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How to approach this


HopefulButScared
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My ex-boyfriend and I were together for about a year and things were going really well. About 4 months ago, life happened and it led to him saying that he couldn't be in a relationship because of the uncertainty of what lies ahead. He told a friend of ours some other concerns and they were all more "what if" things, which every day has "what if" possibilities. "What if it doesn't work out" "What if her expectations can't be met", stuff like that.

We still talk and I can see his indecision. There are days where he falls back into being affectionate and days where he is distant. I've tried very hard not to read into things because I don't want to fool myself into thinking things will change with a little bit of time. He makes sure he lets me know that I am on his mind, that he's so busy with everything that he doesn't have time for much so he doesn't want me to take his lack of communication personally, but that he reaches out to me more than anyone else.

I know I need to talk about things with my ex. If he doesn't want to be with me because he no longer likes me, then I just want him to tell me so I can accept it and move on. If it is because of his "what ifs" and his belief that this is the right thing for me, then I want to at least say my piece.

He has a lot going on right now with work and getting his Masters and I hate to add more to it, but I can't go on much longer. Does anyone have any advice on how best to bring this up without making him feel defensive? I don't want him to feel attacked and I can't really straight out mention his "what ifs" because he didn't tell me directly. Unfortunately, we are at different colleges for our Master programs so the distance makes things a bit more difficult.

I'm scared that I'll somehow ruin any possibility if I say the wrong thing. Any advice or help would be greatly welcomed!

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13 minutes ago, HopefulButScared said:

we are at different colleges for our Master programs so the distance makes things a bit more difficult.

Sorry this is happening.

He seems unsure about the relationship, a commitment and the distance.

He most likely is talking to and interested in local women.

Delete and block him from all your social media and messaging apps.

Never chase or beg someone who does not want to be with you or is unsure of  you..

 

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I'm sorry. This does suck.

in a general sense, these types of problems in relationships come down to one thing:

One person knows they don't want to be with the other, but they're scared to cut the cord completely.

So there's all this drama. They can't handle their life. They're so stressed. So confused. Then one day, they're not.  They don't have any empathy or regret and they move on.  And the other I person is left broken hearted, confused,& disappointed for all the effort they put in "to be there" for them. 

The very best thing you do is take any indecision as a no. I would ignore him for awhile.   If he asks what's up or whatever, you say you are focusing on you. You accept he is confused but you can't continue to just be blindly supportive while he figures things out. Now you feel the need to figure things out for yourself.

Take the time and space to be with your friends, family, yourself.... distance will give you perspective, strength and clarification.

The clarification is: this is bull crap and you can do better than his weak but.

When you start feeling this, you know you're on the right track. Don't let him use you to get over you

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12 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

He seems unsure about the relationship, a commitment and the distance.

He most likely is talking to and interested in local women.

 

 

The distance is part of his concern because he is afraid I wouldn't be happy in his area. He's worried that things might not work out, but these are just regular what if things. Things could not work out for many reasons, but that isn't a reason not to try if you want that person. He has never said his feelings for me have changed (to anyone) otherwise I wouldn't be so confused.

If he was talking to or seeing anyone else, he would tell me. He isn't one that would hide that, especially since we're "just friends" right now. I know most people would lie about that, but he's one of the rare ones that wouldn't. He doesn't pull punches for anyone.

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16 minutes ago, Lambert said:

I'm sorry. This does suck.

in a general sense, these types of problems in relationships come down to one thing:

One person knows they don't want to be with the other, but they're scared to cut the cord completely.

So there's all this drama. They can't handle their life. They're so stressed. So confused. Then one day, they're not.  They don't have any empathy or regret and they move on.  And the other I person is left broken hearted, confused,& disappointed for all the effort they put in "to be there" for them. 

The very best thing you do is take any indecision as a no. I would ignore him for awhile.   If he asks what's up or whatever, you say you are focusing on you. You accept he is confused but you can't continue to just be blindly supportive while he figures things out. Now you feel the need to figure things out for yourself.

Take the time and space to be with your friends, family, yourself.... distance will give you perspective, strength and clarification.

The clarification is: this is bull crap and you can do better than his weak but.

When you start feeling this, you know you're on the right track. Don't let him use you to get over you

I actually had stopped reaching out to him. He made the initial step to contact me again and told me how much he missed me. He makes sure he reaches out every day, he calls me, still shares things with me. The only thing that has changed is the communication has gone down a bit since his program started and the affectionate pet names don't happen as often.

He's not 100% in and I know that. I need to talk to him about the reasons. If it is because of ABC, then it is something that can be discussed and worked out. If it is because he no longer likes me, then there's no changing that and I will move on. If I didn't truly believe it is because of ABC, I would have given up long ago. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but it just doesn't feel like it.

Any idea on how best to bring that up?

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7 minutes ago, HopefulButScared said:

The distance is part of his concern because he is afraid I wouldn't be happy in his area. Things could not work out for many reasons, but that isn't a reason not to try if you want that person.

How long has it been a distance situation? Unfortunately he ended things so he did inform you how he feels.

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2 minutes ago, melancholy123 said:

What do YOU want?  You are so concerned about him that you dont say what you want or feel. Personally I'd be gone.  He can find you if and when he figures himself out and in the meantime you need to keep moving forward in your life.

Honestly, I want to be with him. Before 4 months ago, we were both 100% in. Never any doubt. This life event is a major thing. Sorry to be so vague, but that's the most I can say. That changed everything and brought about the "no relationship" conversation. That is why I can't seem to let go yet. Because he said that and we haven't been able to talk about it. Sounds dumb, I know.

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OP, he did end the relationship and that tells you everything you need to know about where you stand with him.

The rest is just him using you to get over you. When he keeps chatting you up every single day, he gets the benefit of your friendship, support, companionship without giving anything back to you - commitment and relationship. You are going along with this falsely thinking that he'll realize how great you are and come back. Wrong. People don't value what they get for free and you are allowing him to just use the parts of you he wants and finds convenient.

Stop it. Tell him that he can no longer contact you and that you need to heal from the break up. If he ever sorts himself out and wants to try again, he is welcome to reach out. Meanwhile, you do just that - heal and move on. Do not wait on him. If he does reach out and wants to try again, at the very least you'll be able to make a clear headed decision whether he was all that and worth another try or not. It would also give both of you the best chance of reconnecting on a fresh page.

One thing to think about is this - even if he came back to you next week wanting a relationship, could you ever trust him with your heart again? What happens next time there is a life event or he gets overwhelmed with what if's? He'll just dump you and run away again? Is that kind of uncertainty something you want hanging over your head like a dark cloud all the time?

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1 hour ago, HopefulButScared said:

The distance is part of his concern because he is afraid I wouldn't be happy in his area. He's worried that things might not work out, but these are just regular what if things. Things could not work out for many reasons, but that isn't a reason not to try if you want that person. He has never said his feelings for me have changed (to anyone) otherwise I wouldn't be so confused.

Okay, first, he's your 'ex' .. so you really aren't together now.

Why?  

Second, you two were only involved for a year?

IMO, IF he's so uncertain at this point, I'd let him go.

In a years time, one should know if this is what they are truly into & wanting.. or not.

 

2 hours ago, HopefulButScared said:

About 4 months ago, life happened and it led to him saying that he couldn't be in a relationship because of the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

So, I think he does still fancy you and still wants you  ' in his life', but that is it.

Then don't go there anymore.. If you can accept him as a 'friend', then leave it at that.

* when a couple splits up and for reasons, if they do get involved again and those 'reason' have not been dealt with, the relationship will fall apart, again. *

 

Do you think it's maybe just best to leave as is now.. and move along?

 

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2 hours ago, HopefulButScared said:

I know I need to talk about things with my ex. If he doesn't want to be with me because he no longer likes me, then I just want him to tell me so I can accept it and move on. If it is because of his "what ifs" and his belief that this is the right thing for me, then I want to at least say my piece.

Agree with the others.  And never ever try to convince someone else to be with you.  Relationships are hard enough even when both are 100% invested.  Sorry!!

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He has too much on his plate now with work and his Masters.  He doesn't have brain space, time nor energy for you.  Also, if he truly wanted you in his life, he would've somehow made the effort to keep you in his life yet he did not.  He made excuses and he grew hot and cold.  No one can keep up with a man who is unpredictable.  Instead of trying to figure out why he let you go and expecting more clear explanations from him, just accept the fact that you were rejected by him even though it's painful to leave it at that.  It doesn't matter "why" he decided to reject you.  The fact is that he rejected you and this should be enough.  I'm sorry.

The wrong thing would be to go backwards and continue dredging up contact and correspondence with an ex.  An ex is just that; an ex.  He's now part of your past and should remain there. You can't move forward with your life as long as you revert to resuming communication with an ex who shouldn't matter to you anymore.

Your ex was inconsistent with his behavior which doesn't make for a sound, stable, secure relationship.  He's insecure and if he had to question being with you, he's not worth being with.  He's unreliable and not a good anchor for you.  This should be a red flag because any man who makes you feel unsteady is a waste of your time and energy. 

Don't bother.  Don't drag out unnecessary drama.  Move on. 

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