When it’s over, really over, it’s easy for old flames to be friends. But what about when you didn’t want to break up? And you desperately want him back? If you’re wondering how to be friends with your ex when you really want him back then perhaps you’re asking yourself the wrong question.

Maybe what you should be asking is “Can I be friends with my ex? Won’t it be just too difficult, too upsetting?”. But if you parted without too much acrimony it’s quite common for new exes to say “We can still be friends, can’t we?”; and it’s tempting to want to say ‘yes’ because it’s so hard to let go of him.

Because if you do keep in touch with him, it’ll give you a real chance to try to get him back. After all, you can’t re-attract him if you never see him, can you?

There’s certainly a lot of truth in that.

But you should realize that you’re in a very delicate situation which carries a big risk of a broken heart – for you. How to be friends with your ex is difficult when you still have feelings for him; and to have a chance of getting him back you will need to learn the art of dissembling and playing a double game.

So before you embark on such a difficult task you should think about whether it has a chance of succeeding. There are situations which would make it impossible for you to carry it off, and you need to decide if yours is one of those.

When Being Friends With Your Ex Just Won’t Work

Breaking up is hard and you will need time to heal. You must give yourself a chance to think about what went wrong and whether it’s possible put things right between you. It’s also important to consider how you and your ex would react to each other in a platonic relationship.

Does the very thought of your ex upset or enrage you?

Are you terrified of him finding someone else?

Are you hoping he’ll change, instead of concentrating on how you’re going to move on?

Are you just lonely?

Such feelings are understandable, but they will make it impossible for you to be friends with your ex. You need to be cool about seeing him, with friends, even with other women. Remember it’s not necessarily a new girlfriend; and even if it is, rebound relationships don’t usually last.

Accept that it will be hard. But if you have the self-discipline and the nerve, it can be done.

How to Be Friends With Your Ex (Without Messing Up)

The trick is not to try to force the situation with your ex to change. At the same time, you must avoid falling into the Friend Zone.

As you can imagine, you’re setting yourself up for a roller coaster ride emotionally. That’s why it’s so important to be sure of yourself before you start.

You need to have a certain level of security and self-belief to do this. If you have been badly hurt by the breakup, or your self-esteem is low, then this strategy is not for you. You would be better off practicing active no contact and working on your confidence issues before seeing your boyfriend again.

But being able to see your ex, whether it’s regularly or just from time to time, will give you the chance to lay some foundations for getting your relationship back on track. You want to paint a “What if…” picture in his mind, while keeping him guessing about whether it could really happen.

Know That You Are Not Actually Friends – and Never Use the F – Word

Don’t ever refer to you and your boyfriend as ‘just friends’.

You are ex lovers who still speak to each other, as opposed to spitting bile in each other’s direction. Using the word ‘friend’ paints a subliminal picture in his mind which can easily turn into reality. You don’t want your ex to get comfortable with the idea of your being friends. Instead you want to keep a feeling of tension and anticipation which makes him not quite sure where he stands with you.

Be Flirty and Fun

Remember to flirt with him and have fun!

There is an art to flirting with an ex boyfriend, so make sure you understand the subtleties of this new and intriguing game (for more on that, visit this page). Keeping the fun going between you will get under your ex’s skin and make him wonder why he let you go.

Don’t meet up for intense chats à deux. Go somewhere fun and entertaining with a group of friends. Do things that are fast paced and exciting, if possible with an element of danger, so you can forget about the problems you had in the past.

Men bond much more easily when you share experiences, especially adrenalin-filled experiences, than through having long conversations. So use this to your advantage.

Don’t Become His Confidante

It might seem that this is a great way to get close to him, but you’d be wrong. This is the quickest way to put yourself permanently in the Friend Zone.

Men don’t pour out their troubles to women they find attractive. They do it to the trusty old mates they know so well that they don’t need to impress them. Keep away from any discussion of personal problems, including the issues surrounding your breakup. If he tries to bring up the subject, then you need to draw back a bit and create some distance between you.

This will ensure he keeps wanting more.

Get a Feeling For Where He Stands

At some point you will have to find out whether he has any thoughts of getting back together. Depending on how he acts in your company and responds to your flirting, you should have formed an idea of how he feels.

Give him a chance to open up by talking about the fun you seem to have together nowadays.

His response should give you a good idea of whether he has any romantic thoughts about you. Be prepared for the possibility that he may not respond as you hope, and have a graceful exit line ready. Remember that it takes two to make a relationship work, and you cannot force him to do what you want.

Get a Commitment

How to be friends with your ex means setting your boundaries – and sticking to them.

Don’t be prepared to settle for something less than a commitment. It’s all too easy for you to lose your head at some point and find yourself a Friend with Benefits. That’s why it’s so important to be able to discipline yourself not to rush things, and to hold out for what you want.

If your boyfriend really wants you back, he will keep pursuing you until he gets a definite answer; so don’t feel that you have to give something first. The promise of great things to come should be enough to make him want to get back together with you.

How to Be Friends With Your Ex (When You Really Want Him Back)

There is nothing wrong with keeping your ex in your life, as long as you know what you want from him. If you really want him back, then you should use your time together as an opportunity to reconnect with him.

Remember what you are trying to do, and don’t let your new situation degenerate into the ease and comfort of real friendship. And realize that the game you are playing is a delicate one. You know he was attracted to you once. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t feel the same again, as long as you keep the sexual tension between you. And don’t let him forget that you are a woman, not a friend.

Don’t expect things to change too quickly. It’s a mistake to try to force the pace, no matter how urgently you would like things to change. If you feel tempted to do something rash, then pause and think again. Slow and steady is the best way to move things along.

Not sure what to do next?

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This Post Has 149 Comments

  1. Jane

    Hi I was with my boyfriend for nearly 3.5 years, towards the end of our relationship there was a sudden change in our dynamic I went from being occupied to being completely free and he went from being free to getting occupied with work, it took a toll on the relationship and I pulled the plug in a very messy manner, going as far as using ultimatums. After the break up, I realized he was okay with the break up and I asked to work it out as I broke up in a rush. He said he doesn’t want to work it out that is drained and that he still loves me but he wants to move on. How can I work it out? I have taken on no contact to let him have his space to breathe, and calm down from everything that happened.

    1. Sarah

      That’s a good start. You need to give him time to miss you and remember what he has lost.

  2. Lauren

    Hey Sara,

    My girlfriend broke up with me about a month ago. We had only been together for 4 months but she had already starting talking about the future and we were getting pretty serious. She said she was not in an emotional state to be with anyone and she needed to work on herself and her mental health. Since then we have remained friends and have talked everyday, she will FaceTime we a few times a week, I rarely call her though. She said that if we both work on ourselves there’s a chance we could get back together but she can’t guarantee anything. I’m still in love with her and she knows how I feel about her. We still hang out occasionally as well. I’m not sure what to do but I’m just feeling super lost. Thank you!!

    1. Sarah

      ‘There’s a chance [you] could get back together but she can’t guarantee anything’. Don’t let her string you along.

  3. Celia

    My ex broke up with me a month ago. He said he couldn’t trust me anymore because I had asked my ex for money he owed me without telling him. He found out because he went through my phone and there was a “canceled call” I made to my ex, which was an accident. But the conversation I had with my ex was through text and it was strictly about the money. He didn’t know about the text and when he asked me who he was, I confessed to everything I didn’t want to lie to him. But I had deleted the text. And he said he couldn’t trust me, he said if I had told him he would have understand. But during that time I was just afraid he wouldn’t and I really needed the money back because I had medical bills I needed to pay off. He suggested to be friends because we started off as friends. He said the only thing that would change is just us not having sex. But all I want is to get back together. The first two weeks I tried giving him space and didn’t contact him. But I felt like I couldn’t let him believe I did cheat on him and that he shouldn’t trust me. So I’m trying to be his friend but it’s so hard being happy and fun, when every inch of my body wants to hug him and hold his hand and tell him I miss us. If I know I’m going to see him I try my best to look good and try to prove to him he can trust me. But he’s such a stubborn person. Last weekend we went to the club and he pulled me close to dance with him and he was the one reaching out for me to hold his hand when we were walking around the club to get drinks. We ended up hooking up that night. He had told me he cares about me and that I was his best friend but the doubt of me cheating or not is what makes him believe he won’t be happy if we were to get together and he gotta do what is best for his mind. I honestly don’t know what to do. We don’t talk daily we barely talk, I try sending him memes of things that remind me of him and he never ignores my text. But it never goes on to a full conversation. And I don’t want to be needy either and double text him. But he’s never the one to send the first text or asks me to hangout which I understand because I’m the one who broke his trust. But I’m afraid if I continue being his friend or try seeing him it’ll make it easier for him to move on. Before we broken up our relationship wasn’t perfect we fought sometimes but we never stopped talking for days or weeks. Also he had his social media deactivated and today he activated everything. I feel like he’s trying to move on or something. I honestly don’t know what to do or how to make him believe he can trust me. He’s one of those people when he sets his mind to something it’s final.

    1. Sarah

      Don’t become a friend with benefits. Don’t chase him either, but why haven’t you pointed out to him that calling your ex is not cheating?

  4. Gabby

    Hi I need your advice! My ex broke up with me a little over a year ago. He just moved to my city and things have been very toxic between us. Lots of arguing, yelling, hostility, and rudeness. He never yelled at me once when we were dating and now he yells at me frequently. He told me recently that he is not indifferent towards me yet, but doesn’t think he loves me anymore. He told me that as far as him seeing us together, i need to get that out of my head right now. We were best friends for 3 years before we dated for a year. We have the same friend group and run into each other all the time. I love him so much and feel stuck. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and pushed him away. He will flirt with me every now and then, hook up with me, kiss me, then afterwards play the victim card. It seems like he’s pretty moved on, but the way he reacts to things and blows up on me shows me he has some unresolved feelings. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. Is there any hope in getting him back? Or should i cut him out of my life and try to move on for good? I’m scared to completely cut him out because of how important he used to be to me even before we dated. He keeps saying he wants to be friends, but i love him so im not so sure that would work.

    1. Sarah

      Stop letting him get away with treating you badly. Be polite when you meet but don’t respond to his attempts to flirt with you and don’t hook up.

      1. Gabby

        Thanks for the advice! Is there any hope on us getting back together, or should i completely get rid of that hope and force myself to fully move on? That is why I feel stuck. I don’t want to regret losing him.

        1. Sarah

          Concentrating on moving on. It’s only when he sees he’s losing you that he’ll know whether or not he cares.

  5. Ashley

    My ex and I broke up 2 years ago and we have kept in contact on and off. We would get into a fight and decide to not talk for a while and pick up right where we left off. We have tried to be friends but the feelings always came back and it got harder to stay friends. So I told him that we can’t be “just friends”. Recently, we had been seeing each other at least once a week and speaking daily. When I asked him where I stood, he said he didn’t have romantic feelings for me and he wasn’t looking to date anyone right now. He said that it was hard to look past our bad habits of fighting and leaving. But I have romantic feelings for him and I have seen that we have grown from where we were. He wants to stay friends but I don’t think that I could handle trying to have something plutonic with him. I told him that I may need to have less contact because we are on different pages. I have hope that we could rekindle something but I really don’t know what to do. Should I continue to entertain this idea of friendship or do I implement “no contact”?

    1. Sarah

      You have already told him that you’re not happy being friends so it won’t be hard to tell him that being friends is not working for you. He will respect you for having standards and it may make him see you in a different light; on the other hand it may not. But that doesn’t mean you should go on being friends in the hope that things will change because they probably won’t.

  6. Bill

    My ex(25M) and me(24M) are ending our relationship but we both agreed we want to remain friends although I think we both have lingering feelings. We had been dating since late October but he had a major death in his family in January which ended the honeymoon period. He genuinely got lost in life and we took a “break” as he needed to focus on himself, for awhile he was even considering moving States but changed his mind. In reality though this was not a break as we’ve never gone more than a week without texting/calling each other (usually initiated by me). During this period we met up once during March and things seemed to go really well, that connection WAS still there and he talked to me about how he felt but a few days later he messaged me saying he’s still not in a good spot but could see us being friends (it is worth noting that he has told me numerous times that he has never remained/ tried to remain friends with an ex).

    Around a week passed and I messaged him to see how he was and the cycle basically repeated itself. We texted and called eachother for several weeks and eventually we met up again in late april after 5 weeks of not seeing eachother. This time i saw for the first time the smile and glow he had before the death of his family member. Things progressed very naturally and he ended up spending the night and things seemed well. He texted me the next day and told me things just felt natural and easy with me (which I know he genuinely meant). He came over again the following week and things seemed good but they did feel somewhat off. He ended up calling me 10 minutes after leaving my place and said he just wants to be friends.

    His reasoning was that he still doesn’t think he’s fully over his family member’s death AND he also said I’m still early in my coming out process. He said I remind him a lot of himself when was coming out 6 years ago.

    I was okay with that and really didn’t feel heartbroken like I thought I would. Admittedly I went through the heartbreak after we ended things the first time we met up. Nothing really changed, we continued to text and call eachother and we went to an amusement park 2 week later as strictly “friends.”

    That said, there seemed to be a couple times while where we had a moment but we both let it pass and neither of acknowledged it. HOWEVER, he did bring up the fact that he checked to see if I was on dating apps or not which I had for maybe 2 days but deleted it.

    Anyways, I know that I still have feelings for him and I think he still does for me despite him saying he just wants to be friends. I recently started no contact as we’ve never truly given eachother more than a week without contact (usually initiated by me). We’re currently on day 6 and I haven’t heard a thing from him. Is this a smart choice or would it be better to just be friends?

    Reflecting on things over the past week I feel I’ve already come along way in improving myself and am now fully out to all of my friends and family, I feel I’ve already found a new sense of self confidence I’ve never had before.

    1. Sarah

      Build on this relationship and you new-found confidence as the start of a new life. Keep your ex as a friend if you think you can handle it, otherwise take a break and perhaps get back in touch with him in a few weeks.

  7. anony

    My ex and I broke up about 2 weeks ago after a 10 month relationship. It was both our first serious relationship and he broke up with me due to him believing he’s bad for me and that I’m too good of a person for him. He said he’ll always love me and that if it’s meant to be that one day we’ll come back to each other again. I considered whether to block him or to stay civil with him and usually I do block the other person. After some thorough thought I decided to keep him in my life as a friend as I believe that that was what was missing initially as we jumped into a relationship immediately. I do believe that at this time he was very work orientated and perhaps didn’t have the time for a relationship and felt bad about being too busy quite frequently. We have since decided to stay not specifically friends but quite the same, however he speaks to me as if we’ve never broken up and still calls me babe and still says things such as ‘you’ll always be mine’. It leaves me a little stunned sometimes as I do believe that we still love each other dearly. We don’t speak everyday just here and there to catch up with each other and just normal chat. I am not too worried about him having flings and such as I believe that it’s his right and i’ll give him his time to mature. I do really believe that he’s the one for me and I’m willing to be patient for him to come back my way in the future. Am I silly for doing this or do I go and move on completely.

    1. Sarah

      He’s moving on and so should you. Stay in touch by all means but have a life of your own too, otherwise you could waste years waiting for him and end up with nothing.

  8. anna

    my boyfriend broke up with me almost 5 months ago saying that he loved me, but the physical attraction was lost. many things have contributed to his decision, but i think that most of all it was my lack of ambition and my constant negativity. when you add lockdown and covid related anxiety everything goes to hell. we were 4 years together and i really thought that he was the one. we agreed to remain friends and we are in contact, but recently i feel like he cares less and less. i have no idea if he has found someone new or something else is going on, but we rarely speak in a last few weeks, and it never gets personal. i don’t know if there is still hope for us.

    1. Sarah

      It would have been better to do no contact from the start instead of being friends. That gave him the chance to withdraw gradually from your relationship and made is much easier for him. You can try doing no contact now, but it might be too late. Think about your own life and try to improve it; to live a life that a boyriend would want to share. Then when you do talk to each other, instead of being depressed and hoping he’ll want to come back you’ll sound happy and upbeat and have something fun to talk about.

  9. Anonymous

    my girlfriend broke up with me after a year and said the reason she did it was that she feels waves of attraction for me and does not want to be in a relationship right now. she however wants to continue to remain friends and talks to me on a daily basis and is very close to me. she has not ruled out getting back with me in the future but she does not want me to cling on to any hope. we have met a couple of times after breaking up and have been intimate as well. i flirt with her and she flirts back as well and it is clear that she is physically attracted to me as well. she would always share the most intimate details with me when we were together and i was always her go to person which is why she cannot let me go from her life. how do i get her back given our current status?

    1. Sarah

      Get some new interests so that you are not always available to be her go to person at the drop of a hat. And next time you see her make it a short date because you have somewhere else to go afterwards. And have somewhere else to go afterwards.

  10. Nicole

    So my boyfriend and I broke up about 4 months ago. We both are responsible for the breakup. We ended on a bad note but have recently begun talking again. I want him back and have told him how I feel. He says he wants to be friends and see what time will reveal because he can’t return to the way he felt when things got back during the time we were together. I love him. And we’ve spent about 3 months apart before we started talking again. I just don’t know how long is long enough to wait it out and see. I don’t think we can actually be friends and we have discussed at length how it would be unfair to either of us to have a friendship when we both know I have feelings. His response was “I never said I wouldn’t ever get there, I just don’t see it at this moment. Time will tell”. Do you think it’s worth a try

    1. Sarah

      You can stay friends but no sex: you don’t want to be friends with benefits. And start building a life apart from him. You don’t want your life to be all about getting him back.

  11. kelley m oberne

    My boyfriend wants a break to figure out if he wants to get married like ever… he a really smart guy like nerdy. But his bestest fear is commitment because of his family I believe he afearful of being like his father who has serious issues and his mother has stuck by him eventhough it has been so hard for her. He also read books on marriage that sared him more.We been datemore. For a 1 a year and 6 months as he tell me his fears and wanting a break he is crying hard… the boy never crys so I held him in my arms telling him its ok…odd picture since I am the more emotional one out of the two. I do tell him he needs help that it is not healthy to not have deep friends and the freedom of really connecting to someone. So right now I not trying to call him and such however, we sorta work on a sound board right next to each other once a week and we do talk he wants to know what I have been up too and so. I get mix messages I think. Well yeah it’s only really been 2 weeks since our break any advice

    1. Sarah

      Give him more time to think about it. Commitment is a big thing and it has to be something you both want. Keep talking but don’t let a FWB situation develop. Fill you life with other things and try to build a life without him so that you are not letting his indecision take over your life.

  12. GC


    So my ex has recently broken up with me because of some weird reasons, it was a budding relationship of 4-5 months only, She gave me two reasons, that she thinks she is not ready to be in a relationship with anyone, and that she does not feel as strongly as I do, Now she told me to stay as her friend but as you know, I want her back, I want her to be in love with me.
    Even when it’s been almost 15 days of being friends with her, I don’t feel the same priority she used to give me, she treats me coldly, calls me when she feels like, texts not as frequently as she used to.
    But her best friend has told me that she doesn’t like any other guy, and has in secret told her that I am the best guy for her, Basically I think she’s confused, she wants me to stay, but not in the way I was.
    How should I behave in this situation ? What should I do to make her want me back ? What should be my strategy ?
    Please help me asap.


    1. Sarah

      Work on having a life she would want to share. Find something to be excited about so that you’re not always waiting for her to call.

  13. pooh

    hello..i n my ex have been broken up 3month ago…just because of my insecurities he felt that he didn’t want to clear my doubts n everytime he disappointed me through not giving any explaination regarding his female friends n after breakup i hadn’t control on myself and after every 1 month i always go to him and asked him to come back but he denied….i get depressed so that my best friend called him n asked him to stay as a friend the offer which he gave to me after breakup n now he is my friend…but i dnt want this..how can i solve all this stuff i want him but not as a friend. we are in long distance…thtswhy things get mess…even he didnt delete any single pic or screenshot of mine…but he didnt want relation anymore..

    1. Sarah

      Long distance is not a foundation on which to build a long term relationship. Have you ever had any plans to move so that you can be together properly? If that were to happen it might help you to feel less insecure.

  14. Anonymous

    Me and my girlfriend have been together for 9 months now and recently we broke off because of some issues we quarrelled about. It was my first relationship. The break up wasn’t because of that issue I felt. It’s just accumulative things that we quarrel till she reached a point of burn out.

    That was when I reflected about myself as a person, I was being too myself, being egotistical, wanting to win on fights and not listening and understanding, but all for what I felt was her own good. It was the accumulative actions that I did that actually led to a this burn out of her.

    When i realise the way that my approach to her was wrong, it was too late. She always say it’s not my fault, it’s just my character. But it’s not what she want from a partner, but it’s something I felt I can change. But it seem too late for me to find out for her to give me a chance to prove it.

    I’ve seen the early signs of the burn out, when she always question whether She was the right girl for me. But I always told her things will work if we try. But I didn’t try and didn’t understand what was wrong with me.

    I tried to save the relationship for one last time telling her that I have know my flaws and am willing to change. But she was too tired and really didn’t want to continue. She broke down and teared a lot of times during our chat.

    I didn’t want to let go. But she was begging me to let her move on. And she felt that she already don’t know who she was, a lot of negativities, all the signs of burn out.

    Until I gave in and said that, for her happiness I will have to let her go. I also told her that hopefully we could still be friends, and she agreed. For me it’s a way to actually prove myself that I was willing to change my flaws for her to see. But after that break, we chatted like how we used to chat. Cheerful, happy, it’s like immediately her motivation went back on track. Like a 360 degree turn.

    She shared with me the high school musical song “gotta go my own way” (read the lyrics to understand the meaning) and said that the song really have a meaning behind it. it felt like she was putting a boundary that we can be good friends, only. Maybe because of some of my actions i said, like if she was free on NYE etc.

    Now I’m lost. I’m hurt for sure. But hiding my emotions infront of her And acting like being a friend is not a bad thing.

    How should I move ahead next? I really love and care for her maybe because she is my first serious partner I dated. just that i did the wrong way to care for her and only knew I could be more gentle in how i care for her. Maybe I can’t get over it because we even planned for our future together before and I thought she was the one for me.

    1. Sarah

      The reason she changed when you agreed to be friends is probably because she no longer felt pressured. She could relax. That’s certainly a good thing as it will give her a chance to think more clearly about what she really wants.

      However by being friends you are taking a risk because she may never want more than friendship from you again. She might, but she might not. So bear that in mind when you take the friendship route.

      1. Anonymous

        Thank you for your reply Sarah.

        Yes I know putting oneself into the friendzone can be a big halt. Thankfully I came to the courage of telling her directly face to face after that, if she could give me the chance to show myself to her that I am a changed person. And I would like to chase her again as a new changed person. She did say she needed time to process her mind but not anytime soon. But we are still in contact as “friends”. I did showed some extra concern on her and she said “I know you meant well for me, but let us take a break first ok?”

        But because we are still contacting each other now and then, should I be overly caring, doing the little things , to prove myself ? But I’m worried the little things is too much for her.

        Have you read a quote saying “to all the things I have ever lost, thank you for setting me free” I find that this quote is so deep I don’t know if chasing her back is good for both of us.

        In my heart I know that she mean the whole world to me.

        1. Sarah

          It’s probably better to let her set the pace instead of trying to rush things. Of course you want to solve your problems as quickly as possible, but sometimes it pays great dividends to be patient.

  15. Anonymous

    Hi! So my ex and i broke up about 9 months ago. We were best friends for 3 years before we dated for a year and he broke up with me out of the blue for bizarre reasons. He’s someone who can’t be alone and after he broke up with me he started talking to good friend of his and hooking up with her a week after he ended things with me. He kept it a secret and meanwhile kept telling me he loved me, we would hookup, and we sent each other long text messages and met up a bunch to figure us out. I found out 2 months later that he had been lying to me about this other girl and hooking up with us at the same time. He was practically dating her. I’d never been so hurt before, especially by him. We took space for a couple of months and then met up to talk and it went well. We started texting, snapping, and talking everyday. We flirted, we hooked up, yet he kept saying he had hesitations about dating me again. He said he still has feeling for me but we started walking on egg shells together and kept hurting each other. We had a pretty healthy friendship before, as well as a pretty healthy relationship, yet ever since our breakup things have been so toxic between us. We decided to take space again and haven’t spoken to each other in a couple of months. Will this space just push us further apart? He said he needs space to heal and he wants to start fresh with me. But what would the point of that be if he doesn’t have intentions of dating me again? He’s moving to my city soon and said he will reach out when he moves here to catch up. Would that be a bad idea if i go? I feel like if nothing happens between us afterwards it would just hurt me. Feeling confused on what to do here 🙁

    1. Sarah

      See him again if you must but if you want a relationship then don’t hook up.

  16. Sana

    My boyfriend broke up with me after almost 8 months of being together. He told me that due to some fights we had, he realized that he cannot give me the attention I deserve due to his hectic work life. He said that it is his fault and that he tried with me and failed. When I asked him if he doesn’t want me, he said that he wants me but does not want a relationship right now or any relationship in the near future. He said due to his work he won’t be able to be in a relationship any time soon. He said that he cares about me but he can not be with me. We talked about it face to face and agreed to stay in friendly terms. I started the no contact period, and I want him back but I don’t want to be taken into the friendzone. Do you think we still have a chance?

    1. Sarah

      To change things you need to change what he sees as his priorities, which means getting him to see you differently. This article might help you see your situation differently.

      1. Sana

        Do you think we still have a chance? I have been doing no contact for almost a week now. But I have just discovered that someone from his family died. I don’t know if I should contact him to show my condolence or not because I figured this out via Facebook. I don’t want him to think of me as stalking him either. What shall I do in this case?

        1. Sarah

          If it was someone you know he was close to then it would be good to show your sympathy. But don’t use it as a means to try to rebuild the relationship or it will look as if you had an ulterior motive. Put your problems aside and commiserate with his loss.

  17. Kat

    Thanks. I am actually starting to date someone new myself, and he wants to get serious but I am unsure, which is part of why I reached out to my ex. I compare him to my ex, also.
    I also wonder if it is possible to stay friends with my ex for his kid’s sake…

    1. Sarah

      Both these new relationships are to some extent rebound ones, but that is not a reason not to give them your best shot at making them work. As for staying friends, that will mean you are still looking both ways (there is more about the pros and cons of friendship with an ex here). Perhaps give this new relationship a chance, just as your wants to do with his new girlfriend. For help with moving on, go here and here.

  18. Kat

    My ex and I were together for 3 years, lived together for 1. Then we were on-again-off-again for 2 years. He has a child from a previous relationship that I am very close with. We are a good match but have communication issues.
    This past summer, I said that I either wanted to get back together or completely go our separate ways. He wanted to find middle ground, but I said that would just keep us in the cycle, so we cut off all contact.
    5 months later, I reached out because I missed them. He had just started seeing someone new 2 weeks ago. I asked if it had long term potential, and he said he didn’t know because it was so new. We discussed that we have history and a unique connection and he compares the new girl to me a lot. I brought up getting back together given our history and connection.
    He said he has just started this relationship and thinks he should give it a little time to see how it progresses. He doesn’t want his history with me to keep him from giving this new thing a chance.

    So, I asked if seeing what happens with her was worth losing any possibility with me, and he pointed out as far as he knew, up until yesterday, he was never going to see me again anyway, so that is his mindset right now. I just showed up out of the blue after I had said we were going our separate ways permanently, so I shouldn’t expect him to just drop this new relationship that is currently making him happy to try again with me.
    He also said I am always the one who walks away (he is the one who won’t fully commit).

    He said I had just dropped a lot on him and he needs a few weeks to sort through it.

    What should I do?

    1. Sarah

      At the moment she is the one seen through rose-colored spectacles and you in the cold light of day. This is the wrong time to try and muscle in, so it would be better if you didn’t. You say you have communication issues, but he seems to have made his position quite clear and he has not said anything unreasonable. He has also asked for time and so you should give it to him.

      Will he come back? Possibly, possibly not. He says he compares the new woman to you a lot which suggests he still has feelings for you, but I don’t think you have any choice but to let him work things out for himself.

  19. Anonymous

    My boyfriend and i were happily together for a while before he broke up with me. He is a “lone wolf” and constantly needs alone time and we only hung out about once a week. He broke up with me because he said he wanted to be alone and I wasn’t in the best mental state and he didn’t know how to handle it. After the break up we talked and flirted for about 2 months before we officially said goodbye and went about 6 weeks with no contact. I hung out with another boy and he saw and reached out to me. He said that he wanted me back and missed me and blah blah blah. We wanted to take it slow so we were just talking casually for a couple days. Then he said he didn’t know what he wanted anymore. He has a history of being very indecisive and has commitment issues. He said he doesn’t want a girlfriend or a relationship because he likes being free and not having to handle the responsibilities of being a boyfriend, but he still loved me. We talked on and off for a while until we decided to just be friends for now and see where it takes us. The problem is that i want more and i want to spend time together, but he would rather have a more online friendship and just text and call rather than actually hang out. Its been stressing me out a lot and i don’t know if i should keep talking to him or let him go because i really love him and he makes me really happy but i feel like he doesn’t care as much as me and i dont know if he’ll ever feel the same towards me again.

    1. Sarah

      Stop giving more than you are getting. Accept that you’re not going anywhere with him and move on. Go out and find someone who makes you a whole lot happier than he ever will.

  20. Anon

    It’s going to be long. My boyfriend and I were together for a year and everything was great but he broke up with me 3 months ago. The reason is I want kids and am a bit older than him (he’s 26) and he doesn’t want any, something he had never mentioned before. The moment he broke up, I begged, we both cried, he clearly stated he didn’t want to break up but he didn’t want to deprive me of kids. I could tell he was as devastated as me. I immediately did my best after that to give him space and since we were living together, I quickly moved out to stay with a friend (truth is it was way too painful watching him looking just fine during the days that followed the breakup while I was unable to function). I did my best to let him miss me, to keep some distance, but he quickly reached out again and we ended up sleeping together not even 2 weeks after the breakup. He acted distant again after that. It became a sort of dance for almost 2 months. I would try not to chase him, he would reach out, we would meet up very regularly, spend great time together and then he would start flirting with me, being affectionate, and we would end up in bed, then once out of the bedroom, he would go back to being just friendly.

    Needless to say, I had no idea where to stand and it was truly painful to be in a semi relationship with the man I want back and who did tell me he does miss me.

    We even went away together for a weekend (he initiated it), we would still have “dates”, movie nights, dinners at his place etc…You get the picture.

    Then I got a massive slap in the face when I found out that about 3 weeks after our breakup, he had started online dating and was still doing so whilst seeing me.

    I calmly confronted him and told him how hurt and betrayed I felt. It was truly a shock for me as he’s not the type of guy to play with someone’s feelings and he was truly committed and genuine during our relationship (it was both our first relationship).

    He admitted to have gone to a few first dates with different girls (he met each of them once only) but that nothing physical or even emotional happened with any of them. I also revealed he did that because he missed me and was somehow trying to distract himself, but his feelings for me were still strong. I suggested a no contact period for a few weeks and he very reluctantly accepted (I could tell how pained he was). We both hugged and cried as we parted ways and exactly 30 days after, he reached out to apologize for the way he treated me and to say he was missing spending time together and hoping we could be friends someday.

    A friend of mine has been the voice of reason for me as she told me not to accept his offer for friendship too fast. She told me exactly what to reply (basically “we can’t be friends for now as I still have feelings for you and I still need time to heal but I will reach out when I feel ready”). She then advised me to wait for a couple of weeks, then casually message him, to basically be the one to decide and appear strong and attractive. He replied that whatever happened, he would still be there for me.

    I’d like to think I’m on the right track but initially the issue is the disagreement about children. I can’t help feeling he will change his mind as he’s young and once it’s done, he will get back to me. I just don’t know if I should slowly reconnect with him and possibly hoping he will value being with me so much that he will consider changing his mind about kids even years later.

    Also despite the appearances, I havent been able to detach myself from him despite the NC and I even started stalking him (not proud) at his house. I strongly suspect he’s seeing another girl even though I have no proof. All I know is that he was rarely on WhatsApp and had no profile pic then after reaching out to me after the NC period, he suddenly connected everyday on Whatsapp at random times for a week and tonight he put an actual profile picture. It really seems to me he’s trying to “impress” a girl and is probably in touch with her through the app (again, no proof, just theories).

    If it’s the case, if hes really seeing someone else, how do I proceed? Do I reach out, let him believe I’m now fine and do everything you advised in that article? Will it work if there’s another girl in the picture?

    1. Sarah

      Listen to your friend. She is wise and obviously cares about you. Try to start moving on from this man, as he is clearly doing himself. As long as he knows he can always come back to you, he will continue to chase other women while keeping you in reserve. And don’t sleep with him. That is teaching him that he can get away with treating you casually, and you will accept it.

      Whether he will change his mind about children is not something even he can know, let alone you. But when a man tells you something important like that, believe him. He is being honest, not stringing you along with ‘maybe’, and you should be glad of that. You want children; he doesn’t. Therefore he is the wrong man for you. Don’t throw your dreams away on the chance of him one day changing his mind. He might be 40, 50 or more before he does, but he could still have children then. You couldn’t. Or he may never change his mind. Such a faint hope is not a foundation on which you can build a future.

  21. Anonymous

    My girlfriend broke up with me about a week ago, we had been together for almost 4 years. It was a very healthy and happy relationship, semi-long distance as we’d only be able to see each other on the weekends (during semesters, we’re both undergraduates) and in the holidays (for 2-3 weeks at a time). She recently has been seriously struggling with her mental health and has been in a dark place, to the point where she would get anxiety attacks and depressive periods of not being able to move. She recognized she urgently needs to get help and is actively going to start therapy soon. I had no idea she was going through this (she for some reason grew distant over the last 3 weeks) and when we finally saw each other in person, she told me all that had been happening that she could not handle the pressure of a relationship right now, and that she needs to get better and would prefer much support as a friend. Of course, it took me a week of resisting and going back and forth (I was heartbroken and confused) and eventually she told me to stop texting her, it is over. Up until then I had held onto the hope that she saw this as a break and not a break up, but then it really hit. She said she wants to be friends, when she’s ready, and I decided to initiate no contact for 30 days. Do you think if after these 30 days I allow myself to become her bestfriend again (as we were when we were together, we used to confide in each other over everything, especially serious family issues) that it could lead to her coming back, when she feels ready?

    1. Sarah

      It might. But it might not. She really needs to sort out her mental health issues first and then decide about your relationship. That is likely to take much longer than 30 days. By all means be her friend, but don’t use it as an insurance policy. Right now you are single, it’s her choice, so that’s how you should live your life. If and when she wants to come back, you can decide whether it’s still what you want too.

  22. Anonymous

    My ex broke up with me 4 months back after being in a relationship for 5 years. I am a very short tempered person and used to be very irritated in the last 6 months of our relationship. I always used to get out my frustration and anger on him. He warned me a lot of time that I should look into my behavior or else he won’t be able to continue this relationship. But i couldn’t and eventually he lost all his patience broke up with me. Now we are still friends and talk to each other like we used to in the initial days of our friendship. But we are living in different cities , so meeting him in person is not possible. I want him back and he also couple of times have said things like he also want to be together again. But whenever i tried to ask him to get back, he just turned me down. What should i do to get him back?

    1. Sarah

      Make some changes. You’re much luckier than many people in that you know the reason for the breakup. So do something to address the problem which, after all, you admit is yours. Unless you do, how can you expect your ex to come back to the same old, same old?

  23. Jay

    My ex and I dated for 1 year and 7 months (20 F & 20 M). We broke up just about a week ago. He broke up with me at work over text and I begged for him back over phone. He said no and we initiated no contact for 4 days before I broke it by saying that I missed him. I told him that I needed to change and that I was willing to change but he told me that change needs to be a mutual thing and that he wasn’t interested. We used to argue quite a lot ( ~ once a month) but in the weeks leading up to our breakup we argued every saturday for 3 weeks. He said that he just didn’t see it working anymore because we became really toxic + our chemistry wasn’t right (i don’t really know what he means, i think he just thinks we have different opinions on things which I thought was perfectly fine and healthy in a relationship).
    We agreed to remain friends (I did it initially because I thought I could show him progressive change which could eventually get him back) and now we text/message each other everyday on 3 different platforms.
    We work together once a week and he actually got in trouble for following me around to talk to me.

    I really don’t know what to do.
    Sometimes I’m happy because I’m single but sometimes I’m really sad because I really did love him and he really did love me.

    Can we still make it work?
    (We have broken up before over similar reasons but we were back together within a day. He has introduced me to his family and I’ve done the same if that changes anything! He also has started working fulltime in his industry while I’ve still got a year of uni left).

    1. Jay

      In the past, we talked about changing but could never really commit to it.
      But the severity and seriousness of this breakup has shockingly changed not only my attitude towards people but has also made me learn to be more independent and to be more confident.

      1. Sarah

        Becoming more independent and more confident are both positive changes. Keep it up!

    2. Sarah

      “…but he told me that change needs to be a mutual thing and that he wasn’t interested…”

      When a man says something like that to you, the last thing you should do is try to argue with him, because you are forcing him to double down on his position and defend it. Pull back and give him some space. If you have to see him once a week for work, keep the focus on work and off your relationship.

      When he is free (that is when he FEELS free) to choose, he may want to come back. But few people remain for life with the person they were with at 20. Look at expanding your life in other directions.

  24. Sarah

    I was dating a guy for 2 months and all going great. He was really keen and talking about a long term future with me. After that he had some bad family news and has to support them financially because of it. He needs a better job to do this and that might be in a different place. He’s so busy working all hours to make the money for his family it’s hard to see him.
    He tells me he really cares about me, there’s chemistry, but it’s right person wrong time and too early to make his plans around me. He asks if we can be friends because he is so busy he can’t be in a relationship, but he doesn’t want to lose me. He says he knows being just friends will be hard,that I have a massive effect on him, he fancies me, loves being with me, but can’t commit to more right now.
    How can I steer things back from just friends?

    1. Sarah

      The answer is that you can’t, not right now. You have to accept that for now his family is his priority, and where he feels his primary responsibility lies.

      This is not about how much he loves you, and whether or not he sees a long-term future with you. It’s about what he feels he has to do; what for him is the right thing to do. It’s about his self-respect.

      You will have to give him the time he needs, and there will be no guarantee that you will end up together. But it is more likely that you will, if you show maturity and understanding now. Have a look at this article, which may help you to understand your ex and his motivation better.

      Meanwhile don’t put your life on hold. Give him the space he needs, keep him as a friend and fill your life with new activities and new people.

  25. Jasmine

    Okay so, me and my ex started with a friendship knowing each other through a mutual friend, day by day the friendship grew and we ended up liking each other and decided to come into a relationship.
    But, as some months passed by due to some differences in our opinions we used to argue a lot and sometimes said things to each other although we never meant to say but ended up hurting each other. With one similar incident ,it lead to a huge misunderstanding and we broke up.according to me this relationship did not actually deserve such a short time and feel so that it was something which could actually be sorted out.hence i decided to talk to him and try to make things work again ,but now he says he needs time and now does not feel if he himself is ready for a relationship right now. Although we are back to being friends again. Thing is i miss him actually, i really do and infact he himself confessed to me that he misses me but wants time. I am though ready to give him the time he desires,but will he actually come back or should i just leave hopes?

    1. Sarah

      He says he wants time, so give him time. That might be hard, but you can’t make his mind up for him. He needs to decide for himself that it’s worth trying again. And putting pressure on him will have the opposite effect to the one you want.

  26. Anonymous

    My boyfriend broke up with me out of nowhere saying that he doesn’t think he will be able to handle relationship with his work even though I didn’t ask for anything. What can I do to get him back? It was a very fine relationship with no tension and arguments

    1. Sarah

      In what way was it ‘fine’? How much time did you spend together? How hard did your boyfriend try to make you happy? What is it about work that makes him feel unable to handle a relationship?

    2. Juh

      My boyfriend break up with me one week before his turn 30 years and 2 weeks before ( 1 year of relationship) . He told me his love me but we don’t have communication and he can’t see marry with me . He offered be my friend . He text me and call for to know how I am feeling.
      He invited me for dinner.
      I am really confuse .

      1. Sarah

        Yes, he does seem to be blowing hot and cold. So ask him what he means by being ‘friends’. And don’t be inveigled into giving him all the benefits of a girlfriend when he’s made it quite clear that you’re not. Also try reading this.

  27. Nana

    My ex girlfriend broke up with me 4 months ago. She asked me to be friends and I accepted. After 2 weeks she asked for space and we had an argument. She ignored me and was rude and cold for a month, so I did limited contact during that time. Slowly she started warming up again and contacting me. Now she texts me almost everyday and when we have to see each other she is sweet, laughing at my jokes, paying me attention… But then she’s doing weird things like: inviting me to the cinema but then saying she’s too busy. She says we should have dinner together someday but never sets a day, invites me home but then that day she has something urgent at her job so she cancels… Why is she acting hot and cold? It makes me so confused…

    1. Sarah

      It sounds as if being single hasn’t turned out to be quite the picnic she expected, so she’s keeping you on the back boiler as a pis aller.

  28. Neicy

    Me and my ex were best friends for 5 years. During those 5 years he chased me and wanted to date but i didn’t want to ruin our friendship. I finally ended up giving him a chance. We all argued a lot so it made sense that we argued a lot in the relationship but we always made up and we had so many fun times together. We moved in together and was together for 9 months! He told me he need a break 2 months ago. He said he need to think. I was hurt …. last month he ended up telling me there was a girl he wanted to sleep with but only for sex not because he liked her. He talked about us getting back together. A week later he became cold on me again. He started accusing me of having a secret boyfriend and he started getting mad and upset when i went out with friends. I have since blocked him and cut off communication. It hurts because i just want my best friend back… what should I do?

    1. Sarah

      You should decide what it is you really want.
      Do you want this man as a friend, or a lover?
      Your post suggests that, really, you only ever wanted him as a friend; but he wanted more. In the end, you gave in to his importunities; but you didn’t have the feelings to make such a relationship work. So now you want to go back to being friends; which was always the relationship you really wanted.
      But you have crossed a line; and now you can’t go back. He wants you as a girlfriend: you only want him as a friend.
      You need to tell him that this isn’t possible; that you have tried, but you just don’t have those feelings for him. And you must accept that your “friendship” is over. The truth is that it was never really a friendship: your “friend” always wanted more from you than you could give, and true friendship between you just isn’t possible.
      You have lost someone you cherished as a friend; he has lost someone he wanted as a lover.
      You must go you separate ways.

  29. Sandie

    Okay, so I have a situation. I met a guy when I first moved here a year ago, after two weeks of flirting and admitting we liked each other, we ended up dating for three months. Our schedules were hectic, but we made it work. After 3 months of sneaking around work to get affection in (our schedules made it really hard to schedule time together outside of work), he broke it off. I was crushed, as I was about to tell him I loved him. There was a small period of awkwardness, but we became friends. A month later, we had a moment in my apartment where we ended up heavily making out. Asked him if he has feelings for me, he said “buried deep inside somewhere”. A week later, he claimed his feelings just stopped, and we ended up fighting and didn’t talk for a couple days. We got over it, and when I left the place we both work, I asked him if he wanted to give things another shot. He said he wasn’t sure how he felt. After 3 weeks, he said he wanted to be friends. Flash forward to now, he’s one of my best friends. He’s there whenever I need him, especially in a situation where I was in hospital and while he tried to get out of work to come to me, couldn’t but did end up picking me up and taking me home and making sure I got into my apartment okay. He’s offered to help me study for my test, and we’re hanging out at a bar crawlching in a couple weeks with some friends, and I’m wondering if now that the friendship is really starting to cement, if we maybe have a glimmer of hope of getting back together again. I’m trying to be patient and just be a caring friend and let him move st his own pace, but my friends say I’m hanging on to nothing, but I just have this gut feeling it isn’t nothing.

    1. Sarah

      Your gut feeling could be right, but your friends, who presumably know him as well as you, seem convinced that’s it just wishful thinking. Have you asked them why they think this? You see, they might be trying to be tactful, and to let you down gently; so it’s possible they know more than they are letting on, which is why they are advising you to let go.

      Ask yourself a question: who is giving more in this relationship? It’s a mistake to give a man who is not yet committed to you significantly more than he is giving you, as this doesn’t increase his attraction. In fact, it often has the reverse effect. This man is indicating that he prefers you as a friend, so accept that, and consider yourself a single woman who is free to meet, flirt with and date other men. Don’t drop any plans you have made to see him either. Above all, don’t give him the idea that you’ll wait for him for as long as it suits him to have you around. That’s the surest way to find he’ll never make up his mind, let alone commit.

      He needs to feel uncertain, if he’s ever going to make a decision. But that decision may not be the one you want, and it’s possible that he’s already made it, which is what he’s become such a good friend. Have a look at this so that in future you can recognize some of the signs that a man isn’t really keen enough to commit. And look at this so you can start to recognize the signs that a man really does want you back.

      And finally try this for how to re-attract a man after a breakup.

  30. Anonymous

    My ex and I dated on and off for about a year,and we were friends for about a year before we dated. The first time that it didn’t work out was because there was miscommunication and I was the one to break it off. I realized afterwards how much I missed him so I started texting him again, and this led us to texting daily. He would still flirt with me, and I would sometimes flirt back. Throughout this period of a few months of being just friends, we became really really close, and so we were scared of getting back into a relationship without it ruining our friendship. We ended up getting back together because we realized we loved each other too much to be without the other. Fast forward four months, and our relationship had been going great. We were closer than ever and I was so happy, content, and in love with him. All of a sudden he started being distant over text and would say no to plans. I had a feeling in my gut that something was off, so I kept asking him about it and he always said nothing was wrong. A few days later, he broke it off over text and I was devastated. We didn’t talk again for about a week, and when we talked he said he regretted breaking up with me and was an idiot for it. He said it was the biggest mistake he made and that I was the best thing that ever happened to him. We talked about just calling our situation a break, since it hadn’t been too long since we split. A few hours later, he said he just wants to be friends because he is scared of hurting me again and that I deserve better. That was not what I wanted, but I agreed anyways because I thought it was pointless to argue if that’s what he really wanted. A few weeks later, we started texting again and hanging out. We sort of had a friends with benefits thing going on when we hung out, but it was something we were both comfortable with. We agreed to talk about our situation and figure something out. I told him I did want to work on us and eventually get back together, but that I wanted to take my time with him because I want to be sure it will work out. I also told him I didn’t want to rush into anything in case he started having doubts again. I told him that if it bothers him to keep hanging out without putting a label on anything, that I understand and that I don’t want to hold him back. He said he was fine with it. I told him I wasn’t remotely interested in anyone else and that I was just focused on him anyways and working on us. A few days later, he said he thinks it’d be best for us (me especially) if we just stayed friends and maintained our close friendship with no physical contact, but still talking/hanging out. He said he thinks that is best for me because he doesn’t want me to get hurt, and he doesn’t want us to invest our time into trying to make it work again just for it to end up ruining our friendship / not working out again. I asked him if he was really that scared of hurting me again, and he said he didn’t know but didn’t want to take the risk. He also said he doesn’t plan on being in another relationship anytime soon, and if sometime down the road things were able to work out between us, then we could have a conversation about it. We told each other we loved each other and in this way we were able to get closure. I am so happy to have him as a part of my life still and as a close friend, but the more I think about it, the more I miss our relationship. He truly is my best friend and I know I am his, too. Neither of us talk to much other people, and I know that right now he is not talking to any other girls. Part of me agrees with him about not wanting to get hurt and that this might be best for us. The other part of me wishes I would’ve told him that I am willing to take the risk because of how much I love him and want to be with him. It sounds silly, but I am truly at my happiest when I am with him. I realize that staying close friends with him might only hurt me worse, especially if/when he ever moves on from me. I just can’t let him go. Everyone is telling me that he is not worth my time, especially the way he broke up with me and treated me leading into the break-up. Being with him in our weird sort of friends with benefits who are still in love stage these past few weeks just made my feelings grow for him more. While being together, I realized that I wasn’t ready to jump back into things at the moment, but that I definitely didn’t want to let him go. It sounds selfish because in the moment, I agreed with him that being friends for now is best (even though I was willing to work on us and eventually get back together despite being hurt). Except now, I can’t help but think it’s the wrong decision. I don’t want to come across as needy and desperate by bringing it up again, and I definitely don’t want to push him away by doing so since we had a really nice talk about all of this. I could really use some advice, thanks!

    1. Sarah

      When your first breakup happened, which you say was your doing and due to miscommunication, did you try to resolve the problem with him first? Or did you just shut up shop without warning?

      I ask this because the impression I get from what you have written is that your boyfriend may have trust issues with you – you’ve broken things off once and he’s afraid something will make you do it again. Now both of you seem to be in a sort of limbo, in which neither of you really know what you want. In this sort of situation, it might help you both gain some perspective if you take a break from seeing each other (go here to find out more about that).

      However you can’t be platonic friends as long as you want him as a boyfriend, and for that reason alone, I suggest you stop any friends with benefits connection. When you both have a better idea of what you really want, you can talk about it calmly and discover whether or not your relationship has a future.

      1. Kelli

        My EX and I were on and off for a year. We began dating senior year of high school and it was amazing. I was his first love and his first everything, however he wasn’t mine as I was in a previous serious relationship two years prior. We had our arguments at times but we always resolved. I have always been more mature and more independent and was helping him become that way as well by finding a job, etc. since he has been sheltered most of his life. We both went go to college together and the first couple of months of college is rough. He became very harsh at times but claimed he still loved me. Since college began, we have been on and off. I couldn’t handle how he was treating me and I knew deep down it was because it didn’t want to be with me anymore. We have since cut everything off so I could focus on myself and so he can live his life without regrets. We might get back together in the future, but I’m nervous as I don’t want to lose him completely. He was my best friend and still is, just he doesn’t want to be tied down to only one girl forever. He broke up right before our anniversary and I haven’t been the same since. I don’t want to lose my best friend, but I know I can’t handle it if I saw him with any other girl. I want him to grow up and live life so we can get back together but I am scared how this also affected my major trust issues from my previous ex.

        1. Sarah

          You may have seen him as your best friend but first and foremost he was your boyfriend, and that’s what you still want from him. That means you can’t be ‘friends’ because, as you are honest enough to admit, you couldn’t handle it. You were his first love, but now he is moving on without you. That is hurtful but there is nothing you can do change it; nor is there any reason for it to cause any trust issues.

          From your timeline you must be about 20, and it is quite normal for people of 20 to have relationships which subsequently break up. You say your ex is immature; that is all the more reason why he should be growing and learning and becoming a mature adult. You should be doing the same, because the more you cling to him, the more determined he will be to avoid you.

  31. Zac

    I’m not sure how to go about this situation, so any advice would be helpful.

    My ex broke things off with me a couple months ago. We lived together in a small apartment and were engaged after having been together for 3.5 years. During the course of about a 6 month period prior to our breakup, my ex really began to hate this apartment and want something more. He also wanted to get married and have a big wedding. I was content with our living arrangement and in no rush to get married with a big wedding, so we clashed a little bit on that.

    Eventually he decided he had to end things and move out. Tiny background on us: we are both men; I am 25 and he is 21. He did not seem like he wanted to end things when he ended them, but said he felt like he had to do it in order to achieve his “life goals.”

    So, he moved into a much bigger apartment with a much higher rent and got a female roommate who is unemployed and can’t help pay bills. He makes less money than I do, and can’t quite afford this new place on his own.

    We’ve stayed in touch daily since the split. I’ve stayed over at his place multiple times. We’ve slept together and exchanged “I love yous” pretty often, though not very often. He’s continued to talk to me about his plans for job advancement, which was always a big thing for him when we were together. So it feels like nothing has changed on that front. He’s also complained to me about his roommate, who, two months later, remains unemployed with few prospects. She’s received job offers and turned them down. Apparently she was an offer in the works right now, but it’s somewhat physical work that I’m skeptical she can perform due to her numerous medical issues. He’s quite annoyed by his situation with her and says he wants to live alone, but he can’t just kick her to the curb.

    We hang out pretty much every chance we get. For the past week or so, our lives have revolves around an abandoned cat that he found near his new place. He took the cat in for a week, but was unable to keep the cat because it’s too much of a strain financially. I took the cat in instead, and he’s sort of like our cat.

    Over the course of the past couple of months, we discussed our relationship any why it ended. Basicslly, from his point of view, I did not seem as committed or ambitious about building a future together as he felt he was. I was, of course, committed to a future, but I am content to take things slowly over a long period of time. He, on the other hand, is much more restless.

    He has said many times that it is possible for us to get back together, sometime in the distant future. More recently he said that he is not interested in the commitment of a relationship right now, and he is very happy that we are such close friends. Although our friendship is strange, because it is so close — many of our associates and friends don’t understand why we’re NOT together, because, apart from being physically separate most of the time, and not being as physically intimate as we were previously, not a whole lot has changed. In fact, many of our co-workers (we work together) didn’t even realize, for a LONG TIME, that we split. Some of them still probably don’t know.

    The thing is, I am content with the way things are between us — for now. I do get sad from time to time, especially if I think about what the future could’ve been if only we’d made a real effort to fix things before they broke. A couple weeks ago, he actually suggested to me that, if he’d been more on board with my way of operating (taking things more slowly), maybe it would’ve worked out. But now, he says, he likes the way things are. He doesn’t want to be with anyone romantically. And he thinks it’s unlikely that we will ever be together that way again, but he won’t dismiss the possibility completely.

    Strangely, we are good friends with another couple, and we are all planning to go to the beach next week, eat at the beachside restaurant, and watch the sunset over the water. To me, that sounds like a very coupley thing to do, and he’s on board with it.

    I’m not sure what to do. I am content with the way things are at this moment, but ultimately I want more. I really do want a future with him, and I still love him. I know he still loves me too, because he has said he does.

    How should I go about playing this? Is there any hope at all, or is it really over forever?

    1. Sarah

      There are quite a lot of things in your post that strike me as odd.

      1. Your ex suddenly took against the apartment you shared, and in which I assume he had previously lived happily, and moved out into a bigger apartment – that he can’t actually afford.
      2. To help him afford it, he took in a female roommate – who is unemployed, and therefore no financial help at all, in fact an additional burden.
      3. He claims to be annoyed about the situation, despite it being entirely of his own making, but says “he can’t just kick her to the curb”.

      My question would be: What exactly is the actual nature of their relationship? Are you quite sure you know? Do you ever discuss her with him, other than to complain about her lack of any means of financial support? Because I think you should.

      He has effectively turned his back on a future with you, but he continues to dip in and out of what was once your relationship. Is this good enough for you? From what you write, I would say not. But you seem to be allowing him to control what happens between you. It’s time you took back some control yourself.

      The other thing to note is that you have been together for 3.5 years, and yet he is only 21. People change a lot between the ages of 17 and 21, and they continue to change as they advance through their twenties. Perhaps he has started to question whether or not he really is gay. Perhaps he has been doing so for some time. It would not be an unusual thing to happen, but maybe there are reasons why he feels unable to discuss it with you. Or perhaps he just wants some new experiences. Or perhaps he’s realized he’s too young to commit for life to one person yet.

      Think about this. There is something off-key here, and you need to get to the bottom of it.

      1. Zac

        He has been friends with her since high school. They’re like best friends, but the whole situation is straining their friendship. I don’t think it has anything to do with him questioning his sexuality.

        But yes. Something is weird about this, and yes, he does seem to set the terms of “dipping in and out.” How do I take a little more control of this?

        1. Sarah

          You have the advantage of knowing these two people, which I don’t; but although in that way your view is better, it may be hampered my your emotional involvement. You may well be right about them, but for your own sake don’t close your mind completely to the idea that you could be wrong. Relationships are not static; they change, and maybe their relationship has changed. It may be unlikely, but it’s possible.

      2. Zac

        He has been friends with this girl since high school. They are very good friends, although this situation seems to be straining their relationship.

        I know my ex pretty well. I am 100% positive that this has nothing to do with him questioning his sexuality. But I do see your point when you say I’m letting him have all the control by allowing the “dipping in and out” thing.

        And I agree there is something peculiar here. A big reason he left is because he was tired of this apartment. We lived here for 2.5 years, but he did really really want more space. I’m not sure why he chose to do it this abruptly. He claims to really think things through and be sure of his decisions, but that’s not the case. He didn’t even know his roommate was unemployed until they signed the lease papers.

        I’m not sure how to go about getting to the bottom of this, though. And I’m not sure how to take a measure of control back either. Any advice on that?

        1. Sarah

          There are really two courses of action you can take. One is very proactive: you can think carefully about the sort of relationship you really want, then tell your ex (without being accusatory, angry or bitter), saying that if that’s not what he wants too, then things between you are over. Of course you have to prepared to accept that he may indeed not want what you want.

          The second course of action is simply to stop waiting for him to make up his mind, stop putting him at the center of your life and make a plan for how you are going to change things. You don’t have to say anything to him, just stop being so available, and find other things to do with your time, and with other people. The thing is that you are both very young to be thinking about forever; your ex is only 21, barely on the brink of manhood. Perhaps if you withdraw at bit and give him more space, he might want to start seeing more of you again. But he might not. The impression you give of him is that of a very young man in the process of growing up. Like most people his age, he’s by turns excited and worried about the future, a bit muddled, still looking for his real identity and hoping to have some fun too. The best thing you can do is stop pinning you hopes and expectations exclusively on a future with him, and have some fun too. As he says, you may end up together. Just don’t expect it, or try to take it for granted.

  32. Emily


    I split with my boyfriend three weeks ago today (we were engaged). I am 60 and he is 59 and we have been together for two years. We’ve had a wonderful relationship and there was a spark the first time we met.

    However, for the last year his elderly parents (who are not together) have both been ill and there’s been lots of stress and hospital visits. Then his sister also became very ill. She did a lot for his parents so now it’s up to him to replace her too as well as run his own business and do his house up after tenants wrecked it. I felt that he was drifting away from me and asked if he was o.k. and he said that he was.

    I’ve always supported him in every way I can but we were down to only seeing each other on Saturday night and all day Sunday and it was really getting me down. He stopped telling me he loved me face to face but Valentine’s Cards and other cards said differently. The compliments stopped too, if I had my hair done nothing was said. I started to get very sad so the night that I dumped him I was at my limit. Although before I did the deed I did ask if he loved me and he said, yes of course, why what’s wrong. Since then he has changed his tune and has said that he doesn’t love me, that the spark has gone and he can only offer me friendship. The spark can be reignited I know that. Sounds to be like he is throwing his toys out the pram (he has done this before but he finished with me, a month later we got back together). again parent issues on his side.

    So friends we are at the moment. We have a dog that we both love and adore so we are co-parenting etc.

    I know that I can’t bare the thought of him not being in my life but I am going to date other men.

    Is there a chance he will come back one day? I realise it’s all very raw at the moment, we’ve had the odd chat via text but it’s breaking my heart knowing that he is no longer my partner. A good partner too, a real man who has everything I need in a partner except for the time being he can’t love me the way I want to be loved.

    1. Sarah

      No, for the time being he can’t love you the way you want to be loved – he’s got too much else on his plate.

      First of all his parents. You say he is 59, so his parents must be well into their eighties, possibly in their nineties. They need his help, and now so does his sister who until now has assumed the lion’s share of the responsibility for their welfare. That’s something he simply can’t shirk – at least, that’s clearly how he feels, and as the good man you say he is, surely you should applaud and admire his determination to be a good son?

      Then there are the other responsibilities you mention. You say you’ve always supported him in every way you can, but right now you’re not supporting him, you’re adding to his burdens. The truth is that there are times in every relationship when the support your partner needs is that of understanding and tolerance. Right now you aren’t his top priority, not because he doesn’t love you (for heaven’s sake, he asked you to marry him!); but because just now he has to put other things first. His parents are old, and the time they have left is necessarily limited. You don’t say whether or not he has a good relationship with them, but no doubt he wants to know he did the best he could for them, instead of feeling guilty for the rest of his life about all the things he should have done but didn’t. Perhaps he loves them and therefore it is natural to him to want to help them. Perhaps he finds them difficult and demanding, but is still bent on doing his duty as a son.

      You say he is a good man and that you have a great relationship. How easy do you think it would be to find another man like this?

      Support him. Accept that for the time being he can’t be with you as much as you’d like, and find something else to do with your time – preferably something that doesn’t include dating other men, unless you want to lose him completely. I suspect his attitude towards you right now springs from his disappointment because of your selfishness and lack of understanding.

      1. Emily

        Hi Sarah

        When I first read your message I was shocked. I never really looked at it like this. So what I did was copy and paste your reply and change the relevant words so they sounded like I actually wrote it. Sometimes it needs a complete outsider to see it from a different angle instead of a friend. I’m not sure if he will change his mind about “us” but I’ve just received this reply.

        “Thanks Emily

        That’s a lovely message I really do appreciate that” xx

        So now I wait to see what happens but I will certainly get back to you.

        1. Sarah

          I’m glad you found it helpful and I hope things work out for you. But bear in mind that the elderly parents will probably continue to be a burden; and there’s nothing he can do but bear it, for however long it takes. But your understanding will make all the difference to how he feels about you. Most probably he would love to spend more time with you, but he just can’t. So travel the long road with him, and be there loving and waiting at the end of it.

  33. Kate

    I’m not quite sure how to play my situation, any advice welcome. We’re in our mid-30s and were together a year and a half, crazy in love, made plans for the future. He lost his job and got depressed and that’s when the problems started (according to me – he thinks the job loss has nothing to do with anything and we’re just not compatible). So we had a confusing breakup with a weird limbo period. I wanted to work it out and he didn’t. But he would send me occasional random emo messages. About a month after we last saw each other I decided to do 30 days no contact. He didn’t reach out, but seemed really happy to hear from me when I did. Then he told me he’d met someone (apparently during those 30 days) who’s vegan and now he is too – he can be his true self without having to live up to anyone’s expectations. *eyeroll* But he wants me in his life and cares about me as a friend. I did react in a fairly needy manner, told him I loved him and was letting him go and that we’d see about exchanging items in the future. Haven’t contacted him in two weeks. Should I just not contact him at all and let him inevitably reach out to me when his rebound implodes? He’s an immature idiot but I still live him, unfortunately. Thanks!

    1. Sarah

      How did he lose his job? Was is his fault, or just bad luck?

      If it was his fault, then I’d question whether he’s really such a great catch as to justify your agonizing. You say you are in your 30s, does he (or did he) have anything resembling a career, or prospects?

      If it wasn’t his fault, then the effect on him is bound to be negative. Maybe he feels he’s let you down, or is not longer worthy of you. From what you say, that could be nearer the truth. You talk of expectations, and that the new woman apparently doesn’t have any, and therefore doesn’t make him feel bad. Well, she’s welcome to her lack of standards, and you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about that fact that you actually have some.

      What is he doing about finding another job? Anything? I can’t see him coming back to you unless and until he has one.

      To be brutally honest, he sounds a bit of a loser, and as you yourself describe him as an immature idiot, you’re obviously well aware of his shortcomings. Why don’t you use them to give yourself a short, sharp course of falling out of love with him? There are, as they say, plenty more fish in the sea, and lots of them are far more worth your time – and your love – than he is.

  34. Jessie

    I’m struggling a lot. I was in a long term relationship of three years and we broke things off this summer when on my birthday he told me he was seeing someone else- he was very emotionally abusive. Then I met my recent ex in our friend group in August immediately after my last break up and we started dating each other but I was just so scared he would turn into my last ex and hurt me- I wasn’t healed from my last relationship but I didn’t want to let my recent ex go so I jumped into things and we argued a lot. We ended things months later and it wasn’t until he walked away that I realized I had a great guy and wasn’t as appreciative in the relationship. We share the same friends so it’s been hard seeing him around and I miss him and want the second chance. We’ve hooked up a lot after the breakup but I had the hopes of it turning into something more and well he didn’t. He has his hesitations and he is stubborn and doesn’t like making the same mistakes twice. He also says he doesn’t think we will work because we share the same friends and our friend group gossips a lot and knows everything about everyone and I tell him I’ll keep things private between us but thats not enough for him. The last time I stayed at his place (about two weeks ago) the next morning we were joking about Vegas and eloping and then an hour later he tells me that we should just be friends its better that way in the long run its whats best and that last night was the last time. It hurts because I have so much regret and was never given a second chance to prove him wrong and now I’m ready for commitment. And it is tough sharing the same friend group and seeing him around or hearing that the guys all went out and not getting invited or my mind racing on about him finding someone else. And it sucks because all these fun events are happening in our lives and I just wish he was something more then just a “friend” I just don’t know what to do to make him realize he’s making a mistake when he doesn’t think he is. I feel like he is just holding onto all the negativities and isn’t seeing all our happy times. Talking to him about it and how I feel doesn’t work because he knows what I want- I just don’t know how to make him want it too. And I’ve tried moving on and finding other people but no one compares to this guy- he is “that guy” you know the one who you will always have feelings for because of the type of person they are which makes this all so much harder.

    1. Sarah

      Don’t keep telling him how you feel about him. And more than that, pull back a bit, and don’t chase after him when you are socializing in the same group. You say you hate being left out when he goes out with his friends; well, stop agonizing over it and go out with YOUR friends. Better still, organize some fun things with adrenaline, the kind of things guys enjoy, and invite your friends. Make it a casual group invitation, and don’t invite him specifically. Do this a few times, and see if he turns up with the other guys. If he does, keep it up and maybe he will change his mind about you.

      1. Jessie

        Yeah maybe with time he’ll realize. But so here is where I just got myself in a sticky situation. So while I’m holding onto him but slightly giving up trying to move on I matched with a new guy on bumble. Turns out by doing some stalking this guy went to high school, college and was in the same fraternity with my ex. The guy followed me on insta and they have a bunch of pictures together. The guy and I have been talking for a couple of days and I really want to try dating again but could this back fire on me or do you think it will make my ex jealous?

        The intent was to move on and try dating again, ironically, my luck, the guy I swiped right of all chances had to have this much connections with my ex. And I want to move on to be happy but I’m also scared to move on because I do still have all these feelings for my ex.

        1. Sarah

          This is clearly not the right guy to move on with. It needs to be someone outside your ex’s social circle.

  35. Maria

    Me and my ex boyfriend split up three weeks ago because he had to move to another city to find himself. Our relationship was so great before then, we still love each other but we had to let each other go because LDR might be too hard for us and one of us could get hurt.

    We are still in contact and want to meet up when he gets back. We have intentions of sleeping with each other.

    I’m trying to see other guys to entertain myself but deep inside I still love him very much. I’ve been work on myself like career and working out.

    He’s coming back in 3 months. How do I get him back when he returns to the city?

    1. Sarah

      Your post doesn’t make a lot of sense on any level. You say your boyfriend “had” to move to another city to “find himself”. You can be compelled to move or live somewhere for a job or a family or a legal situation, but you don’t “have” to go anywhere to “find yourself”. You do it, if you do it at all, from choice. And you wouldn’t normally go somewhere for a set amount of time to “find yourself”, because it’s such a nebulous concept and no-one could possibly put a time limit on it.

      Then you say you “had to” let each go because a LDR might be too hard, and you could get hurt. Well, that’s true, but anyone in a relationship they genuinely valued would think it was worth the risk. Are you sure that what you had wasn’t more of a friendship than a real relationship?

  36. anon

    My boyfriend ( now friend ) found out he was moving to another state back in December to pursue his music career. He left last month and are relationship ended at that. We decided to stay friends, which he asked for. We both still love each other and want a chance to be together in the future, but we also don’t know if there will ever be a potential for us to. He told me to let go of the situation so neither of us are hurt if/ when one of us decided to move on. Which I’m having a hard time coming by, since he said it was the wrong time. I don’t want anybody else, and of course I don’t expect him to wait for me or for him to wait on me but I’m still so confused about everything and scared he WILL end up moving on. We were together for 6 months and this doesn’t feel like the end, I still feel like there’s more to pursue with him. But I’m having a hard time with the whole friendship thing, I’m still so unsure of boundaries. He didn’t want to do a LD relationship just because he’s been in one before and it was hard, he told me it was time because I’m guessing he wanted to fully focus on his career and he wouldn’t have been able to give me the love I deserved. He told me we’d eventually see each other again, I just don’t know when and if we do I wouldn’t know if I should discuss the potential of us getting back together. He isn’t one to really confront things so I’d feel like I’d have to be the one to pursue, but he’s the one who left. So it shouldn’t be up to me.

    1. Sarah

      Yes, he’s the one who left, he’s the one who has said he doesn’t want to try a LDR, and he’s the one who’s said he’s not sure it will ever be possible to get back together. So you are absolutely right in thinking that if he changes his mind, he’s the one who’ll have to do something to win you back. He’s prepared to take a chance that you might have moved on by then because right now there are other things in his life that are more important to him than you. That’s hard to hear, of course, but let it be the spur to you moving on, building a new life for yourself and making new friends.

      You say you don’t want anybody else. So don’t feel you have to look for someone. There’s nothing wrong with being single, just with being negative. Go out and live your life on your own terms. As far as being friends with your ex goes, the rules are no sex, no emotional support and no waiting for him. Use this change as a positive one, so that if you ever do get back together, you can have a better relationship than before.

      1. Tmt

        I’m on 8 weeks of break up now that I really didn’t want and due to money we are both still living in the same house and sharing a bed. There’s still physical contact and kisses here and there and the very occasional I love you but he’s certain he doesn’t want a girlfriend anymore. I keep sitting around praying and waiting that he will change his mind eventually but it looks like I have to move out for us to be able to build that friendship again before trying anything more. But the part that kills me is thinking about if he was to have a one night stand or any connection with someone else. Would that mean the chance of reconciliation would be gone? I can’t imagine him sharing that bond we have for over 4 years and I don’t know how I’ll get through that one…. anyone else been in this position or know how to stop letting that hurt me so much?

        1. Sarah

          Make every effort to move out ASAP. You shouldn’t be sharing a house if you can avoid it, let alone a bed. Never mind what he might get up to; men can have sex without any emotional connection at all, so don’t waste your time worrying about that.

          Put some distance between you. Use it to learn to live without him, and build a life for yourself. He will either discover that he needs to get you back, or he won’t. Either way, you will both find out where you stand.

  37. Julie

    My boyfriend and I were in a relationship for a year before he found out he needs to leave the country and be in another country to take care of his parents as they are very sick. He had to leave everything and go, including his life here, career and me. I wanted to try a long distance relationship but he said he already has so many other things to take care of that he can’t deal with a relationship at this stage. He keeps coming back for work and when he is here he spends most of his time with me, but he just wants to be friends and doesn’t want to lose me in his life as I’m the closest person he has in his life. He is ok with me seeing other people and I know he is trying to see other people too, but why would he do so if he didn’t want a relationship. He sti helps me out with everything and is always there when I need him but he says he can’t commit coz he doesn’t know where he will finally live and his whole life has turned upside down.
    I really love him and don’t want to lose him and I understand it’s a big shift in his life but I don’t understand why he is seeing other people in the other country when he doesn’t want a relationship.
    Please help. Should I be friends with him, he stays he still loves me but can’t commit to the pressure of a relationship.

    1. Sarah

      His parents are now his priority. He has set you free to see other people, so he is not trying to have his cake and eat it. On the contrary, he is clearly trying to do his best in a difficult situation, which you cannot change.

      The most loving thing you can do is understand his predicament and accept that your relationship is over, at least for now. You are now a single woman, and it’s time you started living like one. It would probably be best not to see him for a while, until you are capable of keeping things between you within the bounds of friendship. There is no way you – or he – can know how long this will continue, or how it will eventually pan out. So don’t wait. Be a good friend to your ex, but get on with your life.

  38. Jay

    So basically, I dated my ex for about 11 months or so, and a year and a half if you include our past relationships its been about a year and a half. Both times I had broken up with him because of lying, But the last time he had truly changed for me, he had let me in to all of the aspects of his life that he had kept from me before, he told his mother about me, we talked every single day with all the free time we had. We had been so comfortable and trusting of each other that we had shared our passwords and everything. For this past about month or so we had both become so sad and childish, I would respond to his sadness, anger, or apathy with immediate sadness or anxiety. I would always try and make him baby me because I desired that loving and caring feeling. He had been already so stressed from school and I had only been stressing him out more. Now I realize my mistakes, I had loved him so unconditionally that I wouldn’t focus on myself, and my flaws would grow stronger. I had loved him the most out of any of my exes because he had promoted positive change and reinforced me to do better rather than accept the flaws I didn’t like about myself, but I had such a hard time doing this “change” because I was so depressed. Now that we’re broken up I have been so motivated to change and win him back, I changed all of my negative aspects while growing my positive ones, just improving myself. I looked up so many things on how to get my ex back and all of them told me to stop talking altogether for like a month, but I genuinely can’t bring myself to do that because I never had any other friends or family that know me like he does, and I need to prove to him that I’m trying to change for him. I’m just so terrified I’m driving him away because I can’t leave him alone, I’m very ashamed to say it but I’m so desperate to get him back. We talk about stuff we like and our days and such, but I can’t show affection without making him uncomfortable. What do I do?

    1. Sarah

      You chase, he backs away. The lesson from that is to stop chasing. He can’t move forward if there’s no space for him to step into.

      No man wants to “baby” a woman indefinitely. You say you like the feeling of caring it gives you; this suggests that you should perhaps learn to love yourself better, then you wouldn’t need someone else to do it for you. A good relationship needs two mature people who are able to give to each other, as well as receive. It also needs two people who are capable of standing alone, otherwise it leads to co-dependency.

      However you say you are learning to change, which is good. But then you make it clear that you are doing it for your boyfriend, not for yourself. You should only try to change because YOU want to improve something about yourself or in your life that you are not happy with. Changing yourself in order to get an ex back doesn’t work, as you are doing it just to get something from him. If YOU don’t really want to change, which presumably you don’t since you only tried it after the breakup, then you won’t have the right motivation. People who change to get an ex back usually relapse into their old ways if and when they succeed.

      You say it’s too hard to stop seeing your ex. Well, changing is hard too. REAL change, that is, change that you intend should become permanent. Lots of things in life are hard to do, but if they are the right things, then they are worth it. No contact sounds like the right course of action now. Use the time to make a better life for yourself. That’s the way to learn to love yourself more.

  39. Amber M

    My ex and I broke up about a month ago. We dated for about a year and a half. He was my first love, my first kiss, & boyfriend in 6th grade. We’ve known eachother since we are 9. We are 19 now. I love him so much and through the past year we’ve had ups and downs with the adjustment of me going away to school but him staying home for school. We’re not far only about 3 hours by car but we only saw each other about once a month. He came for valentines day but the day before said he lost feelings for me because we didn’t see each other as often as he wanted. I also had plans to transfer back home in the upcoming semesters but I did not have an exact date. Lots of other things came up during our break up but I still cannot get myself to accept thats its really over. We tried being friends but I could not do that because I still loved him so much and wanted more than that . We had talks of moving in together during the summer and at one point even getting married. Now my spring break is coming up and we typically go through cycle of break up for a few day then get back together but it’s been a month we have not been together and I have not spoken to him in about 3 weeks. I’m about to go home and I really want to meet with him and talk things out because we ended on a bad note and I want to ask to start over but I don’t want to seem pushy or like we are just starting the cycle over again. I truly want to start over. How do I say that and make him believe that I want to start over and forget the past and things will truly be different this time. I truly believe hes my soul mate and the person I’m meant to be with. It could be a case of him just being my first love but my heart wont let me let him go. I’ve tried but my heart won’t let go. How do I start my relationship with him over?

    1. Sarah

      He’s your first love, and he’ll always have a unique place in your heart, a memory you’ll treasure. But you are still very young, and to date he has been your only love. That’s a very small perspective from which to be choosing your life partner. There is a whole world out there full of people to meet and new experiences to enjoy. You should go out and find them; widen your knowledge of life, of other people, and most of all, of yourself.

      Your ex said he lost feelings for you when you stopped seeing each other so often. That’s a sign that his feelings weren’t really deep and lasting enough for a lifetime’s commitment. And as his age, that’s fine. He to has a lot of growing and learning to do too.

      That you are finding in hard to let go is not just understandable, it’s normal. But it’s not a sign that you are not meant to let him go, that he is therefore The One.

      Try to accept that, at your stage in life, things between you are bound to change. Keep in touch if that’s what you both want, but give each other the freedom to go your own ways. And USE that freedom to build a good life for yourself. Your ex will certainly do so, and you must too.

  40. Shiela

    Me and my ex was together for almost 7 years. We had lived together also for 4 years. During the last years of our relationship we had been fighting a lot and the relationship became toxic hence he broke up with me on November. Last January we met a couple of times and sorta got back together it was great, felt like a new relationship. But he suddenly ghost out and when i talked to him again. He wanted to just “be friends”. I just agreed and didnt asked why because im scared he disappears again.

    Right now, we talk everyday through texts and sometimes phone calls. We are “okay”. We keep it casual. We have fun talking to each other. But whenever i try to ask him out to meet. He doesnt want to. We havent met for 2 months now. But we talk every single day. I dont get it. I said im okay with benng friends for now. He keeps saying he’s not ready yet. Im scared that being “ready” means totally moving on from me.
    Is this even good? What should i do?
    We arent seeing anyone and he said that he wouldnt be seeing anyone either and that he does not want to be in a relationship yet. He tells me all his plans, as if he has everything planned out. And it doesnt include me.. do i even have a chance with this?

    In addition to that. When we talk i cant say things like i miss him. Or anything about us or any thing that includes feelings and emotions. Cos i know it scares him away. But i do want to tell him i miss him sometimes.
    I also feel that he is getting better, i feel that he is slowly forgiving me and himself for what happened to us. And that he talks to me more often now. Than before. And i think he slowly sees that im okay with us being frends. I also told him that for now okay, do his plans.. lets just not close our doors to the possibility of fixing us. But for now im ok with being frends. Im actually hoping that if we start to hang out, it will help him heal. And will make him want to get back. But he doesnt want to meet up with. I dont how to make him want to meet up with me. I ask him every week. Like i ask him to go watch a movie. Or go for a coffee. But he always says no. 🙁 im afraid that i wont see him for months..
    Also. When we speak thru text. Should i even open up sometimes? Like tell him i miss him. Or wud that lessen my chances of meeting up with him? I really want to see him and show tht i can really be a friend. And that it is safe to hang out with me.

    1. Sarah

      I’m sure that if you start to hang out as friends, it will help your ex to heal. And when he’s healed, he’ll move on to someone else.

      Read the article again, carefully. If you do that, you should see that you are making every mistake described in it, mistakes that will put you in the friend zone – permanently. And then read this article, which gives you a different perspective on the subject.

      If you want him back, stop thinking about being friends. And read this for some news ideas about how to get your ex back.

  41. Shiela

    Me and my ex was together for almost 7 years. We had lived together also for 4 years. During the last years of our relationship we had been fighting a lot and the relationship became toxic hence he broke up with me on November. Last January we met a couple of times and sorta got back together it was great, felt like a new relationship. But he suddenly ghost out and when i talked to him again. He wanted to just “be friends”. I just agreed and didnt asked why because im scared he disappears again.

    Right now, we talk everyday through texts and sometimes phone calls. We are “okay”. We keep it casual. We have fun talking to each other. But whenever i try to ask him out to meet. He doesnt want to. We havent met for 2 months now. But we talk every single day. I dont get it. I said im okay with benng friends for now. He keeps saying he’s not ready yet. Im scared that being “ready” means totally moving on from me.
    Is this even good? What should i do?
    We arent seeing anyone and he said that he wouldnt be seeing anyone either and that he does not want to be in a relationship yet. He tells me all his plans, as if he has everything planned out. And it doesnt include me.. do i even have a chance with this?

    1. Shiela

      In addition to that. When we talk i cant say things like i miss him. Or anything about us or any thing that includes feelings and emotions. Cos i know it scares him away. But i do want to tell him i miss him sometimes.
      I also feel that he is getting better, i feel that he is slowly forgiving me and himself for what happened to us. And that he talks to me more often now. Than before. And i think he slowly sees that im okay with us being frends. I also told him that for now okay, do his plans.. lets just not close our doors to the possibility of fixing us. But for now im ok with being frends. Im actually hoping that if we start to hang out, it will help him heal. And will make him want to get back. But he doesnt want to meet up with. I dont how to make him want to meet up with me. I ask him every week. Like i ask him to go watch a movie. Or go for a coffee. But he always says no. 🙁 im afraid that i wont see him for months..
      Also. When we speak thru text. Should i even open up sometimes? Like tell him i miss him. Or wud that lessen my chances of meeting up with him.

      1. Sarah

        Is it your choice to keep things casual? No, it’s his, isn’t it? And if his future plans don’t include you, why are you still pursuing him?

        Who initiates these conversations? I hope it’s him, and not you. But why are you still giving him support, when you’re no longer his girlfriend? Get some boundaries, and get him to respect them. Right now he’s getting your support, but giving nothing back. That’s not good enough.

        Don’t tell him you miss him. Stop responding to him every time he calls, go out and do other things, preferably interesting and exciting things. Then when you do reply, drop a few tidbits into the conversation, making it clear that you have a life of your own, and he is no longer a priority in it.

  42. Lulu

    My ex and I broke up about 5 weeks ago. We were together for a year and a half. He said I was still the most important person in his life but he lost feelings. We talked a lot since our break up and 3 weeks ago he said that he didn’t lose feelings and that he only said that so I can move on. We since then decided to be friends and I saw him the past 3 weeks atleast once a week. He messaged me today and we had a brief conversation because I am ignoring his last message. Am I wrong for doing this?? I really really want him back and since I never did NC I want to do will ignoring him for a few days be a good or bad thing?

    1. Sarah

      You don’t have to ignore him. Just stop chasing him. Every time you try to redefine your relationship, he feels it as pursuit. Retreat a little. Stop trying to compartmentalize your relationship into “just friends” or “boyfriend/girlfriend”; and give it a bit of mystery instead. Flirt. If he asks whether you’re friends, say you’re not sure. You’ll have to think about it. Smile. Lighten up. Have fun.

  43. Nicole

    my ex boyfriend and i are both 19 and we dated for 6 months. We were in love and whatever else well its been a week since we broke up due to fighting a lot as well as he felt like up to a certain extent he was babying me . So now we decided to be friends and now we are cook with each other. Yesterday was the first time hanging out since the breakup but we both had questions to ask. So once all of the questions that we had were answered we had fun. One big thing about my life is about three months ago i have lost who i am as well as he has started to loose who he is. We decided it would be best to break up but still remain friends. He still checks up on me we have a good conversation and I’m happy. I know as a fact he is not going around and hooking up with girls because he only does relationships as well as his family would kill him. and he has mono. We both still love each other and he even said so last night but i want to be back together with him. One thing that when we broke up it we are not going to go back out till he finds himself as well as it would probably be between 2-3 months till possibly get back together. I could ask him if we will get back together again till my face is blue but his response is idk what the future is and i have no idea but he even showed me his phone he kept all of our photos and everything and he is not talking to anyone else. How do i get him back???Help!!!

    1. Sarah

      Stop pushing him so hard. There is a balance in relationships, and when one person starts pushing forward, it upsets that balance, and so the other person retreats. That is what is happening here. Create some space between you; space that he will have to cross in order to be with you again.

      In a good relationship, the balance is roughly even, so that both parties are making an equal effort. But right now, in yours, you are making all the advances, and consequently your ex is retreating. It will take time to change it, but the first thing for you to do is pull back.

  44. Danni

    It’s been 4 months since the guy I dated for 2 yrs stopped dating. We’ve talked a lot over the last 3 weeks, and I know he’s still “working on himself”, so I’m torn about being friends with boundaries, or telling him to keep his distance until he’s ready.

    1. Sarah

      Keep the conversion going as long as he initiates it, and keep the boundaries there too. That means not being a shoulder to cry on as well as not being friends with benefits. If he’s expecting emotional support, remind him that you’re not his girlfriend any more; and that you’re giving him space to sort out his issues. Tell him you’ll be happy to talk more when he’s ready.

  45. Azyyy

    My ex and I dated for 4 months only. I know this is a very short oeriod of time but we felt a lot in these few days. We were doubg long distance and I am crazily in lice with him. He thinks ge can’t make me happy and after breaking up he told me there’s no spark in our relationship. Now we are friends and talk frequently. And it seems that he forgot we ever dated whereas it’s been only a month we broke up. He has too much to do so I console myself saying he is busy with his shit and doesn’t have the time to think about it. I really want him back. What can I do to get him back? We were very serious and also talked about getting married.

    1. Sarah

      I think you should come back down to earth. You say you had a short LDR, and then you talk about getting married. How did you meet? How much time have you actually spent together? At the beginning of a relationship, the woman is the one who controls how fast things move, or at least, she should be. And she should keep things moving a bit slower than the man would like. And she should take her time in deciding whether this man is really worth getting to know better. In other words, don’t jump in with both feet and allow yourself to be convinced you are madly in love with someone who lives thousands of miles away, and who you barely know.

  46. hannah

    Basically me and my boyfriend were together for a year and a half, he left me with no reason to why he wanted to break up. The next day I found out he was doing cocaine with his friends. He turned horrible and would argue with me for no reason, i did the no contact for a while before he text me and told me he would give me a chance when his head is sorted. We stopped talking for a while and now we have been talking none stop for 3 weeks and have met up loads of times, I messaged him to see where I stand with him and he said he wants to be friends for now. I love him so much and would do anything to get him back but I’ve also found out he’s still on drugs.

    1. Sarah

      HE will give YOU a chance when his head is sorted? Who does he think he is? The Emperor of Paradise?

      This man is BAD news. Cocaine isn’t a harmless indulgence, it’s a highly addictive and dangerous hard drug that ruins lives. You may have already searched the internet for information, but the most reliable is given by the people and organizations who deal with the results. These are not pretty.

      And as you say your ex “turned horrible” when he started taking it. I’m afraid he could turn much more horrible the longer he keeps taking it, and his intake will increase as he needs more of the drug to get the same effect. The brutal truth is that cocaine is more important to him than you are. Do you really want to waste any more of your time on such a man? You say you love him so much, but do you love HIM, the man he really is, or do you love the man you thought he was? I suspect it is the latter.

      Have courage and strength and move on. If he wants you, if he wants ANY woman worth having, he will have to get himself off the drugs. And only he can do that. Don’t waste any more of your life dreaming of a future with him, a future which would be more of a nightmare than a dream. You are worth better. So go out, find it and live it.

  47. Je

    My ex boyfriend broke up with me last July and now he’s in another country for 5months. He broke up with me because he felt that we were incompatible. We are still friends and we literally text each other every single day even though he’s in another country. Before he left, we went out together many times and we both agreed that things were getting better.
    I’ve been asking him whether we can get back together but he always tells me that he’s not sure and he needs more time to think about it. He was supposed to give me an answer a few months ago, then he told me he would tell me before he flew off then he said he would tell me once he touched down. Until now, he has yet to give me an answer and whenever I ask him about it, he would say he would tell me soon. He did tell me that he wants to be 100% sure and commited before he gets back together.
    Thing is, I can feel that he still has feelings for me. He would initiate texts, he would send me snapchats of his travels etc. But I don’t know what’s stopping him from wanting to try again.

    1. Sarah

      Stop waiting for this man and get on with your life. Maybe you will be together again, maybe not. But no woman should wait for a man who is persistently dithering over commitment. If he changes his mind, he knows where to find you. But until he does, you are not in a relationship, and you should live your life with that in mind.

  48. Grace

    My boyfriend broke up with me a few months ago and we stayed friends and still talk every day. The reason behind the breakup is that he doesn’t think we’re compatible. I’m still so in love with him and I feel like everytime I ask to get back together it pushes him away. How can I stay friends with him while also getting back with him in the future?

    1. Sarah

      Change your tune. Agree that being friends is best. Start having a great time by living your own life. And leave him to do the asking.

  49. Lulu

    Hey, my ex and I just broke up. He says that he wants to find himself and how he can be the best boyfriend for me. He says that he still cares a lot about me and wants to be friends and see me as much as he can. Everything I read about how to get an ex back is to give them space. But he doesn’t want space because he “wants to be friends and don’t want anybody else.” His words. What must I do? I really want him back

    1. Sarah

      Well, if he “just wants to be friends”, then that doesn’t include sex, or a shoulder to cry on. Is this OK with him?

      If you remain friends with him, then you haven’t got a real relationship, and you may not have one with this man again in the future; but you’re not moving on and making yourself ready for a new relationship with someone else either. Is this OK with you?

      First you have to understand what you really want, and so does he. Then you have to agree what kind of relationship yours is going to be, now that you have broken up. You can try to be “friends”. Or you can set him free to “find himself”, and tell him to call you in the future, when he’s ready. But you can’t guarantee that you’ll still want to see him, because you’re not going to put your life on hold, waiting for him.

      Just don’t settle for something you really don’t want. He has chosen, and now you must. too.

  50. Lee

    My ex and I broke up three years ago. Lately, because we have mutual friends, I have made an effort to make things friendly. It seemed to be working. I text and get friendly, and quick, responses, but he never initiates text. It actually seems to be driving him crazy that his friends really like me so much and want to be my friend. I see him out, he says hi (or high fives me which is a thing he used to do). Even NYE I was really super well put together and was having a great time and though I never said hi to him, he came over and pulled me on the dance floor at one point during the night. I know this directly reflects how much he used to love how carefree and fun and laughing I could be.

    But then the other night we were both out and he basically ignored me. I can’t tell if it was him ignoring me or he reading that I wasn’t really paying attention to him, but it felt like a reversal. I know he already assumes everything I do is to get him back, ego like that. Should I take the recent interaction, or lack thereof, as a bad sign? How do I move from me initiating to him chasing in a smooth way that doesn’t go all the way to confirming his thoughts that I want him back?

    1. Sarah

      As long as he thinks you want him back, he’s got you exactly where he doesn’t need to do anything more to keep you there. And you say it’s been 3 YEARS!! It’s high time you moved on. Firstly because it’s the only way to shake him out of his complacency, and secondly because you need to accept it’s over, for your own sake. Until you do, nothing is going to change.

  51. Veronica

    Me and boyfriend broke up a month ago, we only dated for 5 months which I know seems short but we spent a lot of time together and the relationship was kind of rushed since we started dating a week after we met. Basically, he broke up with me because he realized after 5 months of being together that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. He told me theres nothing wrong with me, I’m an amazing girlfriend, he cares about me a lot and if I needed him he would be there for me. We work together which is how we met and also makes it difficult to get over him, we say hi to each other at work but we never talk outside of work and I want to be friends with him I just don’t know how to go about it so I recently spoke to him in person about it and he said he wouldn’t mind being friends. I miss him and I want him back but is being friends the right way to get him back? I don’t want him to feel annoyed by me. I genuinely miss just talking and hanging out we had a great relationship and I think we could be great friends but I don’t want to be just friends either…

    1. Sarah

      It sounds as if he started off keen but the spark went out of it for him. There are several reasons that can happen. The first is that you stopped being the woman he knew, and became someone else; someone too dependent or demanding or needy. This often happens to women when they meet someone new, fall in love very quickly, and make him the center of their world. It’s a mistake to give more than you are getting out of a relationship, or to try to make things move too fast. Try this article to find out more about this.

      Another reason is that a man is simply not at a stage in his life where he is ready to commit. This article will tell you more about this. In both these cases you have a chance of getting him back. But the other reason is that he realized you simply aren’t the right woman for him; in which case you should perhaps think about looking for another job.

  52. Laura

    So my boyfriend (or I guess my ex) and I dated for 3 years and we’re best friends before that and I broke up with him 8 months ago because I didn’t feel like he really cared about me or really put much effort in sometimes. Honestly when in our relationship we didn’t have too many fights and could discuss things rationally and it was pretty steady, but as time went on I felt like he took me for granted and when he came home (he’s in the military) he didn’t make too much of an effort to really be with me as much as he could which really hurt, so I felt like I needed to break up with him because he didn’t care and I couldn’t stand to be treated that way by someone I loved, but since I loved him I didn’t know how else to break up with him but like rip the bandaid off which really hurt him and me. We’ve talked about getting back together for just about the past 8 months and we’re long distance because of the military so it makes it even tougher to have these conversations on the phone and stuff, but he came home and said he just couldn’t do a relationship right now and just wants to be friends. I asked if it’s because he’s afraid I will break up with him again and he said that’s part of it because it hurt so bad the first time (does that mean I ruined any chance we had because of the way we broke up?) We went to hang out a couple times since he’s on leave right now, and he paid for my meals and picked me up in his car and it felt like a date, and he has been flirting with me for the past 8 months. Unfortunately I did fall into the “begging or pleading” category a couple times because the way he was treating me really didn’t seem like he was being honest with himself and I just wanted to see if finally being together or talking about it in person would change anything. But he says he still really cares about me and wants to be there for me while I’m in school and wants to talk to me about his day and life and stuff. We talk like almost every night on either the phone, texting, or FaceTime, and honestly he’s still my best friend and the person I trust and love most in the world. He wants to continue to be friends and I don’t wanna lose him, but I also want more. I don’t know what I’d do if he found someone else though and I had to just deal with it. He said things might change in the future for him but for now he’s just not wanting a relationship, but he still wants to be close. I’m wondering how to even do the no contact rule if 1. I still wanna be friends and don’t wanna lose momentum, 2. If he assumes we’re just going to be friends and gets hurt that I’m not talking to him (would I need to tell him that I just can’t talk for a bit?), 3. If I am okay to talk to him how do I keep from being like bummed and noticeably hurt because he doesn’t want to be with me- Because I can deal with a lot of emotions but this is probably the worst I’ve ever felt in my life idk. When I picture my life in the future, he’s still the one for me, and I really just can’t throw in the towel. I’m just like needing advice because the whole military long distance thing I feel like just throws everything off. I guess I’m just worried that we’ll never get a chance to try again if we don’t hardly see each other face to face -but he might be home for Christmas in a month- just as a side note, and I need all the help I can get.

    1. Sarah

      You say you “needed to break up with him because he didn’t care and I couldn’t stand to be treated that way by someone I loved”; but did you ever try to talk to him about how he made you feel first?

      When you have problems in a relationship (and there are ALWAYS going to be problems); you need to be able to talk about them calmly, and without accusing your partner of being the sole cause. Instead of accusing him of doing something deliberately to hurt you, or using the words “you always” or “you never”; try telling him how whatever he did made you feel. Don’t accuse of being a bad person, which he probably isn’t. Just make him understand that what he did was painful to you, although you’re sure he didn’t mean to hurt you. Give him a chance to put things right, before you do anything as drastic as telling him “it’s over”. If you don’t, he’s quite entitled to lose faith in you; because you’ve shown HIM a complete lack of trust.

      Always give people the chance to put things right. If you don’t, it just like condemning them without a trial. And we live in a society where everyone is innocent, until they are PROVED guilty. Give him the benefit of the doubt. He deserves no less.

      1. Laura

        We had already talked about that I didn’t appriciate him not putting much effort into our relationship, and it made me feel like I didn’t matter to him, but it didn’t get much better after that. He would be sweeter and try for a little bit but it would keep happening to where I wasn’t a priority in his life even though he was one in mine. We had already discussed it several times, and he felt bad every time but it never changed

  53. Brian

    I just recently was broken up with by my gf because she said she’s “lost that same feeling” we tried again a day later to see if something could change but then she kept telling me she was trying and trying but it’s hard for her to get the same feeling for me again so I told her we should break up and since then she’s wanted to remain friends as do I because it’s one of the hardest things to just shut her out. But I didn’t break up with her because I wanted to. It was only because her weird behavior and it seemed she was leading on to breaking up with me again so I decided to end it. My heart is still broken and I can’t go a day without her popping in my mind every second. Keep in mind we dated for over a year before any of this. We were so in love and nothing was wrong with us until the one day she told me she just lost that “same feeling” so we’ve been chit chatting for the past three days but nothing to much. She claims that she can’t talk to anyone else and she misses talking to me but at the same time she likes to post things sometimes asking if someone can hang out or get coffee. I’m not sure if this is her way of feeling lonely and knowing I’ll see the posts or if this is her trying to make more friends because she doesn’t have many. I’m her real best friend and I know her best so she will talk to me when she needs me. And I don’t want to let her go. I want her back but there’s a side to her that I feel like she still has lost feelings for a dating relationship. And when we dated we were so sure of getting married and having kids and making our lives together. We were a power couple. So it was shocking she said she’s lost those feelings. I want her back but I’m not sure when or how to get her back. It’s been almost a week of this chaos of being “friends” and to be honest it sucks. I miss the old intimacy and I don’t know what she wants. She always claims she can’t give me a reason for why she doesn’t feel the same because she supposedly doesn’t know why. I want her back and I don’t want to be friend zoned and I know she still misses me when I don’t text her for a long while. But I just don’t want to look dumb asking her back. Anything I can get help with?

    1. Sarah

      It sounds as if you’ve got yourself into a rut in which your ex is no longer seeing you as a man she completely respects. The clue is where you say she has “lost feelings for a dating relationship”. This usually happens when you no longer show up as completely masculine in the relationship; and the reason this happens is because you have become too dependent on her approval. It’s all to do the vibes you are projecting, and right now it sounds as if you are not projecting very strong masculine vibes, which means the sexual energy and tension between you is being lost. That’s most probably why she no longer wants to date you.

      To try to explain what I mean, think of the difference between James Bond and a typical character portrayed by Woody Allen. Of course these are extremes, but if you can appreciate the difference between them (one is masculine, confident and competent, the other is wimpy, hesitant and often apologetic); then you should begin to see what I mean. Sexual tension is the result of sexual polarity, the attraction between masculine and feminine. One guy who is very good at explaining this is Scot McKay; google him and try listening to a few of his podcasts.

  54. Laura

    My ex and I have been dating on and off for 4 years. We dated formally for around almost 2 years and we broke up because he freaked out of being locked down on our relationship forever and not having any of the typical experiences of any single guy in his 20s. Just a little bit after that he started contacting me again Feeling nostalgic and it lead to us being friends with benefits for a year. Even though he always said that he loved me but that he couldn’t give me the relationship I wanted, I still held down to hope I guess that because deep down I kind of believed him when he said he loved me even though the situation wasn’t ideal showing that. After realizing that I was wasting my time I decided to cut it for real and I was doing fine moving on when he contacts me again around a month and a have later trying to give it a real second try to our relationship. After a little while I aceptes and everything seems good at first even though in my mind I tended to overthinking because of past experiences while being FWB but he was being good. Then one day this girl that friend zoned him when he was in high school starts to email him again. She only emails him when she’s feeling down about herself because she knows he will always respond and make her feel better. So now as his gf I confront him and I tell him what I think about this girl and that I thought she was being disrespectful to me and I wasn’t going to take that so he needed to set the boundaries or cut her off. He argues with me that she has been a part of his life since they were basically kids and he just didn’t wanna cut that because in some way they were friends, but I gave him a big speech about me leaving him otherwise and not very convinced he acceded. But I couldn’t believe him because I know him well. So I went and check his email and noticed that he had text this girl saying that I was jealous and that they had to start writing in secret so there wouldn’t be trouble. I obviously snapped out of it and we had a huge fight and threw all my hate at him and the next day of course he assumed that we were broken up until I finally asked him if he really wanted to break up. I wanted to give one thing a last chance out of fear to lose him and I think I just ended up looking weak because he even had to say to me that we were creating a toxic circle and that he wouldn’t have forgiven me if he was in my place and that he saw I was growing to hate him and he just didn’t want me to hate him any more than I already did to his eyes. So of course, we decided to break up. The thing is that independently of how he was a bf he is one of the most important people in my life and the best friend I have ever had and I had/have this feeling that he’s the person that belongs with me no matter what and I’ve known he thinks this too because I had never said so until he said so one day and has continue to think so. I know that he doesn’t have real feelings for this girl but I feel like he just gets stuck in the past and lives of illusions because he can’t handle reality. He told me he wanted to be a better person for me and that deep down in his heart he believed we would end gl together and I know for sure that he believes this. The thing is that I don’t know if he really loves me that much or if he just wants to love me because this is the story he wants. We broke up just a couple of days ago, but I had a huge personal crisis today and I needed a place to crash. Even though I didn’t ask him he said that I could stay at his house whenever I couldn’t stay at this other places which is about 2 to 3 days in the week. I feel very vulnerable and uncomfortable whenever I’m in his house and I’m not as his girlfriend so I don’t know how to behave in a way that he would want me back but also thinks of me as someone who’s not a sure thing. It is needles to say that I want him back although I am sure that I don’t want it to be now because I won’t want what will come back. But is there any way to keep him in love with me and making him want to change for real? Sorry about the length, I just felt like it needed detailed explanation because the situation is so complex to me

    1. Sarah

      This sounds like a situation that is calling for a bit of no contact. This man is playing you around and he knows it, you know it and and he knows you know it. After all, he has told you himself that you shouldn’t have forgiven him. You set a standard, and then you failed to live up to it. That was a mistake.

      Maybe he genuinely doesn’t know what his feelings are, either towards you or towards this other girl his is seeing. But only he can decide, and he won’t as long he doesn’t have to. So stop seeing him. If he really does love you, then your absence will bring it home to him. But if he finds he doesn’t miss you, then I’m afraid you’ll have to accept it. You can’t force love. I understand that right now you’re convinced he’s the one, but that’s because you are too afraid of losing him to see things clearly. You need to try to conquer that fear, hard as it is; because that is actually the biggest barrier to your being happy together.

  55. Kylie

    Me and my Ex broke up a week ago, we didn’t speak until he txt me outta the blue saying sorry how things turned out and am better of without him. We were texting for a while, it was a fun flirty way. It reminded me of how we used to be..but didn’t tell him that, but he said he had enjoyed talking to me. I want to leave it for a bit because I want him to miss me. Is this the right way to go?

    1. Sarah

      You don’t say whether or not the breakup was a mutual thing. Nor is it clear whether you genuinely want your boyfriend back. If you do, then I don’t think completely ignoring him is the way to go. Keep up with the texts, but not every day. And it is probably best no to see each other again yet.

      1. Kylie

        I really do want us to get back together…it was mutual as we felt the relationship was starting to fall apart. We started getting bored, done by the sane things and sane routine. We have agreed to not speak for a week to give us both a bit of space, and then meet us for tea. However, with his social media posts I think he might of started seeing someone else, or I don’t know if am reading to much into things. I have realised how much I miss him and hope he feels the same xx

  56. Gabriella

    My newly ex (again) and I have been dating on and off for 4 years. I know; a lot of people ask “If you keep breaking up then why do you want to get back together?” The truth is, when we first started dating we were extremely young, I was a freshman in high school and he was a sophomore, and we struggled. Neither one of us had a good example of what a healthy, successful relationship looked like but we both wanted it. Now I am a freshman in college and he’s a sophomore. Every time we’ve broken up we’ve given each other space, told each other it’d be best to move on (although I never really wanted to and I doubt he did) and try to be happy with someone else. I can’t speak for him, but I have given some guys a chance between our breakups and so far no one has compared to him. The thing is, I know we’re young, people seem to think that because we’re young we shouldn’t care about where we end up in relation to each other, “there are lots of fish in the sea.” The reason we break up every time is because there’s something that we need to work on, individually. We’ve realized that in the past we probably have been to immature to know what a good relationship is and to understand that it takes effort. We also don’t seem to know everything we want in a relationship, and we always realize more after we’re already going through the process of breaking up. As I stated before, we never had good examples to look up to. Honestly, it feels like our relationships are always trial and error, and when it doesn’t work out, he says he wants me to try to find someone else to be happy with. I don’t want to lose him though. Before we got back together this last time, we decided it’s best to just try to be friends. It was amazing. I still had feelings for him deep down, I think, but I really thought we were just friends, and one day he told me he wanted to try again. I knew I wasn’t ready and I eventually gave in to him pressuring me to try to make it work with him again. It lasted for another year and a couple months before we started having problems again. Small problems, but problems nonetheless. We were so happy and I remember just a few weeks ago I asked him, “When do you think our ‘honeymoon phase’ will end?” because our relationship felt just as new as it had in the beginning. Our communication was so much better and we talked about a lot of problems instead of just not discussing them. I will say, a huge problem I had was threatening to break up with him every time we did get in a fight; I never actually wanted to break up, but he’s so emotionally closed off sometimes, because he doesn’t want to seem weak, that I just wanted to get a reaction out of him; I wanted him to say he cared. And that stems from me being insecure about myself and our relationship. Anyways, I stopped doing that because he said if I threatened him anymore, he would leave, and righty so. It was wrong for me to do that and I knew it. A few weeks ago we got in a fight about a mistake he made three years ago that was still hurting me. We almost broke up, but managed to work past it and I finally forgave him completely. He said he wanted to keep trying but he didn’t know if it’d work. Things went back to being okay I guess. We both felt kind of down since that fight, and it opened the door for more of my insecurities to sneak in which caused a couple fights this past week. We were fighting because I was uncomfortable with one of his close girl friends, who I know deep down isn’t a threat, but I’ve always felt like she was a better version of me since we were so similar in some aspects (we were good friends at one point and just grew apart when she left for college). He went to her birthday party two days ago and decided later that evening that he didn’t want to fight anymoreL although I didn’t want to either, I know he was afraid that we’d never work through this problem and it would keep turning up like the issue from three years ago. I went over to his house to talk about what happened, and we had a calm, and slightly emotional (from both sides) conversation. We decided we didn’t want to lose each other completely and we want to try to be close friends again like before. He’s also my best friend because I know I can count on him. Even though I went through many friends in high school, he was the one person who stuck with me no matter what, regardless of whether we were together or not. He said I won’t lose him as a friend, but we kind of dabbled with the idea of being friends with benefits. I know, I know, some people might say that means he doesn’t care about me, and maybe he doesn’t anymore. I do know that out of our four years, he has never pressured me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with, and we didn’t have sex until this past year. After every other break up he has always turned down my offer of messing around even though we aren’t together. Does this mean anything? I know he loves sex, like any other guy, but I also want him too, so it isn’t one sided. I also know he isn’t the kind of guy to do something so emotionally involving and so intimate if there was no hope. He’s said we should move on but I’ve known him long enough to know that sex is a huge deal to him. He may talk to other girls when we’re apart but he isn’t the kind of guy to f*** someone if it isn’t going anywhere. He’s an amazing guy, which is why I don’t want to lose him. I know we’re still young and we have a lot to learn about relationships and what it takes to have a successful, committed relationship, but I know deep down we can make it work later. Since we are trying to be friends, what should I do to maintain his attentions so he doesn’t stray to another girl? Last time we were “friends” after our breakup we still remained exclusive up until we got back together (and definitely when we were together), and I want to do that again? What should I do? Is it a bad idea to sleep with him even though we aren’t together? He said that if we did decide to still have sex, it still means something, and coming from him that’s huge. After every break up he’s always reluctant to admit that he still has feelings for me; when we were discussing what had happened, later that evening I was straddling him (after we talked about being FWB, although we didn’t hook up that evening) and we were just staring at each other, just looking into each others eyes for a long moment when all of a sudden he just said “I love you.” I was so shocked. He was so upset that he said that, and I know it was genuine because I know him and I’m pretty pessimistic about things, so I would’ve doubted it if there was a chance it was him playing me. Does this mean something? He always says we should try to move on and we never are successful. How do I make sure he remembers that he loves me, and that we make each other happy? I want us to continue to improve ourselves, and just be happy together, and remember what it’s like when we’re carefree and not worried about everyone else’s expectations for relationships. I want us to go back to being us and not being worried about following society’s standards for what a relationship is, because that’s when we were the most successful. We were happy. Help please!!

    I’m so sorry for the essay, but I just need unbiased advice!

    1. Sarah

      Wow, yes, you HAVE said a lot, but I will take the things that stand out to me. As you acknowledge, you are still very young, and as you say you don’t have good role models for relationships, I assume you both come from fractured families. This makes me wonder whether what has evidently been an intense relationship for such young people might perhaps have been both of you seeking a substitute family in each other. This would be perfectly natural in the circumstances, but when you add sex to the mixture it makes what is already an emotionally loaded relationship explosive.

      You say you have broken up and reconciled several times already. One thing that will help you greatly in this and any future relationship is to learn how to handle conflict. Conflict with someone you love threatens your sense of security. It is frightening, and when someone feels threatened they often react aggressively. One example of this is you threatening to break up with your boyfriend every time you get into a fight. What you should do is try to keep calm and listen to his point of view (of course he should do the same to you). It sounds easy in theory, but when you are emotionally aroused it is difficult even to remember it, let alone actually do it.

      If you have a good relationship, you should feel able to trust your partner. To trust that they mean well, and have your best interests at heart. If you don’t feel able to trust in your partner’s good intentions, you should question whether they are the right person for you. Trusting your partner is what will give you the strength and courage to believe that they are not fighting you out of bad intent; and that if you listen, really listen to them, you’ll come to understand the reason you are fighting each other. And once you understand, you can seek a solution.

      This is a skill that tends to come with maturity. But in view of your youth, your post showed an impressive degree maturity and self-knowledge. However, I don’t think that being friends with benefits is a good idea, and I think at heart you realize this yourself. FOB is something that only people with no emotional attachment can do successfully.

      Don’t be too intent on believing this relationship could never be superseded. There’s no reason to break up if you can be happy together, but life still has many lessons to teach you both, and you may find that your time together will reach its natural end in due course. Either way, I hope you will find happiness. Good luck!

  57. annoymous

    I was in a relationship of 5 years , suddenly my ex started falling out of love .I tried to become friends with him but some how always fails , some how I feel I am falling in friends with benefit zone .
    from past 9 10 months I think he is dating someone may be but he still meet me beause that girl is not in the same town i guess .
    I want him back but somehow I always fails to be friends with him . I have been trying this from so many months . . .but watching him talking to his new girlfriend I am never comfortable in , I end up fighting and he blocks me from everywhere .

    1. Sarah

      You think he is dating someone else? Or you know he is, but you don’t want to admit it?

      It sounds to me as if you know he has found someone else. If that’s true, then the last thing you should be doing is trying to be his friend. You should be practicing no contact, and building a new life for yourself. Now that that he is no longer your boyfriend, you should not be giving him the benefits of a girlfriend.

  58. annonymous

    I broke up with my ex bcos of his flirting thing with any gal he meet..I still love him we know each others flaws n weakness. How can I win him back I really love him am failing to get happiness in my life

    1. Sarah

      If you are failing to get any happiness in your life, then you need to concentrate on changing that. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make you happy. Work on discovering why you are so unhappy, and then you can do something about it – yourself. When you have mastered this, your boyfriend – and other men too – will see you quite differently.

  59. GiGi

    So me (20) and my ex (22) we’re in a ldr. He broke up because the distance was making him lonely and because it wasn’t going to change for at least another year while we both finish school. He’s told me multiple times that he didn’t know if it was the right decision and that he still cares for me but he felt like he had to do something. Today was the first day I’ve gone a full 24hrs without talking to him even though it’s nearly been a month, (we were really close before dating and we just kind of started talking like that when things split) and I’m taking it kind of hard. It seems like he’s both dropping hints that he wants me back one day and pushing me away. Help!?

    1. Sarah

      Take a break and stop talking to him. You can both reconsider when – and – if you are ever living in the same town. But don’t allow him to string you along like this.

  60. Leah

    Me and my ex have been broken up for 3 weeks now and we just started back communicating and every time we’re together we always end up having sex.. I should stop having sex with him huh ?

    1. Sarah

      Yes, unless you want to become a friend with benefits. If you find it hard to refuse, avoid being alone with him. Try to see him in social situations where there are other people around.

      1. Leah

        How often should we hangout?

        1. Sarah

          Not too often if you have broken up recently – probably not more than once every couple of weeks. Seeing him more often will make him start to feel that not much has changed, and might look as if you are deliberately pursuing him.

  61. Jackie

    My ex and I are good friends, but I’ve always hoped we could get back together. But now he’s started dating someone else, and I’m devastated. I was trying to play it cool, so that he felt comfortable with me. We were getting on so well, talking about everything in a way we never did before. I really thought we were on the verge of getting back together. Why has he done this? I don’t understand.

    1. Sarah

      You seem to have let him into the genuine JBF zone. This is fatal. Stop listening to his problems and start flirting with him instead.

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