Teenage Problems/Breakup


Hi Mr. Taylor, I am an 18-year-old guy from the United States. A couple months ago, me and my girlfriend of about 6 months broke up as we left for college. We are going about 4.5/5 hours away. We are both playing sports in college, and she was worried we would not have time for each other in addition to our sports and studies (we also are relatively strong and serious students). We knew since the beginning that the relationship would end when we left. I was never with it, but there was nothing I could do frankly. This was nearly two months ago, and yet I am no better and cannot get over her better than I could in August. She also I can tell is pretty much over me and the split by this point, which hurts. A dozen times a day at least I can just hear something talking to someone else and it traces back to something connected with me and my ex-girl (her name is Katie), even if that something is just a random conversation we had back in the Spring. It's inescapable. Anytime I come across a picture of her or us my heart melts because her smile is the reason I first fell in love with her. We were very close, and were best friends, and the quick split, even though nothing went wrong really besides our timing, and I knew it was coming, has just been really tough. It hurts she's perfectly fine it seems too. Anyway...I guess what I'm trying to get at is, should it be this hard to get over it all? Is there any particular way to help with that?

Thanks for listening. Sorry to ramble. There aren't many guys even that I'm close to I can talk to deeply like this, because we guys are weird about that stuff, haha.

Hi there Ace,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.

Relationship breakdowns are like a bereavement (when someone you love dies) as you tend to go through similar phases of emotions. First, you mourn for the loss of the person and the routine of seeing them. Then comes the regret of thinking about what could have been different in the past, all those things we should have said and should have done. Then, comes the self doubt and blame, where we begin to blame ourselves for the situation even though there is nothing that could have been done by ourselves to prevent it. Finally, we accept the situation and begin to see the bigger picture.

The length of time it takes each person to come through each of these different phases is entirely unique and dependent upon the circumstances; for example, how the relationship ended, how long the couple were together and whether or not there was any hostility towards each other.

From what you have written, you are still in the mourning phase of the relationship breakdown even though you knew that it would end when you both went to college. You have broke up for the right reasons, to continue your studies and focus on your sports...but that does not mean that it is going to have been easy to say goodbye to someone that you care about and love. In fact, going into a relationship knowing from the outset that it has a time limit puts pressure on both of the couple as they feel like they have to cram in as much time and experience with each other before the deadline of the relationship ending. This is a lot of pressure on both of you. Also, you have to remember that after six months of intense happiness...when you go back to college, all of that suddenly changes and you are left without routine and almost on your own. It is understandable that you are finding this difficult.

The other issue with your relationship was that, as you wrote, there was nothing wrong to cause it to end other than the fact you may not have time for each other. In some ways this makes it more difficult to walk away because you are left wondering if you would ever find anyone else like the person you have just split from...and you will.

One thing to bear in mind and remember is that just because you and Katie have split up now, there is no reason why you cannot get back together in the future when time allows. If it is meant to be, then it will be.

One thing I also say to people is to 'enjoy the life lived, not mourn the loss' which means that every time those random conversations from other people make you think of Katie, remember the fact that you had a good six months together and all the happy times you shared rather than the fact that she is no longer with you. As short as your time together was, you have had the opportunity to get to know and to love someone who felt the same for you and you should look forward to finding that again rather than focusing on what has become the past.

You will be fine, you just need to come to terms with what has happened and that may take a couple more weeks or months, however long you need to see the bigger picture and for you to realize that in the grand scheme of your life, this has only been a small blip.

I hope that helps.  

Teenage Problems

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Daryl Taylor, BSc (Hons) Psychology, PGDip (pending certification)


My expertise covers everything and anything to do with growing up, being a teenager or a young adult or being the parent of one of the pre-described. I can cover issues on identity, sexuality, love, relationships, families, drug/alcohol abuse and anything and everything in between.


I have volunteered for AllExperts.com for over ten years now, but even before that I was trying to use my experience to help others by working with Advice4teens.co.uk, Teenadviceonline.org and even Lycos and Ask Jeeves. My experience comes from being a teenager primarily but this lead me to work with young people from the age of 13. I have worked front line, face to face and over the telephone, e-mail and webchat for a government department called Connexions UK (aimed at young people aged 13-19); as well as being student counselor in New York, a Peer Mentor, a student teacher and working for my school, college and University to help raise the aspirations of young people. My life has not been easy and I have been through my fair share of issues; so there is little that I haven't been through in reality opposed to just reading it from a book or from my academic studies. I have been featured as a case study as achieving through adversity for a number of magazines and I have featured in a couple of books on both sides of the Atlantic; even though I am UK based.

The Albert Kennedy Trust

Relationships: Cathy Senker, 2012, Raintree The Dean and Chapter Positive Nation GTEN Television Aim Higher

BSc(Hons) Psychology Post Graduate Diploma in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation Basic Counselling Skills Effective Listening Skills Mental Health First Aid

Awards and Honors
Outstanding Student achievement Adult learner's Award

Past/Present Clients
Allexperts.com Advice4teensuk.org Teenadviceonline.org lycos.co.uk askjeeves.com Connexions Direct

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