I Didn’t Cry When I Broke Up With My Boyfriend Of 5 Years—Here’s Why

Five years is a pretty significant amount of time to invest in a relationship, but when it finally ended, I felt more relieved than sad. As it turned out, I think I made peace with our breakup long before it happened.

We both wanted the breakup to happen. We took a break for a few months and when we finally met up on our fifth year anniversary, we both knew we wanted to make the breakup a long-term thing. It was very amicable and we both explained to each other that we’d enjoyed the time apart and felt it was best to split. We briefly talked about potentially dating again in the future but the honest truth was that we hadn’t missed each other enough to warrant the relationship.

I hadn’t found him attractive in years. This is awful and I hate to admit it, but I stopped finding him attractive pretty early on in the relationship. It wasn’t that I found him ugly or anything like that, I just stopped being sexually attracted to him. I was ashamed to even admit this to myself—it seemed shallow, especially since I did truly love him. I just wasn’t physically attracted to him. I was convinced if I worked hard enough in the relationship, that initial attraction would come back eventually, but it only got worse as our relationship progressed and I started to resent his mannerisms. By the end, I was repulsed by his table manners and the way he used to touch his nose constantly. I really had to hold my tongue to stop myself from saying something nasty.

I was actually excited to be single for once. I’d never really been single. We were young when we got together and before that, I always jumped from one relationship straight into another. I missed out on going on vacation with my girlfriends since I was always away with him and I couldn’t believe the amount of time I was going to gain from not being in a relationship. I’m sure he was excited to be single too, though he was gentleman enough not to say so to my face.

I already had other guys to take my mind off the breakup. When we split for the initial few months, it seemed like lots of guy friends had heard the siren and came out of the woodwork pretty immediately. Obviously there were guys I’d thought were really, hot but never did I think they thought the same about me. As soon as they found out I was single, they made their true thoughts clear and I was loving the rush of flirting again.

I cried my tears over him two years previous. I remember that day as clearly as if it was yesterday, it was the first time I realized that even the good guys can be bad guys. We were on vacation together in Paris and my mom called to say my grandmother had just passed away. It was expected but that didn’t make it any easier. I used his phone to send my dad a text and a new message popped up from “Jennifer.” I froze reading an explicit message of all the things she wanted him to do to her and then I started frantically scrolling through his inbox. Their messages dated back to three months into our relationship. He texted her while he was with me and my family on Christmas day, he texted her an hour after I left his place, and he texted her while he was at work. I ran out of the hotel into the pouring rain, my tears and the rain mixing together like a dramatic scene from a movie. We did talk it through and he said it was only words, never actions, and he deleted her number. For me, the damage had already been done and I never really forgave him.

We tried to remain friends but he had double standards. We met through mutual friends and we’d known each other for so long it only seemed right to stay friends. But as it turned out, he wasn’t OK with me dating other people even though he was dating others too. He started to become very spiteful and hurtful and there was just too much water under the bridge for us to still be friends.

Any sadness I had quickly turned to anger. Just before our breakup, I’d just finished working in France for a year. He was never very supportive of the amazing opportunity but we did stay together. I came home four times that year and he came to visit the same number of times so we actually saw each other nearly every month. Once we broke up, he started calling and texting me at stupid o’clock in the morning, drunk and bitter. He told me he’d spent the last year getting over me. For him, when I left for France, it was already over. Pity he didn’t inform me of that while I was paying for him to come and visit me!

Time apart allowed me to realize how different our life goals were. Realistically, he wanted to settle down in our hometown, to have a conventional job we both probably hated, and to live for the weekend. He wanted to follow his favorite bands around the country and he wanted a girl who would just follow him and his plans blindly. That’s not me.

If I had stayed with him, my life would be drastically different now. I think if I had have stayed with him, I wouldn’t have had half the life experiences I’ve had. I certainly wouldn’t be working a job I love, I wouldn’t be back living in France, and I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today. Looks like things worked out for the best.

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