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MJ Acharya

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If you have questions about this change, you're in the right place. Our editors, experts, and community of change optimists have answers!

KatieQ

Question:Should I try and work things out?

I made a post a couple weeks ago explaining the details of the breakup with my exboyfriend. I decided to cut off all contact and i havent talked to him for two weeks. After our last fight, i concluded that he just wasnt the person i thought he was and i stopped contacting him. He texted me about 4 days after our fight with a light breezy message as if nothing had happened and he expected me to not be mad anymore. I didnt respond and then 2 days later he sent me another very similar message, to which i didnt respond again. 2 days later he called me twice and i didnt pick up either time. I know that he just wanted to make sure i wasnt mad at him and hadnt changed his mind about wanting to be with me, so this time, i wasnt giving in to him. He had hurt me too badly and didnt even seem to care so i was done allowing him to play any role in my life anymore. Besides the fact that i was too mad and hurt by him to talk to him or even respect him the same way, i knew that i couldnt have any contact with him in order to move on, which he had made very clear to me is what i needed to do. When he didnt contact me again for about 4 days i thought he had gotten the message that i wanted no contact and i was feeling great, finally free from him and free to live without constantly worrying about if he was going to call that day or what he was doing. I had even gone home a few times where i was only 2 minutes away from him and could easily have called him to hang out but i didnt call him or let him know i was there. I was determined to just live my life for me and move on. I still had bad times though, where i would get very upset and miss him alot, but i always felt better the next day. Then last weekend I met a really great guy. We clicked instantly and had a great time together. I really like him, but he lives pretty far away. We still talk and plan to visit each other but i dont know if any kind of relationship is possible because we dont know each other very well. Well of course, the day after meeting this guy, when i was feeling great and like this was my chance to finally move on, my ex texted me saying that i had been right about everything. i'm not quite sure what he means by that, and i was caught so off guard that i didnt know what to say, so i didnt respond. The next day, he sent me another message asking if we could talk and then another asking me to please respond to him, because i hadnt replied to any of his messages and hadnt talked to him for 2 weeks. i was and still am so angry that he decided to do this as soon as i was moving on. I sent a pretty mean text back to him simply saying that i didnt have anything to say. I know it was mean and i probably shouldnt have done it, but i am just so angry at him for constantly telling me to move on and then pulling me back in right when i'm breaking free. Now i'm very confused in many ways. I dont even know exactly what he meant by the text message but i'm afraid to call him and find out because i'm afraid that by talking to him all of my feelings for him are going to come rushing back, ruining the 2 weeks of progress i've made. Then, if i call him and he doesnt want to get back together and just wanted to say sorry for hurting me, i'm stuck right back where i was 2 weeks ago (still completely in love with him while he has another girlfriend and doesnt want to be together) which i dont think i can go through again. And if he does want to get back together, i dont know if i should put myself out there again and risk getting hurt. I mean, can our relationship really be the same after everything that has happened? He hasnt responded since i sent him that text and now i really want to talk to him to at least find out what he wanted to tell me and what he meant by telling me that i had been right about everything, but he's the one who hurt me. I didnt do anything to him so why should i be the one to call him and put myself out there again when i can just as easily forget about it and continue moving on? I dont know what to do because a part of me wants to forgive him because people make mistakes and i still love him, i just dont respect him or care for him in quite the same way. Another part of me wants to keep seeing this new guy and see where it goes. Even though it would be very hard to have a relationship with him, he at least showed me that i can and will find someone who i can like and will make me forget about my ex. What should i do? I dont want to make the same mistake i made before by thinking i was over him and then when i realized i wasnt it was too late.

Asked by KatieQ on 10/21/08 2 Answers»
SomethingTimeless

Answer:

Well, what I'm hearing you say is that you believe you have feelings for this guy still, and you're compartmentalizing them in efforts to maintain regularity in your day-to-day life. And, you're afraid that, if you "break-down" that wall, that shell you've built around yourself (around your heart), you'll have all those feelings come "flooding back." The hardest part about being slighted or done wrong is the pride factor. It's not only... just plain rude, it's demeaning to think, "Wow, someone I cared about this much hurt me 'this' bad." In this case, we begin to second guess ourselves, but that doesn't necessarily mean to second guess your feelings, deep down. (Usually, they're so far "deep down" because that's where we buried them after said break up... right?) :)

And, while you can control who you answer the phone to, and you can control what text messages you respond to, and you can control the possibility of going through the motions, dating someone else... the one thing you cannot necessarily control: your feelings. And, realistically, if you even have the slightest feeling(s) remaining for your ex, you’re only discounting everyone involved (the ex who seems to still care, yourself for denying your feelings, AND this new guy, in that he probably doesn't know you feel this way about your ex). You owe it to yourself to find out what this means, in a controlled, reliable way/environment.

So, in the natural theme of intrinsic change (listen to your inner voice) and personal growth... this is my "official" advice: I say, wait 2 days (to convey that you're "breezy") and text message your ex... ask him to meet you for coffee/ice cream/whatever would be a normal, relaxed, positive atmosphere for you (nowhere dark or with drinks; you may send the wrong signal or feel slighted if you can't be well understood in a bar/drinking atmosphere). And, say something short and sweet like, "hey, I’ve been somewhat busy with work, and thinking a lot... wanna meet for coffee or something on Saturday am/pm?" If you don't get a message back, that means the time slot you've proposed (ideally, Saturday during the day-- you won't be rushed and you'll see how he's realistically been committing his free time) is full. Then... you have your answer (translation: he still cares about you, nobody quits anything cold turkey (not even men), but that time slot is full, and he's not willing to move anything around for your proposed date) -- note: this translation also applies if he says he's busy that day, and it's anything other than a predictable work commitment... OR, he'll message you back, and you'll go have coffee. Either way, the ball is in your court being that you've set the plans, you've stepped up to the communication plate, he knows it's important enough for YOU to take the time out of your day, and/but you're in public (so he knows you don't intend to do anything other than talk, i.e. cry, yell, be romantically physical, etc). Then, put on your favorite jeans/outfit (for confidence), and go meet him... ask something like three questions not related to the situation at hand (and not pertaining to his new girl) to get him mentally "warmed up" and sort of like conversational olive branches. Then, ask him what he's "been thinking... you know, about us." (As open ended as possible). And, let him talk. If you what you hear doesn't validate whatever he did that caused you to come to this site in the first place, revert back to the old faithful reasoning," well, being that you're seeing someone else now, as am I, I don't know that it's appropriate for us to keep communicating with subtext that we still have feelings for each other." (old, faithful = he can't argue with that). Then, leave.

If you do hear what you want to, I agree with "aliciak," take it reeeeeeally slow. Maybe you can't control the fact that you do have feelings for him, but you can control how much (if at all) you capitalize on them (hence, you CAN control if you let those feelings put you in a situation with emotional vulnerability). Otherwise, trust me, you can't ever REALLY move on until you've put to rest the pleading questions that your heart asks your mind every, single time his phone number shows up on your phone. You owe yourself that; closure is but a catalyst with regards to your past, present, and future chemistry. Good luck!

Answered by: SomethingTimeless on 11/3/08
aliciak

Answer:

"i'm afraid that by talking to him all of my feelings for him are going to come rushing back, ruining the 2 weeks of progress i've made."

If you do have feelings though, you should probably deal with them sooner rather than later. You won't want to be in a relationship with someone else and then have to revisit the feelings and have it really ruin something. I think it's important to truly be able to move on, and that can mean dipping into the past with your ex.

Sometimes people do deserve 2nd chances...I'm not sure what your situation is, and that's up to you do decide, but if you still care for him, then there's "something" there. If he wants to get back together, what about starting slowly...don't see each other all the time, maybe even discuss dating other people at the same time.

Answered by: aliciak on 11/1/08
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