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ex wants to be friends again but his past actions have negatively affected me


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theres a lot to unpack so forgive me. 

 

 I e-dated a guy for 11 months (2019-2020), we would talk almost daily. we went on two physical dates 6 months apart from eachother. things started to become dysfunctional as he would use me as his personal therapist, put me on pedestals, and make me feel bad for things I liked.  I began to hide my feelings of discomfort due to being unsure if this all was normal. (first relationship i was ever in)  We would get into many arguments debating on if I should be offended by what he said. I spent nearly 2 grand to see him on those two dates, while he kept telling me "we'll see about it" when I asked him to see me. (we lived 2 hours apart) I would blow up at him when my feelings would be bottled up and it would cause even more problems. he finally got bored of the relationship 10 months in but still tagged me along for a month as he got ready to go for another person. I felt something was wrong but he lied and said "youre fine". a week later we break up and he explains that he feels trapped in the relationship. which felt confusing since he continuously asked me to stay, put faith in him and trust his intuition. 

Another week passes and I thought we were fine being friends, but suddenly he begins bragging about his new bf. It hasn't even been a month, I'm livid.  I soon get hidden messages making misogynistic jokes about me which puts even more fuel into the fire. I block him and make a huge vent that people began using it as a weapon for harassment. I delete the vent and give a huge apology to him. we don't talk for another 5 months. finally we have a long intervention and give eachother our sorry's and why we acted the way we did. I'm partially satisfied with his apology but it still didn't feel like enough. two months later he texts me out of the blue asking me about my day and what I'm up to as if we're back to being buds again. when i explained this is not the best time he shows a smidge of self awareness that i had never seen before, "sorry that was selfish of me". which was a visible change in his demeanor.  however I'm still extremely uncomfortable and ask for him to not bother me and let me recover. my other friend explained that he wants to be friends again.

I'm baffled and refuse. the idea begins to make me paranoid so I text him out of the blue to not talk to me for the whole year. (2021) he gets upset and is just trying to put water under the bridge and move on. 

We both messed up in parts of the relationship, but his actions were always the opposite of his words. I have no trust in him, and hes hurt me emotionally multiple times, but how my friend explains he feels guilty over his actions and feels awful over how depressed I am now.  hes respected my wishes of not being bothered for 6 months now. which i appreciate. He still wants to be friends because he misses the nostalgia of being buds before we dated. ive given him multiple chances to be better in the relationship, and it took a vent, me breaking down, and others judgement for him to get an iota of introspection. 

Its been a year and a half. I'm struggling to move on and get him out of my head. my self esteem and self worth was shot due to him. i don't know if giving a year to see if his words can match his actions is a smart idea. how should I feel about this? what should I do?

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6 minutes ago, MellersBees said:

I e-dated a guy for 11 months .we went on two physical dates 6 months apart from eachother.

It would help you tremendously to delete and block him from all your social media and messaging apps. 

That way, you could redirect your time and energy into real-life local single available men who you can date on a regular basis.

Get more involved in real life in-person situations through your work, friends, family, sports, clubs, groups volunteering, classes courses etc..

Also get a good profile and pics on quality dating apps and start talking to and meeting local men. If someone won't meet in a timely fashion, just move forward.

Be wary of anyone too distant or who can't/won't meet regularly enough to actually know them.

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2 hours ago, MellersBees said:

He still wants to be friends because he misses the nostalgia of being buds before we dated.

This is something you just can't do, nor can he expect you to.

People are well aware of their behaviour 😕 .

When damage has been done, No, they can't 'expect you to be a friend' - especially harder once you've crossed that line.

So, out of respect, you should be left alone to heal & accept all that has happened - his selfishness can back off.

I suggest you just move on.. leave him in the dust.  He does NOT deserve your 'friendship', even if/when you are feeling better.

What's done is done, sadly 😕 . ( You both need to accept - right).

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It's a lot of drama for a long distance relationship. Is this the life you want? You lost me at two physical dates six months apart. It's not realistic or sustainable. Date locally. Avoid all the back and forth. The interactions seem fraught with tension and grief and a strange power dynamic (someone always trying to get the upper hand) from poor communication pretending to be ok when things are not, lack of honesty or transparency and then just sheer or zero consideration for your feelings. 

Don't be a sucker for punishment. This dude is no good and he's no friend or boyfriend. Move forwards.

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I see zero point to playing friendzies with an ex. It only sets you up for another break up once either of you wants to get involved with another lover.

Friends are equals with no ulterior agenda beyond being friends.

With exes, either one or the other has an agenda to return to being lovers, OR, one or the other will learn soon enough that no healthy future parter in his-or-her right mind wants to involve themselves with anyone who is still involved with an ex in any way, shape or form beyond shared children.

So 'friendship' with an ex becomes a self limiting form of stagnation. Either both people stay stuck hovering around old unfinished business until this becomes boring enough to move forward, OR, one or the other takes on the unfortunate job of breaking the other's heart a second time in order to get involved with someone else.

So why pursue such a dead end? If ex ever decides that he made a mistake and your are THE ONE for him, then he'd have no trouble catching up to you to tell you exactly this regardless of where you are or who your are with. 

So hovering around to pretend to be 'friends' is unnecessary and a waste of time and focus.

As for your self esteem, note the word 'Self' esteem. It's not ex-esteem or BF-esteem or lover-esteem. So basing your self worth on one other person's limited capacity to see and appreciate your unique value is the perfect way to ruin your life.

If you want to do that, it's not against the law--it's just not going to buy you anything but misery. Have you noticed?

Consider working with a professional who is trained to help people who are stuck in a stagnant focus on another person. You will thank yourself for doing the work to learn the rewards of self liberation.

Head high.

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This person is absolutely toxic. 

It is harmful to your well-being  to try to be friends with him. None of what you desrcribed is normal in a relationship, OP. 

Delete and block him, and stay away from online guys. Your filter isn't sharp enough to weed out the bad seeds. 

By the way, how on earth did you wind up spending $2000 on these dates when you only lived two hours apart?? 

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sorry,

if this guy was a good friend and after years of being just friends you decided to date and realized after a few dates you really didn't want to lose the friendship/you both agreed you were really just friends - i get wanting to be friends again.

But you only saw this person TWICE.  He wants a therapist, not a friend.  Run far away.

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On 6/4/2021 at 3:41 AM, MissCanuck said:

This person is absolutely toxic. 

It is harmful to your well-being  to try to be friends with him. None of what you desrcribed is normal in a relationship, OP. 

Delete and block him, and stay away from online guys. Your filter isn't sharp enough to weed out the bad seeds. 

By the way, how on earth did you wind up spending $2000 on these dates when you only lived two hours apart?? 

i was 19 at the time (21 now) and didn't have my license. he was 20 and did, although he made excuses like he was too afraid to drive or his parents didnt want for him to see me. i paid for hotels/gas/entertainment. he bragged about his parents making 6 figures however didn't accumulate money of his own often. there were multiple red flags i did not know were redflags until a year later. 

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these answers are extremely insightful. its been a year and a half and ive been building up my self by heading to the gym and seeing new people. im just still struggling to say no with gusto, but your answers bring a lot of relief and validation that i wasnt going crazy over this and should put a foot forward. 

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10 minutes ago, MellersBees said:

these answers are extremely insightful. its been a year and a half and ive been building up my self by heading to the gym and seeing new people. im just still struggling to say no with gusto, but your answers bring a lot of relief and validation that i wasnt going crazy over this and should put a foot forward. 

You know you don't have to say anything, right? The offer of friendship seemed to roll off his tongue a bit casually that last time and after the history between you both it doesn't sound very believable in the first place. What kind of friend treats another person the way he treated you.

If you don't feel comfortable saying anything, just don't. Let sleeping dogs lie and let him go in your own way. He has already moved on and isn't interested in seeing you as a partner. Why stick around and be a pin cushion hearing about his new sexcapades and new relationships?

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7 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

You know you don't have to say anything, right? The offer of friendship seemed to roll off his tongue a bit casually that last time and after the history between you both it doesn't sound very believable in the first place. What kind of friend treats another person the way he treated you.

If you don't feel comfortable saying anything, just don't. Let sleeping dogs lie and let him go in your own way. He has already moved on and isn't interested in seeing you as a partner. Why stick around and be a pin cushion hearing about his new sexcapades and new relationships?

honestly there are many boundary related things im still learning about. and youre completely right.

 

i believe he's comfortable with being friends with me due to being able to be friends with his last ex, they dated for four years before breaking it off and he dated me. so this is normal for him. he also is gay, so thankfully he wont see me as a romantic partner/ sexually attractive ever again. 

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6 minutes ago, MellersBees said:

honestly there are many boundary related things im still learning about. and youre completely right.

 

i believe he's comfortable with being friends with me due to being able to be friends with his last ex, they dated for four years before breaking it off and he dated me. so this is normal for him. he also is gay, so thankfully he wont see me as a romantic partner/ sexually attractive ever again. 

But would being friends be a good choice for you?  Would it hold you back from dating or meeting new people? You mentioned you're struggling to move on and your self-esteem is shot (your words, first post). How would being friends influence the way you see yourself or how you live going forward? 

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6 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

But would being friends be a good choice for you?  Would it hold you back from dating or meeting new people? You mentioned you're struggling to move on and your self-esteem is shot (your words, first post). How would being friends influence the way you see yourself or how you live going forward? 

i too have had that question boggling my mind. the short answer is no. we were friends for two years before we dated. but even then i would butt heads with his opinions and mannerisms. it honestly feels like playing emotional roulette on whether or not hes managed to be a more mindful and respectful friend. there are many goals i want to reach that his codependent behavior was preventing to be met. and some of those goals have become far more attainable now that i don't have to worry about what he thinks or feels on the matter.

there are far too many bad memories that were made than good. sitting in the same area as him and the partner he dumped me for a week later is not the kind of time i want to have. to this statement i can already imagine him saying "im holding a grudge", but its a grudge that's keeping me sane. 

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7 hours ago, MellersBees said:

i can already imagine him saying "im holding a grudge",

Don't make decisions based on what he would think.

Make your own decisions based on what you're comfortable with.  You shouldn't be trying to please him anymore.

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7 hours ago, boltnrun said:

 

Don't make decisions based on what he would think.

Make your own decisions based on what you're comfortable with.  You shouldn't be trying to please him anymore.

ack. youre also right. its a bad people pleasing habit. what he thinks doesnt matter anymore. 

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47 minutes ago, abitbroken said:

It doesn't sound like a good friendship. A friendship is a nurturing relationship - not keeping in touch with someone you once bonked who makes you feel icky

thankfully we never bonked, but youre still right. even if you take the romance or intimacy and leave a close friendship, it was still toxic and very one-sided to his benefit. ultimately being friends with him would benefit him more than it would benefit me. 

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On 6/6/2021 at 12:35 AM, MellersBees said:

i too have had that question boggling my mind. the short answer is no. we were friends for two years before we dated. but even then i would butt heads with his opinions and mannerisms. it honestly feels like playing emotional roulette on whether or not hes managed to be a more mindful and respectful friend. there are many goals i want to reach that his codependent behavior was preventing to be met. and some of those goals have become far more attainable now that i don't have to worry about what he thinks or feels on the matter.

there are far too many bad memories that were made than good. sitting in the same area as him and the partner he dumped me for a week later is not the kind of time i want to have. to this statement i can already imagine him saying "im holding a grudge", but its a grudge that's keeping me sane. 

From a selfish or self-absorbed person like him an accusation of you holding a grudge sounds quite silly/ineffective. Stay away from individuals who guilt trip you into behaving a certain way. That's a terrible way of manipulating someone. Get away from this guy pronto.

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