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Lost in Love

Community Member

Hello and thanks in advance to whoever would like to listen.

I am a 21 year old female who is currently facing the anxieties that come with graduating university, entering the real world, and finding love.

I have always placed a lot of pressure on myself to be a high achiever. I was always fairly quiet throughout childhood, so I suppose academic excellence was my way of standing out and gaining respect from others. As time went on, the pressure built and built to the point where I felt as though my self worth was dependent on my achievements, which caused me to develop a lot of anxiety. Recently I have really been struggling in the relationship department as well, and I've been left feeling anxious and alone.

A little overview about me. I have a wonderful family and a close knit group of friends who are very supportive, though I've gone from being the optimistic, positive friend to the one who feels dependent on them too much. I like to vent and talk, but I don't want to keep burdening them with my emotions.

I was recently in a 1.5 year relationship with a guy who had a chronic illness. He quickly became my best friend, the person I did everything with, though in the first few months of dating his health declined and he was told he did not have much longer to live. I spent the entirety of our relationship being his support. I did absolutely everything I could to make his life better and yes it was my choice, but it ended up becoming an enormous weight on my own mental health. In August last year, he received a double lung transplant and I was there by his side throughout the whole process. I watched him take his first steps with new lungs, I was there to answer the phone at 3am when his pain was too much and he needed someone to talk to, I travelled up to 5 hours per day to visit his hospital accommodation throughout the year. In the end, after he had recovered physically, it all become too much as he developed serious mental health problems that were being inflicted upon me. We ended things earlier this year.

Shortly after I met someone new. Very unexpected. Although just as I opened my heart and thought to myself 'you would be silly to not give this a chance', he turned cold after 4 months. He is genuinely scared of being hurt again as he was in his last relationship. But now, just as I fell for him, he can't reciprocate the same love that I am willing to give. And I am left feeling empty, unappreciated and always second best.

Just needed to vent. X

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi alovelygirl,

Firstly, welcome to the forums.

Wow, what a story you have to tell. Well done for sticking with your ex through his challenging times, I understand it didn't work out in the end but you still helped him through some of the darker times in his life and I am sure he will always appreciate that. I understand how much of a mental strain it can become as well and being a carer for someone is very difficult so I don't think anyone will judge you for the fact you still aren't together. You always have to remember to look after yourself first and foremost as many people forget this.

Regarding the issue with the person you met shortly after, you can't help sometimes with who you fall for and it sounded like he had his guard up from being hurt in a previous relationship. These sting a lot because in your mind everything was going well and they almost end up abruptly. I do not want to be cliché but you are only 21 years old with so much ahead of you so hopefully this doesn't stop you from trying to meet someone new. Heartbreak and love tend to go hand in hand at times as much as it sucks but it is knowing that as time goes by the wounds heal and someone else will come along that wants to give you all of their heart.

My best for you,


I really appreciate your reply.

It's so draining when you invest so much energy and time into supporting someone, and they only choose to see the negatives. And it's difficult being only 21 because I have nobody to relate to. People don't understand how much an event like that affects you.

And yes, you're right. The person I met shortly after does have a lot of walls that he isn't ready to let down. It came out of nowhere. One day he was completely invested, and as soon as it hit him that he was developing feelings and was in position of vulnerability again, he shut off. The hardest part? He doesn't want to let me go and is keeping me at arms length despite being unable to open up and commit, which only hurts more because I don't want to let go.

But hopefully all will work out in the end one way or another.

Thanks again, Jay.

Community Member

Hi there,

So sorry to hear what you are going through. It sounds like a really difficult time, and I'm glad you came here to vent! Your story really resonates with me (anxiety from pressure to be high achiever/feeling always second best), so I'm not really in a position to give advice but it sounds like you have a really big heart. You are capable of loving people while dealing with some really challenging circumstances and that's a really positive thing. When time heals your wounds, I'm sure you will meet someone who deserves you.

Wishing you all the best.

Hi alovelygirl,

Yes I do understand that it can have a huge affect seeing someone go through that much pain. It is never easy, it is like counsellors, they hear so much stuff from people that they also need counselling too which people forget so I can see how caring for someone for so long can have the affect on you as well.

Just need to try to stay as positive as you can and hopefully it does all work out for you.

My best,


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi alovelygirl, you are such a wonderful person to care for your boyfriend during the hard times. My heart goes out to you. It sounds like you learnt a lot from that relationship which is awesome. We have a lot in common, I am 22 and dealing with studying, the 'real world' and of course finding love. I think that if the other person is keeping you at arms length maybe it's better to do take a break and cease contact, especially if they've said they aren't available. Maybe that might make it easier to let go. I'm really sorry this has happened, but like BballJ said, you are still young (me too) and you definitely haven't run out of time. It does feel like life seems to have this stepping stones (i.e. graduate, move out, get engaged etc) but it's important to remember we all move at our own pace and that there's no need to rush into anything. It's hard getting your heart broken but over the years you will break many hearts too, it goes both ways. One day you will find someone who appreciates you and is willing to give you back the love you deserve. Don't ever settle for anything less! If anything, it is a blessing this person has told you now they aren't ready rather than later when you are more invested, as it's giving you the opportunity to move on and find someone who is right for you. J.

Hi alovelygirl,

Hopefully soon I can get myself to share my story in proper detail but I am older and have gone through a similar situation (Perhaps without the health factor) and if anything, you aren't alone in this. Value the opportunity to vent because you'll find so many of us with the radar sense to go "Ahh yes, I know what that's like". I'll write more again soon. I can feel your frustration and pain.