Author Topic: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me  (Read 3467 times)

sebi13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Some background
I'm 23 years old, I've been together with my girlfriend (same age) since we are 20. Roughly 1.5 months ago she broke up with me.
Reasons:
* She's not feeling supported enough by me
* She told me I need to love myself before I can love someone else.
* She indirectly told me that she might be happier with someone else.

I adored her while being in the relationship. Quite far-fetched (especially considering our age + we did not plan kids for the next 3+ years), but I could not image someone better suited to raise my kids with.
Obviously we had our problems, my main nagging points were:
* she smoked from time to time (1x/month or so) which I really didn't like
* I got envy when she did stuff alone with some other guy

My current dilemma
Maybe important: It was a long-distance relationship (~800km).
A week ago she reached out to me, telling me that she misses me. Since then, we phoned every other day, mainly doing small talk (talking about our days, what we are planning to do, ...). Just like when we were still together. We laughed quite a lot and both of us had a really good time.
Even though I'm at least partly responsible for creating such a situation, I don't think this behavior is healthy in the long-term. On the one-hand, I LOVE our talks. I'd LOVE to continue chatting with her regularly. I think if she made up her mind and was sure that she want to give our relationship another go, I'd say yes. On the other hand it's certainly not healthy if I have so much contact with her. If I want to move on I think I need some distance.
I asked her whether she regretted the decision of breaking up with me - she told me that she wasn't so sure anymore.

Maybe I suffer from tunnel vision and it's completely clear from the outside how to react properly. Do you have any tips how to best handle the situation? Does anyone have similar stories?

TLDR: 4 year relationship, broke up 1.5 months ago, since 1 week we have phone calls regularly and have both a good time; not sure how to handle the situation
« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 06:18:21 AM by sebi13 »

rockstache

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6883
  • Age: 2017
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2020, 01:00:32 PM »
She broke up with you and has not told you that she wants to get back together. She probably misses your friendship, as one will when ending an important relationship. For your health, I would cut this off and let yourself move on, because it doesn’t sound like you will be able to consider her strictly a friend. If I’m reading this wrong then I apologize and feel free to stay friends with her but definitely not if you expect her to ever change her mind. Assume she won’t and behave accordingly.

sebi13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2020, 01:10:29 PM »
She broke up with you and has not told you that she wants to get back together. She probably misses your friendship, as one will when ending an important relationship. For your health, I would cut this off and let yourself move on, because it doesn’t sound like you will be able to consider her strictly a friend. If I’m reading this wrong then I apologize and feel free to stay friends with her but definitely not if you expect her to ever change her mind. Assume she won’t and behave accordingly.

You interpreted everything correctly. I don't want to stay friends -- at least for the time being. Right now, the only options for me are
1)  either getting together again, or
2) continuing the break-up.

Maybe I don't want to see it, but you are right. She broke up with me, and never reverted her decision. And it's hard for her too. Maybe I do her a favor if I enforce a no-contact rule, at least for a few months...

Imma

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2953
  • Location: Europe
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2020, 01:12:07 PM »
Did you post about your relationship before under a different account? If that was you: please don't get together again.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6872
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2020, 02:06:16 PM »
I really don't think strangers on the internet can help much with this.

You either want to try again with her or you don't. If you do want to try and again with her, either she does or she doesn't.

It's just dating, it's not life or death, so do whatever feels right to you.

ender

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6539
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2020, 02:22:13 PM »
Theres nothing wrong with getting back together if something is materially different that changes the circumstances.

But loneliness or boredom isn't a materially different change.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15681
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2020, 03:46:24 PM »
Do you really want to be the backup person she calls when she is lonely or bored?  When she isn't lonely/bored you won't hear from her. 

In other words, she is using you.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3573
  • Age: 83
  • Location: The oubliette.
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2020, 04:35:30 PM »
I would not take back a person that told me that they would be happier with someone else, told me I needed to work on loving myself, and broke up with me most likely to peruse another relationship and then came back to me a scant 1.5 months later... as their "I'm settling" back-up since their other relationship apparently didn't work out the way she planned. You are safe and comfortable and still carrying a torch for her - what's not to like on her end?

I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but she is using you to get her needs met without considering whether it's a good or selfish way to treat you (and it could be seen as using you even if that was not her intention). She likely did care about you, but she put her own needs first. That can be smart and it can also be selfish. Heaven only knows what the truth here was.

I am not saying throw away all the feelings that the former relationship held for you. After all, we are the sum of our life experiences and therefore that relationship is a essential part of YOU and what guides you going forward for what you both enjoyed and were disappointed about and will color your other relationships as well. It's good you felt love when with her. Its sad that it was a relationship with an expiration date.

She was one of many possible people you could have been happy with, but she was not the ONLY one, and she made the decision that you were not the one SHE could be happy with and left you. That speaks volumes, if you are willing to listen. There is not ONE person that is out there just for you - you can find a person you love that loves you and will be a strong, trusting partnership if you're willing to look around a bit. She might be okay to settle for if you've had your own chance to grow and decide in another year or two that despite her leaving you that first time you think maybe she is a good choice for long term, but you shouldn't feel like this is your only chance at happiness. Look around a little more. Work on yourself and what you want and don't compromise on having a partner that treats you with both respect and love.

Adoration is a dangerous emotion - it sounds nice in theory, but it's a sort of twisted objectifying not-really-fallable-human-being thing when you promote a person up on that pedestal and believe me, your neck is going to get a damned painful crick from looking upwards all the time. And the one trying to balance on that narrow platform can hurt themselves or you when they inevitably fall off it. Better to have some sweet side by side partnership based on love and mutual respect/support. Idealizing or idolizing - neither one is healthy.

May want to give Tim Minchin's "If I Didn't Have You" song a listen (or read the lyrics but he's such a fun musician do yourself the favor of watching the vid)

http://www.songlyrics.com/tim-minchin/if-i-didn-t-have-you-lyrics/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEyJnwPIr4Q
« Last Edit: November 07, 2020, 10:05:25 PM by Frankies Girl »

SKL-HOU

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 598
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2020, 08:27:59 PM »
There was someone else and she left you for him. Things didn’t work out with him, she is trying to come back. That is my interpretation.

nippycrisp

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 819
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2020, 09:42:38 PM »
^This is the correct answer. The only unknown is whether she was actively cheating on you, or had merely lined up the next dude before cutting you from the team.

draco44

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2020, 10:58:58 PM »
You interpreted everything correctly. I don't want to stay friends -- at least for the time being. Right now, the only options for me are
1)  either getting together again, or
2) continuing the break-up.

Maybe I don't want to see it, but you are right. She broke up with me, and never reverted her decision. And it's hard for her too. Maybe I do her a favor if I enforce a no-contact rule, at least for a few months...

First of all, you do what's right for you and doesn't cause unnecessary hurt. But since you're asking: I'm of the opinion that while it is sometimes possible to stay friends after a break-up (not that you should ever feel you have to if you don't want to, or that staying friends makes you a "better person" than if you didn't), it's a hell of a lot harder if you go directly from dating to trying to be friends without taking some time apart in between. I once heard that "in order to break up, there needs to be a BREAK." You need time and distance to sort out your feelings and recalibrate your life to not have that relationship as a central piece of it before you will be in a healthy place to try for friendship, if that's what you want.

If it feels right to formally give notice of a period of no contact rather than going dark, you could say something like "you've been a very important part of life for a long time, but things have changed and I need some time to myself right now. I'll let you know when I'm open to talking again, but in the meantime please understand that I won't be responding to any messages you may send, and that doesn't mean I don't care about you."

Good luck, and whatever you choose to do, I hope you feel better soon.

FIREball567

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Location: USA
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2020, 06:24:11 AM »
Been in your shoes. Continue the breakup and stop speaking to her. She’s the one that broke up with you. She misses your conversations but not enough to be in a long term relationship with you. Even if she does agree to get back, who’s to say she won’t end it again especially since she knows she can count on you whenever she wants and the fact it’s long distance. Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

norajean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 603
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2020, 06:26:58 AM »
Take her back and see how long it lasts.  Probably not for long, but then you will both know for sure.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6872
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2020, 06:50:11 AM »
Take her back and see how long it lasts.  Probably not for long, but then you will both know for sure.

This was kind of my perspective when I said it's not life or death. I've recycled a few bad exes in the past just to make sure and not leave any doubts.

My perspective is that it's totally normal for relationships to end, far more normal than them lasting forever, so it's really not a big deal if one doesn't work out, and definitely not a big deal if it doesn't work out twice.

Whether it's worth it or not has little to do with how likely it is to last forever.

bbqbonelesswing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Philly
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2020, 08:31:47 AM »
You're young and there are literally billions of other people in the world. You'll find someone else. Move on.

Laura33

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2921
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2020, 08:29:46 AM »
Did you post about your relationship before under a different account? If that was you: please don't get together again.

+1.  The story and the voice sound very, very familiar.  So if that is you:  no, under no circumstances should you get together again.  You were relatively miserable for several years; remember that, and don't just put on the rose-colored glasses and idealize what you had.

Whether that was you or not:  if you could not imagine someone better to have kids with, you need a better imagination.  The best partner to have kids with is someone who thinks you are awesome and who is as dedicated to your relationship as you are.  She wasn't. 

It hurts, yes.  But you need to stop the chats with her -- for you, not her.  She dumped you, not the other way around, so now you are looking for a sign -- any sign -- that she has decided that was a mistake and wants you back again.  That traps you back in the cycle with her, and your mental state means you are going to be seeing things that aren't there.  And if she's not a good person (which, if you're the earlier poster, she's not), then she may very well take advantage of that and string you along, because it makes her feel good to still have you doting on her, even after she's dumped you.  There is nothing that will grind down your self-confidence and joy in life than being jerked around like a puppy on a leash by someone who doesn't really value you like she should.* 

So please, cut off all contact.  Accept that it's over, and act like it.  Cry.  Curl up in your apartment.  Go out to a bar and get raging drunk.  Go find a new hobby.  Read some really good books.  Talk to a therapist.  It doesn't matter what you do to heal and move on; it just matters that you take that first step. 

I'm sorry, and good luck. 

*FWIW, this is probably what she meant by you needing to love yourself more, even though it's a crappy time and place to say it.  Most people -- well, most emotionally healthy people -- don't like dating people that will let them get away with anything.  Having someone's happiness depend on you is exhausting, and knowing that you are all that to someone else is a shit-ton of pressure.  Often in that dynamic, the person who is feeling overwhelmed will do something mean or offputting as a way to find the other's boundaries -- in other words, they actually want the other person to draw a line, to say no, I will not put up with that.  Because that's what an emotionally healthy person does:  they respect themselves too much to allow themselves to be repeatedly used and taken advantage of.  So in a weird way, the more you bend over backwards to please someone else, the more you may just be turning off the other person.  Most people don't want extremes in either direction -- they don't want someone who will put themselves first all the time, but they also don't want someone who will ignore their own needs and cater to their partner's every whim.  Tl;dr:  A healthy relationship requires give and take.  The way to get that starts with being emotionally healthy yourself and drawing reasonable boundaries.

Paper Chaser

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 728
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2020, 09:09:39 AM »
800km apart, trust issues (possibly related to distance) and there's baggage from breaking up already? That sounds like a tough road to recovery to me.

If you were going to start a new relationship right now with another person, how would you feel about that person being so far away? There's going to be a lot of work on healing if you and your ex resume your relationship and the distance is going to make that more difficult.

It's easy to circle back with an ex that lives 5 minutes away, have some fun and figure out that it's probably not going to work out. It's much harder, more time consuming and more expensive to do that from hundreds of km apart.

historienne

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 376
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2020, 10:51:40 AM »
Agree with everyone that this is not sustainable.

The more difficult question is whether you:
A - Tell her that you are only interested in keeping in touch with her if she actually wants to get back together, or
B - Tell her that you need to cut off communication entirely (ie - don't even suggest the possibility of getting back together).

Unless you are getting back together, you should block her on all forms of communication.  You don't have to be rude about it; tell her first.  But you need space to move on, and it's going to be much harder if you are constantly seeing her post on FB, or having her texts pop up on your phone (or even just wondering whether they will). 

I don't know the details of your backstory, obviously.  But I have spent a lot of time in a long-distance relationship.  With a happy ending - we've been married and living together for more than ten years now!  But it would not have worked if the relationship itself hadn't been solid the whole time.  Making a LDR work is difficult enough under the best of circumstances, when you have 100% trust in your partner and no doubts about whether you want to be with them.  It's close to impossible otherwise.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6872
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2020, 01:54:12 PM »
Did you post about your relationship before under a different account? If that was you: please don't get together again.

+1.  The story and the voice sound very, very familiar.  So if that is you:  no, under no circumstances should you get together again.  You were relatively miserable for several years; remember that, and don't just put on the rose-colored glasses and idealize what you had.

Whether that was you or not:  if you could not imagine someone better to have kids with, you need a better imagination.  The best partner to have kids with is someone who thinks you are awesome and who is as dedicated to your relationship as you are.  She wasn't. 

It hurts, yes.  But you need to stop the chats with her -- for you, not her.  She dumped you, not the other way around, so now you are looking for a sign -- any sign -- that she has decided that was a mistake and wants you back again.  That traps you back in the cycle with her, and your mental state means you are going to be seeing things that aren't there.  And if she's not a good person (which, if you're the earlier poster, she's not), then she may very well take advantage of that and string you along, because it makes her feel good to still have you doting on her, even after she's dumped you.  There is nothing that will grind down your self-confidence and joy in life than being jerked around like a puppy on a leash by someone who doesn't really value you like she should.* 

So please, cut off all contact.  Accept that it's over, and act like it.  Cry.  Curl up in your apartment.  Go out to a bar and get raging drunk.  Go find a new hobby.  Read some really good books.  Talk to a therapist.  It doesn't matter what you do to heal and move on; it just matters that you take that first step. 

I'm sorry, and good luck. 

*FWIW, this is probably what she meant by you needing to love yourself more, even though it's a crappy time and place to say it.  Most people -- well, most emotionally healthy people -- don't like dating people that will let them get away with anything.  Having someone's happiness depend on you is exhausting, and knowing that you are all that to someone else is a shit-ton of pressure.  Often in that dynamic, the person who is feeling overwhelmed will do something mean or offputting as a way to find the other's boundaries -- in other words, they actually want the other person to draw a line, to say no, I will not put up with that.  Because that's what an emotionally healthy person does:  they respect themselves too much to allow themselves to be repeatedly used and taken advantage of.  So in a weird way, the more you bend over backwards to please someone else, the more you may just be turning off the other person.  Most people don't want extremes in either direction -- they don't want someone who will put themselves first all the time, but they also don't want someone who will ignore their own needs and cater to their partner's every whim.  Tl;dr:  A healthy relationship requires give and take.  The way to get that starts with being emotionally healthy yourself and drawing reasonable boundaries.

Oh shit.

Yeah, if this is who we're all thinking of, I change my stance on this.

Cut that shit off NOW. Tell her to move on and stop engaging in this nonsense.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4175
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2020, 02:18:00 PM »
You said it yourself.  "This is probably not healthy".  There is nothing else to say.  This feels good, but is bad for you.  In that regard, it's a lot like her monthly smoking.

It needs to stop.  It's bad for you, even though it gives you a quick hit of endorphins. 

Tell her, "I'm sorry, but I don't think that talking with you is good for me.  I need a complete break.  I wish you the best but please don't contact me again."  Then, if she continued to contact you, block her number so you don't have to resist the temptation of the ringing phone. 

sebi13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2020, 05:55:55 AM »
Thanks to all of you for so many replies!! I read each and every one of them quite a few times. Furthermore, I was quite stunned that you guys managed to link this thread to my old one. Yes, you are right -- that was me.

I cut off all contact with her, and (as @Malcat put it) " stop engage in this nonsense". Sorry for bothering you with this s*** for the second time.

I feel like I have a lot to learn. I want to be confident and act properly. I still see value in receiving external feedback on my journey (again, shout-out to all of you!), thus I'll create a mini-blog as new thread here in the forum where I'll write about my life (still deciding on the most appropriate subsection for this). I'm not sure whether this is doing me any good, but I feel like it's a good strategy for progress. I also feel like I come across as being somewhat childish and maybe even emotionally not 100% stable -- but I purposefully use this very account/forum for my 'mini-blog' because I really want to improve. I don't want to live a miserable live. I want to strive.

Edit: Found the 'Journals'-section, seems like the perfect place for my...well.. journal :D
« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 05:58:50 AM by sebi13 »

MoseyingAlong

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 249
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2020, 05:58:31 AM »
......

I feel like I have a lot to learn. I want to be confident and act properly. I still see value in receiving external feedback on my journey (again, shout-out to all of you!), thus I'll create a mini-blog as new thread here in the forum where I'll write about my life (still deciding on the most appropriate subsection for this). I'm not sure whether this is doing me any good, but I feel like it's a good strategy for progress. I also feel like I come across as being somewhat childish and maybe even emotionally not 100% stable -- but I purposefully use this very account/forum for my 'mini-blog' because I really want to improve. I don't want to live a miserable live. I want to strive.

Sounds like a journal. Have you checked out the Journals section?
Many interesting journeys with supportive voices.

sebi13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2020, 06:00:15 AM »
......

I feel like I have a lot to learn. I want to be confident and act properly. I still see value in receiving external feedback on my journey (again, shout-out to all of you!), thus I'll create a mini-blog as new thread here in the forum where I'll write about my life (still deciding on the most appropriate subsection for this). I'm not sure whether this is doing me any good, but I feel like it's a good strategy for progress. I also feel like I come across as being somewhat childish and maybe even emotionally not 100% stable -- but I purposefully use this very account/forum for my 'mini-blog' because I really want to improve. I don't want to live a miserable live. I want to strive.

Sounds like a journal. Have you checked out the Journals section?
Many interesting journeys with supportive voices.

Just noticed it -- thanks for the input! Seems like the perfect place!

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6872
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2020, 06:16:02 AM »
Thanks to all of you for so many replies!! I read each and every one of them quite a few times. Furthermore, I was quite stunned that you guys managed to link this thread to my old one. Yes, you are right -- that was me.

I cut off all contact with her, and (as @Malcat put it) " stop engage in this nonsense". Sorry for bothering you with this s*** for the second time.

I feel like I have a lot to learn. I want to be confident and act properly. I still see value in receiving external feedback on my journey (again, shout-out to all of you!), thus I'll create a mini-blog as new thread here in the forum where I'll write about my life (still deciding on the most appropriate subsection for this). I'm not sure whether this is doing me any good, but I feel like it's a good strategy for progress. I also feel like I come across as being somewhat childish and maybe even emotionally not 100% stable -- but I purposefully use this very account/forum for my 'mini-blog' because I really want to improve. I don't want to live a miserable live. I want to strive.

Edit: Found the 'Journals'-section, seems like the perfect place for my...well.. journal :D

Dude, we all sound childish as we're learning things.

It's the willingness to sound childish that allows you to grow and mature. Never be afraid of sounding childish or clueless because it's the only way to have a future where you get to look back on it with wisdom.

I would rather sound childish and learn from others than stay childish and learn nothing.


draco44

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2020, 09:24:41 AM »
Thanks to all of you for so many replies!! I read each and every one of them quite a few times. Furthermore, I was quite stunned that you guys managed to link this thread to my old one. Yes, you are right -- that was me.

I cut off all contact with her, and (as @Malcat put it) " stop engage in this nonsense". Sorry for bothering you with this s*** for the second time.

I feel like I have a lot to learn. I want to be confident and act properly.

That's wonderful that you are in a place now where you've made a clean break and are working on yourself. Been there. One resource you may want to check out are the blog posts on https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/list-of-posts/ That site really gets into the nitty gritty of moving past a relationship that wasn't healthy, and becoming more self-aware and/or confident so you can make better decisions for yourself in the future. Scrolling down the master list of posts above, here's two that examples that might be helpful for your situation:

“Why aren’t I enough… for your crumbs?” When you wonder why you weren’t enough even though what was (or wasn’t) on offer sucked: https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/why-arent-i-enough-for-your-crumbs/

"Miss You, Miss You, Oops, But I’m Not Getting Back With You: When Your Ex Says They Miss You But You’re Still Broken Up": https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/miss-you-miss-you-oops-but-im-not-getting-back-with-you-when-your-ex-says-they-miss-you-but-youre-still-broken-up/




Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4175
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2020, 09:27:57 AM »
It's always a bit dicey to suggest this because it can come off as condescending.  But a good counselor can help you process this kind of thing and recognize patterns so that you can move away from them.  Talking with "friends" can be helpful in a different way, but this is clearly a situation with which you've struggled for quite a while.  Your own resources and the resources of MMM conversations haven't been enough to get you through and past this.  Someone trained to see the thought patterns and help you process them in different ways--aka a counselor/therapist--might help you get unstuck from this pattern of thought and behavior. 

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6872
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2020, 09:53:05 AM »
It's always a bit dicey to suggest this because it can come off as condescending.  But a good counselor can help you process this kind of thing and recognize patterns so that you can move away from them.  Talking with "friends" can be helpful in a different way, but this is clearly a situation with which you've struggled for quite a while.  Your own resources and the resources of MMM conversations haven't been enough to get you through and past this.  Someone trained to see the thought patterns and help you process them in different ways--aka a counselor/therapist--might help you get unstuck from this pattern of thought and behavior.

Lol, I recommend therapy to almost everyone because I believe pretty much everyone needs therapy.

It's not dicey to recommend, and if I'm remembering correctly, I think OP was seeing a therapist at one point?

sebi13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2020, 10:25:04 AM »
Thanks to all of you for so many replies!! I read each and every one of them quite a few times. Furthermore, I was quite stunned that you guys managed to link this thread to my old one. Yes, you are right -- that was me.

I cut off all contact with her, and (as @Malcat put it) " stop engage in this nonsense". Sorry for bothering you with this s*** for the second time.

I feel like I have a lot to learn. I want to be confident and act properly.

That's wonderful that you are in a place now where you've made a clean break and are working on yourself. Been there. One resource you may want to check out are the blog posts on https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/list-of-posts/ That site really gets into the nitty gritty of moving past a relationship that wasn't healthy, and becoming more self-aware and/or confident so you can make better decisions for yourself in the future. Scrolling down the master list of posts above, here's two that examples that might be helpful for your situation:

“Why aren’t I enough… for your crumbs?” When you wonder why you weren’t enough even though what was (or wasn’t) on offer sucked: https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/why-arent-i-enough-for-your-crumbs/

"Miss You, Miss You, Oops, But I’m Not Getting Back With You: When Your Ex Says They Miss You But You’re Still Broken Up": https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/miss-you-miss-you-oops-but-im-not-getting-back-with-you-when-your-ex-says-they-miss-you-but-youre-still-broken-up/

That's a really cool site! Many thanks for pointing it out. I already read a few pretty interesting articles from the list. The 'master-list' ended up as bookmark in my browser, will slowly read through many articles over time.

It's always a bit dicey to suggest this because it can come off as condescending.  But a good counselor can help you process this kind of thing and recognize patterns so that you can move away from them.  Talking with "friends" can be helpful in a different way, but this is clearly a situation with which you've struggled for quite a while.  Your own resources and the resources of MMM conversations haven't been enough to get you through and past this.  Someone trained to see the thought patterns and help you process them in different ways--aka a counselor/therapist--might help you get unstuck from this pattern of thought and behavior. 
It's always a bit dicey to suggest this because it can come off as condescending.  But a good counselor can help you process this kind of thing and recognize patterns so that you can move away from them.  Talking with "friends" can be helpful in a different way, but this is clearly a situation with which you've struggled for quite a while.  Your own resources and the resources of MMM conversations haven't been enough to get you through and past this.  Someone trained to see the thought patterns and help you process them in different ways--aka a counselor/therapist--might help you get unstuck from this pattern of thought and behavior.

Lol, I recommend therapy to almost everyone because I believe pretty much everyone needs therapy.

It's not dicey to recommend, and if I'm remembering correctly, I think OP was seeing a therapist at one point?

I appreciate the fact that both of you want to help out. I never saw a therapist and, to be honest, I'm not planning to do so in the future. In general, I would consider myself pretty open to trying out new things, but in this particular instance I am reluctant to do so. I know that some people swear by visiting a therapist, but again, I'll postpone this for as long as possible.

In the last few weeks I had my up's (sometimes I was even happy that the relationship was over) and down's (where I REALLY wanted her back), but I think I am able to cope with it. Right now, I'm in a 'up'-phase, let's see how long this lasts. Btw, in case anyone is interested in how this situation develops, I've already created my journal (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/european-phd-student-trying-to-figure-out-life/).

NotJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
  • Location: USA
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2020, 11:20:47 AM »
I appreciate the fact that both of you want to help out. I never saw a therapist and, to be honest, I'm not planning to do so in the future. In general, I would consider myself pretty open to trying out new things, but in this particular instance I am reluctant to do so. I know that some people swear by visiting a therapist, but again, I'll postpone this for as long as possible.

In the last few weeks I had my up's (sometimes I was even happy that the relationship was over) and down's (where I REALLY wanted her back), but I think I am able to cope with it. Right now, I'm in a 'up'-phase, let's see how long this lasts. Btw, in case anyone is interested in how this situation develops, I've already created my journal (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/european-phd-student-trying-to-figure-out-life/).

I'll just pile on to the therapy advice.  When my XH and I separated, I went to therapy (he was my first relationship ever, so my divorce was also my first ever breakup - DO NOT recommend!).  It was very helpful, even though I generally had things together.  It was kind of like paying for a friend to talk to, but one who had pointed questions and exercises (and it was covered by my insurance).  When my original therapist moved, I got paired with someone else who didn't work out, so I stopped therapy at that point.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to get rid of the ups and downs.  But do know that eventually they do even out.

Laura33

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2921
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2020, 12:01:57 PM »
I never saw a therapist and, to be honest, I'm not planning to do so in the future. In general, I would consider myself pretty open to trying out new things, but in this particular instance I am reluctant to do so. I know that some people swear by visiting a therapist, but again, I'll postpone this for as long as possible.

In the last few weeks I had my up's (sometimes I was even happy that the relationship was over) and down's (where I REALLY wanted her back), but I think I am able to cope with it. Right now, I'm in a 'up'-phase, let's see how long this lasts.

Therapy isn't about making you feel good, and the fact that you are in an "up" phase, and may (we can hope!) remain in one for a long time means nothing. 

Therapy helps people recognize patterns, and figure out why you keep making those choices.  Like, say, why you remained so fixated on this person even though she had clearly left you miserable many times over the past several years.  Most people don't have the level of objectivity and insight to figure out why they do self-defeating things.  Working with someone who has spent literally years studying why the human brain tells you to do self-defeating things can be very, very helpful to figuring that out -- and then developing other ways of thinking and behaving.  Because if you don't recognize what you're doing and take steps to break those patterns, you'll just repeat the same mistakes and continue the cycle.  When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always gotten.

Tl;dr:  it's not about helping you get over your current girlfriend.  It's about helping you choose differently for your next girlfriend. 

Polaria

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Brussels - Belgium

sebi13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2020, 12:37:34 PM »
Ok, so is this thread actually the follow-up of
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/7-year-relationship-no-sexual-desire-she-wants-to-get-married/msg2339066/#msg2339066 ?

No - the old thread got deleted. It was basically about me not trusting my then-girlfriend.

lhamo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1291
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2020, 03:57:51 PM »
A couple of other websites that talk a lot about relationship dynamics and how to move toward more positive/healthy relationship habits (including good communication and boundary setting skills, in particular):

captainawkward.com -- this one is run by a woman who had many dysfunctional relationships but now seems to be in an excellent one

mustbethistalltoride.com -- this one is run by a guy who messed up his first marriage

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4175
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2020, 05:45:17 PM »
Thanks to all of you for so many replies!! I read each and every one of them quite a few times. Furthermore, I was quite stunned that you guys managed to link this thread to my old one. Yes, you are right -- that was me.

I cut off all contact with her, and (as @Malcat put it) " stop engage in this nonsense". Sorry for bothering you with this s*** for the second time.

I feel like I have a lot to learn. I want to be confident and act properly.


That's wonderful that you are in a place now where you've made a clean break and are working on yourself. Been there. One resource you may want to check out are the blog posts on https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/list-of-posts/ That site really gets into the nitty gritty of moving past a relationship that wasn't healthy, and becoming more self-aware and/or confident so you can make better decisions for yourself in the future. Scrolling down the master list of posts above, here's two that examples that might be helpful for your situation:

“Why aren’t I enough… for your crumbs?” When you wonder why you weren’t enough even though what was (or wasn’t) on offer sucked: https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/why-arent-i-enough-for-your-crumbs/

"Miss You, Miss You, Oops, But I’m Not Getting Back With You: When Your Ex Says They Miss You But You’re Still Broken Up": https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/miss-you-miss-you-oops-but-im-not-getting-back-with-you-when-your-ex-says-they-miss-you-but-youre-still-broken-up/

That's a really cool site! Many thanks for pointing it out. I already read a few pretty interesting articles from the list. The 'master-list' ended up as bookmark in my browser, will slowly read through many articles over time.

It's always a bit dicey to suggest this because it can come off as condescending.  But a good counselor can help you process this kind of thing and recognize patterns so that you can move away from them.  Talking with "friends" can be helpful in a different way, but this is clearly a situation with which you've struggled for quite a while.  Your own resources and the resources of MMM conversations haven't been enough to get you through and past this.  Someone trained to see the thought patterns and help you process them in different ways--aka a counselor/therapist--might help you get unstuck from this pattern of thought and behavior. 
It's always a bit dicey to suggest this because it can come off as condescending.  But a good counselor can help you process this kind of thing and recognize patterns so that you can move away from them.  Talking with "friends" can be helpful in a different way, but this is clearly a situation with which you've struggled for quite a while.  Your own resources and the resources of MMM conversations haven't been enough to get you through and past this.  Someone trained to see the thought patterns and help you process them in different ways--aka a counselor/therapist--might help you get unstuck from this pattern of thought and behavior.

Lol, I recommend therapy to almost everyone because I believe pretty much everyone needs therapy.

It's not dicey to recommend, and if I'm remembering correctly, I think OP was seeing a therapist at one point?

I appreciate the fact that both of you want to help out. I never saw a therapist and, to be honest, I'm not planning to do so in the future. In general, I would consider myself pretty open to trying out new things, but in this particular instance I am reluctant to do so. I know that some people swear by visiting a therapist, but again, I'll postpone this for as long as possible.

In the last few weeks I had my up's (sometimes I was even happy that the relationship was over) and down's (where I REALLY wanted her back), but I think I am able to cope with it. Right now, I'm in a 'up'-phase, let's see how long this lasts. Btw, in case anyone is interested in how this situation develops, I've already created my journal (https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/european-phd-student-trying-to-figure-out-life/).

I'd strongly encourage you not to let yourself off the hook on this.  What about therapy makes you so resistant?  You say you are reluctant, but give no reason for that reluctance.  It's something that has a very good chance of being truly helpful for you, long term, so giving yourself a pass just because you have a vague, nebulous "reluctance" is doing yourself a disservice.  It's worth the effort and possible discomfort to hold your feet to the fire and sort through that reluctance to determine from where it stems and whether it's something worth working through (which it likely is).

sebi13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2020, 02:18:07 AM »
A couple of other websites that talk a lot about relationship dynamics and how to move toward more positive/healthy relationship habits (including good communication and boundary setting skills, in particular):

captainawkward.com -- this one is run by a woman who had many dysfunctional relationships but now seems to be in an excellent one

mustbethistalltoride.com -- this one is run by a guy who messed up his first marriage

Thanks, I'll have a look at it in the next few days. Always happy to receive interesting sites!

I'd strongly encourage you not to let yourself off the hook on this.  What about therapy makes you so resistant?  You say you are reluctant, but give no reason for that reluctance.  It's something that has a very good chance of being truly helpful for you, long term, so giving yourself a pass just because you have a vague, nebulous "reluctance" is doing yourself a disservice.  It's worth the effort and possible discomfort to hold your feet to the fire and sort through that reluctance to determine from where it stems and whether it's something worth working through (which it likely is).

I hear you. I try to address all my concerns:

* Social implications: As almost anywhere in the world, it's still a somewhat topic of taboo -- I personally don't know anyone who has attended such a session already. And I'm not sure whether making a secret out of it is the way to go.
* Finances: An hour of therapy costs ~60-100+€ in my country. If a doctor confirms that there are 'disease-worthy symptoms' (rough translation) which can be treated through psychotherapy, I might get 40€/hour back from social insurance for the next 20-35 sessions. Although, I don't think I would qualify for the 40€ cash-back (though, I have no experience in how easy you get that). It seems like rather large costs.
* What do I even (start) talking about? My break-up?

To be honest, I guess my biggest concern are the financial ones. I think I could get myself overcome the social implications (by only telling really close friends/family, it's nobody else's business).
« Last Edit: November 12, 2020, 02:22:07 AM by sebi13 »

Motiv

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Location: Norwich, UK
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2020, 04:22:46 AM »
Do you really want to be the backup person she calls when she is lonely or bored?  When she isn't lonely/bored you won't hear from her. 

In other words, she is using you.

You've hit the nail on the head.

My advice to OP is to learn to be completely content with yourself. Then and only then, will you learn to be completely content with someone else.

I think you know the answer to your question anyway..

I learnt this in my late 20s when I had a child with someone, that I later realised I didn't really love. I decided at this point to get to know myself and make sure I was the best Dad I could be. Once I figured out who I was, I became content in my own company and when I wasn't looking for someone (actually I was trying to avoid a relationship), I met my, soon to be wife. I haven't looked back since. She is amazing and great with my little boy.

The point I'm trying to make is, she doesn't really sound like she knows what she wants and I wouldn't get involved with that. It's never going to be good for you. Look after yourself and see what life brings your way...




Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6872
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2020, 05:16:33 AM »
A couple of other websites that talk a lot about relationship dynamics and how to move toward more positive/healthy relationship habits (including good communication and boundary setting skills, in particular):

captainawkward.com -- this one is run by a woman who had many dysfunctional relationships but now seems to be in an excellent one

mustbethistalltoride.com -- this one is run by a guy who messed up his first marriage

Thanks, I'll have a look at it in the next few days. Always happy to receive interesting sites!

I'd strongly encourage you not to let yourself off the hook on this.  What about therapy makes you so resistant?  You say you are reluctant, but give no reason for that reluctance.  It's something that has a very good chance of being truly helpful for you, long term, so giving yourself a pass just because you have a vague, nebulous "reluctance" is doing yourself a disservice.  It's worth the effort and possible discomfort to hold your feet to the fire and sort through that reluctance to determine from where it stems and whether it's something worth working through (which it likely is).

I hear you. I try to address all my concerns:

* Social implications: As almost anywhere in the world, it's still a somewhat topic of taboo -- I personally don't know anyone who has attended such a session already. And I'm not sure whether making a secret out of it is the way to go.
* Finances: An hour of therapy costs ~60-100+€ in my country. If a doctor confirms that there are 'disease-worthy symptoms' (rough translation) which can be treated through psychotherapy, I might get 40€/hour back from social insurance for the next 20-35 sessions. Although, I don't think I would qualify for the 40€ cash-back (though, I have no experience in how easy you get that). It seems like rather large costs.
* What do I even (start) talking about? My break-up?

To be honest, I guess my biggest concern are the financial ones. I think I could get myself overcome the social implications (by only telling really close friends/family, it's nobody else's business).

You probably know several people who have gone to therapy, they just haven't told you. Likewise, you don't need to tell anyone else. If you went to a doctor for hemorrhoids, would you be telling all your friends? Personal medical information doesn't need to be public.

As for what you talk about, don't worry about it. Therapists are literally professionals at getting to bottom of what's going on with you. That's their job.

The cost? Yes, it's expensive, just like mechanics, lawyers, veterinarians, etc. They're expensive because of the value of the service they provide. Also, for a lot of issues, you can get excellent results in just a handful of sessions, so for a couple hundreds bucks, you might be able to make wiser relationship decisions for the rest of your life.

You don't have to go to therapy if you really don't want to, it's your life and your choice, but there's a reason a few of us older folks who are known here for our advice are suggesting it.

If you don't decide to go, then check out the site 7 Cups of Tea, it's not therapy, but it's professional listeners who are trained to help you talk through your concerns, which is basically the first half of therapy, and there are a lot of therapists in training on the site because they use it for practice. If you get someone really good, you can get a lot of the benefits of therapy for free.

sebi13

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2020, 05:49:41 AM »
You probably know several people who have gone to therapy, they just haven't told you. Likewise, you don't need to tell anyone else. If you went to a doctor for hemorrhoids, would you be telling all your friends? Personal medical information doesn't need to be public.

As for what you talk about, don't worry about it. Therapists are literally professionals at getting to bottom of what's going on with you. That's their job.

The cost? Yes, it's expensive, just like mechanics, lawyers, veterinarians, etc. They're expensive because of the value of the service they provide. Also, for a lot of issues, you can get excellent results in just a handful of sessions, so for a couple hundreds bucks, you might be able to make wiser relationship decisions for the rest of your life.

You don't have to go to therapy if you really don't want to, it's your life and your choice, but there's a reason a few of us older folks who are known here for our advice are suggesting it.

If you don't decide to go, then check out the site 7 Cups of Tea, it's not therapy, but it's professional listeners who are trained to help you talk through your concerns, which is basically the first half of therapy, and there are a lot of therapists in training on the site because they use it for practice. If you get someone really good, you can get a lot of the benefits of therapy for free.

I'm glad for any advice I receive! After all, that's the main reason for writing in this forum in the first place. After thinking about it more thoroughly, I'm not as reluctant to at least try therapy. So I would simply go there, tell him/her that my ex recently broke up with me and that I want to become more confident/self-loving?

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6872
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2020, 06:15:29 AM »
You probably know several people who have gone to therapy, they just haven't told you. Likewise, you don't need to tell anyone else. If you went to a doctor for hemorrhoids, would you be telling all your friends? Personal medical information doesn't need to be public.

As for what you talk about, don't worry about it. Therapists are literally professionals at getting to bottom of what's going on with you. That's their job.

The cost? Yes, it's expensive, just like mechanics, lawyers, veterinarians, etc. They're expensive because of the value of the service they provide. Also, for a lot of issues, you can get excellent results in just a handful of sessions, so for a couple hundreds bucks, you might be able to make wiser relationship decisions for the rest of your life.

You don't have to go to therapy if you really don't want to, it's your life and your choice, but there's a reason a few of us older folks who are known here for our advice are suggesting it.

If you don't decide to go, then check out the site 7 Cups of Tea, it's not therapy, but it's professional listeners who are trained to help you talk through your concerns, which is basically the first half of therapy, and there are a lot of therapists in training on the site because they use it for practice. If you get someone really good, you can get a lot of the benefits of therapy for free.

I'm glad for any advice I receive! After all, that's the main reason for writing in this forum in the first place. After thinking about it more thoroughly, I'm not as reluctant to at least try therapy. So I would simply go there, tell him/her that my ex recently broke up with me and that I want to become more confident/self-loving?

Yeah, pretty much.

Therapist: so what brings you here today?
You: my ex recently broke up with me and that I want to become more confident/self-loving?
Therapist: tell me more about that.
You: *proceed to tell therapist more about your recent experience*
Therapist: *asks questions as you tell your story to ascertain what patterns of behaviour are behind your decisions and behaviours and what might be contributing to those patterns*
You: *rapidly begin to understand yourself better and build tools to feel happier and more confident as a result*

And voila, that's therapy in a nutshell.

Now, if you do try therapy, my biggest advice is to be picky about your therapist, it's not so much about whether or not they're any good, but if they're the right fit for you. If you aren't feeling it, move on and try someone else. It should feel like "holy shit, this person just gets it". Feeling totally understood in a completely non-judgemental way is what makes therapy work. 

MissPeach

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 352
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2020, 10:13:44 AM »
I think you're instincts are right OP. It's perfectly find to acknowledge she's a good person but that your talks are not good in helping you heal.

I highly recommend checking out Natalie Lue's website baggage reclaim. She has a lot of articles on something called 'No Contact' and a book as well which I think would be helpful for you.

The idea behind it isn't to be mean but to assert the boundary so you keep your mental sanity to heal and don't get your hopes up on getting back together. I think some of her other articles may be helpful too so that you feel you get the permission to assert your boundaries on what you need to move on.


draco44

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
Re: Relationship-Question: Dealing with ex-girlfriend who says she misses me
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2020, 05:29:59 PM »
One quick addition: Hold up, I think you are a graduate student, correct? If so, and if therapy is at all something you are at all open to investigating, every university I ever attended, both in Europe and North America, had a student health/medical center that offered at least a few free therapy sessions per year to students. Your school might call it something sightly different than therapy, like "psychological and counseling services" or some such.

The main point is that if you're a student there's an excellent chance you have access to free or cheap help that you haven't yet taken advantage of. As a Mustachian, I encourage you to maximize the utility of your stipend/tuition dollars and use any resources you already have access to! ;)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2020, 05:32:33 PM by draco44 »