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When NC doesn't apply...


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Ok so cut a very very long story short, my ex broke up with me 3 months ago due to self-esteem issues and his lack of grasp on "what I see in him". During the two years, I never helped matters. In the beginning, I was a student at the same uni as him (that's where we met). We got together on the same day we met, we didn't have a just seeing eachother period, and quickly told our families. He was more openly serious than me. I was doing modelling on the side of my studies, always beauty shots, above shoulders, nothing he had a problem with. We are both quite religious and this mixed with our loyal natures, trusted eachother immensely. People were quite open with how I was "out of his league" and when I realised later on in the relationship that this was actually an issue for him I dropped my friends, especially my male ones. I stopped the modelling completely (I had grown out of it anyway, and doing Medicine doesn't quite complement it!) I tried to reassure him in every way I knew how. He treated me like a queen, then gradually became angry, sensitive and just lost that confident cocky guy I fell for. He broke up with me, I accepted it. He never let me think I was the problem. We have had a crazy 2 and half months since. We've had fights, arguments, I've confessed that I love him. Crazy, you might think. Two years and I never told him. I told him in the beginning that if he ever told me he loved me i would leave. I justified my actions because our families were discussing our marriage after our graduation, even planning weddings, discussing how we were going to bring up our children. I thought that it was enough that I was showing I was serious. WRONG.


I'm not trying to sell a sob story I just need to let you know a little about me. He was my first relationship (I'm 20) because I've always had trust issues and have always been terrified by a guy only wanting me for the physical. He was my first holding hands, first kiss I had to see a therapist when I was 14 because I could not accept that any guy would see beyond my looks. Don't get me wrong, not in the sense that I think I'm so amazing looking. I've been modelling from a young age and when you have professionals telling you every flaw on your face you've never even noticed on your face, it can seriously damage your self-esteem. When I got into medicine and consequently met the man of my dreams I got over my insecurities and felt that I'd won the battle with my demons.


Anyways, i told him i loved him, and he cried, was gobsmacked (if you know me you'd understand how shocking it was for me to do that!) and sat there and thought and you know what he said? That it was too late. That I stuck a knife in his heart, and didn't know whether he could trust me again.


So i smiled, pulled myself together, wished him luck and told him I'd be giving him his space as he requested. That lasted for about 3 days. He kept tabs on me, he'd told certain guys not to be around me, he always knew where I was and who with. He accused me of not loving him because I was giving him space and how can you give space to someone you're hopelessly in love with!


Quite soon we both ended up at the same club, it was a mutual friends birthday and by this point we were flirting, very casual. I stopped going clubbing after I began our relationship as i thought it was silly to put myself in a position where other guys would hit on me when I really just wanted to go home to my man. But i went, because I was single and wanted to have fun with my girlfriends. And I did. Until him and our mutual male friends came over, sat, talked. And he noticed the guy who had been eyeing me. He is not a violent guy, and is proud of that. He got kicked out of the club after he punched the guy for no reason. And the best bit? he took it out on me and sulked for putting him in that position!


I don't want to bore you with all the details. We're at a stage where we've decided that we're going to let things go naturally. And so far that's been me initiating most of the contact because when I don't he automatically goes to, the old cold * * * * * paris is still there. but i WANT him to miss me. I've moved back home for a few weeks out of london, and he is very sweet and respectful. I've deactivated my facebook which annoyed him as he can't keep tabs on me. So it's just a phone thing. If we fall into conversation he talks like we're dating. I know this is what he wants because we were never friends or just dating, we were just strangers and then serious relationship!


After all that rambling, my question is: how do I show him I care and prove that I know how to show my emotions now and not damage his self-esteem anymore but not so much that he sees me as needy or desperate and the one chasing him? I don't have a problem with NC, that comes very natural to me as i don't enjoy chasing and prefer to be chased. But I think in this situation I can't risk him doubting my feelings. WHAT DO I DO?


I haven't talked to him in nearly two days, which is the longest we've gone in the weeks without talking to eachother, we both have exams in a few days. Do you think I should? Should I wait for him to contact me? It's like dating someone brand new which is fine, the problem is, I've never dated anyone! I'm usually done with them by now Is love supposed to be hardwork?

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Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who sounds very insecure? He doesn't have respect for other people if he punched a guy who was sitting near you because of his own jealousy. And to then place the responsibility for his feelings onto you. You are likely to start to feel like you're walking on eggshells so as not to upset him, rather than being yourself.


This doesn't sound like a healthy dynamic. You might want to consider telling him that you need time and space to consider how you feel. Give him a set time frame (after all, you've broken up already) - maybe a month, that you won't be in contact at all. This will enable you to separate being used to having someone around from whether you do truly want to make a go of a relationship with him.

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i feel like i caused his insecurities because he definitely wasn't when we met. He's one of these boys that everyone tells me is so sweet and how lucky I am to have him, including my parents. It feels like I broke up with him, that's why doing the no contact thing isn't going to help, just reassure him that I can get on without him, which is true, but he needs to know that I do want to have him in my life. To explain our dynamics right now, it's like I broke up with him and he's learning to trust me again. How can I show I care without looking like I'm forcing it on him? We're kind of seeing eachother so there's no use of no contact now. We're building something, I just don't know how to go about it!

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You need to be really clear that you love him, but also that he needs to stop being overly jealous just because some guy looks at you... it doesn't matter how pretty you are or are not, his jealousy to that level is not justified. Just because you're pretty doesn't mean you're a cheater, and he needs to understand that you have no intention of going with any other guy, and he has no right to punch out other guys because he jealous and some guy happened to look at you.


Tell him that you will be true to him, but he also has to stop that kind of behavior and trust that you love him enough to not date other guys. If he can't trust you that much, then it's doomed.


Try to talk to him more, be open about your feelings rather than playing games or telling him things like he's not 'allowed' to discuss love or marriage or anything. You should be talking about everything and anything, expressing your feelings and having talks that bring you closer together and resolve differences, rather than avoiding those talks and playing games.


So tell him how you feel, and act accordingly.

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i already have said all this, we're at a stage where he needs all this to be shown to him. he reckons that the damage is done. i wish the problem was other guys, he's more concerned that I have never shown him real affection. He trusts me completely. He knows that i'm religious and I don't date guys and cheating is out of the question. it's more of a me trying to prove that i love him, but i find that so difficult because i'm a very proud person and also he's not my boyfriend. anyway i think of to show him that i love him seems crossing the line of this "taking it slow" thing we're trying. should i text him first? should i wait? im trying to find the balance between loving him and not being needy, i know he finds that so unattractive in a person.

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I'm confused?! He broke up with you, but you feel like you broke up with him? Are you perhaps idealizing the sweet, innocent and confident man facade that you knew when he met you?


I, too present a confident, sweet perfect girl facade that parents and men love. Once the honymoon phase is over, my insecurities and anger, and neediness sets in. Perhaps you did nothing to make him feel insecure. These are his own issues. You don't sound like someone who flirts and dates or shouldn't be trusted. It sounds like he is trying to get attention from you b/c of his insecurity. Basically, he wants you to say, I am madly deeply in love with you and want to always be with you. Anything less for him would sound like you don't care. I too can appreciate those feelings. He needs to work on his issues of losing you. He pushed you away because he was afraid of losing you in the first place. Strange thing for someone to do huh? However, it is common for insecure people to push others aways because they fear that you will get rid of them first.


If you want to be with this guy, be prepared to constantly reassure him with your love and commitment.

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he broke up with me because i "emotionally broke up" with him "months ago".... and he doesn't know whether he can trust me again to not hurt him. i have no problems with showing him the affection, unfortunately it took a while after the break up for me to realise and for him to tell me what the problem was. but my main concern is that showing this undying love sadly doesn't come naturally to me and i have never chased a guy. the dynamics have completely changed between us now cos he was always the one chasing me, and trying to pursue my affections. i am worried i'll come off as "clingy". how do you show someone you're not with that you love them?

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You know, young people are inordinately worried about being 'clingy' like it's a sin, so they will frequently hide their true feelings and play lots of games that can really wreck a relationship.


My advice is to be true to your own feelings, and communicate what you need in a relationship. And if the other person doesn't want the same, and you can't negotiate something you are both comfortable with together, then you're not meant to be together.


It sounds like you and he need to sit down and have a really good talk, where you express your feelings, think about it first, and say exactly what you mean. Don't filter it to try to look like something you are not or are not feeling. You need to start being more open/honest with each other, and it will cut out a lot of the games and acting out negatively, since those feelings have a proper outlet rather than getting bottled up and exploded all over each other and other people like the poor guy he beat up.


But if he wants your personality to be such that you fawn all over him all the time, and that is not you, then you need to tell him that, and he needs to accept that. If you don't fawn on him, that is not at all a question of trust, but a question of personality and personal style. Trust is about not cheating, and being consistent in your actions and open and honest communication. So he is wrong to try to label your personality as a trust issue, unless you are doing things that prove you untrustworthy like lying and excessive flirting and treating him badly.


You need to try to put a stop to the chase/run dynamics too, and the way to do that is with communication. Sit down and come up with a list of things you feel need to change in the relationship to be successful, and he should do the same. Then you sit down and talk about those things, and for each one decide whether it's a valid concern, something that can or should be changed a bit or not, and negotiate changes to make each other comfortable. If you are too far apart in what you want, or can't negotiate, then you're not compatible.


Move this relationship out of the covert games and acting out into open negotiations where you try to find a solution by openly talking rather than try to manipulate a solution.


For example, you can try to show more affection to him, work on that, tell him how you feel, but if he wants you to turn into someone who constantly stroking his ego and fawning all over him and that is not you, and he gets upset that he doesn't get it, then he needs to get over that, or go find a girl who will fawn all over him. But if he learns that is who you are and you still love him and want to be with him even if you're not fawning, and accepts that isn't your nature and is all right with that, then perhaps it could work.


Otherwise if you don't openly put these things on the table and start talking about and resolving them, you'll never get together or have a good relationship, just endless acting out and games.

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thank you for your response, it's nice to hear some rational advice!


i read so much about nc, im worried that as me and my ex haven't had any of this since we've broken up that it could be damaging? i'm in a good place, i don't think i need to heal or anything. but i keep reading about the benefits of it and it's such a natural thing for me to do. it seems a bit odd now especially as he's never denied having feelings for me. the old me got the better of me 3weeks back as he very unexpectedly stayed the evening at night at mine (no sex). it was just like the beginning of our relationship. he initiated everything that night. since then its been texts and a poem on my birthday but not a talking for hours everyday thing. a week after that night, i freaked out as it hit me how casual we were being, and i rung him to remind him that i'm not his booty call and if he doesn't see me in that light he shouldn't play with my feelings and save us both the hassle. bad move. he got very offended that i'd accuse him of that and told me that he had feelings for me. he was very very angry, his wounds are still raw. i told him how much pride i was swallowing lately which only annoyed him more because he thinks, well it's about time, and that he spent the entire relationship swallowing his when he got nothing back. we decided we'd forget the conversation happened and carrying on deciding we would let things unfold naturally.


since then we've been flirting and what not, but both have exams right now and are studying apart.


i'm fine with the space thing and the casual thing; it makes a nice change after such an intense, serious, suffocating relationship. but i'm worried he hasn't missed me yet? i don't know, i keep reading about all these breakups and nc but i really don't think it's the right thing to do right now. is it damaging that we haven't had the nc phase yet? we just had the stages of break up, craziness and this casual thing we've started.


although i completely agree with talking about the relationship it feels unnatural to do it right now as we're just "seeing where things go" for the time being. talking about the relationship or the future seems like an old habit which we don't want. it'd feel like ruining the effect of going with the flow. what do you suggest?

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NC is not about trying to get him back, it's about giving yourself space to heal and move on and get over him. Some people mistakenly think it will automatically bring him back, but it won't. Sometimes if he misses you during NC it can help him realize he really wants you, but it is not meant to try to manipulate him into coming back, just to heal yourself.


If you both might want to try to work on the relationship, then you should be talking to each other and trying to work it out. you can try to just go with the flow, but that can lead to lots of misunderstandings if he doesn't know you actually want him back and want to work on it.

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there's not much to heal when he tells me that his feelings become stronger for me each day. i just don't want him to get comfortable with my affections. so many people go on about we only want what we can't have, and if i keep showing him he can have me, surely that would make him desire me less?


also, his friends have a habit of joking with him that i was always way out his league and how did you get her. they don't know anything about our relationship as we're both very private people. i know this really affects him and justifies the truth in it by my actions when we were together. he has it in his head that "you can do better" and that "you can get any guy you want". how do i make him feel desired? he already knows how i feel, and how strongly i feel it but he's an actions speak louder than words kind of guy. what kind of actions would make him believe that he's the one i want?

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>>so many people go on about we only want what we can't have, and if i keep showing him he can have me, surely that would make him desire me less?


So what do you really want, a good relationship based on solid ground, or a game playing relationship filled with drama which you confuse with desire??


Really honey, drop the games and tell the guy you love him. If he doesn't want someone who loves him, then that makes no sense. Of course he wants someone who loves him.


If all he wants is someone to chase, then he's not ready to settle down with anybody, including you.


And how do you make him feel desired? You tell him you love him with all your heart, you don't want anybody but him and couldn't care less about other guys. And you make love to him and tell him it's wonderful and he's wonderful and really turns you on like no one else.


Your 'actions' that tell him he's the one are you consistently be with him and don't play games with him, and consistently tell him you love him and show him that. Try to be less aloof, and more warm and involved with him.


If he's so insecure that doesn't work, then nothing you do will make him stick around.

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ok so the last time me and my ex talked we were taking it "slow". i've never really dated or anything and with my ex we pretty much got into the relationship as soon as we met. because iv never had that with him or in fact anyone i don't know how i'm supposed to be. we're treating this as starting from scratch but he's playing hard to get! he still wants me to prove that i love him so he can trust me again but how can i do that and take it slowly? i feel like i text him way too much. he always responds and asks me what i'm doing etc etc. but i feel like i make way too much effort with him. it really hurts my pride when i'm the one chasing him. an if this was a new relationship there would be no way in hell i would bother! if i'm not the one initiating contact he takes that as me not not caring. for a bout two weeks it feels like we haven't progressed, we just text now and again. last night i bumped into him at uni and he was talking to a few guys and i was sat with a couple if my friends. one of my girlfriends was with the group he was with and she told me how he was very subdued and was staring in my direction the whole time. a conversation on britney came up apparently and he made it very clear that he thought she was "disgusting" (i love her!) and how he thinks a girl should be. my friend who was there recalled a similar description to me.


most our friends think that i broke up with him. he acts like he's the one with the broken heart. it gets really annoying to keep being affectionate towards him when i don't get much back. my friends tell me that i should just be patient and and keep being consistent with my feelings until he eventually believes and trusts me but how long is this going to take? i really want to take a step back and let him moves things forward but i think he's too stubborn to.

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