I have recently broken up with my girlfriend. We were together for three and a half years and the hardest bit about it is that we hardly ever argued and our time together was so special! We went on holidays together and made many great memories. There was absolutely no explanation as to why she finished it other than she has “lost feelings for me”. It has been two weeks and I’m feeling so low. I’m normally a happy bubbly person but I feel depressed. I can’t see how I can live my life without her. She was my everything; my first real love. The only person I’ve had sex with. I met her in school and now I am nearly 19. It seems so hard to even live without her. I’m writing to you for help because I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried everything to get back with her but she doesn’t want to know. She was the person I thought I was going to be with for the rest of my life. Jake, 18, Clapham
Thank you for your letter Jake, I am so sorry to hear about your breakup. Your message really puts across how deeply shocked and hurt you feel right now. You have sustained a big loss, which seemed to come out of nowhere and it’s only been two weeks so it is understandable that you are still reeling. There is no prescribed amount of time for anyone to get over these things, and it can take a long time.
As the song goes, “The first cut is the deepest” and it can be particularly poignant, painful and prolonged to get over a first love. As you say: you had a lot of good times together, made a lot of memories so naturally you are emotionally wounded and feel depressed.
You say that you’ve “tried everything” to get back together with her, and I can really see how it may feel as if getting back together with her is the only thing that will make you feel whole again, but you need to work on your sense of self before you even start to think about that.
It’s also possible that “doing everything” to get back with her could alienate her so it would be better to give her a bit of space right now, and use the space yourself. Use it and any energy you have finding your own purpose and identity. You have got used, over the past three and a half years, to living through your relationships with your ex. There is part of you that identifies all your success, happiness and wellbeing with the relationship you had.
Not being able to do that right now must feel really shattering, so go slow, don’t expect too much of yourself. Allow yourself to go through the hurt of it a bit. If you want to cry, or punch something (like a pillow, not something human or breakable!) or just curl into a ball and sleep, that is okay!. It’s all part of the healing process.”
One thing that it is really important to understand in painful situations like this is that your feelings are not fixed, they are in a state of flux and always changing. So try to tune in with them a bit: and talk to others as much as you can. You said that you feel as though you can’t live without her and it is important to explore feelings like that and talk them through. Express a little of what you are going through to people you trust, and don’t be afraid to connect with your emotions. This is the only way of going through them, and coming out the other side feeling affected —hurt and sad and slow to trust again, perhaps ‑ but able to see your potential for getting stronger and moving on in the long run.