Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Ex Thinks We Made a Mistake”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

A week ago, I ended an eight-month relationship with “Matt.” We have a great connection and care deeply about one another, but I felt that Matt had very little time and effort to put into the relationship. Finally, last weekend, I took a leap of faith and didn’t make plans for us, in hopes that he would make an effort to see me. He texted me throughout the weekend to say hi, but never made a concrete plan. Sunday afternoon rolls around and I realize that I’m in a relationship with someone who isn’t making a sincere effort to be with me, that I’m unhappy and I need to stand up for myself. I went to his place and expressed all of my concerns, plainly stating that I want a relationship with someone who wants to see me and is excited to be with me and to include me in his life. The guy who didn’t express emotion over the previous eight months burst into tears, shared that he’s unhappy — not with me but with his job and other life circumstances. I encouraged him to work on his own happiness, and told him that I care about him and want him to be in a better place, whether that’s with me or not.

We parted ways amicably. And then came the texts — saying we made a mistake and that he misses me. I told him that this communication is what I wanted in our relationship and didn’t have. He apologized. I suggested that he take some more time to see if he truly felt we made a mistake, or if these comments were more out of emotion. He’s now contacted me twice in the past week to “hang out.” I’ve replied by telling him I’m not ready, and that I do want us to have a friendly hang-out down the road. I also said: “If you want to talk about the relationship, I am open to that.” On one hand, I feel terrible that I keep shooting him down, but I keep leaving opportunities for him to speak about it, and he doesn’t take me up on them. I keep telling myself to MOA, but I’m conflicted when there’s a strong connection to him but the relationship wasn’t working. I don’t know how to respond if these requests to “hang” but not talk keep coming? — Afraid to MOA

109 comments… add one
  • avatar

    PFG-SCR February 23, 2012, 9:17 am

    Some people take their relationship for granted, and they don’t realize what it means to them until the relationship has ended. This might be what is going on with your ex, and he’s reacting to the wake-up call you gave him, or he might just be reacting to the rejection itself.

    It’s unclear from your letter if you had been telling him prior to the break up that you were unhappy with how the relationship was going. Clearly, there is a lack of communication on Matt’s side, but it’s likely something that you (and most people) could work on, as well. I think it’s a bit unfair to expect him to just “talk about the relationship” in such a general way, and if you have questions about things, ask him.

    However, it’s only been a week since you broke up. So, I’d give this some time apart and see how both you and Matt feel about the break up after a month or so. If you both decide after a period of time that you miss one another and want to give the relationship another chance, then talk about what needs to be different this time, what you want out of the relationship, expectations of each other, etc. No relationship is always perfect, and the only way to navigate your way through them is to communicate and work through the issue(s).

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  • avatar

    Amy February 23, 2012, 9:18 am

    When a guy asks me to hang out – we usually end up talking. Maybe that’s what he’s trying to do – and just isn’t using the exact terminology that you’d prefer. Why not “hang out” with him once and see if the conversation is what you had in mind. If it’s not – then you know for sure. Relationships take work – so I’d say if you each have a strong connection to each other, then figure out how to make the relationship work (if you are both willing to put in the effort necessary to meet each other’s needs).

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    • avatar

      ktfran February 23, 2012, 9:26 am

      I was wondering the same thing. Do you not talk when you hang out? Why does it need to be this heavy conversation? Maybe he does want to talk about it, but would rather it happen more organically than what you’re implying. Which, let’s face it, could easily freak any person out.

      I also need to mention that you did not communicate with him during your relationship what you need out of the relationship. You expected him to just know. He didn’t. He was use to you making plans. He didn’t know he needed to, and when he texted, but didn’t make concrete plans, you ended it.

      We’ve said it on here before, COMMUNICATION IS KEY. You have to voice what you want. Then if you don’t get it, you should MOA.

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  • avatar

    MJ February 23, 2012, 9:26 am

    I read this and I’m confused about what you want. I can’t imagine how Matt’s head must be spinning. Do you want to get back together? Do you want to talk about getting back together? Do you want him to want to talk about getting back together?

    You need to identify exactly what you want and make it clear. Matt can’t read your mind. His requests to hang out are an attempt to connect with you. If you don’t take him up on his offers, you can expect that pretty soon they’ll stop coming. If you’re okay with that, cool, but if you really do want to talk, now is the time.

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    • avatar

      ktfran February 23, 2012, 9:26 am

      This!

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    • avatar

      blarfengar February 23, 2012, 9:38 am

      Haha we both gave similar advice but yours was wayyyyy more concise. I think the LW needs some introspective time.

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    • avatar

      PFG-SCR February 23, 2012, 9:44 am

      I thought it was obvious what she wants – she wants him to tell her what she means to him. She cares a lot for him, but didn’t feel that he showed her the same through his actions over the 8 month relationship, and so now to move back into a relationship, she needs to hear him tell her.

      It’s a very rom-com type of thinking, but the reality is that he’s not likely to do that, not because he doesn’t care, but just because real life rarely works that way.

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      • avatar

        camille905 February 23, 2012, 10:40 am

        I also don’t think she’s clearly communicated that to him- that what she wants is him to tell her what she means to him. Or show her what she means to him by making plans. He can’t read her mind and she’s giving mixed signals.

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR February 23, 2012, 10:49 am

        I agree, and I said that above in my original comment. I was responding to the commenter above that said it was unclear from the letter what the LW wants.

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    • avatar

      va-in-ny February 23, 2012, 10:50 am

      She wants the grand gesture. Unfortunately, guys don’t automatically go to that idea – much like the movies would make us believe.

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  • avatar

    Tax Geek February 23, 2012, 9:32 am

    It sounds like she engaged in some passive aggressive behavior. And when he didn’t do what she wanted (without telling him what she wanted), she decided it was over.

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    • avatar

      Aaron February 23, 2012, 11:39 pm

      Thank you for writing this so I didn’t have to.

      Don’t make a game for your significant other and expect them to abide by the rules they don’t know they’re playing by.

      Hate. That. S—.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger February 23, 2012, 9:34 am

    As others have mentioned, guys aren’t the best at saying “I would like to get together to talk about our relationship” so they’ll say “we should hang out” in hopes of getting to a situation where they can talk.

    The first thing I wondered when I read “My Ex Thinks We Made A Mistake” was… does SHE think they made a mistake? If you’re sure you made the right decision, then what does it matter if your ex thinks your breakup was a mistake? If you feel that his actions now are only due to the breakup or his ego being blasted, and not because he genuinely wants to be a better, more available boyfriend, then you’ve made the right decision.

    If you wrote in because you’re considering that he could be right, that you did make a mistake, and you want to give him another chance, then you should definitely get together. Getting together should entail discussing what you’ll each need from the relationship if you were to try again. If he can’t meet your needs, or if you do get back together and he continues to act the way he did in the first part of your relationship, you’ll need to be strong and MOA and not let him guilt you into giving him another chance.

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  • avatar

    blarfengar February 23, 2012, 9:36 am

    This is meant to be helpful LW, but it sounds like both of you have communication problems. I’m right there with you that I would want my partner to be attentive and to make the effort to see me and I get your frustration that he wasn’t doing that. But… did you ever actually tell him that when you weren’t taking an axe to the relationship? I feel a bit bad for him since it sounds like he was really blindsided and might have made the change if you had given him the chance in the first place.

    And I’m in agreement with Amy up above that the term “hang” probably involves talking. You seem to want this guy to change, but never actually give him the opportunity to – breaking up with him the first time you also tell him there’s a problem, rebuffing any opportunity to talk because it isn’t presented the exact way you want it to be. Unless of course there are major things you’re not including in your story, it doesn’t sound like you’ve been communicating with him either, which is fine if you don’t actually care about him and don’t really see the relationship going anywhere.

    So now here’s my real advice *cue drum roll* – do you actually like this guy? Seriously, ask yourself that. Separate your thinking from these specific incidents and look at the big picture. Is there any chance you’d ever actually want to get back together with him? Because in your letter, you really focus on him, but not actually on your feelings about him. To me, it sounds like you haven’t really assessed whether you have the feelings for him that could actually allow him to make amends and get back into your good graces with some behavioral changes. Normally when people are in love with their SO, they give them a chance to change things that weren’t working. Are you actually in love with this guy.

    I really hope this comment doesn’t sound like I’m beating up on you- I’m not. I don’t think you’re being cruel to him, I just think you’re confused. You just don’t seem to see the big picture and you’re too wrapped up in the details. I think you should think long and hard about whether you actually WANT to give this guy a chance and then either let him, or cut him loose. But you owe it to yourself to get out of this relationship purgatory, and your ex deserves to not be fed false hope that there’s an easy fix. Good luck!

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    • Betsy

      Betsy February 23, 2012, 9:56 am

      I agree. If she were really into this guy she wouldn’t be encouraging him to work on his own happiness without her.

      LW, you’ve already made your decision to MOA so don’t let him guilt you into thinking that you made a mistake and you should waste more time on this nonchalant relationship. I say forget him and find someone that you can truly be head-over-heels for.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl February 23, 2012, 11:55 am

        I disagree, he should absolutely be creating his own happiness. If the only way you can find happiness is with someone else, you’re not doing it right.

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      • Betsy

        Betsy February 23, 2012, 12:07 pm

        I don’t think you understood my comment. I mean that if she was in love with him she wouldn’t encourage him to leave her.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl February 23, 2012, 1:17 pm

        If you read her follow up, she was right to do what she did. Even so, if you stay with someone you love despite their neglect, then you don’t love yourself enough to know better.

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      • Betsy

        Betsy February 23, 2012, 3:20 pm

        Which is why I say she made the right decision and he shouldn’t let her think otherwise.

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  • leilani

    leilani February 23, 2012, 9:42 am

    From this letter, it really doesn’t seem like Matt is the only one with issues communicating his feelings. Typically, when you’ve been dating someone for a while and “care deeply about them”, you talk about problems you’re having with them before you dump them. Meaning, if you felt like you were the only one making plans for the two of you and that bothered you, you would say “I feel like I’m the only one who makes an effort to make plans for us. I would like it if you initiated hanging out more often”, and see if he is willing to make some changes to make it work. But now, you guys have broken up, and he’s tried to hang out with you twice in the past week….isn’t that what you told him you wanted? I can see how he might be very confused, because it seems like the communication on both ends is just shitty. If I were you, I would take him up on his offer to “hang out”, explain exactly what needs I had that were not being met in the relationship, and ask if he is willing to work on those things. If he doesn’t think he can due to outside stressors, then it might be a good time to end the relationship. If, however, he does think he can work on the things that are bothering you, I would give him a chance to do that. But, either way, communicate next time!!!

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    • avatar

      kittyk February 23, 2012, 10:27 am

      Agree with you on this one. It sounds like LW has difficulty communicating here. A simple conversation prior to her passive aggressive weekend of not making plans and then confonting him could have made a huge difference here.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 9:59 am

    Alright, so obviously I’m a huge proponent of good communication, which this relationship was probably lacking in both ends.

    But…I’m personally not convinced that some things always need to be said. I mean, if Matt was putting very little time and effort into the relationship, then doesn’t that speak for itself? We always tell people to MOA when the relationship is imbalanced; when one person seems to care more than the other; or when one person isn’t putting much time or effort into it. In fact, we constantly tell people that: “If someone wants to be your partner, they’ll act like your partner.” And part of that is making it clear, without having to ask or wonder, that they make a concerted effort and put time into it.

    So, given that, I think Matt probably wasn’t all that into the relationship. Now that its gone, he’s sad and lonely and, hey, breakups suck! Lots of people get sad and lonely and nostalgic and reach out to exes after a breakup; but that’s not going to change the facts — that she felt serious doubts given his lack of time and effort, and that she made an informed decision about not wanting to be in the relationship.

    If they had been together for YEARS, I might advocate a different response on her part. When you’re with someone for years, sometimes things get less exciting, people stop putting in as much effort, and you have to work on your relationship. But the fact that this became a noticeable pattern during their short 8-month relationship proves, to me at least, that she made the right call to MOA. Maybe I’m an idealist, but I think that after 8 months, if you’re in the right relationship, both people should be putting in a concerted effort. If one person isn’t, then it’s a good sign that you just aren’t right for each other.

    So LW — Stick with your decision to MOA. I think you’re doubting is normal, given that he keeps communicating with you, but your reasoning was well-founded. I think you’ll likely find with time and space that you made the right call.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray February 23, 2012, 10:03 am

      We posted at the same time. I think I’m right, you’re wrong. … I also think the juxtaposition of our two comments only highlights the gap between our maturity levels, ironically.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 10:07 am

        Haha!

        Well listen, she’s free to get back together with him, hang out, whatever. But I’d bet that if they do get back together, things would be dandy for a while…and slowly but surely he’d get complacent again and stop putting in time and effort…

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 23, 2012, 12:07 pm

        Haha, my ill-advised comment has more “likes” than yours. Na na na na na. (How do you spell that devilish laugh I’m trying to do right now?)

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      • avatar

        bethany February 23, 2012, 2:02 pm

        Muahhahahahaha!

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    • avatar

      Matthew February 23, 2012, 10:12 am

      I agree, she totally has the right to end this relationship.

      But I also think she went about it in the worst way possible. She could have just told him this wasn’t working, had whatever necessary conversation and moved on. Instead, she went to talk to him under the guise of ‘expressing her concerns,’ when she probably intended to break up all along, which I assume was confusing for said guy.

      The LW has two options. 1) Just MOA, actually and totally, and save everyone the long drawn out pain. 2) Call him now, set up a time to talk, and work shit out.

      I really abhor this weird passive-aggressive middle ground where someone wants to break up, but maybe leave the door open for the future, while still kinda remaining in touch, but never talking about what it means. It’s really unfair to everyone involved, and frankly, quite cruel.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 10:16 am

        Yeah, I agree. I think it’s really important that when you make a decision to break up – you really stick to it. You cut communication and move on with your life. But the problem is that when you’re in it, and the person you broke up with keeps contacting you, and you’re sad and lonely and nostalgic…it’s easy to slip into the state you’re describing. It takes a lot of willpower to not give in.

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    • avatar

      CG February 23, 2012, 10:27 am

      Yes! I completely agree, RR. The guy can’t even be bothered to make weekend plans for them? MOA, LW.

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    • avatar

      kittyk February 23, 2012, 10:38 am

      I mostly agree with you, but I also think that in relationships people can easily fall into these types of patterns- LW was the more active planner, and Matt was in the habit of just letting her take the reigns. This obviously bothers her but she doesn’t communicate well, like you said, and instead sort of baits him to see what he does. In and of itself thats not the most mature way to handle things, and it only served to fueled her (hidden) anger with him. He probably assumed she was busy since she didn’t initiate plans, but he still reached out to her a few times, which to me says something.

      Also, the fact that he said he was unhappy with other aspects of his life makes me think maybe he isn’t the most confident, maybe he’s down on himself all around- and when she didn’t make plans like normal, he likely thought maybe she was doubting the relationship or something, and maybe got more down on himself (pure speculation obviously) but could be the case.

      And now, after a failed attempt at communicating things after the fact, he seems to be making an effort to do just what she wanted in the first place. I know 8 months isn’t a long time, but she does say they have a deep connection and really care about each other, and I think its worth a shot to give him a second chance if its what LW wants to do.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 10:41 am

        I get where you’re coming from, but I’m stuck on the length of this relationship. I just don’t think 8 months is enough time for a relationship to deteriorate enough to require “work.” I think it likely means the relationship was never right in the firstplace — and why stick around for that?

        And I’m also not convinced that him reaching out now means he “gets it.” I’m far more likely to believe that he’s just going through what a lot of breakupees go through — sadness, loneliness, and an unwillingness to accept that it’s over.

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      • avatar

        kittyk February 23, 2012, 10:53 am

        You’re probably right that the relationship was never right in the first place, if this is something that has been unhappy with for quite awhile, and she’s been unable to communicate. I don’t necessarily think its because its deteriorated though, just that they haven’t been on the same page from the get go.

        I don’t think after 8 months of dating, one weekend going by without either making concrete plans is a huge deal. If she’s always been the more active one and he’s always been the more passive one, I don’t think his not initiating plans means a whole lot. But if she hasn’t been happy with their roles in the relationship for a good portion of it, then they likely aren’t right for one another.

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      • avatar

        kittyk February 23, 2012, 10:56 am

        And you’re right about him reaching out, it could just be that grasping at straws unable to accept things are over and wanting what you can’t have anymore behavior. Too little too late. But also they might have just never been on the same page and he’s just now privy to how she was feeling.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary February 23, 2012, 11:47 am

        Love everything you’ve said today RR!! No 8 month relationship should have to be “worked on”. Just MOA

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle February 23, 2012, 12:45 pm

        I don’t think communicating what you want to your partner is “work”. People have different ideas about what constitutes “enough” effort, and I think she should have clearly communicated what she wanted/needed and given him a chance to do that, rather than her passive aggressive “test” and not telling him what was wrong until the break up. Maybe he thought he was putting in a lot of effort. I’m a person that likes lots of alone time and freedom, I would not be bothered at all by a weekend without plans. The important thing is to communicate that, and not expect the other person to read your mind. If it turns out they’re not right for each other after that, then it is time to move on.

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      • leilani

        leilani February 23, 2012, 2:57 pm

        I can understand the sentiment that relationships shouldn’t require serious overhaulings and repair sessions after less than a year together, but I really don’t think its crazy to need to clear up a few things or make small compromises in order to work together. I’m definitely not holding out for a relationship *so* perfect that we never have to talk about certain wants or needs that aren’t currently being met. In the first few months of my relationship with my boyfriend, I didn’t feel like he was verbally expressive enough, and it really bothered me. So, I talked to him about it, he expressed that it was difficult for him to do that, and that he would work on it. And he did, and everything is totally fine. It wasn’t that he didn’t care, he just wasn’t showing it in a way that I liked. In this letter, it isn’t clear if he actually isn’t putting in any time or effort, or if he didn’t know that that one particular way was important to her. In my opinion, small logistical issues aren’t a good reason to jump ship without even talking about it first.

        If, however, there are myriad ways she feels she is not being valued, and this is just the only one mentioned in the letter, she should probably say goodbye and leave it at that.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray February 23, 2012, 9:59 am

    Hold out. Let him realize that you are the one who got away and then he will do grand gestures to win you back. Resist them. Finally one night he will climb up to your window with a rose clenched in his teeth. You will not be spooked out by this, and you will also happen to be wearing something cute and sexy. You will let him in and listen to him recite a poem about this and that and how much he loves you – it won’t rhyme b/c that’s where I draw the “too cheesy” line – and then you make sweet love! That’s how I picture this going down. Wouldn’t it be magical?

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 10:01 am

      Shut your hole Katherine Heigl!

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    • Betsy

      Betsy February 23, 2012, 10:17 am

      and should you refuse to let him in, he’ll simply stand outside with a boombox playing “your song”

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    • Jess

      Jess of CGW February 23, 2012, 10:26 am

      Yeah, I can’t top this.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't February 23, 2012, 9:59 am

    LW, Matt is DOING WHAT YOU ASKED HIM TO DO. He is trying to make plans to see you!

    Whether those plans are genuine (i.e. he’s recognized that he messed up and wants to make amends) or are just motivated by the recent dumping and he really has no intention of modifying his behaviour, none of us can say. But if you’re so concerned about this, you must be questioning whether breaking up was the right thing to do….so why not see him and talk things through once?

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    • landygirl

      landygirl February 23, 2012, 11:56 am

      Do or do not, there is no try.

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  • avatar

    savannah February 23, 2012, 10:13 am

    heres a story: I’m 3 weeks post break up of a 2 year LDR. One of my biggest issues in the relationship was effort on his side and explicitly about communication initiated on his side. Since the break up my ex has been the most communicative i’ve ever seen him, and sends me the cutest emails, texts and voicemails (and yeah i’m not answering 9 out of 10 of them) Which was all I was ever asking for in the relationship, some effort, some thought on his part. So I might be jaded but he wants what he can’t have and is only willing to put effort into things he doesn’t think he already has in the bag. Might be the same dynamic going on in the LW’s situation.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay February 23, 2012, 10:15 am

    Not making plans with your boyfriend in order to test him seems sort of like a game to me. I realize what you were trying to do, but the mature way to address relationship issues is to just talk about them, not trick the other person into failing to meet your expectations. But yes, he should have made plans with you himself. I agree with some of the others: You say you’re willing to talk to him about the relationship, but you won’t see him when he asks?

    I think you have to make a decision. If he were to change and to realize that he was taking the relationship for granted, would you want to get back together? It sounds sort of like you’re over it, which is fine, but if so, tell him that. If not, give him a change to talk about it.

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  • avatar

    Jiggs February 23, 2012, 10:30 am

    I’m not usually one for catchphrase advice, but if ever this phrase applied to anyone, it’s you, my friend: It’s called a breakup because it’s broken.

    You weren’t getting what you needed (boo!) so you stood up for your needs and left the relationship (yay!) but now you’re inhabiting this bizarre third-plane will-they-won’t-they which is totally unfair to both of you. Stop communicating with this guy! You’re driving yourself nuts and you’re keeping a hope-fire burning for both of you.

    For the love of god, stop texting and making vague references to maybe-sorta working it out. There doesn’t need to be a relationship debrief. Next time he texts you, reply with “Hey, I know you’re sad but I need some time to process this before we can be friends. I’ll be in touch when/if I feel that can happen.” And then STOP REPLYING. And in a few weeks/months when you feel you’ve moved on and you’re no longer mourning the relationship, you have my permission to send him a short message asking if he’d be comfortable/ready to hang out as friends. Really. But the catch is you must actually hang out as friends and not do a post-mortem on this relationship. It’s over. Let it die and MOA.

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  • avatar

    RMM0278 February 23, 2012, 10:40 am

    I understand that all relationships, if they are to be successful, require constant, solid communication.

    However…

    I believe there are just some basic relationship skills that the average human being SHOULD already have regardless of the person you’re with — one of them being the basic desire to be with your SO. You’re equipped with those skills and then you tweak, adjust, add, etc. based on your SO and the relationship.

    If I have to say, “Can you please make the tiny bit of proactive effort to see me?” then I feel like the relationship is doomed. That’s like being covered in blood in the ER and then having to ask the doctor if she would take a look at your gaping wound. If you have to ask…

    I honestly can’t tell if their communication skills weren’t that great. They could have been, but I also think that after awhile she probably got tired of being the one making all the effort. Stepping back and seeing how things play out organically is classic, solid relationship advice. It sounds like that’s what she did, and she realized that he had no problem going days without seeing her and that he didn’t make any effort on his own. That wouldn’t make me feel wanted; it would make me feel like an convenient option on his terms.

    I think I know what she wants, although she wasn’t clear in her letter. It sounds like she wants to give him another chance, but she wants him to be the one to make a huge effort and she doesn’t want to ask. She wants him to be the one to come out and say that clearly. She wants him to be the one to join her in making the effort for each other, if they get back together. That’s why she’s giving him opportunities to communicate. I can see why she wasn’t clear in her letter because, as I said before, asking for something that’s a relationship fundamental can make you feel like crap.

    Please can we get an update?!?

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 10:44 am

      I very much agree with you. I think that there are some basic things that, if you’re having to ask for them, are a sign that you’re probably not in the right relationship. I just don’t think you should have to ask your boyfriend of 8 months (when things are still supposed to be honeymoonish and exciting!) to make an effort. I think that’s a sign you just need to MOA.

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      • avatar

        RMM0278 February 23, 2012, 10:51 am

        Bwah I just saw your post after I was done with mine. (It took me awhile to write.) Jinx! 😉

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    • avatar

      Muffy February 23, 2012, 11:18 am

      I agree with this too. Sometimes those people just aren’t worth it. I think one of your main problems LW was that you continued to make the plans throughout the relationship when you didn’t want to. What you should have done and keep in mind for next time is that you need to pull away when someone isn’t doing something instead of just breaking up with them out of the blue. Don’t make plans for a couple of weekends or days and see if he makes the effort. Tust me if a guy wants to see you he will try and see you. You will have your answer if you do that.

      You jumped the gun by dumping the guy right away after the first weekend and now you don’t know if he ever would actually make the effort.

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    • avatar

      christyMI February 24, 2012, 1:44 pm

      “If I have to say, “Can you please make the tiny bit of proactive effort to see me?” then I feel like the relationship is doomed. ”

      I disagree. Some people are planners and some are more spontaneous. Also, after 8 months he was probably used to her making the plans. While I don’t think “tests” are a good way to go, she could have at least waited a few weekends to see if he really never planned anything.

      But I think all this could have been solved by “Why don’t you make plans for us this weekend?” It doesn’t even have to be framed as “You never initiate anything!” People have different communication styles and not all “problems” are obvious to the other person.

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  • avatar

    Muffy February 23, 2012, 11:13 am

    LW I dated someone like Matt. And Ibroke up with them and never looked back. The difference is though that I told him a couple of times throughout the 9 month relationship that I was feeling that he was not putting any effort in and I wish he would make plans etc etc… Nothing happened. And then after a couple more months of feeling like I was never good enough I realized that I didn’t care about him anymore. I was just feeling rejected and wanting to amend that. So I broke up with him and I never once thought of getting back together with him.

    Does this sound at all like your situation LW? Do you want to get back together with him? It sounds like you never communicated to Matt throughout the relationship what you wanted or needed and kept making plans up until that weekend.

    If you want to be with Matt still you need to go hang out with him and tell him you still have feelings for him but you need XYZ from a relationship. If he doesn’t deliver or he doesn’t seem that into the idea then MOA because you’re with a lazy guy and they’re never worth it.

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  • Budj

    Budj February 23, 2012, 11:13 am

    Let me get this straight….

    You passively waited for 8 months for him to do what you want him to…played a game he was unaware of that was your “last straw”…and then FINALLY talked to him about it when it was too late for you. You found out why he wasn’t putting more time into the relationship…which seems sincere to me since most men are unable to conjure the water works on demand…and found out it sounds like something you could have worked out months ago but then dump him anyways.

    When he starts doing what you wanted him to…you know…because you finally talked to him about it…you are holding out on him. Now…I’m not a dating expert nor do I think you have malicious intents, but it sure may seem like it to him. This sounds like something you could salvage with some hard work AND commitment to communication.

    He won’t persue this forever…make up your mind. If you are done you are done…tell him so…if you want to work it out then go hang out with him and get the ball moving. In the future communicate what you want or at least tell him he needs to be able to telepathically understand you.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 11:33 am

      Alright, I want to open up a dialogue here. You say that she was “passively waiting for him to do something for 8 months.” But honestly, as RMM mentioned above, I think there’s a big, important difference between not communicating about a particular need you have, and wanting someone to fulfill a basic relationship pillar without having to ask for it.

      I have certain needs in a relationship that vary from other people; but I think wanting a partner who puts in concerted time and effort (and especially in a new relationship!) isn’t a variable need. It’s something every person should be able to expect without having to ask for it. And if you ARE asking for something so basic, then maybe you should be reevaluating the whole relationship.

      I dont’t know, maybe I have a misguided notion of what people should be able to get without asking. But in my mind, I think if you’re in a healthy, long-term, serious relationship you should be able to expect a few things, like sheer effort and your partner demonstrating that they care, without having to ask for it.

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      • avatar

        Ktfran February 23, 2012, 11:55 am

        I totally understand what you’re saying, RR. And at first, I thought this guy was just not into the relationship. BUT, if he is use to one thing, which was her making plans, and then he didn’t live up to her expectations because she tested him, it’s kind of her fault.

        It sounded like when they were together, they had a good time and are happy to be around one another. From my understanding of the letter, this dude’s only indiscretion was that he didn’t actively make plans. Heck, even when she tested him, he texted her all weekend. Maybe he thought she didn’t want to see him, because again, she didn’t make plans like usual. And that’s what’s allowing me to cut this guy some slack, because to me, he seemed just to not know. He was getting a hold of her. Just not the way she had in her mind.

        So, if she wanted him to make plans to see her once in a while, she should have said something. For me, I like consistency. If someone doesn’t like the way things are going and moving – consistently – they need to speak up, because honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing is wrong.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 February 23, 2012, 12:16 pm

        I don’t really think you can expect to much from somebody, when you have never expressed that is what you want. Some people are planners, and love to be the ones to make all of the plans, and have everything go their way, and if that is what you are used to, then all of the sudden one day you stop, and expect somebody to know what’s going on with out talking about it that is crazy.
        It would be like if the LW writer was the one who initiated sex all of the time then one weekend she didn’t, and because her BF didn’t initiate it either she broke up with him the next day.
        It isn’t like he was never a caring, and loving boyfriend, he was just really used to one certain way, and he was given one chance to fix things with out knowing there was a problem. Maybe he thought that because they were hanging out so much, that since she didn’t make plans with him she just wanted some space, and alone time?

        Now after all of that I assume we are going to hear back from the LW about how she has brought it up to him many times, and he has just dismissed it, and said she was overreacting or something, but until then we have to go with what she told us in the letter.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 February 23, 2012, 12:39 pm

        Guess I should have kept reading before I posted this haha, but I knew there was going to be an update like that!

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        silver_dragon_girl February 23, 2012, 12:30 pm

        The only problem with this, RR, is that a lot of people THINK they are showing they care. A lot of people, mostly males, in my experience, but not always, tend to think that by saying or doing something caring once it covers them for a good 6 months to a year. It’s just a different relationship style. The LW’s bf may very well have been doing or saying things that he thought would impart his feelings to her, they just didn’t work for her. For instance, she said he texted her throughout the weekend when they didn’t meet up, which to me sounds like he was thinking about her and probably wanted to see her, but since she didn’t make plans- which was the NORM for them- he just assumed she had other things going on or something.

        I might be biased, because this is honestly an issue between my bf and myself right now, but I think she was a little quick to break up with this guy. But then, to me, 8 months is a LONG time to break up without giving the guy another chance or two. Am I too forgiving? Maybe. And if she’s done, she’s done, and she needs to cut the cord. But I definitely think she was a little quick to write him off as “not trying.”

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 February 23, 2012, 12:45 pm

        I never understood why people would break up with somebody, just to give them another chance. Why not talk about it, and try to fix the problem, and then if that doesn’t work, just break up with somebody, and stay that way. I really do think the reason you see so many people get back together with somebody just to break up with them again, is beacuse one of the two people in the relationship is just trying to trick the other person into thinking that they have changed so they will take them back.

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        lets_be_honest February 23, 2012, 1:58 pm

        Oh bagge, how un-dramatic and not made for the movies.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 12:45 pm

        I think given the information we had, your assessment is totally fair. But given the update she just provided below, I’m sticking with my guns on this one. She made it clear her needs weren’t being met for four months, and nothing changed.

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        silver_dragon_girl February 23, 2012, 1:04 pm

        Oh, absolutely, given the update she was right to move on. And now she needs to REALLY move on and stop talking to the guy!

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      • Budj

        Budj February 23, 2012, 12:58 pm

        I commented on the content of her letter. And at the end I told her to just cut the cord if she’s done because dragging it out like this with continued communication is just more drama…unintentional perhaps, but drama nonetheless. If she has other information that makes her want to be done she is totally within her rights to do so.

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        HmC February 23, 2012, 1:31 pm

        “But in my mind, I think if you’re in a healthy, long-term, serious relationship you should be able to expect a few things, like sheer effort and your partner demonstrating that they care, without having to ask for it. ”

        I think that this is a good general rule to go by, and I also think that far to many people cling to wrong matches because they are afraid of being alone.

        But at the same time, I think that automatically expecting someone to meet all of your relationship needs without having to communicate everything with them can start to border on the Western, prince charming notion of romantic love that I think is unrealistic and leads to a lot of unhappiness in general.

        Certain things shouldn’t have to be said, certainly. Any form of abuse is not negotiable, or cruelty, or genuine disinterest. But I think that issues like how and when to communicate don’t have to be automatic deal breakers, necessarily. Insomuch as they are possibly indicative of a lack of interest, then that is the real problem.

        I think that I have been fortunate to have had experiences where I was open and honest about my needs, and the issue was just a matter of compromising on logistics.

        So, in sum, I think that issues such as frequency and form of communication are in a grey area for me. I think that compromising too much on your needs is unfair and unfulfilling, but so is dumping someone categorically for things that could reasonably be worked out.

        p.s. And in this case, given the update, I think that there are fatal timing issues and the LW should move on.

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      • avatar

        HmC February 23, 2012, 1:33 pm

        “everything” in third paragraph should be “anything”

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    • avatar

      Caris February 23, 2012, 6:22 pm

      I agree 100% with you Budj.

      What she did was passive aggressive and then, when he does what she asked him to she starts playing games.

      Yes, if someone wants to be with you, they make the time for you, but some people are content with less, while others requiere more time. He probably got used to you making all the plans and never realized it made you upset since you never told him.

      So, next time he send you a text or calls you to hang out, say yes, and hang out with him. When I hang out with someone it usually means talk a lot about everything and nothing. And after you talk, figure out what you want and be straight with him, no games.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie February 23, 2012, 11:23 am

    This is a passive aggressive behavior. He called you asking to hang out which you rejected. What the hell is he supposed to think? This association (not a relationship) is high maintenance with an uncertain outcome. For your side of it: If your not getting what you want then MOA and look elsewhere.

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  • avatar

    sia February 23, 2012, 11:31 am

    Perhaps it’s just my inner cynic, but…
    He made little effort to see and be with you over the course of the relationship, and wants to “hang”seemingly without takling things out. It sounds to me like he’s been enjoying all of the perks and none of the committments that comes with a serious relationship, and that ye would like to keep it that way, even regarding the crying. If he really felt like hei had messed uppsala and wanted a do-over, why wouldn’t he be doing whatever he could to meet you on YOUR terms? Something seems a bit off.

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    • avatar

      sia February 23, 2012, 11:33 am

      #damnyouautocorrect

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  • Cleopatra_30

    Cleopatra_30 February 23, 2012, 11:37 am

    I am not sure if it is just me, but after reading the first paragraph it’s as if the LW set up a trap for the boyfriend, seeing if he would take the bait to get together with her and hang out. The LW should have instead gone to him when she first had these concerns and talked to him about them and seen if there was a chance to fix them, she then would have found out early on that he was having problems at work and in his life. Instead she DOESN’T communicate until AFTER the fact and kind of throws everything on him. If you want him to communicate with you, you also need to communicate with him, and be clear with the expectations of your relationship together. You never mentioned that you talked to him about this before, so that could mean one of two things, either you two never talked about his lack of involvement or you have talked about it and didn’t mention it in the letter.

    Either way, i would give your self some space between the two of you for a couple more weeks so that the wounds can heal on both sides and that the two of you are thinking clearer.

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  • Shell

    Shell February 23, 2012, 11:44 am

    Update here – I wrote this letter about 4 weeks ago. Backstory, I communicated my concerns and needs in the relationship starting at 4 months in. After these conversations, things would improve for a short while and then slowly regress. I am a big proponent of communication while he had great difficulty with it. I felt that I had given him numerous opportunities to work on this. That last weekend was not a test, I had reached my breaking point after feeling not loved or wanted in a long time and I knew it was my responsibility to get myself out. When I went to his place to have the conversation, I feel that he knew exactly what was coming. I think he would have let it continue to ride on like this. He is still contacting me by text, and last weekend asked to see me to talk, and then bailed. I received an email yesterday asking to see me on Sunday. I want the opportunity to hear him out, given that I know it was a big challenge for him to ask. However I know it’s not my responsibility to listen at this point. I won’t lie and say that if he was able to work on himself and his communication issues that I wouldn’t consider another shot. But rationally I know that’s a very slim possibility.

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    • avatar

      kittyk February 23, 2012, 11:51 am

      Knowing that you’d been communicating this and things would improve briefly and then regress, I retract my initial advice to try to work it out, and think you made the right decision in breaking up. It sounds like an incompatibilty issue and not a communication issue now. You need to feel loved and wanted in the relationship and you weren’t getting that.

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    • avatar

      Ktfran February 23, 2012, 11:57 am

      I retract mine too. That would have been helpful information!

      I think you should completely MOA. He’s too wishy washy.

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    • landygirl

      landygirl February 23, 2012, 12:01 pm

      I love updates. You did the right thing, Shell.

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      TheRabbit February 23, 2012, 12:05 pm

      I’m confused as to why you’re still in communication with him then (and getting stood up by him?). If you’ve gone multiple cycles of things get better then return to normal… that’s not going to change, at least not in this length of time.

      Is he still holding out hope for you to change your mind?

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray February 23, 2012, 12:05 pm

      See ReginaRey’s comments above about basic things you shouldn’t have to communicate. Especially considering you have communicated about how he needs to improve and he’s still so wishy washy like Ktfran said, MOA. And as you move on you can hold onto the small, small chance that just when you truly are wayy the fuck moved on already, this guy will do something grand to win you back. The Rom Com is not over, it’s only just beginning!

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 12:23 pm

      Given this update, I even more firmly feel that you need to cut communication entirely and just MOA.

      Listen, you’ve been communicating your needs for the past four months, to no avail. You broke up with him because of it, and now because he’s sad and lonely and panicking, he’s putting in a last-ditch effort to keep you around.

      Just stop communicating with him altogether. Don’t go see him in person. He had ample time while you were dating to meet your needs, and he chose not to. That won’t change if you get back together with him. No 8-month relationship that requires him to “work on himself” in order for you to consider another shot is the right relationship for you.

      And lastly — self-esteem wise, it isn’t super healthy for you to be continuing to consider giving a shot to someone who, for half of your relationship, didn’t meet your needs. You should explore why that is; why are you continuing to drag out something that isn’t making you happy? I know breakups are difficult, but walking away from this isn’t going to hurt you in the long run. In fact, I’m sure you’re going to find someone who, after 4 months (!!!) won’t require you to ask them for basic things of a relationship. Summon the self-respect to MOA completely.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 12:32 pm

        Ok, one more thought. I don’t mean to pick on you, Shell, because I know this is something that a lot of people (myself included) have done at one point or another…but it really makes no sense to be thinking “rationally I know that’s a very slim possibility…” that he actually might “work on himself and his communication issues.”

        Why are clinging to the “very slim possibility” that someone might, I dunno, give you a basic tenant of relationships — time and effort –? If someone can’t give that to you without asking (in my humble opinion), and ESPECIALLY if they can’t give it to you after you’ve said something (and so early into a relationship!), why are you content to cling to the mere possibility that he might start fulfilling basic needs? I just…can’t get it.

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        Addie Pray February 23, 2012, 12:42 pm

        But it’s that “very slim possibility” that leads to Rom Com finales! Why are you pooping on my romance today?

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      • Budj

        Budj February 23, 2012, 1:00 pm

        Yea…what if David Schwimmer said “ahh fuck it…I’ll take to Rachel if she comes back”

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 February 23, 2012, 1:27 pm

        His name is Ross! I don’t know who this David Schwimmer character is.

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      • Budj

        Budj February 23, 2012, 1:30 pm

        He also married Kevin Arnold’s sister…that dirty dog…

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      • landygirl

        landygirl February 23, 2012, 2:20 pm

        Dude, Ross and Rachel ended up together in the finale. Where have you been?

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      • avatar

        melanie February 23, 2012, 2:34 pm

        He did take her back! In the last episode ;D

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 23, 2012, 3:03 pm

        Yes! True love! Love conquers all! I think I’m going to fall in love today. I can feel it. All roads lead to love. All you need is love, really.

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      • Budj

        Budj February 23, 2012, 3:06 pm

        So if I build a road…love can drive to me?

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        Addie Pray February 23, 2012, 3:52 pm

        Yes! Love drives! Love can even drive a stick. Love is also Southwest so you don’t even really need a road. Wait, what are we talking about? It’s funny how I can confuse myself.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 23, 2012, 5:50 pm

        Wait, you just invited me over, didn’t you?! So transparent. What kind of girl do you think I am?

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    • avatar

      HmC February 23, 2012, 12:33 pm

      Ah, I wrote my response below before I saw this. Honestly, it sounds like despite whatever connection you guys have (and I’m not doubting it is real), he is simply unable to meet you needs. To me, it sounds like he wants to, be isn’t capable of giving you the communication and attention you deserve, because he has other issues that he’s dealing with. Timing is vital in relationships, and it sounds like the timing here is very off, no matter how compatible you guys are otherwise. I’m sorry LW, I was pulling for this to work out!

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        HmC February 23, 2012, 12:34 pm

        typos argh!

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    • Cleopatra_30

      Cleopatra_30 February 23, 2012, 1:16 pm

      Hmm with this update i retract my comment as well, if you told him 4 months in and he keep going back to his old ways and not making a permanent change, than yes MOA. He seems to think that if he changes for a bit in the “relationship” you will come back and stay, but he will just go back to his old ways. Cut off all contact with him, as much as this may pain you with your morals to hear him out…it will just drag on the break-up.

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    • mintyfresh

      itsabouttime February 23, 2012, 8:30 pm

      I know what you mean Shell. I figured you had brought it up a few times, hoping he’d try to make you a priority in his life. You probably gave him what he wanted and he felt like he didn’t have to do anything. I went through a similar situation last year where I always felt like I initiated more and it was basically me maintaining the relationship. I’m glad that you were strong enough to break it off and stay away. I wasn’t and we tried to be friends for awhile, but I realized it was still me trying. He still didn’t call or initiate anything. Feels like a waste of a year.

      Hope you’re okay and stay strong!

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    • avatar

      Muffy February 24, 2012, 12:16 am

      He sounds exactly like my EX boyfriend. Please not the EX part. He will not change if you have already talked to him about this. This is who he is. If you are not ok with it move on. You’ll only be disappointed in him.

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  • avatar

    TheRabbit February 23, 2012, 11:56 am

    Yikes, you’re unhappy that you are making all of the plans in your relationship, so instead of communicating this to your bf and asking him to take the lead on making plans for a weekend, you just don’t make any plans as a test to see what happens? For someone who claims to want “communication” in a relationship, that was not a very communicative way to solve your problem.

    Your concerns about effort and not wanting to plan everything are legit, but as others have said, he can’t read your mind. As for his requests to “hang out,” if you want to work it out, take him up on the offer and while you’re hanging out, have a conversation. That’s generally how hanging out works. If you don’t want to work it out, then be kind and tell him that now. What you are doing currently with your texts with him is confusing at best.

    EDIT: Posted before I saw the update from the LW.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ February 23, 2012, 12:19 pm

    “Hang out” is usually a euphemism for “get together and fuck”.

    Communication is lacking on both ends. You said you wanted a more attentive boyfriend, and once you broke things off, you got that. You allowed communication, but shut him down because you didn’t get it during the relationship, yet you say you are open to things later. How much later? Mixed signals confuse more than just the guy you’re (not) dating.

    Be clear. If you want a break from this guy to give him time to consider what he wants, specify how much time. If you want to facilitate communication and allow him to prove himself, set guidelines and you yourself stick to them so he can meet them or not. Don’t stack the deck one way or another. Unless(!) you want him to fail. Do you really like this guy, or were you looking for a reason to call it off so you could move on? 8 months can seem like a long time, and I don’t know your age, but if you’re young, this could be your longest relationship and you could feel stifled by it and looking for any way out, but still looking for a little excitement from the relationship.
    Of course, I could be projecting a little hostility on that presumption, since I was dealing with my sister last night.

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  • avatar

    HmC February 23, 2012, 12:29 pm

    LW- if this is someone you could see yourself happy with otherwise, I don’t think that his lack of the communication you wanted has to be the ultimate and permanent deal-breaker here. For one thing, it doesn’t look like you brought the topic up to him in an honest way until the conversation where you broke up with him. Testing him for a weekend to see if he’d call, by the way, was probably not the best idea. Tests like that rarely work out well, because you end up putting a bunch of emphasis and emotion into them, to an unrealistic degree, when you really should just be communicating your feelings.

    Also, from the brief information we have, he seems genuinely remorseful and it seems that he does want to try working on his communication issues with you.

    Ultimately, only you know if the other parts of the relationship are worth it to you to work out this issue with him. But I think that shooting down hanging out with him and saying you want to talk about the relationship and then expecting him to read your mind about how exactly you want this conversation to happen is a little unreasonable. If you want to work things out with him, meet up with him, explain how you feel, and gauge whether you think this is worth working out. And in the future, make it very clear that you don’t want to be the one making plans all the time. Hopefully this break up will have been all the wake up call he needs. If he still can’t get on board with you and fulfill your relationship needs despite this break up and despite an honest conversation about what you want, then he isn’t right for you.

    Whatever you decide, good luck!

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  • Shell

    Shell February 23, 2012, 1:32 pm

    I want to thank everyone for the input and comments. I believe I am on my way to moving on already, just the communication from him pulls me back and makes me doubt my original decision, although I know it was the right one. I have been more content, less anxious and making decisions (outside of this situation) to make myself happy in the last month. I know that I deserve better and a relationship that I would be ecstatic about 4 months in, rather than doubting and making efforts to change. As much as I know it would be better to cut all ties today, I feel like a face to face meeting is needed after all this back and forth. Like HmC stated, if I feel he is unable to fulfill my needs after we speak, then I’m going to cut ties. It’s best for the both of us.

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      ReginaRey February 23, 2012, 1:56 pm

      I wish you luck, Shell. But what I’m still not getting is you’re saying at the same time “I know it was the right decision” and “I know I deserve better;” AND “IF I feel he is unable to fulfill me needs after we meet…THEN I’m going to cut ties.”

      It sounds like you’re still clinging to something that just isn’t going to happen…after 4 months of trying to convince him otherwise. And, as LandyGirl and Yoda once said “do or do not, there is no try. You can’t really be “on your way to moving on from him.” You either do, or you don’t. Seeing him in person is only going to extend the process of REALLY moving on. He doesn’t need another chance from you. He had ample time to prove (4 months worth of you communicating with him) that nothing was going to change. I would highly recommend, for your own benefit, you accept that and cut communication today.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl February 23, 2012, 2:28 pm

        +1 for quoting Star Wars. Even in his quest to try and win her back he doesn’t really seem to be putting much effort into it. He already made plans and blew her off once and instead of speaking on the phone, he texts and emails her. If he wanted to clear things up he would.

        You can’t wait for someone to be who you want them to be, you need to love them for who they are now. He isn’t a bad guy, he just isn’t the right guy.

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        Francine February 23, 2012, 4:06 pm

        I have to agree. In Shell’s short reply I got that she’s ready to move on and then that she’s willing to give it another chance if the circumstances are right.

        Skip the face to face meeting. Seems like it’s just an opportunity to further the drama. And this could have been much less dramatic if, when you started to feel like he wasn’t putting forth the effort you wanted, you simply told him that you didn’t want to always be the one making those efforts, instead of finally testing him then breaking up when he didn’t pass the test.

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        Francine February 23, 2012, 4:25 pm

        Scratch that last sentence. I just saw Shell’s follow up where she explained that she did let him know earlier on in the relationship that his lack of effort was an issue.

        I still think that what she referred to as a “leap of faith” was essentially the same as a test and only fueled the drama. What brought her to that point was the fact that he had already demonstrated that he couldn’t be counted on to put forth the effort. Skipping that whole ” leap of faith” thing and instead getting together to explain that you were breaking up with him (and why) would’ve been more adult.

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      TheRabbit February 23, 2012, 1:57 pm

      But hasn’t he already showed up that he is unable to meet your needs through the last 4 months of your relationship? If you feel like you need closure, that’s one thing, but I feel like this “slim possibility” thing is holding you back from moving on.

      You’re happier and less anxious now that you’re not with him… this is really good evidence that you made the right decision. Don’t let him convince you otherwise with grand promises about the future. Talk is cheap.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark February 23, 2012, 3:01 pm

    Uh-oh, one more victim of “too many bad chick flix…” and yet another woman who wants the “grand gesture” as so many of you other commenters have very astutely put it. The “grand gesture…” The real irony here is that those who excel and the “grand gesture’ the most are more often than not — abusers. No, seriously, the “grand gesture” is what they use to reel you in… Tragically, many ladies fall for this crap. In spades. Talk to almost any battered woman and in the beginning there was all this heady, heady romance… And then, especially after the first time they got smacked around… Low, and behold, out came the “grand gesture” and they swooned and fell right back into the muscular arms that would beat them once again in the coming weeks…

    All that, I suppose is an aside. And a rambling one at that. But I have no real clear idea here what the LW, actually wants. My best guess is neither does her ex.

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    • landygirl

      landygirl February 23, 2012, 3:06 pm

      I’m not sure she wanted a grand gesture so much as him to put some effort into things. She wrote a few follow ups, check them out. Her name is Shell.

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      *HmC* February 23, 2012, 3:07 pm

      You’re so right about the grand gesture nonsense, Mark. It’s nauseating. I, too, have found that the people who do such things in real life tend to be the worst, most immature partners. Be a good partner every day and treat someone respectfully, that is the point of a healthy relationship! Not treating someone like hell and then climbing up to their window with a dozen roses. I mean, grand gestures aren’t even creative. They’re just desperate and usually a sign that the relationship is doomed regardless.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark February 23, 2012, 3:09 pm

        True that, HmC. Moreover people who say “I love you” the fastest, the most often, and with the most urgency typically mean it the least. This is a huge lesson that many LWs here would do well to learn.

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        MarieDC February 23, 2012, 8:04 pm

        Or they tend to end in dramatic break-ups

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      rob ottapocalypse February 23, 2012, 11:40 pm

      I still have a man crush on you bitter gay Mark. You hit it on the head, or should I say “Hit it on the ex girlfriend who wants the grand gesture abuser.”

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    Francine February 23, 2012, 3:53 pm

    “I don’t know how to respond if these requests to “hang” but not talk keep coming?”

    Since you’re all about communication how about a clear “I’d love to hang out but we need to talk about our relationship while we’re at it. How about (name the place) at (name the time).”

    Frankly, I’m confused about what you want. In parts of your letter it seems that you simply want to be friends with him and in others you want to work on your relationship. And how is it that you came to the conclusion that his offers to hang out won’t include the talking you’ve requested?

    And finally, you can’t change anyone but yourself. If you’re considering getting back together with him you need to accept him as is. If his lack of effort isn’t something you can deal with then MOA.

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    Andrea B. February 24, 2012, 2:27 am

    Honey, if you want something, ASK FOR IT. Unless I missed it, there still isn’t a mind reading machine. He has no idea, and probably thinks everything is OK because you never said anything. If you want to be with him (which I think you do), than tell him what your needs are (see him every 3 days, talk on the phone every night, for example), and make it work. My husband and I were on the verge of breaking up (I was sobbing every night because things didn’t feel right), until I realized that he was just doing what he thought I wanted (giving me space) instead of what I actually needed (snuggles, support in a bad time). Have a long, straightforward talk with yourself first, then “hang out” with him and see if you can come to a decision.

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