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i have taken 10 steps forward and now 3 steps back..please help!

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for a summary: my bf of 2.5 years broke up wtih me as he was confused, didnt know what he wants, said we might get back together one day, needs to find himself..i could be very controlling and towards the end i was very clingy and i always expecte da lot from him and i think he felt like he wasnt good enough or made me happy enough..


anyway so the first 2 weeks i was begging and it just pushed him away..today is day 31 of not initiating any contact with him. since then he has contacted me probably about 10 times in differnet forms (texts, facebook, calls, showing up at my work [we both work in the same building])..first it was just random texts about nothing that id hardly respond to if at all..then last week he kinda brought up the relationship, saying he was still confused, thought he would know what he wanted by now but he still didnt know..this entire time ive been nice and happy but pretty apathetic towards him..anyway then a few days later he shows up at my work and i was very happy and in a good mood, he told me i looked good, we just talke dfor a bit then he told me i should come up to his store on thursdy night. well taht was last night. anyway, i didnt go..ever since ive pulled away its really made him come towards me..


well this is where i took a few steps back so i get a phone call from him about 2 hours after our shifts were done last nights..he told me tha tsomeone in his family had a heart attack and he was pretty upset and i was nice and consoling him but it wasnt like super personal or anything..he started by telling me he hasnt seen aynone or done anything like that, he said hes cried every single day since the break up, been very melancholy, gained weight..asking me if there was anyone in my life..anyway eventually saying he missed me, told me he still wears my necklace because it reminds me of him, called me nicknames he called me before, told me that he still loves me. i didnot know how to respond to this. he told me that in the relationship he always felt he was responsible for my happiness, and he had a pressure on him all the time, and i told him ia greed i could see why he would think that, and that i did do that and i know now that i shouldnot do that and i will not be like that again, he even said that he thought about a bunch of special date ideas recently and saved them in his computer so he would remember them all in case..he said he thought one of them was so nice that if he were ever to propose to me he would do that specific date..said it was far from impossible that we would ever be together again..


he told me he could never even imagine anyone else as his girlfriend, i was triyng to be as quiet really as i could and not say too much..but it eventually it go to the point where i couldnt stop myself from getting emotional and talking about it too. and he was receptive to it for a bit..i told him what i would change about us, and what i feel like we could improve on..we both agreed the problems were fixable..but i think i pushed him a little much because it got to the point a few times where he wouldnt give me an answer..


our talk was not all like this, a lot of it was good things and laughing about memories and talking about my dog who he loves a lot..


anyway, i told him that during this time away i have started to move on and i have been happy, not like super happy but i understand that life goes on and ive been busy and having fun with friends, he seemed a bit hurt by this..he said that he is confused because i have figured thigns out that i need to change, and figured out what i need to do to be ready to be in a relationship wtih him (not be controlling, spend less time together, better communication), and that he realizes what he would do differently, but he has not just had a moment where he is like oh ok it makes sense..i told him that i never had that, its jus tsomething that came to me over time..how do i be open to him talking about this type of thing with me where i dont push him away? im pretty indifferent at first and then the more he talksa bout it the more i get emotional..he told me that he will contact me again soon..i want to encourage him talking about this with me.


i definitely think this whole push/pull thing has worked thus far with him..i explained to him i was moving on, and its just what i need to do..i know that i need to move on..and focus on letting him go..ive tried..and im still trying, its just difficult..talking to him made me just remember how much i love him and how i truly love him for him..and how i really do honestly feel that we could have a great relationship..i plan on continuing doing what i was doing before..really trying to move on and not expecting anything from him..it just sucks because before he never even wanted to discuss our relationship or anythign and now hes trying to and being all like that and then i kind of pushed too much..

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I think you should immediately quit telling him you are moving on and the push-pull idea. That could badly backfire.


Better to tell him that you would like to talk soon about how to put the relationship back together and to fix what went wrong.

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thats a good idea..i agree about the push/pull thing, it could potentially backfire. i guess since the majority of the problems and reasons he broke up wtih me are because he felt pressured a lot and i made him feel sometimes that he couldnt do things right, or that i was never really satisfied with him, which i realize now since splitting up that i am really happy with him as who he is and love him for who he is, thats the person i want to be with..i was expecting way too much and too dependent on him for my happiness.


so since much of the reason was being dependent on his happiness, in these 6.5 weeks i have been doing other things that make me happy, and it feels good not to have to rely on him. i think it has taken pressure off of him. i guess what im saying is since he doesnt want to be pressured, he even told me that last night that he felt he was pressured to be romantic and all of those things in the relationship, how can i not pressure him? i thought this would be by pulling away..just not sure what to do. im assuming not contacting?

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Don't mistake pulling away for not pressuring. That itself is a form of pressure. Without wishing to be 'sexist' because it cuts both ways but 'don't pressure me' is another way of saying 'don't nag me'.

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ugh i feel terrible..i ruined my not initiating contact..so all of this happened thursday night. yesterday he sent me a kind of random unimportant text that i barely replied to..


anyway we had a huge family gathering today and it was really difficult for me not having him there..he loves going to that stuff..so what do i do after 32 days of not initiating contact? i send him a text..we ended up having a texting dialogue with probably 10 texts back and forth..nothing serious, nothing about our relationship, just small talk and what were doin tonight..i feel terrible..i feel like i ruined everythign and all of my progress..im not trying to beat myself up about it..i didnt say much about myself at all and was pretty indifferent to him..we were kinda flirting a bit..it just hurts for some reason really really bad..i let myself down..i was doing so good..i dont know what made me do it..i was really missing him. i just want to get over this so bad..it hurts...i am going back to no contact..cant believe i did that

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Don't be too hard on yourself, many of us have broken NC. I went NC the first time for 11 days and broke it. The next time I went for 10 weeks. Just remember how you feel right now next time you are thinking of breaking it. You will be fine. No harm, no foul. It is just part of the process. chin up

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I can't remember who said it, but someone on here said that healing is not a linear process. You will have leaps forwards and falls backwards.


Just keep in mind that if you made 10 steps forward and 3 back, you are still ahead 7 steps...Celebrate the progress you have made.

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You are not doing bad, everybody slips time to time, everybody. There’s no need to panic or worry about it. I've made every mistake possible and recovered from them so it's not that big a deal.


He still has strong feelings for you but there is something about you he is having a hard time getting over. It’s one thing to be clingy but you must had gone over the top or something. Either that or he’s not telling you the real issues and using that as a cop-out.


Taking this at face value, he’s probably still skeptical about your changes, we all know nobody changes overnight and people tend to fall back to old patterns once things go back to “normal”. It will just take time and consistency for him to see that.


Talking to him is getting you emotional which increases the odds of you slipping so best you just stay away from him for now. He will probably continue to pursue and if he feels he may start to lose you he will most like get off that fence he’s on. All you can do is be patient and keep doing what you have been doing. Do what works, don’t do what doesn’t. Seems simply enough but I know people who are blind to that and make the same mistakes over and over again. You seem self-aware enough that it should be too much of a problem for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dont worry. Flirting is good. That's what you want. NC will drive you further apart. A little texting and flirting here and there will keep you in his head so he wont forget you, and he is the one who is supposed to be doing the pursuing anyways. But you can flirt.

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