When my ex-boyfriend and I broke up after being together for almost a year, he said he was too young to be tied down to just one girl and he had too many things on his plate (his school, his band, etc). He said I was his best friend and he would hate to lose me completely.
However, when I make comments on Facebook or Twitter about me spending time with other guys, he gets really angry and says I’m rubbing it in his face, trying to make him jealous.
At first I thought he just didn’t want me to move on from him, but then he called me and told me he missed being in a relationship with me and that he missed me since I hadn’t talked to him for three days).
We’re broken up still and I’m trying to move on but I can’t unless I know for sure. It’s over, but is it really over?
I am going to answer this question a little differently than the other AAGs and rather than giving my thoughts as an objective outside observer, I’m going to tell a story that may shed a lot of light on where this guy is coming from.
When Sabrina and I started A New Mode, she and I were working on it during every free hour we had. Everything you see on the site right now: the articles, the graphics, the advertisements, the links, the giveaways, the newsletter, etc. None of that existed until we made it exist. And on top of that, we both had full time jobs.
At that time, I got into a relationship with a girl I cared very much for. I couldn’t help myself, despite the fact that my entire life consisted of working and focusing on my projects. In general, when us guys really like a girl, we sometimes kid ourselves into thinking that being with that girl or being in a relationship will make life easier.
After all, we can save ourselves from all that time of running around meeting women, going on dates, etc. Having something stable would mean that whole side of life is taken care of, so that’s good right? Wrong.
The fact is, being in a relationship made me feel guilty. I would work a 9 hour work day, come home and then work on A New Mode until midnight. Then I would go to my girl’s place and pass out immediately.
I started to feel bad about what our relationship was like. I was basically just an exhausted body to sleep next to. I had no energy to devote to the relationship and I had no mental/emotional room to worry about it. I really liked the girl though and I hoped that things would just work out. Truth is, I really did not have room for the relationship to be what I felt it needed to be.
It would be one thing if it was a really loose, casual relationship. But this was a boyfriend/girlfriend situation I had established and I regretted leading us down that path. It would have been better for her and for me if I had either kept things casual or broke it off.
So after about 8 months of me being pretty absent as a boyfriend, she left. It was hard for me to accept, but it was absolutely the right move on her part. She didn’t want to be in a relationship with a ghost.
The good news is that after a month or two, we were able to get into the groove of being friends. I wanted her in my life and I wanted her to be happy. She eventually started dating a new guy and I was fine with it.
Then she started plastering pictures of her and her new boyfriend everywhere on Facebook and to be perfectly honest it bothered me a bit, but I accepted it.
When we hung out, she would occasionally allude to seeing someone, but overall it wasn’t a topic of discussion and I was happy with that. I didn’t talk about my relationships either – I didn’t need to talk to my ex-girlfriend about other girls.
Over the course of time, she started alluding to different things about her boyfriend or her relationship. I had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I wanted her to be happy. But on the other, I’m her ex-boyfriend – I didn’t want to hear about new boyfriends, just as I wouldn’t talk about new girlfriends. No reason to push buttons.
There came a point, though, where the way she was bringing up stuff about her current relationship became obnoxious. It was gradual and for a while, I ignored her comments and the things she would slip into conversation. But over time, she kept subtly egging me on until finally it started to really annoy me.
Not out of jealousy. Not out of wanting her back.
My annoyance was with the fact I could clearly see she was trying to push my buttons. When I saw beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was trying to rattle me, I had to cut her off.
It hurt and I miss her being in my life, but I can’t have someone trying to make my life harder to deal with. Like your ex-boyfriend said in your situation, “I have too much on my plate.”
So what’s the point of my story?
The point of my story is that some of what she was doing was just her sharing her life naturally, but on some level some of it was to get a reaction from me.
In the case of some of my exes, I could care less about what they’re doing. Want to marry a guy? Go for it. Want to sleep with an entire football team? Be my guest. Want to hook up with my best friend? He’s all yours!
So what’s the difference? For me it was that I overestimated the extent to which I had made peace with the relationship being over. A lot of the time as men we need to make firm decisions and hide our mixed emotions.
If we know a relationship needs to end, we can accept that and we’ll try our best to stay firm with the decision. But it doesn’t mean that we’ve made peace in our heart with the situation.
I would say objectively that the guy needs to work stuff out himself. If hearing about you moving on is making him upset, it would probably serve you best to cut each other off. At least, for a while. I can’t say whether or not on some level you want a reaction from him on Facebook or Twitter, but if that is the case, you should try to be more conscious of it.
Now call me narcissistic, but I believe that when ex-girlfriends post an entire portfolio of themselves with their new boyfriend there’s at least some tiny seed of a thought about their ex-boyfriend seeing it and being jealous. It’s not the primary reason for posting the pictures and comments, but making the ex-boyfriend jealous would be some bonus validation.
Same with comments about a new boyfriend. Or putting gifts, comments and love notes on display to see your ex-boyfriend’s reaction.
When you get down to it, I don’t blame my ex-girlfriend at all. She’s living her life – it’s reality. If she happens to bring up reality and I can’t deal with it, it’s my problem and not hers. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s my issue and not hers.
It bums me out when I think about it, actually. I really loved the friendship I had with her, but it was going in a direction that wasn’t acceptable to me. Whether or not she was intentionally trying to push my buttons on some level, she was successful in getting me rattled after a while. It’s my responsibility to work out my own feelings and I felt I was doing us both a favor by cutting off the friendship.
If I can’t accept her life as it is, then I’m not really a friend. I’m an ex-boyfriend.
So in terms of how it relates to your situation: My feelings aren’t those of jealousy or wanting to get back together with her. I knew being in a relationship was the wrong move for me at that time. And I know even if it were an option now, getting back into a relationship with her wouldn’t work now either.
I just wanted a friendship with her and I thought that I could fully accept her, no matter what she was doing. I wasn’t there. I guess I hadn’t made peace with everything yet. Women have an outstanding ability to flush out a guy’s weak points.
Bottom line here is: Maybe he would get back into a relationship with you, but it would be motivated entirely by his ego and him wanting to restore his sense of “possessing” you or having your validation. Even if you guys did get back together, he would need to get over that – it’s not a relationship if he’s with you because of his ego.
Moreover, once his ego is restored and no longer feels threatened, he’ll realize that all of the problems and issues that made him leave in the first place are still there. Then he’ll regret his decision to get back with you and it will likely be a long, hard road of disappointment and emotional ups-and-downs.
I would avoid getting back together, even if that option was back on the table. The fact that he has too much on his plate isn’t going to change, well not in the immediate future, anyway. Things might be great at first, but the underlying reason why things ended will still be there.
People need to work out their personal issues before they can have a true relationship with another person, myself included again. And sometimes the best, most compassionate approach is to completely separate yourself from that person so that you can work your stuff out instead of dragging it out or pretending the issues aren’t there.
I realize this is a tricky situation and I wish you the best of luck with it.
Hope it helps,