Ask a Guy: Getting Back Together With an Ex…Is It EVER a Good Idea? post image

Ask a Guy: Getting Back Together With an Ex…Is It EVER a Good Idea?


I’ll try to make this short. Last spring, I met a guy through work and we hit it off. We have a lot in common…in fact, a lot of people say that we’re the exact same person! I knew that he had a huge crush on me, but I was dating someone else at the time.

Anyway, we started dating at the end of last summer. Things went well for a few months. He was calling all the time, sending flowers, sending random “thinking about you emails”-he even told me that he really saw us getting married at some point! He goes to school a few hours from where I live, so it was a long-distance relationship.

Around November, things changed. He became more distant, more withdrawn, stressed about school, etc. Right around Christmas time, I suggested taking a break to evaluate things. He didn’t really want it, but I couldn’t deal with how things were going. Needless to say, I found out that he started dating someone else during our break. I was pretty upset and told him I had no desire to be friends with him or have him in my life anymore.

See the rest of this question (and our Guy’s response) after the jump!

Since then, he’s constantly tried to “win me over.” Calling to say hello, texting, emails, etc. I finally had to tell him that I really didn’t think I could ever trust him again, so it would be hard to be friends.

To throw another issue into the mix, at one point, he wanted to come back to where I work. I told him I didn’t think it would be a good idea. He loves this company and wants to eventually work for them full-time. A few people have suggested to me that he only dated me to “get his foot in the door.”

He ended up getting another job somewhere else. Since then, he has sent me an email, asking to be friends again because he misses having me in his life. After thinking about it for a couple of weeks, I called him and we had a nice conversation. He told me that he was single again, and was “fishing” to see if I’m currently dating anyone. I didn’t give him a straightforward answer, and I also didn’t give him any reaction when he told me he was single. He called me again just to say hi and see how things were going in my life.

I truly miss him, because I feel like we have a strong connection. I feel like he might be trying to date me again (eventually) and I just don’t know if that’s a good road to go down. I’ve been on a few dates since our break up, but haven’t found anyone else that interests me. Any thoughts you have would be awesome.

RESPONSE:

When you get right down to it, long distance relationships are typically a death sentence for a relationship. Even a really good relationship.

I’m not saying that there aren’t people who are able to keep a long distance relationship because there definitely are. But it is rare that it works – most of the time it follows the pattern you described… Couple really loves each other, they get along great then after a few months (usually 3-6 range) one person becomes colder or distant, etc. etc. etc.

So I’m not surprised that the long distance relationship ended. It sounds like you guys are close together again and, from what you’ve told me, yes, he is definitely interested in you. Guys don’t usually look at it as wanting to get back into a relationship with a girl. Guys usually look at it as wanting to see the girl again… then it just feels so comfortable and natural to be with her… and then before you know it they’re together again.

Ultimately, this is something you should clarify to yourself – can you completely forgive him, yourself, and the relationship itself for how it ended? If you can’t, then DO NOT get back together with him. If you can and you are living close to each other again, it might work out well. Meeting someone who you really, truly click with is rare and I think revisiting it isn’t a bad idea.

Let me expand on this… when you think of how everything went down, are you angry? Are you scared? Are you sad? Or are you OK with it, truly OK with it and you can just chalk it up to it being the situation and everyone did the best they could? Be honest with yourself – I don’t necessarily expect that you don’t have some lingering bad feelings, but my feeling is that you should really, truly become at peace with any negative lingering thoughts or feelings regarding your previous relationship before you start again (if you decide to).

As for other people saying stuff about him using you to get his “foot in the door” at the company… that just sounds ridiculous, like one of those things somebody just says and it’s complete nonsense. You don’t need people getting in your ear like that – listen to your own instinct and if you can forgive, I don’t think it would hurt to try. But don’t go in with expectations – just flow with it and feel if it is working for you or not. If it feels right for you, great. If not, no problem – at least you won’t have to wonder.

I would say to never underestimate the feeling you have in your gut. One thing that I often say to Sabrina about dating advice in general is that I believe that people generally already know the answer (or what they’re going to do). So usually most people don’t need suggestions about what to do, they need to talk it out with an outside source so they can feel alright with what they already decided. And I bet you’re in that position where you’ve made up your mind (or maybe your heart has made up its mind), but you’re just not quite totally aligned with what you’re feeling. You don’t know if it’s the “right thing” to do. I say go with your gut… yeah, it’s vague advice in the general sense, but I think this is something that would resonate and make sense to you with this situation.

Here’s a closing thought… Generally speaking, people say that if a relationship fails once it’s bound to fail.

Is it true? In this case and cases like this, I wouldn’t say so. I don’t think the relationship itself failed… I think circumstances failed the relationship.

Think about it… we THINK long distance relationships will work because we have all of this great technology to keep us “connected”. We have phones, webcams, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. But nothing… NOTHING compares to being with that person, in person, day to day. Having them in your life.

Most relationships cannot handle a huge distance in this day and age. Large day to day elements are lost when it becomes a long distance relationship that are important. They’re subtle and fleeting and seemingly irrelevant, but they are important in the big picture.

So if a relationship fails in the context of a long distance relationship… well, we are human. Again, I am not saying that long distance relationships are doomed to failure because I’ve seen people make a strong connection and their lifestyles were set up in a way that supported the long-distance relationship, but generally speaking it’s a tougher bet.

- eric charles

{ 15 comments… add one }

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Daniela

If I had read this before, I would have never gotten into a long distance relationship lol
too much suffering and it’s a lot to go through, just not healthy… Makes you go kind of nuts. So I would say from my experience and after being into a really long distance relationship for almost 2 years: women do not get involved into that, really, you don’t need to put up with that kind of situation even if you think he’s the love of your life.

Reply November 27, 2012, 6:55 pm

anon

my partner of 11years left me 7 wks ago. said he wasnt happy and didnt love me any more. we have 2small kids an i have 2 c him evry day. recently i found out hes seeing someone else. i stil love him and want him back regardless of what hes done. does any1 think i stand a chance of getting him back any time soon.

Reply September 7, 2012, 6:56 am

Maryam

Hi everybody,
I have a situation like this, except that I asked my ex to give us another chance. (I was the one who want to put an end to our relationship).
when I asked him to give another chance(I mean 3 months ago) I completely forgiven him, but the thing is I am not sure about him, I think he doesn’t forgive me completely.we have a long distance relationship. we haven’t seen each other for 3 months. the first two months was great but there has been 3 weeks that he has been cold.
we had talked about this situation and he has promised me to work hard on it but I haven’t seen anything.
I am goring to see him next week.
I am feeling awful, but I am trying to overcome it, I deserve to be loved and if I feel that he doesn’t deserve my love, I would break up with him again.
do you think I am on right track?

Reply August 29, 2012, 1:38 am

kerry

my situation is a little different. No long distance, but we have been broke up for 8 months. Every 6 to 8 weeks he comes back, either texting or talking and flirting with me when we run into each other, which leads to texting. He has another girl in his life that he never made clear to anyone he was dating. This started about 3 months ago. He has been with me in some form (talking, hanging out, even slept together twice) 3 or 4 times since they started dating. Keep in mind that he always is the one who contacts me, even before she was in the picture. He came back for good a few weeks ago and then after 2 weeks decided to leave again. This time I told him not to come back. I hear though, through others, that he has been talking to her again. I don’t know if this is because I have finally said to stay away or because he really would rather be with her. I love him and do want him back, but not like this. Maybe it is time to move on? I just can’t decide if he really loves me.

Reply June 27, 2012, 1:35 pm

Joanne

I was reading this, and I scrolled down to the bottom of the page, and I wanted to read the link “how to get him to text you back”, when I clicked on it, it tells me to sign up, which I already did, so how can I read that link? Thanks!

Reply June 3, 2012, 10:50 pm

Eric Charles

Reply June 5, 2012, 8:43 pm

kerry

I have a question? Well, a situation that I need to understand. I went to a party recently (bonfire redneck high school type party). My ex was there. We have been broke up for 10 months, but on and off during this time (meaning talking, sleeping together, short 1 or 2 week relationship here and there). We had recently been together (about 2 weeks prior). Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage prior to this, but did not tell him until this last time we were together. It wasnt like I was far along maybe 2 or 3 weeks and I didn’t even know until I started having severe stomach pains. Anyway…. he got mad when I told him for not telling him earlier I guess and stopped talking to me. I go to this party and he is there, drinking. He proceeds to tell everyone that I had told him I had a miscarriage and that he knows I am lying… as the night progresses he gets drunker and drunker. I am talking to a guy in a group of people not paying attention to my ex. The guy then sits down and I continue to stand in the group of people. My ex goes up to the guy and starts a fight, yelling,”what’s your problem? that’s my ex!” He slaps him a few times and hits his hat off his head and they start screaming at each other. Someone breaks it up and the night goes on. He proceeds to get so drunk he passes out and looses all bodily functions. I see him the next night and he tells me he doesnt like my shirt because it is still on. (only had 1 beer at this point). He proceeds to get drunk to the point of throwing up and tells my friend he is getting smashed because I am there and he doesn’t want to be around me. Now, I know that this is not someone I really should have a relationship with due to the drinking, but he has only been drinking like this since we broke up and he usually does not get this smashed (according to everyone else cause I don’t spend time with him). I don’t drink so when we are together he never drinks. He tells everyone he hates me and doesnt want anything to do with me, yet he comes back every 6 weeks or so. I know I am dumb for taking him back and believe me after this I won’t, but what I want to know is, does he still love me?

Reply August 30, 2012, 10:45 am

S

I think the more important question to ask is if he respects you. I think that answer should be more helpful than if he loves you. Regardless of how much love one may feel for another, I cannot in good conscience condone a relationship where one of the people involved is not respected. Your relationship status is not important when evaluating his actions and behavior. His response reflects his general way of thinking on what he finds to be an acceptable course of action in any given situation. You should not make your decision based on if he loves you, but on if you feel respected and valued for who you are.

Reply December 8, 2012, 7:28 am

Ibsen

Eric,
Im totally new to this website, and I wanted to thank you. You said usually things get rough in the 3-6 month range. What you described was exactly what I just went through. I had an ex boyfriend that I dated for 2 years. We were both in love, but he finally broke it off because I was moving overseas for a year. At that time we were already doing a long distance and doing an 8 hour difference in a long distance seemed too hard. 4 years later he pops out and practically begs for us to try again because we were more “mature” and “committed”. The first 3 months were amazing, though we still were in a long distance. He was caring, always there for me, calling/texting me and doing whatever he could to talk to me everyday for as long as he could. Then 4th month hit and everything went downhill. He went cold, distant and acted disinterested. He was no longer there for me and made the rudest sarcastic comments when I was worried about something. This article helped me. I knew I still loved him and though we were convinced we could do it for a year before I could move up to him, his 4th month attitude no longer portrayed that. Though Im still confused as to what happened (going from nonindependent to too independent to talk to you everyday), this does give me some sort of idea.

Thank you, and if you have any advice, I would really appreciate it!

Reply May 16, 2012, 10:50 pm

Kat

Wow thank you so much for this COMMON SENSE response. My boyfriend just broke up with me (due to distance – he’s moved for school 4 hours away last Sept.). Sure enough like you said, several months later he became distant.

He told me the exactly same thing – that it was the SITUATION, not our relationship that failed. When I asked why we didn’t talk on webcam/phone more he said, it isn’t the same thing. I didn’t believe him at first but hearing a man’s advice here really helped me.

My girlfriends are all telling me “well if he really loved you, distance wouldn’t matter”. But is that true? Is it fair for me to ask HIM to stay in a relationship with a girl he barely sees?? Thank you for a man’s point of view on this situation. It really helps.

Reply March 24, 2012, 12:40 am

Eric Charles

Yeah… I know women hate to hear it but it’s always been my motto that…
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Long Distance KILLS Relationships…
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Yes, 1 out of 100 might work out. And when we’re in love, we always believe we can beat the odds.
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But I’ve seen long distance kill more EXCELLENT, LOVING relationships than anything else.
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Frankly, it’s unnatural. Relationships are meant to have touch, physical presence, doing things for and with one another. That’s how our brains are wired… we are biologically designed to seek that out if it’s not present in our lives.
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And yet… movies, TV and just plain youthful naivety and optimism convinces us that a long distance relationship will work for US.
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I’m not saying that it never works out, but every force is against a relationship that goes “long distance”.
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And there are audience members of mine that hate hearing that and rail against me, but you have to remember… Over 10 million women roll through my site and divulge their secrets to me about their failing love life.
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And long distance is among the greatest relationship killer of everything… Sure there are many other reasons why relationships fail, but Long Distance is an almost-guaranteed death sentence from all the cases I’ve seen.
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So yeah, in short – I would agree that it was the situation, not the relationship.

Reply March 24, 2012, 1:39 pm

Kat

Since it was the situation, is there a chance the relationship can be revived? I’m having a really hard time getting over the breakup 2 months ago. He told me for several weeks after the breakup that he still loved me (according to him it was the distance, not feelings!), but then a few weeks ago I found him on a dating website. I got upset over this, and now he’s ignoring me and tells me he’s over me. I just find it hard to believe he’s over a 4 year relationship in 2 months, distance or not, esp. when he told me a month ago he still loved me.

I’m really hoping we can stay friends (he initially said he wanted that), and that maybe we can try again later on after we’re both done school and maybe in the same city (he also said “maybe, we’ll see” to this possibility). But I’m scared of him moving onto someone else and forgetting about me. We really had an amazing relationship and I’m so frustrated that the distance killed it and just want to be back in his life.

Reply May 3, 2012, 12:24 am

I_Love_Audrey_Hepburn

I think this a salvagable situation, personally. It was more circumstance than personal rift that drove them apart. Also, the other thing going for it is the fact that SHE initiated the break-up. From my observation, when a man ends a relationship with a woman there is almost always no turning back. The power belonged to him, and most likely always did. When the female has a more equal share of power in the relationship, or he is doing most of the pursuing/winning of hearts, the relationship has a far greater likelihood of lasting the distance.

I think it may be worth a second chance, on the condition that the girl in this circumstance is no longer lingering onto any resentment, hurt or anger – subconsciously, or otherwise. If she is, it will cast doom and gloom over the rekindling, and sabotage any effort. Good luck!

Reply July 3, 2011, 8:50 am

Keli

Ultimately, this is something you should clarify to yourself – can you completely forgive him, yourself, and the relationship itself for how it ended? If you can’t, then DO NOT get back together with him.

-Agreed! I had a friend not only get back with him…but married him, then she always wanted to bring up the pre-marriage hurt in the marriage and throw it in his face to guilt him…I would always tell her, you let that go when you said yes to his proposal. They are now divorced.

Reply October 4, 2009, 10:47 pm

Leigh

great post! Going with your gut is always the best way

Reply May 8, 2009, 1:50 pm

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