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OK, I've been here before, and my story is here... if you need background.



It's been about a month since she dumped me. I've been doing NC for three weeks. I'm starting to feel better in general, though I still have my days when I'm really sad and miss her..

Anyway, I signed up to Yahoo personals as a way of moving on, and am emailing a few women, but haven't met any yet.

It just so happens that the downstairs neighbor of my ex girlfriend was on Yahoo too, and since she knows me, asked me what I was doing there. She didn't know we had broken up. She also told my girlfriend that she saw me. No big deal with the ex that I was looking, as she was the one to initate the break up, but she got upset that I talked to her neighbor, and her brother. I was only asking for advice on how to deal with my ex, and from her brother, background on her dating history.

I can kinda see her point, and will appoligize if we talk some more.

So, after my ex forwards the email from the neighbor to me, I decide to tell my ex that I'm not going to call or email her or anyone she knows again.

My girlfriend writes back saying "she's sorry to hear that, and was hoping we could be friends".

Now, I've had a few relationships go bad, and the offer to be friends is not usually comforting. I know it's an easy way to let you down without totally crushing you.........

So, I didn't get too excited. Fast forward three days, and I think, what the heck, I'll test the waters and invite her out for drinks, or a pic-nick tomorrow.

I called, was very upbeat and pleasant, and asked if she wanted to get together for drinks. She said she had plans, so I said OK and I start to say good bye. She says "whoa, talk to me a little, tell me what's going on, and invite me out again"


So, to my question, ........


Since both people get "confused" sometimes around breaking up, and say things they may not mean....

Is asking to be friends sometimes, a way to open up the door to getting back together?

I'm not saying I will get back together if she wants to, or I won't, or if that is even a possibility in her head.


The good news is, I don't feel the need to get back together. I know there was a lot of good there. Starting over with someone new brings no guarantees, so I could do that and end up back here next year.


I WE did decide to get back together, something would have to change the pattern of breaking up and getting back together. Maybe a change of meds for her, seeing a doctor about her mood swings, or just better communication skills for both of us....


I'm trying to hold my hope, and feelings in check.


Any thoughts?


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Jack -


I just read your other thread to catch up on this situation, since I'm new here. What I read in your first post sounds like a living nightmare! Hormone and medical issues aside, I would seriously research commitmentphobia and see if anything you discover fits, as it sounds to me like she was unwittingly sabotaging your relationship, possibly to prevent it from progressing. It's that whole "push/pull" thing and can really take its toll on your confidence and self esteem...not good! You could start here, with wikipedia link removed


In regards to this latest question you pose, it would seem wise to exercise NC and not even attempt the "friends" thing. The more you live this "I love you, go away" relationship, the harder I think it is to break the cycle, because each time another piece of your self esteem is destroyed. What you describe about her sounds exactly the way I was when I was in my early 20's, minus the hormone issues. If things didn't go just right, I'd break up with the guy, he'd be broken hearted and then I'd realize what I lost and go try to regain his love and trust and the relationship back. Finally he wised up, got out and saved himself and I started to learn a very valuable lesson, which led me to identify the symptoms of commitmentphobia, which stemmed from childhood issues and trauma.


If you do opt to be friends, which will likely result in being back together again, and you find that in your reading about commitmentphobia you have an "a-ha!" moment, you could try discussing with her what you've found and see if she's receptive to it and find ways to work on it, together. The only problem with this is that while it's honorable to stand by her and help her through it, it is certainly NOT your job to "fix" her, either. You deserve to have a happy, healthy relationship with a happy, healthy person.


Good luck to you!

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Thanks for your imput! You brought up something that I hadn't thought about. I'll need to do some reading on the subject.

Your point on trying to be friends is understood. You are right about how "another piece of your self esteem is destroyed". Yep, every time it happens it 's a little harder to convince myself that I'm OK.

Still, she is a known, and there is much to love when she's OK. Moving on gives me no guarentee, as I don't know what warning signs to look out for the next woman I meet. Even if I did see a sign, then it could be months into the next relationship.

Like I said, if we became friends again, I would go into that with a guarded heart, and we would need to talk before those walls came down.

The way I see it, we need to figure out why we were together, why we broke up, what was good, what wasn't. And, if she's reveptive, could the hormones be off, could she be bi-polar, or commitmentphobic? And try to make any of this sound like it's all her fault.

Thanks again for your insight!


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Jack...From what I've read, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and are very thoughtful with much insight of your own. I have no doubt that there is much to love about her or that you feel she's worth it. If she is commitment phobic then the issue is more likely than not, that she doesn't believe, in her heart, that there is much to love about her. That's where I was. I had no self esteem and feeling wanted by a man was what gave me those temporary boosts of the feel goods that I didn't know how to get on my own. I think in many ways, for me, the push/pull was a method I used, though not intentionally, to test my boyfriend's love for me...i.e. if he loves me, he'll come after me, fight for me, or whatever else would prove to me that I was worthy. When they (in my eyes) failed me or that test, I felt even more so unworthy and unlovable. I lost a really great boyfriend over this, which I don't regret, now, but I do regret the way I hurt him back then, when he did absolutely nothing wrong or deserving of the way I treated him.


Most, but certainly not all, of these kinds of issues usually seem to stem from unresolved issues from childhood, where, as a child, we felt unloved, unwanted and/or were abused in one way or another, that made us feel we weren't worthy. The end result is constant fear of being left or abandoned, so we can't get too close to anyone who could leave us in shambles. It's a defense mechanism, albeit a very unhealthy one and no one, and I certainly mean NO ONE can fix that within us. We have to fix it ourselves, be it by self discovery or a trusted loved one kind of leading us into discovery of it.


It certainly is a tough position you're in, indeed and I would not try to tell you what you should do (be friends or not) in your situation, but it sounds like you are truly wanting to help her. Your approach to this, as you have already pointed out, could be very sticky, because the likelihood that she'll feel that you're blaming her for your problems in your relationship, regardless of how good your intentions are; how compassionate and non-confrontational you are could ultimately bite you in the derriere. If/when you get together as friends, you could start a casual discussion with her about you. You could let her know that you've been doing some self discovery to identify ways that you may have contributed to the break-down of the relationship and then get into some things that you discovered within yourself (even if there are only a few minor things) . Of course you would need to take a genuine look at yourself and identify some areas that you could improve on in order to do this, because blowing smoke isn't fair either and she'll see through anything less than honesty, here. This, alone, may set the stage enough to open her mind a bit to doing her own self discovery or if not, it could show a willingness on your part to resolve some of these issues which could begin to tear down some of her walls and trust you a bit more. What I found when I did something similar, is that I identified these issues within myself and when I started to work on them, I was so excited that I was setting myself free from these life-long issues, that I was always telling my bf about them. He heard the excitement in my voice and I have to say, there is something very scary, but also extremely empowering to be able to say to your SO, "hey, I have a poor self esteem, because x happened in my life, and now that I know what it is, I am doing x to work on it"...and he was my biggest cheering section, when I actually expected rejection. Because of these intimate conversations, where I really laid my true self, foibles and all, out there in plain view for him to see, he developed a very deep trust in me and eventually I was able to talk to him about his own issues without him feeling I had anything less than his happiness at heart.


I wish you the best of luck with this and hope that you two find the happiness and healthfulness you both deserve.

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Once again, thanks. I saw much of my girlfriend in your desciption of you.

She has an alcoholic mom, and I think a fear of abandonment, which to me, makes no sense. Why break up with someone to avoid being left alone? It's like if I break up with you, before you break up with me, it's fine.

I like your idea about how to approach the problem, and I will start by looking for my part of the problem, and start working on fixing them. Then maybe I'll talk to her...



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