Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Importance of Silence After a Break Up

If you've been reading this blog for any time now, you are familiar with the idea of cutting off a man after he breaks up with you. I want to explain a little more systematically the reasons why this is important. Keep in mind that by "break up" I mean any situation in which a man makes it clear that he is no longer interested in pursuing a sexual or romantic relationship with you: not calling after he gets your number, fading out after sex or a few dates, or explicitly ending a long term relationship. In any of these situations, cutting him off completely will accomplish five things:

  1. It will show him that you are a woman of high value. It will demonstrate that you are a woman who isn't desperate or needy - a woman who can live without him (because you can). Men find this attractive in a woman. Although this demonstration is unlikely to increase his attraction for you enough to make him change his decision, you will avoid confirming him in his decision by showing him that you are needy, pathetic and desperate - all of which are obvious symptoms of being below his league.
  2. It will show him what he is missing by way of contrast. By forcing him to experience life with you, and then suddenly without you (in other words, before and after the break up), you will emphasize whatever feelings he has as a result of his decision. First he has you, then he doesn't. The starker that contrast is, the more he will feel your absence, and the more likely it is that he will miss you and want you back. Again, it is unlikely that this effect will be enough to make him change his mind, but in some instances it will be. (Note: it is also possible that cutting him off will show him how much he doesn't miss you, but if this is this case then there is nothing you can gain by contacting him anyway - it is unquestionably over.)
  3. It will force him to think about his options seriously. As long you stay in touch with him, he will know that he can have you back at any moment, and he will feel no urgency to reverse his decision. By staying in touch with him, you effectively give him a "safety net." Even if he doubts his decision, he will have nothing forcing him to act one way or the other. He will simply go about his life, waiting until his “feelings about you become clear” (which they never will). 
  4. It will empower you. Although you have no control over his decision to break up with you or stop dating you, you can control what happens as a result of that decision. In fact, you are the sole person capable of "enforcing" the consequences of his decision. By hanging on and hoping to get him back, you give him all of the power. But if you force him to live with the consequences of his decision (i.e. making him live without you when he says "it's over"), you exercise your agency, your power. You seize what little control you can in the interaction. Although this probably won't change the outcome of the situation, it will go a long way towards bolstering your ego and self-esteem in the face of his rejection. You will transform yourself from someone who is pathetic and dejected in light of inevitable circumstances, into a person who exercises influence on the outcome of her situation - and her ex's situation. The added benefit (as explained in the other points of this post) is that by doing so you don't even sacrifice any of the likelihood that he will take you back - in fact, if anything, you increase it. 
  5. It will make him doubt his future options. This is probably the most important mechanism at work in your attempt to get him back, and it will be powerful in proportion to the length of the relationship with you that he is ending. If you stay in touch with him in an attempt to salvage things, you will confirm his belief that he can find someone better (which is his implicit motive for dumping you). The longer you stay in touch with him after the break up, the more he will think "Hmm... if she wants me so badly, girls who are hotter and sweeter will probably like me enough to date me too. Why would I take her back when I know I could do better?” While he might not be so calculating as to have this thought explicitly, I absolutely guarantee you that this thought passes through his subconscious and has a profound influence on his thinking about the break up. And it will occur to him even if you aren't making an active effort to get him back, but "just" texting or calling each other from time to time. He knows you wouldn't stay in touch unless you were interested in getting back together - he knows being "just friends" isn't workable. But, if you cut him off, he won’t know whether or not he just threw away the best girl he could get, and that doubt is priceless in making him consider coming back to you.


444 comments:

  1. Hi Andrew, thank you so much for this post.

    I have a question regarding this issue. Last summer an ex-boyfriend broke up with me after 5 months of dating. I did exactly what you say: even though it was really hard I cut him off completely and assumed that I would never see him or talk to him again. Unexpectedly, he wrote me a long message over fb a few months later saying that he regretted everything and that I was the most amazing woman he had ever known, etc. I was at school in the UK (I'm from the US), and we ended up making plans to hang out over winter break. So we did and ended up getting back together, but we were both tentative about getting back together because I am going to school and it would be long-distance obviously. Although part of the tentativeness is from me, should I conclude that he is never going to commit again if he didn't take his chance over winter break?

    I guess the question in general is: if a guy does end up coming back to you after you cut him off, should you give him another chance? Or is he likely to break up with you again?

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    1. Hard to say. There isn't a rule across the board. The thing I usually tell people who ask me this is that you should pay attention to WHY he wants you back. What in his mind changed?

      If he just "Wants you back" and gives only vague reasons for revisiting his previous decision to break up with you, then don't waste your time. But if he tells you specifically what changes in his mind and why he was mistaken the first time, then you should consider taking him back (though you should consider other factors like distance, other options, etc.)

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    2. I was dating a man for 2.5 years. Both of us were absolutely in love with each other. We were seeing each other a lot After about 2 years my bf started to change his personal interests andbecame more involved with his friends. The last few months we only saw each other twice a week. These days were decided by him. I made every effort in always seeing him when he was free. When we saw each other it was always intimate and we both felt love for each other. About a week ago I had a lot if things happening and I wanted to get some support from my bf. he had not contacted me and ignited my messages so I asked him if he still cares for me. I guess he was tired and didn't want to see me that day so he told me that he is going to break up our relationship We texted back and forth a few times and I convinced him to see me a few days later and talk. When we met we spent over and hour together hugging kissing and caring for each other. We didnt talk. He said that eventually he would have to break up with me but never really said that thus was going to be the last timr that we are together. When I left we hugged again and kissed and he said I love you. Later on he told me that this was our break up and that he cried after I had left. Again he messages me that he loved me. I was and I am still completely deflated. I texted him, he got mad and then told me that he still loves me. I don't understand anything. We had no fight. I love him so much. This is the weirdest thing I have experienced in my life. I have decided not to talk to him in the past two days. Didnt hear anything from him either. I feel paralyzed. What should I do. ?..

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  2. What do you do if you dated a coworker, but you can't change jobs (because you founded the organization, so it's your pet project, and the only way you stop working with him would be to fire him - which would obviously be wrong, since firing people for personal reasons is immature and violates corporate ethics on a number of levels)?

    I will say that the breakup happened nearly a year ago. While it was a really bad breakup and I didn't cut him off at the time cause I didn't know better and actually just acted in a way that made an utter and complete fool of myself, I spent the four months just after the breakup in Argentina with my sister for the summer. When I came back, the dust seemed to have settled, and our dynamic has been as friendly and civil as I could hope for it being ever since.

    Should we just carry on like that, or is this worse than I'm even aware of? I've obviously learned my lesson for the future about not dating coworkers.

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    1. Sounds like it is manageable. You can cut off a man emotionally, sexually, romantically, etc. but still stay in touch with him professionally. It isn't easy, but in your case it seems like you figured out how to make it work.

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  3. I 100% agree with this. Several men I cut off right after a break up or a blow off have came back. Sometimes it may take a couple weeks to a couple years, but they usually eventually come back sooner or later, usually when I'm no longer avaiable to him, but hey that's the way it goes.

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    1. I agree too Ashley, this has happened to me many, many times. Some up to a year later. What are these men thinking? It's almost insulting that they think I would give them the time of day. When it's over, it's over. Next.

      E.

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  4. Hi Andrew - I love your blog, it's refreshing. I completely agree with "cut him off," but I have a question on the execution of this method. What if a guy clearly makes no effort to spend time with you or initiate dates after a few months of dating, but continues to send little flirty messages (text/e-mail), and, after you refuse to respond (cutting him off), he turns the table around on you and makes you feel bad for "ignoring" him (ex. guy says "ok, so you're ignoring me now")? Do you continue to cut off contact, or do you explain to him why you're ignoring/cutting off contact? Thanks! :)

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    1. Ideally you will always tell a guy before you cut him off the first time, so there should be no excuse for him to act like he didn't expect it. If you haven't done this yet, do it now. Send him a brief reply that says something like "I appreciate the time we spent together, but I need to move on in my life and staying in touch with you will prevent me from doing that. I hope you will help me by not contacting me again, but I am going to help myself by not replying regardless." It should be a single, brief text that conveys only that one concept and nothing more.

      Then go back to silence.

      Now, all that being said, you don't owe him anything. He isn't your boyfriend, he isn't interested in dating you, so if you want to simply stay silent, I am not going to tell you it's the wrong move. In the long run it will work just as well.

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    2. Anon it sounds like he wants to keep you as an option. I'd ignore him, or tell him that you are looking for something that he, obviously, can't give you.

      E.

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    3. Anonymous, I too have had a guy turn the tables on me!!! Over the past year, I have had an on again/off again relationship with a guy who treats me well some of the time, then is a jerk (like sending flat text responses, not making effort to see me), but then when I pull the "fade", he blames for going MIA and says I am responsible for the break!! Not sure if this is some strange guy Jedi mind trick, but I am curious if Andrew or anyone else is familiar with it.

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    4. These guys seem to think that they are too good for you to be ignored by you. No mind tricks, they just really like themselves. They think they can go hot and cold on you, and that you should be thankful that they are even keeping you on the back burner.

      I dealt with one last year. Apparently I was his first "dumpee w/ spine."

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  5. Andrew, I have a question relating to this for you....

    What if you are the one who did the dumping? and the guy is still in love with you and wants you back?

    The thing is I was in a relationship for 3 years with a guy who has been in love with me since day one. I grew to love him but he always loved me more. Anyway long story short, he carries a lot of emotional and family baggage and as time went on, I just was not attracted to him anymore. Thing is, I would still like to be friends with him down the road, but I know he still likes me (sent me an email 4 months after we broke up that he wants to work on things and he is very much in love with me). I like him but I will probably never have those kind of feelings for him again but I still want to hang out with him on the odd occasion (selfish, I know), so for his sake, do I cut off all contact? Will he be better off? Ultimately I don't want him to get hurt again, so if it means that I have to cut him off forever, then I would. Help please.

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    1. You don't have a responsibility to cut him off. He should be the one cutting you off.

      That being said, if you care about him and his well-being, I think you should either (a) cut him off after explaining that you think it is best for both of you, or (b) reply politely whenever he contacts you, but continue to reiterate the fact that you are not interested in dating him anymore. He needs to keep hearing that or else he could keep holding on longer than is healthy.

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  6. Wow. I read the cut him off post after the guy I was dating broke up with me. Unusual circumstances. He called it off because we were developing deep feelings for each other. He is 10 years younger and may want a family someday. I am unable to have more kids and have two of them already. He says I am everything he wants in a woman. After three weeks, we got back together. He is still however, assessing what he truly wants. He isn't attracted to women his age. Women my age already have kids and most don't want to start over. Seems futile to stay, but I have never been so happy with someone. He said he would always compare any woman he dates to me and that I have raised his standards so high that I am irreplaceable. Do you think, aside from resenting me if he changes his mind about children, that this could ever be lasting?

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  7. Very insightful post.The bottom line is why be interested in a person who is no longer interested in you.We all have to learn self respect comes first,even though it can be devastatingly difficult to do so.

    My last bf of 6 months did a slow fade on me,this was the first time this had happened to me.I did n't even realise until I noticed he went from always initiating contact and suggesting meeting up to only replying to texts.Eventually I texted him as I was annoyed and suggested we get together.

    He never texted back,it hurt as I was in love with him and I did not want to hound him for closure.I sent one more text a few weeks later along the lines of hi how are you, again no answer. I do regret sending this text now.

    A few weeks later I saw him drinking outside a pub by himself,he looked at me and me at him for thirty seconds and I walked on.Part of me wanted to talk to him but Im glad I didnt because I didnt want the drama.

    Sometimes I still feel like I love him and I have to remember/rationalise/get a reality check.Some of my friends have even asked me why I don't text him as a "friend" but I know I could never be friends with him and I still feel attracted to him,crazy I know!.
    If anyone has any ideas on getting him out of my head/heart please comment..

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    1. The same thing happened to me once, although we only went out for a few weeks. It's incredibly rude for him to fade you out after being your boyfriend for six months (as opposed to just casual dating). He should’ve had the courtesy and respect to say something.

      It will be difficult to get him out of your head/heart, but I find the only way to do it is to immediately think of something else every time he pops into your head. By doing this repeatedly these thoughts will recur less often and eventually fade away.

      In time you'll realize what an ass he was and be proud of yourself for walking by with your head held high and your pride intact. Ignore your friends and NEVER contact him again, especially not as a friend – it will just demean you further in his eyes. Blank him if he tries to contact you, unless it's to apologize.

      Good luck.

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    2. I agree with Thomas's advice. Really don't feel bad about yourself because in not properly breaking up with you, he was being cowardly and showing a lack of respect. I don't think you did anything weak when you contacted him because of course you were wondering what was going on. It sounds like you have dealt with it well.

      I don't know if you've heard of it but there's a blog called BaggageReclaim and it has been a good self-esteem builder for me. Maybe it will help you.

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    3. Any man who would do the slow fade after 6 months has serious issues. Issues that you don't need to be burdened with I'm sure.

      As for getting him out of your head, concentrate on his bad points and flaws. That always seems to work for me.

      E.

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    4. Thank you for all your kind words and advice,I'm going to keep working on myself and I'm sending you all hugs :-)
      I started strength training and salsa this week so hopefully onwards and upwards!.

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    5. Good for you! All the stuff that Andrew writes about self-improvement is going to keep you very busy!

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  8. I tried this with an ex. Although the reason for all the drama was mine. He wasn't affectionate with me for months (no hugs, kisses or intimate conversation, no sex), put me at arm's length and stopped making an effort. He said "I have too much respect for you to have sex with you". I was upset. I found a guy who did show me affection when we had not officially broken up. I called my ex and told him I'd cheated and intimated that I wanted to end our relationship. He was terribly upset because he had not seen it coming.

    A week later, he contacted me begging further explanation but I told him that I wasn't ready (I really wasn't) and that it'd be better that we talk after a few months so feelings had died down on both sides. Then I stayed silent.

    I don't think this really helped though because he contacted everyone I knew and told them I'm a bitch and a whore and that they should not be friends with me anymore. Some people showed me the messages he sent. It went on for months. Some women I knew turned against me and would start fights with me and would also say I'm a 'whore'. They had only heard his side of the story and I couldn't be bothered giving them mine because they didn't listen.

    So yeah the whole reason for the break-up was partly my fault. I don't know if the silent thing helped because my ex got super crazy on me. I know I did wrong.

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    1. When you cheat, the effect of your infidelity outweighs the effects I described in the post. I am not surprised he got angry. I was assuming in giving the advice that you were being faithful and it was his decision to terminate the relationship/interaction/marriage/etc.

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    2. Yeah I was meaning to point out, using examples of my own bad behaviour, that sometimes silence isn't desired by a man at all. Sometimes it's right not to be silent. I went with the standard advice of being silent and I would readdress it if I could but I know it'd be more respectful not to. Thanks for the very helpful post.

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    3. Oh gosh I apologise for how self-indulgent my post came across. Kind of embarrassed about it now. I think this post is instilling some dating maturity in me.

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  9. Very interesting documentary revealing the dynamics of dating > http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01qlm0j/The_Year_of_Making_Love_Episode_1/

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    1. I watched that and it was pretty interesting. It turned out I'd taken in a lot of what I read here because I wanted to give some of the ladies in it a big hug due to what some of the men were like.

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  10. Also, I asked this question on another post, could you shed any light Andrew?

    'Hey Andrew, I went dancing at this cool bar last night, and tried to be more aware of guys there.

    What I kept noticing was many guys dancing next me or hovering around. They would keep looking at me smiling and then just back away eventually. Some would even say hi, and then run away! Were they actually interested or ???'

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    1. They were interested but afraid to make a move.

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  11. Hi Andrew, I LOVE your blog! I have a question, what do you do if your ex boyfriend will not stop contacting you? The more I ignore him the more he persistently tries to get a hold of me.

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    1. I broke up with him because he admittedly wasn't sure if he wanted to commit anymore (after 3 years) and for other reasons along those lines. Whenever I try to walk away for good he won't leave me alone and begs me to stay, but he is still not sure if he wants to commit to me.

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    2. Remind him very bluntly the next time he calls or contacts you, that the reason you ended the relationship was HIS unwillingness to take it further. Tell him that he either needs to make a decision to date you seriously or else stop contacting you completely, because trying to have it both ways is immature and indecisive.

      If he doesn't stop after that, just ignore him categorically until he stops. He will eventually. When you give him your attention (even bad attention), he is affirmed and re-motivated to keep trying.

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  12. Love your blog.
    This guy I had a thing with (we hung out, talked for hours, watched movies and kissed..a lot..no sex)recently gave me the I don't want us to get too attached because I'm not ready to be friends line.. Then he sent me a text and and we started talking again. After reading this how do I go about cutting him off? Have I ruined the impact of the action? Do I just go silent on him or do I tell him that I'm cutting him off..and how do I do this without sounding or seeming to self absorbed or condescending?
    Please help :)

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    1. You can still do it. I suggest something like this:

      "Hey, [name], listen I like you and would be willing to give dating a chance, but because you aren't ready for that I think it is best if we stop talking completely. We've already crossed the friends line and trying to go back will be awkward. If you change your mind you know how to contact me."

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  13. Andrew I think this is one of the most important posts you've ever written.

    Are you writing a book? I think it would be a bestseller.

    E.

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    1. Thanks. Cut Him Off was the very first post I wrote for this blog, and I hadn't quite found my voice at that point, so I consider it sub-par. Yet it also happens to be one of the most read posts and covers one of the most important topics, so I felt the need to essentially re-write it.

      I would eventually like to work some of the material into a book. I think I am getting close to a point where I would be able to do so, but I am not there yet.

      Thanks for your support.

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    2. I found out your blog by googling the key word "cut him off". That was how I ended up here....

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  14. What if he contacts you to inform you he's got a new girlfriend?

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    1. Ignore him, or tell him congrats (literally, just that one word) then ignore him.

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    2. Great advice!

      Just out of curiosity though - why would an ex contact you to inform you he has a new girlfriend?

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    3. probably trying to elicit a response from you, for drama... because he's immature. Don't give it to him.


      Also.. if you guys were a very serious thing he might just want to be the first to let you know. Even so... I think he wants a response.

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    4. I see. Why would he want drama? Why the need for me to respond?

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    5. He wants the ego stroke that he'll get form seeing you upset, knowing you still like him, etc.

      Very immature.

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    6. Great insight! Thanks. :-)

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  15. This is so coherently explained. I wish your blog were around in my teens, so that I wouldn't have learned all of these things the hard way. Andrew, you are a lifesaver to so many females.

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  16. Hi Andrew,
    I wish I had read this 7 months ago when my ex-bf of 1.5 year broke up with me. Instead, I did the absolute reverse. I loved him too much to let him go. After the breakup, I didn't call or beg or text him all the time. I called him like once every two weeks or so (He also contacted me, not that I was the only one initiating the contact all the time). I kept in touch with him and let him know that I wanted him back from time to time. Of course, he never agreed. He stuck to his decision and maintained that he wish to be just friend with me. After doing this for five months, I got sick and tired of being his "friend" and decided to cut off contact with him. I also asked him to not contact me ever again so that I could be in peace. It's been 2 months of silence from both sides.

    My question is, did my "chasing him" for two months lower my self-worth in his eyes to a degree that is irreversible? Was it too late for me to start cutting him off 5 months after breakup?

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    1. The answer to both questions is "probably," though of course it depends on the specific situation. The bigger point, though, is that it was probably irreversible anyway, without the impediments you added by contacting him.

      Remember that - as explained in the post - cutting off a man is not going to dramatically improve his opinion of you, but staying in touch with him is very likely to have the opposite effect.

      So you probably didn't miss your chance to get him back; there probably wasn't one to begin with. But by hanging on and hoping he'd take you back you did something worse: you made yourself look pathetic and needy, and undermined your own self-esteem in the process.

      The good news is that you eventually pulled yourself out of that mindset and did the right thing. Treat it as a learning experience. Next time you will know better.

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    2. Okay, so what happens if an ex boyfriend comes back? Do you jump right back into an exclusive relationship with him, like even if a year has passed, or do you start the dating process with them all over again?

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    3. Well first you follow this example: When Your Ex Contacts You...

      But if it happens and you judge his motivations to be sincere, adequately thought through, devoid of ulterior motives, etc. then I see no reason to not jump back into dating again in a full-fledged relationship.

      Here is the thing (and I believe I have said this before in the comments of the post linked above): if you aren't sure enough about his change of heart to accept him back completely and date again seriously, then you shouldn't be entertaining the idea of being with him again at all. The grey area that you would need to "test" by going back to a non-exclusive and non-sexual relationship is a symptom of an incomplete change of heart on his part.

      If YOU aren't sure but he is, then I think you should sleep on it until you make a decision. But trying to pretend like you barely know each other (personally and sexually) again is going to awkward and probably impossible anyway.

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    4. Heu. Thanks for your reply but i guess thats not what i want to ask. Maybe its the way i put the question that caused the confusion.

      I didnt ask whether the breakup was irreversible. Of course i know how pathetic i made myself become by chasing him. During that chasing period I obviously came across as needy and desperate to him. However, by deciding to cut off with him permanently afterwards, can I increase my self worth and dignity in his eyes again? Or i will be forever to him a needy woman?

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    5. I see. I thought you were asking if you could increase your self worth with the intent of getting him back.

      The longer you stay silent, the more respect he will gain for you, because he will see that you eventually picked yourself up, stopped begging for him back, and moved on. In fact, a good portion of your reputation (though not all) has probably been restored already just by your willingness to walk away.

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    6. Thank you so much for this. Your words make my day. :D Andrew, you got yourself a huge fan that is me. Reading your blog has become my daily habit now. Today is the first time i posted a question. Your reply is such a spot on.

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    7. At that point, Anh, it unfortunately doesn't matter either way. If he doesn't want to be with you, what is the difference what he thinks of you? I think that the cutting off is to give him the chance to see the drastic difference without you. Though if a guy was unsure of his decision, even being needy and acting irrational would not stop him from moving heaven and earth to take you back.

      If the guy was 100% certain you weren't the women for him, then there is really nothing you could have done. You cannot make someone want to make it work. You can walk away with respect for his decision and confidence in your own future without him. It would have made him 'see' you in a different light. But it is more for you than it is for him. It would make you feel more self worth and dignity. As for what he thinks you you, who cares either way? If a guy says that it is done, take it at face value. Men don't joke about it. And if they do, you don't want them anyway.

      If he wants you back, he can fight for your attention from the 'sea of opportunities' you now have. Otherwise, say 'great, see you never. bye.'

      If you love someone enough, love them enough to let them choose their own happiness. And love yourself enough to never sit around waiting for someone to decide. I say this from learning this first-hand. A bitter realization, but a clear one.

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  17. Andrew--

    Best. Post. Ever. Thank you so much! I needed to read this tonight :)

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  18. My ex came back recently after over a year. He knows I won't have sex if I'm not in a relationship. He says he wants to see me. How can I tell if he wants to be friends now, or wants to date me again?

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    1. Ask him. Or, stay silent, because if he really wants to see you he will let you know in the next message. E.g.:

      HIM: "Hey [your name], it's been a long time and I know you haven't heard from me in months, but I was wondering if you'd want to grab coffee and catch up this week sometime."

      YOU: *Silence*

      Him: "Listen, I know it has been a long time but there is something I really want to talk to you about, are you free later this week? It's important."

      YOU: "What is there to talk about?"

      HIM: "[reason for wanting to talk]"

      Then you decide if it is worth your time. If he says he has been doing a lot of thinking and wants to talk, it is probably an attempt to get back together. If he gives vague reasons, or says he just wants to "catch up" let him know you aren't available for casual conversations...

      YOU: "[his name], I don't have the need, time or desire to 'just' catch up with you. My life is easier without you in it after what happened between us, and I would only entertain a conversation with you if it was a very serious one that you've contemplated for a long time before asking me to have with you. Does this qualify? Because otherwise please stop contacting me."

      And yo go from there...

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    2. Thank you for this, Andrew. But darn, I already told him I would see him. He already tried but I was busy at the time.

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    3. Not the end of the world. You can either go through with the meeting, then bail ASAP if is about something trivial, or else ask him before you meet what he wants to discuss:

      "I have been thinking about it and unless this is a meeting or conversation you NEED to have with me, I prefer to keep my distance. We just have too much history and feelings to start meeting casually."

      Delete
  19. HI Andrew,

    This post is really good! I *almost* needed it two weeks ago.

    My boyfriend and I have been together for over three and a half years, and just about two weeks ago, he gave me the break up speech. Told me why he couldn't be with me anymore and whatnot - mostly it was that I have a negative self-image, low self esteem, and I overreact to things. I didn't disagree with him. However, I have been actively working on that stuff in the past few months because he's brought it up before (I've been to therapy and finished it, I keep a gratitude journal, I do visualizations, read self-help books, have good nutrition and exercise habits, etc.) and I have drastically improved. He said he was just tired of waiting for me to finally be happier with myself and it felt like I wasn't improving fast enough. We talked about it (even though at the time I figured, what's the point, he's dumping me anyway) and I said it felt like finally I've become so much happier and relaxed, but he said he just felt too tired of it by this point.

    Anyway, he changed his mind after we talked about some things, because we were both more open and honest. He was like, okay, fine, we'll give this one last shot if you really are going to try harder to be happier. So we're still together. I got almost-dumped. I'm totally grateful for this because we're both adults and we made it clear we were going to "grow old" together. We had figured out stuff about kids, where to live, working on our business together, etc. But now it feels like he has all the power, and now I feel like I'm so "easily disposable" to him, and I feel kinda crappy about almost getting dumped.

    Could you give me some advice on this please? Thanks, I 'm not really sure what to do about this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am going to make this into a new post. Standby a couple weeks and it will be up. E-mail me referencing this comment and I will give you the advice personally in the meantime.

      Delete
    2. sure thing! Thank you :D

      Delete
  20. Andrew-What if an ex or even just a male friend really hurt you, but you were never sure why, or if you found out much later after the fact, that they treated you badly because on lies and gossip they heard about you from someone else,if a significant amount of time has passed since last contacting them, would it be ok to call or meet with them to find out why they treated you like that for the sake of closure?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you are asking Andrew, but just in case this helps (I think he'll agree) "closure" is very overrated.
      People, especially women, need to rid themselves of this need for closure. I find that it is usually just an excuse to get in contact with someone they really shouldn't have in their life. I am guilty of this as well,

      Just move on move forward. You'll be a much happier girl when you rid yourself of the need for closure under any situation even extreme situations having to do with family issues and your past.

      Look for closure within yourself, if that makes sense. I usually just admit to myself how shitty that person made me feel and then make a conscious decision to move on. Most of the time guys will not give you the closure you deserve. They can be real wimps about that sort of thing. You would probably be better off internalizing a IDGAF mentality. He treated you bad, ok, his problem for being a bad person to you. Not your problem. He won't give you closure? Oh well you're doing fine, you have friends that love you and new shoes (lol).

      Delete
    2. an* IDGAF mentality

      Delete
  21. Hi Andrew!
    I went through the whole situation of dating a guy and trying to hold onto what was never really in my reach to begin with (twice, same guy) I reduced myself to the stupid girl role and refused to see the obvious signs that he definitely was not interested in me the way i was in him. I finally decided i was tired of it all and cut ties completely (texting, calling, social networks) and i haven't talked/heard from him in almost a year. A very close mutual friend of ours is having a birthday party and it’s pretty likely he'll be there and I’m not sure how i should act. If i can i would like to (without being conspicuous) avoid him the whole time but i figure I'll be spotted eventually and there’s no doubt in my mind he'll approach me. so how do i handle the situation? I feel like I’ve done well so far and I don’t want to back track.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "how do I handle the situation?"

      Just be civil and act politely and courteously. Be friendly but not too friendly. Don't make an obvious effort to avoid him because he'll work out what you're doing. Just treat him exactly like everyone else there. Whatever you do, don't hook-up with him.

      Remember the best revenge is to live well.

      Delete
    2. I wanted to edit! But couldn't and deleted instead. Sorry!

      ************
      Thmoas, I absolutely agree. I was going to write the same thing.

      I would add that one should try to cultivate *indifference* when interacting an ex in a public event. Strangers shouldn't be able to tell you were an item. And friends and acquaintances should get the vibe that he doesn't mean anything to you anymore.

      Delete
    3. Well hello again Karmic.

      This is Tom10 from EMK - I felt I needed a more user-friendly user name here.

      Lucy and I followed you here. I guess we're always going to agree on most things! :)

      Delete
    4. I was wondering if the Lucy posting here was the same Lucy :) But no way could I have figured out you were the same Tom without the introduction. LOL. Yes, I'm sure we will agree on most things.

      Delete
  22. Hey Andrew,
    I have been a relationship with a guy for a number of years and wanted to know If what I have been doing as far as no contact has been good or bad. We were in love for so many years I kinda think we just grew apart and then we kinda just became comfortable in the relationship. I broke up with him because over the years it seemed like he just got comfortable with me and I with him and knew what to expect when it came to me being me. He just started acting like he was tired of the relationship so I got feed up with the disappearing acts and not answering the phone and sent him a text letting him know that I didn't want to continue the relationship anymore because he seemed to be to busy for relationship and me. So he called me as soon as I finished typing it and we talked and he tried to make it seem like things were my fault because I wanted to break it off. He said he would call me back but he sent me a text that was kinda mean and then he apologized via text then called to make sure I got it. We didn't talk anymore or have any contact until he sent me a inspirational text and I didn't respond and haven't spoken to him in like 3 weeks. I have not initiated any contact. I really do love him but I know that it won't work out. I can only think that I am to blame because maybe all these years I have been holding on to something that was never there in the 1st place. Please give me some advice on my tactics. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you are doing the right thing. Neither of you were excited about the relationship, and you weren't married, so the best way forward is looking for something new and better.

      The only thing that seems a little strange is the lack of a conversation about the fact that you are now broken up (which seems to be the case, even if it went unsaid). But if you don't need to hear that, then it probably isn't worth knowing. If you DO want to have a final conversation, just for closure, you could call him to tell him that you felt like it was appropriate to talk one last time and say goodbye after spending years together. THEN cut him off.

      Totally your call.

      Delete
    2. Do you think that it is possible that he hasn't tried to contact me because he is angry that I broke up with him. He seemed like he wanted to stop the break-up and say something but didn't but apologized for being mean and said that he has just had a lot on his mind and didn't want to take it out on me. So I think that is why we haven't talked. I don't know it he has moved on or if he just thinks it's best so that we both can move on and not hurt anymore.

      Delete
    3. He might be angry that you broke up with him, and that might even be why he isn't contacting you for closure, but the fact that he hasn't contacted you or tried to stop the break up is telling: he is ultimately OK with being broken up.

      Delete
    4. Did you mistake contentment with boredom?

      Delete
  23. You are so right about that and I have to accept it and leave it alone. I will take it slow like I have been doing and give myself some room to grow from this relationship. Thank Andrew you keep doing what you doing you are a great help. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Andrew, it would be great to have a post on the dating part, you know , after you meet the guy you want. I am at the beginning part of dating and it's kind of complicated.

    A question for Andrew and any of the male commenters

    I feel like I've found a really great guy with all the qualities I am looking for.
    I am kind of nervous now because I don't want to mess anything up.

    How long should it take for a man to ask you to be his gf?
    Should I be dating other men? I know he is still keeping his options open, at least I am assuming because he is still on okcupid and I am not.

    In fact, I have stopped dating and have no interest in it whatsoever. Is this a mistake? I ask because I have read different things on manosphere blogs. Guys will say that it is unfair and even slutty for women to date more than one at a time.

    I kind of think that I should give him exclusivity because he has been good to me (taking me out on dates, paying for everything, introducing me to friends). What do you think? am I going to get the female version of oneitis? Is that a bad thing?


    Also, how often should I see him?

    FYI we have been dating a little over a month, 4 dates total, and he seems very eager to see me more than once a week. Should I hold back? See him only once a week or whenever I can?

    I am hoping to bond with him and somehow stand out to him over any other girl he might be interested in. I think I am doing rather well.

    I am just worried because I have never been so excited and I really don't want to mess it up :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. excited about a guy*

      Delete
    2. See him as often as you both want to see each other. If you want to see him 4 times a week but he only wants to see you twice, then see him twice. (Maybe he's really busy.)

      If you don't want to date anyone else, don't date anyone else.

      Delete
    3. Hi aGirl, The Okupied thing and Options open thing would make me skeptical. I would say keep yourself busy and meet up with friends. Nothing is more unsexy to men than a girl who is sitting next to the Phone waiting for a call. Don't be his last minute date. He have to ask you out properly. And is has to be his pleasure to taking you out etc. And when he let go a Saturday without asking you out, it's def. okay to make other plans, even with other guys who wants spend their time with you. Good luck. I'm a girl btw :)

      Delete
    4. Until the guy is your bf, you HAVE TO treat him as just another guy. If things DON'T work out you've just wasted your time waiting for him. Go out and socialize. If you don't want to date other, ok, but DO NOT sit at home hoping/waiting for him to call. If you're always available when he calls, you actually LESSEN your worth in his eyes, not increase. Please read the book by Sherry Argov, Why Men Love Bitches (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CN48VQ/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title) -- I think that may help you in your quest. Good luck.

      Delete
    5. @karmicEquation.

      I think you are right. I'm pretty sure that he was attracted to me early on because I was somewhat unavailable to him. i'm not going to date, but I guess I'll turn down a few dates if my friends have better plans and continue to flirt when I'm out so that my aura is still the same as it was at the start.

      How long should I wait before moving on?

      Delete
  25. The one thing I would say is you should ask yourself if you were the cause of the breakup. If you've been turning down his proposals and flirting with other guys (as one of my girlfriends did) and you actually want him, if he comes back you should welcome him.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the post Andrew. I definitely agree with what you said in this post.

    My high school boyfriend and I went to different universities. I was very much in love with him but he wasn't able to commit to a long distance relationship. I kept contacting him with the hope of rekindling a relationship but he wasn't sure.

    This continued for a few years until I met my current boyfriend. Once things started getting serious, I cut all contact with my ex. He tried to maintain contact but I firmly told him that I can't be his emotional support any longer. I feel a little guilty because I know I was one of the key people in his life and I'm a good listener to my friends.

    However, I also think:
    a) It's not fair he wanted me to provide emotional support, but not commit to a relationship.
    b) It's not fair to my current boyfriend if I'm emotionally intimate with anyone else.

    Women are hard on themselves. Sometimes it's hard to show yourself the love and respect that you so readily provide to a significant other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How was his reaction after you told him you cannot support him any longer? Maybe it's your own feeling and he is okay with your decision?!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your question. When I told him I didn't think it would be good for us to talk as much, he unfriended me from Facebook and told me to add him again if I wanted to talk. So I didn't do anything. Then a few months later he initiated contact again through email and I sent him a very brief and polite reply, but did not ask any questions or try to further the conversation.

      Delete
  27. Once I break up with you its nothing but silence. The reason this is done is to help both of us heal faster. You are not showing me anything by maintaining NC. There is a reason we broke up and the more silence the better. I allows both of us to move on. Just broke up with a girlfriend because we wanted different thing out of the relationship. No problem, it happens. Time for us to move on and find what we both want.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is just a thinking out loud question: for the men out there, where's the line between being needy and needing a guy? Guys always talk about wanting girls to need you but not be needy. Its one of those vague phrases that guys say often, but it's hard to know what it really means...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a needy one once. Could not make a decision on her own. Always needed me to do it. Every big life question its 'what should I do?'. That got old fast. Constantly texting or calling. Geesh, she needed to get a life of your own.

      Delete
    2. Hi I'm not a guy, but I would say most men are problem solvers so if you ask them to put up a shelf,help you measure for furniture,carry your heavy shopping and be very appreciative, they like it.

      What they don't like is if you are constantly complaining or using them as a shoulder to cry on for your work/family problems etc, especially early on in the relationship.Save that for your girlfriends.A constant need for attention/approval can also turn a guy off.
      Maybe a post on this would be a good idea?

      Delete
  29. Hi there! I stumbled upon this blog today and have spent hours now reading all the posts. They are very inspiring and help build a lot of confidence in myself. I now have a question about the situation I'm currently in:

    The guy I've been dating for a few months, has recently started to call/text less than he previously was. I assumed that he was just not interested anymore and eventually sent him a message saying that he actions were sending me a clear message and that I'd like to stop the contact. When he got this message he replied with shock, apologising for the lack of contact and blamed it on his busy schedule. At this point I told him that I was feeling very confused by his actions and that I was getting frustrated. I went out with a girlfriend that night and ran into him at our local pub (we live in a very small town). He spent the whole night watching me and being as close to me as he could (he was drunk). At the end of the night he told me how much he liked me but was so busy and couldn't contact as much. By as much I mean he went from daily contact to once a week, sometimes longer.

    After this night I stopped contact with him and he accused me of ignoring him after I didn't reply to a few of his messages. I'm so confused! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same thing was done to me. Any advice from the guys would be very helpful! Thank you in advance :)

      Delete
    2. No man is ever too busy to call. Once a week is a drastic drop from daily. Well, unless he got locked up and couldn't bail out until now.

      Delete
    3. I agree with Anonymous. I think I would just add to the statement 'No man is ever too busy to call... if you are high up enough on his list of priorities.'

      Delete
    4. Yup, they always find the time. trust.
      Don't make any exceptions for this man. Your heart knows he's not totally into you.

      Delete
    5. Hmm maybe he's dating someone else but wants to keep you on the back burner.

      Delete
    6. I just read it again. So, basically, this guys texts and calls became less frequent. You wanted him to contact you more, but instead of telling him that you told him never to contact you again.

      Then, he saw you, acted interested in you, starting contacting you more (which is what you wanted) and.... you ignored him....

      And now you are surprised that he's not contacting you? After you repeatedly told him not to?

      Delete
  30. Yeah that's exactly what I was thinking. Lucky for me my phone has now wiped itself so I couldn't email/text even if I wanted to. He was obviously not interested. I just wish he wasn't gutless and would tell me! What should I do if he texts me again? Tell him I'm not interested?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ignore him. Say nothing. Move on. The texting back and forth is quite pathetic. I know, because I did that once.

      I think we all have to learn our lessons somehow, so don't feel bad if you can't resist the need for residual contact. You will realize what a waste of time it is and how it does no good. :-)

      Delete
    2. Well.. I wouldn't tell him you're not interested unless it's the truth. Like someone said below "actions speak louder than words." Don't do anything. See if he makes an effort to talk to you and to see you. If he does, embrace it (reply enthusiastically and sweetly-- see Andrew's advice about texting etiquette). If he doesn't, then just forget about it and move on.

      If he reaches out to you and you're short with him, he'll definitely give up. So, I wouldn't do that unless it's really the result that you want. You've already told him that you expected more contact. So, I'd at least give him a small chance in the short term --- if you still are interested (and I guess if you weren't you wouldn't be posting here).

      Delete
    3. Don't play games because all you'll get is game players. Games are unnecessary.

      Delete
  31. Actions speak louder than words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much to all those people that took the time to read my post and took even more time to reply. It has meant a lot to me to read your thoughts and solutions. Sometimes you just need someone to confirm your initial feeling to help start your plan of attack. I'll keep you posted, although I'm sure we all know that he's just not that interested and we won't be hearing from each other!

      Thanks again!

      Delete
  32. My FWB and I were both married and slept together a couple of times before we really became friends. He had "girlfriend" who he has never met (probably a catfish situation) and wad back and forth over the marriage thing. We both have similar tastes in sex and we became good friends after I told him we were just friends and no more sex. I started seeing another FWB..as my marriage was all but over. We kept good contact though and after I told him the other guy was gone we became really close. Texted all day every day and got together for drinks and other things. I went through a period where I could tell he was falling for me and I was starting to for him. Then his wife decided she was ready for divorce. He just moved out this last week and told me he doesn't want to answer to anyone right now but can't handle my being hurt or upset and please still be his friend. He goes back and forth from saying he wants things from me that would equal a committed relationship to saying he thinks he is ready to find girls to date just to see. The girlfriend isn't a girlfriend anymore but they talk sometimes and "will always love each other". I am "the only woman he is and can be totally honest with". I end up getting my feelings hurt and can't make him behave. When he asked me (during sex) to be his girlfriend I said I would be his friend. He is my best friend and I think I want a lot more but know he needs to figure things out on his own. I just met with him to give him something and to give him something of his I had. He asked for a hug when I saw him and Texted thanks and are we okay. I haven't answered and won't for a while. I think he slept with someone last night and I think he wanted me to think that. Silent treatment for a couple of weeks with no explanation or just run?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Run. If he did it with you (cheat) he'll do it to you. Run fast

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know, kind of sounds like they deserve each other. I say give him another chance. Why not? Hah!

      Delete
    2. Trust me Sally..it isn't exactly like either one of us is proud of who we are. Misery loves company and we found happiness in our friendship and bind of being able to be ourselves with each other when we couldn't be with our spouses. My husband has been a husband in title only the majority of our marriage. I raised the kids Ali.e and had to make our family, home, and life without his involvement. I thought I could live enough for both of us. He had told me it was over two years prior but would not sign papers or allow separation and would do just enough to give me hope before dropping me again in my ass to do it all. We are divorcing and he has not had sex or a conversation with me for more than a year. Trying not to destroy my children's lives made me keep up the facade. Until you know it all don't pass too much judgement. Being a stepford wife will make you less than human. Attention, even bad is still attention. When you have been emotionally starved, neglected, and never a primary priority to the person you are married to it will do things to you and you will find yourself doing something you would never have thought you could do. When you get there..you can talk. I'm glad you have life figured out. Not everyone is that lucky and the older I get the less I seem to know. Hope you stay mentally and emotionally secure. My life is not fun.

      Delete
  34. I sent him an email saying I couldn't be friends or anything else because I didn't want to be one of many. It was very very nice and got back a thanks and no he wasn't doing anything with anyone last night and don't reply to him and a bye. Thanks for the closure jerk. I guess I will learn one of these days. He was hateful. Thank goodness he wasn't nice or I would still be hoping.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The longer you stay in touch with him after the break up, the more he will think "Hmm... if she wants me so badly, girls who are hotter and sweeter will probably like me enough to date me too. Why would I take her back when I know I could do better?”

    So, what if your ex is suddenly in a relationship with someone who he claimed was not his type in the not so distant past - personality wise and he had never considered her hot either?

    Did he suddenly re-discover her?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either he was lying or he changed his mind after he knows her better. Sometimes a good conversation, good pointed joke or a winning smile is enough.

      Delete
  36. He was probably lying.

    (In response to: "So, what if your ex is suddenly in a relationship with someone who he claimed was not his type in the not so distant past - personality wise and he had never considered her hot either?")

    ReplyDelete
  37. So why would he lie? Just wondering.

    Thanks for your insight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because he did like her, maybe already had some inappropriate/flirty relationship with her, and was trying to hide it.

      It's my guess, obviously I don't know the situation!

      Anyway - it doesn't matter. It's over, you gotta move on! :)

      Delete
  38. Hi Andrew, I'm particularly interested in this post because of something that happened just this weekend.
    I was friends for this guy for a long time in college, and eventually we ended up dating. I liked him a lot, which led me to accept his on and off behavior. Now I realize that I should have cut him off a looong time ago, especially as I've now read most of your posts. The last time we saw each other I still had a naive hope of dating him, but after one final shady interaction with him I was reminded that he had no interest in anything serious and cut him off completely.
    This happened shortly after I graduated and moved out of my college neighborhood, and it has now been five months since we've spoken. However, I still live fairly close to school and have friends in the neighborhood so from time to time I'll find myself at a bar in the area. This past weekend was one of those weekends, and I ran into him. Another guy was actually chatting me up when he saw me and came over to say hi, so we didn't really get to chat because he excused himself immediately after giving me a hug. The following day he texted me for the first time since I broke contact five months ago to say it was nice to run into me and that we should meet for lunch soon.
    My question is not whether he may have had a change of heart, if I should give him another chance, etc. Rather, it is how to respond appropriately, given the fact that I am uninterested in dating him but still care how about his opinion of me. I remember a post in which you told a woman that she should not act particularly cold towards an ex who eventually initiates contact as it gives away the fact that she is still hurt by the fact that he dumped her, so I waited a while to text back and said something vague about how it would be nice to catch up sometime, without furthering the conversation or welcoming the idea of making concrete plans. He texted back again to ask me how work was going, and I'm unsure of how to craft the best response that falls between eager and bitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think your answer "it would be nice to catch up sometime" was perfect, especially since you didn't then ask when and where.

      I would simply not answer his other texts, and if he asks you to hang out tell him "I do want to catch up but I also know it is probably best to avoid connecting with you again. We have a history, and it would be naive for me to pretend I can just be friends with you again without resurrecting emotions and feelings. I think we should leave our chance meeting at that. It was nice to see you!"

      Delete
    2. I wouldn't even let him know you thought about it as much as Andrew suggests. I would just respond in a friedly way, but just make excuses not to meet up (being too busy.) After that happens a few times he'll stop texting you.

      Delete
    3. I hadn't read the whole post. I wouldn't respond to a text asking how work is going, that's just an invitation to chit-chat/flirt.

      I mean you could give not-so-interested answers like "It's fine, how's yours?" He says "Ugh, it sucks, today my boss asked me to do xyz" and then you say "hehe." And then don't say any more. Basically, just do the opposite of what Andrew said in his texting advice post. Don't act enthusiastic, dont' ask questions, don't give him invitations to continue to conversation. He'll get the picture, take it as a rejection, and move on.

      I totaly wouldn't say the "we have a history" stuff -- he'll take it as you haven't moved on. I'd demonstrate that you just aren't interested in talking to him, you've got other things going on and he's not a priority.

      Delete
    4. I would respond like Andrew but with less explanation. He can fill in the details.

      It was great to see you. Maybe sometime in the future. Life has been pretty busy lately :)

      This way he will get the same idea that you aren't bitter; that you do not want to make time for him; and that you have better options in your life. If he still wants to pursue you, he will get beyond this text with something serious. Otherwise, he will leave you alone.

      Delete
    5. Thanks for the advice, guys! Luckily he never really followed through with making lunch plans, so I didn't really have to craft a response, but I feel fully prepared in case he does in the future. :)

      Delete
  39. So my boyfriend of almost a year broke up with me unexpectedly two weeks ago. He said that he thought our personalities clashed, he didn't see himself marrying me and didn't see the point of staying together any longer. I was devasted and it was brutal, but ultimately I appreciate his honesty.

    This weekend was my birthday (uh, yeah he broke up with me a week before my 30th...ugh). We've had ABSOLUTELY no contact since the breakup. Yesterday he texted me the following:

    Hey. How are you doing? I hope you had a really good birthday. I didn't know if you would want to hear from me so I didn't risk upsetting you on your birthday.

    My question is, should I respond? Is it better to send a,"Thank you so much, it was amazing!" (which it truly was and I know he knows because he saw all of the pics on facebook) or just not send anything back at all?

    While the break up was shocking and painful, it wasn't mean spirited in anyway and it's actually forced me start making some major changes in my life.


    Just not sure

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would be less enthusiastic in the response. Just say the minimum to be courteous, to show you're not bitter. But, don't act excited to hear from him.

      For example you could say:

      "No worries, I'm doing fine and the birthday celebration was a lot of fun. Thanks for the message, I hope you're doing well too."

      Delete
    2. Okay update....

      So I still haven't responded. He just sent me this:

      I guess I understand if you don't want to talk to me. Let me know if you want me to bring your dish by soon. I just wanna say I still think you are a great person. I did what I think was best for us but that doesn't mean I have any negative feelings toward you, maybe one day you will feel the same.

      What the eff do I say to that????

      Delete
    3. Thank you for the birthday wishes. It's not that I don't want to talk to you. Like you said and I agree with you, there is no point. You can keep the dish (i.e. or ask him to leave it at your doorstep, workplace, neighbors, etc). Wish you all the best :)

      That is what I would write. And you should de-friend him from facebook. Do this shortly after you send the message, so that it is no surprise why it was done. There is no need to 'make him know you had a good birthday' via fb photos.

      He has made his intentions clear, so the sooner you disconnect the faster you can move on. In reality, it doesn't matter what you say as long as you end all contact. And do so, not with the thought of what does he think. If he doesn't want to marry you, don't worry about what you should do. Do what makes YOU feel better. And make sure this includes 'pulling off the band aid' sooner.

      Delete
    4. Silence means "no response." You don't have to say anything. Dish is the least of your concerns unless it is worth something.

      Delete
    5. I like Valentina's approach. It shows you're not bitter, but explains that he shouldn't expect any contact from you in the future, and that you don't want to be friends. I think not responding at all is a bit immature.

      An alternative, shorter, to the point version:

      "I don't have negative feelings toward you, I just think it's best we don't talk and move on. Hope you understand."

      Delete
  40. So, I am sort of confused what to do. I slept with my guy friend, and sort of pushed him away thereafter. Then, we hung out recently and I realized that I should see where it goes. I actually do like him.

    I texted him and got to saying that we can hang out this weekend. He said that he is leaving town this weekend but next week/end, if my schedule is free. I told him that this Saturday or Sunday works. He told me that he will let me know closer to the day. It is Wednesday evening. I have seen him (said hello) 2 times at school. He hasn't contacted me yet.

    Is it too early? Or is he having doubts? I am not contacting him, as I initiated the last text to hang out.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wrote a lengthy post but lost it. Here's the short version. Someone who really desires you will set a date.

    Don't be a last minute option. He has to chase you and don't cave in so soon if you think he may be more than just some fun. By easily sleeping with him, he doesn't need to work for it, which then makes it less interesting.

    Remember you're worth it and in life all things valuable are not easily obtained.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the response. Yes, I guess I am just a bit anxious about this one. My ex bf was always on top of things and calling me. Not sure if this is representative of how this guy feels about me OR how I responded after sex OR the fact that I had sex so soon to begin with. I guess he didn't take the first date sex too negatively since he wants to 'hang out' again. I was the one that made it the following weekend and not sooner, I'm busy. Well, I guess that i will wait until Thursday (tomorrow) for him to contact me about Saturday. If he gets in touch with me after that, I will say that I made other plans.

      Delete
    2. And you WILL make other plans for the weekend so you can enjoy your life without him. :)

      Delete
    3. Yes, I did make other plans for the weekend with my friends. I am not in an ideal environment for dating someone new at this point. But I will soon enough, as I am moving to another state. Perhaps, my friend is not advancing things knowingly that this 'relationship' will go nowhere. I guess that I just think he is cute and making a relationship, albeit temporary, from my sexual encounter makes me feel better as an emotional women. In the end, dating or not dating would not go anywhere permanent. I know that Andrew is against this, as I have been in the past. But I am still young and want to have fun with it for a little (i.e. before I move and get serious).

      I guess that the guy friend changed his mind, as I have seen and spoken to him in passing several times this week. No mention of weekend plans on his end. And I don't want to beg my way into dating him. That strikes me as pathetic, even in terms of fun encounters, because he should be excited that I agreed to hanging out with him as well.

      In the end, I have just decided to remain 'friends' and let it die out. Not really sure what his reasons are though. On the one hand, he seems excited to hang out with me and work around my schedule. On the other hand, he never texts/calls/ and forgets to initiate when he says that he will. Guess that I will never know, oh well.

      Delete
  42. I wanted to reply specifically to a post further up but couldnt get it to work.

    Just wanted to add in that it appears that the object of people who read this blog is to find a spouse and get married before they get into their thirties when they become less attractive or have less to offer?!!Guys only begin to mature in their late thirties so better to get a better spouse then.

    There is a whole new ball game once you are married and add in children, money worries relationship problems. Marriage is not the oasis or the end of the rainbow so to speak. No-one should ever settle for a partner because they want marriage or children. It is easy to feel like you love someone and want to be married when it offers changes and those things you think you want because society tells us that is the natural progression of life.

    Andrew advocates cutting guys off but all human interaction cannot be so black and white. He may know the dating game or how the pick up scene goes (we've all been there) but appears to lack enough experience in relationships.

    People have insecurities that make them behave in certain ways. If you feel strongly for someone it is worth finding out what is there and allowing that to come to a proper conclusion rather than cutting and running because it can only complicate matters down the track when you find you still have feelings for someone.

    Anybody can get married before thirty and have kids but once you are no longer busy with your family the same wants and needs you had going into marriage will still be there. Marriage is not an answer. Marriage requires a lot of work. Of doing things you don't want to do. Sacrifice etc. It is very hard for people to understand marriage and family if they havent experienced it. There is nothing romantic about it.

    I envy any woman who is in her thirties and has a career and doesnt have this chain around her neck. Don't change who you are, just learn to appreciate who you are. A life full of possibility is endless.

    So now I wait for my children to grow and for me to be less needed in my family so that I can do what I want to do again. Appreciate the time you have to yourself, the ability to do as you please, don't compromise on any guys rating of you he just isnt "worth" it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm 33, have a college degree, career (not job, career), never married, no kids and I would give anything to be married and have a family of my own.

      Trust me, you are not missing out on anything and are living in dream land if you think you are. Let me tell you my reality.

      My cost of living is not less than yours. In fact, it is more but I'm making less because I only have 1 income, not 2. The rent or mortgage doesn't double just because you have a 2nd, 3rd, 4th person living with you. My food bill is almost just as high as yours because grocery stores do not sell single family sizes. Instead, I pay what you do but see a lot of the food spoil before I can use it.

      My taxes are higher than yours because I get no breaks for children or a spouse. If I lose my job, my income goes down to 0. If you are married and one of you loses your job, you still have at least SOME income.

      If I am so sick I can't get out of bed, I have no one to help me or fix me food. I just lay in bed until I am strong enough to get up. If I fall and hurt myself, there is no one to help me. If a scorpion crawls into bed with me and stings me, I have to kill and dispose of it, while suffering the shock of the sting, and then tend my wound all on my own.

      If I have a bad day, I have no one to talk it out with. If something wonderful happens, I have no one to share my joy with. When I go on vacation, I go alone (and pay more for it too because most travel rates are based on two people not one). If I want to go to an event, I go solo.

      I have to make all life decisions on my own. I have no one to consult with for advice. And trust me, sometimes you just want someone else to "deal with it."

      I still have all the hardships in life you do, except I have to deal with them all on my own. I don't have someone by my side to weather the storms with.

      Dating in your 30's in not like dating in your 20's. The college's year are your best time to date because you have the best options and easiest access to potential mates. Once you get in your 30's most people are married. Those who are single are scattered and hard to find. You have obligations (just like married people) which limit your time and availability to find a mate. Then, on top of that, when you do find a single person, a lot of times they are jaded or have issues.

      Unlike someone who marries in their twenties, I will probably not married someone who has not been married before. I will have to deal with an ex. I might have to deal with step-children. I will not be my mates 1st anything. My first child will not be his first child. I will not get to experience many things *with* him but rather he will *watch* as I experience things he already experiences with another woman.

      The point of marriage isn't so much about "love" and "romance" but rather to make living life easier (having someone to support you, help you out, raise the kids together, and to combine resources), because life is HARD. Think about everything you do on a day to day bases. Now, outside of children obligations, I have to do all that stuff too. But, unlike a married person, I have to do them all by myself.

      Life isn't some magically fancy wonderland if you are single in your 30's as a career woman. Stop believing what TV is selling you. Life isn't a carefree whirlwind party with mind blowing sex each weekend with a difference guy who looks like an Adonis.

      My life is just like yours minus a partner, the joys of your children, and love, family (and knowing when the next time I'm going to get laid - trust me, it's no fun going 1 year between getting some because you don't know when a guy you like is going to pop into your life).

      Delete
    2. I can't imagine exactly what you're feeling, but I hope I can try to understand. I really hope you find what you're looking for - I wish you the best.

      That said, the only minor thing I differ with you about is the idea that college is the best place to find a life partner. It's not. College boys are too busy actively trying to avoid a serious relationship and wanting to "sow their wild oats" and "spread their seed" with as many women as they can before they settle down at 28, 29, or 30.

      Delete
    3. I actually agree with J that college is best. Only a select few guys are "sowing their oats". Mainly the very desirable athletes, frat boys, ect. The "normal guys" sawing their oats are usually doing so by going for women below their league. I graduated from undergrad in May 2012 and there is a significant drop in the quality of guys I'm exposed to. What I look for in a man is mainly intelligence and earning potential. In college nearly all the guys I was exposed to had those traits. Therefore I could use looks, height, ect to decide who I wanted to spend time with. In the real world very intelligent + high earner is harder to come by. Because of that I am willing to let looks and height go a bit to get what I really want. If I was smarted I would have made something happen with a grad student, but I didnt get on the ball.

      Im still young (23) so Im not exactly rushing but I have no illusions about the difference between the men I find in college and the ones out in the general population. Not to mention, now these college educated guys have access to a wider pool of girls making the competition for them fiercer than it was in school. Now I have to compete with HS grads and girls who didnt go to school who might be hotter than I am for the same guys.

      Im not trying to sound alarmist but these are just the facts on the ground.

      PS,

      J. I wish you the very best of luck at finding a mate. I can't know what you are going threw, but I do know not all is lost. Plenty of people are delaying marriage into their 30s so its not over for you yet.

      Best Wishes!

      Delete
    4. Honestly, I understand what everyone is saying. But what is with all the 20s vs 30s comparisons? What is with all this mention of competition? It is almost as if we are competing for someone to love us. Yes, there are some prettier girls than me and smarter ones. But there is generally enough to go around. And even if there aren't, we each have something unique to offer. I am not with my exes not because of competition,but it was due to the fact that we weren't compatible. Either one or both of us wanted someone different to experience life with. And same for the guys in my future. You can be depressed about being alone, but there is no need to make a competition with other women on it. I will be the best version of myself, and that will be what someone is hoping for.

      I think people read this blog because they truly believe in love. But then when it gets to talking about relationships, suddenly it is all about being better than the next girl.

      And to the post above about marriage being work. That is obviously true. But the best things in life always take work. And life is better when you share it with someone, care for someone else. And this is not because it is cheaper or someone can make tough decisions with you. I don't believe this is the sole reason for it all. It is like having kids...yes, they are expensive and difficult. But it is the best thing that ever happens to you.

      Delete
    5. What I find really strange is how there are women who are so competitive with other women, but when they actually do get the guy, they wonder if there's someone even better out there, even women in their 30's who have already most likely been searching for close to a couple decades ( assuming they began dating in their teens) for a partner. How can this be overcome? How can a woman learn to truly appreciate what she has, lest she end up breaking a man's heart, and potentially having to live with the regret of letting someone go who could have been a great partner and made her happy?

      Delete
    6. J, I am 30 and my single life is extremely different than yours. But I have a very active social life, and great social circles. What city do you live in?

      Delete
    7. J, I'm 26 and my single life is very similar to yours. Almost all my friends are married, some even having children. They all met their now-husbands while in college and after years of being together, marriage was naturally the next step. They are too busy with their husbands, pregnancies, and families to have make time for me. Even at my age, I feel like I have a narrow pool of guys to choose from and I agree, college was definitely the best time to meet a man.

      Delete
    8. Where do you people live??? Dating in college was terrible. The guys were immature, more interested in their friends and partying than any girls, and most barely knew how to clean their apartments or almost none paid their own rent.

      I'm 25 now, out of grad school and moved to a large city and I have never had so many men interested in me and my dating life is 10 times better than in college and the quality of men (no longer boys) is much higher.

      I think those with difficulty finding mates out of college are suffering from the results of their living situations out of college that Andrew mentions in his other post;they live in the suburbs, live alone, drive to work and back everyday, and don't go out of their way to meet new friends who are also single.

      You make the bed you lie in my friends.....

      Delete
    9. "You make the bed you lie in my friends....."

      Oooh I love that kind of 'slap in the face' advice. I have actually met plenty of attractive men in college but I wasn't emotionally available enough to find one who didn't treat me badly (although I'm far from perfect myself). You could say I missed out on a big opportunity but I've had to work a tonne on myself. That's just what life throws at you sometimes. I'd rather deal with what's happening now than dwell on might-have-beens.

      And yeah, I do plan to move somewhere else, not purely to meet more men, but to increase my social circle/opportunities for networking in general.

      Delete
  43. J I think you took that post into a whole other tangent. I was really trying to relay how the way women are acting as a commodity by changing themselves to get a partner is silly because as a wife mother you always get the short end of the stick. No-one is there to look after me when I am sick either I still have four other people depending on me.

    I do live in reality where it is more common for women supporting three children prefer to separate from their unsupportive husbands than be in marriages where they are doing it all anyway.

    My post was about cutting guys off and maintaining silence after break-ups. I was saying things aren't always clear cut. I wish I had worked something out with an ex I had passion for rather than be ten years into a marriage that has given me all these "obligations" towards my spouse.

    And I will still continue to dream of my life in ten or fifteen years time and getting my own private space otherwise I think I will go mad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, you have no idea how much I appreciate your two cents. I am 30, and this site is just ridiculous in how depressing it tries to tell you your dating life is supposed to be at this age. I think everyone has a different experience. Mine is not bad by any means. I'm following my career, living my life for myself, and I do have a lot of romantic options. I also have a lot of men around me that offer me a lot of nice things--basically there are a lot of benefits and perks from many different men when you are single and attractive that it's hard to give all of that up, and settle down with just one guy. I've been wanting to work things out with an ex, and I also thought that "cut him off" is a little too black and white. We are talking again after a long time, and I'm not going to just start doling out all these ultimatums when I haven't even seen him yet. I'm glad you wrote this because it shows me that if I really love this person, that maybe it is worth working out, rather than cutting him off and going to find someone else just to get married, just because my ex made a mistake awhile ago.

      Delete
  44. Oh, I don't think I did. Why do you think a wife and mother always get the short end of the stick? You get to be a wife and mother - that's not the short end of anything. Being a wife and mother might not be what you expected but that doesn't mean you got the short end of the stick, it just means you had mistaken expectations and knowledge on what that meant and entailed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J, some of the things that you wrote about do not have to come from a spouse, such as taking care of you when you're ill and listening to you when you need to talk. Friends and families are there for us too, if there is a shortage of families, then expand your social network to make more friends. It is very important that we stay hydrated and nourished (physically and emotionally) even when single. When we are starved, we tend to make choices that are off.

      I am sorry that you have such a gloomy outlook of your life. Yes it is fun and exciting to experience the many "firsts" with a partner, but things get a lot easier when the partner is experienced and can be the guide.

      Delete
    2. "but things get a lot easier when the partner is experienced and can be the guide"

      Seems like a good reason to just pick a great partner, then.

      Delete
    3. Friends and extended family are great but they will never be the same as immediate family. When it comes to a time conflicts between a friend or your husband - hubby will win all the time (as it should be).

      For example, my birthday is Dec 23rd. Although my friends love me dearly, and would love to throw a party for me, their family is more important to them and so they never do because they have obligation towards family which are more important than any obligation to me.

      I don't need a guide or father figure - I have one of those already. What I am looking for is a life partner. Someone who is a partner in life. If everything is new to me and old news for him and he "guides" me - that is not what I want.

      Delete
  45. I don't know what to say, J. I really don't think my life as a single gal in her 30s is that awful, or that a married life is going to be so much better. But I agree that if you find a great life partner, it will seem that way. God luck! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Andrew,

    What is your opinion on what to do re: contact if we initiate the breakup?

    Thank you,

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,

      I am not Andrew. Just my two cents: Please give your ex space. You broke it off with him. Respect the fact that he needs to heal.

      This means: no 'let's be friends' BS, keeping contact to a minimum (eg: sorting stuff out as swiftly as possible) and avoiding any unnecessary conversation. He doesn't need to know how you are doing and vice versa. Trust me.

      Hope the above helps.

      Delete
  47. A bit unrelated - but should you wish an ex a happy birthday? (He broke it off and I'm not interested in being friends.)

    I am more inclined towards no (What's the point.), others have stated I should.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No...not unless you happen to see him that day. Then wish him happy birthday just as you would an acquaintance. If not, don't go out of your way. He'll think you still want him.

      Delete
    2. That's what I thought. Great advice DT!

      Delete
  48. I would love some advice : Ive been dating a guy much younger than me for 2 months. We both agreed it was always going to be a fun thing and not a long relationship. However we both ended up getting emotionally very close - him even more than me. Recently, after we spent a whole week together 24/7 when it was obvious that he was completely smitten, he texted me to say "We need to move on and find other people" ( classic!). This was a week ago.
    I am trying to keep distance but when I do text him ( every 2/3 days)I keep them matter of fact . He always responds but also matter of fact. We have agreed to go away for a weekend in 3 weeks time to have proper closure - so it ends nicely.
    What on earth does this mean ? What is going on in his mind ? and How can I get him to reconsider without asking? I love your blog - its so insightful !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are you going to do during this weekend closure getaway? Make out, have sex and then end it?

      Delete
  49. Generally someone who says "We need to move on and find other people" isn't that into you. Otherwise he'd fight for you to be together or he'd chase you back. Alternatively, he might also be confused. That does happen. Emotions can interrupt coherent thinking.

    Listen, I wouldn't sleep with someone who has decided via text (not even in person or a phone call) that this fling is over, let-alone go away for a weekend. He needs to understand that if he wants to 'have' you, it's under your terms and not his.

    You cannot force him to reconsider. It will only push him away as he already made up his mind.

    Hope the above helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your advice is very helpful even though of course not what I wanted to hear. I may be deluding myself (as so many do at this stage) but he genuinely seems to be pulling away at a time when he has been the most keen - as if he cant cope with it. I would also assume that men, if they really arent into you, just turn it off completely ie no contact so why does he continue to communicate ?
      You seem to be saying that its really a dead end situation. I was hoping that there may be a strategic way to make him of his own accord want to spend some more time together. Even though it has to be short lived because of the age difference.

      I was wondering whether Andrew had written anything on the whole "younger man/older woman" scenario ? it would be great to get an insight into that as it seems the older I get - the younger the men seem to be that are interested in me !

      Delete
    2. I wish I knew the answer to why men keep communicating when they claim to be no longer interested in you. Hope a guy will be able to answer this. :-)

      I never stated it is a dead end situation. I just said that you cannot force him to reconsider. Blame it on free will.

      Delete
    3. Yes agree - but there must be a way of subconsciously getting him to want me back - I agree that no means of forcing him to or being 'in your face" would work. Please will some man answer these life-effecting questions !!!

      Delete
  50. Hi Andrew!
    So I read this and I was wondering if the "cut him off" thing also applies if it was me who broke up. I broke up with my boyfriend of two months and a half two weeks ago because he was pulling away. I haven't contacted him since then- neither have he. I want to get back because he has the qualities that I want in a man and he always treated me very well (except from the last two weeks when he ignored me sometimes). I think I fell for him too quickly and started being needy and I'd like to start over and play harder to get. I was thinking about sending him a Facebook message in two weeks to remain friends. Should I not? Any other ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm obviously not Andrew, just my two cents:

      Don't play harder to get as playing games is not worth it. Instead be harder to get by having an exciting life and not waiting around for him to contact you.

      You broke off the relationship so it is up to you to make the first move. Don't ask him to be friends if you'd like to get back with him. Be honest. Be aware though that he may be ready to move on as he was already pulling away.

      Delete
  51. My FWB and I haven't spoken in over a week. He is truly my best friend. We slept together before becoming good friends. He wants to date people but didn't ask me out and I told him I thought he needed space while wanting to date because it hurt my feelings. He was butt-hurt and acted pissy then told me bye. I'm trying no contact for 3 weeks. I happen to live this guy and wrote him telling him so after he got mad at me. Why did he get mad at me and dump me from his life? If he doesn't call after the 3 week period, just move on or what?

    ReplyDelete
  52. So this guy I met at a club ( a mutual friend introduced us) asked for my number and texted me almost everyday for two weeks, made plan for to 'hang out' 2 weeks in advance. Then a week before the planned 'date', he just fell off the face of the earth and stopped texting completely. What on earth is going on?
    As if that's not confusing enough, he resurfaced 4 days before the 'date' and asked when I wanted to be picked up. So he actually still wants to go on a date after the disappearance.
    What is going on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a bit of a shoot in the dark but maybe he was texting/chatting up other women so he had lots of options going. Then he decided to flake on you when he got one particular woman's interest. It's not impossible that he was getting numbers of other women in the club when you weren't around.

      That is my fairly inexperienced opinion! I wonder what Andrew makes of this scenario. I definitely wouldn't be eager to reenter conversation with him if I were you, at least I wouldn't chase him up. It does sound like he was fading you out.

      Delete
  53. Hi Andrew,

    I went to work abroad for 5 months and my boyfriend planned everything to visit me. He could not come to the last minute due to a problem in January. Since I've been awful to him, mean, childish...Totally irrational.He did ask for space at the beginning of March to "see if I miss you" according to him. I asked if he still loves me and answered positively. I refused giving him space and asked for a straight answer. "We're done". Two days later I receive a text saying he wants to see when I come back..After running after him I thought it would be smart to answer its not good to hang out with his ex, need to move on and agree with his decision to break up.

    I am now back and he knows it. But no news since mid-march. Will he reappear if he loves me? Is not contact a good idea?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Andrew,
    I needed to read this today. My boyfriend of almost 4 yrs broke up with me last week, saying he loved me but he wasnt ready for marriage and he knows that was what I really wanted. Obviously I took it hard and we have been in contact everyday since then, initiated by either him or me. I also told him that I wanted to work through our issues. I really do plan to cut him off but it really hard. We been "apart" for 8 days, is it too late to cut him off with the hopes that we may rekindle? Btw, we are in our 30s if that makes a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That really sucks, sorry to hear that. Definitely cut him off now. He said he wanted a break up - you should give it to him. Like this post says, you cutting him off may not cause him to want to get back together, but it will increase the chances of it more than if you stay in touch. In addition, it will help you get over him faster and empower you.

      Good luck.

      Delete
    2. I agree with the above. Let him see what he's missing.

      Delete
    3. Thanks. I know what I have to do. I just wanted to know if I had done major damage in the last 8 ...well 9 days. And do you make an announcement or just disappear? The contact isnt one-sided. We both contact each other.

      Delete
    4. You make an announcement! (as stated several times in this blog post) "I'm sorry, but I'm cutting off all contact" It's hard as hell, but the best thing to do. It takes 2 for it to be "2 sided". Remove yourself from the equation!

      Delete
  55. Andrew - great blog. Thank you.
    Quick and dirty: Several dates, hot makeouts, lots of emails, texting, hot sex on the 5th(?) date, lots of "confusion" on his part. "I'm not sure if I can give my heart to someone right now" genuine problems with his family that he has to deal with at the moment, back and forth and finally "I think we should just be friends, but it's totally up to you"
    I said "yes" to "just friends" though I'm totally still into this guy ("oh, he'll come around eventually") and so we have just continued on with this playful, fun, get along amazingly "friendship" with 2-3 emails a day, texting, etc...
    I read this and I know I HAVE to cut this guy off right NOW. Here is the question: How do I email him to cut him off while giving him the opportunity to get a hold of me once he realizes that he truly effed up on this one and I'm a total catch? (haha) I mean, don't people take "please don't contact me again" as a pretty final "F U - I'm really done" ?
    Please advise, and thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Andrew- I was wondering if you can do a post on how best to interact with a man who is unavailable but is leaving the door open for a future relationship (he already has a gf). I know this sounds terrible but we have been on good behavior and nothing has happened besides having a conversation about our feelings.He has left the door open by saying that he's really attracted to me and has feelings for me but he has a gf and that there's a possibility things could change in the future(this was back in fall of last year). The other thing that sucks is that while we don't work together in the same office we do have some kind of working relationship that requires us to occasionally interact. I/We are keeping things professional, we emailed a couple of months ago and he was really flirting with me which led me to believe that maybe he was single, but now he's cooled it off and when we do email he always asks how I am etc, but now I'm starting to not respond and trying to cut him off. Does cutting him off help me in this situation? I don't have any intentions of making a rift between him and his gf, I want him to end things on his own but don't know what I can do...most likely nothing right? I feel like if I continue to stay friendly with him will hurt my chances vs. help them. I don't want to play games because I sincerely like this person but I want to be smart. I would like to pursue a relationship with him if/when he's single in the future...

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hey-
    I would really appreciate your help. My ex broke up with me 3 weeks ago. We were together for 8 mos, we were committed and spent almost every night together. We were in love. Throughout our relationship he struggled with serious depression and anxiety often unable to go to work or leave his apartment. Also towards the end of the relationship old issues with gambling and substance abuse began to surface. Despite everything I loved him, unconditionally, always there for him. I did this because I felt like this was/is the one. He is a brilliant guy, but struggles with a lot of issues with self worth and would self sabotage. The night we broke up he asked me to go dinner to meet his parents who were in town. We had dinner, it was amazing. He was holding my hand, kept telling me he loved me. We dropped his parents off and he asked me to drive him to this off track betting place where he played poker. told me he would be home in a few hours. He came home at 2am and told me he was going to his neighbors to party. At 4am while completely intoxicated he called me from some party he was at, I heard people coaching him to break up with me. I told him to come home, shortly after he did completely out of his mind and said he's done and get the f- out of his apt. I completely broke down, shocked at what was happening, he had a moment of clarity and held me kept saying what am I doing? He then said he needed to go back and say goodbye and get his things, but never returned. I found his phone left at the apt and his was texting some woman that he played poker with, seems that they had some kind of relationship for the past month. I left that morning shattered. I kept thinking what the hell happened?
    I basically spent the next week in bed, so broken. I texted him telling him this pain he caused. He would text everyday apologizing, saying he doesn't know how he can bear to live the rest of his life hurting someone that only showed him beauty and goodness. After several days he texted basically saying he realized how messed up he was and needed out of the relationship. He said that responsibilty was too much to deal with on top of all of his issues. He said he loved me and was happy with me, but cannot be in a relationship right now. He self sabotaged that night.He denies cheating on me saying that this woman was a form of escapism, they just talked.
    After that week I texted back saying that I forgive him that I know he is sick, that despite everything I love him. I agreed to see him saying we can work on friendship. I intended on just seeing him for coffee he winded up staying at my place for two days and we had sex. Basically said to each other that we can't let go, so we have been seeing each 1-2 a week. No more sex. There are still genuine feelings there. But he keeps saying he can't be in a relationship.
    What do I do? I love him, I want to move forward, willing to support him even if it requires me taking a step back, but how can I be his friend, its so much more. I crave him every night. I don't call and try not initiate contact, we just make these dates where he comes over has dinner and we cuddle.
    Any advice would be appreciated. I mean ultimately I want to be with him. Is there anything that I can do to help make this happen?
    Thanks

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  58. Hello Andrew!

    I love this blog, very good insight of what men think. My life is upside down right now after the guy I was seeing for the last 4 month dumped me,let me clarified, i'm 44 years old and he is 46. Anyways, we seemed to get along very well, had the same interest, spend all weekends together,incredible sex, ect. Then suddenly he comes and tells me he is afraid that his feelings are not developing at the same pace as mine and he doesn't want to hurt me, so I cut to the chase and let him free, no contact after that, no calls, text or anything, two weeks later he texted me and told me he never stopped having feeling for me and he was feeling very unresolved. We had lunch and dinner after and decided to get back together, we had an amazing weekend together and he says the magic words I LOVE YOU, I was in a cloud after that, but didn't last a a week later he comes and starts the same deal again, this time said I love you but there is something I can put the finger on and I can continue this because you are so good and I don't want to damage you. Can you please help me to figure this one out. This happened 2 weeks ago, and no contact had been initiated, I told him not to contact me and so far he had done so. I miss him, and I love him, but I will not contact him, because deep in my heart I know it will open a can of worms. Can some one give me an honest opinion. Thank you

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    1. Look up bi-polar disorder. It is estimated 1 in 5 people suffer from some form of this. I have dated 3 people with this condition., and alot of the posts I've read, where men cool off come back cool off and come back again, seems to relate to the typical web and flow. Men tend to go undiagnosed longer than women. Its a pride thing. I am only bringing this up because sometimes there are things at work in a man's head that won't make any sense. No matter how closely you follow the advice given on a blog like this.
      Sometimes people with a personality disorder are the most amazing people you will ever meet! But they don't fit into any reasonable explanations.. Its worth looking into and understanding. If for no other reason but to make sense out of a man's behavior that might not make any sense otherwise.

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    2. I had a bi-polar partner for 6 years. He actually didn't do any of the hot and cold stuff in the beginning. He was very into the relationship, and committed to me very fast. It was only later that it started to impact our relationship.. sometimes he would be so loving, and other times be very resentful towards me.
      But I've said the same to others on this blog... Andrew's explanations of how guys think only applies to guys who are using normal guy logic. Some people can act completely irrationally and there is no reasonable explanation.
      I am now dating a guy who was very hot and cold in the beginning... but, since I know bipolar disorder very well, I am 90 percent sure he doesn't suffer from it. However, he is a very anxious person, and sometimes I think he could have an undiagnosed anxiety disorder.
      Like your guy, mine has similarly told me that he loves me but thinks I should move on, because our relationship is certain to end badly (he knows this because all his relationships have ended badly) and he doesn't want me to get more hurt.
      The first couple times I said "OK, if that's what you want" and stopped talking to him for awhile. Then he'd coyly come back to me. Then I realized the things he told me about what he "wanted" and felt were BS because it wasn't in line with his actions. From then on, whenever he said something like that to me, I would just be super affectionate and loving toward him. That strategy seems to work. I think the uncertainty about the relationship stuff was just a manifestation of his insecurities. (Or maybe he was testing my devotion to him...?) At any rate... I stopped taking it personally.
      It depends on your situation and whether it's worth it for you to put up with this guy. It's definitely not normal behavior, and you don't deserve it. But, he's probably not going to change. But, I can say, once you know each other more it might get better.. or at least won't affect you as much..

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    3. Thank you ladies, this is very helpful. The funny thing is after almost 3 weeks with no contact, he just sent me an email today, even when I told him not to. The email is very short and it has an attachment with an invite to his son high school graduation party, which will not happen until June 8th, he said textually "I had to forward this to you, have a great trip next week", I am going to Puerto Rico next week, it was planned before he broke up with me. This is a very clear sign that he reaching up to me again, and this party invite is just a lame excuse to open the communication path, but I am not going to play his game this time. I decided to just ignore the email and not answer it. He is a great guy and totally worth it, but honestly I don't have the patience or energy to go down that road. Hopefully he will get the message and stop trying to contact me, in that way we both can move on.

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    4. Yeah, sounds just like my guy! We'd agree to break up and five days later he'd send me an invite to something. In my case, I think he would even organize the event largely for the purpose of inviting me. Unlike you, I'd go, though. I never gave up on him cuz my hunch was that he loved me all along. He's just really dysfunctional about expressing it. And, despite all the stupid stuff he's put me through, I'm still crazy about him... so, maybe he's actually doing something right haha

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  60. I think I'm going to regret this... I had a fling with a guy in November. He was in my city doing a medical fellowship and of course I met him exactly 2 weeks before he left. I'm generally pretty guarded and reserved when I meet people but I have never clicked with anyone the way I did with him. For the record I'm a 29 year old law student and he's a 26 year old medical resident.

    We spent at least every other day together for his last two weeks. Yes we'd sleep together but we'd also stay up until 5am sharing family photos and stories, lazy days in bed reading the newspaper. I missed a lot of class, he regularly missed rounds and barely finished his research on time. When he left I was devastated but we kept in touch. We would take at least once a week for 4-6 hours at a time. I was aware that I needed some space because we had discussed that 2 weeks was just not enough time to make the kind of choices we would need to make to be together. That said I would've moved to Belgium in a heartbeat if he'd asked.

    He initiated contact a bit more often than I did. He was generally the one to say he missed me or ask what I up to at the weekend. At one point I told him I was coming to Europe but didn't want him to feel pressured or obligated to see me as it might be too soon after he left. His response was that he'd love to see me again but I needed to do what I felt was right and I would know the right decision when the time came. At this point I honestly considered him a friend. What we had in Montreal was great but it's over.

    We talked on a Wednesday before I left for holidays. He was asking if I was going to party and meet people or just relax. Told me to be careful. Send him lots of pictures. Joked that maybe he could come with! I went online to send him a message on Sunday to see about a job interview he'd had and found that he'd deleted me - from Facebook, Google chat, everything. He didn't respond to my message. About a week lated I sent a message asking what had happened - he responded with "I never want to see you again. I don't want to talk anymore. Please don't contact me."

    This was in February and I am still blown away confused. I have NO idea what happened but it seems like he's upset about something. I want to send him an email to say I didn't deserve that and ask what happened. I don't think he'll respond so it's more to make myself feel better I guess. Is that pathetic? Is there some giant red flag that I did or am missing?

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    1. my gosh, all these late night chats does not count as real relationship... you should just leave all these memories as they were, moments of two strangers sharing some fun time together. NO need for closure, just MOVE ON and forget about him, learn about men as much as you can, read books on men and relationships and this blog.

      Pls believe you are alone in facing such situation. You are too clear in your intention and he lost interest.

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  61. I love the post. Even though I am not sure if I broke up with him or he with me, I am sticking to "cut him off"! I sometimes think he will contact me but I think it is over. And some part of me was relieved when we ended it. But I sometimes miss him so much. :(

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  62. Andrew. I am seriously KICKING myself after reading this,,uggg! I remained friends with my ex for the past 4 month after he broke up with me last december. He said he wasn't in love with me and didn't see me in his future. BUT he loved how happy I made him and wanted to remain friends because we do enjoy being around each other. Of course I took him contacting me and treating me like his girlfriend (no sex or anything romantic) as him wanting to be with me again.... WRONG!

    About a week ago I just began to get exhausted being his friend. He was the one benefitting from it not me. He doesn't know how I feel. I just stopped responding to him and I stopped initiating contact. I have gone back and forth with him a few times over the past 4 months...changing my mind about being friends but this time I REALLY am done. I don't want to tell him AGAIN because it's embarrassing. And I know he'll say, "oh I understand" bla, bla, bla...

    Do you think it's it's ok to just not return his calls or texts if he does reach out? ( I know he will contact me at some point) Or do I owe him an explanation as to why I'm ignoring him? I'm feeling pretty good not talking to him or seeing him and i'm afraid if I say something again about me not being able to be friends with him i'll look even more pathetic because he won't believe me anyway. I want to have some dignity and just walk away in silence.

    Also, we have a mutual friend who i really like seeing from time to time. She knows the situation and never invites him when I'm around. What do you think about having mutual friends after a breakup?

    I hope I made sense. I'd LOVE your opinion on both..:)
    p.s. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I wish I found it 4 months ago but better late than never.

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  63. Hello

    So my boyfriend and I have been dating for a year. Hes always been very affectionate, telling me he loves me, making the effort to go away at weekends when he doesnt have his kids etc etc. Recently he lost his job. A week ago and over several times during the evening, after ringing\texting him - he didnt pick up. On the second night when he didnt text me or ring me for over 7 hours - I told him I was happy. The next day I received a text from him cancelling all our plans for that evening and the weekend explaining that he was upset about me being not happy with him, having a lot on his mind and he was off to have a weekend in Brighton with his mates. I was completed gutted and annoyed. So I broke up with him during a telephone conversation after the text he sent me to cancel our plans.

    I havent been in contact with him since, and he hasnt contacted me. I still love him very much. But I'm guessing the reason for his no contact is that hes ok with being broken up?

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  64. ADVICE NEEDED!! Thank you in advance..:)

    Like I said in my previous post that he would contact me, he did today. Left me a voicemail: Him: *he sang my name*, then said what's up. It's 3:37 on wednesday, give me a callback..whenever. I'll take to you later bye."

    We had plans to workout 2 weeks ago from today and he never called to cancel. I was a little angry but didn't show it. I waited until that friday and I sent him a text saying 'weren't we suppose to run on wednesday?" and he said,"ha! impromptu road trip up north."

    Then we texted for about 10 minutes about stupid stuff and he told me he had to go because he was hanging out with his mom. I said ok. 20 minutes later he calls me and leaves me a voicemail: "Hey, was hanging with my mom. I'll be back next friday. talk later."

    For whatever reason I just knew I had to let go. I was still angry he didn't tell me he was leaving. Like he was my boyfriend! I had cut him off but didn't tell him. I am too embarrassed because I have said things like that before and always went back to being friends KNOWING I want something more.

    I hadn't heard from him until today's message. I really don't want to call him back because I'm doing well moving on. It does hurt but i've made it this far...(I know it's only been 2 weeks but still that's progress for me!)

    My question is, is it ok to just not respond? I really don't want to be his friend anymore. Can't I be silent?

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  65. Good Post. What if it has been a year since the breakup? He still texts, still tells me I am amazing, still working on his issues, says he misses me, etc. Do you need to tell him that you are going to ignore him or just do it?

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  66. Hey Andrew! My boyfriend was being weird with me the past few weeks and all of a sudden said he needed space cos he had stuff going on with him. He would'nt tell me what was wrong so I said ok have all the space you need. As the days passed I became paranoid and took everything into account (the way he had been acting with me weeks before that, being distance etc) and I was fully convinced in my mind he was going to end it, so I dumped him. Its been almost 2 weeks now and neither of us has made contact. He's left his facebook status as 'in a relationship' even though hes been online. I deleted him and im trying to move on, even though I want him back. Please could you advise me on how to get him back or give me some insight to the way hes behaving?! Thanks!

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  67. I was broken up with 5 weeks ago because we were fighting a lot.
    We kept in touch for that first month (i think we were both hurting)
    He said he misses me.
    He also said "I love you and a part of me wants to be with you, but I don't think it can work."
    I initiated no contact a week ago and he said he respected me for doing it.
    It still hurts and I still love him. With each day that passes things get easier yes, but I also realize how much I want to be with him and work on the things that were wrong with our relationship.
    He knows how I feel. Do I leave it as is?
    I feel like there really is nothing more i can say...

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  68. Great post....i enjoyed reading it and all the other posts have been helping me.

    My boyfriend of a year broke up with me a week ago. We were planning on moving to the other side of the country for a great job opporutnity he has and I was ready to leave everything for him...I still am. We were prepared to start a life together in a different city.

    He had planned a big surprise b-day party for me couple days before he broke up and it made me so happy that he made such a huge effort to be with all my friends and coordinate this event with so many people I care about.

    He broke up two days after the party because he thinks our lifestyles dont' match and he's being too selfish by making me feel that I shouldn't be with my friends (only a few of them). ...he said it has nothing to do with me, but that those few friends are a reflection of myself and he doesn't think he fits. I enjoy the company of my friends and it's not my place to tell them what is good for them and what is not.

    A couple days after breaking up with me he asked me if I still want to move with him, and I don't know what to do! We are on very good terms and have told each other that we love and care very deeply about each other. I feel like the reasons for his breakup are not valid and that he will regret his decision (which he has started to).

    It's not like he can't stand my friends, they get along quite well, it's just being around them when they smoke weed that makes him so uncomfortable, which I understand cuz I have been feeling that way lately too. If we move together this problem won't exist (just different obstacles of moving to a new city) and he won't feel the way he does.

    Right now I told him I need some time to figure things out (there's still a couple months before he moves). He's told me that when he pictures me that I am the one for him and I feel the same about him. It just doesn't make sense to me that he would break up like that and then ask me if I want to go with him. What should I do besides give us some time to be apart and figure things out?






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    1. Sounds to me like your friends are potheads and he's not comfortable with that. Maybe he's reconsidering you and your suitability as a mate based on your choice of friends.

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  69. this post is great i will try this and see if it works!

    my bf broke up with me over an argument. after 3 months being with each other.no sign of change no nothing leading up to that argument.we were normal and happy! actually even more happier with our travelling plans..i really didn't know it was going to result in a break up. all of a sudden he just did a 360 turn and said we are not compatible and he lost feelings and thinks it wont work. inside i don't believe him. but he is so stubborn that im feeling whatever i do..it wont work. if he has made up his mind and stuck to it..do i even have a chance??

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  70. Went out with a girl for 6 months .She dumped me for her ex by phone.I hid my feelings of hurt just accepting her decision .
    Four months later I received an email from her saying Hi ,How are you ?,and that she had been thinking about me the last few months .
    I replied a couple of days later just saying things were good with me,and that I was involved in some new projects ,Nice to hear from you .Thats all .
    I still care fore her ,but was protecting myself I really don`t know what she is thinking .Why have I received this email from her out the blue ? Will she write again ? Was I right to not say too much with my response ?

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  71. my boyfriend snooped and found out I am bipolar. we have been dating for a year and a half. he is a pharmacist by trade. he had listed a few very negative interactions he had with those who suffer from mental illness. I KNEW i had to eventually tell him. I don't usually wait this long, but the stigma...i liked him too much to say the least.

    he's hurt, and i kept lying about small details. i had confessed that i'm manic depressive, but it was rather foolish by downplaying it and the severity of the issue by suggesting i no longer see professional help-psychiatrist.

    fast forward a day later. he decided i wasted his time and should have told him sooner. he no longer trusts me. i did however convince to reconvene in a week to see if the decision can be changed.

    any advice can be of great help.

    thanks,

    dee

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    1. You need to just be out and honest about the condition and what it entails..no holding back. The last thing you would want to do is to quit seeing your psych or to even suggest it. Those with bipolar (I am one of them) can live completely, normal happy lives with the right treatment and support. You just need to be 100% open and serious about controlling the illness and be able to prove to him that you both can be happy together in spite of the bipolar..AND you need to make sure he's worth you staying with..that he's not going to be cruel about it or hold it over you as a reason for anything negative that you do. I have encountered some guys in the past who were amazing about it and some others who just couldn't deal. You need to decide what kind of guy he is and if you have an inkling that he may not be able to handle it then I'd advise you to let it go and find someone who can.

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    2. thanks emily.

      i knew i had to tell him. i just wish that this coming thursday, he'll consider working it out with me still. it's a good sign right?

      how has your relationship life been?

      i find i don't have a problem getting men, it's having them stay interested. sigh...attracting men is not the issue for me, but rather keeping them is the hardest part. i'm 31 this year, i'm worried i'll never get married!

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  72. Hi.. omg your blog is so motivating and beautiful. I just had my cup of tea.. and such a refreshing read. So positive and great advice.

    I know for a fact you can help me with this, please.?!
    My boyfriend and I dated on year and long distance for two years (very on and off) . It seemed, from what he used to tell me, that he was never going to come back home. But, I hear from a mutual friend that he has been in town, back home, for a month. I was hurt, choked,shocked.. etc. I'm much better now.

    My only question is, why hasn't he contacted me? HELP.

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  73. desperatley need help on this...i was with my boyfriend for 10 years, i am now 27 and he is 28. we moved in with each other after 5 years and lived at his parents house. we were never the couple to break up get back together we've been steady for a long time and we get along great, almost like best friends. i became really attached to him..we worked together, lived together and basically together 24/7. we both got really comfortable and everyday was just so routine..i wanted more affection and the only complaint i had was i wanted to at least get engaged and he never did it/have kids and a few months ago he tried to get me pregnant (his choice) but i didnt get pregnant. his dad became very sick a few weeks ago and one night he left to go drink with his friends and i was writing his sister on facebook about things need to change and i wrote a status about he needs to get his priorites right instead of drinking with friends care more about his family...he always used my facebook and i forgot to delete the messages/status and when he came home that night he read everything and started acting very different towards me..he wouldnt kiss me or anything. he acted normal besides that and about a week later he told me we needed a break that nothing was gonna change and the relationship just got old. when i brought up that i thought it had to do with fb he said he felt like that before things...i was devestated it felt like a slap in the face. i packed my stuff & threatened to move to florida with my parents and he said he didnt want me to leave..he told me i could stay in the house and even sleep in the same bed with him? i thought we were on a break but after talking to him yesterday he said no it was for good and if he ever regretted it and i have moved on then thats something that he will have to deal with it bc he broke up with me..he was very persistant about us remaining friends and about me being able to stay there which dont make sense bc then were around each other all the time, so no it wouldnt change. i left to my aunts and didnt talk to him for a week...he says certain things but sometimes his actions show different so i'm completely confused and still devasted but i push myself to go out and hang out with friends and he's still checking my fb messages! i dont act devasted about it and even told him yesterday that im getting over it and that i realized how attached i was to him and needed my time away prolly more than he does..i just wish i knew if it could work out in the end or if its really over? i have 3 dogs at the house with him that i go see when hes at work and it doesnt bother him, he dont even mind being there when i come over

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