During these past three months we have talked back, and forth and recently we slept together. We’re still not back together, but I’m wondering, with time and distance and/or sleeping together, if men eventually regret breaking up with you? Is there any possibility a man has some sort of epiphany and changes his mind about your being the one or not? — Puzzled
Sure, men and women both change their minds about breakups, but it doesn’t typically happen in the form of an epiphany after sleeping with an ex. In fact, I’d say in your case the opposite is likely to happen: As long as your ex-boyfriend still gets the benefits of your company, companionship, friendship, and sex, he has literally zero incentive of getting back in a relationship with you. And here’s the cold hard truth that you really need to hear: Your relationship wasn’t that “beautiful.” It wasn’t that great or your boyfriend wouldn’t have ended it. I believe YOU thought it was wonderful and intense and amazing and super special, but he didn’t. Or, if he did, he stopped feeling that way. My guess is he felt you were way more into it than he was and so then, because he didn’t want to lead you on by staying in the relationship, he ended it. Does that mean he stopped caring for you and enjoying your company and having sex with you? Obviously not, which is why he’s still into enjoying those things. He just doesn’t want strings attached. If that ever changes — and it probably won’t — it’s not going to happen by your continuing to hang out and sleep with him. You need to accept that the relationship is over and MOA.
Do you think this will last forever? I have had interest in other guys since meeting him, but none of them have lasted very long at all. — Still Crushed
This actually is NOT what it’s like to have an ex-boyfriend. I have ex-boyfriends and never did I spend entire days thinking of nothing but them, save for maybe my first ex-boyfriend and only in the weeks after our breakup (certainly not years afterward!). What you’re describing is an unhealthy obsession that has morphed from what was probably a harmless crush to something that is distracting you from real life. I don’t know what is actually going on in your real life that you feel you need distracting from — either consciously or subconsciously — but there must be something.
The obsession is nothing more than a symptom and it’s your job to get to the root cause and work on fixing it. The root cause is not a crush on this guy you barely knew, never dated, and don’t seem to even really think fondly of. The root cause could be, but is not limited to: loneliness; anxiety about your future; anxiety about your present; fear of being alone; fear of being in a relationship; fear of being rejected by someone in your real life whom you might pursue; family problems; general depression.
To figure out the root cause and to start addressing it, start by being honest with yourself about what you might be avoiding, especially at the times when you fill your days thinking about this dude from your past. What is something that begins to give you anxiety when it crosses your mind? THAT is probably the root cause, or one of the root causes. If you need help identifying that thing, talk to someone you’re close with and trust. Ask her or him to be honest with you about what it is they think you’ve been actively avoiding. And then stop avoiding that thing. Talk to a counselor if you need help, or consult a life coach or career counselor.
There is nothing you can or need to do to “cut that guy out of your life.” He’s not in your life. It doesn’t sound like he ever was. You aren’t even obsessing over him anymore but are obsessing over the idea of him. You are filling your mind with the idea of this person because, as long as your mind is filled with him, you don’t have to fill it with whatever it is that’s fighting for your attention. You can’t fight it forever, and the sooner you deal with it and move on, the sooner you can begin to heal and eventually be in a place to have a real relationship with someone who is more than just an idea.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.