After the summer, the relationship fell apart

Chat at 1 p.m.

Letters, please.

Also, I'm getting a lot of feedback about this latest podcast episode, so .. it's called "Leave the Light On" if you haven't listened.

Hello,

My boyfriend and I started dating around mid-March. He's 20 and I'm 19, and it's a same-sex relationship. We met through school. It was an intense relationship that slowly grew over the spring/summer. He was so kind – I almost couldn't believe my luck. it was a connection I never felt before.

Over the summer we tried our best to keep in touch, and I met up with him a few times in his hometown. We both really enjoyed these weekends and he even introduced me to his friends from home and brought me out to eat with his parents. At this point I realized that maybe I loved this kid – and I was sure he loved me too because of the way he treated me and would text/call me. We even exchanged a few love letters over the summer where we just poured out hearts out.

As the summer ended, though, something changed. He became more distant and it was like he was putting in just enough effort to keep me around. There was a lot of tension about him not reaching out. By the time the fall semester started, we talked only about once per day. He texted me insisting I come over to hang out the day I moved in to my dorm room but I didn't because I was trying to push back against his pulling away. The first few weeks of school became rough … we would hang out but only at his place and with his friends (who are constantly with him), and I noticed a serious lack of effort/respect. I asked him if he loved me and he said no ... but I admitted to loving him because that's what I felt. He was still affectionate and kissed me goodbye, cuddled, etc. etc.

He just confused me because I would get a lot of signs that he was really into me and a lot that he wasn't. I finally had enough when he cancelled our first plan to hang out alone together. I broke up with him. He was upset but didn't fight for me, so I let him go. The most painful part was the fact that he made and effort to kiss me goodbye then. I reached out once more to talk it out but he squashed it and said nasty things about how he didn't enjoy the sex anymore, thought we were never going to talk again after this semester, and that everything that happened over the summer "went too fast." I haven't reached out since, and we have not spoken once.

It's been almost two months and I'm still so hurt by the whole thing. I'm slowing moving on but don't know how to go from here. I recently stopped all social media activity where I would see him because it became too much to watch him out with friends, going on road trips, partying etc. etc. Like I never existed. He has a history of dumping guys (well, I'm the second) after the honeymoon phase ends ... and I know he struggles to communicate and commit seriously. Quite frankly, he does't need a relationship to be happy because he has a lot of friends to rely on. I don't know what to do or how to move on. Sometimes I just wanna grab him and tell him how much I care about him, and say there is so much left here for us to enjoy. Other times I just want to pretend like it didn't hurt me that much.

How do I move on?

– :/


There's this thing that sometimes happens after a breakup, where one person tries to diagnose the other. "He has a fear of commitment." "She’s pulling away because of her parents' divorce." "He only likes people who are bad for him." People think that if they figure out what's happening in an ex's brain, they'll feel better. Maybe they think that with a diagnosis, they'll be able to fix it.

Some of that positing makes sense, especially at the end of a long-term relationship. But in short-term relationships, it's not very useful. Saying that this particular man dumps partners (two, to be specific) after the honeymoon phase doesn't reveal much. There's no bad pattern here. One could also say he has detached himself from two people after figuring out he couldn't be a good partner to them. That doesn't make him a bad person.

He didn't do a good job with this breakup – the fact that you had to do it yourself is frustrating. Also, there was no need to get cruel at the end. Of course, the information you received in that last phone call is useful because now you know that there isn't anything left to enjoy. When you think about all the good times you could have with him, you're just putting his face into random fantasies. You could try putting someone else in those daydreams for healthy variety.

You could also take a lesson from him and spend more time with any friend you can find. Make a new one, if need be. Talk to one new person in a class or in a club. It helps to remember you can be busy too.

– Meredith

Readers? Any use in examining why this breakup happened?