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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Ive been going through a break up with my girlfriend, she

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I've been going through a break up with my girlfriend, she dumped me a month ago after 2 and a half years. It was a shock, to say the least, but after thinking back over the relationship and talking it through with a counsellor I've come to the conclusion that I acted in a codependent fashion and smothered the love we had for each other through controlling behaviour and passive aggressiveness. No wonder she wanted out!

I've been doing a lot of work on myself over the last month, and I'm at a point where I'm feeling positive again and like I don't need my ex back in my life (getting some female attention when I've gone out on the town after losing weight helped too!). I still thought it would be nice though, she's a wonderful person with whom I have such a lot in common. She had said she wanted to be friends, so I reached out and reestablished contact. I won't lie, there was a big part of me that hoped this would be some baby steps on the road to reconciliation, but I was fine with however things turned out. I just didn't want to burn bridges because of how fond I still was of her. We met for coffee and had a great time, really getting along well like we used to. She had degree results coming out the next day, so the next morning I emailed her saying I'd had a great time the previous day and wishing her luck. I'm pretty sure I was nothing but upbeat and affectionate the whole time.

A couple of days later she contacted me saying she'd felt uncomfortable, like I wanted to be back in a relationship with her but that friendship was all she intended and all she had to offer. I suggested meeting for a chat (so I could explain I was ok with whatever but keeping an open mind), to which she agreed, but then when we set a time later in the day she backtracked and said she felt like it was too soon to be meeting up, that it would be nice to friends in time but that we shouldn't see each other at all for a few months. She said she'd be back in touch as and when and we could go from there.

So, I'm not sure what to do! I feel like I should respect her wishes and just let things be for a while, but I feel like that might kill off any chances at reconciliation down the line (which would be a shame - not the end of the world, but a shame) because of "out of sight, out of mind". But the mixed messages have me confused. Does she still want to be friends? Does the erratic behaviour mean she still cares? Should I try to stay in touch with her a bit despite her insistence that she'll be back in touch with me when she feels ready?

Anyway, I could use some advice and some other people's views on what might be going through her head! Thanks in advance,

Confused of Britain
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

Your former girlfriend may have some mixed emotions, but there are a lot more negatives in the mix than positives. She really has a very strong image of how you were (and although you have learned a great deal about yourself, you are still the same person to you and she will react to you that way).

While you are awaiting the reconciliation that may never come, continue to go out on the town, meet new women and experience that comfort and joy. That is the healthiest thing that you can do for yourself.

Your ex knows that she can have you whenever she wants you. She is just not interested and may never be interested again. She may just be meeting you for chats because she is kindhearted and feels bad about dumping you, but remember that she DID dump you and has not taken you back.

Keep your options open, but don't settle for the mere possibility that she might change her mind. It is more likely than not, that you will not get back with her. She also experienced emotional turmoil in the breakup and doesn't want to go through that again, and so is reluctant to take another chance.

Enjoy your life and see what comes along. That is the best prescription for enjoying your life. Practice what you have learned, and one way or the other, you will find someone that you care about and who cares about you.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dear Elliot,

Thank you for your reply. I do feel like I've learned a great deal about myself and the kinds of behaviours that have sabotaged my previous relationships. I'm not so naive to think that I will not meet anyone else, and I'm doing my best to do what you suggest and meet new people.

I just feel like I'm making a lot of personal progress and that, were she to be aware of it, it might change her opinion of me. The trouble is, I'm not sure how I'd get an opportunity to show her changes, or even apologise for the mistakes I made with us, if we're not even in touch in some manner. It seems like giving up to just let it all go, especially when I can begin to see that, with continual work on my self destructive behaviours, things could be different.

I wouldn't want to control or force anything, as this is inevitably going to be quite a long and very personal journey for me. I'm just not sure how things could ever get better between us further down the road without us even having opportunities for interaction.

So, are you sure that "wait and see" is really the best thing to do here? It just feels like giving up on something that mattered to us both an awful lot for a long time. Should I not make some effort to stay in touch even if she resists?
Dear friend,

You make a convincing argument. Based on your persuasive and intelligent writing style, I would urge you to keep contact with her by mail. I would use snail mail rather than email, at least to start, so that she has something personally from you in her hands. Allow her to respond by email (since it is so hard to motivate people to use the old-fashioned postal service for personal communication).

Keep your connection in this manner. You have convinced me that it IS in your best interest to keep the relationship going.

If will also be a lot safer for her to do it this way. She must change her THINKING about you before she changes her EMOTIONS. This is the ideal way to promote that change, and I certainly wish you the best in your endeavor.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
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