I posted a couple times a few months ago about breaking up with my boyfriend of a year. Long story short: it was a good relationship while it lasted (in the sense that we got along well and there were no glaring issues like cheating/major fights/etc.) but I was pretty unhappy and felt stifled. I tried to break up with him at the end of October, changed my mind the next morning, lived with him for the month of November while I was between apartments, and then broke up with him when I moved to my new place in early December. It was really hard but when I broke up with him for good the second time, I felt a huge sense of relief and freedom.
So it's been just over 2 months, and we've had minimal contact - he texted me a couple times in the 2 weeks immediately after the breakup, and then a few weeks ago he texted me to say he found a few of my things at his apartment. I stopped by to pick them up, we chatted a bit, and I left. No big deal. In the meantime, I'm 100x happier than I was in the year we were together. I feel like myself again and like I've done a 180 with my life in the 2.5 months we've been apart. I've started eating right and working out as much as I want to (which I really struggled with while with him, because he wasn't supportive of it) and have lost weight, I've returned to all the hobbies I love but didn't do while I was with him because I was always at his place, I feel happier being in my own space every night as opposed to his messy apartment. I saw a counsellor a few times and feel like I have a MUCH clearer idea of why I did the things I did that contributed to the relationship not working (not prioritizing my own happiness, not telling him my needs/desires, never really being emotionally intimate with him). Like I said - I'm much happier and feel like I've emerged from an unhappy, unfulfilled fog.
But at the same time - I feel like something's missing. And I can't figure out what it is. My thoughts at this point are either:
1. I am lonely and miss having a partner
2. (and sorry for the crudeness) I'm horny and miss having sex regularly
3. I miss being with him
And if it's just that I'm lonely, that's fine. I know I'll find someone eventually and as cliche as it sounds, I feel like the past couple months of "rediscovering" who I am and prioritizing myself have only served to make me a better potential partner. If it's just that I'm horny, well that's why we have vibrators I guess. But if it's the third option, that I miss him specifically, I don't know what to do. I know that I can't go to him and re-visit the idea of being a couple unless I'm sure it's what I want. There are SO many things I would need to change that I'm not sure if it's best to just leave things as they are and find someone new. But at the same time, I know from the few conversations we've had since breaking up that at least one major issue I had with our relationship (his future career as a cop) might not be an issue anymore. I wish I could peek in to his life and see if this breakup has done anything to spur him towards making positive changes like it has for me, or if he's still the same unmotivated person he was when I broke up with him.
I'm obviously super confused about all of this and will gladly take and advice I can get.
Continue taking time for yourself. That's that only advice that really applies.
You mebtion feeling stifled and that he wasn't supportive of certain things you liked, but much of your post suggests that you stifled yourself.
If you weren't assertive of your needs/wants and grew to silently resent certain pieces of the relationship, that has way more to do with you than him or even the relationship as a whole.
Now, from previous posts, I remember that you had certain problems with his decisions and behaviors as well. If those are deal breakers, then the choice is easy. However, what I'm picking up is a lack of emotional intimacy and communication between you too.
My ex and I suffered from the same problems (different reasons), and those are hugely destructive issues. When the honeymoon ends, relationships are built upon intentional intimacy and communication, and without them, everything faulters. Now, I'm not sure how HE was with this stuff, but it takes two.
If his messy apartment bothered you, say something. If you needed time for yourself to pursue activities, say something. No one will just "fit", it's up to you to find someone you love and work together to MAKE everything fit.
I feel that 3-6 months of NC is pretty necessary to let everything fall into place, create independent lives, and see if reconcilation is an option. I will say this though, anything you create with him will be NEW. After all, you're a new you now, right? You may not "know for sure" if you want to get back together, but don't let that stop you from considering it. Never tell him you're considering it or what to "see how things go", but after enough NC where you're comfortable he's healed, catching up over coffee couldn't hurt.
I think you need at least another month apart though.
Thanks Pfenix for your input, both on this thread and the last one I posted.
I agree 100% that many (most?) of the salient points that lead to the breakup were more my issues than his. The lack of communication and emotional intimacy was largely because of me - like I mentioned, seeing a counsellor has helped me recognize why I was unable to be open about what I needed to be happy, and how to be more open in the future. It's an ongoing process, for sure, but at least I've started.
The trouble is, I have no idea if things would be better a second time around. I'm a changed person with all the added hindsight of seeing what went wrong in the relationship, but that doesn't guarantee anything. There were also decisions and behaviours on his part that were very problematic for me, and obviously the onus is on him to change those. I feel more prepared to discuss making those changes now, but there's no promise he would change.
On the other hand, from the small amount of info I've been able to glean since we split, it looks like he's making at least a few positive changes - moving in with a roommate (which will help him financially and socially) and reconsidering his chosen career path (not so sure if that's a positive for him, but it's certainly a positive for any future relationships for him).
You're right that I need more time. Of course, I wouldn't breathe a word of this to him unless I was 100% sure that I wanted to try again, recognizing that he may not want that.
I'm the the guy in this situation. I only wish my girl would feel the way you do in the future. I can't say I want her to feel it now only because I'm not ready. I've made so many changes, I need to know I can stick with them before I can even hope for a word from her. Communication is what got us. It wasn't there. For 1.5 years there was very little and her state of mind told her that if she couldn't figure it out in that time frame, it wouldn't work. I was never a saint and I made her doubt my intentions. I tried to get her back for a few days but I gave up because I figure she's free and relieved just like you are now.
Take your time. Make sure he sticks to the changes he made. I need to make sure I stick to the changes I made. I will be better off never being with my girl, than loosing her again.
Honestly, if I could offer another piece of advice:
Don't count on ever being certain. It's overrated. I'm sure you weren't certain when you first began dating him, and I know that while your head was certain when you dumped him...your heart wasn't.
Certainty is overrated in relationships. A commitment questioned, then reaffirmed, is several times strong than those never truly inspected. Healthy conflict and "problems" keep you challenging each other, as long as you're both willing to communicate and grow, compromise and change.
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