know they have the potential to be it, but we want it so badly, we overlook character flaws and red flags because those flaws don't fit our ideal of who this person is and what our relationship could/would be, if only they'd reciprocate our love. But the thing is, we almost always end up "shooting ourselves in the foot" because we refuse to see the truth about who they are. And when things finally do end, it's devastating and we are wrought with regret, "what ifs," self pity and sorrow. It's hard and it hurts, but you have to know when to walk away. What Tim ended up doing to me leeched my soul of happiness, and left me with nothing but confusion and heartbreak. Misery loves company, and so does confusion. You walk away to spare yourself anymore hurt, and because it's the right thing to do for them. Walking away is in itself an act of love. Preserve the memories you have, but understand, you need to walk away.

--Rae

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Right on, Rae!

So you follow her on FB, you see her going out with other guys...what good is that going to do you?  It'll tarnish whatever "love" you think you have left.  You see her having fun with her friends. what response do you think that will emit from you?  It will not only change your feelings, but it will hurt you, torment you.  You'll ask yourself why, why everyone else but not you?  What good will this do?  Instead of stalking her, cut her loose!  You're only torturing yourself!

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20 minutes ago, kayc said:

Right on, Rae!

So you follow her on FB, you see her going out with other guys...what good is that going to do you?  It'll tarnish whatever "love" you think you have left.  You see her having fun with her friends. what response do you think that will emit from you?  It will not only change your feelings, but it will hurt you, torment you.  You'll ask yourself why, why everyone else but not you?  What good will this do?  Instead of stalking her, cut her loose!  You're only torturing yourself!

Thank you!

I just have to add to something Trey said...

17 hours ago, Trey said:

The months before her fathers death were almost cinematically perfect, it's hard to believe the reality of what was and what is now. I keep finding myself making excuses for her (I still don't think I would've lost her if the timing was different) and I'm not sure how to stop. It just seems too cruel to be real.

"Right Timing/Different Timing" is a myth. People change as time moves, and they are allowed to. And yes, sometimes that change isn't what we want and it isn't always good, but it happens. I used to feel the exact same way about Joe and Tim, that if we'd met each other at different times, later or earlier on in life, that maybe our relationships would've lasted or been different. But here's the thing: If they are truly right for you and are willing to fight for the relationship along side you, then you will both make it happen regardless of circumstances. But you need to understand, Love/Marriage DOES NOT conquer all. Relationships take work and if one or both people aren't willing to do the work both individually and as a couple, it will not last. Love does not fix bad behavior, abuse, illness, death, bad decision making, poor mental/emotional health etc. Timing does not fix those things either. People will fix those things when/if they want to, we cannot make them. People's character does not change unless they actively choose to make those changes and improve themselves. And truthfully, at the time, Joe and I and then Tim and I's relationships both worked as they were. But again, you change too and sometimes you just outgrow people and need to move on. People are also very inclined to date people because of where they are emotionally in their lives. For example, if I had no self-respect/esteem or was miserable and sad, I would purposely attract and then date/entertain friends and relationships that were similar or that used me for their personal benefit because I had no boundaries and allowed them to use me.

But even KayC said that her her ex Jim told her that if his mother hadn't died, they would still be together. Tim told me that too. But truthfully we both now understand that our relationships were not going to last due to their flaws, red flags we both overlooked and other issues they both had. Being blind to flaws doesn't make them disappear, they will only rear their heads at a later time further into the relationship.

Timing is a cop out and an excuse that I feel people use to absolve themselves of commitment, guilt, to spare their ego or another person's feelings from the truth and as a reason to treat people poorly. And that isn't fair. It is an excuse to (for lack of a better term) to be a coward, to lie and to get away with being untruthful.

--Rae :)

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8 minutes ago, Rae1991 said:

But even KayC said that her her ex Jim told her that if his mother hadn't died, they would still be together. Tim told me that too. But truthfully we both now understand that our relationships were not going to last due to their flaws, red flags we both overlooked and other issues they both had. Being blind to flaws doesn't make them disappear, they will only rear their heads at a later time further into the relationship.

I agree!  Jim is kidding himself if he thinks we would have made it.  I was blind to it before he broke up with me, but honestly, it shows he still doesn't get it.  It wasn't just about his mom dying.  It was his inability to deal with more than one thing at a time, to invest himself in the relationship, to be there for ME.  It was differences that showed in our relationship, which I'd previously overlooked or tried to accept in my effort to make it work because I loved him.

It doesn't work.  

11 minutes ago, Rae1991 said:

Timing is a cop out and an excuse that I feel people use to absolve themselves of commitment, guilt, to spare their ego or another person's feelings from the truth and as a reason to treat people poorly.

True.

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Thank you both for putting in so much effort with me, and others on this forum like me, we'd all truly be lost without someone to guide us, because as much as we'd like to be, we're not and our stories are not completely unique.

There are still several things that linger in my mind (and quite often do more than just linger). For one, I felt she was always honest with me, she told me nearly everything whether it was something I wanted to hear or not. She had told me in the early days that she had reached out to her ex for support, which was not ideal from my position, but I was focused on not controlling how she behaved in order to allow her the freedom to do as she pleased to process her grief.

At times when I felt her push me away slightly, I would tell her that I know that our relationship was still really new and unfamiliar, and if she wanted me gone that she just needed to say so, she would always react as if that was unthinkable, and that I had no idea how much I helped her get through (she would sometimes speak to me whenever dark or suicidal thoughts came to her mind). When she told me she was not at a place where she could consider us a couple, she said she would be honest with me about whether in the future we could resume, or convert to being just friends. When I offered her her space then, again she said she never wanted to lose me, and cared too much for me, and with time we would figure out our dynamic. There were days where she would urge me to come visit her (I was actively trying not to be pushy), ans say all she wanted was to be in my arms. The last days we spent together were good too, she laughed and talked like she hadn't done since her father died. The last night I saw her, I again felt some distance, I live near school (a place she has very bad memories of) and at one point of the night looking out the window made her break down. She told me that she felt she could never come back because of the associated memories, but 'reassured me' that it was only a temporary decision. I began to ask the question again before we slept that night, and she cut me off, telling me not to even think that something like that would help her. She held me tighter that night than she had in a while. The next morning she began making plans with me to come over, and try a new drink she had been gifted, But a few days later is where it all disappeared, in our phone call she mentioned that it would have been better if she told me that night.

I felt it, and I asked her, why did she not tell me then!

I miss our friendship more than anything else, she told me that in the weeks following her fathers death that she pushed some of her closest friends away, and even considered cutting them out, but decided against it after some time. When I'm weak I think about that, and how maybe just maybe that its my turn to be 'temporarily' pushed away. I have no clue what she is up to at the moment, when I did check her social media is was just to see her last active time, and let me know she hasn't hurt herself. I've haven't done that in the past few days. 

I understand that it's a character flaw of hers, but we all have flaws. I do need someone more reliable for me, but for the moment it's hard to keep her out of my mind.

I'm sorry, it feels like I keep going back to square 1. I really appreciate reading your thoughts, and when my mind feels like its overloaded, it helps to write about mine, I feel writing here and coming back here gives me the distraction/strength to keep from checking on her or writing to her, especially when I'm feeling weakest. 

I've decided not to reach out to her, not for a long while at least, she needs it, and I do too. I need to move on with my life, but I'm sure you know as well as anyone that moving on without the person you want most in your life is not exactly an easy task. At times thinking that I managed to help her get past the early stages gives me some sense of comfort, that I had a positive impression on her life, and makes me think I'm ok with us parting ways to continue our own lives. That feeling seldom lasts however.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and help by sharing your experience, it helps to communicate with someone who has been where I am, and I hope that when I finally have moved on, I can come back and be that person for others who will undoubtedly look for help here. (sorry I had no intention of writing this much when I first logged on)

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30 minutes ago, Trey said:

Thank you both for putting in so much effort with me, and others on this forum like me, we'd all truly be lost without someone to guide us, because as much as we'd like to be, we're not and our stories are not completely unique.

There are still several things that linger in my mind (and quite often do more than just linger). For one, I felt she was always honest with me, she told me nearly everything whether it was something I wanted to hear or not. She had told me in the early days that she had reached out to her ex for support, which was not ideal from my position, but I was focused on not controlling how she behaved in order to allow her the freedom to do as she pleased to process her grief.

At times when I felt her push me away slightly, I would tell her that I know that our relationship was still really new and unfamiliar, and if she wanted me gone that she just needed to say so, she would always react as if that was unthinkable, and that I had no idea how much I helped her get through (she would sometimes speak to me whenever dark or suicidal thoughts came to her mind). When she told me she was not at a place where she could consider us a couple, she said she would be honest with me about whether in the future we could resume, or convert to being just friends. When I offered her her space then, again she said she never wanted to lose me, and cared too much for me, and with time we would figure out our dynamic. There were days where she would urge me to come visit her (I was actively trying not to be pushy), ans say all she wanted was to be in my arms. The last days we spent together were good too, she laughed and talked like she hadn't done since her father died. The last night I saw her, I again felt some distance, I live near school (a place she has very bad memories of) and at one point of the night looking out the window made her break down. She told me that she felt she could never come back because of the associated memories, but 'reassured me' that it was only a temporary decision. I began to ask the question again before we slept that night, and she cut me off, telling me not to even think that something like that would help her. She held me tighter that night than she had in a while. The next morning she began making plans with me to come over, and try a new drink she had been gifted, But a few days later is where it all disappeared, in our phone call she mentioned that it would have been better if she told me that night.

I felt it, and I asked her, why did she not tell me then!

I miss our friendship more than anything else, she told me that in the weeks following her fathers death that she pushed some of her closest friends away, and even considered cutting them out, but decided against it after some time. When I'm weak I think about that, and how maybe just maybe that its my turn to be 'temporarily' pushed away. I have no clue what she is up to at the moment, when I did check her social media is was just to see her last active time, and let me know she hasn't hurt herself. I've haven't done that in the past few days. 

I understand that it's a character flaw of hers, but we all have flaws. I do need someone more reliable for me, but for the moment it's hard to keep her out of my mind.

I'm sorry, it feels like I keep going back to square 1. I really appreciate reading your thoughts, and when my mind feels like its overloaded, it helps to write about mine, I feel writing here and coming back here gives me the distraction/strength to keep from checking on her or writing to her, especially when I'm feeling weakest. 

I've decided not to reach out to her, not for a long while at least, she needs it, and I do too. I need to move on with my life, but I'm sure you know as well as anyone that moving on without the person you want most in your life is not exactly an easy task. At times thinking that I managed to help her get past the early stages gives me some sense of comfort, that I had a positive impression on her life, and makes me think I'm ok with us parting ways to continue our own lives. That feeling seldom lasts however.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and help by sharing your experience, it helps to communicate with someone who has been where I am, and I hope that when I finally have moved on, I can come back and be that person for others who will undoubtedly look for help here. (sorry I had no intention of writing this much when I first logged on)

You're right, we all have flaws. But to me, a person attempting to make someone else take responsibility for, behave badly or treat someone poorly because of it, is a flaw that makes it hard to look beyond, especially in relationships.

I know its hard to get past the feelings of grief and sadness after losing someone, especially a romantic partner. There's no one way to go about it. But I do encourage you to remove her from your social media, its only bringing you back to square 1 and making you reminisce and obsess in a non-productive way. The first time Tim and I separated, I didn't remove him from my social media, even though I should have. It was just too painful at first, however, looking back I do feel that not removing him was my first mistake because it allowed him to keep an eye on me and helped him talk me into trying to work things out. The second time however, I removed all our photos, deleted his number and social media from mine because all that pain he had caused me the first time was now hurt and anger. If you truly want to begin healing and moving on, you're gonna need to remove reminders of her from your life and go 100% no contact. Not because you don't love her, but because you need to do what's best for yourself, and continuing to surround and obsess over her is not good for you.

From what you've said about her (and I mean no disrespect), it sounds like she needs counseling. It seems as though she just buries her feelings, trauma and other things instead of dealing with them and that's not healthy either. As that seems to be a common thread amongst our stories on this forum, our significant others (and even ourselves) didn't deal with our past before trying to move forward and it effects everything in our path badly, and as a result our romantic relationships became a casualty. I was a victim of physical/emotional abuse for years as a teenager, I also felt alone, abandoned and unlovable and I just buried all my feelings of abandonment, hatred and trauma for years. I was almost kicked out of college my sophomore year because of it. These types of things, if not dealt with, can literally ruin lives. If she ever does come back to you, please consider whether or not she has done the necessary mental work to be able to sustain a healthy relationship, as it seems your relationship was not very healthy in the same ways Joe and I's was not. It seems more like co-dependency than love. She was sad and wanted comfort and you were there to provide that comfort as a means to "fix" her problem (even if you did these things unknowingly). It goes back to what I said about people dating a certain person based on where they are emotionally at that point in their lives. We're all guilty of it to some degree, I still see my friends doing it and even I've done it in the past. It doesn't mean you didn't love each other, it simply means your relationship wasn't healthy because the two individuals did not have healthy behavioral habits. And those things can be fixed with individual and couples therapy.

You are absolutely correct that you need someone reliable and that isn't going to abandon you at a moment's notice because of a normal life happening. How a person deals with things like illness, debt, trauma, the death of a loved one etc says a lot more about who they truly are than when they are happy and everything is good. I do believe that people can change, the problem is, some people just don't change because they refuse to believe that there is a problem to begin with, or they are too afraid of change so they just scoff at the idea of things like counseling and therapy. I used to too, until I realized how much better therapy made me feel and how my life began to improve because my mental health did. Now I encourage people to seek it, because its okay to admit we're having a tough time and need someone neutral to talk to.

You will find someone in the future who will want the same as you do, and love you the way you deserve. But there is no need to rush, as feelings do not just disappear overnight. Focus on becoming a better you and healing you, so you can attract the person you want and deserve in the future.

--Rae :)

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Thanks again Rae :) 

She has always been a complicated girl, something she admits to, but said she'd try to work through to be with me (said before and after her fathers death on a few occasions). My feelings for her were not as strong before her fathers death, but as I spent time caring for her and meeting her mother and friends and becoming generally more central in her life my feelings began to grow. When I first decided to try and be part of her support system I had no intention of developing feelings or growing attached, but I did none the less.

I'm not without my flaws either obviously, despite having good relationships in the past I can't say I've ever felt in love, which is something I knew but wanted to change. From where I am now, it feels like I've missed out on the first person I could fall in love with, but that's not her fault (or responsibility) and its no reason to drag myself through what I'm going through now. I hope I find someone I can feel for like that, and by quite the coincidence (to your last message) I was thinking just after I'd written my last post about how I have to regain my sense of self and confidence before something like that can happen. Sometimes I think I'll never find someone as great, but I need to take a step back and realize that I'm pretty great myself :)

I don't know if it was co-dependency, she never asked for my help after her fathers death (although I was one of the first she broke the news to). In fact she had said she was quite surprised by me taking such a big role in supporting her, and was pleasantly surprised by how I knew the right things to do and say despite our brief history. She said she never expected me to have such a big role in her life, but was grateful for it.

Maybe these events have helped me discover new things about myself that I need to work on, I used to walk around like I was invincible before (part of the reason she said she fell for me was my confidence and stature). This time apart, or more likely separation, should help me grow as a person, but I won't lie either and say that I don't wish she was someone I could grow with. But that's gone now, and dwelling on it, as hard as it is not to, will do me no good.

You're right, if she ever does come back, and I feel I still care for her, then I'll have a decision to make as to whether I think I'm strong enough to help her through any mental work she needs, that is if she's willing to work on herself. I knew that there was a big chance that I would be hurt by her during her bereavement, but as I said before I felt like I was on top of the world before, and thought I could handle a little pain and that I should put that to good use by being there for someone who needed it. Boy was I wrong!

I'm grateful for your reply's and care Rae, I've tried to open up to friends, but that hasn't been as helpful unfortunately. 

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I just hope you take a long enough break to get some clarity of mind and strength...when we're with someone we're interdependent, it's just how it is, so we reclaim our independence when we're single and that can help us see things more clearly, I hope that makes sense, at least that's how it works for me.  I've been through so much with relationships I have no desire to go down that path again, but I had one that was perfect (for me) and that was my husband George, and I wish such a relationship for everyone at least once in their lifetime.  He passed away and I've never clicked with anyone else like I did with him.

I know one thing, it's really important not to "settle", not to accept less from someone than you'd care to live with day in, day out, the rest of your life.  It's important to have good communication, understanding, how you work together as a team, that you complement one another in how you are...for instance, George was spontaneous and fun, very social, I am super responsible and stable, together our pieces fit together like a puzzle and we balanced each other.  I miss that, I miss him so much.

I hope for you that you find "that one"...I know you can't think about that right now, you are still grieving this relationship, you're still in pain.  I'm sorry your friends don't get it, if they haven't been through this, it'd be kind of hard for them to relate, let alone respond.  You're young, both you and Rae, I hope for both of you that you find that one that will treat you with respect and love and consideration, the one that balances you and brings out the best in you, the one that appreciates you for who you are.  If you have to change each other it's not the right one.

Trey, you have a lot to bring to the table, someone would be lucky to get your devotion and patience, your loyalty, and you're introspective too!  Know there was nothing you could have done to avert this because it really was about her, not you.

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22 hours ago, kayc said:

I just hope you take a long enough break to get some clarity of mind and strength...when we're with someone we're interdependent, it's just how it is, so we reclaim our independence when we're single and that can help us see things more clearly, I hope that makes sense, at least that's how it works for me.  I've been through so much with relationships I have no desire to go down that path again, but I had one that was perfect (for me) and that was my husband George, and I wish such a relationship for everyone at least once in their lifetime.  He passed away and I've never clicked with anyone else like I did with him.

I know one thing, it's really important not to "settle", not to accept less from someone than you'd care to live with day in, day out, the rest of your life.  It's important to have good communication, understanding, how you work together as a team, that you complement one another in how you are...for instance, George was spontaneous and fun, very social, I am super responsible and stable, together our pieces fit together like a puzzle and we balanced each other.  I miss that, I miss him so much.

I hope for you that you find "that one"...I know you can't think about that right now, you are still grieving this relationship, you're still in pain.  I'm sorry your friends don't get it, if they haven't been through this, it'd be kind of hard for them to relate, let alone respond.  You're young, both you and Rae, I hope for both of you that you find that one that will treat you with respect and love and consideration, the one that balances you and brings out the best in you, the one that appreciates you for who you are.  If you have to change each other it's not the right one.

Trey, you have a lot to bring to the table, someone would be lucky to get your devotion and patience, your loyalty, and you're introspective too!  Know there was nothing you could have done to avert this because it really was about her, not you.

I echo everything KayC has so eloquently stated here. Never, Ever settle just to say you have a relationship or company. I have only ever been in love with two guys (Joe and Tim), but have casually dated a few others in years past that I was settling for because I was lonely and all my friends were in relationships. It wasn't a good thing to do and I am not proud to admit that I did that. They weren't necessarily bad guys, but they had their fair share of problems (substance abuse, behavioral issues etc) and the "relationships" were purely surface level and short lived. I was also not in the appropriate mental state to be dating any of them either, and who I dated reflected that.

Tim and I breaking up was definitely a turning point for me in that I realized that part of my problem was that I was too focused on finding a partner instead of learning how to be a good partner, both for myself and for my future relationships and friendships. I had no real independence or self-reliance and hadn't for some years and emotionally I was needy and lacking. Tim and I's relationship was amazing, but we both obviously still had growing to do and I am not sure if staying together would've been the motivation either of us needed to change. I am unsure of his well being as we no longer talk, but I do hope he has learned better emotional health practices.

 Being single these past 2.5 years since Tim and I ended has been full of self-reflection, travel, introspection, picking up new hobbies and learning how to be happily single. I am not alone, I have a great circle of family and friends. I also tutor/mentor teenage kids at a local after-school/summer program. While I certainly miss some aspects of a relationship, and will not be single forever, I no longer NEED to be in a relationship just to feel whole. I already am whole and always have been.

Trey, you will get through your hardship and move on from her eventually. You have a lot to offer someone and the right people will see it and gravitate to you, they will also encourage you to be your best self. If your friends are unable to relate, might I suggest a local support group or counselor; if you're a student, most colleges offer counseling or can point you in the direction of resources. And obviously, this forum has been a "life-saver" for many.

--Rae :)

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