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Advice on recent breakup...on again-off again

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Well here I go.......


Two years I started dating the most amazing person i had ever met. She is in her mid 20's and I in my late 20's. We met through mutual friends and started seeing each other casually, usually on double dates. We hit it off very well and there was tons of chemistry but she had just gotten out of a four year relationship with her ex (who she was totally over specifically) where he had been her first love, had bought a place together after college, who she thoguht she was going to marry, but apparntlly they grew apart and she broke up with him. the whole ordeal seemed painful, but she was over it, although not over the expirience, as I think you will see.


So we started dating...everything was great, but a few months in she ended things because it was too serious. She called me back and said she made a mistake. we started hanging out again and had sex a few months later. She freaked out again and said she couldnt do this. A few days later we were back. Again, everything was great, she said " i love you"; i was on cloud 9; the next day she freaked again and we almost broke it off. then we started planning a week vacation and she freaked, said she didnt have the feelings I had (which seemed not the case from my POV); and we broke up. this was over the course of about 8 months. When we were together or got back together you coudn't tell we were ever apart or had any issues, things were amaziong on both sides. We both spent time with family and friends as well.


So we broke up last december for good after the vacation freak out. It was tough since I had very strong feelings. She just felt that her feelings were not as strong, but again it seemed weird and almost forced by her, as I have had quite a few girlfriends and knew feelings when i felt them. We broke up then (last december) for good, although we would talk ont he phone and satill see each other every few weeks. I had moved on, although i missed her greatly. I started dating someone else. that failed. She started calling more frequently and texting, and when we saw each other, the "spark" was certainly there. We started hooking up on weekends, and then during the week, and then by the end of march we were pretty much back together.


When we got back together it was a slow process, but it was amazing. The "walls were down" finally. It was great for both of us. She was very happy. Everything worked. We were friends, had a connection, enjoyed the same things, loved each others families. The one drawback was i was a little leary of "talking" about the relationship. i just wanted to let it be and enjoy. which we did.


Starting in late november there began to be a little hitch. We were both busy, going from family gathering to friends gathering, and we just hit a bit of a rut. We stopped having sex for about five weeks. We were still very affectionate, but just got into a bad cycle (ive had this happen before). i just thought it would pass since everything seemed ok, and its not like we both didn't know how great our sex life was. It seemed minor. I mean we had known each other for almost two years at this point. I still loved her and I felt she felt the same.


the first week of jan. we got into an argument over a stupid misunderstanding that was my fault. I was somewhat stubborn and we got into a somewhat large argument, but it blew over. I was kind of pissed at her though even though in retrospect it was my fault. It was very inor though int he whole scheme of things, and i eventually apologized with flowers. So the next week she called on her way from work (which she does everyday), and she just was being very difficult and a little mean. I called her on it and told her not to talk to me like that. I asked what the problem was as I seemed to be pissing her off a lot lately. We talked and she finnaly said she needed a break. I fought against this, but she said she needed it. I thought time would actually be a good thing and i figured theres no way this will end over this little thing and how great things have been so i agreed finally.


She dodged me for two weeks. I called a week in, she called back said she needed a little more time to think. she text'd and said she needed time, then called. Then this week we actually talked. I said I realized that we were having problems communicating lately and i knew a big part was me. She listened to me state i wanted to work things out for about 30 minutes. she cried agreed in some ways, but then siad she thought we should break up. i was floored. She basically went on to say the exact same thing as last year. i had more feelings than her. something was "missing" and she didnt know what. We should have talked more. She didnt know i had such deep feelings, and i should be able to say them to her, etc..exactly the same as last year. I asked her if her feelings had come back when we got back together and she said yes. I asked her if it felt wrong when we were apart, and she said yes. i felt it was a "rut" and nothing more. It happens and we can work through it. She just continued to feel something was missing. We talked over the phone for a few hours. I said i as coming over but she strongly objected...I argued and fought, but in the end there as no changing her mind. She came over the next day to pick up her stuff (she didnt have mine so i need to get that). we hugged and kissed and I kept it to only five minutes. Quick....


I am devistated in many ways. I love this girl. In some ways i think that she is not trusting her feelings. Its strange but she is much more open and fre when she is drunk (which is not open). Almost uninhibited. she uses her head to much and I think has a overly optimistic view of love. I mean her boyfriend before me was her first love, who she thought she would marry. Its very frustrating. i cant see how she can have feelings, have them go away, then come back, then go away again. I mean i lost feelings a little bit for her in dec. but it was a passing thing, and i knew it wasn't her.


In the past she seems to respond when i move on. My questions are these:


To women: can this be the case that she is freaked about commitment? Have you ever been with a guy you love and your head messes it up over time?


To everyone: should i fight for this girl or should i move on. I want to be with her, but in the past giving her space has worked perfectly, but can we even get back again. Do people do this?


I want to end by saying there were periods last year that she was very cold, and she came around so i have little to go on. Shes also very careful with men. Does not trust easily and does not sleep around. It takes months for her to trust a guy enought to sleep with them or feel comfortable dating them. She is very cautious. I know this is long but any imput would be great....

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Hi There and welcome to the forum.


Wow, you've been through the wringer and back.


My gut reaction about this girl is that for some reason she's not letting herself "loose" to feel what she wants to feel and to move forward in a healthy relationship. Since you came on the heels of her first serious relationship, perhaps it is that she is afraid of being burned again like she was with her ex, or that she is just not 100% over him and feels that getting close to someone else is betraying that relationship (even though it's over) and her true feelings.


It's undeniable that the chemistry is there between the two of you, but I honestly think our brains and will power have alot to do with how far we will let ourselves go, and there is something about her that is chained and isn't willing to go beyond a certain point.


So, I don't think fighting her on this is going to do any good. I think she's right- she needs time to process whatever it is that's holding her back and that means time alone.


If I were you, I'd do my best to move past this and let it go....and not in the hopes that your ambivilance will bring her back, but in the hopes that you will get over the relationship and be OK with that.


I'm sorry if this isn't the advice you want to hear.... but it is my guy feeling about the situation based on the information you've given.

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Sorry to hear you've been having such a hard time of it. Also sorry that any insight I can often is pretty pessimistic. Have been on both sides of the sort of the situation you describe in different relationships and both were very difficult.


In the relationship where the guy felt more than I did, I liked him and cared about him very much, he treated me very well, I was more comfortable with him than anyone I've known as an adult, the sex was great because of it, we had fantastic times together, he got on with my family, etc. etc. etc. But while he was crazy about me, I just didn't feel the same way. I put it down to not being over my ex (see next paragraph) and was always very honest with him - he, too, grew wary of 'relationship chats' and said he understood how I felt and that we shouldn't overanalyze it. We'd agreed we'd split up when he left the country, but when the time actually came to let go I didn't want to and we carried on in a LDR for another 4 months. The feeling of something missing soon returned, though, and I split up with him. I still miss what we had together and I sometimes feel stupid to have given up as good a boyfriend as I'm ever likely to have, but then I think he deserved someone who reciprocated his feelings properly. (And he found her a few weeks after I dumped him!)


In the relationship where I felt more than the guy, which lasted a year and nine months separated by the year I was with the guy above, he felt a lot - even said he loved me - but again, it just wasn't enough. I put it down to his own recent breakup, and then to stress of his PhD and serious depressive episodes. I thought if I supported him through all this, we'd get to the point we could have good time together without any pressure and he'd realize it was good as I felt it was. I adored him, though he dumped me more times than I can say and was a pretty poor excuse for a boyfriend. The second nine month stint, I actively encouraged him to string me along, thinking if I could just be casual about it and expect nothing then that would help somehow. When he finally left he cried more than I did, but he soon moved on with his life and found someone he did feel enough for. This relationship did more damage than I can say in terms of self-confidence, having healthy feelings about men, etc. and I've still not been in another relationship 2.5 years later.


In the end, I think Dylan's got it right in You're Going To Make Me Lonesome When You Go: "If something a'int right it's wrong".


I know how hard it is to walk away from someone you love, and it'll be almost as hard for her to walk away from you if she cares as much as she seems to, but what happens to you if you hang on through another two years or five years or ten years of on-again, off-again and then she's gone for good? And what happens to her? You may feel the time spent with her is worth any sacrifice - I know I did - but you deserve someone who has no major reservations about being with you, someone who wants to be with you roughly the amount you want to be with them. She does, too.


If I were in your place now (or in my place 5 years ago) and she/he came back for one more try, I'd try saying something like this: 'Take six months to get on living your own life and I'll do the same. If after all that time you still want to be with me and I've not moved on to someone else, come back to me then. But otherwise don't and before we start up again, I'll want you to explain what's changed in your feeligns and to understand that if you ever leave again, that's it. Doubt is normal, but if you're not really committed to working through it with me, then we can't be together. ' And then I'd try very hard to get on with my own life as if she/he was never coming back.


Much easier advice to say than to follow though. I really feel for you (and for her, actually) - best wishes.

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I hear you and i think you are mainy correct. One thing I do know for sure is that it is not the other guy. She dumped him, he gained literally about 100 pounds, and lives with his parents with no job. She's over it for sure. Especially since when we were apart last year I know she met up with him and felt nothing and nothing happened.


I agree though that its how far she will let herself go. She seems to block me all of a sudden. It affects her mood. She takes time. Misses me. Adn when we see each other the wall is gone and she is back and the feelings come back. I just am surprised how it comes on and off. there is something that keeps us coming back together though. She has even said this.


i feel like I should move past this like i did last year, but another part knows that the feelings are still in there and she is doing the same thing. One thing she said is that she wished i had "fought" for her more during the "rut" period. On the other hand i dont think shes afraid to lose me, and knows that i will come back if givent he option. So a part thinks i need to not fight and really move on this time, which will either give her a taste of life without us for real (no hone conversations, meet ups, etc..), and will either give her that fear, or make her move on for good. but then again, i am so worried about losing her. i have had many serious girlfriends over the years. I always ended it with them, and never felt so hapy in a relationship......i guess im just at a loss at what to do....

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this sounds very simialr. I think a lot of it has to do with her previous relationship. She thought she was going to marry this guy and her life was totally planned, and he went off the deep end and became another person. I guess what makes it so weird for me, is that when we broke up last year she had 3-4 months of being alone without me,and she made all the moves to get back. I would think she would have known during that time if it wa right or wrong. I know I will move on, but I am scared to move on from her. A lot of what you said is true in both case in terms of my situation, but i've never met someone ive connected with so easily and she has said the same.


i almost feel it is when i am ignoring her, that she is drawn to me. that it is when she thinks it is really gone.....did your feelings come back at those points?

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You have been jerked back and forth a few times by her because she is unsure of what she wants.


Are you quite certain that if she came back you'd want to go through it again? It seems to me that it's great when she's around, but you can never count on the fact that she's going to stick around....and that would leave me cold towards wanting to try this yet another time.


What about you?

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Its tough. I think if it was about me then i would be more adverse to getting back (ie bad habits, job, family issues). I think she has only had one relationship; it was very serious; and she is unsure how to feel about things. I have had many more, and am a little older. i know what i want and its her. Its tough, but the fact is that if i am single and she wants back in, why not try again...it seems liek it didnt work the second time around but i think its her uncertainty more than feelings. I could be wrong, but if that wall goes away and we talk about ramifications, i think why not try again....you only have one life you know...

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Okay.. My 2 cents.


I have learned to use my brain, because my heart keeps leading me in the torture trap..


Use your past as your road map. She has done this to you before. I used to think that if I held on at all costs that my x would see this as a sign that I am the one who stood through thick and thin. But, it kept happening, and got worse.


In this I am not saying anything other than you should really look out for what is best for you. She is looking out for what is "best" for her. She sounds completely confused, and she leaves you when she is. You dont need this in your life and it is painful, and leaves you feeling bad. You should be able to feel security in your life and not insecurity. The more she leaves, the more you will worry when she will leave next. Make sure she has healed what is in her that makes her do this in the first place before you take her back, if taking her back is what YOU decide to do.


Take care.. Keep us updated.

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i almost feel it is when i am ignoring her, that she is drawn to me. that it is when she thinks it is really gone.....did your feelings come back at those points?


Yes, they did. When we were together I knew I felt a lot for him but also worried that I didn't feel enough. When I really had to face being without him I thought much more about what I _did_ feel than what I didn't. At least twice I mistook this for feeling enough, and he was overjoyed, but nothing had really changed except for the amount of emphasis I put on the doubts. The doubts themselves hadn't gone away and wouldn't have, I don't think. But I did feel awful being without him, and was even pretty pathetic about trying to remain really close to him even after he'd started seeing someone new.


I know the ex that I really loved felt the same way several times as well. When he was faced with being without me, he wanted to be with me. And since I always wanted him in my life no matter what he did, it took years for it to finally be split off properly. I remember him saying how sad he was when I started seeing the other guy. I remember him crying like mad when he moved away, and when we split it off the second time, and the last time we saw each other two years ago. The last thing I remember him saying was that he didn't think he'd ever find anyone as good as me - and he was genuinely upset for himself and not trying to pity or humour me. I guess this only knowing you want it when it's gone thing is why I thought having no expectations at all and seeing each other very little the second time round might help him get rid of his doubts. But the doubts were honest and I should have accepted them - no matter what he said when he was lonely - much earlier than I did.


That's the real kicker in these situations, I think. It's not as if the person who feels less DOESN'T have feelings, they have lots of them and sometimes might be able to get rid of the doubts long enough to feel they're in love. When the doubts come back, neither party is happy but neither really wants to let go. It's very hard all around.


One of the last times I talked to the guy who didn't feel enough for me, he said something along the lines of 'if I could choose to feel enough for you, I'd move to where you are tomorrow and I'd marry you but I can't choose - no matter how much I want to - and I can't go out with you anymore when I'm not in love with you.' It was about the most painful thing I've ever heard and I rememeber wishing he'd said it about two years before he did. Later I remembered he had done, about four months into our first relationship, the first time we broke up. Neither of us believed it then, though. We both thought he was unfairly comparing our four months with his relationship with his ex (who he lived with for years and thought he was going to marry) and so we carried on. And split up again. And got back together again. Etc.


He probably WAS being unfair on us because of his last relationship, and your gf probably was at first, too, but I'm not sure it changes anything. He said at some point that if he'd met me earlier, he'd probably have married me. This might have been true - I've never felt as much of a connection with anyone in my life, and I'm pretty sure a lot of that was mutual. But when so much of the relationship was based around the doubts, it changed how we could relate to each other. The bad start shaped the rest of the relationship, no matter who we were as people. By the time we'd been on again, off again a handful of times, much of how we were together was less about the really wonderful connection we had than about how insecure and worthless I felt having been dumped again and agian and how guilty and worthless he felt for doing that to me. At the time I thought it was all worth it for the genuinely unparalleled joy of knowing him - what you say about her being 'the most amazing person' you've ever met is still so true about him - and I stubbornly believed I knew more about his 'real' feelings than he did and that it was bound to work out between us in the end. But really, we'd have been so much better off not dragging each other through all that we did those three years. It's one of the biggest regrets of my life not to take his doubts at face value when I had the chance to. But it is so hard to do.


Again, good luck.

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i agree. I think I do liek the insecurity in a werid way. I aheva tendency to lose interest even when thigns are great. I left this out but there felt like something was missing too when we were having issues, but i still loved her and wanted to be with her regardless. My feelings rushed back when she wanted to take a break. I agree its a rollercoaster, but i think people need time to understand themselves and their situations. She handles things differently than me. She needs space. If we were married I would be doen, but we are two single people.....ill move on, but if she truly sees her error (or feels it is one), i cant see the harm...this sucks but never finding someone like her again woudl be worse...

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do you think you find yourself more attracted to men if they are more standoffish? For example, did you find yourself having a strong reaction once you knew it was over with the first paragraph guy?


I do think in general I have a bad habit of getting more focussed on the ones who don't want me. I think it goes something like this: if they want me I feel secure and have time to think about how I feel about them. If they turn me down, I think less about what I feel about them and more about having been rejected. It's a stupid way to be, but I think a lot of people (and more often women rather than men) feel this way a little. I'm ashamed to admit this, but - while I was already pretty crazy about him - I had my own doubts about the guy I've been talking about before he started dumping me all the time. Paradoxically and absolutely stupidly, the less sure he became, the more sure I did.


This _doesn't_ mean you should play it cool to attract women, though. This whole dynamic is, I think, based in insecurity and doesn't ever lead anywhere good and honest.

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one more question.....do you think that if he was more hesitent to get back....the one that felt more than you.....that it might have made a difference...for example, she said a few times that she "wasnt affraid to lose me"...that she "always knew i would be there".....im just trying to understand...

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I know what you mean. i am taht way too. I was doubting things myself before she broke it off. but i ALWAYS do this as well. I think this is why she always wants to come back, and if she does i need to say "i dont think so". if she continues to try then maybe. but she needs to be sure and needs to know i will not put up with this anymore...btw if you are being insanely helpful in understanding this....

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one more question.....do you think that if he was more hesitent to get back....the one that felt more than you.....that it might have made a difference...for example, she said a few times that she "wasnt affraid to lose me"...that she "always knew i would be there".....im just trying to understand...


Well, he actually never came back. He handled it pretty well on his side, accepting that we were going to split when he moved and then being happy that we didn't. When we finally did split, he moved on quasi-instantly into what seemed like a dangerous rebound relationship (live-in girlfriend of his boss) which is still, as far as I know, going strong years later. He got the satisfaction of calling me for 'advice' about this - in effect rubbing it in my face that I was replaceable - and this did hurt good and proper. I've only seen him once since: he flirted a bit with me but wasn't unfaithful, I cried a lot, he definitely came out the victor if that's not too crass to say about this sort of thing.


But to answer your question, I don't think his running hot or cold affected how I felt about him in the long run. The doubts I had were due to problems in the relationship and also, probably, to just not being smitten with him. His being unavailable did, as I say, make me realize how good the good parts of it were, it didn't make any difference to the bad bits.


I wonder if there's something to being _too_ understanding, though. Part of why I felt so gloriously comfortable with the guy who felt more than me is because he was like me in a lot of the ways I least like myself - I never had to feel embarrassed about my faults and he always supported me. Yes, that's what you want in a good relationship, but if you're in a really bad place yourself I think there can be something unattractive about being loved through it. Maybe you associate the person with the bad time and want to forget both together once you're through it? Maybe you lose respect for someone who cares for someone as pathetic as you are at the time? Or you feel you owe them for it and resent them? I don't know what it is, but I think this happened in both the case where the guy felt more and the case where I felt more. I don't know what you do about it though - it's not honest to act as if you care less than you do and games like that only water down the connection you want to keep. I do often wonder, though, if it would have made any difference if I'd cared less for the guy who felt less through all the bad times.

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.btw if you are being insanely helpful in understanding this....


Thanks - maybe having some things to say that make sense to you is the silver lining to thinking about this obsessively for much of the past several years!


It's actually helped me to put down in words some of the things I've thought about this, too, as I'm meeting up with the guy from the second paragraph for the first time in over two years next week. We'll have to meet socially at some point, and I'm keen to know I'm finally over it by seeing him. Am wondering if that's not a stupid thing to do, though. Fingers crossed.


Good luck to you in doing what you have to with your girlfriend. Please do come back here if you need to talk.

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i guess its just weird. i know of a girl that didnt feel "it" for a year and half with a guy, and then it came out over time and they are married. so i wonder a lot if sometimes we just dont register. Like, how do you know what you felt for the guy thats moved on now wasn't more than the guy that felt less, but the guy that felt less just gave you a sense of anxiety that it could end.


for example if you KNOW you will win a basketball game (due to fixing or supreme talent), its less exciting when you win and less exciting during. You feel less afterwards. If you knwo you could lose, then your adrenaline is always going, and its much more exciting and the thrill is much more gratifying. This has happened many times.


My point is how do you know that if you stayed with the perfect guy for 50 years you wouldn't be totally conetent, while if things got normal with the less feeling guy you would have lost interest.....i guess this is all speculation....


I just think one of the reasons i am so engaged is the fight for the relationship and the uncertainty...when that went away (or everytime that goes away for me as it has in every relationship), something changes and i feel something is "gone". As i said this happened with this situation. maybe int he end it is most important to have the connection, because thats what will last. I do not know this. I could be wrong, but do you ever think about this???

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My point is how do you know that if you stayed with the perfect guy for 50 years you wouldn't be totally conetent, while if things got normal with the less feeling guy you would have lost interest.....i guess this is all speculation....


To be honest, I feel more sure that it wouldn't have worked with the 'perfect' guy than I do that I would have wanted to be with the guy I loved so much.


The guy I cared less for probaly would have been good to me, married me, raised kids with me, etc. and I may well have been content. Especially now I've been single for so long and getting older, I do wonder if I made the wrong choice. But, while the relationship was mostly good, there was plenty about me he didn't like and plenty about him I didn't like and we kept having the same arguments. I was seldom really excited to be going to see him, and worse than that I could be with him and still feel lonely. Sometimes when I really think something's funny, I'll lose it laughing and that always embarrassed him in public. Stuff like this - I would have been content with how he treated me, maybe, but there was something important missing.


If the other guy had loved me back I might have eventually gotten fed up with his being a drama queen, being an attention-seeker and always 'on', --- actually, still, after all this time I'm having touble listing negative things! --- not ever putting me first, avoiding problems rather than dealing with them. But I don't think he acted that way with the girlfriends he loved. And I was always excited to see him, proud to be with him, charmed by his quirks, impressed by his devotion to his friends, and most of all comforted that he understood the absurdity of things and was as overjoyed and depressed by it all as I am, in equal measures. I never felt lonely with him - outside of the vast part of me that eventually dissolved into insecurity worrying about what he thought of me.


I don't know - what you say about only having one life, so why not try to be with the one you know you want does ring true. The second time we went out he said he was scared of hurting me again and he didn't know what would happen. I said no one ever knows what's going to happen, and if I get hit by a bus tomorrow it would be so silly not spend today with you because we're not sure what will happen next. Thought this might be ok, since he promised to be honest with me and to only be with me if feelings were mutual. Didn't happen in the end, though - it was all too hard to keep straight and blew up in our faces anyway.


I just think one of the reasons i am so engaged is the fight for the relationship and the uncertainty...when that went away (or everytime that goes away for me as it has in every relationship), something changes and i feel something is "gone". As i said this happened with this situation. maybe int he end it is most important to have the connection, because thats what will last. I do not know this. I could be wrong, but do you ever think about this???


I don't think I enjoy the thrill of the chase at all - in terms of your basketball analogy and what you say here - I actually want very much to feel secure with a person I'm close to. I just think my own feelings of rejection get blended in with what I really feel in the cases where I feel more, while I can be more objective about the relationship and the person I'm with if I feel less. Do you feel down on yourself at all because she keeps coming and going, or is more a determination to see this through to the end and 'win' it?


I have thought about this A LOT, and I think ego gets involved a lot in relationships where things aren't mutual and if this becomes a pattern it's very hard to separate out what you feel about the other person from what you feel about yourself in relation to how they're treating you.


I do think the connection is what matters, and I've never worked out how the connection between people as people can be so strong, and on top of that be attracted to each other and have sex be fantastic, etc., and that still not be enough to make a relationship work. I guess in my case, maybe the connection was perfect only on my side. I can certainly see how that would be the case after I started being so insecure - he began looking to me when he was insecure, but looked elsewhere otherwise. Maybe the guy who felt more felt could say exactly the same about me.


Do you have a sense of what your gf thinks is wrong, outside of something vague 'missing'? I never got more than that from the guy who felt less, but could have told the guy who felt more exactly what was wrong. Not sure if I ever did in so many words, though, as I cared so much and didn't want to hurt him.

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Not really. i swear if you wern't 30 and in england though you would have been my ex with some of your points and how you explain them.


I guess whats tough, and which is my point, is that in every relationship I have had I have gone through a period of being lonely; not being as excited; having the same arguments; i felt this with my ex.....when we had issues though, when things felt more unstable, i put in more effort and those feelings came back (at least for me). I think it might be a personality trait that you and I, as well as my ex...might share. I might be wrong. A part of me hates the chase too, but i cannot discount how i felt something was missing too.


I hate to admit it but i seriously started questioning things in december as well. the difference is (through life), i have noticed i always do this no matter what the relationship feelings. I hate to admit this but it is true. I made a pact that i would try to fight through this feeling and was trying with my ex.


I also hate to say i once got a call from an ex and went down to see her. I was very excited and thought about getting back with her. I had broke it off with her. When i saw her she was VERY accomidating and wanted very much to get back. It totally turned me off. I was disturbed by this as she was a great girl and i knew her and had intended to get back.


I guess my thesis is that we (as well as my ex) do not react passionately to people that put us in front of them. We probably like strong, independent types, which is true even into the relationship. the "like you more guy" was great and amazing, but put you first. there was no challenge or intruige anymore. he was safe. the "like you less guy" lived his life and you were a part of it, but he kept his identity and life and you respect that. You probably respected him mcuh more for all of his traits since he would not change them, and felt the other guy was "weaker" (i believe this is so with my ex). not that it is weaker or even negative but personalities are different.


i could be dead wrong, but i thinks its my case. i think she almost doesnt respect that i go out of my way for her. I have noticed at times her getting a little down if i cave to her wishes (which wasnt too often but happened more than before for me).


she is very vague with what is missing. She claims she doesnt know. That could be an act. Some of the things you say could be the case since they partially ring true for me in the relationship. I also fhave felt cold and lonely with perectly good ex's....and i feel the same for my ex as you said with the one that felt less....i guess the difference is that when i move on and she sees this, my traits that she missed come through more for her. she has said this. She admitted that when we first broke up the more time that went by the more she missed my traits and ebeing with meand it came back....did you feel this too for the more guy?

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She admitted that when we first broke up the more time that went by the more she missed my traits and ebeing with meand it came back....did you feel this too for the more guy?


Meaning the guy who liked me more? Not really, actually. It hurt that he'd moved on so quickly, but in a way this confirmed what I'd felt was missing - i.e. he could fit anyone he met into the girlfriend slot and didn't actually fit with _me_ - I wanted something which was between him and me rather than just being with someone. I'm probably playing short his new (as of three years ago now!) woman, and maybe it wasn't 'anyone' and she was the one for him. But he dated a friend of mine before me and she had many of the same problems that I did. He was very jealous, he didn't like it when she enjoyed herself too much outside of their relationship, etc. When he started up with me, he told her all about it and she was very upset. I couldn't understand why, since it had been six months or more - but now that I've been in her place I do understand it. He put SO much emphasis on me (and her) that it was suffocating, and then when we finally said no more he moved on so quickly that it 1) made me (and her, I think) upset to have spent so much time dealing with the jealousy and 2) made me (and her, I'm sure) feel that we weren't actually special to him at all, but rather just someone to put in the girlfriend spot and be obsessive about. Time has actually made this more clear rather than less. When I wonder now if I've made a wrong decision, it's more in the 'is that the best I could do?' way rather than a 'was he really the one for me?' way, if that makes sense.


That doesn't seem to be the case with you and your gf from what you say, so maybe there isn't so much similarity between our situations, at least as far as the guy who liked me more.


With the guy who liked me less, he did always seem more keen after an absense - like he'd forgotten what I was really like and just remembered the insecurity and drama and pain of our deciding whether we should be together or not. When we got back together (in a way) after the year, I was going to where he lived for work and we met up for one of those 'we should be nice to each other' pints afterward. I had been thinking of him all along (though with this other guy for a lot of it) and was just single again, and he had had trouble settling into his new job and - in a halting juvenile sort of way - he was the one who started up with me. He was lonely and underconfident at the time, though, and it had been a long time without a woman for him - he actually called his mate the next day to say 'I had sex!' and the friend balled him out once he found out it was with me. Did this sound alarm bells for me? Of course not. The times we saw each other afterwards (we lived far away by then) it was like night and day compared to when we were properly boyfriend and girlfriend - he cuddled with me in public, he called me just to talk, it was as if all the problems we'd had before really were just down to the timing. But in order for him to feel cool about it - and for me to, too - we said it was just casual, just spending good time when we could, not expecting anything. But I could never feel that way for long - I loved him - and he couldn't ignore that forever. So it went on as long as it could, and then it didn't anymore. The ending was terrible and in the few brief and silly interactions with men I've had since I'm always expecting them not to want anything proper with me and putting up defenses, acting like I'm cool with there being nothing real between us well before there's any reason to and when it's the last thing I feel. I probably now come accross as someone very casual with sex but rather neurotic - at least the first is far from the truth.


Anyway, that's me, and my two experiences with the not mutual love thing. What, really, do you think is the trouble between you and your gf? Is it just that you are too accomodating, as you say, or are there things that are different between you and make the way you relate to each other not right? Has it been an issue from the start that she's not sure and you are and has this changed how you can be around each other? Are you still on speaking terms now - will you have to see her a lot? And what do you think you can do to be as happy as you can be now? A lot of people listened to me while I was dragging through this saga with the one who cared less, but very few told me to stop thinking what he thought - that I couldn't control it or probably even fathom it - and to get on with doing whatever I could that I _could_ control to be as happy as I could be regardless of what he did or didn't feel. Not sure it would have done any good - I was properly smitten with the guy and who knows if when I see him I still will be. But it's what I'd tell myself now, having gone through it and come out the other end.


Honestly, you seem like a guy with a reasonable amount of self-confidence - you don't seem to be tearing yourself up over whether you're good enough for her, what you could have done differently, etc. You seem to know you want her, but ready to accept it if she doesn't want you and just wondering what your best strategy is to get the best possible outcome. If that's true, that's probably a brilliant place to be (well, as brilliant as possible given that she keeps breaking up with you). What I mean (sorry, have been out to the pub, so a bit woozy on the logic), is that you might actually be able to choose what you do next once you decide what is best. This is a big step up from just wanting the person under any circumstances so, if this IS where you are, make the best of it, eh?


Again, do let me know how you get on.


Take care,


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ha, thanks...to your questions....


I am not sure what the trouble really is between us to be honest. This whole situation is so foreign to me in so many ways. Most of my other relationshisp i have had the opposite problem. they always have felt more. she seems to block hereself off. she seems to think too much if that makes sense. even when we finally got out there was problem, she took a two week break before talking about it and had already made up her mind. She doesnt trust her feelings it seems. Like i said when she is drunk and unihibited i get an uncensored look sometimes. she says i love you over and over, where she is more guarded otherwise. It did make me act a little differently in the beginning, but for the most part that has gone away which is good. I tend to do more if i need to make things work, not just in relationships but in life.


It has been like this from the start pretty much, although when we got back together it went away until recently. She seemed to freak out at every progression of the relationship. It wsas weird but she always came backand i loved her.


we reall yhave no terms as of now. She came over the other day to pick up her stuff from my house and has yet to return my stuff. I am purposely trying to not call her and give her a real break. Last year when this happened we still kept in contact and hung out for awhile and i think while that was fine, i need to really show her what life is like without me completely and she nees to understand that this could be it. I tihkn she feels i would always come back...


that being said she is a very nice person and hates how this happens as much as me and seems genuinely tortured by the whole thing....i am tron for sure though..i really love her and can see a very bright future with her if we couls ever get past this. We have a ton in common and really get along in every way so well...i know i can get over it if its done..it will be hard but i know that its up to her in the long run...and up to me if i want a chance should it be presented down the line.


I was accomidating but was not a doormat by anymeans....i dont think that that was too much of an issue...i really think its a way of being for her. It takes a lot for her to trust men or anyone. She is very catious in everything. she hates risk. she plays things very safe. in relationships i think she panics. panics that things are sprinling out of control and she is losing herself and can never go back. She has high romantic expectations and i think gets upset when things are not "perfect"....a good example of her expectation personality level - i said i wa sgetting chicken for dinner one night - instead i thought i would get some salmon steaks - when i brought it home she was ok but asked me a bunch of question to why i decided not to get chicken....its weird but htats just how she is.


When she first said i lvoe you. she freaked and said now that we said that we would have not move in together soon and share thingsm, and possibly engaged, etc.... she sounds a litle off form this but its just anxiety i think. Its not often but seems to sprout up, especially in the winter for whatever reason....


youre right, i know i want her....but i know i can move on if she chooses to as well. I tihink i have done all i could. I think now is the time where she needs to live life without me and see if this is what she wants or not. I do not easily give up on things, which is why i keep some hope. I think there is someone else out there, buti know we are so great together too and it will be hard to follow. I think i need this time as well...as you said i shouldn't just try to replace her with a warm body...i just hope i am doing the right thing by giving her time, becasue i do think to fight more for her....agree rosie?

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The chicken / salmon thing is something! I think I've known people like your gf... Seriously, though, I hear what you're saying about her personality driving a lot of this. If she really does need things to be planned out, it must be hard to be in love, which is intrinsically averse to planning. Particularly if she got burned in her first relationship when she was really expecting something else. Does she know how much she can trust in your feelings? I.e. - 'I won't always be here to fall back on as a boyfriend if you keep telling me to go away, but so long as I am in your life you can rely on me - I won't run off, I won't disappoint you, I won't go crazy on you, etc.' Maybe she's gotten to the point of thinking about a future and is genuinely just freaking out again at being involved in something she can't predict?


Nonetheless, in answer to your question: so long as you're sure she knows exactly how you feel - i.e., you think there could be a future, you love her, but you're ready to let her go and will be getting on with your own life _if that's what she wants_, then yes, I think time and space is the right thing. If she feels a lot for you, it's likely you could convince to get back together - I know it worked that way quite easily in both of my situations when the one who felt more said 'but this is great, and I'm ok that you're unsure, so why not?' But I really do think that's the wrong way - she's got to make up her mind that she really does want to be with you, or the doubts will keep cropping up again and again and you'll get into a (longer) loop of on again, off again.


But that's just my pessimistic two cents. Anyone got any happier advice?

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No i agree rosie, i think that this needs to be nipped in the bud. In th past she misses me; we hang out again; and her feelings come back.....then over time she becomes unsure. But she needs to really miss me in the sense that she needs to really see life without me (no phone conversations, no meeting up), until she knows she needs to move on or she knows she wanst to make a try, and then I will make a decision if she wants to make a try.


I was thinking the other day how a relationship is like a package. thers connection, sex, friendship, family, etc.... if someone broke up with you and said all they wanted was sex, most would say no. but when they break up and want friendship or conenction, or any other aspect we tend to give it more freely. the loop needs to end once and for all. she has said she has never had aconnection as strong as ours, and there is a lot of great things with us. thats why its hard im sure. but she needs to weigh her life and her options without me influencing and she needs to know that i will not stand for this anymore. i think if i tried friendship (like last time) it would give this impression.


i want to fight in many ways and have thought about calling her many times. I will not do this though. I think rosie, and others are saying that i need to give space and time and she needs time to figure out if she truly is thinking too much and wants to be with me or is right that there is something missing. Does this sound right?

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Sounds right to me, the hard bit is following it through. How are you actually managing the day to day of not being with her and the possibility that this is really all there is going to be between you? You sound quite together, and I hope this is the case.


Good luck,


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i definitely miss her. Since we have been in this place bfefore and have had such a connection through the years i guess i feel that this will pass as well and we will get back. Maybe that is partof my calmness. but i also feel that i will be ok if things do not work out. the day to day is ok, but there are times its hard. the thing is that there is nothing i can do at this point. I think i have fouht as much as i can and its up to her, so that gives me some peace as i know there is nothing i can do. i love her and think in many ways she is the one.


she said a few months ago how its felt as though we have known each other for our entire lives. I guess its that connection that makes me miss her. I'll move on, and see where things go. she has a lot of things to think out and i still think shes unsure about a lot. time is the only thing that will tell. one question - it seems that you and both of these guys were on and off. how many times were there back and forths with each of them? and you really are the best for this rosie...

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