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I feel lost in life, how do I find my path and carry on with my life?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Breaking up, Family, Health, The ex-factor<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (18 December 2017) 4 Answers - (Newest, 21 December 2017)
A male United Kingdom age 22-25, anonymous writes:

Please note I'm not feeling suicidal and have no plans to go down that route, I am simply feeling lost and confused.

Ever since my first and only girlfriend broke up with me not 11 months ago I've been effectively listing through life without a proper aim or goal beyond trying to rebuild the life I once had. I've managed to get a new job and I'm doing extremely well in it as my managers have told me I'm doing beyond their expectations. I've reconnected with old friends and I do see them regularly, but I'm stuck living with family and have no way of attaining the independence that I once had and fought to achieve ever since I was 17. I managed to acquire it when I was with my girlfriend but only for 9 months and 6 of those was living in pure emotional agony as I watched my girlfriend go on dates with other guys and bring her new boyfriend home.

I just feel so completely lost and without any hope, I've tried dating sites and meeting up with women but all of those options have failed. And now I'm about ready to give up dating altogether as I don't see the point of relationships anymore, women seem boring and none of them meet my standards which aren't even that high, all I look for is common interests and similar personality traits, looks mean nothing to me so I'm not picky on how women look.

I'm constantly bombarded daily by thoughts of my ex, the fun and experiences I had with her and how much I've lost and it is slowly affecting my work performance to the point where I'm making mistakes or simply not working as hard as I usually do simply because I'm thinking of her.

Even if I somehow attain my independence again I still don't see the point of continuing as after that, without being in a relationship I have no other life goals, all I want to do is find a girl and start a family, I don't care about careers or gaining money as it is almost meaningless to me.

I literally feel stuck and the only thing keeping my head together is the fact that I'm seeing my old childhood friend again and spending time with him, though his girlfriend isn't helping as seeing them together reminds me too much of my ex.

I'm sorry for the heavy load I've dropped on you people, I just need to get this off my chest and need advice on how I can continue living and move on from my ex.

View related questions: broke up, money, move on, my ex

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 December 2017):

It’s good that you’ve reconnected with your old friend, maybe if his girlfriend is causing you pain then try to ask for some ‘guy’ time together where she’s not there. There is more to life than a relationship and I strongly believe that you need to be happy being single before you can be happy in a relationship. Better yourself and try to find new hobbies and interests. You need some time to ‘find’ yourself so dating shouldn’t really be a priority for you currently.

I agree with what Cindycares said about looking back through rose tinted glasses, you are simply remembering the good times, and not thinking about the disagreements and issues that were there. If two people are meant to be together, then they will no matter what but clearly you both weren’t compatible together. Focus on her downsides and flaws and not the fun things you associate with her. Surely you had some disagreements together and it wasn’t perfect? When the time is right you will find a girl who is made for you, just not when you’re looking for it. I’ve always liked the quote;

“Happiness is like a butterfly the more you chase it the more it will elude you but if you turn your attention to other things it will come and sit softly on your shoulder”

Don’t let thoughts of her affect your work, especially if you’re doing such a good job. If you long for independence, then save up for a deposit and find a house share or move in with a friend and go from there. By living with family gives you a perfect opportunity to save up! :)

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A reader, anonymous, writes (19 December 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for your responses, especially you CindyCares, I think I needed someone to tell me that and essentially give me that kick in the right direction. I've openly said to myself many times that I still love her in a way which I think is the right thing to do until I can say to myself I no longer don't.

As for my life situation well, I can't say for certain how things will go but I know I need to just push on through.

Thank you everyone :)

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 December 2017):

You will never forget her no matter how cruel she had been to you, but you will get over her and start living a normal life as time passes. Time is a great healler of emotional wounds. In the mean time try to fill your spare times with useful things like a hobby which interests you greatly. Listen to music. Read great books. Go out dancing and meet new people. Don't sit lamenting yourself.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (18 December 2017):

CindyCares agony aunt By being realistic and not re- reading the past through rose - tinted glasses ?

This prize of a girlfriend, this queen among women, put you through hell for 6 long months by dating other guys and bringing one back to the home she shared with you . That's almost sadism ! Now, it's not clear to me if when she started dating other men you were still together, or just sharing a place for practical and financial reasons, and in this case technically she had the right to go on with her life, but sheesh. She brings " heavy -haned " to a whole new level. What about a bit of sensitivity , a bit of discretion ? Rubbing her new conquests in your face is just mean and crass. You may have had similar interests, but don't tell me you were oh so compatible. Someone who is compatible with you is someone who " gets you ", knows your boundaries and does not cross them just because , for the fun of it.

Anyway, you do have a plan, a goal, something to attain whether you have a partner or not. You said it yourself !

You want to move out from your family home, and live independently. That's something you can work on seriously from now on, something pertaining, whether you like it or not, to your work, career, income... all those things you " don't care about ": Well, start caring. Some things in life, you have no agency or power over, but some others you definitely do, with a little effort and patience. Conquering financial independence is one of them, and you do not need a girlfriend to do that. Unless you mean that you need someone else to share living costs, which surely makes sense, but it does not say anywhere that this someone has to be a romantic partner ! A roomate or two will do .

But " even if somehow you get your independence again ", you don't know what to do with it if you don't have a gf ?"

Are you sure ? Think again. Can you see yourself at 40 or 50 still living in your parents ' basement - and accepting their financial help because you never bothered to accomplish something in life or at least make yourself self sufficient ?

Not that this is likely to happen. You are still carrying a huge torch for this girl, and that's ok, some people needs more time and effort to let go and move on. Time is on your side... but effort, you are not putting ANY effort in moving on, in fact you are focusing all your energy in bringing up a ( dysfunctional and far from perfect ) past

love, and , obviously , whatever focus your energy on, you magnify it.

Stop living in the past ! ( it wasn't even such a great past, too ). Be here now and WORK. Grow. If you need to acquire more skills , or more specific competences , to get a new job, start a new career or just improve your financial position, start doing it now. You are young, of course, but as the Rolling Stones would say " Time waits for no one, and won't wait for ( you ) " ...

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