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“Ex-Boyfriend Giving Mixed Signals”

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by avatar dinoceros 5 months ago.

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  • #757844 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    From a LW:

    My boyfriend dumped me a day before our two-year anniversary. He didn’t give a clear reason as to why he did, but he still texts and sometimes subtly flirts with me. Three days after the breakup I texted him (I was dying to text him even though my friends advised me not to, but I couldn’t stand not talking to him). We met up for lunch about a week later to return each other’s items that we had. It was somewhat awkward, but there were times we talked like we had never broken up. It has been about a month now since, and we’ve talked about the breakup, but I still don’t understand why he ended it. He kept saying he had no idea why he felt the way he did, but that it was a feeling in his gut that we weren’t meant to be together. He said he just “didn’t think of me in that way anymore,” and that he didn’t want a relationship at the time. Additionally, we are both going to different colleges in the fall, but he previously made plans with me to seriously commit to doing long distance.

    However, lately he has been sending mixed signals. He and I both are really into theatre arts, and we were both cast in a show at a local theatre. Rehearsals are every day from 12pm to 9pm for the next two months, so I am around him all the time. Not to mention he was cast as a character who makes out with another woman, and it is so difficult for me to watch that or see him laughing with another girl. However, we still joke around together and hang out a lot. We still play-fight and wrestle around with each other like we used to. He has called me “pretty” a couple of times and things seem to be kind of like how they were before the breakup, minus the kissing and all of the physical stuff that comes with relationships.

    Every morning, afternoon, and evening I think about my ex. I cry all the time and I can’t stop missing him. I’ve tried to work out more, be healthier, and focus on making myself a better person but it doesn’t seem to work. Him and I met at church, and a had basically become part of his family. His parents (who had also met at our age and done long distance during college) joked about us getting married. I’ve never learned so much about life from a person or loved anyone so much. I know I’m young and I accept that I might find someone else later in life, but that doesn’t take away from the pain I am experiencing now. I have a hard time eating and sleeping because someone who made up about 50% of my life is gone. I wasn’t planning on it at first, but it turned into a very serious relationship. I’m afraid to let go because I have a feeling that things aren’t supposed to be over yet, and he might still be interested in me (despite him telling me he wants to remain just friends), and I’m willing to fight for the amazing relationship that we had. I want him back so badly. Yet at the same time, I don’t want to get my hopes up and get broken again, and sometimes I just wish I could get over it just like that and feel better. I’m having trouble making sense of my situation and I’m not sure how to move forward or cope. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    – Ex-tremely conflicted

    #757854 Reply

    It’s over. You need to accept that. Not giving a clear reason for the break-up doesn’t mean anything. It’s actually very common. Even when a clear reason is given, it’s likely as not to be the true reason or at least the whole reason. Saying he wanted to break up and staying broken up for as long as he has is a clear and complete message. You sound like a jealous person. Pretend theater makeout with another character bothers you? With an ex?

    #757860 Reply

    @ron – I think it’s that he spends time with the other actress and then they make out. I’d be uncomfortable too if I had recently been dumped. It’s not jealousy, it’s longing.

    He’s not sending you mixed signals though. He’s trying to be nice. He didn’t set out to break your heart, but it’s what he needed to do. He didn’t see this going for the long haul. That’s ok.

    Him being nice does not mean he wants to get together. Even mild flirting or play wrestling does not mean anything. This would be much easier if you weren’t in the show, and I do not recommend dropping it. But you have little time to separate so you’re going to have to push through until the show is over. It sucks, but it gives you a great story in about 5 years when you can laugh about how awful this is.

    #757861 Reply

    He actually DID give you a clear reason for the break up. He doesn’t think that way about you anymore. He knew in his gut you were not meant to be together.

    You just don’t want to accept that, or move on. You think you can change his mind or show him you are meant to be, but you can’t. As hard as it is, you need to try to accept that you won’t be with him again. You can’t change his mind.

    He’s staying friendly to make the theater production less awkward, and so he doesn’t have to feel the bad guy. He might even still have feelings for you, but not enough to stay in a relationship with you, or do long distance at college. A lot of couples don’t make it to college. This is a pretty normal time to separate. It hurts, I know, but you need to really start spending less time with him or even completely stop spending any time with him so that you can move on.

    You are about to go to college, where you’ll meet new people, new friends, and find new interests. Explore them. Don’t feel like you need to be in a relationship to be a whole person. Enjoy college, enjoy figuring out what you want and what you like. With time and reflection, you’ll maybe be thankful for what you had with your ex, but you’ll also know he was right.

    Good luck!

    #757863 Reply

    Oh honey.

    I’m sorry. I’ve been here.

    But, the truth is he is no longer interested in you romantically and he’s actually quite clear about that, he said it in words and he’s demonstrating it with his actions.

    He still likes you as a person, which is why he is still friendly with you, and he may still need the safety blanket of having a girl into him – hence the flirting. But he doesn’t want to be with you anymore.

    If possible, you should stay away from him as much as possible. Distance will help. I know you are in this play with him so that makes it difficult, but don’t socialize with him. Don’t hang out together outside of rehearsal.

    Let yourself feel what you feel but know that it’s over.

    I know this hurts, but it sounds like this is maybe your first major breakup. You will be okay, there will be someone else someday you feel just as excited about.

    #757906 Reply

    He isn’t at all interested in getting back together. What you describe is very clear: you are an ex for him. If it is too difficult for you to meet him everyday, perhaps you can drop that theater role and focus on yourself. All the work on yourself you speak about is built on hope to get him back. That isn’t moving on (even though it is very human, everybody was at your place). Do really start a new page in your life. Soon you will be away for college and it will be good.
    A clue perhaps about his change of feelings: you sound a bit too dependent on him. Do not feel like the 50% left of yourself. You are 100% self-sufficient and you will meet other men in your life. It hurts but you will get over it.

    #757914 Reply

    LW, I know this hurts, but you will get over it. Back off with some dignity. Be an interesting person. You will meet a lot of new people when you go to college. Good luck to you!

    #757918 Reply

    LW, this is your first serious relationship, right? I think a lot of your pain is coming from only having had one really serious boyfriend, and from not going through a breakup like this before. You can’t imagine moving on from a relationship, or being with someone else, only because you haven’t done those things yet.

    This guy isn’t sending mixed signals at all. He couldn’t be clearer, in fact, but you don’t want to see it because you don’t want to give up hope that he’ll come back. He doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore. He may still like you as a person, and he probably feels bad about hurting you, so he’s being nice. But there’s no interest there.

    As you date more, you’ll realize that most relationships don’t last. That’s not a bad thing (even though it may hurt when they end). The point of dating is to find someone who’s a really good fit for you, and who feels the same way about you. Sometimes it takes a little time to realize the fit isn’t good, and it sounds like your boyfriend was the first to figure that out.

    So, how do you get past this? The best thing to do is avoid him as much as possible. No contact at all. The pain is dragging out because you’re still spending time with him. Most people don’t do that after they break up. If you don’t want to leave the play, minimize the time you spend around him as much as you can. After it’s done, go no-contact. Trust me, you’ll start to feel better once he’s out of your life.

    It’ll be OK. Really. 🙂

    #757950 Reply

    Sorry to have to say this, but he isn’t giving you mixed signals, he is telling you that he wants to remain friends, but you are hearing that and for your own person agenda or reasons, are twisting that to mean that there may be a chance. He is being “flirty” and playful, and talking to you still, because you are allowing him to- I’m sure he respects you still, likes you as a person, but he has told you he doesn’t think of you as long term, so why would he stop being friendly and flirty if you’re allowing it?

    It hurts, it’s hard, and it will take some time to get over this but you have your whole life ahead of you and if there is one piece of advice that I have learned now and never listened to before it is that, what is meant to be will be- and that the RIGHT person for you won’t tell you that he doesn’t see a future with you, it will just happen at the right time with the right person. AND, focus on YOU, spend time with friends family, getting ready to venture off into college, it’s going to be so much fun! When you start putting yourself as your main and only priority for a bit, you won’t have that sense of 50% loss you feel if a relationship doesn’t work out- yes, you will mourn, you will feel a loss, but you will realize it’s going to be okay and that this person wasn’t meant for you because there is someone better for you out there- not everyone is for you, not everyone will like you, not everyone will see a future with you, that’s just the worlds way of moving the ‘wrong’ ones (these are the ones there to serve a purpose of teaching you something) out of the way for the right one- and it is NO REFLECTION on who you are, and what you have to offer. Once you look at relationships, even if they don’t succeed or they don’t meet your expectations, as learning lessons to teach you something about yourself, or to teach someone else something, and prepare you to be the best version of yourself for the right one, that pressure won’t be so strong.

    Again, don’t twist people’s words based on your feelings or expectations, take them at face value. He said he didn’t see a future and only sees friendship, that’s what he means, you are only confusing yourself. Stop engaging (kindly, as there’s no reason to be mean to him, he was honest and truthful with you). You’ll be okay!

    #758020 Reply

    Dumping someone doesn’t mean you hate them. So, when someone breaks up with someone else and then continues to enjoy spending time with them or talking to them, it’s not a contradiction. Not wanting to be in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean you can’t stand to be around them.

    There’s a reason your friends didn’t want you to text him. The reason was that when you keep in contact like this, it’s hard to move on. You also try to convince yourself they must actually want to be with you. If he wanted to be with you, he wouldn’t have broken up.

    He also gave you reasons why he dumped you. I don’t know if you’ve ever broken up with someone before, but anyone who has understands that sometimes you just don’t have the same feelings for someone as you did before. Liking someone at one time does not mean you will feel the same about them for the rest of your life. When you stop being interested in them, you have to break up. That’s what he did.

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