After Five Years Of Dating, My Ex Said He Just Wanted To Be Friends

There came to a point in my relationship with my ex-boyfriend where things just started heading south for us. Nothing serious happened, we were just treading water. We broke up soon after but it didn’t go quite like I thought it would.

  1. I’d thought about leaving for a long time. On more than one occasion, I thought to myself, “I can’t do this anymore.” I was becoming so frustrated with the way he was treating me and with the fact that he wasn’t making me a priority; I was upset that our relationship wasn’t progressing. We’d been a couple for five years but our connection hadn’t really deepened at all during that time.
  2. I didn’t want to give up on us. When you’re with someone for five years, you don’t just end the relationship. You try to work things out. That’s what I kept telling myself. I figured that I should stay by his side and try my best to work through it. That was the mature thing to do, right? If something is broke, you fix it.
  3. We hardly ever discussed our problems, so fixing them was kind of impossible. This is definitely not a sign of a good relationship. If I was upset about something, I kept it inside. It seemed like whenever we “fought” (i.e. discussed major issues), suddenly our relationship was on the line. I didn’t want things to end so I never spoke my piece.
  4. He broke up with me out of left field. One morning, I was still in bed but my boyfriend was getting for work. He was acting weird and I didn’t know why, but he eventually sat down on the bed next to me and told me that he wasn’t sure about us anymore. He thought it was better if we were just friends. WTF?
  5. He didn’t want to talk about it—he’d made up his mind. He was about to leave for work but for some reason, he thought that was a good time to drop this bombshell on me. I asked him if we could talk about it when he got home and he made it seem like there wasn’t anything to talk about. I told him I still thought we should talk about it and he reluctantly agreed, but I could tell he’d already made up his mind.
  6. For a little while, we acted like nothing was wrong. When he came home that night, it was like that conversation hadn’t even happened. Despite having thoughts about leaving, I didn’t want us to end, mostly because I was scared of being on my own again after so long in a relationship. Because he didn’t bring it up, I didn’t either. We acted like nothing happened and moved on with our lives.
  7. He brought it up again a week later. He made hurtful comments towards me. He told me he thought I wouldn’t be a good mother and that he thought I was lazy. I couldn’t figure out where all of it was coming from and why he seemed so hell-bent on hurting me. Again, I told him I thought we should talk about it and again, he made it seem like there was nothing to talk about. I continued having deja vu when he got home that night and acted like that morning had never happened. Sure, he was still being a bit cold towards me but he was also affectionate at times. What was going on?!
  8. At that point, I’d had it—I’d decided to bite the bullet and end things myself. Clearly things weren’t going to change. He obviously didn’t want to talk things over. He was giving me all kinds of mixed signals, so why would I stay around? I began looking for a new apartment and got myself prepared to move out.
  9. It was all pretty awkward. Because we hadn’t talked about anything, he really didn’t know I was looking for a place. It wasn’t until I’d found one that I told him I was leaving in a few weeks. When I gave him back his key after moving my stuff out, it was a bit emotional. He did seem sad, though it was clear he was far from heartbroken.
  10. Our relationship didn’t end there. Maybe it was because we’d spent so many years together, but we continued seeing each other. It was really more like a friends with benefits kind of thing and I hated it. For quite a few months, we were in this weird limbo phase. In hindsight, it was clear he was just using me for sex and companionship. I had to get away.
  11. I made a bold move… to the other side of the country. The whole process was kind of a whirlwind. I transferred to a new location with my job and within three weeks of applying, I moved. I told him a week before my first day out there. He seemed quite shocked, but honestly, what did he expect? Did he think we would just stay in limbo forever?
  12. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I needed to escape him and I did. The move was so life-changing for me. I spent time on myself. After being with my ex for five years, it felt like I was finally able to be who I was without judgment. I hurt so bad for so long, but my life turned out infinitely better than I could have ever imagined.