What event divided your life into "before" and "after"?

I had a quasi-mutual break-up a little over a month ago. At first I cried when he told me he wanted a break. Then I was okay. I moved out that afternoon. Figured out my new routine and commute. I gave back the keys to his place. I told they maid service, he'd be paying now. Then, I kept super busy with friends and left the city on weekends. I thought I had it handled. I was strong enough to do everything the way I would rationally want to do it. But apparently I was either in denial or totally delaying it.

A month later, I'm can't get him out of my head - it's one of the first things I think about in the morning, constantly in the back of my mind at work, and the last thing I think about at night. We broke up because he felt like he needed to explore dating/sex/etc. more than he had at 30. He didn't want regrets. And I get it - I slept around and experimented a fair bit more than he had in college and shortly after. I felt I had been there done that. It wasn't for me. We were each others' first real relationship, but I was his first in a few other ways too. We debated an open relationship, but he confessed he actually wanted to date others. Just to see and have no regrets. I was too proud to be on a back-burner. Rational me said that wasn't the foundation for a solid future relationship. I should respect myself and move on. He cried when I came over for my last things and said he felt like he'd regret breaking up.

We share our friend group. They were my friends first, but only for a little while. We're all recent transplants to the city. And our city isn't that big. I want us all to be friends because we had great times. I don't want to be a bitch. So I told them all what happened, that it was fine, and made I point to invite him to everything we did.

It was devastating hearing stuff about his life second-hand from friends for the first time. I went from being the best friend/partner to the last in the loop. I'm not sure if I'm the one who made individual contact awkward or if it was him. I'm not sure what's normal after two years of living more or less on top of each other.

Now, I've seen him make out with someone else in a club. And I drank. I've noticed I black out more often when I go out with our friends. I've been overspending on clothing, though I've been careful not to go into debt. I'm throwing stuff away, but nothing he touched. I've been working out, which is nice, but my appetite is decreasing. Every playlists I make ends up a story about our relationship. I'm forgetting about the (small) old problems we had and keep wondering what I could have done different. I've made some of those changes now (going to bed early was a big one).

Everything else in my life is fine. Work is semi-exciting. My family is close. My friends are supportive. But I feel unable to talk to any of them about it, because it'll get back to him and I don't want to muck things up or create tension. I suck at sharing emotions anyhow. My family is supportive, but I think they just want me to be over it. They frame it as, "Well you were never an obvious match, He seemed tired for his age, etc." I tried going on a couple dates with a cute guy. It worked while I was drunk. But then I thought about my ex on the taxi ride home. On the second date, I didn't touch liquor and I was utterly uninterested. That boy would have been easy to get into bed with, but I didn't feel right about it. I tried hooking up with someone else; I couldn't wait to leave his bedroom. I feel way less sex-positive than prior to my relationship.

I think the bottom line is there's just no one to share my thoughts and awkward moments with. I'm missing the one person I've liked falling asleep next to. There is no one to be mad at when I walk water out of the shower or make the kitchen smell like burnt toast. There is no one for me to cook for or pick up treats for. There is no one to wait up for. No one waiting for me when I'm running late. I really miss the moments when he thought I wasn't looking and he did his little happy dance. Thinking about it makes my eyes well.

I only feel happy when I'm around other people (especially strangers) because I can smile, laugh, and be in the moment. I feel like my old self. I can hide behind the face I show the public world. The proud face of someone who makes rational decisions. Obvious decisions. The stubborn face that wont admit just how awful everything feels.

When I'm alone, I feel like I've put myself on the back-burner. I feel like I could have just said yes to everything, and been intimately part of his life while simmering in my angst. As it stands, I'm slowly getting burned alone.

I'm not sure what I should be fighting for. I like myself perfectly fine. I just like him too.

/r/AskReddit Thread Parent