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Dating again after moving on - how does this happen?


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I've been reading these boards for a while, and it seems like the general consensus for people that want another chance with their ex is to take some time out, heal, put things in perspective, work on getting their life back on track and analyse what went wrong in the relationship and their part in it so they don't repeat the same patterns (with the ex if they reconcile or with a different person). Don't get me wrong, that sounds groovy and I completely agree with it. I know that when a break up occurs people experience a knee jerk reaction where they only see the good bits and they become a little obsessed with getting back together no matter what - whether it's a good idea, if the ex is willing to change, if they're willing to change,....


Still, when I think of my past relationships, I've always seen the end as the end. I've worked on getting over it and once I was, I've never felt like trying again, even if the split was mutual and have met my exes for a drink later on. I guess I saw them in a new light and realised they were not quite right for me after I gained perspective.


This makes me wonder about the people I see in this forums, who got back with their ex-partners after months or even a year. I assume they were at a point where they were over the old relationship and the ex, and I wonder - did you find you still had feelings for them buried somewhere very deep, deep enough that they wouldn't have resurfaced unless you conciously decided to try again? Did you get back in touch with them and the feelings resurfaced suddenly, even though you might have thought they were gone? Or did you experience the same thing you would when you meet someone new (i.e. you're physically attracted, you find them funny, interesting) and the feeling grew over time - not like before, but something different?


I guess I just find it counter intuitive - you want to be with someone again but you let go of your feelings for them so you can start fresh, but how can you even try if you don't feel anything anymore? And if you secretly hang onto those feelings, how can you get over it so you can start fresh or alternatively move on?


I'd love to hear stories of how this happened for other people!

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Part of it is your feelings for the person, missing them and missing being with them. A bigger part of it for me was that my boyfriend and I are just a good match for each other. The relationship we have is practical. We want the same things at this point in our lives, and we both are willing to help each other become the better people we want to be. I don't think anyone ever really gets back the feelings you have at the beginning of a relationship, the excitement of finding someone and falling in love, but if you care deeply about someone and it is mutual, I think that is why it works to get back together with people in some cases.

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I'm not a long time out of my last relationship but I'm now at a point where I am giving up on trying to get back together. I know I am ready to move on as I can't keep holding on to a relationship that is not going anywhere.

I still care deeply for my ex and I respect him. But I can move on from him. I know that.


In time my feeling will dull somewhat but I would think that I will always find him attractive, always admire and respect him as a person and always have good memories of the time we shared. Because these were not the problems in the relationship. However, I cannot accept his fear of commitment and his inability to accept any sort of change to his life. That is the bit that finished us.


So in time, if I were single and if he were single and we had both come to realise that we wanted to be together and put the issues behind us, we could make it happen.

However if that didn't happen, I'd move on, probably meet someone else and fall for them.

Just because I start a relationship with someone else, doesn't mean my feelings for my friends or family diminish. However, with an ex, the feelings change from those of a romantic nature to more of a fondness. This means I can start a new relationship without completely forgetting about an ex.

If I meet them down the track and start hanging out with them, I guess the fondness could change and become romantic again.


Personally, I still have romantic feelings for my ex so I don't intend on getting involved with anyone until those feelings go away as I think it's really unfair on the other person.

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Thanks for your answers Johnson and Ne Moe. I guess that if that person treated you well and there was respect, admiration and good memories in the relationship, but an issue that can change over time - such as moving abroad, fear of commitment, etc. - caused the break up, it is possible to rekindle things down the line if those issues have been resolved.


Ne Moe, did you break up with your ex over his fear of commitment and inability to change, or was it mutual? Me and my ex broke up because of something similar... he was scared of getting too close and getting hurt, so he kept me at arm's lenght on several occasions (not always, but enough times to affect me) and in turn that made me feel quite insecure about us and turned me into a very anxious person who needed constant reassurance. We decided to break up even though we both realised we still loved each other. We have been meeting up lately, but I'm quite focused on getting my life back and getting to a secure place again, trying to move on as much as I can.


I guess if I saw he's gone past his commitment issues and I was happy with my life I could think of giving things another go, but my question came from the thought that any feelings I have might be gone by that point (or his). You're both right though, I'll always remember parts of the relationship with fondness and if things felt right, I'm sure those feelings could grow again

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Ne Moe, did you break up with your ex over his fear of commitment and inability to change, or was it mutual?


I suppose it was mutual but not really lol.


He began having doubts that he didn't seem to be in a place to resolve. He wanted a break but I knew I would end up a basket case so I called time on it, although it wasn't what I wanted.

We've remained in contact but it has been starting to wear me down so I'm going to take an even bigger step back. As it was, it had gotten to a point where we were texting daily and meeting up once or twice a week to catch up.


He is always talking about us getting back together but in the same breath saying he's no good at relationships. He isn't seeing other people and says he won't. But I have had a bit of a kiss with someone else. That was kind of the catalyst for me deciding to go NC now. I was out and myself and the ex had arranged we'd meet for a drink but then he text saying it was a bad idea as we both knew we'd end up together if we met with a few drinks on us and he didn't want to use me. I was out with my friends and met a lovely guy who asked me for my number and we kissed goodnight. But I felt nothing but guilt.


I was hurt because my ex didn't want me. And I was hurt because I wasn't able to move on because even though ex doesn't want a relationship right now, we're (other than physically) acting like we're a couple. It's just too confusing and I need space now to sort out and process the breakup because I think we've both been in denial about it.


He is calling over tonight and I'm going to tell him I need a few weeks NC to get my head straight.

He also needs space to sort his head out and this pseudo-relationship we're in isn't good for us.


I know I can move on. I had a very bad breakup a few years back and I know if I could survive that, I can survive this and be happy again.

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Woah, that is freaky. Sounds exactly like my story. We've met up a few times but I told him I would only go on dates with him if the idea was to relax a little and then discuss what went wrong on either side, agree to work on those things and see if we could have a go again. He says he wants to take things slowly and is still trying to decide what he wants in his life. I know he's confused and I agree with taking it slowly, but the "trying to decide what I want" sounds to me like it could go either way for him - he could decide to work on things or he could decide he can't have a relationship right now.


It feels like it might get to the point you two got to, where it feels like dating but there is no actual commitment to make things work, so I'm thinking I might have to severe contact for a while at some point if things don't move along. We'll see.

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Well, I did it. He called to see me last night and I told him being "friends" wasn't working for me, that it was too hard and I felt we need to take some time out. He didn't agree and felt I was being too impatient with him.


When he left I emailed him things I wanted clarity on. Such as, was it the relationship that was the issue or is it a case that how he feels about me has changed. I also asked that when his work pressure eases up in a few weeks, is he aiming for reconciliation.


I told him there is no hurry on the answers and I'd prefer he took his time to really think about the things I asked than dash off a response right away.

He texted me back and said that he had seen my email and would give it his attention tonight and get back to me on it.

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