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New to this forum but have actually read quite a lot on the ex back and NC topics.


Long story very short... 6-year relationship, she's 19 years younger... call me a cradle-snatcher, but we really understood each other for most of those 6 years. Lived together for 2 years. I should have seen it coming as all the signs were there and she actually tried to tell me many times - only I didn’t (want to) hear it :-(. She moved away in March this year but we saw each other every couple of days and she’d spend at least one night of each week. 8 weeks ago she just called it quits. Was a very cold shower and total surprise.


I was upset at first and didn’t talk to her for two days, then we texted some there and back. But she was suddenly a different person - cold, non-understanding, not willing to talk about anything. All the usual stuff that you read about that a dumper does after the fact. I called her once but all I got was a brick wall. Sent a long email asking for some explanation and if we could work it out. Not sure she even read it.


As I suspected, there is also a guy at play that she has been seeing / flirting with (maybe) since April. Not sure I would call this a rebound but I believe at some point in June, she would be torn between the two of us - more inclining to the new guy (for all the obvious reasons).


She did keep in irregular contact a few times a week after that - saying she wants to stay friends as she cares too much for me and I mean a lot in her life. Kept telling her I am not her friend because simply I feel more than that.


I went and read tons of stuff (never really been dumped in my life, haha). Went NC 4 weeks ago. Immediately started doing stuff - I’m not short of hobbies - do lots of sports but added a gym and personal trainer to occupy the mind and tire the body. Been playing the piano and guitar a lot lately (after many many years), been playing computer games in the evenings, reading advice on this forum and elsewhere.


She contacted me after 2 weeks, asking to see me, which I (a bit reluctantly) agreed to, I said I would bring her magazines that were delivered for her to our place. I was never mean to her, only a bit cold I’d say. We met at Starbucks and I was trying to be upbeat and not display any sense of urgency, pleading or anything. Tried to look real busy at work (which I actually am now). She didn’t say why she wanted to meet - maybe she didn’t feel the situation was good or maybe she just wanted to meet as buddies over coffee, don’t know…


She acted a bit annoyed, especially later when she asked if I was going to come to our sports trainings and events and I said I didn’t plan to. She also seemed a bit pressed for time towards the end, though she said she had plenty. I am sure she went to see the other guy right after that and maybe didn’t want to keep him waiting. We parted ways with a hug. I wanted to kiss her like I used to but she just wanted a friendly kiss, which I said no to. So we just hugged a bit more and she left. I texted her later saying it was good to see her and she should stay in touch if she wants to. She texted back that obviously I can’t have contact with her now so it’s me who needs to stay in touch. I said maybe she could come over one night to watch our favourite TV show. She said she’d like that. I left it at that and went back to NC.


She texted again a week later (yesterday actually), calling me my sweetheart name and saying that a new series of our favourite show would be screening next Monday. I replied (nicely) that I would definitely watch! And she said - “you definitely should”.

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I am sorry and I can hear the disappointment in your words. It's probably best you don't speak to her at all. As you have experienced, you read between the lines and try to read the tea leaves looking for a hidden meaning in the words she chose.

Trust that she knows where to find if she changes her mind.

In the meantime, no contact, work on moving forward.

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The guy at play that you think she has been flirting with/seeing since April... sorry to say, she was seeing him (or someone else) before she left you. That's what she was trying to tell you. Now it isn't working out like the fantasy that she hoped for, and she wants back.


You need to go NC and move along...


Keep up the good work with your re-found interests and hobbies!

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This is where I’m at now.


I read much stuff on this forum and I know a lot of people will say - just forget her, move on, not worth it, heal yourself and don’t care about her… But that’s just not me. I’m too old to give up on stuff (never did so why start now?). I know I can’t simply just move on like this was some quick fling at college and the whole life’s before me. My feelings are very deep over the years and I don’t give or throw them away quickly or easily. Also, I know the power of time and wield incredible patience. At the beginning of our relationship, I waited for this girl almost a year. To me, time spent leading to success is well spent.


I also believe she still has strong feelings for me - she just doesn’t believe (at the moment) that there is future in the relationship. I can’t blame her as I did not treat her well at times. I have other issues left over from my previous relationship - previous ex with her daughter (not mine), old house where they live, I lost a job a few years back and it took me over a year to climb back from the hole. She stood by me through all this and I know it took a lot of her energy. We almost broke up a few times, once there was another guy involved that she liked. She never cheated (I believe) but she certainly had a bit of GIGS. Can’t blame her, I was her first real relationship - her first lasted for about a year.


I am not necessarily looking for advice or trying to go all boohoo she left me, what do I do now??


I am trying to sum up here what happened, what my intention is and the course of action that I am going to take. I will definitely appreciate any feedback and advice if you have it… because of course I do feel hurt and being without her is tearing me apart. But I have to man up, suck it up and am decided to fight for it when/if the chance comes.


Thank you all for being around here.

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reinventmyself, Camber


Gee, you guys are quick :-) thanks much for your support!


I felt I kind of left her hanging at a moment when she was trying to tell me something by texting me about the favourite show of ours. Was planning on texting her on Monday if she would like to join to watch it... but am not decided yet...

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Why did the relationship end? 19 years is a large gap. The reason why I'm commenting on the reasons for the break down and the age gap is to understand how appropriate or realistic your ideas are of reconciliation. At this point it's about managing your expectations and realizing that the relationship is over. Try and be more realistic about that and where you are headed now in terms of your life and what you're looking for in your life.

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Why did the relationship end? 19 years is a large gap. The reason why I'm commenting on the reasons for the break down and the age gap is to understand how appropriate or realistic your ideas are of reconciliation. At this point it's about managing your expectations and realizing that the relationship is over. Try and be more realistic about that and where you are headed now in terms of your life and what you're looking for in your life.


There were many reasons - obviously the relationship went to certain stereotypes, which it normally does but it is probably not what a younger girl would expect to happen. As I said, I spent time around the former ex and the old house (which she respected but didn't like very much), and my climbing back after the careeer hit also took a lot of my time and energy. I just didn't find enough time for her... I tried to compensate for this at times but I guess it wasn't enough as it would have appeared as one-offs. Our sex life took its toll also because of all this.

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There were many reasons - obviously the relationship went to certain stereotypes, which it normally does but it is probably not what a younger girl would expect to happen. As I said, I spent time around the former ex and the old house (which she respected but didn't like very much), and my climbing back after the careeer hit also took a lot of my time and energy. I just didn't find enough time for her... I tried to compensate this at times but I guess it wasn't enough as it would have appeared as one-offs. Our sex life took its toll also because of all this.


You sound like I did when my ex left me. Same "excuses" from her. Not to sound blunt, but those are things people say when they are trying to get out of a relationship because of another interest.


After I made a fool of myself believing it was my fault, I eventually found out about the numerous men she had been involved with while still living in our home, with our 3 year old...

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You sound like I did when my ex left me. Same "excuses" from her. Not to sound blunt, but those are things people say when they are trying to get out of a relationship because of another interest.


After I made a fool of myself believing it was my fault, I eventually found out about the numerous men she had been involved with while still living in our home, with our 3 year old...


Yes, I have no doubt she ended our relationship because of somebody else. I'm not the jealous type as I know the feeling when there's someone new, beautiful and wonderful around. So in a way (a very twisted way you might say), this might be what she needs to realize that our situation was not all that bad and the new guy is not all that good - and I needed this "wake-up call" to realize I should care more and not take things for granted - which I admittedly do.

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I'm sorry - it appears we posted around the same time earlier. I see your post #4. Let's try and understand this clearly: you're a man with an ex-wife and stepchild (child from previous relationship's previous relationship), your most recent ex is 19 years younger, you're a man strong in your convictions and weathered through the test of time and it appears your most previous, 19 years younger, ex is not interested in you but has recently met up with you in Starbucks while seeing another man. Is this correct?


If so, I don't think this is so much a matter of you being called into question regarding the strength of your emotions or convictions for someone and your love for someone as much as it has to do with levels of compatibility and maturity. You're just not on the same page as this younger person but for some reason you're trying to be. Why settle for so little in terms of long term happiness?


All of us have felt feelings of failure and have had to grapple with difficult issues regarding the end of often very serious relationships. It calls into question our self-worth and what we consider ourselves in the face of dark and deep pain and what it means to also possibly cause that pain in other peoples' lives. I think you're worrying too much about what other people think of you (low self-esteem) and are clinging to your previous relationship because it's a standard and measure of worth that you know best how to understand and associate with yourself. When the relationship ended with your younger ex, it recalled the same pain as the dissolution of your marriage. This doesn't negate any self-worth on your part though. I hope you recognize that and eventually learn to bring yourself back to some equilibrium, come back into the light. Learn to accept this relationship is finished and over and be at peace moving forwards.

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Breakups suck, but when they happen you have to cover the exposed areas of your self in order to be able to move forward. That means focusing on you and now, rediscovering yourself and leaving the past where it lies. You have said you're not interested in keeping things on a platonic level, so you have to do what's best for you. It's not about caring or not caring about her or the relationship, it's about caring about yourself at this point. As you said, you do just have to "man up" as they say and move forward with your life. Every experience has value, but most of them aren't meant to last a lifetime. You take from each, you learn, you grow and you go forward.

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I get what you guys are saying and appreciate the advice, which I'm sure is meant well.


At this point, though, I absolutely refuse to move on from this. It's why the thread title is what it is. And I also said this in my original post. Don't get me wrong, it's not some childish negativity on my part - it's not a favourite toy taken away from me that I want back. At some level, I just feel that the relationship is not depleted. And it can of course be just me and she feels it differently - but so far the signs say otherwise. And I'm not all that bad at reading between the lines - though I admit my mind's still a bit clouded now.


Do I NEED her back to survive? No. I have always survived (in much more difficult situations) and will survive this if I want to.

Do I WANT her back? YES. So for me, this is a choice that I am making - maybe to my own damage... that's to be seen.

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Well, that's ok too. There's also a journal section somewhere on the forum to track progress and day to day ongoings especially while going through pain, turmoil and/or break up. It's a useful way to look back and see your trajectory if you're into blogging or writing, for instance. I'm sure the members will chime in if you ever have any questions or need a sounding board. Is there anything else that's bothering you?

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Thanks, I didn't know about the Journal section.


I will still post here about the progress if it's ok as I'm sure I'll welcome help on the way.


Right now, I am still undecided if I should invite her over after such a short time... or is it too soon? I can hold NC for as long as needed but don't want to overdo NC just for the sake of NC.


Thanks again for all your support, you're all great!

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I think you're playing too many mind games. Be upfront with her and if she's not interested in being with you at all, she will tell you. Eventually either of you will tire of the other not being interested or not appearing interested enough in anything to sustain any healthy interaction (towards a relationship) and you'll both learn to respect each others' wishes.

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  • 1 month later...

Just to update a bit on my situation and its progress... some might find it useful, I'm just venting my feelings really...


In the end I did invite my ex to watch our favourite TV show, which she gladly accepted. We cooked dinner together and then watched the show. I packed some leftovers for her to take to work with her, which she really liked. Then she left later that night. Everything was really ok - felt like good old friends spending an evening together. Exactly where I don't want this to end up. (She even joked about how she was already thinking of moving again - to her new BF I assume.) So after she left and we exchanged a couple of texts, I thanked her for coming over, said it was good to see her but I cannot just be friends with her. She replied she was sorry to hear that but accepts it. I then went to NC.


She contacted me eactly after 30 days - the typcal "how are you". I replied that I was fine and hoped she was the same way. She then asked if I was avoiding her and I said no, she said that I was no longer going to our sport trainings. I did not respond to that anymore.


Another 10 days of NC, she was breadcrumbing again - asking meaningless questions about her computer battery. I responded shortly but politely. She then said that if I wasn't going to trainings just to avoid her then I could start again as she wouldn't make them because of work anywas. I said ok thanks. Then she asked if I was ok. I didn't respond.


An hour later she texted that she didn't deserve being ignored, that she did nothing wrong to me and that if I didn't want to speak to her I should just say so. Somehow, I was very calm about this all and I didn't feel any need to respond to any of her questions, accusations, breadcrumbs, anything. I still love her very much, I still want her back if she wants to return... But I don't feel any urge to ask her to do anything nor do I feel any need to explain myself anymore.


I did respond, though, saying that I don't feel like I did anything wrong to her either. And that if we are to not be together, really end the relationship and move on, we just shouldn't be in contact as it would only complicate and prolong the process. And that it's not like I didn't like her or feel anything negative toward her. She responded with some more questions like "is it helping?" and I said "we'll see". I then left it at that.


It is strange but NC really is working in the sense that most naysayers here will advertise. It does help to forget and move on. I still have the feelings and everything, only everything just feels more distant. Now I did say in the beginning that definitely do not want to move on. That still stands and I deliberately do all this purely just to retain my sanity. Very selfish in many ways but necessary at the same time.


I still believe she might come back. And I still very much desire that she does. And I am going to keep working on that (and keep working on myself). Only I know that if it doesn't happen, I will not let myself panic or do stupid things.


Here are some points that I found important during my journey so far:


1. I accepted that things are as they are and there is one thing I can influence at the moment - myself.


2. I worked on myself, both physically and mentally, exercised regularly, took on difficult projects at work. I have a long history of succeeding if I spend enough energy. So I succeeded. Lost almost 15% weight and feel very fit now. Projects at work are successful and both my boss and my team seem happier. Needless to say that all these results feed the ego and I feel satisfied with myself. As a side-effect, all that busy-ness takes thoughts away from the BU and my ex.


3. At no point was I impolite or even rude to my ex. It was difficult at times as some of our conversations tended to slip toward the whose fault was what, but we ended those in time. In the first 2-3 weeks I did ask (not necessarily beg) her to reconsider and wrote her letters and sad texts but once I entered NC (or LC if you wish) I was always polite, responded in a friendly manner and never ventured outside the current topic. I don't want to ruin whatever is left between us - I never know what the future holds for the two of us. I do not say I didn't have my moments - there were times I cursed her name in my mind blaming her for all the VERY bad feelings I was going through, picturing her all happy in her new relationship, ignoring me for so long after all that used to be between us... but I would never ever say any of that loud to her or anybody else.


4. Some days were very rough and I just couldn't concentrate on anything but her and what she'd said or how things used to be and all that made me even more sad realizing it was all gone and probably not ever coming back. Had 4 or 5 such bad patches in the last 2 months. I have two techniques to deal with this:

a. One that learned here on this forum - I had 3 or 4 happy thoughts ready in my mind (successful projects at work and what else was coming, improvements I wanted to do on my car, etc.). Whenever I felt like my mind was slipping toward the bad thoughts, I just forced myself to think about the happy thoughts. I am actually good at shutting my mind from hurtful thoughts - sometimes it's better to go through the bad thoughts, sometimes the pain is just too bigh, so I can command my brain to think about something else.

b. I read a story from a world traveller that whenever she was close to giving up because of tiredness, hunger, thirst, lack of sleep... she just thought about the present moment - not the future, not the past. Just to survive the present moment. I adopted the same - whenever I felt really bad, I just said to myself I only had to survive the next day, the next hour, the next minute... "you just have to survive this one moment, just get through now"... never let my mind wander off to think how long this would take. Just had to survive now.


5. NEVER EVER under any circumstances did I think or ask her about her new relationship. For all I know there isn't any as this was never confirmed and I am only guessing through signs. Her relationship with somebody else is not my business while we're not officially together and I honestly don't want any information about it. Nor do I want to picture any details of it. For me, this doesn't exist and I don't care if it does. There is a movie that I like where the main character once say "every girl is with somebody before she's with you"... I tend to live by this.


It took over three months to collect myself and be at peace WITH MYSELF. Am I completely over it? No, far from it I guess. Will she come back? If I had to guess at this point, I would say very unlikely. But I have most of my strength back and I have a goal. And as I said earlier, I have a history of succeeding...

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Just a side note, a small observation on my ex's behaviour. When she ended things over 3 months ago, I knew she wasn't comfortable about it. I appreciate it must have been difficult for her. I am sure she had and still has strong feelings for me.


At first she didn't want to talk to me for days, avoided any of my questions like the plague, never wanted to talk about us at that point. When we met at that time, she knew I wanted he back so much and cared for her. I saw it made her uncomfortable.


A few weeks later, she seemed more relaxed about us, though the tension was still there. But we were able to talk and laugh together.


Then she was ok with us not talking at all, didn't contact me for over a month and I don't know how she felt.


Now it seems that she's upset about me not talking to her, she snaps at me over text that I don't come to trainings anymore (because of her)... not sure why she should care what I do or why, after all, she left my life and didn't want me in hers. Now that would not be exactly correct as she so much wanted to continue "being friends"... but I just wouldn't have it. Maybe all the irritation is just because she can't have it her way...

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You've done the right thing and good on for you not giving into her childish attempts at foricing you to communicate by emotionally blackmailing you. You have requested space and NC and she kept trying to break it. Very disrespectful on her part.


It's vital for your own healing that you continue on the path you are on. She wants to have her cake and eat it, by this i mean keep you and her new BF in her life. She chose this life with her new BF so now she needs to own it.


From what i see you dong everything correctly, keep it up and within a month or 2 you will be so much better off. Well done to you.


Personally i'd also let go of any hope of reconcilliation as well.

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Thanks ninjabib. I don't really feel like I've done everything correctly - is there even such a thing is these situations? - but I appreciate the validation.


The situation continued today when my ex texted more about that it makes her sad that we cannot be friends and we don't give a damn about one another at all. I responded that on the contrary, I do care a lot. At which she said that it doesn't look like it if I want her out of my life completely, and that obviously our relationship did not have any added value that I would like to keep. I said that the relationship had more value to me that she may think right now, but that relationship is no more. She still insisted that there are many forms of the relationship other than partnership. I just said that I still feel the same regardles of "form". She then said that she'd like to collect some stuff from my place, to which I agreed a bit reluctantly.


She came over, no hug or kiss and I did not offer. Collected her stuff (that she probably didn't quite need), asked how I was and if I was going to come to our trainings and I responded friendly but briefly. Doing fine and no. Before she left, she asked "when are we going to see each other again", to which I responded "probably never" and laughing about it... I was starting recall all those feelings and of course my mood was going sour. As she had one foot out of the door, she uttered that she wanted to let me know she was with someone and thought it fair to tell me before I learn from elsewhere. I didn't move an eyelid as first, I still believe she had a thing going on for a number of months before we broke up - maybe not physically but there was definitely something, I could read that much in her - and second, I kind of felt she expected a reaction. I wasn't going to give it to her.


It saddens me, of course, as we're far more detached than I originally thought. The new relationship does not bother me that much as at her age, they come and go and honestly, it's extremely hard to live with her, requires an incredible amount of patience... and today's guys are all but patient. But I'm somewhat confused by all her anger (almost) about us not talking and yet all she really wanted to tell me is that she has somebody else. Now I'm as pragmatic as they come and I do get what she says about "the partnership is gone but that doesn't mean we're not very good friends anymore. Somehow, she has it in her mind that partnership is just an upgrade to regular friendship and one can switch and downgrade at a snap of their fingers. Or so it seems. I know I would be able to do this if I didn't love her anymore. But I can't while I still do which she doesn't seem to understand and gets upset at me for not wanting it.


At this point, I will probably miss the trainings more than anything. I have dedicated more than 10 years to this sport and now I just feel I can't go there. If I do and she is there I would have to practice with her (it would be considered extremely rude to refuse, under the code) and I know it would only have more negative impact on my mental state. If she is not there, everything would just keep reminding of her and I would just miss her more. The trainings are where we met and they formed a significant part of our life together. If I don't go there she will feel bad as she believes I don't go because I'm avoiding her and she gets upset. It's very difficult to convince her that it's not about her. It is difficult to even convince myself. Because it is about her and it isn't at the same time. A deadlock situation for me. It will not take long for all my friends there to take notice I've vanished. I am expecting them to contact me any day now to ask why I don't show up.


Sorry for the long vent... just had to get it all out. Will feel better I'm sure.

Thanks for all your patience and for being here.

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Well there is no correct way maybe I should have phrased that better. What I mean is you have picked yourself up on the floor and started improving and moving on with your life. That is how you heal from a breakup to my mind.



Today's talk and visit is much of the same. Trying to keep you hanging on as backup in case the new guy doesn't work out. Again little concern or respect for your wishes. Its all about her.


Her anger is her ego lashing out. She can't understand how you have gone from someone who wanted her back and was clear with that to a guy moving on with his life. She's lost her hold over you and she's more than aware of it. Again, she's not thinking of you but herself.


As for your sport/training you should not give it up but I find it hard to believe there is not a single other place it could be done?

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Yeah I got this the first time :) Was more of a rhetorical question on my part.

Guess you're right about her trying to keep me hanging. She still has stuff at my place and even has keys. Whenever she wanted somethin of hers I told her she could collect it as she has keys but somehow she never has the keys with her. She mentioned yesterday that she would come to return them (though I doubt she's really planning on doing this anytime soon). And yes, I agree her mood is all about herself. She feels hurt that she's losing me and whether I like it or not I have to leave her with it.


The sports trainings are difficult. There are other places but they are all interconnected with mutual friends everywhere. Right now, I don't really want to see our mutual friends. I do better dealing with my problems on my own... always have. But thank you for your concern.

Thanks again for the strength this forum is giving me.

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  • 1 month later...

A little update just for the sake of it…


She texted again at the end of October to check if I was going to a sports event. I replied that I wasn’t planning to. This is a regular event that we both went to for the past 7 years and me even longer. Never missed. She got upset and asked why and then asked if she was a stranger to me. I didn’t respond to that one and let it be.


Another month and another text… would I be at my place over this weekend? I usually go out of the city for weekends, so I said no. Another stuff she would like to collect, apparently. I checked and confirmed to her that what she wanted wasn’t there.


Then a bit of breadcrumbing with “how are you”, “why don’t you call sometimes”… I didn’t really respond.


Then it came. She blamed me of cutting her out of my life and so on. I just replied that we have talked about this and agreed on that we are not friends. She asked if it means that we will never see each other and I replied that I will always be happy to see her.


She then said “I’m really sorry about all this, not a day goes by when I don’t remember you and miss you. But I’ll leave you alone for some time again…”


I replied that I was sorry too bu some things are just hard for me to turn off. To which she responded that I should then understand that she also cannot just cut me off. I said no I didn’t really understand, given the situation.


I didn’t want to leave on a bad note so wished her well and asked what the matter was when the last time I saw her she seemed happy. She said that was a long time ago and many things have changed since then. She also mentioned her health problems for the last few months and I wished her to get well soon.


I keep the convo short and usually end it before it gets anywhere. I really do want to talk to her but at the same time I know it would do me no good. She keeps coming back with more texts…


I am guessing that her new RS is not going the way she planned and I genuinely believe her when she says she is missing me. That does not mean she would like to get back together, though… or at least she did not say anything that would imply that. And I don’t really want anything else.


I still want her back but all the pain from the breakup is under control. I still feel it but I can beat it with other positives in my life. The last few months I set myself on a course of success and I do exactly that - succeed. I concentrate mostly on work and the results are now coming in. Other people notice and I have been offered a place in the C-level management in the company. This of course feeds my ego and proves the fact that if I want to succeed, I will.


Not sure if the same applies to human relationships but this one I cannot really control so I leave it be and develop as it will. Not hoping or waiting for anything really, but if it happens, I will let myself be pleasantly surprised.


To any of you going through the turmoil of a break up - don’t ever give up! Concentrate on what you’re good at and improve it. There will be success if you are persistent and this will fuel you on your way forward. There will be bad moments, of course, memories, dreams, loneliness… but it will become a bit more manageable. I now feel much stronger to deal with whatever my EX throws at me - good or bad.

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