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Thread: Not sure if I should approach this.....

  1. #1

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    Not sure if I should approach this.....

    Hi everyone. New to the forum and need a bit of advice. My ex and I are both in our forties. We had a five year relationship, lived together and broke up due to stress, family issues etc and some incompatibility. We officially broke up during the holidays. During this year, the external issues that caused the break up have been settled. We have stayed in contact and have been very friendly. He seems perfectly fine with the break up now and wants to continue our friendship.

    Iím beginning to doubt the reasons we broke up but still am not certain we are really compatible although as friends we work really well....but am having a hard time being just friends. I think jealousy and loneliness is part of my problem but he seems to have no problem with this at all. Due to my emotional conflict I have asked him for some space but there is always an excuse. He makes excuses to see me, come by, discuss things and remain chatty. This has me in a constant state of confusion. Itís as his words and actions donít line up. Typically itís the reverse when someone is claiming love but not their actions. Although there is nothing romantic about his actions but heís always there ready to help, go out etc

    Friends say he still has strong feelings for me, we have a lot of the same friends and I think he does but Iím trying to determine what they are. I know I can simply ask him but Iím afraid of the answer and the awkwardness. Iím also not 100% sure of my own feelings and if I were, I would be more inclined to open up but I initiated the break up I donít think itís fair to bring up anything that Iím not even sure of myself. So, Iím am wondering what I should do if anything and am hoping for some advice. If he was to proclaim love, a desire to reconnect romantically I would be open to trying again but short of expressing this, Iím not brave enough to broach the subject. I hate being friend zoned. I just want to see if anyone has been in this situation or whatís the best way to move on or forward. Maybe I should leave things alone but I also could be being used as an emotional crutch but I really canít tell.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Well, if you initiated the breakup then it's kind of on you to broach another romantic chapter. Putting that on him is essentially asking him to disrespect you, no? And to break up with someone and then hope for them to profess love and a desire to get back togetherówell, that's kind of disrespectful to them, you know?

    You say you hate being friendzoned, but haven't you kind of friendzoned yourself by ending the romantic relationship and remaining open to being, well, friends?

    All in all, it kind of sounds like you "officially" broke up during the holidays but have yet to really break up. You're in a bit of a purgatory and calling it "friendship." And, yeah, maybe this is the prelude to a real friendship, because maybe you do work best as friends. Or maybe there's another chapter as a romance. But it's hard to see all thatóand really feel anything clearlyówhen you're not giving yourself the time you need to process and reflect.

    When you say that jealousy is an issue, is that because he's dating? Have you been dating?

  3. #3
    Bronze Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Since you initiated the breakup, you got what you wanted which was the breakup in the first place. Now you're confused because you realized you would be open to a romantic relationship because you've since changed your mind? Either accept friendship with him and from him because he's following what you wanted or confront him and tell him everything you wrote in your post. Be completely honest with him. He'll either tell you to remain status quo or he'll really part ways with you permanently. You can't have everything. You need to let him know exactly how you feel about him and a relationship or friendship despite the breakup during the holidays.

    Don't be surprised if he's wary because the true test in all relationship survival is to hang on when the going gets rough. Everyone is lovely when life is gravy and the true test comes when times are stressful, tough and unhappy. This is the difference between relationships and marriages which endure vs. fail.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for your response BC, I always find your comments so insightful! And yes he is actively dating. Iím choosing not to at this time, seems a wee bit disrespectful to the relationship to jump into the dating pool so fast. So hearing about his dates from friends is making me jealous and uncomfortable. I guess I had imagined a period where we would both be mourning not just me. Also because it hasnít really felt like a break up I feel like heís being disloyal and am having a hard time with this. If he just wasnít being so nice to me I think it would make things easier.

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  6. #5

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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    Since you initiated the breakup, you got what you wanted which was the breakup in the first place. Now you're confused because you realized you would be open to a romantic relationship because you've since changed your mind? Either accept friendship with him and from him because he's following what you wanted or confront him and tell him everything you wrote in your post. Be completely honest with him. He'll either tell you to remain status quo or he'll really part ways with you permanently. You can't have everything. You need to let him know exactly how you feel about him and a relationship or friendship despite the breakup during the holidays.

    Don't be surprised if he's wary because the true test in all relationship survival is to hang on when the going gets rough. Everyone is lovely when life is gravy and the true test comes when times are stressful, tough and unhappy. This is the difference between relationships and marriages which endure vs. fail.
    Thanks for this. I think I was looking for a break and not a break up but he wouldnít have it. Yes I need to be completely honest just wasnít sure if I should do this when Iím so unsure myself

  7. #6
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Feelingoff
    Thanks for your response BC, I always find your comments so insightful! And yes he is actively dating. Iím choosing not to at this time, seems a wee bit disrespectful to the relationship to jump into the dating pool so fast. So hearing about his dates from friends is making me jealous and uncomfortable. I guess I had imagined a period where we would both be mourning not just me. Also because it hasnít really felt like a break up I feel like heís being disloyal and am having a hard time with this. If he just wasnít being so nice to me I think it would make things easier.
    Everyone mourns a breakup. Thing is? Not everyone mourns in the same way, so to expect someone to mourn the way you mourn, on the same timeline as yoursówell, that's basically asking them to be your partner in a breakup as they were in a romance.

    I of course understand your feelings, and why you feel them. They're human, universal. But the hard fact of the matteróone of the deepest thorns to pluck out during heartbreakóis that the point of breaking up is not to respect the relationship. That's what you do in the relationship, best you can. Breaking up is when you move on, move forward, always a clumsy process in the beginning.

    Some breakups have led me into a monk-like phase, where I go a long stretch without sex and romance and become the World's Most Sensitive and Self-Reflective Man; others have turned me, momentarily, into a dating and fling machine, the "lost" dude hellbent on flirting and right-swiping away feelings. While I've gained more personally from the former than the latter, neither of those paths were verdicts on my feelings for my ex, or my respect of what we shared, you know? They were just me mourning and healing and moving forward, best I knew how.

    Moral of the story: there's a reason people advise some real space following a breakup. It allows each person to process it however they need to, on their own, without a front row seat to whatever the other is up to. No need to further tighten the emotional knot being untangled, you know? I'm super close with one ex, and on friendly terms with two others, so I'm in no way a member of the Block-Delete-4Eva church. But those friendships weren't forged five minutes after breaking up, but after significant space where we could each ride the waves of feelings however we needed to so we could reconnect on a less turbulent plane.

    I get the feeling that you've got some big feelings to feel and processóthe same ones that led you to think a "break" could be good. A "break" is really just a "breakup," in the end, though typically something someone suggests who wants to "try out" breaking up while knowing they can still get back together. Can't say I blame your ex for not being game for that; I'm in the same shoes. Not opposed to getting back together, in theory, but I'm not a fan of the gray zone on those fronts. Don't think clarity comes in swampy waters.

    Anyhow, not sure if any of that helps. Since you ended things, the ball is in your court. Maybe just sit in that court for a bit, alone, with a bit more distance from him, to see which way you really want to toss that ball so you're not being guided by the jealousy and loneliness. Those are just feelings that will pass, especially if you distance yourself from what triggers them, not feelings we want to make our compass.

  8. #7

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    ďNot sure if any of this helpsĒ

    Yes thank you it does, more than Iím sure you can realize. I decided to do just that ....have a face to face asking firmly for some space. I think heís confused by my emotions but agreed (what man wouldnít be since I instigated all of this?) He can clearly see that Iím still attached and I can see how even keel he is with all of this which is quite disheartening. Not much of an update just wanted you to know your perspective was appreciated.


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