In an ideal world, we'd hope that we'd find our soulmates, immediately fall deeply in love with them and then live the rest of our lives together totally and completely enamored by one another. But, unfortunately, that's not the way the story goes. OK, well — to be fair —
sometimes that really is how the story goes. Other times, you fall in love and something big happens — maybe you fall out of love, or maybe the pressures of a long-distance relationship are too great. You can also still be totally in love but the relationship isn't working. Anyone who’s been there knows that can be the worst feeling.
Hear me out on this. When you’re in love and your partner somehow betrays you, it sucks. But you also are left with a concrete reason to move on. There’s a concrete breaking point. There’s a reason to dislike someone you once loved. Things become a little murkier when your partner
doesn’t do anything wrong. And when you’re feelings haven’t changed. The relationships in which circumstance is the only thing driving the two of you apart can oftentimes be the most difficult ones to overcome. In a recent Reddit AskWomen thread, ladies share their experiences going through this and, more importantly, their best advice for how to get through it.
You have to cut off contact with your ex.
Yep. Done it twice. I broke up with the guy I dated all through college because he wants to live somewhere that I don’t, and there’s no compromise. I broke up with my most recent ex because I want to get married and have kids someday, and he doesn’t. It hurts like hell to end it with someone you love and who fits you perfectly in every way except those things....but those things happen to be some of the most important. The best way to move on is to go no contact, in my opinion. The longer I continue to talk with my exes, the harder it is to get over them.
Try to consider the possibility of a friendship with them.
Yep. He’s poly and I’m not, so that’s impossible. It hurt me a lot at first, but I eventually got over it when I realized there’s no way it could ever work out as a relationship, but we could still be friends. We are.
Even if you stay together, there's a chance you'll fall out of love.
Yes, we realized 3 months in, broke up, got back together and stayed together for another 3 years, we were 18 so a dead-end relationship was fine. We had impeccable communication, fights were rare, and extremely short because we were both vocal about everything since we were truly each other’s best friend. But I wanted to adopt children and he wanted his own. I wanted to pursue higher education, then make 6 figures and own a big house in the suburbs, and he eventually dropped out of college and works at Autozone with no further goals. I wanted to travel, he’d rather spend money on concerts. So we stayed together until we fell out of love.
It may take a while before you're actually over it.
My ex pretty much. He was honestly incredible and the nicest person I ever dated. But the big deal breaker was his general commitment issues and not wanting to deal with them. Like we dated for 1.5 years (were a thing for 3 years though) and he couldn’t take the step of even saying “I love you”. I by no means expect a husband and kids right now. But there’s a difference between just getting to know someone versus being in limbo for years. To be honest, I still do think about him and wish to be together. So I’d love to know how everyone else coped with it
Be realistic about what your future would've looked like.
Yeah. I had a very passionate, whirlwind romance with a motorcycle riding, Jon Snow looking DJ who partied a lot. There was so much passion and care for one another, more love than I’d felt ever before. If I didn’t have a daughter who needed a father, if I wasn’t a mother who wanted a father for her, he would have been perfect.He did not want the responsibility of committing to someone like me, and I did not want to drag his life down a path he would regret.I miss him often and think about him just as much, and wonder what he’s up to now. He made me feel so alive. A year and a half later and I still wonder what could have been. But I know it shouldn’t have been.
If you can't see a future with them, don't waste your time.
My ex was exactly like me, we never argued or anything, and he even talked about moving across the globe with me. We worked really well with each other, but it just clicked one day that I didn't want to spend my life with him. There was no real "deal breaker" for say. I just couldn't see him as the guy I wanted to marry.
Eventually, your relationship may fizzle on its own.
Yup, I was moving across the country and neither of us had an interest in a long-distance relationship. It sucked at first, probably because we still talked a lot, but after a while it fizzled and I became occupied with other things.
It's possible to keep them around as a casual acquaintance.
Yes! My ex I dated in senior year of college was wonderful and we had a lot in common, but I knew it wasn't going to work out because we wanted to be in different locations after graduation and I'm a year older than him, so we were unsure if he'd ever be able to move to my location. He ended up in Missouri and we still chat about music occasionally and I wish the absolute best for him, he deserves to be happy. I missed him for a month or so after we broke up but we were no contact until 5-6 months after that so once we both were over our old feelings I think we're comfortable chatting like acquaintances now every month or so. He's a great guy and he's going to make someone else very happy :)
Sometimes you have to put your future self first.
Yup, I recently broke up with my ex and struggling with this right now. What helped me was realizing that if I had to choose between getting married and raising a family and the person that I love who didn't want commitment, I wanted a family more than I wanted to be with him. I just couldn't give up my lifelong dream. I'm still struggling with the decision, but I know it was the right decision for my future self.
Respect the fact that what's done is done.
Started talking to this guy and he was sooo dreamy and a good cook and very thoughtful. I’m a hopeless romantic and this guy was it. After dating casually for a few months, I realized that it wouldn’t work out because we are motivated differently. He was very chill and worked as a server (nothing wrong with that) but wasn’t inspired to grow in life. I couldn’t have someone like that in my life - I’m wired differently. I ended things and it sucked because we gained mutual friends. I found it best to move on by not communicating with him. When we’d run into each other at bars and parties we’d definitely flirt but we both respected that what was done is done and there’s no going back.
Sometimes it's better to quit while you're ahead.
This happened to me. My bf of 1 year and I broke up last night because things just wouldn't work with how our lives are. I don't pretend everything was perfect, if it was we'd still be together. But the fact is, even though we got along, even though we never fought, it didn't work and that's okay. There is no, "it should have" and somehow even though the break up is fresh, I'm okay with that. May as well end it when things are still neutral rather than when we are fighting all the time.
Religious differences can be enough to end a relationship before it even begins.
Was really getting along with a guy I met online. We seriously hit it off even with a large age difference (about 15 years). We talked all the time and really clicked. I had done long distance relationships before but we were of a different religion and he would not date a non-Jewish girl. We stayed friends for a bit after that conversation but after awhile it faded. I looked him up years later and found out he never got married, had a stroke, and now has to live with his parents who care for him.
In the end, you'll be proud you stuck up for what your heart was telling you.
I once clicked with this guy our mutual friend introduced me to. He checked so many of my boxes (smart, charismatic, funny, into video games, could cook, was taking care of his own life) that I was blindsided by my infatuation with him. We had a VERY brief fling before I realized that he wasn’t looking for anything serious and i don’t casual date - I’m a long story sort of person. So we let it fizzle out and left it there. That was a year ago, he has since moved to another state for a job opportunity, and occasionally I wonder “what if”. In the long run, I’m happy I didn’t let it go any further and that I’m a “cards on the table” sort of person when it comes to dating. I’m looking for a life partner, someone to build a life, home, and family with. Never be afraid to let others know where your boundaries and deal breakers are before weaving yourselves together.
Ending someone you're still in love with always be difficult but, if these ladies are any indication of what's to come, you'll definitely find your way through the heartache.
Th is post was originally published on Sept. 13, 2018. It was updated on Aug. 21, 2019 by Candice Jalili.