- Wedding: October 2019 - City, State
I was in a relationship for 8 years with my ex-FI. We were best friends and had been through so much together. But we were not compatible as life partners. Before I ended things with him, I really put in an effort to make things work before I realized my heart just wasn’t in it anymore, which could have been misleading to him, but I wanted to make sure I truly felt sure of ending things before I did. And we had communicated over the course of our relationship where we were unhappy and uncompatible—we just had such a hard time letting the deal breakers actually be deal breakers, which dragged on the relationship for much longer than it should have.
When it finally hit me than we needed to break up, the realization made me feel sick, and I knew I couldn’t pretend that I felt happy or confident (in myself or in the relationship) any longer. I had been fooling myself, telling myself he was worth it, that relationships have rough patches, that he would change, that we had been together so long and he was the only one that “got me.” NOT SO!
Flashback to the end of our engagement. I couldn’t sleep through the night and felt physically ill from anxiety. My body was telling me what to do and fighting it only made me feel more sick. It was not an easy break up by any means. Eight years of a partner, of a best friend, of experiences, of faux stability. It was daunting to let all that go. But what I realize now is that I was actually letting go of something unhealthy. On the surface, we seemed like a great couple. Happy, in love, compatible. Behind the scenes, I kept everything hidden. Yeah, I really loved him, and we had good, fun, happy moments. But I did not let on to anyone of our struggles. We just did not align on really important topics, like our values and future goals.
For the first time in my life, I chose me instead of him. And I am really happy now. I met my current partner and realized what compatibility was. I quit my job, went back to school, and found another job that made me feel more fulfilled. I started seeing my friends more and doing things I was interested in, rediscovering who I am and what I want and what I don’t want. Don’t get me wrong, adulting is still incredibly difficult, but I feel relieved not having to worry about being with my ex. We just weren’t right together, and we are doing much better apart. Both of us.
My current boyfriend is now my soon-to-be-fiance. We went to high school together, but we didn’t know each other (he’s a few years older than me). While I was finding myself after the breakup with my ex, we connected through mutual friends and both happened to be single at the same time. He is someone I found interesting and attractive in high school, and we had randomly run into each other at least once a year for 10 years (at festivals, a party, a restaurant, etc), so the intrigue had built on both our ends but like I said, we didn’t really know each other and I was always in a relationship. When we were both single at the same time, we were able to put that intrigue to the test and compatibility made sense to me from the get-go. What I thought I had with my ex was nothing compared to what I have in this relationship. In the amount of time I was with my ex, I didn’t feel or experience of grow the way that I have with my boyfriend. Maybe it’s because I’m an adult now, and maybe I needed that relationship to teach me more about who I was and what I wanted, and what I wouldn’t settle for. Breakups are rough, for sure, but in my experience they can lead to an immense amount of growth and opportunity.
If you’re checking out of the relationship, breaking up can be the best decision you make for yourself. Be good to yourself, listen to your needs, take time if you need it, and don’t feel obligated to be with someone you don’t want to be with. There’s a whole world of experiences and people out there <3