Noman, 23, found out the hard way that it was easy to go from “best friend” to “boyfriend,” but much more difficult the other way around.

We started dating around Valentine’s Day 2018. I never understood why our culture says men have to buy the gifts — teddy bears, milk chocolate not dark chocolate, fresh flowers. She was my best friend, I didn’t feel like I had to live up to the expectations associated with the holiday. I felt like I could define what we made of the holiday.

The real problems came when I started to overthink things. I overthink everything. It was hard for me to keep it together since I was so stressed out. I was just starting a new job and she was in her first year of grad school, so there was a lot going on in both of our lives.

When we got together our personalities matched up, but that changed later. I knew this person before our relationship, and I had this expectation they were going to be the same once we got together.

Right from the beginning, I thought we were going to be together forever. I had this image in my head of the perfect girl and I played out scenarios in my head. I rushed right into things from the start, and I was caught off guard when she felt differently.

She felt pressure. I guess she wanted to get to know me better in terms of our relationship first. I rushed into things, and there was no way to hit reset.

The breakup wasn’t abrupt because I was so concerned with ending it the right way and not coming off as the jerk. It felt like a slow slap on the face when I came closer to ending things. Emotionally, I was still hung up on her even though I knew it wouldn’t work.

We tried to be friends right after. I just assumed it would be easy to jump right back into it. I realized that didn’t feel right either. As much as friends are there for you they are not going to be there as constantly as someone as you are in a relationship.

There is no such thing as “The Dumper” or “The Dumpee.” There is a lot of sadness leaving behind a deep connection. It felt like my world was ending and there was no one at the other end of the phone to comfort me through the pain.

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