Not sure why break-up happened and if it is worth a second chance

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  • #789622 Reply


    My long-term boyfriend broke up with me recently (we are both over 30 and lived together) saying that he thinks we are too different, don’t have enough common activities to do, and he is not sure of marriage.

    Even though there were some everyday problems in our relationship, we talked about them and tried to find solutions. Yet, break-up came to me quite unexpectedly. Especially since the month before was actually full of nice common activities (we spent lots of time together, and we also spent time with our friends and families).

    I was on no contact for a few weeks, and now he has started to contact me again, and even asks to meet (which of course makes me wonder why). I keep answering politely but not too much, and will try to meet sometime soon. I worked a lot on myself meanwhile and looked with clearer mind at our relationship, which raises me some questions:

    1) Why did he actually break up and why did I not see it coming?
    2) If he wants me back (if so, as it is not clear yet), is it worth giving relationship a second chance? I believe the problems we had can be solved by working on them. But what about that he thinks we are so different?

    #789623 Reply


    Ask him?

    #789634 Reply


    I think your questions are good. I would add one for you: will you be able to trust him to stay if you do give him a second chance. That would be my biggest problem. I would have to know he went through this and that and its cleared and now he is 100% sure. So i would be very cautious in trying again

    #790634 Reply


    All of the above.

    You may not have seen the problems if he was hiding them but the difficulty is, how can you work with a partner who doesn’t tell you they have any issues until they up and leave? Newbie is right – if someone leaves you, it shakes you to your core – it will take a lot of work before you can trust that erson again.

    And before you try, you’re going to have to ask him a lot of uestions on what he though the issues were, why he thought they were insurmountable at the time. And now why he things they aren’t, and how you can learn to trust him again. If you got back together I’d definitley suggest couples therapy – you’re gonna need it.

    #791754 Reply


    An update to my situation… My ex kept reaching out, so after no contact I met with him a few times. I did my best, kept first conversations light, all went well. He started flirting with me, sent flirty messages, said he cares about me, etc. In our last meet-up, I finally tried to ask him what his behaviour means, what he wants (what should I do afterall? I need some clarity), but I just got ’silence’ – no answer at all. I did not push further, as the serious conversation was not progressing.

    Soon after our last meet-up, I saw him in the city with another girl. I was shocked, as I really did not expect that, since he kept reaching out, flirted with me, and we just met recently. I also found he has a profile on a dating site, where he states he is looking for someone with specific qualities and activities to do (as I told before, when he broke up with me, he said we have too little what to do together, but I never knew these are so important things for him).

    I wonder, what is best to do when (and if) he contacts me again:

    1) Say that I saw him with another girl or don’t? Say I saw him on a dating website, or not? Ask why he never talked with me about those ’important things’ he is looking in a partner, or not? Don’t say and don’t ask anything, and just move on? Or else?
    2) I understand we broke up, so in essence he is free to date, but why then he reaches out to me all the time? I don’t want him to play my feelings, and I don’t understand such behaviour…

    Thank you for your help.

    #791758 Reply


    You say you don’t want him to play your feelings but that’s exactly what he has been doing. Set the boundary of not allowing this by not talking to him at all. No contact at all. If he’s serious about you, he will do ALL the work to get you back not just flirt, text you- these are easy and don’t mean anything.

    #791759 Reply

    T from NY

    This is really very simple. When he contacts you again – ask him to call you. When he does tell him you have enjoyed meeting and speaking with him again but your heart needs clarity. Tell him you’ve seen him on dating apps and on actual dates and want to know what his intentions with you are? Tell him you’re open to all the activities (if you are) he listed on his profile, and would be willing to address any concerns he had of your relationship, if he’s willing to address your now bruised trust. Ask him to please communicate around why he’s contacting you.

    If you two can’t openly and honestly discuss what’s going on between you the relationship could not have lasted anyway. Do not allow him to come and go as he pleases. There is too much history there. And being relaxed about talking to him and spending time with him leaves opportunity open for him to get his ego stroked, as well as, have one foot in, and one foot out of your life. You deserve better than that.

    Don’t be afraid to lose him again. You don’t have him now. And you can’t do the wrong thing with the right guy for you. He will either step up and be willing to win you back, work on your issues, or he should step off.

    #791763 Reply


    He’s doing it because he feels some guilt in the way he broke up with you. Its his way of seeing how your doing, because he does care about you, as a person, and wants to know you’re OK. However, its clear he doesn’t want to rekindle anything with you which is why he’s intentionally avoiding having those discussions with you, as he doesn’t see the nee or value in hashing out the why’s, when in his mind, its over and there’s nothing to solve or resolve.

    It sounds like he’s going through a personal crisis, like the commonly known “mid life” ones I’m sure you’ve heard about. He will go on a bunch of dates, even have a few “rebounds” until he realizes the grass isn’t as greener as he thought! Its possible he’s starting to see the grass is brown; and why he’s reaching out but still in crisis mode. The commonality he seems to want or desire isn’t really there, because trust me, he would have been actively doing them, you would have known about them, and he would have invited you to join him if they really meant that much to him. They don’t exist but in his mind, and 10-1, even if he did do them with another lady doesn’t mean their relationship will be any better than what he had with you.

    Anywho. The best thing you can do is tell him that you need to take time for yourself, wish him luck finding whatever it is he’s seeking, then go no contact.

    #791767 Reply


    I think he finds himself at a loose end and alone. which is probably a new situation and confusing to him. the fact that he dint reply when you asked him shows that he is still unclear about what he really wants when it comes to you. the fact that he is on dating sites despite reinitiating contact with you shows he is testing waters in the dating game again but not yet letting you go either. maybe he is keeping you around as a fall back? if he doesn’t meet anyone he can gel with, you become the fallback since he doesn’t want to be alone.

    what do you want? to get back with him? and are you sure you want that? I think you need to clarify this in your mind. once you have figured where you stand, you can tell him straight out. I don’t think there is “getting to know you again” stage since he already knows you quite well. he told you clearly why its not working out. so why is he meeting and flirting with you again? ask him.

    #791771 Reply


    Thank you all so much for valuable insights.

    To add, yes, there is some history here. I did not mention before, we were together for 4 years, and I moved to his country 2.5 years ago after long-distance, we lived together. These years were full of nice trips and activities, visits to my family and friends abroad, I was around his family and friends here all the time.

    He can take action for sure if he wants, shown by all long-distance, me moving here, integrating me to his family and friends, etc.

    I agree, he might be in a personal crisis now. When I think about it, last year at some point ’everything’ was bad for him – work, relationships, not sure what he wants in life (including family, kids) (you feel some ’push’ from families, seeing many friends getting married, but you also naturally question what is the next step… His parents are divorced, can it also be a factor here?). His work turned out great, other things – seems not (and he was ’stuck’ with a foreign girlfriend…). Ironically, last year his two close friends found girlfriends on dating apps (maybe he thinks he should try the same to find a perfect woman?)

    I moved out of him immediately. He sees I can be self-standing abroad, although it is a huge stress for me now, not only emotionally, but also financially. And he knows I will stick here around for now, where I have the job.

    Sure, he might feel guilty, of ’dragging’ me to his country, and ending things so…

    What do I want now? That’s a very good question, I am trying to figure out after all this…

    #791774 Reply


    To add even more, during the last our meet-up, after I mentioned I am looking for a personal trainer, he said ’why don’t you train with me, personal trainers are expensive’. I told him honestly, ’thanks, I’ll think about that, but it might be hard for me do this with you now in the friendly way’. He just replied ’I understand’. After that, when I saw his profile on a dating site, I know training together is one of those ’desired qualities’ he is looking in a partner. Sure, it is nice to train with him, he is good at this, and we did that before. But doing this now? Is this offer from him because of a pity for me, or that he is lonely? I know he could see I’ve improved in my training and stamina during these months. But I also know he is meeting other girls…

    #791775 Reply


    No no no. You asked what he wants and he ignored you. That means he does not want you, but wants the attention. Do not ask him again. He already told you with his actions!!!! If he contacts you again, you tell him:

    I appreciate you reaching out, but I think it is best we no longer interact. For me, I was hoping for reconciliation, but it is clear you are undecided about what you want as you did not respond when I asked for clarity after interacting fairly consistently and seeing each other. I am unfortunately am unwilling to engage in casual interaction any longer. I do leave the door open, but only for getting back together, because I deserve the relationship I want. Please only contact me if/when you want the same. I truest wish you the best.

    If he disagrees or tries to correct you then you know he is serious. But I bet he disappears again.

    #791776 Reply


    He needs to feel your total absence. Stop engaging the bullhonkey.

    #791790 Reply


    Its very common to try and “understand” why he did what he did but all it will do is drive you crazy! I get it, you are hurt, seeking answers, and trying to figure it out so you can reconcile it in your mind. The only thing you need to reconcile is that this relationship has run its course, and its time for you to take a different route.

    The hard cold truth is you can’t control what other people think or feel. For whatever reason or reasons he used to break up with you, the fact is, he didn’t envision a future with you after he had some time to “test drive” this relationship, so to speak.

    It happens a lot. Its not uncommon for men, and women, to fall out of love when they’ve had the opportunity to decide if this really is the person they want to potentially spend their life with. Its a big major decision, that shouldn’t be taken lightly, nor should it be taken lightly because it would have eventually resulted in a divorce, which is not only very costly but can become very messy; so be thankful that you didn’t have to go down that path, nor have children, just for them to end up in a broken family.

    Take time to yourself to grieve the loss of this relationship. Vent through writing! Its very cathartic to spill out all your emotions, thoughts, and feelings on paper. When you are done writing, save a copy, print it out, then go outside and burn it! The moment you do this, pour ALL your energy into yourself! Work out (great endorphin release), get some hobbies (art, sports, social events, etc.) and find like minded people to spend this time with. Don’t know if you have “” but it was a lifesaver for me where I filled up my calendar with all kinds of activities and events to the point I didn’t have the time to think of all my ex husband, the divorce or all the messiness of ending a 20 year marriage.

    I also bought a lot of books such as “seven stages to Divorce” (could help with breakups too), which helped me understand which step I was at on the ladder to internal peace, tranquility, and happiness. I also bought others that helped me rebuild by confidence, independence and setting better boundaries. I also printed out a lot of self-help “quotes” that had to do with inner strength, power, etc. on my mirror, and read them over and over until I believed it!

    After a year, I had never felt such peace and tranquility in my life! I had fallen so much in love with my singlehood and independence, that I had no desire to be in a relationship because I was having too much cotton pickin fun being single! I did date (good way to tes your emotional level) and engaged in a couple FWB’s that gave me some of the “companion components” that I did miss but because I was emotionally unavailable (had no desire for a relationship) it worked well for me, personally. Definitely not for everyone but you need to be honest and know yourself before you consider dabbling in that. If you can’t remain emotionally detached, then stay single until you’re fully healed.

    I know this sucks, I know its hard, and I know your struggling but he is not “the one” and that’s all you need to know to begin the process of moving towards not only a better you but a better man who KNOWS 100%, in his heart of hearts, that you are the only one for him! Like they say “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” That was my mantra, and just know, this won’t kill you, and you will get stronger in time :o)

    #791792 Reply


    My favorite learning this weekend: life is not fair and not always explainable. Oftentimes things happen to people that they do not deserve.

    Meaning: just love up on yourself and let go of why. It is a fools errand.

    #791811 Reply


    I think its time you really have to stop questioning hos motives on why he did what and fully accept he dumped you. Thats what he did and he isnt trying to get you back at all. Dumping you was a clear decision in his mind. I think T and lane for example both gave perfect advice on what might be going on but to move on anyway. Try to detach completely and the first step is going non contact at all. Its hard and even harder if you moved to another country for him. Grieve but also invest in the friends you have. That will get you through it. And get mad so you can move on. But dont keep questioning details. Focus on the bigger picture; he broke up with you to find a better fit. And isnt sorry about it

    #791853 Reply


    you have got some pretty good advice here. do not let him hang around you anymore. and do not engage with him casually. its very obvious your over analysing and getting into details, grasping at things to somehow justify or defend his actions. we have all done that when we didn’t want to accept that its over. in your case its understandable since you moved to another country for this man. I think what tall spicey said makes sense. so when he next reaches out tell him that and shut that particular door on him. you have to accept that this didn’t work out and its good that he changed his mind before you guys married.

    #796099 Reply


    I understand how you feel, I’m going through the same thing right now and it’s so difficult. I was also with my partner for 4 years and we’ve had a similar interaction since we’ve split. I’ve gone through all kinds of emotions with it. Thinking if he sees me happy and carefree, he’ll want me back. If he sees me being supportive and there for him, he’ll realise he’ll never find anyone else in his life.
    I’ve since realised if we have are going to get back together I’ve got to stop being so available for him. Boys minds work different to ours I guess. They know we still care and love them so I think like the idea of knowing that we’re still available for them in case they realise they have made a mistake.
    As difficult as it is to cut ties and pull away (I know all you want is that person in your life in some capacity) if they’re ever going to have that realisation that we are great for them, it’s going to be when they truly see us moving on and not heavily involved in their life. They need to really see what their lives are like without us.
    It’s something I’m still struggling with, I’m unfortunate enough to have the same circle of friends. But I think deep down you know that’s the right thing to do.
    We can hope it’s going to work out and they will realise what they’ve got. But at least if not we can stop hurting ourselves so much with the psychological drain and emotion having them in your life but not as your boyfriend is doing. And hopefully at some point, we can move on.

    I hope this helps, I guess I’m on this site looking for answers myself. But truthfully I know the answers deep down – I think you know too – it’s just a hard thing accepting this isn’t the man you might marry and you might actually have to start again in your 30s. I’m still trying to accept that but I think being out of his life is the best shot I can give myself for either scenario, and ultimately being happy.

    #796169 Reply


    You need to dig deep to determine whether you really see the two of you as compatible and whether he meets your needs. If you do see a future with him, do not get back together without the proposal and ring. Let him know that you want to find someone who wants marriage with you (and have children, if that is what you want) and then say goodbye and wish him well. The space will unite you in marriage if meant to be, but he has to feel he lost you.

    #796203 Reply


    Azzes, trust me, most of us women have been there but the reality is, and after some introspect, you will eventually get to the place he is, and be thankful you didn’t stay with a man who couldn’t stay, and would have strayed at some point.

    Trying to show or prove to a man you can be someone else is a futile waste of energy and time. Problem with this, is that theirs too much history involved to try and override that kind of change. Change rarely ever happens suddenly, its either naturally within you, or it will take a lot of willpower and time (years) before it becomes imbedded into your psyche enough that it eventually becomes natural to you. Real change is not like dieting, whereas most people who attempt it fail because they simply don’t have the willpower to continue doing something that is unnatural or habitual.

    Do you really want to be in a relationship where a man doesn’t love the authentic you? Of course not. You want a man who loves you for who you are, warts and all, because trying to be someone you aren’t is going to last long because you will eventually become resentful that you have to twist yourself into a pretzel just to keep a man, just to end up in the very same spot, when he leaves again for the same reasons.

    I know it really hurts, and you will be feeling the pain for quite awhile until it starts to ebb and then eventually reach the point of “indifference” where you stop hardly thinking about him. The kicker is, I have found these times are also the best time for personal growth to take place because all your energy is focused on you, instead of another. This is a great time to focus on YOU, whereas creating a *bucket list* of things you’ve wanted to do, try, or spontaneously sparks your interest now gives you the opportunity to do it because you can now do “what you want, anytime you want, with whomever you want” without having to worry about a partner v. not doing it because it easy to get into the relationship rut.

    Just so you know I now maintain this in my current relationship, where I *intentionally* don’t tell my beau what I’m doing or up to as I need to FEEL some freedom/independence or I start feeling stifled and suffocated. I’m not doing anything nefarious but sometimes I’ll go hang out with some friends (gals and/or guys); have some lunch/dinner/drinks and conversation, do some errands, go check something out, and not tell him about it, things like that. Its too easy to lose yourself in a relationship so sometimes you need to act like your *single* from time-to-time so to maintain that balance of not becoming overly dependent on a partner which is easy to do the longer you are together, and end up getting stuck in a rut. I’ve learned how to become “interdependent” where you’re able to maintain some freedom (independence) and autonomy (sense of self) because you are still an individual, have needs, and if you don’t attend to or nourish them, that’s when the growth ends and a relationship begins to die.

    #796293 Reply


    Thanks Lane.

    You’re 100% right and I feel like I’ve come a long way. I feel like I’ve become a lot more independent which I know is something I lost in the relationship. I think taking that forward is huge and something I’m going to try to do in the future.

    I know a break up isn’t easy and I know it’ll get easier, it’s just so difficult facing the unknown and certainty of what my future will be.

    I know I’m being strong and I’ve stopped responding to his messages about TV shows we watched together and other things – but obviously still have moments of weakness where it’s hard to not get overwhelmed by the loss of something great.

    It’s nice to hear the support and advice of others though. Everything you guys are saying is what I know already but so reassuring to hear it from someone else! I guess some things I’ll never understand but got to learn it’s ok and agonising myself over it isn’t going to help me!

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