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My Girlfriend Broke Up With me to Find Herself. Now What?


Imagine this: you’re living on the Upper West Side in New York City with your best friend and the love of your life, studying to become a lawyer, engaged to be married, and feeling excited about everything in the future. Then, one day, your fiancee decides that she needs to figure out who she is. She goes to San Francisco to take an art internship and breaks it off with you. The classic case of “my girlfriend broke up with me to find herself”

Sound familiar? Well, it should. It’s the plot arc of Marshall and Lily at the end of the first season of How I Met Your Mother. Of course, if you watched the show for longer than the first season (and you should have, because it didn’t become terrible until a few years later, and absolutely atrocious at the bitter end), you know that Lily came back within about six months of heading to San Francisco and they lived happily ever after. They eventually had three children and fulfilling careers.

But what about when that happens in real life? When your girl goes all Eat, Pray, Love or, in a worse case, all Midsommar on you and decides to leave you behind to find herself? Does that mean that she’ll find another guy? Is she just looking for a change? Does she end up staying in the same town you’re both living in, because so many people who are often so hellbent on getting away from where they live end up never going anywhere?

My Girlfriend Broke Up With me to Find Herself… Is It Over?

Here are a few different ways the girlfriend broke up with me to find herself scenario could play out:

Not thinking it through

Sometimes, a girl might break up with you because she’s looking to find herself, and she finds that she really should not have left in the first place. She wasn’t thinking it through, and would have gotten just as much satisfaction from coloring her hair a really wild shade. If you believe that’s the case, let it run its course, and decide what you want in the end. You’ve got the upper hand here.

Leaving you in the lurch

Maybe your girl breaks up with you out of nowhere, and decides that she has had enough. She saddles you with all of the bills, no friends in the area, and no recourse. (I understand — I’ve been there myself.) You could go chasing after her, but trust me when I say, it’s not worth it. If she’s made the choice to dip, even for a ridiculous reason, let her. If she comes crawling back, then it sucks to be her, right? Also, be sure to keep your security deposit when you move out.

They’ll be back

If you know the girl will be back, then again, let her go. Allow her some space, let her paint what she wants to paint, eat what she wants to eat, do what she needs to do, and if she does come back, you’ll both be stronger for it.

Wasn’t meant to be

Then again, most couples don’t work out like Marshall and Lily. (And they’re not written for TV, either.) If she is going to leave to go find herself, just like any other potential outcome, you’ve got to let her go. If she isn’t willing to stick around, give her space. You’ll probably find out that someone who is willing to floof off at the drop of the hat isn’t going to be there for you when it counts, either. It’s better than you find out sooner rather than later.

If you’re going through the classic girlfriend broke up with me to find herself relationship tragedy, take it as an opportunity to better yourself. Bulk up at the gym. Learn a new skill. Find yourself, unattached from a relationship. It might be the gift you never knew you needed.

I've got so many tattoos and you know what? I'm still scared of getting them. Oh, and I love writing about the weirder stuff in life. You'll see.


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