Entries in on-again/off-again relationships (5)


Is It Time to Move On and Let Go?

Q: I am 21 years old and my ex-boyfriend is 34. We had been together for 2 years on and off. We broke up two months ago but in the past two weeks he suddenly came into my work place and we spoke. This week we planned on Monday to hang out, but I canceled on him and rescheduled for Wednesday. We had a quick dinner; he kept updating me about his friends and what he has been up to, and asking how I have been. After dinner, he walked me home and brushed his hand against my back occasionally...but when we reached my place, we just hugged and parted. We didn't kiss or talk about where our relationship is going.

The next day he texted me telling me that it was nice to see me again...I replied "Likewise." Two days have passed now...and I haven't heard from him since.

I guess I'm just confused as to whether my ex-boyfriend still wants to get back with me...or is it time for me to let go and move on?

A: Thank you for your question. It does sound like you are getting some mixed signals, so it is natural to want some clarification about what is going on with your ex.

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“We Can Still Be Friends”: Six Ways You Can Stay Friends After a Breakup

Unlike Jerry and Elaine in the classic TV sitcom Seinfeld, or Ted and Robin in How I Met Your Mother, it isn’t easy for ex-romantic partners to remain friends. Think about it…how many of your exes are still friends of yours? Half of them? 25%? If you’re like me, the answer is more likely zero, nil, nada, zilch.

Even if your ex assured you that “it’s not you, it’s me,” breakups are still upsetting. Because of this, it may not surprise you that about 60% of ex-partners do not have contact with one another post-breakup. However, some exes do keep in touch and even become friends after the breakup. In fact, there are several situations in which post-dissolution friendships are more likely.

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Help! I Don't Want to Lose Her

A reader recently submitted the following question:

“I had a 9 month long-distance relationship (LDR) with a girl I met on an internship abroad. Toward the end of the LDR, I felt that she changed and became uninterested and less available. I admit that I made a mistake by having my life revolve around her, which little by little killed her attraction. I also jeopardized our relationship by being manipulative. She originally said she didn’t want to break up and assured me that she loved me, but a day later she told me she wanted to break up. I was shocked and devastated.

We stayed friends for 2-3 weeks, but I was still miserable and tried to get her to change her mind by hanging out with her day and night. A few weeks later, I told her I loved her to death, which only turned her off more. I then told her I would stop contacting her, hoping that this would be the way to get her back. She replied, saying she respected my decision and still wanted to be friends.

I haven’t replied yet. I still love her very much and still have hope that staying away from her for a while and then reconnecting will show her that I have changed and she will want to be with me again. I’m afraid that I’m not doing the right thing, though. What steps should I take? How should I approach her again? I don’t want to lose her.”

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Should I Move On or Go Back?

A reader wrote in with the following dilemma: "I'm currently with a boy that I've been with for 2 months, he is so sweet, and treats me like a princess, something I've always wanted. Although, I can't seem to stop talking to my ex bf. I feel like it has to do with the fact that I moved on too quick, it was like a month that I moved on and I was with my ex for 3 yrs. I just don't know what to do with my situation, I'm the type of person that doesn't like to hurt anyone but that's too late. Every time I'm with my ex I get weak, and it gets so hard for me to tell him I can't talk to him anymore, because I know that's the best option for me. Every time I'm with my current bf, everything seems right, but I here and there think about my ex. I need help on what to do, because I will always love my ex, but I have strong feelings for my current bf."

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“Breaking Up is Like Knocking Over a Coke Machine”

Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can't do it in one push. You gotta rock it back and forth a few times, and then it goes over.

-Jerry Seinfeld (to Elaine, regarding her relationship with Puddy)

Most research on relationship stability considers breakup to be a finite state or endpoint: a relationship is either over or it’s not; there is no middle ground. As you might have experienced, however, breakup can often be a process in which some couples get back together and then breakup again (press Alt+Ctl+Del to reboot and do it all again...and again).

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