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Ex boyfriend said he wasn't ready for love


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I met my ex only about 5 months after he'd got out of a big relationship (she dumped him), and for a long time I was completely unwilling to be with him, because I'd been with recently single men before and it had never worked out for me.

 

I was with him casually for a bit (I'd just finished my finals and was looking for some fun), and gradually things moved forward, we went away together and had an amazing time. I then decided that I just couldn't move on with him, as I didn't trust him not to hurt me.

 

Over the course of my very stressful job placement we spoke a lot, and when he found out I was dating other guys he was upset, and asked me to trust him. We spent most of the following month together, until I got a phone call from him saying his ex-girlfriend had turned up and was very unwell and upset, and he felt under pressure to look after her. I was very upset, and had already made plans to go and stay with him which were now useless. Only a week later he came back, saying he'd made a mistake and he realised that he wanted me. As expected, it took me a long time to trust him again, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt on hearing the whole story about her, she blamed him for the way she was and he is a very loyal person. We were together for another three months, but I found it hard to trust him again, and after 7 or so months in each other's lives he admitted that no matter how much he wanted me, he knew he was not ready to trust someone enough to fall in love with them, after his last break up. He said he had lots of barriers up in his mind about what he could give and couldn't give. We broke up and I'm miserable. I know I had a kind person and there was a very true connection, and I just can't understand why he would want to break up because he's not ready for love yet. These things take time, and that is fine with me.

 

Should I give him time, keep him in my life? Do I need to cut him out? He's a very good person, and if he feels like he can't give me what I deserve, I know he'll think he's doing the right thing. But I can't move on from him, and I miss him so much as my friend, and my lover. He kept saying that there was nothing wrong with me, it was his own head, but I can't help but feel if I'd trusted him more he wouldn't have done this. Any advice from people more experienced (I'm only 23!) would be great!

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Sounds to me that you are drawn to emotionally unavailable/troubled men. You sound emotionally anavailable yourself. Why else would you choose to involve yourself with him in the first place given how you felt? You are addicted to drama/have abandonment issues or you would have stuck to your standards and not dated him. My advice to you would be to drop the 'what if's'. Given the explanation that he gave you (i.e 'he admitted that no matter how much he wanted you, he knew he was not ready to trust someone enough to fall in love with them, after his last break up. He said he had lots of barriers up in his mind about what he could give and couldn't give.') things would have gone south no matter what. If it could have been, it WOULD have been. You need to move on and in the future, not to keep engaging with people that you can't trust. It has been my experience that our insticts are usually trying to warn us and should not be ignored. Good luck!

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My older and wiser advice is to never chase or try and convince someone to be with you. Once you start down that road, it becomes a habit to try and 'prove yourself' at the cost of your self image and you devalue yourself in thinking that someone wouldn't just pick you because you're you!!! If he wasn't feeling it, it has nothing to do with who you are as a person (which he even said). Its just not the right time or the right match.

Its very hard to cut someone out of your life when you've felt so close to them for several months. However, that's what you have to do at least until you're feeling more ambivalent about everything. Right now you're devastated and hurt (who could blame you?) so you need to give yourself time and space to heal that first and THEN you can consider being friends.

The other piece of advice is to mind your instincts. Your gut told you over and over "be careful" and there was a reason for that..especially after he dipped out the first time. At 23, you should begin to really be in touch with what your gut/instincts are telling you and pay attention. Its a great tool right inside yourself and too many of us dismiss it and feel like victims of other people/circumstances when we had a huge heads up right from the start.

Best of luck to you...you deserve someone who's over the moon about you!!

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From someone who's even older... if a guy tells you he's not ready for a relationship, believe him. Don't get emotionally invested. Even if he tells you he's OK, if he's recently out of a relationship but isn't over it, there will be plenty of signs to the contrary (talking frequently about the ex, whether positively or negatively, being preoccupied, not really 'present' for you).

 

He may be a lovely guy. It doesn't mean that he's relationship material right now, and you could be the most fantastic person in the world - but nothing can change HIS state of mind. You had good reason not to trust him, no matter how well-intentioned he was.

 

For your own sanity, remove him from your life and cut off contact with him. While this will be painful in the short term, it will help you heal more quickly and move on. At some point in the future, you may consider being friends with him but don't make decisions about that now. If you carry on seeing him it will just prolong the agony.

 

There's a very good article here for people in your situation link removed; the other thing to remember is that people who have 'rebound' relationships often dump the person who was there for them when they were healing, and move on to someone else once they feel better. Don't be that girl!

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