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So Many Questions - Ex Wants to Be Friends/Attachment Theory


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Quick background:


27 year old male (the ex), 25 year old female (me). We dated for a little over a year, I was his first ever girlfriend. He broke up with me quite suddenly in a very confusing way. We went no contact for 2.5 months (very hard for me to do but I got through it with the intention of winning him back). I learned about attachment theory and he is clearly avoidant whereas I'm anxious. I reached out to talk to him and he was very positive and receptive. We got together, spoke for three hours. He finally articulated his reasons for breaking up: he was "losing himself" in the relationship (putting off goals that I actually tried to help him achieve, not spending enough time with friends when really he and I were spending less time together at that point due to my work schedule). He felt he had to be my "caretaker" (OUCH, I have anxiety but damn), and was upset with me for not doing things he wanted me to do even though he never told me what those things were (i.e. he expected me to just know to do them or to read his mind).


I'm willing to work on all of these issues now that I know what the heck they are and since he has finally communicated his needs with me for the first time ever. I think we could still be together and happy - he thinks we'd have a honeymoon period and then fall into muscle memory. I'm more of the knowledge is power mindset and thoroughly believe these issues would be fine if we maintained open communication and an awareness of it that we never had before.


Overall I think his reasons for breaking up were incredibly unfair to me. Now he really, really wants to be friends. Friends that get drinks together and hang out in group settings and see each other at parties. I told him I still love him but he said that, even though he loved me at one point (he never told me this before) he didn't feel it now and that there's now way we will ever get back together, at least not after "years have passed." We are in the same friend group, he hosts weekly events, and he lives in my neighborhood.


My questions (so many questions):


-Why would he even want to be friends? He said he is still very sexually attracted to me but doesn't think we should have sex so that's not it.

-Is being his friend just going to help him get over me and make him lose his interest in me as a future girlfriend or as a friend at all?

-If I be his friend, will I just suffer and be a doormat/security blanket for him in the process?

-Should I go into no contact again to try and get him back in the future?

-Should I just be his friend as a way for me to heal by having him nearby and feeling comfortable with our friends/going to his place for events?

-Should I maintain more of a friendly acquaintance status with him and be distant but friendly as a way to keep things civil and pretend it's okay?

-He wants to maintain an open dialogue about the breakup and how we will be moving forward. Should I just ditch him, do my own thing and not share these thoughts with him just like how he never shared his thoughts with me during the relationship?

-Should I just say f*** it and be his friend? I'm already in pain from not getting a text from him yesterday or today so far. It's only been two days since the conversation.

-It really hurts that he has these opinions of me and seems so sure of the breakup. How do I adjust my mindset to deal with this pain and let it go?

-I really believe that he is avoidant attachment style and if that's true, maybe he's just in denial of his feelings and will eventually freak out in a few months once he truly processes what happened and then maybe he will want me back?



Thanks ahead of time

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I would accept the breakup.


You cannot "help" someone reach their goals. You need to work on yours and they work on theirs. You give eachother breathing room to do so. its not a goal for him to have personal satisfaction of achievement if his girlfriend is making his goal HER goal.


You are anxious, and you make him responsible for your feelings. he had enough of it.

YOu were spending less time because your work schedule, not because you were spending time with family and having healthy time apart.


You just aren't the right match. Plain and simple. Its your differing personalities and there are also things you mention that he wanted you to do that he didn't tell you - reaching for your own goals, etc, are things he shouldn't have to tell you to do.


Accept the conversation as closure.

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I learned about attachment theory and he is clearly avoidant whereas I'm anxious.


stop reading psychology books in order to label other people. someone who realizes a relationship is not for them and ends it is not "avoidant" -- they have good boundaries and no when to exit. otherwise everyone in the world would be avoidant.

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