Ask Lisa! Was dumping my boyfriend a mistake?

March 24, 2009

Lisa Daily Advice For DatingDear Lisa,

I broke up with my boyfriend back in January. I was going through a lot of personal problems and he was working a lot. We lived almost 1,000 miles apart. I felt like he didn’t care anymore and thought I’d dump him before he dumped me.

The thing is, I don’t know why I thought breaking up was the answer because I didn’t believe it as I was saying it. We decided to be friends and stay in touch. This worked for a while until he started acting like he wanted to be back together. He’d want to know why I hadn’t called him in so long, saying what we’d do when we saw each other next, sending me text messages and saying he missed me.

One day I told him to make a choice because I was tired of playing games. He blew up at me and had said I was the one playing games. We decided not to speak and didn’t talk for three months. I finally broke down and called him. We talked for a while and things seemed okay. Everything was fine until I mentioned I was a few hours away and if he wanted to meet up later in the week. He was quiet and said he’d call me back. He called the next day with some information he’d promised and to say that he was too busy working and it wasn’t a good idea for me to come.

Now, I don’t know what to make of his behavior. Is he dating someone else, does he not care about me at all anymore, is he still upset with me? It seems the more I try to move on the harder it is. I still love him a lot and can’t imagine being with anyone else. I’m ashamed he’s probably moved on and I’m still pining away. What do I do?

Hung Up in Dixie

Dear Dixie,

It’s a horrible feeling to break up with someone and then realize you’ve made a mistake. It’s like pushing your car off a cliff and then remembering you’ve left your purse in the back seat.

You broke up with this guy to pre-empt him breaking up with you, then you realized you didn’t really want to break up, and when he gave you signs he wanted to get back together you accused him of playing games. Then you argued, stopped talking and now he’s avoiding seeing you again. All you need now are some evil twins, a love child and a family fortune and you’d have an episode of The Young and The Restless.

Obviously, you’re missing him, but it seems that he’s moved on. And this, although it’s distressing to you, is understandable because you did, after all, break up with him. The fact that he’s not interested in seeing you again says that he’s either a) not willing to go down that twisty, confusing relationship road with you again or b) he’s moved on and is dating someone new. Let him go and move on with your life.

Clearly you’re hurt and confused. We all tend to romanticize relationships once they’re over, but you have to remember that before this whole emotional roller coaster took off you were feeling like you had to dump or be dumped. Not exactly an advertisement for a secure, wonderful, happy relationship. I think you’re having trouble moving on because you’re glossing over what was, instead of seeing it as the problematic, insecurity-producing, long-distance relationship that it was. Here’s what I want you to do: 1) Consider this your official break-up and start moving forward, and 2) make a list of all the problems in the relationship, all the big and little things you’re not going to miss. (Bodily noises, dirty gym socks and jealousy included.) It will help you focus on the fact that the relationship was far from perfect, and you’re probably better off now that it’s over.

Hang in there, girl. You’ll make it through.


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Was Dumping My Boyfriend a Mistake by Lisa Daily (c) Copyright 2001-2013 by Lisa Daily. All Rights Reserved.

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