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You Asked: Is There Hope?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend of 13 months recently broke up with me. He told me that he has commitment issues and doesn't want to be in a "tumultuous relationship." I was under the impression that we had a pretty good thing going — of course we fought, but doesn't every couple? After the dust settled, I asked him if he wanted to be with me again. His answer was “yes and no.” He said he loves me deep down, but he's very afraid of what our relationship will be if we start fighting and having arguments again. Although I told him that I changed, he still feels an "aftertaste" of our past relationship. I know I wasn't the best girlfriend, but what I'd like to know is: How do I get him to realize that I really have changed? I want him to feel safe and secure with our relationship. Are there any ways for me to show him that I'm now a more appreciative, supportive, and passive girlfriend? — Trying Really Hard Reagan

To see DearSugar's answer,

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Dear Trying Really Hard Reagan,

It sounds as though you and your ex have a very different outlook on your past relationship. You're right, all couples fight from time to time, but if you're arguing was enough to force your boyfriend to end things and fear getting back together, something tells me you fought a lot more than you're willing to admit. Your ex is on the fence, so the best thing you can do is give him time to think and process your relationship. Since there are still feelings there, I'd let his aftertaste subside before you try to plead for him back. You've told him that you've changed, and while being more supportive and appreciative are great upgrades to anyone's personality, you must practice what you preach.

At the end of the day, Reagan, your boyfriend has to feel comfortable and ready to get back together with you, and there's really nothing you can do to speed up his decision-making process. You've said how you feel, so as hard as it might be, I'd give him some space and leave the rest up to time. Good luck.

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oliveoyle625 oliveoyle625 7 years
It is really hard, but you should really use that time apart wisely and really think about whether you can show him you have changed so that you don't continue to have this pattern with him down the line. I know its easy to get caught up in your feelings and want to jump right into things again, but that's not always the best way. It only ultimately ends up hurting both of you more.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 8 years
You can't force something to happen if the relationship is just not working. While I'm sure you've both made some mistakes in the past, trying to change who you are altogether is not an easy fix. If you change yourself for him, you may not like what you've become, and then where will you be?Every couple fights, but if your ex isn't willing to handle the arguments, he may not be ready for the "through-hell-and-high-water" type of relationship that you're ready to have. You think that this break up is about your faults, but maybe it's not at all. I think you just have to try your best to respect what he's feeling.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 8 years
You can't force something to happen if the relationship is just not working. While I'm sure you've both made some mistakes in the past, trying to change who you are altogether is not an easy fix. If you change yourself for him, you may not like what you've become, and then where will you be? Every couple fights, but if your ex isn't willing to handle the arguments, he may not be ready for the "through-hell-and-high-water" type of relationship that you're ready to have. You think that this break up is about your faults, but maybe it's not at all. I think you just have to try your best to respect what he's feeling.
blooditsnotfunny blooditsnotfunny 8 years
So you two broke up recently? What do you mean you changed? You just changed as soon as you broke up or what? It takes more than a day to change. I think you guys should at least take a break so that you can really realize what it is like to be without him and so that you can really feel the impact of what happens after you fight. If you guys didn't even really take a break and you're just getting back together right away, I don't think anything will change.
michelleannette michelleannette 8 years
let him be. don't force him to make a decision about you. if he said your relationship was tumultuous, it probably was. you're probably not being honest with yourself and instead focusing on how much you love him. that's great, but fighting--even if you consider the disagreement to be small, can be incredibly hard on some people. are you fighting about the same thing all the time? while you're apart try to see things from his perspective and it will help you understand why he doesn't want to be with you. good luck.
eliepoo eliepoo 8 years
I feel that I've been in a similar situation before and the times that I spent trying to get him to realize we had a good thing going seemed to backfire. In my experience when I finally let go of trying to force it to work and took time for myself things seemed to fall in place. I was more happy because I was focusing on me while it gave my bf a chance to collect his thoughts about me and our relationship. Since then everything has been GREAT~! I think some additional time apart may do you good whether it ends up that you get back together or you realize that there may be something better out there for you. good luck =)
eliepoo eliepoo 8 years
I feel that I've been in a similar situation before and the times that I spent trying to get him to realize we had a good thing going seemed to backfire. In my experience when I finally let go of trying to force it to work and took time for myself things seemed to fall in place. I was more happy because I was focusing on me while it gave my bf a chance to collect his thoughts about me and our relationship. Since then everything has been GREAT~! I think some additional time apart may do you good whether it ends up that you get back together or you realize that there may be something better out there for you.good luck =)
kendalheart kendalheart 8 years
Sounds like you know the answer already, move on with your life, but you are not accepting it. I don't mean to be harsh but you really should.
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 8 years
If you really have changed, then you have to show him that you have. I would just hang out with him without putting any pressure on getting back together and show him in what ways you have changed. If you can truly show him that, he will be more likely to reconsider. We've all heard "I've changed! Things will be different this time" and he's wise not to fall for it without evident proof. Now the real question is, HAVE you really changed? How do you know? How has your behaviour or feelings been different than they were before? And you should probably chew on that before you embark on what will probably be a long and difficult journey of proving it to someone else.
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 8 years
If you really have changed, then you have to show him that you have. I would just hang out with him without putting any pressure on getting back together and show him in what ways you have changed. If you can truly show him that, he will be more likely to reconsider. We've all heard "I've changed! Things will be different this time" and he's wise not to fall for it without evident proof.Now the real question is, HAVE you really changed? How do you know? How has your behaviour or feelings been different than they were before? And you should probably chew on that before you embark on what will probably be a long and difficult journey of proving it to someone else.
gigill gigill 8 years
I'd give him space - if it's meant to be he'll come around, but if it isn't then you'll have to move on.
Sydney-C Sydney-C 8 years
It sounds like this all happened very recently, and I'm not one to believe that people can "change" as you say that you have at the drop of a hat...
jillerin457 jillerin457 8 years
I'm sorry, but it sounds like he's already made up his mind. It's possible that, if you give him some space, he may come around, but I think if you press the issue, you will only drive him further away.
tomatoshirt tomatoshirt 8 years
It's good that you fight for what you want, but don't lose yourself. If he is not willing to meet you half way, the relationship will not last. I agree w/ njau, you should give him sometime, and yourself as well.
njau njau 8 years
I'd listen to what dear sugar has to say. Fighting can be very draining on a relationship, like she said it was probably more than you are willing to admit. It's true everybody can change and I'm sure you have, but give him some space, if he is willing to give it a try he'll be back but if not, you got to let this one go and take it as a learning lesson so that your next relationship will be much much better.
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