Bad timing and fork in the road

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    Hi There,

    I’m in a unique situation and can’t seem to find relatable advice. I met a very lovely girl about 6 months ago (in a completely by chance scenario), and we started dating shortly after. Yet only a few months before she met me, she had ended a long engagement with another guy, and though she and I fell for each other over these past few months, she and her ex still have ties because they were together so long.

    Anyways, this past weekend we decided to take a break so she could figure out whether she wanted to pursue something with me or go back to him. It was two hours filled with tears and kind words. I know this girl genuinely cares about me and we get along wonderfully, but she’s confused and afraid she will make the wrong choice. She has a lot of good in her heart, and doesn’t want to bring heartbreak to anyone (even though it’s inevitable). I honestly have never met someone I enjoy so much, so letting her go easily would be hard…but I’ve been anxious about her hesitancy, and all of the uncertainty has made me too insecure to go forward in our relationship without more solid commitment/emotional availability from her.

    We spoke a couple times right after the talk, as lighthearted as possible. The next night she called me late into the night, probably a little drunk, and told me she missed me… but since then, nothing.

    I guess I understand that the best thing to do is leave her alone now. I feel like I’m waiting for the impending doom, but in many ways I’m relieved it’s reached this point because I had been trying so hard to figure it all out. Any advice or good wishes would be welcome. I feel a little weird posting about it, but I’ve come to really like this website since I often struggle with anxiety/depression.

    Thanks everyone.


    Hi Eitherway,

    It sounds like you had a valuable and amazing experience and that you are remaining clear and grounded even though it is now painful. I think you seem very clear about what you need. It’s very hard to let go and not panic or rush in out of desperation or fear. I admire you for being able to allow her the time and space to make a decision. It looks like you came together when she was in a time of transition and confusion.

    We tend to look for answers and resolution because we think we’ll feel more secure or at peace. Our brains and egos are always looking for reasons and explanations, and when we are vulnerable we gravitate toward our natural and habitual negative self talk. We look at a situation like you’re in and ask ourselves what’s wrong with us, we feel rejected, etc.

    I think in some situations, like this, there aren’t easy answers or resolution…it’s a process, and there isn’t one answer to make it all better. And, it’s okay not to know, not to have the answer. It’s not comfortable at all, but it’s okay. The answers will come in time. I guess what I’m saying is, this is a difficult situation, it’s filled with emotion and could potentially trigger many things for you, and making sense of it all will take time.

    So the important thing then, is how you tend to and take care of yourself in this process. The best you can do is to be kind and gentle with yourself, remain truthful to yourself about what you want and what the situation is, take it one step at a time, ie try to remain in the moment rather than wallowing in the past or yearning for the future, breathe deeply to ground yourself, and really, as unpleasant as it is, feel the feelings that come up.

    You have recognized that you were putting a lot of energy into figuring things out and that right now, you can’t figure it out. The situation needs to play itself out, I think using your energy to keep yourself on track is really important.

    I wish you peace,


    Dear eitherway:

    Not a good situation to be in for a person already struggling with anxiety and depression. I would say the problem may be more than just choosing between you and him. I would grieve the relationship, see it as OVER. I wouldn’t cooperate with her On-the-fence behavior. I would step over the fence and be clear that you are out of the relationship. If you can handle it, be her friend or somehow keep contact but not as a desperate guy waiting for the moment she makes the … big choice (like I wrote, I think there is more trouble here than a simple choice between him and you). She may be a nice girl not wanting to bring heartbreak to anyone AND at the same time, she may play both sides, as she did when she called you last.



    HI” eitherway

    I just want to start this off by saying, that you might want to take in consideration on what ( Anita and JK-blue ) are conveying”…
    caring” words of true” enlightenment”…

    From what I have read, it seems like, all that they want is for you to have some form of PEACE” OF MIND”… which might save you from getting hurt” in the long run.

    Sorry” that you have to go through this, but be careful” on what you seek”… because you might just get exactly” what you want”…

    Not always a good thing!

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by Dernell.

    Don’t ever become somebody’s option because once you do that’s all you’ll ever be.


    Thank you all for your advice and good words. Jkblue, your advice resonated the most with me, though I appreciate everyone’s posts greatly.

    I don’t feel powerless in this situation, but I certainly do feel sad. It’s funny how I had a lot of anxiety before it reached this point but since the conversation took place I have felt very calm. I plan on taking it one step at a time, and checking in with myself before anyone else.

    She reached out to me last night, while I was asleep, so I know that she’s certainly still struggling with the situation as well. I guess I’ll update you all if something comes of it. For now it’s a day-by-day thing.


    Hey Everyone,

    Things have certainly changed since I first made this post. It’s wild how much can happen in one weeks time.

    As I mentioned earlier, she had been reaching out to me here and there. I think the longest we went without talking was two days or so. I haven’t given her much when she has reached out, I’m calm and nice but I certainly don’t chase her or beg for answers. On Saturday night we spoke briefly on the phone, I wanted to let her know that I think it would be unnecessary at this point for us to have a “deadline” on this break. She agreed, and although the conversation was sad and sincere it didn’t drag on or blow out of proportion. By Sunday I had a soft confidence in knowing that we would probably keep in touch with each other more than I had initially predicted, and I could feel better in letting the relationship go knowing that I was still on her mind. Time would pass a little more kindly.

    This all changed last night, when we ended up texting until the early hours of the morning after she had been out with friends. She said she hoped to be able to see me soon, “if amenable”, and I said that I was afraid I wouldn’t have the emotional ability to handle that right now unless we planned on working on things between us. I reassured her that I didn’t want to shut her down, I didn’t mind that we were talking here and there, and that I wanted to handle this the best way possible. She said it was okay, and that I can reach out to her “when and if I want”. Then she said she’ll stop, followed by goodnight.

    It hurt to read that. I guess I had found some comfort in my stance, but once again the bridge I was on swayed, and my footing was lost.

    While I’ve worked every day on the idea of letting her go so that we may both take our time to work on ourselves, I thought that by maybe talking as much as we were it would make things go smoothly. I learned that’s not the case. So I guess now begins the time where we don’t talk for awhile. As heartbreaking as it is.

    My birthday is in a few days. I’m assuming I’ll get a text then. Perhaps I’ll just reply with a thank you and keep the silence going for a couple weeks. I’m not sure what I’m looking for now. I’m hurting, but I’m keeping my head up and moving forward day by day. Hope you all can throw some insight my way.

    Thank you.



    That girl made her decision when she asked you for a break. She clearly doesn’t want to lose you but doesn’t seem to want to be with you either. That break wasn’t for her, it was for you to accept that she’s leaving while she slowly fades away. She’ll still text you and call you because you’ve put yourself as an option for her choosing. You’re nice to her and she’s slowly fading away and she likes that because it’s on good terms. That’s actually great for both of you really. However, what you should have done is told her that you understand her situation and told her that you will not accept a break and distanced yourself from her to actually force her to make a decision knowing that she’s already losing you. Instead you fell for a typical “break” scenario.

    If there is anything I learned from failed relationships it’s that breaks don’t work unless both people in the relationship genuinely feel the need to temporarily separate because they both see their relationship struggle the same way and they both want to think about it and clear their minds. When one person wants to take a break while the other one literally accepts it as a fact – as in your case – that relationship is likely doomed.

    I wish you best of luck. If she doesn’t come back so be it. It’ll hurt. You’ll be over it in a few months. You’ll have no choice. Remember if she was yours she’d have never have left in the first place. If she is – she’ll come back.


    Hi Everyone,

    I’m back, and unfortunately with a broken heart. At the end of November we ended our break, stating that even though we’ve had our difficulties it was worth it to still try and make it work. For about three weeks things were great… better than before even. We were talking daily, seeing each other multiple times a week, we had the holiday spirit with us and it finally felt right. By the time Christmas came around however she became distant again… and I didn’t see her for over a week. We hardly talked, I’d send texts that wouldn’t get responses. It began to hurt badly. Her birthday came and went right after the holiday, then came New Years Eve. We didn’t do anything with each other for either other then send a few texts.

    So last night we had plans to meet up after she got out of work. I was beyond excited. Even though it had been a rough couple of weeks I knew that she was busy and things would be good going into the new year. When I saw her though, she wasn’t her usual self. She seemed colder and distant. We went to get a glass of wine, and about 20 minutes into it she told me that she felt a lot of guilt for not giving me what I deserve in our relationship. She had been torn emotionally throughout the holidays.. wanting to do them with me and not being able to emotionally. She knew she was hurting me, and she said she couldn’t do it anymore. We left the bar and I took her home. I sobbed intensely, because I felt my heart breaking in a way it hadn’t before. We talked about what could have been, and how we know we would have been good together if the timing was different. She reiterated what she said back in November… that she felt this is one of the most intense decisions she’s ever had to make. Even though she cares so deeply for me, her heart still belongs to her ex boyfriend. We kissed goodbye and she went into her apartment. I drove home with tears streaming down my face.

    I couldn’t sleep last night, and I feel dreadful today. The situation seems so unfair to me. I feel like I’ve lost someone great, and I never got to see the version of her that she wished she could have given me. I’m not mad at her, I know she must be just as hurt. It was nice hearing all the kind things she said, and knowing that she was being honest about the problems our relationship had endured. It wasn’t nice having no choice but to give up the fight.

    I know I have to move on now. That hurts, but it’s supposed to right? Part of me really wishes that somewhere down the line of life we end up together again. I don’t want it now. But maybe someday. I won’t hold on to that thought though, I know I have to get over her first.

    Would appreciate any kind encouragement. This is a tough way to start a new year.



    Dear Max:

    You asked for encouragement, so here is my encouragement to you: I think it is a good thing that you decided to move on now, that you accept the fact that it hurts and you are willing to get through it and get over her…

    Wishing you a good 2016, may you have peace of mind and may you love and be loved in return this year and after!



    Just when you said your situation was unique i realized that it’s 95% identical to mine. 🙂 I’m not gonna bother with mine but it gets better with time. Things will hurt less. Memories will become distant. At some point you’ll wonder if all of this happened to you. I know it hurts and feels terrible now, but on the bright side of things you’ve done all you could. No regrets. No what ifs. It’s the new year and new slate. Start healing and moving on.


    Thank you both.

    I’ve felt a lot better today than yesterday. I removed the notes, pictures, and memories I had on my phone and put them in a place on my computer I won’t be digging for anytime soon. We still haven’t talked, and I’m glad for that. I think she knows as well as I do that it really was time for it to end. The sadness is still there, but it’s not something I can’t live with. I’ve found some good ways to help me get through. That Bob Dylan song “Simple Twist of Fate” has some lines that feel almost too accurate, as does “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”. Heartbreak certainly is something that just comes with being alive.

    All the best to you TriangleSun.. funny how you find similarity in our situations. I’m glad it gets better with time.


    They sat together in the park
    As the evening sky grew dark
    She looked at him and he felt a spark tingle to his bones
    It was then he felt alone and wished that he’d gone straight
    And watched out for a simple twist of fate.

    They walked alone by the old canal
    A little confused I remember well
    And stopped into a strange hotel with a neon burning bright
    He felt the heat of the night hit him like a freight train
    Moving with a simple twist of fate.

    A saxophone someplace far off played
    As she was walking on by the arcade
    As the light bust through a-beat-up shade where he was waking up
    She dropped a coin into the cup of a blind man at the gate
    And forgot about a simple twist of fate.

    He woke up the room was bare
    He didn’t see her anywhere
    He told himself he didn’t care pushed the window open wide
    Felt an emptiness inside to which he just could not relate
    Brought on by a simple twist of fate.

    He hears the ticking of the clocks
    And walks along with a parrot that talks
    Hunts her down by the waterfront docks where the sailers all come in
    Maybe she’ll pick him out again how long must he wait
    One more time for a simple twist of fate.

    People tell me it’s a sin
    To know and feel too much within
    I still believe she was my twin but I lost the ring
    She was born in spring but I was born too late
    Blame it on a simple twist of fate.

    Dear Max:

    I am glad you can endure the sadness you are feeling, that you are not in a rush to get rid of the sadness. This way it will shrink by itself. What you resist (sadness, in this case), persists. You don’t resist it, it will dissipate. Blame it on the nature of being human, nothing to do with fate. (sounds good in the song though).


    Thank you Anita. One of the many things this powerful website has taught me is to breathe into my feelings and never fight them. I woke up this morning far earlier than usual, feeling the loss of her stronger than yesterday. This is the longest we have ever gone without talking since we met, and it’s only been 3 days. I knew that there would be ups and downs in this process; good days and bad. It just hits like a bag of bricks when you wake up feeling down.

    I have a full day planned so I know I’ll be alright. I go back to work tomorrow and I’m slightly nervous for what will go through my mind in the downtime.. which I get a lot of there. Still, it’s something I have to do.

    I promised myself that if I want to try and get her back I shouldn’t do a single thing until at least 3 months have gone by. There’s no point to act on the feelings I have now, because it’s so early and not much has changed. That’s smart right? I can’t fully dismiss that I want her back… even though I’ve heard I shouldn’t. Though I know time has to do its process. It’s been such a small amount of time thus far. I have to try and move on first even though I’m not sure what that fully entails.

    Then again, maybe it’s time she did the fighting for me… I shouldn’t want her back unless she comes to me in full. That’s all I ever wanted from her; I wanted her all. Something she told me she could see herself doing if her situation was different. The hypothetical what ifs were the saddest part. That’s what made our relationship so unbalanced even though the connection was beautiful. I think love is so rare, which makes it hard for me to walk away from without looking back. These are just some of the thoughts that have troubled me this morning.

    Anyways.. I’m always appreciating more insight, and I’m thankful I can treat this thread a sort of journal through this process. I’ve been reading other posts in this forum and can see that a lot of good support comes through here. That’s a lovely thing.


    Dear Max:

    excellent idea, to treat this thread as your journal. You have conflicting thoughts today, understandably, thinking of doing something so to get her back on one hand and on the other, thinking it is not a good idea. So you came up with a compromise on those two: do nothing for the next three months. Thinking faculties are operating!

    My input: if you do something to get her back, you will be at best getting back the same woman who will continue to doubt herself being in relationship with you, and so you will bring back, if you succeed, the next ride in the roller coaster of “she loves me” “she loves me not”- wouldn’t it. Highs and Lows.

    Like you wrote, why not her coming to you- then, if she did, you can check with her, what changed? Is she back to you confident about being with you?

    You may want a ride, but not an overly bumpy ride.

    Post here again, anytime.


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