He Broke Up With Me By Just Acting Like We Weren’t Together Anymore

I’d always taken it for granted that when the guy I’m dating wants to end things, he’ll be man enough to break up with me, but that’s not guaranteed. One guy I dated acted like we’d already broken up so he could move on faster—what a coward!

  1. It started with a step back. He started to pull back a little in our relationship, which made me worry something was wrong. But he kept reassuring me, saying that he was just really busy and stressed with work and family. I believed him. Why wouldn’t I? We’d been together for almost a year and he’d never acted shady.
  2. He went on vacation without me. Then one weekend he was away for work and I tried to stay in touch but he just went AWOL. I thought maybe he was just really busy so I backed off, but it was starting to feel like something was seriously wrong, in spite of his words to the contrary. Hmm, maybe the guy wasn’t even away for work but living it up. Ugh.
  3. I tried to keep the faith. I didn’t want to be the type of person who doubted the guy who’d been such a good boyfriend, so I forced myself to believe in him and support him through his stress. When he got back in touch after his getaway, he seemed fine. However, he said it was a good day because he was able to speak to me, which sounded a little weird—was he going to be distant in future? Weren’t we going to speak daily, like we’d been for the past year? I felt like he was giving me a hint that he wouldn’t be around consistently.
  4. Then his son contacted me. He had a son from a previous marriage, who I’d met before and spent lots of time with. He started texting me, asking me if I was okay. I thought that was weird. What did he know that I didn’t? I didn’t ask him about it, not wanting to bring a 10-year-old into the situation, and told him I was fine. But things were hitting breaking point.
  5. I chased him out of his hiding spot. I was tired of wondering what was going on and fed up with my boyfriend not replying to my texts, so I phoned him. He didn’t answer the call. This time I wasn’t going to let this go! I tried again and again until finally, he answered. WTF was up with this guy?
  6. He told me it was over. I asked him what was going on and he said I had to accept we were over and move on with my life. Wait, what? He was speaking to me like I was a dumped girlfriend who couldn’t take the hint that he didn’t want to be with me, meanwhile this was the first I was hearing of our breakup! He threw in that he was with someone else now. Gee, thanks for that, jerk. I told him to go to hell and grow some balls.
  7. I was shocked into reality. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but now his son’s texts checking in with me made sense. He obviously knew about the “breakup,” just like everyone else. I was the only one who’d been left in the dark like a fool. I could see there had been signs that something was wrong, like how distant he’d been, but I never thought he’d pull such a stunt on me.
  8. How do you know when to walk away? I really believed what he’d said about being super stressed and all that BS. I gave him a chance to tell me he wanted to end things many times. How was I supposed to know when to stop talking to this guy and start walking away? I guess I’d given him the benefit of the doubt when really I should’ve caught on that he was fading me out.
  9. Why the breakup games? I don’t get why he didn’t just tell me something was wrong. Why lead me on instead? He was clearly a coward, but it actually required greater effort on his part to string me along than if he’d just told me it was over. What an idiot.
  10. He made me out to be the stalker. What killed me the most was how dirty he played our breakup. I mean, the way he spoke to me on the phone when he finally admitted to being with someone else, it was like I was chasing him hard or that I was the crazy ex-girlfriend.
  11. Never trust a guy who speaks badly about his exes. I can just imagine how he spoke of me in a negative way to his family and friends, making me out to be crazy and making himself out to be the innocent good guy. But you know what? I didn’t care. He was the loser and people in his life would discover that eventually. But it sure showed me how shady guys can be, talking crap about their exes when they’re the jerks.
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.