I am a young professional woman in my late 20s and I started dating my boyfriend, “Mike,” about a year ago. We get along splendidly and are very much in love! I can see him being my future something or other and we’ve talked about moving in together next year.
The reason I’m writing you for advice is because, prior to our relationship, he was in a five-year-long relationship. He and his ex met in college and were very serious. When we first started dating, he teared up every time he mentioned the relationship and refused to give details. From what Mike has told me, they broke up because she got into graduate school on the other side of the country. Two of their five years of dating had already been long-distance and she finally called it quits when it was clear they were not going to be in the same city for the near future.
Fast forward to now: His ex-girlfriend is graduating from school in less than a year and they still exchange texts back and forth. From my social media detective work, she is not dating anyone. I’m worried that, once she finishes school, she’ll realize how much she misses him and try to woo him back!
Am I crazy to be concerned? — Worried about His Ex
Wait, you and Mike are very much in love, you are talking about moving in together next year, you can imagine him being your future husband (or “something or other”) and, yet, you’re afraid of losing him to his ex? Do you have any other reasons to fear losing him to her other than they exchange texts and she might be moving back in a year when she finishes school? Does Mike still refuse to give details about their relationship? Does he still tear up when he talks about her? These are the issues you need to discuss with him. You need to tell him that his lack of transparency about their relationship combined with his continued correspondence with her has left you feeling insecure and worried, and until you no longer feel threatened by their relationship (past, present, and future), all talks about your moving in together need to be put on hold.
To answer your question specifically, I don’t necessarily think you’re “crazy” for feeling concerned. But I do think you’re crazy to be planning — or even fantasizing about — a future with someone whose commitment to you is causing you so much anxiety.
I asked him for a break instead of a break-up, but he said that he had already given me a lot of second chances. He said that he had lost interest in us because I wasn’t changing and I was still dependent on him. He said that he still loved me and he still cared for me and he didn’t like seeing me cry and so hurt. He stayed around for two hours, talking to me while I was begging him to take me back and trying to reason with him. After he left and went back to his hometown, he messaged me and said that he would keep my stuff that I gave him and would think of me.
The next day, I snapchatted him (we had a streak of 620) and it meant a lot to me. He asked me on snapchat if I still wanted to keep our streak. I said yes and told him that if he was willing to communicate, I would be too. Then he suddenly became frustrated and said that he was done communicating and it was time to move on. After a few hours he said that he wanted to be friends, but he needed a little more time. Two days later he messaged me that he felt that we should talk. We both agreed that we valued our friendship. He said that he had wants no contact before that because he still needs some time. However, he said that he wants to keep snapchat with me. I agreed.
The next day I snapped him, he snapped me, then I snapped him again and he didn’t respond. Then I didn’t snap him at all until he snapped me. That was when I found out about the no contact rule. I realized that he needed to get a taste of life without me. I thought that he was keeping me on snapchat not because of the streak but because he still wanted that connection with me even though he said “no contact.” I ended the streak.
I heard from friends that he actually kept my stuff. He even kept the mug that said I loved him, and he uses it. That was what I found interesting. Also, I started going back to the gym (something he wanted me to get back to a while ago), and I started trying out yoga. I posted on my snapchat story that I was doing this and he saw my snap story. Now, I’m just building myself back up, but I don’t know if he will contact me or not. I don’t know if, after thirty days, I should reach out to him and tell him the changes I made in life. He also kept our pictures up on Instagram until two days ago, when he deleted all his pictures, and I don’t know what he means because he didn’t just delete our pictures (we had two), he deleted all fifteen? And he still uses the “I love you” cup.
Now, since I broke our snapchat “conversation,” he still views my stories. Sometimes he views it right away when he’s on and some time he ignores it then but views it later. Is he doubting his decision?
Please tell me what you all think. — Desperate to Have Him Back
I think I suddenly feel a million years old. I also think you need to move on already. Thirty days of your trying yoga and going to the gym isn’t going to mean shit to your ex-boyfriend. He’s over it. He was already over it before you literally begged him to stay with you, to take you back. Come on, that’s not attractive. No one’s turned on by desperation. Get some dignity! You’ll feel better about yourself. Block him on social media and move on. Focus on being your own happiness. Foster friendships and pursue interests for yourself (not because you think it’ll make your ex want you back). When you are an interesting, independent, fun person, people will naturally be attracted to you. You won’t have to beg people to give you attention. And you won’t want to because that isn’t dignified. Be dignified. Walk away from this relationship.
P.S. That “I love you” coffee mug is just a coffee mug. His drinking out of it is not some sign that you’re meant for each other. It’s probably just clean and easy to reach when he wants coffee.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.