Thinking about leaving her for someone else?
OK, but read this first!

Thinking about leaving her for someone else?
OK, but read this first!

A warning: Make sure you don’t poison the well in the process

Now, there are a lot of reasons to break up with someone and they are all valid – it’s always up to you to take steps to be happy in your life. And choosing who you share your life with is a huge thing.

Still, this is a cautionary tale.

I’d been through breakups before and there was always some sadness and insecurity for a while afterwards, that’s normal. But each time there had been problems in the relationship on both sides and I had learned something from my time with my ex. So, I could enjoy the good memories, learn from the mistakes, go through some grief, and then go on with my life a little wiser.

But one time it completely changed my life and not at all for the better.

If there is nothing pushing you away, and you are leaving one person for someone you’ve met who you feel is a better match for you, who gets you and aligns with your life more. Well, if you love the person you are thinking about leaving, they love you, and you happily shared many memories and experiences together – you may lose much more than that person.

Here’s why:

I had too many shared experiences with my ex, and no real reason to break up with her – nothing was pushing me away except logic and rational thinking. Long distance relationship, misaligned life goals, career challenges, financial realities, etc… On paper it made sense to break up for both of us in my mind anyhow, so might as well start a relationship with someone that I could realistically be with. But it turns out that emotions don’t give a shit about logic or rational thinking.

With no negative to focus on and no reason to feel relieved or happy to be out of the relationship – how do you ever really move on?

Time seemed like it would help and I really believed it would.

But, oops –

My apartment? reminds me of her. pain follows.

Meeting our many mutual friends? reminds me of her. pain follows.

My hobbies of photography and hiking? reminds me of her. pain follows.

The beach? reminds me of her. pain follows.

Yoga? reminds me of her. pain follows.

Almost every bar, club, and restaurant in the city I live in? reminds me of her. pain follows.

Facebook, Instagram, taking a group picture? Camping, listening to hip hop, pop, or latin music? reminds me of her. pain follows.

Using emojis or texting or sending pictures in general? reminds me of her. pain follows.

Dancing – (formerly my favorite activity in the world)? reminds me of her. pain follows.

Smiling, being outgoing and playful, and just generally being happy with a group of friends? reminds me of her. pain follows.


Not that I am anywhere even close to being emotionally healed enough to have any interest in anyone else yet anyhow, but at this point, it doesn’t matter how well someone aligns with my life, or how awesome they are, because in order to move on I’m going to need to first give up everything that gives me happiness and comfort and build an entirely new life somewhere from scratch again. How do you even start that? I spent years identifying and nurturing my interests and passions – yet now all of the things that gave me joy before just bring pain.

The common advice to move on of “do things you love” isn’t helpful when you’ve poisoned your own personal well of happiness and turned your sources of joy black.

Why is moving on so hard this time? Because she was such an integrated part of my life and we shared so much, it wasn’t just a part of me that died with the relationship, it was pretty much all of me. And, then there’s the fact that she was an absolutely perfect partner. How do you get over someone when they never once got angry at you, irritated you, were anything but completely loving and supportive and excited to be with you?

The woman that I left her for? Well, with me drowning in a pit of despair over my ex, of course we couldn’t ever even have a chance.

So, thinking about leaving for something that seems better? Even if it is, please please please make sure there is enough actually pushing you away and that you are willing to give up everything that could be a trigger before you jump ship. Otherwise you may find yourself stuck in the grief and recovery process for far longer than you imagine.