General Dating Questions/Ex asking to come back after breakup
I wrote to you a few months ago with an issue, and you were insightful with your answers. The situation I wrote about has a couple of new twists, a whole new set of issues, and I’d like your thoughts, please.
My extremely passionate, sexy, hot, and fun girlfriend of 10 months who I loved dearly broke up with me right before New Year’s Day, not because anything was wrong with our relationship, she said (in her break-up speech to me – I was the perfect boyfriend, she never had a bad moment with me, the sex was fabulous, she loved me, etc., just that her “heart” was telling her to go with someone else...but, that I was her “head’s” choice, as her head told her I was “perfect”). Lol. I had no idea the break-up was coming. We had plans for New Year’s and just had a really nice series of dates the week before. I was blindsided.
The ‘someone else,’ I found out a bit later, was her boss, 20 years her senior (he’s in his 60s), who just got fired from his job. The day after he was fired was the day she broke up with me. She worked with him for 7 years, and I’d heard rumors about them from her coworkers, but did not believe them — his age, his reputation (which was unsavory), the fact that he’s a different race than her and was not financially well-off (he had his wages garnished for 18 of the last 20 years for various bills he’s owed), and had numerous children with different women that he was supporting, led me to believe that no way this rumor was true, couldn’t be, that she could not be that stupid...but it was true after all.
Because he was fired (for theft, it turns out), she was now free to be with him, as he was no longer her boss. So she bolted for him, presumably because she liked him for the entire time she worked with him and wanted to see if there was anything there. (So what if he was now unemployed, poor, a jerk and a thief!?) Hence, I was dumped for “greener pastures.” Again, Lol.
Well, that crushed me, as I really cared for this woman, thought we had a great relationship and were a great couple. I had confronted her about the boss rumors earlier in our relationship, but in a long conversation she only admitted that she and her boss were just “close friends.” How untrue.
Slowly, I recovered and began dating other women. They were fun, I had some good times, but my heart really wasn’t in it. About a month ago, I began to hear again from my ex, asking me how I was doing, and her sending me signals that she wasn’t happy (plus she looked terrible when I saw her). I ignored them for the most part, and any interaction we had I was friendly but brief, acting too busy to talk. I was afraid to tear into her like I wanted for fear I would lose emotional control. So I kept my composure and was cool in our very brief interactions...which led to the following...
Last week, I needed to visit her place of business for the company I work for. On my way out of the parking lot, she comes around the corner and almost hits my car with hers. I totally ignore her, and drive away. Immediately, my phone begins to ring. It’s her, but I don’t pick up. She leaves a voicemail, pleading with me to talk with her, followed by several texts.
I wait to get back to her til the next day, sending her a text that basically says, “thanks for all the messages,” and she again begs me to talk to her. I wait 24 hours, and then answer a text she sends. She proceeds to ask me out for “drinks” saying she “wants to talk” and tells me a version of the story, “I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life,” and that she completely regrets breaking up with me, as that was a huge, huge error, she says. Karma had been very bad to her, she said, and she was now wracked with guilt. Asks me if I’m dating anyone seriously, because she doesn’t “want to interfere,” which I don’t answer. She leaves the conversation with “she won’t bother me again” (as I was very non-committal), but for me to “please feel free to call her any time,” and that she “can’t wait to hear from me,” and she gave me her schedule of off days if I wanted to call her and talk when she’s not working. I basically ignored all this. This was three days ago, and I have not talked to or contacted her since.
What do I do? What do I want? I will say that while we were dating for those 10 months and things were good, this was the best relationship of my life. She was fabulous, attentive, sexy as hell, and she was someone at the time I admired and respected, and everyone I knew who met her was impressed with her. She’s great at her job, and has a good heart despite her being what I now call “incredibly stupid and naive” in matters of the heart.
I’m torn between being her “second choice” and that fact that I still care for her. Part of me wants to try us again, but absolutely make her jump through hoops to get back with me, and part of me says to totally move on from her as my pride has taken too big a hit from her, not to mention the fact that I no longer think she’s very smart. But I do mean it when I say this was the most fabulous relationship of my life and I thought her special, and I hate to throw away a chance to see if this can work out, to see if this experience has changed her for the better.
Any thoughts on what’s the best tack to take here, if I decide to give her another shot?
Thanks for your advice.
First of all, I'm glad you're stepping back a bit on this and trying to think it through. I understand the confusion as well.
Many people would rush back in trying to pick up where things left off and others would use this as a chance to punish and attempt to extract confessions, closure or retribution for the hurt they caused. Obviously (I hope!) none of that works and winds up leading to bigger problems in the future.
I've done the same thing you're doing here: watched women I was very attracted to make really dumb decisions and then lose not only respect but attraction to that woman as well.
So, let's consider your options here:
1) Ignore things and just move on looking for what you want (and much of what you had) with someone new. Trust me on this: there are loads of other women out there that would appreciate a guy like you know realize what they have when they have it.
2) You could throw caution to the wind and just rush back to this girl picking up all the pieces, forgiving the hell out of her and trying to live happily-ever-after.
3) You can consider possibilities while holding on to reservations and contact her to have a few drinks and talk.
Before you decide a path, consider that this is about one thing: what will make you happy? What do you want in your life (overall - not just with this one woman) and how would/could she fit into it.
You have to be absolutely committed to your own happiness here. I know that seems obvious but trust me; most guys simply don't know it or operate from that perspective. They actually believe that they have few if any rights and in order to get what they want, they have to give up any and everything to get only the possibility of it. That's a huge waste of energy and never pans out to what they hoped.
If you decide on path #1 or #2, there's not much more you need from me. Go forth and be happy!
If you're considering path #3, think about this:
First of all, any possible reconciliation cannot be about punishing her or getting revenge or getting closure. It has to be first about meeting your own personal needs (since right now, the ball is in your court) and then, making sure she gets her needs met as well. Yes, you have a responsibility to her too - even if she didn't believe she did to you.
When you meet with her you're looking for some "big beats" from her. Don't "lead her" into these, but instead, see if she gives them to you freely. This will tell you that she's really thought through things and is serious about her mistakes - not just trying to not be alone.
First, you want to know that she sees her choice as a mistake and more importantly, why it was a mistake. In her own words you want to hear how she views what happened. Did she do this because she didn't feel like you gave her what she needed? [buzzer!] Huge red flag! She's not your mother and you don't deserve punishment. You deserve conversation, openness and honesty. Was this about her own clouded thinking? If so, how have things changed? What would be different in the future when she meets someone else she's attracted to? After all, we all meet these people every day!
Likewise, what does she want? It's not reasonable to start from where you were and hope to just dip your big toe into the pool. I'm not at all about "taking it slow" on these things. You're not children any more.
There are other considerations as well here. You need to think this through carefully as to what you expect her to see and believe. If what she tells you doesn't match what you expect (again, excluding punishment, sorrow, recalcitrance, etc.) then, you still have the chance to walk away.
Roger, you might seriously want to consider some personal coaching time with me on this. There's a lot of ground to cover - not just from your choices but in how to implement them and to make sure you're getting what you want while making sure you're giving her what she needs.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”