Out of the mouths of men-how walking away can actually make it work


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  • #451897

    Kaye

    I thought I would give you a little insight into a guy’s mind and show you why sometimes walking away from your ex can be the smartest decision you ever make. As Samantha said in an email that I took to heart “not only do you allow yourself the time of move on but you also appear less desperate and you give your ex time to sit and think about what he has lost.” So my boyfriend and I went out for Mexican last night and we each had one of those HUGE margaritas and got silly and were talking. As I’ve shared before, we’ve had some ups and downs and have broken up and gotten back together a couple times. Right now we are in a committed relationship again and things are easier and happier and much more open than ever before. So I brought up our breakup in the past and he didn’t want to go there. He said “I don’t want to talk about the past, I just want to focus on the future. But if you need closure or something on all that then we can go there.” We’ve been back together for over 4 months now, and so far we have stayed away from rehashing the break up, other than each of us taking responsibility and apologizing for our part in it. But there were a few things I wanted to talk about and I told him that the last time we had broken up I didn’t think he loved me because he told me he couldn’t make me happy and I needed to go find someone else to make me happy. His reply was that he’d loved me a long time (he just never said it until recently) and I asked when he knew and he said I knew I loved you when you walked away.

    Wow, for me a light bulb went off!!! And I’ll share with you the story so that when you are reading the advice on here from the ladies and they tell you to walk away if a guy isn’t giving you what you need, you’ll understand why it’s the best thing you can do. It will show him you are high value and you’re not going to settle for less than what you want. And it will also make him realize what he’s lost by cutting him off and doing no contact. So there was a point after our breakup that he had come to me and told me he wanted to be friends. So we would just hang out as friends every couple weeks or so. Totally platonic. He’s friends with a lot of his exes and I didn’t really see this as any indication we would get back together. So we did this for about 3 months after the breakup and all the sudden he starts calling me and texting me everyday and wanting to see me and we started hanging out on a more regular basis. We were back to daily contact and seeing each other regularly and a couple weeks in we were intimate again. There had always been off the charts hot,steamy chemistry between us and it was hard to be around him and say no. After we both caved in and had sex again, I talked to him about what was going on between us, he said he just wanted to be friends first and see where this went. I took this to mean he wouldn’t commit to us officially trying again. So, I told him I wanted a long term relationship, that I wasn’t interested in FWB and I thought it was best that I didn’t talk to him or see him anymore. Apparently for him, that first few days after I walked away was when he realized that he really did love me.

    It wasn’t easy for me to walk away from him when I loved him, but it was the catalyst that made him realize his feelings for me and also made him realize that he was going to have to be all in if we were going to try again. I wasn’t going to settle for FWB. And now we are happy and committed and looking forward to the future. Just thought it was worth sharing if there’s someone out there in a similar situation right now.

    #451904

    Maria

    Thanks, Kaye. Very insightful, your story has some elements that should have prevented, theoretically, a successful relationship, but you are together and happily too. Of course your walking away at some point was key. I can see that, but if you keep walking away and then getting back together, it becomes old news and nobody takes it seriously, and you broke up twice already. But in your case, it didn’t. I’d really like to know how things develop in the future for the two of you.

    #451911

    LL

    Yup, so many women think if they just wait patiently, the world will all change and suddenly work in their favor. Um…no. A man tells you he wants FWB, you don’t, so you walk away. The moment you give some dude SPECIAL TREATMENT by allowing casual sex, being nice, doing favors, waiting patiently, etc etc etc….that’s the moment you sell your soul. Your integrity is shot at that point so guess what….nobody wants you. At least not in the morning.

    #451916

    kaye

    Maria,

    You’re right I’m not advocating a back and forth keep walking away and getting back together relationship. I don’t think that’s healthy for anyone. The second time we broke up was because I became really needy and insecure and pushed him to his breaking point when he was going through a really stressful period at work. That is when I first started coming on this site to see if I could recover from my “freakout” as I call it and get him back. I shared my story on the “Do I just let it slide” post a couple days ago.

    LL,

    It wasn’t easy to not give him “special treatment” just to have him back in my life because our sex life was always incredible. But I knew if I let that happen I would just be in this limbo always waiting and wondering if it was ever going to be anything more. And I knew I would just be setting myself up for heartbreak if I agreed to FWB with a man I loved. What’s funny is it came out last night that FWB wasn’t what he wanted. That he was wanting us to get back together then but he didn’t want to rush into it and screw it up again. So when he said see where it goes he meant to take it slow. I took that as casual and he wasn’t going to commit.

    #451920

    Khadija

    Kaye,
    I’m glad to hear that things are working out for you and your boyfriend.
    I hope you two continue to grow and build an even stronger connection.

    #451921

    LL

    See I think the way men work, they NEVER WANT “serious”. They hate that. They only don’t hate it…they only agree to do it…when they HAVE TO and feel inspired to because the woman has THAT MUCH VALUE. So, he did want casual. He wasn’t going to committ. UNTIL you showed him that you’re better than that. Then what he wanted changed.

    #451942

    Rose

    So true.

    #451947

    Snow White

    I had close friends give me advice on a breakup once:
    – Don’t pursue because he may come back faster.
    – It may take 2 months for him to come back, if he doesn’t then move on.

    #451958

    Mistral

    I think LL has hit upon a Universal Truth here:

    “See I think the way men work, they NEVER WANT “serious”. They hate that. They only don’t hate it…they only agree to do it…when they HAVE TO and feel inspired to because the woman has THAT MUCH VALUE.”

    She’s right, no smart man ever wants “serious” the first time they talk to a woman or go out on a date with her. Only the emotionally unintelligent ones want a serious relationship right away…and they are the ones who pull the old houdini trick on you.

    The reason guys don’t want a serious relationship right away is very smart. It keeps them from spending time and money on the emotionally unintelligent women who are commonly termed as “clingy/needy” or “psycho stalker”….

    #451959

    Leila

    Yes! So true. And now you know that if he gets a little stressed out and pulls away, there isn’t a need to freak out and become needy because you know he loves you. If you give him his space, he will appreciate you that much more! I posted a similar topic a couple of weeks back called “My boyfriend went quiet and I was OK with it.” He disappeared on me for a few stressful days. I gave him that space and was supportive when he resurfaced. He thanked me for understanding. A couple of days later, he kept telling me how comfortable he is around me and how I have an effect on him when we’re together. I hope your adventure with love continues!

    #451977

    Leigh

    Great discussion. Thanks for the helpful hints! Makes sense! Good Luck!

    #451978

    kaye

    Leila, I remember reading your story and was so glad you shared that with everyone! I have learned so much from reading the articles on this site and the advice of all the great ladies on the forum that I think it’s great when we can share and show how this advice works in real life!! Thanks so much!

    #451983

    bluedream8

    Kaye,

    Do you think that the key was also that you were genuinely ready to walk away from your boyfriend and that he sensed you were serious about that? I have found that many of my girlfriends who have broken up with men have done a sort of half committed job of it where they still keep a large part of their lives open for the possibility of the man’s return. Do you think they can sense when we are truly serious about moving forward and then perhaps that is the catalyst that leads them to reevaluate their feelings? Sorry if that sounded a bit confusing, lol.

    #451994

    Em

    Bluedream3

    “Do you think they can sense when we are truly serious about moving forward and then perhaps that is the catalyst that leads them to reevaluate their feelings?”

    I do. A lot like watching a child threaten to hold its breath forever.

    “I have found that many of my girlfriends who have broken up with men have done a sort of half committed job of it where they still keep a large part of their lives open for the possibility of the man’s return.”

    Why does it happen?

    Yes, because they chose to waste time on a dead horse.

    But I also think this advice often gets the major point across very, very poorly.

    The major point here is not that Kaye got her man back better than ever (a highly favorable outcome notwithstanding).

    The major point here is that Kaye went after what she wanted with or without him.

    There’s usually no pat on the back for this kinda guts, especially when the men does not run back…I think there should be. We give so much cred to whoever breaks up first and getting the man is it any surprise when women issue flake ultimatums then hinge their dignity to a lousy outcome?

    Kaye, thank you for sharing this. Best of luck. Hopefully others will be inspired to prioritize themselves for its own sake.

    #451998

    kaye

    Bluedream8,

    Yes, I think it was key that he knew I was serious when I walked away. I don’t think I made a mistake by being friends with him and hanging out after the breakup because I needed to show him I had learned from my mistakes and I wasn’t going to be this needy insecure girl freaking out on him if he couldn’t text me for a few hours. But it made it too easy for him to go from friends to seeing me intimately again without giving me any kind of commitment like I wanted. We could go from friends to FWB pretty easy. So I had to walk away to make it clear I wanted a relationship. And I did date other guys and he found out so I think that helped a lot too. He knew I was moving on and not waiting on him to step up.

    Em,

    Thank you for your comments. I sure could have used a pat on the back then! I didn’t see or hear from him for 6 weeks and because I told him I didn’t want to see him or talk to him he took me at my word. He’s a stubborn man and I really hurt his ego when I walked away. He told me he respected my wishes so he didn’t contact me. So I really did think it was over. It was a case of divine intervention that we ran into each other after that time. :)

    #452024

    Leila

    I agree with Kaye, one of the elements I heard in her story was that when the discussion to get back together came up, she didn’t settle for less than what she wanted. Telling a man that you want a relationship and you’re willing to walk away will send them a message that they will need to step up if they want to pursue you. Then step back and let them lead.

    #452037

    Maria

    Leila – did your boyfriend ghosted you for a few days? without an explanation? how long have you been together? was he testing you? why did he do that, did he explain when he came back?

    Great that you did NOT contact him during that time btw. For various reasons, but I am interested in knowing why you “took him back”.

    #452041

    Em

    Kaye

    You are welcome, just giving credit where its due.

    #452043

    Leila

    Hi Maria,
    No, my boyfriend did not ghost on me. He was having a bad week and was not being very responsive to my texts so I left him alone rather than bombarding him with texts asking him what was going on and freaking out. After a couple of days, he sent me a text apologizing for being distant and that it was a bad week for him. I just responded with, “take your time, I’m not going anywhere.” We usually spend our weekends together because we live an hour apart from each other. Well, he had to leave town to go to his parents (one of the stressors he has been dealing with) at the last minute and told me Friday afternoon. Again, instead of being angry or freaking out, I told him I was going to take advantage of the free weekend to visit with some friends out of town. Later that night he sent me a very sweet text thanking me for being so patient and understanding, and acknowledging how disappointing it must’ve been for me. I told him not to worry about it and I couldn’t wait to see him on Sunday. The important part for me was that I meant what I said, and I haven’t felt any resentment towards him. Because I give him his space, his love for me continues to grow stronger. I can feel it between us.

    The background is that we’ve been dating for 4 months but we’ve known each other for over 12 years. He has always been very responsive and attentive since day 1, so allowing him that time to himself easy for me. I trust him 110% because I know how he feels about me. My fears and anxiety would only come from me and it would only harm things if I chose to act on them.

    #534548

    Mel

    Hi I was in a relationship for 12 years. We broke up 3 years ago. For the past year we have been seeing each other and things seemed great, but I felt like we were not going anywhere. I asked him about it and he just says you never know what tomorrow holds. So two weeks ago I let him go. I’ve started to date other people and getting on with my life. But everyday is an effort. I am strong and not going back on my word. Let’s see what happens.

    #534552

    Twinkle

    Kaye,

    Yes thanks for sharing! It’s so hard to not have open possibities hoping the guy returns but that is true high value woman actions, you walk not just talk lol. So many women fault on it and even if the man doesn’t return she’s NOT GOING TO BE TREATED THAT WAY! Being high value is the only thing and no matter how hard it is to leave to fear that you’ll be alone. When you want love, you are open to all possibility and take the risks needed to do so. Yes, you’ll be sad but the risks are worth it in the end.

    #534553

    Twinkle

    @ Leila – that is awesome “My fears and anxiety would only come from me and it would only harm things if I chose to act on them. ”

    if only everyone had used that mindset in dating when it comes to how they feel based off a feeling/fears it would save your headaches lol.

    #534573

    Phillygirl

    Kaye is right. I’ve had several exes come back, and the one thing in common is…everyone of them told me how much they respect me, and love that I respect myself and won’t take crap from them. I am not mean, but I am very firm.

    Some guys have made the mistake of thinking that because I’m usually laid back and “sweet” as they put it, that I’m going to be a pushover.

    Then if they try to take advantage or disrespect me, they see a whole other side. It’s the “kickin ass and takin’ names” side.

    I will walk away, and have walked away without looking back. The man I consider the love of my life, came back to me years later and was ready to commit very quickly. He knew what he wanted and didn’t want to lose me. Unfortunately, as much as I still love him, love isn’t enough when there are certain issues.

    I broke up with him right before Christmas. Things came to a head with his wacko ex-wife, and he just cant seem to set healthy boundaries with her.

    He still reaches out to me, and if I were weak enough to cave, I’m sure we’d be back together. But for my sanity and self-respect I can’t. He needs to get his house in order so to speak, without me in it.

    It truly sucks, but I’ve learned to set my own healthy boundaries. If there is anything I’ve learned, we HAVE to be happy on our own, or you will accept any nonsense a man offers. When you make your own life, you become strong enough to wait for what you really need and want,& you are able let go of (move on) from the rest.

    I find it interesting that many women think all men are relationship/commitment phobes. That has not been my experience. Most of my BF’s have wanted a relationship and let me know in short order. Maybe it’s more about the screening process? I don’t know.

    I still wonder if I will ever feel ready to give my heart to someone else, it’s still his. Not that he knows that, I won’t talk to him, so we can both try to move on. But I’m not settling and I’m not dating until I can give someone else my whole heart, not just pieces of it.

    In the meantime, I’m ok and comfortable enough with me to be single.

    #534597

    Options2

    Bravo Phillygirl.

    Wish the ladies share more of nice stories and nice progress.

    We all need a nice little lift from time to time

    #534623

    Amanda

    I love the comments in this post. Wanted to share my two bits worth.

    Walking away keeps your self-respect and esteem intact, especially if you and the man want different things. However, it does not bring back the man in all cases, if this is a plan to hopefully have him place a higher value on you.

    In my case I broke up with my ex BF several times but always went back to him (in retrospect wrong move!). He would expect it and take me for granted. I broke up with him for good 5 months ago and have not heard one word from him. It was a mistake on my part to keep going back as he never took my leaving seriously. In my case, walking away for good the last time did not increase my value to him at all. The right way to do it would have been when I broke it off the first time – keep walking and never turn back.

    I do agree in some cases that if you do walk away and do it properly, the guy may realize what he has lost and commit.

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