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NC dilemma/ Freinds without benefits


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Apologies for the length of this post, and a huge hug for anyone who bothers reading through to the end.

 

It's been two months since I dumped my ex boyfriend of over three years. It's a long, long story, but the basic reason for the breakup had to do with our lives growing apart and our terrible sex life. In spite of the fact that I dumped him, I feel like he forced me into it, since he became a cold, distant, apathetic jacka$$ for the last four months of our relationship. We were once talking marriage, kids, the works, but both of us dropped that topic once we realized we had no hope. In short, the breakup was fairly mutual, but he checked out his emotions and stopped trying a few months before I did. Hey, our feelings changed and that happens, I just wish I had caught on and broken up with him sooner, but I can't change the past and I can't blame myself for being naive.

 

For the first month I was a complete and total wreck, exacerbated by the fact that he was making out with some nasty girl in front of my friend two weeks after we broke up. In fact, he continues to date her. For the second month, we were in LC even though I tried to initiate NC, but he was always the one to contact me via e-mail, the preferred means of communication for emotional cripples such as ourselves. On Monday, he told me he likes me and loves me, that he's willing to do whatever is in his power to regain my friendship, that I'm the best person he's met in years. I told him I would consider it a favor if he were to leave me alone for the foreseeable future. However, because he sounded so sincere in his plea for friendship, I decided to give him a chance to contact me again in September with a good enough reason as to why he deserves to be my friend after not being man enough to end our relationship to my face instead of in his head. I've been told a gadjillion times that it's one month of recovery for every year you're together, so I figured three months after I dumped him would be long enough for at least the occasional e-mail, plus I'm doing pretty well these days.

 

I think I want to be friends with him and I think it can happen someday because a) I don't harbor any hope or desire for getting back together with him, b) I have no desire to have sex with him (or he with me, something proved amply during our relationship), c) we started off as friends and were really tight in the years we were a couple d) I really relate to him, except in matters concerning romance. I can certainly live out the rest of my days without being his friend, but it's something I think I may want for myself in the future. It's obviously something he wants more than I do, but that's his problem.

 

My problem is that it turns out I was wrong about the length of time it takes to get over a breakup. I've now heard that it should take me at least six or seven months. I don't want to do ANYTHING, and I mean anything, to jeopardize my healing process. The September friendship effort is hanging over my head like a death sentence. I don't want to let him know that I have so much trepidation about it because I'm too vulnerable to let him know where I'm at right now. To make matters worse, right after I sent him that e-mail, I looked at pictures of his ugly new girlfriend on his website. My heart sank, my ears actually popped, and I burst into tears. I am so, so ready for NC (including websites) it's not even funny, but I told him this stupid thing about September and now it's freaking me out.

 

I wonder why he's broken NC so many times before, and I think, in order to be in a place to be his friend, I can't really wonder stuff like this about him. I'm not over this breakup - yesterday's crying jag proved it. I don't want to break NC in order to tell him that, though. I also wonder if seven months is long enough to get over someone and be their friend. I also wonder if I should do anything before I make my decision - sleep with someone else? Have an actual relationship with someone else? Some tangible milestone would be helpful, since I would hate to get into a friendship at the expense of my wellbeing. Finally, I wonder why he's being so dilligent in his efforts to be friends with me. I don't want to be used to make him feel better. Momma didn't raise no sucker, ya know?

 

Again, if you've gotten this far, a million thanks for reading and/or not falling asleep.

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I wouldnt just sleep with someone to get over your past relationship. For one thing sleeping with someone usually brings on some emotions that you may not want to deal with at this time (since you are still hurting over a past breakup). Sleeping with someone can cause you to get attached to someone and create feelings that shouldnt be there and then you have another mess to deal with, and you still arent dealing with the mess from the other relationship.

 

Sometimes it takes a long time to get over a relationship. Some people get over it quicker than others. Some take longer. I would suggest that you keep strict NC with your ex since that will make the healing process quicker and not reopen old wounds and dredge up old feelings. Time is a great healer of things. You will find that with strict NC and the passage of time, your feelings for you ex will dwindle and it will start to hurt less and less. Pretty soon, you will wonder why you felt the way you did for him and you will be ready to date again.

 

Dont feel as though you have to rush into dating as a way to get over past hurts. That ends up with you rebounding on a new person and can cause hurt for others.

 

Deal with your pain and your emotions. Learn to live as a single person and enjoy life that way. When you feel you are finally over your ex and happy with your singlehood, then maybe approach dating again.

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I agree with RW, there is no set amount of time that can tell you how long it will take you to recover. Everybody's different. And for some people healing can even take years. Don't even try to fit yourself into somebody else's formula or time-frame. Take your time, and don't rush yourself because of what others say is the right amount. When you do feel ready, you'll know... and that's when you can move forward, on your own schedule.

 

Also, even though you promised "September," if that now feels much too soon, you're certainly allowed to reevaluate and change your mind. Even if you first miscalculated the time and your abilities, you're not really obligated to him, and you're absolutely allowed to do what's best for you. Take care of yourself as a priority, and forget about trying to keep promises made to an ex who neglected and mistreated you. Besides, he's been ignoring your needs all through the breakup, breaking NC, pressuring you, calling when you'd rather he didn't. ... The way I'm reading it, during the breakup he begged and pleaded, pressured you until you relented. That means you haven't really had the proper time to heal, and it means you only made the promise of "September" because he kept bugging you, begging, making a lot of promises. You only promised him under pressure, not because you were ready, not because you had thought it through properly, not because it was the best thing for you. I'd suggest you forget about him. Focus only on yourself for a while, nurture yourself, and do whatever you need to do to heal properly. But most of all, give yourself persmission to stop feeling obligated to him. And good luck.

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Thank you both for taking the time to read this. It was so so long!

 

 

I just wanted to make clear that he's not begging for anything, just being persistent and attentive, two things he was not during our breakup or the end stages of our actual relationship.

 

I also wanted to make clear that I have no intentions of getting into a relationship anytime soon. I was just asking if that's the gauge of when you're over the last one, when you're ready to do that.

 

I really appreciate the advice to forget about him. I think I am giving myself permission to do that right now.

 

And really, thanks for reading!

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