The breakup misery finally kicked in

Hi Meredith,

A few months ago, I sent a letter asking for advice on how I should respond to my grieving ex. At the time, I was completely over him (and thank you for your response; it was very helpful). But things have really changed since then. I think that after months of feeling nothing after I broke up with him, my heartbreak is just starting to kick in.

I have been feeling so overwhelmed the last few weeks and have had to leave situations to cry in the bathroom because I cannot stop thinking about how I ruined everything. Long story short, my mental health has not been stable over the last few months, and I know it was not easy on him when we were still together.

I called him to see if he was open to speaking about getting back together, and he shut me down. We dated for over two years and I can't imagine myself with anyone else. I've always been embarrassed to let myself think this kind of thing, but I believe he's the love of my life. I don't know 1) if I should even expect him to hear me out since I have gone back and forth about our relationship in the past 2) if this is the right time to do this or 3) how to cope if the break up is final.

– Grieving now

He shut down your request to get back together, which means the conversation is over. Please respect his wishes and stop lobbying for more.

You had pretty solid reasons for breaking up with this person months ago. You were feeling too tied down, too attached. You wanted an independent life, and you seemed less interested in long-distance. I'm not sure what your college schedule is like, but is it possible you're having doubts in July and August because you're home/off/bored for the summer? Is this change of heart about having more time to think about and experience your loss? Please remember that life will be different in October and November.

In my response months ago, I guessed that you might not be sad about the breakup because you'd already processed it. It's also possible that there are different stages of grief for the breaker-upper, and that you're just getting to them now. Maybe you started with relief, but now you're stuck in doubt. Maybe you'll feel regret – and then gratitude. These stages are all temporary. It's hard to know how you feel until you've truly accepted the loss.

The point is to give yourself time, and to set up your life so that you'll be OK with or without this person. That means lining up plans, friends, and distractions. For now, work on that.

– Meredith

Readers? Take 2 with advice for this LW? What are the stages of grief for the breaker-uppers?