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Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

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  • Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

    Before I start, I want to again thank everyone here who has helped me through the break up process.

    The point of this post will be to share my full advice for someone young as I am only 21 and have been in a serious relationship twice now, one for 5 years and now just recently ending 1.5 years. I went through a lot of stress, confusion and anguish with these. I wanted to share what worked for me during the break ups and what didn't work for me. I'm hoping that if this post can help even one person right now it would have been worth writing.

    So here goes nothing. Oh Also I'm not sure if this belongs here so feel free to move it if necessary.

    This advice is for relationships that are 6 months plus and are monogamous and can be considered serious.

    In general I've been able to narrow what works down to 3 things. They are in no particular order. I also provide my experience as to how doing the opposite doesn't work.

    1. Immediately take space and stop all communication after its been established one of you doesn't want to be in the relationship anymore. This isn't the same as one of you having an problem and discussing it. As a guy I've learned that when a girl says its over, she's been thinking about it for while. Nothing you can say will make her change her mind. Accept that for right now she doesn't want to be with you. There are multiple threads here that offer advice on how to get your ex back or the fact that you can't. My experience is that if you take this space initially you greatly increase your chances of being able to get her back.

    On the flip side if you being to crowd your new ex and bombard her with questions it will put her off more and push her away from you. If you act desperate and beg her to come back its the same deal. Even if you want to try and be civil with your ex so that if you share friends for example you can run into each other without it causing a scene you need to leave her alone for a while. Doing anything but this will only make them begin to resent you and then you'll never have a chance at getting her back and all the good memories you had together will have you acting in a poor manner at the end overshadowing it. The best way to think about it is, you know this person intimately for at least 6 months, do you really want the last thing they remember about you to be that you're weak or desperate?

    2.Your young! As much as this girl was the love of your life and you saw a future with them, as I felt with my recent ex. There are other girls and you will find one that will bring more love and joy and happiness than your ex. Keep this in mind and #1 becomes easier.

    I can't express enough how much its like being boxed in. You feel like your never going to find another girl like her that can make you as happy. You focus on all the happy times you had together. You haven't been single in a while and its tough to even start to meet new girls. You feel like its a futile effort. But guess what, when you least expect it you'll meet someone. After both of my relationships ended the fact that I couldn't see myself with someone new or know how to go find someone new made things worse. You need to just relax and let things happen, even if your the most awkward guy you will end up finding a girl. Trust me.

    3. Keep yourself as busy as possible. Keep yourself moving, don't sit home alone and sulk.

    As someone young it sounds stupid but when it happens you don't want to do anything. If your like me and in school but don't work for other reasons, all you have is class to worry about. Even that your mind will be filled with thoughts of her. Go out with friends, watch a movie with friends, anything with a group of people will make you feel better.

    I actually just came back from a night out. I was nervous and when I first was out I was thinking about her but as soon as things got started she was out of my mind. Even writing this shes not in my mind the same way she has been. I can think about her and not be mad, or anxious, or feel sick to my stomach.

    The following is just some general advice.

    If they contact you after you hadn't contacted them it means you're now in control of how things go. If you've met someone new you can forget about your ex and how they hurt you an continue to ignore them. If you want to attempt to be civil this would be the time to say something to the effect of "I don't want you in my life anymore but theres no hard feelings" If you want to try to get back together or start a "trial" period so to speak now would be the time. I have to say with the last option be very very careful and don't give yourself up. What I mean by this is see what she is saying to you when she contacts you. Theres a difference between I miss you and I made a mistake. The first is them just saying they miss your presence that could be as a friend. If you want to try to be friends you must make sure you have absolutely no feelings for her and don't want to use the friendship to get back together immediately. If later one I'm talking a few months you both feel the rekindled spark then go for it. I wouldn't recommend jumping back into things so fast. The latter by her saying I made a mistake is her trying to do just that. As much as she might want it she hurt you and things are different. Do not go blindly back into it, she hurt you once and can do it again. Do the trial period if anything.

    I'm not sure how this will be received but I've gone through so much hurt and pain the past couple of weeks and this forum has helped me get through it. I have friends and family that were there for me but the advice on this forum is awesome. Your friends and family will always say things in your best interest so its good to have an un bias opinion, although I've seen sometimes people don't like hearing the truth and take offense to it. I can tell you I didn't like hearing that cutting communication for good is needed but as I've said since I've done it its been so much better.

    As a side note. My recent ex I wanted her back but instead of taking that space initially I bombarded her and it go to the point to where she was put off and I was frustrated and taking time was the only way. I plan on not speaking to her for a lonnng time if ever again and saying that even now sucks. If I had initiated the space at the start I know I would haven't to do this now indefinite end of communication without any chance of getting back together again.

    I wanted to write this while everything was still fresh in my mind. If its just a dumb thread that doesn't make or seem to help or give any useful advice you can also just delete it. I just wish I had heard some of these things or at least known what other people my age had done or gone through. It would have helped more at the beginning. Although the other members advice whose ages I don't know was invaluable as well. It seems as though even online unless someone explicitly says that they are a peer and not an elder the way they take advice differs.

  • #2
    Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship


    I'm currently going through a break up with my girlfriend of 5 years. I'm 22 and had a 4 year relationship prior to that.

    I can't quite explain how you have helped me right now, but you have.


    • #3
      Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

      Thank you so much for this. You really have no idea how much this has helped me!

      I can definitely agree to the part about not sitting home. I've done everything in my power to go out the last few nights (after spending a week in bed) and it has helped immensely!


      • #4
        Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

        I think your thread is "sticky" worthy, hithereperson. Perhaps the mods will accomodate.
        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!


        • #5
          Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

          I'm glad I've been able to help some people so far, even if they're not quite sure. I understand that feelings though.

          If anyone has an questions by the way feel free to ask me and I'll tell you what I did or what I'd do. Not that its the right thing but I have experience in an unfortunate matter that I'm more than willing to share.

          Even on my ex's I would never wish anyone to feel the way I had these past couple of weeks.


          • #6
            Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

            Ok I should know this.....

            What's a sticky?

            Although my friend your incredibly lucid and mature about this situation I commend you. bravo!!!!

            Now what's a sticky?
            There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.


            • #7
              Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

              I think a sticky is the threads on the very top of the Down in The Dumps section..

              I have been working on getting over a relationship as well, im about 4 weeks in the recovery, and have made some small mistakes in me contacting her, and her just destroying me back lol.. But This really has helped me, and so has foh4k, and Downtown, i been doing well, and your little write up here made things a whole lot easier as well for me, and as i can see many others! Thank you so much!


              • #8
                Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

                God this is going to be so hard...

                We had our meeting today. She says she cant be in a relationship with me anymore and I told her that we need a couple of months no contact before we can be friends.

                I put on a brave face throughout and said that I had to remove her from social networking sites for a while.

                She had tears in her eyes as we hugged and left and then I cried whilst walking away.

                I know deep down that we arent right for each other and I can have a better future with someone else eventually.

                But its this empty feeling i've got now. It feels like it would be so easy to beg to have her back because it's only been an hour, yet I miss her like mad already and I feel absolutely horrible.

                I've been here before with my previous relationship and I know how crap i'm going to start feeling. Its going to be awful...

                Its such a horrible type of pain. I've had her in my life for so long and now shes gone.

                Last time this happened, I became cold and numb and just withdrawn from everything and everyone, despite my efforts to see people and keep busy. I dont want to be like that again...


                • #9
                  Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

                  Ollyox I'm literally going through what you are. In fact I'm visiting friends that are very close to her. I woke up at 5 am and wrote an email to her saying I'm so close and I really want to see her why can't we just do it. But I didn't send it and went back to bed keeping my no contact intact. As much as I miss her and think of all the good times we had I know that this space is best deep down. Just like you do. When I feel the urge I come on here and it takes my mind off it. Do the same or find something that does that for you.

                  I can express the pain I have in my heart known that my friends just saw her but I didn't. In reality what would be the point of seeing her? I won't be able to kiss her or hold her hand or snuggle or even just hangout. It wouldn't work now of it ever would. Just stay tough I promise as time goes on it gets easier as much as it fuckig sucks and seems impossible right now.

                  In a few months youll look back and know it was good and you have a clear view on your feelings. It's just hanging in there until then.


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice for Young Adults Breaking Up from a Serious Relationship

                    Thanks man, that was brilliant.

                    As a "young adult breaking up", I sincerely agree with your advice, especially the NC part - everybody needs time to heal.