T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 75077
posted 11-22-2012 12:30 AM
My boyfriend recently became my ex-boyfriend, and we had a very, very complicated break up. We went out for a year without any major glitches, but then he went away for a year. He assumed (without telling me) that this was the end of things, and I assumed it wasn't. When he found out he emailed me telling me otherwise. I, of course, still assumed he had feelings for me because my friends had been telling me that he was probably just scared of a relationship being so serious this young. So, when he came back we talked and he said, explicitly, that he didn't want a girlfriend because he was dealing with a lot of things upon his arrival. I accepted this at first, but I mean, I really missed him, so of course I sent some not-so-flattering I miss you text messages, and all that.
Fast forward to about a month ago. We're now in college, but we go to school in the same city. I texted him because he never seems to want to talk to me, or whenever I would text him he would just barely respond. I tried not talking to him and moving on, but not knowing whether he had feelings for me drove me insane. I even talked to one of his friends and he said that my ex still cared, he was just scared of the commitment. So, of course, I still believed he had feelings for me. Upon confronting him about not talking to me, he told me that he wasn't in love with me. I was shocked. He never told me this, he just assumed that I knew that, even though all he told me was that he didn't want a girlfriend. I am really upset about this and I can't stop thinking of how worthless it makes me feel, and how much time I've lost pining over him. So after he said that, he felt bad and tried to cheer me up, which included inviting me to his dorm the next weekend. And I knew I should have said no, but I was feeling lonely and I figured nothing would happen anyway, in light of that conversation. I was wrong. He ended up making a move on me, kissing me, and also telling me that it was hard for him to resist because he didn't have a girlfriend at his school. I didn't think much of it at the time but now it makes me upset. He was just using me to fill a void because he's lonely, and even if it made me feel 'nice' at the time, it now makes me feel really worthless that he doesn't have feelings for me but he still thinks it's okay to take advantage of me like that. I tried being friendly after that encounter, but I've slowly become inundated with the reality before me, and I really just don't want to talk to him. I don't really want a boyfriend; I'm not interested in rebounding, but I do want to stop thinking about him so much, and I want to stop texting him. That's where he has complete power over me, because I can never stop myself from talking to him. It makes me feel so weak, and like I'm letting him win. I'm tired of being so vulnerable, and I just want to know how I can finally just purge him from my life? I remind myself daily of what he does, but for some reason I still want to talk to him. I just don't think I know how to accept what's happening and move on. I keep convincing myself that he still has feelings and he's just not telling me the truth. Can someone set me in reality and help me find a way to move on?
Member # 96773
posted 11-22-2012 02:29 AM
Sorry to hear about this. It can be pretty tough adjusting to new realities that totally don't match the ones you're used to. I think it's pretty natural to kind of automatically assume things like feelings that still exist, because well- they did for so long, and you're still coming out of it! I think maybe it could be more helpful to think about it like that? More like memory inclinations than psychic-like inclinations, you know? Some thoughts about dealing with this: How long ago did this dorm situation occur? And when you say you've tried being friendly afterwards, what do you mean by that exactly? Have you two seen each other face-to-face and/or communicated via text where you both initiated the texting? If it is primarily you who are initiating the texting...do you think you would be able to delete his contact information and all the related history in your phone? And/or computer? I know that is a pretty extreme move, but even when you have mutual friends (wasn't exactly sure how much that was the case), once you do not have the EASY ability to contact an ex/someone you'd prefer you didn't contact, it gives you more time to actually wait and think about controlling the urge to contact him. Another thing- are you Facebook friends? How might you feel about unfriending him? [ 11-22-2012, 02:31 AM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]
Member # 75077
posted 11-22-2012 11:46 AM
The dorm thing happened at the beginning of this month, and I didn't feel that badly afterwards. I just tried talking to him frequently after that and he didn't really display much interest. I'm usually the initiator, which is also something I don't like. We don't have many mutual friends, so it wouldn't be hard to just stop talking to him because I probably wouldn't see him. I've already deleted the messages, my only problem is telling myself not to text him or not to have a reason to talk to him. I don't want to stop talking to him because I hate him, and I do want to be his friend in the future. I really just need some time away from him because of all this. I think I just need to convince myself of that, mostly. But neither of us have facebook, so there's no problem there.
Member # 96773
posted 11-22-2012 02:51 PM
To clarify one thing- you said you've deleted the messages-- have you also deleted the actual contact phone information you have for him? Just a suggestion of course, but as long as you have an easy way to contact him, it could be a lot harder to resist doing so-- therefore making it harder to move on with your life. And while you say you don't have many mutual friends, it sounds like you do have SOME, so at some point down the line if you felt a lot better about this whole thing and wanted to get in touch with him, it could be made possible perhaps through those mutual friends.
It is not uncommon for broken-up couples to take a significant break from seeing and/or speaking to each other-- that doesn't mean you can't be friends again in the long run. Your interest/continuing attraction to your ex sounds like it's pretty obvious to him, so if you just said something like: look, I really want to be friends with you in the long run but in order for that to actually be a thing- and a healthy one at that- I need to take some time away from you, so I'm going to take your number out of my phone and do my own thing for a few months. And then I'll see how I feel, etc. My bet is that he is totally open to a break in communication- it sounds like what he might have been going towards originally anyway- and so will understand that you def want to be friends (which he may honestly not know now- it sounds like it could be coming across as you continuing to pursue a relationship that he is not interested in), SO not only are you not ignoring him for the next while, but just taking a break to be yourself and get better and feel better. Also, can I ask why you feel you're interested in being friends with this ex eventually? I'm a little confused I guess because you sound still emotionally attached in a very romantic relationship kind of way, and a platonic relationship is very different from that in several ways. Has he expressed interest in becoming friends with you, "eventually?" [ 11-22-2012, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]
Member # 75077
posted 11-22-2012 03:48 PM
Thank you so much for this advice, it makes a lot of sense. We do have one mutual friend, but I don't really go out of my way to talk to him (the last time was a random encounter based off of many coincidental events). But I think that deleting his number for a while will be good, and I'll express that to him.
I don't really know why I want to be friends with him so much. I think it may just be something I'm feeling now because I do still have a romantic inclination towards him, and it may change over time if I get used to living without him. I never really anticipated what it would be like to just be friends, but we have hung out exclusively as friends and I've always enjoyed it because we get along really well. And I just don't really like losing friendships. He says that he wants to be friends as well, but I think he's hesitant to initiate anything because he think I may get the wrong idea, so it's mostly me initiating things. But I think that taking a break from talking to him for a while will really help put things into perspective and see whether or not I need him in my life anymore.
Member # 96773
posted 11-22-2012 05:29 PM
I think it's pretty self-aware and so, probably right-on to say your interest in friendship could be related to your lingering emotional attachment to him.
I understand not wanting to lose friends, but the sad sometimes reality of that is that sometimes people who were good for us in certain time periods in our lives can change, and/or a relationship between us and another (or more)can change in a way that fundamentally alters whether or not these people are still good for each other- that is, whether they are fruitful, healthy additions for each other, in each other's lives. That doesn't mean that the friendship was never worthwhile or that it wasn't great while, for example, you and the other had much more in common, or before there were some big life shake-ups that either/both of you experienced that simply caused things to evolve. It's both possible and perfectly acceptable (and in some cases, is the healthier option for YOU) to feel appreciative for certain time you spent with a person- as you both were during that time period- AND to feel okay with a sense of closure that leads to new beginnings and friendships that better suit you how, where, and when you currently are. Does that make sense at all? (I meant to use the general "us" and "you" there- think I got a bit jumbled.) My point is that breaks from exes are good in their own right, rather than as a means to an end. I got the feeling you probably are thinking along these lines now, but just wanted to explain a bit more, in regards to your worry over losing friendships, and how that could be relevant in this situation. SO, while friends-after-relationship can totally happen (I myself am quite close with a couple long-term exes- one of whom I took a whole year-long break from talking to before we started chatting gradually again a bit), for your "taking a break" period to really get going and to eventually help you feel better about this ex, it's probably best if you try not to enter it with the ideal ending to the story being a friendship with this guy. Seems like you got this! You're totally welcome for the advice- glad to help. Good luck with this! [ 11-22-2012, 05:37 PM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]
Member # 75077
posted 11-22-2012 10:29 PM
That makes total sense, thanks again for all the help!