Why did she break up with me?

Originally Published: February 14, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: March 26, 2014
Share this

Dear Alice,

I don't know what I did wrong. My girlfriend of one and a half years broke up with me out of the blue. We never fought or argued. I asked her why, she said "I don't know." I asked her what did I do wrong and she said "nothing." She was my first ever girlfriend and I was planning to ask her to marry me. I don't understand what I did wrong. There has to be a reason. Why won't she tell me?

Dear Reader,

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you are the one left wondering what went wrong. This must be a tough time for you, especially considering that you were planning on proposing. It can appear challenging to start over when you thought you had your life all squared away. But start over you must! Have faith and believe in yourself — it will become easier with time.

What really matters is that you realize you did nothing wrong and that you couldn't have prevented the break up. In order to heal, it may help to have a sense of closure. Why it ended needs to be clear to you; otherwise, you may have doubts about the relationship and yourself for a long time. Do you feel comfortable letting your ex-girlfriend know that an explanation, or one reason, for breaking up with you will help you to go on with your life? Even if it has nothing to do with you, you deserve to know at least part of the reason why. It is possible that she may not even know why she broke up with you.

Have you considered the possibility that your ex-girlfriend may not be willing to speak to you? Perhaps she needs some personal space and time to reflect on her needs and desires. While unpleasant to think about, it is always good to have a back-up plan in case she won't give you an answer. Your family and friends may help you to reaffirm your self-confidence and move forward in life and new fulfilling relationships.

Although you need to grieve for this loss, make sure that it doesn't consume you. You may want to participate in activities that you enjoy to keep your mind off of your lost love or perhaps introduce you to new and exciting people. Perhaps you can talk with friends and family about how you feel. For many knowing that people in your life love, support, and care about you can be comforting. If you are a student at Columbia, you can make an appointment with Counseling and Psychological Services (Morningside) or the Mental Health Service (CUMC) to get some additional perspective on your current situation.

Know that you will be okay on your own, and that someday, you may meet that special someone who will feel the same way as you do about sharing your lives together.

Alice