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My ex said that friendship is our only hope for reconciling.

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I wonder if you can rephrase this, or see it differently. As in: all of the above are clear signs that this relationship was wrong, rather than something you did, or failed to do. The feelings you just described, for example, are essentially irrefutable evidence: nerves, anxieties, fears, neediness. Doesn't really matter if the person stirring these feelings in you is a humanitarian saint or the randiest, most self-involved playboy the world ever did see. When they are the dominant feelings in your spirit they are a sign that you are investing your spiritual currency in a place that poisons it.


My heart breaks a bit, I admit, when you say you asked him if you should let him go. That's essentially telling him that he holds all the keys to you, has all the power, which I think he is quite accustomed to. If he wasn't? No way would he have the audacity to share his Two Year Plan. You can call all that "brutal honesty," though from these seats it just looks like complete disrespect.


This. Exactly. You've gotten so many amazing responses here, including this one from bluecastle, that I can't really add much except to say that I've been EXACTLY where you are (only I was much older than you are at the time -- late 30's/early 40's, my ex late 40's/early 50's). We worked together. He had an ex he had never gotten over. He pulled the "Come hither, go to hell" act on me for YEARS, and while he never gave me a time frame, as your ex has done, he made sure he said just enough, did just enough, to keep me hanging on for dear life, to effectively insure that I didn't move on, that I waited for him. And, for quite awhile, I did, not because he was "The One" or because he was even all that special (or, really, any sort of prize whatsoever -- he was actually a hot mess and completely wrong for me from the get-go) but because I was in a place in my life wherein I didn't believe I deserved better. Sure, I SAID I did; I told myself I did, but...I didn't truly believe it, and my actions didn't reflect it. Ultimately, all of the garbage and muck I waded through "because" of him wasn't about him, or how I felt about him, at all -- it was about ME and how I felt about myself at that time. In my case, I had no choice but to move on when he started seeing someone else (NOT the ex he never got over) and even brought his new "someone else" to work with him (ugh -- I still cringe when I think of how that made me feel at the time, how much I wept over it -- for nothing!) Difficult as it was, though, I moved on -- first single for a couple of years, and then, I met the wonderful guy who later became my husband. That only happened after a lot of self-examination, a lot of reflection, a ton of work on myself -- on loving myself and realizing that it wasn't just my ex who had been treating me badly; I had been treating myself badly, too.


It's a difficult road, but well worthwhile, this path to moving forward and looking out for yourself instead of being embroiled in what *HE* thinks and feels about you. Ultimately, YOU need to be the most important person to yourself, to treat yourself with the respect, dignity, and care that you deserve. You can't depend on him -- or anyone else -- to make you feel happy, worthy, whole; that's up to you.

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Confused... I have used this tactic before on girls I dated but didn't really want. I opened up a book of "Valid reasons to give to a person" and picked out random ones.. "I really need to work on me, I think the time apart will make us stronger, I think that it will make us better, I really need to find myself, I want to be the one you deserve" So many options I could of chosen. But it all means the same thing. I don't want to be in a romantic relationship with you.


Here is the problem. He knows that you still want him, and I don't know if he stringing you along or he wants you to be the 'bad guy' and leave him or perhaps another reason, but all those roads lead to the same point. I don't want you. So if you are confused its because you are thinking with your heart and not your brain.


Now leaving very vague doors open like these it leads to very confusing times and signs for you. Just think about it. If you do accept this "2year" agreement, he is in full control. That means he can come back into your life and go away at any time and use any excuse he wants. He doesn't have to provide status reports, reasons, or anything, he can come and go and say "we are working on us". I know because Ive done that.


Basically its a one way relationship with conditions that will lead no where. Then after 2 years when he doesn't come back you will be sooooo sooo mad at yourself and you are going to blame him for keeping you on a line when the blame really goes on you for not seeing past this game. He is calling the shots, he is making you go thru hoops, he is making all the rules and changing them any time he wants, he can do whatever he wants and if you going to ask "why would he do this?" the answer is very simple.... Because you allowed it.


Remember. He cant do a single thing to you unless you keep him in your life. To counter an action like he proposed and what I did is very simple. You tell him to have a good life and good luck then you let him go. That's the counter move that will end the game. Question is.. will you do it?

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  • 1 month later...

Are you familiar with attachment styles? I’m thinking, in your case (and mine), specifically of avoidant-dismissive and anxious-preoccupied attachment styles and how they interact in romantic relationships. If you’re not familiar with the topic, I encourage you do some online research and bring yourself up to speed. You’ll be glad you did. There’s a bazillion online sources on attachment styles, including YouTube videos, some better than others. Here’s a place to start, if you like:



You might also consider studying narcissism and codependency. (Ditto the bazillion online sources). I think you’ll see a lot of yourself and your ex in those subjects.


Learn all you can about all of these topics (while you’re young) and it can make a phenomenal difference in your ability to know and love yourself, and the impact that will have on your next relationship(s).


In the meantime, pay close attention to the advice of your fellow enotaloners. They know what they’re talking about, so please consider listening to them. These wise words from catfeeder are the truest I’ve read/heard in a very long time:


“Nobody can fault you for loving who you love, but some people are best loved from far, far away.”


Best wishes for you and your future. Hang in there.

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