The Student Room Group

Study Abroad Breakup. Is there a future for us?

It’s been three months since I’ve returned to America since spending a study year abroad in the UK. While in the UK, I dated this guy in my friendship group for 5 months, and it was the most healthy relationship either of us have ever been in. When I left the UK, my plan was to return in January, and it still is, so it would have only been 5 months me being in a different country. Despite this, me and him agreed NOT to do long distance but to remain respectful in our actions.

Anyway, It’s been 3 months, and we’ve spoken every day and maintained what I thought was emotional closeness, with neither of us actually seeing other people. However a few days ago he told me he’s recently met someone that he wants to see where it goes with. He's said that this doesn't change his respect for me and he is still excited for me to rejoin the friendship group in January. This has left me heartbroken, Ive gone no contact and he's said he'll give me as much space as i need but I feel like it's a betrayal even though he technically has been honest and upfront.

What happens now? Is it a case of him trying to live in the present or has he completely lost all feelings? Does this make me second choice or is it the new girl who is second choice since I left? In two months when I get back will he have changed his mind? We're only 20, is it reasonable for him to be thinking for the present or should he have been pining for me?

Any input is appreciated.
Reply 1
Human emotions are very complex especially at 20 years of age when the whole world is there to be discovered and university offers the opportunity to do so.
I don’t think there is a question of second best either for you or for the new girlfriend. Your ex in each case has been , and is, with the person who best fits lis life at the present moment.
At twenty many guys want to be with someone that they can actually physically create memories with. This doesn’t necessarily mean sexual experiences, although that might be part of it, but they want someone to hang out with, to take to the cinema, spend a Wednesday afternoon supporting their favourite uni team and the evening celebrating the result. They want to be able to watch Netflix etc together. Long distance message sharing isn’t always sufficient. It works for some but others find it difficult.
When you go back to the UK it may reignite his feelings for you, but you have to accept that there is a possibility that it may not, and if you are not able to move on there will be a tension in your friendship group.
Your ex bf was completely honest with you. You may feel betrayed but he didn’t promise you mariage. He seems like someone you can count on to do the correct thing, so try and move on yourself. With time ( because it will take time) you may find that he’s a better friend than boy friend.

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