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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / Recently split up, unsure how to start all over again

Topic: Recently split up, unsure how to start all over again

21 posts, 0 answered
  1. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    15 January 2018
    Hi,

    I’ve recently broken up with my ex partner. Well he broke up with me and without giving too much details I took full responsibility for what happened. We had been together for more than 10yrs. I’m a 40yo male. I’m feeling sad and also unsure how to start everything all over again. I don’t have many friends and I don’t know where to meet other people to make friends. I’m not a very social person. I know Grindr is popular but I’m not sure if people go there to make friends. Been in a relationship for so long I guess I was kinda feeling too comfortable to just spend most of times with my ex partner. And yes, it hurts knowing that I wouldn’t be able to spend the rest of my life with him but I wanted him to be happy. Also being at certain age (40) I don’t think it would be easy to find a new partner and have a long term relationship.
    2 people found this helpful
  2. BballJ
    Community Champion
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    BballJ avatar
    2032 posts
    15 January 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer

    Hi SensibleSummer,

    Sorry to read about your break up, they are never easy but it sounds like you put his best interests above your own which is very commendable. I think these days it is hard meeting anyone at any age, online dating seems to be quite popular or just finding groups of people with similar interests to yourself.

    Is there anything you would like to discuss about the break up and how you are feeling?

    My best for you,

    Jay

    3 people found this helpful
  3. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    16 January 2018 in reply to BballJ

    Hi Jay,

    Thank you for your reply. I’m feeling sad, lonely, unloved. He said he still cares about me but just not in love with me. But it just won’t be the same. I think I took it hard (the break up) as I really thought that we’d spending the rest of our life together and I still love him.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. marcus_c
    marcus_c avatar
    92 posts
    16 January 2018

    Hi Sensible Summer, sorry to hear about the end of your relationship. Ten years is a long time, a quarter of your life so far, and I imagine your lives were quite entwined. Being single means finding your own identity again.

    I had a breakup a couple of years ago, and it hit me pretty hard. The relationship wasn't as long as yours, but what I realised afterwards was that I had been isolating myself in the relatiosnhip. I had been putting so much into the 'us' that I had neglected 'me'. My friends had all fallen by the wayside, which left me feeling really lonely when the breakup happened. I decided I would not let that happen again.

    So how do you make friends now? I've found the healthiest atitude to take to the apps is one of no expectations. Most of the traffic on there is looking for quick hookups. I have made friends through apps, but I think it's more by accident than design.

    I would think more in terms of real world social stuff. What kinds of things do you like doing? Do you play sports, sing? Even volunteering? There are so many different social groups for gay men outside of the bar scene now. Finding friends based around mutually enjoyable activities is going to do two things, get you out into the world again and enjoying life as well as getting you to meet new people.

    4 people found this helpful
  5. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    16 January 2018 in reply to marcus_c

    Hi Marcus,

    Thank you for your kind message.

    You’re right, being single means finding your own identity again. And honestly I’m scared to be starting all over bymyself again. My ex partner said he still cares about me and promise to be there for me whenever I needed him. I have no doubt that he meant it. But it’s not gonna be the same and I think when you’re becoming single again you should really start to be doing things independently.

    With regards to hobbies, I don’t really have a specific hobby. I used to enjoy swimming and have recently started doing it on weekly basis. I’m not sure where to find those social groups. And yeah, I haven’t been in the scene for ages so not sure what it looks like now.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Just Sara
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    Just Sara avatar
    3397 posts
    16 January 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer

    Hi and welcome SS;

    What you wrote about losing your identity hit home for me. It's an all too common situation with break-ups. I like what Marcus said; (Hey Marcus!)

    'I had been putting so much into the 'us' that I had neglected 'me'

    True for so many..

    If I could, I'd like to discuss your situation from another angle. The 10 yr mark is apparently a milestone for relationships. I've engaged with many people over the yrs who speak of this challenging time as 'surviving' it. "If you can get thru that, you can get thru anything!"

    Whether there's a science or psychological concept to this I'm not sure, but I do know it's spoken of often. I think you'll find too, that some who divorce around this time, get remarried afterwards.

    I don't know the details of your break-up, but I do know none of us are perfect and; forgiveness is divine.

    The 'in love' state that people refer to fades and (apparently) develops into the next phase; deep love. Old people say; with perseverance, it's like 'connecting' from their hearts as true family; where patience and tolerance grows and expectations change.

    Please, I don't want to be seen as Devil's Advocate or cruel by proclaiming there's still hope of a reunion for you both. I guess I'm trying to broaden the discussion.

    On a positive note, isolation is the perfect environment for reflection. And don't forget, your ex is in the same boat as you. Hope this helps...

    Warm thoughts;

    Sez

    1 person found this helpful
  7. marcus_c
    marcus_c avatar
    92 posts
    16 January 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer
    Hi Sensible, I think you're right not to be reading too much into the 'I'll always be there for you' statement. It is one of those sentiments that makes us feel good, but has loopholes big enough to drive a bus through. I think it's enough for you to know that he is still going to be a part of your life, but that you're focused on your new, independent life. Speaking from experience, once you get past the grief of separating and start to find yourself again, it's quite exciting. It's not so bad out there.
    2 people found this helpful
  8. MrBP
    MrBP avatar
    8 posts
    16 January 2018

    Hi All,

    SensibleSummer breakups are horrible. I do feel your pain. All I can say is don’t be like me and be too afraid to date that you remain single for almost 25 years now! So any tips on meeting men in this town (Sydney) would be appreciated.

    Just be kind to yourself, don’t doubt yourself and love yourself. I should practice what I preach! It will get easier.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    16 January 2018

    Hi all,

    Sez, thank you for giving another perspective of my situation. What you have explained actually makes sense. I asked my ex to give our relationship a chance and to give me a chance to change for better and make him happy. He told me that he fell out of love with me and don't think he can be in love with me anymore so I don't think there's possibility for reunion.

    Marcus, I agree with you. I should focus on moving on and building a new, independent life. It's easier said than done of course. And yeah, I'm still in the grief period of separating and hopefully things get better soon. I'm trying to take things day by day.

    MrBP, thank you for your kind advise. I don't have any tips on meeting men in Sydney (I live in Melbourne, btw). Marcus mentioned about social groups for gay men outside of the bar scene now, maybe that's where you can start.

    Thank you all so much for your kind words and encouragement. I'm feeling a little bit better today and can now see things in perspective, really appreciate all of you who took time to respond to my post and offered some advise and encouragement. I'm not the type of person who can open up easily but I'm glad I posted a thread on this website.

    2 people found this helpful
  10. BballJ
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    16 January 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer

    Hi SensibleSummer,

    I am glad to read you are feeling a little better, it does help talking about things, that is for sure. You just have to take this day by day and step by step and slowly put the pieces back together and you will gain the independence you require to start living your life again.

    My best,

    Jay

    1 person found this helpful
  11. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    17 January 2018 in reply to BballJ

    Thanks Jay.

    It’s not easy, I know. Sometimes I feel better but other times I don’t feel good.

    I’ve been having trouble in sleeping lately. The night we broke up I couldn’t sleep at all. Every night after that when I go to sleep at night I always found myself awake in the middle of the night and couldn’t continue sleeping. It’s just when I awake in the middle of the night thought of being alone makes me feel sad & lonely. Writing this reply at 3:56AM now, I’ve been awake since 3:30AM.

    We’re still living together (separate sleeping arrangement) as the break up has only just happened recently. Been looking online for a new apartment to rent but there’s nothing really stand out (I like). Should I just not being picky and just choose any apartment for the sake of moving out. I just think if I do this and I don’t really like the place it won’t really help me in term of dealing with my separation grief. My ex said I could take as long time as I can to find a new place to live.

    I’ve only told one person (apart from posting messages here) about the breakup. A college from work who I became good friend with. But I didn’t share much details of the breakup. Haven’t told any of my friends (have few friends but I don’t see them often). Don’t think I could just send them an sms announcing the breakup, and I feel embarrassed to let them know. I’m afraid of them thinking I’m such a failure. My family is overseas and I’m not out to them so can’t really talk about it with them. So yeah, been trying to deal with this bymyself. It’d get better hopefully.

    Anyway, just thought I write something here since I couldn’t sleep.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. marcus_c
    marcus_c avatar
    92 posts
    17 January 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer

    Hi Sensible Summer, I know the 3am feeling, it's not nice. I found the best way to deal with it was to not fight the fact that I couldn't get back to sleep, and either get up for a while to do a non-stimulating activity (reading a book, no TV or screens), or lie in bed and listen to a podcast or audiobook. Even if you're not asleep, you are still resting.

    I didn't realise you were still living in the same place, that must be making it harder for you. Maybe you can find somewhere temporary while you look for somewhere that's going to be more permanent? I just wonder whether in your current state that you are going to find excuses for not moving because you're not ready to let go yet, which makes perfect sense. But it's a bit like ripping off a band aid, better to get it over and done with than draw it out.

    I hear you on the feeling like a failure side of things. How much of that feeling is based on things you actually did in the relationship, and how much of it is a vague feeling that you 'should' be able to make a long term relationship work? I can identify with the last one for sure. The marriage debate was quite difficult for me for that reason, and I sometimes am resentful of friends who are in (what appear to be) successful long term relationships.

    Hope you managed to get some rest.

    2 people found this helpful
  13. Just Sara
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    17 January 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer

    Good morning Summer; (Shout outs to Marcus and Jay)

    I'm sorry if my last post didn't fit your situation. I guess my style on here includes out-of-the-box discussions as a means of encouraging dialog. It can be difficult for first time posters to get into the swing of things; it's my responsibility as a volunteer peer to help people feel comfortable and safe enough to keep talking.

    I too didn't realise you were still living together. This isn't ideal as a mindset for moving on and would be difficult facing your grief. It does however make things easier to plan the next phase of your life. Your ex is really gracious with giving you time to organise.

    Learning or remembering how to be single takes patience. Reading how you're indecisive about a new place to live may reflect this. It's challenging to take on responsibilities on your own after 10 yrs of sharing accountability. I'm sure though you have what it takes to get there.

    I'm wondering if you have a psychologist to talk with. Living in such close quarters with him might tempt you to talk about your feelings and keep you attached. Someone not emotionally connected with you will provide an avenue to vent or discuss ways to support your move and grief.

    It's a process Summer; one step at a time. Try to focus on each issue as they come up instead of the big picture. This will help you gently come to terms with your situation while celebrating your achievements as they occur; ultimately you'll gain strength as time passes to face each challenge as they arise.

    Talking with your friends about the break-up would give you another support system to rely on. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need to ok.

    Maybe your GP can support your lack of sleep with some light med's to kick start a healthy pattern. It doesn't have to be long term, just a strategy to see you thru this difficult period.

    I wish you well my friend..

    Be gentle and kind with yourself;

    Sez

    1 person found this helpful
  14. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    12306 posts
    17 January 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer

    Hello everyone,

    Sensible summer,

    I have been reading this thread with interest.

    Like the others I did not realise you were still under the one roof.

    My situation years ago was different in many ways as we were living in my house when I we agreed to break up but my ex would not leave and it became very uncomfortable for me.

    Living under the same roof once the relationship is over I found to be very draining. At least you are polite to each other and he has given you time to organise what to do next.

    I find lack of sleep at any time to be difficult but when you need to make decisions it will make you exhausted. I am not sure why 3.00am is the time we wake up and then stare at the clock and see how slow time goes.

    Look after yourself

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  15. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    17 January 2018 in reply to marcus_c

    Hi Marcus,

    Thank you for you advise on how to deal with the 3am feeling.

    We rented the apartment and both of our name are on the lease. I decided to move out and he's happy to stay. You are right, I was hoping my ex would change his mind and give me a chance so I don't have to move out. But now that I've come to realisation that it really is over I know I should move out soon. Have scheduled a few inspections this weekend so hopefully I'll find one to move in. Would love to move out soon but I just don't want to pick any apartment for the sake of moving out (perhaps in my situation this is justified?) and have to move to another place again next year just because I don't like it. I'm a type of person who loves stability (hence this separation came as quite a shock for me) so prefer to stay in one place for a while. I've found the rental market is quite competitive as well. Went to inspect an apartment today and there were so many turned up.

    With regards to feeling like a failure, it's a bit of both (based on things that I did or rather didn't do' and feeling that I and my ex should be able to make it work.

    1 person found this helpful
  16. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    17 January 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sez,

    There's no need to apologise. The way you explained it on your last post, I would never thought of it that way. I learned something new and it's a good thing.

    I don't have have a psychologist to talk with. I find that I explain things better in writing then talking so posting messages in this online forum is actually helping me a lot.

    Thank you for your advise, to try to focus on each issue as they come up instead of the big picture. One step at a time.

    Hopefully I'll be able to manage to get decent sleep so I don't need to see a GP.

    I feel better today than yesterday but every now and then the memory of me and my ex together (all the things we shared and did in the past) flashes before my eyes and when that happens it made me sad. But things will get better eventually.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    17 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    Thank you for your kind message.

  18. BballJ
    Community Champion
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    2032 posts
    17 January 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer

    Hi SensibleSummer,

    I have been there when those wake up's happen in the middle of the night, they are the worst. That's the anxiety and grief taking over I think. I am glad you find the forums a place to open up, it is exactly what they are here for. This stuff just needs time to heal, it is never easy. As time goes on, you will start to feel better. Moving out will be a big thing to start the healing process as well. You do not have to rush however.

    My best,

    Jay

  19. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    18 January 2018 in reply to BballJ

    Hi Jay,

    Thank you for your kind message. You’re right it takes time to heal. It is not easy for sure but I’m encouraged by your and others (shout out to Marcus, Sez, MrBP & Quirkywords) input and advises on how to deal with the break up.

    Thank you all to make time to post your messages.

    3 people found this helpful
  20. SensibleSummer
    SensibleSummer avatar
    11 posts
    18 February 2018

    Hi all,

    Thought I'd give you all an update. I have moved into my own apartment about two weeks ago. My ex has been kind enough to help me out with moving and settle in my apartment. And yes, we still keep in touch.

    In term of how I feel. some days I feel ok but other days I feel sad when thinking about the break up. I miss being with him. But I know he's moved on and I should too.

  21. BballJ
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    18 February 2018 in reply to SensibleSummer

    Hi SensibleSummer,

    Moving out was the first step to moving on from your ex, as days go on and you get accustomed to living on your own, moving on with become that little bit easier.

    Keep going and keep fighting.

    My best,

    Jay

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