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What is appropriate behavior for an ex? I'm not sure what's going on right now...


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Old 18th June 2004, 6:10 PM   #1
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Question What is appropriate behavior for an ex? I'm not sure what's going on right now...

Hi everyone,

My girlfriend of 2.5 years broke up with me about a month ago right when I got back from my first year of college. I'm still very much in love with her. Meanwhile she says that she loves me, but is not in love with me anymore. She also says that she has lost her attraction to girls. However, she still wants to be close friends.

To make a rather complicated and long story short, this has happened before. About two years ago, she broke up with me in a similar manner - saying that she realized that she really wasn't attracted to girls (I'm the only girl she's ever dated; she considered herself to be straight before we met) and that she needed to end the relationship. Given about a month/month and a half, we were back together again. Four months later, a guy that she had been interested in for a long time asked her out and she broke up with me to try a relationship with him. Our "break up" lasted all of one day before she decided that she couldn't live without me and we were back together. Since that point, we were together until last month when she broke up with me. This was a serious relationship for a long time; we even talked about marriage for awhile before we decided that we were too young to approach that topic yet (although we lived together for about 7 months). Now we're both trying to "just be friends," although she is aware that I still want the relationship.

What's appropriate behavior for her towards me though? And for me towards her? She doesn't call me or contact me, however, if I drop by her house for some reason, she always invites me in and we hang out for hours. She loans me things that I know are important to her without me even expressing any interest in them. Sometimes she acts very distant, but sometimes she flirts with me as if we were still dating. She touches me, eats food off of my finger with her mouth, and "pouts" at me to turn the tv on, etc. We share little glances, smiles, etc. when we hang out with our group of friends. I tried to confront her about it a couple of weeks ago, but she said that she really wasn't interested in girls anymore... a comment that she followed up with "the only way I would mess around with you again is if I were drunk... then something probably would happen." Her words and her actions don't seem to always match (if ever); I don't know what to think or do.

Any advice? It seems half the time like we're going through a similar cycle to what happened two years ago. I feel like it's only a matter of time before we get back together again. But then I'm afraid I'm being hopeful and oblivious to reality. I don't know what she's doing or how I should be acting. It's like being a human yo-yo. Help?

Thanks..
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Old 19th June 2004, 12:00 PM   #2
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It sounds like your gf may be more confused than you. She's not attracted to girls anymore, then she is, then she isn't. How'd the relationship with the man go? Is she gay, bi, gay but bi-curious, straight, but decided to take a walk on the wild side for awhile? Does she have a clue? If she isn't interested in girls anymore, what's up with all this sexually provacative behavior when she's with you? Sounds as if she's quite ambiguous about her sexual orientation and your heart is paying the price. Knowing how you feel about her, her comment about needing to be drunk to be sexual with you was cruel.

If she wants to be friends and you can learn to love her as a friend instead of a lover, then the two of you have to have a serious chat about setting some boundries. Tolerate no more of her pseudo-sexualization of your freindship. When women to this to men, we call them "cock teasers." We consider it abominable. She's doing pretty much the same thing to you. It's hard enough to be a lesbian in our society. You don't need this kind of crap on top of it.

Were I you, I think I'd want some time apart from her. Give yourself time to get over the failed relationship and heal. Then if the both of you still want it, give the friendship a try, but without any sexualization at all.

Good luck to you.
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Old 20th June 2004, 1:13 AM   #3
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Thanks for responding, StartingAgain.

She identified as straight prior to meeting me. That label changed during our relationship to "heteroflexible" and then finally to bisexual. Now when asked, I'm told she says that she doesn't know and doesn't want to get caught in the trap of labelling herself (or she still answers that she's bisexual). But a month ago when she broke up with me she told me she was straight and had no attraction to girls whatsoever.

I've been thinking the same thing - that my ex-gf is possibly more confused about her feelings than I am. At the same time, however... I just don't know. She goes through cycles of "showing interest" and then not. The first week after she broke up with me, we didn't contact one another at all. Then the second week, I called; she accused me of keeping tabs on her (checking her AIM away messages and whatnot... which she was doing too). The "anger" dissolved quickly though, and she ended up being flirtatious for the rest of the conversation. A day or so later, we met up and there were a number of questionably sexual/flirty moments. Everyone thought that she was falling back into the same pattern that had occured two years ago the first time we broke up; it was predicted that the separation would be short... just while she got her head back together.

The next week was totally different, however. 180-degree turn around. She wasn't unfriendly on the phone or anything, but refused any invitations to do anything and acted busy even though I knew she wasn't. The openness, the flirtatiousness, etc., all were gone.

Now we're in a summer class together at the local college. Complete accident on both sides, but she assumed it was something weird. I had to call to explain that it wasn't - again, she was angry for a short time, but moved past it to have a friendly conversation. The next day, for the first time in a few weeks, she calls me to see how I am and ask to borrow a calculator for class (plenty of other friends that she could have called). She begins flirting on a small scale again in class and invites me to sit next to her. She still does not call or IM me though.

With all of this back and forth, it almost seems as though it must be conscious on some level for her...? I hate to suggest that, because it seems more cruel from that standpoint. I.. I don't know what I'm saying anymore. I want her in my life. Whether that means as a friend or as a partner, I'm willing to try either at this point. We've never just been friends, though, and it doesn't seem like she's doing a particularly good job at keeping the relationship just "friendly." She knows exactly where I stand with the relationship and I've tried to talk to her about all of this, but I've gotten no where. She's losing many of our mutual friends over this, because they can't stand what they believe she is "doing to me."

Your suggestion of time apart, as painful as it would be for me, seems like a good idea. I'm afraid of it, because by sticking around the last time this happened, we got back together and were having a wonderful relationship up until a month ago. I don't know if she's going to come out of it this time though or not... Or, rather, if she will let herself.

I'm terrified. And I don't even know how to try initiating "no contact" if that is what everyone out there thinks is best. We're in a class together - one that's not that big. We have many mutual friends and we're in the same small community theatre company with a show that will start soon. How would I go about not contacting her? And should I?

Addition: Her relationship with the guy that you asked about, StartingAgain, did not work out. At all. He was in love with her - and she broke his heart. ..... She tried to get back together with him from what I've heard and he turned her down.. the weekend before we ended up in class together. Seemed odd timing for her to decide to be friendly again. ... Reading this post over, it seems rather disjointed. I'm sorry if any of it is confusing.
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