My guy left the country and I’m confused about break up

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Dear Guys,

Earlier this year I got very badly heartbroken when I broke up with a guy who told me he loved me, but then showed me that he didn’t actually know me at all and didn’t care who I was and what I liked—almost as if he was reading a book on how to have a relationship and following the advice in the book without looking at me. Then I felt like I would never find anyone who is truly interested in me rather than the idea they have of me.

But then I met this guy from South America and we started dating. But now I am very confused about the relationship. He and I talked a lot about how we see life and love, and agreed on everything basic; we had wonderful discussions about other things as well— movies, music, etc And if we didn’t agree we had healthy debates. On top of that we did many things together that we both enjoyed and had a really great time, walking around the city for hours just talking til the early morning hours. I was very hesitant in the beginning to really give it a go due to my earlier experiences and at a certain point he told me about a really bad experience he had had, which he thought was holding him back from really getting into the kind of relationship he wanted. He wants to be able to open up and be completely into it with his heart and soul. He said he often does things that prevent this in order to not get hurt again. He also said that he felt we have a real connection and something true and that this doesn’t happen often to him. (Just twice so far.)

However then I did something stupid and told him about it in an even more stupid way—basically blurting it out in a conversation without thinking—that reminded him of his earlier bad experience. He believes me that I didn’t do it on purpose or to hurt him and that it’s not a big deal for anyone except for him but he lost his trust in me a bit and feels uncomfortable because he knows I can hurt him. He also knows that I won’t do this ever again but he needs time to let this bad feeling go.

Unfortunately we don’t have time. He will leave to another country in 2 months and we’ve just been dating for 2.5 months. Although he says we have a true connection he doesn’t want a long-distance-relationship even when I would be happy to follow him at a certain point if everything goes well. He said he wants “real things” in his life and doesn’t want to wait for things to happen anymore. It was hard and tearful and at the end I said that I wish him a happy life and he responded slightly upset that I shouldn’t be saying we wouldn’t see each other again. But I told him that if he leaves to another country it’s not likely we’ll see each other again and I need to forget him.

I really don’t know what to make out of all this. Don’t get me wrong, I know 2.5 months is not long to judge whether or not a relationship will work but I haven’t had a connection with someone like this in a long time and I know he feels the same way. And I would be up for giving the long distance a try nevertheless. (It’s just a 2 hour flight). But he won’t have any of that.

He also forgave me for the stupid thing I did and explained how he felt about it and that if he didn’t care for me he would have just turned his back. Everything he does when he is with me shows me that he really likes me and cares for me but then he says we don’t have a future…. “but I’m not saying ever, maybe in the future – just now we want different things in life.”
I am heartbroken at the moment and I know I have to go on but this whole relationship confused me so much and I don’t know if there is still a chance for us, as his actions and words are so contradictory. I feel this is not clear cut, not a real break-up; it feels unfinished and that drives me mad as I will never know what could have been….


Dear Salome,

Thank you for your question.

We’re sorry you’re going through a difficult time right now. But you can’t blame yourself entirely. You may have formed a great connection in the 2 1/2 months you were with this guy, but that’s still not enough time to really know who he is. People are complex, and if he’s been hurt before, it’s likely his “baggage” is what’s preventing this relationship from progressing.

It’s unfortunate that your relationship was tested so early on. Timing is always a huge factor in relationships, and it often determines whether or not a relationship will move from the dating stage, to the serious stage, to an actual long term commitment. In your situation—him leaving the country—the timing just isn’t there for you. For you, this doesn’t seem to be a deterrent, but for him it is. But it could also just be an easy way for him to make an exit.

This “mistake” you made—you didn’t mention it to us—might be playing a part in his trust issues, but honestly it doesn’t sound like what you did was so bad that he would throw in the towel because of it. Of course we’re sure it didn’t help, but it’s more likely it just added fuel to his existing insecurities and fears about relationships.

We wish we could give you a definitive answer here Salome. But unfortunately we can’t. He seems open to reuniting in the future, but who knows if and when that will happen. The best thing you can do is let yourself be sad for a bit, reflect on what you learned, pick yourself up, and move on.

You sound like a very caring person. There are plenty of guys out there who will be able to appreciate a woman like you.

Hang in there,


ps. Let your friends know about us. Thanks!

Some other questions for THE GUYS:

He speaks in facts, she in emotions; should I break up or do long distance? 

Not over his ex; should I leave now, or give it a chance? 

Booty call or relationship trouble?

Is he too into me?

Three questions for guys: Dating my best friend’s boyfriend, Bumps on my butt, Dating an older guy?

Wooing at a distance

Text messaging, tears and betrayal

Dating in my 20s as a single mother

My boyfriend is on dating sites; is he cheating?


9 Comments on My guy left the country and I’m confused about break up

  1. Dear guys,

    I would really appreciate a man’s perspective on this situation. I have been with my boyfriend for over four years and we only see each other on weekends. I usually go to his place as I still live at home.

    I have always found swearing disrespectful and my bf knows this. I used to feel he respected my feelings on the issue. Lately, he has developed a big temper and during arguments he screams at me and swears repeatedly (this has happened about three times in the last year.) We argue about really silly things – one time he got angry because he said I’d been scowling at him.

    I feel like my bf finds spending time with me to be a chore and takes me for granted. He always seems to want to be on his computer. I don’t mind alone time and give him his space. However, as I usually come at about four on Saturday and leave about four on Sunday and we also don’t really talk during the week, he has the majority of the weekend and the whole week to do whatever he wants. He’s become really impatient for me to leave as early as possible on the Sunday and this really hurts. I feel so unappreciated because I make an effort to go and see my bf practically every weekend and I travel nearly two hours each way.

    He doesn’t like waiting at the train station and expects to just drop me off and leave whereas I always want more time to say goodbye. Last time I saw him he made me promise not to make him wait and then got really angry when I “broke my promise.” He started screaming at me and swearing repeatedly. When I asked him to calm down he swore even more and made fun of me. I felt he was deliberately trying to hurt me. He blamed me for the whole argument saying he was sorry I was crying, but I brought it on myself. Then he got upset when I didn’t kiss him goodbye.

    I always feel that my bf dismisses my feelings. When I try to tell him how I feel, he becomes condescending and scornful. Also, every time we argue he says “Let’s break up”. This really gets me down because it seems like he’s always thinking about breaking up.

    You may ask why I stayed. I really loved him and I thought he loved me. Also, our problems only really started about a year ago and because we’d been together so long I thought it was worth trying to work things out. Now though, I don’t recognise him. He’s changed so much and I feel that he’s not the person I fell in love with. He has hurt me so much and I feel that he doesn’t love me and doesn’t respect my feelings.

    It’s actually been nearly seven weeks since we last saw each other. We have spoken only once and that was because I called him. He didn’t feel like speaking and still seemed upset about my “behavior”. He said that over the last year he’s stopped loving me. But I don’t understand why he has been acting like he does love me. He told me at Christmas that he wants to marry me someday and he got me a Valentine’s Day card and present. Also, back in November I was feeling really ignored and I said I wouldn’t be coming to see him anymore but told him he could come and see me. He interpreted that as us breaking up and was really upset saying that he can’t live without me.

    The last time we spoke was nearly five weeks ago and he said he’d call in a couple of days. He then texted me saying he’d call me soon but he still hasn’t. I don’t know what’s going on in his head; is it over? Should I call him? I really want to because I feel I need closure to be able to move on, but I’m not really sure how to start the conversation.

    So I guess I have a few questions: I am actually pretty sure it’s over as I think he’d have called by now. Why couldn’t he have talked to me instead of being so horrible? Then we could have stayed friends. As it is, I don’t see us being friends because I’m still so hurt and I think even friends don’t treat each other that way. If he’s really stopped loving me over the last year then why did he say he did and act like he did? How can I move on? He was my first proper boyfriend and I loved him so much (part of me still does) but sometimes I feel like I loved someone else who is no longer there. My image of him as a kind person has just been shattered.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and sorry if the post was a bit long.

  2. @Liliana……..Your last few lines say it all. (He was my first proper boyfriend.) And the first is especially difficult to get over. (Actually all break ups are hard.) It’s very likely the guy you fell in love with has changed. And frankly, you have as well. We’re sure a part of him still cares for you and can’t even envision life without you. That’s why he’s given you mixed messages, saying he can’t live without you. But the other part of him is moving on. Something doesn’t feel right for him and he’s not sure how to have a mature conversation about it. He’s probably not sure why he’s feeling the way he is and part of him is angry at himself for feeling the way he does. So instead of processing this and talking to you about it he lashes out at you and treats you poorly. This is not that uncommon. In some ways he’s trying to make things so difficult so you’ll just break up with him. Most couples have a hard time staying friends after being intimate. And guys especially have a hard time with this. (Especially young guys) We’re sorry this is so hard. Hang in there and good luck.

  3. Hi, thanks for your answer. His behaviour makes more sense to me now. I felt like he’d moved on quite quickly, but I can see now that he’s probably also hurting.
    Still I do think that he’s being unfair to me – by not letting me know what’s going on, he’s just leaving me to assume it’s over. I understand what you mean about not being sure how to have a mature conversation, but he’s 29 (I’m 24). I think we should be able to have a conversation about our relationship. I feel like he’s acting like he’s never cared about me and it just seems like he has no respect for me.
    I do understand him now though and I hope we can at least stay on good terms.

  4. @Liliana……Good luck. Hang in there.

  5. Dear Guys,

    Hmm… where do I begin?
    I’ve had a crush on one of my closest friends. It’s a crush that has been going back and forth, because her guy friends always “flirt” with her (hug from behind, tease, slaps her butt…) so everytime i saw that it made my crush just fade away. BUT it never disappeared… Even though all those guys got a girlfriend later on, they still teased a little. Oh, and btw, she had a boyfriend…

    So a year and something went by. Her boyfriend went abroad to study, and I found out that they broke up because he cheated on her.

    In the last few months we’ve been sending msgs back and forth and I realized that our conversation were always very intimate. So… One day I asked her to hangout with me and I asked if she liked me. She said “yes” and I also did, and still do.

    But here’s my problem. In just a month and some weeks, I’m going abroad to study for 3 years or even more, in a different continent. I’m only coming back next year but it’s only for 2 weeks and then i going back.

    So some months ago I said that we shouldn’t text each other and maybe should’t be very close.

    Apparently it’s was not that easy. The next day, I already missed her somehow, even though we see each other everyday at school.

    I asked her to have dinner with me to celebrate my birthday, but she didn’t give me a clear answer. So I chose to cancel it since a week passed and she didn’t say anything. I said that my idea was a mistake and that i missed her very much, and asked her if she wanted to “get together” (we never got together because she already knew i was going abroad, so we never did anything serious), she answered to not think too much and just go with the flow, and one day she would find a day for us to talk about it. She never said anything.

    This last few days, every time i see her I feel happy and realize how much I miss her. I guess i’m in love… Heart’s beat fast, i get hot and happy.

    Also, it still bothers me that every guys “flirts” with her. Her best guy friend also likes her, even though she said she doesn’t feel the same for him, he still “flirts”. And, during the time i mentioned that i had a crush on her, they would always be together, go alone to some room, even though she had a boyfriend.
    I just can’t handle this memories of her past. I’ve read other posts that, the past is irrelevant and she is “with me” now, but it makes me sad just to think about…

    So do you guys think it’s worth it to just have a month together? Or should we just let it be?

  6. I had been seeing a guy from the east coast for about 9 months, during this time he could not have been seeing his ex-girlfriend because I would see him multiple times a week and we were on the west coast. One day his exgf called to tell him she not only “still loved him” but that she had lost her virginity in a one night stand. The baffling part is that they had not had sex in their four year relationship, we were intimate since the beginning, we would go out and spend time with each other during the 9 months. When he heard from his ex-girlfriend he started ignoring me completely. I don’t understand anything, after he moved back he was with her for about 3 months then they broke up. Can one of the guys tell me why he would be so upset over the one night stand yet go back? Im definitely interested in the emotions involved because I am inexperienced with a long term relationship without a sexual component, also while she may have religious reasons he didn’t practice any religion

    thank you!

  7. @Kathy…..He must have felt their relationship ended prematurely, and without “completion.” (Meaning, sexually) So when she told him about her one night stand it affected him on many levels. He felt betrayed because she purportedly loved him but still refused to have sex during their time together. Then she does it with a stranger??!! Yes, this news may have upset him, but it also made him want to give their relationship another shot, factoring in the possibility of a physical component to the mix. (Which means he still felt connected to her and possibly loved her while the two of you were dating. And wanted to see if having sex with her somehow changed their relationship. Obviously it didn’t.) And finally, guys are territorial. He may have wanted to break up with her, but guys never want their ex’s to have sex with other guys. (At least until they’re happy themselves.) Which once again, puts into question how he felt about your relationship, and was he actually happy? So we’re assuming the two of you are broken up, correct? You’re not trying to get back together, just trying to understand, correct? Because we’d recommend moving on and finding a guy who knows what he wants. You!

  8. Yes i just never understood, we remained broken up but we kept in touch regularly for about six months after his relationship with his exgf ended the second time. He wanted to see me and offered to fly me to the east coast multiple times but I never accepted because a part of me understands a trip will not fix this. Things will never be the same. was a person I unexpectedly developed really strong feelings for making the breakup really hurtful.

    I think a part of me felt obligated to move on (when he went back to his exgf) and when one of his close friends started to pursue me, I was happy to have someone to fulfill my emotional needs as selfish as I know that was. I dated his friend for about four months and was intimate once, east coast guy is aware of this. Im not sure ive forgiven myself, and ive found myself extremely distrustful of men.
    Im definitely looking forward to a fresh start. Thank you so much for your advice!!!

  9. @Kathy…….Well, don’t be too hard on yourself. Breakups are very hard, and the healing process looks different for everybody. You did what you needed to do to heal. Let yourself move on and start over. Good luck. And let us know if we can help in the future. Take care.

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