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Too Soon To Move On? Dating Fail :(


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Hello All,


I'm on day 23 of NC after my ex broke up with me 3 weeks ago. It was a same-sex relationship with a 17-year age-gap which my ex cited as the excuse for breaking up. I don't buy that excuse and saw the break-up coming because she had been distant, disrespectful and critical of me for a few weeks before it happened. I initiated NC right away with no begging or pleading. I felt I'd already chipped away too much at my self-respect by putting up with her criticism, manipulative and disrespectful behaviour, so there was no way on earth I was going to give her an ego-boost by begging her to change her mind. She ended our relationship on the phone (she had asked if we could meet up, which made me suspicious, so I asked her why and she called) and her closing line was 'I'll wait for you to get in touch with me then.' What?!?! No way!! I put the phone down without saying good-bye and I've been in NC ever since.


NC was easy for the first 2 weeks. I was focusing on finishing my degree and a job interview I had. I finished my degree and got my dream job on the same day, so I was elated, but afterwards the break-up really hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to share my good news with my ex as she was the one I turned to for support whenever I was struggling with my degree or fretting about a job. But I couldn't turn to her and I very suddenly began to realise how much I was missing her once these pressures that were keeping me focused in the first 2 weeks of NC had been lifted.


I struggled a lot last week and missing her did, at times, become a physical ache in my chest. Years ago, when I was going through a stressful period in my life, I used to get this excruitiating stabbing pain in my abdomen which would have me curled up in a ball crying in pain. Doctors couldn't identify the problem and I just put up with it until it wore away of its own accord as my stresses decreased. Last night, the horrible stabbing pain came back with avengeance and has been bothering me all day. I can only assume that the pain is caused by stress and this break-up has caused it to come back. I don't know how to reduce my stress levels because I can't stop mulling over this break-up and what mind-set I need to get into.


I've thought about breaking NC at day 30 for the following reasons:


1) Most websites suggest 30 days as the average for NC

2) She did say she would wait for me to contact her

3) I don't think our curt, abrupt break-up conversation over the phone gave me adequate closure and I'm left with many questions and uncertainties.


I'm confused and don't know how to handle this at all. I thought NC was supposed to make things easier over time but I actually feel worse because I can't stop over-analysing what she meant by 'I'll wait for you to get in touch with me'. Is she not contacting me because she doesn't care or because she was expecting me to contact her and is getting increasingly nervous of my response because I haven't chased after her like a little lovesick puppy? I just wish I could settle on a mind-set of either getting her back or moving on. I'm just oscillating between the two and getting more and more frustrated because I feel stuck in a rut and unable to move forward.


Anyway...emotionally I felt better this morning and decided to have a look at some online dating sites. I thought it might help just to look at some profiles to see if I felt inspired to focus on moving on. However, as I was trawling through profiles I found myself not looking at people out there but actually checking to make sure my ex hadn't posted a profile anywhere. I genuinely did NOT intend to do that (how scary, that's stalkerish behaviour!) but it's a pattern I fell into and I had to check myself. I closed the dating sites down because I knew that wasn't healthy or helpful behaviour and felt a bit deflated. I guess that's a sign that I'm not in a position to 'move on' to dating just yet because it would be a rebound scenario?


How long does this awful post-break-up limbo last before you can start to actively move forward? How long after a break-up are you supposed to consider dating as a good idea?

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