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Anyone have an ex who runs away from conversation and is very indecisive?


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He initiated the breakup citing he felt we wanted different things (him wanting a lighter more easy going relationship, me pushing to settle down - this is after almost 4 years together and we are in our late 30’s!) started fighting everyday about anything and everything. The way he handled it was so messy, one day it’s what he wants and the next day he’s unsure getting mad at me for removing my things from the apartment. Finally we go no contact for months until the quarantine hits and I reach out with a message for his safety telling him explicitly not to contact me if he doesn’t wish to discuss what happened as I felt the decision to breakup was so wishy washy without proper conversation to which HOURS LATER he replies back ignoring my instruction, filling me in on his life but not addressing the breakup either. I get pissed and confront him essentially we go back and forth where he tells me he has been avoiding processing the breakup feelings throwing himself into work and he knows how unhealthy that is but that it is too painful to process(too painful to process? It had been 6 months at this point!) that he will always love me and he also adds that he doesn’t want to “Get my hopes up” but that he hopes we can talk without hurt feelings at some point (I interpret this to mean he wants to talk but doesn’t want to deal with my emotions as I’m a very fiery personality, he’s told me several times my intense emotions make him want to run). He begs me not to get into it ‘right now’ I tell him that I am sorry for intruding on his life as it seems he wants us to move on from one another and that it won’t happen again. It has been more weeks of radio silence and I’m not sure what to do. Not wanting to get into it “right now” does that mean one day you plan on it? Or is that just BS to fend me off? I’ve been looking into attachment styles and he is definitely “dismissive avoidant” who runs from highly emotional conversations and I am “anxious preoccupied” who craves reassurance (these two types often end up together albeit their opposite characteristics). The advice is to let them come to you on their comfort terms to talk but where the hell does that leave me in the meantime? When I reached out he answered and is happy to hear from me but does not take action by his own accord to talk to me. And for those who say “just forget him and move on” I wish I could just turn this off and do that! I am not ready to let go for whatever reason just yet and am looking to connect with others who have had similar experiences...

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You know the reason for the break up, he had told you repeatedly. I am sorry, but I do not understand why you would reach out to ask him again?

 

I am sorry, but he does not see you as a life partner. He told you this again. You are not listening.

 

There is NO future with him. You need to move on. Block and delete him. Stop hurting yourself. Accept his decision.

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I think the hard truth is this is not a man that you can "settle down" with anytime soon, if ever. Only you can decide which is more important for you. Finding a stable, loving relationship and maybe leading to marriage/family etc? Or hanging on to this man and his drama?

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Did he coerce you into moving out? Just curious. Dialogue can be tricky sometimes in the heat of an argument or when people are going through a lot of emotions. If he sounded passive aggressive and as if he might have wanted you out or didn't want you in the same apartment, no healthy-minded individual would stay (I would hope). Do you regret moving out?

 

Do you mind me also asking what questions you have about the break up?

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You know the reason for the break up, he had told you repeatedly. I am sorry, but I do not understand why you would reach out to ask him again?

 

I am sorry, but he does not see you as a life partner. He told you this again. You are not listening.

 

There is NO future with him. You need to move on. Block and delete him. Stop hurting yourself. Accept his decision.

 

What do you see as the reason? It is not so clear cut to me

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Sorry about all this.

 

Breakups, like feelings, are often messy, rarely surgical. They are a process, and the longer the relationship, generally, the longer the process. People do their best to express themselves, though one person's best may not dovetail with another's. If it could? Well, odds are you wouldn't be breaking up—or, inside the relationship, wouldn't need to be "pushing" for things, as seems to have been the case with you two.

 

That said, given that you weren't in contact for 6 months—and that he wasn't reaching out—I'd say that's a pretty "clean" and ultimately pretty "decisive" expression of where he is, what he wants, and how those things do not align with your own wants. If he wanted to talk, rehash and relitigate? He would have reached out to do exactly that, without being pushed. And if he wanted that with some pandemic-era pushing from you? He would have followed your "instructions" to a T.

 

But at the end of the day he is not you, and there are limits to trying to control and corral another person into being a version of themselves that may not exist.

 

In other words, he is not "running away," at least from what I see, or even exhibiting a specific attachment style. He just doesn't want what you want, or have it him to give you what you need. Probably goes both ways, that, a truth that is not easy for either you, that you're both still coming to terms with in your own ways. I understand that's painful to contemplate, but I think you may be ultimately causing yourself more pain in pushing for something that many years, along with the past 6 months, have shown you is not really there. Like trying to mine for gold in a cave where there are only rocks, the end result is fatigue and disappointment. Banging the pickaxe harder doesn't change things.

 

I do very much understand not being ready to let go of something, of someone. My own approach, for whatever it's worth, has been to accept that thorny truth about myself—that I am still holding on, with a door open—but to not do anything to force another person through that door. I spend that time reflecting, reclaiming myself, and trusting that time will provide the answers I need more than any personal effort to extract of excavate them. If the only way I can connect with someone is through manipulation, my thinking goes, then it's not a connection that has the juice I need for sustainability.

 

A few cents to spend however you see fit.

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Did he coerce you into moving out? Just curious. Dialogue can be tricky sometimes in the heat of an argument or when people are going through a lot of emotions. If he sounded passive aggressive and as if he might have wanted you out or didn't want you in the same apartment, no healthy-minded individual would stay (I would hope). Do you regret moving out?

 

Do you mind me also asking what questions you have about the break up?

 

He told me to get my things, I agreed, then he back peddled and said maybe we shouldn’t rush into packing up your things, I said too late (I was angry at the back pedaling and wanted him to FEEL the consequences of his words) so I went and packed my things up when he wasn’t home. He got home, saw what I did then got upset with me for “rushing into moving out”. I said too bad you should have thought this through before telling me to get my things! This is where it gets confusing for me... did we break up out of high running emotions? We never met face to face to discuss ANYTHING. It was very messy and indecisive ‘are we doing this? Maybe not? Are we rushing?’ And a lot of hurt feelings which to this day has not been discussed.

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I'm sorry but he is being very very clear and decisive about the fact that he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you anymore. I'm sorry it's not what you want to hear, but it's what you are dealing with. He doesn't want to discuss anything with you precisely because he made that final decision and he is not interested in turning a decision into a discussion. He doesn't hold any ill feelings toward you, that's why he can be friendly with you, but do yourself a favor and don't mistake that for anything other than what it is - the end.

 

Opposites might initially attract, but then they fight and that's really your relationship in a nutshell. It wasn't working because you are both too opposite to actually get along in the long run. As other posters pointed out, you can try and waste more of your time and energy on this and get nowhere, or you can redirect that energy to healing and moving on and finding a partner who is more similar to you, so that you actually get along and get each other better.

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Sorry about all this.

 

Breakups, like feelings, are often messy, rarely surgical. They are a process, and the longer the relationship, generally, the longer the process. People do their best to express themselves, though one person's best may not dovetail with another's. If it could? Well, odds are you wouldn't be breaking up—or, inside the relationship, wouldn't need to be "pushing" for things, as seems to have been the case with you two.

 

That said, given that you weren't in contact for 6 months—and that he wasn't reaching out—I'd say that's a pretty "clean" and ultimately pretty "decisive" expression of where he is, what he wants, and how those things do not align with your own wants. If he wanted to talk, rehash and relitigate? He would have reached out to do exactly that, without being pushed. And if he wanted that with some pandemic-era pushing from you? He would have followed your "instructions" to a T.

 

But at the end of the day he is not you, and there are limits to trying to control and corral another person into being a version of themselves that may not exist.

 

In other words, he is not "running away," at least from what I see, or even exhibiting a specific attachment style. He just doesn't want what you want, or have it him to give you what you need. Probably goes both ways, that, a truth that is not easy for either you, that you're both still coming to terms with in your own ways. I understand that's painful to contemplate, but I think you may be ultimately causing yourself more pain in pushing for something that many years, along with the past 6 months, have shown you is not really there. Like trying to mine for gold in a cave where there are only rocks, the end result is fatigue and disappointment. Banging the pickaxe harder doesn't change things.

 

I do very much understand not being ready to let go of something, of someone. My own approach, for whatever it's worth, has been to accept that thorny truth about myself—that I am still holding on, with a door open—but to not do anything to force another person through that door. I spend that time reflecting, reclaiming myself, and trusting that time will provide the answers I need more than any personal effort to extract of excavate them. If the only way I can connect with someone is through manipulation, my thinking goes, then it's not a connection that has the juice I need for sustainability.

 

A few cents to spend however you see fit.

 

But why tell me “I don’t want to get into this right now, it’s too painful” does that mean one day you plan on it? How can you not process your emotions on YOUR decision to breakup MONTHS later? How do you know it was even the right decision if you keep suppressing the feelings and avoiding thinking it through? This is what makes me feel he is running from the pain of it all. The pain tells me there is still love there, why throw all of that away?

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But why tell me “I don’t want to get into this right now, it’s too painful” does that mean one day you plan on it? How can you not process your emotions on YOUR decision to breakup MONTHS later? How do you know it was even the right decision if you keep suppressing the feelings and avoiding thinking it through? This is what makes me feel he is running from the pain of it all. The pain tells me there is still love there, why throw all of that away?
I think the "right now" does not mean he will discuss in the future.

 

You reached out. He doesn't want to discuss. He doesn't want to say flat out that won't talk to you about it.

 

I think you need to take the obvious actions or in this case lack of actions on his part. I know you want it cut and dry but, that's not his way... Why? It doesn't matter.

 

Find someone better... you'll be better off with someone that knows he wants to be with you, is able to express his wants and in general communicates in the same way do.. Directly.

 

PS... We all have these exes. that's why they're exes.

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This relationship sounds incredibly frustrating. Thanks for the responses above. I think I have a glimpse into what you've been having to deal with. Both of you don't want the same thing. He did tell you he didn't want to settle down so kudos to him and if getting married etc is what you want soon, this isn't the right place for you. Good for you for leaving.

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This relationship sounds incredibly frustrating. Thanks for the responses above. I think I have a glimpse into what you've been having to deal with. Both of you don't want the same thing. He did tell you he didn't want to settle down so kudos to him and if getting married etc is what you want soon, this isn't the right place for you. Good for you for leaving.

 

It was VERY frustrating and this is only a snap shot, I’ve always been a very decisive person clear on my goals and he is the opposite. He tends to go any way the wind blows and HATES conflict. This is where my strengths are his weakness and vice versa. My strengths helped him achieve MANY of his goals he would most likely not have pursued without my support. In the end it’s like he began to resent me for it fighting me on every little thing and I got resentful as well as I was giving and giving not getting what I want in return. Thank you for being one of the few to ask questions to better understand along with offering a quality response.

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Sorry to hear this. What precipitated the break up? Was there talk about moving in, marriage or family? Seems like someone who was just coasting along. No matter who it is, never mother, smother, coach, or try to fix or change anyone. This is over-investing.

 

You seem to have dodged a bullet, since you want to settle down and he wants casual. The breakup is the closure so continuing to confront, rehash and do postmortems is pointless. All it does is prolong your pain and waste your time on someone not worth it.

 

Being this confrontational rarely gets results... except a lot of push back. So while you may be talking about styles, it's really a matter of being incompatible and finally forcing this hand so it ends.

He initiated the breakup citing he felt we wanted different things him wanting a lighter more easy going relationship, me pushing to settle down - this is after almost 4 years together

 

he doesn’t want to “Get my hopes up”

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What do you see as the reason? It is not so clear cut to me

 

"he felt we wanted different things (him wanting a lighter more easy going relationship, me pushing to settle down - this is after almost 4 years together and we are in our late 30’s!)"

Don't waste anymore precious time with this guy. he does not see a future with you. You are also not compatible.

 

I know this is hard, but this is not the guy for you.

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It was VERY frustrating and this is only a snap shot, I’ve always been a very decisive person clear on my goals and he is the opposite. He tends to go any way the wind blows and HATES conflict. This is where my strengths are his weakness and vice versa. My strengths helped him achieve MANY of his goals he would most likely not have pursued without my support. In the end it’s like he began to resent me for it fighting me on every little thing and I got resentful as well as I was giving and giving not getting what I want in return. Thank you for being one of the few to ask questions to better understand along with offering a quality response.

 

That's a very common problem for go-getters! I agree with the others or anyone else who has mentioned incompatibility, ie. Holly's post above. Keep up the good work and keep working on your goals. We may not always understand why others take a different approach or why they are indecisive. The most decisive people may also have moments of indecision. Do you feel like his indecisiveness or mixed messages especially when telling you to take your things and then backpeddling bothers you because it causes you to also be indecisive? It's ok to be annoyed with yourself. If that's the case, maybe the best thing you can do for you is make your own decision about the relationship - don't depend on his thoughts or ideas or his input anymore.

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Sorry to hear this. What precipitated the break up? Was there talk about moving in, marriage or family? Seems like someone who was just coasting along. No matter who it is, never mother, smother, coach, or try to fix or change anyone. This is over-investing.

 

You seem to have dodged a bullet, since you want to settle down and he wants casual. The breakup is the closure so continuing to confront, rehash and do postmortems is pointless. All it does is prolong your pain and waste your time on someone not worth it.

 

Being this confrontational rarely gets results... except a lot of push back. So while you may be talking about styles, it's really a matter of being incompatible and finally forcing this hand so it ends.

 

Yes he was the one to initiate many conversations about marriage and asked me to move in! I had about half my things moved into his place when we realized we needed a bigger apartment to accommodate both of us upon which we agreed to begin apartment hunting. Again as I am a take charge person I began apartment hunting right away making various appointments for us to see so we could have a new place before his lease was up to avoid him losing his security deposit by renewing his lease only to break it a short while later. After a few appointments I started getting a lot of pushback from him that he was getting overwhelmed and wanted me to takeover the apartment hunting on my own and I was like what the hell is going on you ask me to move in (brings us closer) but then want me to take over selecting where we are going to live by myself when this is very much a partnership decision? He then accused me of wanting to put the lease in my name so that I would be able to kick him out whenever I wanted if he didn’t conform to my “rules”. (He is VERY sensitive to feeling ‘pressured’ and ‘controlled’) meanwhile I’m the type of chill gf that doesn’t think twice when you and your buds hit the strip club for a bachelor party but I DO expect you to prioritize me accordingly) Then he went and renewed his lease behind my back and told me “maybe we should wait another year this is too much right now”. There was a lot of initiating steps forward BY HIM followed by backpedaling and people wonder why I’m so confused. I admit I could have been more sensitive to his insecurities with moving forward and opened up discussion to what his concerns were but at the time I was getting angry and frustrated and did not handle it well. For this I hold a lot of guilt as in the end I feel he viewed me as some type A controlling witch which is why he’s walking away so easily thinking HE’S the one who dodged a bullet. It’s driving me crazy.

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"I admit I could have been more sensitive to his insecurities with moving forward." Why? Stop excusing!

 

He asked you to move in and discussed marriage. This is the natural progression. He then throws the hunt on you, renews the lease behind your back, this is not right. You need to see this for it was. He was never ready, and realized it was a mistake when reality kicked in. You need to start to be honest with yourself!

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It sounds like he was saying 'yes dear' to everything, but did not have the courage to tell you he was not on board with things.

 

I agree and once I realized this I tried several times to open the table for discussion but he just ran away refusing to look back. I even said listen do not be afraid of “hurting my feelings” it’s important you tell me how you feel and are honest. It’s just hurtful someone would rather run away from you than muster the strength to try and talk things out. If we needed to slow down we could have but I’m not a mind reader and that’s where it’s not fair. I guess I’ve done all I can at this point.

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I'm wondering: Along with all the intense feelings and confusion, is there any part of you that views all this as a story of two people who just don't mesh very well? Not your fault, not his, but just is?

 

I know it's more complicated than that—it always is, with feelings, with history, with hopes—but from where I'm sitting, as a pixilated advocate for your health and happiness, it's very hard to see it any other way. Kind of seems like a guy who was fun to date, but who came up short, far short, of what you want and need from a partner. Could seeing it all like that, bitter pill it is to swallow, maybe be the "win" here that soothes your direct, achievement-oriented nature?

 

Thought experiment: Remove yourself from the equation of his life, and do you genuinely respect the way he goes about the business of living? Do you genuinely see him as a human being you can be yourself, harmoniously, alongside? Might be questions worth reflecting on, with the answers you give yourself providing more clarity than whatever you've gotten, or are trying to get, from him.

 

The impression I get is that he is scared of you, while you are annoyed at him—a low-simmering constant that came to an unceremonious boil six months ago. Were he more direct and less passive-aggressive, perhaps he would be able to express this to you. But that would require him to be a completely different person, and it's that person, I think, that you'd be much happier with—someone who carries himself in the world in a way you respect and relate to.

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I'm wondering: Along with all the intense feelings and confusion, is there any part of you that views all this as a story of two people who just don't mesh very well? Not your fault, not his, but just is?

 

I know it's more complicated than that—it always is, with feelings, with history, with hopes—but from where I'm sitting, as a pixilated advocate for your health and happiness, it's very hard to see it any other way. Kind of seems like a guy who was fun to date, but who came up short, far short, of what you want and need from a partner. Could seeing it all like that, bitter pill it is to swallow, maybe be the "win" here that soothes your direct, achievement-oriented nature?

 

Thought experiment: Remove yourself from the equation of his life, and do you genuinely respect the way he goes about the business of living? Do you genuinely see him as a human being you can be yourself, harmoniously, alongside? Might be questions worth reflecting on, with the answers you give yourself providing more clarity than whatever you've gotten, or are trying to get, from him.

 

The impression I get is that he is scared of you, while you are annoyed at him—a low-simmering constant that came to an unceremonious boil six months ago. Were he more direct and less passive-aggressive, perhaps he would be able to express this to you. But that would require him to be a completely different person, and it's that person, I think, that you'd be much happier with—someone who carries himself in the world in a way you respect and relate to.

 

Honestly I felt for the most part that we complimented each other - I was the take charge level headed person during problems which worked for him as he gets very flustered and freezes up during unexpected life issues. I would be the one he would call “I have this problem and I don’t know what to do”. He was the calm go with the flow vibe that helped me stop and smell the roses. Many friends of ours said we worked as a great team.

 

I find our communication styles to be what drove us off the edge. I’m not afraid of any confrontation while he loathes it and shuts down so when you pin us as opponents I always looked like the aggressor. He would always say “how come I never have an issue with anything you do” to which I would say I’m not sure that’s entirely a good thing! honestly in 4 years he got mad at me ONCE, I honestly don’t even see how that’s possible! So in that sense It’s very interesting you say he was afraid of me bc I don’t even think he allowed himself to be bothered for fear of conflict.

 

at one point during the breakup he started saying how he just didn’t think we got along and that ruffled my feathers quite a bit because I feel like when you drill down you can identify who has what issue they need to work on in order to make it work IF you really love each other. For example- he needs to work on speaking up and I need to work on not steamrolling somebody assuming they are ok with the decisions I’m making. Saying we just don’t get along when you’ve already discussed marriage and children is a very “easy” way out in my opinion so nobody has to work on their flaws. Nobody cheated, abused, or did anything past the point of no return here, maybe he just doesn’t love me enough to work this out and finds it easier to move on.

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It was VERY frustrating and this is only a snap shot, I’ve always been a very decisive person clear on my goals and he is the opposite. He tends to go any way the wind blows and HATES conflict. This is where my strengths are his weakness and vice versa. My strengths helped him achieve MANY of his goals he would most likely not have pursued without my support. In the end it’s like he began to resent me for it fighting me on every little thing and I got resentful as well as I was giving and giving not getting what I want in return. Thank you for being one of the few to ask questions to better understand along with offering a quality response.

 

Hold the phone, Joan. Before you delve back into the world of dating, read up on codependency, and particularly Boundaries. The book "boundaries" by Cloud i believe covers this. Making someone need you/making yourself so integral that they can't operate without you speaks about both. Part of you might feel he/a guy wouldn't "keep you" unless you made yourself supremely "needed" like this. Part of you may have trouble with overstepping your boundaries (stepping in and fixing or pushing people to do things that should be in their own time if at all), or maybe picking guys as 'fixer uppers'. But when you operate that way you do not TRUST people to handle their own lives and that could be how he felt

 

He could be a perfectly fine man with no fixing needed, but likes things to unfold a little more gradually and at the right time where you are "marriage?" ok, here's the spreadsheet for the next year on how to get there... He is not incapable of commitment - he is the type of guy (not a bad type) who would surrpise you when you least expected it when it felt right to him - whereas you would have researched all types of diamonds and where the best place to go to buy one was and would have laid down a brochure. Yes, very practical, but the go with the flow when it feels right is him.

 

You don't have to change your goal-orientedness, but maybe read up about healthy boundaries and codependency. You have to learn to take people for who they are - if a guy is not a guy for you, move on - don't overstep his boundaries to herd him into changing.

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Hold the phone, Joan. Before you delve back into the world of dating, read up on codependency, and particularly Boundaries. The book "boundaries" by Cloud i believe covers this. Making someone need you/making yourself so integral that they can't operate without you speaks about both. Part of you might feel he/a guy wouldn't "keep you" unless you made yourself supremely "needed" like this. Part of you may have trouble with overstepping your boundaries (stepping in and fixing or pushing people to do things that should be in their own time if at all), or maybe picking guys as 'fixer uppers'. But when you operate that way you do not TRUST people to handle their own lives and that could be how he felt

 

He could be a perfectly fine man with no fixing needed, but likes things to unfold a little more gradually and at the right time where you are "marriage?" ok, here's the spreadsheet for the next year on how to get there... He is not incapable of commitment - he is the type of guy (not a bad type) who would surrpise you when you least expected it when it felt right to him - whereas you would have researched all types of diamonds and where the best place to go to buy one was and would have laid down a brochure. Yes, very practical, but the go with the flow when it feels right is him.

 

You don't have to change your goal-orientedness, but maybe read up about healthy boundaries and codependency. You have to learn to take people for who they are - if a guy is not a guy for you, move on - don't overstep his boundaries to herd him into changing.

 

I agree with you, I have a habit of over “helping”. Before the favor is asked of me I will offer the solution. Many of my friends know me as the “go-to” when they need advice or help. That’s not to say I get taken advantage of bc I have no problem speaking up for myself when I feel something isn’t right. I do love him very much so, is there any way to make this right with him?

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Honestly I felt for the most part that we complimented each other - I was the take charge level headed person during problems which worked for him as he gets very flustered and freezes up during unexpected life issues. I would be the one he would call “I have this problem and I don’t know what to do”. He was the calm go with the flow vibe that helped me stop and smell the roses. Many friends of ours said we worked as a great team.

 

 

At some point, you need to trust that people are capable of handling their problems. Sometimes when someone freezes, they don't need someone to play mommy to come fix it -- they need to step back amount and take a breath. "I am confident you will decide what's best" if its not something having to do with the relationship. Sometimes people need to switch things up to think. "that sounds really frustrating. want to go take a walk with me to find seashells/hop on our bikes?" or simply just listening. DOn't mistake "quiet" for being frozen. And don't throw someone on someone's lap out of the blue and expect them to have an answer

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I agree with you, I have a habit of over “helping”. Before the favor is asked of me I will offer the solution. Many of my friends know me as the “go-to” when they need advice or help. That’s not to say I get taken advantage of bc I have no problem speaking up for myself when I feel something isn’t right. I do love him very much so, is there any way to make this right with him?

 

I have a friend who calls me "Lucy" because of Lucy's "doctor is in" sign in the Peanuts Cartoons. its fine to have a girlfriend who vents with you, who hashes things out /thinks aloud with you, but overhelping a boyfriend only makes him feel smothered. (and i don't "help" her, i am only a sounding board)

 

I would absolutely leave him alone. He tried to reach out and have a lighter conversation with you, and you jumped down his throat for not calling to dissect the relationships. I mean, he can't win. Who calls someone and says "i am ready to talk about the relationship". No, they usually talk about something else to break the ice. He started talking about what happened between the breakup and now. It could have lead to him saying "and that's when i realized that i missed you..." or it could have been something else and he realized why he made the right decision, but he had no chance. its called breaking the ice or testing the waters. He tried to test the waters to see if you were receptive and you bit his head off.

 

So in that way, i don't think you can make it up to him. He can't even initiate a conversation without you deciding he is not doing it right.

 

I think its best a time for reflection.

 

Maybe you will find a guy living in mom's basement who needs a woman to think he is a diamond in the rough and needs someone to completely manage his life. Maybe you will find a guy who your respect because of his motivation in life, but you will knock heads. But either way, if you go down the path to change, while still acknowledging what won't change about you, you will be better off and might be able to have a more balanced relationship -- to have the wisdom to know how to let people do things for themselves and in their time. Don't expect them to be any less than themselves and you have to be okay with that.

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