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Doesn't want to break up

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  April 24, 2009 09:00 AM

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Yesterday's multimedia Celtics advice was much fun -- but now it's time to get back to basics. This person doesn't want to break up. Because breaking up is hard to do.

Q: My girlfriend of two years broke up with me upon our return from a week long vacation. I'm 27 and she is 22 and about to graduate college. She used the line, "I love you but I’m not in love with you anymore."

It really hit me hard because I had no inclination that something like this would happen. We both have admitted that our vacation was great but she says that she came to a realization while we were away that we were best friends. I personally feel that she is so busy and has so much going on in her life right now with graduation, what she is doing next year, where she is living, that she panicked and for whatever reason decided that I was the expendable part in her life. There was no reason or example given which I really wish I had. She gave me the story of how I’m a great guy, I treated her like a like a princess and that’s all a girl can ever ask for. I recently received a promotion at work and have to travel 2-4 days/week. We have both admitted that this changed the dynamic of our "everyday" relationship. We are both very mature and she would never tell me not to pursue my career seeing as we are both so young.

What I struggle with most is how complete I thought our relationship was. I was very close with her family, her brothers who are my age and her parents. We had a very open relationship where we discussed everything and trust was never and issue. The first time that we didn't have a conversation about a topic was when she decided that we were better off as best friends, that she reached the decision and didn’t want to be convinced of it otherwise. I'm really torn because I told her that I wouldn't be able to be friends because my head and heart was still very much into the relationship. I feel like she gave up on our relationship too easily and has yet to realize just how great our relationship was. As much as it hurts do I just let her walk away? My heart says no but my head says I need move on and if it’s meant to be it will be.

Please....I need advice!

-- Dave, Boston


A: Hearts and heads. It would be nice if they could just get along.

Dave, I believe that your (ex)girlfriend cares about you. I believe that you’re both mature. I believe that love and maturity fueled her decision to end the romantic relationship.

She's undercooked when it comes to life experience. You’re busy, traveling, and pushing 30. Your relationship was about as complete as it could have been – but the timing stinks.

What also stinks is that you have no control over the situation. This wasn’t a choice you made together. Break-ups are even harder to get over when they’re up to someone else. You pretty much have to let her walk away – she hasn’t given you any other option.

I don’t think she sees you as “expendable.” She just sees herself as 22.

You’ve told her you don’t want her to go. You’ve told her you love her. You’ve done your part. Now all you can do is take care of your heart. Hang out with friends. Try to have fun on these trips. Prioritize yourself (meaning, if a friendship with her feels bad, don’t do it).

And maybe try schmoozing with some 27-year-olds. It might feel good.

Readers? Help Dave’s heart. Share your advice here. Submit a letter to the right.

-- Meredith


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101 comments so far...
  1. Dave, You sound like a nice guy, I hope you find someone to share your life with. In the meantime, your ex told you all those nice things because she doesn't want to hurt you because she loves you -- but that doesn't mean she wants to be with you and you need to take her at her word. Wish her well in life and move on. They are not indications that she doesn't know what she's doing or that she finds you expendable. She has been with you since she was 19 and now she's about to leave the nest of college life and embark on a new adventure and she wants to do that solo. If you are meant to be, you will find your way back to each other someday but for now you need to assume that it's just over.

    Posted by move on April 24, 09 09:33 AM
  1. Dude, Meredith's analysis is spot-on: your ex really doesn't want to shred your ego, but your ex also knows she's 22 and wants to go party like other young 20-somethings do. (You were 22. Recall those days.) She's acting in her best interests, and you can't blame her for that.

    As for your life-- you're 27. You'll quickly find that is the ideal age for a man to be single, because you can date anyone from early 20s to early 30s. Most of the early 20s chicks aren't going to be worth your time. Go score some 27-year-old who appreciates where you are in life, and forget about the ex. In fact, let me repeat that: *forget about the ex.* No phone, no text, no emails, no Facebook. You're not going to score her back, and other chicks will sniff out your hang-ups instantly.

    Now print out this advice, ignore it, F up your life for a few months, and then put it into practice when you bottom out by August or September.


    Posted by Joey April 24, 09 09:33 AM
  1. I'm sorry Dave, I definitely feel for you. Unfortunately, I don't see much hope of you getting back together because of her age. I wish you could have had what you had with someone your own age and would be in the same life stage as you, but this girl is going through such a great change in her life with college graduation and finally being a "grown up" that I think she's just afraid to be in such a serious relationship like she has with you.

    Mer is right: it sucks, but you've gotta let her go, and try finding someone closer to your age. I think the relationship you'll ultimately find will be much more rewarding with someone who's on the same page as you.

    Posted by laurahere April 24, 09 09:42 AM
  1. I think Meredith gave some excellent advice here!

    These types of breakups are so difficult. They are one- sided and catch people completely off guard. The difference in age is definitely a factor just as Meredith said. You are traveling and furthering your career and she is a lost college grad probably staring down debt and a terrible job market. Your place in life is very different than hers.

    I don’t want to tell you to hold on to hope. But if you can let go and go on living your life (see friends, date, travel- stop feeling the sadness and move on) sometimes people can find there way back to each other. And if you don’t then it wasn’t meant to be (cliché- I know) I’m sure some of the regulars (Rico, Hoss, Spaceman) will have some good insight.

    Hang in there and enjoy the summer! There will be plenty of ladies to flirt with and keep your mind occupied!

    Posted by yikes22 April 24, 09 09:42 AM
  1. Dave, let her go. I don't think that traveling each week for business is the problem. Sometimes time apart is (very!) good for a relationship. Trust me, I know. You sound like a great guy and quite the catch! You will be fine. Perhaps someday she'll realize the wonderful person she missed on. Meredith is right, she is only 22 and has some growing up to do herself. You have done all the right things.

    Posted by JohnB April 24, 09 09:44 AM
  1. Dave, the old 'I love you, but I'm not in love with you' line isn't a line. Although most people don't want to admit it (because it hurts to do so), when someone says this, he or she means it.

    I am sorry you're hurting; however, the last thing you should do is try to cling to her via her family. Women truly resent these machinations, and your ex-girlfriend will come to despise you.
    You sound like a great guy - move on.

    You sound

    Posted by AKA1908 April 24, 09 09:44 AM
  1. It's clear you're in denial right now, and you're trying to find some other reason than the cold, hard, truth for why she doesn't want to be with you right now. But you must take her word for it - she's just not in love with you anymore. Whether you feel she's making a mistake or not is utterly irrelevant and it will not change anything. Doesn't matter how good to her you were, how great the relationship was, how close you are with her family, yada, yada, yada. She's just not in love with you anymore, and the only thing you can do is accept it and move on.

    I think it's a big mistake to attempt to remain friends. You're just not in a position to be able to handle that right now, and it's perfectly acceptable to tell her so. Do not make the mistake of thinking that if you hang around for long enough she'll 'come to her senses' and rush back into your arms. That's very unlikely, and that .01% chance is not worth the agony you'll be putting yourself through when she starts dating again (probably sooner rather than later), and you have to hear about it.

    Posted by Rae April 24, 09 09:48 AM
  1. I have to agree with Meredith, having been in a similar situation, but quite opposite. I was the younger one in the relationship and was told that I needed to experience things a bit more and see what else was out in the world. Not necessarily mature, as I think I'm more mature than some of the older people I've dated, but just experience things. And honestly, I'm all the grateful for it. In the time between that relationship and the amazing, wonderful man I am with now, I grew up a lot and experienced a lot of things that made me more independent and more wise. This is what your ex needs. She is fresh from college and she needs to experience beign single and independent and she ventures into the real world. Better she do this on her own than using you as a crutch, not that I am saying she would do that. It always stinks to be the one that doesn't get to make that decision. But the decision you do get to make is to move on and experience the world on your own again. And lastly, don't play the "well maybe down the road...." game. Being hopefuly is one thing, harping on it is another.


    Posted by boss8120 April 24, 09 09:48 AM
  1. This quote from you says it all:

    “I feel like she gave up on our relationship too easily and has yet to realize just how great our relationship was. As much as it hurts do I just let her walk away?”

    Time out.

    You have no control over her and you simply CANNOT **convince** her that she’s made a bad decision. You have no choice over whether she walks away or not. Your comment about should you just "let" her do it is, quite honestly, a little creepy. She doesn’t need your permission and you don’t have to allow it. You are in denial. Reminder: You are the dumpee, she is the dumper.

    The only choice you have is as to whether or not you wish to remain friends with her. I think you’ve given your answer (No). Oh, and your closeness with her family is irrelevant.

    Move on and move on now.

    Posted by Hoss April 24, 09 09:49 AM
  1. Dave, your situation sucks, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. Time for you to go buy some "Tindersticks" albums (both 'Simple Pleasure' and their eponymous album are quite good) and wallow in your grief as you listen to them - but not for too long. Then pick up the pieces and go out and find yourself a nice woman closer to your age. You seem like a catch and I have a feeling you won't have any problem finding dates.

    Oh, and don't fall for that "let's try and be friends" shtick. If it's too painful for you to remain friends (listen to your heart), then it's best to put some distance between yourself and Ms. 22 and cut off contact for a while, instead of being all masochistic and living up to certain expectations.of what it means to be "nice".

    Posted by TheDude April 24, 09 09:54 AM
  1. Deja vu here. Had the same thing happen while I was just a couple years older than my girlfriend who was staring graduation, jobs, etc. in the face. She decided I was the expendable part of my life.

    Bottom line buddy, if she can't get it together enough to keep a relationship going while dealing with the "drama" of real life hitting her in the face soon, let her go and move on. That was the best thing I did, was - after some tearful nights and tearing myself up over it for a week or so - letting her do her thing and moving on with my life. You should do the same. the best friends thing never works, so don't even bother. Just tell her, "this was your decision to break up, so my decision is to keep away for a bit as this is going to be sore for a while". In six months you'll not have seen her and will be out w/ your friends or maybe dating someone new...this is the best thing for you.

    Posted by DKM April 24, 09 10:01 AM
  1. Dave-
    My heart goes out to ya buddy. I had a similar breakup... EVERYTHING was perfect -- until he told me it wasn't. My guy didn't have a reason either. It may be something she can't articulate (the feeling just isn't there anymore) -- or she doesn't want to hurt your feelings (maybe there's someone else). Don't obsess about a reason b/c there's nothing you can do about it. Just try to deal w/ it as best you can. Don't try the "friend" thing, it sounds like you still love her which will make being friends difficult (if not impossible). She IS young. Maybe somewhere down the road you'll end up together but don't count on it. You can't spend your time hoping for a reconciliation that may never happen. You sound like a good catch, some lucky girl will sweep you up, til then, have fun w/ your friends.

    Posted by polly21 April 24, 09 10:03 AM
  1. Meredith hit the nail on the head...you've told her everything and done your part.
    Your ex said she is not in love with you anymore. That is her reason for ending the relationship. Yes, she may have a lot going on, but you should not have to "convince" someone to be in a relationship.
    I feel for you, it is an awful situation and very painful. I'm so sorry.
    Give youself some time and space. Give her some time and space. Take it day by day and do the best you can to take care of yourself. And stay busy-it really helps. Can you get away for a few days?
    Friendship maybe in time...not now.

    Posted by pb April 24, 09 10:07 AM
  1. Dude, you are FIVE Years older than her; to a 20's person that is like 10 Years, so she has "grown apart" from you. The rule-of-thumb advice I give is NEVER have more than a +/-4 year difference in a love interest, otherwise you will have very little in common. IMHO, even 4 years is too much (my personal conservative advice is +/-2 years). To put it simply, you were already out of HS when she was a Freshman; what possible common references could you share, and how awkward those conversations must be??? Time to move on and find a woman who not only matches your wisdom, but also matches your "Earning Potential".

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 April 24, 09 10:08 AM
  1. Let her go Dave. You'll find that once she's experienced life, and maybe even dated a bit more, she may realize just how much you have to offer her. At the very least, you'll get an opportunity to meet other women would may value what you can bring to a relationship and you'll learn more about yourself as well.

    Don't wait around, or life will just pass you by.

    Posted by Andrew April 24, 09 10:10 AM
  1. Hi Dave... sorry to hear. I did the same thing to my 29 year old boyfriend when i graduated at 22, and it was true, i just wasn't in love with him anymore. With that said, she does have SO MUCH going on in her life right now. I think Meredith is right, you've done everything you can do. If you keep pestering her and pushing back, she will RUN. Maybe what's best right now is for you to separate yourself from her, minimal contact while you lick your wounds.

    Posted by blahblahblah April 24, 09 10:11 AM
  1. The absolute best advice given is try to find someone your own age. A woman five years younger than yourself is a huge difference in terms of life experience. This holds true no matter what age the man is. Stop calling her. Move on and be thankful to have felt so close to someone.

    Posted by Kitty April 24, 09 10:17 AM
  1. dave....
    guess what she wants other guys and you were great for a while but she is young and wants to give other guys a shot at the title....it hurts you love her (are in love with her..is there a difference...no so that can only mean she didnt really love you)...sorry move on many many fish in the sea...dont look back cut all ties...completely

    Posted by jimmiec April 24, 09 10:18 AM
  1. Dave,
    I do believe that if you are meant to be together, you will find your way back into each other's lives. You need to trust in your love for her. Right now, give her space and take care of yourself. Don't go out and start dating someone new yet, take time to reflect on yourself and enjoy your promotion. Good luck

    Posted by Karen April 24, 09 10:22 AM
  1. Dave, sorry for your pain. As you know, time will heal your heart. She clearly cares about you and the breakup sounded like she was regretful, but wise in that she knows she is not ready for a relationship like the one you had. Try to think back to when you were 22 yrs. old. I know 5 yrs. doesn't seem like much, on paper, but as you said, she has so many new and exciting things happening in her life right now. She is o nly now embarking on true adulthood. Its scary, its exciting and she is stretching her wings, so to say.

    We have all been in your seat. It is not fun to have the one you were so looking forward to a future with, pull the rug out from under us. But, you are not in the drivers seat and must give up control of the relationship. Respect her, be gracious and go your separate ways. remember your times together and realize you were lucky to have had such a wonderful healthy relationship. Not many people get to truly experience what you describe. In time, when you least expect it, your heart will be open again and you will find another great relationship.

    Posted by Mae April 24, 09 10:22 AM
  1. Dave you sound like a great guy. I say let her go. You really dont want to be with someone who doesnt want you. She is young and needs to find herself. Be glad that she is mature enough to know this. It may hurt now but it would have been much worse if she hadnt stepped up and said anything. By the way Im 29, single and looking! :) If you get down with tha sista's!

    Posted by Lilshorty98 April 24, 09 10:23 AM
  1. Rico feels very bad for you Dave...

    Here is what Rico is thinking:

    Rico says Meredith is actually spot on in her answer. Rico doesn't always agree with her but in this case she is on the money. Rico will add that getting over her is something you may never be able to do. She was most likely the first girl you ever really totally loved in an adult way, meaning that you were more than just high school sweeties living a dream, not that there is anything wrong with a high school relationship or that they can't become more. Rico just thinks that you are hurting pretty bad, upset stomach, broken hearted and feeling pretty down. Meredith had it right that you need to meet/mingle with some people your own age as well. It sounds to Rico that your ex has begun to realize she has missed out on some things in college and wants to be free to spread her wings. Your travel for work has no bearing here other than possibly opening her eyes to life without you. Don't change it for her. She is 22 and that is how 22yr olds think (most).

    Letting her go and not trying to convince her is the right way to go. Join a gym, club, go to a museum, run a road race, ride in a bike group, take a vacation (lots of under 30 group trips for singles), go to charity events, spend more time with your friends. DO THESE THINGS and stop thinking about the breakup. You will only be driving yourself nuts. Rico has been there (he broke up with a girl after 3.5 years) and it hurt, broke his heart and made him question things to the point of exhaustion. We ask ourselves why, what did I do wrong, did I stay too long, did I miss out, what could I have done to make it better? There are no answers for you Dave, just questions that you need to let go of and move on.

    Your happiness is #1 here, so do as Rico says and enjoy your 20's, what is left of them. Stay off of craigslist (just kidding) and have some fun. Rico thinks you have a great opportunity with the weather turning nicer to have a wonderful Spring/Summer. You have a job with a promotion so you are in better shape than a lot of others out there, look at the positives and hold your head up high. Cape Cod and Newport in the summer can be great. Rent a house with friend for a month or two and take some time for yourself.

    Rico is here for you, feel free to write back in and tell Rico more and Rico will try and help further. Anyone else feel free to write, Rico loves to talk and help others.

    Rico rode again today, it is beautiful out there, everyone get outside and enjoy this weather.

    GEARS, NOT GAS!!!

    Love always and have a great weekend,

    Love Rico

    Posted by Rico April 24, 09 10:23 AM
  1. Dave, the same exact thing happened to me a few years back. You'll feel sorry for yourself for a few weeks & then you'll realize its summer time in Boston. The ladies are out there and looking to have some fun. Get after it Bro!

    Posted by Donny April 24, 09 10:24 AM
  1. Dave,

    You sound like a great guy. I don't think your girlfriend realizes what a catch she has. I would team up with a very attractive friend, co-worker and go out on a date where you know your ex will see you. Trust me, it will make her think twice about her decision. Also, be sure the friend knows what is going on beforehand so she doesn't fall for you. This may seem deceptive but it works.

    Posted by Anonymous April 24, 09 10:25 AM
  1. First of all, I just want to say that the situation stinks, and I'm sorry! It is never ever, in my mind, mutual when two people break up, even if the involved parties choose to bill it that way. I don't know the two of you, but as mature as you say you both are, there's no way she is mature at 22. There's so much she has not experienced, and as much as I, a 28-year-old pushing 29, hate to admit it, 22 is a far cry from 25, let alone 28. You'll be better off with someone closer to your age, as much as it doesn't seem like it right now.

    Cheers,
    Kim

    Posted by Kim April 24, 09 10:26 AM
  1. Usually I leave this one to Rico, but I have to say, the main problem is that you treated her like a princess. This probably means she took you for granted. Next time, just treat your woman like a person instead of a princess and you will fare better.

    Posted by Reformed "nice" guy April 24, 09 10:28 AM
  1. What does Rico think?

    Posted by NB April 24, 09 10:40 AM
  1. Oh, I agree. The almost exact situation happened with me. I was 22 and he was 26 - we had gone out for three years. He was perfect husband material - however, I was only 22 and wanted to feel other feelings, date, have fun at school, not be tied down, basically. This was the ONLY problem with us was that I was not ready. I, however, did tell him that. Maybe she didn't want to say that to you. Its very hard to say. I remained friends with him for 4 more years. During that, he had a 2 year relationship but she wasn't the one. I still think he was hoping that I would come back and never put his heart into it. . I sowed my oats during this. When I turned 27, he had met someone else and this one was finally "the one" - I still wasn't ready. He knew he could not put his life on hold any longer. He became engaged withinone year and called me and told me that "she" did not want us to be friends anymore. (I had been keeping in touch with him because, I loved him as a friend andby this time, we had so much history. I respected his decision (or "hers") and ofcourse wondered if I now would ever meet someone as "good" as him. Maybe, maybe not. But one thing was sure, I was still "not ready" - I had several more relationships after that andI finally married at 31. I have been married 18 years and I am glad I ended it with th first one . It would of never lasted at that age and I am now ready to commit myself. It is very hard for you, I can only imagine, but, you WILL find another girl and say to yourself - THANK GOD we broke up!! Honestly. Its just a part of life. It goes both ways. Good luck and Im sorry you are so hurt. It is normal. Best of luck to you.
    2727

    Posted by Angelonae April 24, 09 10:46 AM
  1. Dump her...quick. You're 27!

    Posted by Kay-man April 24, 09 10:57 AM
  1. For once, Meredith is right on. At her age, regardless of how mature she seems, your ex-girlfriend is still finding herself. Whether she panicked about her life situations or grew out of the relationship is immaterial.

    She doesn't want the relationship, and it take two to tango. So take some time to figure out what you want and try dancing with some other women. Eventually you'll find the right partner.

    Posted by bidemytime April 24, 09 11:07 AM
  1. The exact same thing happened to my son. Almost same age difference, the girlfriend was a few years closer in age but same thing. Came back from a vacation, actually DURING the vacation, broke up. They had been together for nearly 5 years. It was horrible for him. He didn't even tell me until a month later it was that hard and we talk about everything. My advice was also to see someone older. It was definitely a maturity/timing issue. 3 months later, he was seeing someone 3 years older then he was and things were MUCH better then they were with someone younger. He was just past the 22-23 somethings just getting out of college trying to figure out life. A couple of years have passed now, he and his ex have been able to reconnect as they had so many mutual friends together and who knows. But the best advice I think is to move on and date, a lot.

    Posted by Liz April 24, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Dude just be glad that she broke up with you now and not later. I'm guessing she has been thinking about breaking up with you for a while now. The end of the realtionship may of been over for you recently, but I think it has been over for her for a while now, she stuck around because, like you said, you treated her like a princess. She didn't want to hurt, but it would of been unfair of her if she dragged the realtionship on if she wasn't fully committed to you. It might hurt now, but time heal all wounds. Listen to Meridith. Go out and hang with your friends. Have fun. Most importantly, stay true to yourself, ,do not let this break up change you. Good luck.

    Posted by Lee April 24, 09 11:10 AM
  1. Dude just be glad that she broke up with you now and not later. I'm guessing she has been thinking about breaking up with you for a while now. The end of the realtionship may of been over for you recently, but I think it has been over for her for a while now, she stuck around because, like you said, you treated her like a princess. She didn't want to hurt, but it would of been unfair of her if she dragged the realtionship on if she wasn't fully committed to you. It might hurt now, but time heal all wounds. Listen to Meridith. Go out and hang with your friends. Have fun. Most importantly, stay true to yourself, ,do not let this break up change you. Good luck.

    Posted by Lee April 24, 09 11:10 AM
  1. You may not want to break up, but it seems that it's going to happen.
    If she was meant to be yours, she'll come back. But don't wait around, keep on living life to it's fullest. Otherwise you'll become a dull boring man and she wouldn't even want to come back . So go on, live, love, laugh and still 'keep in touch' with her. Who knows, she may realize what she's giving up and come right home to you. (or not, be prepared either way)

    Posted by peanuts April 24, 09 11:13 AM
  1. Dave - as much as it hurts to be broken up with, things could get worse if you continue to pursue this and try to get your ex to change her mind. Right now you have friendship and respect and when you're ready (if you want), maybe you can be friends with her. If you try to change her mind, call her, beg her, plead with her, you might find yourself spiraling into obsession, inappropriate behavior, comments or statements you might regret, and possibly depression. By respecting your ex's choice and letting her walk away, you maintain your dignity. Good luck!

    Posted by boosh79 April 24, 09 11:13 AM
  1. Dave. I know you are hurting right now. Break ups are tough. Seems like you had a good thing going with this young lady. Its going to sting for a while and take time. It will be extremely difficult not to think about this girl. You guys were so close and then BOOM! She dropped the hammer and just like that its over....and she's out of your life...
    However, summer is right around the corner. The best time to be in Boston. I suggest that you play the single life. Go get out there with your guy friends and chase some girls. There are a lot of hot young and older women in our city. Make the best of it. Get a little nuts this summer. It will help you get over the ex. Maybe hit the Cape/Newport/Vineyard/NYC a few weekends this summer.
    Seems like you have your sh!t together. Got a job, money, and you're young. Keep your head up. GO GET EM!

    Posted by Mike Deveroux April 24, 09 11:14 AM
  1. If she has already dated someone else, or been with anyone else, ignore everything I said, and just delete her from your life. DELETE HER AS FAST AS POSSIBLE AND MOVE ON.

    If she hasn't, Lay it out on the line. Tell her one final time your feelings, spell it out. Don't hold back. Then wait. Give her one last chance to come around. If she still wants to end it. Walk away and delete her from your life. Move on.

    In my opinion, there are two aspects of a relationship, physical and emotional. She wants to cut off the physical, or at least have free range to get physical with other people. But her asking to stay friends wants to keep the emotional bond you guys have.

    How do you remain friends with an ex you still love and want back, when she is out meeting new guys? It's not worth the pain. Quite frankly, her wanting to remain friends is extremely selfish and self-centered of her. You're good enough for the emotional, but not good enough for the physical?


    Here is my advice once you cut her out of your life:

    1. Get a cell phone that allows you to read email.... if you dont already have one (i.e. I-Phone, Blackberry)
    2. Open a match.com account. Write a well rounded nice guy profile, and dont mention exes in it!
    3. Write a really good email introducing yourself, save a copy of it on your computer.
    4. Spend one night searching profiles, copy and paste the email your wrote and send out at least 50 emails to women whose profiles attract you.
    5. Watch your phone buzz off the hook with responses in the next few days

    It sucks when someone decides to end it. We can sit around and be gloomy about it forever, which is fine for 2 or 3 days, but after that, get back in the game.

    Also, call some friends and go out and get piss drunk and have a guys night out. Stop at a Providence strip club and blow $100 worth of singles. Do this only once. Making this a regular things just makes you the creepy dude and the nudie bar. I would go with ya, but my wife wont let me :)

    Posted by ThatGuy April 24, 09 11:15 AM
  1. You are in a tough spot here, you started dating when she was 20, my guess is she has many single friends around her age who are going out all the time and hitting the bars and doing other things 21 and 22 year olds do. She is probably envious of them and had the "Grass is Greener on the Other Side" thing in her head. Sadly it is unlikely you will get back together, she wants to experience things and see other people, she is 22 and feels that she could miss out on the best part of her life (as she sees it) her early to mid 20's. Summer is almost here, her friends are probably making all sorts of wild plans and she wants to be part of it without answering to anyone. She will outgrow this but it will take time, maybe a few year's and then she will be ready to settle down but when that time comes you woudl have long moved on and she wil be nothing more than a ex-girlfriend to you.

    Posted by Fenway617 April 24, 09 11:15 AM
  1. Dave -
    Who was the man here and who was the chick? She was the smart one and you were the loser in multiple ways. She had complete control over you. Women want to reach THEIR dreams and crush yours. You treated her like a princess, and you got close to her family??? Are you insane? I didn't realize you also wanted to date her whole family. Did you think her brothers were hot? Smarten up Dorothy, take off your dress and put some pants on. You are 27, making good money, you just got a promotion and you are starting to travel often. Do you know what this means, you pathetic sap? It means you should be bedding every chick you can, while you can!!! It's time to start following some simple rules: Pretend you are a GM of the Red Sox and you need to develop your pitching staff. You need quality starters and a deep bullpen. Get a stable of ten chicks that can service your needs and call on them when they are warmed up and ready. Get and give out phone numbers early and often. Real men call, they don't text or email. Never call them more than once, and never, ever leave a voice mail. Let them wonder why you called and they will wonder what or better yet, WHO you are doing. Never take them out to dinner, eat first and meet them out for drinks. You don't want to spend your hard earned money on their dinner. Never spend more than $40 on any date. If you don't get sex by date number three, move on and never call them again. All women decide within the first five minutes of seeing you whether they will sleep with you or not. Don't waste your valuble time. Always bed a chick at her place. You don't want them knowing where you live so they can show up at your place on their terms. As a matter of fact, you give them as little info about you as possible. Always have protected sex and don't ever date single mothers. They already made a mistake, the other sap is paying for it and you don't want to be in his shoes. Your mission for the next ten years is to bed as many women as humanly possible. Now, go my son and enjoy your freedom.....!!!!!

    Posted by leykis101 April 24, 09 11:16 AM
  1. Dude, you're better off letting her go. She's 22 and getting older everyday, reward yourself by sleighing a different college chick for a few more years. You know this broad is just looking for a good time with some guys her own age. Thats what happens when you finish college and start earning your own money - you go out and see if you can find something better. My advice is to go hang out at the college bars and wine and dine some questionably 21 girl(s). Use the extra padding in your wallet from your Promotion to buy her and all her friends drinks and maybe you can actually pull two honeys!!! High fives all around!

    Posted by Big Al April 24, 09 11:17 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith, unfortunately Dave there is not really much you can do in this situation, cause she has made up her mind. Its a hard pill to swallow when the love of your life decides they are no longer in love with you. Been there done that. You will grieve from this loss, but time heals all wounds, in time it will get easier, and one day you might end up as friends, but your right, if its meant to be it will be. But take this time to go out(esp that the nice weather is upon us) & hang out with friends, do things to keep your mind occupied so you don't think about the break-up. Good Luck & God Bless~~

    Posted by What to say April 24, 09 11:25 AM
  1. Tell me about it Dave, I went through the same situation, albeit in high school but I was still crushed and looking for answers. After two years of searching I found nothing. I would let things cool down for a bit and maybe a month or two later contact her and have a discussion about the present and future. Maybe she rushed her decision and things can work out. But remember DO NOT let these hopes last longer than 3 months because it will quickly turn to years my friend.
    Don't beat yourself up either because even though you gave it your best and treated her like a "princess" as she said, what it boils down to is people are just difficult to understand and solve. Some people get abused and still go back to their gf or bf because even though they know they are getting humiliated and abused it is something they think they need in their life. And I am not smart enough to figure out why other than it is a fact of life and all you have to do is try and find another person in this planet that will love you as much as you love them...
    Good luck to all the single people out there (myself included)

    -UnluckyNumber7

    Posted by UnluckyNumber7 April 24, 09 11:26 AM
  1. It sounds like the chemistry (at least on her end) just wore out. She was probably bored. If she thinks you are like her "best friend" it just means that she doesn't want to have sex with you anymore. I recommend never speaking to her again and perhaps bedding her best friend or little sister (if applicable). 22 year old chicks enjoy getting hammered and having intercourse with multiple partners. You should do the same for a few months than jump back on the horse with a 24 or 25 year old. Stay away from college chicks.

    Posted by MacPaddy April 24, 09 11:27 AM
  1. That's rough man, sorry to hear that. I think Meredith's advice is spot on. You made your case, you told her how you feel. The rest is up to her. You've got to focus on your life now.

    I do think it was a bush league move for her to drop this on you right after the vacation, though.

    Posted by JimR April 24, 09 11:28 AM
  1. Words are often telling: perhaps "treating her like a Princess" rather than an equal could be the problem. Have you elevated her above yourself? Does she sense you need her too much? Call me chauvanistic, but I believe women want a self sufficient guy who THEY can need a bit more than the other way around. But even if you don't believe that, if they sense you just need them too much, that may be perceived as a weakness when they want a strong person who they can trust and lean on a bit. On the other hand, it may just be that at 22 and just graduating from college, she needs some breathing space, some chance to be herself as an individual before settling into a
    serious relationship, which could still perhaps be with you. But either way, you have to back off. Begging/pleading will only kill the relationship.

    Posted by steve April 24, 09 11:28 AM
  1. You probably provided a nice safe enviroment for her to be able to have fun, go to school, and to generally have no worries while she went to college. She is about to graduate and make her own way in the world, this may sound harsh but she no longer needs your services to be her safety net while in school. She may still have feelings for you but those "Love" feelings left long ago, if they were ever there. You were a convenient safe place to be much like folks who stay together for the kids or for financial reasons her reasons were similar. Go out have a good time and find someone who is of the same mindset as you.

    Posted by John Adams April 24, 09 11:34 AM
  1. Dave,
    This girl is just not at the same stage of life as you. She is stepping off into the great beyond of life after college. You are headed to the suburban SUV soccer country of middle age. Let her go. It is tough to do this sometimes because you obviously care about each other. However, you risk becoming pathetic. Accept that it's over. She will always have fond memories of you rather than think of you as a pathetic loser.

    Posted by Frank April 24, 09 11:38 AM
  1. Dave,

    Everything Meredith said is right on. She is 22 and is probably a little scared that she might be missing out on something. She wants some time to be on her own, maybe date a bit. I went through the same thing when I was 22 and graduating. I too was with a fantastic guy, but I just wasn't ready to be as committed as he was at the time. It really is all about timing. Now I am 27 and wish I had never let him get away! But I wouldn't be the person I am today if I had stayed with him.

    Make a clean break, move on. Maybe down the road you guys can rekindle something. But don't hold on to it. You might meet someone that is ready to make that kind of commitment now. I know how hard it is. Good luck! (Hey we're the same age and both single...) :)

    Posted by Joc April 24, 09 11:41 AM
  1. Rico, donde estas?

    Posted by sj April 24, 09 11:45 AM
  1. Since when is late 20s old? (#15 and others) However, 22 **is** young. When I was in my early 20s, my mom talked me into a dating service. I was mortified at how much more mature the men were, and how immature I was. I agree with the mom (#3) - date your own age or older. Even 10 years older. Besides, older women have a clearer knowledge of their sexuality - and they use it to both partners' advantage (for no healthy relationship denies sex). Stay close to the family - you have no reason to lose them if you dig them - but try not to run into the ex for a while, while you take time to heal

    Posted by reindeergirl April 24, 09 11:56 AM
  1. Dear Dave,
    You can see from all the comments that everyone's "been there." People are supportive and giving lots of good suggestions, starting with Meredith's.

    Here's my perspective: you in fact are lucky b/c you had a "good" break-up. There wasn't any cheating, there wasn't a crazy loud argument, you have a good last memory to savor, she didn't drag it out (you hadn't been together for 5 years),and she was honest and kind to you, as opposed to just cutting you off with no explanation. I like this girl, and I can see why you do, too. If you were a woman, the posters would be saying, "He's just not that into you." Move on. You are in a difficult but normal and temporary situation. I wish you all the best.

    Posted by Sasha April 24, 09 11:58 AM
  1. Sorry to hear that you've just booked a room in Heartbreak Hotel. I trust your stay there will be short but informative.
    The emotional maturity gap between you and your ex was the problem. At 21 you haven't really been "field tested" yet, and by that I mean you haven't had to make many life decisions on your own (without mommy and daddy) and endured big disappointments in your life. I was very naive and immature at 21 and a completely different person that I was at 30. But men love co-eds and so you've paid the "back tax "on the decision to date someone so young. Sure,co-eds are appealing. They still have their ideals, hopes and dreams, no cellulite or stretch marks and look great in a dental floss bikini!!
    I recommend that you be social with your friends, stay active with exercise and sports in order to work out the stressful emotions that you're coping with at this time. She was someone you loved and cared about, your paths crossed for a time in your lives and made a difference for both of you. You will date and fall in love again, just date someone older and more mature, someone who is emotionally stable and available. Best of luck to you.

    Posted by exvermonter April 24, 09 11:58 AM
  1. Go out and find a 27 yr old to date.....there are plenty of single ladies in their late 20's looking to meet nice, mature guys. Send a picture - I've got some single friends!

    Posted by singleinthecity April 24, 09 12:00 PM
  1. Dave,

    I'm sorry to hear about your breakup. I'm sure your ex cares about you very much, but it sounds like she does not want to be in a serious relationship at this stage in her life. She probably doesn't want to feel as if she is missing out on anything. Breakups are hard, always, I guess, but even more so when they are one sided.

    As hard as this will be, let her go. You sound like a great guy, and I'm sure you'll findsomeone a little older, in the same place in life as you are. Good luck!

    Posted by Katielovesveggies April 24, 09 12:00 PM
  1. Let her walk away. When your significant other tells you that You are like best friends/brother & sister" - it stinks But it means it's over. No matter how perfect you thought it all was......obviously she didn't think so. Sounds like She wants to sow some wild oats.

    Posted by Been around April 24, 09 12:04 PM
  1. Have you considered penile enlargement services? I think I saw something somewhere on the internet about that..... But seriously, people try to analyze these one-sided ponderings as if you know the first damn thing about the TRUE dynamic of their relationship. Maybe he wasn't bringing it in bed and she couldn't tell him that, so she referred to the "I actually think we're just friends" easy let-down manual. Maybe he's a raging alcoholic or a loud/close talker. Maybe he smells like feces!

    I just love how responders operate under the assumption that the writer always has a handle on the "full scope" of their relationship...

    I'm just saying.....

    Posted by DJMcG April 24, 09 12:09 PM
  1. Rico has jumped the shark. Even the speaking in the third person has become annoying.

    Posted by ReRun April 24, 09 12:10 PM
  1. I know they say age doesn't matter, but it does when it comes to a girl just getting ready to graduate from college and go out into the world on hr own. She might not think she is ready to "settle" down with you yet and she wants to try to live on her own for a while, meet new people, have new experiences, etc. I really don’t think it has anything to do with you. She just needs to experience life on her own for a while. Meredith is right; maybe you should try to date someone closer to your own age, who is dealing with a job, etc.

    Posted by she's too young for you April 24, 09 12:12 PM
  1. Unfotunately your girl has decided shes had enough of being good, and wants to go out and be a slut for awhile. Most women do so. You don't need a girl like that. It will be hard, but try and find a classy girl for yourself. There aren't many but they are out there.

    Posted by FHer April 24, 09 12:31 PM
  1. Dave your in denial, your ex has another boyfriend.

    Posted by LeepII April 24, 09 12:51 PM
  1. You were the sugar daddy. Now that she has a stipend or maybe a teaching position, she's moved on and is likely seeing someone else now.

    Sucks. But she's likely hooking up with someone right now.

    Posted by the realist April 24, 09 01:03 PM
  1. everyone else has said it, unfortunately for you (i'm sorry) IT'S OVER.

    however, DO NOT remain friends with her. you can't do it, you love her too much. it's asking too much of you. it's your right & it's completely normal. it's unrealistic of her to expect friendship from you now. it will be very hard but you must MOVE ON.

    Posted by johanna April 24, 09 01:05 PM
  1. Dave,

    I agree with so much of what everyone else has written here. At 22, she wants to get out, stretch her wings and figure out who she is. Down the road, five years plus or minus isn't a huge deal (like if one partner is 27 and the other 32.) For right now though, there is a huge experience gap between 22 & 27.

    Also, when she says "She loves you, but is not in love with you." , believe her. Be ready for her to start dating fairly soon. Your best bet is to tell her that because of your feelings, being friends is not an option. Not now and maybe not ever.

    You need to move on and do stuff to make yourself happy. Go out with friends, find a new hobby or whatever. Until you are over her, I'd avoid dating anyone. Bringing baggage to a relationship is a horrible way to start.

    Good luck on your journey!

    Posted by sundiego April 24, 09 01:13 PM
  1. Dave, didn't I see your ex posting on Craigslist?

    Posted by Dave April 24, 09 01:13 PM
  1. Buddy, to put it bluntly, you have been dumped. Yeah, it hurts, but best to take whatever time you need to get on your feet, and then move on. Nasty stuff - happens to most of us sooner or later. The good news: this experience will make you a better man. Wait and see.

    Posted by Bony Melon April 24, 09 01:27 PM
  1. ReRun...

    Just skip over his responses. Much less annoying that way.

    Posted by Not-A-Rico-Fan April 24, 09 01:37 PM
  1. Hi Dave,
    Something similar happened to me about a year ago. The thing that really helped me out, although hard to realize, what the idea that at some point in time, my boyfriend considered having me in his life and not having me in his life. He took into account all my qualites, our relationship and then decided, without consulting me, that he no longer needed my company in his life. Yes, your relationship sounded wonderful, but keep in mind, you wouldn't ever want to be with someone who was second guessing your status in their life. Deep down, you know you want you want to be with someone who KNOWS how they feel about you and your relationship. Hope this helps, and good luck!

    Posted by Liz April 24, 09 01:37 PM
  1. I don't think her age has anything to do with it. When you realize you don't want to be with someone, you just don't. Been there, done that. I was in a relationship for two years with a guy and by all outside appearances we were a great couple. I'm sure he thought we were on the way to getting married. Then one day I realized I really wasn't that into him and couldn't see spending the rest of my life with him. So, I ended it as quickly as possible. I told him I wasn't in love with him. He was totally blindsided which I felt bad about but it was the right decision. I'm now very happily married to someone else and so is he. But he did hang around for a while sending cards and such which I agree was completely annoying. I had already moved on.

    Posted by Bostowyo April 24, 09 01:52 PM
  1. Sorry that you are hurting, Dave. But IMO the only thing you should be sad about is that you wasted so much time and energy on a person who could actually say, with a straight face, "I love you but I am not in love with you anymore". Ridiculous! How did you refrain from laughing at her? Find someone with a bit more sincerity and imagination. There are lots of us out there:)

    Posted by citykitty617 April 24, 09 02:09 PM
  1. What happened was, she met a guy in college and figured she would get one last nice free vacation out of you. Havent you ever gone to college and seen what goes on at these parties? She has been hooking up with everything in site knowing that you wont find out about it. Now that school is almost out, shes afraid those skeletons might come out. At least she is sparing you of finding out the hard way.

    Posted by Bud April 24, 09 02:12 PM
  1. My brother in pain:
    Let's have a corner talk...without the ladies poking their noses into the conversation. Twenty-something year old women are frighteningly unbalanced. They are going through tremendous changes and are way too hot to handle. It's like menopause came early as a reminder of the future. Crazy, wacky and freakish. Of course, they're much more mature than men at this stage, but men are content to just go along, watch football and get some lovin'. Women are searching for meaning and deciding to establish themselves as either independent beings or, by the power vested in me...man and wife (or a variation thereof). Men, in general, won’t reach maturity until their mid 40s or perhaps never. She's 22 and she's a time bomb... "You’re Heading Into the Monster! Aaah!" My gut tells me she still has some livin' to do and isn't ready to "settle down". You represent stability...She wants to do bong hits and skinny dip at the quarry. Maybe she'll come out on the other side saying, "My god, how could I have let Dave go?" But if you don't let her go and live YOUR life (you're still a pup), she will never see you as someone she missed...Just someone she outgrew. Traveling 2-4 days a week at 27? Hit me!!!

    Posted by valentino April 24, 09 02:24 PM
  1. The simple reality is that, unless you want to become a stalker, you have to let go and let her go. You can choose to do this two ways - you can let it beat you up and make you feel bad or you can accept that your ex is only 22 years old and was really not prepared to be in such a serious relationship - with anyone. Or you can believe her when she says that she loves you but is not in love with you. Or you can give her credit for ending the relationship and not just cheating. In short, you can leave in a way that preserves your ego and your dignity, or you can leave kicking and screaming and generally looking like an ass (and I hate to say it, but I've done the latter and it wasn't pretty). Either way, you're going. All you can do now is choose the terms.

    Posted by Nancy G April 24, 09 02:24 PM
  1. @leykis101 - Either you are a Tom Leykis fan/student, or you ARE Tom Leykis!
    He may sound misogynistic, but what do you think she's doing right now....about 20 different Leykis101 students!
    You may not want to be a playboy at 27, but having plenty of female friends and relatives at that age, they are not only playing the field more often, but with an increased number of sexual partners. I'm not exaggerating numbers but out of the dozen or so early 20-something females, they all feel the need to sow wild oats.
    So do their friends, and their friend's friends. Don't be a chump and take her back.

    Posted by DanCoulton April 24, 09 02:29 PM
  1. Rico is laughing his butt off...

    Rico is just getting a good hearty laugh at all of you haters out there...it feeds his ego further to know you spend time reading and then writing about his response instead of worrying about actually responding about the actual question put out by the writer.

    Rico is a genius and he is on top so you want to knock him off. It is human nature to do so. Obama was the greatest thing since sliced bread till he took office and now he has people taking shots at him saying he is no good. Now I am not comparing Rico to the president, they are very different I am sure. What does remain true is that Rico has you all trying to knock him down, knock him off, imitate him, etc...instead of being yourself.

    The guy came out as an original with some good advice and some not so good which I believe he actually said so himself. He has his own style and it works ffor him.

    Obviously he knows what he's doing since he gets more comments than anyone else on here.

    Hey Rico (Fonzie?), keep up the good work...the readers love you.

    Seriously, he is brilliant!

    As for davey, you sound like a worn out drive-belt on a 1978 toyota. It's time for you to man up and stop the sulking. Your ex is already moving on and you need to do the same. Rico has it right, you need to get busy on something else.

    great stuff, thanks

    Posted by Another fan of the great Rico April 24, 09 02:35 PM
  1. "Rico rode again today, it is beautiful out there, everyone get outside and enjoy this weather.

    GEARS, NOT GAS!!!"

    Why don't you ride over to another website?


    Posted by Anti Rico April 24, 09 02:43 PM
  1. Rico has an additional comments:

    Rico thinks that the anti-Rico group ought to recognize that Rico keeps Love Letters afloat.

    Rico thinks Rico-haters need to get out and soak up the sun's rays and the fresh air that represents all that is right in Rico's world. Keep your car parked though!

    GEARS, NOT GAS!!!

    Love always and have a great weekend,
    Rico

    Posted by Rico April 24, 09 03:11 PM
  1. Dave,
    Listen carefully to me, this is your ex, repeat after me EX-GIRLFRIEND!!! I am not in love with you and actually was being nice to say I ever did love you. I had fun, we dated and I even let you go to bed with me. That doesn't mean I wanted to. You were company for a couple years while I finished school and you helped keep me grounded. School is done now and I just want to enjoy my final semester with my friends. You know I have been dating other guys and have been for a while and we even had a conversation about splitting up a while back. I went away with you because the tripo was paid for already and I like to travel and you were nice enough to pay for everything. Good luck whatever you do but please please just stop calling me, texting me, contacting me on facebook etc...You are a stalker and a loser and if you don't stop I will have a restraining order sent to you.

    LEAVE ME ALONE AND STOP TALKING TO MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY TOO, THEY TOLERATED YOU WHILE WE "DATED", THEY ARE NOT AND NEVER WILL BE YOUR FRIENDS!!!

    Posted by Daves EX-GIRLFRIEND April 24, 09 03:14 PM
  1. Sorry Dave, the hurt sucks and it does take time to get over it. Unfortunately you are getting the male version of "she's just not that into you". You sound like a catch so grieve and mourn the loss and move on to someone who will adore you. You deserve better.

    Posted by ramona126 April 24, 09 03:15 PM
  1. OK Dave...Time to hit the all time "Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Songlist". Buy these songs on Itunes (what's $15 to a broken heart?), google the lyrics, sing 'em loud and proud, cry like there's no tomorrow, then go make your own music.

    Fountain of Sorrow - Jackson Browne
    Late for the Sky - Jackson Browne
    My Opening Farewell - JB/ Bonnie Raitt
    For the Good Times - Al Green
    Same Old Lang Syne - Dan Fogelburg
    Looks Like Rain - Grateful Dead
    Sweet Marie - Hot House Flowers
    Black Throated Wind - Grateful Dead
    Long Distance Love - Little Feat
    Easy to Slip - Feat
    Wild Horses - Old and in the Way
    Just Perfect - Ryan Montbleau
    A Dream Goes on Forever (bk to the bars '78) - Todd Rundgren
    Here with you Tonight - Robert Palmer
    Shake your Groove Thing - Peaches & Herb

    Posted by valentino April 24, 09 03:35 PM
  1. Hey, hurts like hell for a while but it sounds like your ex is doing it in a decent way.
    "It just is"... Let her go, let it hurt for a while and move on. Easier said than done, sure, but trust me, time is your friend here. It is a loss, it is grief but it DOES get easier with time.

    Then some time from now, no telling when, six months, a year or two, depends, you can think of her even if she is with someone else and be really happy for her.
    Good luck

    Posted by BenWhite April 24, 09 03:37 PM
  1. She did give you a reason. Sometimes those feelings of love just fade away. There is no control over it. She was being honest. You didnt do anything to make her like you, and you didnt do anything to make her not like you. It just happens...

    Posted by mrs jull April 24, 09 03:44 PM
  1. Sorry Dave, breakups are tough. Even though she's a mature girl. . . mature for 22 isn't the same as mature at 27. I believe she really does care about you, but she probably hasn't been on her own enough to appreciate you and your relationship fully. Coming from someone who played the field in college I can tell you, it takes putting up with a lot of lame lines, lame excuses, and bad manners from the dating world to make you appreciate the good guys who cherish you and are honest with you. Also, long distance dating is tough (again speaking from personal experience) and you really have to be ready for it mentally and emotionally to put in the work necessary for the relationship to thrive. Trust me, there are plenty of other girls out there that have been in the trenches of the single scene and would appreciate a good guy like yourself!

    Posted by Miss Mandy April 24, 09 03:45 PM
  1. Ok Dave, here is some honest information from another guy...There is someone else!!!!!...She has either met someone or has feelings for someone else...I have gotten this line and have given this line....AND, every time there was another person...It sucks, but I believe that is the situation...From a guy's viewpoint, not some mushy girl advice, get some guys together, go out and get drunk....It will take time to move on...In 2 years she will call you wanting to hang out. If you truely treated her great, she will miss that...After one or two weaker relationships, she will come calling for the security of your relationship...You can't go home again!...It is over...

    Posted by BC April 24, 09 04:01 PM
  1. Dave-
    I'm going through a very similar situation right now. My boyfriend of several months broke up with me yesterday, almost out of the blue, and it was devastating. He said he cares about me a lot, but something wasn't connected emotionally for him. We were very close friends before we started dating and are trying to get back to that, but like you said, it's so hard when your head and heart are in the relationship place. I hope things get better for you. Everyone says "time heals all wounds," and while it doesn't feel like that now (for me, or for you I'm sure) it is true. All the best.

    Posted by Megan April 24, 09 04:48 PM
  1. Wow Dave,

    How I wish I had a magic bullet to mend your heart! You may feel so alone in your misery but take solace that nine tenths of the people around you have been in the same void pained state. Like any state, it's temporary. Let this comfort you. I've read most of the responses above and the advice is so amazing; listen to these people, we may not know you, but through your reaching out we've become concerned people in your life! I am proud of you for reaching out and writing this letter-- not only did you reach out but you'll, hopefully, benefit from everyone's kind thoughts and heartfelt advice and the process of writing is one of the most therapeutic things out there. When you're feeling your worst, put your feelings to paper, id it totally sucks you can burn it later. Don't feel like you need to be happy and have everything "normal" give yourself to let yourself feel what you need to feel. You sound like an A1 kind of guy and I just know whomever you chose, when you're ready, will be a very lucky person indeed. The promises of tomorrow are waiting to be discovered. You will move on and you will heal, becoming a stronger individual for all that you've been through. I will be sending you positive, healing vibes!!

    Posted by Louise April 24, 09 04:52 PM
  1. Hey Dave,

    You should get together with Poster #74 - "Megan".
    Maybe she's a babe and will make you forget your ex, or at least have fun trying!
    :-)

    Posted by Shecky April 24, 09 05:54 PM
  1. We can say we were in love when we were young. That's what I said (and heard) and it's the best you can take along the way. It's good to have. Go have more fun, it's possible. Time happens.
    I'm now 43 married and kids on the way. I love my wife.
    Whooohoo. I would not have had it any other way!

    Posted by Anonymous April 24, 09 06:08 PM
  1. Why is it that most of the women have given supportive thoughtful replies and so many (not all) of men have given the "go out and screw everything in sight" reply, which is the old traditional knee jerk thing but doesn't help the person grieve over their loss? I was hoping we as a culture were moving past using other people to cover up our own pain, at least in giving advice to others!

    Posted by southerngirl April 24, 09 08:15 PM
  1. Dave, i've been in your situation before. I've gotten hung up on a girl after she's delivered the bad news. I wasted too much time, like a loser, thinking she'd come back to me. Don't waste your time like I did. Find a new girl, there are plenty out there.

    Posted by LeBron April 24, 09 09:18 PM
  1. dave, shes being immature, and thats to be expected shes 22....ur 27...i say move on...you'll find some1 better....i mean i hate when girls give us those lines...im not in love with you anymore...we deserve a freakin explanation.....if you dont get one then clearly she thinks ur not worth it.....Move on brotha. jus trying to keep it real

    Posted by keepinitreal April 25, 09 10:28 AM
  1. she is looking for a new man and new experiences..give her my number
    thanks

    Posted by jojo April 25, 09 12:25 PM
  1. She's 22. She wants to start her life. She wants a fresh start, to meet new people, try new things, get her own place, have her own experiences.

    She just wants to be single and live relatively care-free for a while.

    It sucks, the timing is definitely bad for you, but you just have to move on and know that things will work out for the best.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants April 25, 09 06:26 PM
  1. You really do need to move on. Relationships shouldn't be so hard. Either you want to be with someone or you don't. If she doesn't want to be with you, there is no reason to analyze the why or try to fight it. Wait for someone who loves you for you and would do anything to keep you. Life is too short to fight for someone who won't fight for you.

    Posted by DrQs April 25, 09 07:59 PM
  1. I had a similar break-up when I was 26. My girlfriend simply told me she had to leave; the relationship did not work out. It took me awhile to get over it, but one has no choice in such a situation, and you just have to accept the fact that someone doesn't want to be with you anymore. It took me awhile to recover, accept, and come to the understanding of why. We were just different from each other.
    A few years later, just when I already moved on with my life, she came back. I had a budding relationship with another girl, and I thought I still loved her more, so we re-united. "United" as in "marital union" that I live to regret. 20 years later, we were divorced after a long, unhappy life together. We were just too different. Dave, you are lucky that

    Posted by Justlikethat April 25, 09 09:31 PM
  1. Dave, I hope you're on the mend soon. I agree with Meredith she's young, you are young. Enjoy life.
    Here is a true story to make you think a little. A very good friend met a man while she was in college. She was 20 years old- a brilliant engineering student . He was 26, a college grad, working his way up the corporate ladder. They did all the right things-careers, savings, married 4 years later, 2 years later bought the house and then-nothing. They have been married for 23 years now, but virtually lead separate lives. She was clear that she never wanted kids. He didn't want kids at 26, but at 35 it was a different story. Now, there is resentment. She's outgoing and social. He would rather stay home and read a book. She wants to travel the world. He is fine driving to NH for the weekend. She travels alone or with friends. He goes on guy weekends with friends. It's sad. They are both nice people, but are two completely different people. They married much too young. Today they are basically roommates.

    Posted by bambinosmom2 April 26, 09 07:51 AM
  1. Hi Dave,

    They are right, you have to move on. I also agree that she's been thinking about it for a while - it's well planned out. Kudos to her for trying to have some class about it. I also think, and I'm surprised more people above didn't mention it, that she is finding herself interested in other guys - it does not mean she has done anything about it, probably not, but IMHO it's what is behind this - and she may not even really be admitting this to herself (so don't ask). So, accept her decision and move on before you find yourself in a situation that is even worse.

    Posted by Goldfish April 26, 09 10:21 AM
  1. Dave, bubby, this has happened to Every Guy, Everywhere. The break-up that comes out of nowhere, and blindsides us like a Mack truck. The advice I am going to give you is the product of long, hard experience, but to you, it's free: Sometimes, there *isn't* a reason. Usually there is--women are very much like monkeys in that they don't let go of the old branch, until they have a hold on the new branch. That's why, in the future, when you have a g/f who says, "I think we should see other people", you will know that, for her, anyway, there already is another person, but she wants to hold onto you in case he turns out to be a creep.

    But I digress.

    Let your Uncle Mistral break it down for you:

    What she’s thinking: Who the Eff knows. She’s a chick. Could be she’s thinking about Raoul, the hot guy she works with, could be that she’s thinking “I really like vanilla”. Doesn’t matter. What matters is, you’re outta there. She’s young and wants to whore around for a while. Get used up by guys named Enrique and Phillipe. Have some hard miles put on her, until she realizes that she had a total catch who was husband material, Way Back When, but she blew it. Her loss.

    What you need to do: You have 2 possibilities: If she has a hot sister or best friend, nail that chick. There’s nothing like some hot and nasty revenge sex. If not, you’re out of luck. Either way, put your g/f in the deep freeze. She wants space? Give her so much space she feels like Neil Armstrong. No calls, no emails, no texting and No.Drunk.Dialing. If she checks in w/you, it’s to make herself feel better, but it will make you feel worse. Move on. Sux but that’s how it is. And don’t worry whether the next one is 27 or 21. It’s not going to matter…Meredith and the Distaff contingent will push you towards dating someone your age or older. The consequences of Americans extending adolescence to, oh, 30, is that reality sets in for women a bit sooner, and they don’t want all the Good Guys (e.g. you) to be busy tapping 23 year-olds when they finally snap out of it and start looking for a husband. Best of luck.

    Mistral

    Posted by Mistral April 26, 09 11:30 PM
  1. Could some of you responders please explain why she wants to "[mess] around" but he should go out and have hot break-up forgetting sex? The difference being...
    Get over your misogyny and maybe you, too, can find a meaningful lasting relationship, just as Dave eventually will.
    Dave - they say it takes about one month for every year of a relationship before you are ready to truly start letting go. Use the time in between to grieve, keep active and practice pretending you don't care what she's up to. Music, books, bike rides, rock climbing, and above all friends. We all go through heart break. Remember to breathe and you'll get through this.

    Posted by Litchik April 27, 09 11:26 AM
  1. Actually, I suggested "revenge sex" rather than "break up forgetting sex", although that was for pedagogical reasons b/c I doubt that Dave would have the inclination for it, even if he had the game req’d. In any case, Mistral only deals in reality, and the reality, for Dave, is he needs to get off the Delusion Train he is riding w/r/t his ex-g/f, who, in addition to using one of the cheeziest break-up lines ever (and Mistral thinks that, when someone uses that line to dump someone, it should be legal for the dumpee to punch the dumper in the mouth, one time, regardless of who dumps who).

    Notice that the "princess" went on a weeklong vacation with Dave and then dumped him after they got back, which, undoubtedly, she didn't just suddenly decide to do when they touched down at Logan. So basically, she took the free ticket to South Beach (or wherever) in the full knowledge that she was going to adios Dave’s poor, lovesick @ss on their return. He’s lucky she didn’t have some other dewd pick her up at the airport. Anyway, that puts her firmly in the "ho'” category. And yeah, she gets to give the vajayjay to whoever she wants, *but* pity our poor hero, who is still “mythologically” in love with her.

    Thus, Dave needs some bulkhead counseling to get his mind out of the “Rainbows and Unicorns” hallucination he is (or rather was) in. I doubt, given how blindsided he was, that Dave has much game, but he’s got to get off this idea that “princess” was special. Thus particular advice on Dave – Exgirlfriend relations (i.e., there shouldn’t be any). You can whine (and that’s exactly what you’re doing) about “misogyny”, but Mistral understands that you have to talk to people in a language they can understand, and Dave is a dewd. QED.

    Posted by Mistral April 28, 09 01:09 PM
  1. Mistral - You're my new folk hero! How many precious months and years have men spent pining over lost love? It's a lot like idling automobiles: The gas they burn and the air they pollute...It's wasteful. Dave, you didn't do anything wrong, but the first reaction is always, "What did I do?" Take this one to the BANK: Do not spend a moment worrying about someone who doesn't want to be with you. I was 2 years out of my marriage and was still clinging to the noble idea that I had to find the "right one". An old friend (woman) gave me words of wisdom: She said it's OK to have relationships that aren't final relationships. It's OK to have them based on sex, on healing, on using and being used. The process helps us get back in the saddle. It helps us to know what we want and what we don't want next. Believe me now or forget me later, but if you knew the woman you were with was not the one for you; you would want to be on the next train lickity split. We all deserve to be cherished and adored. Anything less, you're stuck in traffic.

    Posted by valentino April 28, 09 03:48 PM
  1. I graduated college last year at the age of 22 and broke up with my boyfriend one month before graduation. He was 26 years old and we had been long distance for the majority of our two year relationship. College is a bubble!! I did not realize what I wanted in life until college was about to end. I realized how young I was and how much my life was changing and how much I just wanted to be single. I am not saying this is what your ex realized but I saw this trend with many others at the graduation phase. Needless to say, you are still young and deserve to be happy! Find yourself a woman- not a recent college grad =)

    Posted by Anonymous May 15, 09 04:49 PM
 
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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