Q&A Ask Elizabeth: Should I Have Had “The Talk” Before My Ex Pulled a Houdini?


ex pulled a houdini

Today we have a reader whose ex pulled a Houdini after she planned on a shared future with him.


Dear Elizabeth,

I have a situation that I want to say thank you very much for your advice in “the Talk”, I wish I had read it earlier.

I dated a man and had relationship with him in the past 1 year and 3 month, until lately, I found that he has a profile on online dating site, claim that he is looking for someone sincere and real. That is a very painful and shocking moment for me. I have been sincere, even planned to spend lifetime with him, and he asked to meet my parents and asked me to engage with him, as well as he was looking at rings. After I found out the profile, I was hurt, so I asked the money he owed me for the last bit of amount, and disappeared. I did not text him, did not call him, did not tell him that I found an online dating profile that he has. I wonder if I ever had “the Talk” would that be different? Also wonder if I still should have the talk with him after all this happened. He hasn’t texted me either and my friends said he is not worthy to be with anymore, as he seems not to care much about me.

I really appreciate if you could suggest me what to do in this situation, from your point of view. I am so grateful for your help.

Thank you very much,

Looking forward to hearing from you.

–Grappling With Houdini


Dear Grappling With Houdini,

I’m so very sorry that this happened to you. It’s always painful when something like this happens. Especially since in your case, he disappeared so it’s hard to get closure, or gain clarity on what happened.

It sounds like you’re struggling from what-if-itis. What I mean is that once this relationship went off the track, you are then left wondering what you could have done to produce a different outcome. The should-ofs, the fantasies, the missed opportunities. In your case, it looks like you have settled into focusing on what you could have done to prevent his pulling away, cruising for someone else and eventual disappearance.

The point of the “the Talk” is that if you want a relationship that naturally progresses, rather than getting all riled up and nervous about asking for a relationship to progress once it’s already in progress, it’s important to act from a position of power in the beginning.

In relationships where you keep your power rather than giving it away, men intuitively know the score. They KNOW that you aren’t someone to be trifled with. Your actions tell them that if they don’t commit to you, you’re going to hit the door. You set this standard by making it clear from the beginning.

However, in your situation, more words are not what you need.

Let’s examine what happened, shall we? After dating him for an entire year and 3 months, you found his dating profile, asked for your cash back (loaning lovers money is a whole other article, but it is what it is at this point) and he disappeared.

He was sneaking around behind your back. The other shoe was going to drop eventually. If you had sat him down and had a talk about the future of your relationship, it probably wouldn’t have changed the outcome. If anything, asserting yourself made him flee in the first place. He was using you.

Let me say that again. He was using you.

I know that totally sucks to hear. He took your cash and your love, and when you asked for the cash back, he disappeared. You didn’t even confront him about the profile! Him making an online dating profile that you found is just the surface demonstration that he didn’t care about you in the first place. Your friends are right. He isn’t worthy of you, not today, not ever.

There is no amount of talking that can change the reality. You want a quality, wonderful man, not a thieving, dishonest jerk who will drop you at any moment.

Consider the lost cash your tuition in the learning game of relationships. Also realize that you are so much better off without him, and be thankful that you learned that now, rather than after getting married to him and creating a life together. What if he disappeared then?

Even though this hurts now, it is such a blessing in disguise.


Do you have dating and relationship questions? Send them in here for Elizabeth to answer in a future Ask Elizabeth column.

Want to get back together? Go watch this embarrassingly personal video I made that describes 3 mistakes not to make if you want any chance of getting him back. Check it out now before I chicken out and take it offline.

Elizabeth Stone

About Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone is a bestselling author, relationship coach and founder of Attract The One.

Her popular program Ex Attraction Formula has helped hundreds of women reunite with their men. She is thrilled to have helped so many couples reignite the spark in their relationships.

Tirelessly focused on helping people improve their love lives, her work has been featured on EHarmony Blog, YourTango, Thought Catalog, Mogul, The Good Men Project, Fox News Magazine, Ravishly, Femalista, Popsugar, Read Unwritten, Medium and many more.

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