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Daughter's bf has broken up with her - how to start a conversation?

(9 Posts)
sami99 Sun 17-Nov-13 10:54:36

My dd is no longer a teen (she's early twenties) but not sure where else to post. She has been seeing her bf for 4 years. Lately the relationship has been long distance, but they were both determined to make it work. But now he's broken up with her, even though it seems he does still love her. I think he was finding it just too difficult. She is abroad, having an amazing time and he was the one left behind. (They did get to see each other regularly thanks to cheap flights, and communicated all the time).

She is devastated (so am I) but won't talk about it. Any ideas please on how to gently open up a discussion? I actually think she should at least think about returning home, permanently. Even if the two of them can't find a way to get back together, at least she'll know she gave it the best chance. He's a lovely lad and I'm sure is suffering as much as she is right now.

adeucalione Sun 17-Nov-13 15:35:57

Personally I wouldn't be advising my DD to give up her amazing life abroad in order to return to her home town in the hope that her BF reconsiders.

Although I'm sure he's lovely, and may well be mourning the end of the relationship himself, he has made the decision to end it and will have his reasons for doing so. If the only problem was distance he would presumably mentioned this to her so that they could address it?

insancerre Sun 17-Nov-13 15:41:09

maybe text instead?
I expect they have just both moved on and the relationship has come to a natural end.

mumblechum1 Sun 17-Nov-13 15:43:51

I agree that she certainly shouldn't be encouraged to give up her new life which it sounds as though she loves to come back home.

Her heart will be mended much more quickly now that she has new friends, new experiences etc than it would if she went back to her home town where presumably there are lots of memories of her ex.

It is very hard, but something everyone has to go through at some point. sad

Longdistance Sun 17-Nov-13 15:45:10

I really wouldn't suggest for her to come home if she's having an amazing time abroad. She may only ever get that opportunity the once, and giving it up for a fella that may well dump her again, is a recipe for disaster.

DalmationDots Sun 17-Nov-13 16:03:35

I have a DD this age. She went off to uni two years ago now with a long term boyfriend. He was lovely and really good for her. She decided at Christmas after first term to end it. I was gutted but at the same time I could see it wasn't the end of the world. In some ways it was a healthy life lesson for DD as things weren't going well and she wasn't afraid to try and work through it, and when that failed, end it and move on.

I have seen DC this kind of age get really hooked up and feel very pressurised to be with someone, feeling it is the age you are expected to start to find the one. I find it very unhealthy when someone starts jumping from one relationship to another or if it becomes incredibly serious too early. I really tried to emphasise to DD how it is a wonderful age to be single and have time and space to feel happy and create her own life.

I am so glad I took this stance as DD has a really good outlook on relationships now and from that one ending she is much stronger and will take with her to any future relationships a lot of lessons from that first serious relationship. There is a lot more opportunity to meet later in life or in your mid-late twenties, and far more do, nowadays. Most of my DDs friends at uni are single.
There are many more fish in the sea, or maybe in years they will get back together, but there is definitely nothing to be sad about or encourage your DD to cling onto. Ask her how she is feeling, if she has managed to keep busy or chat to someone about it. Allow her and encourage her to 'grieve' for the (very long) relationship, but also encourage her to try and be positive and do not inadvertently portray fear about being single, it could really affect your DDs self-esteem and outlook. The best place for her is where she is, where she has built up a life and can continue to. Coming home will just leave her feeling he was the only boy out there and her worth is dependent on him.

sami99 Sun 17-Nov-13 17:10:28

Thank you, all very good advice. I suppose it is a natural maternal thing to take on the pain of your daughter; mother nature's way of making sure that we take extra care of them through difficult times.

It's made me remember all the conflict I felt at the same age when I was in a serious long term relationship, and yet I needed to 'find' myself, alone. So I ended it, but then regretted it, and never had the confidence to do the sort of things she's now doing. I suppose I'm worried she may experience regret if she doesn't give the relationship a chance, by coming home... But of course you are all correct, she is more likely to regret it if she gives up the life she has made for herself.

Hopefully she is getting the chance to talk it through with her friends. I'll ask her how she's feeling, and let her know she can talk to me too if and when she feels able to.

DalmationDots Sun 17-Nov-13 17:19:47

You sound a great mum, no worries, we all have moments of wanting to protect them from the pain in the present. But we need to see the big picture and that in the long run it may be for the best. We have all been there, and it is so tricky.
While you personally ended a relationship that you regretted, this is different and you need to try not to link the two. Not just because it was her ex who ended it but also because it is different circumstances and a different life from your own. Whatever is meant to be for her, will happen, life has a funny way of things usually happening for a reason in the long tun. But it is important not to push your own anxieties onto her but to let her eventually make this as a positive experience.
I hope she is doing OK.

sami99 Mon 18-Nov-13 16:36:15

Thanks again, Dalmation. I sensed she didn't want to talk about it, so I left it, but will try to let her have some positive thoughts (and hugs) via email which will be easier for her. I know just what you mean about things happening for a reason.

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