Doing my best to give it time…

Home Forums How To Get My Ex Back Doing my best to give it time…

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  • #933338 Reply


    Hello everyone, sorry if this is a ramble.

    I had been talking a guy since June of last year in which flirting from him started pretty quickly, moved on to a sexual relationship in August in which I had no expectations, but shortly after the sex started he started taking me out on dates. We quickly evolved into some sort of relationship in which he texted me daily, usually him initiating contact. He texted daily up until I broke things off after I brought up the dreaded “what are we” talk on April 27. His answer? “We’re friends. I’m not ready for a relationship.” I thought that I was going to faint or throw up because I was so hurt. We were outside of a restaurant talking by my vehicle like we always did if I met him for dinner. I never cried, begged, pleaded, or said anything hateful. A few things stick out in my mind though…he kept pulling me in and holding me, and even wanted the relationship to continue as is. He admitted having feelings for me, admitted that he doesn’t know what he wants (other than he doesn’t want a relationship!), and has thought about having this conversation since early on in the whatever-it-was we were doing. He even asked me what I was looking for and it was “just reassurances.” So, if I’m just a “friend” after all this time…I made the possibly rash call of “there’s no point in us seeing each other anymore.” His face totally changed, in that he didn’t expect MY answer either. I acted like a lady though.

    Some background: we both work in healthcare, not for the same company. I had just quit my job at a major hospital where he brings patients, and am jumping into travel nursing. He’s looking at studying for tests to advance in his career. He’s said multiple times in the past that he will NOT be bothered when study time comes. I shrugged my shoulders and said “cool, I can pick up overtime, go to the beach, whatever.” And I meant it. I know he’s had some pretty heinous girlfriends in the past, but that’s not me. I know he has some commitment issues, I know he’s struggling right now in his career, and he’s had some problems in the bedroom as well, but I’ve tried NOT to be a burden or bother him. Quite the opposite and he’s given me credit for that! He’s very open when he talks to me about most things, it took a while to talk about the bedroom issues and we had a lot of that worked out. Our mutual friends/coworkers if you will are in as much shock over all this as I am.

    The only things he kept bringing up that was an obstacle was his possible career advancement and possible fights we might have in the future of time commitments. I also know he’s been very upset at his weight gain, no matter how many times I compliment him. I know the bedroom stuff is still haunting him. Why do I want him back so badly? Because we fit well together. He was so tender and tentative and sweet. He did the things that mattered. The bedroom stuff we can fix. I can entertain myself while he’s busy studying for the advancement. But hearing that I was a “friend” just made me back up and back out. And now I regret it. I wish we could come to a compromise. He’s afraid of the girlfriend label, let’s talk about just working towards that goal then? Something?

    So here I am today, in another state, feeling like I lost my best friend. Well, I did. I wanted nothing more than to just know that we were exclusive and he did say that he’s not seen anyone else since seeing me and I believe him. Considering the women he calls exes, I just wanted a chance at being a girlfriend. I still do. We were supposed to meet and talk last Friday but a friend died unexpectedly. And I have no doubts about that either. We texted back and forth, it was friendly, but otherwise I’ve not seen him since the night I called things off and haven’t gotten a text since Friday night. I’m doing my best to wait for him to come to me.

    Thoughts? Or maybe I’m not looking for advice so much as I’m looking for a friendly ear. Thanks for reading.

    #933346 Reply


    Should have added that I’m in my late 40s and he’s in his early 50s

    #933347 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    You weren’t rash at all. You did the right thing. This guy will never make you his girlfriend. If a guy is going to make you a girlfriend, he’ll lock you down within 3-4 months. You’ve been talking to and sleeping with this guy for close to a year. So you’ve been giving him the girlfriend experience without any commitment whatsoever. Why would he want anything to change?

    Commitment issues, afraid of the girlfriend label– those are all excuses at this point. There’s no reason for you to keep entertaining this guy thinking anything will change. It won’t change, because he doesn’t want it to.

    Everyone has negative dating experiences. Dont make excuses for this guy. My bf (we’re together 4+ years now) had a really bitter divorce several years before we met. He was definitely nervous about entering a relationship again. He still made it extremely clear that we were exclusive from the beginning, and locked me down and told me he loved me by 4 months. If a man wants you, he acts on it, no matter what his previous experiences were. So don’t keep cutting this guy slack because he had a b!tchy girlfriend or whatever. That’s not an excuse to allow him to string you along.

    I know you’re looking for a friendly ear, and I apologize if this is overly blunt. I understand you feel like you lost your best friend. I’m sorry he didn’t step up. But I think the best thing to do is cut him loose and move on. He’s not going to wake up one day and change. It sounds like he enjoys talking to you and enjoys your friendship, but doesn’t want a romantic future. You deserve to be with a guy who will give you as much as you give him.

    #933348 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Just saw your post with your ages. I thought you were considerably younger. I’m mid-40s myself. Girl, let this guy go! At his age he’s not going to change. A man in his 50s shouldn’t be afraid of the girlfriend label! Whatever baggage he has is his, it shouldn’t be your burden.

    #933349 Reply


    ” i tried not to burden him and he gave me credit for that”…This speaks volumes and says that he was giving you a very limited piece of him/his life. He liked the convenience of having you around, especially for sex but had no intentions to develop anything further. He is wasting your time and hurting you, stop all contact with him, right after you break it off. Good luck, you deserve better and “that guy” is out there…

    #933351 Reply


    Thank you for the responses.

    I’m not so sure the relationship was based on sex, because we haven’t had sex since March. Our schedules and whatever is going on in his head wasn’t allowing for it. Also, he was doing all the things like a boyfriend would: the constant contact, the chemistry was there, the connection, etc. I think if he was using me for anything, it would be companionship. Even he lamented that night I called things off “right person, wrong time.”

    Of note, when his own coworkers found out about me, they also treated me differently because I was “his girl.” So even the way he talked about me to them was noticeably different in a positive way. And I pointed that out to him and he agreed. I truly believe this is based on a fear, however irrational, immature, or whatever anyone wants to call it. Hence I want one last discussion with him.

    Please share your thoughts. I can take blunt responses, I’m grown! And I’m not trying to be argumentative at all, I’m trying to better explain the past 8 months or so for clarification.

    Again, thank you!

    #933352 Reply


    “ “He texted daily up until I broke things off after I brought up the dreaded “what are we” talk on April 27. His answer? “We’re friends. I’m not ready for a relationship.” ”

    That is all you need to know.

    #933354 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Again, you’re making excuses for him. The bottom line is, he says you’re friends and he doesn’t want a relationship with you. There’s no way you can twist that. You should want a man who is eager to commit to you and call you his girlfriend.

    It doesn’t matter how he talks to his coworkers about you. It doesn’t matter how much sex he had with you. You said he “acts like a boyfriend” but being a boyfriend requires more than just being in “constant contact”. It requires commitment. It requires him putting effort into the relationship, and doing things to make you happy. You seem very focused on HIS needs– his career issues, his fear of commitment, his weight gain, his bad experiences with other girlfriends. Take thT energy and focus it on yourself, because he’s not thinking about you the way you are about him.

    #933357 Reply


    Yup, what Liz said…

    #933361 Reply


    yeah I was seeing a guy for 10 months and he said exact same words but I just let him go, because I knew he wasn’t invested even though he messaged me daily, paid for dates etc
    of course he would want to continue because he is getting his benefits without him needing to commit.

    #933379 Reply


    I’m so sorry you are going through this. It sucks, it hurts and sometimes can effect your self-esteem. You need to move on and away from this man. Cut off all contact. You probably can’t remain friends.

    The last time a man said to me I’m not looking for a relationship but we could be friends with benefits I looked at him and said “So I’m good enough to be friends with, to date, to have sex with, to intertwine our lives but not good enough to be called girlfriend? No, thank you. I doubt you have a good enough benefits package.”

    You deserve someone who wants a relationship with you. Don’t settle.

    One thing I’ve learned is that you can weed these time wasters out early. Before you engage in sexual activities ask where they stand. This way you are not confused about expectations.

    #933392 Reply


    Yes, nothing more to be said here or gained by you wanting to go on more about this. Between what he told and what we have said…there is nothing more to do/discuss/think about. Plus, the fact that it has been at least 2 months since you had sex, reinforces his statement that you two are just friends. No amount of overthinking and or stewing or “talking to him” is going to change the lay of the land. Sorry but you are only hurting yourself more, not to drop this/him.

    #933436 Reply


    He texted me yesterday and today. Was friendly and mildly flirty once but I just ignored that part.

    #933439 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    The flirting is for his ego. He flirts because he knows it’ll keep you on the hook.

    I was emotionally stuck in a situation once with a male friend that I had romantic feelings for– he would flirt, text/call me constantly, spend time with me, we had sex on occasion– people thought we were a couple when we went out because we gave off that vibe. But he was adamant that we were friends. He was talking to and seeing other women. I kept holding on, hoping he’d wake up one day and want a relationship with me– nope, never happened.

    But he was flirty and attentive. I heard from him daily. It was an ego stroke for him to have me on the hook. He wanted my attention and energy, and I think he got off on knowing I was hung up on him. I wasted a lot of time in that situation! Don’t make the same mistake.

    #933441 Reply


    I wouldn’t doubt that part of it serves his ego. That’s why we do a lot of the things that we do! And he’s been in a pretty low place for a while now.

    Looking into dating apps now. If we reconcile great. If we don’t, onto the next one.

    #933442 Reply


    You learned an important lesson. Words and actions must match and align with what you want. If words or actions don’t match, believe whichever is worse, and both men and women can show up in a way that looks likes a relationship (companionship), but not have it in their heart.

    #933452 Reply


    Omg, I just reread your post.. what is the lure of this man other than the sex hormones? He has had bad girlfriends… he chose those women and he sounds like maybe a crazy maker! Why do you want the chance to be the girlfriend of a man who told you outright he does not want a relationship at best and a relationship with you at worst (which is what he is actually saying). If you want the whole thing, leave this situation and find someone who will give it to you

    #933458 Reply


    Just read this post and thread and found it so helpful. Ladies you give some stunning advice, it’s actually helped me too in a situation I’m in: Meet guy, intense magnetic chemistry. Long complicated story short, Initially I can’t commit, then he can’t commit. His text when I asked him out “I don’t think it’s appropriate because I have a girlfriend”. I stop giving him attention. He on the other hand now realises I wasn’t just stringing him along and ramps up the attention. I refuse to engage, and won’t even look at him when we have to be in the same place together initially, but then ease and try just to be courteous and civil. I go blank on my WhatsApp profile, He thinks I’ve blocked him, so brings in his new girlfriend and flaunts her in front of me.
    I am so hurt, now I definitely won’t look at him and avoid and blank him at all costs.

    Now he’s chasing harder than ever. When we’re in the same room, if I happen to look up in his direction, 9 out of 10 times he’s looking at me.

    This week I needed clarity on something and chatted with his co-director for the first time instead of him. He looked crestfallen and then so hopeful when I approached him to ask him something I needed. (He has no authority over me, rather I’m a customer of sorts, and we are beholden to each other in a professional capacity. It’s in both our interests to keep each other happy professionally.)

    Next day we’re together, I ignore both guys as I sense something odd going on. (Ignore ie no unnecessary eye contact.) I hate ignoring people, find it rude ignorant and disrespectful. (Im in my late 40’s, he’s 5 years younger.) Yet I don’t know how else to make my intentions clear. It’s the best version of no contact I can manage with him given the circumstances.

    Every time I think I’m making progress, he makes some kind of comment when I’m in earshot that sets me back a 100 paces. This last day was eventually him talking about his girlfriend out loud to someone when they were standing behind me. The context was weird and unnecessary so I know it was aimed for me. He knows it upsets me because I’d explicitly told him in the past I’d be heartbroken when he did move on. It’s the second time he’s proactively used that knowledge to hurt me.

    Then he was superaffectionate with one of the another attractive Indian female student. He’s never behaved that way in front of me before with any of the other women around us, usually the opposite,

    Even as I’m writing this I can see how ludicrous the situation is. Why do I even care. Why does it set me back when he behaves this way? The minute he told me he had a girlfriend, I was out of the whole thing. Which was heartbreaking after half a year of such intensity and being on the verge of us dating so many times. I confess it was my fault initially because I wasn’t free to date (I’m single but there are other issues/restrictions in my personal life).

    I was doing so well a few weeks ago, then he said whilst playing with someone’s dog within earshot of me “you want to be my friend. Then I’ll go away. And you’ll want me to come back”. It was a weird thing to say to a dog but made sense in the context of our flirtatious relationship (I couldn’t progress for ages for complicated reasons so kept going hot and cold, but I did expressly explain to him and apologise for it.)

    Reading all your posts, I can see even more clearly that if he really wanted me and not just the attention, he would have locked me down once I’d asked him out and he knew I now could date him. I know I messed him around in the beginning but it was never intentional. His behaviour after he got a girlfriend though is inexcusable, and increasingly unattractive. Why then can I still not get him out of my head? If I could move organisations, I would. I just need him to be professional and deliver and not let this thing between us affect his professional services.

    I’m going to change my name to I will be and I am strong too! How do I get myself into these messes. I tried to resist him for so long, and then when I finally broke down it was too late and I missed the boat. And now everything’s gone horribly wrong and we’re still hooked into each other emotionally and energetically, but he crossed the line when he brought his new girlfriend in to hurt me.

    I’m thinking of becoming a nun.

    #933459 Reply


    Sorry for hijacking the thread. This situation is killing me.

    #933465 Reply


    Hi, M,

    It really seems that the Guy is not into you; that he is truly Committed to his Girlfriend now; and that is that.

    I doubt that he would “flaunt” his Girlfriend to your face just to hurt you. If anything, he could be Emphasizing that he has a Girlfriend in order for you to get the Message loud and clear and no longer consider him and move on.

    It is rather Egocentric to Think that he would Post that WhatsApp Photo with His Girlfriend to hurt you.

    It is also Egocentric and Narcissistic to Think that HE would Cross the Line to bring his Girlfriend to “hurt” you. He and His Girlfriend are the People in a Committed-Relationship; NOT you and him.

    So it is really Best for you to Accept that Reality and Move-On! It would be helpful for you to COMPLETELY Block him Professionally.

    Good Luck!

    #933474 Reply


    Padmini, I know you mean well but your message has just made me feel like crying. I think maybe I didn’t express myself well in my post (which I shouldn’t have been writing anyway given this is IWillBeStrong’s thread really. I apologise IWillBeStrong.)

    I promise I’m not egocentric or narcissistic. No more than any other woman anyway.

    I haven’t been talking to him or even looking at him for weeks. My cousin came with me one of the days, and even she saw it was him that greeted us and him that kept looking at me constantly.

    I just think we were obsessed with each other and in the beginning it was fun. But now it’s unhealthy and inappropriate.

    How do I know he was flaunting his girlfriend?

    Because that day he was literally waiting at the stairwell window at the top of the stairs looking out the window overlooking the car park, waiting for me to drive in and walk in with my children. Just as we reached the top flight and he came in view, he said into the phone in a loud voice “so are you coming in tonight?”, then flashed me a big smile as we walked past.

    I didn’t know who he was talking to, but then when a new young pretty blond girl appeared half an hour later, it became obvious.

    I am not young, pretty (any more) or blond. (I’m the opposite to her in every way. She had tattoos and a nose ring. I show up in my smart business suit as I don’t bother to change after work.)

    I tried not to look at them, but then at one point I accidentally looked up to where she’d gone to talk to him, and he was staring at me to watch my reaction.

    It was so awful. Absolutely heartbreaking to hear them standing right behind me later, whilst she was being introduced to everyone.

    He could have called her in on any day at any time. But he chose the day he knew I would be there and made her come in early to be sure our paths would definitely cross and I had to witness them together.

    I’m happy if he’s genuinely found love. I’d told him in the past that what I truly wanted in my heart most was for him to be happy.

    I just never imagined he’d rub it in my face so obviously.

    The WhatsApp profile, I can’t prove it, but I’m about 98% sure it’s for my benefit. For two reasons – one this online behaviour is uncharacteristic of him. And two, direct communication appears to be difficult for us and in the past our profiles have served as indirect communication. Totally totally dumb, ineffective and open to all kinds of misunderstandings, I get it. Please don’t shoot me down for it. It was a past mistake I made to communicate my intentions this way, because I let myself be led by him in this one thing. What can I say. Love can make you lose your senses sometimes and do dumb things. (Or infatuation anyway.)

    I’ve been trying so hard to move on, and when you have to see someone twice a week, it’s not easy when they won’t let go.

    I have no illusions about how he feels about me. I think I’m in love with him (and no matter how much work and interventions and therapy I do on myself, it doesn’t last, I still coming back to the same place where I just…. love him.). This is dumb and foolish and my heart just is struggling to let him go when he keeps trying relentlessly to win me back like he did ever other time before the girlfriend.

    I think he has a good heart and is brilliant in his professional life, but is emotionally immature when it comes to relationships and doesn’t understand women at all. The intensity of our past connection and the feelings and admiration I expressed to him has him hooked and craving that attention again. It’s not me he wants, he just wants the way I made him feel. (I’d written him a beautiful love letter in the past telling him the truth confessing what was in my heart and my dilemma.)

    I think he likes me but grew fed up with the way our relationship was not progressing and how I kept blowing hot and cold. He probably thinks he can’t trust me and it’s better for him to be with someone who can commit properly. He’s right and wise to do so.

    But I think he misses the attention he enjoyed with me and how highly I regarded him. If only he did really care about me, he’d have left me alone to get over him.

    We’ve both clearly had dysfunctional upbringings.

    All I can do now is pray. My cousin today has suggested I stop ignoring him completely as this isn’t working and he’s displaying signs of strong hurt and jealousy every time he sees me close to anyone. So he’s using every opportunity to hurt me because he thinks that’s what I’m doing to him.

    I have been trying to pretend I don’t care about him, because I’ve been trying to protect my feelings.

    It’s all an awful mess. I wish I could just talk to him to sort it out, but after that text saying “it’s inappropriate because I have a girlfriend” I darent even speak to him now.

    It’s so awful. I’ve stopped crying but every time he says something indirectly to me, it just sets me right back and I lose sleep over it. He doesn’t know any of this, because I’m like a grey rock to him, I try not to show anything.

    I think there’s something wrong with me. I was in an abusive marriage several years ago, and now the first guy I eventually get (semi-)involved with, shows controlling tendencies too and apparently I’m still in love with him and feel affected every time he tries to draw me back into the old dynamic.

    I refuse to be anyones side-chick (I am a Queen!).

    I’ve been praying for help because this feels like an impossible situation. He’s not a bad guy (my intuition told me he’s got a good heart, and my intuition is NEVER wrong). It’s my circumstances that were the problem, and now we’re both behaving in ways that are unbecoming off who we really are at our core. I don’t trust his ability to handle difficult emotions or circumstances in love, so even if he were available again, I would not date him.

    I pray for him and his girlfriend/future wife every day. I wish them well, even though seeing pictures of them together kills me.

    #933475 Reply


    I know, don’t look at photos of them. I know I know….

    #933478 Reply


    Hi, M,

    I Apologize for upsetting you; and also for being so quick to Judge with so much Harshness.

    Now that you have provided new Details, I actually find that you are indeed on the Right-Track with Clarity on the Situation and your Ultimate Aspirations!

    I am Glad to find that you do know that no matter your Feelings for the Guy, you would not want a Relationship with him.

    I have been in a rather similar Situation with a Guy I was Attracted to, who enjoyed Coming-onto Me, but always knew I did not want a Relationship with. So I know the Absurdities of the Push and Pull of the Situation.

    I would even at times feel Meta-Guilt for Desiring that Non-Prospect.

    So I Recommend that you Continue in your Wise Direction of Cutting-Ties with the Guy; and then take your Time in Solitude via a Diary or with a Trusted Loved-One to Pour-Your-Heart-Out–whether it be in the Form of Tears or Vocality.

    As you Rightly-Say: It is best for you not to Look at Photos of Him; whether with His Girlfriend or on His Own.

    It is Admirable that you are maturely Raising Children of Your Own; although you sadly had a Dysfunctional Up-Bringing.

    I, myself, am working on overcoming Heart-Break–being in the Form of a Break-Up. My Wise Platonic Friend has Advised me regarding Heart-Break I experience in the Dating-Scene: “Maybe there is a Project or Hobby you can Focus on to Get Your Mind off of it.”

    Good Luck!

    #933480 Reply

    Eric Charles

    M – I read your post, all of this has nothing to do with “relationship”.

    It’s all drama, fueled by negativity from within that you mistakenly believe this relationship could resolve.

    That’s not to say that it’s not important or upsetting or real. I’m not saying that to diminish it, this is important to discuss.

    But it has nothing to do with love or relationships.

    This is why, as a relationship coach, I’ve been disgusted with this idea of needing to make someone “chase you” and not “chasing a guy” and all that.

    Your story is the perfect illustration of why.

    What’s powering the “chasing”? Negative feelings within the chaser. They mistakenly believe that these negative feelings within will be gone if they can just get together with this person they’re chasing.

    Women do this. Men do this. It’s dysfunction.

    Dreaming and pining to end up with someone is dysfunction.

    And thinking about love dynamics from a standpoint of drama and chasing is dysfunction too.

    Why? Because the chasing is powering all of it. And inner negativity is powering the chasing.

    And in the best case scenario where you “get” the person, then the chasing stops supposedly. Then what?

    Well, in reality, the negativity doesn’t disappear (since, after all the source of the negativity was from within, nothing to do with that other person), so the negativity now powers some new dysfunction, some new aim to chase.

    “Oh, we’re together, but he is acting wishy washy. I need to make him my boyfriend! I need him to officially commit!”

    And then…

    “OK, he says he’s my boyfriend, but I don’t trust it… I need him to propose.”

    And then…

    “OK, we’re getting married this spring, but I don’t know… we had a fight and I don’t know how serious he really even is about going through with this…”

    And then…

    “This is a disaster… if I knew it would be like this, I never would have married him… maybe after we have our first kid…”


    My point here is that when a “”””””relationship”””””” looks like this, it actually has nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with your own inner relationship and negativity.

    Our unrealistic, inappropriate perspective generates our negativity towards life.

    Now, there are cruel people who will toy with you, like this guy apparently is.

    Why? Because he’s got something going on within himself too. Happy, secure people don’t act like this. He’s “chasing” something too. He’s trying to escape some negative feeling within himself too, some insecurity, some dysfunction.

    One of the reasons this dysfunction isn’t obvious is that it’s normalized on TV shows and movies. It’s been normalized for the last several decades, possibly since the late 60’s or perhaps even further back.

    None of this has anything to do with love or relationships. It’s just drama.

    And hey, this drama has you really upset and that’s significant. That’s worth reflecting about.

    But don’t kid yourself.

    When you say you’re writing love letters and your heart is breaking, stop. Turn off the TV, so to speak.

    This isn’t love. This is drama.

    This isn’t love. This is drama.

    This. Isn’t. Love.

    This. Is. Drama.


    You’re not even in the same building as love or relationship.

    You’re not even in the same country!

    Spit this out.

    And along with it, spit out anything that looks like this, feels like this or tastes like this.

    You want love and relationship, this has nothing to do with love or relationship.

    And this isn’t even neutral starting territory. This is a trash pile you’re playing in, a pig sty.

    There’s no winning here. There’s only one thing to do and that’s to take a deep long breath in through your nose and recognize you’re in a pig sty.


    #933481 Reply


    Post-Script to M: In Order to Move-Forward with Strength: You can Emphasize the Self-Affirmation that: You are really doing Right as a Mother and have accordingly Triumphed over your Dysfunctional Up-Bringing!

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