I’m suffering from breakup remorse

Dealing with a breakup? Unrequited love? Having trouble on apps? Moving in with someone for the first time? Making a life change? What's on your mind? Send a letter to [email protected] or fill out this form.

We will chat next week.

Hi Meredith,

I'm 29 and recently single. I also graduated with my law degree and am relocating to an entirely new city. Lots of life change! I am terrified.

I ended my relationship of three years in April but I'm having a major case of dumper's remorse. I left because my ex could be vindictive, did not move on from past fights, and I always felt uneasy about bringing him around my friends. He could be quiet and aloof at times, which made for awkward group events. All that being said, he was nice when he was happy and he truly loved me. He did grand romantic gestures and was always thoughtful.

Our challenges stemmed from him blaming me for not prioritizing him or not appreciating him enough. The narrative was that the relationship was bad because of me. When I left he said I'd end up alone forever because I couldn't compromise and that I was a terrible girlfriend. I couldn't help but internalize those words, and now months later I keep thinking ... did I make the right decision? He truly loved me – maybe I should have prioritized him better or worked harder at the relationship. Should I have given it more time? I'm staring down the tunnel toward being single and 30 with a new job in a new city. I'm scared and worried I let a great guy get away.

How do I feel more confident in my decision? How do you not lose hope and avoid looking back with rose-colored glasses on an ex? All my friends and family tell me I had to end it – but I am wracked with guilt and regret.

– Dumper's Remorse


"I left because my ex could be vindictive, did not move on from past fights, and I always felt uneasy about bringing him around my friends."

Wow. It doesn't sound like this was all your fault. Also, if you were such a terrible girlfriend, why did he stick around?

You have a very full life — friends, law school, etc. – and it sounds like he wanted more attention than you could give. That means this was a bad match. Instead of accepting that, he went straight to blame. What kind of life would you have had with him, knowing that every problem would have been put on you?

Sometimes two perfectly lovely people break up because they want different things. Maybe they get along well, which makes the decision that much more difficult. In your case, there were so many problems. His romantic gestures weren't enough to make up for the bad feelings and behavior – for saying such terrible things. When you feel guilt, remember that you did everyone a favor by letting go. He wasn't happy either – and it was time.

"I'm staring down the tunnel toward being single and 30 with a new job in a new city."

What a great tunnel! This is exciting – the best kind of change. These new experiences will feel uncomfortable at times, but you get to build the life you want without having to accommodate someone who doesn't want to be there. Better to go through this on your own and seek partners who love your choices.

I know this is difficult. I know it hurts and makes you feel insecure. But remember this: the view behind you isn't great, even when you look back with rose-colored glasses. Try to focus on what's to come.

– Meredith

Readers? Pep talk time. Can you explain this remorse?