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Conflicted about getting back together--very long story--please read!


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hey all, first-time poster here, really in a tough emotional dilemma with myself right now and I think it’d help me a lot to try to talk it through with some of you here. there’s a fair bit of backstory for me to give, so this is going to be a very long read--I'd like to both apologize in advance and thank those of you who read through it to the end. here goes...


about 6 years ago now, I started dating this guy that was one of my friend’s cousins. he was super sweet, funny, caring, etc. and although he wasn’t really my type physically, I was super into him. Everything went great and it was honestly the best relationship of my life in the beginning, but things fizzled out after about 9-10 months or so. the last time we saw each other, I had spent the night with him and he basically kicked me out right after we woke up and had morning sex because he was leaving for a road trip with some friends. he didn’t even tell me that he loved me as I was leaving, so I cried my whole drive home and my immature 22-year-old brain decided that, since he did that to me and was also seeming a bit distant (less texting/calling than usual) lately, that I just wouldn’t contact him, but instead wait for him to contact me to hang out again. Valentine’s day was approaching too, so I was pretty sure he’d contact me to do something anyways. well, a week passed and then Valentine’s day came, so I sat glued to my phone from the moment I woke up waiting to hear from him.... Nothing. I told myself he’d probably wait until dinner time if we were going to go out on a date, so I still waited, glued to my phone, for nothing. Around 8/9pm, I realized he wasn’t going to call and I just started crying and curled up in bed upset until I fell asleep. The next morning, I woke up to a belated Happy Valentine’s Day text from him and it just set me off. To spare some of the details of this already lengthy story, I broke it off with him. He told me he wasn’t ready to end it yet, but I basically told him too bad, that he should’ve made me feel wanted while he had me, etc.


well, fast forward through three entire years of NC between us and I thought to contact him. thing is with me, I have a huge heart and an even bigger conscience, so if I ever feel I have wronged someone, it will eventually bother me until I make it right. for some reason, I had this feeling that maybe I was too harsh on him and I just wanted to contact him to apologize. I wasn’t looking to get back with him at all either, I was genuinely just wanting to apologize for any hurt feelings he may have had because I really did have the best time with him out of all the relationships I’d ever been in, and even though I was pissed at him when we ended things, I did still wish him nothing but the best and looked back on the good parts of our relationship fondly. I was honestly high on life at the moment too, I was in my last two weeks of my Bachelor’s studies, I had just gotten a scholarship to attend my first big conference for free, and I had also just applied and got accepted to attend grad school abroad in a country I had dreamed of living in my entire life. I was feeling amazing, until my iPod’s shuffle feature ever-so-kindly decided to play a song that reminded me of him & the good times we had, and it almost sent me to tears. I was on a long bus ride back from the conference at the time, so I spent about an hour or so debating with myself whether or not to contact him and I typed and erased several messages until finally, I decided to just send it. I apologized to him for any hurt that I may have caused and told him I wished him well. In my mind, the interaction was just going to be a couple texts between us and then we’d continue living our separate lives. I just wanted to patch up any wounds that might have been left behind and keep going. but then a few texts in, he congratulated me on my grad school acceptance and asked me if I’d be willing to catch up with him sometime before I left and have a proper talk. I agreed, and then my mind kept reminiscing about us the entire bus ride home. I was excited to see him again, but at the same time, knowing I was moving abroad soon, I wasn’t really hoping for anything serious to come of it.


A couple weeks later, we met for dinner and drinks. We started catching up and talking about how things were in our lives, and a few minutes into our conversation, it comes out that his parents had been going through a rough divorce/separation when we broke up. When he said that, I thought, fair enough, maybe this could have been one reason for our fizzling out. (For the record, he wasn’t telling me this as an explanation of why our relationship ended though, I just gathered on my own that this could have been one of the reasons he became distant and it made me a bit less angry at him since I could see how that would take a toll on someone.) Anyways, the rest of the evening went really great, we had a lovely time together and then we ended up hanging out again. And again. And again. At this point, I knew (and he knew) that I had about 4 months to go until I was leaving for grad school, and although I was enjoying my time with him, I wasn’t sure where we stood or where we were going to stand when the time came. We did discuss the fact that we were exclusively sleeping with each other and no one else, but we never really solidified whether we were actually dating again or just enjoying each other’s time while we could. This is where I think the big problem starts and why I think I’m now going to be pretty anxious about defining my relationships moving forward.


We kept hanging out regularly all throughout those 4 months before I left. It was just like when we had dated before—we went out for dinners and drinks, slept together, spent the night with each other, etc.—except that we still hadn’t really clarified whether we were actually dating. When I left for grad school, it was still unclear, but both of us had clearly expressed that we’d miss each other & would have the desire to remain in contact with each other though, so we did. In the beginning, it was a bit rough because he didn’t contact me much (unlike most of my generation, he is not the tech type and doesn’t use his phone much) and it took me a bit to get him to download some new apps to keep in touch with me, but finally, he did, and he would contact me once in a while to see how I was doing. It wasn’t as often as you’d expect in a relationship though, often times he wouldn’t message me for a week or two. He knew I’d be coming home to visit for the holidays though, so as my trip home neared, he kept telling me how much he was looking forward to it, etc. and it was sweet. I just remember that I kept thinking to myself how much it felt like long-distance dating even though I wasn’t sure if we were or not. (I even referred to him as my “semi-significant other” to my friends abroad since I didn’t know what else to call him.) Finally, I flew home for my first visit and he picked me up from the airport. Here’s where the first red flag happened for me personally. He didn’t give me a welcome home kiss or any sort of warm welcome when he picked me up, he just picked my bags up and put them in the car and then we drove to my house. It was very much how a friend would act and not really what I expected. When we got to my house, he told me he had to go to work, so we talked for a bit and then he finally gave me a kiss as I left and I thought all was well. We hung out quite a bit while I was home and had a wonderful time together, and this pattern continued for a while, where I would spend between 3-5 months abroad and then come home for a month at a time. I did this for the entire two and a half years I lived abroad.


Every time that I came home, things seemed to get better between us. Thinking back, I remember that first visit home for the holidays when he didn’t kiss me at the airport, he didn’t get me anything for Christmas either, but I had brought him some gifts from abroad and he seemed reluctant to accept them, so I remember being bummed about that. I remember being in the dark about where we stood and feeling unwanted/unappreciated by him, but then the second Christmas was an entirely different story: he bought me three extremely thoughtful gifts—honestly, the most thoughtful and personalized gifts anyone had given to me before. In the year between, we had grown together considerably compared to where we were when I left. In the summer, he had poured out his love for me during my longest time away from home (I think it was about 6 months) and he finally told me that he loved me via text message, insisting that he couldn’t wait until the next time I came home to tell me that. I remember thinking how sweet that was and being so happy that things between us were “officially official.” I actually thought I found the guy that “got me,” the one I’d marry someday, etc., and I always kept him on my mind to look forward to coming home to. Unfortunately, little did I know that my second Christmas visit would be the last of the really good times.


After that, it was almost like I was reliving the last bit of our first relationship together again in some ways, yet different. He started growing more distant and talking to me less often than before, and at first, I kind of blew it off as maybe he was busy or something, or I thought maybe he was just dealing with personal stuff and didn’t feel like talking about it since he did tell me about one of his friends attempting to commit suicide, as well as his sister being in an abusive relationship that he was having a hard time coping with. But then, I noticed that whenever he would contact me, it always seemed to be focused on sexual stuff and nothing else. Rather than messaging me once in a while to ask me how I was doing, he had messaged me once asking me to talk dirty for him (knowing that I personally don’t really like doing it/it’s unnatural for me and I think it’s silly), and another time he messaged me buzzed at 3am asking me not to shave anything “down there” for him, and another time, he had messaged me asking me if I’d mind if he took some sexy photos of me the next time I was home so he could have them while I was gone (which, thankfully, didn’t happen, although I did reluctantly agree since I figured some nice photos would make the remaining part of our long-distance relationship together easier for him). I noticed this pattern in his messages, but since I had loved him so much, I only let it bother me a little bit and I just brushed it off.


This is where it all starts to get complicated. One night, about a month before my next visit home after that Christmas visit, I messaged him to wish him a happy St. Patrick’s Day and told him that he’d looked good in one of the pictures his brother had posted of them at the bar together. What I didn’t mention was the other photo that I saw, of him standing with his sister and another woman (one who he would later leave me for, but I didn’t know at the time.) When I saw the photo, I remembered thinking “who is this? I’ve met so many of his friends before, but I’ve never seen her,” but then I also remembered that he comes from a large family and that she could have been any one of his many cousins I hadn’t met yet, so I just kind of forgot about it until he finally responded to my message the next day. He told me that he had left his phone at home while they were at the bar and that’s why he hadn’t responded, blah blah blah, and I think we messaged back and forth a couple times and that was it. I pretty much forgot about the photo, although I remember being slightly worried at first that maybe he had slept with this woman and this was why he didn’t answer me, but I kept telling myself I was just being crazy/insecure and that it was probably just an innocent friend or relative, and I eventually forgot about it.


Fast-forward to the next month when I came home to visit. Since I knew this guy through one of my best friends who is also his cousin, I invited him to come hang out with us when his cousin told me he was having a bonfire—I figured we’d hang out with them at the bonfire for a bit and then go off on our own afterwards. He said he was tired from work and didn’t really feel like leaving the house, so I tried once more to have his cousin ask him to come, but he said the same thing. He told me he still wanted to hang out though, so I told him I’d party with his cousin for a few hours and then come over afterwards. I stayed a bit longer at the party than I intended, but I texted “guy” to tell him I was on my way and started heading over. About halfway there, I got a message from him, but I figured it was just him saying “see you soon” and since I don’t like texting and driving, I didn’t even open it. When I got to his place, I opened the message and saw that he said “sorry, could we hang another time? I’m falling asleep.” Honestly, after being away for three months and then driving all the way to his house, I felt pretty bummed, but I figured it was my fault for staying out so late, so I sent back: “I just got here. should I just drive home?” to which he said “no, just come in.”


He and I were going to watch an episode of a show that I asked him to DVR for me so we could watch it together. I sat next to him on his couch and he put the episode on, but immediately went to initiate sex with me. I remember being a little annoyed since I actually did want to watch the show first, and I jokingly said “oh, you don’t waste any time, do you?” to which he said, sounding somewhat frustrated, “well, can you blame me?!” I brushed it off as him missing me and just wanting to be with me, so we had sex like normal (except he tried to ask me if he could cum inside of me for the first time and I said no), and I went to cuddle him afterwards. Usually, I would either spend the night at his house, or we would at least cuddle for an hour or two before I finally gathered the strength to get out of bed and go home, but this time, he almost immediately kicked me out and he was behaving unlike he had ever behaved before. We used to stay up until 5am on nights when he had to work at 8am with no problems, and he always told me he didn’t mind staying up with me even when I tried to leave insisting that I felt bad for keeping him up late, but suddenly, he had to kick me out at 2:30am because he had to work in the morning. It was so unusual for him and so upsetting for me. I left, and just like the last time we saw each other the first time we dated, he didn’t tell me that he loved me and I cried my entire drive home. Proving to be a creature of habit, I decided, just like last time, to not initiate any contact with him and to wait for him to contact me since I had felt so unloved and upset after what happened. (I know avoidance isn’t the best solution and I can own up to my immaturity in that, but I guess that was just how I decided to cope with things.) A week went by, then two weeks, and I was crying more and more every single day. I remember thinking, “He knows I’m only home for a month, why would he even go this long without even trying to see me?!” Still hoping that he’d come around and contact me, and also rationalizing with myself that he was the one with the work schedule we’d have to make plans around and he knew that I had free time, I decided to keep waiting. I know I probably should’ve just contacted him, but my thought process was that if he really loved me, he’d show me, and I wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) have to initiate contact with him after what happened. It might have been a dumb thing for me to do, but I can’t change what happened.


Long story short, he never contacted me again those entire three weeks I visited home. When it got to my last day at home, I realized that I needed to have a talk with him, but I didn’t know how to handle it, and I again decided to wait a little longer. I waited a few more days and finally sent him a message. I poured it all out, but I did so very calmly and kindly, making sure to not have an attacking or negative tone anywhere in my messages so he knew that my intention was to work through our issues, rather than use it as an excuse to end things. He responded and told me that he had been unhappy in our relationship for some time (which was complete news to me!) and thought it would be the best for both of us if we ended things. I told him I was sorry I couldn't make him happy and I apologized for keeping him waiting for me while I was away, but he said that it wasn't just because of the distance and he thought it was best for both of us if we broke up. I was SO hurt, I really did not see that coming at all since things were going so well up until that last visit home. I replied to his message, again in a very positive tone, and told him that I was confused, but that if this was it, that I was sorry that things ended this way and that I wished him well.


I was completely heartbroken. I spent weeks in bed crying, upset, and frustrated. I felt so worthless and confused, and I genuinely had no idea how my relationship got ripped out from under me, without him even trying to rescue it as it fell apart. I tried so hard not to think about it but still kept obsessing over it every day, without fail. I was devastated because he always told me I was the best girlfriend he’d ever had and I had envisioned moving in with him and starting our life together after I finished my program abroad, which would’ve only been 5 months later after our breakup. I was devastated that we stayed together for so long through the distance, only for it to end pretty much right before I was coming home. I had been through some difficult breakups before, but dealing with a breakup via text with the love of my life while being over 4,000 miles away across an ocean really took the cake. Especially since he offered no explanation whatsoever for his "unhappiness."


About two months went by, and I went on my first vacation since the breakup. It was to a place I had wanted to see all my life since my family was originally from there, and while it was beautiful and I did enjoy it, it was probably the worst vacation of my life because I just couldn’t get the depression out of the back of my mind. I actually spent two nights silently crying myself to sleep next to my friend and decided I really needed to find closure somehow if I was going to get any better. I decided to send him a facebook message since I thought he might no longer have the app we used to use for free international texting, so I went to his profile and sent him a long and heartfelt message (again in a very positive tone, just explaining how badly I had been dealing with our breakup and how I really wanted closure. I even made it explicitly clear that I wasn’t trying to get him back, I just wanted to know what went wrong so I could understand the situation, move forward, and feel better) and for whatever reason, I decided to scroll down afterwards and saw another photo of him with that same girl I saw in the St. Patrick’s day photos, this time with just the two of them. This is when I really started to have my suspicions that maybe he had been cheating on me with her towards the end of our relationship (remembering how he didn't respond to my message until the next day the last time I saw a photo of him with her), but again, I told myself I was being crazy and shrugged it off.


I kept checking our message thread constantly, knowing he takes forever to read messages, but I kept waiting for my message to be marked as read. It never was, but over time, I started thinking about it less and although he would still cross my mind, I finally started to feel a bit better and get back into a normal routine. I was doing better for about a month or so, and then my birthday visit came—my last visit home in my time abroad before I would go back to finish my degree and finally move back home a few months later. It was my first visit home that we wouldn’t be together for and it proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. From the time my plane landed, I was already watery-eyed. I walked through the airport with watery eyes and went home with watery eyes. I looked up at the painting we made together that was hanging in my mother’s living room with watery eyes. I truly missed him and even thought maybe I’d try to reconcile with him during my visit home because these feelings were so overwhelming for me and I never wanted to end things in the first place. I figured it had only been a couple of months and that we could still work through things. This change of heart all happened within 24 hours of arriving home. That is, until the very next day, when I was hanging out with his cousin and his cousin’s wife and discovered some very unsettling information. Apparently, from what they said, he cheated on me and was dating the girl he cheated with (the one who I saw in those photos that I tried to convince myself I was being crazy about).


In the blink of an eye, I went from dreaming of getting back with the love of my life to resenting him, resenting myself, and spiraling back into a deep depression. I spent my first week of my visit home curled up in bed crying, wondering how he could do this to me. I was so deeply hurt, especially since I had thought of reconciling with him immediately after I arrived at home. I managed to gather myself for my birthday with my friends, and I even managed to sleep with someone else that I had a bit of a crush on one night, but I was so deeply hurt and upset that he lied to me when he broke up, telling me he was unhappy in our relationship, when in reality, he was cheating on me and didn’t have the guts to tell me. He knew that I had been cheated on before and told him I really valued honesty and would rather go through a brutal breakup than to discover that my boyfriend was cheating on me again, but I guess that didn’t matter.


After about a week of crying in bed and being upset, I finally messaged him. This time, I was NOT nice or positive like I had been before. In fact, I was pretty aggressive and blunt with how I felt. I basically chewed him out for cheating on me and told him to off for using me for sex. I told him how confused I was that he would ask to cum inside of me and then kick me out without telling me he loved me within the same hour. I told him how ty he made me feel and told him I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t just be honest with me and end things amicably. A day later, he responded, insisting that he hadn’t cheated on me at all, that he had just hung out with this girl in groups before and waited until after we had broke up to start dating her, but he admitted that his interest in her was one of the reasons we broke up. I still don’t know for sure whether or not he cheated, since I had “heard it through the grapevine,” but despite what he says, I still think he probably cheated, seeing as how photos of them together already started popping up before we broke up. His messages were all over the place though, one moment he’s saying he wasn’t sure why he broke up with me, another minute he’s saying the distance was hard (even though he told me before that it wasn’t just the distance that made him unhappy, although he never elaborated to ever tell me why he was unhappy), another minute, he’s telling me that he just broke up with me to “rip the band-aid off, so to speak” (which I still don’t get that means.)


Anyways, I let out my frustrations in a not-so-nice manner first, and then gradually got calmer with him and apologized for being so hostile with him initially because I’m really not a mean person, I was just upset in the heat of the moment. We exchanged a few texts and I got most of the things I needed to say off my chest. About two weeks later, during my last week of my visit home, he sent me a text to tell me that he had just saw the messages I sent to him on facebook while I was on my vacation before my visit home. He told me he felt bad for what happened between us and that he didn’t want for me to feel so hurt and he went on to ask me if I’d like to meet up to talk. I said no and I told him that since I already tried talking things through with him when we broke up and it got nowhere, that I didn’t think this time would be any different. I got a little drunk later that night and got pissed thinking about things and kinda lashed out on him a bit again. I wasn’t as harsh as before, but I basically chewed him out for being so unwilling to talk to me when we broke up, and even before then, since he claimed to have been unhappy for a while despite never telling me. The next morning, I felt bad and I sent him a message to apologize and explain that I was drunk and upset. He understood and told me I didn’t need to be sorry for anything. He seemed like maybe he was starting to regret what he did. I left the next day to return abroad for my last stretch of my degree, still heartbroken over what happened.


When I arrived abroad, I was still torn up. I continued to be upset for quite a while too, as I would keep seeing photos with him and his new girlfriend tagged in them on social media, out with his family and friends. I remember being upset seeing that he apparently spent so much time out with her with his family, as we hardly ever went out with his parents. I also remember being upset finding out that she was only 21 since he and I are 28 and 27 and I fell into a depressive hole for a couple of weeks, thinking he was out there living life happily with his new young girlfriend, while I’m still abroad, in bed, crying over what happened. I felt worthless. Things eventually started getting better though.


Fast forward to this past November, 6 months after the breakup, I moved back home. By then, I was doing much better again and already moving on to thinking about what may happen with this other guy I have a bit of a crush on. My ex still crossed my mind, but not as bad as before. I think that by then, I had accepted the fact that he moved on and decided it was best for me not to hang on to something that wasn’t there because even if he would have me back, I no longer wanted him if he’d been spending all that time involved with someone else, unconcerned about how I felt.


Then, one day, not even a week after I moved back home, I was outside smoking and saw my ex drive past my house. I knew it was him because he drives a very particular color/model of car that isn’t common at all. I wondered why the hell he was driving past my house and I was admittedly a little freaked out by it. A few days later, he sent me a long text telling me that he’d realized what a big mistake he made and that he felt bad for hurting me and would give anything for me to give him another chance. I sat down and cried when I got his message because I honestly felt conflicted. The majority of me wanted to tell him to leave me alone and never talk to me again because I resented him for leaving me for someone else, while a part of me still loved him and wanted to tell him I’d give him another chance. I went with my gut instinct and decided to tell him that although I missed him and loved him, I had no desire to give him another chance and couldn’t see myself being happy with him again after what had happened. It hurt to tell him that because I knew I still loved him deep down, but I thought I was doing what was right to protect me and my feelings. I don’t want to willingly put myself in a position to be hurt again. I let him down very kindly and told him I wished the best for him and hoped he’d find someone who’d make him happy one day. He never responded to my message, but now I find myself here two months later, wondering if I did the right thing and questioning myself every time he pops into my mind.


A big part of me put my foot down because he did hurt me and I didn’t want to be perceived as weak and I definitely didn’t want him to get the idea that he can walk all over me and I’d still let him come back for more. But another big part of me still misses him and knows that he was the first person I ever genuinely loved and envisioned spending my life with, and I do wonder if maybe it would be worth giving him one final chance to see if things would be alright, now that we no longer have long distance to deal with. However, I do know that I’d probably have some trust issues and may always fear that he’d hurt me again if we got back together, and I really am conflicted about this. This is what brings me to this forum, because I also know that I am in a vulnerable position, being lonely, and I want to talk this through to make sure my judgment isn’t being clouded by my loneliness. Have you ever taken someone back for a third chance, or would you ever, if you found yourself in a situation like the one I am in? Am I absolutely insane for even considering it? Really, I am conflicted with myself and would greatly appreciate talking this out with you all. And again, thanks for sticking with me and reading my incredibly long story!

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You know, from your description, it sounds like you just attached yourself to this guy and you told yourself that he was your boyfriend, and that he loved you, and you made all these excuses for his terrible behavior, and you made yourself believe this was a relationship where this was nothing more than a series of one-night stands on his part. And you kept bugging this guy every few months or so despite the fact he kept dismissing you and keeping you at arm's length, and treating you like a one-night stand. And the story just made me incredibly sad because someone as loving and as caring as you should have a real boyfriend who you see every day, who gives you lots of kisses and sex, and takes you on romantic dates and travels and talks about marriage and kids and so on. And I just feel you've wasted your time on a guy who feels very little for you. Oh, sure, one time he said he cared about you, maybe when he was between girlfriends or was lonely, but most of the time acted like he didn't even know you were dead or alive.


Luckily, you've only 28 and you still have time to find Prince Charming out there. Just stop contacting this wretched guy and look around for Mr. Right. I'm sure just about anyone you date will be better than this "boyfriend."

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You know, from your description, it sounds like you just attached yourself to this guy and you told yourself that he was your boyfriend, and that he loved you, and you made all these excuses for his terrible behavior, and you made yourself believe this was a relationship where this was nothing more than a series of one-night stands on his part. And you kept bugging this guy every few months or so despite the fact he kept dismissing you and keeping you at arm's length, and treating you like a one-night stand. And the story just made me incredibly sad because someone as loving and as caring as you should have a real boyfriend who you see every day, who gives you lots of kisses and sex, and takes you on romantic dates and travels and talks about marriage and kids and so on. And I just feel you've wasted your time on a guy who feels very little for you. Oh, sure, one time he said he cared about you, maybe when he was between girlfriends or was lonely, but most of the time acted like he didn't even know you were dead or alive.


Luckily, you've only 28 and you still have time to find Prince Charming out there. Just stop contacting this wretched guy and look around for Mr. Right. I'm sure just about anyone you date will be better than this "boyfriend."


After reading back through what I wrote, I can absolutely see how you would get that impression. I focused a lot more on the negatives of our relationship in this post, rather than the positives, since all those negative details seem to be most relevant for the backstory of the hurt and pain I experienced with him and why I am conflicted with myself about my feelings for him. While I do agree that it could have been the case that he viewed our relationship as something like a friends with benefits thing before I went abroad, I do think that he genuinely grew to have feelings for me over the time we spent together, despite what happened between us. I say this with at least some certainty in my heart because there are a lot of things he did that an FWB just simply would not do. Every time my car broke down, he would come pick me up and would always refuse to take any gas money that I tried to offer for it. Same story any time that we went out, he would never let me pay for anything, not even the tip (although I did sneak and pay our bill once just because I wanted to, and another time, I talked him into letting me pay the tip when I looked over his shoulder and saw that we ran an exceptionally high bill), but he's not a wealthy man by any means (in fact, I would be the breadwinner between the two of us, by far). I know a lot of women tend to have the attitude that it's a man's job to pay for everything, and while I always appreciated the gesture when he would pay, I am a very fair-minded person and wanted to put my part in every so often as well, but he didn't want me to. It wasn't just monetary gestures though. Every time I left his house, he always asked me to text him to let him know that I made it home safe. If I forgot to text him, I would get a message from him after a little more than enough time had passed for me to drive home just because he wanted to make sure that I was alright and say goodnight to me before he went to sleep. He would even stay up to make sure I made it home on late nights when he only had a few hours left to sleep before work. Aside from the last time we were together, he never used to mind staying up late with me either and would insist that I didn't have to leave even when I told him that I felt bad for keeping him awake. A lot of those times, we were just staying up talking, cuddling, or watching TV, it wasn't just purely sexual. Above all, he was a great listener, so much so that he got me the most thoughtful gifts anyone had ever gotten for me before, all of which I had never discussed with him or told him that I wanted either, he just inferred it from our conversations and bought what he thought I would like, and he hit the nail right on the head. I still wear the necklace he got me all the time, but not because he got it for me or because I miss him, but because it's perfect for me and I love it. Despite all the bad details I mentioned in the initial post, there really was a long period of time where he did everything someone should do in a relationship, and things that I would never expect from an FWB, especially not for a long period of time like that. He listened, was thoughtful, gave me back rubs, cuddled for hours, acted silly with me, opened doors for me, etc. This happy part of our relationship lasted longer than the rocky beginning and end as well, which probably isn't fully clear with my descriptions of time periods in terms of visits home, but things really were good between us for quite some time. This is why I was so upset and confused when he tried telling me he had been unhappy when he broke up with me because it really didn't add up with his behavior, with the exception of the few weeks of growing distance leading up to the breakup. Prior to that, there were no signs that he was unhappy at all, so it took me by surprise.


We honestly had a bumpy start, an amazing middle, and a very confusing and abrupt end. Now, he absolutely did some things that a boyfriend should not do either, the biggest one being that he broke up with me and tried to give me a haphazard "explanation" for doing so, and I can't ignore the possibility that he cheated on me, so I wont act as if he is a saint or was the perfect boyfriend by any means, but I genuinely loved him and I truly do think that he had some feelings for me, even if something changed and he grew interested in another woman. Although I've never cheated myself, nor been in a situation where I was interested in someone else, I do understand how complex relationships and feelings can be, and I know that everything isn't black and white, or rose-colored as it is in the movies. This is why I am willing to take everything into consideration when I'm trying to evaluate whether I've made the right decision in telling him I didn't want to talk to him or give him another chance. Even in the moment that I made the decision to tell him that, I was reluctant to say it and conflicted with my feelings for him, as I am now.


I basically feel as if this is going to go one of two ways:


1) I stick to what I said and never talk to him again, but always wonder whether or not I made the right decision and will continue to look back on an important time in my life that will always be tied to memories of him. I can never simply forget our relationship in the grand scheme of things or put it out of my mind completely as I have with others in the past, not only because it was a relationship that I valued a lot, but also because it was during a critical time in my life, where I traveled/moved abroad for the first time, lived on my own for the first time, and got my professional degree that enabled me to start my career. The past two and a half years have been the most eventful in my life thus far, and the most important in terms of both personal and professional growth, and although I have many years ahead to make more memories with someone else, I don't think it will be so easy to forget someone I loved so much during such a big time in my life.


or, alternatively, 2) I tell him how I feel. Mind you, I have had no contact with him at all since I told him that I didn't want to speak with him in November and he didn't even reply to that message, so it's possible that he got the message and maybe he's even completely moved on and forgotten all about wanting to rekindle things with me by now, but I still wonder if it would be worth talking to him and I somehow can't bring myself to fully rule out contacting him again, despite how bad I've been hurting since we broke up and despite the fact that I'm pretty sure I'd probably have some trust issues if we did get back together. This a very uncertain option in contrast to option one though, and at least option one comes with the certainty of knowing I won't be putting myself in a position to be hurt again, but I guess my loving heart can't rule out the possibility that like he, I too might have made a mistake that I want to try to fix before it's too late.

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I also realized that I should add, for clarification, that when I say he "didn't tell me he loved me" at our last encounters, I don't mean that I said "I love you" to him and he didn't say it back. What I mean is that both of our last encounters ended with me leaving sad and lack of an "I love you," not with any deliberately unrequited "I love you"s in response to my own. Normally, we would kiss goodbye as I left and then afterwards, he usually always said "I love you" to me and then I him before we parted ways, but in those two final moments of our relationships, he didn't say it to me after our goodbye kiss and so I didn't say it either because I was a little upset and I just left. In retrospect, I do realize that I could have said it myself and he likely would have said it back to me if I did say it at the time, but because I was sad in the moment and just left after we kissed goodbye, I didn't think to say it to him and I drove home crying and even more upset than I already was because I felt unloved. I should also probably add that we never fought in either of these final moments though (or ever, for that matter), it was more that I walked away from the situation sad and ended up even more upset and crying after leaving because of the fact that he didn't tell me that he loved me as I left, on top of what had already happened. I just wanted to clarify those things that in case my unclear initial descriptions might have given an even worse impression of how things ended.

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Sounds like you've spent most of your 20s chasing this guy. Your 30s are right around the corner. Is he what you want to keep pursuing deep into your 30s? I mean, is chasing this guy for potentially another decade really worth it?


What's different about it this time?

Is he ready to be direct with you and live up to your expectations?

Are you ready not to be a doormat anymore?

There are 2 people in this relationship, and communication and understanding is the only way relationships can work.



Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity.


If you really want to be with him, then go for it. Just don't be surprised by the same result.


One of my close friends stayed with her man for decades, breaking up and getting back together, even though he mistreated her, cheated on her, and so on. If you can stand it, like she was able to(don't know how she did it), then maybe sticking around and taking the disrespect and mistreatment is for you.


It wasn't until nearly 20 years later, after a final "cheating" that angered my friend, she finally put her foot down and booted him. He was super arrogant thinking she'd be begging for him soon. But surprise surprise, it was him who ended up coming back begging for her because she was SERIOUSLY done with him. She did not accept him back, he tried a few times. I think it was about the 3rd try, where he finally sincerely owned up to his mistakes, stated his commitment and intentions, and asked her to marry him.


I don't have 20 years of patience like my friend, but if you do, then, nothing wrong with sticking around.

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