9 People Get Real About Breaking Up With Their Forever Person

There’s no doubt that finding “The One” is incredibly exciting and elating — not to mention reassuring if you’ve been looking for them for a while to no avail. So, naturally, finding out that who you thought was “The One” actually wasn’t right for you after all can be straight-up soul crushing. Breaking up with the person you thought you’d be with forever with definitely isn’t easy by any means. But in some instances, it’s a step that while painful in the short term, is essential to ensure your long-term happiness.

There are lots of valid reasons why you may have to kiss your almost soulmate goodbye, too. Sometimes, you and your partner change so much that you’re no longer compatible. Sometimes, the emotional fallout from infidelity or another betrayal proves too difficult to overcome. Sometimes, it’s a practical issue — like distance or a difference in beliefs or values — that gets in the way of your happy ending.

While it may be painful to end the relationship that you thought would be your last, many have done it. Here’s what a handful had to say about breaking up with the person they thought was “The One” — why they did it, and how they were able to cope in the aftermath.

The Proposal That Never Came
Per Swantesson/Stocksy
I moved across the world for him. He kept telling me 'one day I want to propose.' Or 'I can’t wait for you to be my wife.' That proposal never came, and I was having visa issues, so after a few years I gave up and moved back.


The One That Moved Too Fast
We moved in together too young and tried to be adults too fast. I should’ve known things were not going to work out when he tried to convince me to buy a house with him at 19. NINETEEN. (In Southern California. On two retail employees’ wages. Like, WHAT?!?)
We were high school sweethearts. He was smart and ambitious. But he also loved to spend money and worked insane hours to try to make up the deficit. After we moved in together, his work schedule changed so I was working morning shifts and would literally pass him in the driveway as he left for his night shifts. There would be several days in a row where we wouldn’t see each other, and when we did see each other we were too broke to do anything fun.
We went on a trip with his family after a big fight, where I begged him to not ask me to marry him. I told him I wasn’t sure how I felt anymore — I was unhappy, he seemed unhappy. I wasn’t stupid. I knew why he suddenly wanted to know my ring size.
He didn’t listen and asked me to marry him in front of his entire family and surrounded by strangers, hundreds of miles away from home. I was 21 and had no idea how to say no. Our engagement lasted nine days, because that’s all I could stomach while thinking about spending my life with someone I wasn’t in love with.


The One That Lacked Effort
Michela Ravasio/Stocksy
We slowly started drifting after years together, but their lack of desire to try to work on our issues sealed the relationship’s fate.


The One That Wanted More
He wanted to be in a poly relationship with someone I didn’t even know. Didn’t consider my feelings. We’ve buried the hatchet and are best friends still, but it hurt when it happened.


The One Who Finally Saw The Light
I realized that I only fell in love with the potential of my ex. From thereon, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Every single day, I kept myself preoccupied with work and created new memories by exploring new hobbies or listening to a genre of music I haven't heard before.


The One Who Deserved Better
Kike Arnaiz/Stocksy
I realized that if he was really 'the one' for me, he wouldn't have continually treated me the way he always did. Every chance I gave him he threw back in my face.
The one I want to spend the rest of my life with is someone that never stops trying. Someone that knows they want me and will do anything for me the same way I would do anything for them. Someone that isn't afraid to do things like message me first because they will try everything they can for me. Someone that cares about me and shows me over and over again that they do.
I finally get to stand up for myself and set standards. I'm done with the gaslighting and the reverse-blaming, I'm done feeling like it's my fault for the abuse. It never was.


The One Who Fell Short
I realized I did not want to raise kids with him. He was immature, which meant I would be raising him as well. Then I realized he wouldn't be a stand-up dad and would ALWAYS be working.
Then I wondered, if I didn't want to raise kids with him... would I still want to marry him? And then answer was 'No.'
It took four months to be brave enough to break off a four-year relationship.


The One Who Lacked Ambition
Nemanja Glumac/Stocksy
We started dating in high school and had the typical first love relationship. We moved to another state for college and he just completely changed. Well, I guess we both did in our own ways. I was bored in the relationship and he had no ambition whatsoever unless it was just one of his music projects. He got kicked out of school twice and held a job only like a month the whole time I was in school. I (provided) the only income for us until graduation. I worked two jobs during school on top of my clinical rotations.
I didn't realize I could leave the relationship. I finally had enough when I had a death in the family and decided I would go alone so he could take care of trying to get into school for the third time. He made it all about him… and was demanding to know why they don't want him there. Not once asked how I was doing, either... He bugged me the whole time I was trying to take care of my family. My sister was talking to me about how she was deciding to leave her husband when it clicked. I didn't have to stay with him even though we were engaged! When I returned home, I told him I would still help him get into school, but only as a friend.


The One Who Was Going In A Different Direction
It pains me to think of this... but recently... I realized we weren't on the same page/path of life and we had different goals. It's hard saying goodbye to someone you love so deeply and perfect for you... it’s like — right person, wrong timing. That sh*t hurts like a MOFO.


Quick survey for the empaths out there: Is your heart OK? Can you mark yourself “safe” from those devastating tales? Saying "Thank U. Next" to your supposed soul mate may be one of the hardest things you ever have to do, but as these stories show — sometimes, having the courage to close your heart to one person is the only way to open it up to another. Because who knows? The next one might be "The One."