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If a reconciliation were possible, 'playing hard to get' Q


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My ex finished with me and very quickly started seeing someone else a few months ago.


I know for a fact that he pressured her into a relationship, in fact an argument between (can't have been more that 2/3 weeks after she started seeing him) them is how I found out about him.


She held him at arm's length for a couple of months, although was still seeing (and sleeping with no doubt) him because he was taking her out for dinner, breakfast, cinema, being nice to her etc. Many things she felt she was missing from our relationship. But holding him at arm's length, arguing with him then finally backing down and becoming exclusive less than 3 months after finishing with me.


He clearly wasn't playing hard to get. So how, if a reconciliation were to ever be on the cards between us could playing hard to get work?


Surely pressurising her seems to be the most productive way forward? Perhaps I should pressurise her to finish with him and come back to me?

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I have been leaving her alone, I havn't once pressured her to stop seeing the guy, come back or anything like that.


I'm just fuming about the double standards. Holding both of us at arm's length, and the one with the history and LOVE (me) abides by the well regarded approach of giving her space, the one who doesn't (him) gets the girl.

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In the beginning I expressed in words and letters how much I wish there could be a second chance.


It was mainly my fault, no cheating or anything like that. Just taking her for granted, a slack attitude and various other 'unboyfriendly' things. Lack of commitment on any level (we were togther 5 years and she desperately wanted a place together, I just didn't see it as financially viable at the time).


It's just now that I realise what I had now it's gone, I cannot come to terms with it. I realise what I was doing by not showing her enough love and affection. I genuinely do!


It could have been saved in the early stages of the breakup, although not enough time would have passed for any changes within me to stick, that's what she told me, even when she was seeing the new guy.


Now that time (getting towards 4 months) has passed and I feel the actual gravity of the breakup, those new outlooks remain with me. I'm sorting my life out, have my first place, alone


She told me she wants to see where this new relationship will go. Why did I get feedback, 1.5 months into her new 'exclusive' relationship and during the current NC, that perhaps we will marry some day, we got into a rut and both need to see what else is out there during a much needed 'big break apart'?


The uncertainty, pain, regret, guilt, anger, loneliness etc is tearing me to shreds, still, after 4 months!!

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I don't think you're giving your ex enough credit here.


She wanted out of the relationship with you.... she's out.

She wanted into the relationship with him... she's in.


I don't mean to sound rude, but I went through the same thing. "It's not his fault! He keeps listening to all of the bad things his friends are saying about me! I wish he would just listen to ME!"


Truth is, our exes aren't THAT easily influenced. If they are, then why do we want to be with dumb***es anyway?

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When they are emotionally unstable, feeling like love and void in their is needed and they are easily influenced and vulnerable. Grrrrrrr the guy makes me so mad to do that!!! Grrrrrr!!!!


Well, I dont think that is pressuring someone, but it is the classic sign of how a rebound occurs. That being said, she is a grown adult and has chosen to pursue what ever with him. It takes two to tango.

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It's hard to be on the other side, isn't it?


Let me say something, I met my ex while I was dating someone else. The guy was manipulative, deceiving and really did what he wanted to keep me interested. When I talked to my ex last year about how he felt... he said, I tried to say something to you many times... but really you needed to see it for yourself. It's true, I had to. And I thanked him for it.


Sad as it is.. she chose him. Not you at the moment. You could wait it out or you could go on with things.

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I think you're right caveman. When the issue is one of the other person leaving because they feel they don't matter, that you don't show them enough affection, attention, commitment, then going NC isn't the best approach to getting that person back.


But you did say you talked to her and wrote many letters pouring out your heart, so there's that.


Now you just have to work with what is, rather than wonder about 'what if', and she is in a relationship now and said she wants to see where it goes. I guess you have to respect that. She may have held out on exclusivity with him because she was sorting out her own feelings, and maybe hoping you'd really fight for her, or maybe other reasons we can't fathom, but it's pointless to speculate.

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You were with her for 5 years and within 3 months she is with someone else. Rebound. This guy knew how to play her..he pushed himself on her when she was lonely and vulnerable fresh out of a breakup. Will this relationship last...maybe, maybe not...will she be happy down the road..maybe, maybe not. The thing is this has classic rebound written all over it....many people grab the next person who shows interest in them following a break up so that they don't have to be alone.

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This is just me, but I'm female and this is how I work.

With the "hot" guys, you play hard to get because this works with them. With the "best buddy" guys, you are available to them because their is no excitement or danger there. With guys who have ignored you or took you for granted, you leave for awhile. Whether you come back or not depends on how the new guy treats you. If he doesn't treat you like you're invisible, you stay with the new guy. If he morphs into your ex, you either go back to your ex (and this is generally temporary) or you spend some time on your own. You can, if you wish, wait around and see what happens or you can move on and use you new-found wisdom on another, loving, girl. The choice is yours.

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Whether she was pressured or not, whether it is a rebound or not ... she still ultimately makes her own choices ... and maybe mistakes. This relationship may work out or it may not but it is, nevertheless, the path she has chosen and it is for her to find that out. I know it is hard but it is something you are going to have to accept.

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I don't know what's the right thing for you to do..I mean does she sound adamant about the breakup?

I'm at a similar situation with my ex and I would love it if he did big gestures, if he'd never take me for granted again. I haven't been able to be with someone else though Personally I feel forced to move on now as he's actually sticking to NC, I decided tonight I have to stop hoping.


You said you expressed your feelings with words/letters. In that case sadly you'd have to follow it all up with actions. My ex did the same thing and I just couldn't believe him, words are easy but "do you wanna do the dirty work honey or are you shying away from responsibility again"? I wanted him to risk his heart, money and time and show me he really wanted to be with me. When someone takes you for granted you somehow feel devalued and that's where the actions are so necessary. If you are also a little stubborn and precious it forces you into dating to prove to the other person that "I'm worth more than you thought"


It really depends on how close she is with that guy but maybe for your own peace of mind you need to give it your all before you fully let go, it's definitely not up to her to pursue it. I agree also that this is a rebound relationship.

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Thanks for your responses all, you have helped put my mind at rest a little. I've been struggling to express the situation in a way that makes sense to others, because I don't really understand it fully myself. What I do understand is that she tried really really hard to save that relationship and tell me where things were going wrong at every step as her love for me died. I toe punted every effort back into her face. So I deserve to have been left. I find the ruthlessness of the whole thing hard to bear though, and I wish that she could see and believe the changes that I am making to my life for the better as a result of losing her. Classic 'you don't know what you had until it's gone'.


hypatia- I will remain NC for as long as it takes me to calm down to the point where I can talk to her without anger or upset. However, now that she is a relationship, I feel cornered that contacting her would be inappropriate. She asked for space so I give it to her. Maybe I should have fought harder, TBH after the things that I said and did, and offered on a plate to her (nothing crazy, just personal and meaningful) I don't think short of the actions and improvements I'm currently making I could have done more. Changes in myself which I'm doing and have taken time to prepare for financially(for example getting out of my parents house onto my own two feet) would have more impact. Actions speak louder than words, and when I said I wanted to change she responded with "I've heard it all before"


crazyaboutdogs - I know this has classic rebound written all over it. She has told me ' I don't know if I'm with him just to get over you'. Rebound anyone? I'm pretty certain the guy wasn't on the scene before, but he may have expressed interest which helped settle her decision. Whether he keeps her happy? I hope so. Will they last? I hope not!


thejigsup - the point you make is what scares me the most. I'm worried that the new guy who I know, but not very well, will treat her better than I did (towards the end). What we had for the majority of our years together will take a lot of beating. But what if the nasty stale part at the end, coupled with the messy horrible break up makes the grass appear greener? Will the good times be forgotton?


quirky girl - Like you I also feel forced to move on. I'm not sure if she is adamant about the breakup based on her words. Lots of 'the time isn't right', 'I need to sort my life/career/emotional state/self esteem out before I could even consider sorting us out', 'Perhaps we be together some day' and all the other usual stuff. But her actions tell a different story.


I have no choice to move on but I don't want to. I feel that it wouldn't be right for me at this time. I want to learn for myself that I can live as a lone ranger and really throw myself into my hobbies. I want my next relationship to compliment my life, not control it. I just don't feel capable of another relationship right now (I think she has definitely conditioned me to feel awkward talking to other girls Based on past experience, I genuinely do not believe I could find someone better for me . I am following up my words with actions. I kept copies of the letters to her for reference. The actions she will see. Not sure how I could prove the emotional promises without 1) breaking NC which I'm not ready for and 2) Having her time and her heart to prove it. She's heard it all before? Well she hasn't seen it. As for getting my own place (a step which will do me the world of good regardless of whether it helps win her back), she thinks it's a shame it didn't happen while we were together.


When you say "if you are a little stubborn and precious it forces you into dating to prove to the other person that you are worth more", are you referring to her and suggesting that this new guy may be a statement towards me? Or are you talking to me because yes I am stubborn, yes I'm precious but no I havn't been forced into dating yet?


A few people have said do I hang on or not? Much as I wish I wouldn't, I think I am naturally. Unhealthily in fact as there is no guarantee that she won't marry this new guy or someone else. I may well have blown it for good. I would follow my gut feeling on it, but my gut feeling swings from 'there's a chance' to 'there's not a hope in hell'.


It's a deeply confusing time, and a very complex situation. I'm grateful to you all for your input!!

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