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.
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?
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.
This angers her and she swears to “make you pay.” Of course, we all know that women are emotional creatures so around day 14 into no contact you get another message from her. Except this time instead of a generic “hey” it is an emotional message and you are really tempted to respond to it but you don’t because you are sticking to your original plan.
I reconnected with my ex after four years had gone by we been together now for 6 months the relationship has its ups and downs mostly downs we fight a lot but I love him very much and I want it to work between us he has been pulling back to the point were I’m afraid I’m losing him at first he was with me everyday now I barely see him he doesn’t call when he says he will he doesn’t keep his word it hurts so much so at first I poured my heart out to him over n over again trying to get him to see how much I cared and needed him that made it worse the past few days I’m trying to give him his space keep my mouth shut but it’s so hard I feel so neglected !!!!!!! How long should I give him his space before I confront him ???? This is not ok you can’t be so close to someone then suddenly pull away from them leaving them feelings horrible and rejected!!!!
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.
I love this article, I am definitely going to follow your advice. My only concern is that my ex might’ve done the 4wk no contact along with every thing else to me already. He now texts me everyday and he recently told me that he loves me and he misses me but hasn’t said he wants to get back together and he is talking to another girl. Should I still do this?
Why don’t you advise sending the man a brief text that recognizes he needs space and give him the time and space he needs? The guy I’ve been seeing for almost a year got fairly emotional one night and finally made a commitment to me. I think did, anyway. Lol But the very next day he became a bit cold and distant. I’d get brief replies to my texts, but that was it. I also know he’s dealing with some personal things as well. I texted him, told him I felt he was going through a few things and needed space. He replied with a Thanks! which confirmed my thoughts. A few days later, I texted him again, told him I missed him, (shows I’m not upset) but I understood he needed space and told him to take all the time and space he needs. (Shows understanding and willingness to allow him to do his thing) I also told him that if he ever wanted to know how was feeling or how I felt about him to listen to a specific song and ended the text with some sweet words. (To reassure him and to hopefully give him an earworm to keep him thinking about me and make him miss me.) Then nothing more. No texts. No calls. Nothing. My plan is to keep busy and let him contact me.
Last year we were about to marry, everyone was veryy happy, hi family and my family met then his mother ask for few details and wanted to do enquiry and all of my family and she said she wont allow me to work, i said yes to everthing as i was in love and wanted to marry him everything was soo good but just after the family meeting i said him that he shouldn’t speak a single word in front of his family as i was expecting him support me and say that its been 5 years we know each and already discussed everthing then i got upset from him , we faught and later on he said everthing to his mother and she start hated me , We broke up:(
8 months now, we normally live together but he’s away sometimes to take care of the kids for like a week every month which no problem for me. He agreed that moving back to that location is good for the kids education but for her he’s not sure. However, my concern is that he now has to be away to that new location that his ex and kids will move to (it’s also his hometown), to help on finding the apartment and prepare for schooling.

After a healthy and happy relationship for 10 months, he told me his ex wife wants to get back with him. I asked where does this leave me within this equation, he wouldn’t respond, So I asked him does he love me, he said no he does not love me and had never made empty promises nor used the word love! I broke it off and now it’s been 7 weeks without contact! I was hoping he would realise my absence and hold onto the good memories we had together. Will he contact me as I am following the no contact rule as you advise 

Behavior is the key to creating change because, unlike emotions and often even thoughts, behavior is the one aspect of ourselves that we can truly control. Action gets you out of the emotional mud and is an excellent antidote to depression and feeling trapped. So give your partner a hug five times a day whether you feel like it or not and see if it doesn’t change the emotional climate in the house.
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