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How to go from break up during a break to back together


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Here's some more big picture stuff to think about.

 

From where I sit, you're at an awesome juncture in your life. You're 32, single, standing at the precipice of what can be a real prime, a paradigm shift. You've got a little self-work to do, which will apply to you at every phase of your life, but let's focus on this one for a moment.

 

You can stop getting in your own way and try to accept that you're way more wobbly, inside, than an adult should be. You're 8 months out of a 10 year relationship, with your eyes still adjusting to the light. This six month thing? This was you putting on sunglasses to avoid the light. You've got a husk to shed—a kind of post-adolescent frame of mind, hardened over a decade-long relationship, that is out of date for this phase in your life. It is limiting you experience of romance at a time when that experience can be more rich and expansive than ever.

 

Exert a touch of patience. Give yourself, say, three months to abstain from the pursuit of romance. Those 90 days may sound like an eternity right now, with a swollen heart and women to swipe through in the palm of your hand. But in the scheme of things they are about 9 seconds. A few blinks of the eye that can change things for you, for the better. The women will all still be in your phone after 90 days, and on the planet too, but your approach and attitude will be different. You'll be less thirsty because you learned to quench that on your own. Result? You will have a freakin' blast out there, and likely look back at something like this, and even the big thing from your 20s, as kind of shallow.

 

Or you can make another choice. You can double, triple, and quadruple down on the place you're in right now, the headspace you're in, which is a very thirsty place, a place where you are trying to fill some kind of void at all costs. You can keep flailing about her, while trying to slow that flailing by swiping around, bouncing around. And you will become that person—at 34, at 36, beyond. A void filler. You'll have fun too, even relationships. But they'll likely have a certain edge, this familiar edge creeping in the moment things turn even slightly sidewise.

 

Red pill or blue pill?

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Also I have the feeling that you guys think when I talk about her not being respectful I am talking about her not wanting to be in a relationship with me. That's not what I mean. She does not have to be with me if she does not want to. But she should treat me respectfully even after separating from me - that's what I mean.

 

Think about this critically for a moment. What does her treating you respectfully even after separating look like? Past the specifics, I think it's treating you in a way that allows you to feel a little better than you feel right now. Which is totally human. It's also selfish.

 

She is hardly being a witch. She is being a young woman who, a month ago, very clearly expressed to you a change in feelings. That, my friend, is respect. Respect of her truth, and respect to you in sharing it, best she could and can. Personal truths are not diamond sharp. The edges are blurry. You know this. I highly doubt that, in your 10-year-long relationship, you expressed yourself 100 percent of the time in a way that made your girlfriend feel good, comforted, respected. That's not because you're a monster, but because you're a human.

 

Extend that same grace to others. If you can extend it to others in moments like this—well, that's a golden thing. That's the beginning of really learning what listening is, which is being able to really hear things we really don't want to hear.

 

Or, think about it like this: If she could behave, right now, in separation, exactly the way you want her to then you would not be separating. You'd probably be together, and this whole thread would not exist. That's always the sad irony in these moments. If you could have that "one little thing"—the perfect text, the perfect string of sentences that could soothe you—you wouldn't be here.

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OP what you experiencing is a sense of entitlement in a way. She doesn't owe you a thing now the relationship is over. Sure it would be nice if people treated others with the respect they were but it doesn't happen. In your head you are trying to rationalise it that she owes you to be the same as you treated her. She doesn't.

 

You are just trying to hang onto something that is long gone.

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If she is being a witch right now so what? It really doesn't matter. In fact, all the more reason to cut her from your life.

 

As you keep mentioning the money i assume this means you have something in writing between you both you can legally enforce in which case givre her your bank details and how you want paying. Once this is agreed, you can block her.

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Not sure why it is entitlement - it's basically what my friends are saying. They tell me she is being a witch right now and that it's not cool what she is doing. Are they just trying to make me feel better? I don't know

 

Also she literally owes me something 😉

 

You could contact her with a repayment agreement. You could use Android or Apple Pay or some other electronic platform so there's no need to meet up to get the payments. If you want to be amenable to what she chooses to pay you monthly of course that is up to you.

 

The "things" you mentioned she has of yours...well, you've been living for what, several weeks without them so they're probably not absolutely necessary in order for you to conduct your life. So you could give her the option of shipping them to you or you can choose to just live without them.

 

I know you want the money and "things" to keep you attached to her, but if some time in the future the two of you were to revisit the relationship wouldn't you want it to be with a completely clean slate? Not because of money or "things"?

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Yeah that clean slate is why I want to have my things and give her hers so that there really is nothing connecting us anymore.

And the disrespect is just because everyone else in my life is telling me that what she is doing is not cool when there are unresolved "things" between you. Also my friends are far from as pessimistic as you guys that one would need anything in writing - it's obvious what the right thing to do is and she should act accordingly. If she doesn't that's a sign of character then. That's all I mean with being respectful. Not wanting to be with me is ok - pretending to not know that there is still something that keeps me attached to her is a different story.

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I wouldn't worry too much about what your friends are saying. They are telling you what they think you like to hear which is natural.

 

If she already has this loan i thought you'd already have an agreement set up by now anyway in terms of paying you back. I just dont know why you need to keep in contact or at least have the option of contact.

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Yeah that clean slate is why I want to have my things and give her hers so that there really is nothing connecting us anymore.

And the disrespect is just because everyone else in my life is telling me that what she is doing is not cool when there are unresolved "things" between you. Also my friends are far from as pessimistic as you guys that one would need anything in writing - it's obvious what the right thing to do is and she should act accordingly. If she doesn't that's a sign of character then. That's all I mean with being respectful. Not wanting to be with me is ok - pretending to not know that there is still something that keeps me attached to her is a different story.

 

Sigh...

 

"Should"...the word that is the downfall of so, so many people.

 

She "should" just know to pay you back. But you yourself said you are only going after repayment because the two of you are no longer a couple. Have you told her you expect repayment now that you two are broken up, or is that something else she "should" know?

 

An agreement in writing is the best way to go. Otherwise, how are you ever going to legally recover your funds if she chooses to NOT do what you and your friends think she "should" do?

 

And you could just send her "things" to her. And you can just let your totally unneeded "things" go since you've gone this long without them.

 

Maybe she sees the "things" as irrelevant and not anything that would keep you emotionally attached to her. Just because you think she "should" know that doesn't mean she does.

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On the phone when I talked about that I want to meet her the following week I told her it's because we need to talk and that there is for example the money issue. To which you guys know she replied with "let me get home first". I also then tried to respect her wish of no contact (ok I wrote her that good luck message) and only responded when she wrote to me.

 

So yeah I think in this case she "should" know.

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Sorry, but your friends sound kind of entitled too.

 

Personal story. When I was around your age my girlfriend of 2.5 years came home from a trip, her mood more distant than I'd ever seen. I asked what's up. She took a deep breath and told me that she was confused, thinking a lot about how she'd never been fully independent, was craving that, was thinking she needed to be on her own.

 

Could I have been more devastated? Don't think so. Might as well have driven an 18-wheeler into my living room, into my soul. She was—is—a spectacular human being, one I so loved, so believed our story was far from over. With as much calm as I could summon, but with an ego that was set on fire, I asked if she wanted to break up. She said she didn't know, was confused. She cried, I cried. That scene played out a few more times for two weeks or so, eventually leading to us breaking up—her breaking up with me—and my heart breaking in a zillion little pieces.

 

Did that make her a witch? Was she a witch, afterward, when we stayed in touch a bit, and she sent me what some refer to as mixed signals, telling me she cared about me, missed me, but also that she was still confused, still craving independence? Was she a witch because she had sex with me a few more times, but afterward returned to the state of confusion, became distant, even a little callous, over text? Was she a witch because she wanted to be independent and had decided that me, and our relationship, was a hindrance to that?

 

No. One, she was a person, herself, and I always valued that more than I valued what role she played in my story. She was battling a lot of contradictory thoughts and feelings. Two, I was engaging in all that, engaging after she'd rung the bell for a simple reason: I loved her, believed in us, and was willing to put myself out there in the fire a little more in that faith. And, big picture, she was always being honest in the message she was sending me. I listened. After a bit I decided the fire was too hot. Was what it was. Respected her truth, my truth, and the differences between them. A humbling chapter I'm grateful to have had. I guess I could have cursed her to the moon, but where's the respect in that? She's a great person, so am I. The greatness we could make together had come to an end, just not on my clock.

 

You can keep harping on the money stuff, and you can paint her as a witch for how she's being distant, evasive. There's some comfort in that, I suppose. You don't need to spend even half a second questioning yourself, since you're the good guy who got spurned by the witch.

 

Or you can also stand an inch taller by getting an inch humbler. You yourself said that, if you were together, you wouldn't care about the money. Now that you're apart that should hold true—that it was a kind gesture, not a transaction predicated upon her staying with you. From another angle it is you, the self-conceived altruist, who is displaying some witch-like tendencies, frustrated that the spells you cast are not having the intended effect.

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Agreed she's just been clear it's over and now it does seem to be sinking in slowly with you. I think you are just really hurt, which is completely understandable, but you need to let go.

 

Tell her to repay 100 a month on a set date each month and block and heal. No need for anymore contact.

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Yeah I need to change my mindset. Trying my best - went out yesterday and had a good time with friends.

 

It was just not this black and white to me so far as it seems to be to you guys. Once I told her that I want this to work out again I was under the assumption that she will come back from her trip, take a couple days and think and then we talk about what she came up with - just like how we discussed it before she went away. I always thought the goal of all of this was to figure out and fix her "problem" (her words) so I waited eagerly for her to tell me out loud what her thinking lead to. When she wrote me the message last week that she is back my head started spinning for no logical reason and I just went into this spiral of trying to find positive clues in her texts.

But I guess she already has made up her mind and also told me about it just not with words but with her behavior and that's what made me think it's witchy even though it's in fact not.

 

So far we agreed on her coming to my place tomorrow (she said it's because it's more relaxed there with her living with flatmates but I think it's so she can leave when she wants to - which is understandable and I just said that she should bring whatever she can find of my stuff). I noticed that parts of me would like to see her place for a last time though. I know it would probably make this harder for me however and am not sure why I would like that - is that normal?

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So far we agreed on her coming to my place tomorrow (she said it's because it's more relaxed there with her living with flatmates but I think it's so she can leave when she wants to - which is understandable and I just said that she should bring whatever she can find of my stuff). I noticed that parts of me would like to see her place for a last time though. I know it would probably make this harder for me however and am not sure why I would like that - is that normal?

 

I think going to her place would be a big mistake. You would be going into it already emotional, knowing it's the last time you'd be there, and it would certainly influence how you feel when you're talking to her. It would trigger too many memories for you and make the whole situation that much harder. It's just not a good idea.

 

It's better that she's coming to yours, under the circumstances, though I still think you're going to find this conversation very difficult.

 

To answer your question, yes, what you're feeling is normal. Break-ups are awful and knock you sideways. Dumpees look for ways to stay connected while dumpers tend to want more distance. It's a painful dance that slowly gets less painful over time, as you work towards acceptance and have less contact with her.

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She just left and it went ok - it was nice seeing her but it was tough. We talked about her trip and then about our situation. I tried to hold my head high and just told her that I realized what I did wrong and that I can't blame her for anything. She started crying and I realized this is also not easy for her. I gave her her things and she mentioned the money on her own and that she will pay me back in pieces and wants to also reimburse me for the flights. She mentioned things she forgot to bring and that we could meet in a couple weeks to exchange them. I told her that's not a good idea and that I will block her and her friends' FB and Instagram to make it easier for me. I also said that if she contacts me I need it to be because she figured out what she wants (besides emergencies obviously - I told her that if she is ever in need of something that I can help her with then she should let me know)

 

Well it sucks - she looked beautiful and even wore the bracelet I gave her as a gift before her trip. I did not want her to leave but it makes no sense holding onto something that isn't real anymore. I am sad and crying right now.

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She just left and it went ok - it was nice seeing her but it was tough. We talked about her trip and then about our situation. I tried to hold my head high and just told her that I realized what I did wrong and that I can't blame her for anything. She started crying and I realized this is also not easy for her. I gave her her things and she mentioned the money on her own and that she will pay me back in pieces and wants to also reimburse me for the flights. She mentioned things she forgot to bring and that we could meet in a couple weeks to exchange them. I told her that's not a good idea and that I will block her and her friends' FB and Instagram to make it easier for me. I also said that if she contacts me I need it to be because she figured out what she wants (besides emergencies obviously - I told her that if she is ever in need of something that I can help her with then she should let me know)

 

Well it sucks - she looked beautiful and even wore the bracelet I gave her as a gift before her trip. I did not want her to leave but it makes no sense holding onto something that isn't real anymore. I am sad and crying right now.

Nice Work OP [emoji106][emoji123]

Endings are sad but new beginnings are exciting and full of possibility, you will do great

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She just left and it went ok - it was nice seeing her but it was tough. We talked about her trip and then about our situation. I tried to hold my head high and just told her that I realized what I did wrong and that I can't blame her for anything. She started crying and I realized this is also not easy for her. I gave her her things and she mentioned the money on her own and that she will pay me back in pieces and wants to also reimburse me for the flights. She mentioned things she forgot to bring and that we could meet in a couple weeks to exchange them. I told her that's not a good idea and that I will block her and her friends' FB and Instagram to make it easier for me. I also said that if she contacts me I need it to be because she figured out what she wants (besides emergencies obviously - I told her that if she is ever in need of something that I can help her with then she should let me know)

 

Well it sucks - she looked beautiful and even wore the bracelet I gave her as a gift before her trip. I did not want her to leave but it makes no sense holding onto something that isn't real anymore. I am sad and crying right now.

 

Good job! It's hard. It's depressing. It sucks. It sounds like it went about as good as it could have for you. Now you can focus on healing and moving on. Good luck, OP.

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She just left and it went ok - it was nice seeing her but it was tough. We talked about her trip and then about our situation. I tried to hold my head high and just told her that I realized what I did wrong and that I can't blame her for anything. She started crying and I realized this is also not easy for her. I gave her her things and she mentioned the money on her own and that she will pay me back in pieces and wants to also reimburse me for the flights. She mentioned things she forgot to bring and that we could meet in a couple weeks to exchange them. I told her that's not a good idea and that I will block her and her friends' FB and Instagram to make it easier for me. I also said that if she contacts me I need it to be because she figured out what she wants (besides emergencies obviously - I told her that if she is ever in need of something that I can help her with then she should let me know)

 

Well it sucks - she looked beautiful and even wore the bracelet I gave her as a gift before her trip. I did not want her to leave but it makes no sense holding onto something that isn't real anymore. I am sad and crying right now.

 

Bravo. Really feeling for you, and really feeling you. I know you're in pain, but you sound more honest right now—about your own feelings, and the situation—than you have in your other posts. That's no small thing. Kind of the biggest thing, in my opinion, and the thing to hold on to as you let this go.

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Please keep them coming 😄

Feels good hearing what I did was the right thing.

Hope you don't mind me using this thread to somehow protocol how I feel and what I am going through.

 

Still lying in bed and my head is spinning. I have to think about questions I did not ask and still don't understand why we had to break up when we could have worked on the things that bothered her. She just said it still feels like the right decision to her (while crying) but I can't understand that right now. Why not try and see if it got better? Why throw everything away when it is obviously hard for both of us?

 

Guess that's how a moment of weakness feels like - got to stay strong and trust that what I said yesterday was all I could do.

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