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Why do they do this?

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Two days ago, after nearly 2 months of NC, my ex e-mailed to wish me a happy new year. To be frank, I wasn't really interested in speaking with him. I had just gone through a very rough period that was almost as bad as post-initial-breakup, and I thought speaking with him would ruin any progress I made. I tossed off a "Same to you!" and deleted the e-mail, figuring I didn't really give him an in to contact me again.


That night, I get an IM from him asking how my Christmas and New Year's were. I answer with short responses, never giving too much info. I was busy preparing for the first day of classes. He keeps asking questions: "How's your family?" "How are the cats?" "How are your roommates?" This goes on for over an hour, he says he's going to go to bed, and I tell him that I want to be friends but I don't know if it's a good idea. He says okay, I'll leave you alone. I tell him we can try and see.


Last night he IMs me again and continues to do so for over 2 hours. Asking a lot of the same update-y type questions, asking if I have big plans for the weekend. Again, I give short replies, figuring at some point he'll go away, because to be honest it's already getting old & boring. He keeps asking about me and talking about politics until finally I tell him at 1AM that I'm going to bed.


What the heck? Is this pure boredom? Loneliness? Doesn't he have other people to talk to?

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I don't know your story, but typically the leaver that leaves "for greener pastures" comes to their senses after a month or so. Suddenly they realize the grass WASN'T greener, and they see what they left behind. Sometimes. Other times it is them sweeping away all the bad memories and looking at the relationship through rose-colored lenses, remembering all the good times you had together.


Sounds like he is trying to worm his way back into your life, small steps at a time. If you don't want him around anymore, I suggest not answering his texts or calls.


My X and I swore that we could be friends after we split, but it's been two years now and I've talked to her maybe 6 times, mostly via email and ALL for unresolved business that seemed to pop up. (ie. car titles, etc). About 6 weeks into our split, I got a 3am phone call from her. I was still weak enough at that point to answer because I thought she was in trouble or something. But thankfully I had just enough strength to withstand her crying lonliness. She had made her bed and verbally and emotionally burned enough bridges with me that I knew I didn't want to go back, despite my own pain and lonliness.


Keep your chin up. He is either lonely, manipulative, or both. Is that something you want? If not, stay the course!

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I have to agree with Le on this one.


The only reason he IM'd you for two hours is because you kept responding.


I've been there yanno, I really have. I know how hard this is, but looking back I was 99% of the reason I didn't heal properly and I sat and blamed HIM for being a jerk and it was all "why is HE doing this", but looking back on it subjectively now, I contributed to a lot of it.


Sorry hon, but I just have a hard time with statements like "why do they do this" when you are contributing to it yourself by replying. If you are upset by this contact and bombardement of questions from him clearly you aren't ready for them...stop answering his IM's and go back to NC.


Happy New Year.

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I just have a hard time with statements like "why do they do this" when you are contributing to it yourself by replying. If you are upset by this contact and bombardement of questions from him clearly you aren't ready for them...stop answering his IM's and go back to NC.


I guess the reason I respond is because I've been in a good frame of mind about the whole thing, don't want to get back together (we tried thrice and failed miserably each time) and I would really like to at least be cordial with him. We both have had a hard time distinguishing what friendship would be between us because we were never friends before we dated, and the last time we tried the friends thing, it took 3 days for him to admit that he still had feelings for me and we ended up sleeping together within a week.


I'm not "upset" by it, per se. I told my mom he was contacting me and she immediately called to see if I was sobbing or angry, but I was neither. At this point it's just kind of an annoyance. He doesn't really deserve to know what's going on with me; I'm his ex-girlfriend, and he made clear to me after three attempts at reconciling that he was no longer interested in me. It's just throwing me off a bit as to why he's sniffing around again. It's tough for me to just ignore him, though. I'm sure you all know that feeling.


And the brief story is this: I broke up with him in June. Things had been going downhill for a few months at that point (we were together for 9 months) and I was simply unhappy - he was way too busy to see me, and he had started to lose interest. Within a few days I regretted that and begged and pleaded with him. He didn't relent. We did NC for a month. He eventually came calling and said that he would maybe like to try again. We took things slow, dated for a few weeks, and eventually started falling back into the same old patterns. He said I was being pushy with everything and he felt trapped into this; he broke it off. A month of NC. He comes back, admits he still has feelings for me, I kind of talk him into seeing what comes of it. After a few weeks, he says he needs alone time and can't do this any longer. Two months of NC, and he IMed me the other night. It's been a long strange trip.

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Oh, and the first night that we spoke I did ask him if he was going to check in on me every few months. He said he wanted to see how I was doing and would leave me alone if it upset me. I said no, that's okay, but we tried the friend thing and it didn't work. He said okay, I can leave you alone. That's when I told him I would like to try being at least friendly with each other..

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If you would like to be cordial, then do so, then think nothing of those little interactions. You already know that they won't amount to anything, so it would be good to focus your energies elsewhere. If it bothers you to have these "updates" with him, then don't do it. You don't owe him anything. Do what you feel you can handle.

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I don't want to be the voice of gloom, but I really don't think you're ready to be in contact yet.


I've been in the same position you're in now - working through depression following an emotional on-again off-again relationship, lots of life changes up in the air at the same time, with an ex who contacts to check in and be friendly. It was soothing to the bruised parts of my self-worth that he was the one contacting me, and the comfort of that 'old slippers' feeling of talking to him was indescribable. He was being kind in checking in and I thought I was retaining a friendship with someone I cared for, but we put off healing from the relationship for YEARS by continuing to have these conversations.


Look at the situation objectively. You're dealing with a serious depression following a long series of emotional breakups and reunions with this man. As recently as a week ago you were still struggling badly with his seeing his ex and torturing yourself by thinking about whether he'd been faithful to you. While you're obviously putting a lot of good effort into healing, he is still on your mind a great deal. You simply can't be friendly or cordial with all this still in your system.

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