“I want to break up…”

They are the five little words that any woman who wants to have a long lasting relationship will dread.

If you have had the misfortune of being on the receiving of those words you are most likely left reeling and wondering what went wrong.

The truth is that there are literally thousands of reasons that a current boyfriend can break up with you. In fact, throughout the history of this site I have covered a lot of these reasons,

  • You being needy..
  • Him being needy…
  • You being emotionally unavailable…
  • Him being emotionally unavailable…
  • Cheating…
  • I think you get the idea here.

Well, today I am going to be focusing in on one specific reason and I have YOU to thank for that.

You see, a few weeks ago I sent out an email to my newsletter and asked you one very simple question,

“What do you want me to write about?”

In total, I got something like 500 responses all asking me to write about specific topics. Out of those 500 responses I chose the very best ones and it just so happened a lot of people were wondering if their ex boyfriend was breaking up with them to protect himself.

Diving Deeper Into This Guide

This guide is meant to accomplish a few things.

Firstly, like always, I want to teach you about men and how they think. However, since we are covering a specific situation here with men who break up with you to protect themselves I want to teach you about the minds of the men who could potentially be doing that to you.

In short, this guide is going to cover the following topics,

  1. Is it even possible for a man to break up with you to protect himself ?(The answer is yes. 😉 .)
  2. What is going on in his head to make him do that?
  3. What can you do about it if it does happen to you?

Okie dokie.

Lets get started!

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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Can Your Ex Boyfriend Break Up With You To Protect Himself?

protection

A lot of you may be wondering why I even chose this topic.

I mean, why would I make such a big deal about one small little situation.

I’ll admit that I am kind of shocked to be dedicating so much time to this little question but as I said above, this is what a lot of you wanted.

When I asked you ladies a few weeks ago what you wanted me to write about this particular situation came up on more than one occasion. In fact, it came up so frequently that I absolutely had to write about it. There was no other choice.

So, is it even possible?

Can an ex boyfriend break up with you in an effort to protect himself?

The answer to that question is a resounding YES.

Of course, you know me.

I don’t just stop at the yes. I give you more and more and more. So, in an effort to provide more value to you I have decided to inform you at how often this particular instance can occur.

How Often Will An Ex Boyfriend Break Up With You To Protect Himself?

often

In a perfect world I would be able to assign a certain percentage value to the reasons for breakups.

For example, I could make some sort of claim like,

“10% of breakups occur because someone cheats and 20% occur because men are protecting themselves.”

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and as hard I tried for you guys I can’t assign a percentage for the protecting reason. The world and relationships are just to muddy for that. What I can do for you though is generalize things based on my extensive experience in dealing with thousands of couples.

While a generalization is not ideal I have found that more often than not my generalizations prove to be right.

In my opinion, men who break up with you because they are protecting themselves while not overly common are more common than you think.

I know that really doesn’t help you very much, does it? Well, it’s just that men who are protecting themselves are very hard to track.

For example, if the two of us were dating and I wanted to break up with you to protect myself I probably wouldn’t tell you that was the reason. What I probably would do is make up some fake reason so your feelings wouldn’t get too hurt.

Of course, this still really doesn’t help you very much does it?

Hmm…

Ok, here is what I am going to do.

I am going to give you a little cheat sheet. Think of it like me lending you my awesome brain for a few seconds.

This cheat sheet is going to teach you everything you need to know about what situations to look out for and in what situations your ex boyfriend is more likely to protect himself in.

The Cheat Sheet- What Situations Will Your Ex Boyfriend Be More Likely To Protect Himself In?

cheat sheet

In my experience there are certain situations that will make a boyfriend more likely to break up with you to protect himself.

I plan on covering those situations in this section.

Want to know what the situations are?

  • He Finds Out Your True Colors.
  • He Doesn’t Want History To Repeat Itself.
  • He Is Scared Of Getting Into A Deeper Commitment.
  • He Is Scared Of Your Past.

So, the purpose of this section is to give you a quick little cheat sheet that you will be able to glance at and determine if your ex could have potentially broke up with you to protect himself. In other words, if you were in any of these situations and your ex broke up with you when you seemed to think things were going well then you might want to take note.

Lets take a look at the situations now,

He Finds Out Your True Colors

true colors

What does that even mean?

Your ex boyfriend found out your true colors?

When everyone first starts dating they are on their best behavior. For example, when I first started dating my wife I didn’t want her to know that I was susceptible to a little jealousy here and there.

(Psst… I still don’t want her to know so don’t tell her.)

Anyways, when we first started dating I tried to remain as calm as I possibly could when any mention of one of her guy friends would come up. While I am very confident in myself I definitely don’t want to spend my days thinking of my (then) girlfriends guy friends. Heck, If I had it my way she wouldn’t say anything about them at all.

So, I would remain very quiet and standoffish any time the topic would be brought up. Now, I am not the type to tell a woman what to do in a relationship. I like it when people come to conclusions on their own so I just remained mum about the topic for the longest time hoping it would go away.

Eventually though, my wife started learning that I was not very responsive when it came to that topic and she found out my true colors…

My True Colors- I am definitely not a fan of listening to stories of my wife and other guys having a good time. Past or present. In other words, I can get jealous.

Look, I know that probably isn’t the best thing in the world for a relationship advice guy to admit but I know exactly how I am.

I get jealous where maybe someone better in that area wouldn’t.

I am a Taurus after all 😉 .

Your Ex And YOUR True Colors

No one in this world is perfect.

Everyone has their flaws.

Some people are needy.

Some people are jealous (slow, embarrassed hand raise here.)

Heck, some people are just downright mean.

Now, here is the scary part. It is impossible to really know someones true colors until later on in the relationship.

(Remember, everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning.)

I want to run a scenario by you.

Lets say that you and a new boyfriend just started dating and everything is great.

You love him…

He loves you…

All is right in the world.

You two are in that mushy stage where you can’t keep your hands off each other and you are always whispering things to each other like,

“Your the most amazing man I ever met.”

or

“Your the most amazing woman I have ever met.”

You get the idea.

Of course, a few months later your boyfriend begins to notice something. He begins to pick up that you are extremely needy and high maintenance. Now, some men can deal with needy and high maintenance girls but your boyfriend isn’t one.

In fact, out of all the qualities in the world.

A needy high maintenance girlfriend turn him off the most.

Now we have a bit of a problem.

All of a sudden that mushy happy stage where the two of you are living in La La land where nothing can go wrong ends and your boyfriend begins to think to himself,

“Oh my god… I can’t be with a needy high maintenance girl.”

This singular thought evolves and soon he comes to a sad conclusion…

“I need to break up with her to protect myself.”

Do you see how that worked?

Happy Stage Dissipates (leads to) Realization Of True Colors (leads to) Him Breaking Up With You To Protect Himself

He Doesn’t Want History To Repeat Itself

history

History is a funny thing when it comes to relationships.

Any time I write an article for this site I am drawing on my own past experiences either through my own life or through this site. In other words, the past I have experienced affects me and what I write.

Your ex boyfriend is no different.

It is entirely possible that he could be protecting himself with a breakup so his own BAD past experiences don’t repeat themselves.

Now, I actually have a real life experience to draw from to prove that this particular outcome does exist.

A good friend of mine ended up getting married at a really young age.

What is a young age?

Well, I personally think marriage around the age of 21 is a little below the norm.

Anyways, my buddy got married when he was 21 years old and he was with his wife for a total of three years. While I am sure they certainly had their honeymoon period that was abruptly ended when he ended up walking in on his wife and his best friend in bed.

She then proceeded to tell him that his best friend wasn’t the only guy that she had been with.

No, she had ended up cheating on him eight times with eight different men.

(FYI I have told this story on this site before if you were wondering.)

I don’t care who you are, an experience like that definitely makes an impression on you that will last forever.

How did my friend react?

Not well…

In fact, he ended up protecting himself so much from relationships that he hasn’t even been on a date with a girl in five years. Yes, you read that right FIVE YEARS.

What Kind Of Experiences Can Make A Man Protect Himself?

The way this works is actually quite simple.

If your ex boyfriend was dating you and he kind of gets the feeling that his own unfortunate history in relationships is about to repeat himself he will decide that the fastest way in which he can protect himself is to break up with you.

What I would like to do now is give you a list of all the types of experiences that can have this type of affect on a man.

  • If he was cheated on.
  • If he was in a long relationship that ended really badly.
  • If he had an abusive ex girlfriend (not you.)
  • If he was stuck in a relationship where he felt trapped or bored but didn’t do anything about it.

My point in giving you that list is actually quite simple.

If your ex boyfriend sensed any of these things during his time with you then he might take action to nip things in the bud so history doesn’t repeat itself.

For example, if he was with you and during your relationship you were constantly hanging out with other men then he is inevitably going to have this train of thought,

“I wonder if she is cheating on me? She is always around these other guys? What do they have that I don’t?”

Pretty soon, if the debacle continues then he is going to convince himself that you are indeed cheating on him or that you are a high risk of it.

So, what is it that he does to take care of this little problem?

Yup, you guessed it.

He will break up with you to protect himself.

He Is Scared Of A Deeper Commitment

star wars commitment

Some men are commitment-phobes.

In other words, they will break up with you because they are scared of commitment and this can be looked at as a way of them protecting themselves. In other words, a man who is truly a commitment-phobe is going to be protecting himself.

But what defines a commitment-phobe?

What is going on a mans head to make him a commitment-phobe?

Oh geez… don’t get me started.

Well, firstly you know you are dealing with a commitment-phobe when he has the following qualities,

  • Doesn’t Want Titles
  • Very Standoffish
  • Act Like They Don’t Care About Anything
  • The Marriage Factor

Like always, I am going to dive deep and flesh out each one of these bullet points. Lets start with “titles.”

They Don’t Want Titles

commitment

Men who are commitment-phobes aren’t going to want an official title.

You know, the boyfriend title?

A few weeks ago I wrote an article on why men won’t want to update their Facebook status to say “in a relationship” and usually an underlying cause of that is the fact that they are terrified of being labeled because in their warped mind being labeled a boyfriend can potentially end with them being hurt.

So, the best way to protect themselves is to not label the relationship.

After all, if you aren’t officially labeled as a boyfriend how can you get hurt, right?

They Are Very Standoffish

I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten an email like this,

“Chris, I have tried everything in my relationship to make it work but no matter how hard I try my boyfriend never lets me in. He is always so standoffish and any time I try to have a meaningful conversation he just shuts down.”

This is classic commitment-phobe behavior.

Usually you will get a guy who gives you mixed signals or is very hot and cold too.

For example, one moment the guy will be all into you and the next he is sad or depressed and its not even like he has to say anything for you to pick up on it. I mean, It’s almost like you can feel the energy between the two of you shift from a positive vibe to a negative one.

So, what the heck is going on for a guy to do this?

Well, usually what happens to a commitment-phobe is that he will go into a relationship (even if its not official) with his guard up.

gsp guard up

Then what usually happens is that your amazing personality, looks and charm start to work their magic and slowly but surely that guard begins to drop. All of a sudden he begins to have fun with you and starts to think that life with you isn’t so bad.

But then the worst thing ever happens.

A singular thought enters his mind…

“What if she hurts me?”

In other words…

anderson-silva-

So, what happens is after he has this thought he will put his guard back up and become very standoffish towards you.

This creates this hot and cold effect that you are constantly worrying about.

They Will Act Like They Don’t Care About Anything

I dont care

Last year I met a guy who I liked very much.

He had a good personality, seemed very family oriented and made everyone laugh a lot.

“Ok Chris whats wrong with him?”

Geez, you guys are harsh…

…..

…..

Ok, there was something a bit off about him.

He was haunted by his divorce and as a result kind of became a commitment-phobe to his current girlfriend. Of course, it wasn’t his girlfriend who told me this but it was him himself.

He actually told me without telling me.

You see, every time he would talk about his girlfriend he would constantly tell me things like,

“I don’t care what she does. She can go out to the bar any time she wants or flirt with any guy she wants.”

I remember at the time just nodding my head in agreement to not start an argument but the truth of the matter was that I was thinking,

“I definitely wouldn’t be ok if my woman started flirting with any guy she wanted. I think he was lying.”

Of course, the more I thought about it afterwards I began to see what was really going on.

This guy was absolutely burned by his divorce and it affected him on a deep level. So, in an effort to cope with it he put his guard up in a very unusual way. He began training himself not to care about anything bad that could potentially happen to him.

For example, if his girlfriend cheated on him he was training himself not to care.

If his girlfriend was emotionally or physically abusive, he would not care.

It was all an effort for him to protect himself by not getting attached to her so he wouldn’t end up feeling the sting he felt during his divorce.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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The Marriage Factor

mawwiage

Here’s a fun fact about men that you won’t hear anywhere else.

Men are scared of marriage.

Actually, that’s nothing new…

However, what I want to talk about is the WHY!

Why are men so afraid of making the biggest commitment of all?

Why does it freak them out so much?

Well, it freaks them out because of a little something I like to call,

The Marriage Factor

What is the marriage factor?

I am so glad you asked!

The marriage factor is a certain thought process that a man goes through when he considers marriage to a woman.

I feel very qualified to talk about this since I just got married last year to a woman who completely destroyed my marriage factor.

Ok, the marriage factor goes like this,

Most men enjoy being single.

They like the way it makes them feel. They like that feeling of being free without having anyone to answer to.

I mean, when you date someone you have to basically check in with them a lot to let them know what you are up to. For some men this can be kind of annoying and makes them feel a bit trapped.

Oh, and in case you are wondering I am not even talking about marriage yet. Nope, I am just talking about a good old fashioned relationship.

Now, when the thought of marriage does enter the picture a man will usually get freaked out by a few things.

  • Marriage = A Lifelong Commitment To Just ONE Person
  • Marriage Usually Leads To Kids
  • His Way Of Life Is Gone

Marriage being a lifelong commitment is an obvious one. What isn’t obvious though is the kids factor. Call me crazy but I have a deep belief that most men out there are very protective towards their family and will do anything for their kids.

(There are definitely exceptions to this rule.)

However, when push comes to shove a lot of men step up and become great fathers to their kids. Of course, the introduction of a child into the mix means that a man can no longer hold on to his own selfish ways.

A man will have an innate belief that his every waking moment will be dedicated to his child and while being a father can be a very fulfilling thing you can understand how it won’t be appealing to a man who enjoys the freedom he has as a single guy.

Marriage usually leads to children…

Do you see where I am going with this?

When a guy starts to get wind of the fact that his significant other wants him to propose the marriage factor thought process is going to go through his head.

MF Thought One- “Oh my god…  I am going to have to be committed to her for life. What if things change?”

MF Thought Two- “First comes love… then comes marriage… then comes the baby in the baby carriage…. If we have a child my life is going to be over…”

MF Thought Three- “I am going to lose my friends… I am going to lose my late nights out… There is no way in hell she is going to let me keep partying the way I am now…”

So, with all of these scary thoughts swirling around in his head what does he decide to do?

Yup, you guessed it.

He decides to break up with you to protect himself.

He Is Scared Of Your Past

scared

Usually when you talk about the past the first thing most people think of is men.

“He has some serious baggage…”

“He just got divorced…”

“He won the Nobel Peace Prize a few years ago…”

Wait.. that last one doesn’t quite fit.

Let me clear something up.

When I talk about someones past I am not referring to their past accomplishments I am referring to their past relationships. More specifically, their past failed relationships and any baggage that goes along with those relationships.

Like I said above, most people immediately point the finger to men and the baggage they bring.

“Oh, he slept with 20 women in the past…”

Well, I hate to say this but women are just as guilty as men when it comes to their pasts. In fact, sometimes a woman’s past can be such a hard thing for a man to overcome that he will talk himself out of the relationship.

Let me give you an example.

Real Life Example

As many of more avid readers know I actually run two fairly large relationship websites, this one, Ex Boyfriend Recovery and another one called Ex Girlfriend Recovery. Well, my other site, Ex Girlfriend Recovery, deals specifically with helping men get their ex girlfriends back.

(Funny Story- A few weeks ago a woman from Ex Boyfriend Recovery told me that her boyfriend went to Ex Girlfriend Recovery trying to find advice on how to get her back. Meanwhile, she was on Ex Boyfriend Recovery trying to find out a way to get her boyfriend back. They were both using the no contact rule on each other when both of them wanted each other back. Of course, after the NC rule was completed they did get each other back but I digress…)

There is one fellow that specifically sticks out in my mind when I think back to my other site Ex Girlfriend Recovery.

You see, this guy got so freaked out about his girlfriends past that he ended the relationship to protect himself.

What was her past?

Well, lets just say that she was more experienced than him in certain aspects of love. More specifically, she had cheated a few times in the past.

Pretty soon this guy was convinced that his girlfriend would cheat on him no matter what he did since she cheated on her exes in the past. So, he broke up with her to “nip it in the bud” before the bud nipped him.

In other words, he was protecting himself…

What to Read Next

Why Your Ex Is Hardwired To Care About You

By Chris Seiter | 0 comments

Why Is My Ex Silent After A Breakup?

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Does Your Ex Boyfriend Still Care About You? Let’s Find Out Together!

By Chris Seiter | 181 comments

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303 thoughts on “Will An Ex Boyfriend Break Up With You To Protect Himself?”

  1. Avatar

    Brianna

    January 15, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Hi. My name os brianna harris im 26 years old. I was dating a 36 year old we recently split up he got mad brought my clothes and food that i had over there.. He havent contacted me today but he did leave a not with his number on there and said my my gma had any questions to call what do i need to do im so comfused its killing me to move on

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 16, 2021 at 11:45 am

      Hi Brianna, so if you want to get this ex back, then first you follow a no contact period where you work on yourself and then you reach out with one of Chris’ texts to create an interesting and natural conversation with your ex.

  2. Avatar

    Tia

    December 13, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    My ex broke up with me because he claims he’s protecting me. There’s this ex that came back and starts making threats against me and she’s close with his family so she’s causing problems there also. This is what he claims. Smh.

  3. Avatar

    Rosie

    September 10, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    Hi, my boyfriend of 2 years just broke up with me out of the blue. In the days and weeks before the breakup, he’d been telling me how much he loved and missed me. How I should leave clothes at his house to make it easier for me when I come over—this was one week before we broke up!

    And then all of a sudden he asked me to meet him somewhere to break up with me. We’d talk almost every day and see each other every week. We did have one big fight the week before the breakup, but the argument was silly and we talked about it after.

    I feel like he did it because he felt pressured to talk about the future. He did eventually talk about things with me. The week before he broke up with me he was talking about “if we ever got married” I’m just very confused as to how he could say these things to me and then dump me so callously. Not to mention, when he broke up with me he said the reason was because he “fell out of love with me” “doesn’t know about the future” and “thinks we’re too different.” He had also said that he fell out of love with me before for a month but then fell back in love with me again! What does that even mean?

    I’m starting to think he’s way too immature to even be in a relationship..What do you think I should do? I want to be with him again because I love him but I’m at a loss. I started NC the day after he broke it off. Do you think he will come back to me?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 4, 2020 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Roise, if you follow the program then it gives you a good chance at getting your ex back, but it means that you have to use your No Contact time to work on yourself before reaching out with a text that Chris suggests in his articles

  4. Avatar

    Theresa

    September 3, 2020 at 8:31 am

    My boyfriend & myself are in our 60s. We have been together for 7 years. Lived together for 2. But not now. We break up at least once a year. We just broke up 6 weeks ago. I’ve went to his house to try to talk it out after he would not respond to my phone calls or texts. I’ve done this twice already & apologized for saying some mean things on the phone. Whenever we break up he says it’s my fault. Then he tells me I’m not affectionate enough with him. He gives me the silent treatment for weeks. Two weeks ago he said he misses me but needs a break. Last week when I tried to apologize again & talk he said he still loves me & misses me but doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Should I just give up or hang in there & see if he comes around. He always has in the past & says he’s sorry for putting me through everything. But here we are doing it again. I love him so much but this is very hurtful.

  5. Avatar

    Maria

    August 5, 2020 at 10:47 am

    The guy I was dating never committed. We hang out from time to time. When we do, it’s as if we are dating. Feelings spark, and we become close but then he realizes joe comfortable he is feeling and turns off. He has told me from time and time that he’s afraid of getting hurt etc.

    Two years later he is still seeing me. I’ve pushed him away many times bc I want more. We argue and then we return back. When I need help with things, he is always helping me. But then we don’t talk. It’s like I’m living in a relationship that doesn’t exist.

    Should I run? Should I continue? Just not sure what to do? I know and feel in my heart That he cares about me. I believe he has commitment phobia.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 5, 2020 at 11:42 pm

      Hey Maria, I would say that if he is not willing to give you what it is you want from a relationship or even agree to be official then you should consider walking away because it could take that to make him realise you are serious. If you walk away you need to stick to a No Contact of at least 30 days so that he sees you are serious about wanting more than something casual

  6. Avatar

    Sydnee

    June 16, 2020 at 3:48 am

    Hi, my ex and I broke up not too long ago. we got into things way fast and he always said how he saw it lasting and he even mentioned us doing things in the future. and one day he did that and then started acting weird, said he started having doubt and didn’t see us ever married? Nothing happened omg prior to this. the relationship was super happy and healthy. I can’t figure out what happened but i’m wondering if he was maybe scared and just ran

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 16, 2020 at 7:54 pm

      Hey Sydnee, it sounds as if your ex was caught up in the “honeymoon” phase of the relationship and thats when we promise each other the world and are so in love. When things calm down they realise that they are not as ready for the things they spoke about as they thought. Start following the program, starting with No Contact and your Holy Trinity

  7. Avatar

    Asbel

    September 1, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I met my guy 8 month ago and we became friends. 5 weeks ago he told he had a job offer and that he was moving to another state. So we decided to date for the remaining time he had here. Everything was incredible, we have same hobbies, and same taste in music, we could anything and always be laughing and having fun. He even said he will miss me. We spent 4 all weekends together in each other’s houses. Everything was great. So then, he told me he didn’t want a long distance relationship. He was married for 7 years and now divorced for 2 years but the last 2 years of his marriage he went through a lot with his ex wife and they dealt with long distance. They used to expend sometimes 8 month apart without seeing each other. Which is why I understand he’s resilient to have a long distance and the reason he broke up with me. But the thing is we are only going to be on a 2 hour flight distance, is not the same situation that he had with his wife, which keeps me wondering why he didn’t want to try. Do you think he will come back and realize that he made a mistake?

  8. Avatar

    Tmcquire

    August 30, 2019 at 1:26 am

    I caught my husband with a young girl half of his age, I caught him kissing this girl, Little did I know that they have being dating for 3 months. I could not afford to lose my marriage all because of some little trash. we had being married for over a decade. I met a sango priestess in los angeles when I went to see my mom. this powerful witch did a spell for me that made my husband confess to what he has been doing for the past three months. He told me kneeling and crying remorsefully. He told me how the little girl has being lavishing our money for shopping and rubbish.

  9. Avatar

    Priya

    May 6, 2019 at 4:13 am

    I developed a friendship and then relationship with a colleague over the last six months – during which time he has been going through a divorce

    Everything was going great but a month ago we broke up as we had to choose between a relationship or work – were not allowed both where we work. But after two weeks we agreed it was rubbish and missed each other and wanted to give it a go eg one of us leave work to give us a chance

    Two weeks back together and he said he’s felt broken and not his usual self for sol time. Told me he was seeing a counsellor for the last year and hasn’t felt as fragile as when we broke up And to protect us both from more pain down the road if we ended he felt best we ended it now

    I don’t agree with this as surely this is a sign of how good things were with us but understand he’s not in a great place at the moment. And yes there’s no guarantees of this working out but believe we have something so easy nd natural it’s a good foundation. It’s very tough right now and wonder if I hav to leave work anyway

    Do I give him some space and then talk to him or do I just need to leave it and try to go back t friends?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      May 6, 2019 at 3:35 pm

      HI Priya….so I think that is a reasonable strategy…giving him some space for some time, then seeking to reconnect in the way I describe in my Program.

  10. Avatar

    Imogen Thompson

    April 3, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Chris and Team!

    My ex boyfriend broke up with me about a month ago. I immediately went into NC for 30 days. We do have kids together. So it was a modified NC. We only talked when the kids were sick or during child drop offs/pick ups. The last time he was supposed to pick up our kids and he did not show. He didn’t say he wasn’t coming either. So I texted to ask if he was still coming and he then told me he wasn’t. I also told him I wanted to set up a more concrete schedule for the kids. This lead to him asking me about our break up. It had been 30 days of NC so I answered him. He asked why I was speaking to other men in an app when we discussed it not too long before our break up. I let him know that it wasn’t intended to hurt him and I was only playing around with them. He then expressed that it wasn’t acceptable and he shouldn’t have to worry about what I’m doing when he’s not around. I know he broke up with me because he doesn’t want OUR history to repeat itself of past mistakes in our relationship. We had been together for 8 years. We also had another talk on the phone and we are supposed to talk again in person (his idea) later today. I am not sure what approach to take because I’ve already owned my mistake, explained it, and apologized for hurting him. But he says he doesn’t see us together in the future anymore and that he doesn’t even want to be with anyone else. I was it for him. Should I go into NC again after this last talk? During the month of NC previously I have done a number of things to change and even changed how I interact with the opposite sex, for myself not for him. I do want him back but I am at the point where if he doesn’t see for himself that we can be great together, it may be that he just needs to deal with his issues internally. And I am fine just being a co-parent with him even though I love him more than anything. Please help.

  11. Avatar

    Rebecca

    January 5, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    I am at such a loss and really really need to move in from my ex, but finding it really difficult. Me and my ex were together almost 7 months but it was very intense and he initiated most of it. Telling me things such as ‘we are too good to be true’, hes ‘never been as attracted to someone as me before’ he is 34 and I met him when he was 33 (he is 7 years older than me), he had just come back from 13 months of travelling the world alone when we met in London.
    He does have a past he was with a long term girlfriend from 20-30 so 10years they were together and they owned a flat together, they broke up because she cheated on him with her boss and from what I can gather it ended after dragging it our for months, although they still have light contact but he used to assure me it was hard to be out the life of someone and someones family he had known for so long, not because he wanted to get back together with her.
    Everything was very good between us, I fell very quickly, he met my sister (who I don’t usually introduce men to) and I met his friends – I am still very close to one of the girlfriends of his friends. The only real issue was he was unhappy in his job and was considering taking a job in Australia, this put a strain on us about 3 months in but we fought past it. He then decided something i said one day about applying for his dream job in London struck with him and he applied, all whilst also getting the job in Australia, again this made me very sad but I was supportive and understood it was an amazing career chance. He said he wanted to see if he got the UK job before deciding anything as if he left me and went to Australia it could be ‘the biggest regret of his life’ and we did have something really good.
    Just before he found out about the UK job outcome we met up in a bar in London and he told me he didn’t think he stood a chance it was too competitive and he would have to take the Australia position. It was a very difficult break up where I cried and he did too and at the end I said goodbye and that I loved him (first time I said that – he didn’t, he just cried).
    we had some contact after but not much he deleted me off social media saying to me it was too painful seeing my photographs and not me.
    3 weeks later I found out he was offered the UK job and he told me, when I suggested talking on the phone he said it wasn’t a good idea, I was confused as it was always said if he was in the UK we would be together. He stated i gave him more than he could give me and I deserved better, that I did nothing wrong all i did was care for him but he wasn’t ready to do the same back.
    I felt heart broken all over again, and we have had some contact since but not much. I think the question I am asking is really did he only like me not love me?
    or did his past prevent him from having something real with me? Was he scared and ran away? I feel like I cant get over what happened until I get some closure.
    ANY advice would be welcome

  12. Avatar

    No Name

    August 13, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I don’t understand my situation AT ALL!! my ex is emotionally unavailable and I recognized all the red flags 2 months into the relationship and I overlooked them. He’s always been an introvert with life baggage from the past.. It was very rare that he’d open up and he’s always been so private and secretive but I trusted him.. I dated him for a year and I felt like I didn’t even know that much about him but he claims I’m the first person he truly opened up to. I believe it because even his family says he’s always been so private. He was so into me in the beginning, always wanting to see and talk to me but this all stopped once I got with him. Through the relationship I always had to initiate with him, we would text 2-3 times a day max. So I broke up with my ex because around that time there was so much stress going on in both of our lives (mostly mine being more drastic with much more drama) long story short, I was asleep during a party cause I drank too much, my 2 CLOESTS gal pals sat him down and basically told him about my past because they were “concerned” about my behavior. They thought that he was a bad influence on me.. so after he found out about my past he started acting VERY cold and distant. (I dated a few assholes, moved to another state to live with a guy I met online because I was only 19 and NAIVE) Obviously I am not proud of all those decisions in my life and I’m much older since then. He wasnt feeling the relationship anymore I could tell however he still stayed with me so I broke up with him officially because he’s always been so emotionally unavailable and I figured “i have a lot going on in my life and out of all people, this man I’m in love with is NOT supportive and not comforting me..” He used to be so into me, so in love but after that long talk with my “friends” i just KNEW, i felt it, he wasn’t so into me anymore but we worked so hard making it to a year so he dealt with it.. we were on and off for a week and he then tells me he wants to be friends and take it slow yet he was still behaving like my BOYFRIEND. he stopped kissing me after that night so I dumped him another week later. 2 weeks later after I reflected on my life I tried winning him back. I also found him on the same dating app that we met!!!! so clearly he was already moving on looking for another woman.. anyways things were fine, seemed like it was going back to normal. we got intimate…. BIG MISTAKE!!! he gave me mixed signals and even called me by my pet name. So when I talked about his dating profile, I asked if he was going to take it down… He was reluctant and ultimately decided in the end that he’s not ready for a relationship and that his intentions were not looking for another gf, he just wanted to look for “friends” to distract him. He was so incongruent, telling me he missed me and he kept holding me and hugging me too. He just wanted to be my FRIEND. He led me on, couldn’t even properly tell me he still loves me. He only nodded when asked “are you still in love with me?” He is the type to evade any dramatic situation and he says he’s not used to the madness. So in the end he admitted he liked being alone.. like “old times.” Apparently I’m the first and only woman he’s had a long term relationship with that he’s genuinely loved.. But thinking about it, I could never reach him on the emotional level. I felt so close but so far!! It honestly felt like a FWB type of relationship. We were an item but he was still so distant that I guess after looking back, our relationship seemed casual with the occasional deep connection. It sucks because I have never loved anyone the way I love him and I’m AFRAID of dating again… It seemed so easy to get guys to fall for me… but the tables have turned after meeting my ex bf. He said the both of us must fix our lives (we fucked up so much in life, unemployed, I failed med school, my alcohol addiction was getting worse) but first he says he doesn’t know if we’ll find our way back to each other, THEN he says he’s looking forward to being with me again in the future.. WTF?! He even said he didn’t want to take me back all because I broke up with him officially.. BUT I came back!!!! He was so into me the first 2 nights and did the 180 and basically threw me away like garbage. He tried blaming me AGAIN! (he’s always been so smooth at turning the blame on me) He’s been so private and secretive and so invested in the internet and still has his dating profile up so I’m going to assume he’s never truly cared about me so I can heal and move on…. I should have left when I saw all the red flags in the beginning. lesson learned. I’m heart broken.

  13. Avatar

    Layla

    April 22, 2017 at 2:22 am

    Hi,
    So I was dating a nice guy for about 4 months. Well, I believed him so be a nice guy. Things were casual and we were moving at the same pace. We are both independent and happy with our independence so it didn’t feel like either of us were being remotely needy or asking for more. Everything was moving along well. I’m very easy going and he brought out that in me because he was low-stress and honest and nice. One night, I told him that I got into school on the other side of the country. I told him that it was an option that I might go (6 months from now). He said that he would still want to keep dating but that he would have his guard up knowing I might leave and knowing we might break up. I told him that was understandable. On another night, I opened up to him that I have HSV. Now, I take excellent preventative measures, we wore condoms and he got tested and doesn’t have it. I knew this was a lot for him to process and I let him have his space to de-stress and tried not to put any pressure on him but it always seemed to me that he liked me a lot and we were in a good place. He wasn’t a super affectionate type of guy but very open and talkative about his feelings and he expressed to me sincerely how fond of me he was and our relationship was great for him. Then, out of nowhere, he CALLED me to tell me that he didn’t know if the risk of potentially contracting something from me was worth it, he doesn’t want a serious relationship and since I might leave, doesn’t think it’s worth it to keep dating. Obviously, this is super hurtful. Not only being rejected for something that was never my fault, but feeling very betrayed by someone I trusted with this information. I’m angry and sad. I know I didn’t deserve that kind of harsh rejection and especially over the phone. I’m really trying to wrap my head around what happened in his mind that all of a sudden a switch just flipped….

    1. Avatar

      Layla

      April 22, 2017 at 2:30 am

      … I should mention that this was two weeks ago exactly. I stood up for myself on the phone and was very open with my feelings of being hurt and angry. But I’m also very reasonable and just said my peace and it’s been two weeks of no contact. We have a ton of mutual friends and they’ve already seen him around and I know I will see him soon. Do you think he is going to come around or did I scare him off for good?

    2. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      April 28, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      He’ll understand that those were emotions..what’s more important is if you are actively healing and improving yourself and being active in posting too

  14. Avatar

    Abi

    March 12, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Hi, if I was emotionally abusive to him, can I still get him back? Nearing the end of the relationship, it was horrible. I called him names like f***er and said things like I wasted my time of being in the relationship. I don’t know if I even have a chance left. I’m 2 months into NC.

    1. Avatar

      Abi

      April 12, 2017 at 6:01 am

      Thank you. It really helped clear some doubts in my head… also, when do you think I should break no contact and text him? It’s been 3 months now…

    2. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      April 13, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      if you didn’t talk for 3 months, you should initiate but if you’re not in emotional position to do that, don’t yet. do it when you’re more rational.

    3. Avatar

      Abi

      April 6, 2017 at 6:02 am

      Also… I have read online that emotionally abusive relationships will never have any chances. Do you think so too?

    4. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      April 7, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      don’t over think.. if it was really emotional abuse, he wouldn’t talk to you ever.. don’t get stuck on that idea because it’s not going to help you. Put your energy on how you’re going to rebuild rapport later on. if he said his tweet doesn’t refer to you, then it doesn’t. Because it will end up being about you when it wasnt at first, if you keep going back to it
      If he lied, that’s his problem,not yours anymore.

    5. Avatar

      Abi

      April 6, 2017 at 5:45 am

      Hi, thanks for replying. Can you help explain his behavior more in detail? As I’m quite confused by his behavior now… do you think he was lying when he said the tweet wasn’t referring to me?
      And to be honest… if I had emotionally abused him throughout the relationship… do you think I can still salvage this?

    6. Avatar

      Abi

      March 26, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Oh, and 1 month+ after the breakup, he retweeted a tweet that mentioned that emotional abuse and dysfunction is not love. I texted him about it and he said it was not referring to us or me. This was before I texted him again asking if he felt emotionally abused throughout the relationship. I’m confused right now. What do you think?

    7. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      March 28, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      it’s still the same tactic.. you have to improve yourself

    8. Avatar

      Abi

      March 26, 2017 at 6:25 am

      Thanks for your reply. I’m just afraid he was lying because he didn’t want to hurt me, and so he told me he didn’t feel emotionally abused. Also… is there a possibility he would suddenly think about it and be like, “Oh yeah… maybe that was emotional abuse but I didn’t realise it until she asked me”? Like, could there be a possibility of him thinking that and thus drastically reducing my chances?
      And is there any way I can salvage this now? ): My friends told me to give it more time… but I don’t know.

    9. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      March 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      he probably wont but let’s say he will, then all the more reason that you should improve and maintain it.. so, that he will see that you act differently than before..

    10. Avatar

      Abi

      March 22, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Hi Amor, thanks for replying.
      My situation is that I was mean whenever I quarreled with him, not just towards the end. There was a time he called me because he was supposed to meet me and he wanted to remind me about it. I was rushing out when he called and thus I got mad and scolded him badly. He was hurt by it. This happened more than half a year ago.
      I don’t know if me scolding him whenever we fought will contribute to him thinking twice about reconciling. I asked him what’s the real truth for breaking up, 2 months after the break up. He told me the real truth was that we kept fighting and he was tired, and his feelings faded. But I’m questioning whether he may be lying about it, that the real truth is that he felt emotionally abused. (I did ask him about this, he said no he didn’t feel that way throughout the r/s.) What do you think? ):

    11. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      March 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      I believe him…guys are not as sensitive as girls.. he wasn’t that hurt but he got tired of it..

    12. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      March 15, 2017 at 6:25 am

      Hi Abi,

      that’s common.. you just said it out of anger.. your chances will depend more on the length of the relationship, reason of the break up and how much you improve during and after nc

  15. Avatar

    Marie

    January 13, 2017 at 5:35 am

    I’m 37 and my boyfriend is 54. We are both introverts and get along very well. Before us he hasn’t dated in over 8 years. He was with her for 15 years and she left him. I think he’s scared of being hurt and right now his only other friend is having problems with their partner and I think it made him think about being single again. We haven’t had any fights at all and we have so much in common. Anyways, this past weekend I didn’t hear from him at all(usually he does all the initial contacting) and then Monday evening he called and in a very abrupt conversation told me he was too introverted and not good boyfriend material and broke up with me. I was stunned. I could barely control my voice and tried to reason with him, but he cut me off and said it was him, not me and he wanted to get off the phone. (The phone call was just over 19 minutes long.) I sent him a text 30 minutes later saying…”I’m sorry I was emotional and kept you on the phone so long. The conversation was not what I was expecting. I accept you telling me the truth and wanting a break. I’d be happy if we were together right now, but I get it. Anyways, I’m really going to miss you.” I haven’t heard from him since and it’s now been a week since we’ve seen each other. I’m very confused as to what to do. I miss him so much. No contact seems ok, but what if he thinks I don’t care and he was right to protect himself? We also have personal belongings that need to be exchanged.

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Marie,

      so you mean he wants you to chase? For your peace of mind, send a message. Ask him and explain your side. If he’s still decided then at least you both know you cared to ask him back before you ignore him..It’s ok to talk to him about stuff exchangibg5 during nc, as long as it’s only about that

  16. Avatar

    michelle

    November 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    So following on from earlier comments have finally managed to meet with boyfriend after doing a period of no contact to talk about his ending relationship by email, after 1 and 1/2 years together.
    I told him that we needed to communicate more about what was going on, and that the fact that he had housemates had made it difficult to talk sometimes when they were there in his house. While I understand they help pay the mortgage after his wife leaving, I understand this and don’t have a problem, but simply pointed out that it hasn’t made things easy sometimes for us to talk about more in depth things.
    He admitted that he was still holding a bit of a grudge when I contacted two of his friends a year ago after he was threatening suicide. This was after having a heart attack and his mother died, and with job issues, financial issues and major stress. He has previously tried this before when his ex wife left and had a bit of a breakdown, so I was scared and worried for him and told him this. Obviously he still holds this against me.
    I explained that he had been blowing hot and cold, and that it made me scared myself of being hurt. Previously he had said he was scared of falling for me completely incase he ended up getting hurt. I told him that we were both a bit scared of being hurt and that failing to communicate this to each other was resulting in both of us bouncing off each other and both perhaps being a bit distant when in company. In private we are very connected and affectionate with each other. In company there tends to be a disconnect, and I feel that he is reluctant to show friends or admit himself he is in a real relationship, because that may mean he faces being hurt if anything went wrong.
    I told him that this made me never sure where I stood with him. I also apologised for walking off when we had been out with female friends of his. Sometimes I feel in company with them he hasn’t been treating me like a girlfriend, but like just another friend, and it did make me feel a bit insecure as they are a very tight bunch (both male and female). It was like he was denying that we were together, engaged in deep conversation with them (female friends), but distant with me. He said it was because his ex wife didn’t like him showing any affection in public as he felt she was embarrassed because of his weight. I am a very in shape personal trainer and he told me how someone he knew laughed when he told them I was his girlfriend. And then asked what I was doing with him, and that I was way out of his league. This probably made him feel insecure.
    I have told him that I an not settling for him (as in hes not a second choice), and that Im not with him until someone better came along. He is very insecure about me as he is very overweight, and his ex wife cheated on him and left him for someone else saying he was too overweight and she didnt want to end up being his carer. He had a heart attack last year when I was with him, which resulted in me phoning for an ambulance.
    Despite telling me he loves me, introducing me to all of his friends (around a dozen), inviting me on nights out with his friends, and to friends houses on social occasions, telling me Im special, showering me with compliments, having me stay over 3-4 nights a week (always asking me down), cooking for me, buying me gifts, bringing me to meet his mother who was terminally ill every weekend for the 3 months before she died, saying we were a team, that my smile melts his heart, and that do we buy a house together.
    Now he is saying that he needs space, and that he can’t commit to a relationship at this time. Neither of us has been seeing anyone else for the year and a half we have been together. He says we have a great connection that you don’t find every day. Despite all this he says he just wants to keep things casual. Yet all of his actions speak otherwise. This doesn’t feel like a casual relationship to me. Does it?
    When we spoke, he said he missed me and then tried to have sex with me.
    Now he is saying that we can meet up next week, and he will start staying over at mine now and again, instead of me always staying at his (which I much prefer to staying at mine). He says we can take things really slow, but he needs space to sort his head out.
    I don’t want to lose him, as I think we are good together. He is 45, I am 46, so its not like we are 20 somethings.
    I feel he’s really scared of being hurt, overwhelmed with everything going on outside of the relationship, and he’s just completely stressed out.
    Any views and comments on this would be greatly appreciated. At the moment I am waiting for him to contact me. He said he needs space, so I don’t even feel I can text him at all, which is not good. But thats my fear coming through too.
    Some background, his father was always putting him down growing up, calling him useless, some physical abuse, emotional abuse and acting arrogant and calling him fat all the time. I think a lot of his self esteem issues stem from here. He’s a great guy and I love him to bits.

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      you need to assess your non-negotiables. You say you’re not settling but right now you are, because you’re waiting for him to do something you want, which he doesn’t want to do. Whether it’s because of his issues or what not, it’s still something you’re both not agreeing with. You want commitment, he doesn’t. If you stay, that means you’re agreeing to the current set up. You really have to risk losing him because if you don’t, you’ll stay just the way things are right now. He’s old enough. He can handle himself. You’re not his mom nor his therapist, so staying doesn’t make him better, you’re just rewarding his behavior right now. If you really want him to change, you have to accept the fact that that’s his decision, not yours. So, talk to him. If you have already conveyed your needs or standards and he still isn’t changing to make the relationship work, then you have to move on.

  17. Avatar

    Leslie

    November 3, 2016 at 10:47 am

    My boyfriend broke up with me to protect himself. All the evidence is present:

    – He had his heart broken by an ex wife who left him and aborted his child all in a day’s decision.
    – His last girlfriend was insecure and couldn’t be trusted not to run off with another man.

    I am none of these things. I am one of your truly confident, self-assured women who realizes just about everything she wants in life… except this man, of course.

    We dated for seven months “long distance” (2.5 hours of driving… so we saw each other every 1-2 weeks worst case).
    It wasn’t easy – he was terrified throughout the relationship and along the way was often hitting me with “I don’t want a relationship” (then changing his mind) or “You know, I’m not head over HEELS in love with you.” Always keeping me at an emotional arm’s length. I was, am, head over heels in love with him since the moment I first saw him. I’ve always had a feeling that he’s the “one”.

    He’d started to settle in– hold hands, cuddle up more, talk about vacationing together, even going so far as to mention that he could see himself living in the area that I’m planning to move to…

    I spent two weeks away, and when I came back, an email:
    “You’re wonderful and blah blah blah, but I’m an idiot and I just don’t feel head over heels and we can’t continue because I’m at odds with myself.”

    We met up for lunch and he was all over the place. “Yes I’m sure, you should move on”, “I don’t know why I’m doing this”, “I’m going to miss this and this about you…”, “Don’t look for the reasons because I don’t even know them myself”. Etc.

    So then I went full NC on him. Put that baby right in the corner to figure himself out. I am 23 days in.
    Two weeks in I got a BS message saying “Hey Leslie, I hope you’re well. [Thing he was doing] went well. Little hello from Brittany. Kisses!” (He’s French, so we say things like “kisses”.)

    I didn’t answer, obvs. I’ve bought the book and I’m following all orders like a soldier.

    My question lies herein: I’m reading the section “What Makes An Ex Boyfriend Change His Mind” and reading the list of resistances. Ie: Cheating, Neediness, etc.

    I never did anything wrong, our relationship was EPIC. Every weekend we spent together was just INSANE (climbing mountains, surfing, sleeping under the moon by a fire, etc), the sex was INCREDIBLE (for everyone). We never fought or even had tension.

    Maybe I was needy – if you call ONE text a day while on vacation needy. And then asking him to maybe answer one in six of my texts while I’m away. Pretty needy, right?

    No, he got scared off because I’m way way way in love with him and feelings are terrifying. And because a future with me might mean changing his life a little, although I’ve never asked him to change lives, move closer – nothing. Mind you this is all speculation — he doesn’t communicate or express anything of course. That would be opening up !

    Now, when I read the article and I think:
    What is he thinking about the relationship?

    That it was wonderful, that I’m amazing but that it could never have worked between us because [slew of dumb reasons because he can’t admit he’s terrified].

    And when I think of what his current resistance to “maybe I should get back together with her” is, the only thing I can think of is: “I can’t get back together with her because I am garbage and she’ll never take me back because I have completely messed up and I’m worth nothing an besides, there’s no future between us unless I want to move from where I am and I like where I am.”

    Yes we are dealing with one of the most insecure men I have ever met. That’s why I’m perfect for him.

    Right, get to the question:
    How do you deal with an insecure MoFo? Do the rules work the same if there was absolutely nothing wrong in the relationship and he’s just a total head case? Is a terrified man going to be inspired to come after what he can’t have? Can you change a man’s mind who thinks he’s unworthy and it’s impossible and he will inevitably get hurt by the situation?

    Thank you for your time ! I love your site because I love people and relationships and all this crud is fascinating.

    1. Avatar

      Leslie

      November 10, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Amor,

      Thank you for your response. The article doesn’t pertain to my situation, as I didn’t cheat on or lie to my ex – I just loved him. He dumped me, afraid that he doesn’t love me enough. But I honk it stems from a lack of confidence in himself and his life.

      Are there any other articles about insecure men, ones that don’t involved guilt and remorse? I’ve done nothing to feel guilty about. 🙂

      Thanks,
      Leslie

    2. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 5, 2016 at 10:30 am

  18. Avatar

    Michelle

    November 2, 2016 at 8:02 am

    So since my last comment and receiving a break up by email, I replied back same day by email telling him how I felt about him, and all the reasons I wanted him. Connecting memories, good times, insights etc. 2 days later I received another email saying how he was quite overwhelmed by my response and was also touched and honoured. Saying that I had a smile that melts his heart and my heart was like platinum. This hurt but also confused me as it was full of compliments. He said to respect his need for space at this time.
    I went down to his house 3 days later to talk as I didn’t think he would talk to me if I asked. He was very flustered (understandably). The meeting lasted around 30 minutes and we hugged at this time, and he said it was good to see me. He said he needed time to sort himself out and he was going to call me in a couple of weeks. It ended when I left and he said that he would call me in a couple of weeks. There was eye contact and I felt it went ok.
    Since then I have done NC and this is day 18. On Sunday it will be day 22. There is a big fireworks night near his house (which he helps organise). I am planning on going there to see the fireworks with a male friend of mine (who he has met a couple of times). When I run into him (which I will), he will be with friends who I have also met. I am planning on saying hello and keeping things light. And also reminding him to call me to talk maybe weekend after (that will be just short of 30 days) by then. And then leaving with my friend.
    We had such a good emotional connection, and I seriously dont think he is going to get from anyone else what he got with me. Part of me feels fairly confident that he definately has a lot of feelings for me, but I don’t want to ruin things at this stage. I also feel that I have handled things entirely how he wasn’t expecting and I suspect that my email response to him has seriously rattled his emotions, given that I suspect he has let me go to potentially risk me walking away, given that every other relationship has ended in girlfriends cheating on him. He is also very insecure (hes very overweight), that I would eventually have left him (which I wouldn’t). I really really love him and these last few weeks have shown me that as I have been thinking in a lot f depth about things. I believe he has an anxious avoidant attachment style too if that helps.
    Please help and advise? Thank you

    1. Avatar

      Michelle

      November 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Yes he knows that this guy is just a friend as hes met him a few times. Latest is I received an email from him today giving me a catch up on everything thats been happening. He is under so much pressure.
      I replied back, and then he came back less than an hour later by email, and asked me if perhaps we could go away for a weekend together with his dog and chill out and talk. This was after I asked him 19 days ago that I wanted to sit down and really talk about everything with him. Since then I haven’t contacted him at all.
      So I am feeling hopeful, but he has also stated that he doesn’t know what hes doing, where hes going and what he wants, but he does miss me.
      Any advice would be so much appreciated.

    2. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 5, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      yeah, I think you laying low, made him feel less pressured and got him to think. Just enjoy that weekend. If he has something to say, listen. If you want to say something, time it right. Say it when he’s in the best mood.

    3. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      it would be better if you come with a group of friends..bringing just one guy would look like you’re just trying to make him jealous

  19. Avatar

    Soph

    November 1, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Hi there, I am in urgent need of help.

    My ex-boyfriend and I were in a relationship for 19 months. He is 28 and I am 22. I was his first girlfriend and he lost his virginity to me. When we first met, we hit it off right away and we fell deeply in love. It was incredible and like a fairy tale. After 3 weeks of being together, he said he loved me, which surprised me at first but I was flattered. I didn’t say I loved him until about 2 months into our relationship. After 3 months of being together, he phoned me up one day and said that he was worried that he wasn’t good enough for me and that he was too boring. He was worried that I would leave him one day because of it and that he had nothing to offer me. I met up with him afterwards and we went for a long walk and I reassured him there was nothing to worry about and that I truly loved him and that he was everything I wanted and more.

    For the next year or so, our relationship was great, and he told me that I was ‘the one’ for him and his ‘one and only’ (he called me this fairly frequently). This was also the first time I had ever loved someone and fully committed to them although I had been in previous relationships. We were both so smitten that we both worried about losing each other or one of us getting bored with the other. I had worries about initiating conversations on Facebook or calling him, because I was worried I would be a burden to him. Thus, he naturally initiated most of the conversations and when/where we would see each other, however sometimes 4-5 days would pass where neither of us would say anything to each other. I asked him about this and he said it was usually because he was waiting for me to get in touch first to ask to see him.

    I felt like I needed more communication but didn’t know how to get it from him as I was too worried/shy to initiate contact. He struggles with time management too, so I also didn’t want to burden him with conversations for this reason. Other men would start talking to me online and ask if I wanted to meet up with them. I struggle with making and maintaining friendships so I usually said ‘yes’ to meeting up with them in the hope of making friends (I get on better with guys than girls, always have done).

    14 months ago, a guy who I had met once three years ago (when I was single) and only ever gone as far as kissing with, started talking to me. He seemed physically attracted to me so I told him I wasn’t interested in anything more than friends and I told him that I had a boyfriend. He seemed cool and friendly about it, and asked me his name, profession, what he was like etc. He promised he wouldn’t try and make a move if I met up with him, so I agreed to meet up with him. I got in his car and we went for a drive, when he pulled up in a small remote village. It was dark outside and about 9:00 pm. We were just talking when he suddenly started groping me. I asked him what he was doing and re-instated that I didn’t want this. He raped me in his car. I didn’t scream or cry for help because my body just froze and went numb, and shut down. I started crying afterwards so he drove me back home. I got upset over this time and time again for the next two months when alone and by myself. It took me two months to tell my boyfriend. When I did, he freaked out but stayed with me because it was rape. He said he wanted to hurt this man.

    5 months later, my ex began to grow more distant from me. I felt in a way confused and unwanted. I had a work colleague who was initially my friend but grew more interested in me, although he knew I had a boyfriend (I told him this). I met up with him for a drink once or twice and on the second meet-up he told me he loved me. One day at work he tried to kiss me and he grabbed my ass but I pushed him away. After that incident, I unfriended and blocked him on Facebook. I told my ex after it happened. He seemed mildly annoyed and said it was ‘sexual assessment’. We didn’t really talk about it again.

    Due to my feelings of not being as wanted as I was during the earlier stages of our relationship and the lack of communication, we had some fairly petty and stupid arguments and I threatened to break up with my ex 3 times over the course of 3 months. One of the times, I got a call from my ex a day later saying he was sorry we argued the night before and that he felt terrible and wanted to make it up to me so we went out for a drive together.

    During these arguments that took place over the summer of this year, my ex would often say after them that he ‘needed time to think’. The first time he said that, I went over to his house to apologise and he said ‘there is no one in this world like you’ and we made up. The second time he said that, I again apologised and sent him many texts and messages explaining how I shouldn’t have ever met up with these other guys and that they weren’t what I wanted at all, I only wanted him. He said that I had played games with him and tried to make him jealous but I explained my circumstances and the lack of friends. We came to the agreement that we should give each other a bit of space and date/’see’ each other and just go along with the flow. In August of this year we trialled ‘dating’ instead of being in a relationship and that was really fun and worked well for about 2 weeks, but then we ended up in each other’s arms again and back together. The third time, he said he needed time to think again, so I backed off and didn’t contact him for three days. He agreed to meet up with me and talk. I fell into his arms and said that I was tired and drained by the fall outs over the past 3-4 months and just wanted to put it behind us. He used to say that I was ‘his home’, so I also said ‘you haven’t come home for months and I miss you so much.’ He gave me a big hug and we cuddled on my bed. I asked him when I would see him again and he said ‘tomorrow?’. I was so excited that night at the prospect of not arguing anymore and moving past everything and buzzing to see him the next day.

    The next day, he came round to my house. He said he couldn’t do this anymore and that the trust was broken. He said that he loved me but he wasn’t in love with me anymore. He said that I had his body but not his heart. He said he thought I was the one. I was confused because the weekend before he had said he wanted to try again and start anew. I said to him that he had barely given us any time to try again (one week), but he said that we couldn’t get back together/try again this time and that he had made up his mind.

    He said he wanted to stay in touch. I suggested we be friends and we came to the agreement that he would still come up to uni to visit me and stay for those weekends. He said he would sleep in the same bed as me. I asked him if he would like to go out for coffee and drinks and do/see places with me when he came to visit and he said ‘yes, but we can’t be an item anymore’. I asked him whether he would like me to message him again or not and he said ‘yes, if you want to’.

    I maintained a fair amount of composure despite being shocked/upset, and I didn’t get down on my knees and beg or plead. I said that we didn’t have to be an item if he didn’t want to. After about 30 minutes, we ended up kissing and we had sex which he initiated. He said ‘I just can’t resist you’ and ‘I can’t help myself around you’. Afterwards, as we were saying bye to each other, I said ‘I love you’ and he said ‘I love you too’. We both hugged each other and he went home.

    Unfortunately, we had a concert booked for two weeks’ time from that date which we had both agreed to go to together. I didn’t contact him after the break up at all until 8 days later. I played it very cool, I initiated the conversation, asked him how he was and told him about how I was working on myself, had got a counsellor, and was getting a tattoo. He was receptive but didn’t show much emotion and treated me like a friend. I told him that I thought we shouldn’t see each other just yet and therefore should go to the concert separately. I also ended the conversation. I didn’t contact him the week after at all.

    I came home from university a week after our conversation for 9 days (as it was reading week) and he Facebooked me and started calling me because he had heard off my Mum that I didn’t want my ticket to the concert anymore (mainly said out of frustration because he kept postponing dropping it off at my house, which was his suggestion). He seemed reluctant for either of my parents to come and collect it off him (he only lives a 5 minute walk away), and as though he wanted to come round and drop it off personally. I didn’t respond to his message or call.

    Two days later, on the day of the concert, he called me up and I answered. He asked me what was happening tonight and where I was. I told him I was already at the concert venue. He said he would make his way to the train station. He texted me asking where I would be and where we were meeting. I said that I thought we had agreed to go separately, but he thought I had meant that we travel there separately and meet at the venue :S He said he wasn’t planning on going if I didn’t want to see him and asked me if I wanted him to board the train. I said that it was up to him, but we wouldn’t be seeing each other that night if he did come to the concert as it didn’t feel like the right time or place. He said he wasn’t coming and that we would catch up soon.

    Four days later, I sent him a message on Facebook explaining how I had been working on my problems of not feeling wanted and my issues with trust/ feeling like a burden. I wasn’t expecting a reply and I told him in the message that I wasn’t trying to get us back together by sending that message. I explained that I had no desire to play games in the future and that I loved and respected my body and would NEVER let someone abuse it again. He replied saying he was happy for me and glad to hear I was doing well, and he said ‘you have an awful lot to offer.’ We spoke for about an hour and then he he had to go because he was meeting his friend at the pub. I asked ‘catch up sometime soon? X’ and he replied with ‘perhaps tomorrow? I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and if I feel comfortable’. I told him ‘ok, that’s fine, have a wonderful evening’ and he said ‘thank you, you too’. Three hours later I got a phone call off him saying he was on a bench near where we live and was thinking about me. He asked me to come and meet him there. We were very friendly and slightly flirty with each other on the phone and spoke for about 5 minutes. I went to meet him; he had had a few drinks and was high. He told me he had been drinking and getting high every night for the past week (although he has a 9-5 job), which I thought was unusual and unlike him, but I didn’t say anything. When I got there, we hugged and he held me close and didn’t want to let go. He told his hand in mine and said he wanted to take me somewhere new. We went to lie down on the grass in a field, and we hugged and kissed and just lay there together. We didn’t talk about the break-up at all and it was like the first time we ever met. It was magical, we were laughing and cuddling and just talking and spending time together. He started getting turned on by lying next to me and feeling my body, he said his body was screaming for me but he couldn’t have sex with me. I said I didn’t want to either until the emotional foundations and trust were re-built. At the end of the night, I walked him home and then went home.

    Under the impression that we were starting anew, I messaged him the next day and asked if he wanted to do something with me. I was being bold and showing him I had changed and wasn’t afraid to initiate contact with him anymore. I felt positive, optimistic and determined to put things right. He asked if I would like to go for a coffee. He came to pick me up and we went for a coffee. When we got there, he said he couldn’t stop thinking about me last night. I said ‘me neither’. We were holding hands across the table and his palms were sweaty. I asked why, he said he was ‘nervous in both a good and a bad way’. I asked him what the bad nerves were about and he said because he wasn’t sure he should be there with me drinking coffee because he doesn’t know what he wants.

    I explained that I would like to try rebuilding our trust and just going out having fun together, I didn’t want to rush into anything, I wanted to take things very slow. He said he couldn’t be in a relationship just now but he was ok with being friends. I explained that I now understood why I made those mistakes in our past relationship and that I had learned from them. I had really identified my core values and knew what I wanted in a relationship and what I had to give now. I said that if I were to have another shot at it, there were several things I would do differently this time. I never wanted to hurt him or myself ever again and knew better than to trust boys who wanted to ‘meet-up’. I apologised and said that I had been naive and foolish.

    He said that there are times when he really wants to be with me but times when he doesn’t want to get involved in ‘us’ again because of the past relationship. He doesn’t know if he should be with me or be grateful for the times we had together and move on. He said he was a little afraid of me. He said he needed some space, and I agreed and said ‘I will give you your time and space, I need some time too to undergo more self-evaluation and self-improvement. I am not going to force you into anything at all.’

    At first I agreed to being friends. Once we had pulled up back at my house, I told him that I couldn’t keep hanging around in the hope that he would want me again, and that I needed to move on. He said ‘what, with someone else?’ and I replied ‘I don’t know, I can’t predict the future but I do need to get over our relationship. You really have lost me. I didn’t want you to lose me but I have no option.’ He started crying and said ‘I didn’t think I would ever have to lose you.’ I told him that if he decided he wanted me, whenever that may be, he knows where I am and he has my number. He told me to ‘keep shining’, I said ‘I will, it would make you proud.’ I told him that this was the hardest thing I had ever had to do, and he said ‘this is horrible’ as he was sobbing. I said that he was an incredible man and thanked him or giving me the best 19 months of my life. He replied ‘it’s been one hell of a ride’, smiling as he said so. He said ‘thank you for being you, you’re an incredible woman.’ I told him that I want to spend the rest of my life with him, but only if he wants to spend it with me too. I told him that I wouldn’t contact him and would give him time and space to think. He said ‘I love you *my full name*’ and I said it back to him. We kissed passionately then hugged, then I let go of his hand. I saw tears streaming down his face and wiped them away and said ‘don’t be upset, be positive and have faith.’ I got out of his car and went into my house.

    I love this man and am deeply in love with him. I honestly think we belong together and are soulmates. I have met many men, but this one is different and I trust my intuition. I want him back more than anything, but I want him to chase me and beg for me back. I want to do no contact for 6-8 weeks and see what happens (if anything). I want to know if I have done the right thing by walking away in the hope he will realise he has lost me and realise how special what we had was. I am working on myself and I want to better myself for my own sake. I am very confident, strong and independent, but I think about him everyday and wonder if he will ever regret losing me/breaking up with me, and if I will ever hear from him again…

    It’s been 3 days of no contact so far. What should I do in my situation? Has me walking away made him see me in a better light? Thank you ever so much for your help!!

    1. Avatar

      Soph

      November 1, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Will no contact help fade the negative emotions associated with the end of the relationship? How long should I do no contact for in my situation, and should I wait for him to contact me after NC or should I contact him first?

    2. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 2, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      the space can help but it’s actually your improvements during and after nc that really helps a lot.. you should try at least 45 days and yes you can initiate contact after..

    3. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      November 1, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Soph,

      Let’s hope he does but it’s always a battle of standards. If he loves you, and he knows he has to change for the better he will but sometimes, even if he loves, if it’s really breaking his core values or non negotiables, he will not change. And you should think the same, make your non negotiables, so the right guy will stay..

  20. Avatar

    Michelle

    October 18, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I have been with boyfriend for 1 and a half years. During this time my boyfriend has been going through a divorce with ex wife (who cheated on him and is now living with someone else), he had a heart attach (when I was with him), and his mother died (who was terminally ill), 2 weeks later. His job has been on the line. Also suffers with excess weight, which has affected his sleeping patterns. So overall a high degree of stress overall.
    Despite this I felt our relationship was good. He had said I was a calm in a storm. And was always very affectionate when we were together, although a bit distant in company. I spent a lot of time with him socialising with his circle of friends and stayed over at his usually 3 or 4 times a week.
    He recently has broken up by email with me, saying that he can’t give me the attention I deserve and can’t commit to a relationship at this time. He has thanked me for all the support and love I have given him, but I deserve better, and that he is sorry to do this to me.
    I emailed back saying that just because he was going through all of these problems it wasn’t a reason to be breaking up. Also that it was up to me to decide what he was giving me in a relationship or not.
    Also wrote how I felt about him and asked to meet up in a few days and really talk.
    He emailed back 2 days later saying that my response overwhelmed him but also made him feel touched. Said he can’t commit to a relationship and needed space to sort his head out. To respect his space and that he would be ok.
    I went to his house 3 days later and he told me what had been going on (much of which I knew about). I told him I didnt want to break up, and he said to give him a couple of weeks to get things sorted.
    Now Im thinking that he is just going to tell me the same thing in a couple of weeks. He knows what he has with me. He has told me he loved me before, and also asked what do we do? Do we sell the house and buy a place together? Last year he emailed me all of his finances and also emails between his and ex wifes solicitors keeping me in the loop on things. Also that perhaps one day we could live together.
    I feel he is scared of committing. Im not sure its to do with the relationship. I have never pressured him, although we both agreed to take things slowly. I have told him I would like to settle down with him though.
    I am now giving him space. What should I do for the best, and whats my chances. I love him in a profound way.
    Thanks.

    1. Avatar

      Michelle

      October 20, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Thanks for your response Amor.
      I am giving him space for now (no contact), but do you think I have a chance of getting him back? I can be patient, even though its so hard.
      What if he calls me in a couple of weeks which he said? It would be 14 days since Ive given him space? Would I be best to do NC from there or speak to him. Im worried that he is still feeling negative and says that its over then, with the pressure of everything he is going through.
      Thanks very much

    2. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      October 21, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      nope..that would mean you have to ignore that call.. Yeah, I do think you have a chance..juat let him do this on his own for now

    3. Avatar

      Michelle

      October 19, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Further to this, its his birthday at the end of October. While he has said he will call me in a couple of weeks, I think he was flustered at the time, and was just fobbing me off. Couple of weeks is his birthday weekend.
      Im thinking of no contact now (and this is day 4). I was planning on not contacting him on his birthday as part of no contact, but am just wondering what I should do if he contacts me in a couple of weeks like he said he would. Part of me is scared that he is going to say thats it over again. I think he is breaking up with me to prevent himself from being hurt. Either that or does he still have feelings for his ex wife. Going through a divorce settlement now. He says he hates her and wants her out of his life? But does he really…
      Any advise would be really gratefully appreciated. Thanks x

    4. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      October 19, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      You have to give him space.. as he said, let him sort his problems out. I think he chose to fix his life first, to focus on it instead of trying to maintain a relationship while trying to go through a divorce and trying to cope with grief..

      Yes, it hurts because it looks like you’re not a priority but if you think about it, he could have chosen a different approach.. He could have just used you as an emotional crutch or somebody to dump his negative emotions on..but he didnt do that.. he chose to handle this like a man..

      but if he is still in love with his ex, then this is still a blessing in disguise with you, because would you want to be in situation that he’s keeping you as back up or his girl on the side..no, right?

      or maybe you’re thinking that why can’t he just let you be there as his confidant in all of this? Like a wife? honestly that’s hard because he’s just feeling overwhelmed right now, more likely keeping you as a confidant means you’re going to be his venting go-to person..

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