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MJ Acharya

Author, blogger and healer of broken hearts

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Mike Riley

Co-author of How To Heal A Broken Heart In 30 Days

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Melissa Kantor

Author of the young adult novel The Breakup Bible

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Question:Should i cut off all contact?

My ex-boyfriend and i were each other's first loves. We dated for a year and had a wonderful, mature relationship where we rarely fought and loved each other deeply. However, we agreed to break up when i left for college because we didnt think we could handle a long distance relationship. We broke up about 3 weeks before i left in order to give me time to accept it before i moved away, but we continued to hang out and always acted just as if we were going out whenever we saw each other. We continued telling each other that we loved each other until my 2nd weekend of college when he came to visit me and he said he wanted to get back together. This scared me because everything was so new and i didnt know what i wanted yet, so then we both agreed that we needed to make an honest effort to move on and that if we were meant to be together we would end up together in the end. About a week after this, i realized how much i really wanted to be with him but by that time he was over it. He claimed that he just couldnt love me the same way with me being so far away (3 hours really isnt that far), yet he would always still care about me deeply and wanted to stay best friends like we had been for the past year. That was his only argument to why it wouldnt work. I was heart broken, and for the last month i've been spending every ounce of energy i have to convince him that we could work things out. Everytime he said no and i would get heartbroken. I've been going through the whole 'cry so hard you feel you're gonna throw up, cant eat, cant sleep, everything reminds you of him' ordeal for about a month. Recently, i found out that he had been seeing this girl who was basically my worst enemy. She had tried to break us up several times and even suceeded once. (not to mention she cheats on guys and does drugs all the time). During our relationship, he talked about how much he hated her and didnt like being around her because she was nothing but trouble. He knew that she was the one person that it would hurt me the most to see him with, but he didnt seem to care. He's dating her now and it kills me. At first i acted like i was fine with everything, but last night i called him and let him know just how much he was hurting me. I told him that i didnt want to ever hear him say that he cared about me because if he did he never would have even picked up the phone when she first called him. He says that he just cant understand why i don't want him to be happy, and that he does care about me but doesnt know what he can do to make me believe it. At this point, I am so mad that i want to cut off all communication, because i know it is the only way i will get over him. I'm very scared to do this though. I'm scared that i will only drive him further from me and closer to her and that he really doesnt care if he has contact with me. This is my first heartbreak and I really want to stop feeling like this. Is it time that i cut off communication with him until i am really moved on and can handle a conversation without having feelings for him? Also, how do i handle this breakup? I cry everyday thinking about how he could go from loving me so deeply to not at all in a weeks time. Because of this, i'm miserable here at college and i'm afraid that it wont ever be the same with someone else. Sorry this is so long, but it feels good to get it all out and get feedback.

Asked by KatieQ on 10/8/08 1 Answer»


Hey, KatieQ

I'm sorry to hear about what you're going thru. I know that can't eat/can't sleep feeling and it stinks. Time seems suspended and you wonder if you will ever feel whole again. Trust me. You will. Breaking up is part of growing up. You made some really smart and mature decisions early on when you decided to give yourself time at school to discover yourself and new things.

It sounds like the trouble began when you started to doubt that mature decision and fall back on the more immediate need of having the comfortable and secure relationship.

Right now what you need to do is stop thinking about him and the relationship and start putting some energy into loving yourself and your new life at school.

As for cutting off contact, I haven't found one expert who wouldn't agree that's a good idea right now.

I've copied something from Melissa Kantor below. She is one of our experts on Breaking Up. She wrote a book called The Breakup Bible. Here is what she says:

"Having contact stops you from moving forward. You’re still “in it,” so you’re not letting yourself grieve; and after the first 30 days has passed, you’ll have made no progress toward healing. If your ex asks if it’s possible to “stay friends,” say that for right now it’s not a good idea for you. At some point, that very well might be an option. But right now, things are too fresh."

She also says:

"If you keep all your energy centered on your ex—wondering what he’s doing, fantasizing if she’s on a date, endlessly torturing yourself—it’s impossible to begin to reclaim yourself. And you are the important factor here.

When you start ruminating, distract yourself with an activity. Make a phone call. Work out. It might be helpful to make plans, especially on the weekends. Knowing you’re having brunch with your dearest friend gives you something to look forward to and think about. While you don’t want to make any permanent life changes at this juncture, you can make smaller ones like getting a haircut and cleaning your closets."

I think this is all good and relevant advice. If you want to read more of our interview with Melissa, here is the link: Link

Know that you are strong enough to get through this and that better things are up ahead for you. Like you say if this relationship is meant to be it might have a chance in the future. Right now it is too emotional and too many hurt feelings and misunderstandings. It's better to take a step back and to give yourself some time right now to focus on the future.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Answered by: VictoriaB on 10/9/08
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