I Had Breakup Phobia And Stayed In A Dying Relationship For Months

Confession: I’d rather be broken up with than have to be the one who ends a relationship. Unfortunately, this really got me into a nasty situation once. Here’s what happened with a guy I was too afraid to lose but not crazy enough to be happy with.

  1. I was afraid of missing out on something. I had FOMO of… something. I thought that if I walked away, maybe I’d be making a mistake. And yet, I was really unhappy with this guy, so what was I hoping to achieve by staying with him?
  2. I was afraid of being alone. I’d been dating him for two years and the thought of being single again terrified me. I wasn’t sure who I was supposed to be without someone in my life. I feared silly things about being alone like not having someone to go out with. It sounds ridiculous then but it was a serious concern for me.
  3. I was a fixer. I thought I could fix the relationship I was in to make it better. The problem was that everything I wanted to fix was a trait or behavior of my partner who didn’t really want to change and thought it was really rude of me to treat him like a project. He was right, of course, but I couldn’t admit that then.
  4. I hoped things would pick up. We went through a bad stretch in our relationship that didn’t seem like it was going to come to an end. And yet, I remained hopeful. I thought maybe things would get better.  Unfortunately, I was seeing the relationship for what I hoped it could be instead of what it was.
  5. I was stuck in the past. The start of our relationship was amazing, but those days were gone. Still, I hoped they’d come back for a sequel. The danger of doing this is that I was holding out for my boyfriend to become that interesting guy I had fallen in love with. Meanwhile, he was over me and saving all his interesting personality traits for someone else.
  6. I’ve never been good with change. Seriously, I’ve always been highly afraid of things changing. I become so invested in a situation or relationship that I worry I won’t be able to handle it being a different and unknown thing. Maybe this is tied to my control issues. I felt out of control now that our relationship was slowly dying and it was so scary that I didn’t want to face it.
  7. I didn’t want him to love someone else. As much as our relationship was falling apart and there was nothing I could do to change that, I didn’t want my partner to move on. I still loved him, in spite of everything. I thought if I could just hold on, maybe we could fall back in love. The thought of him meeting and falling in love with someone else tore my heart open.
  8. I didn’t think I deserved happiness. This was a difficult truth to confront, but when I did, it was such a game-changer for my future relationships. I didn’t value myself enough to feel that I deserved to be happy with someone who actually would fight for me. That caused me to waste way too much time with the wrong guy.
  9. I was living out of fear. I thought I was living out of love because I loved him, but honestly, I was only staying with him out of fear. Fear of being single. Fear of him being happy with someone else. Fear that I’d never meet anyone else, someone better. Living out of fear meant that I denied myself the chance of happiness and love.
  10. I didn’t want to quit. I didn’t want to be the type of person who gave up on their relationship too easily, but I was the only person in the relationship who was still fighting for it! My partner already jumped ship and I was sinking alone. It would’ve been better to cut my losses and move on.
  11. I didn’t trust myself. I knew that I should’ve told him we had to talk and things weren’t working out and I wanted out, but I was afraid of what I wanted. I didn’t trust myself and my needs. I was so busy prioritizing other people’s needs that mine were still on training wheels.
  12. He had to make a move. What eventually happened was that he broke up with me and I wasn’t the master of my destiny. I was letting other people decide my fate.
  13. Enough was enough! It sickened me to realize this. I wasn’t the leader of my own life and I was putting my happiness in other people’s hands. No wonder I was so unhappy. When my boyfriend cut me loose, he did me the biggest favor ever. He gave me the chance to take charge of my own life and realize that my happiness had to come first otherwise I’d always be lost at sea, waiting for the current to take me wherever it pleased.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.