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This feels like the weirdest break-up ever


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I (24 F) feel like I'm having the strangest break-up ever, with my (25 M) now ex-boyfriend.

At the end of April, my ex broke up with me, after almost 2 years together. I didn't want to break-up but I "agreed" to it and didn't give him a hard time. In retrospect, he had good reasons to do it. I was having a really difficult time due to my mental health (depression, anxious attachment style, general lack of self-esteem). I stopped going to therapy and had various episodes of jealousy and co-dependancy on the last few months, which ended up on him feeling stuck. He did what he could but, ultimately, he felt like he needed his space. I love him dearly but I knew we weren't being healthy.

When we were breaking up, he told me that he still loved me, that he didn't want to lose me but he needed to let go. He wanted to remain friends though. After a few days of considering this, I decided to agree to it because yes, I love him still, but also because I know he is a great guy and I want his friendship. Also decided I needed to pick myself up, started going to therapy weekly and started to work on my self-confidence and trust issues. I have been doing a lot and I'm honestly proud of my progress so far. It's only the beginning, but I'm doing as much as I can.

We kept texting practically every day, even though at a different pace than before. A couple of days ago, we decided to meet up for a casual outing as friends. When we met, we kissed. Then we had a catch-up and had fun like before. After a while, I had the need to address my part on the break-up and asked him if he thought that, one day, we could get back together. He told me very honestly that, at the moment, he doesn't see himself in a relationship at all as he needed to figure himself out. Asked me what I thought and I told him that I would like to have another try, but knew it wasn't the healthiest choice for me at the moment. We agreed to tell each other if we wanted to date someone else and agreed to see each other soon. At the end of our outing, we kissed again.

I feel like we need some time apart but we can make it together, after we overcome our personal situations. However, I am also very scared this is just a movie-like idea and I'm going to end up dissappointed. Do people really get back together?

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I empathize with you, I know this isn’t easy. Am I correct in assuming this is your first serious romantic relationship? Were things going well until you stopped going to therapy, or were there other cracks in the foundation? You do a great job of acknowledging your own faults but I’m curious to know if he contributed to the downfall at all. In other words, was he doing anything that triggered your jealously and dependcy issues?. What was the reason you stopped going to therapy?

So to be frank, I don’t see much weird about your situation. It’s fairly common that one or both parties have compatiblility issues due to differing attachment styles, mental health, etc. Obviously relationships thrive when a cooperative environment is established to deal with these issues and it’s rare they are dealt with successfully without serious work by both parties. 

Do people get back together? Of course. Will you? No one knows. I am thrilled to hear you are already being proactive in working on your self admitted mental health issues. The fact you have pride in your progress speaks volumes to your maturity and emotional stability at the moment, as most heartbroken folks have zero pride and are completely battered from a self confidence perspective. I would advise you to eliminate contact with him or the illusion you can handle friendship. It is disingenuous to carry on a friendship when you obviously want more, and he is most likely only offering this as an olive branch to soften the blow of the breakup. He doesn’t want to see you hurt, but he is done with the relationship as it is now. Again, could that change in the future, of course it could. But staying in contact and maintaining this psueduo friendship will only delay your own personal growth and healing, which takes precedent. 

True change takes a long time. This broken relationship is over, and for any reocnciliation to work, an entirely new relationship has to evolve based on sustained growth from both of you. Otherwise, rushing back into a relationship leads to resurfacing of the same problems and you find yourself back here posting another heartbreak story. 

Edited by kctiger
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If you settle for scraps the chances of you two ever getting back together as a proper couple are immensely reduced -one of you or both of you will get hurt and have "baggage" or bad history together which is really hard to overcome if you are ever to reconcile. He doesn't want a relationship with you right now and he also enjoys playing at being a couple.  

I reconciled with my now husband.  7 years after we broke up while engaged.  I wanted to reconcile a month later and he said no -it will be romantic at first but nothing will have changed and we'll break up again. Had he said yes that is very likely what would have happened and I know for sure that would have been THE END.  Instead, we've now been married for over 10 years and have a wonderful son.  

 

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If you did get back together, I’d recommend having a plan for working through and staying on top of the things that drove you apart. (Like on your end it might seek therapy when the attachment style starts causing fear in you. But when you take the attachment trauma out of the picture, was this guy all hunky dory or were there things he did that contributed to the divide between you as well? What is his action plan to not keep doing that?)

 

In the mean time, imagine that in order for a friendship to form your feelings first need to fade and in order for them to fade you need space. Take the space. If he wants to be kissing you he had better also want to make you his forever woman!

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I agree no more kissing and frankly I don't think it is healthy for you to be his "friend" at this stage.  Maybe some time down the road when you are both in a better place and have your lives going well but right now it isn't a good idea.

For true growth you need to be totally free mind and spirit. Clinging to hope will end up being like a parachute that you don't know if it will open or not.  That is no way to jump out of an airplane and no way to build your life.

I think it is best to let him know that a friendship isn't what is best for you right now.

Do you have other friends? Family?  They need to be your support system and your social group, not your ex.

  To truly start something over it needs to come to an end first...

 Lost

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5 hours ago, samurai_steph said:

Do people really get back together?

Sometims, but in my experience, I know very few who stayed together the second time around. Usually the same issues broke them up again, in addition to the problems caused by already breaking up once before. 

It seems he enjoys your company and affection, but knows this is over. It would be best if you don't meet up with him again and don't stay in touch. It wil be hard but you will find yourself incredibly hurt if you keep this up and someday learn he is dating someone new, despite having told you he doesn't want a relationship. I hate to say it, but that's often an excuse. 

Don't out yourself in the position of finding that out the hard way. 

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Honestly, it seems that he just wanted somebody there. And that he wont get back together but is fine hooking up every now and then. That would stop after he meets somebody new. Its extremely disengeneous to you and it will get you hurt again in the long track. Go "no contact" and try to get to acceptance that its over and move on in time.

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Sorry this is happening. Good you are trying to address your anxiety and depression. Focus on that.

Get an active life outside of him to help regain some self-confidence.

Do you work? Go to school? Live with parents?

Join some groups and clubs, volunteer, get a side hustle, take some classes and courses. Get involved in better health and a healthier lifestyle. Get Involved in sports and fitness.

You're still clinging and begging. It's not a good idea. It's unattractive and lowers your self respect further to beg for crumbs and be demoted to FWB.

Go no contact. That's the only way to stop and reflect on improving your mental health, life and self-respect.

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Yeah, is best you give some proper distance so you can both work on accepting what is.  That you two have now split and work on this fact.

So - No kissing, nothing intimate..etc. "friends" do not kiss.

As for YOU to work on this fact and on yourself, it may be best to give you guys some 'huge' distance now in order to do that.

I could not agree on being 'friends' with an ex, in order to get over him.  I just needed to be done! ( was all or nothing) ,and yes, I was hurting.  So, for my own good, in order to work on accepting & healing, I had no more to do with them.

As for expectations on your future with him... You will BOTH need some decent down time to work through all of your emotions & how you see all of this. ( Do not expect anything any time soon - If you jump back in too quickly, it'll just end up the same, because nothing has been corrected & improved yet).

So, seriously, take all of this into consideration.  Back off, expect nothing more, be respectful and focus on YOU now.

 

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