He keeps coming back for more

Dear Meredith,

I'm in college. One year ago, my ex and I met on a trip and developed feelings for each other. We admitted this to each other after we came back, but he said he was not ready to date. I respected his decision and we remained close friends. A month later, I found out he was with someone else. I was hurt but knew I couldn't be mad at him because nothing ever happened between us.

A couple of months later, he said, "I've always wanted to only be with you, please give me a second chance," and so I did. But the relationship wasn't good. All he did was make comments about other girls. Whenever he was angry or frustrated with his life, he took it out on me. I wasn't happy but I couldn’t bring myself to leave. He eventually broke up with me and I was actually relieved. I told him I didn't see myself being able to handle a friendship with him.

He kept bugging me about a friendship, messaging me, talking to me, and claimed that "our history was too important" to stop speaking, and eventually he asked me to be his date to a social event. I confided in my mom about this, and she said she didn't think it was a good idea for me to be out with him because he didn't value me, and she saw how much he'd hurt me in the past. So I turned him down and blocked all contact. It worked for about two months but then he began reaching out, apologizing, asking for forgiveness, asking for another try at friendship.

Before the summer, he asked me to give our romantic relationship another try. I don't know why I said yes, but after I did, the same cycle continued. He was always mad at me, everything I did was wrong, and when I broke up with him, he asked me not to tell our friends what happened because he didn't want them to think he was a bad person.

This time I cut every tie I have with him, and it was time for summer, so we wouldn't have to see each other. It was amazing without him – the best time I'd had in a year. But unfortunately, we go to the same college, and as soon as I got back he was at it again. I clearly told him, "I never want to talk to you again, I don't want the same cycle to happen again." He still won't listen. My friends have told him off and so have I, but nothing seems to work. At this point I just want him out of my life. He clearly has commitment issues and just likes to mess with me. What can I do at this point?

– Done


Your mom gives good advice. Good to know.

If you asked her about this again, she'd probably tell you to ban all means of communication so that there's no room to negotiate. Let calls go to voicemail. Leave texts unanswered. You might want to block your ex's number altogether.

It's wonderful that your friends are trying to help, but please make sure they're delivering the right message. They shouldn't be telling him off about his bad behavior as a boyfriend (that's not an issue anymore). Instead, they should be letting him know that he must leave you alone. The more they talk about what happened in the relationship, the more he'll want another attempt to get it right. He has to understand that at this point, there's no chance for reconciliation. He must go away.

If you think there's a real safety issue here – that if he doesn't hear from you, he'll persist in any way he can – talk to your advisers at school. Bad breakups can involve unwanted calls and texts, but if you feel harassed or threatened by the communication, you must take steps to protect yourself. I'm sure your mom would agree.

- Meredith

Readers? What do you think?