I Broke Up With My Boyfriend But Question My Decision
Updated December 21, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: April Brewer , DBH, LPC
Couples break up for many reasons. Sometimes the reasons are clear, such as frequent arguments, lack of interest, and abuse. Other times, breakups are not so obvious, and that can leave you questioning your decision. You may think your partner was a good person, but that something was missing in the relationship. In those cases, it can be difficult to watch the person you care about suffer after you leave them. That doesn't, however, mean your decision was wrong. You deserve to live life with someone who makes you happy.
I Broke Up with My Boyfriend
The truth is that breaking up with someone can be a kind thing to do for them, even if they are sad afterward. Staying with someone you don't feel satisfied with could lead you to develop resentment towards them, and that can build up over time, which could lead to a big conflict in the future.
Although your partner may think they want to be with you now, breaking up can save them from being in a miserable relationship in which they are unfulfilled and unappreciated down the road. If you find you're still questioning your decision, consider what caused you to break up with them. If you both wanted different things and the relationship was just not compatible, you may have made the right decision, and the best course is to press on.
On the other hand, if you still feel you can make the relationship work, and the relationship is worth saving, you can try to reach out to your ex and talk things out. You should discuss if the differences or disagreements could be compromised and if you can both commit to resolving the issues. This will help provide insight into whether your relationship can be reconciled.
What Are Your Relationship Ingredients?
People get into and stay in relationships for various reasons. It helps to identify your "relationship ingredients," and then determine if you're willing to compromise with your ex if certain ingredients are missing. Your relationship ingredients may not include the ones listed below, but here are some possible examples:
- Freedom to have outside friends or other relationships
How to Cope with Regret and Guilt
Consider that the breakup may be better for you as well. Overcoming the guilt now opens the possibility of finding a better life later. That may mean a different kind of partner, or it may mean dedicating yourself to single life and your pursuits. After a relationship ends, it's easy to remember the good and forget the bad, especially if you're feeling lonely. But getting back together with someone you broke up with is rarely a good idea. That's not to say it never works, but be prepared for hurt feelings.
It's okay for you to feel sad after initiating a breakup. Sadness and guilt do not mean you made the wrong decision. If you felt the need to break up, there was a reason. Here are some ways to make regret or guilt easier:
- Ask yourself if things would be different a second time around or if you'd be dealing with the same problems. In a relationship, you take a person at their best and their worst. Are you comfortable being with your ex at their worst? Or do you want a fantasy version of them?
- Ask yourself if returning to your ex would mean settling for less. You should not enter a relationship because you don't think you can do any better. You can. The best path is to fill your life with the most fulfilling relationships you can, and that doesn't always mean a romantic partner.
- Remind yourself that life is not about the search for a romantic partner. Pursue all the other things that bring you meaning and happiness.
- Avoid talking to your ex. It's better to just to let it go. If a friendship remains, it can be reconnected later, after you've both had a chance to heal.
If your regret is fleeting, such as brief longings when you need a date for a party, then it's a good sign you're just feeling lonely. You can feel lonely even in the presence of others. If you think you've misunderstood your feelings of loneliness, here are a few pointers:
- Feeling lonely is natural. It's normal to feel lonely after a breakup because your life is experiencing a change. It's better to acknowledge the feeling of loneliness rather than fight it. Avoid the urge to eliminate that feeling by getting prematurely involved in a new relationship or returning to your ex.
- Process and accept your emotions. Sometimes expressing your emotions is perceived as weak or disruptive. People will encourage you to "stay strong." This isn't healthy. You're human and it's normal to feel. Somehow it seems to have become the normal expectation that we should "be happy" or "be strong" all the time. This perspective is unrealistic. Understand your feelings, don't reject them. Reach out to friends who will support you expressing your honest feelings. If you find you can't progress emotionally and don't feel comfortable being honest with friends, understand that you don't have to go it alone. The credentialed counselors at BetterHelp can help you move forward. A counselor can help you understand why you feel so alone and what you can do to change.
- Love yourself first. The idea of being alone may sound a bit scary. However, being okay with being alone is an important element of one's happiness. Learning to be alone allows you to develop happiness that isn't dependent on a romantic relationship.
- Explore new interests and engage in hobbies. Identify past hobbies and activities you once enjoyed. Find new ones. This will help distract you from negative thoughts and may offer the opportunity to meet new people.
- Try to journal. Expressing your thoughts, feelings, and plans in writing often brings a sense of relief and fulfillment. Also, expressing your thoughts and feelings about your ex in a journal could allow you to review the entries at a later date and provide deeper insight.
- Seek help. Often we turn to our family, friends, colleagues, or even strangers to discuss sensitive or pressing thoughts. Other times we hold our feelings inside until we feel we'll spill over. A professional counselor offers a nonjudgmental ear and a sense of clarity and guidance. Instead of causing more problems by seeking out your ex, talk to a professional counselor who can help you cope with loneliness, regret, and guilt. By connecting with a counselor at BetterHelp, you can have a qualified counselor at your fingertips via your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.
"I've tried other counselors that I liked but didn't seem right for me but Margaret has been amazing! I love her honesty, compassion, and realness! It was really easy to open up to her and she's helped me get through a very tough breakup that nobody else could seem to get me through. I would recommend her to anyone! She makes it so comfortable to talk to her as if you've known her for forever!"
"Sabrina is helping me so much through my breakup and I am so excited for her to help me along my journey of self love and discovery. Thank you for helping me detangle my inner problems, and guiding me to the end of each and every string!"
Having second thoughts after a breakup is normal. Once you identify the problem and decide to solve it, you'll be able to rest easy. With the right tools, you'll be on your way to reaching a place of closure and comfort. You can request a confidential consultation with a board-certified therapist online. Take the first step today.
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