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I know he's not good for me but I want him back

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My boyfriend (35M) of ~1 year broke up with me (26M) about 3 weeks ago after cheating on me and still being unsure about what he wants. Deep down, I know he's not good for me because he has a lot of issues to work through himself and hasn't treated me well. But I can't stop thinking about him and wanting him back.

Here's the longer story:

We met a year ago, and it was an instant connection. This is was my first relationship, and I had never met anyone with the same level of wit, charm, and similar sense of humor and we were both immediately enraptured. We quickly fell into a relationship, and it was very passionate, very intense, and very fun. He had been in 5-6 previous serious relationships but felt this way only really only for one other guy (his first bf). On the other hand, we had constant fights, about once a month. The reasons included:

  • Pressuring him into the relationship: I gave him an ultimatum to date exclusively when he wasn't ready, because I was so scared of losing him 
  • Trust issues: 1 week after exclusively dating, he kissed another guy at a club while high on molly and I became paranoid about him cheating, especially drugs. I started to worry whenever he would use substances or go out without me.  
  • Anxious - avoidant cycles: When we would fight, he would ask for space instead of talking through our problems. This made me worried that he didn't care about me or would leave me, and I started getting horrible panic attacks.
  • Losing myself in the relationship: I stopped hanging out with my friends as often, and only went out with his friends as he is much more social. Started to become much more dependent on him for happiness, which only fed the anxious - avoidant cycles. 
  • Sex: I had some hangups about the top / bottom dynamic given our races and age gaps, but I got over it and this got mostly resolved after a few months of fighting. He felt like he was compromising on some things as well, like open relationships. 
  • Extroversion / introversion: he is MUCH more extroverted than me, and wanted me to go out with him constantly. I could meet him halfway, but ended up not trying as much as I could towards the end of the relationship, especially if I was dealing with stress myself.  

Again, for all the problems I described, it was incredible 90% of the time. We supported each other through stressful times, and really understood each other on such a deep level. We truly were each other's best friends. I describe him as someone that can appreciate every part of my personality -- the driven professional, the silly boy, the creative artist, etc. Never before did I feel that from a single person.

 It started going bad when he fell into a deep depression / mid-life crisis. He has always been a deeply insecure person, mostly about his professional life / how successful he is. I personally think this drives some very narcissistic behaviors, like loving attention and parties and boys. It all came to a head when he started hating his current job + started feeling trapped physically due to COVID. Many of his friends have gotten married, bought houses, and had kids and he feels like he's behind in life. I couldnt pull him out of his depression, despite me listening to him,  physically being with him, trying to help him apply to jobs, prepping for interviews with him, etc. 

Over the holidays, we went on vacation and I found out my dad may be dying from cancer, and so I flew back home while he stayed. He ended up staying for another month and growing more distant, while I was stressed trying to support my family. My dad ended up not actually having cancer, but I became so resentful that my bf was not supporting me. This went on for a month until I asked if he had slept with others while on vacation and he said yes. He had sex with 4 other  men -- my worst fears come to life.

Cue lots of crying and emotions, and we both sort of agreed to end things, or at least take a break. After about a week, we both went home and started talking again and seeing each other. I realized I was okay with the cheating and wanted to try again, but he was still unsure about what he actually wanted in a relationship. Last weekend, I proposed taking a weekend trip to show I could change and compromise and give him what he said was missing in the relationship (being more social, more adventurous, etc.). It was a great weekend, and he said he felt better about the relationship but not 100% there. When I asked him to not date other people while we figure things out, he became very defensive and said I was pressuring him into the relationship again. I felt very hurt, as I kept imagining us hanging out and then him suddenly telling me he was going on a date with someone else.

Overall, he is unsure if he wants to be in a relationship with me, given all our "differences" and doesn't think we can change. He's also not sure what he wants or needs in a relationship at all, and is also trying to sort out other parts of his life he's not happy with, eg. his job. He says he needs some space to figure these things out. 

We're back to no contact, and I haven't contacted him in a week. I know I am in too deep, and he has not treated me right. I know his insecurities and instability as a person probably will cause more problems in the future. But I miss him so much and want to try again. I'm going to give it a few months before contacting him again, but there's a part of me that hopes we can get back together after a break. Any advice would be amazing. 


Edited by lastchampion
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15 minutes ago, lastchampion said:

After about a week, we both went home and started talking again and seeing each other. I realized I was okay with the cheating and wanted to try again, but he was still unsure about what he actually wanted in a relationship. Last weekend, I proposed taking a weekend trip to show I could change and compromise and give him what he said was missing in the relationship

- Why were you okay with his cheating? (low self esteem?)

- No reason you should feel the need to change.  You know, people need to accept us for who we are.. and as he mentioned, too many differences... Fine, you need to accept that.


16 minutes ago, lastchampion said:

He's also not sure what he wants or needs in a relationship at all, and is also trying to sort out other parts of his life he's not happy with, eg. his job. He says he needs some space to figure these things out. 

- Right.  He is so out of sorts - unstable.  Last thing either of you need is to be involved.

You need to step back and read all of that you said... See how he really is.  You do not want someone like this!

But to stay away from his mess and leave him be.  He's got no real interest in you now or long term.. sorry 😞 * respect yourself*


17 minutes ago, lastchampion said:

t I miss him so much and want to try again. I'm going to give it a few months before contacting him again,

My advice... Don't!

You have experienced enough of his instability - his cheating, depression, all of it.... WHY take on anymore??

Is time YOU realized, he's a loss.  No good for you & your own well-being.  He's messed up.  This, you do not need!

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This is who he is.  If you go back the same problems exist.  He will NOT change.  

Block and delete him.

Have you considered therapy for low self esteem? 

Edited by Hollyj
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Please get checked for STDs. If he's cheated on you while on vacation with randoms, you need to get checked if you've slept with him afterwards. It doesn't matter if you used protection or not, get tested. 

As for the relationship, it's over. The more you keep working yourself into a pretzel trying to appear more appealing, the irony is the less and less appealing you will be. This is because the other person no longer respects you and you have lost your own personal beliefs and your core. Everything that you describe being in love with him? Imagine that changing and altering. That's what's happening when he views you. 

He knows both of you are incompatible and very different but he's not pressuring you to be committed to him. Do both of yourselves a favour and step back from this. He is not the one for you. 

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A surefire way to kill someone's love and respect for you is to behave like a doormat. Pleading for someone to love you, promising to "change" if only they'd come back...none of that is attractive. 

A better bet is to date someone who wouldn't require you to do any of that. They will love you just the way you are.

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You come across as quite insecure, low self-esteem and smothering him.  And he's a cheater and just far too different from you. Maybe it's the age difference. Getting back together will not change either of you.   You're a bad match.  Incompatible.  It will never work.

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This is as good as it is going to get I'm afraid. You are like I was. Hanging on to the closeness, and the deep passion you once had and putting up with some much crap just holding out hope that good stuff will resurface. But there are major red flags here that are so hurtful to you. The cheating alone not only puts your health at risk but your heart. All these absences while you are stressing out increases your cortisol levels and ages you and can be a risk factor to your health. Don't you want to share your time with someone that will love you so much that they would not want to leave your side? Someone that when you walk into a room, runs up to you as if you are the only one there? That it would never cross your mind he would cheat on you because he loves you so much and wants you to be the one he is holding hands with when he leaves this earth. Don't settle for this another day. He is just abusive in my opinion, and sadly your self worth being discarded and devalued and cheated on is not in the best place right now. Your are deserving of much better than this. I know you love him from what you are sharing, but love should not hurt or be one sided. Trust me, I know. Be good to yourself and focus on yourself and meeting new people during this "break" or whatever he is calling it these days. Try not to think and ruminate about the good things, and journal all that you feel. It helps. Don't lose our dignity stroking his fragile ego another day. Honestly, if he needs to play with all these other guys, he is Cleary not able or willing to commit. You being his supply on stand by is only hurting you. Life is too short. Please, please know I have been there and in the thick of it now. Each day does get better and some days are harder than others. Rejection by the one we love and thought loved us is very hard and painful. So hard, that we will take crumbs. Read baggage reclaim site. It will help you understand his commitment issues and why he behaves the way he does and may give you support.  Wish you luck. 

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It's probably more common than not to want someone we can't have, especially when it's your first relationship.

I'm not one who believes in trying to pound the hope out of yourself in a futile attempt to convince yourself that you don't want what you want.

Instead, I'd shoot for moving my hope onto a back burner as my motivation to move myself forward.

Nobody wants to return to the same exact relationship with the exact same person they opted to walk away from. So, if the two of you were really a meant-to-be deal, you'll both meet on higher ground someday, in order to start something completely new. The only way to appeal to him then would be to have moved yourself forward into a person who has thrived without him.

If anything would attract him back, it would be that--not desperation. 

So? The only way to reach your own higher ground is to drop the rumination in order to focus on your own growth, health, self development, social life, career and finding an interest to become passionate about.

The more you pursue these areas of health, the more irrelevant the guy will become. From there, you'll get a win/win, because if the guy comes back you'll be better equipped to handle him, and if he doesn't, you'll have moved yourself forward into health. Either way, you win.

Head high, and make it a goal to surprise everyone, including yourself, with your resilience and ability to bounce back from this. You will thank yourself later.

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I understand it's your first relationship but this guy actually doesn't sound good at all. For one thing, I don't actually think he feels about you that strongly. You're crazy about him but he's always been "unsure" about you. His behaviour basically tells you how he feels about you. When your father was sick and there was even the possibility of cancer, he didn't care at all. He didn't want to support you and he just wanted to have fun and cheat on you. The minute you were gone he started sleeping with anything that moved lol Why are you OK with him cheating on you while you were worried about your father? His behaviour was horrific, it's not fine in any shape or form.

Also it sounds like he just wants you to be someone else. He's 35 years old and he's still a huge party boy and f boy. He hasn't grown up at all and doesn't sound like he even wants a relationship. He obviously just wants to live the party lifestyle and just hook up with people. You shouldn't have to change though and force yourself to be more outgoing. You don't have to be someone else and do things you don't want to do. Especially because your ex doesn't seem to care about you much. So why bother going out of your way trying to do everything and be everything he wants.

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