Should I be patient?
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I am stuck on an ex for the first time in my life and it's driving me mad. We dated for about two years and have been broken up for almost a year now. We're both in our late 20s, and I must confess that the reason the relationship ended was completely my fault. I was a serial cheater, a liar, and I abused her in many other ways. When we were together, I didn't value her, I never posted pictures of us on social media, and would keep the relationship a secret. This obviously took a toll on her, and one day while I was at work, she hired a moving company, packed up all her things from our apartment, and left without saying a word.
When I got home and realized what happened, I tried to reach out, but I was blocked on everything. Phone, social media, email, logged out of our Amazon and Netflix accounts, etc. I didn't hear from her for months until my father passed away about three months after the breakup. I apologized for everything and told her I wanted her back. It took some convincing, but she agreed. At the time she had moved back home, which was out of state, so we never got to see each other, and after we stayed in touch for a few weeks, the distance caught up with us and before I knew it, I was blocked on everything again. A few more months passed and I tried to forget about her, started dating again, but never found anyone I clicked with like I did with her. I also really haven’t felt much like myself lately, between the breakup and the passing of my father. A few months ago, I wrote her a letter after finding out she had moved back to the city, telling her how sorry I was for how everything had played out and told her how I had been working on myself with a therapist.
We met up around the holidays, shortly after she had received the letter. She blindsided me with the fact that she was in another relationship and claimed to be in love with this new guy. It completely shattered me to find out she was with someone else, but I had no one to blame but myself. About a month after our encounter, she reached back out to tell me they broke up. She tells me this guy is being abusive and won't leave her alone, so I start checking up on her a few times a week, taking her out to dinners, helping her with her finances, and just generally being there for her. It's now been about two or three months since we've started hanging out again, but she still tells me she doesn’t want to get back together because "she doesn’t know what she wants." We haven't hooked up since we started talking again because she says her sex drive is completely gone from all the stress and trauma of the two breakups. I love spending time with her, but it kills me to be around her and not know where we stand. Should I continue to be patient and hope for the best? Or finally face the fact that too much damage has been done and try to move on again?
Let her go. She moved back to the area, but geography wasn't the problem.
You're not getting what you want from the relationship, and your track record with her is terrible. You've barely started to work on yourself. Can you focus on that process instead of trying to get her back?
Sometimes having a dramatic history with someone makes them seem more essential than they are. You can build a better support system for companionship during difficult (and happy) times. So can she.
This isn't about patience, it's about accepting the healthiest path. There was a lot of damage done when this relationship was in its first year, but the bad stuff is still happening. You're miserable and waiting for something she might not be able to deliver. You're there for each other because you're both coping and processing, not because you bring each other happiness.
Maybe you feel like you owe her something because you were such a terrible partner, but that's no reason to stick around. I'm not sure it helps either of you. It would be better to grieve your losses on your own. Choose other company (platonic companions are great), and see how you can care for yourself and be better to others.
"I also really haven’t felt much like myself lately, between the breakup and the passing of my father." Over time you can begin to feel like yourself again. She's not the person who will get you there.
Speaking of Love
"The Brooklyn botanical gardens -- we slow-dance, sipping Prosecco under the stars. Just kidding. No date, please just come over! I'm already kind of drunk." — Amy Schumer in 2013 on her ideal first date