You're going along in your long-term relationship, making plans for the future, envisioning what you imagine is going to be a (mostly) happily ever after. Until one day...
With no explanation.
It hits you like a sack of bricks to the face, because you thought everything was fine. I personally know 4 women this has happened to in the last 5 months. These are normal women, in normal relationships, with no indication that there was an issue.
Imagine, you've been with a guy for over 4 years and you are planning your wedding. (Legit planning your wedding, not Pinterest planning your wedding like the rest of us.) You come home from work some random Tuesday to find him packing his stuff and moving out of your house. Obviously you are willing to do whatever needs to be done, to compromise, to put forth some greater effort to show you are willing to make this work and that it's worth it for him to stay. He leaves.
Girls, I know what this feels like. I've been there. I've had the plans of moving across the country to follow a man, who at the time, I thought was IT. Hell, I'd moved every 6 months like a nomad for the past 2 years to follow his "dream career" because I believed he was the man for me. We were moving to Texas at the end of the summer, until one day, he came home and told me that he was going and I was no longer invited. I was the "love of his life", but he was going without me.
I thought I was going to die. Kill me now, because I cannot survive this heartbreak. And not only that, I now have zero Life Plans - and you all know exactly how you feel when you have no plan. (Or perhaps that's just me and my crazy-ass friends. Always planning. Always have to know what's going to happen in a month, in 6 months, next year. What's next? What's coming? Prepare. Always prepare. This is a disease for which there is no cure.)
And you know what? I survived. Holy HELL, did I survive. Kicked ass and took some names on my way through. But it wasn't easy. It was really, really hard. And on top of your relationship being over, you are about to be bitch-slapped by the fact that for the most part, your "friends" are probably terrible and run at the first sight of tears, so you have even fewer people to count on in your life.
I had a friend from college who I had been there for through numerous breakups, always ready to drop whatever I was doing to go to dinner and talk, or just hang out and not talk. Whatever she needed. When my breakup happened, she was planning her wedding to a great guy, and basically could not be bothered to meet up with me. "Hey lets do dinner on Monday, like 8ish?" "Ooh, that's too late for me." I'm...sorry? You are 25 years old and 8pm is too late to have dinner? Needless to say, she showed me ZERO support and the end of our friendship came when I told her I would not be attending her wedding. If you can't be bothered to go to dinner with me ONE TIME when I need you, I am not wasting my time coming to your wedding.
So here's my advice to you, if you ever have the unfortunate luck to have to go through this. Lean on your friends. Call them out if they aren't giving you what you need. (Some people just don't know what to do or how to react, and a LOT of people assume that after a few weeks you are fine. You're not fine, and you won't be fine for a long time.) Cry it out. You're allowed. You're going to go through the Stages of Grief - I moved swiftly from sad to really-fucking-pissed-off about the entire situation, and then saw the silver lining - there is someone out there better for me, and he's really done me a favor so I don't waste any more of my life with the wrong person. (He does not get Brownie Points for this.) You may also be pleasantly surprised at who ends up being a really good friend for you to have - people you would never expect, and they end up becoming one of your best friends. I was lucky enough for this to happen to me.
Eventually, he will realize his mistake of leaving - I'd say within 3-6 months, because let's be honest - men are not the quickest creatures when it comes to things like this. (Six months later, I got a text that said "This is when I was planning on proposing to you." Well THAT'S REALLY NICE. Thanks for cluing me in to ONE MORE thing that I won't be getting from you, and driving that knife in just a LITTLE FURTHER. You're now realizing your mistake, and I'm not taking you back.)
And my advice to you, if you DON'T go through this, and you have a friend who does? Check in on them. A lot. If they turn you away because they want to be alone, force them to let you in. Make plans with them. (And not as a third wheel. Ain't nobody got time fo' dat.) Keep those plans with them. Don't get pissed if they aren't excited about your engagement/bridal shower/wedding, and certainly do not call them out on being a "shitty friend" because of said lack of excitement. Their entire life is upside down. Let them cry when they need to cry, because you never know if this could happen to you.
Huge shoutout to my Net of Friends - y'all are just as crazy as I am, and I love you every day for it.
"I'M CRAZY BUT I'M TOTALLY NORMAL ABOUT IT."