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Can I bring the passion back?


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Okay I posted this in the "breaking up" forum yesterday, but now I am wandering if this is the best place for my post so I am posting it here too (hope that's okay)! This is the first time I've posted about anything, so thanks for any help you can give.


I really need some advice from you all. My ex boyfriend and I dated for 4 years and he broke up with me about 2 months ago. We have been through a lot together. He is mid 20s, and i am late 20s. He was in the military and I was with him through deployments and all the drama with that, and he got out last year. We also bought a house together a year ago and moved near my family.

Since the move, I could tell that he was not as happy. I thought it was because he was trying to figure out what to do with his life, and he didn’t really have a steady job or any friends in the area. I do have a good job, and I have been trying to readjust to this area as well and trying to meet people in a new area can be challenging! I noticed that he was getting moodier, he didn’t seem to want to have sex as much or be as affectionate for the past few months. He also told me he really missed his family and friends, who lives about 10 hours away. However, despite all this we really had some great times together. We hung out together all the time and just really had a lot of common interests that we would do together, like playing with our dog, playing sports, things like that. I know that I was his support and the person he went to for things when we were together.

Well two months ago, he decided to end it. I think he had been thinking about it for awhile but didn’t want to hurt me. He moved home to be with family and told me that he wasn’t feeling it emotionally anymore and that he missed his family. He said he really cared about me and was physically attracted but not emotionally. We have talked about things and one of the things he mentioned was that I didn’t give him enough space. And also that I was not adventurous enough in bed. Well I have to agree with him on both of these things. I think looking back I was too clingy but at the time I just didn’t see it. I know that I have some things I need to work on for myself here, and I am. Also as far as sex – well when I found this out, the thing is, I wanted to be more adventurous too. I told him this and he acted disappointed saying I wish you had told me that earlier because things may have been different.

This is the thing guys – I think my clinginess and my lack of adventure in the bed may have pushed him away and made him not feel emotionally attracted to me. I have been working on and will continue to work on these things. Is it possible to reestablish that emotional attraction, or the feeling of love? I think the lack of adventure in the bedroom is what caused this – so if I try to do something to show him this has changed – is it possible to make him feel connected again? I really love this guy. I would even be willing to relocate for him if we were able to work things out but right now he is not willing to give it another chance. Part of the problem too I think is that he is thinking that you are always going to have that “love” feeling from the beginning and maybe doesn’t realize that it is going to feel different after awhile. Please help me guys!! I have been trying the no contact thing for 2 weeks but slipped up once, and I have been trying to move on with my life as best as I can without him. Any advice you can give would be appreciated!! Should I keep no contact, be friends (which he wants), or something else?!


Also I added to my first post later...


He was struggling with his career, whether to go to school or get a job, or both. To add another layer to this, he has PTSD that he will not get help for, even though believe me i have tried to get him to. I knew he had a lot to figure out within himself, and that maybe he didn't have all the answers for me yet. I knew that something was off in the relationship, and I tried to talk to him about it, but he wouldn't. Truthfully, I felt that it was the PTSD and confusion about what to do with his life that was making him doubt his feelings for me, and I believed that once he went and got out of the house to get a job or go to school, that he would feel happier with himself and the relationship.

However, instead of doing this, he chose to leave.


The thing is, we never had a problem communicating before the move. Its like he got out of the military, we moved, and when he tried to decide what to do next with his life from there, he shut down and shut me out completely. We hung out and talked all the time - but not about the important things.


You know i think what hurts the most about this is that I feel like his confusion over what to do in his life and his missing his family spilled over and made him resent me in a way and made his feelings for me go downhill. I hear he is going out with his friends all the time now, doesn't have a job yet, so who knows. I am not going to wait on him, but I would love the chance to try to work things out IF both of us are willing to put in the effort.

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This happened to be a really interesting post for me to read because I can relate on so many levels. I have some of the same things in common with your post as well. I, too, just got out of a relationship of 4 years and your post is a lot like me just vice-versa.


I was with a guy for 4 years, and everything was great at first. But things started seeming a little not so great, the longer we were together. For awhile we discussed moving in together (glad we didn't) and really being together. Anyway, he was extremely clingy .. I mean if I didn't answer his calls he would call every 10 minutes (NOT exaggerating) My phone was constantly ringing because of him, my inbox was crazily full, and if I needed just space away and didn't want to talk on the phone he would track me down on the internet to talk to me through messenger.

Now I'm not saying this is you, or you were that extreme ... I've just had my share of clingy, and I don't like it. Second, being adventurous in bed wasn't really the issue it was being adventurous himself. He never liked to try anything new, or be spontaneous for even 5 minutes. Everything was serious with him, and he was always too shy.


Anyways, long story short ... I got bored. And I have a feeling this is the same thing happening with you, and your guy. Maybe he was with you so long, and things were great at first but as time moved on, you start craving something new. My guy always tried asking what I wanted, and tried changing, if I could make a guy perfect, he would be the perfect fit for a change. I changed almost everything, and still couldn't figure out why I wasn't happy ... it was just him. You can change things, but their still going to be them.

Also if things ever get back on track, and you try again with him eventually things will start getting rocky again. Same thing happened with my guy, and I. I personally don't believe in relighting the spark, but that's just going off my experience.

I think you should follow your instincts on what you should do, I'm just throwing my advice out there for you to get kind of a feel. You don't have to take my advice, since everyone is different.


I also think that if your going to continue to be friends with him, be careful. You should always ask yourself, friends means friends, not dating, not close, just friends. So ask yourself if you can be okay seeing him dating someone else? Can you handle him talking about her to you? Would you be okay him talking about his life with other hook ups? Reality those seem like they would be too hard for you, since your relationship seemed really strong. I can see those questions not affecting someone who say was in a relationship with their bestfriend and it only lasted a few months, and they realized they were just friends.

I say to break it off with him, and as hard as it is ... just move on. Time eventually heals everything, maybe not completely, but if you can find someone else to better your time with you as well will get the "new love" feeling. And be happy as well.


Good luck to you!

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Thank you for your post, i thought it was really interesting. You know, the funny thing is, even though I think I was clingy, I think he was too but didnt realize it, and that is what is so weird. I wasn't the kind of girl who would call a million times or freak out if i didn't hear from him because I knew i would see him that night. I don't really think I was that clingy either until the end when I sensed that something wasn't quite right with the relationship and he wasn't telling me, if that makes sense. I can remember the last few months he was here I had to work late a lot for my job, and he would always call me when I wasn't home and get upset (not mad, just upset) when I couldn't have my phone on and he would be waiting for me at home thinking I was coming home soon and we could do something. Its like he made me his entire life while he was living here, because he didnt know anyone else (and didn't make a real effort to!), and no one can be someone's everything. I'm actually pretty adventurous, Im the kind of girl who loves to just hop in the car and see where it takes me, and he used to be the way too, but lately he didn't seem interested in doing that or pretty much anything anymore. Anyone, I appreciated your insight from the other side. I am trying to do no contact, and I am also trying to move on. I have been talking to other guys (they know I'm not ready for anything serious), and I am just trying to focus on myself right now, but it is really hard.

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Does anyone have any more advice or insight for me? I could really use some help! I am trying to move on, but I would love to keep the door open for reconciliation also. I have another question too. Has anyone else experienced having their ex pull away and "fall out of love", and you feel it was because they were depressed or had PTSD or something similar?

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One more thing I wanted to get everyone's input on. I was talking to him earlier this week (I know, bad idea). He said something like he doesn't know why can't talk since he likes talkng to me. He also said that he just wasnt feeling "emotionally attracted" to me anymore but he likes hanging out with me, cares about me, etc. Then he said something like if he was ever in town and if we were both single maybe we could hook up. * * * ????! I don't get it. Looking back, I guess he had been distancing himself for awhile. But I really think it was because he was missing his family and friends, didn't have a job, didnt know what he wanted to do with this life...and that he took all that out on me and maybe it hurt what he was feeling about us and made him feel "not in love". I don't know...what do you all think? Any chance he will wake up and see that things were actually GOOD between us, and that those other things weighing on him made him take it out on me and feel like he didn't love me?

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I can relate because I was guilty of some of the things you described, including not showing enough sexual interest in my girlfriend, which I'm sure was deeply insulting to her. (Never mind that she was always very adventurous; can't complain there.) I was unhappy too, but the difference was that I didn't leave over it -- she left me.


Your subject line was about "passion," and anyone who's been in a long-term relationship knows that passion is difficult to maintain. I suppose it should be difficult to maintain. Marriage counselors are loaded with ideas and recommendations for re-stoking the sexual fires, but one cycle of events works better than any other -- separation followed by reconciliation. 'Course separation is the "nuclear option," as it places the very relationship at risk, but, hey, you're already there.


You need to focus on what you need to do to re-connect with your ex, and, as we all know, that's the hardest part. You probably have to start with "no contact" in order to get yourself together, then you probably need a little luck to instigate a re-connection. Don't expect passion to trigger a reconciliation; I think you'll find that reconciliation triggers passion.


Ever have "make-up sex"? It's awesome. "Reconciliation sex" after a period of separation is mind-blowing. Who knows, maybe your current predicament will turn out to be exactly what the two of you needed.

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I have a different opinion- I think he is just down about his own life situation and the things he told you about why he broke up were not the real reasons at all. They were just rationalizations he has told himself. If he has untreated PTSD, then he is not in a mentally healthy place in life and probably realizes he can't be a good partner. Men seem to need to feel like their life is in order- job, etc, and if they don't have that on track, they may not have the energy to put into a relationship.


I think you should just tell yourself that you didn't do anything wrong, he is going through a rough patch in life, leave him alone and give him lots of space to sort things out, and don't wait around for him. But, if he does come back at some point and you are available, maybe you'll be open to reconciling.


I think right now the best thing you can do is just leave him alone. Until he decides to get healthy (treatment for PTSD) and get his life on track, he isn't going to be able to give you what you need.


My situation is a bit similar- if you search some of my earliest threads here- my boyfriend felt overwhelmed with his job and financial problems and broke up with me. He has subsequently told me this was a mistake and the break up had nothing to do with his feelings for me. I don't know if we will reconcile, but I am just giving him space to sort his own life out for now.


Good luck!

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Sometimes things happen in people's lives that make them change their outlook on what they are doing. My ex lost her mom and not long after we broke up. Sometimes life changing experience can bring doubts to a head. A change in circumstances can bring a change in a person


Sounds like all the warning signs were there, but he was probably sending mixed signals and so you didnt pick up on them.


I wouldnt over analyse things, sounds like after coming out of the military he isnt sure what he wants to do with himself. Just leave him be and get on with your life. he may come back once he has found himself but dont hold out on it happening.

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Thanks so much everyone for all of your advice, it has given me a lot to think about. I am really trying to do this No contact thing. I haven't had any contact for over a week right now. Then tonight, I got a text from him telling me to call if i wanted to so we could gossip. I didn't respond and then he sent me 2 more texts asking if i was ignoring him. What should i say? Or should i say anything at all?

I told him a few weeks ago not to contact me right now because I need to let myself move on and that is hard to do when we are talking, but then I was bad and we did talk once since then after he texted me to call him. I think he wants to be "friends" but i don't think i'm up for that right now. However, I want to leave the door open for possible reconciliation! Also, I am worried about him too because he has told me he feels like he has PTSD (and I saw symptoms of it) and i know that really he has opened up to me more than anyone else. I don't want to walk away if he really needs me and is going through stuff, but I can't keep hanging on to hope either because I need to move on if it isn't going to work with us! Ugh, this is so hard. Any advice?

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Well, I don't know anything directly about PTSD, but I recently finished reading a book called The One That Got Away about a British SAS commando who escaped from the western Iraqi desert on foot in 1991. (The "Bravo Two Zero" mission is actually famous, particularly in Britain; Google it up.) This guy underwent enormous battlefield stress, almost unimaginable.


Throughout his ordeal, he made repeated references to his wife Jan and daughter Sarah, who were his guiding lights throughout his trek without food, water or shelter. But later, some time after he returned to Britain, he inexplicably became withdrawn and wanted them to leave. He didn't know why, but he simply didn't want his wife around anymore.


Some months later, when he was re-deployed overseas, he called her and asked her if she would consider coming home. When he got back, she had already moved back in.


He offered no explanation for his behavior, because he didn't seem to understand it himself -- he had a different kind of healing to undergo. But the key element, as always, was time.

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Well last night i was bad. He had texted me 3 times the night before and asked me to call him but i ignored that because I was busy. So last night, i sent him a text telling him i had been busy. Well immediately after i sent it, he called me. We chatted about random gossip, about our famiiles, his job hunt, i told him about some new stuff i was getting into, things like that, for like an hour. I have made it clear to him that i am dating other people, he knows i am not putting my life on hold - and he also knows that i still love him. He kept commenting on me dating others, over and over, saying stuff like "well i would call you next time but you may be out with your new boyfriend so i'll just text you first instead". I don't know if he was making those comments because maybe it bothers him, or maybe he's just joking as a friend?


So finally i told him i needed to go. Well then, a few minutes after i got off the phone, he sent me a text message about something random. I replied, and he proceeded to send me like 10 more messages! I finally stopped replying.


Please help me guys - I don't know what to do here. I know that if we get together again at some point, it probably isn't something that is going to happen over night - i think he has too much going on in his own life right now to get straight to deal with it. However, I want to leave the door for future reconciliation open. If I talk to him like this, will it blow my chances of any future reconciliation, by not letting him "miss" me more?

I know he has his friends and family where he is, but honestly I also think that he doesn't open up to any of them the way he does me, even now. I think they are more "fun" and I more the one he trusts, if that makes sense. I am rambling now, i just need to get my thoughts out!


By the way, I just want to say that i AM moving on! We broke up 2 months ago and although it still hurts (sometimes a lot) i am doing a lot better now than i was then. I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket hoping we are going to get back together - but I do want to maximize the chance of that happening!

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i think he has real intimacy fears and that is what is making him shutdown to you emotionally. I think he uses sex as a way to avoid real emotional intimacy, because he is scared of it and that is his way of being close to you without risking real emotional intimacy. It's something men do a lot (and an increasing number of women). When people shut down emotionally through fear, the first thing they say is that 'i don't feel in love anymore'. This guy sounds to me like he has a fear of intimacy (otherwise known as a fear of commitment) and that usually stems from low self worth/self esteem.

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Yes I would agree that he probably has some issues with intimacy. He has a hard time talking about his feelings. I am pretty sure that he has talked to me more about them than anyone else ever - maybe that was scary for him? I don't know. Whenever i would try to talk about "feelings" he would kind of shut down on me. He was in the military and they always told him to "suck it up" so that didn't help. He said his dad was made of stone and he thought he was a lot like him.


The thing is, we lived together for awhile before we bought our house last year. We were both excited and happy about buying it! But soon after we bought it and moved in, I could sense him pulling away a little bit. Is that typical of someone with intimacy issues?


On top of that, that is when he first got out of the military, and was trying to find a new path for his life. And the PTSD seemed to get worse when he got away from his military friends - he couldn't sleep at night so would stay up all night (which didn't help with the sex issues because I had to go to bed early for work!) and he would have nightmares sometimes. I guess all of this was just too much for him to handle. Or maybe i am just analyzing this all too much, maybe he just really did completely fall out of love with me - who knows. I guess at this point it doesn't really matter since we are not together.


After I talked to him earlier this week (3 days ago) and he sent me like 10 texts that night, he ended up sending me a random text message today about something silly.


I have a philisophical question for you all. If you love someone and they are going through a hard time, and make contact with you even as a friend because they trust you and need someone to talk to - is it right NOT to talk to them, especially when you love them? I don't know the answer to that, its something I've been struggling with myself and I would be curious to see what others think.

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I have a philisophical question for you all. If you love someone and they are going through a hard time, and make contact with you even as a friend because they trust you and need someone to talk to - is it right NOT to talk to them, especially when you love them? I don't know the answer to that, its something I've been struggling with myself and I would be curious to see what others think.


If my ex called and needed support I would be there with no conditions, as a friend. I'm dumpee after 4years, ~2 months since break. I couldn't turn her away if she really needed me. I value loyalty and friendship. And I still love her. Now not for every hangnail and new BF issue. lol There are limits!

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I have been thinking about this and now I am really starting to question if one of my ex's major problems is a fear of intimacy. He was not very affectionate at all. When i would touch him, even if I was just putting my arm around him or something, he would tell me he didn't like touching, that it actually made him physically uncomfortable and didn't feel good. He said that was just the way he was. He also hated to talk about anything involving feelings, and described himself as a rock like his dad. He put NO effort into trying to make this better, and wouldn't even give me a hug or a kiss when I asked him to! Like i mentioned eariler, he always said you were supposed to 'suck it up' when it came to emotions. When we first started dating he was a lot more affectionate, but never overly so. Now that I am thinking about it, his wanting to be affectionate seemed to go downhill when he got back from Iraq, which was about 2 years ago.


Is it normal for a guy who has intimacy issues to make a big committment like buying a house with you, and be excited about that, but then once he does it he gets cold feet and starts to question his feelings and say he's no longer in love?


I am beginning to question if there is any hope at all for reconciliation between the PTSD and intimacy problems. I am wandering if he will ever snap out of it and realize that the main obstacle that made him not feel "in love" (the reason for the breakup) was his own mental issues sabotaging the relationship! Who knows though, i could be wrong, maybe he just didn't feel it anymore, but it just seems like such a coincidence to me.


Anyways, just felt like venting tonight! Thanks to all of you who have replied to help me, you really have helped more than you will know and gave me a lot to think about. I really am doing a lot better!

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amanda, i think you nailed it with your last post and it confirms to me the suspicion i had that he has a deep fear of intimacy.


His relationship with his father, the army and his own behaviour anytime you expressed any sort of intimacy with him only confirms his fears.


Unless he is prepared to understand why he has these fears, where they come from and that he wants to do something about it, you will always struggle to have a full commitment from him.


As with all of these situations, you have to start looking after your own needs. You cannot make someone face their fears, you can't even influence them to want to face them. The one thing that makes people like your ex finally wake up is years of heartbreak and failure as this will keep happening to him again and again until he is prepared to face his fears. Some people never develop the courage to face their fears and go through their whole life living in fear.

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Okay so I have been maintaining somewhat LC. I never call or text him, and I don’t always answer when he calls or texts me (I’ve been busy the last few weeks). For the last 3 weeks, he has been calling me at least once a week, talking for at least an hour, and also sending me several texts each week.


Well earlier I let it slip that I had been out with a guy a few times (the other guy knows I’m not looking for anything serious right now). Looking back, maybe that wasn’t the right thing to do telling my ex, but the thing is HE is the one who wanted to “be friends” so I had just casually mentioned it when he asked what I was doing. Also, I want him to know that I’m not still pining for him – I miss him, but I’m going to live my life.


So why does he act so jealous about this? Last night, he sent me a text asking what I was doing. I told him I was going out, and he made a smart comment, asking me if i was going out with the new guy and asking if I had sex with him. Frankly, that’s none of his business. However that being said, if you read earlier in this thread you will see that I feel like a big part of my ex’s problem is the whole afraid of intimacy/PTSD/depression issue, and I felt like this caused him to pull away from me. So I told him no I hadn’t had sex. Then he sent me a text “whatever, make sure you take some condoms with you”! That is completely inappropriate in my opinion. Why would he act this way, HE is the one who broke up with ME? It’s been over 2 months. I don’t think he’s all that happy, he still hasn’t found a job (although is looking), he is spending a lot of his time watching tv.


I just don’t get it. Has anyone else had experience with their ex who dumped them acting this way? Why text me and get upset when I don’t text back soon after, why call me, and why act jealous if you don’t want that person? I’m not initiating contact at all. Help me out someone!!!

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I know this much: He still has feelings for you that he doesn't know how to reconcile in his head. It's obvious that he does not want you going out with New Guy, and he especially does not want you having sex with New Guy. Yes, I know, he's the one who dumped you, so he's the one who set you free to do whatever you want, but that's the way he feels anyway. No, that doesn't jibe, but that's the way it is sometimes.


As we're all learning all the time, the feelings and actions of people acting on emotion do not always make sense.

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Thanks so much for your advice. Yes, it is very hard when they keep calling and acting jealous, but still do not want to be with you.


So today he sent me another text and was asking about my date the other night. I kinda called him out on it and said I don't think it's fair for you to keep bringing this guy up, i can go out with who i want to now, just like you can. Well then, he tried to make it like he was just joking about the new guy the whole time and that I was taking everything too seriously. How am I supposed to take it though, when he makes those comments about me having sex, when he is constantly asking about the new guy, and then he says he is just joking about it and giving me a hard time? Is he trying to cover it up, that he may be confused, because he is just sooo bad at talking about his feelings...or is he really just joking? Do guys usually joke about this kind of stuff with their ex?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Opinions please...what is the best way to proceed if your ex keeps texting/calling you (several texts and at least one phone call/week for the last 4 weeks).


So the latest development is this...this weekend i confronted him (by text) about a text he sent me that was very confusing, told him I didn't like the mixed signals he was giving me, that he needed to be straight with me. He ended up calling me to apologize, said he hadn't meant to send mixed signals, that he was jealous and didn't like thinking about me with other guys, that I shouldn't mention this to him. But still gave NO indication that he wanted to give it another shot. So we talked for like an hour.

Then later that night, he called again, I think we talked like 2 hours (ugh, not good I know). Well after we got off the phone...I got this message from him about how bad he wanted to do me! Didn't really know how to respond to that...so I just kind of joked it off.


Honestly, he sounds so confused...I don't think he knows WHAT he wants. Although right now, apparetnly, its not me. Any advice here? Why the mixed signals about the sexual text he sent...on the same day that he had apologized for sending the mixed signals earlier?! I am not sure how to go from here, other than just trying to be his friend, see if something happens with us, while trying to move on with my life.

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Wow. I think it might be good to go back to NC for awhile. You guys aren't going to cut it as friends, at least not now. He's confused about what he wants. He's not ready to be your friend and sounds like you're really not ready to be his either. Yet, he's not sure enough he wants you to move things in that direction. Take a break from all this. Maybe after he's had time to think about the whole situation, knowing all that he knows now, he'll come back to you without mixed signals. If he doesn't, so be it.

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