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don’t know what to do: letting go or finding a middle ground


Ellaho
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Hi guys as i detailed in my previous posts about my breakup with my ex of three years and how it kind of progressed into a fwb (we only did it 4 times it wasnt a regular thing). We are both 19 and its been about 4 months since breaking up. I went to his house yesterday because i wanted to see the “vibe” that would be there between us. Before going over i specifically told my ex that i wanted to know if we could work on our relationship or i think it would be best to cut off contact. At his house everything felt fine, it felt like we were together again. However, at the end i popped the question again and i also couldnt stop crying, he would dab my face with his blanket and hug me. The thing is, my ex is the “go with the flow” “everything will be find in the end” type of person. He dislikes listening to our issues and thinks that we should focus on the present instead of planning for the future..? He kept comforting and kissing and hugging and everything just made me feel like things were the same. I’d turn the other way in bed and he’d get sad and want me to face him. He says he simply doesnt want a relationship and to live life. My family members and friends have said maybe its because we’ve been together at a young age for so long that he wants to experience new things. This makes me sad. However, honestly my ex is an introvert he literally does not speak to anyone besides me. Since breaking up ive had lots of attention from guys so it doesn’t make sense. Recently he’s been realising this and making it known to me that im the only company he has. I love him, we’ve been talking for everyday for 4 years, we went to school together and basically that just makes the attachment worse. I want to let go but i also feel like im losing a friend and a part of myself. So when people tell me to just “move on” i just cant. I don’t know what to do. A part of me wants to cut things off to see if he actually cares enough to do something about it but apart of me just doesnt have the courage to do so.

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It's up to you to decide how long you want to put up with doing things his way and living in limbo.

 

One thing I recommend you do for sure...cut off the non-committed sex, sexting and sharing his bed.

 

In a way, what he says makes sense...what would he be getting out of calling what you're doing a "relationship" that he's not currently getting?

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It's up to you to decide how long you want to put up with doing things his way and living in limbo.

 

One thing I recommend you do for sure...cut off the non-committed sex, sexting and sharing his bed.

 

In a way, what he says makes sense...what would he be getting out of calling what you're doing a "relationship" that he's not currently getting?

Should i implement NC, apart of me wants to send him a huge paragraph telling him directly how I feel before doing so

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I've been following your story since the beginning. Here with some thoughts, stories, and observations to process as you see fit.

 

What you are experiencing right now—and him too, but since I don't have a portal into his emotional state we'll keep things about you—is what everyone experiences after a breakup. That's not very comforting, I know, since this is your life, your feelings, and right now it's all hitting you like an avalanche. Hugs on all that. Big ones.

 

Still, I ask you to try to see it that way for a minute. Everyone, in the wake of a big breakup, is confused, lonely, hurting, and everyone has an instinct to want their ex to be the person to make all that go away. Put crudely: everyone kinda sorta still wants sleep with their ex and kinda sorta still wants to get back together.

 

It's all human, emotions that have been making the world spin since the Big Bang, or at least since tadpoles turned into humans or God created Adam and Eve or whatever your belief system. Right now you, and him, are experiencing shades of those emotions, and reacting to them.

 

Here's the flip side, in similar generalizations: No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who is an emotional mess, and no one wants to spend time with people who make them feel like an emotional mess. No one. All that is exhausting, unsatisfying. So no one, really, wants to be with the kind of people each of you are right now.

 

That's where things get super confusing, especially because people, since the beginning of time, will still have sex with people who are emotional messes and people will have sex in order to make messy emotions feel less messy. That's human too, much like the human urge to stick our hands in open fires even when we know it will burn. And, right now, both of you are playing with fire.

 

The majority of people on the planet have, at some point, had regular, blurry sex with an ex. They've tried to treat the burn by throwing themselves into the fire—and, well, most of them have ended up in your shoes: more burned up. On this site you're getting a small subset of those burn victims, most of them much older than you, trying to help you see what's what right now. I have lived exactly 20 years longer than you, for reference. I have only not had sex with an "big ex" once, and it took me until I was 37 to resist that fire—to understand that it never, ever leads to happily ever after, or even much happiness.

 

Neither does replaying a breakup a zillion times over in hopes of getting a different outcome, which is really all you two are doing, at least so far. Breaking up again and again and again, on a loop, hoping one more spin round will land on "back together," like a gambling junkie at the slot machines hoping for a jackpot as he goes broke. You get little flashes of hope, and flashes of skin, but the thing is? In the process neither of you are becoming people you want to be, or be with. You are a mess and he is a mess.

 

So, sure, he will dab your eyes as you cry, but he's also thinking: ugh—I don't want this, just as you are thinking the very same thing. He'll feel kind of jealous when other dudes are into you, because he's human, but he's also thinking: ugh—I don't want to feel like this, just as somewhere you are thinking that you don't want him back just because he's jealous. You're kind of trying to clean up a mess by making it messier.

 

Hard advice? Stop. Stop all of it. Give yourself a window—a month, say—to not do everything you're doing. No contact, no sex, no big proclamations. Sit with your feelings for a minute and see where they settle. Thirty days is not an eternity. It is doable, and you'll thank yourself later, whether that's being back with him or not.

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Should i implement NC, apart of me wants to send him a huge paragraph telling him directly how I feel before doing so

 

Are you saying he has no idea how you feel?

 

You know he already knows. So why bother?

 

You could tell him you're stepping away because all of this is just making things more confusing for you. Yes, he'll try to convince you you're wrong because he really likes the commitment-free sex, the sexting and the companionship without actually having to be in a real relationship with you. He gets everything he wants and what do you get? A few hours with him where you feel good, then afterward you're more confused and more hurt because he keeps telling you he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you.

 

Telling him ONE MORE TIME how you feel isn't going to change that and I think you know it.

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Should i implement NC, apart of me wants to send him a huge paragraph telling him directly how I feel before doing so

 

Oh God! Why do you think this would make any diffence. He does not want to be with you, except for sex.

 

You haven't followed any of our advice, why do you continue to ask?

Edited by Hollyj
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I've been following your story since the beginning.

 

Hard advice? Stop. Stop all of it. Give yourself a window—a month, say—to not do everything you're doing. No contact, no sex, no big proclamations. Sit with your feelings for a minute and see where they settle. Thirty days is not an eternity. It is doable, and you'll thank yourself later, whether that's being back with him or not.

 

- Thanks for following up on my posts, honestly i feel like a mess. I’m a really rational person and i’m so used to seeing things objectively but im really struggling to right now. I like to analyse the situation and discuss it contrary to my ex who likes to “forget about it” as if the problems will disappear if that happens. Your answer helped quite a bit.

 

- I’m pretty set on doing no contact although i’m not sure for how long... its crazy how people think you can just cut someone off after years of talking everyday. Sometimes i wished he’d done something really bad to make the process easier...

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Oh God! Why do you think this would make any diffence. He does not want to be with you, except for sex.

 

You haven't followed any of our advice, why do you continue to ask?

 

It’s almost like a coping method right now. He often at times just talks to me about his day and work like we used to. Honestly his motives feel blurred right now.

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Are you saying he has no idea how you feel?

 

You know he already knows. So why bother?

 

You could tell him you're stepping away because all of this is just making things more confusing for you.

 

Whenever I try to talk to him he thinks that i want to resume to being bf/gf immediately, and feels pressured even though I assure him i am not expecting that. Its hard to get my message across when he either doesnt comprehend it or will brief over it and go “ok” so that he doesnt get “stressed” out by it. The last time i tried to talk to him about it he would get fustrated saying that he was “annoyed” because now he cant “focus on other things”.

 

I don’t want to come off as someone thats sends paragraphs and paragraphs which is annoying but i also cant exxactly shorten my thoughts into three words so that i dont come across as pressuring

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Whenever I try to talk to him he thinks that i want to resume to being bf/gf immediately, and feels pressured even though I assure him i am not expecting that. Its hard to get my message across when he either doesnt comprehend it or will brief over it and go “ok” so that he doesnt get “stressed” out by it. The last time i tried to talk to him about it he would get fustrated saying that he was “annoyed” because now he cant “focus on other things”.

 

I don’t want to come off as someone thats sends paragraphs and paragraphs which is annoying but i also cant exxactly shorten my thoughts into three words so that i dont come across as pressuring

 

You're trying to pretend you don't want to be back together because you think having some of him or "going slow" is better than nothing.

 

Like I've said several times, HE is getting everything exactly the way he wants it. And you're going along with it just to try to hold onto him.

 

But it's not working because what he wants and what you want are not the same.

 

Giving him commitment free sex will make him want a relationship with you LESS, not more.

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It’s almost like a coping method right now. He often at times just talks to me about his day and work like we used to. Honestly his motives feel blurred right now.

 

I know it is hard, but you have to cut him off. This is the only way for you to move on. You must go no contact and block him on everything. You are only prolonging your pain.

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- Thanks for following up on my posts, honestly i feel like a mess. I’m a really rational person and i’m so used to seeing things objectively but im really struggling to right now. I like to analyse the situation and discuss it contrary to my ex who likes to “forget about it” as if the problems will disappear if that happens. Your answer helped quite a bit.

 

- I’m pretty set on doing no contact although i’m not sure for how long... its crazy how people think you can just cut someone off after years of talking everyday. Sometimes i wished he’d done something really bad to make the process easier...

 

Here’s the thing: you’re not, right now, being rational or analyzing things, so you’ve got to chill with the story that you’re the one trying to “address” things while he’s trying to “forget.”

 

You’ve broken up and you’re still engaging in a breakup, while sleeping with someone you used to be with. You want to be rational and/or analytical? Cool—that’s what you can do in silence, alone in a room, with friends, whatever. But with him? It’s not that, just the illusion of that.

 

What is it really? As others have said, it’s you doing everything possible to not be broken up. It’s breaking up and breaking up and breaking up, with some sex in between break up conversations. I know you know that, reading those words. You’re trying not lose him, to keep him, to “win.” Will sex lead to a win? Will another conversation? Does him getting jealous mean you’re winning? That’s your headspace, and it’s totally human.

 

End result? You won’t get the win you want. Sucks. And it really sucks to have to be rational about that, and to analyze what comes in the wake of that. It’s painful. But at some point you’re going to have to ask yourself which is more painful: actually letting go and analyzing all that, rationally, or doing what you’re doing, irrationally, to avoid it?

 

I know it’s hard. But you’re not yourself right now, not really being the woman you want to be, and drifting down the path where you start thinking men are all awful because you allowed a man to be awful. That means that even if you do win—if you can guilt or sex or jealous him into returning, which you might—it will leave an icky residue, a win that feels like a loss.

 

Stuff to think about, or not, as you see fit.

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He's just using you and doesn't want to commit to a serious relationship with you. Even though he's an introvert, he's still only 19 years old and will sow his wild oats for a long time.

 

Nothing will change. You need to ask yourself if you're satisfied with this current arrangement. If not, date other guys since they're interested in you.

 

Moving on is easy once you increase your wisdom, self confidence, high self worth, self esteem and strength.

 

You'll get courage once you realize that he's not willing to be the type of man you want him to be.

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You’re right OP, it’s strange to suddenly feel cut off from someone you knew so well.

 

Welcome to breaking up.

 

It sucks. Most of us have been there; it’s a normal but painful part of ending a relationship. It will hurt and feel very strange for a while. But eventually, you will get used to not having him in your life all the time.

 

As for you being the only person he speaks to - either he’s an incredibly emotionally unhealthy person, or he does in fact talk to other people you are unaware of. If he’s broken up with you, he will eventually meet other people anyway. It’s best you get used to that notion.

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That won't make him want to come back. Just like offering no-strings sex didn't. In fact all the games and jealousy tactics you've been trying have backfired. You come off as insincere and manipulative that way. These games are easy to spot. The more games you play and the clingier you get the more you'll keep pushing him away. Running to him, crying in his bed then the next day a no contact message just places you in the flaky/crazy category. Why not just pull back and sort yourself out.

Should i implement NC, apart of me wants to send him a huge paragraph telling him directly how I feel before doing so
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