But process too follows patterns. You and your partner each have your own ways of dealing with tension and conflict. Your overall way of handling stress and emotions – withdrawal, anger, passive accommodation – invariably and consistently triggers the M.O. of the other person, which in turn fuels yours. Quickly you both get into a negative loop that becomes your combined standard way of dealing with conflict and tension: anger/withdraw, withdraw/withdraw, anger/anger, etc. Your goal again is to break the pattern.
Plus, it gives you the time to get past the initial unbearable phase of missing him and into a more even-tempered, secure mentality. Instead of trying to figure out signs your ex still loves you, you’ll be working on yourself and getting yourself into a better mindset. It gives you the space to say, “I don’t need him to be happy – I can be happy all on my own”.

My ex broke up with me almost a month ago. We went about 18 days with no contact whatsoever. I’ve reached out to him via text, and am trying to keep the conversations neutral as possible (it’s still pretty hard for me to talk to him without getting emotional, so texting is the best way I can communicate right now, so he couldn’t hear me over the phone, etc.), and the texting is at the point where I’m not overbearing (we’ve had small exchanges every couple of days). I’ve initiated them all, however. Now I’m wondering if I should go back to a no-contact period. He’s never been the one to initiate much conversation with anyone, including those outside of me. Help?
As an older man, I’m not sure if I can explain what’s happening and how relationships have changed over the past 40 years or so. Young men, like my son and his friends, view relationships differently from their fathers and are in the process of changing the relationship landscape forever. In my day, marriage was assumed and divorce was rare. Today, divorce is assumed, along with alimony and marriage, is to be avoided at all costs. Your boyfriends might not be pulling away from you as much as they are pulling away from a society that views them as disposable… Read more »

I’ve been in a long distance relationship for a little over a year. We have been through so much in the time we’ve been together and I can honestly say that I am in love with him. He started to drift away and I kept pushing. Today I asked him did he need a break and he told me he think he did. I immediately felt heartbroken and didn’t know what to do so I panicked. I started to tell him how I didn’t want a break and that I wanted to fix it. I asked him what changed and he told me everything. I then begged him to just try. I realized that I’m forcing the relationship witch will only have a heavier hurt in the end . There’s so much more behind this but here’s the basis. I told him I loved him then I asked him could we please keep trying. He replied I love you too and said okay. Shortly after I regrettably started to nag him to talk to me. He then began to ignore me. I realized that I’m making him feel trapped in this relationship and that’s the last thing I want to do. So I sent him this a couple of hours ago : I realized that I haven’t been being myself at all and I’m sorry for that. I’m forcing you and I don’t want to do that to you. I realized that you were pulling away and I kept trying to push you back in. I’ve always told you that I love you and even if we are not together I want you to be happy. I’ve been thinking about this all night and the dream I had really opened my eyes.i Really do love you and as much as this hurts i never wanted you to feel like you are trapped in a relationship. If you really need a break and need time I’m willing to give you that. I just wish it didn’t have to result to a break because only god knows how much I’ll miss you ‍♀️ but if it’s what you really want than I understand. I am patiently waiting on a response. I honestly just want to know, if I really give him the time will he come back or have I completely blew it already ?
This is a great summary of effective means for change - how I approach working with couples and helping people become more assertive and self-responsible. I would just add that often the triggers that fuel repetitive patterns derive from your family of origin. It's said that there are six people involved in every relationship - the couple and two sets of parents (sometimes siblings and step-parents, too) If you're not in counseling, a good way to uncover triggers from the past is through writing. Ask yourself what do these feelings remind me of.
Be calm and confident in yourself and what you think you can contribute to her life. In the time you've taken to improve yourself, hopefully you will have evidence of that change. If the cause of your breakup was that you did not have enough time for her, show that you've altered your work schedule and made time to volunteer or pick up that sailing hobby you've always dreamed about. That will show you're willing to make time for things that matter to you. See where I'm going with this?
While it is important to not pursue your ex for a month or so, it's okay to be responsive if he or she pursues you. In other words, if you get a call, don't hang up on your ex or refuse to talk. It is not necessary to try to play mind games or play hard to get, and doing so would have the potential to push him or her further away, which is the opposite of your goal at this point.[6]
Though it can be difficult to ask a man what he is looking for, it also challenges you to get one step closer to your goal. The more comfortable you are with this the easier it will become. I know that some people may not always take my advice to challenge themselves and ask the man what he is looking for, so I want to give you some other clues on what to pay attention to if you don’t want to have this conversation with him. Side note, I am in no way I offering you a pass to wiggle out of the conversation! Remember, challenge yourself.
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