“Why did he tell me he viewed me as his long term partner and wanted to move in together? Have me spend the holidays with his family? Make me a gift and carve my name in to it shortly before breaking up?”
It sounds like you’re putting too much stock in things he said during the relationship. It doesn’t really matter why he said it or why he changed his mind. He may have meant them, he may have been lying, he may have been deluding himself. I’m certain that it had nothing to do with you doing anything wrong, but was a compatibility issue.
You no doubt have friends in your life whose company you enjoy, and who you care about, but who you just wouldn’t want to be in a realtionship with. That doesn’t mean that something is wrong with them, it just means that you wouldn’t be compatible in that way.
Your ex thought that you and he were no longer compatible, so he ended things. So what if he’s happy and appears to have the best life ever. That no longer has any bearing on your life.
It is understandable that you are upset and questioning things right now. But some things you’ve said are quite self-depricating
“[I] am left with the concern that I am not able to make a man happy enough to stay”.
Why? Just because you and this one guy didn’t work out, doesn’t mean that you’ll never meet someone who you are compatible with. From this, it makes it seem as though you thing you need to change yourself to fit what this man’s preferences were. So you aren’t an adrenaline junkie, you don’t enjoy doing sports 24/7 and you are content to chill out at home some weekends? You can find someone who either shares your interests or is comfortable with you both having your own individual hobbies. Just because your ex wanted someone more “adventurous”, doesn’t mean that you needed to change into that to keep him. It’s not worth feeling like a performing monkey, to try and keep a man.
“He even said ‘you are more attractive, more intelligent, and will soon realise it’ and to be honest I think he meant it. Its the only small comfort!”
So what if he meant it, or was lying to flatter you. I hope that you know your worth without having to be told by a man.
It makes me happy to know that my SO finds me intelligent, caring, attractive, bla bla bla. However, I know these thing to be true whether or not he says them. If he and I were to break up tomorrow, I would be utterly devastated at the loss of a relationship I thought would last for the rest of our lives, but it would in no way change my perception of myself. I would not question my worth over the loss of a relationship. I used to do that when I was an extremely insecure teenager, and all it does is cause further insecurity and self doubt.
Give yourself time, and stop comparing your happiness to his. You will be happy again, regardless of him. You are attractive and intelligent, regardless of whether he’s still around to tell you. Spend time enjoying the things you couldn’t while you were with him, like having a relaxing sunday at home doing whatever you fancy. Work on your bruised self-esteem and self-worth. Focus on self-care.
Realise that you dodged a bullet as a result of this breakup. You are no longer with someone who either lied to you, or lied to himself to try and make things to work. You no longer have to feel like a performing monkey. You won’t get over it immediately, but it will happen little by little.
Every time you think something like I can’t make a man happy enough to stay, or maybe I’m not attractive/intelligent enough, or if I made myself different then he would have stayed, remind yourself that none of those things are true. Tell that mean inner voice to shut up. Eventually it will.