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Hi Gundam,

I'm sorry to hear about your breakup, though at least now you have some resolution. I'd strongly suggest not going on the cruise with her, even if you have to eat the cost of her ticket, as that will be very painful for you since you seem to be the one more strongly attached to the relationship and the one on whom the breakup will take a harder toll. For what it's worth, I have been in your girlfriend's position--having to end relationships with sweet guys because I wanted to be free to date around and was having more fun socializing on my own than being tied down to one man--and I know that she feels very badly about the way things ended, probably especially considering the timing. When I’ve been in her shoes, I’ve tried very hard to make myself feel as excited and devoted to the relationship(s) as my then-boyfriends were, but there’s just nothing you can do to force yourself to want to be with someone if you’d be happier single. I’m sure her feelings have been confusing and frustrating for her and that’s why she feels so bad, knowing that you were the last person who deserved to be her whipping boy as she dealt with the difficult decision she was struggling with…I hope you understand that she did and does care for you deeply and wishes things could have worked out without you ending up hurt. You should feel proud that you did everything in your power to make this relationship work, but unfortunately she just wasn’t the right woman for you from the start, or she would have had more respect for your feelings and been more excited about hanging out with you whenever possible since the day you got together. She’s just not at the right point in her life to settle down in the kind of relationship you want, and she doesn’t feel like she’s met the man who can tame her yet…I know these feelings all too well and have struggled with them myself lately, and I can assure you that this isn’t easy for her, if that makes you feel any better, and that she is mourning the loss of your relationship in her own way.

The trip probably acted like a catalyst of sorts for her to realize that she had to be honest with you and cut things off if she no longer wanted to be together...I'm very sorry, I can imagine how much this hurts, though she does seem to have been pulling away nearly as long as you've known her, so hopefully it is at least a little bit of a relief for you not to be caught in that uncertain limbo stage anymore. I broke up with my first serious boyfriend for reasons similar, I would imagine, to your GF's reasons for leaving you: I wanted to be free and single to hang out with a group of friends that he didn't fit in with, our relationship seemed kind of stale and boring at that point, and I didn't think it was fair to him to continue a relationship to which I wasn't devoting anywhere near 100% of my available energy and effort. However, we had planned a vacation together for about a month after I left him, and against my better judgment, we still went together even as I was already falling in love with a man I'd befriended while we were still involved. The trip was actually pretty enjoyable overall from my point of view, but I can't imagine it was much fun for my ex to spend a few weeks together having fun but knowing this was the last quality time we'd spend together as a couple. I'd bet a ton of money that if my ex was giving you advice, he'd tell you to do anything and everything in your power to avoid bringing her along on the trip. Isn’t there a friend or relative you could take instead if you can’t get a refund for her ticket? I really think you’ll be miserable if you go together and it will make your healing process more difficult, prolonged, and painful than if you are able to avoid contact with her until you’re no longer upset and hurt about the breakup. My aunt made the mistake of bringing a boyfriend she had dumped only a week earlier along on a family vacation last year, and it was absolute torture for everyone there…you could tell she couldn’t even stand to be around him, and it was very sad and cringe-inducing to watch him try to pretend that everything was just fine and endeavor to get back on her good side. Not only did the two of them seem miserable and strained, but the rest of my family was in a bad mood having to walk on eggshells all the time and watching my aunt snap at her ex while he tried to suck up to her in return. The weirdest thing is, he somehow convinced her to take him back, and their relationship is more dysfunctional than ever: he’s completely co-dependent on her and bends over backwards to act as her doormat while she’s really demanding, controlling, and disrespectful of his needs and desires. Anyway, all in all, I can’t think of a worse scenario for a vacation than going with someone who just broke your heart by dumping you, especially when you won’t know anyone else along to ease the tension and pressure somewhat. I strongly urge you to avoid going with her, especially since I bet she still has the audacity to expect you to cover all of her expenses…I think you’ll be extremely sorry if you get stuck on a cruise with her. I hope you can get your money back, or failing that, go alone or take someone other than your ex along with you on the cruise. If none of those scenarios are viable options, I would strongly encourage you to just call the whole thing off rather than get stuck in the same cramped cabin for a week or so with a woman who just broke your heart. I went on a cruise with my family and a good platonic male friend of mine who always wanted more…it ended up being pretty uncomfortable and unpleasant to be on a trip with someone whose romantic feelings for me weren’t at all requited. It’s always an awkward situation when you’re confined in close proximity to someone and only one person feels a strong romantic pull toward the other…if there is anyway to avoid this, especially being on the unrequited end, I urge you to find a way to do so. Again, I’m sorry to hear how things turned out, and I hope everything goes as smoothly as can be expected from now on. Hopefully it won’t be long before you discover how this breakup played a role in everything working out for the best in the end as far as your love life is concerned! Hang in there and take care :).

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