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Should I contact my ex or not

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  • #354616
    Katie
    Participant

    Hi everyone!

    So a little over a week ago my ex and I broke up. I didn’t want to breakup but he did which made this all the more heartbreaking. We had been together for over a year and had had an incredible relationship. He was hands down the most compatible guy I had ever met and we were so genuinely happy going on adventures and always laughing together. One thing we had that I hadn’t had before in a relationship was our friendship. We were not only lovers but also each other’s best friends.

    About six months into our relationship, I left to go live in France for six months to teach English. He decided that he did not want to breakup and wanted to make this long distance relationship work because he believed in us and had “never felt a love for someone like this.” We survived the long distance relationship. Was it easy? No. But we never had issues with each other and he even came to visit me for two weeks. Even in those two weeks we were reunited, the love was still there and strong. Well… the world changed recently, aka Coronavirus. I had to come home a little early and basically felt like I had nothing suddenly. I had no job, I had to go and live back with my parents again and I hadn’t been in close contact with a lot of my friends while I was away. In general, I felt like I had completely lost my independence and was losing my identity. My boyfriend felt like he was kinda my world at this time. He was the only really stable thing I felt like I had and I put a lot of pressure on the relationship to be great and visited him every weekend since he lived a hour away. I don’t think this is necessarily how you should work back into a relationship after you’ve been long distance, it probably should have been a little slower to build back up own normal relationship and I definitely shouldn’t have had so much pressure on him during all of these crazy times with the virus.

    The first month I was back everything was actually kind of going okay, but as I fell into this depression and self pity due to losing my identity, we struggled. We got annoyed with each other more and there was a loss of intimacy or really just effort into the relationship. We still saw each other and would do things together as a couple, even laughed a lot. But there was no doubt that there was some trouble.

    One day he sprung upon me that he was unhappy in the relationship and felt like while he loved me, he wasn’t in love with me. Me, being terrified of losing the one thing I felt I still had and my true love for this man, jumped up and said “oh I am so sorry, it’s all me I haven’t been fair to you and I will try to be happier.” At that point he decided yes he wanted to try and work things out. But the thing is…we didn’t really communicate more about what was going on. Anyways, we continued to try for two weeks. The first week and a half, everything was great. We were working together as a couple again and felt like things were starting to get back on track.

    Then I come down for the second weekend since we had had an almost breakup. At first things were great, he was talking our future and how cool it could be, but I could also feel us slipping away again. I was nervous and acting insecure because I kept thinking I might be losing him and he was just not emotionally doing well because of the changes he’s had to go through because of coronavirus (ie. It was his last year of college and he was supposed to be graduating and celebrating with friends). Finally, at one point he said “I don’t think I can do this. I don’t feel like the spark is there and I am not sure we can get it back.” And again says “I have a lot of love for you but I am not in love with you.” This was so hard for me to hear but I accepted it. I didn’t want him to hurt or feel confused anymore so I said “Thank you for being honest. I struggle because I feel like I haven’t been myself and we just needed some time to figure all of this out.” He still didn’t say much, just that he thought this was the best relationship he had ever had and that it was extremely hard for him. What continued was a lot of crying and hugging. When I left I told him that I still cared about him and just wanted him to be happy.

    It hurts to write all of this but I am now stuck in a big limbo. I feel so confused. I genuinely think we were just going through a really hard time and could have worked this out. I continuously debate with myself whether I should contact him or not and ask to talk or if I should just let him go and see what happens. The breakup so far has given me a lot of perspective on how I need to work on myself and focus on me, but that doesn’t change how I feel losing someone who I thought was my person. I miss having this person to enjoy life with. I have gone through multiple breakups before but none of them never felt like I was losing someone who I felt truly belonged with me.

    Anyways I want to give him space but also he is leaving for LA in two months. I was planning before on maybe going out there too so we could be in the same city and living with a friend. So the pressure is on. Do I wait it out and see if he messages, or do I message him and try to get things back on track before he moves away and leaves for good.

    If you have read all of this, thank you so much for sticking through all of it. It’s a bit of a rant but very therapeutic doing so as well. If you have any opinions I would truly love to hear them 🙂

    #354628
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    Less than two months ago, in your first thread, you wrote: “I have always had depression.. Last year I moved abroad to work.. and I found myself in the deepest depression I had ever been in.. I ended up quitting halfway through my program but still carried a lot of the depression I had felt back home. Now I am in a place where I so strongly want to move out of this depression”.

    In your new thread, you present yourself as having been happy during your one year relationship: “We were so genuinely happy, going on adventures and always laughing together… we were not only lovers but also each other’s best friends”.

    In your previous thread you indicated depression that preceded the coronavirus pandemic, but in your new thread, you presented a depression  as a result of the pandemic: “the world changed recently, aka Coronavirus… I had no job, I had to go and live back with my parents again.. I fell into this depression”-

    Looking at the two threads as the bigger picture, I guess you were depressed for many years, had better times as a student perhaps, feeling good and alive from time to time, then you felt depressed again in France, and depressed back home, and then even more depressed as the pandemic progressed. Is my understanding accurate?

    He said: “‘I have a lot  of love for you but I am not  in love with you.’ This was so hard for me to hear but I accepted it. I didn’t want him to hurt or feel confused anymore so I said ‘Thank you for being honest..’ .. When I left I told him that I still cared about him and just wanted him to be happy”-

    – how kind of you, to care for how he felt while he was breaking up with you. Having had such a kind, considerate girlfriend, I understand why he told you that his relationship with you “was the best relationship he had ever had”!

    “I am now stuck in a big limbo. I feel so confused…. he  is leaving for LA in two months. I was planning before on maybe going out there too so we could be in the same city and living with a friend.. Do I wait it out and see if he messages, or do I message him”?-

    – if he wasn’t moving to LA, I would have said: do contact him and have another conversation, but because he is moving to LA, better you don’t contact him and suggest to go to LA with him or otherwise resume a relationship because seems to me that he needs a new beginning.

    He broke up with you, so I assume he wants to  move to LA alone.

    anita

    #354636
    Katie
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for always providing thoughtful responses. I do believe that I have dealt with depression for a long time and have worked with therapists to get it under control. However, going to France and leaving my support system proved difficult for me and my depression resurfaced. When I can home from France I was depressed for sure but it was something that didn’t have too much of an impact on our relationship. It was only when this state of coronavirus continued to get worse that I fell more and more into a depression losing my sense of identity and put a lot of pressure on my relationship.

    I am looking for more clarity in your advice. You said if he wasn’t going to LA, I should contact him but because he was going I should leave him be. I am still pursuing jobs in LA because there is a big industry for my type of work there. I suppose I know we both need a new start and some space, but what I am wondering is if it is still a good idea to contact him, not to necessarily get back together but to discuss what happened and put ourselves on good terms again. I feel like if I was to end up in LA, there’s a chance we could work this out later once we’ve had some space and I just want to set us up to maybe be in a better headspace for that. I really care for this relationship and want to do all I can to make it work in some capacity. Is this relationship even possible to save?

    Thank you again for all of your advice, I really appreciate all the help 🙂

    #354640
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    You are welcome. This is my thinking on the matter: he broke up with you, and he is about to stay with a friend of his in LA. I am guessing that he knows that you too plan to move to LA, or that you have been considering moving to LA. If you contact him to talk, he may feel pressured to take you along with him to LA, to arrange for you to live with his friend as well, and/ or combine his LA plans with yours otherwise.

    And that pressure will be counterproductive to what you want to achieve by contacting him.

    Maybe there is information I don’t have which will make all the difference and contacting him may be a good idea. Is there such information?

    anita

    #354644
    Katie
    Participant

    Dear Anita:

    He knows that if I am considering moving to LA but it wouldn’t be until I get a job. So we wouldn’t be going down at the same time. He also knows that I have a friend that lives in LA that wanted to come live with me. So the plan before the breakup was, to be long distance and head down to LA after he had moved there and we would be living separately. So maybe he feels like I was basing my decision to come down on him when really it was my own choosing to look for jobs in LA. I’m not sure it’s interesting though. He did not mention anything about the move to LA when we broke up but we really didn’t get into the deeper problems for what was causing the breakup during that time so it’s possible. I don’t think I am really trying to contact him to necessarily try to get back together right away, just to establish that there is still something there between us and we could have worked through it instead of breaking up. That way even if we don’t decide to stay together, there’s a possibility in LA. Let me know what you think.

    Thank you!

    #354650
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katie:

    “I don’t think I am really trying to contact him to necessarily try to get back together right away, just to establish that there is still something there between us”- I think that it was already established that there is something between the two of you. Problem is that he told you what is not there between him and you, and that’s the spark he mentioned (“I don’t feel like the spark is there”)-

    – you can’t argue about the absence of a spark, and you can’t bring it back with a conversation, no matter how logical and wise the conversation, on your part.

    It is clear to me that you do want to resume a relationship with him, or that you are very close to want that. And I think he will figure it out too, that you want to get back with him.

    anita

     

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