I don’t understand this breakup

I have been in a relationship for just over three years with the most amazing guy. We were both in our early 20s when we started dating. We have been the happiest couple for the past three years.

We would get into fights every now and then. It happened more often in the beginning of the relationship, not as much recently. About five months into the relationship, he started telling me I was "the one." Ever since, we have discussed homes, careers, kids, and marriage. Everything. He was usually the one who led those conversations.

Three months ago, we started looking for a house together. We found one we both loved, put an offer in, and had it accepted. We were supposed to close last month. We had been having some disagreements/arguments about things for the house. But nothing that I thought we wouldn't be able compromise on and get through (it was all really trivial in the long run).

He had been treating me kind of badly, and it came out at the end of May that he was upset that I wasn't letting him have a say in things for the house (which wasn't true; as I said, everything is a compromise, but this was his perception of the situation). This became a huge argument between us. I apologized the next day and told him I would make it up to him. We ended up spending the next three days together and happy. He apologized for being so nasty – but then he started to be mean again.

When I asked him about his behavior, and whether he was enjoying being mean, he said "yeah, actually I am." He has never treated me like this before. Well, flash forward another week and he decided that he was unhappy in the relationship and broke up with me. He has also been extremely unhappy with his job and hates living at home. He said he has been angry/unhappy for a while and thought that it was just his job and home life, but after a lot of thinking, he came to the realization that it was being with me, as well. I don't understand any of it. I truly don't know what happened or where things went wrong. There were never any indications that he was unhappy. We were hanging out. Going to movies. Date nights. All of the normal things we have always done. And then out of nowhere he broke up with me.

I haven't spoken to him since and he hasn't reached out either. I check on his social media a bit and see that he is now following a bunch of new girls and such. I am completely ruined and heartbroken. I have never felt such immense pain before. Does he just need time and space? Is it something I did? All I want is to be with him, and it kills me every day that I'm not. He was my person. We did everything together and shared so much together. I can't bear the thought of not being with him. I truly still believe he is the one for me. Please help. I don't know if I should move on (which seems impossible) or just sweat it out and wait for him.

– Lonely, Sad, Heartbroken in New England


I'm so sorry. This breakup sounds miserable, and it doesn't help that it involves real estate.

The first thing you should do is mute your ex on social media. Block him. Delete accounts. Whatever works for you. It's not about being petty, it's about saving yourself from seeing who he follows and what he's doing in his new single life. That information does you no good. If you continue to monitor his accounts, even every so often, you'll start inventing narratives that probably aren't true and will only mess with your head.

As for sweating it out vs. moving on, there has to be some middle step. You can't wait around for him to show up and change his mind – let's assume he won't (sorry) – but there's no reason to pressure yourself to get over this on a schedule. You're still in the early stages of grief. You're confused and sad, and you need time to process the last few months. Then you can think about what to do next.

Let's add another stage of grief to this breakup; it's the phase where you're absolutely bewildered. You can talk your way out of it – to friends, family, and a therapist. Let them help you make sense of it all. Also let them help you create a home you can be excited about. You should have a comfortable place to call your own. No compromises.

– Meredith

Readers? What do you do with yourself when you're bewildered after a breakup?