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Thread: Trigger: Ex wants to be friends - can we make this work/your thoughts?

  1. #11
    Before we met he was a virgin. I actually spoke to a counsellor about this situation right after the break up. She suggested that, based on her experience, me being the first person he was truly intimate with AND the first person to tell his secret to was most likely overwhelming and pushing his fight or flight buttons (however subconsciously).

    With all due respect Andrina, the connection is more than that. I won't go into detail, but I've been with people (where I had wild hormonal urges going on in the early months) and the emotional & intellectual connection just wasn't there the same way. I suppose I don't see any reason to cut it off right now/say he can't visit me etc because, well...neither of us do have a SO right now? Surely that's a conversation we would have when it happened? Like, 'I value your friendship but now boundaries need to change a bit.' But I know you're all trying to help me and I'm listening. Would I be ok with him seeing someone else right now?. Well, probably not. We only broke it off a month ago. Do I want him to work through his issues and feel better and have a healthy relationship with someone in his new country? Sure I do! He's a good person and deserves happiness.

  2. #12
    I actually did take space from him over Christmas and was surprised when he got in touch - I expected him to disappear. We've been talking most days since he reached out 2 weeks ago but I am going to dial all that right back for now.

  3. #13
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    Yeah... I’m changing my answer to “no”.

    All of your responses are about how he was a virgin, and how you have this intense connection, and how he thought you were cute, and how you were great together, etc.

    If you’re honest, you don’t want to keep him as a friend because you want his friendship - you want to keep him in your orbit in case he changes his mind.

    You are even talking about how you both don’t have SOs right now (even though visiting would be months down the line).

    I think you are going to have a really hard time moving on from this guy while he’s still around. I don’t think you should “wait” for him (which is what I think your REAL question is...)

  4. #14
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    6 months ago I was in your position. My ex has PTSD, depression and anxiety. Something triggered him and he spiralled. We agreed to break up so he can concentrate on getting better. We tried to be friends but it was hard. Since then we’ve gone from low contact for 2 months to no contact. I highly recommend you doing that. He blocked me on all social media. Thank god he did because I couldn’t do it.

    I am now wondering if I should reach out and see how he is. There is no way I want a relationship with someone that is mentally unstable but I still care about him.

    Sounds like he needs to sort himself out and he won’t be ready for a relationship for a while. Are you ok with that? Will this also hold you back in finding someone else? I think you need to give yourself time and start to move on.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I agree with RedDress, for all the same reasons.

  7. #16
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    I'm sorry OP, but it it pretty clear to me that you are not ready to be just friends with him.

    I know you're finding comfort in the fact that you believe his issues will prevent him from meeting someone else any time soon, or sleeping with other women, but that's a very risky line of thinking. Sure, it's possible he'll stay single for a while, but it's also possible he'll meet some local hottie he can't resist.

    It's also possible that he will become so distracted by his new life that you will be left wondering why he doesn't talk to you anymore. I live abroad myself, and I can't begin to describe the personal changes I underwent during my first months here. There was a guy from home I dated briefly before I moved, and we'd also talked about him coming to visit me, but honestly? I lost interest once I was in my new city and investing in other work, activities and people. Living in a new country is a very busy experience and your time tends to be prioritized in other ways, and not in the people who didn't already have a significant place in your life before you left. I don't mean to denigrate your experience with him, but just a caution to not get ahead of yourselves before either of you knows how he will adapt once he's gone.

    Maybe you can be friends someday, but your feelings are still too strong for that to be a viable prospect right now without your heart being put in a blender. I would wish him well, but take space from him. You two are heading in vastly different directions.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Since he's moving away and will pursue a new life, friends and dates there, make sure you are honest with yourself and don't kid yourself that this "friendship" is actually a LDR. It's also not your job to guide him through any issues or lack of experience etc. He has a therapist. Whenever you take on a teacher or therapist role, it kills the romance...as you have just experienced..

    People break up for any number of reasons. The novelty wears off, the thrill wears off, interest fades, interest in others, etc etc. All you need to know or deal with is that he is no longer into you and broke it off. He can say it's this, that or the other but the net result is the same. It's over romantically and you haven't accepted it and are hanging on with the "friends" angle.
    Originally Posted by LucyTupp233
    Would I be ok with him seeing someone else right now?. Well, probably not.

  9. #18
    Leah82 said:'There is no way I want a relationship with someone that is mentally unstable but I still care about him.' - and I share her feelings exactly. I do NOT want a relationship with him because I recognise all the issues but I value him because in my opinion this type of friendship doesn't materialise every day. I don't want a relationship because I don't think it would be healthy - but that obviously doesn't mean I don't have lingering feelings. I do.

    If I wasn't clear, I broke it off when he said 'I want to keep dating for now' because I felt I was always going to be under the thumb wondering when he'd change my mind. When I broke it off, in public, he had a panic attack. MissCannuck - you are right that new experiences can take over, its all consuming & that may well happen. He's also 5 years younger than me & honestly I think he should date more people. I've sown my wild oats & tried different relationships. He tells me has never been in a serious relationship & that he problems with intimacy...

    I also agree Miss Cannuck, that there is no point in getting ahead of ourselves. So - I'm going to stop making plans to meet up for now. Remember he re-initiated contact after break up so I was doing quite well taking space before! I'll leave the option of visiting each other open but draw to his attention to how busy he will be in his new life too.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    It would be better to date men with your own level of maturity and experience and life stage who are local and not this damaged. Dating is to find a partner not a project or friends.
    Originally Posted by LucyTupp233
    He's also 5 years younger than me
    He tells me has never been in a serious relationship & that he problems with intimacy...

  11. #20
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    How old is he?

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