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Hello All,


I have been lurking on the board for a while now reading and learning from all of you. I need some advice regarding my ex bf and his recent actions. I will give a brief recap of the relationship to give you a frame of reference....


We are both in our late 20's, and dated for 2 years. We broke up in April of 2006. The entire time we dated we both lived on the east coast, but he was from the west coast. For family and work reasons he wanted to move back there. He asked if I would move and I told him that I would if there was at least a committment or "promise" involved-it was def not an ultimatium. The only reason that I asked for that was b/c he moved 2 other girls accross the country and then dumped them a short while later. I saw a pattern and was not going to throw my life away so easily. So, we talked about living togther, did research, and looked at houses. His family even came out and spent thanksgiving with my family, and he stayed with my family for christmas. Shortly after he moved he began to distance himself emotionally and try to pick little fights. I was out there visiting and asked for a 2 week "break" just to try to ease some of the tension. At the end of the break he said that he wanted to break up. He said he was afraid to move me accross the country and then break up with me, just like he did to the other girls, he said that he saw he had an issue with that. He said he was unsure if he ever wanted to be married. His parents have 5 marriages between them and are not the best example. Marriage means misery in his family. He said that he wanted to be "friends", but I told him I was sorry I could not be friends and I then went into NC.


Every couple of weeks he would text me to see how I was doing, sometimes I would respond with a couple of words, somtimes not respond at all. I enforced NC and we did not speak for 6 months. I found out that I would be travelling to his city for work, as my company is based there. He found this out from mutual friends and told them he would really like to see me. I was curious, so we began emailling every couple of weeks. We still had not spoken, in fact we did not speak until I got in his car to go to dinner. We had a blast, it was like no time had passed at all. I sat there and looked at him ad though to myself..."I could have married this guy". I was certainly not going to "put the moves on him", I did not know if he was seeing anyone, nor did he know my situation. Neither of us asked, we just enjoyed each others company. I def felt like there was still somthing between us.


Ever since our dinner, now prob going on 5 months, he has found a reason to contact me almost every other week, either by text or calling. Ever since new year's it has been weekly and he has made it clear that he is not seeing anyone. About a month after I visited he made a bet with me, and I lost the bet. Since he won he wanted me to buy him dinner, and said that he would be in my area in Feb. He comes in a little over and week and we are meeting up. Then, ironically enough, my company is sending me to his city the week of valentine's day, and he suggested that we have dinner again! He also informed me that he will be back again in March and have another dinner planned. He also sent me a birthday card last week.


I guess my question is how do ex boyfriends typically act vs. how do friends act?


I have never sent an ex a birthday card or want to have dinner with them UNLESS I still had feelings. I am not sure if I should interperet his behaviour as just "friendly" or testing the romantic waters. ??


I was Ok during the months of NC, sure it was hard, but I did not have to think about his life, because I knew nothing about it. Since he started contacting me again it has been eating at me.](*,) I know that he is not seeing anyone, is that the only reason he is talking to me? Does he just see me as a friend? All the doubts and questions have returned since breaking NC. The only reason I broke NC was b/c I had dated others and none of them were even close to my ex. We had a great realtionship and had so much in common.


I am trying to do things the "right" way and take care of myself and my emotions, so any insight would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Well, I think if you even have the littlest bit of romantic feelings for him - you need to be clear or STAY clear of him.

He made it very clear to you he's afraid of marriage and commitment. I think it will be agonizing for you to play this by his rules.

It is more than likely he feels for you still and would be only too happy to have some romance with you - but in a very non-comittal way.


I will say this - my man and I were like this for a few years and I stopped contacting him whenever I felt like I couldn't deal with it. After several years (about 4) he came to me with a commitment and we moved into a stronger, more solid relationship. It still took two years to move in together.


If you know, in the depth of your heart, that you can handle a non-committed relationship - then go ahead and see him. Chemistry is hard to explain - it does have meaning.


If you know, deep down, that you need commitment, monogomy and working together on goals, then I really would tell him this directly and go back to NC. Start thinking about putting him in your past for good.


Finally, if you want to be platonic, this is a great way to do it. Ask him about his love life and steer the conversation in the way a good "pal" would - being supportive, without innuendo. It should be easier to be friends with this long-distance set-up.


Good luck to you.

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Thank you for your repy! I feel like I am in a sticky situation b/c I feel like if we were both living in the same place we would still be together. Committment issues and long distance are not a great combination!


I am so glad to hear that your situation progressed. What finally made him move forward and presumably overcome his committment issues?


In my recent conversations with my ex I have tried to be supportive for a variety of reasons-becuase I care about him and b/c I am concerned about him. The last time I spoke to him he seemed depressed. We had a good life together, lots to do and lots of friends. I think he expected that he would have a great life too when he moved. I think that he is finding it harder than he will admit. I think he had fond memories of the west coast from his childhood, but we all have those fond memories of our hometown. Things change as we get older though, stress, traffic, meeting new people. I know that he is no longer my boyfriend, but I care for him still and I worry. I feel like I am falling back into my old emotion pattern and that scares me. Thank you so much for your advice!

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I am so glad to hear that your situation progressed. What finally made him move forward and presumably overcome his committment issues?




Well, this took a number of years. Including a two-year separation that had me thinking he was a part of my past. But, since we had the same friends, lived in the same town, i would hear about him and if he was doing well, I'd accept his company if he came calling. If he was still doing poorly,

I'd decline.

When we got back together, all my friends were telling me how stunned they were with his improvements (his mood, his physique, his job)


"I think he's really changed this time." my best friend told me and she was the hardest to impress, so I accepted his invitation out.

When we moved in together, things improved even more. Perhaps it was security he needed, to finally relax.


Well, I hope you'll keep us updated on you and your goings on, ok?

Take care.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I saw him and my emotions are still mixed, at I know that is all my fault.


We went to dinner this past Monday, for 4 hours. We had so much fun and I could tell that there were still feelings there. He said that I should move there and come work for him, and I should come visit with some of our mutual friends. On Thursday he picked me up and took me to his house. We again had a great time. Even though we have not been living in the same place for a year it was just like old times. We snuggled on his couch and watched a sad movie, and we both held each other and cried. I have NEVER seen him cry. That was perhaps one of the most emotionally intimiate moments that I have ever had with him.


He then went to take a shower and told me to go into his room and put on the TV, as he had already put my luggage in there. We then ended up becoming intimate. (i know big mistake!).The whole night was just like our relationship used to be, we were still so comfortable with each other. We went to breakfast the next day and he said that he was surprised that we had hooked up, that he had not expected it. I asked him to elaborate and all he would do was smile. I am still not sure what that meant?! I told him that I missed him, and he said that he missed me too. We ended up hooking up again and then I had to go to the airport.


I was down in the dumps after he dropped me off. I guess I was hoping that all of the signs were pointing to getting back together, but no relationship talk occurred, and I did not want to push the issue. He sent me 2 texts worried about my safe arrival, and he said that he had a great time.


He will be in my state next week for a meeting. I am not even sure if I want to see him. I wish that my trip had been horrible and that he was mean to me or somthing. Even after being apart for a year we still have a great time, he raves to people about how great and smart I am, and we share common goals. I am not sure why we are NOT together. I WANT to be with someone, that despite time and distance, I still have that spark with and a fundamental caring for. It seems like he is oblivious to what we have. He even slipped and called me "honey" earlier in the week, it is like he has blinders on to his own actions. He always said that he wanted a best friend that he is attracted to, which seems to be what we have!


I am not sure what is going to happen next. I am not sure if I want to see him when he comes or not. All of my friends say that I should be so happy that we had a great time. I am happy that we had fun, and it was great to see him, but why do I feel a nagging sadness on the inside?

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First of all, *hugs*. I think you’re feeling hurt (not excited, as your friends think you should be) because sometimes nothing hurts more than almost having what you want. You and your ex are talking, hanging out, having sex, making future plans, and that must feel so familiar and wonderful to you…but you know that you are not back together, and really are not even talking or working towards getting back together.


I’m not a psychiatrist, but from what you described, your ex sounds like he has problems with intimacy and/or commitment. Twice he has asked women to move accross country only to end things with them when they got there. And with you- as soon as things started getting really serious- you were talking about moving to the west coast, he spent the holidays with your family, etc., as you said, he started distancing himself from you, and ultimately ended things. It seems like he wants a serious, committed relationship, but it scares the heck out of him.


Flash to the present day- while you have this nagging sadness inside, he has exactly what he wants. He has your presense in his life, he gets to see you, talk to you, have you support him when he’s down, be intimate with- and he doesn’t have to give you any kind of commitment.


Minus the long distance thing, I could have written this exact same post several years ago. When we started getitng serious, he started acting like a jerk- distancing himself, acting cold, etc. For my own peace of mind I finally had to end things. He would always contact me- wanted to hang out, go to dinner, spend the day togehter, etc. We got along and the connection was as strong as ever. What happened with me was when I finally confronted my ex – asking what was going on, where was this going, etc., he immediately retreated. Asked me “why I had to put a label on everything”, etc. Then weeks would pass, and he would start contacting me again. See, he was happy as long as I didn’t ask anything of him. I don’t have any doubts that he really loved me, but being committed and in an intimate relationship terrified him.


I had to finally say to my ex- I love you and think this relationship could work. If you want to commit to me and working on the relationship, let me know. If not, it is too painful to talk to you.


Your nagging feeling of sadness will not go away. I think you need to lay it on the line with him- either we are working towards reconciliation, or I need NC.


Good luck-



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Thank you so much for your relpy, it seems you know exactly how I feel! I know that he has committment issues, and I also know that I cannot fix them. When I saw him at dinner on Monday, he was talking about his father. His dad has been married 3 times and is still not happy with his current wife of 10 years. He constantly complains about her to my ex, to the point where my ex wants to do somthing to try to break them up so "his father can be happy". When he told me this I asked him "Do you think your father will EVER be happy?" My ex said he did not know, and he asked me if he would ever be happy. I told him I did not have the answer to that question.


My ex has admitted that the order of important things in his life are family/work, sports, then relationships. I know that he needs to address the issues that he has with committment before can can ever be truly happy. He is fundamentally a great person, he just has not had a good example of what a really good relationship is. I have tried to tell him that work and sports are not going to love him back. I think that if he put higher importance on personal relationships, he would find that is what he is missing in his life and leading to his unhappiness. A long time ago I gave him a book along those lines, but you can't force someone to get help.


The more I think about it, the more I regret sleeping with him. I am beating myself up over it, because it is not really consistant with my character. We both admitted that it was the most "promiscuous" thing we had ever done, and I know that it is not really that bad as we were together for 2 years.


I just wonder if he was/is totally over me and was not expecting to sleep together b/c he thought we were just friends?? I wonder if he really misses me or was just saying it to be nice? I felt like I was doing things "by the book" by letting him contact me and set the pace. I wonder if I misread the signals he was giving, or if exes who are friends are more flirtatious and sexual than regular friends. Lord knows I would not let any of my guy friends sleep in my bed... Sorry for all the questions and doubts they are just running through my mind right now...


Jenny, What did your ex do when you laid it all out to him? Do you still keep in touch? I was going to lay it all out to him when he comes next week, right now I am playing the waiting game and back in NC, which is all I can do.

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Please, please, do NOT beat yourself up over sleeping with him. Sure, it probably wasn’t the best idea in the world, but I think it is very understandable given your situation.


I think your ex probably does miss you very much. I think he very much wants you in his life, which is why he kept contacting you.


What happened when I laid it all out with my ex was this: I had ended things with him in December, and gone NC for about 2 months. We gradually started talking again (ALL initiated by him) in March. We very quickly fell back into our old patterns of IM’ing from work, talking in the evening. He asked me out to dinner and took me to a very romantic restaurant. The next weekend he took me kayaking. The next weekend he invited me to go to an arts festival. So we were in this pattern of talking all week (still 90-95% initiated by him), and doing stuff on the weekends. But, like you, I had these nagging feelings in the back of my mind.


So finally, when he called me one night to invite himself over to watch movies, I laid it on the line. I asked him what was going on. Were we “just friends”? Were we working on getting back together? What was going on? He acted all surprised. He asked me why I had to put a label on everything. Couldn’t we just enjoy each others company? Couldn’t we just “be happy in the present?” That’s when I said “ I love you and think this relationship could work. If you want to commit to me and working on the relationship, let me know. If not, it is too painful to talk to you.” He made up some excuse and quickly got off the phone.


The next morning I woke to an e-mail from him saying that he needed to put work first, he didn’t think he was cut out for “traditional relationships”, etc, etc, etc.


I did not respond and truthfully, felt just as horrible as when I had ended things months earlier. I felt like I was back at square one. I immediately went into NC again.


A month later he sent me flowers, started calling again, e-mailed me again. Talked about how lonely and sad he was without me. But this time I would not get sucked back in.


To this day (and this all happened several years ago) he still occasionally e-mails or calls me. He sends me pictures from ski trips he takes with his buddies. He calls me and leaves me v-mails about things that are going on in his life. Although he has many friends and acquaintances, and he is very charming and successful, he is the loneliest person I know. He has told me that he has never felt closer to anyone than to me. But, despite all that, he has never once said that he wants to try again, that he would do things differently, or taken ANY action to get past his fear of commitment or intimacy.


It took a long time for me to get over him, but I finally did, and I ended up meeting a great guy who wanted to commit to me, and who was not afraid to be truly open and intimate with me.


Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to give you all the details of my situation. I truly feel for you- I don't think anyone can understand how painful what you are going through is unless they have bene there themselves. ((hugs))-



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