Post # 1
How does it feel? When did you stop missing your ex? Months? Years? Do you regret not ending things with them sooner? Did you wonder what might have been? How soon did dating your Fiance change that?
Asking for my BFF. She just got out of a 10-year relationship with her only-ever Boyfriend or Best Friend. I’m being supportive but have never been in a relationship nearly that long. I’m trying to realistically convince her that she won’t mourn the relationship for the rest of her life!
Post # 2
Ugg. I wish I could be helpful. Unfortunately I am in a similar situation. I ended a 10+ year relationship 2 years ago, and although I did have a short and awful relationship afterward I am now single again. I think about my ex a lot. He was a great guy, but we were very different and I couldn’t see us merging finances, buying property and raising children together without it ending in divorce. I miss my friendship with him.
Wish I could tell you that it gets easier. Maybe it will when I do meet someone that has all of the same goals as I do. But until then, I am just sad a lot of the time.
Post # 3
silkybutterbee: It gets better! =) I am so sorry she is going through this but every step in life builds our future. My first Boyfriend or Best Friend was an 8 year relationship that I ended knowing it needed to end. One of the best decisions I ever made! It took a few months to see that I did make the right choice but so happy I did!
She needs to focus on herself and see who she is on her own. Don’t rush into or feel that your life is defined by being in a relationship. Travel, take some classes, have fun, know you can be a strong woman THEN the right man will come along and see your confidence for yourself and life! =) You HAVE to be OK on your own BEFORE you can be in a relationship.
Don’t dwell on the past… the past is your past for a reason.
Post # 4
I know you said 8+ years, but mine was only 5+ years… It took way too long to end it, but when I DID, I met my Darling Husband three weeks later! She needs to keep the faith and know that if it’s meant to be it’s going to happen. I wish your friend the best of luck and happiness!
Post # 5
silkybutterbee: I left a 9.5 year relationship about 2 years ago and met my fiance a year ago. My ex would not get married, despite being deployed and leaving me holding the bag with our home, his mother, everything frequently. Without being married he was never notified of my health crisis and I was never notifed of his injury either. I had finally had enough. I moved 3500 miles away and started over.
It did hurt, A LOT, for awhile. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t date for about 8 months then slowly started dating again. I missed everything but I made some really great friends and spent lots of time with them and as the time passed, I realized that I had not been that happy in many ways and there were problems that I had not been seeing while in the relationship. I wasn’t really myself with him because I was always walking on eggshells.
Now, looking back, I realize how many other things were not as good as they should have been. I was really made to feel unworthy of marriage or legal partnership. He kept a running tab of any time he even bought something at the grocery store for me. It was kind of crazy that I put up with it all.
My fiance is completely different. He is generous and kind, caring and committed. He made me realize that I was NOT crazy for wanting committment or to share my life with someone. I was straight up with him at 2 months in, I told him that if he did not see this headed towards marriage at 12 months then I wanted him to end it. He agreed. I was not going to be in that same situation again. At 11 months, he proposed. We share everything. I live in his home but we are selling it and buying one together. We share a bank account. We go to important appointments together. We drive each other’s cars.
Leaving a long relationship is really hard but if you take the time to figure out who you are and what you want then you can definitely get through it and grow. Your friend will need time to heal but that time should be filled with friends, laughter and fun.
Post # 6
I got out of an almost 5 year realtionship. After I broke it off I was so jaded towards realtionships and made a list of things I needed in a man in order for him to be “good enough” for me. While in that 5 year relationship, I lost who I was in order to make him happy and it took a good friend of mine to make me realize this. I am not saying the break up was easy by any means and those first couple months after we broke up I was going out to have fun but in reality I just wanted to seem happy even though I wasn’t.That was until I met my Fiance…
The moment I started to live life for myself and put me first I started to attract that same thing. I stopped looking for love and it just found me…I met my Fiance 3 months after my break up with my ex. He had everything on my list I was looking for and was an awesome, kind man. I did not want to rush into a realtionship but right from the start I was open and honest with my Fiance about my past realtionship with my ex and that I still cared for my ex (as in I want the best for him) We were not good together but my ex is still a good guy. To be honest I still think about my ex today.
In my personal opinion once you love someone you cant stop loving them. I will always love my ex but I am no longer “in love” with him. I care what happens to him and hope he finds happyness but his daily happyness is no longer my burden to bare.
My Fiance and I just had a discussion about where I would have been had I stayed with my ex and not met him (FI) and to be honest I would probably be where I am now just not happy. I moved away from home to chase a dream and I still would have done that if I had been with my ex but I doubt he would have moved with me and I would have been content going through the motions of life but with my Fiance (who moved with me) I live life, I LOVE life. We adventure together, make eachother laugh. He is my best friend and partner in crime! We do everthing together and if I had stayed with my ex I would have been doing a lot of things by myself and would have been lonley.
The best advice I can give for her is to start learning to love herself and do things she never got to do when she was with her ex. Go on dates. Talk to people. Hang out with friends. Join a club and enjoy spoling herself. Once she can do that I guarentee another person will see that shine of awesomeness in her eyes and fall in love with it.
I wish the best for her! 🙂
Post # 7
silkybutterbee: My sister ended a “17 year” relationship about 3 years ago and she’s just now able to move forward. Just last week she let me know she was able to think of her ex for the first time without accompanying negative or positive thoughts, but recognized them as neutral thoughts and let them be. I should note that I put the relationship in quotes because they met in pre-kindergarten but didn’t officially start dating until their second year of high school; they always had feelings for one another and for the entire 17 years got one another valentines day gifts.
I’ve always heard it takes half the amount of time you dated to move forward, but I think it kind of depends on how much energy you can put towards moving forward and wanting to move forward; sometimes you just need to take time to be part of the grief of loss. My sister was in a dark place about this for a long time, especially since she didn’t really remember life before him. She has found yoga has helped her.
Post # 8
I have two friends, one male and one female, who were in 11-year relationships and thought that they would end up married to their partners. Yet, nobody ever formally proposed, and both relationships ended for different but typical reasons. Both of my friends dated, and were engaged within two or three years of ending the relationship. They are now happily married, and their behaviour with their new partners was much more definitive and unequivocal than with their past partners.
Post # 9
My ex and I dated for about 7 years. Our relationship became more of a friendship over the years. Yes, I missed him for a whille, mainly because we were very close friends. Our breakup was like having my heart ripped out and put in upside down and backwards.
But my fiance and I kind of reconnected about a year and some change after the break up. We dated for about 6 months and moved in together. Another 6 months went by, and we moved 500 miles away from everyone together for his work, which is now OUR workplace. We’ve been living here for about 2 years. He proposed about 7 months ago. I don’t think I’ve been happier or felt more loved and accepted than I do by him.
I wouldn’t go back and try to work things out with my ex. I don’t wonder what would have been with him. I already know how it was with him… The difference in just dating my ex versus my fiance is night and day. My ex was my friend, but my fiance feels like home.
She will be ok. 🙂
Post # 10
I can share on behalf of Darling Husband and the relationship he was in for 7+ years before we met.
They spent almost all of their 20’s together and their friends and family had become so intertwined that the impact of the break-up went beyond just the two of them as is the case when you’ve been together for that long.
After they ended things, he missed her a lot. They lived together and talked to each other every single day. When they hung out with mutual friends, it was hard to have to see each other and unless they wanted to give up their entire social group… there was no way to avoid that. He felt hopeless that he would find anyone who could make him forget about her. He was lucky that it was so soon, we met about 4 months later and obviously the rest is history.
She found someone better suited for her, too.
One thing I would suggest to help make things easier for your friend is to make sure she doesn’t get any mutual friends involved. Getting things off her chest or sharing what happened is one thing, but making people choose sides puts them in a really uncomfortable situation and could jeopardize her own friendships.
Post # 11
Thank you all so much for sharing your stories! (And if you haven’t posted but have been in this experience, please do share your story!) I showed my friend this yheead and she was so heartened to see that the majority of these break-ups actually made people’s lives better in the long run!
You guys are the best. I’m always so amazed by the supportive, strong, awesome women on this board!
Post # 12
silkybutterbee: i am one of these bees! i was with my HS sweetheart. honestly, by the time it ended i knew in my heart i had given this relationship everything and it was just not meant to be.
there were also major family issues with his family that helped me walk away too. i realized they were never going to change and i was not going to battle them for the rest of my life.
we hadn’t been intimate, barely even kissed or touched or even like held hands for like over a year, so that made it easier too. yes, there were days when it was somewhat hard, but for the most part, i felt free and hopeful. after being in a relationship that long, it felt good to spend some time with friends and flirt and be free & single.
i met my Fiance not too long after and we were engaged exactly 1.5 years after we started dating.
i don’t really have any advice because everyone handles things differently, but just try to have fun. go out, get hit on, enjoy the freedom!! then, at just the right moment, just the right love will come along!
Post # 13
ashleearielle: Yes to all of this. One of the issues I had a hard time picturing myself raising kids with my ex was because of his family. They were very nice to me and he loved them very much, but they would not the type of people I would ever want children to be around. They drank all the time, grew weed in their yards (it’s illegal here) and often said some very racists and homophobic things. They spoke very negatively about anyone with money, government employees and police. I just couldn’t picture myself bringing my kids around them and then having to explain to them that Grandma is a very nice person but we don’t think or talk the way she does. When I expressed concern to my ex, his thoughts were that they drank so much they probably wouldn’t be around for much longer.
Post # 14
this just happened to me! my ex broke up with me in september. we had been together for 8 years (15-23) and i was very confident we would be getting engaged soon. i wasnt unhappy in the relationship (or didnt think so at the time), but i was devastated. he started a new relationship right away. i was DEVASTATED. the first 4-5 months were brutal. i have the most amazing girlfriends and family in the world who forced me to go out and plan fun activities, but who also let me cry and vent and eat ice cream when i needed to. i started trying a lot of new things and did whatever i could to make myself happy: tv shows, shopped, pampered myself, planned trips. around 6 months i started to feel like me again. i dated a little at the beginning but really just wasnted ready so i took about 5 months off from it.
after 7 months, my friends and family were really trying to convince me to get back out there. i never liked the idea of online dating but i figured why not for the practice. my current SO was my first date. i know it sounds crazy but it was honestly love at first site. weve only been together 2 months but i feel so much more secure and happier with him than i did with my ex. he treats me so much better and ive found things that i didnt even know my previous relationship was lacking. i do still think of my ex often and i do still love him, but if he came back, i would choose my current SO every time 🙂 after my first date with my boyfriend i called my mom at 2am and told her i met the guy i would marry. i never felt that way with my ex!!
Post # 15
Yes and it gets better. I was in a rocky relationship for almost 7 years, broke up, took a year to myself, and met my now husband. We have been together for almost 8 years and I feel great. I think that counseling can be so helpful because often what is the most difficult about relationships ending is trying to figure out what to do next with ourselves. A lot of people lose themselves and their identity and trying to figure that out, while grieving the loss of the relationship was the hardest part for me.