A Man’s Guide to Surviving a Break-up

A Man’s Guide to Surviving a Break-up
Breaking up really is hard to do. Few life events can cause as much upheaval and pain as ending a relationship with someone you cared about. Whether you’re the breaker or the breakee, odds are you will feel a range of emotions for weeks or even months after a break-up.

We’ve all been there. Some of us lived in denial even though we saw it coming for months (or years.) For others, it came out of the clear blue sky. Whether it ends with a bang or a whimper, breaking up is a difficult time in every man’s life. Men’s emotions and feelings don’t tend to get a lot of ink as, generally speaking, men are more reticent to acknowledge much less discuss them. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t feel things too, including suffering after a break-up; Several recent studies even point to the fact that break-ups might even affect men more than women.

Now, there’s at least a hundred “flavors” of break-ups. It would be next to impossible to write a ‘how to get over a breakup for guys' guide that covers every single contingency that leads to a split. But what we’ve tried to do here is create a series of coping strategies, pick-me-ups and silver linings that should help you through the dark days until you see the inevitable light at the end of the tunnel.

Feel the Feelings

Traditionally, men have been discouraged from showing excessive emotion from an early age. Phrases like “Be a man” and “Man up” are typically meant as ramrods to stuff down your emotions. But what happens when the emotions come flooding so fast it overwhelms that instinct? Nothing. Just roll with it. You are going to feel shitty for a time, regardless which side of the break-up you were on. And that’s perfectly ok. It won’t be fun, and you may not feel like yourself, but acknowledge what you are feeling and allow yourself to feel it.

Scientific American recently wrote about a Rutgers University study that used neuroimaging technology to show what happens in the human brain when it experiences rejection. The study participants were shown pictures of the person who had recently broken up with them. Using an MRI, researchers saw their brains “exhibited increased brain activity in several regions associated with reward, motivation, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which helps to explain why you might struggle to let go after a romantic relationship ends.”

Though it may be tempting, don’t drown your sorrows in alcohol or drugs, including workaholism, these are temporary distractions that only will defer feeling the pain and prolong the healing process. Plus you might be more tempted to reach out to her or attempt some sort of Lloyd Dobler-esque boombox-outside-her-window maneuver, which trust me, only works in the movies.

men break up guide quote

Don’t Try to Win Her Back

A lot of guys get wrapped up in the emotional fantasy of a grand romantic act, convinced that swinging through her window hanging from a chandelier will instantly show her the error of her ways and make her helpless to the power of your charms and fall for you once more. Don’t. We’ve been lied to, gentleman. Decades of romantic movie plots have incorrectly taught us that pretty much all break-ups warrant some sort of go-for-broke romantic gesture. But real life isn’t the movies. Sometimes your former significant other wants their space, and your sky-written love note or dozen puppies in a box wearing “take me back” sashes could come off as desperate. If this is the love of your life, and I mean the real love of your life, it will work out. There’s absolutely nothing you can do to force someone to love you or to want to be with you. You won’t be able to trick her or use guilt, so don’t even try.

What About Mutual Friends?

Another post-break-up minefield is divvying up the mutual friends. Some people can remain friends with their exes, and so for them this is less of a consideration. But for the rest of us, mutual friends are the equity built over a long-term relationship. Certain cases should be more obvious, for example, the friends each member of the former couple brought to the relationship generally side with their original friend. It’s probably a good idea to avoid “custody” battles over friends with your ex. It’s a losing proposition and will almost certainly end badly, maybe even with lost friends. People tend to naturally gravitate towards one “camp” or another after a break-up. Let it happen. Post-break-up, the once-mutual friendships you keep are organic and already battle-tested. When someone “chooses” you, it solidifies the friendship and you’ll never wonder if someone is spending time with you out of pity or attempting to slowly ease themselves out of your life with a few cursory post-break-up hangouts.

Don’t Wallow – Be Productive Instead


Build something with your hands:

Check out all of Primer's DIY projects.

While all you may want to do is sleep or sit around and mope, fight the urge. Use this time to your advantage to better yourself. Long-term relationships are very driven by routine, so being out of that routine can feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable. You can help neutralize the jarring effects of this routine change by taking up a new hobby. Pick something you’ve always had a passing interest in but never pursued. Even if you’re not usually the type, try heading to an art supply store and wandering around for some inspiration. Maybe pick up a canvas and some paints or some sculpting clay. Making art and creating something with your hands can be a wonderful distraction, not to mention therapeutic. Plus it will give you something to focus your energies on.

Maybe you want to use this time of reflection to hit the gym more or learn to be a better cook or learn to fix motorcycles. Whatever you choose, pour some of that passion the strong emotions associated with the break-up have stirred up into a creation that you can be proud of. When the post-break-up fog has cleared, it will stand as a personal artifact symbolizing your refusal to give into sadness and depression.

men's break up guide gentlemen quote

Enjoy Being Single

At a certain point after breaking up, your emotional state transitions from misery to realization that you are now free to be a bit selfish. Relationships require sacrifice from both partners for the sake of harmony, so maybe it’s time you got re-acquainted with the things you’d been sacrificing now that you’re able. Consciously go enjoy doing something you wouldn’t have done as part of a couple. Head to the movie theater and take in a double feature of movies you would have had to drag her to. You won’t even have to share your popcorn. Eat a whole meat lover’s pizza in your underwear in the living room while watching all three Christopher Nolan-directed Batman films back to back. Play video games all day long on a Saturday. Stay out late with the guys and realize you don’t have to call home.

None of these activities should be undertaken in a spiteful way. It’s all about enjoying the newfound freedom that being single affords you. It’s a silver lining in an otherwise painful situation. Be conscious of the fact that now that you’re a free agent, you have the time and ability to do what makes you and you alone happy. There’s a freeing and empowering quality to that realization when acted upon.

Treat Yourself

Tom Haverford would agree with me on this one: Retail therapy isn’t just for ladies anymore. Sometimes when you’re feeling low, a quick fix of purchasing goodness can be just the boost you need. Have you been eying a big-screen TV but holding off? Have you been itching to fix up your car? Have you been craving some top-shelf booze and a nice cigar? I’m here to tell you to take that plunge and indulge. Do something just for you that makes you unequivocally happy. I’m not saying to cash in your 401k and fly to Macau to try your hand at the baccarat tables, but making a splurge within reason is just plain good for the soul.

While enjoying this treat, take a few seconds to consciously acknowledge that you deserve it. The exercise will remind you that you are still the one person who knows how to make you happiest, which is something we tend to lose sight of during a break-up.

Take a Man-cation

Perhaps the ultimate expression of newly single freedom is the man-cation. Men are all different, so the details of what makes a true escape will vary depending on you. But that’s the beautiful part—you don’t have anyone else to account for, so you can literally make the trip whatever you want it to be. When was the last time you planned a trip without considering what anyone else wanted? Plan it out, book a hotel room for a few nights and hit the road. A man-cation doesn’t have to be hedonistic. See some sights, eat some good food, get a barber shave, go for a hike, chat up some locals, make some new memories. Taking some time to be alone with yourself can help you get back in touch with the “you” that was there when the relationship started, and remind you that the same person is still there now that it’s over.

Whether it was a relationship you knew was on the rocks or one in which your heart got stomped on by the person you thought you’d be with forever, parting ways with someone after a long time together is a major life transition. If you’re hurting right now, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re still you. So much of a relationship is about two individuals becoming a unit. When you’re once again out on your own, it takes some time to recalibrate. But real talk: You WILL get through it and you WILL come out stronger on the other side. It will be difficult at times, but there are ways to enable yourself to not just cope, but actually thrive under these new life circumstances.

Chris Nesi is a writer and editor born and raised in New Jersey but currently living in Orlando, Florida. His work has appeared in more than a dozen publications including TechCrunch, The Huffington Post and Consulting magazine. When he isn't writing he enjoys swimming, reading, and cycling.


  • Reply October 6, 2014


    Just remember it’ll be OK. It might take some time. Break ups happen. If they didn’t, we’d all be married to the girl we dated when we were 12 years old.

    • Reply December 21, 2016

      Courtney Jossy

      Hi, i want to be greatful to the Almighty one, which has used Dr Kazim in changing my situation , My name is Courtney Jossy from Miami,Florida …My life is back and here is my testimony!!! After 5 months of Broken marriage, my husband left me with the kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr. kazim website: http://www.fastsolutionhouse.co.za. which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, so many people were testifying that he brought their Ex lover back, restores womb,cure cancer and other sickness, he also cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i came across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called sophie,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, i contacted Dr kazim through his website and i explained all my problems to him, just within 24hrs my Husband came back home begging for forgiveness and now we are happily back together as one. All thanks to Dr.Kazim, he is the answer to your problems.

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    • Reply January 29, 2017

      Calista Smith

      My life is back!!! After 3 years of broken marriage, my husband left me with three kids. I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to Doctor Ehimen who i met online. On one faithful day as I was browsing through the internet, I came across allot of testimonies about this particular spell Doctor. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb, stop divorce, cure cancer and other sickness. I also come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Sarah, she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 4 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped Doctor Ehimen contact. After reading all these, I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 12 to 16 hours, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues and we are even happier than before Doctor Ehimen is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing about he’s works. If you have any problem, contact Doctor Ehimen now for he might be the answer to your problems. Email him on; ( [email protected] ) OR Website: http://www.doctorokpamenspells.com, or Cell number +1 (702)-200-0766 for more inquiries

  • Reply October 6, 2014


    This sure hits close to home. She moved out a month ago after an extended and bad breakup. I thought we were getting married and was ready to start ring shopping, now I’m spending that money on therapy and breaking my lease to get out of the apartment she picked out and decorated.

    • Reply October 6, 2014


      Hey Rob,

      I feel your pain, man. Just know it IS going to get better. I picked up running 3-4 times per week and hitting the gym with Primer’s Big Lifts, Big Progress plan (www.primermagazine.com/2014/learn/big-lifts-big-progress) and noticed mental/emotional benefits by week 2. By week 4 I was a new man. All my best, you can do it.

      • Reply October 9, 2014


        Hey Andrew,

        Thanks for the words of encouragement. I guess I have to scratch breaking the lease since I just got laid off… I can’t seem to catch a break lately and I’m honestly more upset about losing my girlfriend. Wish me luck.

        • Reply October 9, 2014


          Sorry to hear that, it does seem like things always hit the fan all at once. Stay strong, you’ll come out of this a new, better man. Try to be grateful for this time of growth life is offering you. All my best, brother.

        • Reply April 9, 2016


          Love God- love yourself- Be all you can be— at least you are lucky to be male- there are a lot more females from which to choose ….

      • Reply September 2, 2016


        Hi Rob. Right there with you man. I had some major doubts about life and myself after the fallout. Cut her off and do not contact her. No matter what. I did not know how well this would work, but it did. There’s a lot to find out about yourself, and this is the time to reach down and put Rob’s best foot forward. I am a nice and giving person who thought I would not get through it. I will, and so will you. Lean on your good friends and family. Get it out and start a new normal. I have faith in us both buddy. Cheers to new beginnings.

  • Reply October 6, 2014


    It’s insane how well-timed this article is for me. The line I keep reading over and over again: “If this is the love of your life, and I mean the real love of your life, it will work out.”

    • Reply October 7, 2014


      You can’t make that happen, though, as hard as that may sound. You may WANT it to happen, but it probably doesn’t until you’ve actually moved on with your life, seen what else the world has to offer and healed.

      I went through a really bad breakup in my mid-20s. REALLY bad. I thought she was the one, I didn’t allow myself time to heal for a good 2+ years (no joke) and just kept trying to bide time until she realized we were meant for each other. On a whim I took a job in another city, allowed myself to experience what the world had to offer and met another fantastic girl who I’m now engaged to. The scary part? The ex I spent years staying miserable over called me the DAY I met the new lady. It’s just how the world works.
      You’ll be ok, bud. I don’t even remember what my ex looks like anymore.

      • Reply October 7, 2014


        Thanks, reading your story was helpful. I should have specified, I re-read that line not because I’m holding out hope that things will work out with this girl, but because if they don’t then that means she isn’t the real love of my life. I’m also in my mid-20s and am about to start my medical residency next summer (as is she), so it is very likely that I will be living in a new city and not in the same city as her. If things don’t work out then I look forward to having a similar experience you did, seeing what the rest of the world has to offer and hopefully finding something even better.

        • Reply October 12, 2014


          Hey Nick,
          The same thing happened with me. We were great friends the first 2 years of med school and then one night at formal, she came home with me. We hooked up for a month and then started dating full on. It was the best thing, dating my best friend and classmate, but now with residency coming up in the next year and a half, the stars and galaxies would have had to align to make a separation like that work out in the end. She ended things because she wasn’t physically attracted to me anymore, which hurt a lot, but I still know that we have the best time together doing everything else outside the bedroom. I’ve needed a good kick in the butt to get into better shape, and since I’m turning 25 next month, now seems to be the perfect time to get started. Oh yea, we broke up yesterday.

        • Reply April 9, 2016


          ” Medical Residency” are you crazy? Your life is just beginning- A single healthcare provider will not be single long….

  • Reply October 9, 2014

    Jarred Sawyer

    Thanks Chris, great article!

  • Reply October 13, 2014


    This article hits close to home. I’m a senior in college, I’ve been dating a girl on and off for the past two years. She broke up with me because she thought I was going to hurt her after I graduate, and I tried to show her I cared. She ended up acting so irrationally and negatively at a love letter I wrote her that she threatened to call the police if I contacted her again. Shit sucks

  • Reply January 6, 2015


    Well I found a new job but haven’t been on a date with anyone new yet… can’t seem to find anyone I’m interested in who wants to grab drinks haha 🙁 Any ideas on what to do during the week after work? The gym only takes up so much time and I can’t hang out with friends every day because they have lives and girlfriends to occupy their time.

    • Reply April 9, 2016


      Volunteer work—– you get to meet the nicest people with some ideals and not losers in a bar…

  • Reply January 20, 2015


    Wow, glad I’m not the only one in this deep dark hole. I just graduated too and after ten years she split (the day before I walked the stage). It’s been a month and although we have have casual sex, she let it slip that she “liked” this previous FTF. What the heck do I do now? Keep banging until I ge a new room mate or let it go altogether and just wash my hands.

    • Reply January 20, 2015


      The way I see it you have two options. She split after 10 years because she likes someone else, but still comes around for sex. You can 1) Pull up your bootstraps and let her go. She wants to break up and be with someone else, make her live with that decision. By letting her come back around you’re taking the pain of losing you / breaking up away and she gets to have it both ways at your expense. 2) Say “Fuck this shit.” and go get her back. Tell her how you feel. Tell her what you want. She may not go for it, but at least you’ll know one way or another.

  • Reply June 3, 2015


    Left her, dated around, got productive, started my own business, attained success, and years later I still dream about her every. fucking. night.

  • Reply July 2, 2015


    Thanks man.. We’ve been together for couple of years already and have so many memories.. I don’t even know how this happen.. she just left me for someone else in a blink of an eye.. ahaha.. Well, your article helped me.. Thumbs up!

  • Reply August 10, 2015


    I am a wimp and a pushover, I’ve always thought the woman who would love me would do it as I am. things were going great between the two of us then she started getting angry at me for no good reason and would stop speaking to me. I had to bear with her moodyness but wasnt allowed to be angry or sad myself.
    sounds like a bad deal but I wanted to stick for longer, once her anger disappeared she would become the sweetest woman alive.
    now I feel I wont ever find a good woman
    I do know things will get better though.

    • Reply August 22, 2015


      Hey. My wife left home after 12 years together. Been just over 2 months of gut wrenching pain guilt shame and a lot of tears. Iv tried everything I can to win her back and probably pushed her further away. Starting to slowly realise that I have a life to live and there’s a world outside these 4 walls. Two steps forward & one step back but I am starting to think that I’ll get there. If you reading these comments its because your feeling like we all have. Keep your dignity and give nothing away. Good luck gents

    • Reply October 3, 2016


      You need to educate yourself on the female “cycle”. That’s why it is imperative that you actually and truly LOVE someone WITHOUT the physical intimacy that should be reserved for marriage. Being “in lust” without being “in love” is just biology.

  • Reply August 30, 2015


    This is great advice for women too. After releasing a video game addicted and sexually ambiguous male buddy to his destiny and reclaiming my singlehood, I sold everything and moved to another country. It’s only been a month, but it’s awesome: men here are more masculine. It’s healing being someplace women are valued. I’ve taken your advice, and you’re right: You do get over it. I just wish I could sleep around with everything in sight the way dudes do. It feels like a waste being prudish with all this interested heterosexual dick wanting me. Any tips on how to sleep around like a guy?

    • Reply September 9, 2015


      yeah call me

      • Reply September 21, 2015


        Lol, but it’s not the number of available interested guys that is the problem. The obstacle is as a woman I don’t have whatever circuit in me there is that makes me want to just hop on what’s standing there. I think that’s a gift God gave just to men.

        It well and truly sucketh. 🙁

        • Reply November 3, 2015


          My ex started out like a sexual superhero for the first year of our relationship. She would give me oral (preferred that I didn’t reciprocate; although I would have gladly). We would engage in sexual activities in every room of the house, in the car and anywhere else we could get some time alone. Then she went on a vacation, came home and the sex came to a screeching halt.

          I tried all sorts of different things but the sex was gone. I spent the next year and a half “waiting” for her to get her libido back and it certainly took a toll on my emotions and my everyday demeanor. When I asked her about the lack of sex she would just get defensive, give a very short excuse (not happy with body, stress at work) and then get angry if I brought it up again, saying things like “we already talked about that, I told you already what it is.”

          Well, then one day she came over and broke up with me telling me that I changed. Well, what guy wouldn’t change if his sex life was stolen from him?

          I rode it out for about a year and half with nothing more passionate than a dry handjob every couple months. I stuck around because I loved her and she ended up tearing my heart out.

          Do women fake their sexual prowess just to land a guy? Or worse, do they engage in crazy sexual adventures in the beginning just to get revenge on an ex? It sounds to me like you’re sexual interests are targeted at getting revenge on your ex in some twisted way…

        • Reply October 3, 2016


          Believe me sweetheart- that is no gift- Ask those suffering from STD’s and HIV.

  • Reply September 10, 2015


    I just lost who I thought was the love of my life after four years. I just got to college and not only do I feel hurt, I’m alone and I can’t focus on school because of her. She says she needs space but we all know what it really means… I just don’t know what to do anymore and I’m slipping into a dark hole I don’t know how to climb out of. If anyone has advice I really could use it

    • Reply September 10, 2015


      Hey Joe, I have been exactly where you are. (Broke up after 9 years) I know it won’t help immediately but it does get better. There will be a moment when you’re surprised at seeing a photo of her doesn’t break you down. There will be a moment when you meet someone new and you have the thought, “Holy shit my ex wasn’t as cool in this way and this way and this way and this new girl doesn’t do that thing I hated that my ex did…” So you will get there.

      Until then focus on yourself. Go to the gym or run everyday. Set a schedule. If classes are at different times every day create a weekly one. Monday at 530pm, Tuesday at 130pm… Working out is the single best thing you can do for yourself right now. It will help unload some of your stress and will help you feel like you have something that you’re working toward.
      Start a journal and any time you’re feeling heavy sit down and write. This isn’t a diary meant to be a great read, it’s a physical outlet for the million emotions swirling in your head that have overloaded you. When you’re feeling angry, sit down and write why you’re feeling angry. Then try to write a response to that, based on what you’ve written, write down why SHOULDN’T you be angry? Feeling alone? Write what you’re thinking about that’s making you feel that way. Then explain why you’re not alone – you have some best friends from growing up, you’re meeting new people every day, you have family you can call if you just want to have a conversation. Do this with anything that you’re feeling. I had a specific moment when I was doing this when I came to realize my negative thoughts were wrong, I can still remember it. And it’s gotten better and better ever since.

      Consider meditation. A lot of people try meditation and quiet because they can’t silence their mind. That’s not the point of meditation. The point of meditation is to sit, relax and ATTEMPT to quiet your mind. And when you realize you’ve been thinking about something for 5 minutes acknowledge it. “Holy shit, I’ve been thinking about this in the back of my mind all day.” That can help allow you to push certain things away. It’ll help you realize that your ex can’t make you feel anything – alone, betrayed, unloved. The only person who can make you feel these ways are you. And at any moment you can decide, “I’m not going to allow myself to feel unloved, because I know it’s not true. It didn’t work out with her for whatever reason – that’s all.”

      And if you’re finding everything to be overwhelming and debilitating, find a therapist you can talk to. I’ve done it. Lots of guys have done it. It can really help. And most colleges have resources you can use, just go to the health center and inquire. I promise it’ll be worth your time.

      Good luck Joe. I know it hurts and it sucks big time. It’ll get better.

      • Reply December 2, 2015


        I ve had my breakup with my gf recently

        .i ve spent 3 years of great time together..we were planning to marry after some time . lately she went home on a leave and her marriage got fixed.Post that she blocked me from everywhere. It is been a very tough time .She sits next to me in the office and there is no connection anymore. I want to talk to her but she has blocked me from everywhere..Pls suggest how can I forget her..and focus on my life

      • Reply October 3, 2016


        Dear Andrew- you make good sense- I just wish you could express yourself without the use of the vulgarities.., you have a good head on your shoulders but, please, many of us are raised to express ourselves properly and we appreciate it when others do the same. Please do not take offense- thanks!

    • Reply October 3, 2016


      Dear Joe- you are in college- there are clubs, sororities, fraternities, sports, – get out there! many girls are in college to meet THE ONE. Even so, once you GRADUATE and get a good job or career- the world will be your oyster! Believe me, folks will be breaking down your door to “set you up” with a beautiful girl who has been holding out just for you…get up, get out!

  • Reply December 30, 2015

    Wendel Toliver

    This article is quite relevant for me. My fiancee left and we were starting to build a family together with kids, house and the fence out front. It’s been a rocky road for months now but this article and several other factors have helped me exponentially. One in particular is knowing the difference between accepting and managing my emotions & letting them manage me and become overwhelming. Learning how, when & who to open up to has helped me as well. So thanks for this article because men have feelings too.

  • Reply January 1, 2016


    just stumbled into this, but what about those guys that after two weeks jump into a new relationship? My boyfriend for 15 months, whom I lived with and applied for a partner visa with, as our plan was to get married and have a family, broke up with me a month ago. Two weeks later he has a new girlfriend, and has taken her on the trip that I was supposed to go on with him and his friends. Im still in my country, and haven’t even gotten my stuff. Im totally heartbroken and cant even function but apparently he’s doing fine, or is he? some weeks before he wanted to marry me, and wanted me to just sort it out with my family (who were having difficulties copying that I would be living overseas forever), and begged me to come back to him.. How is he getting over me so quickly?

  • Reply January 16, 2016

    Joel Sliver

    Hello friends! My Name is Zamid from USA i have had a lot about DR DROS on his good work, for bringing back lost relationship but i never believe because so many spell caster scam me because of my husband who left me and three kids over a year and two months. so a good friend of mine introduce me to Dr Dros just because my condition was so bad and the responsibility in my matrimonial home was more than me. my husband left me to another woman just because i don’t have male child for him. so i email DR DROS and told him everything, he told me not to worry that my husband will come back and i will have a male child for him. he only told me to believe on him that after casting the spell my husband will come back immediately and beg for forgiveness. he real did it for me and my husband come back to me in the nest two days. i was very happy and thanks dr freedom. so, i was in this situation (April 18 2015) i told Dr Dros that i will start shearing his testimony to every one in the word if he make me to have a male child to my husband. and he also did it as am shearing this testimony to every one out dear, that am with my new bouncy baby boy. now i believe that i am the happiest woman on earth because Dr Dros restore my life in my matrimonial home you can thank him for me or email him for urgent help in any bad situation i promise you he will also help you; his email address is [email protected]. or website: http://drossuvas.weebly.comm,,,

  • Reply February 29, 2016


    I’m currently going through this quite badly. I had been with my ex for two and a half years and I had taken on her child as my own – I had just turned 22 when we got together and I met her daughter when she was just 6 months old. So in that sense, I have lost two loves. I threw myself so deep in to her life to make it work but she changed in the later 5 months of our relationship after getting on to an under-grad apprenticeship. Over time, she obviously just wanted the ‘single-student’ lifestyle and me and her daughter don’t really fit in to that. Some of the hardest things for me are the break in routine, the audacity and lack of respect/ appreciation and the crashing lows after feeling high and free. It’s quite tough learning to do things for yourself and not for somebody else. But a great thing that I can take from it is the person it has made me today, I took on incredible responsibility and pressure – and I can only feel proud of myself for that. ‘There’s nowt so queer as folk’ I guess, I think that the most important thing that any of us is to walk away with our heads held high, with NO regrets. It all comes down to strength of character and moral fibre. For anyone going through this, I wish you all the best!

  • Reply April 3, 2016


    The girl I was ready to call my live and love bumped me out of the nowhere. We both were happy the short 3 months we were really together, but i really felt that she was the one. And she told me she does so. I believed her. I believed in her. It came more then just suddenly. For no real reasons she just wanted to ‘cancel that whole thing’. Of course I begged or cried, I don’t even remember it right. And so she said that she is just not that determined if it is real love. And she would like to stay friends til she’s determined. I wrote her so many letters, dedicated her so many words. More then I thought i could speak.
    And she just tells me, that she would like to love me, to keep experiencing all these things we did. But she can’t. She got a feeling that lets her stand so insecure about her other feelings, that she just wants to quit. And so she did.
    Of course, ‘If she’s is the REAL love, it wouldn’t have happened”. And so I have to admit that I’m maybe not her real love. But she definitally was mine. And so she will ever be. I can’t look at her, can’t meet her. I can’t even get back my stuff I kept laying there all the time.
    I can’t cope imagining her being happy without me. Either alone or with an other guy. I can’t imagine someone doing all these things with her, we both used to share.
    And i don’t know how to get over this feeling. Sure this post helped me a lot of understanding what exactly is going on inside of me and what could help. But I’m not quiet sure if I want to be helped. And I’m sure that the more i forget about it, the more it hurts, because I don’t want to forget it.
    Of course I will get over it. And if it takes years, but I will. And that fact leaves me breathless. It frightens me. As it fears me that this also apllies to her – and she has chosen it.

    • Reply April 3, 2016


      I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. I went through a similar thing after a 9 year relationship, so I know how tough it is. Hang in there.

    • Reply September 2, 2016


      Best thing I read after my terrible break up also:

      “She took a long hard look at you said to herself, I’m going to try my luck somewhere else”.

      When SHE made that decision, being your friend, or any other contact for that matter, is now taken off life’s great menu of things she gets to enjoy.

      Make that realization to yourself that one person in the world does not have the authority or power over your feelings. Stand tall with that and say it every day. You have the power, and you snagged one girl you liked, you can snag another that will improve your life and not make you feel horrible.

      Hope you get back on your feet. It’s hard, but it will make you a far better person.

      Cheers man.

    • Reply October 3, 2016


      Many of us have been in your shoes sweetheart. It takes time but you WILL get there and see things in a whole new light. Let yourself turn that corner- something wonderful is waiting for you….

      • Reply December 5, 2017


        Two years later now, I am ready to call my self back on feet. I will never forget the feelings she gave me. Never forget the words she made me remember. But the one I miss is not her anymore. It’s more of the once created memories, that were so perennial.
        But now that its just memory, I know I only miss things that are gone, just like her. And I don’t mean like “gone for me” or “gone to someone else”. I still think she was the one for me, but this girl just doesn’t exist anymore.
        And now I am happy about it in some strange, inexplicable way. I still feel sad about it, just like I said two years ago. But it’s not the heartbreaking sadness anymore that’s tearing you completely apart. Its some kind of calming sadness. I think you know what I mean.

        I Haven’t been with a girl since then. Sounds strange as I say it here, but even if I felt like it would be right, she didn’t. Classic dating things I guess. Maybe a bit of worry from my side that something similar would happen. I’m not in hurry, I guess some day it will just disappear behind the face of another girl.

        Thanks 🙂

        • Reply November 12, 2018


          Wanna keep you guys updated, just in case 🙂
          Another year later now, I can say I understand my former feelings and decisions way better. I also know now why and how the whole thing is still dragging on me, until today. I can’t fix it, but I don’ treally think I need to.
          I recently had a discussion with a dear friend over how we should influence our sorrow if we could. While she was determined that moving on and putting it behind you is the best way to deal with things like that, I am still convinced that I just don’t want to lie to myself about the feelings I had and the decisions I made.
          I had a reason for all of these and the reason didn’t changed, even when the circumstances did. For me that means I want to hold on to everything I got from these experiences. Good or bad.
          I already determined to live with my decision when I made it, I can’t see myself to change that just because it didn’t work out well.

          Back to the topic. It still hurts. I see her sometimes. It’s the same feeling but now I know that “sorrow” isn’t the right description. I think of it more in analogy of an open payment, I will never receive.

  • Reply April 9, 2016


    “There’s absolutely nothing you can do to force someone to love you or to want to be with you. ” No truer words were ever spoken… Teach your children early and well. Teach them to love God first, then themselves- anything else that is meant to be, will be…

  • Reply April 10, 2016

    Tj Wolbert

    Hey fellas, I came here hoping to get some advice from some wiser and older people. Im only 20 and have lots to learn.. I just got out of a 3 year relationship. Just like you guys i thought she was the one, i joined the union carpenters to make better money to support us. I got really comfortable and basically depended on her for happiness. I got her pregnant and 6 weeks later she miscarried. 5 months down the road she starts getting really controlling to the point of having no family nor friends, this drove me insane. I had enough and went out to dinner with my mom, my girlfriend comes home and starts asking crazy questions “Did you fuck your mom?” “Hows the cunt?” this triggerd me and i pushed her off the bed and she hit her head on the end table. I went to jail for 5 days for domestic violence. I also lost my home. Its been 2 months since this happend. I know how i reactd was erong so please no negative feedback as my life has changed dramatically because 1 bad impulse decision. I cant stop thinking about her even when things are clearly over. Im going nuts

    • Reply June 13, 2016


      TJ, It hurts to lose someone, but you will recover and you have plenty of time to find someone else. I know how you feel because I went through it at your age and am going through a breakup where I was dumped for another guy after 5 years. When you’re on the wrong end of a breakup it never feels good or is easy to get over. You have to go through the process…all of it. Don’t build walls like I use to do to protect your heart because you will end up keeping the right women out and allowing the wrong ones in. I am 57 (a young 57) and my ex is 42. We just split up 3 weeks ago and after several text/phone discussions I am letting go. It’s hard. It’s never been easy to walk away from someone you loved so hard. Plus, I’m worried because I’m not young like you and my window of opportunity to find that special one may be closing. If you get nothing else from my advice take the “Don’t become bitter and build walls to protect yourself” to heart. It has kept me out of good relationships and repeating bad ones. If you become bitter and build a wall around you the good women will see it, respect that you don’t want to get hurt, and stay away. The bad ones will be out to conquer you and then break you.

  • Reply July 4, 2016


    I could not have found this article at a more perfect time, I feel lost in my current relationship and am scared of being single. After reading this I feel like I can actually follow up with the break up and remain single until I find myself again.

    • Reply September 2, 2016


      Good mind set. Hang in there. I’m in the same boat as you. The sun shines again when you take off the blinders of “love”. All the best to you going forward.

  • Reply July 25, 2016

    Rodney Stevens

    Hey guys my girlfriend broke up with me just a few days ago but honestly I saw it coming for months now when I was trying to get back she told me she needed a week to think about us however at the time I didn’t know she was with a rebound guy I was devastated we started talking back to each other and I thought we were on the mend until we got into a fight that scarred her emotionally just when things were about to go good however she hit me with the we need to talk phrase and said she lost all feelings for me and that trying to go back would not be fair because she would be pretending to love me and hurt me more I cried like a baby the hard part is we have a son together so it makes it harder

    • Reply October 3, 2016


      That’s another thing- young adults having sex before marriage- sex complicates life – it is meant to be a part of the marriage of a man and a woman- Anything else is immoral and can possibly bring another life into the relationship. My parents taught me to know a man through all four seasons before considering him as a mate . That way you know whether or not you truly like and love this person enough to explore an intimate relationship . Too many people are using Hollyweird morals as their Bible- and it doesn’t lead to anything good.
      My husband and I followed the one complete year rule before any intimacy – it was not easy and we broke up one time during that year- but we realized how much we loved each other – based on that separation. I was a virgin on my wedding night and was glad of it. We have been married 43 years, have 2 wonderful children and 8 grandchildren.
      So do what is right- not what is easy …you will have no regrets…

  • Reply September 25, 2016

    Christopher W Reed

    Wow I wish I would have found this article a few weeks ago. I had been having some really bad stress and anxiety over the last few months – and then ended up losing my very lucrative job due to it. And then not 2 weeks later she couldn’t deal with my instabilities (no one should have to honestly) and so she broke up with me. Said that she didn’t see our future the way I wanted it – and that she still loved me dearly and wanted to stay friends…
    Initially we had contact via text and FB messages – but it seemed to only prolong the hurt. I kept telling myself I wanted to know *she* was okay – never if *I* was. I didn’t matter to me. I am one of those types that pours myself into a relationship, and I’m learning that isn’t very healthy. I gave her breakup coping sites, and many of them had to do with “no contact” – and so she “no contacted” – that was over a month ago. Now, she is still on my friend’s list (my counselor advised NOT deleting her, that that was just a call for attention) but we haven’t spoken since mid August.
    A couple days ago I wrote an update on what was going on and what had happened on FB, but didn’t name names. I’m pretty sure she’s going to read it eventually, and in some sick way I’m hoping she pulls the trigger on our “friendship” as I find myself unable to let her go, and I know I need to. I’m hurt, confused, and constantly trying to figure out where it all went wrong. I know I’m an intensely self-blaming person, and unfortunately seem to be a drama junky.
    I want to KNOW I’m going to get over this. Over her. And not lose myself in the process.

    • Reply February 23, 2017


      You got to accept what happened was because you are you, and she is her… it’s like adding up all your experiences in your life, every thing that day, that year, that week, all of it, you are just you and that is what happened, and nothing can change it, so you have to find someone who accepts you for you with all your flaws, mistakes, stress, whatever…. be cool with it, take steps to see someone else, even if it is just chatting on a dating site, that’s a step… who knows, someone might catch your attention!!

  • Reply October 31, 2016

    Gmm Grey

    Hey guys!
    I’ve just read every story on this page and while some of them don’t come close to mine, a lot do! I just wanted to tell my story, because i need to vent this..

    We have been together for almost 10 years, and have been through some rough shit together. And always made it out, together. But now, about less then 2 weeks ago, she wanted us to break up. Just like that, 10 years down the drain. We have a dog together, a house and a shitload of stuff and memories…and because of whom the house actually belongs to she gets to keep the house etc..

    The first couple of days I thought I could turn this around and made a plan, i was sick to my stomach every day and even got a fever. My plan was simple, we give it a month or 2, and we both work to improve what we needed to improve and see how it goes. In the meawhile we sort our stuff etc. So that when the time comes, we can choose to really stay together or go our seperate ways..

    So far so good right? Wrong! My girlfriend, or EX-Girlfriend should I say (still not used to this) went to the phychologist she always goes to because she is recovering from depression, to ask her if she know someone for couples counseling. She got shot down on that idea (i can’t hate psycologists more that I do now) , and even shot down my plan because once she came back it was like this:
    Came home from work (she doesn’t work), she asked to sit and talk to me, she had made a list of all the costs she would need to take over for when I ‘moved out’… I was dumbstruck and wanted to know why she didn’t want to try, to fight for out relationship, to throw away everything we had built together. She didn’t really have any answers for me and even continued to blame me (solely) for many things and said some horrible stuff that she can’t even made up herself :s.

    Fast forward 1,5 weeks later and I get invited by my younger brother to go see a band to get my mind of things (these days/weeks had been hell). At the end of the evening when i went home, she sent me a message that she also went out for a fun evening and that i should’nt wait up. I walked the dog and went to bed, off course couldn’t sleep and went downstairs after a couple of hours thinking she should be home already…but no, nothing. So went to bed again and fell half asleep, when i’m almost gone i hear noise and rush downstairs to see if she was home, and there she was. Almost 6.00 in the morning. And when I asked where she had been and why she hadn’t responded to my messages, he replied; I went to a kareoke night..and knowing her asked, did you went with your sister? And she was like, nah just with other people.
    I was about to let it go because i was exhausted but i couldn’t so i asked again, how did you come up with the idea then? After a while she finally said, I found someone on tinder and went with him… i was like OK, fucking tinder! Do you want to get slashed up and thrown in a dumpster (yes slightly over reacting, but still kept my cool). She made some jokes and went to bed.

    Fast forward another 4/5 days and here we are, today asking me what my plans are etc. I said i’m going to stay with my brother for a while, and in the meantime get my shit, and our shit, our stuff and everything together and sorted out. I asked why she asked about the timeframe etc? She said because i’m going out tomorrow night and sleep at some other place…and yes she means that fucking dude from the other night, or..perhaps another one.

    My question to you guys… WHY? Why the fuck is this shit happening, she can’t even have the decency to wait till i get out of the house!?
    She really doesn’t seem like herself anymore, and I really don’t want to, but i’m beginning to hate her…HATE HER, the love of my life…we didn’t marry because I think you should not need those papers in order to stay together and love eachother, but wanted to do so, because she would have loved it. We even talked about having kids in the future.
    This is all soooo messed up, and i’m still processing it all.
    My heart is broken and it feels like it cannot be mended ever again, I know people say give it time and I’m sure I will feel better after a long while, but the thing is, can I ever trust somebody again? Can I ever trust somebody to love unconditionally…and then let them stomp my heart into nothingness again. I can’t and I know I won’t, and this makes me feel even worse.

    So this is my story, and of course there is more to it then this short version, but from where I stand, I’ve ALWAYS been there for her, always gave her the freedom to do the things she wanted and stood by her in hard times. Tried to make friends for her and tried to give her my soul. She was also there for me, and we were a team.
    This is all gone, and i feel, even though I really really want it, that we’ll never be together again.

    As i write these last few words my eyes are tearing up as I know there are people with this pain, and I sincerly hope no one will ever have to experience this, ever.

    • Reply December 4, 2016

      Gmm Grey

      I Just wanted to update you guys on how it is now.

      The feelings get better as a seek more distractions. Also I’m hanging out with a new girl just to have fun, no relationship pressure. The pain, that heart stopping pain…it’s still there sometimes, when I see certain pictures, when I feel or see certain memories..

      It still breaks my heart to see someone I loved turn so completely and do things now that I really don’t recognise as her. I still care, and also feel pity for her as she set the clock back 10years for herself.

      But in the end, it doesn’t matter. I go on with my life, and try to make the most of it.

      The positive thing about it is, I get to explore myself and my abilities again, freedom.

      • Reply December 18, 2016


        So glad to hear that, thanks for the update. A testament to the power we all have but can be hard to find sometimes.

  • Reply December 18, 2016

    Many Women Cheating More

    Most of the men are the much weaker sex when it comes to break ups since many of us men nowadays have been through this already unfortunately. And most of the women are also the Biggest Cheaters of them all since this is a known fact that many women do Cheat more in a relationship today since they have commitment issues as well.

  • Reply December 21, 2016

    Courtney Jossy

    Hi, i want to be greatful to the Almighty one, which has used Dr Kazim in changing my situation , My name is Courtney Jossy from Miami,Florida …My life is back and here is my testimony!!! After 5 months of Broken marriage, my husband left me with the kids . I felt like my life was about to end i almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time. Thanks to a spell caster called Dr. kazim website: which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, so many people were testifying that he brought their Ex lover back, restores womb,cure cancer and other sickness, he also cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. i came across one particular testimony,it was about a woman called sophie,she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, i contacted Dr kazim through his website and i explained all my problems to him, just within 24hrs my Husband came back home begging for forgiveness and now we are happily back together as one. All thanks to Dr.Kazim, he is the answer to your problems.

    Contact Dr Kazim on EMAIL :[email protected]
    WhatsApp and Call :+27603018492

  • Reply January 17, 2017


    I dated this girl for 6 months and though i knew that she was not the love of my life but still the breakup hurts very much. she left me for another guy saying she wanted to get serious and marry him. and all this came out of the blue. we were gonna meet after college ended and start living together. suddenly i hear this news on a message in the middle of night and i didn’t believe her as i thought she’s drunk. that night i could not sleep well and i was in a constant mode of denial. only after we talked on the phone the other day i came to know of it. now i have to really think of what to do.

  • Reply January 27, 2017

    Matthew Kermode

    I went through a pretty tough break up just last weekend.
    A really good friend I’ve known and secretly been in love with for a while confessed her feelings for me last Autumn and we started seeing each other.
    Unfortunately she’s married but it’s a non-existent marriage, I’ve seen it first hand. We were already talking seriously about her leaving him for me but she needed to get her thoughts lined up, especially for the children.
    Sadly her husband found out last weekend, and all I got last Sunday was a very cold and abrupt e-mail, just stopping all contact dead.
    Maybe I was naive to think it would go to plan, but I was absolutely convinced she was the one, and she even referred to me as her soulmate, which I completely agreed with … we fit so well in every way.
    I’m really struggling to get my head round it now, especially as I know what she’s gone back into. It’s a double-edged sword for me … my own pain, plus my good friend is suffering and alone in her broken marriage when she deserves so much better.
    I have no idea where to start with dealing with this, for all the different complicated components of it.

  • Reply January 29, 2017

    scott brown

    When my girlfriend and I broke up I was completely lost. A good friend of mine introduce me to a love spell caster who bring back his girlfriend. Prophet ogunu his email address ([email protected]) I thought that idea of a love spell was strange, but was willing to give it a try. When I contacted Prophet ogunu for the first time I was scared but he assured me that he only use white magic which is safe and has no side effects. I felt a little better and decided to do the return lover spell. I did not think that it would work considering my ex and her whole family dont want me to contact them again. Within 3 day after the spell is cast she showed up at my job, she said that she missed me more than she could describe. We got back together and our relationship has been better the second time. Thanks to Prophet ogunu if there is a spell caster like you in the world, the world will be a better place for everybody to live in. you can as well contact him he can help you with your problems, once again his email address ([email protected]).

  • Reply March 24, 2017


    I still expect her in my life deep in my heart, and no matter how much I am trying I am at the same spot after months.

  • Reply August 18, 2017

    Bob Jones

    I got dumped about a month ago, and every single day I can’t stop thinking about her. She and I were friends for about 3 to 4 years in high school. She came to the same university as me. We hung out often, and one day she told me she loved me. She had gotten out of a relationship a few weeks before the start of school. And I asked her if she had gotten over him. She said she didn’t care about him anymore. Then I told her about my family. My family had always expected me to have an arranged marriage after I finished school and found a job and was at a point that I could settle down in life. I told her that if we started dating, my parents couldn’t find out until I finished school. Cause I was terrified they would stop paying for my degree. Because my parents had always wanted me to get an arranged marriage I had never been in an relationship before.

    She had told me she didn’t care about how tough it was, and that she cared about me. She was my best friend, so I figured I didn’t want to live life with regrets and I took the plunge. Our relationship was pretty smooth sailing, for the first 3 months. Over winter break when I was at home, my parents had noticed that I was texting a lot and asked if I had a girlfriend. I decided to tell them the truth. And hell broke loose. They threatened to stop paying for school, and to kick me outta the house. They told me they had raised a failure. And so on so forth. It got so bad that I had to fake a break up with my now ex.

    Eventually my parents came to terms with the idea that I was dating someone but refused to support it. If I came home I wasn’t allowed to see her without some sort of fight. Once school came our relationship was doing just fine. Then our first summer came, this would be 3 months that we almost had to pretend it was long distance while living a mile away from each other. It was tough sometimes I would go hang out with her and deal with the fight at home. But we managed to get through it.

    We celebrated our anniversary, and had a great year at school. I was thrilled to be in love with my best friend. I had began to think about our future together. And was excited for it. Having struggled with depression and nearly ending my own life in high school I was glad I hadn’t. Her family had taken me in and showed me more affection than mine ever had.

    Fast forward to our second summer apart. Things were tough I was working an internship which allowed me to work from home, and with things at home I wasn’t able to get out of the house to see her. She hung out with some guy coworkers from her summer job. I trusted that she wouldn’t cheat on me. But there were times that I got jealous that she would hang out alone with a coworker (let’s call him Jake).

    I finally was able to see her one night as we were celebrating a mutual friends birthday. The night was fun and great. I got home and texted her. And she told me she had to focus on herself and what made her happy and she felt like she focused on my happiness to much. (She suffers from anxiety and depression). I understood and I love her to much to say something that sounded like I was emotionally manipulating her to stay. So I let her go. She said she still wanted to remain friends. And for a few days after she dumped me checked in on me to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid. I had told her finally to stop checking in on me and to focus on her self. And didn’t talk to her for a month, although I thought of her every day.

    About a month after, I had come to terms with our relationship ending. And thought that I could do this friends thing. Since she had been a big part of my life before we were dating. She told me she was depressed and regretted breaking up with me. I come to find out that she had flown out to the east coast to see Jake. Jake had moved to the east coast a week after we broke up. She had spent a day in the east coast touring the city with Jake. She claimed that it was because she likes to travel and rarely ever got to do it. She said that she was depressed because she had been lead on by Jake.

    I got upset and asked that i was only good enough because Jake had rejected her. And a few other things that I was upset that she broke up with me. She had answers for everything I had said. But said she wasn’t sure she was ready to get back together yet. I still care about her and I want her to be happy. So we texted and I told her she could open up to me if anything bothered her.

    A week after texting her again, she opened up. And said that she had flown to the east coast to see Jake. And that Jake had said that she was his one and loved her about a week or less after we had broken up. And that she loved Jake, although they had only known each other for 2 months. She opened about her depression and having people leave her. And I told her that anybody would be lucky to have her. She told me to tell that to Jake as a joke. Stupid caring me said ok, got his number and told him that. I called her later that night, and asked her if she ever loved me or if it was all lies. And asked if I was worth so little that she moved on in a few days. I felt and still feel so used and worthless. I asked her why I shouldn’t do anything stupid. Before finally hanging up cause I didn’t want to make her upset.

    Her mom texted me that night and talked to me about why I shouldn’t do anything dumb. And told me she understood what I was feeling, and to keep my head up. And that she would always be there for me and that she cares about me.

    I know my story sounds like it should be a movie right lol. I haven’t had a conversation with her since I called her. I know that even if she came back and said she made a mistake, I don’t think I could forget what she did. I don’t think I could forgive her and get back together. But at the same time I still care about her and I still love her. She was my first love and my best friend. When she dumped me I lost my closest friend, my love, and my only sense of family. I am about to head into my senior year at university and have no idea what to do. And how to move on. I wish I didn’t care about her and didn’t think about her, but I can’t stop. And I don’t know where to begin moving on.

    • Reply August 18, 2017


      Hey Bob, that’s an incredible story, I’m so sorry that you’re going through that. You’ve lost a lot and have been put through so much while losing it. There was life before her, there will be exciting times after. You’ll find happiness and love and an amazing new partner. But getting through it is slow and frustrating and can feel lonely sometimes. Focus on yourself, do things that make you happy and positively keep your mind active. For me exercise was essential in dealing with my anger and sadness and I can’t recommend making that an every day focus enough. I’ve been where you are, I feel for you. You’re strong, you’ve made it this far, and you’ll conquer this too.

  • Reply September 28, 2017

    katty arnorld

    great post

  • Reply October 7, 2017


    thank you for this article, it really helped. I guess sometimes I just cant help it and reminisce about the happy times when we were together. My ex and I never argued in our 10 month relationship but just broke up with me over the phone a month and a half after I went overseas to continue my tertiary education. I know my relationship duration cannot be compared to those having fall out of one after 5-10 years but it really affected me in ways i never thought possible. Its been almost 6 months after our breakup, she found a new boyfriend, is studying law in the UK, and seems to be completely fine without me. But here I am, still thinking about what went wrong, still struggling to move on and let my past with her go. I just want to feel genuinely happy again, but it just seems impossible. Ive tried everything & read so many articles. Ive been going to the gym 3/4 times weekly, always busy with studies, having a great social life (dinner with friends, skating, karaoke, clubbing in the weekends), have a lot more girl-friends but she NEVER leaves my mind no matter where I am or what I do. I just really love her so much its crazy.

  • Reply January 6, 2018


    Hi all,
    I’m a female who wanted to read about the male’s perspective of how to deal with a breakup. I wouldn’t mind some feedback from some men on here. Here’s my story in a nutshell: met a man, opened up my heart and fell in love with him despite shortcomings (he would never pay mid way into the relationship and I paid for all our dates and would cook at home at least 4 nights a week). He started staying over, my family and friends liked him. He was always somewhat of a nervous person but he seemed genuine and nice at the time (I thought the financial issue was something I could address with him). He was overly smothering at first (not allowing me to spend time with friends or to myself and just taking up all my time). I just thought he was keen and I started to make him a priority in my life too. He said he wanted a future with me, we talked of buying a home together, having a family and were happy. The only red flag prior to the one that would come later was when this guy didn’t talk to me for 10 days (sporadic texts and avoiding to see me). I was baffled wondering what happened…I had no idea that he was upset that I called him an ass and jerk in jest (in the bedroom when I was trying to make a move on him after too many glasses of wine). He would later tell me that he was upset because of my demeanour and that I reminded him of his Mother who has trouble with her drink and can be aggressive (I was baffled how that could be tied together based on the context of how it happened). I didn’t say it out of being mean at all… weird. I forgave him because I just thought it was a misunderstanding over something so trivial.

    Fast forward two months later…I did get pregnant and although we hadn’t planned it we both talked about it beforehand, we would be over the moon if it happened. It took us both by surprise but we were happy. We talked about being married before the baby arrived and we decided to buy rings (in no way did he not have free will to leave. I even asked him if he was ok with it all). He would continue to tell me he loved me and I thought it was genuine. 5 weeks later I miscarried…the grief was terrible…he didn’t know how to console me and truth be told, he didn’t even try! my brother noticed it too. That would be the red flag for my brother who started to get protective. I told my then bf that I really needed him to be there for me emotionally and I was upset that he physically wasn’t there the whole week either. He had asked me if he should come over but it was a no brainer. He avoided me for days. Most days he slept over so this was just weird and I thought maybe it was his own way of dealing…

    A week after miscarriage, he proposed (not the greatest timing considering the grief I know I was feeling and he wasn’t expressing at all). I said yes…however, the same evening he isn’t celebrating and I turn to him and say, “it’s ok if you’re not ready, you don’t have to do this if you’re not ready and there is no baby right now” ..he said no I want to… yet, he came up with a story that he had to help some other gf (one I never met) to move the next morning because she wasn’t in a good place and was leaving her husband with 4 kids). I asked him if anyone else could possibly help her or if it could wait since we just got engaged! I didn’t want to stop him because I think a man and woman should exercise free will or else resentment may build and he should know as a 34 year old man what is acceptable or not…

    He left the next morning to help her (she lived 4 hours away) and then he went to work the night shift. I would voice my concerns later that week that I felt neglected…his friends always seemed to take a priority and I never argued about it but when I miscarry his child and he goes to help some other woman in need (not to mention the moment when we should be celebrating a milestone in our relationship), something isn’t right… I waited a few days to ask him who she was since she and I never met (I didn’t think he was cheating but I felt there may have been a history with her since he had a soft spot). He dug a whole deeper and deeper and told me she didn’t know he was engaged, he won’t tell her he is until he tells his other friends first, he wouldn’t text her in front of me to say he was either and then he said she had no phone reception for a text either and that she would have 1001 questions….. i’m not a fool and that was it for me… I expect the same honesty, loyalty and trust I put into a relationship and transparency. I told him to take home his belongings from my house, take the rings (which I purchased and he only paid a fraction towards) to think about what he truly wanted. He bawled and sobbed uncontrollably the whole time when all I wanted was him to reassure me and text her to say he’s engaged (there was no conflict there, it was just to establish boundaries and his excuse was, “she’s not in a good place emotionally so i’m not going to upset her” yet he was clearly shitting on my feelings and I told him so.

    He went home and claimed the next morning that he had called his friend to tell her (i find this hard to believe). He said she agreed to how I must feel (I said tell her about the miscarriage and she might see the bigger picture! and why should you need validation from her for how I should feel?)…. I was still upset the next morning and needed space from him. His family (brother and his sister) would tell me i wasn’t wrong about his female friend and that she was a floozy who was no damsel in distress so they didn’t understand why he would go help her anyway (his family knows who she is and didn’t speak too highly of her). His brother admitted that my fiancé at the time didn’t likely tell his friend that he was engaged but he said this was an issue we would be able to sort out in person…

    2 days later I drive to his place to talk to him as cooler heads prevail. He didn’t come home and said he was still so upset about the breakup. I said it was hardly a breakup but more of a fight and our first… 4 days later I drive to his house again and he’s home.. he wasn’t expecting me but I knocked on his door and found him cooking food…he was so distraught seeing me…sheer panic…he had a panic attack x 2 and I had never seen this side of him. It was like a mental health breakdown! I’m a nurse and thought it was similar to a PTSD flashback (he had been bullied bad as a child and that is all I know of his upbringing that may contribute). He was so disturbed that he was jittery, shakey, stuttering a mile a minute (he was always a nervous person but this was a full meltdown). He wouldn’t let me hug him and he said he didn’t want to give me false hope and that we were going down a volatile path (it was our first fight!!! and pregnancy hormones are not fun to deal with let alone the loss of a baby). He said he had experienced this before (i’m not even sure what that meant and he wouldn’t elaborate). He packed up his food and he literally fled his own place…it was absurd!!!! i’ve experienced nothing like this….

    i got 3 weeks of angry texts from him sporadically to push me away. I begged and pleaded to talk it out calmly. He was dodging me at all costs…so strange for a woman who was carrying his baby and engaged to him. He put the rings in my mailbox and literally after that, i would never hear from him or see him again. A month later my friends would see him on Tinder (a man that told me he wasn’t looking for relationships just because he’s lonely but admitted to one night stands and his last relationship was a decade ago)….

    So is this typical of how men cope? men who are about to have a child with you and be married to you? I did everything for him and treated him so well. Miscarriage is hard on anyone but I don’t see this man grieving or is he looking to sleep around and start fresh because thats how certain men deal? what do you guys make of this? it’s the most bizarre and hurtful heartbreak of my life and we have all had them but nothing like this 🙁

  • Reply January 29, 2018

    Leonard Bosley

    I am 57 years old, I can tell you a break up at any age sucks. You get involved with a woman you know isn’t right. A year and a half later, its back to square one. I am not getting any younger and need to stop making relationship mistakes.

  • Reply February 15, 2018

    Alex Villeneuve

    My girlfriend just end putted an end on our 9 years relationship. I was dreaming of buyink a house with her and have a family. Now the sentimental stuff is quite something to deal with, but i’ll tell you what, dealing alone with the rent and the bills is quite something too. I’m going from a pretty causy life, to a single miserable life. It might sound selfish but I think I have more trouble dealing with that new lifestyle than with the actual breakup….

    • Reply February 15, 2018


      I don’t think it sounds bad at all – breakups cause drastic changes to our lifestyles, routines, social circles, and more. It’ll begin to even out as you go, I know how hard it is. Stay strong.

  • Reply April 20, 2018



    Thanks for this article, recently I came out of a two year relationship and have found all your advice on the site really useful.

    To give you a bit of background, I always had some nagging doubts when we were together, mostly about whether I knew if she was right for me and whether I was ready to settle down and be with her for the rest of my life (I’m 25). She met a guy she felt something for and panicked and ended our relationship. I was devastated at what I saw as a betrayal from her and a future I had sort of planned out.

    That was a few months ago. I feel like I’ve done most of the heavy lifting in terms of moving on, and I’ve dated a couple of girls since. She has now come back to me saying she feels like she made a huge mistake and wants to try again.

    I know intuitively that I should not take her back, and that I should wait for something better.

    I guess I’m just wondering how you are meant to know for certain. Am I just giving up something which was pretty great, in the hope that there’s a possibility of finding something better. I know you came out of a 9 year relationship with someone and I guess I just wondered if you ever felt certain it was the right thing for you.

    Cheers and thanks for everything you do with Primer

    • Reply April 20, 2018


      Hey J,

      I feel for you both for the difficulty of having to start over, emotionally, with your identity, and with dating. It’s tough, but for me has proven to be the most important time of growth in my life.
      I don’t think you can ever know 100%. But it sounds like your gut is telling you something about this isn’t right. And it’s telling you that if you got back with her, it would be for the wrong reasons. If that’s the case, the most important thing you can know is that you should trust that. That’s allowed to change of course, and you can make a different decision if and when it does.
      It’s hard to walk away from a situation like that, especially when they come back to you- it seems like an easy way to make all the hurt and hard work go away. But if you have your reservations then there will be a lot of hard work coming to terms with then and overcoming the issues that you see.
      I’ve thought about my ex many times over the years since we broke up, wondering if I should have done differently. But I always emerge from that moment knowing my reservations were right and that I’m glad I trusted myself.
      You’re asking the right questions. Trust yourself, it’s the only thing you can ever know for certain.

  • Reply May 23, 2018

    Jake Campbell

    Hey everyone! Love the post it unfortunately relates to me now, I was dating this amazing girl I met at University for 4 years and we had plans to move abroad and I was I was quietly going about putting plans into place to ask her to marry me it all seemed well until she asked for space which I gave her rightfully so. This went on for about 3 weeks before she was back again but when she did come back after that period she had already decided to move to Australia by herself and basically that means we are finished. I am devastated and heartbroken about it, love the post and it’s odd because it’s my first experience of this type and most of the things in the post I have thought about! Already upped my fitness training and plan on learning guitar it’s great to see and hear many other men like myself going through this because at one point it feels like just me 😊

  • Reply July 29, 2018

    Jordan Ramon

    She ended up with me 2 weeks ago, but we studied at the same university the same career, we are constantly seeing each other, this year we will both graduate. However this is the second time she ends the relationship, the difference is that I do not contacted or begged to return. Now the big problem here is that when we were dating we decided to do theses together. And she contacted me to continue working on theses. What should I do? I really love her, and want to come back with her.

  • Reply March 7, 2019

    Marco Mendoza

    Crazy, this is how I describe the last few weeks. Broke up a 10 year relationship, 1.5 months ago; it felt like I was not going to survive, my whole world was put on its knees. I have seen her twice so far; first time it was a mistake but yesterday was AMAZING because I realize why she left, I realize that I did not give her the love she wanted, did not love her how she deserves BUT I realize that it was because she did not inspire me to do so. Break ups suck, this is the hardest I have ever been put thru but at the same time it is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. It has been 1.5 months but I see the changes in me, I see clearly now….long road ahead of me but I trust the journey, I trust God, I trust on all of this… 🙂

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