(Go back to part 2 here.)
Next question is from Henry about his ex girlfriend. Henry writes in and says,
We were together for four years, but she broke up with me one year and four months ago.
After that we saw each other once every one or two weeks and we’re in the Chasing The Dragon (stage of getting back together) for over a year.
About four months ago I found you and went through ANC for about a month. I wish that I had found you sooner. I lost a lot of opportunities.
After two months of acting distant towards me, I asked her why and she said that we were very compatible in many ways, but she is enjoying her freedom and doesn’t want to be tied down.
After I told her that she was suddenly distant, she admitted that she has been seeing a new guy for awhile and he was very jealous and did not want her to see me and she wanted to respect him.
He was very young and not very stable. The opposite of me. I’m older, stable and am not naturally jealous.
She also said that it is casual and that she does not love him.
I told her that whether her and I eventually ended up together or if we end up in other relationships, I want her to be happy and me to be happy.
She asked me if I still wanted to be friends and I said yes.
She then said that she wanted to be friends forever and I agreed. We then hugged and she turned and smiled as she left.
The next day she texted me a long message that included that she would love me always unconditionally, but she wants to work on her life a bit. And I texted her back that I loved her too.
- Does this look like a rebound relationship despite being over a year later?
- Did I say the right thing? I meant it, but part of me wanted to fight for her. Am I letting her use me?
- Why did she react so strongly the next day? Was she hinting that she wants a bit of space and I should try to continue to see her every week or two?
I am still interested in her and have not given up.
It seems like your ex girlfriend is actually very much into you. She does seem to be dating another person right now. However, she says that she doesn’t love him. She says that he is very jealous and maybe there’s some other issues in their relationship as well too.
I don’t know if it’s a rebound relationship, but it does not sound like a stable, healthy relationship in that respect.
Now your second question is:
“Did I say the right thing? I meant it, but part of me wanted to fight for her and my letting her use me. Did you say the right thing?
First of all there is no specifically right thing or wrong thing to say.
You can say whatever you want when you talk to your ex. It’s just that there are consequences to the things you say.
So you said that you wanted to be friends with your ex girlfriend and you wanted both of you to be happy.
She said that she wanted to be friends with you as well too.
She apparently was feeling pretty good about your conversation because she hugged you and smiled as the two of you left.
So it sounds like the two of you are on the same page connecting on an emotional level.
It sounds like you have expressed a lot of compassion towards one another, in a way that is not— as you’re describing it to me— coming across as needy or desperate or anything like that.
In that respect, I think you laid a good foundation for a lot of emotional connection to be built upon. I do think that you did set up a good foundation for the future. That is definitely a good move if you want a future with your ex girlfriend.
Are you letting your ex girlfriend use you in that respect? It really depends.
Do you think that she is a manipulative person who would want to use you?
If you don’t trust her and you think that she is a manipulative person that might use you, then maybe your ex girlfriend using you is something you need to worry about.
But if you do trust her and you don’t think that she would be the kind of person who would use you and you are genuinely honest about what you said— which you said that you were— then I don’t think that she is using you.
I think that the two of you are actually on the same page and you both want to be in each other’s lives.
I think you both want to have some sort of connection with one another and you’re both open to rebuilding the connection that the two you have and strengthening it to the point where maybe something develops, maybe it doesn’t develop, but you’re going to develop that connection to the point where you can become whatever it is that the two of you are going to become.
Your third question is, “Why did she react so strongly the next day? Was she hinting that she wants a bit of space and I should try to continue to see her every week or two?”
By this you’re talking about the texts that your ex girlfriend sent you the day after a long message that said that she would love you always, unconditionally, but she wants to work on her life a bit.
If that is what she said to you, she will always love you unconditionally, but she wants to work on her life a bit. Those are the words that she said.
I’m not getting any kind of vibe from that that says, “Hey, don’t contact me. Hey, leave me alone. I’m not interested in staying in contact with you” or anything like that.
All I’m really getting is that she wants to make it clear to you that she does not want to be held responsible for anything that happens between the two of you on a romantic level.
She IS in a relationship with somebody else.
There are probably some issues in that relationship based on how you described it but, she is a woman after all and probably doesn’t want to be seen as the kind of person that goes around and has two different guys strung out, longing for her or anything like that.
That’s not something that generally women like for themselves.
Your ex girlfriend is probably trying to maintain her reputation by doing her job to let you know that she is in a relationship with somebody else.
In case you thought that there was some sort of romantic interest there, she’s doing her job to try to curb that.
That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t feel it.
That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want it or enjoy it.
Society wants women to be loyal and faithful. That’s seen a desirable thing in women.
Your ex girlfriend doesn’t want to be seen as a woman that has a boyfriend and is dating this other guy on the side. That’s not really something that a lot of women want.
So she’s trying to manage her own reputation by absolving herself of any responsibility for what does or doesn’t happen between you.
That’s not to say that your ex girlfriend doesn’t like interacting with you or that she’s not attracted to you.
That’s not to say that she doesn’t want to explore what romantic possibilities might be there, but she probably wants to maintain her reputation and make sure that she still looks good in society— whatever happens— moving forward from here.
If the two of you end up hooking up or something, she can say to herself, “well I told him that I want to be his friend. I want to work in my life right now. It’s not my fault.” Right?
That’s all that she is trying to do there in my opinion so I wouldn’t worry about that. I would just continue to build the emotional connection and to continue to develop what is happening between the two of you.
So I hope this helps you out, Henry, and please keep us updated on how things go moving forward from here.
Continue to part 4 here.
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