Ah man. I hear both of you guys on this. You spend forever adjusting to being single and just about accepting that this is how it's going to be. But then you meet her and you think maybe there's a chance and things seem to go well for a time. Then inevitably, while you are friends and you're hoping to step it up, she meets some other guy, who invariably is the scummy type who fucks people like her over.
It wasn't quite like that with her; we did start off as friends, but it was she who elevated it - I found out she had a crush on me, and since that had never happened before, and since I did like her, I let that develop into a relationship.
The break-up was mostly because of incompatibility, and I honestly can't fault it. I don't regret us breaking up, I regret us getting together - it was never going to work.
That said, I don't want to paint her as a saint - while we're still friends, I think she is a staggeringly selfish person, and the way she approached the break-up is a good example of her lack of basic compassion:
We'd had some rough moments, and what probably qualify as fights, but those had been smoothed over, and things were amiable. Then she left for a month-long family holiday, during which I missed her enormously, and which seemed to pass at a snail's pace.
Now, she and her family do not get along at all, and the first part of this holiday (at the family home) was a thoroughly miserable time for her - on almost a daily basis, she was crying on my shoulder (via text messages) over how cruelly they were treating her, and relying on me to make her feel better. This is a task that I am very good at.
The second part of the holiday was overseas, so contact was more sporadic, but she generally seemed happier, and let me know that since we couldn't communicate properly she was keeping a journal for me to read when she returned.
When she returned to the family home, the shoulder-crying resumed as before, though not quite as regularly since she was better-practised at dealing with her family. She gave me the journal on her way back to her place, and it was very lovingly-worded with lots of stuff about how thankful she was for helping her survive, and how she can't wait to see me again and how I'm the most reliable part of her life and so on and so on.
When I told her I'd finished reading it, she suddenly explained that after our fight a month ago her romantic feelings for me pretty much disappeared, and they haven't come back.
This was, of course, a fucking amazing
punchline; so much so that I'm pretty sure a rimshot sounded out of thin air, and my trousers went BOIIIIING and fell to the ground. But yes, this is basically how and when the break-up happened. The light at the end of the tunnel was a train.
On reflection, I am 99% certain that her main appeal was that she was interested in me. I feel stupid and insecure for entering a relationship for this reason, but I know I'm not the only person ever to do it.