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On ok terms with my ex & want her back, pls help!


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Hi, some advice would be greatly appreciated.

Last year I lost a friend to suicide & it hit me hard, I was also beginning to go through a lengthy legal action with some business partners, the only good thing I had in my life at the time was my GF.

 

I was in a bad place mentally & had to get away for as I had convinced myself nobody (GF included) wanted me around. Which was wrong, she wanted me but I privately thought she can do better than me. My head was so messed up from losing a friend & the legal action.

 

So I left the country & lived in isolation for a while to try & get my head right again (not the best idea I know now, but great training for lockdown I guess ha).

Throughout this, my ex & I stayed in touch. Talking a few times a week & mainly laughing. I started to realise what a mistake I had made but I still thought she could do better than me, even tough we were still talking & getting on like we were together still. I wanted to tell her I loved her but didn’t think it was right to do so.

 

Eventually I moved back to the same country, in a city not too far away, with the hope we could reconcile since we were still talking & texting a lot. Just before Xmas she said that she needed to not talk for a while (I know now, this is because I waited too long to say anything), I was gutted but told I would do what she wants to respect her wishes.

 

We didn’t talk for about a month & a half, which was awful, & then we started getting in touch again. I was supposed to go & visit her (at her invitation) in March but I got called into work. THEN lockdown happened & we’ve been separated since.

 

I didn’t want to bombard her with phone calls or text etc but about 2 months into lockdown I did tell her how much I regret what happened & how I wish I had spoke sooner. I told her I don’t expect a yes or no from her & left her be for a few weeks. She got in touch, saying that I managed the to the incredible feat of too little too late & too much too soon (she said she found that funny), and that lockdown wasn’t the best time to be talking about it but she does care about me. She was worried that this had just been brought on by lockdown & was (fairly, I know) sceptical of my claim that I’d wanted to say something for longer but didn’t.

 

We’ve been in touch a few times but when I feel her going cold, I back off for a few days. Do you think I’m going crazy & should just leave her alone since she knows how I feel or should I still get in touch with her? I love her but I’m not sure she loves me that way anymore. I sent her a few funny audio messages & she replied that she was crying laughing, so at least I know I can still make her feel good. Her reply was pretty short though & didn’t pose any questions so i figure I should just leave her alone for a while? I know this time has been tough on everyone. Any help on this would be so appreciated. I’ve been alone working from home for 3 months & could really do with some sane advice!

 

I know I messed up, & I apologised - should I just leave her alone? Wait a while then try again?

 

Thanks so much for reading.

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Sorry to hear that. Is she dating someone? It sounds like she wants to be friends but doesn't want to revitalize the relationship the way you do.

 

Unfortunately time and people do not stand still while you hide in exile. You need to start over, even if you stay friends, you may have to find someone who doesn't view you as a moving target.

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Do you still think she can do better than you? If so, you haven't done enough work on your self esteem and how you handle times of extreme stress.

 

For now, let her lead the way in communication. When the day comes where social distancing is no longer an issue, that would be a good time to have an in-person discussion on trying again. If she chooses not to, you should go no contact so that you can have closure and move on. A future gf won't appreciate you being in contact with an ex.

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If you really want a chance to get her back, then you need to show her that you are now capable of being stable and consistent. Playing hot/cold, talk/back off games just proves that you are still insecure and flaky as ever. It won't exactly encourage her to trust you again.

 

Keep regular contact, be a friend, yes make her laugh, don't expect her to run back into your arms or reciprocate any time soon. This is where you'll need to be patient and consistent through and through and give her time to figure it all out and hopefully regain her trust that you destroyed by breaking up and running away. If you can't do so, then I'd say give up and move on for good.

 

Ultimately, if you don't deal with your insecurities and lack of self esteem.....you'll keep wrecking relationships. It's not your decision whether you are good enough for someone or not, it's theirs. You don't control that.

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Do you still think she can do better than you? If so, you haven't done enough work on your self esteem and how you handle times of extreme stress.

 

For now, let her lead the way in communication. When the day comes where social distancing is no longer an issue, that would be a good time to have an in-person discussion on trying again. If she chooses not to, you should go no contact so that you can have closure and move on. A future gf won't appreciate you being in contact with an ex.

 

Hi Andrina, no I now know we’re perfect for each other & my self esteem is a lot higher. I’m just hyper aware that I messed up. I’m trying to just be friendly for now since she knows how I feel.

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If you really want a chance to get her back, then you need to show her that you are now capable of being stable and consistent. Playing hot/cold, talk/back off games just proves that you are still insecure and flaky as ever. It won't exactly encourage her to trust you again.

 

Keep regular contact, be a friend, yes make her laugh, don't expect her to run back into your arms or reciprocate any time soon. This is where you'll need to be patient and consistent through and through and give her time to figure it all out and hopefully regain her trust that you destroyed by breaking up and running away. If you can't do so, then I'd say give up and move on for good.

 

Ultimately, if you don't deal with your insecurities and lack of self esteem.....you'll keep wrecking relationships. It's not your decision whether you are good enough for someone or not, it's theirs. You don't control that.

 

Hi, thank you. This is very sound advice & what I needed to hear I think. I do still love her so I just want to do this right & not scare her off by being needy, which I know will be tough since I told her how I know I messed up & that I regret it hugely.

I have definitely worked on myself a lot & I’m coming from a better place. However, being totally alone in a new city has put a strain on that I’m not gonna lie!

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Hi, thank you. This is very sound advice & what I needed to hear I think. I do still love her so I just want to do this right & not scare her off by being needy, which I know will be tough since I told her how I know I messed up & that I regret it hugely.

I have definitely worked on myself a lot & I’m coming from a better place. However, being totally alone in a new city has put a strain on that I’m not gonna lie!

 

That's understandable, but try to stay steady and consistent rather than needy. It's not really possible to make friends during a lock down, so that will have to wait, but do try to occupy yourself in other more productive ways - learn something, read something, fix or make something, etc. Share things with her that would interest her regularly, but without bombarding her constantly multiple times per day. If you talk to her once a day or once every other day, so be it.

 

What you need to understand is that when you break up with someone, you also broke their trust in you. Can that be repaired? Possibly with time, consistency, patience....and the other person willing to give you that chance. The other person you don't control, but what you do, your actions you do control very much so. The fact that she is still talking to you is certainly promising. The other thing to think about is that acknowledging out loud that you do get what you did and how it affected her goes a long ways toward healing.

 

Talking about how you feel, your feelings, etc, etc, etc doesn't help her get over the hurt. Acknowledging that you understand the damage your actions caused might go further and that also shows emotional growth on your end.

 

Think of it like this:

When you say "I'm better now and I still love you" it means nothing to the person you are speaking to. They can't trust you because you already broke their trust and showed with your actions otherwise.

Buuuut ....when you say "I understand what I did and how it hurt and affected you and this is what I can do that shows I'm really better and I get that it will take you some time to see and believe" and then you actually walk the talk, stay stable, steady, consistent,...that might work.

 

Hope I'm making sense.

 

That said, do give yourself a timeline as well. If she doesn't come around withing 6 months, a year max....you really do need to move on and start fresh with someone else. Sometimes people can't let go or forgive and that's ok, it just means you have to let go because while lesson learned, that person wasn't your one. Their role in your life was the lesson.

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That's understandable, but try to stay steady and consistent rather than needy. It's not really possible to make friends during a lock down, so that will have to wait, but do try to occupy yourself in other more productive ways - learn something, read something, fix or make something, etc. Share things with her that would interest her regularly, but without bombarding her constantly multiple times per day. If you talk to her once a day or once every other day, so be it.

 

What you need to understand is that when you break up with someone, you also broke their trust in you. Can that be repaired? Possibly with time, consistency, patience....and the other person willing to give you that chance. The other person you don't control, but what you do, your actions you do control very much so. The fact that she is still talking to you is certainly promising. The other thing to think about is that acknowledging out loud that you do get what you did and how it affected her goes a long ways toward healing.

 

Talking about how you feel, your feelings, etc, etc, etc doesn't help her get over the hurt. Acknowledging that you understand the damage your actions caused might go further and that also shows emotional growth on your end.

 

Think of it like this:

When you say "I'm better now and I still love you" it means nothing to the person you are speaking to. They can't trust you because you already broke their trust and showed with your actions otherwise.

Buuuut ....when you say "I understand what I did and how it hurt and affected you and this is what I can do that shows I'm really better and I get that it will take you some time to see and believe" and then you actually walk the talk, stay stable, steady, consistent,...that might work.

 

Hope I'm making sense.

 

That said, do give yourself a timeline as well. If she doesn't come around withing 6 months, a year max....you really do need to move on and start fresh with someone else. Sometimes people can't let go or forgive and that's ok, it just means you have to let go because while lesson learned, that person wasn't your one. Their role in your life was the lesson.

 

Thank you again, you are being very helpful & speaking so much truth. I really appreciate it.

 

When I first told her, she was very cool about it (as she still has been...I think), & said she wasn’t sure how to respond as it was a lot to unpack. I acknowledged & said she could have all the space & time she needed. I didn’t get in touch for two weeks & then she got in touch...& we’ve been chatting/texting regularly since. When I said I’d back off if I was hurting her she said she didn’t want to not talk to me. But I don’t know if she was saying that to try & soften any blow, as she later said that if I needed to go that route she would understand too.

As you can see, she is a lot better at dealing with this than I am!

 

I haven’t been bombarding her emotionally (1 wobble since I spoke up but we were good after it, so she says anyway), & I’ve been careful not to text too much. Maybe two or three occasions a week, but no more. We last spoke on the phone two weeks ago this Saturday & we were on good terms & laughing.

I’ve left her be really & then sent her a few funny things & voice notes that she said she was crying laughing from.

I have been working on myself throughout too & speaking to a counsellor but I feel it would be strange to just drop that into a text conversation when I’m trying to keep things light & fun. But would love her to know I am trying!

 

Sorry for going on about it, I’m just finding your answers very helpful. And I do want to reach out to her but just very aware I could push her away if I’m in touch too often. Her last messages were just a little shorter than usual &, this may sound silly, but without an “x” at the end (not the 1st time, we did that when we were dating, I think I’m just overthinking everything in isolation!). She didn’t ask any questions so I didn’t reply - just because I didn’t wanna needlessly bother her. This was when she said she was crying laughing at the message. She said she was in the middle of watching a show that she had suggested we watch together separately last time we spoke. But I didn’t mention anything as I didn’t wanna seem like I was bummed out about it. As far as she knows, I’m totally fine as I’ve really tried to just be friendly & respond when she responds, back off if she’s backing off etc

 

Wow that’s a lot of info!

 

I was thinking of getting in touch with her (something light of course) tomorrow eve or Saturday eve.

 

Thank you again.

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It's fine to unpack here. It sounds like you are walking on eggshells maybe a bit too much.

 

The thing is that you can't scare away a person who is right for you. A big part of relationships is actually being able to be vulnerable. Not saying that it always works and it is always a risk, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Keeping a balance between between staying light/fun and also sharing what concrete things you are doing to be better, like counseling, might go a long ways toward credibility.

 

Again, not saying that it will all work out because I don't have that crystal ball, just sharing with you what might sway a person into giving you that benefit of the doubt if they are willing to.

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It's fine to unpack here. It sounds like you are walking on eggshells maybe a bit too much.

 

The thing is that you can't scare away a person who is right for you. A big part of relationships is actually being able to be vulnerable. Not saying that it always works and it is always a risk, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Keeping a balance between between staying light/fun and also sharing what concrete things you are doing to be better, like counseling, might go a long ways toward credibility.

 

Again, not saying that it will all work out because I don't have that crystal ball, just sharing with you what might sway a person into giving you that benefit of the doubt if they are willing to.

 

Thank you so much for your insights, you’ve really helped. Yeah I think I’m being a little too cautious at times & overthinking.

 

Fingers crossed I guess!

 

Genuinely, thank you so much.

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Ok, start there. Do all your homework and make yourself feel fully at home there without hoping she holds your hand through that process. Prove to yourself (and perhaps her) that you are happy, love where you live, work, are enjoying your new neighborhood and enjoying all it has to offer.

 

This is the best way not to come across as "clingy or needy". Make sure you speak in terms of making yourself a permanent resident there rather than a transient who needs a tour-guide. Unfortunately she is familiar with your history of fleeing.

being totally alone in a new city has put a strain on that I’m not gonna lie!
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I don't know why you would want her back. She wasn't enough back then to be a priority. What makes you think she would be enough now to hold you down or keep you sane or grounded if you think that might be what you need?

 

Grief does many things to different people. You shouldn't beat yourself up about what you felt back then or how you processed your grief but your actions are more telling than your words - and no amount of words would convince me, for example, that you are able to handle stress while staying in a committed relationship. I think you have burned your bridges with this one.

 

Leave her in peace to move on with her life. She's been very gracious with you and I think she may have been needing closure on her part as well after your disappearing act. Don't read too much into her correspondence or continued emails/texts/calls.

 

I agree with DancingFool and Wiseman - work on yourself in the new town and enjoy getting out there, meeting new people, join local interest groups. You really need to get out of the house if you're working from home exclusively. Even if you are going out to the park to meet with friends (social distancing applies) you're still socializing with others. Do you like going out on your own also? Find local activities and make this new town yours. Start creating relationships with the local grocers and suppliers. Create daily and monthly routines for yourself - this is as simple as having a favourite bar or restaurant and heading out on your own to enjoy a few drinks or your fav dessert at a place you're familiar with over time.

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