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First strong urge to contact ex after 5 months NC

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I don't know how to put 4.5 years in a nutshell, but my ex and I were together on and off for a very intense, volatile and emotional 4.5 years. We met when we were 19 and immature, and we really put each other through the ringer. I was the one to end it permanently in January, cutting off all contact.


Since then, I feel I have gained an immense amount of clarity about our relationship, as well as a new perspective on life in general. I'm more optimistic and happy than I ever have been in my entire life. But recently, this happiness has been overshadowed by remorse and regret about the way we treated each other. I think we're equally to blame for the failure of our relationship and that we were ultimately incompatible, and I don't have hopes for getting back together. I know he has a new girlfriend, and it breaks my heart when I think that he's also probably learned a lot from our relationship and is applying it to this new girl, treating her with the care and respect he couldn't give me. I think that if we met now, having learned all these lessons already in life, we would make a great pair--but I think we've hurt each other too much to ever start over or give it another shot.


All these thoughts have recently made me want to reach out to him in some way--to tell him that I legitimately hope he's happy and that I am so sorry that I ever treated him badly. That I hope we can be friends one day in the future--or at least smile and wave when we see each other on the street (he lives two blocks away from me, so this will inevitably happen).


I told a few of my friends that I was considering breaking NC to make this peace offering, and I've gotten mixed reactions. Some people have told me it would be a good idea, but others (mostly guys) have warned me that my ex could still resent me and that contacting him would either confuse him or make him resent me more, and I don't want that at all. I don't want to complicate his new relationship or give him hope that we could get back together. I really just want to apologize for the way I treated him (especially in the last few months of our relationship) and wish him well.


I could really use some advice. Should I contact him, and if so, should I email, call, text? I'm thinking I should avoid meeting in person. And if I don't contact him, is there EVER an appropriate time to break NC? Or should I just start considering that I may never talk to him again for the rest of my life?

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I think you should just leave it. Assume he is happy in his new relationship and don't bother getting involved. It seems to me like you aren't 100% over it and somewhere in the back of your mind you could see hope for you two reconciling. To this I warn that you tread carefully. If you think it will make you feel better then do it but beware that it might open up feelings that you wish you had kept tempered. I don't think that reaching out to say that you hope to be friends in the future is productive. Maybe you should let things run their course and if you happen to bump into him then maybe that would be the time to say those things.

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I think that it's too soon to make a peace offering. It's clear that you two probably weren't right for one another, plus the fact that you might want to get back together much more than you are letting on, and that he has a girlfriend, I think the better option to do would be to sit tight and reflect on what WAS, and look to apply it to the future instead. It could open another can of worms and it's not worth it.

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If I wanted to get back together with him, I could have at any point in the past five months, because I know that's what he wanted (based on his various attempts to reach out to me that I didn't respond to). I have no idea what his feelings are now, but I have considered that maybe my thinking is based on jealousy alone, which is why I haven't yet contacted him. I don't want to act on any emotions like that. I guess I could just wait for that inevitable run-in and greet him with kindness. That should say enough.

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Usually by the time exes are truly over one another, they don't feel the need to seek each other out, one way or another. I suppose that you might feel guilty, but he seems to be doing ok now. I'm sure that there are other ways for you to get past the guilt, such as writing in a journal and seeing it as a learning experience and that you two were not meant to be.

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then apologize. forgiveness from you and from him entails so much renewed freedom for both of you, believe me. i would say do it, but say it with tact and clarity and keep it short. if he refuses to acknowledge, then you know that he might still be at that point of processing.


my ex recently wrote me one like what you are planning to do. it gave me a sense of relief really. but i didn't respond not because i was still angry, i am just not ready yet.


hope everything gives you some sense of peace.

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Kind of a tough situation. I always felt that the dumper ideally should be the one to eventually reach out with a peace offering. So in that respect I think you should. I think you are in a good place and the content of what you want to say is good and right.


What I worry about is your ex. You say he wanted to get back together and reached out to you multiple times over the last 5 months. After a relationship as long as yours, it will probably take him significantly longer before he is in a place to deal with hearing from you. He may still be at a place where he can twist every little thing into hope of getting back together.

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Right--I didn't consider reaching out to him until I heard that he was happily involved with someone new. To me, that indicates that he SHOULD be over our relationship--at least enough so that me reaching out to him won't eff up his world. I honestly don't want to open a can of worms or interfere, but that would only be possible if he still had romantic feelings for me. I just have no idea how he feels about me. He could hate me. He could have forgiven me. Maybe I should ask one of our mutual friends if they think it's a good idea.


But for now, I'm gonna wait a little longer before reaching out, I think. In fact, I think it might be best to wait until I'm dating someone, as I've been totally single since the split. Because who knows--talking to him again could very easily reawaken feelings that I thought died, and I DON'T want that!

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Well I think waiting is probably a good idea, but dont assume that just because he is dating someone means he is truly and fully over you. And on the same token dont also assume that if you are dating someone when you decide to contact him that it wont stir up any old feelings. Just something else to consider.

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Well, the inevitable run-in happened. I had had a feeling that the universe was pulling us together, which is why I posted here in the first place. So of COURSE I saw him, with his girlfriend, at a bar last night. I did okay. I just got incredibly anxious and had an impossible time making conversation or paying attention to what my friends were saying. We didn't make eye contact or acknowledge each other, so I thought there was a good chance he didn't see me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, if you've dated someone for 4.5 years, you kind of just know if they're in the same room with you.


So around 1 AM I decided to text him. "Maybe next time we can be friendly?"


Half an hour later he said "I'm still pretty f***ed up about it, I don't think I can ever be friendly, I'm sorry."


So I said "I'm sorry. You seem happy, so I thought I could extend a peace offering." He just responded with "Thank you."


So...that's that. I don't think he should be in a relationship if he's still "f***ed up" about it, but I guess that's none of my business. I guess now I just continue ignoring him/feeling awkward in public and giving him space by reinstating NC once again.

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You should read your post one more time. It seems that you want to reach out BECAUSE you hear he's with someone. If he responds with a "can of worms" that means he still has romantic feelings for you. You are not sure how he feels about you. The fact that you mention these things means YOU are not over it, and YOU may want to know how he feels about you.


STOP YOURSELF. This is probably a sign that you're not over it and are not prepared to open that door again. Don't undo all these months of great work and NC. Frankly, once I've moved on, I didn't think about apologies regarding past hurt and rotten things (from either side) because all has been water under the bridge. I'd been on both sides of these things and the grand gesture of reaching out DOES NOT really make a difference. It's over, leave the past in the past.

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I don't think you shouldve contacted.

That must have hurt him.


I think you contacted for your own feelings as he was with someone else.


You said "I don't think he should be with someone else if he's ****ed up but that's not my business"


I think you should leave him alone.

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