Small Life, Slow Life: How I Got My Ex Back. (Seriously.)


I let him go.


I know too well what it’s like to be nursing a broken heart, thinking I’d do anything to get back with my former flame. I’ve thought of every tactic out there. Lonely months went by and I slimmed down to a ghostly version of my former, happy self.

I alienated my friends because the breakup was all I could talk about. “But he was The One!” I said to them, over and over.

My work performance suffered because I couldn’t stop the toxic spewing of negative crap from my mouth. I barely slept and became really destructive.

I told myself the myth that if he just came back to me, my whole life would be fixed.

Yeah. That didn’t happen.

Heart on fire, ashes everywhere
— there’s no return from a red like that.


It took a long time to give up on him and realize that I was facing my life alone. But after so much misery and thinking I’d never be happy again, it dawned on me that the worst had already happened, and there was nothing else to lose.

Weirdly, there was a kind of freedom in that thought. It was a clean slate.

I realized I’d totally abandoned myself, and I decided to reclaim my life.


It was during an anti-gravity yoga class that I rocked in Savasana and saw C’s face float in front of my eyes. I looked at it for a long time and softly said “Goodbye.”

Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.

So I moved on. I did what they all tell you to do – I spent time with friends, I took up hobbies, I learned to enjoy taking up the whole bed as I slept alone. I spent mornings drinking coffee on my new balcony (instead of bemoaning that I’d had to get a new apartment by myself at age 31 when I thought I was going to be married by then). I exercised and cooked healthy foods for myself.

I tried things I would have never done before. I applied to speak at Beyond Luon. I learned to make kombucha. Eventually, I dated someone else. It took time, but I came back to life and reclaimed my life as my own.

And then, there he was.

After fully letting him go, finally accepting we were over, there he was. All the shit they said in the books was true. (Dammit.)

Because you know what really works, in breakups and with anything else you want desperately?

Giving up.


Letting go.

Being at peace with the fact that the way you planned out your life flat-out failed.

And then, you know what happens?

That thing you desperately wanted comes and lands on your shoulder with total ease, like a happy little bird.

(And if it doesn’t, it wasn’t yours to begin with.)

We cannot lose what really belongs to us, even if we throw it away. Therefore we need have no anxiety.

So let it go. Stop thinking if you lose the weight, dress sexier, text him/her at 2am, that’ll work out. You’re missing the entire point.

As much as you can’t believe it, that person doesn’t even matter. You can be happy with someone else, eventually. And you can be very happy alone.

You are the one who matters.

Let nothing stand in the way of the happiness available to you at this exact moment.

Then go live your life and be prepared to be amazed.


EDIT | June 2, 2015:  This blog is so very often misinterpreted. So before you email me with your entire history with your ex, please read this first: Small Life, Slow Life: I Honestly Don’t Care If You Get Your Ex Back.

As many of you know, C is no longer “my ex.” We reunited in April of 2013, got engaged that September, and were married in August, 2014. :)

I had no idea when I wrote this post that it would create such an outpouring of love and questions from you readers. I am amazed everyday by all of you who so bravely and vulnerably share your stories with me here.

The comments per day keep growing, and sometimes it’s hard for me to keep up it is impossible to keep up!

Please know that while I may not answer your specific comment in a timely fashion (I work full-time and am married!), that I still encourage you to share. Someone may read your comment and relate to you. It may create the healing that they need.

I am honored that this little corner on the internet has been able to provide some healing for you. And I’m sorry if I’m unable to answer your specific question. My first piece of advice is to read all the comments written back and forth before yours — you may find the answer you need in there.

If any part of you believes in the law of attraction, I also recommend reading this and regularly reading these. Both helped me immensely during my breakup.

I wish you quick and full healing.

I am so thankful to you. Love, Jen

401 thoughts on “Small Life, Slow Life: How I Got My Ex Back. (Seriously.)

  1. ETA, anybody reading this might go, he was so cheating on you, he wasn’t, the event was actually a work thing at his place of work, I live in a third world country with Internet access at exorbitant prices, his place of work has free WiFi. He works a full day shift once a week, so he doesn’t have to work the next day, I’ve followed him to his night shift many times to use the free WiFi and keep him company. Now instead of coming back after his shift, he just continued working the next day even tho he didn’t have to.

  2. Hello Jen..what a relief to find your site..I read your recent post so I will not give you a detailed history of my ex and I..let’s just say that I pretty much have been in denial for a year and a half, chasing under friendship pretenses, accepting hot/cold behavior, on/off contact and yes casual intimacy (although that only happened twice this year)….However the much awaited the “snap” moment occurred when he told me two weeks ago he was seeing someone. The funny thing is I don’t feel in my gut its true. I think he said that to put things on hold and take some distance but it just occurred to me how incredibly low I’ve stooped to get him back. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great guy and has always been caring and honest about not wanting to get back together by fear of leading me on but I deliberately chose to read “mixed signals” and cling to hope. I do think he still harbors feelings for me but my accepting attitude has done a lot of damage and I am not sure it is salvageable. He has been taking me for granted and I am mostly angry with myself for treating myself with such little regard and pushing down my needs.
    Anyway I reacted very well..told him this moment was expected and that if he was happy so was I, I wished him well and told him I hoped sometime down the line we could manage a friendship and we hung up. Naturally I cried my eyes out afterwards but I also felt a surprising feeling of relief which I attributed to closure.
    I am moving on, trying to gain my self-esteem and life back. I’m 30 and I’ve wasted too much time on hope. I feel sorry for myself but I am adamant on being positive and pushing through. Naturally I do think of him but I do not wish to contact him and In my mind I have let him go…whether or not he will come back doesn’t matter anymore because I am not even sure we can undo what has been done…it would take a lot of time and at this point it seems easier to start with someone new…just wanted to say that reading all your posts and comments filled me with certainty and positive vibes…I only wish I had come across this sooner. Then maybe things could have turned out better. Nevertheless its all about learning and growing pains are part of the path to happiness!

    much love xoxox

    • Hi Karla!

      You have several things going for you here — that you reacted well to his news (news which may or may not — but probably was not — true) and you’ve stayed away without contact. If only everyone who wrote to me did that part as well as you have.

      Forgive yourself for holding on as long as you did…if I’d had the opportunity during my breakup to hold on for that long, I ABSOLUTELY would have. The intimacy would have given me hope…the pseudo friendship would have given me hope…all of it would have. So forgive yourself right now and please know that it’s not unsalvageable…it’s NEVER unsalvageable. But you are right in that at this point, you have to shift your focus off of him and onto you. And I think my most sincere advice to you would just be to hold the word “possibility” in your heart, and by that I mean…yes, you are 30; yes, you’ve been deeply hurt and it FEELS like there’s a long road of healing ahead of you; yet I think you should continue to believe that your healing, which can be much quicker than you imagine, is totally POSSIBLE, and it’s also a huge possibility that big love is right around the corner for you past that healing.

      C and I broke up when I was 30. I wanted a marriage and kids desperately, and I drove him away with trying to force him into it. I felt like such a failure that I had to begin all over again at 30 and I spent so long beating myself up about it. I thought no one would want me. I was working in the entry-level position in the company of my dreams when, I thought, I should have been at the top of the totem pole. I had to move in with my parents for a while after the breakup because I had no money saved and nowhere to go. Eventually, I moved into a tiny studio apartment by myself and even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, something about having my own space was very freeing…even though I told myself that I was too old to live alone.

      As time went on, I had to face the facts that, like it or not, I was 30 and alone. And then I really began to focus on my healing and happiness, and the feeling of possibility rose up inside of me. Wasn’t it still possible that I could fall deeply in love? Wasn’t it still possible that marriage and kids and happiness were on the table for me? I believed it was possible, and believing in that was the best thing I ever did.

      I work in a place where we believe a lot in vision + goals (I need to write more about this in a future blog). Anyway, we all have our ten year visions + goals posted in the back at work. I updated my goals to say that by December of the year after the breakup, I would be engaged to be married. Two guys I worked with at the time said, “Hey, you can’t put that on your goals.” “Why not?!” I asked. “Because you can’t control falling in love,” one of them said, “you can’t manifest that.” I remember smiling and saying, “You’re wrong. I CAN manifest that, and the only reason that’s stopping me from manifesting it right this second is how sad I’ve been feeling. But by December 2013, I will be engaged…just you watch.” Long story short…C came back in February of 2013…we got back together in April, and were engaged by September. I was three months early in how fast it manifested. :) Our one year wedding anniversary just passed. :)

      So that’s my advice to you, Karla. Believe deeply that you can heal. Believe it’s possible that, at age 30, there is SO MUCH MORE left for you to experience and feel. Believe that you didn’t waste ANY time…choose instead to believe that every mistake and every heartache was taking you exactly where you want to go, and that it all happened exactly how it was supposed to. Because it did! And you will see new gardens blooming before your eyes where before there were only wastelands. Believe that your ex will realize his mistake in casting you aside, and that YOU will have the choice of whether you want to forgive him, or choose a new love with someone suited for you…because that will happen too. It will be up to you, this I promise you. Fortune favors the ones who have been wounded deeply. Where once you only fed on scraps, a whole feast will be presented to you. I promise.

      Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
      Just keep going. No feeling is final.

      first, the hardship
      must break you –
      and then,
      it will make you.

      Be well, and make sure you write that word “possibility” down somewhere you can see it. Keep me updated. <3 xoxo

      • Dear Jen…your words truly moved me and went straight to my heart. I cannot express how grateful I am for you taking the time to write this down for me. I have written possibility on my bathroom mirror :) I made a promise to myself to read your heartwarming reply whenever I feel in doubt.

        Thank you for paying it forward like you do, I wish you only the best on you journey. the world needs more beautiful souls like yours.

        will definitely stay in touch <3 xoxoxoxo

  3. Hi Jen,
    I love how honestly and openly you talk about manifestation and the power we all have inside of us.
    My boyfriend left me about two months ago but has reached out about once every week to two weeks with casual questions/statements and I’ve always responded with respect and a friendly but reserved manner.
    Since the breakup I have been VERY attuned to signs, particularly repeating numbers (222 and 555 specifically.) Even a friend has pointed out that repeating 2s seem to follow me everywhere.
    I know I am a powerful manifester and I know I am on a right track and using both my intuition and guidance from the universe to create a second chance. I also think finding your blog and being able to connect with a like-minded gal was also part of the process.
    Here’s to staying strong and recognizing the true potential of our power to create the life we want.

    • Thank you! ^_^

      I also saw lots of signs when C and I were apart…usually his name (it’s a rare name too), or crows (his favorite animal). Once on Thanksgiving, a crow landed right in front of my car, forcing me to stop. It just stood there and stared at me for about ten seconds before flying away. My heart was pounding so hard — I had been so miserable and was totally in a fog. “Show me there’s something for me beyond this sadness,” was what I’d been thinking the whole morning. Then the crow. So weird!

      What’s funny is that my husband believes in NONE of that stuff. He’s an atheist and very science-brained. I don’t think you have to believe in LOA or manifesting to heal yourself and attain what you want the most. So whatever works for you is fine with me. :) My husband explains signs as coincidences our brain was already searching for to affirm what we want. That works for me too. (But tell that to the crow who made me slam on the breaks when I was the most miserable!)

      • Thanks Jen!
        I just noticed you replied at 2:22pm. There really is no such thing as coincidence ☺️

      • Did you take seeing the crow as a sign you would get back together with C or that he would make his way back into your life (whether as a husband or simply a friend)? Interestingly, I saw my ex boyfriend driving in car twice- both during times when I wouldn’t normally be driving. (I got out of work early the first time and was coming home from meeting a friend the second time) However, during these times, I was still desperately trying to get him back and even followed one of those “Ex Boyfriend Recovery Programs.” After deciding to let go, I was having a low day. I suggested going out to eat with my family (something we used to do often, but haven’t been doing lately). I was looking out of the opposite window of the car and happened to turned my head to look out my window and I saw my ex’s sister’s boyfriend turning onto the road where we were stopped at a red light CLEAR AS DAY. What are the freaking odds? He was literally driving by, so the odds were even slimmer than if he was at the red light too.

        What should I make of these signs? Do you think they are simply coincidences or are they somehow supposed to comfort me?

  4. Thanks for this blog. I have been going through turmoil the past 3 months after my boyfriend left out beautiful loving relationship of 3 years. A few weeks later he moved all of his things out of our house and has been sofa surfing since he left that day. In a week I have to leave our home as the rental contract is up. It’s been very hard being there without him and I’m going to be staying with a friend for a couple of months before I go away for 3 weeks in November.

    Since he went I have only called him once and that was last week, we have only seen each other a handful of times to sort house and car things and briefly. I hadn’t been angry with him but let him go despite my devastation. I have given him a lot of space. The phone call culminated in an hour long very emotional talk, we were supposed to meet up and then he text me saying he needed to go his separate way and move on and I did too and we shouldn’t meet. He was sorry he had led me on and he had loved me but he wasn’t in love with me anymore. (I think that’s the biggest hollywood cliche)

    I told him he was a coward and a few days later he text telling me I was right and could we meet to say Goodbye. It was extremely difficult and sad and he cried the whole time but I think that was out of guilt for totally destroying my heart. He said he missed me but those feelings were not there anymore. I don’t get it, nothing has changed for me. I told him I had deleted him off facebook to try to make things a little easier as I had said on the phone we couldn’t be friends, he said he totally understood that. He wrote me a long letter saying he had learnt so much from me and cherished our time, how he cares deeply for me but now he has to go on on his own.

    We said goodbye and 2 days later I realised he has blocked me on facebook, which feels very hurtful and unnecessary, it wipes all evidence of that person from your profile and them off yours. I am trying very hard but I feel I can’t cope. I thought this was it for the rest of my life with my best friend and love, the man God gave me. He thought all those things too and talked about our future, suddenly saying now he doesn’t see one with me anymore, despite how amazing a person he says i am (don’t need to hear that right now!)

    I am exhausted by all of this and by my sadness and constant overthinking and churning things over. I don’t want a life without him but it isn’t my choice anymore. My life is my life and I had one before him now I need to work on one without him again.

    Though I pray one days he grows and comes back. I have a hope that maybe in this time I will grow to be a better version of me and maybe then I might not even want him.

    Thanks for helping me have the tiniest moment of looking forward to being just me at 27 and to think about just me for a while.

    • Hi Anna,

      A couple of things.

      When someone says they love “but are not in love,” it usually means you gave away too much of your power in the relationship. It could also mean you stopped living your life and gave too much of your time. That phrase means that he looked at you and could imagine how your entire future would be, and it didn’t excite him. He could predict how 100 days would go, exactly. That’s a relationship killer for both men and women. It was the same when my ex left me the first time. This time I have really learned my lesson and I have my own very full life that is fun and separate from what we have together. He is the same. The good news about this scenario is that with some time apart with no contact, the person who feels like he just “isn’t in love” will get curious about you and reach out. If you’ve really done the work I’m suggesting that you do, you will be different to him and he will sense that about you. You will have regained your power which will immediately make things better between you. But if he reaches out and you’re still desperate for him and you’d go back into the same exact pattern you were in before, he’ll lose interest. So do the work. Work hard, face your pain, create a new life from the ashes and work on letting go.

      He blocked you from facebook because seeing you hurts him. Don’t be mad about that. Have compassion. It means he cares and right now seeing your pictures is too hard. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. Just the opposite.

      The sadness and overthinking are the worst. Trust me, I understand. But know that they can only last so long — no feeling is final. Even though it seems like it will go forever, it will fade. Happiness will return. I swear, I’ve been there. I am sending you love and comfort. It will be difficult but healing is on the way — it’s inevitable that you will feel better. And soon you will see why all of this happened the way that you did and you will — I swear — be grateful that it happened just this way.

      Heartbreak is the shittiest. But it makes us so much better people, and kinder, and it increases our ability to feel a deeper happiness like you wouldn’t believe.

      xo ❤️

    • Hi Anna,

      I’m reading your story and it reminds me so much of what I’m going through right now. I just want to share my sympathy with you I’m a guy and my ex girlfriend left me in June 2015. It’s going on four months of the break up now. We were together for 3 years too!

      My ex girlfriend told me that she “didn’t see a future with me”. She loved me but not “in love with me”. I loved this girl more than anything. We even spoke about marriage, kids, owning a business etc… One month before moving in together to start our life after medical residency, she broke the bad news to me. Now she lives 15 minutes from me. My ex told me that she internalizes a lot of her problems. She doesn’t want to even see me for coffee because she is still emotional and doesn’t want to visit “memory lane.”

      I was heartbroken Anna. Everyone tells me to move on. I have this bottomless pit feeling in my body everyday. I wake up sad and feeling awful. I pray every night and every morning that she will come back. I know how you feel. How can someone be your everything one moment, the love of your life, and lose all feelings in the end? I even got mad and even asked God, if love is the most powerful thing in the world, how come it can be taken away in a blink of an eye and why would HE ever let something like that happen?

      Jennifer Germain is right. We gave away too much of our power in the relationship and we had become too predictable. We have to go back to finding ourselves. I keep myself busy going to the gym, going out with friends, hanging out with my family, and I even talk to myself about my relationship until I was blue in the face. I still love my ex and if I had the chance, I would take her back.

      I do not want the same relationship again. For the past few months, I sat down and I wrote down all the things I would have done differently and I what I would change about myself to be a better and happier person if I got my ex back or for the next partner. I’ve learned so much about myself. Take this time and learn about yourself and try to have fun.

      Know that you have a person going through every similar feelings and heartbreaking emotions. Let me know if you want to talk or just have a person going through the same thing just hear you out when no one else wants to hear about it anymore. Take care my unknown friend. :)

  5. It’s been a week since I’ve contacted my ex girlfriend. We dated for over a year and I got really comfortable with her. She sufferes with deptession and I’ve tried everything to help her. It worked a little but nothing crazy changed . I love her and have been hard on her to be a better person and broke up with her. Then I wanted her back and she said she was doing better without me. I was awestruck and can’t believe that she didn’t want me anymore. I love her more than anything and don’t know what I’m going to do without her. what should I do to get her back? I was hard on her but it made her a better person, I don’t know what to do I can’t see my life without her.

  6. I’ll just cut to the chase. I stumbled upon your blog tonight, while specifically searching for another useful link that I had forgotten to bookmark.

    I’ve poured over dozens of Google searches. Didnt find it. But I found your blog, and read your story. And it is a great story! I hate reading all the nasty things about exes never come back, etc. I am using the law of attraction to change my life, and hopefully bring my ex back.

    And when I scrolled down your page I saw two links you created. I clicked on one, and it was a dead end. But…believe it or not, the other link is EXACTLY the site I was looking for this whole time. And when it opened up, all I could do was drop my jaw, then laugh. Thanks for your help, whoever you are. :)

  7. Hi Jen,
    Just writing to see if you had the chance to read my update comment. No rush and many thanks for taking the time to help people without expecting anything in return :)

  8. Hi Jen,
    your blog has been a great help for me. i broke up with my ex 3 months ago. now he’s with someone new, someone who he left me for. but the in the past two weeks he always told me that how much he loves me and would see us back together, but the problem is that he can’t leave the other woman because that would make him a bad guy. he told me to be patient and to live my life. everytime i feel myself moved on, he keeps coming back and when i actually accept him, he acts cold again. do you think he is just messing/playing game with me? i love him and really want him back but i dunno if all i do just to keep hurting myself more.

    • If he really loved you, he would care about not looking like a bad guy for what he’s done to YOU, not how he’s going to look to her.

      You’ve been demoted from “girlfriend” with him to “the other woman.” You’ve lost all your power. He will never come back to you like this. Sever all ties immediately! Do not let him have his cake and eat it too.

      Let go, cut off all contact. He’s not coming back anyway. Ignore him when he contacts you and move on with your life. If you cut off all contact for at least a few months, he will try to come back on his own anyway – but hopefully by then you won’t want this guy anymore by then. You deserve better. Get on with it.

  9. Hi Jen…

    Been a while since I’ve posted here but I don’t what to do.

    At the end of yet another beautiful weekend together, he collapse sobbing on my bedroom floor yesterday and told me that he couldn’t see himself marrying me and that we should go our separate ways. He say I had done everything right, that he loved me more than he’s ever loved anyone, that he thought we could be happy together, but that he had this “gut feeling” that we just weren’t the right ones for each other.

    I am physically sick to my stomach and just so numb.

    We had breakfast with my parents last weekend, were flying to his hometown for the long Labor Day weekend soon, going to a friend’s wedding the weekend after that, etc. We were so happy and (I thought) in love on Saturday, and on Sunday it all came crashing down out of no where. We had done the hard work, had the hard talks and were moving towards engagement and planning a life together and now this…

    I feel I’ve become the best version of myself and took this giant risk and did all this self-work only to be rejected and left alone again. I understand that for him to act this way there has to be some kind of gaping wound that I could never fix for him if he isn’t willing to look inward and fix it himself but I am CRUSHED. I was so happy. I was so proud at this new, beautiful relationship we had built from the wreckage of the old one.

    Last night I literally just lay in bed unable to sleep and praying for my heart to give out.

    Any words you have would be greatly appreciated. Time to move on.

    Thank you.

    ~ Mallory

    • Mallory,

      I’m so, so sorry.

      I just want to pause here for a moment. I know what you’re going through. Despair, repaired by hope and then smashed back into despair, is a blow it’s hard to come back from. I’m not taking what has happened here lightly. I imagine you aren’t either.

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said there’s a gaping wound inside of him that you (or anyone, or anything, else) can never hope to fill. I don’t know much about his past but there’s a self-loathing inside of him that no amount of love can fix…until he finally damages enough of the beautiful things in his life that he figures it out and begins the long process of healing himself.

      I don’t doubt that he loves you. But if that’s his gut feeling, you obviously have to honor it and thank God he did this now than after you were engaged, or, worse, after you were married. Just think of the irreparable damage he would have done if he’d left you when you were his wife, with his last name…or after you’d had children. As much as this hurts you, I would work on (from a distance) forgiving him and thanking him from sparing you from years of emotional pain.

      This will hurt. But it won’t hurt as much as last time. You will rebound more quickly than before. And you’ve been freed up to now to meet someone who DOES want all of the things you want, and who deeply understands your value and doesn’t have to second-guess about a future with you.

      This sadness won’t take as long to heal as you think. That doesn’t minimize the very REAL pain you’re experiencing right now.

      Face it, just like you did before. Allow it to consume you. And then let it, and him, go. Forever this time.

      As you are working through this pain, remember to keep telling yourself that this is about something damaged in your ex…not inside of you.

      Sending so much love. It will be okay. <3


  10. Hi Jen…

    Been a while since I’ve posted here but I don’t what to do.

    At the end of yet another beautiful weekend together, he collapsed sobbing on my bedroom floor yesterday and told me that he couldn’t see himself marrying me and that we should go our separate ways. He say I had done everything right, that he loved me more than he’s ever loved anyone, that he thought we could be happy together, but that he had this “gut feeling” that we just weren’t the right ones for each other.

    I am physically sick to my stomach and just so numb.

    We had breakfast with my parents last weekend, were flying to his hometown for the long Labor Day weekend soon, going to a friend’s wedding the weekend after that, etc. We were so happy and (I thought) in love on Saturday, and on Sunday it all came crashing out of no where. We had done the hard work, had the hard talks and were moving towards engagement and planning a life together and now this…

    I feel I’ve become the best version of myself and took this giant risk and did all this self-work only to be rejected and left alone again. I understand that for him to act this way there has to be some kind of gaping wound that I could never fix for him if he isn’t willing to look inward and fix it himself but I am CRUSHED. I was so happy. I was so proud of this new, beautiful relationship we had built from the wreckage of the old one.

    Last night I literally just lay in bed unable to sleep and praying for my heart to give out.

    Any words you have would be greatly appreciated. Time to move on. Thank you.

    ~ Mallory

    • Dear Mallory….when I read your comment I could not refrain from replying.
      I imagine how much pain you must be feeling at the moment. It is so hard to be disappointed by those we love once let alone twice.
      But I have to tell you something you are already coming out of this a stronger and better person. You chose to give him a second chance after he broke you heart..that shows immense courage and strength. Being able to cast pain aside and hope for a better outcome is a huge sign of strong character and a bold heart. Please don’t forget this. Being able to see the good in people is what makes us move forward as humanity.
      You are kind and brave and hopeful and that means that you will be faced with many choices. You can now move on with a clear conscience, knowing that you gave all you could and that your faith never failed you which is more than can be said. There are so many bitter and guarded people in this world. They have let their fear take over whilst you have blossomed into a more forgiving and accepting woman.
      Stand up high, wish him well…he will take some time to get over his issues but he will eventually be ok. Your path was meant to teach him a lesson, of unconditional love.
      Now it’s time to apply your new findings on a new path and I have a feeling it will be a great one.

      Much love to you butterfly :) Stay well!

  11. Thank you Jen for this beautiful post! It really helps a lot for those broken hearted people out there (including me). I’m from Singapore by the way. :)

    I have been with my ex for almost 7 years (since he was 19 and I was 21). It was a beautiful relationship. No doubt we had our ups and downs. But we stood strong. I waited for him over the years till he has a stable job now.

    We had plans of getting engaged this year and even applied for a house. But in the end he decided to back out, telling me that he is uncertain of the future etc. He asked me to let him go and if were meant for one another, we will come back again. I was reluctant. I did the begging and pleading. But in the end I calmed myself down and agreed to it.

    After the break up, we were still contacting one another but he was being cold. I told myself that I needed to move on and let him go. I’m beginning to accept the fact that it was over and I need to live my life.

    Then 2 weeks ago he kept pestering me. He texted, called and wanting to meet up. Initially I didn’t want to but then I thought since I was emotionally stable and not hoping for anything, I agreed. We met up for a casual dinner and after that he sent me home. He started crying, telling me that he regretted for letting me go. He asked if I was seeing someone else and if I still have feelings for him. But I didn’t give in, I just acted cool. After the meet up, he texted me again. He sent our couple pics, talked about our memories and even wanting to get married to me. He even asked me if he still stand another chance, telling me that he still loved me and begging me to go on a date again with him.

    So I agreed to meet up with him again. We were very intimate too. This time round, I opened up my feelings to him telling him that I still loved him and I don’t mind giving him another chance. Then he told me that he needed time. The next few days he gave me the silent treatment. I had to text him and asked how he was doing etc.

    To cut things short, I found out he was seeing someone else right after our meet up. When I confronted him, he told me they were just friends and he wants to make more friends. He told me that we’re just friends now and he will be happy to see me with someone else. I felt so cheated. I should have guarded myself well. Now I’m back to picking up the broken pieces again. :(

    • Hi there,

      I’m so, so sorry. I totally understand and that’s the worst.

      There are two things to take from this situation:
      1. If he’s with another girl but was still calling you, you don’t need to worry about him living happily ever after with her.
      2. If he doesn’t know what he wants after being with both you and her, he is clearly not a very bright person. Do you want someone who doesn’t know if he wants you or not? NO. You do not want him. Take your power back and leave him behind.

      I wish you the best in everything. <3

  12. Struggling with real life today…

    I don’t know how to describe it other than that the world feels so much smaller without him. We had all these plans, all these little things we’d talked about doing soon like planting rose bushes in his yard and going wine tasting this fall, spending the holidays with both our families, etc. Trying not to get myself all worked-up but where does all that love between 2 people go?

    Also struggling with the realization that I might just never hear from him again… It feels like I lost an arm or something.

    On the other hand, all the 3 of my very empathetic/psychic best friends have been on me to keep my guard up because they swear it’s not done — that there’s another shoe to drop in terms of a reconcillation attempt on his part or some big revelation (like he cheated or something). Trying to just go about my life while simultaneously bracing myself for that hammer, but the anxiety is killing me. I think I’ve lost like 7+ pounds this week and live in constant fear of a letter showing up or a box of all my stuff or my phone buzzing and it actually being him.

    It’s like dodging a ghost.

    • I felt the same way and while my pain still hasn’t fully subsided, I can promise you it gets easier. Interestingly, I found it hard to let go of those “little things” too. The best advice anyone can give you is to focus on YOU. I would be having major anxiety too if I was expecting something to happen. You won’t ever be able to let go or move on if you keep yourself in that prison. Don’t contact him and don’t take his calls until you have moved on- otherwise he’ll sense your desperation and any chance of reconciliation will be delayed. You NEED to let go of the fear of the future by living in the present. You can do that by making a plan of what to do if he sends you a letter or a box of your stuff. Personally, I wouldn’t read the letter- anything that is important to say, he can say it to your face. Do you need any of your stuff that you don’t have now? If not, throw the box out. I am very attached to physical objects as sources of memories (i.e. I never throw anything out…), but the moment I trashed every card, note and momento of my relationship with my ex, I felt better. I even trashed (not sold) his favorites of MY CLOTHES that he always said he liked.

      It’s not going to be easy, but both of us need to hold on to the hope that this pain is happening to us for a reason. That reason will lead us to an even more amazing love (with OURSELVES and eventually, someone else, whether it be our exes or not). Good luck :)

  13. Hi Jennifer I’ve been reading your blog and posts over the past few days and its really lifted my mood. I was dating a man from January to June fairly short relationship but I loved him alot. At the start he came on very strong I felt overwhelmed and pulled away, I’ve been badly hurt in past and have a son to that previous relationship so was also scared he’d get hurt. I made mistakes pushing him away but realised them and realised how much i cared for him and tried to show this and move relationship forward. He then started to pull away and eventually told me he no longer had feelings for me and ended us. I was devastated made even more mistakes crying, begging, pleading, the lot for 3 months, even when he asked for space I was just so heartbroken!!! Also his job contract was up and he could not get a job locally so he has taken a job and moved about 3hrs away. I last spoke to him last Friday, where he was still asking for time and space and he would contact me if and when he thought it was right. He also said if I’d done that 3 months ago I could of been visiting him that weekend?? The rest of the conversation was fairly light and fun. Since then I know I need to not contact him and I’ve been feeling happier and trying to be more positive and let go, after reading your blog.
    Do you think I’ve completely ruined any chance with him? I know ive messed up and can see exactly how I need to change now. Do you think he will ever give me second chance ?

    Thank you for your help

  14. First I want to say how much I love your blog!!! Reading your posts and comments have really helped me gain perspective on my situation and continue to slowly move forward.

    My boyfriend and I broke up two months ago due to in a nutshell him not being able to give more emotionally and me not being able to want less. I realized with this breakup that I am emotionally empty in places and I was looking for him to fill me up. Then I started acting needy…

    My questions are for my romantic relationships going whether with him or others to better myself:

    1. Can you give examples of being emotionally needy in a romantic relationship?

    2. In a previous comment you said you tried to force certain aspects of your relationship with C….can you provide examples and how you were able to let that go later on and allow the relationship to unfold naturally?

    3. Any tips on filling up empty spaces in life?

    Thank you for all you do!!! You are appreciated more than I can say!!!

    • Hi Jen!

      Sure. :)

      1. Being emotionally needy is exactly what you said — it’s needing a person to fill any space larger than is appropriate. It also usually manifests in feeling rejected easily, experiencing jealousy when there’s not an adequate reason, and wanting/needing to see/communicate withthe person constantly, yet feeling somehow let down in their presence. Even when you get what you want, it isn’t enough.
      2. I wanted to get married and have children, he didn’t. But by the time we got back together six months later, he had changed his mind…but so had I. In our time apart I had grown confident enough to feel that just having deep love was enough and not being so desperate for marriage and kids. We are married now, but I’m much more relaxed about everything…to the point that he tells me it’d be nice if I could be a LITTLE needy sometimes, haha. When you learn to live without the thing you think you need the most, you’ll learn that you can be happy in any circumstance. I think that’s why I’m so relaxed now. If I lost him again, I know exactly what I’d need to do to get back on my feet. Knowing I can survive that makes me more relaxed about all of it.
      3. Ah yes. Get hobbies, exercise daily, read enriching books and have lots and lots of friends. Meditation also helps. Read any books by Brene Brown…they’ll help you a lot. Go to therapy. Find out why you’re so afraid people will leave you (and discover it’s the needy behavior that makes them leave you). Take cooking and pottery classes, learn a language, do yoga everyday, journal frequently…all of those activities strengthen the mind and also increase your confidence as you master new skills. Make a new future! Create new memories. It’ll be hard sometimes but you’ll be grateful and deeply happy later, I promise! ❤️

      You can do this!


      • Thank you so much for your response! Your take on emotional neediness is spot on. It describes where I currently am right now, but I know healing is not only possibly, but likely if I focus on it. I am so lucky to have found your blog! It is a gem! So many wonderful lessons on how to find your happiness and love yourself…everything else will then naturally work itself out. I am new to the law of attraction and would love to read a post on your take of this concept. Thank you again for all you do!!!

  15. Jen
    I have been in a long term live with boyfriend for 4 yrs. I love him very much. We have been through a lot since we have been together(helping out with sick family members, surgeries etc) He recently ask for some space to think about things I found out he was already seeing someone else. After about 2 weeks we got together to talk and he said he had slept with her and just thought best if we broke up. He said me being insecure and smothering him was too much for him. I had been working on my issues and we were doing great I thought. He never even tried to talk about it with me, which hurt. I have never been so hurt, we had made so many plans. In my heart I know he was the one. I told him since he had moved on I had to let him go, but to know I loved him very much. He kept saying wants be friends but im not sure I can do that. He also tells me I was best thing that ever happened to him and he will probably regret this? I am very depressed, cry a lot and cant eat. I know my faults in this but I wonder if there is a chance that we could get back together. I do love him and want to be with him with all my heart.

    • There is a chance, but you need to do some work on yourself first to heal the insecurity that caused you to smother him. Go to therapy, exercise daily, write in a journal, make new friends, learn a new language, read books on the subject, try taking a new class (pottery/exercise/painting — whatever) — these things will slowly heal you and increase your confidence. Good luck + healing will slowly come.

  16. I started out on this breakup journey completely determined to get my ex back and do anything I could (visualizations, positive thinking, compromises with the Universe, etc) to do it. Fortunately, that only lasted about 2 months.
    It’s been three months now and I’ve reached a very beautiful point of being okay without him. Though I still send out a few prayers here and there for him and I to work things out, I no longer feel the sting of wanting to contact him and I feel at peace with where I am right now. I’ve retrained my brain to see the sad/missing moments as moments where I’m not showing up for myself… and immediately I change my focus and do something that genuinely makes me happy even if that means just having a nap to recalibrate!
    It’s a strange feeling to sit here and write this because I never believed I could get to this point but you believed I — and everyone else who comes to your site in desperation — could.
    Wanting my ex back has been a huge part of who I was since the breakup and now that I am feeling different and question whether or not he is really what I want, I am afraid of that realization. There is a strange pull happening where I’m beginning to lean towards not wanting him but have one foot planted firmly in holding the hope of reuniting because I am too afraid of believing we might never work things out. I’m afraid of the finality of releasing that foot and moving forward but moving forward is what I want!
    I know that might sound a little confusing — but as you were getting YOU back — did you experience anything like this?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Ahh yes — your comment brings back a lot of memories for me. I too remember starting to lean toward not wanting him and actually feeling a weird ambivalence when he did come back. You’re starting to get stronger and to trust yourself more. Good job. Yes, I experienced ALL of that. Wanting him back had become who I was. When I started to get over that, I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. It’s very normal. The great part is that you get to decide who you are. Don’t be afraid to let it all go. Something beautiful will take its place. :) Best of luck!

  17. This was really awesome. I know everyone writes on here but I just wanted to ask. My gf and I broke up in June although had a break starting in mid April when I was a bit distant cause I was stressed with a new job. In addition, something bad happened to her and my response wasn’t the best. I apologized and all that but still it was the straw that broke the camels back. Beginning of June I was ready to be all in (I never stopped loving or anything) and she wanted space and time and felt like so much was going on plus she has just a bunch of baggage as we all do. We were in contact every day, then every few days, then every couple weeks. I never initiated as I was respecting her space. One day at the end of August I decided to just say hey thinking about you love and miss you. And although the previous texts from her were sweet and positive the last one was saying she didn’t plan on getting back together, can’t go back to that etc. I know she still loves me (also stopped following me on IG the next day). I’ve had a rough time and am at a place now where I don’t think about it as much and when I do it’s positive and loving. But I know in my heart we are to be together. And I get signs like her name, the car she drives, running into her coworkers (she works down the street from me)

  18. Pingback: Small Life, Slow Life: Fairytales. Why it matters that you get to choose. And some thoughts on marriage, too. | small life, slow life

  19. Hello, it’s so nice to see your website. My story is this. My ex was someone who crept up on me. We were young and having fun and I got pregnant from this fun. We went through a nasty horrible breakup which ended up in him being so pushed away by my neediness he found someone else to be with. I’ve fight and struggled to find my own happiness and hitting rock bottom still hasn’t gotten me there. Neither of of are perfect. We’ve both been mean and rude but now I’m trying to fix things and trying to find myself again and it’s hard. I’m fighting to be happy but the one thing that made me really happy was him. I guess I need to find the courage to let go and I’ve tried but every time I get a little voice or something happens that signals me not to. I don’t know what to do! Hopefully the best outcome will happen but idk.

  20. Hi, I have been in a relationship with my ex for 9 years. It is true love. We made it official in December 2014. We dint get engaged but we made it official in our societies. We were going to get married in Jan 2016. We had some problems basically because of my anger, and whenever I tried asking him about any girl friends he felt I had trust issues. Ultimately in August 14 he broke up and called off our marriage. The issue wasn’t that big but his ego got too high and he couldn’t handle everything happening. I have left him for 2-3 weeks alone and then somehow contacted again. He was never the first one to contact, however he has given signs that he is upset and regrets it. I had a talk with him today. He told me he regrets ending but now after ending the relationship if he again starts his family, our societies(we live in india, hence the culture) will make talks and everyone would get angry. I told him before breaking up he did not think about parents, society etc but when trying to patch up he’s thinking. He told me I am sorry for giving u pain but we can’t be together anymore. I know he absolutely loves me but I don’t know how to make him get over that fear of what others will think. In the past too he has left multiple times and I have had to convince him but this time anything I do won’t work. I have showed him how desperate I am and he’s never scared to loose me. I am the one who has always been afraid and he knows. How should I bring him back. Please help me

  21. Hi Jennifer!

    My girlfriend and I broke about 4 months ago, and I am still not over her. We spoke about a family, kids, vacations etc.. To make a long story short, the last year of our relationship, we were in a long distance relationship due to being in school. We were to move in together after graduation and find jobs close to one another. It was stressful for us to find jobs close together so that we can live together. A month before moving in together and after a great mini vacation in New Orleans, she broke up with me, citing that she doesn’t see a future with me, she loves me but not in love with me anymore. She says that she feels incredibly guilty over this decision.

    I saw her once in July and once in August to give her back her things. I begged and cried for her to come back but obviously, she didn’t. She said she wanted to be friends but I said no, that isn’t possible right now. I went No Contact for 1.5 months. In mid September, I texted her and we started some casual chats. A week later I called her and we talked. She sounded cold, sad, and didn’t really elaborate on answers to my questions. I don’t recall her asking me many questions too. “What happened to my happy exciting girl?” I thought as I was talking to her. I kept in touch with her like once a week now via text messaging – but her responses are short. When I ask her how she is doing via text, she never replies. Any other questions, she will respond. I’ve done this five times!!! Small talk like music, funny stories from the office via texting

    I know that we had a loving and caring relationship. I feel like if I had not smothered her with my love and not be so clingy, things would have been different. I shouldnt have been complacent. I’ve given a lot of thought about relationship and what I could have done differently. She now lives 15 minutes from me. SHe doesn’t want to see me because she is not emotionally ready. She feels increidbly guilty over the breakup as well.

    Since the break up, Ive dated, am dating and working on myself but my heart is still with her, my little hamster.

    What does all of this mean Jennifer? I love her so much, and I feel like if she just would give our relationship another chance, it would blossom into something beautiful. What can I do to reignite her attraction for me. Please help. I love your blog by the way as it has grounded me and given me hope for a better life. Thank you!

    • Hi Daniel :)

      Unfortunately I don’t strategize on how to get exes back. My speciality is in letting exes go. I see here that after 15 months not only has she not come back but you haven’t let go either. Sometimes you have to try the thing you haven’t tried yet. I wish you healing and happiness.

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