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Got dumped after 10 months, feeling guilty, not so clear on the reasons


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You are not going to get an answer FROM HIM that will make you sit back and say "OK! Now I fully understand and have 'closure'".  Plus, and this I guarantee, seeing him or talking to him will set you right back to square one as though the breakup happened all over again. No matter how he responds (or doesn't respond).

You are at the bargaining stage of grief. It doesn't mean you have to act on it. Just ride it out. You'll be glad you did.

Edited by boltnrun
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24 minutes ago, magnolia7 said:

Is the "no contact rule" in place for my sake or for his sake?

Yours. 

It usually hurts a lot more than we expect to talk to an ex again after we have been dumped. I don't think he is going to be able to provide you answers that make this all sit better with you, either, and you will likely hurt more when you hear whatever he has to say. (if he even wants to rehash this... he might not)

In my experience, growth from a break-up generally comes from accepting that we won't always get the answers we're seeking. We won't always be able to really see things from our ex's point of view. We might not ever agree with their reasoning. But we can accept that it didn't work for them, and that doesn't always mean we did something wrong. 

I don't think you will gain a lot from talking about this with him. You can try, but I think the risk (setting you back in your healing and leaving you with more questions than answers) is not worth the anticipated outcome. 

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18 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

You are at the bargaining stage of grief. It doesn't mean you have to act on it. Just ride it out. You'll be glad you did.

Yes Bolt, and yes again!

OP, it isn't about a dominant opinion here. It is plain common sense.

Leave the past where it is, and don't look back because often the view sure ain't pretty.

Life isn't written in absolutes, OP.  Some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you.  

Visualization exercises can be most helpful when you feel your mind being invaded. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, magnolia7 said:

I keep going through the different events in our relationship at random times during the day. I think my mind is processing them to get to some level of understanding that feels comfortable. But there are certain parts that I can't come to an understanding with because they are either very blurry in my mind or I'm speculating because I don't know what it was like for him.

Would it be unreasonable to ask to chat with him about these? I really think it will help me get some closure and I'm in a less emotional and more rational place now after almost a month in. And I don't think I could ask about them later because he might start dating someone else and that would be a much less appropriate time.

This is called rumination. It's very common after break ups. Google it.

To answer your question: yes. Not because it's a crazy idea, but because I don't think that talking to him will actually help you. His behavior will probably never make sense to you, but that's because you are someone who actually addresses her problems head on.

What you need is time. It will heal your wounds. Then, as more time passes, and you gain more experience, you will be able to see this issue from another perspective. That will help you to understand that some people are just messed up.

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You are torturing yourself. This guy was no longer into you. No matter what you did, no matter what road you would of taken, no matter what decisions you would make, all roads would of lead to a break up. Why?? Its because he wasnt into you.

You want to know why it didnt work out and you are looking into yourself to see where the failure happened. Did you know you can make zero mistakes and still lose? Its just how life is. Here is the reality is that it takes two people to make a relationship work. There doesnt have to be a good or even a valid reason for a relationship to fail. If the other person doesnt feel it, then its not going to work. No fault, no blame, no reason, just is. 

I know you have questions you want to ask, I know you want answers, but I can tell you now that your thirst will not go away. The more answers you get, the most questions you will have and the guy you dated will only get validation on why he ended it with you. I know you want to know why. But there are times the real reason is just not good enough, there has to be something.  Just accept that it didnt work out and it was destined not to work out. You were meant for someone else. 

 

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He reached out to me yesterday by texting about something related to a rabbit and a rabbit nest he saw in his backyard. He thought I would like it. It was indeed interesting and cute. We had a little friendly chat.

At the end, I decided to ask. I knew the advice here sounded sage, that whatever answer I got was probably not going to make me feel better (and my therapist thought it would make him uncomfortable) but I figured I keep going back and forth thinking "maybe if I had integrated him into my life more, or spent more regular time with him, invited him over more (I think I briefly explained in my first post that my living situation before my move was more uncomfortable for several reasons so we mostly spent time at his place, something he wasn't fully happy with, I think), was more warm to his friends, demonstrated my skills in X and Y, opened up more etc then it would have been easier for him to love me" and I wanted to stop feeling that way and have some clarity. Every time I broke up with someone, I myself had clear reasons. Sometimes it was because I didn't love them anymore but I also knew why I didn't love them anymore: my last ex was usually not so present when we were hanging out together, started to act a bit more crude, would sometimes feel too lazy to help me out when I needed help and etc. The one before that was a little too insecure and I didn't think long distance was going to work. I thought as analytical a person he is, he must have some stuff he thinks like that. He apparently spent a whole month/month and a half thinking about this. He had reasons to think this had a potential and I was "cool", wouldn't he now have more concrete reasons to think it no longer has potential and we are no longer compatible?

Anyway, I texted him something saying how I have been reflecting on what kind of a partner I was and what I might need to work on but I'm probably missing half the perspective here. I asked if he would be willing to chat about it but also said I would understand if he wouldn't and that I didn't want to make him uncomfortable.

The answer I received wasn't too surprising: "Hey! I think it might make me a little uncomfortable but to be honest I also don't think I would have much to say for the feedback you're looking for, there weren't any issues I was secretly mad about or anything like that. I'm sorry if that's not helpful though."

Then he proceeded to send me some cat videos, I'm guessing the conversation made him uncomfortable and he decided to change the subject into something without teeth and comfortable.

I think it's right: I have been beating myself up about not doing X and Y but this relationship ultimately failed because he didn't love me, hoped he would if he kept seeing me, but he didn't. He was clearly honest about it and wasn't just trying to give a quick hard-to-protest reason to escape it. And whether doing X and Y would have changed it? I don't know, I will never know, but I also shouldn't want to settle for someone who found it so difficult to love me. If I'm being honest, I realized this in the last couple months of our relationship. But you know what? I am also a little bit mad at him at times now. Yes, I knew in the last couple months of the relationship that something was off and he didn't reciprocate to me trying to talk about how I started to feel more strongly about him. But earlier in the relationship it did not feel that way. At 2 month mark, he told me he was looking for a relationship and wanted to keep seeing me. I said I also was looking for a relationship but didn't feel ready to call it a relationship yet (because I was still unsure, that's what you do when you are unsure). At 4 month mark, he got me flowers just because our foster kittens were being adopted and he wanted to put a smile on my face. At 5th month mark, he asked me if he could introduce me to his best friends from childhood. At 6th month mark, he asked to make it official and we did. Then he started asking how many kids I would want, what I would want to name them, tried to find names we liked in common, what kind of house I would want etc. I know stuff like that doesn't mean we are buying a house tomorrow or whatever but it made me feel safe. It made me feel like I was loved and/or cared for enough to let my guard down. It made me feel like he could totally see a future with me and I started seeing that future, too. Stuff like this signals something, and as a 27 year old man, I think he was aware that it did. It was part of the reason I felt like there must be something that made this flip from that to coldness and distance. And now I'm learning when he was doing all that, he never actually "had strong feelings for me". I now just feel strung along and tricked a little.

If this had happened at 3 month mark, sure, I'd be a bit disappointed since I also saw potential at the time and really liked his personality and kindness and was attracted to him, but I wouldn't be too upset because I also was unsure at the time and had my guards up and didn't yet have very strong feelings. But then I started to love him. You know what I do when I like someone but I'm unsure? I date them more casually. I don't ask about what kind of house we would want to live in together. I don't invite them to all of my outings with my close friends.

Sometimes I wonder if he is really giving an honest answer but then I think he probably does and thinking he doesn't won't help me anyway because I will never learn more. Then I go between feeling like "I appreciate how he wanted to give it a try and be a kind boyfriend. I wish he thought I was special" and "This is such a mean thing to do to someone, it feels so dishonest and unfair. I wonder if he wanted to be in a relationship with me just to experience a relationship" (this was his first, apparently).

I will ride out whatever feeling this grief keeps bringing up but try not to look back anymore. Looks like I got all the information I ever will, this relationship indeed probably had nothing to fix, and I'm hoping if I sincerely loved someone who was so ambivalent about me, hopefully one day soon I will meet someone who will love me that I will be able to love even more sincerely. Just hoping I can figure out earlier if I'm being strung along in the future.

Edited by magnolia7
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Next time, don't dismiss your gut feelings. Despite what he said to you, you were getting "cold vibes" from him. I also suggest re-reading your journal a couple of times, once you feel up to it. The signs were there; you either didn't trust yourself or you didn't want to believe it.

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1 hour ago, magnolia7 said:

I'm hoping if I sincerely loved someone who was so ambivalent about me

Unfortunately you had your walls up so high you were ambivalent toward him for months. People will tire of jumping through hoops to make you feel "safe".

You'll have to take risks just like anyone you're involved in is taking risks. You'll also have to start taking responsibility for your own feelings and actions.

If someone is coming along with insincere future talk or other red flags it's time to cut your losses. Sometimes it just doesn't work out. 

You don't need a analytical thesis to figure out a breakup.

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1 hour ago, magnolia7 said:

The answer I received wasn't too surprising: "Hey! I think it might make me a little uncomfortable but to be honest I also don't think I would have much to say for the feedback you're looking for, there weren't any issues I was secretly mad about or anything like that. I'm sorry if that's not helpful though."

We told you that OP. Its futile to look for an answers after break up because you wont get them. He maybe just didnt feel it, maybe it was some issue he had, but if he didnt disclosed it when you did break up, its highly unlikely he would now. People in general just look for an easy way out. Meaning "its not you, its me" talk and thats it. Anything more would get into uneccessery talks people are not willing to take because it does make them uncomfortable. Would it be easier,for example, for you to maybe know its because you didnt make enough space for him in your life? Sure. But it would also lead to probably you promissing how you could change in future and talks like that. See how that spirals out of control? Like this, he said he doesnt feel it and thats it. Easier, cleaner solution. Not for you because you wonder what you did wrong, but for him certanly.

Also, rabbit talk? Cat videos? You dont need that from him in healing phase. Stop that.

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3 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Next time, don't dismiss your gut feelings. Despite what he said to you, you were getting "cold vibes" from him. I also suggest re-reading your journal a couple of times, once you feel up to it. The signs were there; you either didn't trust yourself or you didn't want to believe it.

Yeah, I read my journal again, actually. It seems like in the beginning I was confused because the first month he seemed bored and I questioned his interest on half of our dates (the first one, third one, and the fourth one). I thought he will likely not ask me out again but he did. Since he kept asking me out, I thought "he seems reserved, perhaps shy/nervous". 

Then things were not so cold around months 2.5--7. That's when I started feeling like we were bonding (and he said stuff like "I really like you" out of nowhere a few times, so I think those were the better times in our relationship). There are a bunch of very positive things I wrote about him and how he checks a huge majority of my boxes etc, which was a bit difficult to read. Then, the first time I met his friends, which was through some online game we joined together (I was at his place and we were video calling them and playing games together), he was very cold again. He was so stressed out about microphone issues. I wrote how I suddenly felt very unwelcome there, how his friend's interaction with his girlfriend on the call (they started dating around the same time) seemed much warmer than ours but chalked it up to his stress about the mic, potentially. He picked up on it towards the end of the night, asked me about it, I told him that I felt like he was being cold, he apologized and said he was stressed out about the mic setup. 

Around that time I brought up how I wasn't sure if he wanted to keep going out in our initial dates and somewhat jokingly and in a light matter talked about it, which he mostly ignored but then said "You should be more confident in yourself, don't be insecure". I didn't like that conversation either because: 1) It wasn't an insecurity in myself but I guess it was an insecurity about our relationship/his feelings, 2) I know everyone has their insecurities and especially when it comes to an insecurity about the relationship, I should be able to talk to my partner about. I tried to be reassuring about his own insecurities when it came to intimate stuff and I was disappointed to see he wouldn't be reassuring to me if the though I'm being insecure about something. Then there are multiple entries about the "cold vibes" in the last couple months of our relationship and also about how I want to say I love him but don't think he is ready and basically discussing it with myself. 

So yes, this cold vibes thing was scattered around throughout the relationship, but concentrating around certain times. I think my discomfort with having difficult conversations also made it difficult to talk about it openly and I kept guessing things by myself. That's something I would try to change in a new relationship. 

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7 minutes ago, magnolia7 said:

It seems like in the beginning I was confused because the first month he seemed bored and I questioned his interest on half of our dates (the first one, third one, and the fourth one). I thought he will likely not ask me out again but he did. Since he kept asking me out, I thought "he seems reserved, perhaps shy/nervous". 

What about your interest? What made a cold, bored guy interesting to you? Or were you just going along because he was asking? 

You seem very focused on making a relationship work and making the person like you and that's really unhealthy kind of thinking that will attract the wrong types of people to you. Even now, your full on fixation is what could you have done to make him love you. You can't make people love you, OP. It doesn't work like that.

 

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3 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

You'll have to take risks just like anyone you're involved in is taking risks. You'll also have to start taking responsibility for your own feelings and actions.

Yeah, I guess you are right. Relationships require taking risks and I should be open to it. So maybe that's a better mindset.

3 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Unfortunately you had your walls up so high you were ambivalent toward him for months. People will tire of jumping through hoops to make you feel "safe".

While in general this makes sense, I certainly think it does not apply here because I think he had his walls up a lot longer and higher than mine. He was guarded throughout the whole relationship and I don't think he had to "jump through hoops" to make me feel safe. In fact, in the first few dates, I thought about how I could make him more relaxed/open up. I felt safer (and I think he opened up a bit more) as our relationship progressed and we kept advancing the relationship. 

3 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

You don't need a analytical thesis to figure out a breakup.

Isn't this what most people go through with their breakups: Try to break it down to figure out what went wrong and ruminate. Am I really ruminating more than usual or do people assume so just because I mentioned a PhD?

1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

We told you that OP. Its futile to look for an answers after break up because you wont get them.

Yeah, apparently it was indeed futile. I don't think asking hurt, though (at least didn't hurt me and I think as the person who made the decision, he is in a better place here so while I was concerned about making him uncomfortable, I'm not too concerned about hurting him or whatever) but I didn't get much out of it.

1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

Would it be easier,for example, for you to maybe know its because you didnt make enough space for him in your life? Sure. But it would also lead to probably you promissing how you could change in future and talks like that. See how that spirals out of control?

I think you are right, if he pointed out something that could be improved (e.g. spend more time together, live closer together), I'd probably want to change it and work on it. But I made that offer when we were splitting up. He first said "yes, I don't want to break up, so let's figure out what it is and work on it" and then changed his mind two days later and said "I think it's just incompatibility, let's break up". That's one of the reasons I think maybe he wasn't telling the whole truth but I also do believe he indeed didn't love me. He felt uncomfortable saying I love you (probably because he didn't) and if he did actually love me, even if there was something not working, I think he'd be willing to work on it with me and improve things. He didn't want to, which makes me believe even if there were other issues, he probably was honest about the main issue: not feeling strongly about me. 

1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

Also, rabbit talk? Cat videos? You dont need that from him in healing phase. Stop that.

When we were splitting up, he asked if we could stay friends, and I said yes. I think this might be his effort to stay friendly. Maybe he thought this was now okay to reach out because he himself had enough time to move on. I don't know if we would actually be friends with a dating history + not hanging out together. I'm not ready for it yet, for sure, since I clearly haven't moved on yet. But it might be nice to be friends in the future. What do you think the appropriate response to messages like that would be? Ghosting him?

Edited by magnolia7
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7 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

What about your interest? What made a cold, bored guy interesting to you? Or were you just going along because he was asking? 

On the first two dates, I was very unsure. I was going along because he was asking but also because I didn't see any red flags/ deal breakers etc and on paper he seemed great. On the third date, I saw some things I really liked about his personality and put effort into asking him personal questions to get to know him. I didn't "feel strongly" about him yet but I decided "yeah, he seems like a nice and attractive guy, I'd want to get to know him more" on that date. Honestly, I don't know why he pursued me if he indeed was cold and bored (or maybe he just comes across that way to me but he wasn't? I don't know). I was confused about it, too. When I brought it up, I guess I wanted to know if he indeed felt that way or not but we didn't have that conversation since he thought it sounded insecure. 

11 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

You seem very focused on making a relationship work and making the person like you and that's really unhealthy kind of thinking that will attract the wrong types of people to you.

You are right. Since he mentioned not being too happy, I've been focused on making the relationship work (even though I know it's futile now and is all over). I think in the second half of our relationship, I liked 98% of all the things about him and our interactions (except for guardedness) and decided "OK, I like this relationship, I could see a future here, and I want this relationship" so it's been difficult to come to terms with "This is over". He went back and forth about whether we could try or not (the day after the break up and a couple days before) so I think that gave me hope that there might be something we could fix and make things all better, but I think I've been hanging onto that hope without explicitly realizing and need to let go.
 

14 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

You can't make people love you, OP. It doesn't work like that.

OK, I think I need to remind myself that. If he didn't love me during our relationship, he probably will never love me, and I need to keep dating others to find a loving partner, right?

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On 7/4/2021 at 5:03 PM, magnolia9 said:

Sunday I created a "questionnaire" for us to privately fill out to see what parts of our relationship were working and what were not. He didn't do it and when we met up on Monday he said that he thinks it isn't something we could improve and he thinks we are just incompatible. So we broke up.

Yes, this is too technical, overanalytical and overly "therapeutic". There seems to be a lack of romance spontaneity and natural approach to relationships. Everything was under a microscope.

You'll have to decide why you keep a wall of thorns around you. However that's not for you to work out in new relationships through questionnaires.

You need to separate your therapy and journals from spilling into relationships this heavily. People want love and affection, not tests.

 

Edited by Wiseman2
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OK, I think you are right about the questionnaire. It was definitely very analytical. When he said he was "happy but not very happy but didn't know what was wrong", I think I tried really hard to find out what was wrong but didn't know how to go about it.

6 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

a lack of romance spontaneity

What do you mean about romance spontaneity in general? Is it stuff like going on an adventure, surprising each other or am I missing what you mean by it? 

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2 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

but you know that so this is another rhetorical question.

It is not a rhetorical question.

2 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sorry to say but you don't seem ready for a relationship.

Because there is a specific way people need to act to be "ready for a relationship"? I'm sorry but this sounds like a shallow take from my struggle with moving on. 

Edited by magnolia7
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1 hour ago, magnolia7 said:

What do you think the appropriate response to messages like that would be? Ghosting him?

Ghosting him would be mean. Just saying that you are not ready to be friends now is fine. Because you clearly are not and bunnies and cat videos wont help you get over him

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2 hours ago, magnolia7 said:

Honestly, I don't know why he pursued me if he indeed was cold and bored (or maybe he just comes across that way to me but he wasn't? I don't know). I was confused about it, too.

Maybe he just lacks emotional strength or depth. 

He reminds me of a friend/former coworker of mine, Joe. That whole rabbit nest situation really reminds me of him. There's a lack of empathy or understanding there.

Edited by Jibralta
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1 hour ago, Jibralta said:

That whole rabbit nest situation really reminds me of him. There's a lack of empathy or understanding there.

I was actually really surprised to see his message, too. On the one hand, I appreciate that he seems to make an attempt at staying friends. On the other hand, ~3 weeks after the breakup is too soon for me, considering it wasn't my decision. 

Thank you very much for replying with empathy, btw. It really makes me feel better! 

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First of.....please do not try to be friends with such a recent ex. No, it's not nice what he is doing. In fact, it's downright callous. How do you not recognize that? Something you should analyze about yourself.

Second, the reason I'm asking the questions I did previously is because I'm trying to get you to see something that is important - right from the get go, neither you nor him were all that into each other. It was more of "nothing better or no better options" type of a situation. You should have paid attention to your own feelings of uncertainty and confusion because your gut was trying to tell you something - walk away. Instead, you chose to go along until you finally got attached through sheer passage of time and your own effort into forcing this to work (and his too - forced attempts to make it work). You were both stuck on "this should be a good thing on paper" while completely ignoring the actual lack of feelings and chemistry.

Look, healthy happy relationships are never this much work and are not confusing at all. In fact, I know I met the right guy precisely because I don't feel confused, scared, uncomfortable or otherwise find myself questioning what's going on. It's steady, it's clear, it feels safe....but most of all...EASY. It just flows. We get each other naturally and intuitively. There is no over the top love bombing, but also no coldness or weirdness about it and no games. It's just normal and secure for lack of a better word. When you find yourself confused, it's not your clue to keep going and "make" him like you, it's your clue to walk away. I really hope that ultimately you do wrap your mind around that.

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3 hours ago, DancingFool said:

the reason I'm asking the questions I did previously is because I'm trying to get you to see something that is important

I really appreciate this. In fact, that's a big reason why I keep coming back here to vent when my mind goes back to square one: discussing your opinion here as an unbiased person sometimes does make me see new perspectives, thank you very much!

3 hours ago, DancingFool said:

right from the get go, neither you nor him were all that into each other.

 

3 hours ago, DancingFool said:

You should have paid attention to your own feelings of uncertainty and confusion because your gut was trying to tell you something - walk away. Instead, you chose to go along until you finally got attached through sheer passage of time and your own effort into forcing this to work (and his too - forced attempts to make it work). You were both stuck on "this should be a good thing on paper" while completely ignoring the actual lack of feelings and chemistry.

 

Actually, I think you are completely right about this. I've definitely been on dates with people that I felt more like we clicked (although they didn't progress past 5 dates or so, so maybe we didn't click enough) but most of this 10 month-old relationship, I didn't feel the same "click" I did on date #2 or #3 with those people. I am suddenly feeling a sense of calm and acceptance that this was just not the right relationship for me. I think part of the reason I fixate might be: 1) I don't have any other potential partner I click more with around me right now, so there is nothing better at the moment, 2) I did objectively like some characteristics about him quite a bit, but OK, if I'm being honest, we indeed never had a genuine emotional connection (which, I know, you've pointed out before and it got me thinking -- you are right. I wouldn't have felt so uncomfortable expressing myself if there was a genuine connection. Again, thank you!), and 3) I regretted a few things I did/didn't do in the relationship so I find it difficult to say "I tried my best" and I keep beating myself up about them. But honestly, I think you are right, even if I were the best partner ever on paper and didn't do anything I'd regret, I think this probably still wouldn't have worked out without any genuine emotional connection. And also, people do make mistakes. I think I should allow myself some compassion about it. Even if those mistakes did contribute to the end, if this were the right relationship, it probably could have persevered and wouldn't be so fragile, perhaps. 

I really hope I continue to feel this way because currently this feels right and I'm suddenly back to my more healthy and calmer state of mind. But honestly, this whole process hasn't been linear so far -- sometimes I feel a calm sense of acceptance but then sometimes my thoughts will go back to square one. I think him texting affected that. And when they do go to square one, I don't know how to handle it, and come here to vent about it all. Anyway, thank you very much for continually pointing this out to me and helping me try to keep myself more grounded.

3 hours ago, DancingFool said:

No, it's not nice what he is doing. In fact, it's downright callous.

I do think him contacting me threw me into this cycle of self doubt and stuff again. But I don't think he did it on purpose. Or at least I didn't assume any bad intentions on his part when he was reaching out to me. I assume he didn't know what sort of mindset I was in / whether I had enough time to myself when he reached out and I'm guessing he himself probably did have enough time (he was the one pulling the trigger, I assume he must be much more clear and calm about this). When we were parting and he said he would like to remain friends, I said people usually say that but most don't mean it. In my experience, it is mostly used as a way to ease the other person into the breakup. He said he meant it so I assumed this was his way of demonstrating that he indeed would like to/would be open to remain friendly. Not sure what the purpose is, to be honest. But if he did indeed think I was a cool person like he said and he didn't have any strong romantic feelings for me, I thought it was possible he thought "this would be a cool person to be friends with". Am I unreasonable here?

Edited by magnolia7
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39 minutes ago, magnolia7 said:

if he did indeed think I was a cool person like he said and he didn't have any strong romantic feelings for me, I thought it was possible he thought "this would be a cool person to be friends with". Am I unreasonable here?

You're not unreasonable. It's just not realistic to be friends with an ex you still have feelings for. It doesn't matter why he wants to be friends. Your needs are more important. And right now, trying to be friends will only hurt you and prevent you from moving on. 

41 minutes ago, magnolia7 said:

But honestly, this whole process hasn't been linear so far -- sometimes I feel a calm sense of acceptance but then sometimes my thoughts will go back to square one.

This is completely normal after a break-up. It's not a linear process, but contact from him is making it worse. So, that needs to stop. 

You will get through this, but he needs to be out of your life for a long time. 

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