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Bad timing and fork in the road

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  • #92181
    Cognition
    Participant

    Hi Max,

    Heart breaks are tough and you are right that you should not contact her for at least 3 months. After 3 months, the question you should ask yourself is can you be her friend without want something more? If the answer is no, it is best to stay away from her. In my experience, 3 months is usually not enough to change the dynamic of a relationship and it ended up prolonging the pain.

    When I was younger, I thought that there is something heroic in fighting for love like in the movies. Now I realize that it is exhausting to keep fighting for someone to love you while she considers her options. The less she feels, the more we put in until the relationship is so unbalanced that it crumbles under it’s own weight.

    As you pointed out, idle time is the worst enemy and though different things work for different people, some form of physical exercise usually helps to anchor your mind in the present.

    #92274
    eitherway
    Participant

    Thanks to everyone who wrote back.

    I’ve had a weird feeling sitting with me since I talked to her. I spent a lot of time yesterday and today debating if I should reach out to her… If I should take her up on her invite to meet for a drink tonight, if I should write her a message explaining why it is probably not for the best… At this point though I feel I should just leave it alone. That also seems to be supported by my friends and family.

    Jenny you asked if I feel I could ever be just friends with her, and I think the answer is yes but it’s hard to say right now. Of course, while I’m in the thick of mourning the loss of love, it would be too difficult. I certainly have no intention of being her friend anytime soon. and it’s probably for the best that we don’t talk often (or at all) while we let each other go. With that said, I think that if things weren’t ever to work out romantically between us I would still like to keep in touch with her. She’s too special of a person for me to write off forever. Perhaps I would be even more inclined towards a friendship if I found the love I deserve with someone else… someone who was really good to me, who I wouldn’t want to leave for anyone. At that point I wouldn’t entertain the idea of a possible romantic future with her. But it’s all hard to say at this point.

    Cognition, I find myself completely agreeing with your post. Before all of this, I really believed that fighting for love was courageous, no matter the emotional cost. I look back on previous relationships I had and I remember fighting for them too… but a fantasy ending never came. It seems like once you’ve had a little bit, it’s worth putting yourself on the line for all of it. I’m much too exhausted now to do that. I think I’ve become jaded in a lot of ways at this point… and I don’t mean that in a pessimistic “love doesn’t exist” kind of way. I still very much believe in romance, love, and the beauty of both, but I’m much too tired to put myself on the line for it right now. For her or for anyone else.

    I miss her. I don’t know if I find any comfort in knowing she misses me too. It’s sad that there really isn’t anything that can be done about that. I know we must think about each other equally, and both be feeling the loss in a difficult way. She wanted so bad to see me, but I just can’t see that being good for either of us. I hope my absence helps her realize that I can no longer play the game. I hope it brings her some clarity even though it hurts.

    #92314
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Max: You have my respect: excellent thinking, evaluation, choices. Keep at it.
    anita

    #92357
    eitherway
    Participant

    Well we ended up talking again last night. We didn’t see each other, but we spent an hour and half talking on the phone. I was able to express all the pain and sadness I felt, all the things I felt were unfair, all the problems that were there. She apologized for her actions… and she told me how important I was to her and how much she wanted me to be in her life. She felt that we really rushed into things, and it wasn’t either of our faults but it made things very difficult for her. She never wanted it to be like she belonged to me, or her ex. She wanted to be independent even though we had some kind of relationship… But she was never really clear about that. I think she felt so much pressure from her previous one to be defined by the relationship that she was trying to avoid that again at all costs. She made a lot of mistakes with me, and she regrets them. She wants to try and start slowly again. No rushing into anything, just trying to build something better over time.

    I told her we should take a full week before we talk again. I need to get some more clarity and she needs to understand what I want and need if we were to go forward – I made all of that pretty clear. She thought that was a good idea, and so thus the week has begun.

    I’m conflicted. I of course really care about this girl and see the genuine feelings coming from her. I know she feels like she messed up, and I know she doesn’t want me back just because she’s lonely. She wants me back because she feels like I’m someone special too. I told her it wouldn’t work if her ex is still in the picture. That’s a stipulation I can’t back down on… but at this point I feel like I’ve put so much work into letting her go that it feels wrong to turn around. All of my friends and family have supported me, all of you on this site have supported me. To disown everyone’s support seems like the wrong thing to do. My sister thinks that it will just end up in a bad spot again… that after some 7 months of it I have a pretty good idea of how this girl handles things and what could happen again. I don’t want to put myself in that position.

    I’m not sure what other information is useful here. I really felt like she was trying, but I don’t know if it’s right or wrong to work on it with her again. Thank you all again for your thoughts.

    #92358
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Max:

    I understand your discomfort about turning away from the positions (against the relationship) stated by those who supported you, family, friends and people here on tiny buddha. And I believe that Above All (the supporters included), To Thine Own Self Be True.

    I believe you owe your loyalty to the truth as you see it more and more, above all.

    It is okay, I believe, to turn against the opinions of all who supported you if you believe you are doing the right thing. Those who support you truly, will continue to support you whatever you choose to do in this relationship.

    It “sounds” like indeed she is sincere and at times vulnerable, like an innocent child and that is endearing. She has the potential there, in that innocence, in her loving and lovable deep nature, to truly love and be loved by you.

    There is that potential. That kind of potential exists in all people though and most will not be the right people for you to be in a relationship with.

    This is something to keep in mind…. How far is she from that potential, may be the question. What is in the way? Blatant things, like her inability to let go of an ex is a clear indication that she is not THERE yet and … may never be in your lifetime… or in the next ten years.

    anita

    #92383
    Mel
    Participant

    Hey there Max,

    I’m new here and happened to come upon your post while browsing the forums. I’ve been in a situation very similar to yours in the past, and I completely understand how you feel, what you’re thinking and what you’re going through. Hang in there! I know it felt like rock bottom when the relationship ended, and that you’re still hurting, but I want you to know that it does get better. It will! With that being said, I hope you don’t mind that I put in my two cents –

    In an earlier post, you wrote that your ex said that even though she cares for you deeply, her heart still belongs to her ex. She then ended the relationship you two had, and went back to him. From what I’ve read, that was less than 2 weeks ago.

    I’m assuming that since then, the two of them have coupled up, have been together, and continue to be remain in a relationship with one another until the two of you reach a decision after this week is over – which brings me to my question: what has caused her to suddenly realize that her heart actually belongs to you?

    From an outside perspective looking in, I get the feeling that the only reason why she is trying to reenter your life is because she’s beginning to realize that the relationship she’s in now isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. That she’s being reminded of all of the reasons why things didn’t work out between the two of them to begin with, which caused their relationship to end in the first place. So now she’s unhappy…and she’s trying to reconnect with you because things aren’t going as planned with her first choice, and going back to her second choice is better than having no choice at all.

    I think Trianglesun summed up your situation perfectly: don’t ever let someone treat you like an option, because once you do that’s all you’ll ever be. And she’s treating you like you’re an option NOW. She’s hurt you in the past, repeatedly. She’s caused you significant pain, and has created so much anxiety in you, that you considered going to counseling (while you two were still in “some kind of relationship”, as she put it). You’ve let her come back into your life several times after she’s mistreated you. And she’ll continue to try and do so because she already knows that you’re “easy” that way, and will probably let her back in.

    I could be wrong, and this is just a guess, but you’re probably thinking that she genuinely does miss you, and has finally reached out to you in this short of time, and in this way, because she genuinely does want to be with you.

    But why didn’t she choose you first?

    You mentioned that you feel like she knows that she messed up, that she isn’t trying to come back because she’s lonely, and that she wants to get back together because she feels like you’re special too.

    Were you not special before? And if you were…why didn’t she choose you first?

    Furthermore, if you have to mention to her that in order for the two of you to get back together that her ex needs to be out of the picture, that’s a big fat red flag. You shouldn’t have to ask for reassurance that this will happen in order for the two of you to be in a relationship. This should have already happened. She should’ve been the one to tell you that she doesn’t want to be with her ex, that he’s out of her life for good, and that she’s told him not to contact her again.

    If this girl genuinely cares about you, she should understand what she put you through, and I mean REALLY understand. She should understand that your heart isn’t something that she gets to play around with whenever she wants to, and she should WANT for you to be happy, even if it’s not with her. In my opinion, two weeks is certainly not enough time for her to realize all this, come to terms with and accept the choices that she’s made, AND reflect on the consequences that have arisen due to her making those choices.

    Sorry to be so blunt in saying this, but wake up. Don’t be someone’s second choice. Know your value. And know that there is someone else out there that will make you their first choice. Its tempting, I know. I know that you miss the good times and having her around. I did too, which made me go back to my ex time and time again, only to have my heart broken time and time again. I know that you don’t hate this girl and I think its great that you don’t, but don’t you ever forget about what she put you through. Focus on that and focus on your progression so far. You’ve already put in tons of work in order to stay positive and move on. If anything, consider this: if you do get back together now (no matter if it starts out slow or you two pick up right where you left off), and if she ends up hurting you again, how much is it going to cost you this time?

    – Mel

    #92388
    eitherway
    Participant

    I’ve only felt worse about it as the day has gone on. I think I have to reach out to her one last time and say it can’t work. I’m crushed to do it but I think it’s the only thing left to do. There’s too much wishful thinking and romantic fantasy in thinking it will work now. I have to let that go.

    #92401
    jd0209
    Participant

    Max,

    This may sound strange coming from someone who was on the other side of the relationship, but I think its too early in the game for the two of you to even consider getting back together. I really do think she needs time to herself…and I’m hoping that she can realize this soon, and end things with her ex, because all shes doing is hurting a lot of people in the process. I really hope she knows this.

    From what I’ve read, I’m not getting the feeling that she’s fully comprehending the entire situation…and I don’t feel like she’s had enough time to process and heal from her first breakup with her ex. She was in a long term relationship with that man…it ended…then she quickly dived head first into a relationship with you. Because nothing was ever resolved from her first breakup, she was towing emotional baggage with her when she got involved with you, and it wasn’t fair. She really needs time alone in order to find herself again. Its too soon…and really, at the end of the day, all she’s doing is playing around with your heart again.

    The thing that stood out to me from your post is when you mentioned “She never wanted it to be like she belonged to me, or her ex. She wanted to be independent even though we had some kind of relationship… But she was never really clear about that. I think she felt so much pressure from her previous one to be defined by the relationship that she was trying to avoid that again at all costs.” If this is true, why on earth did she get involved with you to begin with…and why did she end up going back to her ex, if all she wanted was to be independent after her breakup with him? She said she never wanted it to be like she belonged to either of you, yet she still went back to her ex when she was faced with a decision. You said that you felt she wanted to avoid at all costs being defined by a relationship again…that she didn’t want to get into another relationship in order to feel validated…but none of that makes any sense because she ended up going back to him anyway. It doesn’t make sense because everything she did does not define independence.

    I would have been more understanding of her and her remedy in order to work things out between the two of you if she had originally ended things with both you and her ex, and spent some time alone in order to seriously think over things…but she didn’t do that…and that’s why I have my doubts. I’m sorry to say this, but it seems like she’s reaching out to you now, trying to work things out between the two of you because she’s probably realizing that isn’t all sunshine and lollipops now that she’s back with her ex…and that is definitely not your fault. I know that in some ways it probably sounds “good” to hear that she’s been thinking about ending things with her ex in order to get back together with you…it’s making you excited, giving you hope…but is that really fair to you? What exactly is she trying to tell you about yourself…and if you accepted her back, what would you be telling yourself? Please remember that you aren’t a second place prize Max.

    There is no love lost Max. You haven’t met up, and you didn’t promise her anything. You’ve survived so far, and you will continue to do so now that you know what it is that you have to do.

    I really do admire your strength…because it does take a strong person to put their foot down and say no in a situation like this. YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS. Please keep your head up and focus on whats ahead…and I agree with Mel, know that there is someone else out there that will make you their first choice. KNOW THIS.

    Until next time…

    – Jenny

    #92402
    B
    Participant

    Max, I’m in a similar position to you and have been following your thread for the last few weeks. I’m learning from the responses you get, too, and haven’t felt that I’ve had enough experiences yet to really chime in on anything in a productive way, hence why I’ve just been lurking.

    I’ve daydreamed on occasion about what I would do in your exact position that you find yourself in today. You sound incredibly strong willed (which you may not see yet or believe, but you will when the fog clears) and confident, regardless of what choice you make. Your hesitance to jump back into things says enough to that.

    I personally think you’re doing the right thing by acknowledging that it will not work right now. I don’t know if that is completely shutting the doors on everything in the distant future, but right now, it definitely has not been enough time for her to truly come to clarity on what she wants.

    My recently divorced ex-bf went through similar reactions, though his goal was to remain single and focus on living outside of a relationship rather than going back to an ex, but his heart and mind did still dwell on that past quite heavily. He broke up with me after 8 months together and lasted two weeks before deciding his insecurities/conflicts were something we should work on together. I knew it wasn’t enough time for him to work through whatever it is he needed to work through but I was inexperienced and couldn’t comprehend what he was going through. We both thought that all we needed was will power, of which we had plenty. But after two months the old patterns re-emerged and he felt maybe suffocated and knew he’d regret not taking the time to do what he needed to do. He was on the fence for another 5 months before ending things again.

    No matter how much she may want to be where she longs to be, emotionally or mentally, it doesn’t seem that wanting is enough. Enduring has to happen first. And for endurance, you need time and conscious effort to make that happen.

    Edit: Ditto everything jd0209 said 🙂

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by B.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by B.
    #92415
    eitherway
    Participant

    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me, I need them now more than ever.

    I don’t know what she did or who she talked to in the 13 days that have gone by since we had the break up, but she wouldn’t have been able to see her ex because he lives on the other side of the country. I’m sure they talked like they normally do. She probably didn’t make any changes… she just felt the loss of me from her life and was saddened by that. It gave her the feeling like she had to pull me in again. And for that hour and a half on the phone she almost did… but the pain I’ve felt since getting off the phone has only gotten worse. After talking with my best friend, my sister, my mother, and all of you on here… I know that it’s not moving the right way.

    I worked up the courage to send her a message. One of closure that I hope she respects this time. It read:

    “I know I said we should go a week, and I hate going back on that so quickly. But I have been heavily conflicted since we spoke, to the point where I was breaking into tears in the middle of the night and am now doing it at work. I don’t want to feel this kind of pain anymore. There is certainly a part of me that wants to have your love in my life, but I don’t think it is possible anymore. My reasons are many, though I think the most important is that nothing really has changed. You still feel you can’t commit to me the way I would want you to. I also know you still have feelings for [ex’s name] and wouldn’t be able to cut that off entirely for me. It doesn’t matter if we were to try and take it slow or not because throughout our time together you were trying to slow it down and I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t be able to this time around either. There are just too many what ifs, too serious of doubts, and too many feelings that hurt. It’s still just as messy as it was, and if we try to make it work now I can’t see it being for either of us. I wish I had the strength to try, or the patience to wait, but my emotional capacity has drained. I’m so sorry it can’t work. I think it would be best if we stopped talking for good now and we both moved on from this completely.”

    I’ve eradicated any romantic fantasies of how this will play out now. If I see her again in life, then I will assess it all then. If I don’t, I’m probably better off. It’s very difficult to have to kill off whatever love still lingers. But you have all helped me realize that I have to for my own health.

    #92426
    Mel
    Participant

    You did the right thing. It doesn’t seem like it now, but in time you’ll come to realize that you made the right decision.

    Let me get something straight here. Out of all the times that she mistreated you, when she didn’t return your calls, didn’t respond to your messages, didn’t spend time with you, and became cold and distant, that this was all due to her ex…that lives all the way on the other side of the country? Are you trying to say that not once during your relationship with her did she ever see her ex face to face?

    I may be the only one that feels this way, but I find it hard to believe that she did this to you because of all the “heartfelt” and “meaningful” phone conversations and messages that she had been exchanging with her long distance ex. I’m not trying to stir the pot here, but did you ever think of the possibility that she may have been seeing someone else on the side besides you and besides communicating with her ex? It’s hard to believe that within the past 2 weeks that you two have been broken up, that she has not physically been with her ex. I may be wrong, she could’ve flown up to see him or vice versa. Perhaps that is the reason why she’s been on and off with contacting you – because she just wants someone around. It’s even harder to believe that she passed up on having a relationship with you: a person that is right in front of her, a person that is very special to her, only to go back to someone that she just ended a relationship with, that is not only NOT presently with her, but lives across the country.

    Something to think about.

    – Mel

    #92428
    eitherway
    Participant

    I don’t think it was all due to her ex. I think her ex was a factor, but she was also just in a place where she felt she couldn’t commit to me in a serious relationship sense. She could only offer some kind of hot and cold version of it which in her mind was I guess “dating” or something. She obviously didn’t feel good with it which lead to all the problems around the holidays and eventually the break up talk which included her saying I need to find someone who could give me the things I was looking for. Me finding someone who I deserve.

    For what any of this is worth… I don’t think she wants to go back into a relationship with him, I just think she doesn’t know how to let go. Similar to how she is struggling to let me go now. I always trusted that I was the only one she was seeing while we were together… there were no signs of her cheating on me, and really she wouldn’t have done it. I mean I remember back in July I asked if she was seeing anyone else and she told me she wasn’t. I believed her then and I believe it’s still the case now. As confused and lost and messy as she was, she wasn’t the type to cheat in that sense. Her communication with her ex was an issue, but it was convoluted. I’m 99% certain they never saw each other while we were together. Her work schedule is vigorous and I was seeing her 3-4 times a week for the most part. She only ever went a day or two without communication towards the end of our time together. So while I understand the inclination to wonder, I am pretty confident in saying that it wasn’t part of it.

    I wish I could better explain what I gathered from her previous relationship but I don’t know much… I don’t know why they still talk, I don’t know what her intentions are with him, or what his intentions are with her, but they have not been a couple for almost a year now even though he still says I love you. I don’t think she’s just going to go back to him. She doesn’t want to move to where he is now and I don’t think he is moving back here.

    Last night on the phone she made it seem like he was less of the problem, and it was more of an issue in her head about not wanting to get right back into something serious after exiting what was an emotional rollercoaster of a serious relationship. She cared deeply for me, and was selfish in holding on to me while I was hurting, because she couldn’t give me that level of commitment. It doesn’t change much… but that’s what I gathered.

    #92429
    Cognition
    Participant

    Hi Max,

    Just wanted to acknowledged that it’s an incredibly brave step that you took and that with time, it does get better. If you need something to strengthen you decision (I certainly did when I was in a similar situation), the people here have made some very valid points:

    1) She need to spend time on her own before she can approach a relationship in a healthy manner. At the moment, she is reaching out based from a place of need rather than building something long term and positive.

    2) Glad to hear that you stood up to her about what you want. If seeing her in a romantic relationship with someone else feels like having your heart ripped out and your self esteem thrown in a shredder, it means that you are not ready to be her friend yet. You may have a special connection with this person but if that’s how she makes you feel, being around that is going to destroy your confidence to have a healthy relationship with someone else.

    3) Try to avoid self loathing, wondering about “what if I did that…” or hating her because that makes it harder for you to move on. Whenever our soul connects with another person, it’s special even when things didn’t turn out the way we wanted. See it as an opportunity to learn and prepare you for the relationship that you deserve.

    #92446
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Max:

    I support your message to her completely and like the definite conclusion you ended it with, “I think it would be best if we stopped talking for good now and we both moved on from this completely.”

    I didn’t read the posts after the message you posted and I believe it is better for you to start a new thread, reason is people visiting your thread are going to read the original post and are not likely to get to the message. Instead you will get more and more talk about the woman that you are moving away from. This is not for your own good.

    So I hope you end this thread and if you would like, start a new one. In the new thread your original post will describe the way things are now. Things are no longer the same. The message indicates a significant change.

    anita

    #92475
    jd0209
    Participant

    Max,

    I think what you did was incredibly courageous, and like some of the others here, agree that you were right in telling her that it would be best to stop speaking to one another for good so that both of you can finally move on. She had told you before that you needed to find someone who could give you the things that you were looking for, and that you needed to find someone that you deserve…hopefully the message you sent her will make her respect your wishes so that you can finally accept her advice.

    Your mind can now be at ease, and I hope that you are able to rest well tonight. Please take care of yourself Max…

    Until next time…

    – Jenny

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