You are here:

Mind Games/back to the old ways?


I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
It's been a YEAR since i broke up with my boyfriend i thought we would never see each other again since it didn't end in good terms.
a couple of months ago he contacted me about some movies he left at my house i said sure come by and get them and when he did he said he was sorry for everything that he said to me.
I said i was sorry too and some way so how we made up and we started seeing each other again, the reason i broke up with him because he didn't have a motivation to do anything I was most of the time suggesting what to do...we spend most of the time indoors. He would always have excuses for why he didn't want to go on dates, so this time around he took me out on dates and everything was fine for like a month but recently he invited me to the movies and I didn't hear from him until the next day.

He said his phone was acting up and that he tried several times to reach me his brother came over to his house and asked him if he gotten his messages and he realized his phone wasn't sending his messages then he tried to contact me through his yahoo Messenger. I didn't received any of his messages I had thought something happened to him.

Yahoo messenger was working the next day when he was explaining to me that he tried to contact me several times the night before I said my phone is working fine and I've always gotten your messages but i didn't get any last night he said he wasn't lying that it was the truth. He kept asking me if i was mad? I was upset because i got stood up but i kept my cool i didn't want to say i was annoyed by the whole deal because he's very difficult and will eventually put the blame on me as he always done the same thing about his cell phone not working and trying to contact me through different methods which i didn't get any messages from from him until the next day all of a sudden his messenger and cell phone worked again.

He was acting very defensive i didn't give him any reason to be that way i didn't accused him nor i said he was lying. He said well i guess your busy so i will send you a message once i get my phone fixed or through yahoo if i cant get it fixed and logged off. i sent him several messages the night before with no reply. He sounded so sincere when we got back together and he was very nice he cooked breakfast for me he was very willing to be a better boyfriend that's why i was thrown off by his sudden change of attitude and i think he sent me no messages from yahoo otherwise i would have got them, i'm just annoyed.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt, he started doing is so familiar i just don't feel wanting to continue if his going to start his old ways... if he had to do other things or wanted to cancel i would have been OK with that we all have busy life things come up etc...rather than fabricating something up...the Cell phone excuse is so old it's mostly his excuse I have tried to have boundaries of what is acceptable for me and what isn't acceptable for me. He gets angry and shuts down. i don't want to do this all over again if he doesn't get his way he doesn't want to talk it out he takes things to the extreme and then we both can't communicate.

I'm stuck in a dilemma because i don't want to be the one ending the relationship again but he's starting to act the same way unwilling to work on the relationship, he asked me not to be upset that he really tried to contact me sure i can ask him to prove it but that will just aggravate things more and i'm not really into being with someone that is not going to be honest or be in the relationship if he's so wanting to be with me but doesn't want to move a finger to improve the relationship. it be exhausting to only meet his need while i'm neglecting my own needs. I do love him very much i'm just not a big fan of his difficult attitude.
any advice would be greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much for your time...

Hi Jennifer!

Normally, when I offer advice, I'm sure to do my best and provide psychological or scientific support for my reasoning, but in this case I'm not going to bother.  If you are curious about where my assessment comes from, feel free to send me a follow up and ask me, I'm more than happy to provide some evidence, but in any case please read on:

Certain aspects of people's behavior never cease to amaze me.  One that I see so often it almost seems axiomatic is this: most people would rather be stuck in a comfortable but unhappy situation than be in a potentially happier but riskier one.  This phenomenon would be kind of sad if it wasn't so understandable.

I think there are a couple reasons why people would rather stick with something that makes them unhappy as long as they know what it is.  One is that even if it is unhappy, it's safer and predictable and we need that in order to survive.  Our minds are geared towards survival, not happiness.  The survival instinct comes to us naturally, happiness does not.  Happiness is something that requires risks and work.  The other reason is that we want to create our own special and dramatic narrative, we want to have a story to tell others and ourselves.  There is a whole branch of psychology about this called "narrative psychology".

In any case, you may already know what I'm going to tell you: Leopards only change their spots if they really, really want to, and if they do, they don't just talk about it and try to persuade you, they actually do it.  Life is too short and there are too many options out there for you to be waiting idly in futile hope for this one to change.  I'm not saying it'll be easy, it may be one of the hardest things you do, but it's in your best interest to cut your losses and run; don't chase bad money - or in this case, love - with good.

Good luck, and I hope things work out for you in the end.  They usually do.

Mind Games

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Besides having an immensely powerful sense of intuition, I am also currently studying (and having been privately studying for years) psychology, and grew up with around psychology and psychologists. I've read considerably in regards to biology, evolutionary biology, genetics, behavior therapy, conditioning and personality. There is almost no human pattern that does not make sense to me (but I'll admit, the opposite sex is a tricky subject!). If someone's behavior makes absolutely no sense to you, I'll be able to help you figure it out, and even give you suggestions on how to deal with it.


As mentioned above, currently studying psychology, a psychology-influenced upbringing, plus countless hours of giving people advice on the behavior of others.

Currently studying Psychology at the California Coastal College.

©2016 All rights reserved.