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To what extent is it normal to worry so much about what I said?

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We were dating, then there was long distance, we were shifting to friendship. We were very fond of each other, and even after the distance and breaking up and having a couple of fights retained respect and at least some human (if no longer romantic) caring and consideration for each other. Well, correction: I still very much see him through the romantic lenses, but he then just wanted to be friends.


After grieving, coming to acceptance, and thinking some more, I decided that I'm not comfortable with being just friends, because I had really envisioned future with this man, it was not something light for me. Plus I'm still attracted to him, and physically/sexually it was the best I've ever had. So, I decided that we should stop the friendship; and if ever in future he gets interested in me again, he knows how to reach me. (that felt like a sound decision, though took effort and strength on my part).


So, I decided to pull the plug on it, waited patiently till he had time to skype (long distance, time zones, and very busy schedules were not easy to make room for communication), and told him. In a very civil way, as we both were. Then some other tidbits came up, i.e. he mentioned about his change of heart and how he still cannot exactly pinpoint the reasons for it, despite us having talked about it. I had sort of a half-response, then we hung up. That point was tricky for me, and I wasn't sure how much to say, but have very strong hypothesis which I thought may be good for him to know (pointing out some stupid things I had said in one of our fights; thinking that if I point it out (since I had already apologised for it), it may sort of help to dislodge that splinter and heal it, even if we don't get back together).


So I sent a couple of follow-up messages (very brief, not long) with the hypothesis.


Then I felt bad for sending those follow-up messages. There was nothing rude or mean. It was just self-doubt, which I seem to experience a lot, esp after a rejection. In the last couple of years I've had a tendency to worry and sometimes obsess about how I finish something like this. Is it normal?


I find myself thinking: was I dismissive/mean on xyz point? or, conversely, was I too apologetic? Or did I say smth that might make him feel awkward? at the end of relationship, esp the one that I want to finish on the best and most positive and respectful note to part well, I just go crazy with such worries. I'm already over the worst of grief of losing him. Is it my ego trying to salvage some good image? Perhaps some, though the biggest part of it is to be fair to both of us and to leave a good "aftertaste" by parting well.


These stupid obsessive thoughts are awful. Does anyone else have/had such experiences or tendencies? Is it normal when you care, and to what extent? How to break out of them?

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Thoughts like this are pretty normal, I think. I know I've had them after a breakup. I just wanted to leave everything wrapped up with a neat little bow, but that's not how it works when a relationship ends. It's messy and painful and hard, most of the time. I think these thoughts are just your ego trying to put a nice little "the end" on a story that is still filled with uncertainty and will never be fully understood or resolved. A willingness to accept the "ragged edge" that accompanies even the most amicable breakup will bring you peace. No amount of contact with him or thinking on your part will make the outcome any easier to accept. Just tell yourself it is what it is and invest those mental cycles in something more constructive. Closure requires looking at the steaming pile of "ick" that represents everything that went wrong and saying, "I don't have to keep turning it all over again and again to see if it looks any different than it did before."

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I think nearly everyone who's been in a relationship and then broke up goes through exactly that or similar things. It's in the bargaining stage of grief and loss really. "Did I say the wrong thing/do the wrong thing/what about that time/is this what killed it/etc. etc. etc." And it can drive you pretty batty for a bit until you've given yourself enough time and space, and yes no contact to move past all of that and start to heal.


You did absolutely the best and sanest possible thing you could, you put any friendship or contact on hold until you are healed. That's just smart. Stop being so hard on yourself, focus on doing nice things for you, and let yourself have enough time and distance to gain perspective. Right now it's hard to think logically with the pain of a breakup still fresh, but it will come and you'll see things more clearly.


And really I don't think you did anything wrong. Given some of the things I've said and done at the end of relationships I'd say you handled it pretty well actually. Breakups such no matter, no matter the circumstances, now it's time to be kind to yourself and let it go and yes time and your energy and life will all help you do that. Good luck, feel free to post here if you need to talk.

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Thank you both very much for your feedback. I was starting to wonder if I had some sort of an OCD. I used to be very functional about these things, but that was probably because I was never rejected quite like this by someone I fell hard for and continue to esteem highly while at the same time trying not to be resentful about his change of heart... It's hard to present oneself consistently and be verbally clear with these conflicting feelings.


I had tried to put the friendship and contact on hold before, shortly after his departure in August, but came back, because at that time he still had strong feelings for me and I could see how heartbroken he was about losing me. But after our September fights, things changed a lot. Though we made up and he forgave the stupid things I had said in the fight, the romantic interest for him stopped at that time. So, this time around, it surely made sense to cut the chord.


I am glad about cutting it, and for the most part how I did it - but those follow-up emails I had sent few hours after the Skype bother me. In them, I kind of went into the past to hypothesise about why his attraction for me waned. It felt important at that moment (esp as in Skype I didn't know how to respond), but now I think it just makes things awkward and me as someone who kept digging even after the good-bye

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