News & Politics

Our Favorite Washington Breakup Stories

If you’re not feeling so romantic this Valentine’s Day, we have the perfect antidote: love stories gone awry.

Photograph courtesy of Flickr user twid.

Whether you’re single or coupled this February 14, nothing puts Valentine’s Day in perspective like hearing about when other people’s relationships crashed and burned. A few weeks ago, we asked for your breakup stories, and you delivered some doozies. Here are our favorites.

Freedom of Speech?

I deployed to Iraq for six months, and was there for my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I didn’t get a phone call from my boyfriend for any of those days but thought maybe he was just busy. (Oh, he was busy, all right.) Finally in February, when it was time for me to come home, he told me he couldn’t pick me up at the airport. I was livid but couldn’t wait to see him again to work things out. We weren’t living together, so I kept calling for a week after I got home. At that point I knew something was going on, but we had been in a relationship for a year and a half; he had all my stuff at his place. Eventually I got in touch with him—or rather, his new girlfriend. She broke up with me while he sat next to her; he’d never had the guts to do it himself. Loser.

Only in DC

I had been dating a man for several months. I liked him, but he had an annoying habit of breaking dates at the last minute because he was traveling or had an “important meeting” on the Hill. We had a nice dinner one night, made plans to see a concert that Saturday, and then poof! I never heard from him again. A few weeks later I saw his name pop up in Politico’s morning Playbook . . . announcing his engagement. Mutual acquaintances confirmed he and this other woman had been living together the whole time.

Moving Violation

After almost five years of a long-distance relationship and engagement, it was finally time for me to choose love and move. We were still many months from the wedding, but after trying to find a job for a year and a half, one finally came through. We were together to discuss it, agreed it was the right move, and even went car shopping so I could start work right away. Finally it felt like everything was coming together—or so I thought. I was supposed to fly back on Sunday, but voluntarily took a bump from my flight so we could spend another night with each other. I called him to come get me so we could spend the rest of the day together, but he wasn’t at home. Turns out he was with another woman, something I would only later discover.

Two days later, back in DC, I called to tell him more good news. But before I could, he said, “I don’t want you to move, and I have no intention of moving to DC.” I said, “Is this over?” He said, “Yes.” And that was it.

Class Act

Junior year of college, my very serious (read: clingy, needy) boyfriend insisted on visiting for Valentine’s Day. At first, I hinted that I was stressed about huge upcoming deadlines and then eventually resorted to repeatedly yelling and crying about how I just needed the weekend to focus on my work. I thanked him for his “patience” and “understanding” and suggested we make plans for him to visit the following weekend.

Never one to be outdone in the drama department, he still showed up Valentine’s Day weekend, expecting 24 hours of attention and blaming me for every moment I was not consumed with his entertainment. The moment the tension-filled weekend came to an end, I began working around the clock to finish my projects.

The next Saturday (when he should have been visiting), I woke up completely frustrated and exhausted to a call from him. He was calling from another girl’s bed to tell me I wasn’t giving him enough attention and he didn’t feel connected to me anymore. He couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to hear the rest of his explanation—or why I didn’t want to talk to him at all anymore.

Engaged and Confused

I thought we would get married. I was 19 and he was 28. I was a second-year undergrad student; he was a third-year medical student. We met through mutual friends, and eventually he asked me out. Our first date consisted of a scenic motorcycle ride with a sunset picnic. I was hooked. He was charming but shy; tenacious but gentle; quiet but passionate. There was a complexity to him that piqued my interest, and the whole adoring me part was a huge plus. After six months together, we went shopping and stepped into an antique shop. He had coordinated with them to shut down the store for us to look at antique engagement rings. That was it—I had found the one. I was truly in love for the first time ever.

Or so I thought. Three days before I was to go back to school for summer classes, he called me. He wanted to break up. I could feel my heart shattering into a million of tiny pieces. I just stayed on the phone crying and begging for him to change his mind, to give me a reason of why he was doing this to me, to us.

It took me two years of therapy to move past him. I haven’t been in love since the breakup. I have not healed completely, and I don’t think I’ll ever fully get over the devastation this breakup brought me.

Shortly before my graduation, he contacted me to get together for a cup of coffee and catch up. I was hesitant to say yes, but did, thinking it would provide closure for something that was never completely closed. Two hours before we were to meet, he sent me a five-page e-mail with details of why he wanted to break up; it also said he regretted breaking up with me, that he missed me, that I was the one and he would do anything to get back together. After all that time, he thought we would get married. That was the day I cut off complete contact with him.


Have a breakup story to top these ones? Leave it in comments.

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