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Thread: Should I completely forget about my ex?

  1. #1

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    Should I completely forget about my ex?

    I apologize for the essay.

    Background:
    I'm 19 (M), my ex is 20 (F), dated for 1 1/2 yr, since the end of my junior year of high school until mid 1st semester of my sophomore year of college (This would be 2 1/2 yrs but I did my 1st year of college during my last year of high school, and my ex was already at college [did dual-enrollment to be a year ahead so we could graduate same time]) We had fantastic chemistry and not that it mattered, but her family greatly accepted me and I became great friends with her dad. 4 or so months into college, my ex moved to college 4 hrs away and I did my 1st year (and senior yr of HS) at a nearby college to my home, so the commute was long but I drove once a month to stay Friday night-Sunday afternoon, and later alternated the drive after our freshman year of college was over, and all was good. Eventually, during mid-fall (1st semester) of the college I moved to for my actual college education, going through a 4 hr separation for a full school year took its toll on us and made us "lose the spark." I noticed that we were becoming less intimate and the energy wasn't what it was in the beginning, which I fully understand is natural (for the energy part, I've listened to the advice of countless people giving it to those who wish their relationships were as fresh as at their beginning) and decided to drive to her university more often. After 2 months or so, a 1 1/2 yr into the relationship, we were talking on the phone as usual (we called too often in the beginning and dialed it back a bit, calling once or twice a day, usually at night before bed, and texted throughout the day to say "good morning" and the usual, saving the important day-to-day conversation for the calls) and she said that things haven't been going so great (I noticed this before but thought driving a bit more often helped the situation, which it obviously didn't and I failed to see) and that after a while of talking, that we should breakup. It was mutual in the sense that we both agreed to the breakup, but I wanted to keep trying. I now realize my faults, and I think even today (8 months after the breakup) that the breakup was ~70% from the distance causing a loss of spark/attraction, and ~30% from my inexperience, as she was my first girlfriend. She was most definitely wife material (although you may question that) and I still feel that yes, we may have broken up despite the distance, but with a bit more relationship experience and thought on the matter, we would be a good pair. She contacted me a month or go (we hadn't talked since the breakup) and asked if we could talk and that if I didn't want to reply, I didn't have to. I thought about this for some time and asked my parents for advice, and my dad and I decided that she contacted suddenly due to a death in the family, "Well this terrible thing happened, so why not text him?" I figured. I waited some time and a few weeks later, responded that I had been busy for a while (I had been and also wanted time to ponder, rather than to jump in and be drowned by unpreparedness) and we decided to call. The call was according to my mom (I asked her opinion), her mainly "wanting to check up on me post-breakup," and my ex said during the call that she was sorry for being more hot-tempered (we both were mildly irritable at each other and didn't fight, but argued briefly every few days, mostly caused by the long distance stress in my opinion) and I said it was fine and that was basically it. I decided to answer (my dad always insisted that I never call her because I wouldn't gain anything, and even if we were to get together in the future, this call wouldn't cause it to happen, time and healing would) and basically just hear what was on her mind (so I wouldn't worry anymore about what she had to say and also to put my endless thoughts to rest), which again was mostly apology and a "checkup" as stated by my mother.

    My Thoughts:
    I can't shake the feeling (probably from inexperience and naivety) that she's the best person I've ever met and that she is definitely wife material. As lots of short-lived relationships are, everything was great in the beginning, but I truly felt that everything was rock-solid in general despite the long-distance stress, and that with that eliminated one day, some time in between, I feel that we could make it work. In conclusion, I can't not think that she is the best person for me to spend my life with (probably not true, as my dad states that he probably wouldn't have married my mother if he was born on the other side of the country, as "most people who marry each other lived in the same town, so proximity is important") and that I shouldn't forget about her. My goal right now is to have relationships with other people and get experience, which is good, but I can't see myself thinking of these relationships as long-term, but only as little steps to finally reach the long-term relationship with my ex with no long distance or inexperience getting in the way. Also but not that it matters, we shared many of the same opinions, wanted kids, etc, and said to eachother that we definitely wanted to marry eachother in the future. That was before the long-distance killed us with "loss of spark" and my inexperience that probably also wittled away.

    Main question/conclusion: Should I just completely forget about her? Or should I try dating for some years and gain experience, and if the time is eventually right and neither my ex nor myself are in a relationship, ask her to lunch one day and see if the spark comes back? Basically I just can't see myself being married and having kids with anyone but her, but I haven't met every fish in the sea and am open to any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    In response to your thoughts, paragraph 1:
    You're cramming too much into a short space of time. Don't rush yourself so badly and go easy there. It's natural not to be able to see yourself with anyone else seriously after the end of a long term relationship. It takes time to heal and come back to feeling like yourself. Take your time and read through the break up forums. You are not alone.

    In response to your thoughts, paragraph 2:
    You should give yourself time to heal (keep your distance from each other and ask for respect and privacy when it comes to communication). Constant back and forth and phone calls are not healthy especially when you have absolutely no reason to keep in touch after a break up (ie no kids or other commitments).

    You should be meeting new people but not with the singular motive of "gaining experience" or meeting "every fish in the sea". This just makes you look like a bad guy who thinks of nobody but himself (self-absorbed and a tad creepy). You'll never meet someone worthwhile with that attitude. Relax and dial it back a little. I do get the gist of what you're saying though and understand that you're worried you won't get to experience everything the world has to offer if you're tied down to one person too early. You're a little too stressed out at the moment.

    Think of it this way instead: live your life to the fullest and put your heart and soul into everything you do even when you meet new people. Be kind and considerate, respectful and honest. The answers will come to you and things will fall into place.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    It's best not to use anyone to "gain experience". Either date people honestly and with integrity or stay single forever wishing and hoping your high school sweetheart comes back.

    You are a grown man now, make up your own mind about dating, women etc. You do not have to discuss your love life with your parents, unless you are in a culture where arranged marriages are the norm or where the entire family must approve of your choices.
    Originally Posted by Eaaathan
    My goal right now is to have relationships with other people and get experience, which is good, but I can't see myself thinking of these relationships as long-term, but only as little steps to finally reach the long-term relationship with my ex

  4. #4
    Platinum Member SGH's Avatar
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    I think you should do your best to forget about your ex. The relationship died a natural death for her, and it's time to start accepting that it's over. You're young and have so much time ahead of you! Don't date until you're doing it for yourself and not as another plan (that won't work) to get back your ex who doesn't even live in your locality.

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  6. #5
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    Has she indicated she regrets breaking up and wants to get back together?

    Is she dating?

  7. #6
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    Don't completely forget about her; learn from what you had. But you do need to move on. Like, really move on...don't try things out with someone else to research how to get back with her. Be finished. If she calls you again, wish her well and tell her that it might be better to move on.

  8. #7

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    Thanks for the words everyone, I appreciate it.

    @SGH, short and sweet advice, thank you. I'll definitely take your words into consideration and make sure that when dating, I'm doing it for myself, and along with Wiseman2's advice, not being selfish and using others to "gain experience."

    @Wiseman2, I've talked to my parents a bit about my choices throughout that relationship and whatnot mostly because most of my friends have little relationship experience and honestly, I don't know who to ask for advice. Obviously I don't have to copy what my parents do/did, but I do like to hear their advice and advice I can trust from others. I'm not sure exactly what all the right choices are and how to even decide what choices to make, so my parents have given me the best suggestions so far, although I do think for myself and don't ask my parents every minute of the day, only when tough choices needed making, like whether I should have talked to my ex post-breakup or not. Thanks for your advice!

    @Rose Mosse, my ex and I have only talked that one phone call I mentioned since the breakup, and all communication was pretty much severed with that call, which is what I had planned to do before calling. To be honest, I'm not worried about being tied down to one person if we're right for each other and click. If the relationship didn't end for the reasons it did, and had we lived closer to each other and somehow ended up staying together long-term, I have no doubt in my mind (although I'm not 100%, I'm still young and stupid) that I would never have wished to have prolonged dating to "see what the world has to offer." I'm the type of person that (for better or worse) wants to get most things over with so I can actually start with my life (meaning family and all), although I'm sure some would say that the journey there is also important. Thank you also for your opinions and advice!

    I think the hardest thing right now is myself not being able to realize that there are other individuals out there whom I would be more compatible with than my ex, so I can't see myself being with anyone in the future besides my ex. Listening to all your words, I think the plan for me (mainly starting in the next semester, I'm not sure exactly how you would go about meeting people and socializing and/or dating in the summertime) would be to just meet more people, leading to dating and such and such for a while, and eventually finding someone I'm compatible with over time. I'll try not to rush myself too much and actually enjoy the ride, something I have a hard time doing as explained before.


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