Is it ‘never really over’?

Hey Meredith,

I'm a 21-year-old guy who dated a woman for about a year, until early 2018. It was long-distance because I was going to school in the US while she was studying abroad. We only met for a few days every year but it was always the best. I initiated the breakup, though. Long-distance makes everything feel uncertain and that scared me a lot.

After the breakup, she took it a lot harder than I did. I decided it was always better to be "strong" and thick-skinned, rather than cry myself to sleep and watch sad movies. But you can only live in denial for so long. It took months of therapy and a lot of self-reflection to actually start feeling better. Later, my ex told me she had started a romantic relationship with her best friend. I was genuinely shocked and I revealed everything to her how I still felt about her. That relationship of hers ended a few weeks later. I tried my best to be there for her.

It's been nice talking to her on and off, and I've realized how much I've changed since our breakup. I became a lot more emotional and understanding. I had a conversation with her yesterday where I quoted Katy Perry and said that I was "never really over" her, and hinted at having another go at a relationship. Even though she didn't say it fully, she kinda told me that she doesn't really think of me the same way, and that her best friend (also her ex) is someone she's more interested in. She said she looks back at our relationship fondly and sees me as a special person in her life.

Meredith, I really wish she would give it another shot. But there is a huge part of her that is still reeling from the way I reacted right after our breakup. Right now, I'm not sure if we are friends or just two people talking but I really wish that she begins trusting me a lot more. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

– Never really over?

You're not just friends. You're not just two people talking. You and this woman are exes who won't break the connection even though it's holding you back. That's all.

I know you want me to tell you that the two of you will get back together. It's possible, I suppose. But it doesn't sound imminent, and as much as you want that right now, the timing isn't right for her. I won't sing Katy Perry to you (good song, by the way) and tell you it's fated to happen. This ex is interested in someone else. She might think her fate is that person.

One of the issues here is that you seem to blame yourself for this outcome. You've decided that if you'd behaved a certain way after the breakup, she'd want to get back together – but I'm not sure that's true. The distance was an issue. The aftermath of the breakup hasn't stopped her from talking to you now. Maybe if you stop blaming yourself, you'll learn to let go.

I think you should stop talking to her because it's not doing you any good. I know that's not what you want to hear. But consider this: those Katy Perry lyrics aren't very romantic. They seem to be about the inability to break a cycle and all of the sadness that comes with not being able to move on. Might I suggest her song "Wide Awake"? I put it on breakup playlists. Highly recommend.

– Meredith

Readers? Is it really over?