To improve your self-esteem, concentrate on your strengths in all areas: emotional, social, talents and skills, appearance, and any others that are important to you. For example, you might have natural empathy, the ability to make people feel understood, a talent for baking, and gorgeous hair. Focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative can help you to feel adequate and valuable as an individual, especially when you connect the best parts of yourself to helping others.[9] If you feel useless, make yourself useful! Take your natural empathy and talent for baking and bake some fresh cookies for your elderly neighbors.
This article was co-authored by Jessica Engle, MFT, RDT. Jessica Engle is a relationship coach and psychotherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She founded Bay Area Dating Coach in 2009, after receiving her Master's in Counseling Psychology. Jessica is also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist with over 10 years of experience.
Hi Sierra. I get the feeling that you didn’t feel secure in this situation in the first place, that maybe there was no real commitment from him in the first place, and because you didn’t feel secure, you weren’t able to be as attuned to him as you could have been. Which is a dangerous situation to be in. The overall feeling I’m getting from your description (which of course is only a snippet of what went on), and from the fact that he felt like you were talking in circles, then he was probably feeling a sense of pushiness… Read more »

Interpret your emotions. In the pain and confusion of a breakup, it can be easy to confuse your emotions, interpreting feelings of loneliness and hurt as evidence that you need your ex back in your life. In fact, almost everyone who experiences a breakup initially feels remorse for the lost relationship, coupled with feelings of anxiety, guilt, depression, and loneliness. Generally, the more serious the relationship was, the more severe these feelings tend to be; couples who are married or cohabiting tend to have the worst breakups, whereas those who were casually dating tend to have an easier time in the aftermath of a breakup.[1] But the severity of your feelings does not automatically mean that you should get back together with your ex.
So I started up with this guy about 6 1/2 years ago I was 19 he was 27. I lived in another state at the time and would see him when I came to visit family. When We first started hanging out he would take me to fun places around the city. We ended up sleeping together. He still was showing me attention and we were having fun together. He was sweet and funny and showed me respect. He’d call and talk to me on the phone while I was back home. I came into town for a lil while and had car trouble and no longer had a ride home. He offered to drive me and my friend home. He brought his cousin along to have someone to drive back with and the whole ride back to my house about 6 hr drive he sat in the backseat with me holding my hand and kissing me while his cousin drove. We get to where we are going and he ends up staying the night before hitting the road in the morning. Calls me when he makes it home and tells me about the drive. We continue to stay in touch. Couple months go by and two of my friends and I decide to take a trip to the beach this particular beach about two hours from where I visit family and where this guy lives. So I shoot him a message tell him I’m going to be in his state, he immediately say he wants to come see me. So he drives up there and we stay up all night together watch the sun rise on the beach. He asks me to come back with him. With out hesitation and say yes and there I go with my one tote bag of clothes back to his house. I stayed with him for about a month before going to stay with family. The first two weeks were great. We had great sex and would be cuddled up ever night. We’d go out to grab food maybe get a drink, then he started getting weird. A month goes by and I Decided to go stay with family. Still seeing each other everyday for the most part. I would still go spend the night with him sometimes and then one day he hits me with the I don’t want a relationship With you. Confused as hell asking why and he never had a good answer. He always said it was him not me but specifically said that he didn’t want a relationship with ME, why? I still do not understand to this day. Anyway I ended up finding out that he had knocked up his previous girl and she was having his baby. He already had one kid with his high school sweetheart and supposedly the girl he fell hard for. I honestly don’t think he’s ever gotten over her but the way he talks about her was alway kinda harsh. Anyway here I am feeling crushed and confused by all of this. Then he tells me that he can’t see me anymore he trying to make it work with the new baby mama. Ha that’s funny because the whole time she was staying with him he still would call me and want to see me. She ended up moving out. Things didn’t work out and let me state it was not because of me. So we pick back up and hang out almost everyday again. Having sex most nights me sleeping over and what not. He started confiding in me telling me everything about how he feels about everything besides me. This continues for about 3-4 years I guest a friends with benefits sort of thing but yet we were always doing bf gf things. Yet he still did not want a relationship with me. Not that I kept asking for it I stopped and just accepted the way things were because I cared about him and I wanted him near me. He says he just isn’t in the right mind to have a relationship with anyone doesn’t want one. Then he goes to work with family in a different state. We didn’t talk while he was away. As soon as he gets back he’s calling me up wanting to see me. Talks about how his trip was and how he met a girl and that she was his gf while he was there. Ugh I thought you didn’t want a girlfriend? I’m feel stupid at this point but still felt the need to be near him. He ends up leaving to work out of state again and I finally met someone new that made me feel like I mattered again. I’m with this guy for about four five months and not hearing from the previous one that didn’t want a relationship at all. Then boom he calls on Christmas none the less wants to see me. I’m freaking out like a bomb exploded inside me I hated him for what he did with my emotions I had found someone new who made me feel great and he had to try and mess that up. He showed up at my house I kicked him out feeling frustrated and mad like why? Why do you keep coming back to me? I ignored him even when he’d text me telling me to come over or to come drink with him. I didn’t keep it from my man he and I can tell he knew I had unresolved feelings for him but I hated him or I thought I did. A year goes by and Things got complicated with my man. I fell in love with this new man and he broke my heart. So I did something stupid and decided to let the old one back in. Feeling Harry broken and lonely I started sleeping with him again only once in awhile I didn’t want to see him all the time like a used to because I was already hurt. The sex was fun at first but then he started to pull away again trying to tell me he doesn’t want me falling in love with him. I told him what was up and that I loved this other man and that I just need someone near me. We’ve been doing this for two years now. Hanging out having sex sleeping together. He has moments when I feel he generally feels safe and at hone with me and others where he can’t get away from me fast enough. I have no idea what he wants or is thinking like why does he always come back to me. Why does he insist on making me feel like he wants me but doesn’t. I’ve may his friends his family. Why does he insist on making me feel like I’m not good enough for him? Does he like me does he not? I need answers and he’s not giving them to me. When I’ve asked if he even care at all for me he can never answer me directly always try’s to change the subject. Why am I not good enough for him to be in a relationship with me?
So what exactly should you do when he is off enjoying his freedom? Do the same thing! You need to have a life of your own too, so hang out with your friends, catch up on some reading, and just enjoy being you. You are a fabulous woman with a complete and fulfilling life all on your own. You do not need a man to complete you, so just roll with the punches and do not take it personally when your man needs a little space.
Act on your issues immediately. It is not enough to simply talk about your issues together. You need to do something to address them. Once you’ve figured out what is wrong between you, each one of you should come up with at least 2 things that you are going to do to address the issues. Tell your partner your solutions and ask them to hold you accountable– the only way to mend a broken relationship is to commit to healing it.

Yes, it seems as though this man has you where he wants you. Even though spending time with him makes you feel better in hopes it will change when you see him it will not. Honestly, I would go ghost for 30 days. Focus on you getting the control of yourself and your emotions because I understand that this can be hard but you deserve better and you have a right to demand better. He will want to know why you aren't talking to him and after 30 days you deliver that message and once you do you have the control back. I have an amazing coach that works with women so if you need anything in the future we are here for you.
It was hidden for 6 months. Kevin, I have seen married couples keeps issues hidden for many many years. It is not about the time. As of now you know about the situations and it is not something to distress about. I need you to put in into your mind that your girlfriend has not cheated on you. Do not let issues as such break into your relationship. I have read your part and I have read hers. I have also see the list and I agree to it. Both of you will grow stronger and closer by using it. Love and cherish each other. You stated that it has been cleared out. I am very ecstatic to hear this. I ask you both, do not let anyone into your relationship. Do not assume anything. Always tell each other if something has happened. Make you bonds stronger and your walls higher. Your relationship has a very long way to go.

The longer the time has been between the breakup and point of contact, the more of a conversation you might owe him. Reach out to him to meet up to talk, and be explicit in that you want to talk to him. Show him how you’ve changed over the last year and how you have become a less reliant woman. Remind him of the stunning and self-assured you that he fell in love with in the first place.
I’m in a casual relationship with the grounds of monogamous, enjoy yourself, no lies or withholding information and if feelings change tell the other with my ex. When I mentioned that I feel like it seems like it’s just for sex and I’ll be left in the dust in future, he always reassures me that it’s not just for sex. His view on this type of relationship was “i’m not saying I just want a fwb/booty call. The way I see it a casual relationship is the middle ground between the two (fwb and serious).” And that there was potential of getting back together but no guarantee. Do you think that this is slowly on track to us getting back together or am I just setting myself up for hurt in the long run? He broke up with me and I also found out later on he started ‘kinda’ dating my ‘friend’ who I always confided about the relationship and knew everything. Prior to breakup it felt as they had an emotional affair. They’re broken up and they both tell me they haven’t talked since, this interaction with my ex is kept down low and secretive as we just want to chill back for awhile after all that has happened. I understand that we’re not ready to jump back into how things were but I like the feeling of commitment and security (?) one has with the label of girlfriend and boyfriend. Do you have any advice to offer me? I asked him if he trusted me he said there isn’t anything not to trust me with and he knows that I’m still building trust with him but I’m taking the chance of slowly trying.
Now it is just about two years later. We are happily in love, lI’ve together and have never had a fight or argument. We’ve had disagreements, naturally, but we work through them effortlessly. He is an amazing and loving partner. He holds me if I cry, and supports me following my dreams. He’s there for me everyday and never leaves me wondering or waiting. He now knows what a real relationship is, and actively shows me all of the love I could have ever asked for. He talks about marriage and kids all the time, and we’re so happy.

It’s actually not a horrible text. I mean, I am sure if a girl I really liked told me that she loved cuddling with me I would be over the moon but the truth is that this text could be so much better. If you are going to be talking about an aspect of your old relationship with your ex girlfriend I want you to pay attention to the details and that is something that this text lacks.

My vibe was affected by stress of school and radiated out into other areas of my life without my realizing…granted my ex never communicated how I was making him feel, but the breakup made me realize what had happened and how i can get those stress levels down and vibe up…I am prepared it is too late…he will never be able to share those vibes. But if he doesn’t hes also missing out because I feel good, a little sad it didn’t work out, but good overall.
If you do happen to hear through the grapevine that your ex is seeing someone new, try not to jump to conclusions or let jealousy set in. By no means should you do anything to try to thwart a new relationship. Let your ex have some time to find out if you are really the one; you don't want to force a person to be with you who really wants to be with someone else.
I was seeing a man for a month. I drove 1 hour and half 4 weekends in a row to spend time at his house. He could not leave his house bc of his dogs. He was texting me a lot always him..first. asking me what I was doing..bla Bla bla..calling me a couple of times a week. We never had sex...it was just kissing and touching..he complimented me how wonderful and nice I was. That he was in for the long haul with me. He liked to cooked and always cooked me nice dinners and breakfasts. Then I asked him if he was my boyfriend. He said will see next weekend??? He was fighting with his ex..I asked him how long ago they broke up and he would not answer. Then one morning...he left me alone in his house to work outside. So I packed my stuff and left. He sent me a text apologizing for not making breakfast . I told him that I was confused not knowing what was going that morning. He said you are welcome to anything in my house. I said I drove all the way to your house to spend time with you. He went quiet dead that day and night. Usually he would always answer my texts and he would sent me a text good night with a kiss that day i.got nothing. Next morning I asked him why the silent treatment..and ask him if he dead or was in hospital..was not interested no more..if he just wanted a friend with benefit..or if he was on another date? I simply ask honesty with a straight answer. He got upset and offended..he said he fell asleep. I apologized to him twice for that text. He stopped talking to me. It was excruciating because I like him. He made me feel very bad that I asked him why he ghosted me that day. I asked him if he wanted to continue seeing me or not. For 3 days he would not give me an answer. I said goodbye to him it was nice meeting you best of luck. Now I regret it so much about my text and.my goodbyes. I want to stay friend with him and have a second chance. But he wont answer. I am sad because I screwed up ...
I have refused to be in the types of relationships you mentioned where you have better to leave your boyfriend. The result is being single for almost all my life up to this day. I don’t regret losing those relationships, and none of those guys are married today. Just jumping from a relationship to another. One of them took a girlfriend only to have someone around and guess what? He decided to leave the country without informing her! On the other hand, there have been guys I tried my best to be open with. It felt good, but they didn’t… Read more »
So an update, my boyfriend came back. It was a mix of everything that had piled up slowly in the last 6months that he didn’t deal with effectively. This isn’t such a surprise as he spoke about it a week before such as physical and mental long work hours, debts and family issues which he felt affected the quality of our relationship. He retreated to become calm and gain clarity. Mind you, this was a 2 week retreat with only 2 ‘I’ll contact you soon’ texts so I kept my distance. When he came back I was supportive and he opened up to me. So now he just needs some support and a clear path. The last thing I’d ever do is blame him for his absence while he is going through a vulnerable time.

If a man is honest and tells you he does not want a relationship, then as a woman you should honor his truth in telling you this and take a moment to reflect and understand that you may need to pull away. Not to mention, if he also gives you the popular one-liner by saying, “I’m just seeing where things go,” proceed with caution. This is not a committed answer, so why would he want to commit to you? This is just an answer to lure you away from the truth in hopes to keep you around for what he is in search of pleasure and attention.
Men love a happy woman. When it feels good and pleasant to be around you and to talk to you, we’re drawn to you. When it’s negative and emotionally heavy, we stay away. There is nothing more attractive than a positive, happy woman. Just one little happy, lighthearted text (after a period of no contact that gives him a chance to really miss you), can do wonders when it comes to canceling out some of the negative feelings he may be carrying.
Here’s my problem, I was begging, pleading, and trying to look pity for my ex-girlfriend just to make her stay. We had sex then goodbye. Then i saw your videos about No Contact Rules. Following your advice about no contact rules was hard as hell. My target is FULL 30 DAYS no contact but in my two weeks of battle. Suddenly she texted me, i try to ignore her, then she call me using other number so we talked since its likely rude to ignore her at all. She told me she wasn’t happy in her new bf. She felt sorry for me. She’s asking me if there was any chance to rebuild our relationship?Is she still welcome to my life? I told her i am awesome now, i currently dating to someone else the she get madly jealous. She doesn’t want me to date others.She really want to see me but ill be the one who refuse to see her. I told her i will only see you when you come back to me. She wanted me to stick around but u said to your videos not to get in friendzone.
Two months ago I met a man. We were so attracted to each other that it all happened so fast, on the first date. He warned me that he didn’t want a relationship… I did my best to listen to his feelings, show understanding and get some intimacy and we eventually got close and started meeting every week. I was sleeping over at his house, we were having good time, having sex, doing normal things like cooking and spending the whole weekend together. I knew he had a very problematic past – a father who never married his mother or took any responsibility, a brother from another mother who caused him problems, personal problems with drugs in the past and two broken relationships with 1) bulimic anorexic girl and 2) a girl who cheated on him 10 months ago. I was so good to listen, give him the peace he needed and be very patient with him.
Good points! However, I repeatedly see men staying with a “comfortable” woman who doesn’t challenge them, or with a controlling woman who commands them what to do, while they’re not satisfied and look elsewhere for love & trust, still don’t leave the woman. I mean, not every man wants to commit himself to an open, authentic woman. Many prefer to have a comfort zone and wander around. Many have been raised with wrong behavioral patterns that doesn’t allow authenticity in themselves & others. I’m not blaming men. Many women are like that too. What I’m saying is being authentic doesn’t… Read more »
Let him go for the time being. If he really likes you, he will come back. Meanwhile, focus on yourself — exercise, go out with your friends, see your family, have a hobby etc. It takes your mind away from this guy and also strengthens you as a person. If he doesn’t come back, you just move on and become a better version of yourself. If he comes back, then you can re-evaluate if you actually want to be with this guy. The “pull away” downtime is good for both of you.
And should even these small steps seem too overwhelming to take within the relationship, try building up your skills and confidence in easier environs. If, for example, you are trying to be more positive or more open or more assertive, road-test these behaviors with friends, strangers or coworkers where there are fewer emotional triggers to derail you. Once you get your sea legs there you can move on to the heavies like your partner or parents. 
I really love him. I just want to hear from him. Some of the reasonings we broke up include he felt unappreciated, he wasn’t “getting” happy, he’s bored with the relationship because all we do is sit around, which I immediately told him that’s not fair and I always try to get him to do things and said I know. But a few more reasons he’s told me, he wants to be around someone positive, and I’ll admit I haven’t been in the best shape lately. I lost my job, I’ve been going through family issues, and friend issues. I always am first to tell him everything. I can understand why this is what could push him away. He is a very easy go free kind of guy. He also told me “I’m not what he wants in a girlfriend” of course all these words hurt. I think about everything he’s said and it hurts. Do I believe them? Slightly.
Now, a lot of men will not be in a relationship if they don’t feel secure within themselves. This is especially true if the woman is someone beautiful and independent. For example, a man may pull away if he is not financially secure at the moment. This is something that may help him feel superior, confident, and not wonder if he is good enough for you. Also, he may have certain health issues that he is not comfortable telling you about until he figures things out on his own. Another reason could be instability and or unhappiness related to his job. This can be an additional source of stress and men tend to feel as though they need to feel confident or protected with their primary sources of freedom: Money, Health, and Work.

I lost the love of my life over something stupid that I did. Long story short, I lied about my age. Although she didn’t care about my real age, it was the lie I carried on for a year that was part of the reason we broke up. She came from an emotionally abusive marriage and had baggage from that. And two kids who I came to love dearly – and who got along very well with mine. I know that she had issues stemming from childhood, specifically trust. But she’s an awesome girl – the love of my life, my parallel. But I messed up – I lied. Honestly, the lie started because I was afraid that she would be turned off when we first met (she’s 28 and I’m 48)…so I told her I was 44. Every time she brought up age stuff, I steered the conversation away. I wanted to tell her so many times but I knew that if I did that would end things. So I let it go and my heart is breaking because of it. It was her abusive ex-husband who cued her in and she defended me to him until I admitted it. Now, she won’t have anything to do with me. The breakup ended VERY BADLY. Probably the worst I’ve ever experience. Yelling/screaming/crying/etc. She said she can’t believe a word I said and felt like I used her for sex. She said that if I ever contacted her again that I’d be sorry. So I haven’t. At first after the breakup I did what everyone does – texted/called/emailed. I didn’t know of these steps. At any rate, she won’t talk and the last time we did I was met with extreme hostility. I know this one is done. Had I followed this advice there might have been a chance. But I doubt even that. Lessons learned the hardest of all ways. I wanted to marry her. It would have been my second and her third. I love her with all my heart and soul – she his my parallel. The yin to my yang.


I don’t know if someone could give me an advice, or maybe i’ll be criticized but i need to tell someone my storry. It’s a bit large so i apologize but it’s because of how complicated things are. Three years ago i started working as a girl of “company” ( i don’t really like the other words that describe this job). On my sixth month i met Him. At first he was just one of my best clients. But we got to talk a lot and start knowing each other, so we fell in love. He says he fell in… Read more »
My vibe was affected by stress of school and radiated out into other areas of my life without my realizing…granted my ex never communicated how I was making him feel, but the breakup made me realize what had happened and how i can get those stress levels down and vibe up…I am prepared it is too late…he will never be able to share those vibes. But if he doesn’t hes also missing out because I feel good, a little sad it didn’t work out, but good overall.
The ones who are close to us can easily stab us in the back. Her friends or ex friends were not in her position. I would advise you to open your mind and let the “friends” exit out. A relationship does not include more then 2 people. You mentioned she did not clear it out with her friends. We don’t often see the need to make the close individuals understand as we perceive that they must already be seeing our point of view. Small situations can easily be turned into gigantic ones.
My bf broke with me on the 25/11/2017. he said that “The light of our relationship is dying” then we broke up. we dated before but he dumped me first then he actually fell in love with me, then broke with me after one month (he broke up with me right after my birthday which it’s on the 24th of November) we haven’t texted each other for about four months, but he’s still following me on apps. i really, REALLY love him. i also so hurt myself a lot during that time. i don’t know how to get him back. I’m crazy about him. We also made a promise a long time ago about getting married. We always talked about having children and what to name them. i just don’t know why he walked away from me
We’ve broken up once before about four months ago, it was different. But I guess I’ll admit overall the same thing. Except it was for TWO DAYS. and even within those two days we still talked slightly. I can’t tell you exactly what it was about. But long story short, I wasn’t being the more positive. I wasn’t treating him the way he should have been treated. I wasn’t treating him badly, but I wasn’t fully aware of everything he was doing for me. I was negative. Always complaining about my home life, friends, job, blahnlah. But very soon I realized how I was acting wasn’t going to get me or him anywhere for awhile. Then we talked. We were happy. We were together. He had planned to be with me the whole time. Just wanted me to realize some things. Boom. Happy.
I’m kind of having the same problem but I’ve given him like 3 months of space should I keep waiting I want to waste all my time waiting on him but I really really like him even lives in Canada and I live in FL we wanted to make it work and eventually move closer to where the other is but then after a very close father figure passed away he started distancing himself more and more we’ve known eachother for 3 almost 4 years :(
Advice from a male perspective anyone? I am dating a man who is 11 years older, I’m 26 and he is 37. He works out in the ocean and a lot of times we have minimal conversation via text/call. But when we are together everything is great and we get along very well. When he doesn’t have to wake in the wee ours or work out of town, he is with me every single weekend. We have been together six months and I have met all his close friends and friends kids. I have done well so far in respecting his space and he respects mine also. When he’s a weekend away with his guy friends, I am understanding and just ask him to contact me once when he is back in town so he feels he is not missing out on what he loves. However, this past weekend he had a sailboat race on the weekend which he let me know in advance and we made had plans for friday night. He reached out friday night saying that turns out he had to be at the venue in the wee hours so he would not be able to make our plans. I was emotionally unstable that weekend due to some work stress and family leaving so I needed him the most that friday. I did not think of my actions and instead of politely rescheduling for Monday, I blew him up – sent him various texts showing how I did not appreciate he canceled although it wasn’t his fault. I called numerous times in the weekend and texted many times while he was supposed to have time with his friends in the tournament. On Sunday I was so desperate that I passed by his house. His roommate was there and told me he hand’t come home yet. Since I blew him up friday, I have had no response to any of my texts nor has he answered any of my calls. I am very afraid that I scared him away and threatened his freedom. I also came out as desperate for going to his place. Today is Wednesday and I hadn’t reached out till Sunday. I sent him a very short/casual text today apologizing for taking out my stress on him and for not letting him have his space, to which I got no response. I am going to wait a few days and hopefully he will come around, as our relationship has matured and he’s told me how much he cares for me. Did I blow this up completely since it has been 4 days with no response?
I know right now can be difficult but it's important you pull back and give him space to see if he will show up for you. Sometimes in relationships, you can be taken for granted and if he is not moving towards you to find comfort when he isn't making you a priority. I would not reach out to him and keep yourself busy. Do something that makes you happy and do something you have been wanting to do for a while. Watch this video as I believe this will help you as well. All the best and hope this helps! https://youtu.be/IHxpL_E4Ihg
Guys don’t know exactly what it is, but suddenly their instincts are telling them to get away. This usually occurs at the point where the woman could no longer keep the act up. Maybe she’s trying to appear cool and go-with-the-flow, but in her mind she’s already thinking of ways to turn a relationship that’s really nothing at this point into something. From that point forward, it’s not easygoing and natural, it’s her measuring if she is getting closer or further from her goal.
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