Devastated by a Break Up


Q. About two months ago, my boyfriend of almost a year broke up with me. He told me that usual line of wanting to stay friends because he thought I’m such a great person. When I asked why he didn’t want to stay together, he didn’t really have an answer and kind of hemmed and hawed about us not being right together. This was so surprising to me because I love him and thought he was the man I would marry (I’m almost 30). I had all sorts of fantasies about our life together, our kids, and much more. I’ve been completely devastated since the break up, have lost almost ten pounds, and feel horribly depressed. I can’t move forward because I feel so beaten up, still love him, and can’t imagine letting anyone else reject me. Most of my past breakups were mutual or just not relationships that mattered to me. This one’s different. I keep praying he’ll change his mind and come back to me. I play the song “Love Will Lead You Back” by Taylor Dayne over and over again. I’ve called him a few times just “as a friend” and he’s always nice, but just distant. What do you think I should do?

A. I’m sorry you are in so much pain. I think most people have been in your place at least once, some several times in their lives. It’s so easy to fall into a miserable rut, but don’t let that happen. Realize that just because someone we love rejects us that does not make us unlovable! In fact, it may just mean that they picked up on incompatibilities that you have yet to see. When I look back on my similar situation, I feel relieved that he broke up with me, because now I see how wrong we ultimately were for each other. I’m living the life with my husband that I was meant to live, and I cherish each day.

When feelings are not mutual, you have to have a stern talk with yourself and start pushing thoughts and fantasies about that individual from your mind. Hanging on and waiting for him to return is a big mistake. So is calling him for any reason right now. You must move on with your life believing the relationship is over and opening your heart to new prospects. You can’t approach future relationships with fear of rejection, or it may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Be confident! If you feel you need more time to grieve before dating again, then get busy with your friends, work, hobbies, anything that doesn’t remind you of your ex. Since you’ve lost ten pounds, treat yourself to some ice cream or whatever food you love. And please stop playing that song! It’s lovely, but its sentiments are not realistic in life. If you want to listen to music, switch to Bonnie Raitt’s Silver Lining CD. That’s what helped get me through my tough time. Hang in there, as time passes, your depression about him will lift, and your love life will look a lot more promising!

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Please leave a comment

  1. Ali B Says:

    What sensible advice, Bonnie. I’m way past boyfriend age but know how hard it os to accept when something’s not working. good luck to your writer and hoping she finds a new tune soon.

  2. Nicky Wells Says:

    Bonnie, you sound like the big sister I wish I’d had (I was blessed with two older brothers instead). You are so calm and reassuring. Sensible advice, as always. 🙂

  3. Jess Says:

    Looking back, I have to say that even though the break-ups I’ve gone through have sucked at the time… Now I can say each one has been the best thing that could have ever happened to me, ’cause they lead me to where I am today! 🙂

  4. Bonnie Trachtenberg Says:

    Thanks so much Ali, Nicky and Jess! And Nicky, I’ll be your surrogate big sister anytime! 🙂

  5. anneli Says:

    As always, your advice is “spot on,” Bonnie. What a perfect analysis of the situation, and good advice for recovery.

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