I Was Going To Break Up With Him But He Did It First & Now I Want To Stay Together

Something felt off in my relationship but I wasn’t ready to break up with my boyfriend yet. I gave myself until the end of the summer to figure out what was holding me back and make my decision. Then one day, he came over and broke up with me. I was already 90 percent there in my head, so why can’t I get over him?

It wasn’t on my terms and I was caught off guard. 

It’s like tandem skydiving. It was your idea to get into the plane. You’re almost ready to jump but the floor is pulled out from under you a second before you were ready. You’ve lost the control and now you have to deal with falling 13,000 feet without those extra few seconds to wrap your head around the idea. You’re pretty sure you’ll be okay, but there’s always a small chance that you’ll come crashing down.

It felt like rejection, even though I wanted it to end too. 

You didn’t want the job, but it still sucks to hear that they’re going with another candidate. Those boots look cuter now that they’re out of stock than when you had them in your cart last week. The same goes for loss in love. You know that something wasn’t quite right, and you would have probably ended things soon. It still bruises the ego big time to hear that someone doesn’t want to be with you.

There was so much I wanted to say, but I was stumped in the moment. 

You know when you think of all the great points you should have made right after you leave a conversation? Yeah, this was kind of like that. I was totally unprepared for the conversation to happen when it did, I had nothing profound or punchy to say. I couldn’t respond. My throat closed up. It was a one-way staring contest. Spoiler: I won.

A part of me still saw a future with him. 

He was great on paper. I struggled with the chemistry and some of our life goals didn’t match up but he was a great catch. He was smart, cute and thoughtful. He had a good job and came from a great family. I knew there was something missing, but part of me still saw a pretty decent future… if I squinted really hard.

I really liked his family. 

Like I really, really liked them. They liked me too and I could see myself being a permanent fixture in their Christmas photos. Losing a long-term partner isn’t just about that one relationship ending. The loss of those ancillary relationships can be very difficult too. You may not get along as well with your next S/O’s family or friends. Starting from scratch with those relationships is exhausting.

We had a routine that I didn’t want to give up. 

I was comfortable. I had a weekend PIC, and someone to just exist next to on a boring Tuesday night. We cooked together and went for runs together. We traded music. He was the big spoon. I know it was probably for the best that we parted ways, but it turned my day-to-day upside down.

I thought I had more time to figure this out. 

My gut wasn’t giving me the spidey-sense just yet. I had more self-reflection to do, and I told myself I would make the call in a couple of months. Then, BAM—decision made for me. No more time to think. It’s over and it’s hard to come to terms with such a sudden break.

It was a shock to realize he felt the same disconnect that I did. 

Sounds self-absorbed, and it is. We all sometimes believe we’re the only ones on earth who could be feeling a certain way. It’s a little ridiculous to think that way, though. If you’re feeling distant, having doubts about your future with your partner, questioning the connection, or realizing that your values are different, why wouldn’t your partner be having similar thoughts? They are, after all, in the same relationship. Plus, your poker face isn’t that good.

We were going to move in together and now the reality of rent prices is sinking in. 

What can I say? I’m pragmatic. Real estate in NYC is more expensive by the minute and that dual-income-no-kids salary with rent split in half was looking really nice. Now, that one-bedroom with a doorman upgrade is just out of reach.

My family finally liked someone I was dating. 

When you’ve been through a few frogs, and finally find an on-paper ‘prince,’ it feels nice to have family approval. It’s daunting to have to start all over again. You have to answer all the same questions and make all the same introductions with a new guy. Who knows how the next first impression will go?

I had plans for this summer. 

He had a beach house, okay? Those are tough to come by, and we had plans to go there every weekend. Time to make some calls.

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