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Thread: why is my ex so uncomfortable?

  1. #1
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    why is my ex so uncomfortable?

    My ex and I broke up about four months ago. He broke up with me because he thinks that we are not compatible. He was often unkind and I'm very sensitive and was very unhappy with him. Though I did love him very much.

    We have both dated other people since the break. I did the rebound thing, and found it wasnt that fulfilling. I'll wait till I have healed to start looking again. He started dating a co-worker immediately after I told him about the rebound guy, and they are still dating. But they are seriously dating. My ex is a serious kinda guy.

    My question is about my ex's behavior. He wants to be my friend, but he acts very uncomfortable around me.

    He doesn't talk to me when he is with his girlfriend. Which I have told him off for several times.

    He doesn't talk to me around our mutual friends much either. Except when he's drunk, then he will follow me around and try to make small talk. And sometimes he'll get a little touchy-feely with me. Which bothers me as he only does this when drunk and not around his gf. And we are over, so..

    He will call me every week. But he acts real nervous about asking me if I want to hang out. When we do hang out, he is uncomfortable sitting next to me on the couch. He will sit on the other side of the room. He shakes my hand when he leaves. He never really has anything to say... He mentions his gf every once in a while..

    I don't understand why he acts like this. I know it is a difficult situation, but I don't see how to be friends with him when he acts like we've just met or something...

    Any ideas why he acts like this or how to deal with it so we can be friends? Or should I just not care anyway...

  2. #2
    Platinum Member RayKay's Avatar
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    Maybe he is uncomfortable as he is still healing even though he did the breaking up, maybe he is not READY to be friends quite yet even if he says he does? Feelings may still be there.

    As for why he does not talk to you when he is with his new girlfriend - maybe because he respects her not to or does not feel right about it? Why have you told him off for it?

    I think you should take some space from one another for a while, before you try to be friends. 4 months is still too soon for many people.
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    Thanks for the advice.

    I have told him off for not saying 'Hello' to me when his gf is around. We hang out in a crowd of mutual friends and I guess I don't say hello either. But I dont want to force it on him, as he is the one on a date...

    But the first time it happened, he had spent an hour with me on the phone that day telling me how important it was to him that we remain friends. I felt snubbed that he would not go a little out of his way to say hello. I guess I think that if it is that important to him, it should be important in front of his gf. I don't think it would be disrespectful to his gf for him to say hello to me. If he has told her that he wants to be my friend, and respects me in public, I would think that it would be a turn-on for his new gf.

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    Platinum Member Hope75's Avatar
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    I agree with Ray Kay that the transition from couple hood to friendship is very difficult, particularly when one of you have moved on in terms of dating someone else seriously.

    Your ex may feel that he wants to be friends, but finds the actual act of hanging out is tough because he is with someone new and it may feel disrespectful to him.

    There is also the possibility that he does still have feelings for you, but it doesn sound like it was for the best that you split since you say that he was cruel to you and made you unhappy.

    I think some distance from one another is an order.
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    Platinum Member chai714's Avatar
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    He doesn't talk to me when he is with his girlfriend. Which I have told him off for several times.
    Why would he talk to you when he's with his girlfriend? It would be rude of him to talk to you while he's with her. Why do you expect him to talk to you, and more importantly, why do you tell him off for not being rude to his girlfriend.

    Realize that when a breakup occurs, ex's generally move a few spots down on the "priority list." This means that he has no obligations to you now and owes you nothing. I know it's not easy making this transition from bf/gf to "just friends." I have a theory on this too - you can't have a true friendship immediately following a relationship. Human feelings just do not work that way. It takes time to get over someone you loved, and then more time to develop a real friendship again (if it's possible).
    "Your mind is your greatest weapon." - David J. Lieberman, Ph.D

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  7. #6
    Member Strandysmommy's Avatar
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    I had this happen as well with a guy I was quasi dating. He was very cold and distant for a few months, and I think it was because he was trying to sort out his feelings. I suppose for the dumper the feelings don't just ZAP! Go away, unless you're completely heartless. He's prolly trying to figure out this whole "Just friends" thing as well. Now why he would dump you if he still had feelings for you is beyond me, but that's his perogitve. You have to give it some time, which is prolly getting really old to hear now, but its true. As for not talking to you in front of his girlfriend, well that could be alot of things. She might have kinda collared him and said "no way, you're MINE" or maybe he's just genuinley afraid he's going to give someone the wrong idea. (You, his girlfriend, someone else) It may be really awkward to be with his new girlfriend in front of you as well, consider.

    It will get better though; and if it doesn't, then maybe he's just not mature enough to juggle his feelings.

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    Thanks for the harsh look at reality, Chai.

    Maybe neither of us is mature enough to handle the friendship thing. I know that it is much better for me to not be with my ex. But at the same time, I am not very good about the new gf thing. I will probably be unkind and unfair about the whole thing because I feel hurt and rejected. Also, I have never had a friendship with a male that didn't involve flirtation, and I am not sure I know how to do it.

    I am stuck. I don't want to end the 'friendship' thing maybe because I don't want him to not be in my life at all. But also, he has never tried to be friends with an ex before either, and it seems important to him to be friends with me. I think he feels bad about our relationship, but maybe that's not the greatest foundation for a friendship either. I don't want to be cruel, but I feel at some point that I will have to tell him I can't do this.

    Any advice? How can I tell him this without being a jerk?

  9. #8
    Platinum Member chai714's Avatar
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    Any advice? How can I tell him this without being a jerk?
    Make it an issue about YOU. In other words, tell him that YOU can't handle having a friendship right now because it's too emotionally exhausting on YOURSELF. Tell him that you his friendship is desireable, but it's something that you're sure will come with the passage of more time.

    The psychology behind this is that it becomes an issue that you have with YOURSELF, rather than an issue you have with him. Thus, he won't take offense.
    "Your mind is your greatest weapon." - David J. Lieberman, Ph.D

    "Most every person or situation can be influenced through the power of psychology."

  10. #9
    Member Dannysgirl's Avatar
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    I'm getting the feeling that you never wanted this relationship to end in the first place and although you were unhappy you thought that perhaps your boyfriend would change and stop being so unkind to you if you just hung in there. Is this the case?
    As for him not talking to you when his girlfriend is around, well that is to be expected as I would not want my husband/boyfriend speaking to his ex!

    However the calling you every week and being touchy feely suggests that he doesn't want you to let go in my opinion. By behaving in this manner but using the safe 'friends' angle he is keeping himself in your life and stopping you from moving on and finding somone else.
    I think it may be a case of 'I don't want you but I don't want anyone else to have you either.'

    In my opnion tow people who have been together will never be able to be close friends because the previous relationship will always get in the way. i've tried it myself on many occasions but have found that jealousy over a new relationship usually ruins any chance of real friendship, we are only human afterall.

    Aquaintances yes, friends no unless you want to get hurt even more in the long term. I think you should extricate yourself as much as possible from this guy until you have healed properly otherwise you're going to be confused by his behaviour and you don't need all that right now, you need to concentrate on yourself and tell him so. He's the one who dumped you in the first place so he can't expect to have things all his own way.

    Take care of yourself


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