I want to tell my ex I’m working on myself

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Also, come hang out tomorrow.

I'm still thinking about my ex. Last night I went through every letter and card she sent me. It was probably a bad decision because it brought back a lot of feelings.

This morning, I find myself yet again in a place where I want to remind her that the person she fell in love with is still here. I miss her hugs and company. However, I’m just at a loss for what to do. We moved in together a year ago, which was also the same time she started an intense grad program. The summer was good, but the fall was bad. She was very busy with her program. We didn't get to do much together, but she did make time to hang out with classmates. I took full-time classes online and struggled to keep barely passing grades. It was stressful and, combined with COVID, I started another cycle of depression. I was unhappy overall and unpleasant. I got angry easily and lashed out and criticized her. It wasn't constantly, but it happened every few days. At the time, I couldn't really tell what was happening, but it's been a few months so I realize it and feel terrible for what I did.

In January, she asked me for a break. She said that she still thought about those times when I was like that, and how much that hurt her. I was shocked and blindsided. Just two days before, we had been touring apartments. I went along with it, and moved back in with my parents. For the next month and a half, we talked every one to two weeks. It was torture to me, waking up everyday and hyper analyzing every word she said. One morning, I reached a breaking point and broke up with her over the phone after telling her some of those feelings, mainly that she was replacing me with this friend in her program. I tried to call her back in the evening of the same day when I came to my senses, and I tried to apologize for what happened. It didn't go over well, but the conversation ended with us saying how grateful we were to have had each other in our lives. We haven't talked at all since then.

I want a chance to talk to her about any potential for a future together and what that would look like, but I’m scared of doing more damage or saying something at the wrong time. Can I communicate to her that I'm working on myself and want to work on the relationship?

– Second chance?

You can send her a note asking for a conversation. You do have something you want to tell her and a specific request. You might as well make that known.

But first, I must ask, are you working on yourself and do you want to try to fix the relationship? What's your plan for that? Because she might ask. What would you differently? Would you expect different behavior from her?

Also, can you focus on the present and future? She probably knows that the start of the relationship was very nice. Those memories don't get wiped away. She made her decision based on now, and how the two of you dealt with a stressful year. If/when you talk to her, it shouldn't be about giving her highlights of what worked when it was easy. It's really about explaining what you want a future with her to look like – how you'd like to fit into her life now.

Please know that if she doesn’t want to talk, that's that. You'll need to respect her boundaries. And if she isn't open to this, it's a good time to let the memories sit where they are, in books, and to try to make some new ones on your own. You want something different and better. You're working on coming up with things to look forward to. That means it's time to do less looking back.

- Meredith

Readers? Is it too soon for a conversation about what could work?