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Ex needs to work on himself - Says he would want to get together in the future


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We have been together over 3 years, i'm 22 and he's 27. It's been about 5 weeks now and only yesterday did I find out the real reason for his leaving. Before I go into what happened yesterday, i'll give the backstory.

When he broke up with me he told me he loved and cared about me but wasn't in love with me anymore. Then he became very cold, very agree and mean. When I wouldn't accept it straight away, (within the first couple of days) he started telling me he wasn't attracted to me, he doesn't love me, he doesn't like spending time with me, he doesn't want to waist any more of his life with me. A few more nasty comments were made but you get the gist of it.

When I decided to leave the next night to stay at my brothers, he was asking me where I was going and what I was going to be doing, I told him he didn't need to know. When I came back the next day he was still very cold, I begged him to just give it some time, to see if his feelings changed but he was adamant he didn't want to. At one point he reluctantly said 'okay fine, your pretty much giving me no choice, I'll give it two weeks'. He stayed extremely distant, angry and cold for the next couple of days, he said he couldn't live with me, he wanted to go back to his parents and he was still being very mean. It was then that I couldn't do it anymore, I couldn't take his nasty words stabbing at my heart anymore. So I said 'fine, go, just go if that's what you really want, I don't want to be with someone who doesn't love me!'

The next couple of days he didn't say anything, he seemed hurt, he seemed sad, which made no sense when I thought I was giving him what he wanted, wasn't I? Oh and we actually work together too, we see each other all the time at work because we work quite closely but we didn't talk at all. After a couple of days, I then left without saying anything to him, I just got out of the house and went to my dads. I had the next 3 days off work so I thought that would be a good time to go. I spent the next 6 days at my dads, went to work and said nothing to him. I did not text him, call him or anything. The night that I came back home, I went straight to bed, he came home, showered and left. He came back the next day spent a couple nights and then said he was going to stay at his parents.

After that he didn't come back, I continued to use I guess the 'no contact rule'. The only time we talked was when we really needed to, about him getting his bed (he owned the bed, everything else was mine) or about internet bills etc.

I did not talk to him at work at all, I let him be, didn't message, didn't call, tried not to even look at him. He seemed really unhappy, even people from work would come up and continually ask me 'whats wrong with him', 'is he okay' and 'he wont even say hey anymore'. People at work didn't really know, most people still don't.

So after about 5 weeks of being split up I decided to send him a little message, nothing about us just a message saying something reminded me of him, made me smile and I asked him how he was..He replied instantly, we didn't speak for long but it was good progress, I thought if I take it easy and we start talking again, we could get back together.

I didn't message him again, I let it be for now, in hope that he might contact me, which he did, he asked if we could sit down and talk about me finding a housemate for the place and getting his name taken of the electricity and all that.

When he came yesterday, we had a very small talk about those things and then he went on to talk about so much more. I wanted to mostly let him talk and he opened up so much about everything, what he had been doing and how he is coping, he said he hadn't been doing so well with the breakup, he even gotten pulled into the office at work because his work was being effected by it. It was then that he came out and told me why he broke it off. He said he needed to work on himself, he saw in the last 6 months the way he had been treating me wasn't right and that he could see that was making me unhappy also. He said that he needs this time to work on himself before he can give himself or love to anyone else. He said that there is so much in his life he needs to work on and he feels like he's going through a kind of mid-life crises, he needs to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He feels as if he's going nowhere and although I have tried to help him, he needs to do it for himself and he feels the only way he will do that is if he is on his own and has the time to do so. He said that he doesn't want anyone else, he isn't looking for another relationship and that he would like to give us another go once he has done that but he thinks that it could take a year or more. He said he still want me in his life though. He also said however that if I do find an amazing guy that he doesn't want me to hold back because of him.

I just really need some help in figuring out what to do now. I more than anything want to be with him but I respect and understand that he needs some time to work on himself because he really does have a lot of things to work on. I just wish he wasn't thinking it would take so long. I don't know if I should move on, wait for him or what. I don't want to throw away everything that we had, the connection we have is unlike anything I have ever felt before, I can't imagine finding that again and I really don't want to but how do I put my life on hold for him when he might not even be there in the end?

I have asked to speak to him again, just to get some clarity on things but I don't want to push him away in doing so. I guess I want to ask him if he needs to get every aspect of his life in order or if before we can give it another shot or if we can try again in a few months because it is just so uncertain, for him to say maybe in a year from now, I feel I need more than that, I feel I deserve more than that too.


I guess I really need help with what I can do now, should I wait for him and be alone and try work on myself for now to maybe have it go nowhere or do I try to forget and move on (not that I think that could happen either)..Also if anyone can help with what I should say to him when I speak to him again, I don't know if I can change his mind on how long he needs and find out for sure if we will give it another go. I'm so very confused and it hurts me ever second of every day, I really don't know what to do. I don't know how to cope with it all.

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Do not wait around. Move on as if he is never coming back. No matter all the sugar coating, at the end of the day, he feels he is better off without you. He is doing what is best for HIM. Let him go and do what's best for you. If it's meant to be you may find your way back to each other. But it may take years or never happen at all. There are absolutely no guarantees. In reality, he has no way of predicting the future so the one year timeline is bogus. Anything can happen. He may meet someone new. He may up and leave to the other side of the world. He may spiral further down or he may change to the point of no recognition. There is nothing you can say to change his mind. You need to stop bargaining. Finding yourself bargaining like that means that the person is not right for you. Your best bet is no contact and to try to move on.

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As I guy I can tell you that he is sugarcoating this for you. Obviously, he cares for you and doesn't want you get hurt. But then he said mean things to you as well initially which is uncalled for. Does he have regular mood swings?


I got a similar response from my ex when she broke up. I was in a LDR and we were 3 months away from being in the same city but she said long distance was a problem ( lol, we are three months away from being together), she loves me but does not find me attractive, she wants to be single and work on herself, we can try again after I move here, needs to find herself again, needs to focus on work etc. In the beginning you are emotional and can believe all this and but within a couple of days I realise that there is no point in using logic in what she said here. She is not with me because "she doesn't want me anymore" in her life.


You have to see his emotional state right now. He doesn't want you in his life at this moment and as hard as it may sound it is the truth. He became selfish and so should you. Take care of your interest first. Give him the space and cut contact with him. He might come back and he might not but don't wait for him. If you accept the reality now it will be much better than having some hope and then getting hurt for the second time later. Good Luck.

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Sorry you're going through this, OP.


I agree with the above poster - he is trying to let you down gently. He realizes he was a jerk before and he probably does feel guilty about that, but I don't think this is all about needing to work on himself. That is a common line when the dumper wants alone time but also isn't in love anymore. It certainly didn't give him license to be a rude dolt to you, and I would not overlook the way he treated you during the break-up itself. Sometimes people will try to sabotage their relationships and get the other person to dump them so they aren't The Bad Guy - he may have been doing so by mistreating you before the break-up, subconsciously.


It hurts, but I would not wait for him. This almost never works out well, in my experience. Proceed now as though this is really the end and work on detaching and healing. You have been dealt a really painful hand and I would do everything in your power to move on. If he does decide he wants to reconcile someday, you will be in a much stronger position to decide if that's what you want. And if he doesn't come back, then you are still in a healthier emotional state.

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I agree with the other posters, it hurts and it's extremely difficult at the beginning, but please let go to avoid further pain. I would not wait for him. I have been in similar situations in the past; and I can tell you it never, ever works out as you hope. In my experience they never change their minds when they do this. I guess when I finally moved on and entered into a loving and healthy relationship with someone else, though it is recent, I realized a lot of things about my exes. The key thing being, they could never have broken up with me or entertained the idea if they truly loved me. Because I know that I would never do that to someone I'm in a loving relationship with in at the moment that is based on full communication and effort from both sides and respect. You just wouldn't risk losing someone the way he is with you, if they mean the world to you. Regardless if he has to work on himself. He can work on himself and not lose you if he truly saw a future with you.

Cut your losses now and you'll be thankful in the long run.

And come and post on here when you are finding it tough and need to vent. It's painful so we are here for you and with time and patience, and some time to yourself FOR yourself, it will get better!!!

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Sorry to hear this. Very complicated. Try to avoid him at work, only being polite, professional, etc.. Try to get him off the lease and sever all those details. How long have you lived together and when did the troubles begin?


It would be best to accept the breakup and him moving out rather than clinging on and constantly wanting to talk about things.

Try to go no contact and delete him from all social media. You won't heal or move forward or feel better by asking him repeatedly to rehash why he wanted it to be over.

We have been together over 3 years, i'm 22 and he's 27. he started telling me he wasn't attracted to me, he doesn't love me, he doesn't like spending time with me, he doesn't want to waist any more of his life with me. he said he couldn't live with me, he asked if we could sit down and talk about me finding a housemate for the place and getting his name taken of the electricity and all that.
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I think that you should stay strong. I am going thru something similar, broke up with me and now acts cold and distant but says she loves me and not wants to let me go of her life. Thing is, if you stay you have to decide if you will be able to heal and move on if you stay in touch. Is that functional for you? Will you be able to move on or still fantasize about getting together? How will you react if he finds a girlfriend? Sometimes it´s better to heal before you enter someone elses life back again, otherwise, you will only hurt, and remember, it is up to you and only in your control if you want to live that, it´s your choice. It´s super painful, because you are very much in love and it´s completely understandable that it takes a super power strength to let go. You don´t have to decide right away, try it out and keep in touch if you want your own self respect will wake up and let you know when you have taken enough, or go cold turkey.

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