Q. I expected to feel better after breaking up with my girlfriend. I thought I would know I made the right decision, but I am feeling unsure.
It had been hard for a while, and we were having too many irritated moments. She would regularly mention things that bothered her. She told me I made her feel insecure sometimes, and I didn’t want to make anyone feel that way. We weren’t even comfortable in the same space anymore. That can’t be right, right?
My romantic feelings slowly changed, and each time I saw her it was more like seeing a friend. I did tell her this when we broke up. Maybe I shouldn’t have, because it seemed to make her think I found her hard to love, and I feel so bad about that. I do still care for her.
Since the breakup, we have been in contact. I asked if she is able to maintain a friendship, and she said yes, but I don’t think it’s something she’ll be able to do. I’d be stopping her from moving on, right? I want to be the good person and make the process as easy as possible, but it’s hard when she is so determined to stay in contact. Why is it that you miss someone after a breakup when it was your idea? How could you miss being close if you felt uncomfortable with them?
I feel confused, and I’m not sure I’ve done the right thing.
– Feeling Bad
A. First, you did the right thing. I know you feel terrible about hurting her, but that doesn’t mean you should be together. Sometimes breaker-uppers assume they’ll be Teflon when it comes to feelings after it’s over. They say they’ll do whatever they can to make it easier for the brokenhearted party, even if it comes at their own expense.
But breaker-uppers have feelings, too. You need to take a break from her, not just for her, but for yourself. You did have romantic feelings for her, and she was an important anchor in your life. That means you need space to reset. Please tell her that as much as you hope to have a friendship with her someday, you need some time to think, find a new routine, and figure out what’s best for you.
It makes perfect sense that you’re missing the closeness and the routine, even if it wasn’t great. You cared about her; breakups are rarely a breeze.
You’re not ready to be friends. Don’t feel selfish about that.
Breakups stink, they’re terrible. Nobody ever said it’d be easy, and if they did, they were lying. If you’re still talking, lines get blurred and it will make moving forward even more difficult. BOSTONSWEETS21
It sounds like you just weren’t right for each other. These things take time. It is still a loss for you, as well for as her. HIKERSKIERGIRL
When my ex-husband divorced me, he tried extremely hard to still have a relationship with me. He kept giving me gifts for my birthday and other things and would want to go out on dates. For my own mental state I had to stop accepting all that and move on. For her mental welfare, stop, move on. Eventually, you’ll feel better! DOLLYCHOP
Catch Meredith Goldstein’s Love Letters podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen.