Friday 23 March 2018

How can I move on from my girlfriend's shock rejection?

Mary O'Conor is a relationship counsellor and psychosexual therapist who offers advice in her weekly column.

A man's ex partner has moved on. Photo posed.
A man's ex partner has moved on. Photo posed.

Mary O'Connor

Q: Four months ago my relationship ended with the woman I was planning to marry. We are in our early 30s and it was a good, loving relationship for a number of years and we were going to take the next step by getting engaged and putting money aside for the future. But my partner got a job abroad and I was not in a position to follow immediately.

We made a plan to see through the first four months, then review everything. Less than two months into that she ended our relationship over the phone and refused to talk to me about it. I have struggled the last few months with this lack of regard and communication by her. I thought I was managing and moving on, but recently we got talking briefly and she informed me that she has a new boyfriend who she loves. She met him only six weeks after ending our relationship and recently spent a week in Paris with him.

I have struggled with depression and anxiety and have seen my doctor. I tried to reconnect with her shortly after she told me about her new love but I was told she never wants to hear from me again and has blocked my number and all contact. I understand her logic - I was out of line trying to step back into her life. But the last few months have given me emotional whiplash. I went from having a woman saying she loved me and wanted to marry me to her never wanting to talk to me again in the space of a week. I am trying to take each day as it comes and talk to my friends and family about everything, but I don't know how to move on from this.

Mary replies: Break-ups are never easy, particularly as in your case when you had long-term plans. I have had a few letters on this subject recently, mostly from women. All ask for advice about moving on and it is indeed difficult to start all over again and also to trust somebody new when the time comes for another relationship.

I think it is essential not to see your ex at all, even if you desperately feel the need to contact them. This will allow the healing process to start, and then very gradually the pain gets less and the subject becomes less than all-consuming.

Go out with your friends as much as you can but try not to let the conversation be dominated by all this. Keep it instead for chats with your family. You were absolutely right to go to the doctor regarding the depression you felt, and hopefully that helped.

Unfortunately there is no fast-forward button when getting over a broken heart, but please believe me that it will heal in time.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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