Monday, June 16, 2014

Lessons :: My Boyfriend Broke Up With Me, But Now I Want Him Back...

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Anonymous asks,

"The reason why I'm writing to you is because I just need some perspective on this whole breakup situation I'm going through. It's probably not anything too complicated or special, but it's been really making me a hot mess. I have hardly any experience in the field, and a lot of my single friends are the same. My friends who DO have experience aren't very helpful because they're all aged and married/engaged and they're all happy in their relationship bubble. I feel like you've been there though... so that's why I'm coming to you for advice.

This was the first time I'd been dumped in person. He told me that he 'doesn't think this will work out' because he expected us to have a 'deeper connection' by now. Keep in mind we'd been together 3 to 4 months, and we were only able to see each other on weekends (same crazy schedule on both our ends). There were times when I didn't see him 2 to 3 weeks because he was out of town for the holidays with his family. So I think his reason for breaking up is either (1) not well thought out, or (2) total bullshit.

At the time when it was happening though, I couldn't think straight and didn't know what to say. Therefore after it all happened, and I had time to think, I developed all these questions that have been haunting me. Throughout our relationship, I was treading lightly because I wanted him to take the wheel and drive us forward -- I didn't want to be called 'obsessive' or 'pushy' or develop high expectations like in the past. I can't help but think that this might have backfired on me though.

Here's where my question comes in: should I contact him after it's been a month? Everyone's telling me to leave him alone, and that I don't want to be with someone like that. But they never met him and this isn't their love life. They just want me to forget him. To me that sounds like giving up. When does one know they need to fight for it? It's not like our relationship was going south; nobody cheated or emotionally abused ANYONE, we got along perfectly. So even if you don't recommend I talk to him to tell him I'd like to give him another chance if he's willing, I'd at least like to tell him that if something is bothering him that I'm here for him. Because whether or not he broke my heart, I care about him."

Hey gorgeous! First off, I am so sorry you're going through this. No matter how long or short the relationship was, or how sexually involved you were or how well you knew each other... the fact that you're hurting is valid, and it doesn't really matter what the situation was. Studies show that, on average, it takes 17 months and 26 days to get over an ex. The way you're feeling is totally normal, especially since it sounds like you didn't have closure.

I absolutely know where you're coming from. Before settling down, I had my fair share of relationships (and other boyfriend-ish scenarios) that left me raw and bleeding. Most of them ended with more questions than answers. In some cases, I confronted the person with these thoughts; and with others, I tried to let it go and move on. I have plenty of suggestions for how to get over an ex, but it sounds like in this particular case, you want to try again -- or at least have another conversation about how he's feeling and get some clarification.

Meanwhile, it sounds like your friends are all coupled up. That's okay. Maybe you need to make new friends that have the same level of experience that you do. I would even suggest seeing a therapist for guidance, at least to get you through this time. I have been to therapists on and off throughout my life depending on what I'm going through; there is absolutely no shame in it. You should also concentrate on loving yourself and enjoying things that you like to do alone. Try going to the movies, out to dinner, shopping alone -- or if that's too much right now, have a night at home by yourself -- cook yourself dinner, open a bottle of wine and take a bubble bath. Watch a good movie and have a good cry if needed, or watch something funny to get your mind off it.

All in all, though, I think you need to go with your gut on this one. It sounds to me like you know what you want to do. If you feel that you need to tell him those things for closure, or to try to give it another shot, then go for it! You're right -- it's YOUR love life, no one else's. I'm sure your friends have good intentions, but you don't have to do what they say.

At the same time, I want you to look at the flip-side and understand that since it's been a month, he may have already moved on and/or found someone else. However, even if that's the case, at least you can say you tried and it may help you move on yourself. Personally, I don't think that you should have to fight for your relationships. This is something I have always believed. When it's meant to be, it should come easy. I knew that Brandon was the one because everything fell into place right away. That doesn't mean that we don't argue once in awhile, but at the beginning, it was clear that we were meant to be together because we didn't have to work to stay together. I think that the work should come later. There was never a question of whether or not it was going somewhere and neither of us had to worry about the other not wanting something long-term, because we were both on the same page. With other guys, they would become distant or walk away, and I would have to chase them, which I personally think isn't right -- BUT everyone is different and maybe you two simply need to talk it out. I just want you to be prepared either way!

Another point to remember: It may seem like he was perfect, and maybe he had all of those good things on paper, but everything happens for a reason. If it's not meant to be, it only means that there's someone better out there for you, as difficult as that is to believe. Don't be too hard on yourself and give it time. If you do try approaching him and it doesn't work out, I would take that as a sign. If he really cares about you, he'll come back around; if not, that's his loss. You're a gem and any man should feel lucky to have you!

Unfortunately, this isn't an easy one to answer since every relationship is unique, but I do hope it was a helpful start. Good luck, and feel free to reach out if you need anything else!

*Photo found here.
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