We started dating around Valentine’s Day 2018. I never understood why our culture says men have to buy the gifts — teddy bears, milk chocolate not dark chocolate, fresh flowers. She was my best friend, I didn’t feel like I had to live up to the expectations associated with the holiday. I felt like I could define what we made of the holiday.

The real problems came when I started to overthink things. I overthink everything. It was hard for me to keep it together since I was so stressed out. I was just starting a new job and she was in her first year of grad school, so there was a lot going on in both of our lives.

When we got together our personalities matched up, but that changed later. I knew this person before our relationship, and I had this expectation they were going to be the same once we got together.

Right from the beginning, I thought we were going to be together forever. I had this image in my head of the perfect girl and I played out scenarios in my head. I rushed right into things from the start, and I was caught off guard when she felt differently.

She felt pressure. I guess she wanted to get to know me better in terms of our relationship first. I rushed into things, and there was no way to hit reset.

The breakup wasn’t abrupt because I was so concerned with ending it the right way and not coming off as the jerk. It felt like a slow slap on the face when I came closer to ending things. Emotionally, I was still hung up on her even though I knew it wouldn’t work.

We tried to be friends right after. I just assumed it would be easy to jump right back into it. I realized that didn’t feel right either. As much as friends are there for you they are not going to be there as constantly as someone as you are in a relationship.

There is no such thing as “The Dumper” or “The Dumpee.” There is a lot of sadness leaving behind a deep connection. It felt like my world was ending and there was no one at the other end of the phone to comfort me through the pain.

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