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Breaking Up Before "Match Day"

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My "boyfriend" is finishing up medical school this year. He is graduating from NYU and has longed to come back home to Seattle. It was the day we have been both been waiting for after being in a long distance relationship through holy hell as we know as medical school. We have been physically together during our undergraduate years for about half a year. So in total we have been together for about 4.5 years. I stayed behind here in Seattle to finish up prerequisites for nursing school. We have had our arguments/fights, but the last couple months have been extremely heated especially surrounding the topic of match day.

Match Day was March 15th this year. He broke up with me the day before match day. If there are a few of you you have had the heart to read through this - a little background: Match day is the day that 4th year medical students get matched into residency programs. It is based on their rank list and a freaking algorithm that places them into a program for the next 3, 4 or 5 + years (depending on the specialty). My "boyfriend" was matched to his #1 ranked spot in Seattle. This is exactly what we have been waiting for.

Truthfully speaking I am expecting the same thing being told to me in a different way. "You gotta move on and take this opportunity to start living for yourself". "You're in a lot of pain right now, and that's normal, it will take time to go away". "Time heals all wounds". The infamous, "There are other fish in the sea" or "You'll find someone better" (recipe for serial monogamy in my opinion and frankly I just don't want to date anyone for a long, long time if it ever came to that point). You get the picture.

I'm a hot mess. I've been crying since Thursday, and tonight is the first night I haven't cried. Realistically, I know I will be crying more on and off as I work through each day.

We wanted all the same things in the future, we still love each other very dearly. His reasoning was 1) we need to grow up, separately 2) he is tired of the excessive fighting 3) he has this anxiety built around anticipated conflict/the next fight 4) he feels that we've tried everything to make this work and it's not working right now. My chief complaints about the relationship are 1) he has a hard time expressing his feelings/thoughts without flouting out in anxious anger 2) his escapist nature surrounding life changing events (this isn't working - let's break up, this is the 3rd time this has happened), 3) during his extended stays here at home he doesn't seem to understand that I need time to myself too (not feeling obliged to spend every free minute with him)

Again, I recognize that our relationship has gone downhill and has seen happier times but I don't think it was a complete loss cause. We haven't cheated on each other, nor did we want different things for our future both professionally and personally. In sum, there wasn't any defining points of conflict of interest to begin with. Nor do I think it was a sunk-cost (constantly investing in something that is obviously failing). Comparing our relationship problems to others, ours looks like sunshine and rainbows.

Besides the fighting, I think there were a lot of contributing factors, especially surrounding match day that built him up to this point of feeling like breaking up was the last resort.

As we were making the rank list together, I felt that perhaps we had a better chance of being together by ranking a California school #1 versus the only program that is in WA. Considering there were more nursing programs down south, I thought that in terms of numbers that I had a better chance of going to nursing school while he started residency. I had this idea that perhaps starting a fresh slate together out of a state of familiarity might be good for both of us. We are both young and ready to tackle whatever was in front of us. Living in a cold rainy city for all of my life - I thought that it would just be a nice change for both of us. He sold this idea to me and to be honest, in the beginning, it scared me because I thought all along he wanted to come back to our rainy city. I began to open up to the idea that this might be a possibility that I would let go of our home to be together. And I felt completely OK with that. On the other hand, I had absolutely no opposition to stay in our home city for another four years if it had to come down to that, as long as we were both happy and finally together in the same city for once. In the time being that we were making the ranking list - I did feel as if he didn't take my career goals into consideration by not ranking a CA school #1. He reasoned with me a week before the rank list was due that he should rank the only Seattle program #1 because in terms of our relationship, it would be better for our relationship and for us as individuals to be around the people who love and care for us and be in a state of familiarity again. Most of all, he really loved the program, and that was important to me too.

My grades are not very competitive and I would honestly be shocked if I got into any nursing program at this point. I am not being a pessimist - I know the competitive nature of nursing programs here in the US. It is really ******* hard to get into even a community college program. After a while, I began to realize his point about changing his #1 ranked school. We had a fight about changing the #1 rank - but I really felt that he didn't understand what I was expressing to him. I was seeking affirmation from him that everything would be okay even if I didn't get into a nursing program at the same time he started residency. I also felt I was expressing my fears that maybe I would get accepted to a CA school and it would defeat the purpose of everything we worked so ******* hard for. Hypothetically, if we never dated to begin with, I would have exclusively only applied to WA state nursing programs regardless. If I wasn't accepted, well, I can just continue working in this clinic for another year to pay off my damn loans. I would not regret not going out of state for my education's sake. I am happy being here with my friends and family while paying off my loans and waiting to get into a program.

I am giving him space - I know I can't just sit around forever and wait on him to take me back theoretically. I know I need to focus on "me time". I want to believe that he is taking this break up as time to evaluate himself and grow from it to benefit our (hopefully) new relationship in the future.

Any thoughts on the situation or any one out there who has had a bad break up and got back together after "growing up"?

Edited by Esme12
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I am so sorry to read this. Losing a loved one by any way is hard. Many relationships do not survive the pressures of distance relationships or the pressures of med school, to say nothing of multiple years of residency.

As to your list of issues about him: He has planned to be a doctor for many years. Emotionally they cannot be all emotional. They have to look logically at a situation without feelings getting in the way of fact. it is difficult to turn that on and off at will, especially the will of another. When he was home he wanted to be with you all the time. Was that an escape from the pressures of school as well as wanting to be with you? The multiple breakups seem to me to be in keeping with the pressures of med school, balancing his needs are a doctor in training with your needs, and the difficulty with emotions.

This is middle of the night, arm chair thoughts so don't take them more seriously than other thoughts. Seems like you may have been fairly young when you got together. Is there any chance that some of his appeal was that he was very bright, had goals, and those goals, at least on the surface, appeared a bit like yours?

If you are looking for advice then my advice is to focus on what you want, not what his needs are. If you wish to go to school in a different place, do so. If you focus on schooling you can make this less negative. One thing I would caution against is any rebound affairs. We don't always make great choices when we are trying not to hurt.

I do hope things work out in a way you are happy.

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Maybe giving him the time to have his 'space' is the best thing for both of you. In that time, if you happen to meet someone else or he meets someone else -- well, so be it. It's not realistic to want him to be with you, if he doesn't want to be. He'll just end up cheating on you eventually.

Let's say he still has feelings for you or he's still in love with you, he will come to you (in ways that you may or may not expect). Maybe he really is just 'confused' at the moment. If things don't work out the way you plan/want with him, you will know (eventually) if you are ready to meet someone new again and take a chance.

Sometimes, we don't get what we want. Sometimes... fate has other plans for us ;)

At times, as I think of my past relationships (no, I've never been married) -- I know I've had my faults, maybe I should have done more, said more... expressed more, etc., etc. I realized that they're all in the past. If I were to somehow, bump or accidentally meet those 'special people' today, would I even? Would I give it another chance, if it were offered to me? I can honestly say, for most -- it's NO. There's about one or two that, the answer is maybe?

But, all in all.... I'm glad that things happened the way they did. Reminiscing in the past is evil! :D Joking aside though, a day will come when you realize that, is just wasn't meant to be. Thinking about, why it didn't work out over and over is just exhausting.

Once you get over someone... you forget what they smell like, what it feels like to touch them, to be close, etc. and you can only truly get over someone with -- TIME. Cutting all communication helps too! 'Til this day, I still don't know how divorced people with kids do it.

Goodluck on your journey with life. We all need it.

Edited by vegas2009

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i'm sorry you're going through this and that you're hurting.

it does sound like you both need some time and space.

stress levels, expectations, disappointments, new beginnings...all coming to a head.

so yes, i thoroughly believe you should focus on your life now.

make it about you - and endeavor in striving to reach your personal and professional best.

yes, there will be plenty of growing pains...

but it willresult in your subsequent growth as a spirit and person.

this doesn't mean anything, in terms of your relationship with your so.

who knows what will happen with a little time apart?

but at least during that time (however short or long), you will be proactively pursuing your goals...

creating additional qualities that will serve you from thereonin.

i sincerely wish you nothing but faith, strength, and fortitude.

it will work out well, either way.


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Welcome to AN! The largest online nursing community!

I am so sorry you are going through this......we have ALL had experiences where someone we loved so much walked out of our lives. Being married or not really doesn't matter when you are talking about long term commitments......your heart doesn't know whether or not there is a marriage certificate.

People are going to walk in and out of your life....for the rest of your life. Some you will miss....some you will not. Some will break your heart.......others hearts you will break.

Life moves on whether we want it to or not......cry about it, get mad about it.....but don't let it consume you. If he is meant to be with you...he'll be back. I have never found it beneficial to repeat relationships for they seldom change. People grow up and life changes...people change embrace that change.

It hurts....a lot right now....take the time to care for you. Surround yourself with people who love you. This too shall pass....((HUGS))

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Okay, first of all, I am very sorry for your recent break-up.

I did read everything you wrote... Let me just tell you from my experience the cold, hard facts... your boyfriend ended this relationship with you. He broke up with you. If the guy doesn't want to be with you and can actually verbalize this enough to end the relationship (more than once, in fact), he. does. not. love. you. He does not want to be with you.

That HAS to get through to your head. It HURTS. But it's the reality of the situation.

Once that reality sets in, you're going to understand that what happened (the break up) is actually a good thing. WHY would you want to be with someone who does not want to be with you? who does not cherish you and love you and would sacrifice for you and wants to physically be with you for the rest of his life?

What happened in your relationship is that it was dragged on for far too long. Unfortunately, your heart and mind and life plans have been intermingled with his when there was no guarantee that there was going to be a future together (marriage since he never proposed). Long-distance dating is NOT RECOMMENDED, in my opinion. Unless you had a rock-solid relationship prior to going long-distance where you guys already worked out issues and knew each other like a book and were 100% committed to each other, doing long-distance for the majority of your relationship masks problems and issues that would have surfaced way earlier if you had dated in person.

I was in your shoes before where I changed my nursing plans (in my case, I just gave them up) because I was in a serious relationship that later ended. Ultimately, the good news is that I'm in a nursing program now and I believe you will be too. So I'm not too worried about whether you'll pursue nursing or not. I know it's hard, but don't blame him for the choices you made in life. It's not a good habit to get into for any aspect of your life. Wherever you decided to apply, that was your choice. My choice to give up on nursing was influenced by my being in a relationship because I thought that was best decision for our relationship, but it was my decision.

The thing about relationships is that both people need to be ready. It sounds like this guy is just NOT ready to settle down. The best thing you can do is let him go. He's the guy. He needs to pursue you. I'm not stuck in the 50s, but that's how guys work. If he has determined in his heart and mind that he wants to be with you, he will make it absolutely sure that that happens.

When a guy ends a relationship, it's over. Let him go.

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