The Blindsided Breakup Story

Breakup books above linked at the end of this post, some of which are affiliate links, FYI. I gain a tiny commission if any purchases are made through said links, which helps prevent me from moving back into my mom’s basement.

Listen to the audio version

I’ve been holding off on writing this for a while. It’s a sensitive topic, but that’s honestly not the main reason. You guys know I’m pretty much an open book, so if you can believe it, the reason that I didn’t want to write it, was out of respect for my ex. The person who showed me basically zero respect, I wanted to respect. Guess that’s what love does to you: makes you insane.

Before I get into the details, I want to say that this is obviously MY side of the story, and there are always two sides. I know very little about how he TRULY felt or how he’s doing now, so I want to acknowledge that. Because for all I know, he could be dealing with some serious issues and I have no idea. All I know is MY story.

Towards the end of our relationship, he was clearly being dishonest about his real feelings, but at the end of the day, he wasn’t happy and didn’t want to be with me anymore. Why? I still don’t really know, but you can’t fight someone who refuses to speak to you.

There’s a few educated guesses I could make about why he didn’t see us working out, but he never actually told me. He said “I decided we’re not right for each other long term” and when I asked why, he said he didn’t know. Perhaps he wanted to spare my feelings from the truth. But what a ghoster doesn’t realize, is that leaving you with nothing is much, much worse.

I liken it to being in solitary confinement. You’re alone in a room with a bunch of blank walls. You’re sad and confused. Someone gives you a pen. You start writing your own story on the walls. You fill in those blanks with whatever negative thoughts are in your brain. Why? Because our brains are wired for logic. We crave “closing the loop”, as they say. And when you can’t do that, it can quite literally drive you insane. The end result of you writing your own story is usually not even close to the truth. So if this has happened to you, don’t write your own story until you’ve had time and distance from it. I guess that’s what I’m doing now.

It’s been 10 months since my breakup, and I can safely say that if I had to do it all over again, there is not much I would have done differently. I’m not perfect, but I think for the most part, I handled myself maturely in that relationship, even up until and AFTER the breakup. Something I haven’t exactly excelled at in the past, so I thought that was worth mentioning.

You can do all the right things, but heartbreak doesn’t give a shit. It’ll find you. Everyone’s journey looks different, and it took me a solid 7-8 months to start feeling differently about it. So here goes nothing. I’m writing this in hopes that it helps anyone who is going through this or has gone through it. You’re not alone, trust me.

Please note I changed his name here, and anything you see in “quotes” is from my memory of the situations. Obviously I didn’t record It, but these aren’t exactly the types of conversations you forget.

We met on Hinge in May 2019. Let’s call him Steve. The first date was great; we met for drinks which turned into dinner and he asked to see me again a few days later. From then on, everything just flowed naturally and there were no glaring red flags. Nothing ever felt forced, there was no confusion or games being played. If I texted him, he texted back (within a reasonable amount of time), and he never flaked on me or bailed on plans. Ever. He seemed honest, genuine, and thoughtful. Most importantly, he had dated a ton of women before me and never settled down, so I thought to myself, he’s choosing you. And he made it clear that he was. It felt really nice and refreshing.

In hindsight, him not having a serious girlfriend before me probably should have been a bigger red flag than I made it, but I didn’t want to not give this person a chance just because he lacked relationship experience. I try to judge people based on their behaviors NOW, not their past. And nothing he did led me to believe “this person will break your heart so badly you won’t recover for a really long time”, if anything, his words and actions always aligned.

I felt like I knew him my entire life. We were comfortable around each other very quickly, we got along like best friends, and we had good chemistry. We didn’t have a ton of fights either (but we had SOME, no fighting is weird to me), so if you’re thinking we must have been one of those toxic couples who fights like crazy and can’t walk away from each other…nope. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. I felt like our relationship was based on kindness, affection, mutual respect, and trust – the things you should want in your mid-late 30’s. In my 20’s, I wanted highs, lows, and unsustainable intensity. Hard pass.

Anyway, fast forward to March 2020. I had just moved back into my apartment in Williamsburg, and I had lost all of my clients due to Covid (I’m a consultant for restaurants/brands). I was struggling a bit financially, he hated his apartment, and things had been going so well with us, we thought it might make sense to move in together. He said he had reservations about it, but I did too, so we talked about it a few times. PS – I have never lived with anyone before and I mean ANYONE – I’ve never even had a roommate in NYC, if you can believe it. But I digress.

“If you think this could be for the long haul,” I said, “why not give it a shot? You hate your apartment anyway.” I always try to lighten up the serious talks with a joke. He agreed and said we should do it, and not once did he bring it up after that conversation, at least not in a negative way. He seemed ready and happy about it.

To be fair, when we made this decision, I don’t think either of us expected that the pandemic and the work from home order would be in place for as long as it was. We really didn’t. But even with that factor, we lived together really well (in my mind). I am someone who likes my own space (again, never had a friggin roommate), and he REALLY likes his own space. I have a large one bedroom in Williamsburg, so I gave him rights to the living room basically and I worked from my bedroom. I am a very selfless person and I tend to go out of my way to make my partner happy (perhaps to a fault). But for two people who were around each other nearly 24/7, I thought we did a good job of giving each other space.

New Year’s Eve rolls around and we actually went to Key West. One of MY best friends rented a villa for the holiday and a bunch of us went down there. He didn’t even make us pay for the villa, mind you, so Steve got a free trip to Key West before he dumped me. Nice, right?

I thought we had a lovely time in Key West. He tried going scuba diving twice, but the weather wasn’t panning out, so he was disappointed about that. I hung back and read a book by the pool while he attempted that because 1- I’m not certified and 2- I don’t really care to scuba dive. I am of the belief that if you’re in a good, healthy, non-codependent relationship, you should be able to have separate interests. I bring up the scuba diving because it’s important. Trust me.

We went out for dinners and drinks with my friends, we laughed, we partied, and we rang in the new year. One of my friends even texted me and said “hopefully this is your last NYE as a non-engaged lady ;)” and I thought, wow she could be right! I don’t want to sound like a lovestruck moron, but I really thought Steve was my person. I cannot stress that enough.

Just a day or two after we got back from Key West, shit started to get a little weird. He was having what can only be described as panic attacks/mental breakdowns. Seriously. Really anxious, not sleeping, and crying for no reason. I remember these few moments very specifically:

He got out of the shower and his eyes were red. He looked like he had been crying. He walked up to me and asked, “can I have a hug?”

“Of course beb,” I said, like an idiot, “what’s wrong are you ok?”

“I just…I feel like I don’t deserve you. I’m not a good partner.”

“What are you talking about? You’re a great boyfriend I’ve told you that. You’re the best boyfriend I’ve ever had, literally.”

After some more back and forth on that, as well as some more hugs and me reassuring him that I love him and he’s doing great, he said he felt better and that was that.

Next night, same thing, but with a little extra flair. We’re laying in bed and he starts up again with the anxiety.

“I don’t know I just have a lot of negative thoughts.”


“I don’t know I just have to talk to my therapist.”

“Can you talk to ME? I’m right here. What is going on with you??”

“I don’t know. You’ve had such an awful year with work and Bobo and everything and I don’t want to leave you alone…”

“Whoa whoa whoa. What do you mean you don’t want to leave me alone? You want to end this?”

FYI: Bobo was my cat of 14 years and I had to put him down last year around Thanksgiving, 2020. It was a very sad moment for me. I also lost my uncle due to Covid in April 2020. It wasn’t the best year, to say the least.

“No, no I don’t want to be single. I don’t want to date anyone else. I don’t want to break up with you. I just have to get to Friday and talk to my therapist.”

“Please tell me if there’s something going on with me or ABOUT ME that I should know about.”

“I don’t know I’m just confused and I have doubts. You’re perfect, you’re such an amazing girlfriend. You check all of my boxes like everything I ever wanted. When I met you I literally said to myself ‘don’t fuck this one up'”

“Ok…so now you’re telling me you want to fuck this up? Where is this coming from?”

“I don’t know. I just have to talk to my therapist on Friday.”

This was Wednesday, January 6th.

Perhaps you could say this was my ONE BIG SIGN that things weren’t going well prior to the breakup, but this was also two days before the breakup. I wasn’t exactly given a chance. Yes, we had fights during the course of our relationship, but they were few and far between, and even if they were “bad”, they were always handled maturely. I never worried because to me, they were never that bad, but maybe to him they were, I don’t know. Regardless, he sounded very different and not like himself this time, so I pressed him a little. He maintained that it wasn’t about me and that I’m perfect.

First off, no one is perfect, but ultimately there was not a BONE in my body that thought he truly wanted to leave me. In my mind, I knew this man. I knew him and I loved him. And he loved me. I trusted him. He would NEVER do something crazy like that without talking to me about it in depth first. I was concerned, obviously, but in my GUT, I was like…no way. He’s just going through some shit, I said to myself, we’ll be ok, but I am definitely going to talk to him more about this tomorrow and help him figure it out. Because that’s what a relationship is.

Thursday morning. I texted a few friends and said “I’m worried about him,” and gave them the details. They asked why he’s in therapy and I told them what he told me. I won’t air THAT part of his dirty laundry on here because that feels wrong, but let’s just say when he started therapy, I asked him point blank if it had ANYTHING to do with me, and he said no. I repeat: He. Said. No. He lied to my face about it, I just didn’t know he was lying then.

As someone who has plenty of experience with therapy, I don’t think it’s something you need to discuss with your partner unless it has to do with them. You should tell them you’re IN therapy, but you don’t have to divulge every little detail. I thought I was giving him the courtesy of not prying. I would even leave the apartment and go sit somewhere for an hour or go to the gym to give him full privacy for the zoom session. Additionally, I always thought I created a safe space for him to come to me IF there was anything I should know.

Guess I was wrong.

Thursday night, January 7th: he’s out with his friends and I wanted to give him space, so I didn’t even text him. I let him come to me if he wanted to, especially after this shitshow of an emotional week. Then, he texts me. “I’m heading home soon (smiley emoji)” I ask why so early and he says he didn’t want to drink too much because of the anxiety. I said I’m making tea and asked if he wanted some. He said “yea I do! Thanks beb (kissy face emoji)”.

He came home, kissed me, laid in bed with his tea and put the TV on. I crawled in with him. We laughed while watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, said our I love you’s, and fell asleep, cuddling. Magical, isn’t it?

Friday, January 8th, 6 am. I heard stirring next to me. He sounded like he was crying and went to the bathroom. I stared up at the ceiling and felt so sad for him. Little did I know I should have felt sad for me. Because soon enough, he came back and said “I can’t do this. I have to break up with you.”

And that’s when I went into shock.

“Please don’t do this,” was all I could manage to say, over and over. Then I started crying. And this is the part that gives me the chills, still: the second he said he was leaving me, his whole appearance changed. Facial expression, body language, the tears, everything. He stopped crying and stood up from the bed in a weird, robotic motion, and just stared at the bed, not at me. He looked upset, while still somehow at peace; like he had gotten rid of some evil bug in his system (our relationship, I guess).

He wouldn’t look at me and kept saying “I know this is the right thing to do. I’m sorry. But I know this is the right thing to do. I never meant to hurt you, I’m sorry.”

Survival mode kicked in. I tried fighting for us. I was unprepared for this, but I’m half Jewish. I know how to argue.

“HOW is this the right thing?? Where is this even coming from?? We haven’t even had a fight since OCTOBER! This is not ok. Please think about this, I beg of you. I think you might be battling a bit of depression and you’re pushing me away because I’m the closest thing to you. Please we are great together – think about this. Go to your moms and I’ll go to my moms. I’ll give you some space to think. I know it’s been hard being around each other all the time but this isn’t the answer. I have had a ton of relationships and I know what a good one looks like and what a bad one looks like. This is a good relationship. I am good and you are good. Together we are GREAT. Please. I think you’re making a huge mistake. Please go to your moms and think about it, don’t end this. Please.”

“I don’t think so. I think I fell out of love. I’m very confused and I know I can’t do this while being here in this relationship.”

“This is so unfair. I’m JUST learning that you’re unhappy and you don’t even want to TRY and figure out why, together?? You just want to run?”

“I’m sorry. But I know this is the right thing to do.”

That shit again. Over and over.

I grabbed our anniversary photo off the wall and threw it on the bed in front of him. I can be dramatic when I want to be and this felt like the right time.

“We have a life together,” I said, pointing to the photo. “We live together. Please think about what you’re doing to us.”

I told him I’d take a cab to my mom’s place. He wouldn’t even drive me to my moms, even though it was on the way to his parents’ place. I thought that was crazy but again, I wanted to give him space.

He said “can you please go first? I don’t want to leave you here alone.”

I cocked my head to the side and looked at him like he was insane. “You don’t want to leave me alone for 10 minutes while I wait for an Uber, but you’re ok with walking out of my life forever? Do you hear yourself??”

After that, he left. I was still in disbelief, but I really thought he would come to his senses. He said he would go to his moms and think, so I thought ok, MAYBE I have a chance.

FUN FACT! Do you know what he ACTUALLY did?? He went home to Long Island, got his parents and his brother, came back to the apartment and started moving his shit out without even telling me. Yes. While I was in a ball on the floor at my moms house, crying so hard I was drooling on myself, he was already moving out. We didn’t even have ONE conversation yet, but he was done. I was devastated – not eating, completely despondent – yet he had the gross motor skills to drive a car and lift boxes? The only thing I had successfully lifted was a bottle of wine and a xanax chaser to the face.

I didn’t know he had done this until the next day though, because I didn’t pick up the phone once. I didn’t text. I didn’t drive to his house and beg for answers. I said NOTHING and I did NOTHING. I said to myself, you know him and he knows you. You have a great relationship. He’s gonna see that. Don’t harass him. Give him the space to miss you. He’ll come back.

My dad called him that night and convinced him to come to my apartment the next day and talk to me. MY DAD. My Dad is wonderful but we are not THAT close on these matters. My mom is like my best friend and she knows everything about my relationships, so for MY DAD to get involved, that’s serious. Shows you just how blindsided EVERYONE was in this scenario, not just me. He really fooled me and my entire family. It was fucked.

When he reached out to me, there was no love in his messages. Not a drop of emotion, not a modicum of empathy.

“Hey. Hope you are ok. Let me know your schedule tomorrow so we can talk.”

First off, two spaces between the sentences? Let me know your SCHEDULE? Periods? Why don’t you just put me out of my fucking misery and sign off with “Best, Steve.”

During that text exchange, it was already clear that he was really done. So robotic and cold, it was like talking to a stranger. I said something like “wow this is really it for you?” Amongst a few other questions, none of which he answered.

And then he sent a long text with the gist being “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this, stay at your moms for another night or two.”

At this point, I still haven’t picked up the fucking phone, barely texted, and he was treating me like I was calling him every 5 minutes and screaming at him. I somehow stayed level headed but I was annoyed, so I replied. I was firm but I wasn’t being a cunt, you know? My text was long but to sum up:

“I need to talk to you. Staying at my moms another night will not help me understand this. You are the only one who can help me understand this. Please do the right thing.”

Long story short, I convinced him to come back to the apartment and talk to me.

When he got there, we had a long-ish talk. I’ve had longer, to be honest, with people I didn’t like nearly as much but that’s neither here nor there. So I will paraphrase what I believe to be the important parts.

“I was never happy here,” he said, “I was not ready to move in when we did. I thought it was fast.” To which I asked, “why didn’t you say something then??” No answer.

He was 35 and I was 36 when we moved in. We had been dating (exclusively) for a little over a year when we moved in. At 24 or 25, I could say that’s maybe fast. At our age? I like to think you know what you want, you’ve both been around the block, and it’s not abnormal AT ALL.

“We also never discussed marriage.”

Me, flabbergasted at this one: “I asked you multiple times ‘do you see yourself marrying me one day?’ and you ALWAYS said yes. Did you want me to break out an Excel sheet and make a timeline? You know I’m not in a rush and I’ve never pressured you on this.”

“Yea I know but it’s not just that. We don’t have chemistry. And we’re too similar.”

“What?? We wouldn’t have made it past date 3 if we didn’t have chemistry. That’s a contradictory statement. We have similar interests which is a good thing.”

“I don’t know… it’s just a feeling. And also you don’t like scuba diving.”

Please hold for laughter.

“Are you…fucking high…right now??”

“I mean. I would have loved for you to be on that boat with me in Key West.”

I looked around for cameras. This had to be a prank.

“You think if I knew my relationship was on the chopping block because of fucking SCUBA DIVING I wouldn’t have strapped on a tank and jumped in?! You cannot be serious!”

Now, for those of you reading this, I’m well aware that at the end of the day, these are all excuses. But you have to see the humor in your life, right?

Then I asked if there was someone else and even ASKED to look in his phone, which I NEVER do. It was uncomfortable but I was CONVINCED there was someone else. He let me, which was shocking, but I didn’t look in WhatsApp or Instagram (rookie move). I was frazzled and not thinking clearly, what can I say?

I didn’t see anything alarming except some text exchanges with a girlfriend of his asking about apartments/parking spots near where she lives. She’s married, so I didn’t think anything was going on with them, but it just proved that this was, in fact, VERY premeditated. He had been thinking about this and talking to other people about this for a while. The only person he didn’t talk to, was me.

Then, as if on cue, he looks me in the eye and says:

“I don’t know, I just think there might be something better out there.”

I stopped laughing. I stopped crying. I went numb.

I looked at him and said, “Ok. You can fucking leave now.”

And that was the last time I ever saw him.

I can’t even begin to explain the pain I felt in that moment, but I knew it was done. I stayed at my mom’s house for 2 weeks. Barely eating, just drinking wine every night to sleep for a few hours. And lots of anti-anxiety meds. Mom occasionally force-fed me grilled cheese and matzo ball soup, which I have to thank her for, because those two things make a delightful meal.

After a couple days, I sent him one of those LONG emails that most people say you shouldn’t send. But you know what’s funny? It’s been 10 months and I stand by every single fucking thing I said in that email. I’ve actually gone back and read it. It wasn’t mean, it was just raw, honest and firm. Typically, I try to stay away from “you” statements like “you did this” and “you did that”, but by that point, I quite literally could not care less. I went on the offense in that email and I don’t regret it one bit. He deserved it.

I never expected him to reply to that email, so after a few more days of zero contact, I texted him and asked (nicely) to please meet me to get the stuff he left at my apartment, as well as chat and give me my closure conversation I was so desperately seeking. I had questions still and he knew that, so now that the dust had settled a little, I wanted answers to them. I wasn’t trying to get him back and I made that clear. I told him I wasn’t going to try and change his mind, because I have never been more convinced that someone DIDN’T want to be with me, but I still. had. questions.

He replied with a long novel about why he didn’t want to talk, how he decided we weren’t right for each other long term, how HE had been “fighting for us” for a long time, and how HE was heartbroken and needed time to heal. He promised to meet me in the future but “not now” because “he wasn’t ready.” How HE became the victim in all this, I will never understand. He didn’t have to leave without warning. He didn’t have to make it MORE painful for both of us.

I told him that you can’t fight for a relationship when only one person is doing the fighting. I had no idea there was something that required fighting in the first place. He could have respected me THAT much and given us a chance, because a relationship is TWO people. But he decided the relationship was over, and I had absolutely no say.

I told him calmly that I would give him space to heal, but that I would appreciate an opportunity to have a clear and honest discussion about what happened at some point, because clearly something was missing here. Like why he never said anything about how unhappy he was, and worse, why he let me believe that we were happy for so long? How could he have pretended SO well? He bought me a Peloton for Christmas for cryin out loud. It’s kind of disturbing. So I sent this well thought out text and turns out…

He blocked me before I could even reply. Literally, he told me he didn’t want to talk and then blocked me. On text, Instagram, Facebook, etc. He just had ZERO time for me and my thoughts and feelings.


I’m sorry but are you kidding me?? I was floored. I sent one email and had been compliant with everything he asked for. I didn’t even fight for him and he blocked me anyway. Perhaps I should have fought more, but when the man you love looks you in the eye and says “I think there’s something better out there,” you let him go and fucking find it.

I never got the “closure” I wanted, and I know there’s a school of thought that says “closure isn’t real”, but I maintain that having my questions answered would have been helpful. It would have been the kind thing to do, even if the truth would have hurt my feelings initially. I was really messed up from this and I didn’t deserve the way he ended it. It was cowardly and dishonest.

Not one drunken “I miss you” text.

Not one ounce of respect.

The opposite of love isn’t hate, my friends. It’s indifference.

I got “I hope you’re well” and “take care”.

I say that to clients and the people who do my taxes, respectively. It was absolute hell for a while there. I blinked and he was gone.

I would wake up in the middle of the night because I thought I heard him say my name. I’d reach for him and he wouldn’t be there. It was really fucking sad. I had to live in the relics of our relationship every single day, while he got a new apartment and had already mourned the relationship while he was in it. The relationship felt like one big lie and it really, really fucked with my head.

Did I dream this relationship? I’d ask myself.

I felt completely insane for months. I recounted every moment of our relationship that I could remember, looking for holes in the plotline. I found nothing.

“He bought me a Peloton for Christmas. Who buys a $3K bike for someone they don’t want to be with?”

“He bought me flowers and left a cute note next to it a week before he left. What kind of mind game is that?”

“There must have been someone else.”

“How does he not care at all how I’m doing? How can he be so heartless?”

“Was I a bad gf? I must have been horrible to him for him to end it like this.”

Remember that solitary confinement shit I mentioned earlier? That’s what it looks like.

Allow me to be clear in that I wouldn’t want him to be the ex that never goes away either. No one needs that toxic shit. But ONE drunken “I miss you” text, I would have LOVED to get. Or “hey I lost a testicle in an unfortunate scuba accident but I’d be happy to chat,” would have been great. GIVE ME FUCKING SOMETHING. It would have made me feel like “ok at least I meant something to this person and he still thinks about me in some capacity, once in a blue moon.”

But no. Nothing of the sort, not even a LinkedIn search. He erased me. It was like I never even happened.

I have never felt so unimportant and insignificant to someone that I shared a life with for almost 2 years. I know that might sound dramatic, but it’s true. It really messed with my self-esteem, which took me a long time to correct, and it’s just really unfair. He promised me that conversation and I never got it. At this point, I have a feeling I never will and thankfully, I’ve learned to accept that.

I did try though. I’m not a bitch who backs down and I go after what I want. I reached out via email twice over 7 months, but that’s it. Once in March (he replied, but gave me nothing and pulled some classic gaslighting BS) and then a few months later in July (no reply). By then, I felt a lot better and just wanted to see how he was doing, as well as hopefully get some answers. But if he wasn’t ready, I wasn’t going to push for it, and I said that. He was an important person in my life and I just wanted to squash it and put it behind me, once and for all. But again…he never replied. I never heard one word from him after that email in March.

So, after ALL that, I really am doing a lot better. I’ve accepted that this conversation will likely never happen, but I just think it’s absolutely insane that men pull shit like this because they think we, as women, can’t handle the conversation. My ex literally moved to another state to avoid the conversation (seriously he moved to Chicago).

And to anyone out there who’s dealing with this: I am so, so sorry. I feel for you. More than you know. But trust me, it really does get better. It might take a long time, but you will get there. Here’s how I got there:

Watch Ted Lasso (repeatedly), eat this pasta regularly, and invest in therapy. Cry it out to your friends, have sleepovers until you’re ready to sleep on your own again, and find LITERALLY ANYTHING that brings you joy. I actually keep a “joy journal” and write down all the little things in life that make me happy. It seems silly but it really does help quantify how much we have to be happy about. It won’t take away the pain of what happened and I’m not going to pretend it will. But the action of moving forward – taking those baby steps to feel like you again – that’s what will take away the pain.

I’ve had a lot of serious setbacks in my life but I’ve always bounced back. And I’m proud to say that I’ve done a lot of work on myself and my career in these last few months, and I’m really happy with where I am.

There’s not a day that goes by where he doesn’t cross my mind, but it doesn’t prevent me from smiling anymore. I refuse to let him take that away from me. I see who he is now, and he is not the person I thought he was. It’s sad, but you can’t force someone to do the right thing. You can only control your own actions and emotions.

And hey (insert ex here) if you’re reading this, I hope you’re doing well. Things aren’t the same without you…because they’re better. And in the future, if you don’t want an ex to write a novel about you on the internet, don’t ghost them. Take care!

UPDATE: If you are curious about the conversation I had with my ex, we had it a little over a year later. Read about that here. Hope it helps 🙂

Break Up Resources:

Feel good TV Shows and Movies (crowd-sourced from my IG) – I made a list of TV shows and movies from my followers on IG. Ted Lasso was the #1 recommendation and I’m so glad I asked this.

Attached – EXCELLENT book about attachment theory and how it affects our relationships. Cannot recommend it enough.

Breakup Bootcamp – LOVE Amy Chan and I took her actual Breakup Bootcamp in February, but I read the book first. Highly recommend.

Love Warrior – Glennon Doyle’s book was a really great read. A little Bible-y for my taste but overall, an excellent book about relationships and most importantly, loving yourself.

Angry Cooking & Catharsis – SSP (shameless self promotion) but here’s a bit about where I was in Feb 2021.

Make Progress, Make Eggs – Ok SSP again, but this was a good example of my “Joy Journal” and the baby steps as they were happening in May 2021.

How To Fix a Broken Heart – Guy Winch. I dive head first into all things media and education when I’m in pain, as you can tell. Anything that might help me see things from a different POV, and this talk helped A LOT.


  1. Reading this while starting my work day and not even caring, because Friday. Ha!

    While a very sensitive subject, this is an excellent and honest read. Though I’ve never experienced a break-up quite like this, there are definitely duplicitous elements from – for myself – The Worst Heartbreak of My Life™ circa 2012 + a well-overdue friendship breakup I had in March of this year. For my heartbreak, I thought this guy was The One through the last half of 2011 and he treated me like I was about to be The One…until February 2012 when he introduced me to his long-distance girlfriend from D.C., made out with her in front of me at Union Hall in Brooklyn, and it DESTROYED me. He acted like the previous 8 months never happened at all. (In hindsight, perhaps that’s what I get for me being 26 and him being 23? Haha.) Because we were in the same friends group with others, I had to suffer for years but finally came to peace with it…until he tried to sleep with me when I was drunk in 2017 after a friend’s birthday party, just a month after my 5 year anniversary with my current BF. (Side note: They both were friends and went to high school together! WOMP.) I *finally* started therapy a year prior in 2016 because I had struggled with so many questions after 2012, like why he never told me about this girl, why he would change the subject whenever I tried to bring it up, why did he spend half of 2011 trying to convince me we had a future, what did *I* do wrong, et al. I felt I had no closure, and I struggled for years; it was seeing a photo of them on Facebook at a friend’s apartment on a night I was already having bad anxiety that led me to finally look for a therapist.

    I never had closure directly from him in words, though after his bullshit in 2017, I cut it all off with him found out from others that he cheated on his D.C. girlfriend both consensually and *sigh* by #MeToo-ing a few women I know. I’ll never get the answers as to the whys from 2012, which I now finally accept, but his actions gave me a closure in a another sense, knowing I dodged a bullet in the end.

    I feel like I owe you a $25 copay for this comment, it was therapy, haha!

    But, again, great read, great resources, and I wish you continued healing. This. Shit. Ain’t. Easy, there’ll be bad and good days, and I think you’re doing great. <3

    • Get it out there gf! The only way to heal is to sometimes go on a rant, as I tend to do lol but yea I think you dodged a major bullet with that one!! Thank you for reading and commenting as always <3

    • OMG. I’m not usually one to post anything online but I’m so glad I came across your story. I can so relate to this. Together for over a year. It’s been 2 weeks since it happened and I’m still such a mess. He took me away for my birthday in mid December. Spent all of Christmas Day together and more, no signs. 2 weeks ago, he came over (we don’t live together), spent the whole night with me, dinner, drinks, hot tub, great conversation, intimate numerous times. 10 minutes before his Uber shows up, he said he needs a break. Needs time alone to focus on his kids and figure out his life. I begged him to cancel the Uber and stay to talk about it. But nope he left. We had one last talk on the phone a few days later because I wanted answers. He said he was sorry and never meant to hurt me, blamed the way he did it because of having some drinks. I have blocked him and deleted his contact info. Hardest thing ever. We did break up once for a few months and I gave him another chance. Feel like an idiot and so used.
      I’m so devastated but it helps to know that I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing your story.

      • Ugh this made me so sad to read!! But in the end, I know we’re all better off. These men are not men, they’re children. It’s cruel to treat someone this way and I’m sorry someone did it to you too. Hang in there <3

  2. I’m so glad you wrote about your experience and I’m sure it will help someone else. Heartbreak is so damn hard to navigate and it’s a complete mind fuck when the person you thought you knew acts in a way a stranger would. Probably even worse than a stranger.

  3. dear author of this article,

    thank you for sharing your story. that one person you hoped would benefit from reading it…that’s me. my boyfriend of 5 years blindsided me a little over a month ago now. like your ex, he gave dumb excuses AND he blamed me for the end of our relationship without so much as a whisper about his inability to communicate. we share a core friend group. i was very close with his family. i have not heard a peep from them and very few people have reached out to me. i never thought my life would get this painful but your story truly made me feel less alone. thank you. i hope your heart is healing and your life looks much brighter now.

    • I’m so sorry you had to go through this too. Also I never heard a peep from my ex’s friends or family either, and it was really heartbreaking. I was on their family Christmas card in 2020 lol and nothing. Hopefully you have your own group of friends and fam to lean on, but it stings like a bitch, I know. Keep your head up, it really will get better but unfortunately it takes time! <3

  4. Found your blog because I’m going through something similar and it’s awful. Thank you for sharing your story and putting words to an unthinkable pain from the one we allowed ourselves to be most vulnerable and available to.

    Waves from the UWS…

    • Thank you for reading and so sorry you’re going through it. It’s really the worst feeling, but keep your head up! It gets better, I promise <3 love from Williamsburg!

  5. This exact situation happened to me in January and I’m still not completely over it. He has a history of doing this with multiple women but I thought i was different. Woke up one day after living together 4 months, told me there’s nothing to work on; He doesn’t see marriage or kids and I need to move on from him. Was on dating sites 2 weeks after I moved out-…I’m 36, and feeling lost and hopeless. It’s so so hard 🙁

    • Girllll I feel you on this and I’m so sorry. It’s tough for me still too, but I cannot stress enough how much finding new joys helped me, no matter how small, as well as therapy. Hope you find your joy again soon!

  6. Hey!
    I stumbled upon this article and, even if the story wasn’t exactly like this, god it hits home. I was insanely happy in my relationship for good 2-3 years, moved across the globe for him, left a big city life, my career, family and friends. (Insert Lol here). We did differ in few fundamental things but we always respected our differences. Then just when the pandemic started he moved out. He said he couldn’t be with someone who is not Christian (I’m not religious) and just stopped talking to me for 4 months. I was then stuck in another country, as you said a crying sobbing ball on the floor, not eating and living on iced coffe and tears. I dreamt exactly as you did , that I hear him at night. Add pandemic and financial insecurity to it and you get a full on depression. He came back after those few month just to check on me – I was in a very bad state. I tried for a year to win this relationship back but was ignored and treated as an annoying roommate (insert 2nd lol here for not leaving). When I finally decided I’m done trying to prove myself the roles switched- now he wanted me to stay. But for me after being treated like that, after being told that he regrets I even came to his country etc- girl I was happy to leave. I still think about him but it’s not as hurtful as it use to be.
    We can do it !

    • Wow thank you for sharing your story!! That’s such a rollercoaster, and I’m sorry you had to go through it but I’m SO glad you came out of it on the other side. Not many people can do that, so good for you for having the strength to leave! <3

  7. This has really resonated with me. I was blindsided 7 days ago from the man I thought was the one. He never communicated how he was feeling until one day he woke up and said he wasn’t excited for our future anymore. Said he’d never cared about anyone like me. Made future plans only 2 days before. I’m so heartbroken and blindsided. He won’t give me an answer why- only that he’s not excited about our future anymore. It’s so hard to work the courage to get moving atm. Thankyou for your story

    • Ugh I’m so sorry to hear that. It’s so painful, but I promise it does get better. Unfortunately right now it’s going to suck for a while and there’s no getting around that. Hang in there, I hope you find comfort in friends/family and yourself! You’re stronger than you think. <3

  8. He sounds like a textbook avoidant – it’s blindsiding and devastating when they abandon people/relationships. They all have the same signature moves as well – the secretive planning of the breakup in isolation, the cold/robotic execution of the breakup, the businesslike contact afterwards “hey” hope you’re well” etc.
    This happened to me and I honestly thought it might kill me – I’d never experienced emotional pain as toxic, confusing or overwhelming as that before. I’m only 7 months along (we were together for 2.5 years and lived together for 1.5 years) so I’m still deep in the progressing stage but Resources that have helped me are – a great website describing in forensic detail the characteristics and behaviours of avoidants. I realised this is HIS dysfunctional emotional programming and there was NOTHING I could have done. It truly was a case of “it’s you, not me”. And it’s a pattern he is doomed to repeat until he is dead in the ground. Also the book From Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson – it’s great at describing the precise pain of being abandoned in this way and reassurance that it won’t feel like this forever.

    • Great points all around and so sorry you’re dealing with this. 🙁 I feel your pain. I was A MESS for a long time and it truly is the worst pain I’ve ever felt from a breakup. Thanks for leaving those resources! I will check them out. Keep your head up, it will get better. Just takes a while sadly.

    • I totally agree. Avoidants tend to unrealistic romantic view of how a relationship and a partner should be. It’s traumatizing to have everything going well and then one day, they’re not interested anymore. The confusion was most debilitating. Understanding Avoidant attachment style helped me feel less confused and find closure.

  9. Pingback: Episode 46: The First Breakup One ft. Dara Pollak

  10. Hello,

    I came across this page. Last week my boyfriend broke up with me- 2 days after Valentine’s Day, after he got me a card and flowers. We spoke about our future, we were together for 4 years. I thought I was going to get married and have children. I still have no answers to anything, he hasn’t had the courtesy to message to ask how I am. I listened to the audio of this article and it has helped, but it’s so cruel what he has done to me. I feel like I’m never going to get over it.

    • I’m so so sorry to hear that. Their behavior is absolutely cruel, but they don’t realize it. I promise you will feel better eventually. It’s going to suck for a while, but do everything you can to smile, laugh, and spend time with people who WOULDN’T abandon you when you’re hurt. Much love to you <3

  11. Reading your post and im crying. i feel your broken heart as its exactly how I feel. I was blindsided broken up by the same guy twice. Everyone will say how stupid I am. I met the guy via a dating app, he is 10 years older than me. I must say he is the only one that I love until now. We dated for a month, it was a great time and one day, he kept silent, when i kept texting him “{What is going on, if you lose interest, at least let me know”, the only message I received was “Im sorry, we cannot continue anymore”. I was heartbroken, cried till sleep.
    I managed to get over it and 7 months later, he texted me and said Sorry, asked for a 2nd chance. He was the only guy I gave the 2nd chance, we got together. Everything was great, I trust him, we never had any major fights or at least, I dont see any big issues between us. Suddenly, 1 day he stopped sending Morning text, he seemed cold. I knew sth went sour so I left him alone for 5 days. Yesterday, I sent him a message and asked him Why he has been silent, if sth happens, lets fix together. He replied with cold messages, and thats the moment I know im losing him. He told me Lets talk today. Right now I even dont know if we still can talk today. I clearly know im blindsided broken up again. I feel so hurtful, so shit right now…

    • Ugh so sorry you’re going through this! But at least you now know this person can’t give you what you need. It hurts but it’s a good thing to remind yourself of as you try to heal. Baby steps and lean on your friends for support. Sending love your way!

  12. Thank you so much for writing this. My ex dumped me over the phone six months ago after a 3.5 year relationship. Even a week before she broke up, she was talking about what type of dog we’d get, when we’d have kids, where we’d buy a house and what color our wedding invites would be.

    I spent the past 6 months thinking so much about what I could’ve done better and what the red flags were that I ignored. Reading your experience finally convinced me that there’s nothing I could’ve done better. I finally get some closure.

    • So sorry to hear, that’s awful. But I’m glad this post gave you some peace/closure. The old cliche is mostly true in that we have to find closure within ourselves, more often than not. Hope you feel like yourself again soon!

  13. I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to read this and know that I’m not alone. 5 months in to exactly this scenario after a decade together… I’m still in that white walled cell with layers of scribbles all over, I still can’t begin to understand. Here’s hoping.

    • I’m so sorry 🙁 it’s hell for a while, but it gets better, I promise. Take care of yourself and lean on friends/family. Sending love!

  14. A year ago I was blindsided by my boyfriend, we had been living together for 8 months and I thought everything was going fine. We had an argument (not even an argument, something silly about a video game) and he stonewalled me for 5 days (I do have a house myself and I spent that week at my place), he assured me he didn’t want to break up with me via text when I asked him and when I went to see him he told me he would have brought me my things because we were already broken up and I didn’t know. I left and never contacted him again. I don’t really know how I survived this past summer. I wanted to die, nothing made sense, I replayed all aspects of the relationship over and over and couldn’t understand or see any signs he wanted to break up (though he had a long history of short relationships before me.) Six months forward he started texting me, wished me on the holidays, not once asking how I was. On March he asked to see me to return some stuff I had left at his place and I had made it clear I didn’t want those. We meet up for coffee, he is shy and affectionate and sweet (hasn’t brought me my stuff) and hugs me and kisses me tenderly. We see each other twice, we get intimate, he ghosts me. Clearly an avoidant and the worst experience in my life. These people are mentally messed up.

  15. I’m so glad that I came across this post. I’m 25 years old and was with my girlfriend for a little over a year. She was unlike any girl I had ever met, when we first saw each other we both felt like home and it was something that we’d always talk about. I really felt like I was meeting myself and it was just such a comforting experience since the start. We had so many similarities, so many shared interests, we were even on the exact same career path. A few days before the breakup (2 months ago now) we talked so much about our commitment and how deep our love is for each other. We would be on Facetime calls with each other laughing, talking about random stories/events, and really feeling so grounded in our relationship to the point where I was so convinced that we were setting ourselves up for such an amazing future together. One day she sends me a good morning text with the heart emojis lol, I respond back with the same. Then I don’t hear from her for the rest of the day. The next message I get is “I’m sorry for not answering I just think it’s best that we don’t talk anymore” and even manages to blame ME for the entire breakup saying how I treated her so wrong which I knew immediately was a complete lie to justify the breakup in her head. After the breakup I found enjoyment in creative writing so I wrote 2 very well hand-written love letters to her where I’d be sobbing while writing because I just thought it was such a beautiful message that could really make anyone cry honestly. I really expressed my true emotions of how beautiful our relationship was and how she always made me feel. Since then I have been completely ghosted. Never heard back from her since the breakup. I’ve never felt so much pain more than this and I’ve been through so much in my life already. But I think the most inspiring thing throughout all of this is knowing that I forgive her and still choose LOVE because clearly she was at war with herself. A war that I didn’t know existed.

  16. When I say I went through an eerie replication of this three weeks ago I am not lying—minus the scuba diving and living together. It was an LDR, I don’t think either of us had met anyone as compatible for each other as we were, yes there were problems and petty arguments but nothing unsolvable. He told me he intended to come to my city in the afternoon. That night he opened a gift I’d sent him on video—right before telling me he had “negative thoughts” and needed WEEKS to think about us and tldr everything your guy said: “I don’t know,” “I’m sorry,” “I don’t want to hurt you,” not looking at me, not showing any emotion, bringing up things I never knew were an issue, everything. Down to a T.

    First two weeks I was a mess. I still am, but now I’ve rationalized the situation and feel at peace. Sad, but at peace. I tell myself that I was the fool for expecting people to have a conscience when humans have repeatedly proven that they are self-serving, uncaring, deceitful, and lying trash bags. History teaches us nothing else. The propensity humans have for destroying beautiful things over whims is perhaps our most primal, prepubescent drive.

    I’m just glad I am more evolved than that. Life happens once, and I might not be happy, but then there are greater things.

    Like flies to wanton boys indeed. Reading this was a pleasure. Hope you are doing better every day.

    • Thank you for your comment and sharing your story. I’m so sorry this happened to you as well. It really does get better eventually, but it’s the worst feeling in the moment and nothing anyone says can change it. Hang in there <3

  17. wow, never thought I would be searching for info on my situation, find your site, and read that whole thing! I feel you in all what you wrote. Had something similar to this just happen to me as well. I mean zero signs, and also just got back from a amazing vacation, filled with you are the best blah blah. No need to go into details of what went down bc we all have seen the trends, but dang it doesn’t make it any less confusing or hurtful. Sucks, although I am still in the fresh faze, 3 weeks, the hard part is going to be getting over the hope that this person will come to their senses and realize they are sabotaging things..however the reality is that most likely wont happen and accepting that is going to be a challenge but doable. I have studied attachment in college and def am a pretty secure person and that just goes to show you that doesn’t matter. Where there is drama there is trama right 🙂

    any who, thank you for writing this, I took some peace in reading this and some of the comments above. It gave me comfort knowing that my situation isn’t a one off and others have experienced the same and moved past it.

    good luck to you with whatever you are into now


    • Thank you for reading it! I know when I was going through it I was also searching the internet for answers literally anywhere. I’m glad it helped a bit, and you are def not alone! 🙂

  18. Just got broken up with about a month ago over text. She said I was an amazing boyfriend but she needed to focus on herself due to mental health issues. We were in a LDR/LTR for almost three years and were planning Christmas together and talking about gifts just days before. I already had a flight booked. Immediately after she sent the text she blocked me and said she would be taking a month to “process”. I reached out via email about a week after the breakup to let her know how much her actions harmed me and triggered issues with past trauma she was aware of, and to ask for some closure. She then proceeded to post about me on social media saying I was being unkind and petty for sending her things back to her and asking she cover the cost. She has a large following on a certain app, so to feel so publicly embarrassed hurt. I reached out again though I was not planning to to let her know how much this hurt me further and to ask her to take them down. Reading this story makes me feel really validated. I know there is not much I could have done to handle this better and that my options were already limited.

    • I’m so sorry that happened to you! People who do this don’t have a good handle on their emotions and that’s not your fault, and nothing you did made it worse. I promise you that. Take some time. One day that person will be a faint memory, I promise you that as well. <3

  19. Oh my goodness, this could literally be my story… I’d been with my partner for almost 4 years and last Sunday he dropped the “I don’t think I’m happy in this relationship” bomb. I asked (kind of half laughing in disbelief) if he wanted to break up and he answered “yeah, I’ve been thinking about it for a while”. A WHILE 🤯 but at no point wanted to involve me in discussing this enormous life decision that will require us to separate the life we’ve built together (we live together).

    The thing that really struck me about your story was the robotic nature of the actual breakup. My partner also showed zero emotion or concern for my well-being (even tried to GS a little by suggesting that my busy work schedule is the reason he hadn’t had the conversation with me) and I think that is what I’m reeling from the most. I’m just blindsided by how little someone who meant so much to me cares about me, or the lack of respect that he clearly has for me. I’ve actually seen people struggle to end Netflix subscriptions more than my ex struggled with tearing our life together apart.

    It’s obviously thrown me into a full panic of doubting every single thing about the relationship and myself… my personality (I must be awful to be with) my awareness (HOW could I not notice that this was coming?!?) and just what a nightmare human being I must be to cause someone SO MUCH RELIEF when they are finally free of me. Like you, we had a discussion about his mental health around 4 days before the break, in which we discussed getting him some professional help, and he stressed that the problem was not me, I was “his person”.

    Although I feel empty, reading your words allowed me genuinely feel for the first time since a week ago that his behaviour isn’t ok… and also helped me feel a little less alone in the confusion and pain I’m feeling. Glad you’re in a better place now xx

  20. Hi there,

    Many thanks for your article. Really, I meant it.
    It just saves me rn.
    Just experienced something out of the blue ( well, it’s never like that…)
    I am eager to read the 1 year later article.

    I feel hopeless but I went through that in the past and I remember that, yes, It will be better. Never stop hoping for the future.

    Take care!

  21. Omg, I needed to read this. I’m one week out from a devastating breakup.

    We had been together for 16 months, and time together WAS a concern, but I honestly appreciate the space and did better than he thought I was doing with his travel and schedule. He made a LOT of assumptions about my feelings or expectations. And while it was a serious relationship, I wasn’t on a timetable of any sorts. I’m 45, my kids are grown, I’ve been married, I’m financially stable and have a good job. I want peace and happiness, but he just was so scared that he wasn’t moving fast enough for me (a major issue that led to his last breakup).

    We did get into a fairly big fight in July over this, and him just getting in his head and freaking himself out. And he was like, I need some time. About 10 days later he called me up and asked me to dinner. I was going out of town, so we arranged dinner after I got back.

    It was wonderful, and we felt just as connected and we talked about his upcoming fall schedule (college football season is his busiest time), and I was like, well, we got through it last year, it’ll be fine! And he said that once he got his flight info, he’d give it to me so I could accompany him to some games. Seems like a guy who’s invested, right?

    A few weeks later we are hanging out and it’s so chill and normal. He’s asking me for advice and telling me I’m such a good listener and he’s so glad I’m here and he’s so glad for me. Affectionate, warm. Gives me his info for the games and says to let him know which ones work best with my schedule, so we can get flights booked.

    Less than a week later, we are texting while I’m at work, and all of a sudden my texts stop delivering. At first I just assumed he was out of service which is normal where he’s at. But then they never delivered. And I kind of had a sinking feeling. I looked at social media and he was missing, and I realized I had been BLOCKED AND GHOSTED by a 46 yo man who had just asked me to go on trips with him, who I had been seriously dating for 16 months.

    Blindsided, to say the least. I fought the urge to go to his house or anything crazy. But a few days after I did have my friend text him to tell him that I was left blindsided and this was a very disrespectful way to break up with someone and I deserve better than this,

    He sent him a weak reply back about how he doesn’t have the time to give me and he doesn’t know how he can make me happy, and implied I was too delicate for him to have this conversation with.

    So, I have totally left him alone. And I mean, obviously I deserve better, and obviously it’s over. But I just don’t understand why he couldn’t have talked to me about his feelings before he did this (it’s because he struggles with his emotions…I do know this).

    But it’s just so cruel. And you overthink every single interaction you ever had wondering what happened. And was it ever real? How could he just wipe me from existence so easily? Is he sitting at home sad, wondering if he should call me? Is he missing how I would text him good morning? Is he seeing his cats do something cute, and wishing he could text me a video of them because he knows I love cats as much as him?

    And really, the only thing I come back to is he was scared of being vulnerable and scared of the relationship getting deeper, and scared I would leave. And so he self sabotaged and got into his head and left me before I could leave him.

    I’ll be ok. Because I did all the emotional work after my divorce and waited awhile to date and made sure I was healthy and emotionally ready. And I didn’t lose myself during our relationship. So I’m still strong and I’ll be fine and I know who I am. And I don’t want to be with someone who is struggling to be with me. And I do hope he finds peace and figures out how to deal with his emotions, and doesn’t close himself off.

    • Wow. Thank you for sharing this. My heart goes out to you. I wish I was as clear-headed as you sound when it happened to me! It’s unfortunate to have to deal with grown men who are AFRAID of a conversation.

  22. Thank you for this! I really needed it and found it after googling “blindside breakup.” I was COMPLETELY blindsided just two weeks ago by a man who I thought I would marry. We told each other that we knew this was “it,” that I was his “one” and he was mine. I thought we could handle anything life threw our way because our love was strong and special enough that we could get through it. He told me he wanted to be with me forever and I believed him. I was horribly wrong.

    It felt EXACTLY like the way you describe your breakup – he bottled up his feelings, acted like everything was okay, was making lots of future plans with me, etc only to throw it all away over things that seemed so trivial and fixable. He said “I still love you but I can’t be with you” citing things similar to what “Steve” said. To which I, like you, wanted to scream in anger “if you had just COMMUNICATED with me about these problems, and if I had known my WHOLE RELATIONSHIP was on the line, we could have WORKED on this TOGETHER!”

    I think this is a real problem with men – they bottle things up not wanting to “burden” us with their problems. Only that ends up backfiring because everything comes out eventually and usually in the worst way possible, aka in the form of a blindside breakup. And I was SUCH a good girlfriend, cooking meals for him constantly, taking care of him when he was sick, always thinking of him when I went somewhere and asking if he needed anything, giving him SO MUCH emotional support when life got tough, and just being a shoulder to cry on. I feel so incredibly betrayed that the man I loved and bent over backwards for decided to throw everything in the trash and leave me here to rot completely out of the blue. And like you, I have been in other relationships and I KNOW this was a good one.

    I am still reeling from this and incredibly angry, but if it has taught me anything it is that I need to be absolutely sure my next partner and I are on the same page with clear and open communication. I cannot go through this again and have my heart broken because a man is unable to communicate his feelings and avoids conflict at all costs until it is too late. Couples argue and disagree, it is part of any relationship where you are spending every day with someone. Good fucking luck finding whatever you’re looking for, my dude.

    • Brilliant reply. And I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s been now 3 years for me and I can remember it like it was yesterday. I hope you heal and your ex gets broken up with just like this one day. I truly believe if someone went through this they would never do it to someone else. Much love and strength to you!

  23. Dear Dara,

    Your story is incredible. Seriously, no one could ever believe it. People would tell you “he was never in love with you to begin with” or “That was all in your head”. And that stuff will drive you crazy. How could you have been so wrong! Did I really see what I thought I saw? Was he wearing a mask the whole time and concealing his real feelings?

    As I said, no one could ever believe your story… had they not gone through it themselves! I have, little over 3 weeks ago, Jan 1st, 2024. My ex-girlfriend of 4 years pulled the same move on me. Sudden. Ruthless. Deadly. What struck me of your story, is the part where you say the following: “the second he said he was leaving me, his whole appearance changed. Facial expression, body language, the tears, everything. He stopped crying and stood up from the bed in a weird, robotic motion, and just stared at the bed, not at me. He looked upset, while still somehow at peace; like he had gotten rid of some evil bug in his system (our relationship, I guess).”

    The same thing happened to me. The clarity. The decision. Cold, cruel, without pity. The robotic motions and responses. It is like the person in front of you shut down and restarted from default settings, from the ancestral part of their brain: survival mode on.

    It is bad. I would love to tell you my story in full, if you have the patience to hear it. I think it could help you make sense of what happened. I know it has been years, so you probably found some sort of closure in your head. But deep down you know things do not add up. You just stopped caring as much that they do. So maybe, just maybe, it helps you knowing this also happened to someone else, on the other side of the planet (I am writing from Italy) in different circumstances, sure… but with the person in front of me displaying the same behavioral pattern. It is much like first there was the person you loved, then suddenly they get replaced by someone else.
    It is quite an amazing and romantic (albeit tragic) story: would love to tell it to you, give you my impressions, hear your side of it. I would also love to do as you did and write it down some time. Maybe you can give me an insight on how you decided to go public with yours.

    Let me know.

    In any case, thank you for telling your story: I really feel you understand what I went and currently am going through and I feel for you. I am sorry you had to go through it yourself, even though I know you are a much stronger and better person today than you were 3 years ago just because of this.

    If you ever wish to talk.

    Yours faithfully,


  24. Thank you so much for this post, Dara. I’m so sorry you went through this. I was recently blindsided by my ex bf of almost 2 years on Jan. 6th (eerily similar timing). We were long distance the last 6 months, and he had been visiting me for New Year’s. We had an argument on New Year’s which we’d agreed was minor, and it turned out I’d asked him something on the 2nd that upset him, but he never communicated that to me until he dumped me.

    On NYE, he said he was looking forward to spending more time this year together. We had talked on Christmas on me working to move back to the city where he is in about a year. The DAY before it happened, he said everything was fine and he still loved me the same when I asked him why he seemed distant. He dumped me over text (as he refused to answer any phone calls). After almost 2 years together! I was 100% committed to him. I seriously thought we would get married one day. He had also told me multiple times that he also felt I was the one he’d build a life with, saw us getting married. Meanwhile, he hid his true feelings from me the entire time. When he dumped me, he just said he’d been bottling up his feelings but that he’d drifted apart (even though we talked daily and saw each other more than once a month).

    I went through so many of the emotions you described, and I’m still going through it (tomorrow will be 3 weeks since it happened and we have not spoken since that day. I wish he’d wake up, regret it, message me, anything, but I know he won’t and I know I don’t deserve to grovel after him for the scraps of “still being friends” that he offered. I want to tell him all the ways he broke my heart, I want to get answers, and I want him to tell me he made the biggest mistake of his life and wants me back, all simultaneously. Reading this felt so similar to my own experience in many ways, and though it was so hard, it also felt helpful to know that I’m not alone in getting so incredibly fucked over by the person I loved the most. All I can do now is try to pick up the pieces and pray that I will never encounter something like this again.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It means more than you know. This has been one of the hardest experiences of my life, but knowing you went through something so similar and made it out stronger on the other side gives me a little hope during this incredibly tough time.

    • It’s the worst feeling. You’re going to be ok. I know you can’t trust many things right now, but trust that much. If I can come out of it, you can too. Sending love!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.