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Dear John,

     My boyfriend of a year broke up with me two weeks ago. I mourn the loss of our wonderful relationship because he showed me love like nobody ever had before. I’d been in several abusive relationships before him, and had even been sexually assaulted twice. When trying to cope with those traumatic experiences he was the only one to save me. He literally dragged me to doctors and mental health services. The way he loved me made me feel like I was living a scene from The Notebook.

After planning a perfect birthday celebration for me, he broke up the next day, saying he didn’t think we had long-term sustainability. Since then, we've had two face-to-face conversations. During the first he said he felt he might've made a mistake in breaking up; during the second he was more sure he was doing the right thing. Throughout both these conversations we kissed, cuddled, cried, reflected on the future plans we’d made before the break up, and remarked how perfect our relationship really was. But in the end he still didn’t want to get back together.

I've now tried to stop communicating with him, hoping he would come back--but still no luck. I see him around our college campus and he looks as miserable as I am. I texted him the other day just to say hi and he quickly texted back saying he missed me. He told me that breaking up has been incredibly tough, and promised one day we'd spend time together, but as friends. I feel like he has commitment issues. I don't know if I should challenge his reasoning, comfort him, or just move on. I also feel like he owes me a true reason for the break up.

Signed,
At A Loss

Dear At A Loss
     It is heartbreaking to learn of someone enduring an abusive relationship. It is truly troubling, however, when abuse happens to the same woman several times by different men. I have great sympathy for your situation, and I hope the positive aspects of your recent relationship outweigh the negatives of your past ones. In the future, please realize that choosing your partner wisely is the only way to a good experience.

It appears your ex has dealt maturely with your break up. After thorough contemplation, he stood by a decision he knew was right for him, even while knowing both of you would feel pain because of it. In my opinion, he has acted gentlemanly toward you. And, as a gentleman, I’m sure his heart breaks for having broken yours; but he does not owe you further explanation.

I suggest you move on as best you can, and let this experience bring strength and optimism to your next relationship. As you turn the page, remember that The Notebook to which you refer is a fictionalized account written by a guy specializing in overly-sentimental tales. In real life, no relationship is perfect; even the greatest love stories have messy themes and complicated plots. They also have strong characters who overcome hardship in order to find happiness in the next chapter of their life. This is my hope for you.

Thanks for playing,
John



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