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How do I win back my ex whose heart I broke?

Published on February 1, 2011 by jlb310

My ex-boyfriend and I were together for 3 years, beginning in college and extending 2 years outside of graduation. We were very deeply in love and serious about being together forever; he had an engagement ring fund for me and we often discussed getting married. I moved across the country after college leaving him on the East Coast, but then I moved back when the distance became too much for us. We were still long distance when I moved back -me in Boston, him in New York, but we were close enough to see each other every weekend. Then one weekend he told me that he wanted to move to Boston and move in with me, and I got cold feet. My entire life revolved around him to the point where I didn't have a life of my own, and I wasn't comfortable with him moving in and neither of us having anyone or anything else going on besides each other. So I told him I needed a break.


I explained that I needed some space to be single and build my own life in Boston so that when he did eventually move in with me, I could have a life to share with him. I originally said that it would last a few months... but it wound up lasting 10. He has been texting me and telling me that he loved me regularly and I had been hesitant to respond not wanting to lead him on as I wasn't ready yet... until the beginning of January when I finally realized that I still loved him and told him I wanted to get back together. When he expressed hesitance, I pushed him and he backed further away. He has been seeing other people, but he promised me multiple times that he doesn't care about any of them and he just wants to be single and date several girls. His friends has corroborated that for me as well. They say that he is just blowing off steam and will come back... but I'm worried. I saw him last weekend -he took me to dinner and we wound up sleeping together, twice. Once drunk, but then once sober. He held me all night and told me that he never wanted to leave me again. Then, on my bus back to Boston, he texted me that he needed space and couldn't see or talk to me anymore. I know it's because his feelings came back and he is not ready to commit to me right now, and he can't date other girls if he's thinking about me... So, how do I respect that without disappearing so that when he is ready he comes back to me and doesn't run off to someone else who he can control and knows won't hurt him?


I love him so much and I don't want to lose him.


sounds like a really complex situation. this hot/cold, committed but not committed behavior would drive me nuts.

i feel like it was over once you left and were apart from one another for 10 months. this was a decision you made because you knew you had to do that for yourself in order to find yourself and build a life of your own? did you really do this while you were apart or did you sort of let the time pass until you missed him and came crawling back?

if someone says they need space and cant see or talk to you anymore, its likely that they're doing that in order to let the feelings decay so they can get over you and move on with your life. i feel like you would be digging yourself into a hole by waiting around for him to come back. you have already dragged this out for 10 months while you were apart and it has caused nothing but complexity, confusion, stress and drama for both of you.

my advice would be to let it go and move on with your life. he has clearly expressed that hes just looking to be single and date several girls at a time, not to be committed to a long term relationship with you. it may have felt good while he was with you once he said all those things but when he left, the emotions passed and he was back to his single mindstate.

of course, this is just my opinion as a guy. feel free to wait around for him to come back to you if you want, i just believe that if he really wanted to be with you like he said all those moments, he would jump at the opportunity to have you back for good and not play games with you. you deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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Did you ever hear the expression "If you love someone set them free, if they come back to you they're yours, if not they never were"? If your boyfriend is saying he can't commit to you, thank him for his honesty (many guys would just fool around behind your back) and move on with your life. You might want to reconsider if you want to continue seeing/talking to him b/c every time you do u will reopen your emotional scars. The fact that he slept with you and told you that he still can't commit is saying that for right now he doesn't want to be ina relationship with you (for whatever his reasons are). You can not control the future and your relationship is going to go in one of two ways (together or apart). So, for right now it might be best to sit back & let things play out while you live your life. If he comes back, it was meant to be, if not it wasn't. It's that simple.

This is not a distance problem.

You are going to have to decide what YOU want. You don't want to lose him, but do you want to be with him, for good? If the answer is 'yes' and you are fully ready to commit yourself, then you have to communicate that to him. The geograpghic distance can be bridged -- or eliminated -- but only if both of you are willing and ready to take the next step.

He may be protecting himself from what he sees as your ambivalence (and let's face it, you HAVE been ambivalent, up to now). As much as you can, you have to make it safe for him to commit to you. And if he wants that, he will respond in kind.

And if not -- not. You will be sad and sorry -- and you will move on.

First of all, I'm sorry you hurt - I know your situation is so painful. I would write him a letter, not too gushy, using a light tone. Tell him that you are ready to commit to him, but since he respected your need for space, you will respect his. Let him know nicely that you will continue the life that you lead now but are open to reconciliation after he's had his fill of sowing his wild oats. You might suggest a time for him to call or text you just to touch base on where you both are - maybe three months from now. That's long enough not to crowd him. DO NOT talk about how bad you are hurting, but you can state that you miss him in your life. Send the letter, then go about and life your life. Date if you want, continue what you have been doing. DO NOT talk to his friends any more about him. If they bring it up, simply tell them that your boyfriend knows how you feel and that you hope everything turns out for the best. I know you want information, but the best thing here is to avoid saying anything that will get back to your boyfriend. He may feel pressured if you are quizzing his friends. Don't text, don't call, don't send cards or more letters. I think two things are at play here - his fear of being hurt again and his new social life. Like another person said below, if he really loves you, he will come back. But you have to face the fact that he may not. That hurts, I know, but you've lived without him for almost a year now -- you'll hurt for awhile and then you'll go on to meet the right guy.You sound like an intelligent and independent young lady - I'm sure you wont have any trouble :) This is just my opinion...hope it helps some. Good luck!

"I explained that I needed some space to be single and build my own life" If the role was reversed and that was said to you what would you have done? I know I what I would have done, the same thing he did or is doing now... It stings like a bee when you find out that all is not gold that giltters. My advice, leave it alone if he does still love you as he said while you two were "re-connecting" than he will come around. But don't wait with hopes and dreams, you already told him how you feel, he knows this. So do your thing, live your life and don't look back. You'll drive yourself crazy if you keep playing it over and over. Good luck!