He broke up with me before I could move to him

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Hi Meredith,

I am writing to you because my boyfriend broke up with me. He said he fell out of love.

We've been in a long-distance relationship, different countries, for four months now, but we were together for almost one year. He is my first boyfriend; I am 25 and he is almost 28. He blamed himself for the breakup and says he is the selfish one. But I'm not sure that's it. Since I met him he's struggled with his emotions. There were days when he did not want to get out bed. Sometimes I felt overwhelmed seeing his mood swings. There were good days and very bad days.

On paper it was good. Both of our families like the other, we were able to hang out with each other's friends, and we helped each other with big projects. I am coming back to his country when the COVID restrictions are lifted for studies; that was our deal. It breaks my heart that he dropped the ball. He said "you are an awesome girlfriend," yet he broke up with me. I want to know what I did wrong, in what way I was not there for him, but he said he did not know.

I am writing to you because I want to move on, I want to enjoy my year as a student in his country, and I want to fall in love again. I want to self-reflect and learn what have I done in this relationship to contribute to the end. The niceness and the ambiguity of his answers are what make me feel angry.

– Broken up

Do you have to keep your plans when the restrictions are lifted?

It sounds like you chose to study where he lives because it would be best for the relationship. Now you can be selfish (in a good way) and think about where you really want to live. This virus has made people flexible about their plans – trips are being cancelled, study programs are being redefined. It might be possible for you to find an entirely different path to look forward to. Really, I recommend it. Why do you have to go there, of all places?

As for what you did wrong, it's not about you. He blamed himself for the breakup and says he fell out of love. In his defense, that's a difficult thing to explain. It's like ... the feeling is gone. He can't get it back. How do you put that into words? It happens, and it's hurtful, but it’s better to grieve than decode it.

Long-distance is difficult, and the past four months have not made it any easier. If you want to focus on any of the specifics of the relationship, remember he said you were a good girlfriend. This isn't about something you failed to do. Also, don't assume this is because of his moods. He made a decision and was clear about it.

It's great that you want to fall in love again. Assume it'll be with someone else, wherever you want to be.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you get specific about falling out of love?