There’s nothing worse than being dumped when you least expect it—and I definitely didn’t expect it on the day I was supposed to be moving in with my boyfriend. If you’d told me an hour before it happened what was about to go down, I would’ve laughed hysterically for a good 20 minutes at your wild imagination. And yet, in retrospect, there were a lot of warnings…
He said all the right things but his actions were a different story.
It’s amazing to have a guy who tells you everything you want to hear, but he has to back it up with actions if you’re going to believe him. My boyfriend was so enthusiastic about us moving in together but he never actually did any of the literal heavy lifting when we were packing up our separate apartments. In fact, up until the very last week, he hadn’t lifted a finger in setting up our new place.
I pretended our relationship was as perfect as I wanted it to be.
There’s something about your first adult relationship that makes you feel like you have to make it work. That’s what adults do, right? We fell in love and were compatible in so many ways, but I can see now that I was trying to force something that was just never going to work. He simply wasn’t as invested as I was. For any relationship to work, both people have to put in the effort.
The closer the move in date got, the more distant he became.
I was so wrapped up in the move that I honestly wasn’t keyed into how he was handling the whole thing. I thought he was busy doing his share of the preparation. Ha! He was just hanging out in his unpacked apartment trying to decide when to break up with me. It’s still impressive to me that he gave it so much thought and still couldn’t come up with a better moment than right before we were supposed to pick up our damn keys.
First impressions are almost always right.
When my ex and I met, I thought he was arrogant and a bit cold. Well, ladies and gentlemen, how right I was. Looking back on it, during the last few months we were together, he was definitely more of the unattractive guy I’d met a year before, but I was too caught up in the relationship we’d built to tie it in with the version of him that I was dating.
We never talked about why it was a good idea.
You’d think that when two people make a major life decision, they’d have a discussion about why they want to do it in the first place. We didn’t. He basically just said, “Hey, what if we moved in together?” and I said, “Yeah! That makes sense,” and it just kind of went from there… until it didn’t, obviously. If we’d talked about why we wanted to, we would’ve realized that, well, we really didn’t.
Just because everyone thinks your relationship is perfect doesn’t mean it actually is.
Being besties with your in-laws seems like the dream, right? Well, in this case, it probably trapped my ex and me in a relationship that wasn’t suited to either of us. The only people who can make a judgment on the state of a relationship are the two people who are actually in it. No matter how much other people love you as a couple, you’ll always be the ones who know what’s best for the two of you.
He was never very good at working through things, which probably should’ve been a red flag.
I’ve always been really conscious about accepting people’s weaknesses and not being too judgmental about it, but this whole experience taught me that some “weaknesses” are actually just evidence of laziness and should be major red flags. Any guy who refuses to talk through issues is going to be really hard to date, especially if he’s not willing to even try.
Living together can bring up all kinds of anxieties for people.
Moving in together really tests a relationship. Dynamics change, expectations fail, and it’s actually kind of a miracle that any couples survive. For us, moving in together brought up his commitment issues and my abandonment issues—two horribly matched anxieties. Before making any big decisions with your partner, it’s probably a good idea to assess your respective fears and challenges and make sure they don’t blow things to pieces.
When something feels rushed, there’s probably a reason.
Holding yourself to certain standards just because you’re afraid of being 25 or 30 or 4o without having reached one milestone or another is the recipe for a really disappointing and unfulfilled life. Both my boyfriend and I had a lot of pressure on us to be what other people thought we should be, and for us, that meant being “very serious” by the time we were in our late twenties. Moving in was more societal coercion than anything else.
Sometimes it takes a horrible breakup to see the relationship for what it actually was.
In retrospect, it’s so obvious that he wasn’t “The One” and that our relationship was never going to have a happily ever after. But I don’t think I would’ve realized that if the breakup hadn’t been so dramatic and unexpected. In a way, deciding to move in together saved both of us, because it was what made us realize we absolutely should not be together.
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