So about a year and a half ago, I dumped my girlfriend, basically with no warning. I had a bunch of issues with the relationship I just wasn't going to be able to work through, but she had no idea it was coming. It went from A hundred miles per hour to zero, like we were spending every minute besides work together and then I just slammed the brakes and more or less cut contact.
I feel like I broke her, and I feel pretty bad about it. Her Facebook went down for a bit, came back up a few months later, and besides one picture, she hasn't posted on it in a year. She used to post every few days, at least. I ran into a mutual friend of ours and he says she's still really withdrawn from it all.
The... guilt, or whatever you want to call it, has made me really apprehensive to putting myself out there with women. I don't want to do that again to someone. I've been on a few dates and slept with a couple of girls since, but I immediately detach when I think they might be feeling anything for me.
How do I fix this?
But even this much
No, wait. Tell that other poster to fuck off because breaking up with someone is not being a dick. Cheating is being a dick, manipulating is being a dick - you simply walked away.
You were honest to her and more importantly, to you. She'll move on. Don't be so arrogant as to think you have power over her, because we have ALL been heartbroken before and we have all figured out things by ourselves.
If you feel guilty and responsible, offer to be a real friend when she's ready but you were NOT the bad guy here.
You're probably gonna actually need some closure with this girl. What you've got right now is "unfinished business," a confrontation needed to happen and it never happened, and that feeling you've got in your gut right now can literally drive people crazy. It's not gonna go away until you talk to her, let her yell at you, explain why you did it that way.
The truth is, you probably did it because you were a coward, and it was easier to just cut and run rather than actually SAY whatever was on your mind. So yeah, you feel like shit right now, because you did a shitty thing, and you never faced up to it.
Talk shit out... Like with girls that I take on dates? Or do you mean I should have done that in my relationship?
Talking things out wouldn't have saved that relationship - our lack of sexual compatibility, her weight gain almost immediately after we started dating, her being way more boring day-to-day than she let on when we first started dating, my interest in a coworker... There was no fixing all of that. I shouldn't have entered the relationship in the first place, but you live and you learn.
You can't exactly fix what you've done, even after an apology the damage has already been done with your ex.
That being said, it may have been considered cold what you did but it's a part of life. There's no "nice" way to break up with someone, and everyone has their own opinion of how they'd like to be dumped until it actually happens.
Some people take it in stride and others allow themselves to spiral into depression.
My mum always told me,
when you're dating someone and not engaged or married you have no responsibility to stay with them if you don't love that person anymore and vise versa. Doesn't matter how long you've been together, doesn't matter what's going on in your life or how shitty it may be- there's only one person responsible for your happiness and that's you. Until you're married you shouldn't depend so heavily on someone "being your entire world".
All you can do, in future, is date but refuse to put labels on whether someone is your girlfriend or not until you're absolutely certain you can see being with them for years, or for the rest of your life. It makes it easier to cut ties with fickle relationships.
About two weeks after I dumped her, we did meet up. There was no screaming or crying, just someone confused and clearly unhappy. She wanted to try to piece things back together, but I was pretty resolute. It didn't feel like much in the way of closure though, because I didn't really tell her the real reasons it was over, because I thought it would hurt her more.
Well, you should pretty much never give someone an actual list of reasons. That would just be needlessly hurtful. From the way you phrased it, it sounded like you pretty much froze her out completely after leaving, but if you did actually sit down and talk about it, I'm not sure what else you can do.
It sucks to reject someone or dump someone when they haven't done anything to hurt you, it sucks to feel like you've hurt someone, so I guess the guilt is normal. The thing is, just learn the right lesson from it. It sounds like you jumped into a "serious" relationship when you didn't even like her or KNOW her all that well. Be a little more picky in the future.
A genuine connection is a rare thing, and you'll know it when you find it. Until then, keep things a bit more casual. Don't lead them on, make promises you won't keep, or call them your "girlfriend" when you don't really feel that way
At the end of the day, the talk we had lasted all of 5 minutes at a Starbucks. We weren't even there long enough for me to finish my coffee - I left with it. (Ironically, we did this across the street from where we had our first date, but eh.)
I guess going forward it's hard for me to figure out how long is long enough - we got to know each other over OKCupid, in these long, sweeping messages, and when we met up, the chemistry seemed to continue. It wasn't long before we decided to just go ahead and make it official, so within a month of our first message, we were a couple.
I guess one of the things that made me really rethink everything was when my coworker slipped into my mind while she and I were making out, and about 45 minutes later she told me she loved me. Immediately, I stared up into the darkness of my room's ceiling and went "well shit."