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Eye contact... and the Ex


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I feel that the eyes are an excellent window into the mind of another person. There is so much that can be expressed and betrayed about one's thoughts just by the way their eyes behave. Problem is, it can be a very frustrating thing to interpret, and there can never be absolute certainty that you have read the behavior correctly, but this is the issue that I face right now. I apologize, this gets a bit long but I want to provide enough of the backstory to paint the picture as it is. If you get bored reading this, I understand, but I feel there is little that can be omitted.


I work with my ex (together 2 years) so NC is virtually impossible for any long period of time. Aside from the occasional work-related interaction there is always the dynamic of passing by the ex many times a day, and those awkward situations where (normally) it would be customary for two people crossing paths to acknowledge the other's prescence, extend the usual 'Good morning/afternoon', and the polite meaningless smile or nod. Anyone that's worked in an office setting knows where I am coming from on this, I'm sure.


Here's the thing: we broke up 4 months ago and eye contact is still avoided like the plague. In the second month following the breakup she made the first non-business contact to me and it reopened communication for several weeks (I thought we were going down the right path), but only communication via work email and chats. For example, we would send a series of emails back and forth about a particular joke (very relaxed, tons of LOL's and LMAO's from both of us), but then pass each other in the hall 5 minutes later and it's like it never happened, like I had been emailing a different person a moment ago.


During this month or so of back and forth, we get together to clean out the last few things from our apartment that were jointly owned and get the place ready to turn over to the landlord (she moved out the day we broke up). I figured this would be a great way to break the ice of communicating again in person and it seemed to go perfectly at the time. It was relaxed, we had a good time, she made incredible eye contact (I felt her eyes were practically telling me she wanted me back), and she told me that she missed me and was depressed and lonely. Without going into detail, I pretty much responded in a similar manner and left it open-ended -- no real discussion about the future, just taking it slowly.


We go back to work and it's back to no eye contact, but the emailing continues (she initiates almost every time). After a couple weeks she suggests we hang out and a week later we get together to hit up a bookstore we both enjoy. Afterwards, she says we probably shouldn't hang out together again as it would 'complicate things'. I asked her if her feelings fgr me were really gone and she thought for a moment before saying 'it's probably not healthy for me to answer that'. OK, this probably means another guy, right?


Well, I know she's been hanging out with a guy from the office since just a couple of weeks after the breakup (maybe even less than 2 weeks) but she still claims to be single (after 4 months). I haven't confronted her about it but her Facebook status still says single and they do not act like a couple when they go out with mutual friends or are randomly seen by my friends in public. He's not attractive (I'm being nice here) and he is definitely not her type, but they hang out a LOT and he often stays the night at her place. I'm not trying to turn this into a quesiton of whether or not they are an item, but it needs to be laid out there to understand the situation.


It's been 4 months since the breakup and 2 months since that conversation about not hanging out again -- all emailing abruptly ceased and we haven't communicated for 2 months. At this point, I would think she should be able to be open amongst her friends about a new relationship, especially since there have been all kinds of rumors about me hooking up with other girls in the office (they're not true, but she doesn't know that). Mayeb they really are just friends. I would also think that at this point she should be comfortable extending a simple hello in the hallway, but eye contact is still avoided like the plague and I don't get it. It's not even a cold type of avoidance, it's obviously very nerve-wracking for her sometimes and it couldn't be more obvious that she is trying very hard not to look at me as she passes. Her closest friends tell me that she seems fairly content (not happy, just content) and that they think she is still very confused about what she wants. I can't help but agree with them based upon the eye contact avoidance, but then that continues to give me hope, which is about as annoying as it gets. This issue has been bugging me for a while and I guess I just hit the boiling point and had to get other's opinions. If you're still reading this, thank you for being patient and I welcome your insight, positive or negative.

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Ahhh, I should probably mention why she left. She said she felt it wasn't working, I wasn't paying enough attention to her (admittedly, she's right) and that she was scared to sign a new lease if we couldn't work things out. She originally left it as 'taking a break for a couple months' and that she hopes 'leaving like this doesn't rule out the possibility of trying again', but a few days later told me she didn't think she would want to work things out and that maybe our relationship 'ran it's natural course'. I think she enjoyed finding her own freedom for the first time in her life and her closest friends both told me to let the dust settle down and that they think she will come around in time. For what it's worth, her best friends LOVE me and have told me even recently that it's a shame we broke up, becuase we were a great couple. They all seem to hold on to the idea that it's not over as well, which makes this all the more frustrating

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It is kind of long and I'm having a hard time finding a question.


I think that if you guys are still avoiding eye contact then the tension is still just too high. It doesn't mean that she hates you or anything and it doesn't mean that things won't improve over time.


My ex and I have been off/on for years so you'd think I would have this down to a science but it still hurts when we run into each other when the break up is still fresh and it's like we are complete strangers and none of it even happened. We've run into each other twice since we broke up 3 months ago and we completely avoided each other. However he is still talking to me through facebook (he initiates).


I think when they are ready they will come around. Doesn't necessarily mean they want to reconcile, though.

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