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Separation - ending an engagement - feeling lost and no purpose.

Community Member
Not long ago, i decided to end a 10 year relationship and engagement. Something just didn't feeling right. On paper, everything was perfect and a connection was there but my gut was telling me no. Once i had it in my head, it wouldn't disappear. Our values and future plans didn't aline. I want to travel, grow as a person, be spontaneous and he wanted to settle, buy a house, start a family and happily truck in the slow lane. He loved me. Adored me and would try his best to make me 'happy'. I loved him for most part of the relationship, but something inside me just 'switched' off. Like a fire slowly burned out. I sit here, after 8 months ending the relationship, alone in my apartment and still have that emptiness inside. It's feel like i sacrificed a 'good' relationship, for what? To feel even worse than what i felt before. I feel frustrated. I don't know what my purpose is, what i want from life, how to celebrate the small wins and little joys in the days. I feel like i would do anything to time travel back to how my life was but i know i would end up miserable. Its like im on this journey of finding something that maybe just doesn't exist. The search to feel that 'content' and comfortable feeling. I do all the textbook suggestions; yoga, self help books, sunrise watching, gentle exercise, converse with friends, start a new hobby etc but nothing ignites in me or shows a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm in a car but not driving the steering wheel, just existing. I'm afraid of time and know how precious it is. I remind myself each day that life is what you make of it, but im exhausted trying. Would be great to hear if anyone can relate to this and feels the same way.
3 Replies 3

Community Member

Hi wirea,

Welcome to the forums. Even though you were the one who decided to end the relationship that doesn't mean you are not going to grieve its loss. It sounds like that might be what you are in the process of doing now. This process can take some time (more for some than for others) and it does cause you to feel flat and uninterested in the things you would be interested in at other times. What I have learned is that happiness comes in moments and if you can just try to live in the moment (not the past or the future) then this kind of merges and eventually you will find yourself 'happy' again (I'm kind of waiting for that bit, though honestly you do start feeling better over time). Your instincts told you it wasn't right for you and it is important to follow those instincts. You didn't 'settle' and you knew that if you stayed, you probably would end up being very unhappy. Maybe 'try' less and just 'be' in the moment. I'm sure others from the BB community will be along shortly to offer support and advice. It sounds to me like you are a person with quite a lot of courage to do what you know is right for you. I hope these comments help.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi wirea,

Firstly, I think it's really commendable that you listened to your gut. A lot of people choose to ignore it and then end up regretting it later.

I was very similar position to you - except I went through with the marriage. And like you, on paper, everything was great - he was kind and loving, but I just wanted "more". I didn't know what "more" was until the funeral of my grandmother, where I looked at all my cousins who had gotten married, had kids, hardly travelled and were just happy in that life. And that's when the penny dropped and I realised that wasn't me. My husband was really keen on kids, but I never wanted that, I love learning and I was good at my job, and after the funeral and I was freaking out, he bought me "Pregnancy for Dummies" and I was like "f*ck". Just because it was the life that other people wanted, didn't mean it was mine.

I lost a lot of friends when I left the relationship because they didn't understand why I would leave a "nice guy". And it was hard and isolating. I ended up packing my bags and moving to a different State to try and find what it was that I was looking for. And, similar to what you're saying, I felt alone, I was doing all the right things, but I was just going through the motions. Many times I questioned if I had done the right thing by leaving...

And then I sat down and wrote a list. I did it as a getting to know myself again list. I think sometimes we're fed the story of go to uni, get married, have kids, that we start to judge ourselves against that, as opposed to what makes us happy. So, I sat down and I thought about what interests me, what am I passionate about, what are things that are unhealthy for me... and the more I started looking at the stuff I was passionate about (in my case - continuous improvement, providing mentoring and peer support), things started falling into place. I changed jobs, I volunteered for things that gave me that passion and fire.

Then I met someone who has thee same values as me and supports me in wanting to contribute more to society than focus on having kids. Finding that same values-based approach has been so amazing, because we fuel each other. And I finally know that listening to my gut and leaving was the best thing I did.

Don't get me wrong - it was hard, but the emptiness will pass, but it's hard when you are in the crux it. Could you maybe see a psychologist to talk through how you are feeling?

Here if you want to talk more.

G xxx

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi wirea

Limbo can be such a horrible torturous experience. Wondering if you feel, to some degree, like you're in limbo. Kind of like 'I know who I'm not but yet I don't know who I am'.

It sounds like you know you're not 'a settler'. You didn't want to settle for a lack of adventure, a lack of a free sense of self development, a lack of spontaneity. It sounds like you've been adding a lot of ventures to life (adventuring). Wondering if you find adventuring to be kind of like a Goldilocks experience: 'This one's too cold, this one's too hot/intense...' and you haven't managed to feel yet which adventures are just right.

With the yoga aspect, I get where you're coming from. While I do a lot of stretching throughout the day (which naturally helps vibe me up) a disciplined form of stretching like yoga doesn't really do it for me. Also, you could throw a dozen different hobbies at me to try out and I'll be able to feel none of them working in making a difference to me. With 'Self-development/self-help' books, I've come to label them as 'Can you relate to this?' books. With authors giving their take on the nature of life and self, if I can't relate to what they're conveying, based on where I'm at in life, then I simply can't relate. There are only a handful of truly brilliant books in my home library. Such books have been mind altering for me. It's like you can feel mind altering inspiration and you can feel when it's just not there. One of my favourite books would have to be 'Becoming Supernatural' by Joe Dispenza. I have all his books. I find, by the end of every one of his books, I'm left thinking 'Ahh, so that's how I tick'. 'You Are the Placebo' is another good one.

Positively mind altering personal evolution can definitely be a challenging self loving experience. It's like you're gradually loving yourself to life more and more. Feeling how slow it is at times can be depressing in some ways. One of my mantras in life is 'Fast track me!'. I've gradually come to discover the people who fast track us through the process of graduating through life are the ones who are prepared to wonder with us. While you can have a friend who might say 'You just need to stop over thinking everything', you can also have a friend who says 'Let's open our mind to wonder more so we can naturally discover who you are'. A wonderful friend is the best friend to have, in my opinion. They're 'a natural fast tracker', more than happy to help us to pick up the pace 🙂