Success Story: Contact vs. No-Contact

The no-contact rule.

An excellent concept in theory, yet so difficult to put into action. No other rule shapes the outcome of our recovery more than this one; the rule is a precondition for our survival.

But why is it so hard to follow? Why do we come up with excuses NOT to follow it, even if we know how important it is?

The addiction to one person is not easy to overcome. It takes determination, strength and foremost -the insight on a deeper level that we cannot go on like this anymore, without losing ourselves completely.

The following success story from AJ is about following and NOT following the no-contact rule, and how important a support system can be:

Dear Eddie,

Several years ago I did the stupidest thing possible. I started dating my boss. My company had a strict no dating policy for its employees, but my boss convinced me that no one needed to find out. He pursued me like crazy until I gave in.

We were together over six years and amazingly (as far as I know) no one ever knew about it. We were very careful–my boss bordering on paranoid sometimes. I only told one friend about it, although I never told my boss that I shared our secret. Once the newness of the relationship wore off, he was terrified of losing his job and extremely careful about everything. Even his mother didn’t know about me!

As anyone but me might have expected, he eventually decided he could no longer “live the lie.” Rather than looking for a new job or helping me to find one, he chose to break off the relationship. I was devastated. Of course, I had very little support, since I hadn’t told most of my friends or any of my coworkers about him. His office was next to mine, and I’d hear him laughing and joking with other women through the thin walls. It was beyond horrible. I can’t even describe the sick, sinking feeling I’d get in my stomach every day.

He took another job a year later, but I still saw him occasionally because we traveled in the same business circles. And I’d like to say that business meetings were the only times I had to deal with this guy, but I was my own worst enemy. I called him for the stupidest reasons. I’d linger after meetings hoping to speak with him. But he’d walk right past me, and I’d inwardly fall apart. No matter how much time passed, the feelings of devastation were always the same. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in my car and cried in parking lots. And it went on for over a year.

I tried not to call him, but I’d always give in. You would think I’d have learned from the horrible way I felt after each of these calls, but I didn’t. The worst of it was that sometimes he’d give me a little grain of hope (“let’s meet for lunch”). My entire world would come crashing down when the hope got dashed. (“Sorry. Something came up. I’ll call you in the next month or so.”). Talk about letting someone else determine my happiness! I should have just given him a remote control.

Finally, my friend said, “Look. Calling this guy isn’t getting you anywhere except that it makes you feel terrible. So I’ll tell you what. Next time you want to call him, call me instead. I’ll pretend to be him–I think I can reject you as well as he can, you’ll get the same results but feel better about it.” I didn’t put much stock in her idea, but I was desperate enough to try anything. So, the next time I wanted to call the guy, I called my friend. She was so like him, so coldly rejecting and horrible that I had to laugh. It was so much more fun than calling him ever was. I’d hang up laughing instead of feeling like a spineless rejected glob.

It still wasn’t easy. The only thing that helped was that I kept telling myself he’d be expecting my calls. I reasoned that every time his phone rang, he’d expect it to be me. But it wouldn’t be! I didn’t want him to even see my number on his cell phone or caller ID. Nothing. I thought it might bother him that I’d dropped out of his life so quickly. I don’t know if it bothered him at all, but it sure made me feel like I had some power back. I think that feeling powerless was the worst part of our breakup.

I took a job in another city, which also made me feel better, probably because I stopped hearing his name. I started dating again. I worked hard to stay busy, so I’d have no energy left over for worrying about him.

Within a few months I was pretty happy with my life, something I never would have believed possible. But then (and this is, to me, the important part) I ran into my ex-boyfriend at a business convention. By now a lot of time had passed–over two years. I accepted his invitation to dinner, thinking I was past my feelings for him. But, as usual, when it came to this guy, I was completely wrong. By the time the conference ended, I was the same needy person I’d been two years before. My ex-boyfriend gave off mixed signals, but I figured out pretty quickly that he didn’t want a serious relationship with me. He wanted me to get him a better job (I professionally outranked him now).

Anyway, it was heartbreak all over again! I couldn’t believe the feelings came back so quickly and that all the work I’d done hadn’t moved me past him. I didn’t have quite to start over, but it was way too close! I learned then and there that breaking the no contact rule ever (!) is a really bad idea. I also learned that logic and reasoning have nothing to do with how you feel. They can help control your actions, but there was nothing I could do to talk myself out of my attraction to him once he was in front of me. And boy oh boy did it hurt when I figured out the real reason for the dinner.

My friend, who had been quoting to me from your website, finally told me to read it for myself. So I followed her advice. Reading about the reasons for no contact, as well as learning from the stories of others, helped me. So did the newsletters–I learned something from everyone. I recovered a second time. Even so, I have finally learned why it’s important never to see or speak with my ex-boyfriend again. He’s called me a few times (must still be job hunting!), but I don’t pick up when I recognize the number. I delete his messages without listening to them–way fun! I figure maybe it’s some sort of addiction, like alcohol. Whatever it is, not seeing this guy at all, ever, is the best thing I can do for myself. I’m engaged to a great man now –and very happy, but still not taking any chances.

Apart from having lived the benefits of no contact, I want to say that if I can recover and be happy again, then so can anyone. I was about as far gone as a person can get. Needy, dependent, desperate, begging–those all described me–and over a prolonged period too!

Getting myself out of the cycle of contacting him, having hope and getting crushed was the best thing I ever did. It gave me my sense of power back. And, most importantly, it worked. Thanks for being there for all of us, Eddie. I’ve definitely learned that your advice is right on.

AJ

I hope AJ’s story gave you some inspiration and insight about the importance of the no-contact rule, and that you are one step closer to following it with the necessary devotion.

Your friend,
Eddie

  • I love hearing this..there is hope. I have a question, I was dating a man for about 6 months. Eventually he told me that he is very attracted to me but that we are on different paths right now and he did not want to give me false hope. So I started the no contact rule. I found out that he is already seeing someone else. In 10 days, it will be a month that I have not seen, talked or text him. I think about him often and I would like to have a 2nd go at it with him. We were great together. During the NC period, I have been going out, did a weekend getaway to Laughlin with friends and I can honestly say, I am in a happy place. I even started dating someone new (casually, not exclusively). I was wondering if after the 30 days since he hasn’t tried to reach out to me, should I reach out to him?

    Please HELP

    • NO NO NO…a million times, NO! If you are EVER the first one to contact him, there will be only one guarantee…that he will see you as desperate, needy, and clingy. So even if there were a 1% chance you could reunite, that chance will be O-V-E-R!!

  • Second by second I soak the damage ,The more I soak the more I heal…All the things we did together..I have to experience them again..alone this time..,the autumn wind brings back memories..Her cold nose resting to my cheek while she kissed me… Oh dear Angels please..Lend me your Might..

  • I also need help. My long diatance girl friend of 10 months broke up with me immediately after abortion. It was unplanned pregnancy and decision to abort pregnancy was hers. I begged her not to do but she decided herself. I was abit mad at her after her medical abortion but Only one day but then I accepted it and tried to help her. I Infact told her that now get serious and make relationship official. She was happy and said u proposing me. I said not on whatsapp but yea on the way .and I booked holidays trip for us so she can forget this abortion. But 3 hours after this she said she wants to end the relationship and that night she blocked me on WhatsApp fb etc. I wrote her letter, sent flowers coz I thought may be she just emotional due to abortion. But nothing from her. 3 weeks after that I managed to talk to her through a friend. She sounded fine with no regrets of abortion or break up. She said she has decided to end with me and I don’t have choice. She likes me but no love and she dont think that i m the guy with whom she can spend whole life. She unblocked me from whatsapp but I went for no contact for 10 days with hope she will calm down and we will go for our holidays. After 10 days I called her to know if she coming for holidays. She said no. Going with her friend. So all I planned wasted. On call she sounded very sarcastic and behaving like nothing happened and all decisions she made is because of me. Laughing at me and saying things which really hurts. I was speechless to hear all that. So I said ok enjoy your holidays and if u see the way back then come back. After call I texted her that u never said bye to me. Why ? She immediately texted Bye with a smile sign. Next night she unblockdd me on fb and added me on instagram. I am on nc since then (3rd day now) I don’t know what to do. After all this . Do I want her back. Yes I do. Will she learn from all this and serious about relationship. Don’t know. May be she will never grow up. Need advise because I do love her. Just hope she will be back and hopefully slowly slowly we can work on our relationship.

  • 20+ years together 17 of them married, 6 months ago she announced out of nowhere she had feelings for someone else and wanted to explore them. She moved in with him 2 days later.
    After a month of little or no contact (her choice she was too busy) I finally got her to sit down and explain what had happened. She told me she hadn’t loved me for a long time and had started having affairs 3 years into our marriage, over the next 14 she’d had many finally ending with this man.
    We have three children together, though I’ve had to get DNA testing to confirm this. I’ve been the pathetic wretch listed in all the examples, begging, crying, stalking etc before I found this site now I want to fix myself and move on, however we have three children, two still at home that live with me every other week, how do I implement the no contact rule bearing in mind a) there are practical matters than require contact and b) I don’t want my children to see conflict between me and her (so far they just think we made a mutual decision to split and we’re still friends because I thought that wa better for them)?

  • Hi Eddie!
    I went through a terrible break up 2 months ago.I dated a boy 3 years younger to me for a year and a half and were friends for 5 months before we got into a relationship. He left for his further studies soon after we got into a relationship. He had a year and a half to complete so most of the time it was kind of a long distant relationship. We were doing well nevertheless and we always in touch. He comes home to visit me often when he gets his breaks and all was well. We were very in love though we do fights to over silly things. We were very serious and were even planning to get married this year when he completes his studies.

    During his absense last year I met an old childhood crush and he showed interest and was asking for my hand in marriage. He was a family friend and my parents liked him alot and told me to reconsider my decision as they are not so happy with my present boyfriend as he’s younger to me. I was pretty confused at that time and even told him to wait.In my honesty and foolishness I told my boyfriend about this guy,he got mad with me and even did crazy things. Finally I convinced my parents that I love my boyfriend that will marry him no matter what. This guy insisted on meeting me to know my decision so i met him and told him to move on in life as I have a boyfriend and ive made my decision to marry him . I told my boyfriend 3 months later about the incidence coz i didnt want to hide things from him. He got maat me though but we came to good terms.

    When he returned back from his studies everything was normal. It was 3 weeks after he got back and the worst thing before my birthday we had a fight again on th same issue. He said that I was unfaithful to him and so on. On my birthday he came and gave me a bday cake as a surprise. He said he just want to make up for all the fights and misunderstandings. The next day he acted strange and told me that he’s confused and angry at me and that what I did to him still haunts him and he cannot forget it. He asked for a break for few months after a few days. I was devastated and hurt really deeply . All my dreams shattered at that moment. I begged him, tried to explain to him, asked for forgiveness and even tried to contact and meet him. All these didnt help and the matter seemed worse. I even heard that he’s been seeing someone else and getting very friendly with her lately but he told my friend not to tell me about it. I was really mad and jealous too but im helpless now and blamed myself for everything.
    He did reveal to me during our brief contacts that he misses me and would want to work things out but he sounded confused too.
    I came across the no contact rule while I was browsing and did that. I stopped all contacts with him after 3 weeks of begging and after 12 days he texted me saying he loved me enough to let me go. I was baffled and confused but I didnt reply though. The next day he got me into a conversation by bringing up something important and it went on with the same old topic. I was giving in again and became helpless. I broke the NC rule again. After carefully reading your posts I finally decided to follow the NC rule no matter what and im on my 17th day now. I miss him so much and wish I could turn back the time to make things right. Please help me….

  • Me and my boyfriend were going out for 3 years he broke up with me 12 days ago. The said he has been miserable for 3 years and does not love me anymore, he also told me he has not loved me for over a year but did not know how to break up with me.
    We have had a complicated unhealthy relationship everything was good for 6 months but then i started university and i found the assignments too hard and i wanted to quit but he told me he would help me with them and ended up doing all the assignments for the whole time i have been at university; i am in my last week of my final year and even though we broke up 11 days ago he is still doing my assignments. but he has told me its just about the work he does not want to get back with me.

    I feel like he turned miserable because of all the pressure I gave him with these assignments i knew once they were over i would fix our relationship and make it better but he broke up with me 3 weeks before it was all over, so he didnt even give us a chance to fix it. I think hes fixated on how miserable our relationship has been because from 5am-9pm he goes work and gym and then from 9-11 he was doing my assignments so i understand how stressed he must have been. but we used to have a good relationship for the first year.

    another thing is he says i was a horrible girlfriend because i used to get annoyed at him for calling me BUT he called me 10 times a day and also made me skype him from 9pm-5am everyday, so as soon as he got home he would skype me even if we were not talking it would just be left on and he always used to message me every 5 mins it was a repetitive conversation he also expected me to reply back within 5 mins. and this is why i used to be annoyed because there was no space and if i mentioned to call me less he would get angry and say im horrible for saying that.

    so all of this has made him miserable with me and not love me. if i do no contact can i get him back. this time i will be a good girlfriend and explain being with me all the time made him get fed up of me.

  • Hey,

    i badly need a help here,

    we started our relationship through a social meadia network , and the relationship was very strong for four years ( its not her first relationship but this is the strongest closest and long period of relationship in which both of us tried very hard to get married , ) unfortunatly i got screwed in my business and went through a very difficult time in my finance stage which was not stable so both of us had to wait till things get sorted , we have lots of mis match such as age religion and language so her parents never agreed to this , numerous times i tried to solve the financial problems and hoped that things will be fine today but it kept on falling down so she went through a stage where she had to belive that things will be ok today but it never happend and again and again same thing happned , so finaly she lost the trust in me that i will not be able to solve this finanial problems , so she decided to break up,

    it was hard for me and my self behaved like same others like begging and asking for a chance she never aggreed, a few days later we chatt casualy but she was very serious about the break up , so no matter how much i tried to talk she kept her defence on, and i decided to use no contact , in a week time i gotto know that she is having a small surgery so i was curios to know her health and i contacted her , and she explained it to me it isnt a big deal and its a small surgery what 90% women had to go through , mean while i was badly unhealthy and got admited at the hospital ,and she spoke to me and we had a casual hat and she was soo serious and cared for me , but she always drew her line , so i decided to go bak to no contact again , she called me twis but i ddint answer , i deativated my social network , and put offline to all my other apps and i went invisible for her, its been 7 days after her last call( which i reject to answer) now she have deactivated her facebook account too ,

    i was thinking of solving my financial problem in one month which is quit possible for me to do now, and to get a new look , and become more of a better person , and rather talking to her i want to make her believe that i have settled the problems and im in a stage in which she can trust me again ,

    will this work ? am i doing something wrong in here?

    reason why i think she will come back for me is

    1) its the first strongest and longest and a meaningfull relationhip she had ,

    2) i was the first person she had sex with ( in our culture its taboo to have sex before marriage)

    3) she is scared that people will look at her as a bad personality just because she had sex with me ( when they get to know , may be if she get married to a new guy will he take it serious and will it become a erious issue in her life)

    4) in her life she believes that i was the most omfortable person she can be with who given her the freedom like no one including her family did , which a normal huband in our culture does .

    5) she is looking after a older women in a diffrent ountry she she get only an hour to be with her family and only on sundays she stays with her family , rest of the time she spends alone with the elderly ,

    please tell me am i doing things wrong to loose her or is it the right thing ???

  • My breakup happened on September 4th. We had only been dating/hanging out for seven months. And though I knew it wasn’t super serious. No I love you’s or anything like that, but when she gave the dreaded, “We need to talk”, “It’s not you, it’s me,” I was taken by surprise and hurt more than I would have ever guessed. I was quite a bit older than her, and it started as more of a friends with benefits thing. Over time, however, we spent more time together. I met her friends, family, etc. We spent the night at each other’s places several nights a week. When she ended things I handled it very well. I was nice, and she even said, “Should I be hurt that you don’t even seem upset?” I was more in shock than anything ,and I didn’t want to be a jerk. She asked if we could still hang out, and I said I didn’t think it was a good idea. Then as she walked out she cried and said, “Am I ever going to see you again?” I just said that we should take things one day at a time. It is almost two months later and neither of us has contacted one another. However, we did remain Facebook friends for over a month. I do not recommend that. I would try to avoid checking her profile, but it was like crack, I could not keep myself from checking it. Thankfully, she isn’t a frequent poster. For someone like me, who is a bit neurotic, it was torture. I even felt weird if I posted anything. Would it be noticed? Read into? Stupud, I know. She eventually posted a fairily amusing video. I didn’t even know if I could/should like it. Unsure of the etiquete. I “liked” it. Only a few others did. A few days later she deleted it. I wondered if it was because I “liked” it. Could have had nothing to do with me. Still, it’s the online not knowing intent. Awful. Then her birthday came, and I debated posting a message. Wisely, I did nothing. The reason I am sharing is that 10 days ago, I deactivated my profile. It has helped me. I feel more sane and in control. Highly recommend it.

  • I am currently 2 weeks 4 days into my breakup. I was with him 2 years and at the time I didn’t no how much he mentally abused me. Only now since we have split have I recognised it. It contacted me in the first week I stupidly I responsed and it made me feel worse. I was the one who broke up with him because I thought he was cheating and he made my life hell. I suffer from depression and anxiety and lost all my friends and family and even my home because of him. I have been doing the no contact rule now for 10 days and I am slowly rebuilding my life. But at the same time I am so confused with my feelings as I want him to beg and he hasn’t, it’s like I never existed to him. I don’t want him back because it as affected my children him being in our lives, I just want him to realise what he as done. Please help

  • I been there i got a no contact order rule from a married man , his wife was fine for the one night stand part. I didn’t know he had kids and a wife he lied about his past relationships. After I found out i was used I slapped him and left. Two yrs later I ran into him and my heart broke. So I decided to just keep ignoring is stupid signs cause he’s a player. I realized my mom married a player cause I know my dad is fooling around with youngsters at work. I should be very aware of this too. It’s best not to date someone with unknown or too much information.

    Next time when I date someone I need to know all there web chat status first if I’m not on any of his chats then I’d leave. I was careless completely careless. Now his friends are laughing at me every time I see them , but I’m going to accept any dates now after this happened . His family was rude posting mans right for rejection sure easy to say. So I decided to follow this no contact rule so I won’t be sued by him for mentioning his names very mean girls is time to act up and accept good guys

  • Well folks almost at month nine had the worst weekend ever missing him …last year. This weekend we had was the best .I hate myself for still loving him how could he not miss me I’m so tired of feeling this bad and with Christmas new years both our birthdays and Valentine’s day all amazing days we spent together last year I hope the dear lord has mercy on me cause its going to be torture …I just want him backiI havwnt healed at all I’m as raw as day one …I must be pitiful no wonder he’s gone …sorry folks venting a bit just feeling real bad maybe next month will bring sweet relief

  • Hello Eddie. I have read almost all of your articles, and I must say: they have helped me so much.
    March 2013 was the 3 years 3 month mark. We broke up around mid-March, and we got back together again 2 weeks after (I know, I shouldn’t have done that). Our first break-up was very mutual and very understanding on both sides. No guilt feelings nor negative feelings. We both agreed on it. However, we broke up again mid-April. This time, it was so bad that it pretty much broke ME. I do not regret fighting for what we had, neither was I mad. A few weeks after, I have been hearing rumors that she already found a new guy, that was when I got mad and confused. First week of June was my initial steps on NC away from her. I have sent her flowers and sent her my very LAST message (my closure to her).
    I struggled every minutes, to hours, to days, and to weeks. BUT I did not crawl back. I have kept the No Contact rule, I did not try opening any kind of communications. I’ve heard news about her, that she’s doing well and happier. I was sad but the more days passed away from her, the more I got better. We still have a little connections because I am still paying a part of the bills we both shared, but it did not matter. I was willing to pay for it fully (it’s a contract up to next year).
    She tried to contact me around first week of August. She sent me a message in which I ignored. A few hours later, she sent me a few passive-aggressive messages… she pretty much verbally attacked me. I felt sad and I felt that I was back in square one, but no matter, I kept my heads up high and I did not reply. I did not reply because I had a feeling her and I would argue. I am tired of the fights and what I’m doing is benefiting to both of us. She’s happy, and I am too. I thought I was managing it immaturely, however… its NO CONTACT. I was already getting better. I do not know if the 2-month NC still applied when she tried to contact me and I did not reply. But I considered it broken. So I restarted my No Contact Rule again.
    Fast forward, and guess what: she contacted me again regarding about the bills. She texted me just a week ago, not even 2 months NC (AGAIN). I replied this time, and I was right… we argued. We argued because she has been hearing that I have been talking bad about her throughout summer, but this is not true. I have not even talked to any people and even if I did, I did not say any negative things. We exchanged a few negative things about each other, and ended the conversation by me apologizing for unnecessarily using such negative things towards her.

    I thought I would be back in tears… however, the conversation did not affect me. I did not feel anything other than emptiness. But this emptiness was a good thing. I just did not feel anything AT ALL! I did not miss her nor wanting her. I felt better and I knew I was already starting to fully move on.
    If I was to count the days of No Contact away from my ex, I’d say it has already been 110 days (until last week when I replied)

    Thanks Eddie. You helped me a lot. To others who are struggling, it’s ok to struggle. Better things will come by moving on, and No Contact is such a helpful strategy. Keep yourself busy, pray a lot, read a lot, and be yourself the way you were BEFORE you met your ex, only this time BETTER.

  • its y 34days of no contact rule my ex girlfriend dumped me because of many reason.. first here parents doesnt like me to her daughter.. ive been so jealous since she got a job.. for the past year we have a bad relationship always figthing to each other what will i do move on but she is using my daughter as a pawn to me

  • This is day 7 of no contact with the woman who for now is still the best experience of my life. I was in the military, played college sports, and have had financial trouble, I must admit that the No Contact rule makes those other events look like a day at Disney. My skin literally burns to contact her and my heart breaks knowing she will not be contacting me because she has someone else. I just want to move on mentally and emotionally.

  • Need help.
    My girl friend just left me without saying goodbye. We’re on long distance relationship. Should I continue the No Contact or should I break up with her and apply the No Contact again? Thanks….

  • Dudes and dames,

    during the years I have perfected the art, that the author doesn’t mind calling the “no-contact” rule. And believe me, it does work all the way, but for the wrong kind of people. I insist that, and implore you to use this as a device to see whether someone is right for you or not. If the person is hooked by your demonstration of the “no contact” attitude, it only means that this person is attracted to you, just because they couldn’t get something when they wanted it, and that makes them very mad. So if you’re thinking about going back to your ex bf/gf just because, they’ve felt the Syberian cold shoulder, and suddenly they’re all over you, please don’t. I cannot stress how important this is. First lesson would be to learn how to act cool. The second lesson would be to realize that you are no toy, you are a human being that deserves to be loved, no matter who you are.

  • i met an angel 18 months ago, half way through the relationship, without realising the mistake i was making i told her i needed space, which i did, so it wasn’t really a mistake as that’s what i needed at the time, it just feels that way now because after having my space i realized that i want her back for good. we’ve stayed in touch through this space period, gone out together watched films together, made the best love i’ve ever known, just with much less frequency, we were best friends all the way through the 18 months, always there for each other, etc. A week ago i contacted her to tell her i’d had my space and i was ready to give her everything, she seemed distant and eventually told me she was seeing somebody, they got together 5 days before i made the call, she likes the guy and shes my best friend, so a couple of days after the emotions had quietened and realising i had not been as good as i could have been i figured that despite much i don’t want this pain, her happiness is the most important thing to me right now and that if i am to get her back i must respect her wishes as she did for me, her wish is that i give her time to figure things out, she says that my decision to commit to her has caused her much confusion as she thought that i never would do, and that is why she is seeing the other guy, and that she wants to keep seeing the guy, this breaks my heart, i agreed to not contact her as she wished, and told her the ball was in her court now, It has been a few of the hardest days of my life since i got this news, and i am starting to think that she is actually over me but that she doesn’t want to say it for fear of hurting me, but then i could be wrong too.

    so, this is why i’m here, does anybody think i would be making a mistake by texting her something along the lines of this:

    ‘does the fact you’ve not said it’s over mean that it isn’t? or are you just not saying so for fear of seeing me hurt?

    i really have no clue which one it is and i can’t stop obsessing over that one question

  • This is super hard to follow but I think in my situation there is no other way than the no contact rule. I recently had an abortion and my boyfriend was quite overwhelmed by the experience, on top of which he had to leave to another country for work. He loves the sun and I can imagine him being in that environment he obviously doesn’t think of me much. This is so difficult for me though! Having gone through the stress of an abortion and then him not being around, I have nothing much to do than concentrate on my work. Sometimes I feel like I should give up on him because he is selfish and at times I wonder if I’d do the same if I were in his position. It’s tough, but I realise that talking to him about my situation is selfish as well and let’s see how it rolls when he gets back.

  • I dated a guy for a year and a half who means so much to me. I was his first relationship, and he was my second serious relationship…of about seven people I have dated. I knew what I wanted and he was everything to a tee, but when we began dating I still wasn’t over my ex of three years. It had been a really rough relationship that left me with a lot of emotional scars. At six months I asked for space so that I could completely heal from my ex and be ready to fully give myself emotionally to my new partner. He didn’t understand why I would need space if I had feelings for him. We kept dating because I was scared to lose him, but it really slowed down my healing process and our capability to grow as a couple. A month ago I finally took the space I needed by force to get my feelings together…I pretty much disappeared on him for a month, and maybe we only physically saw each other three times during it. Needless to say he thought I wasn’t serious about him afterwards and broke it off with me. He also found out I had spoke to a mutual friend months ago our sex life in a crude manner…and I was an idiot and compared him to prior people I have seen. He’s asked me for space now, and it’s been a week since I sent him a text saying that I was sorry, that he meant so much to me, that I would do anything to fix it and that I will give him his space. He won’t speak to me, so I haven’t had a chance to apologize or try to explain or show him how serious I am about him beyond that. This is the first time we’ve ever been in a bad fight, the first time I’ve ever seen him angry and also the first time we’re ever broken up. In a month, when he’s cooled down, I want to call him and try to talk to him about the relationship. Obviously I’m not happy we’re not together and I want to fix things. There are problems here, but the majority of them were my fault and because I was in a lot of emotional turmoil. I would like to get us at the least on speaking terms. Any ideas on this? Anyone else have a similar experience?

    • Hey abc,

      Your situation is strikingly similar to mine and I’d really like to see how it turned out.

      My significant other and I had been dating for 9 months, and while it was only a relatively short while, I went through a major change in emotions and for the first time opened myself up to the vulnerability of love. After I had let my guard down, we had 2 months of pure bliss…however it was then that I realized it was more one-sided. My ex had told me at the 3 month and 6 month mark that she was not looking for a serious relationship, but during this time I had pushed us into seeing each other exclusively. While it wasn’t what she wanted, I had convinced her that she was overthinking things and to just let things continue to develop organically, thinking to myself “hey, all girls want relationships, she’ll come around”. I didn’t realize all the guilt, mixed feelings, and tearing up I was putting her through because she had still not had enough time to get over her ex of 3 years, as we had started dating 2 months after they broke up. We lasted through the holidays, but through a couple periods of insecurity due to a couple of incidents after NYE, I pushed on the ex question and asked us to solidify ourselves official. She resisted…It was at the point that I realized we hit the climax of our relationship, and over the rest of our time, I was walking on eggshells.

      3 weeks ago, she told me how overwhelmed she felt, and I asked if she needed space, and she said yes. Last week she reached out to me to apologize for leaving things up in the air and asked to talk and hang out, which we did last Saturday (2/2/13). We talked a bit and went out where I treated her like a first date and she wasn’t too keen on that, but I just wasn’t sure what headspace she was in. Ultimately, after a few drinks we lightened up and had a wonderful time of drinking and dancing. She spent the night and we had great evening, morning and even took our first shower together….Then, we had the big talk. Ultimately, we wanted different things, I was ready to commit fully and she was not in the space to do so.

      We racked our brains for 3 hours trying to figure out how to make it work, but I was simply not ok with dating her non-exclusively, while she too realized she couldn’t stand me seeing someone else. We then reached the inevitable conclusion that we had to break up, and while she was saying I was rushing it and that she still wanted to be each other’s valentine’s and wait 2 weeks, 1 month to gauge how we were and talk again, I said no because I knew nothing would change in her mind or mind unless we moved forward with this clean break. I felt I had to take the ultimate risk to let her know that she could in fact lose me forever, but at the same time I did tell her that what she was asking for was not necessarily selfish. She wants to be single and experience the joys and consequences of not having to attend to anyone else’s needs but her own. She’s only 26, I’m 30..I understood that. I was the same way at her age…So while I told her I had no problem fighting for her and us to stay together, I told her that I couldn’t fight against her. She just wasn’t in the space to commit to me fully, so we had a very amicable, heart wrenching break up which we ended by blowing each other a kiss and letting her know she has my number if she wants to reach out.

      1 week later, I have definitely been dealing with a lot of my demons (realizing my insecurities, that I didn’t love myself fully and used her affections as validation of my own self-worth), which I actually was already dealing with during our 2 weeks of space, so really I feel this is like week 3 of break-up. And while I am facing the grieving process fully head on, and seeing myself become a fuller person by the day, I understand that I’m still going to have the emotional rollercoaster. Ultimately, I do want to see if we can re-kindle a relationship. I have no doubt she cares for me, and I feel it in my heart and gut that we will talk to each other again, be it in 2-3 weeks, or 1-2 months..however I’m mature enough to understand that even if she does reach out to me it, it’s not necessarily because she misses me and wants to get back together, but because she cares about me and wants to see how I am doing. Clearly, I was more emotionally invested than her, but it doesn’t change the fact that she cares about me and doesn’t want to see me hurt.

      I am working on moving on..been spending time with friends and socializing. Flirting with other girls to get my feet wet again..definitely not ready for dating yet, but I feel it’s not too far away..maybe another 2-3 weeks. I am focusing on myself and getting into a mind space where if/when I do have a conversation with her, I can truly not have any expectations and be in a more loving place for myself. I send her my warm, loving energy daily and have daily affirmations, and know that I have little option left but to just be patient and focus on myself in the meantime. Ultimately, I still feel the clean break was necessary because it allowed me to take this self-examined look at myself and liberate myself from walking on eggshells. While I still have love and hope, I also work on embracing the realities of bad timing. Love is an illogical thing isn’t it…

  • My friend I understand you completely. I been with my ex for 4 years and even got in engaged. And she started get stress from her job and got manic episode. I was there for her and have sleepless night and take care for her. I love this woman very much. She would blame me for everything and even tried to tell me that I was sick and have Bipolar Disorder. In May of 2011 we got into an argument and she said no more contact and she dumped me. It has been 6 months already now and I have not contact her in anyway. I even disconnected my cell number. We really love each other and during the last 4 years we have broken up so many time. But I was the one that have to be chasing her and get back with her. She would snapped and get angry for days. And its true people with BD is a very addictive. Don’t know why I love her so much and she even starting to make me sick too. Your story really helped me during these hard times. Please stay in touch.

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