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dumped by fwb - I'm taking it much harder than I imagined (need advice badly)

Community Member
Please don't dismiss this just because of the fwb title. I'm seeing a therapist in a week, but until then I don't know how to cope without being a total wreck. I just broke out crying in public and I don't want to be like this


She's a friend of 12 years. We didn't speak often, but when we did it always felt like two kindred souls reconnecting. We were supposed to be just friends with benefits. At least that was the proposition she contacted me with out of the blue, a good 2 months ago, after ending her 3 year long-distance relationship that turned ugly. I naively agreed.

The sex and chemistry were incredible, conversations sincere and meaningful. It felt like putting in the last missing piece into our relationship. I messed up and got careless. I began to develop feelings very quickly like an oblivious junky drugged out on lust and pheromones. She said was stepping on all her emotional breaks not to.

A week ago she met someone from her town. He's kind, safe, normal. It feels healthy.

Me and her, we live in different parts of the country. She desperately craves some semblance of stability because she never had it. She recently found a job that she loves. It grounds her and it helps her with her anxiety. She said she always felt like a bird without a nest, constantly relocating, and that she's exhausted. Hearing that really touched me. She needs this now. For herself and for her child.

There remains mutual respect and attraction between us, but the trajectories of our lives at this point in time seem to be irreconcilably missaligned. I asked her to let me know if she catches herself missing me and she promised me she would.

When I told her how I felt about her she said she wishes I would have told her sooner. Now I'm thinking of every miniscule thing I should have said and asked that I didn't (negotiating the distance problem, maybe she'd be ok with me driving there every weekend), but I know the time for that conversation has passed. Now I would come off only as desperate, pushy and needy, and she would lose all attraction she has for me.

I'm so deeply sad. I care about her so much and I wish her to be happy and fulfilled, but the thought of someone else caressing her, holding her close at night, breathing with her, falling in love together...it kills me beyond words. It feels paralyzing. I'm really struggling to move on and focus on myself, I miss her so damn much and I just want this goddamn pain to stop.
5 Replies 5

Hey grega,

Welcome to our forums and thanks for sharing what you are experiencing right now. We can hear that you are in a lot of pain and anguish following the break up with your friend. It sounds like you are deeply distressed and grieving the loss of this relationship that had an intensity that took you by surprise. Please know that you are in a safe, non-judgmental space and we hope you'll get the support and advice you need from our wonderful community members.

Please also know that there is always support available. If you are overwhelmed and overcome with distressing thoughts and feelings, we strongly encourage you to contact our Beyond Blue Support Service any time at 1300 224 636. You can also always contact our friends at Lifeline at 13 11 14. Talking to a friendly, caring counsellor can help you process these painful feeilngs and help alleviate the distress.

Please keep posting here and let us know how you're doing, whenever you feel up to it.

Community Member

Hi Grega,

You sound an incredible, thoughtful soul...

I'm so sorry that you are in pain because of the ending of this relationship.... i think evolution made us so that the proper thing is for sex and love to come in one package... Due to the physical nature of the relationship, it seems difficult to conclude that “I only liked you as a friend”...

I wish I could provide solace... Have you ever told her that you are in love with her?

Take care.

Community Member
Sophie, thank you so much. You can't know how much it means to me to even just be heard and not dismissed on some basis that the duration or the label of the relationship is a determinant factor of how much grief and pain a person should feel.

Community Member
Thank you so much.

You are absolutely right on that one, and I think this lesson will now stick with me forever. In my late 20s (I'm about to turn 33) I've had some periods where I was very promiscuous and had a lot of quick flings, and when they ended I was maybe disappointed or feeling empty and cynical, but I've never experienced utter heartbreak like this. This feels like finally being able to make that connection to a soulmate I've known, liked, and admired deeply (she overcame a lot of trauma in her life - was raped at knifepoint at 14, started a family when she was in the states with a guy she fell in love with only to find out he was an abusive psycho and had to flee with their newborn,...), just to have it ripped away from me prematurely, leaving me stumped and not whole anymore.

Yeah, about expressing my feelings for her, this was my fault because I tend to overanalyze and second guess my intuition. It is now something that I'm mulling over in my head, thinking what would have been if I spoke my heart sooner.

You see, I was afraid to be overly direct about my feelings for her and scare her off, so at first I only asked her how she would feel if I wanted to be exclusive with her before she met this new guy. She was a bit surprised (said she thought I was off limits), but said that she'd probably be down for that. After that I told her that I liked her a lot and wanted to do this with her, regardless of the current situation. That it was something that I've been ruminating about for the past 2 weeks, but kept quiet because I wanted to be absolutely sure that having a child in my life and the distance between us wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me. I didn't want to lead her on with promises I couldn't keep down the line. She was glad that I told her about this and said that she needs to think on it for a while. Two days later she gave me a very sincere and fair explanation with the reasons that I outlined in my first post.

She said she hopes that I understand that this isn't personal, that she's thankful for all the kindness that I showed her (her trauma/self esteem conversations), and that she had a wonderful time with me, but that at this point in her life she just has to count in the logistics. That she can't see herself dating me right now because she can't do the long distance thing on top of the work/kid/trying to be happy there.

I just hope she reconnects with me in the future...

Sorry for making this incredibly long again and thank you.

Community Member

You’re welcome grega. I loved and was saddened by reading the details of your story.

The romantic in me says “they were meant to be together” after just having read a couple posts by you.

It’s such a sucky situation for you. Indeed the distance could be a very difficult thing to navigate- I think the goal of long term distance relationships is to eventually not be divided by distance... one of you would perhaps have to move in the future, as it would put a lot of stress on your relationship being physically separated..

Sounds like she was into it to but just thought you were just being promiscuous again...

Interesting to see if others say something different on this thread, but I think that if you need her to know how you feel... Maybe. I mean like you said the time for that conversation may have passed now, but in a year, five, or ten, it may eat you up that you didn’t let her know exactly how you felt. There’s still the distance problem - would you or her ever move some time into the future? and the fact that shes got another relationship now, so I don’t know how that would all go....

But yeah your heart is obviously hurting at the moment, I feel for you my friend.