dear sharideth: She Just Ended It…

Dear Sharideth,

I, like most men, simply do not understand most women. I grew up in a family full of boys and one tomboy sister, and didn’t have any close female friends until after high school. I don’t date “recreationally” and have had a handful of relationships with various outcomes (some ended well, some poorly). Last fall, I started dating an amazing woman I had gotten to know through church. We had great chemistry, were able to communicate well, have similar goals, values, theologies, and interests. Our families and friends agreed we were a great match, and, well, I thought we were headed towards marriage.

As wonderful as this woman is, she had some serious lingering insecurities and a lot of anxieties. She was in a previous relationship that ended very, very badly and experienced some serious emotional trauma at the time. In our relationship, she had ongoing anxieties and wasn’t able to say “I love you” to me (although everyone who knew us told me she was definitely in love with me, based on her behavior towards me). Finally, a few weeks ago, she unexpectedly broke up with me. Her reasons were her ongoing uncertainty and anxiety. It was very unexpected—there was no indication this was coming.

I was, and am, heartbroken. Shocked. In the time since, I’ve realized that things are not necessarily over—she is someone worth pursuing, I think, but at this point I have no idea how to about it. To complicate things, I live three hours away from her and our paths won’t likely cross by accident.

I’d be much obliged if you could give me some insight, advice, or something along those lines. Right now, I’m feeling lost, inadequate, and more sure than ever that the best way to fail in romance is to be a good guy.


Heart Broken

dear HB,

if anybody can tell you exactly what do, they’re probably either lying or have an over-inflated view of their own opinion.  i’m not above either of those things.

but i’m going to be today.

i’ve been thinking a lot on this one since i got your email and the truth is, i just don’t know.  without knowing her and/or why she bailed, there’s really no way for me to nail this down.

but here is what i do know, changing who you are is not the answer.  it never is.  unless of course you’re a douche bag who really needs a personality upgrade, but i don’t think that’s the case here.

all i can tell you is what i would do.  i would keep my life moving forward, especially if she is giving no sign of changing her mind.

she walked away, you didn’t.  she left the good thing for whatever reason, you didn’t.  and frankly, better now than after you’re married.  we could guess all day at the whys, but the reality is, whether she is unstable, afraid or just didn’t feel as strongly as you did, she ended it.

you’re going to have to move on.  if she wasn’t going to be able to be to you what you wanted her to be, she did you a favor.

though i totally get that it doesn’t feel that way.

good luck.

oh so sincerely,


any other thoughts for our friend?


12 comments on “dear sharideth: She Just Ended It…

  1. Having been in this EXACT situation – everything going well, then suddenly, out of the blue – the end.

    All I can say is I am sorry it happened to you. And I hope it takes you less time than me to move on. Some 2+ years later I finally decided I was done with the depression that set in from it. Fight becoming bitter about it as hard as you can. It will come, you’ll snark to your friends about her, but… try not to.

    Also, realize that what happened is not a reflection on who you are, but rather who she is. This is the stuff that cuts us guys to the core, because we (those who aren’t douche bags, anyway) end up thinking that somehow we are to blame. But you’re not.

    I’m going to repeat that: Don’t blame yourself.

    That being said, I wish you best of luck. The sun will rise, there will be another wonderful woman, and maybe the forever after will happen afterall.

    I’m still waiting for the latter two. 🙂

  2. kp says:

    There could be a whole different world of things going on. She could be terrified of love, and want you to chase her. She could also be done for real. If you’ve made your feelings clear for her, then she’ll either come back around when she isn’t so rife with insecurity and fear, or she just isn’t interested anymore. Either way, you’re fortunate enough to have faith in something bigger than you. It may sound like a cop out, but remember that God is faithful. I’m telling myself that a lot lately. When there’s something you really want, and everything about it felt right, and it goes away, it hurts. But if it’s not meant to be, you’re going to have something so much better. If it is meant to be, it will work itself out. You’ll know when it’s time to know. But being unsure is the worst.

  3. jessigering says:

    I’ve had a few friends who were relational self-saboteurs. Whether it’s a past romantic relationship going sour, or issues further back in her past (abuse is sadly so common that I’m not surprised to hear it anymore), some girls just can’t be happy with a good thing. We may feel that we deserve to be unhappy–shame is crushing baggage to carry.

    All of that is pure speculation, though. In the end, Sharideth is right. Even if it’s something like the above–your love and care for her can’t save her. Sounds like she has some healing to do before she can function well in any relationship.

  4. Rachel says:

    Dear HB, I’m so sorry. I feel your pain. I experienced almost the very same thing about 10 months ago, and I am still working through the hurt and confusion. Things were amazing, we had a great relationship, he had been planning to talk to my father, and out of no where, he walked away. I guess he decided he didn’t love me enough or something, though I never had any question that we were a great fit. This has been my hardest breakup to date because I was fully in love with him, there was no preparation for it, and no closure. It still doesn’t make a lick of sense to me, but I have been learning how to accept whatever God allows in a whole new way. It’s been excrutiatingly difficult, but my encouragement would be to trust Him and his plan for you even though it doesn’t seem to make any sense. It took me a long time to get there and only made my recovery that much harder. As far as your trying to patch things up goes, having been the one left,my heart says, “yes, do that!” But I made myself leave it in his hands and the Lord’s. He was the one who walked away and it wouldn’t be healthy or appropriate, I think, for me to try to fix things. It might only lead to him leaving again after a while, leaving me that much more injured. I had put my heart on the line for him from the start, he didn’t think enough of it to t reasure or protect it, so that’s what I had to do for myself from that point forward. I decided that I wouldn’t give any more of my heart to him, without him showing that he desired it or was deserving of me trusting him with it again. ‘m sorry for your pain and confusion and hope that a new joy will come from this turn of events some day.

  5. Jennifer C. says:

    I don’t have any wisdom to offer you, but please do not give up on being a good man.

  6. Ed Blonski says:

    The “I live 3 hours away” part stuck out for me. Long-distance relationships are very hard.

  7. I think that you gave HB the best possible answer, under the circumstances.

  8. I would only add advice to pray for her. If she’s got as much past hurt as you indicate, God is the only one who can repair that damage. You may want to fix it, but it’s beyond your means. I don’t know whether to tell you to move on or tell you to wait. But praying for her that God will heal her hurts is not only a good thing to do for her, but a good thing for you as well. It’s very hard to be bitter towards someone while you’re praying for them.

  9. Scotty says:

    From a girl who has really almost exactly done this (I was detail-checking to make sure it wasn’t me honestly) I have two quick thoughts that haven’t been covered yet.

    1) If she never said she loved you, please be careful with your heart. Don’t sit and count on the words of friends or what you think she meant or what you hope she will mean. Please don’t torture yourself in this way, and please don’t try to figure this out or assume on this fact. Leave her at her word and let her go. I know that hurts, but don’t leave yourself with more questions.

    2) Most importantly, you deserve someone who is excited about you. You deserve someone who is happy to be around you, not over-thinking or anxious. You want a relationship in which the girl grabs your hand and gets smiley around you. You are looking for a girl who brags on you to others and when she thinks about you two together gets giddy, not stomach ulcers. This isn’t your problem to fix. Find someone who you make happy and who makes you happy. You don’t want to get into this psychological heartbreak right now.

  10. ghfool says:

    I think your advice was spot on. Relationships are like food, you need it, but watch what you eat.

  11. ThatGuyKC says:

    I know I’m a little late to the party here, but my advice (having been in a similar situation), let her go.

    I’m not trying to be cliche or flippant, but from what you’ve shared I’d say move on.

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