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The Update(s?) in Which Littles Has Changed (Except Me)

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This is long; sorry.


So, quick rundown for those of you who don't wanna read my long and winding post history:


*We dated for three years, quasi-long distance (1-1.5 hours)

*We are friends since we were 11 (in 2001)

*We had a conversation on NYD in which we decided that he needed to work on some things in the relationship

*He was working on talking to me more via text and phone, but I still felt like it wasn't enough

*We spent the weekend before Valentine's Day together and things felt fine

*After a misunderstanding on Valentine's Day (this is in retrospect), his attempts at communication plummetted

*We had dinner on February 25, and he broke things off afterwards, stating such things as "I can't be what you need", "You deserve better", and "We need to end this before our friendship is destroyed"; one week later, I made every effort to destroy that friendship by forcing him into a conversation over the phone that neither of us were actually ready to have, leading to our very first fight since high school

*I went No Contact for three weeks and broke it to talk about a mutual friend who needed us; it was a really good phone call and he seemed really sad when I had to go, and when he mentioned the breakup he sounded upset

*We sporadically spoke after that until Easter, when my group of friends got together to celebrate my ex's birthday; I felt many feelings, including a level of attraction towards him that I hadn't felt in over a year, and he seemed back to his old, jocular self until the end of the night, when I gave him a homemade birthday gift and he turned very soft and a little sad

*We spoke on the phone the next day, and we came to the consensus that we needed to talk in person about what the hell happened between us; I also attempted to clarify whether or not texting with me stresses him out, and his response was that it just depends on the topic


And that's where we left off three weeks ago.


We're still in LC. I'm initiating everything, but I expected that. He almost never initiates contact with anyone over the phone or texting (right down to his mother) unless he has a specific purpose, i.e. asking a favor or setting up a meeting. Even in the good days of our relationship, I'd say the contact instigation was about 75%-25% with the onus on me; it went more to 60%-40% during summer break. That's just how he is, especially when he's stressed about something (and he is definitely stressed right now). That said, the contact is kind of okay. It's just been texting so far, but he's sent me photos of him and his brother and some videos of his bunbun being adorable. He recently helped me out with some professional documents and has been updating me on what he's been up to with work and his family on occasion. We text about 2-3 times a week, and although it hurts when he sometimes ends conversations abruptly I'm able to deal with it without freaking out.


I have changed a lot more than my situation has. First, since I stopped using my birth control, I have really begun to notice some changes. Physically, my weight has redistributed and shot back down to my once-constant (my waist is back! all of my clothes fit better!), my hair is/stays curly again (who knew that was a side effect of BC?), and I have energy again even if I don't get 13 hours of sleep. Mentally/emotionally, I'm just so much more happy and peaceful. My students really noticed a change in the way I was teaching at the end of the semester and in my general enthusiasm (one asked me if I was on drugs; her friend said that I was probably in love! lol). My self-esteem has shot up, and even though I know I'm still overweight I can acknowledge that I still look pretty darn fine. I also feel smart again; I had thought that my feelings of stupidity and unworthiness were just because I was surrounded by academics, but now I realize that it was my self-esteem/depression talking. I'm finding myself smiling at little nothings throughout the day, laughing and cracking jokes again, and...feeling attracted to men in general.


Which leads nicely into my view on the relationship with my ex. Instrospection has led me to realize that I hadn't actually been attracted to him since a month or two after the birth control, and it affected the way I acted around him. I made him stop tickling me, I didn't really like lingering on kisses...I did things because I thought he would enjoy them, whereas I had always enjoyed them myself in the past. I also became so negative about everything (work, friends, family, etc.) and poured all of that into him all the time, which meant that I was stressing him out by not being as affectionate with him while simultaneously giving him more of my stress. No wonder the poor man broke it off! (Important Note: I know I wasn't the only problem in our relationship, but we had both been going under the assumption that I wasn't even part of it for a long time, so...)


That all said, I don't know if we really stand a shot at each other again. I can say why I think he dumped me until I'm blue in the face, but until he tells me himself I'll never know for sure. I also don't know what he'll think of my revelations, but I'm interested to see how the conversation goes when we're able to have it. Unfortunately, I think he was planning on us meeting this coming Saturday, but I'll be out of the state on work so we're likely going to have to wait until Memorial Day weekend. That's not a terrible thing, but I do miss seeing his face. I miss the ease of our friendship and of our conversation, and I think we'll be able to make movements towards fixing those if we clear the bad air, even if reconciliation doesn't happen. We had a strong relationship for over two years, and I think it's worth seeing if we can start over and shape it up properly this time. It's worth noting that I've been reading Yangki Akiteng's book "Dating Your Ex" and following her website's articles, all of which have been very helpful in keeping me grounded and keeping the important things in mind. I've also been reading on relationships in general (specifically "The Five Love Languages") in preparation for any future relationships, be they with my ex or totally new.


In the meantime, I'm keeping busy. Final grades, my special assessment, and my first faculty assessment are all due Tuesday. I've got two gym buddies in my friend and my SIL. I've scored a role in a local theater production, and a lot of my friends (and my favorite coworker!) are in it with me, meaning we chorus members goof off more than is probably wise And I've picked up a Grey's Anatomy habit. As for dating...well, I am feeling some stirrings of attraction towards people again. One of the cast members in my show is super cute and super single, but I haven't worked up the nerve to talk to him yet. Right now I'm toying with the idea of finding someone at my conference to at least practice my flirting game with, if not taking things a little further. I've only ever seriously pursued two people including my ex, and he's the only one who I was ever even the least bit physical with (hugs aside). Perhaps it's time to put myself out there again.


I think I'm going to keep this as a journal of sorts, cataloging any changes that come along in my healing process or in my ex-back progress. I just want to have something non-depressing to look back at as I move forward, no matter what direction my path leads me in. Feel free to comment, chime in, or ask questions!

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So today has actually been pretty good on the whole ex front.


Teacher appreciation week was last week, technically, but when we were discussing a deal for free food a week ago he mentioned that his school was celebrating it this week. I decided to text him a sweet message this morning, not expecting anything in return, but just telling him that even though his job stresses him out he's still an amazing teacher and does really important work.


To my astonishment, he texted me back with an "Aw, thanks!", a smiley, and a little bit on how I should remember that even though my students aren't responsive, I also have an impact on them. That goes back to complaints I had while we were together that my students weren't great to work with. I've mentioned grading terrible papers in a joking way a couple of times, but I haven't kept him updated on my class, so I was happy and surprised that he touched on it. He's been generally staying away from my personal life in his texts unless I bring it up first, and even then he hasn't seemed super interested.


Then tonight, he texted me a picture of his gift for teacher appreciation, and I noticed he still had his shiny new beard. I pointed it out and when he responded I automatically texted back "It's a good look for you Open mouth, insert foot; we are not at a stage where I feel comfortable flirting with him much at all, let alone so bluntly. He didn't respond back like he had been (it had been pretty shotgun), so I assumed he was doing his avoidance/cutting-it-short thing and figured I just needed to think before texting.


But then he texted me back. It was basically a nothing response, just "lol thanks", but it was a lot more than I had expected with me being so blunt and him being so avoidant.


I didn't even expect for him to talk to me today. And instead he responded to my flirtation.


It's not much, but it's something. Progress in any case.

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I have found Yangki's book to be more helpful to me than the other standard advice (full disclosure: I shelled out for another book too). I already know that I'm friends with my ex still, and Yangki has a really good way of balancing mature relationship skills and building with a sense of realism; where other books seem to be quick fixes, she is helping build lasting relationships. Heck, her relationship advice is applicable to dating anyone, not just an ex.


I would tentatively recommend the book. It's not easy and makes no promises, but it makes way more sense to me than the "30 days NC + losing weight + dating again" setup so many others pander.

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I have found Yangki's book to be more helpful to me than the other standard advice (full disclosure: I shelled out for another book too). I already know that I'm friends with my ex still, and Yangki has a really good way of balancing mature relationship skills and building with a sense of realism; where other books seem to be quick fixes, she is helping build lasting relationships. Heck, her relationship advice is applicable to dating anyone, not just an ex.


I would tentatively recommend the book. It's not easy and makes no promises, but it makes way more sense to me than the "30 days NC + losing weight + dating again" setup so many others pander.


Thank you for replying I think I will purchase the book. I haven't actually had any major blow out spends after this break up just yet (well I did buy some clothes but I actually ended up returning them..) so I think this will be mine. Plus it's not too horrendous and I've spent tons of money on break up books before!


I do enjoy Yangki's articles and have found them to be of great comfort. If anything, it helps stop my head from whirring into overdrive.


I'm looking forward to reading your next post xx

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Well, Mia, sad to say that this one isn't quite so exciting.


I had talked to the ex on Sunday about the fact that I would be free to hang out tonight if he wanted to get the group together. He told me that he'd talk to the others and get back to me...but didn't. I asked him what was up on Thursday, and he said he was waiting to see what was going on in his family for Mother's Day and he'd get back to me when he knew. I had kind of expected him to ask me why I was busy this weekend, and I ended up telling him about my super-high hotel room. He responded saying that it was neat, but didn't ask where I was or what I was up to, which...whatever, I guess. I can't force him to be interested, and I know that, but it was still a little frustrating. What was really frustrating was the fact that he never got back to me as to whether we were doing anything this weekend. I texted to clarify this afternoon, and he just said that he was doing dinner with his mom and the family tonight and would text the group if anything changed. Nothing else, and I doubt he would have told me that if I hadn't asked. It's not the lack of hanging out that upsets me (his fam>>>me and the guys) but the lack of communication.


Honestly, though, I think most of my emotions right now are coming from the fact that at dinner last night, the single men ignored me all night in favor of the married women. I wasn't flirting or anything, but neither were the women. The guys talked to me about work and such, but the other women got asked about hobbies, interests, etc. It's nice to know that I seemed professional, but it was definitely a blow to my ego, and my poor ex just got on my last frayed nerve!


Of course, he doesn't have to know that. That's what this board is for

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And we're back with a brief update!


The only member of my friend group who is currently speaking to me of their own volition (the other two are my ex and my third-oldest friend who has a bad case of a crazy girlfriend) told me I should make plans with the group for Memorial Day. So I sent out the group message and, surprise surprise, my crazy-GF-riddled friend is unavailable the entirety of next weekend. He's working, shagging his girlfriend, working, going to church with his girlfriend, shagging his girlfriend, and then going to his girlfriend's family's party. That's a liberal paraphrase/expansion on his excuse, but I'm kind of curious to know if he would be so booked if one of the other group members had sent the invitation. Last I heard, his girlfriend hated me because I had the audacity to be a female AND liking a Facebook meme he shared to her page (in my defense, I didn't see who posted it or to where; also, wut), so she may be screening things. Guess that's an experiment for a later time.


Anyhow, my ex is in, as is my other friend, so we're going to hang out and take many selfies to send to our absentee buddy. I chatted with the ex a bit, and eventually I asked if he'd be available to talk over Memorial Day weekend (since he'll be in the area) or if he'd prefer to wait until he's done with school. He thanked me for extending the offer to after he's finished (this semester of teaching has really taught me how tough wrap-up is, so I can't blame him for being busy) and we kind of kicked around the idea of the first weekend in June, or two weeks from now. It could technically happen after, but the following two weekends after that see me being booked and I'm fairly confident he has a family vacation the weekend after that, so it would probably be in mid-July by the time we had our conversation. I'm hoping we have it sooner, because the waiting game is miserable.


And there we have it. I'll see my ex on Memorial Day, and hopefully we'll have our big talk the weekend after. Frankly, I know a lot of people say that the relationship post-mortem is a bad idea, but in my case I feel the truth will help both of us heal. Whether we get back together or not, we'll be better off by clearing the air.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not much to report. My ex didn't respond to me at the beginning of the week, so I left him alone except for the group texts. We're kind of settled on a place and time for dinner with our friend on Monday, but we don't have the specifics. These two men are notorious for getting their feelings hurt because they don't hear from the other one, despite neither of them being willing to reach out, and that's led to me being in charge of all plan-making as of the moment. Quite frustrating.


Meanwhile, I signed up for a dating site. I'm not really feeling ready for a relationship, but literally all of my other attempts at online dating have led to me either being ignored or talking to people online for long periods of time, so I figured that would happen this time around. To my surprise, several guys began contacting me, and I'm getting on with one of them quite well. We've moved over to texting and have a date scheduled for Tuesday. I've been quite up front with him about not being sure I'm ready for anything serious or long-term, but I'm a little concerned that he's not reading into that as seriously as I'd like. Nonetheless, I committed to a date and I'll hold to that commitment. If he doesn't slow down afterwards, I'll just call it off entirely and let him go find someone who's more ready for something than I am. Sad thing is, he's a really great guy (and cute, to boot!) and we do get along swimmingly...I like talking to him, but it just doesn't feel right at the moment.


I'll update with any interesting bits as they come.

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Memorial Day Update!


It turns out that I had my feelings half-hurt over nothing. My text to my ex from last Sunday didn't go through until today (he sent me a screenshot and showed me in person, and I did the same), so he thought I wasn't talking to him and vice-versa. So glad that's cleared up.


Dinner actually turned into ice cream and coffee owing to the amount of food we all ate at our respective BBQs beforehand, but we still lingered together for almost three hours. It was really, really good. Despite our wayward friend not being able to make it, we all remarked that it felt like old times again. Also, at the prompting of our friend I told my ex about my disastrous date in March, and he loved the story. Up until then he'd been a bit timid with eye contact and such (he'd look at me until I looked at him), but I was able to show him that I was back to my old mildly-self-deprecating sense of humor and that I was able to take a good lashing from the guys. Heck, I even reached over and patted him on the thigh like I used to do when he said something rudely humorous, back before the medication. He didn't flinch, nor did he flinch when I exaggeratedly let my head fall onto his shoulder (my friend was showing us a text that had us both flabbergasted, and it was honestly an accident because I'd forgotten that things are different now lol).


We also briefly confirmed that I'd like to have the conversation soonish. I just wanted to have him say it out loud because it feels more final for both of us that way.


On a completely different note, I think I might have a date tomorrow? I took ENA's advice and texted this dude I've been talking to on my own time instead of immediately responding to him, but now he's not talking to me. We haven't actually set a time or figured out exactly where this date is occurring. Honestly, even if he doesn't answer me about it I'm fine. He's a cool dude, but a little...much for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright, update-ahoy!


My friend and my ex were trying to get the gang together to come see the show I'm in this weekend and next, but it fell apart because my friend T is over his head with his girlfriend and isn't able to see us anymore. The ex decided not to come see the show, and I'm actually more stung by this than I thought I'd be. I think it's because the show's humor is right up his alley but isn't up my family's alley, and my family is skipping the show and now he is too. My one friend might still come, but he's pretty wishy-washy so no breath holding.


In more important news, we have a date set for our big conversation. I wanted to have it in my apartment, but my ex shut that down. I don't know if he's afraid that being in my place will be too intimate or if he's thinking that having the meeting in a public place will keep our emotions under control. I'm relatively sure that he's still thinking that I'm going to start fighting with him at every turn because of that horrendous phone call we had, but I'm not sure if I can do anything about that fear other than, you know, not fighting with him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We had our meeting!!!


It was a really, really good talk. By the time we were ready to leave, we were shocked to realize that three hours had passed. Most of the time was dedicated to completely random stuff: work, pop culture, family, etc., and it was like old times again. Like, really like old times. Even when there were lulls in the conversation, they weren't awkward ones. In the last, oh, six months of our relationship they'd been incredibly awkward.


He had a lot to say, most of which I expected. He had been thinking about the breakup at least since January, because he had begun to realize that getting ready to do stuff with me felt like a chore rather than something he wanted to do. He can't trace it back to a specific moment, but it was just kind of a gradual slide into something akin to despair because he didn't know why it was happening or what to do to stop it. My story about everything with birth control was rather enlightening for him, and he agrees that a lot of me demanding to talk to him more and wanting his attention more and more and more was a catalyst for pushing him away. To him, everything had just become more bad than good, and the challenge wasn't reaping enough benefits.


I did ask him if he was still attracted to me at all, and he said that while I was still extremely physically attractive to him (woohoo!) the emotional stuff had slowly put him off me over the last several months of the relationship. That makes total sense, because there was a definite slide in our connection as opposed to a definitive wall that we hit, and there were times when we'd had a really good evening that things just went more smoothly as far as physicality. I had been fearful that I was no longer his type, and he was fervent enough in his assurance that I was that I not longer have that fear.


So, the crux of the issue: does he see anything happening with us in the future? At the end of the post-mortem segment of the evening, I asked him if he would be willing to go back to where we were before we started dating. There was nine or ten months of us beating around the bush re before we became official. First we acknowledged an attraction, then we slowly started texting more, then we started making "group plans" that "accidentally" fell into just the two of us hanging out, then we started going on dates without calling them that, and eventually we came out in the open with it and started a relationship. It was a slow, relatively awkward process that allowed our friendship to really grow into something more.


He made it quite clear that he did not want to get back into a relationship right now, that he thinks that would be the absolute worst idea. Once I reassured him that I didn't want to jump in right now either (and I genuinely don't, because again it would be the absolute worst idea), he said that he was interested in slowly rebuilding our connection and seeing where things go. At this point, he's still not sure if we're better off as friends or if we can get back to a relationship, but he did say that he still considers me his best friend. He did admit two things that I am very pleased to have called: first, he hasn't been at all good about texting because he's been afraid that I'll snap on him; second, he wanted to do dinner in a public place for the very same reason. However, he has seen that I'm not going to go mad on him anytime soon, and he is now fine with hanging out one-on-one in private. He also said that even though he's terrible with texting in general, he's going to start putting more effort into conversing with me again.


He admitted several things that I wasn't expecting. First, in his mind the door has always been left open to see if we can rekindle things. He wasn't sure if this was just a rough patch that we needed some alone time to get through or if it was a sign that we were only meant to be friends, but he has never taken the possibility of us being together off the table. Second, he has been feeling terrible about the whole situation for months. Every time we'd talk about getting the group together and then things would fall through, he'd beat himself up over not getting to see me/us. He's felt terrible about not coming to see the musical I was just in, and he's been battling with himself over the whole no-response texts thing. He feels like he's just getting back to himself, and that he did nothing during the school year but throw himself into work, occasionally let his coworkers take him out drinking, and sit on his couch doing nothing. Hilariously (and the mutual friend that I actually see all the time never mentioned this to me), both of us insisted to the other two members of our group that they needed to hang out with the other one more because we would need them. Even after we had our blow-up fight, our first reaction was to make sure the other one was being taken care of.


So that's where things are at. I'm not holding out for a relationship with him, but this meeting was way more positive than I thought it was going to be. I had convinced myself that he was just meeting up with me so he could tell me in person that he didn't even like me anymore and that he wanted me to lay off. On the contrary, he said that our conversation (sans relationship part, which is by his mark the third most difficult conversation he's had with me) was easy, normal, and fun, just like old times. He wants to start hanging out alone again and doing our quasi-coupley stuff to see if we can get back more feelings, or if not if we can be friends.


(Also, neither of us wanted to leave after dinner, so we invaded our friend's house until almost midnight and shared a really big hug afterwards. 'twas lovely.)

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I have found Yangki's book to be more helpful to me than the other standard advice (full disclosure: I shelled out for another book too). I already know that I'm friends with my ex still, and Yangki has a really good way of balancing mature relationship skills and building with a sense of realism; where other books seem to be quick fixes, she is helping build lasting relationships. Heck, her relationship advice is applicable to dating anyone, not just an ex.


I would tentatively recommend the book. It's not easy and makes no promises, but it makes way more sense to me than the "30 days NC + losing weight + dating again" setup so many others pander.


Yangki is great!


Coach Adrien is really cool too. I def shelled out for his coaching session.

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