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Complicated Relationship With My Ex

"Will My Ex Ever Want to Settle Down?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My ex-boyfriend and I have a complicated relationship. We broke up in May last year because he needed time, we got back together briefly, and then broke up again May this year. We've been talking and going out every now and then, as friends. Last night we went out, and had a great time as usual, but I just told him I can't handle the "friends" thing anymore, and that maybe I should take some distance from him to heal and move on. He told me he doesn't want that, and that he wants to have a relationship with me, but not right now, and so I ended up kind of accepting that he is not going to get out of my life and I'm starting to wonder if he's ever going to be ready. 

My best friends tell me that he is never going to be ready, he should be by now since it's been so long since he asked for time, he is behaving like a teenager (he is 30), and that he is too passive to even do something and step up. They think I should stop talking for real this time.

On the other hand, I love him and him telling me that he wants a relationship gave me some kind of hope. I'm not the clingy kind of person, I've gone out with other people, and I have given them a chance, but I just haven't found someone else. It's not like my friends say (they claim that I would never look at other guys, but I can, it's just that there is nobody else). It's too hard for me to stop talking to him, he is not a bad person, and he is nice and sweet. Whenever I tell him I want him out (I've done it twice), he gets super sad, and starts asking me to forgive him for everything he has done, but yet he can't compromise. I know that he isn't seeing anybody else, so that's not the case, but the friends thing is too hard, I know I have to think of myself first, and put myself as a priority but you guys know how hard it is to just end something after so long — that's what I think that my friends don't understand.  Whenever something happens to him I want to run to his side, but I can't because I'm not his girlfriend anymore.

I don't know what to do. Should I disappear? Considering how hard it is for me to not reply to his texts/emails/calls, should I give him the time he needs? But what happens when (if) he's ever ready? Will he meet my expectations? I want to get married and have a family with him, but he feels pressured. Will he ever be ready? That is something that only he knows, but I want to hear if there is anybody with a similar experience. This turned out to be a venting-kind of post. Thank you all for all of your advice, bring on the tough love haha. I appreciate it. 

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously in Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Bubbles12 Bubbles12 3 years
It will make your head spin how fast he'll be married and having kids when he finds a woman he *feels* that way about. You'll also feel humiliated, vengeful and "why not me?" to some level when you find out, even a tiny bit. Better to experience all of that long after a break up. Do not the one he dumped to do it. I've seen that scenario so many times. Don't wait around. It will hurt a lot less if you're with someone you love too.
missmaryb missmaryb 3 years
As someone who lived through a similar experience, I agree that you should step away. You have fallen into a pattern of hang on, get tired of it, try to go, let him convince you to stay, rinse and repeat. And have you gotten a different result yet? The other girls are correct when they say that if he wanted to commit to you, he would have done so by now. I will give you a brief overview of my story. I rode the roller coaster for well over a year, and eventually got tired of it for good. I literally stopped speaking to him, went out of my way to avoid him, started dating someone else for about 4 months. He tried to contact me a few times and I just refused to go down that road again. The other guy and I broke up, and as fate sometimes works, we did run into each other again and had a fairly civil conversation. We ended up thrown together for something and had to see each other a few times a week. I guess while we were apart he realized that he had been stupid and really worked to get back into my good graces. He has done a complete 180 and is a different man since then. So I'm not saying it can't be done, but the key is to take a step back emotionally and physically and force him to think about what he's given up. He may come back with a different mentality and he may not. That's up to him. But you must respect yourself and value yourself enough not to be someone's "security blanket." If he had not come back around, I never would have stepped back into that situation with him again. It took me several months to even trust in things now and I've just recently come to the conclusion that he's for real this time. Good luck.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 3 years
I agree with what henna has already written you. Right now, you guys are in this based on his term, but this is also your life, you guys are not a couple anymore, why do you have to follow mainly only what he wants and compromise what you really want/expect out of your relationship based on his whim? Please don't tell me that you guys are still sleeping together but no commitment? I hope that you're not though. Go ahead, reclaim your life and reclaim what you deserve and not be in a state of limbo, girl. I've had similar story of break-up and the messy emotional entanglement (like your ex, mine also had trouble letting go) with the aftermath. After many sticky situation and miserable moments between the ex and I, I had to be the 'bad guy' and actually stick to the break up. I told him that being 'friends' and be in a limbo was not going to work for me and I told him to stop contacting me as I would stop either. I stuck to it, it was crappy for awhile too, but yes, it happened. Sometimes, it's necessary to be the 'bad guy' for your emotional health as well as his. Get a clean break and stick to it (p.s. I wrote 'get', don't even 'ask', he's not the boss/owner of you). If he calls, texts, e-mails, ignore them. Better yet, do what I did to my ex, BLOCK him. It'll upset him most likely, but when you two have finally moved on from this, I promise that you won't regret it. And he won't either. I met my husband 2 years after the clean break from my ex, and my ex met his future wife too a year after we really broke up (p.s. my ex and I have reconnected and are friends hence I know what happens afterward). That's my history and I hope you much luck with your life.
henna-red henna-red 3 years
This isn't complicated. Your boyfriend is committment phobic. He likes having you in his life, with boundaries, and restrictions.....only on his terms. He's getting what he wants, while you wait for him to give you what you want. He never will. If what you want is a commited, traditional relationship, then it's time to move on to someone who wants that also, and who demonstrates that they want it. There are a lot of people in the world today who want companionship, want the sex, the fun and convenient things that come with a partner, but who don't want or can't handle the responsibilities that come with a full time partner. Some of those people are up front about what they want and need. They understand themselves, and let their romantic partners know that the relationship has limits, and will never become full time or committed. There are more people who have major issues with committment, who either don't understand themselves, or who do but don't care whom they hurt with their lack of ability to commit, and so they lie, or, as with your guy, strings their loved one along until the loved one gets tired of all the prevarication and procrastination and finally ends it. The acid test is .... believe what he does, and if what he does and what he says are not the same thing, then what he says means nothing. It's all about his actions. This guy has domonstrated to you what he wants and what he doesn't. So your options are to accept the relationship as it is, ore to reject the relationship, break it off, take the time you need to mourn it's loss, heal from the dissappointment, and open your heart to the possibility that there is a wonderful man out there who wants a committed relationship, as you do, who won't tell you one thing, and show you something else. There's a good book that bubbles recommends....He's scared, She's scared, by Sokol and Carter. I've been reading it; it describes relationships like yours from the point of view of other people who have experienced the same thing. I recommend it. One of the things the book discusses is not only the agressive commitment phobe......but the passive commitment phobe.....the person who stays in a relationship with someone who won't commit, thereby avoiding commitment themselves. Sound familiar? I recommend the book to you. I also recommend that you look into the possibility of therapy for yourself, if you truly are interested in having a stable, healthy, commited relationship. Until you understand why you you will stay in a situation that isn't what you say you want, then you won't ever find yourself in a situation that you do want. This is your life. It's up to you to make the decisions around what you want, and what you don't. If you're ok with sitting around and waiting for someone else to make decisions that impact you and your future, then you can keep on doing what you're doing. If you are serious about a commited relationship, then it's up to you to make the decisions that will lead to that. Again, believe what this guy has shown you. Believe his actions. His words and actions don't match.....he was in a relationship with you, and he backed out. He doesn't want to let go of the stuff he likes, but he won't commit and fulfill the responsibilities of a partner. And you aren't willing to move away from what you know doesn't work in order to look for something that does. So, in my view, both of you have a similar issue, that's manifesting in traditional passive/agressive commitment phobic relationship. Recognizing the problem is the first step to reconciling the issues....and you can only reconcile YOUR issues, not his. You can only address YOUR issues, not his. That's your starting place. good luck It's hard to get through all of the frustrated emotion to take a good, logical look at behaviors. I wish you luck and love with it.
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