Ask a Guy: We Went From Chemistry To Text-Break-up To Strangers post image

Ask a Guy: We Went From Chemistry To Text-Break-up To Strangers

A little while ago I met a guy and we instantly hit it off.  Total chemistry… and I’m not the type to get excited about a potential relationship often, so this was big for me.

We went out for a while and there were ups and downs, but overall I felt like things were going well  when all of a sudden I received the dreaded “text message break-up“.

Now I’m killing myself reviewing every last detail of the time we spent together and what I did wrong. I saw him this weekend and he averted eye contact and acted like he didn’t even know me!

As I write about all this he seems like an impatient, selfish, vain, immature, stubborn person.  But I miss him and I just can’t stand how easy it seems for him to just have broken things off with me.

Here’s a few things I want you to consider.

First, break ups are painful.  You go into a relationship, however big or small, filled with hope and that amazing feeling of bliss.  Like you’re walking on air.  Like you have stars in your eyes.

Sure, most of us carry in some healthy skepticism as well, but it’s hard not to get drunk off of those amazing feelings of desire, imagining possibilities, connectedness, etc.

You mentioned a word that stuck out in my mind.  Chemistry. People talk about chemistry a lot in relationships.  Especially those amazing relationships where you just feel this indescribable connection and “rightness” with the other person.

Psychologists Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko talk about chemistry in their book, Reinventing Your Life. The book describes how many of our childhood, social and family surroundings shape our sense of what feels “right” in the world to us.

Humans have an amazing drive for consistency and very often we end up seeking out friends and partners who perpetuate that feeling of “rightness”, even when it’s incredibly painful to us.

Some examples would be a child with an alcoholic, absent mother grows up to marry an alcohol, selfish and/or absent woman.  An abused daughter seeks out people who take advantage of her or are far from trustworthy.  A boy who was heavily criticized or bullied marries a woman who is verbally abusive and critical by nature.

I should also mention that things can also swing the other way – the abused becomes the abuser.  The son of the absent alcoholic becomes the absent alcoholic himself.  And on and on it goes…

But here’s the amazing thing:  Do you know what these people feel when they meet this individual that will eventually perpetuate their painful past?  Chemistry.

Astoundingly people are able to pick up on subtle cues and traits in potential friends and mates that remind them of their surroundings during their formative year.  Something about that person feels full.  It feels like home.  It feels real.  It feels familiar.

I mean, let’s look at this.  You said it yourself:  He’s an impatient, selfish, vain, immature, stubborn person.  Or at least, that’s the side he showed to you.

But that’s who he was when you met him!  He had the seeds of that person in him all along and as he became more comfortable with you, those seeds blossomed into his way of being.

Now, just to be fair (and to cover my ass), I believe everyone has a magnificent ability to change and mature.  I know that I used to do some really jerky stuff back in the day.

If I could go back and change it, I would.  It doesn’t work like that though and you don’t get a chance to make the wrongs of the past right.  The best all of us can do is forgive ourselves and make sure we don’t walk down that path again.

With that said, I want to make this point very clear:  The way he acted was about him, not about you. Breaking up is hard enough.  It’s a feeling of having something torn away from us.  It’s awful.

The type of thinking that is the absolute hardest to deal with is thinking that what happened means something about us.

When we take things personally, it takes pain and drives it up to an unbearable level.  It takes the painful thoughts and glues them to our very body and soul.  And we can’t escape ourselves, which gives it a quality of inescapable hopelessness.

But I’m going to give you some classic cut-and-dry guy perspective.

If you date a guy who has jerky qualities, you can’t be surprised when he eventually does something extremely jerky to you.  Moreover, you definitely can’t take his behavior as any kind of reflection on you… AT ALL.

Again, from personal experience, I’ve done and said some pretty regretful things in some of my relationships years ago.  And I know the girl I was with at the time took it very personally.

When you get down to it, I have the insight into myself to see that everything I did and said… every hurtful action and statement… came from a place within me and my own issues.  I had my own crap and I ended up leaking it into the relationship. It wasn’t because I was a rotten person or because I was evil.  It was just the fact that I had some sore spots inside me that I hadn’t worked out.

And you know what?  So did the girls I was dating from time to time.  When we’re at our best, we’re full of love and generosity.

But when we are working through our own stuff, sometimes some very hurtful behaviors come up.  You need to be prepared for this and taking it personally is a crippling approach.

Also, a general rule of thumb:  If you ever see some acting in a crappy way or showing a crappy attitude towards others, you can be certain that you will eventually be the target of it at some point under the right circumstances.  It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s a wise thing to consider in the dating world.

Hope that helps,

eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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What a very wise post … I have only pretty recently learned in my early 40s (and after several explosive relationships, including a marriage) that if I have immediate chemistry with someone, I need to RUN not walk the other way, and for exactly all the reasons you stated.
So much of the wreckage of my life could have been avoided … I hope some younger people read your post and take it to heart, because it is ever so true.

Reply July 23, 2019, 11:06 pm


Very spot on. I was dating a guy for four months that i thought it was gonna last. He is rude and selfish overall with everyone but somehow I thought he was not going to be like that with me. He barely texted me and almost never told me to see each other. Was not very attentive. Anyways, last week he texted me to break up in such a bad way. I felt awful because i tried hard to make this work. And i’ve been torturing myself but reading this made me feel much better. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

Reply December 2, 2018, 9:14 pm


I can NOT believe i found this.
I met a guy after 4 months he drove me crazy to meet him,
Omg I did
Complete chemistry totally hit it off hung out
Had plans to meet for diner we spoke at 7pm he told me he was looking forward to hooking up again and seeing me, 7:15 i got a text
” pretty im tired, dont be mad we will do something tommo good night,”
Needless to say my jaw dropped!!
Ive yet to get 1 call or text.
Wth did I say or do??
Yes im HURT!!

Reply May 2, 2016, 10:12 pm


I’m so glad I saw this response! I never saw it from that perspective but it makes complete sense and really rings true for both me and some exes. Thank you for sharing that!

Reply July 31, 2015, 2:40 am


My boyfriend just broke up with me on easter in a text message. He said he couldnt stand to see me cry so he couldnt do it in person. I think that was just an excuse to be a coward. We were friends for 3 years before then. I had had so many problems and he used to be there for me for every single one of them. I kept trying to push him away at first cuz i didnt wanna ruin our friendship but he kept insisting he was different. I trusted him. I told him i never wanted to speak to him as long as i live and if he ever wants to change that and for us to maybe at least have a shot at being friends again one day he’ll meet me in person one day and give me closure. Only time will tell with that but either way karma is a hitch

Reply April 15, 2015, 12:54 am


With texting, sometimes a guy gives you no other option to communicate. I have found this to be very frustrating and really don’t like it. I’ve made a point about calling and how impersonal texting can be-or how tone may not come across and misunderstandings result.. I ended my involvement with a guy that only texted, so I texted him that I was frustrated as he didn’t communicate/make plans to see me anymore, that I was going to date other guys, and that our ‘sex with no strings attached’ wasn’t working for me-I didn’t like texting and would have rather talked to him. It went from chemistry, to texting, to strangers. I got no response from him other than a week later when he noticed I wasn’t at our volunteer shift. He asked if I was ‘OK?’ Kinda after the fact, right?? I don’t get it-

Reply April 13, 2015, 9:49 am

Mikayla wheeler

Okay so I might as well start from the beginning. The first time I ever met “him” was back when I was In eighth grade. He gave me a hug on the first time we met. But he was off limits considering the fact he was my best friends boyfriend and then soon ex boyfriend about 9 months later. Because well he cheated, and they continued to “talk” but then once she got a few boyfriends down the line they just became best friends. Anyways right before my senior year we started talking “him” and I. Over a hack that got into my messages and messaged everyone on my Facebook. And we really hit it off so I asked my best friend if it was okay for me to date him and she gave the go ahead and so I did. Despite the fact that he was going away to Marine Boot Camp for three months, I decided I was going to stick it out to the end. I fell hard and fast for him. And I thought he was the one was willing to do anything with him. I waited for him that whole time, even went to his graduation in San Diego mind you I live eight hours away. Spent a good bit of time together then I left for back home. When I came back over the weekend then went to school, we hung out afterwards long story short we had sex then the next day he dumped me via text message. And then not even a week later he had a new girl on his arm.

Reply November 4, 2014, 10:19 am


I was with this guy for two years . First year was good second year a little shaky. He’s a very playful man I’m with so I played along sometimes. And sometimes not at all.I know that playing to much is never good because you can’t tell if a person is playing or serious about what there telling you. Noticed he was comfortable playing to much which started getting on my nerves. Then he asked for a break. I gave him that we both needed time apart. Break wasn’t that long we would talk but no contact. Once Back Together I ask him if he was dealing with anyone else. Of course he said no but I asked because I never had a man ask for a break from me before. Just wanted to cross my T’s and dot my i before we proceeded with our relationship. Okay now his stamina has changed so I ask again in the middle of us having sex is the reason for your lack of performance is it because there is someone else. Again no. Now here come the change in thing he would do without hesitation . Just thing in general. In turn I never stopped doing the thing that I’ve been doing, thing he likes, he never had to ask for certain thing because I never missed a beat even when I was feeling certain thing changing in our relationship. This is the second year and it seems the playfulness is all the time. Now it gets on my nerves so I’m looking at things different. Cause to me it seems he’s using the playing as a way to tell me things that he can’t have a serious conversation about. Really irritating! So this went on for about two month and I said I was done with this relationship. Being as though he doesn’t communicate seriously I broke up with him in a very long and detailed text. Do you think I should’ve did it differently??

Reply October 25, 2014, 12:47 pm


Here’s my question. I told a guy I work with months ago that I have a crush on him. Here to find out he felt same for me, 2 months ago I gave him my number and for a couple wks we text often and flirt a lot with him grabbing my waist to scare me as well as teasing. Many texts did become a lil hot with things we said to each other and eventually I asked him out a couple times and his response was always he can’t since he had plans. However the past couple wks he stop replying to my texts or would the next day. But now he doesn’t reply at all and past couple days he no longer looks for me at work and doesn’t talk to me. I want to make it known I have not slept with him I have more respect for myself than others. I’ve decided to only say hi to him at work and no longer text him unless its work related. I am confused and would love any advice.

Reply January 4, 2014, 10:09 pm


hello guys , thanks in advnce for ur great advices , here my qs. , Ihv known this guy two months ago , we liked each other we talked alot through emails , cuz both are busy and no time to hang out together , then I noticed he started to give me mixed signals and not to answer my qs fully , or not respond to my email at all , then I went NC for a week but he didn’t really cared enough to see what is going on so I asked wts wrong he said he has been busy , then I told him he is not careing enough so it is better to end this , but he didn’t agree or disagree he just ignored it , and here I snapped at him called him he just liked my attention and iwasn’t that into him iwas just passing time and I HOPE he inflated his ego by me pursuing him and stuff like that , so he did n’t repond either and I KNOW he read this email several times (don’t ask how I knew) any how after a while i tried to apologize several times and text him called him emailed him he didn’t respond at all !! I relly like him but I feel like I hurted him but he didn’t give me his full attention , so now what is going on ? should i give up and move on ? was I WRONG ? he didn’t like me that much ? can I get him back? do you have a plan for me ? thanks in advance .

Reply March 20, 2013, 12:54 pm


I’ve found this site very helpful when it comes to dating issues…It seems like the majority of you girls here are very angry/confused with your guy’s behavior. I totally understand coming from my own experience with guys…but before beating yourself up and jumping to conclusions I think us ladies should take the time to step back from all these “dramas” which we created for ourselves, to reevaluate our worth and value instead of blaming on outside sources for our unhappiness…Like Eric said many times, in the beginning the guy will intentionally pull back in some way just to Test how emotional you get or how upset you are when he “forgets” to text or call. This is wired in their male brain to weed out the emotional melodramatic weaklings that crumble at every little things…They want a strong spirited woman who can stand up for herself and not afraid to walk away when things don’t work out! The one that’s Not afraid to lose is the Winner. Be a winner ladies. Goodluck!

Reply July 25, 2012, 7:39 pm


Very mature thoughts. And the last paragraph is so true. I think it also applies to ourselves. Think it the other way around. If we do crappy things to others and don’t change then we might eventually do the same to our loved ones under some circumstances.

Reply October 13, 2011, 6:21 pm


Ur good looking guy, no wonder so much experience in dating ;)

Reply June 28, 2011, 5:17 pm

Eric Charles

You’re welcome. Thanks for the compliment.

Reply April 25, 2011, 1:07 am


Great information. Thanks for the ability to be so forthright. It is truly refreshing. I wish you were my male confident. lol :)

Reply April 24, 2011, 9:32 pm


Look I feel ya!Same thing happened to me,I was not really dating this boy but we sure acted like it!We hungout,Slept near couch to couch together and EVERY moment with cherishing to me!God,I loved him.And still do.Im still having a HARD HARD HARD time.He is related to my cousin.But on my cousins other side of their family that isn’t related to me.So i see him over my aunt’s house every now and then but not alot.I always hope “AM I GONNA GO TO TAMMY’S HOUSE TODAY?” but sometimes i never do,But i know im only 13 but i dream of love.I believe in true love and love at first sight.The first day we met,We pulled up to the drive way for my cousins birthday and I walked out the car,They were jumping on the trampoline he just looked at me.Then the second time i saw him,I was standing at the gate with my softball glove didnt really know him only from the first time we met and he plays hockey and BASEBALL ha!So kinda alike sports.But anyways they randomly pulled up for baseball practice 1 hour earlyThere i stood and he stared and stared.We always sing this song together call “Better than me” by hinder.In the car we would be siting next to eachother with the radio blasted and sing “I REALLY MISS YOU HAIR IN FACE.” and so on but that was the beginging.The 3 time i rode on the back pegs of a bike with him do the street talking and joking around.Playing football together.But that 4 time felt horrible I came and i knew we really liked eachother i felt sooo nervous and sick i didnt act like myself but we still had some amazing times,Hung out when everyone was asleep we talked allll night and hungout alone together till like 3 or 2 am in the morning dancing to “Just a dream” by Nelly.And of course i should of known it was just a dream.Because on the rainy day i came home we started texting I said “Lets be HONEST to eachother about how we FEEL.And i was i said “I know im ugly mary is pretty you love her still and i wasnt acting like myself i felt weird.” then he said “Yeah mary is and she treats me better” Then i said “Ok?” then it hit me i started to burst into tears I felt my heartbeat sooooo slow.Well let me explain this situation first!He was dating this girl Mary he had pics of her he said she”Sent” to him and he thought i was allll jealous and stuff so i acted like this boy chris from my school i used to like but didnt anymore because i fell deeply in love with Brian i told him chris asked me out but i said no because i love him (But i told him in person not text).But the text was”Go F*** chris” And I told him “I feel like its allllll my fault and im crying” he said “Im done i dont care anymore bye” but he has family problems withmy aunts and some of his he lives with…Could it be them persuading him because they know im related to Tammy?Im sooo upset now that we are always on the wrong foot.And after that day i havent been over my aunts in along time,My parents just dont like me going over peoples houses alot but then,Back to true story haha….My older sister who knows him too,She is in 9 he is 6 im 7.Well the middle and high he and she goes to are right next to eachother so she saw and hit him and stuff…..Sooo every now and then he texts me “Bitch i hate you” ….’I never asked you out because i never liked you,Your only cool over tammy’s”….”I hate you”……I get sooo upset everytime i listen to better than me…….jsut a dream…I dont know what too do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply April 19, 2011, 8:38 pm


Text breakups are the worse. Suck it up and call us. I knew this man for 16 years. We were very close in our younger years but never romantically involved. Due to a job promotion, he was transfered to another state. At his going away party he pulled me aside and told me “its not right,i wasnt supposed to fall in love with you” and gave me the most passionate kisss ever. That was the last time I saw him until 3 years ago (10 years after he left) when we both ended up working at the same place. After 2 yrs (i was married and going through divorce) he finally asked me to be his as I should have been years ago. Everything was perfect. We got along and had fun together as if time had never passed. The romance was great and quite passionate. One night he asked me to go on a trip with him to meet his dad so I said sure. Very next day i get a text telling me he didnt want this relationship with me anymore and wanted me to leave him alone. I just didnt understand. What happened overnight? He quit his job and I didnt hear from him for 6 months until last night. He texts me and asks if i want to go to a movie or something. No word for 6months and now he wants a date? I am so confused.

Reply March 3, 2011, 1:34 am


Hi Eric,
This response helped me a lot, I went through something very similar, but could still use some advice. I met a guy my age (23/24) and we hung out for about 2 weeks. He seemed really into me, always texted me telling me how gorgeous and sexy he thought I was and how he couldn’t wait to see me again. We slept together (a bit early I’ll admit, but I don’t take sex too seriously and wanted to do it) and he told me he felt comfortable with me and always said how ‘awesome’ he thought I was. Then one night he came over and started crying after we had sex and said that this ‘relationship’ had to eventually end and didn’t want to get attached to me because he liked seeing me a ‘bit too much,’ then mentioned he was crying because he was thinking about his last relationship (he dated a girl for 4 years and they broke up about 6 months ago). He also told me he didn’t understand why I didn’t think he was a loser. I told him to relax and let’s just take it one day at a time. He agreed. The day after next he drunken texted me that he didn’t think we should see each other anymore. I called him later to get an explanation, and I am still very confused about the whole thing. He said he wants to sleep with other girls, likes a lot of other girls, told me I was awesome but I wasn’t ‘perfect’ and wasn’t the right girl for him. He said he didn’t want to have to just think about one person/didn’t want to get into a relationship, didn’t want to ever be a one woman guy anymore, and didn’t want to be vulnerable. He said that his head was just so ‘messed up right now.’ It just seems like overnight he went from worrying about getting too attached to me and then possibly me hurting him, to him worrying about hurting me. I have to say I don’t get where the ‘you’re not perfect’ comment came from, as I certainly never acted like that and never pressured him to start a relationship at all. Do you think this is a case of his own self confidence issues? Or do you think after sleeping with me he realized he may have missed out on hooking up with lots of other pretty girls during his long term relationship and wanted to try and start making up for ‘lost time’? I am okay with it if he just wasn’t that into me and such, I can move on from that. It just seemed like a complete 180 because he absolutely seemed into me.

Reply February 1, 2011, 6:20 am


I have been single for 7 months now, I try to find reasons not to date another guy because of my last break up, I overlooked all of the flags I had, that were waving in front of me, he was a major acohohlic, smoked pot, Chew, and was into cigs, and I am against all of that, and I overlooked it, even when he tried getting me into doing things like that, and every time I did not want to,or told him he should be concerned on what he is doing since he was having liver issues, and hacking up black tar , and he would flip a basket, and i knew it wasn’t going well from there, needless to say we ended it roughly with his own insecurities, from what I was reading, and dumped me for his other version, who has the same name as me, But after reading this, it made me realize to never overlook something because it might seem right at the time, and I can honestly say I am on my way to moving on to bigger and better things,
Thanks Eric Charles Helped alot!

Reply January 2, 2011, 4:28 am


I’ve definitely been in the same boat lately! The guy I’ve been seeing for five months showed signs early on that he wasn’t mature, was super insecure, and could be a tad cruel (and flaky and moody). I chose to overlook it, to just go with the flow, until a couple weeks ago when he blacked out after drinking too much, called me a whore, and accused me of being inappropriate with a friend in a social setting. Of course the next morning he claimed not to remember and apologized but, the damage he caused is beyond repair.

Eric is dead on about chemistry bringing people together but, I think it begs the question: Why are women NOT letting go and walking away at the first signs of real trouble and imcompatibility? Why are we staying with (or breaking up and getting back together with) these men in hopes that they will somehow, miraculously change their behavior and be something that they’re really not?

I may sound a little bitter but, honestly, I’m more mad and disappointed with myself than with him.

Reply December 22, 2010, 10:21 pm


I definitely did not mean to post that last comment there.. whoops, sorry! haha

Reply December 15, 2010, 1:47 am


I started seeing a guy a few months ago. We really hit it off, but before I’d met him, I was trying to stay single due to the fact that I spent the past 6 years jumping from one long term relationship to another.

This guy told me he wanted a relationship, and I knew I did as well, but I told him that I needed to stay single for a while. Due to this and a couple of miscommunications, he ended things (we didn’t end on good terms) and found someone else.

We didn’t speak for about two weeks until we crossed paths again. He said he apologized for ending things and regretted it and missed me and still really liked me. I didn’t encourage this because, even though I felt the same way, I told him I didn’t want to discuss it while he had a girlfriend.

He broke up with her a few days later, and so I naturally thought he’d act on what he said. While there was some light flirting, he ended up getting medical and money problems all at once. After a few weeks, I confronted him about how his actions had not followed his words and he said that he really did like me, but was too busy for a relationship at the moment.

It’s been two weeks since we talked and he hasn’t tried to contact me at all. What does this mean, and how should I react? I have been waiting for him to come to me because I already made it clear how I feel and what I want and am open to, so I didn’t want to press the issue by contacting him. We live kind of far from each other, so I never really see him anymore. I’m just not sure how to handle the situation or what to make of it.

Reply December 15, 2010, 1:46 am


This is some of the best advice I’ve ever come across. I would add there are some people out there who are emotionally unavailable– they can’t really get too close to anyone. If they stay in a relationship they’ll choose and maybe even settle down with a partner who will engage them in a push/pull dynamic; it’s what they understand … it’s what’s familiar for them. They cannot be comfortable with a real relationship which was what you were offering him. They may even have underlying feelings of unworthiness, and as such, feel that there must be something wrong with anyone who likes them, so the minute they realize you care, they start thinking there must be something with you … “I’d never belong to a club that would accept me as a member.” Also, Eric, thank you for mentioning Reinventing Your Life. I bought a copy after reading this post, and then went out and bought two more for my siblings. It’s a great book and your advice in these posts is excellent and well thought out.

Reply October 11, 2010, 2:11 pm


I am in the same boat…had been dating (once a week for the past 6 months or so) this charming man. Who claimed he was stuck in a situation that he could not extricate himself from financially. We spoke about moving in together this past week…a discussion situated around issues and ideas and well thought out talks…then 2 days ago a text message saying that he has decided to stay in the situation he is in. I have no clue what happened overnight.
Absolutely NO clue.
I should have seen it coming..he was often unreliable, uncommunicative and often I thought about ending things, but kept thinking they’d get better…

I am sad and confused, but I did all I could do and gave it my best.
I am better off than he is in the long run, but it doesn’t make it any easier to accept his rejection this way.

Reply September 16, 2010, 12:17 pm


Wow…….. So i was going through all these random relationship issues people had and yours caught my eye… I’m guessing this was posted last month because of the two comments left, but i oddly just yelled at my ex fling the other night for doing that. I believe it was Wed. He had been seeing this girl…. idk exactly how long, it couldn’t have been more than a month because for the past seven months i was always with him…. anyway i cut him off but he called “accidentally” by the 2nd week, and just last week he begged to see me, told me he missed me, bla bla basically missed the “intimacy”, well i guess on his way over he ended it with this girl he had been seeing through text, apparently she freaked out and kept calling and texting, but obviously he wasn’t going to answer, I told him it was wrong and he owed her at least a damn phone call, but he’s an insensitive, selfish, stubborn A hole! I suggest u cut him off completely if you haven’t already. he’ll never change.

Reply August 29, 2010, 5:17 am


Eric spelled it out the right way–take his points. This is the persons character. You may not want to see this side of him because you enjoyed the relationship when it lasted but don’t over analyse and was time. It was HIS CHARACTER and he is now showing it. Good luck b/c not all situations will be heartbreaking or bliss. You have to take the good with the bad from the person you are dating so hopefully there is a lot more good that you end up choosing in the end :)

Reply July 9, 2010, 12:22 pm


It’s easier said than done but if someone text message breaks up with you JUST FORGET THEM. That’s ridiculous! That guy is spineless. Imagine how awful your whole relationship would be if he does something as serious as breaking up over a text message. What if he proposed to you via text or told you he had a terrible disease that he may have given to you via text? I can just imagine even more situations that would be awful via text. I hope you find closure and move on!

Reply July 8, 2010, 11:37 am

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