Small Life, Slow Life: How to Get Your Ex Back, Part II. (Aka, how to move on. The real deal.)

I had a reader reach out to me (let’s call her “L” to protect her privacy) and ask about my relationship — not only how C and I were able to get back together and eventually get engaged after such a miserable breakup, but also how I was able to find joy and move on before he ever came back to me.

I started off writing her a short email, and it turned into a novel (shocking — this is me we’re talking about, after all).

I remember promising myself that if C ever did come back to me, that I would share how it happened. And so when I was re-reading my email, I realized that I needed to share it here, just in case it can help someone, somewhere. I remember long nights of feeling hopeless, feeling like I would never love again. 

These days, I am so very grateful for that breakup — for the time it gave me, for all of the things it taught me, and so that when love finally re-entered my life, I could accept it all and take none of it for granted. (That said, I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone!)

I hope this can help some of you. And remember that being broken-hearted is often a precursor to massive joy.


Hi L,

You’re so welcome. I promised myself long ago that if we ever got back together, I would tell other people how we did it. I remember googling on the internet “Get my ex back” and feeling so hopeless.

Okay, first things first — I want to point out a few things:
“My happiness is tied to him.” I know you feel that way; I know that in this moment, that seems true. But I want to invite you to consider that your happiness is not tied to any person. It can be influenced by a person, shared with a person, and another person can increase the happiness we already have. But I want you to think of it like your thoughts — they can be influenced by another person, but they are ultimately your own. Your happiness is only tied to you. 

Second, I don’t think you made a mistake by not moving to be with him. You followed where your gut told you to go, and that was somewhere else. Had you moved closer to him, other problems would have come up that would have tested the two of you. Maybe you would have been resentful that your future was taking a backseat so that you could keep the relationship. We’ll never really know, but I can promise you that different kinds of obstacles would have come up — because that’s how relationships work. But I don’t want you to regret the decision you made. In time, it will make sense why you chose to go there. Hindsight is always 20/20, they say, and it’s true. You can only connect the dots going backwards, and since this has just happened to you, we can’t try to put the puzzle pieces together now. All I CAN promise is that it WILL make sense. Later.

To me, it sounds like he possibly still has feelings for you. Generally, when one person has moved on, the interest will suddenly dip and then be non-existent. So that he still cared and was nurturing to you tells me he still had feelings — but something must have happened that has made carrying on with you too difficult for right now. Don’t try to figure out the “why” behind why this happened — even if you could know the answer, it wouldn’t satisfy you, or make all of it make sense. There is no logic to affairs of the heart.

I know your thoughts are racing, but I want you to trust the process. Also, the break that lovers take away from each other is often the very thing that allows them to come back together.


This is my advice to you, and if you listen to nothing else I say, please only listen to this:

If he doesn’t want to talk, don’t talk to him. Don’t reach out, don’t break down at 2am and email him, don’t tell him how hard this is for you. Don’t wait for his phone call, don’t even answer if he texts. If anything, I would say, “You know, I’ve thought about what you said and I agree. I do think we need time apart and to possibly see others. I wish you the best and hope we may regain a friendship someday; I’ll contact you if I decide I want that.”


This will serve to get him thinking, “Wow…I never thought she’d take it so well. Maybe she has someone else she’s interested in. She seemed so upset yesterday…I wonder what changed her mind.” It will create curiosity about why you reacted that way. And when you want your ex back, maintaining his curiosity in you is the best thing you can do.


Decide RIGHT NOW that you are worthy of the most fantastic love and never look back, not even for a second. Do NOT settle for someone who doesn’t want you (right now). Decide that you want YOURSELF and your own happiness above all things and never look back! And even when you doubt yourself, repeat it to yourself over and over like a mantra:


This pain will pass. I choose myself and my happiness above all things. The most important thing is that I feel good, and I will not settle for where I’m not wanted. 


Listening to that advice is 100% the key. You can read The Secret and you can meditate and wish for him back. You can tell him you’re suffering and you can show up on his doorstep…but nothing will work until you decide you’re worth it, and let him go in your mind. You have to accept the breakup; you must accept that it’s over.


In other words — before you have another chance at a relationship with him, this relationship you currently have with him must end.


That’s why the most important thing you can do is tell him that you agree with him, and then leave him the heck alone. Under no circumstances are you to reach out to him. Ever. I resisted that advice because I thought he would write me off as a mean person and get over me — but NO! It created curiosity for him on WHY I was handling it so well when I had been such a wreck. I acted as though I was worthy, and he then saw me as worthy. Be willing to say goodbye to him! It will speed up the process so much — I wish someone would have given me this advice in the VERY beginning. I could have saved myself so much heartache!


But now for the questions you asked me about.


I did not talk to my fiancé (we’re actually getting married next Friday) while we were apart, other than twice:


1. The first time, I waited a week after the breakup and I miserably reached out when I saw that he was deleting all of our pictures together on Facebook. I called him and I did everything you’re not supposed to do — I cried, I begged, I pleaded, I asked to come over, I said I’d settle for just a casual relationship…all of it. Of course, he shot me down. No one wants a desperate person clinging to them. After that conversation I never reached out to him first again.


2. Three months went by, and he became curious about me and asked if we could meet up for coffee. I was still heartbroken and in love with him so I desperately jumped at the chance. I didn’t learn my lesson about being desperate the first time, so it went…terribly. At the end of that coffee conversation I asked him to stop contacting me for good. I was starting to realize that I was worth more than always waiting for his phone call, that once I was a woman full of life and excited to take on the world…and that was all long before he came along. I was starting to believe that I could get back to being that woman, but I knew that to do it, I had to cut off all contact with him. (The one who breaks off contact is always the one with the power.)


3. Once I asked him to stop contacting me, I was still of course completely in love with him…but I made myself go on dates with someone else, and I ended up having a connection with that man. Was it anything like the connection I have with my fiancé? No. But I was determined to try to move on, so I had to let him go. All the websites/”get your ex back” books will tell you to date someone else…and I hate to tell you that they’re absolutely right. There’s something about men — they know when their ex is dating someone new…they get some kind of weird intuition about it. Have you ever fallen for a new person, only to suddenly be contacted by several of your exes? Anyway, I didn’t want to date at all, but I was SO miserable that I gave it a chance. The first date, I drove away crying after the new guy kissed me. I still felt like I was cheating on my ex because my heart belonged to him. I was just honest with the new person that I was getting over a bad breakup and needed to take it really slow, and thankfully he was awesome about that. So I guess about four months after the breakup, I started dating the new guy regularly. I really ended up developing deep feelings for him and it was a beautiful time in my life. I KNOW you don’t want to hear any of this — right now, the only person you have eyes for is your ex. I get it — I REALLY get it, I promise. But when the time comes, go on a few dates with someone else. Let someone else make you feel beautiful. The city you’re in is an amazing city to go on dates in. 🙂


4. After four months, I made a rule that I wasn’t going to talk about my ex anymore. I stopped saying his name, started dating another person, started saying “yes” to every invitation I got to go anywhere, threw myself into my work, and generally did all the things that reinforced love for myself that I had not been doing when my happiness was tied to my ex’s.


That’s what worked. Suddenly, he saw that I was living this whole new life, that my confidence was back, that I wasn’t waiting around for him. Around Valentine’s Day (we broke up in October) he told me he couldn’t stop thinking about me and realized he had made a terrible mistake. I told him it was too late and that I was with someone else…and I really believed it. I had restored my self esteem enough by that point that I really did believe he was a fool for breaking up with me.


For you, since this JUST happened, you’re probably going to have to go through a really rough grieving period. Your ex made this decision out of the blue and it’s shocked and hurt you. You’re probably going to be down in the dumps for a little. That’s okay! Be really, really nurturing to yourself — take a long bath, get a manicure or massage, watch a girly movie that cheers you up, go for long walks listening to music, go somewhere to a place that has animals you can pet (an animal shelter is a great place to go when you’re broken hearted), spend time with friends (even if it’s via Skype/Facetime), and remind yourself that you are COMPLETELY lovable and wonderful. You might not believe it right now…that’s okay too.


Avoid romantic movies. Read When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödron. Meditate, do yoga, light candles, take up playing a game on your phone that is not romantic. It sounds ridiculous, but I started playing Candy Crush Saga. It kept my mind occupied when the thoughts about my ex were too strong, and it was nice to take a break from all that crying.


Make sure you eat enough. If your appetite is really gone, at least try a protein shake or a smoothie so you get some nutrients in. Not eating makes the brain even more unstable, and the depression will feel much worse than it is. Call a friend you trust who you can cry to about it. Take long showers and spend a long time doing your hair — make sure you make yourself feel pretty, because you are.


It might be hard for the next few weeks. That’s okay. It will get easier. And when it does get easier, that’s when you need to start saying “yes” to things and going to concerts, workshops, attending speaking engagements, listening to podcasts about subjects you’re interested in, making new friends, trying new restaurants — new, new, new. You need to create a new life with new experiences and memories that have nothing to do with him. In the time that I was single, I tried anti-gravity yoga and fell completely in love with it. I saw lots of movies and spent a LOT of time just walking around my new neighborhood once I got a new apartment and trying new stores and restaurants. I re-read Eat, Pray, Love (SO good to re-read after a breakup). I work in a place with a lot of happy people (lululemon). At first, it’s really hard to be around happy people, but it really helps to have a good support network. You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose those people carefully! Pick happy, supportive people to be around for the next few weeks.


It sounds hard to believe now, but you might actually end up deciding that you and your ex are not a match. By the time he comes back to you — which, if you do exactly as I said, he will — you may no longer want him. That’s happened to me several times in my life.


It took a long time for me. We were broken up for 6 months and I’ll admit that I was totally miserable for 3 or 4 of those months. But once I finally started realizing that I COULD be happy without him, that I could laugh without him, that I could do all of these brand new things I hadn’t been able to do with him…that was when he came back. And you know, even then it took a while before I let him back in. And once I did, I didn’t trust him and we attended couple’s counseling to work on our trust. It took a long time, but I would say we’re MUCH stronger now than we ever were, then. In fact, I’m totally grateful that we broke up, now. I needed that time. (Much easier to connect the dots backwards, like I said initially.)


And I know this sounds totally crazy because I do truly believe we are meant for each other & I love him more than anything, but in that time apart, I learned that my happiness is mine, and that I could have been totally happy without him. Because the truth is that you can create a life that you love, regardless of the circumstances. In a world where we’re mortal, it would be so cruel if only one set of circumstances could make you happy. You have to start believing that your happiness is attainable, no matter WHO is in your life.


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This brokenness between you is happening for a reason. It won’t make sense now, L, but I promise you that it will.


I feel for you. Let me know if I can be of any further help. I’m sending a hug from me to you…I hope it reaches you and I hope you can feel it. We’ve never met, but I understand your pain and I wish I could take it away from you.


Love will return you. I know it like I know my own name. I promise.



236 thoughts on “Small Life, Slow Life: How to Get Your Ex Back, Part II. (Aka, how to move on. The real deal.)

  1. My heart is so happy after reading this entry. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for posting this. It’s nice to read that there’s a possibility that ex’s do come back, but it’s amazing to read that even if that doesn’t happen, I’ll truly find happiness and survive. Beautiful words Jen..

    • You’re so welcome, Josselyn. So glad, if even for a few moments, you felt a little better. Those moments will come more and more regularly. Hang on to a vision of yourself smiling, laughing, surrounded by people while enjoying your life, and never let go of that vision. It WILL happen — a deep, lasting happiness will return to you. I promise.

      • Glad I was able to read this. My ex dumped me suddenly over text last thursday…so its been a week and tomorrows my birthday lol. He told me “Idk what’s wrong I just dont feel the same” then “I did love you but I cant love you” and after going back and forth with him he was the last to text “I was going to break up with you tomorrow face to face but couldn’t hold it in anymore.” I just didnt reply back. I tried to make myself look happy on social media and I guess it pissed him off because he deleted me. The last few days I’ve wanted so badly to reach out, to talk like adults, not just leave this where it is. But more than anything I’d want to hear from him. Why would I want to be with someone who doesnt want me? I do realize I can be happy without him. But I want him. Does it make sense? Im sure it does. Congratulations on your marriage…I hope to be there someday as well, maybe with my ex too! 🙂

        • How long have you been together? How old are you?

          It’s natural to want what we thought was ours.

          Being dumped a week before your birthday is really shitty. I’ve been there, and I’m sorry.

          As for not wanting him, you’ll have to teach yourself not to until your grieving process is over. Once you’ve had some space from the situation, you won’t want him.

          You must remember at all costs that just because he said he doesn’t love you (which clearly isn’t true if you looking happy on social media is enough to hurt him so that he deleted you), doesn’t mean you’re not lovable.

          You are so, so lovable, and worthy and deserving of love…and I pity the poor idiot (your ex) who is going to learn that lesson too late.

          • J i hope you answer, we’re both 22 and i was dumped by text too. It’s been 2 1/2 months. Do you think we’ll ever be able to get adult-like closure? I feel like we deserve it. Idk how he can live w/o it. we were together 6 months oficially

        • My ex fiancé moved out after 7 years of living together. She said she didn’t want to break up but rather needed “space”. A lot of issues stemmed from my lack of communication, intamacy issues, and getting in same routine.

          We went to counseling abiut three days after as she had been telling me she wanted to fight for us and our relationship and wanted to wake me up into being a better man and making things work.

          I thought I was able to do it but my anxiety and low self esteem got in my head and pushed her away. I broke up with her as I was so hurt by her moving out and thought she was lying to me. And maybe she was because she felt guilty. She started calling me and I blocked her after handing her a breakup letter. She then started messaging me on Facebook begging me not to leave. That I was her whole life and she couldn’t live without me. That she wanted to fight for us and get into church and pray for us and on and on.
          Over the next weeks I did apologize but I think the damage was done. My anxiety was high and I tried to play it cool but the texts although loving, we’re getting closer to just being at night from her. I could sense her letting go.

          I finally sent her a text that I was just too madly in love with her. And that I just couldn’t support her having “space” right now. I said I have so many changes and things I need to work on and can’t be there for you. That I love you and will pray God will bring us together again.
          She responded that she stayed in our family through everything because she wanted to not because the felt she had to. That she will love me forever until the day she dies. That we both have a lot to work on and if I ever do change into that man I want to be then DONT hesitate to call. That her number would always be the same. And that she would do it all over again.
          I haven’t talked to her in almost a month. I’m going to therapy and focusing on being happy alone. By living a better way in life and learning how to cope with this breakup.

          I know I’ll reach out to her again one day. I’m just trying to forget her so I can work on these things. I know I’ll get there one day and maybe it will be that she moves on. I get it. But this is the only way things could be for right now.

  2. This has really helped me. I’m two weeks into a breakup and I have been all over the place emotion-wise. I met with him about a week ago and plead my case. I told him why we were great together, I acknowledged my faults and pointed to his with much care and caution. I proposed a new type of relationship where we could focus on loving each other and getting through the difficulties that we had in communicating, all the while taking our time. He refused my proposal and told me that I would be great for someone, just not him. He also said that he believed that if he was making a huge mistake, he had faith enough to bring us back together one day. I was frustrated and sad but I felt better able to move on. Since then, I have gone through fits of crying and heartache but I have resolved within myself that I will get through this. This article showed me that moving on and accepting the end of the relationship can give me peace. I believe that I can be in love again and if one day he loves me again, then it will be my decision and it will have been meant to be.

    • Hi Shellybean —

      I remember proposing a similar-style relationship with my ex (who is now my husband). I even said we could be casual if he wanted. Sadly it doesn’t work. C also told me that he was confident that if he’d effed up, that we could get back together. That was the part that made me so furious — he was willing to let me suffer while he figured out if he had made a mistake or not.

      The important thing a lot of people miss with their exes, especially when their exes are men, is TO LET THEM BELIEVE THEY HAVE MADE A MISTAKE. Let them think the door is CLOSED. Don’t let him believe he can come back and open that door whenever he wants.

      I was explaining this to a friend who is also going through a difficult breakup the other day. What makes men change their minds is not the knowledge that you’ve changed or that you’re different. What allows them really understand that they mat have made a mistake is when you say, “You abandoned me out of nowhere. F$%k you and f$%k off.”

      Another thing that works is saying, “I’ve thought a lot about what you said and you know what? I agree. We need to be apart and I don’t want you in my life. That said, I wish you the best.” This immediately creates curiosity for your ex…he will wonder what changed all of a sudden that made you so okay with the breakup. And then you actually have to not talk to him when he starts to try to find out how you are.

      It sounds harsh, but it works. I’m oversimplifying here, but people like to hunt…and they like to chase what they can’t have. I call it the cereal analogy. I love Fruity Pebbles…but if that cereal was in my pantry every single day of my life growing up all the way until I got old, I’d never get that deep, yearning craving for it, because I know it’s always there.

      Keep crying, keep letting the heartache run its course. You’ll heal sooner and you’ll be better for it. Deep trauma always leads the way to deep joy. I promise.

  3. This has really helped me. I’m two weeks into a breakup and I have been all over the place emotion-wise. I met with him about a week ago and plead my case. I told him why we were great together, I acknowledged my faults and pointed to his with much care and caution. I proposed a new type of relationship where we could focus on loving each other and getting through the difficulties that we had in communicating, all the while taking our time. He refused my proposal and told me that I would be great for someone, just not him. He also said that he believed that if he was making a huge mistake, he had faith enough to bring us back together one day. I was frustrated and sad but I felt better able to move on. Since then, I have gone through fits of crying and heartache but I have resolved within myself that I will get through this. This article showed me that moving on and accepting the end of the relationship can give me peace. I believe that I can be in love again and if one day he loves me again, then it will be my decision and it will have been meant to be.

  4. Hi Jennifer! I really like your blog even though I am more for a hectic life rather than slow one 🙂 I have a question and I sincerely hope that you can help me. You say that lovers have a tendency to come back when you have completely moved on and I have noticed it myself. But it appeared that this evidence made me more attached. I mean every time I feel like I moved on and can be really happy on my own there is always a thought on the back of my mind “now he is coming back, now he is coming back because I moved on”… And I return to my usual feeling of wanting him to admit for what and how he is done and I do not know how to break this circle because I just want him to get out of my mind so I would highly appreciate any advice 🙂

    • Hi there! Hahaha — let’s be real; my life is DEFINITELY hectic too! 🙂

      I think what I would point out here is…if there’s any part of you saying, “Now he’s going to come back because I’ve moved on,” and then you find yourself re-attached to your ex, then you haven’t REALLY moved on. Having any kind of thought-process where you’re focused on the fact that he might come back now, resulting in wistful feelings wondering WHEN he’ll come back, well…that means there is still stuff there that needs to be healed, and that you haven’t really moved on yet. You might be 95% moved on, but definitely not 100% if reattachment occurs.

      You’ll know when you’re 100% moved on, because he actually will come back. And when he does, it will show up out of the blue, because you won’t have even been thinking about him.

      The trick with this method of getting your ex back is that by the time you’ve healed everything you need to heal and restored your self-esteem to where it was before the breakup, you might not actually WANT him back. And that, my dear, is how you know you’ve moved on. 😉

      In the meantime while you’re still at 95% moved on — keep doing the things that made you go from brokenhearted to feeling better. See your friends, work out, try new things, create new memories, say YES to random opportunities, get lost in books, take a class on something you’ve always been interested in, immerse yourself in a new role at work, go on road trips, create adventures. Do those things regularly, and I promise you’ll be moved on in no time. 🙂

      • Thank you very much for your reply, Jennifer! I actually think you are right in everything 😀 If am still attached it really means I am not 100% me yet. Maybe because I have not met anyone new. And so comes one more question (sorry!:). My ex is a rather handsome guy and when he was breaking up with me I told him that I would find someone better (I played very cool). And now I feel like that if I don’t find anyone better aka more attractive I would loose the game. Does it make sense? Have you experienced something similar when you started looking for someone new?

        • Honestly, conventional physical attractiveness is not something that I look for. I look for a connection — I look for smart, funny, considerate and someone who works hard and wants a lot from his life. Even if someone is what society would consider to be very handsome, I won’t be attracted if those things aren’t there. And if I date someone based on the fact that they’re more attractive than my last partner, I think THAT is actually losing the game. People don’t envy attractiveness…they envy happiness. Find someone you can be happy with and then you will have won the game.

  5. Pingback: Small Life, Slow Life: That Time I Threw My Engagement Ring in the Ocean. {AKA: How to Let Go.} | small life, slow life

  6. Jen,

    Just wanted to post a quick comment to say thank you. This post and your other post about letting your ex go have been two of my saving graces in recovering from my breakup with my boyfriend of 2.5 years. It has been four months and I’ve read countless articles on how to let go/”get him back,” (like you said you did), but nothing has resonated with me or felt as true to me as your words do here. You are helping more than one person with this post because it’s positive while still being authentic and honest. I am about two months into the “No Contact” period with him and I am going to begin doing the things you suggest in this post. Thank you again and I wish you and your husband all of the happiness in the world. 🙂

    • Hi Lily ❤

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. The four month mark was a turning point for me — I began to feel happiness seeping back into my life and I was able to embrace my reality as a single person. I wish you happiness too, and a swift, full recovery. ❤

  7. Jen,

    Thank you so much for your posts. I’ve written down some of your more inspiring messages on post-its throughout my apartment and they have been great reminders that this is not the end. I’m 4 months out of a break up, and while it had been a long time coming, it was still really hard and messy – we were living together, we had a dog, we were talking marriage… At first I was okay with the break up, but he started (and is still) dating the sister of a mutual friend a few days after we called it quits, and that threw a wrench in my recovery. Why is the feeling of being replaced so much harder than rejection? But your posts have been so comforting and helpful to me. I can feel myself getting over him and letting go of the life we should have had. Even if we don’t get back together, your words have inspired me and reminded me that I should not settle where I’m not wanted. Thank you!!

    • Hi Emily,

      Being replaced feels so awful, because it’s one thing if your ex just wants to “be alone for a while” or isn’t “ready for a serious relationship.” It’s something else completely if he’s dating someone else, because that makes it feel like he DOES want to be in a relationship, but that there must be something defective about YOU, and so he doesn’t want a relationship with YOU. Don’t believe it for a second — there is NOTHING defective about you. It’s not normal to jump from one relationship to the next — it prevents the natural order (closure, healing) that needs to occur. It also means he’s not willing to dig his heels in and work when the relationship gets difficult, which you need to steer clear of. Love is not the butterflies and lust — love is the work, the talking it out at 3am when you’ve hurt each other’s feelings and learning how to make a life together.

      I’m really sorry to hear that you’re going through this. But you know, it’s better to know that he’d jump ship now than halfway into your marriage. When it gets difficult with this girl, he will leave her too.

      I’ve realized, now that it’s been over two years since C and I broke up, that to be hurt is not the worst thing. To be locked in something untrue — something that looks one way but in actuality is another — is the worst thing. So shed this relationship with your ex like a snake sheds dead skin that doesn’t serve it anymore. Once, it was a part of you; now, it’s dead. And accept this pain that is only a temporary guest in your life. Pain is the great equalizer — it demands to be felt. You will never be so tethered to the present moment as you are when you are in pain. This will pass, your heart will heal and be even bigger for it. I promise. And when your heart has healed over, you will encounter someone who can dig deep enough to give you the kind of love you’re capable of.

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. xoxo Jen

      • Jen, you hit the nail on the head again. Our relationship was deteriorating for a long time and ending it was the best thing, but gosh darn it if I didn’t love him and don’t miss him terribly. I know time will do its magic, and when I’m having a rough day I can turn to your blog and find comfort in your words. Thank you!!

  8. Hi Jen,
    Someone sent me the link to your post and it’s really helped my state of mind a lot. I’ve been focusing on myself and moving forward. So thank you for sharing your experience.
    I was hoping you could offer some insight into what to do in my situation.
    It’s been a few weeks since he broke up with me, and im slowly doing better.
    He has gone on holiday until early March, and has said that he needs some time for us both to get over it and then we can be friends.
    I can’t be just friends with him because I want him back, it will be so hard pretending 😦 But I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t want me back too since he’s still attracted to me and will be able to see the positive changes I have made..
    What do you think I should do?

    • I think you should reject any kind of friendship. No matter how badly you want him in your life. The only way for him to want you back is for him to feel like he has lost you. As long as he has a part of you in his life, in any form, he will continue to want his cake and eat it too — in other words, he will continue to mistreat you and take your presence for granted.

      Lots of guys like to have an attractive girl who happens to be in love with him around. I like to call her the “Plan B” girl. The guys go after lots of girls, but if they strike out, they can always feel good about themselves because the “Plan B” girl is there for them to talk to, cuddle with, and nourish them.

      Don’t ever be someone’s Plan B.

      When he gets back in March, you can tell him that you weren’t friends before your romantic relationship, so there’s no point in being friends after. Tell him you wish him all the best but at this time in your life, you’re only surrounding yourself with people who are interested in giving you the treatment you deserve. And then do not contact him again, for any reason, EVER.

      Now, he will probably want you back after a few weeks of that, because you will have taken the power away from him and he will want to chase you again. What you’ll need to decide at that point is if he is really worth your time or not. In other words, if you give him another chance…will he grow complacent again and break your heart over and over? That will be the most difficult part.

      As for now, cut off contact, give him all the space he wants and more, and when he contacts you in March, ignore him completely.

      You deserve more than this guy’s half-hearted attempts at keeping you at a safe distance, and I wish you a speedy recovery. Love, Jen

      • Thank you so much for taking the time to help me 🙂
        He actually messaged me today. At first he said we’ll catch up when he’s back. I said we’ll see, be safe, to which he said ‘love you always. I want a friendship with you down the track but it’s not plausable right now. Stay safe always’
        Perfect segway for me to reply exactly what you said I should. Earlier than March but it was the perfect thing to say! 🙂
        I feel so much better already, and it’s a great feeling knowing I’m moving on, and if he truely loves me and is worthy he will catch up.
        Thank you so much

  9. Hi Jen,
    This post really touched me as I’m also rounding the 4 month mark after a gut wrenching breakup with my boyfriend of 7 years. i am (very slowly) starting to finally feel back to myself and focus on my own happiness. i would love your input on my situation. i sent you an email yesterday with all of the details, but can post here if thats easier! any insight you have on my situation i would appreciate so much! Thank you!!

    • Hi Brittany — I didn’t get your email. Try sending it to [deleted for privacy] (written funny to avoid spam bots).

      It’s very difficult for me to continue to respond individually to each person but I will try!

      xoxo Jen

      • Hi Jen,
        Thanks for your reply. Just wanted to update. I met the most amazing guy about a month ago and we are now dating. He treats me so well and I am so thrilled and feel so lucky to be with him. My ex and I don’t speak at all anymore, but we actually ran into each other last week and it was nice to see each other and catch up a bit. I am so excited with my new relationship and very happy. I still think about my ex sometimes but more so just the memories – I don’t pine for him anymore. My ex and I are still only 23 and I’ve accepted that for right now it’s best we’re apart to grow independently and to experience other relationships. I’m not sure what the future holds but I am very happy with my life in the present. I have rediscovered who I am, strengthened my relationships with all my friends, found new hobbies, kicked ass in my first year of grad school, and am currently dating a guy who treats me way better and appreciates me way more than my ex did at the end. I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason and whatever is meant to be will work out. If it is meant to be with my ex then our paths will cross again, but if not it just means that the universe has something greater in store. I am so thrilled with my new relationship and enjoying the early stages. Thanks for all your support and comments and I will keep you updated with how my story keeps unfolding. Through all of this I’ve learned sometimes it’s best to just let go and let things unfold naturally. I met my new boyfriend totally randomly by chance when I wasn’t even looking, and regardless of where this new relationship goes, he has gotten me over the hump and has showed me that I can undoubtedly have feelings for other guys besides my ex.

        • Britt,

          I can literally FEEL the happiness oozing from your words. It’s inspiring and you are a true success story. I think what’s even more beautiful is the compassion you will now have when you meet people who are struggling though heartbreak. You will be a real angel to them.

          And you’re right – just because it’s not meant to be with your ex right now doesn’t mean never. And I think the most important lesson you have learned in all of this is how lovable you are. It is no surprise that very soon after you began to realize it, someone came into your life who demonstrates it to you.

          It makes me SO glad to know how happy you are. Truly makes my day! xoxoxo!

          All the best,

  10. Hi jen,
    After this post I’m going to stop and finally move on,
    It’s been 6 months since we split after I left numerous times due to arguments. She couldn’t see a future anymore as all we did was bicker. Yet I can’t seem to shake her off and feel something isn’t fully over,
    She told me a few days ago over text she’s met someone and that hurt,
    But It only came to this after I told her i went on a date, to try and move on, we have masses of chemisty and through bad times we had amazing times, I told her how I felt the other day, I didn’t want to Lose her but I respect her decision to move on and he’s a lucky bloke to have someone like her, I will happily admit in the relationship i messed up and hurt her, she was scared it would lead to me leaving after arguments, I told her I wanted no more arguments and I want to be friends for the sake of our child, but something in my gut tells me we belong, I know the universe is telling me to move on and I am really trying but I’m also subconsioulsy struggling with this change, is this new bloke better etc, and in a way I’m being selfish I’ve gone on a date,
    I hope getting on as friends and her seeing a new me will lead to feelings being rekindled, or us falling back in love,
    I can’t live my life in hope waiting for that as il be a unhappy man, I just know something doesn’t feel Over,
    I don’t believe that if we’re soulmates which we were/are that can ever go, I know my feelings for her like I know my hand but it all feels broken and theres no light through the trees to make it work, shes moved on,

  11. Hi Jennifer,

    Your post was inspiring. I have one question, do you think the reason why a couple broke up will determine whether your ex will want you back?

    I am having a hard time letting go because it was so sudden and the only reason I got was he didn’t see a future with me and that he thinks we have just become really good friends.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Amy,

      I don’t think the reason you broke up matters at all. You can control how much a person views you as a friend or as a partner by the way you behave. It’s human nature to return to what we’ve pushed away. Be patient, don’t contact your ex for any reason and try to resume enjoying your life again, for YOU. You’d be amazed what I’ve seen happen!

      • Hi Jen,

        Thanks for your reply! Is it too late that I have contacted him twice in the two months we have broken up?

        The last time was when I went to get my things off from him and told him if he ever needs anything let me know and hope we can be friends… He hasn’t once initiated contact with me or have I heard from him. Never ever asked how I am.. When we broke up a few days after he wrote me a ‘good bye’ text. Seems as if he has made up his mind and it won’t change..

        Really appreciate your opinion on the situation 🙂


        • No, it’s not too late. I contacted C a few times and one of them, I was crying and pleading for him to change his mind. (Always a mistake.) But at some point I resolved to change and became self-reliant and after that, I never reached out to him.

          At least you got a goodbye text! I didn’t even get that. But once I made up my mind to never reach out, he began contacting me. Sometimes it took weeks for him to say anything. I used the time between to try to make myself happier and move on. By the time he wanted to come back, I was already over the pain the breakup had caused. Whether your ex returns to you or not, you can make a change that will influence your happiness right now. It’s never too late for that.

      • Hey Jen,

        Actually I cried and pleaded with him at one stage too and that obviously didn’t work! Starting from today I will not talk about him anymore and will focus on myself only!

        Thank you so much!! I wish you and C the best 🙂


        • Don’t worry. It’s normal to fight for what you want. You didn’t ruin anything. You would’ve been inhuman to not cry and try to make him change his mind.

          Keep me updated on your situation. I promise things will turn around in time! You will be happy again. ❤

      • Hi Jen,

        When you decided to not contact him anymore and to just let go. Were there times where you fell back and just wish he will contact you?

        It was my birthday the other day and I was hoping that he will just contact me even though I know he wouldn’t because he just hasn’t since the breakup. I spent the whole weekend crying again.Now I feel like I’m back at square one…

        How did you overcome these impulses and thoughts?

        Thank you !


        • Oh sure, there were times. I basically felt like it was a 24 hour per day battle until it wasn’t. But something in me snapped on my own birthday and I just made it a rule that I wasn’t going to say his name aloud or pine for him anymore. It will happen for you too. You’ll be exhausted of being sad and obsessive and something will snap. And then you’ll make a different choice. I know that feels impossible now, but you’re closer than you think.

          Choose something else. You wouldn’t even be FRIENDS with someone who didn’t tell you happy birthday. Why would you want to be in love with someone like that? Decide now that you deserve more.

          (And even if you don’t decide that now, it’ll happen soon. You won’t be able to help it.)

          Healing comes to all. Grief is the doorway to joy. It’s inevitable that you’ll feel better. I promise! Just trust.

    • Did C contact you on your birthday?

      You are right I deserve better, I deserve to be with someone who wants to be with me. Even though I thought he was the one.

      Thanks Jen, sometimes I just need some encouragement and support 🙂


      • Long story short, but I contacted HIM on my birthday. Mostly to be like, “You don’t have to be a jerk, you can still wish me happy birthday.”

        Yeah. I don’t advise that tactic.

        Let go of the insistence that “the one” has to be your ex, and just trust that the universe will bring you the one. Focus on all the things you want to feel when you’re with “the one.” That’s the fastest way to draw love into your life.

  12. Hi jen.
    Dom here again,
    First things first thank you, I’ve finally moved on, met someone new who I’ve really connected with and I’m actually happy,
    The ex has met someone, we’re getting on and being civil due to me finally surrendering and being happy for her,
    But there are things that are starting to happen,
    She was getting ready in front of me to go out for a meal with her new Man and I felt that was a bit insensitive to me as we were together 4 year and have a child, is she making me jealous to see look I’m off out with my man becsuse she knows I’m with someone and finally happy, it took me months of agonising pain but after numerous Messages to you and repeating myself which Im sorry for lol I’ve really finally found peace, I’m generally happy she’s met someone she likes but felt she was trying to make me a bit jealous and wanted a reaction which she didn’t get, I calmly mentioned that after 7 months apart I wouldn’t get all dressed up while she was at mine waiting for my date to pick me up and she later apologised saying she was selfish,
    Tad confusing,
    Anyways I hope you and c are doing great
    All my regards

  13. Hmm. She might’ve been trying to make you jealous; it’s hard to say. But even so, don’t try to get in her head anymore. Just don’t let her games affect you. I’m really glad you’ve met someone new and you sound much more at peace. I’m glad for that!

  14. Hi Jen,
    I had emailed you a few months back about my boyfriend of 7 years breaking things off with me to “explore” and see what else is out there since his experience only lies with me (we dates ages 15-23). Anyway I was starting to feel a little better about the situation, cut contact, but then about 3 months ago I heard from a mutual friend that he started seeing someone. I confronted him and he admitted to seeing someone casually and reminded me the point of our “time off” was to date. I then didn’t contact him for 7 weeks until I slipped up and reached out only to find out he is still dating this girl and it is getting more serious. I was completely devastated for only a couple of days but then something snapped in me and I feel great. I vowed to stop discussing him with my friends and to let him and all hope of him go completely. We have now been apart for exactly 6 months. I still think about him often but I feel happier overall and ready to date a bit! I think hearing about him getting serious with someone else gave me the closure I needed (for now). I’m still not sure if I’ll ever speak to him again or how the story will end but just wanted to thank you for your support. I know I will come out of this happy either way regardless of the outcome!
    Thanks for everything and I will keep you updated!

    • Hi Brittany,

      I’m not sure why I only just saw this, but I’m so happy for you! I know what you mean when you say “something snapped.” The hardest thing is waiting for that moment when we snap into our own healing, but once it comes it’s usually all downhill from there. 🙂 Keep me updated. ❤

  15. Hi Jenn,

    I’ve been reading up on your blog and I would love to get an input from you regarding my situation! Would it be possible for me to email you?

    Much thanks!

  16. he started ignoring me since February,i set myself free and considered myself single from the beginning of April. i still have the feeling he will be back but not anytime soon. i love him soooo much and deeply care about him
    it is really hard but i texted and told him i deserve better. i wanna get back to my feet be more strong and confident,intelligent,out spoken and that when he comes back he finds a whole new person
    i pray and hope one day he will come back and things will work out,but right now all i need is myself

    • Yes. And by the time he comes back and you ARE that brand new person, you may not even want him anymore. We usually cling to others because we think they’re better than we are in some way, or that we don’t deserve them. When you better yourself and surround yourself with others who are doing the same, you’ll see that fulfilling love can come from everywhere and not just from this one, ordinary man.

  17. Hi Jen,

    I am a few months into a breakup and it has been a really hard time for me. We had such a great relationship and I was blindsided by the breakup. He has made multiple efforts in the last few months to reach out to me and maintain a friendship and I have told him I don’t think that’s healthy, but it’s so hard to cut ties with someone who you love so much. It has taken a lot of self control on my part. I often times find myself second guessing myself when I reject his invitations to meet and catch up. I have had friends go through breakups, and for those who have gotten back together with an ex, it has always been the result of open lines of communication and slowly falling back to a relationship once they began to hang out again as friends. Additionally, almost everything you read online about getting exes back suggest talking and hanging out again after a no contact period as a way to reintroduce yourself into your exes life and remind them of all of the good times you had together. All of these sites and books say that getting your ex to agree to catching up in person is actually the hardest and most critical part, and I have an ex who wants to do that, and now I am the one rejecting him which often times seems counter productive. These testimonials make me question my behavior since the breakup 4 months ago. Is it possible that sometimes people falter in relationships, and after a brief time apart it takes the effort of both parties to rekindle the relationship? Perhaps closing the lines of communication with my ex is actually backfiring. He is still interested in me and interested in meeting up and talking in person, so should I see this as a first step to rebuilding our relationship organically and naturally? I am being given conflicting advice by friends, family, and the internet and it has been so stressful and such a weight on my shoulders trying to decide how best to approach him and our breakup. I miss him every day. During this rough time in my life, I have found strength reading your blog and uplifting posts. Thank you for your eloquent words and thoughts.

    Much love,

    • Claire,

      Pretend you’re talking to Future Claire, who has successfully gotten back together with her ex. What would she tell you to do? That advice is the most important to listen to! You’re conflicted because you’re listening to advice that doesn’t ring true for you.

      It is only my personal opinion that your ex must feel that he has lost you to truly understand your worth. Otherwise, you can hang out and you may get back together successfully, but if he hasn’t learned that you are precious and that him breaking up with you was a giant mistake, more than likely, he will repeat the mistake. It’s worth waiting a little longer before reconnecting with him for him to realize that! I only say that from my own personal experience of basically every relationship in my twenties…most of which contained a breakup, a reconciliation, and finally, another breakup.

      Consider carefully what your ex was giving you as the reason for the breakup when it occurred. Was he just stressed, or scared? Was something fundamentally going on that was making him want to withdraw from his life? Or was he saying that his feelings of love for you had receded? His reason for leaving you is very important when you consider whether or not you should begin hanging out again.

      Also consider carefully whom you are taking advice from. Have they had a break up and successfully gotten back together, AND stayed happy? Consider the source! I’m married to my “ex.” Most people aren’t. That said, it doesn’t mean my advice will absolutely work for you though. Your breakup may have been over something entirely different.

      I believe no contact is the strongest way. You weren’t friends before, and I don’t believe a friendship will work now, when you’re desperately missing him. The power will be imbalanced and I don’t believe it will go the way you want it to. I think you need to fortify yourself more before you engage in rebuilding any kind of relationship with him — friendship or otherwise.

      That said, listen carefully to YOUR gut feeling before moving forward. Something is making you hesitate, and that something is worth listening to.

      Warmly, Jen

    • Hey Claire,

      I’m just curious about your story, and what has happened since almost 2 years ago. I’m going through something similar with my ex, who reaches out constantly and wants desperately to meet up and talk, but who I don’t think really wants to take the relationship to the next level. Did you try no contact and did anything come of it?

      Thanks 🙂

  18. Hi Jen,

    Thank you so much for this wonderfully inspiring entry. I’ve been through a rough heart brokentime. It hurts like some one took a knife and ripped my heart. He broke up with me right just when the relationship started to escalate. I didn’t beg, didn’t plead. I went straight to being silent. It’s been 2 months now and my emotions are still very unstable. One day I feft I’m a worthy woman and I do not need him in my life. The next day I found myself crying in deep dispair. I have been really good with doing the No contact rule and I have been very kind to myself. I get more devoted at work, been working out more regularly. Go out more for lunch, dinner with dear girlfriends but I still can’t get him out of my mind. I miss him dearly….but at the same time I’m afraid to pump into him since we live in a small city ( I’m from Switzerland so everything is kinda small here 🙂 ) Deep down in my heart I truly wish he comes back. I made a mistake being too pushy to get him to commit into a relationship when things just began to get serious. I admit I was wrong…

    Thanks again for writing this beautiful piece. You lifted my heart up today. A great warm regard from Switzerland all the way to Los Angeles to you, Jen!

  19. Hi Jen,
    I was wondering if you can share how you & your ex reconnected the final time. Also were you still dating the other guy? Did you have to break it off with him?
    Thanks for writing these posts. They are very comforting & helpful during this painful time! =)

    • Hi Alexis,

      Good question. In the end, it wasn’t so different from the tons of other people who get back together with their exes. 🙂

      It was after about four months of almost total silence that he began reaching out to me regularly. Coincidentally, it was in the same exact WEEK that I started seeing someone else. (I’m telling you, exes have a weird way of knowing when you begin to move on. Waiting for an ex often backfires…we should move on as soon as we feel even slightly better.) Around Valentine’s Day, he suddenly said he had been thinking about me a lot and I told him I was with someone else. He said, “I knew it.” Eventually he told me that he regretted pushing away the one person who had ever understood and truly loved him. He tried several times to meet with me and try to get me to change my mind but I refused every time. He even showed up at my work…twice. Finally, his grandmother died suddenly and it really upset him. I could feel his anguish and my heart went out to him, so I agreed to meet with him and we talked for two hours in a parking lot. He asked if I would get back together with him and I said that I’d been hurt so deeply, that it would take a very long time before I could forgive him. He said all the stuff…that he’d wait forever and a day.

      I finished the relationship with the other person, which was actually in the process of imploding on its own. We weren’t ever going to work and C actually had very little to do with us ending. That said, I’m still so thankful to that person because he pulled me out of a deep, dark misery. Someone very early on in my breakup told me to never underestimate the power of dating other men. She was right. It really healed me and I’m grateful to him.

      C went to therapy on his own (at my urging) and we took it SUPER slow for several months. I didn’t move back in; I’d gained so much independence and self esteem that I only agreed to see C once a week for a long time. I kept my apartment, my dedication to my career, my time with my friends, and my life. (Other than the apartment, I still have kept those things. Another very valuable lesson learned — always keep your own life.)

      Once we were engaged, we went to six months of pre-marital counseling. It took me so long to really be able to trust him again and I will say that he proved it to me, and still does prove it to me, every single day. But that never could have happened if I hadn’t really looked at where I went wrong in our breakup, accepted that it was really over, and did the VERY hard work of healing myself and learning to be okay on my own. I went to therapy every week after the breakup and stayed in therapy until just recently. I feel like I have a power and a sense of love for myself now that no one can take away from me.

      I hope that helped!

      • Thanks so much for your quick reply Jen! Your response was very helpful & enlightening, I’m the type that needs to hear the “whole” story, so your response helped a lot. =) I’m very excited to start dating again. It’s such an interesting adventure.
        Weather I get back with my ex or not, i know everything will end up amazing in due time.
        Thanks for all your help and inspiration.

  20. Hi Jen,

    I wrote a comment on your post a while back but I didn’t make any specific question. I still re-read your blog almost every single day to get inspiring, to calm down whenever the emotions get so strong ( I’ve been dealing with the break up, well to be more specific :being dumped, as I wrote you on the comment a while back ). I’m still very grateful that I found your blog, I even showed picture of Rolo to my girlfriends here ( I’m from Switzerland ) saying I have found a great blogger that I have got me being so inspiring during the hard time.

    I’ve been doing very good, I listen to your biggest advice: LET IT GO if I ever wanted him to be back to my life. I only have one question and I would be truly and greatly appreciated if you would give me some advices. If you would take some time to re-read my story in the previous comment, you will get the picture of my break up. During the first month of no contact, he once showed up at my workplace ( I work for a luxury jewelries &watches retail company) It looked like it was very coincidently, I didn’t see him only until he made his way out the store and there I was, standing and both was staring at each other for like 30 secs. I was speechless, so was he. Eventually I calmed down and said hello first, asking about his vacation ( he flew to San Francisco the day after that date ) he friendly answered me that he was here to get his watch prepared as it stopped working ( he doesn’t even wear a watch, well during the time I was with him I didn’t see he wore any watch) I was really lost for words so we eventually ended the conversation by wishing each other a nice evening and that was it. Needless to say, the moment he left I ran to the back office, broke down and cried my eyes out. Luckily, one of my co worker was with me and try to calm me down, comfort me, that was really sweet of her. That evening I broke the NC and send him a friendly text, wishing him a safe journey and maybe we could meet for coffee once he came back. An hour later he replied saying it was nice to see me and yes ” let’s grab coffee once I come back”. I didn’t text anything more and went back to No contact and got on with my life. Now a month has gone by, he came back from the vacation more than 3 weeks ago but he hasn’t texted me anything nor I reached out to him ( absolutely the last thing ever I wanted to do). But I would like to hear your opinion about this, or what could I do something about this. Trust me Jen, I have been moving on and letting go, everyday is a better day but I would love to hear from you.

    Again, thanks a lot and much love from Luzern, Switzerland

    • Hi there 🙂

      So my best guess is that he can still pick up on your energy. So when you said, “Maybe we could meet for coffee,” he sensed how much you are still in love with him. Exes are still very closely linked to one another and very often can sense what the other person is feeling. So when he got back from his vacation 3 weeks later and thought about texting you, he probably decided not to because he doesn’t want to lead you on. There’s an imbalance of power between you still, even though you’ve been working on letting go & moving on. I know it’s hard, but don’t reach out to him again — for any reason — and continue to do the work of fortifying yourself. Spend time with close friends, meet new people, and yes, go on dates. Anything to disconnect from your ex. In time, he will sense that something has changed with you and will become curious about you, and will very likely ask to meet up then. But for the time being, I would not be surprised at all if he can sense that you still have strong emotion tied to the breakup and that is making him hesitate.

      If you’ve accepted that you have to let go, you’ve done most of the hard work already. All that is left to do is stay diligent. One day, something will snap inside of you. You’ll be able to feel it. You’ll be sick of struggling with the pain. A very wise part of you will say, “That’s enough.” Once that happens, you will be able to move on and the sadness will diminish greatly. I promise, this moment is on its way for you.

      Thank you for reading + for your support and I am thinking of you and sending you healing energy.


      • Dear Jen,

        Again,thank you for taking the time reading and responding to my post.We don’t see each other in person but it makes me feel like I am talking and was seeking advices from a dear friend. It really means a lot to me! 🙂

        You are right, despite I have been working really hard on letting go and moving on, I’ve caught myself thinking of him every now and then. My heart wrenches a little bit when I see things or sights that remind me of him, or even when I hear someone has the same first name like him. It seems like I haven’t been able to let it COMPLETELY go, which I know…I don’t struggle to stay strong with not contacting him, in fact I did only reached out to him once after him showing up at my workplace as I mentioned in my previous post. That was the only one time and I’m very determined not to reach out to him anymore, ever!

        I haven’t gone to any dates yet. I canceled a date a few weeks ago with a man whom I really wasn’t attract to, not one bit. I even started to feel annoyed when he persued me ( after i canceled the date, he stopped texting me completely) I know I shouldn’t have done it as it goes against the healing process 😦 Friends tell me to go online dating as it is the fastest way to get dates, which I’m so skeptical. What do you think about it, Jen?

        I would love to send you some small souvenir gifts from Switzerland as a return of my appreciation. You don’t need to give me your home address ( I totally respect your privacy) but your P.O box will do. You can email me for the P.O box address at

        Please do not feel hesitant.

        A warm hug from me and Kylie ( my cat) to you and Rolo

        • Aw Annie,

          I know how hard it is, and you’re REALLY doing great.

          I would say that if your gut is telling you not to date right now, to listen to it. Only YOU know if you’re ready or not. (But don’t wait too long. Go on a date a little bit before you feel ready.)

          Most importantly, be willing to hang out with new people. Ask co-workers to have a drink with you. Go to an exhibit at a museum and say hello to someone. It doesn’t have to be a man — one of the most healing relationships I had during my breakup was a friendship with a co-worker named Megan. I don’t know what I would have done without her! She helped me heal so much.

          Dating DID help me. A LOT. At first I didn’t feel attracted to him, but on the second date he kissed me and I felt the fireworks right away. And that helped so, so much. We did lots of things together — tried new places for dinner, went to concerts…all things that got me out of my routine of being sad. I am so grateful to him, even though it wasn’t meant to last.

          Just be willing to accept whatever life brings you. Be open. And be willing to be surprised. 🙂

          You are so sweet! There is NO need to send me a gift. You’re such a kind person and I truly appreciate you. ❤

          Give Kylie a kiss for me and keep me updated on how you're doing.


  21. Hi Jen,

    I just found your blog and am so impressed by the devotion you have toward your readers! I think your advice is excellent and I’m so happy you not only healed yourself, but found your way back to your love.

    I was just wondering, do you have any advice on how to get a WOMAN back? You’ve posted that men can’t handle the curiosity and always come back when you move on, but does the same go for women??

    My ex and I just split 5 weeks ago after a 17 month LDR. Our relationship had so many characteristics of a GREAT relationship and we were lucky to see each other several times a month. However when we were apart, she was lonely and couldn’t get over her ex that lived down the street from her and a previous source of comfort (also a woman.) MY ex-gf couldn’t handle it as soon as she found out this former flame was dating someone new! Basically I did myself a huge disservice, knowing she was pining away for someone that wasn’t me. Obviously, everything imploded.

    I’m open to her coming back if she ever realizes this was a huge mistake (her unhealthy obsession with her ex based off of loneliness not reality, the fact that we actually had a functional relationship that other people dream of.) I have been NC with her for 3 weeks and feel a lot of hope toward MY future whether or not she is in it. But my question is, do you think women react the same as men in terms of NC?

    Much love to you and C!

    • NC works the same for men and women.

      The main difference in getting a woman back vs. a man is when you’re actually talking and rekindling the relationship. With getting a woman back, you want to initiate physical intimacy as soon as possible. That’s how women bond. In getting a man back, you want to delay intimacy as LONG as possible.

      I don’t recommend trying to get back anyone who isn’t over someone else. But you seem to have a very healthy attitude towards your healing and future. Best of luck!

      • I have to say, you are on to something here, Jen! Literally 3 hours after I wrote that message, she called me and left me a voicemail about wanting to catch up.

        I know I haven’t fully moved on yet, but I’m on that path and it was too coincidental to relate so directly to this post so soon!

        I haven’t reached back out to her yet…

  22. Hi Jen,

    Honestly your blog was one of the first I stumbled upon when I googled “getting back with ex” — I love your story with C! So inspiring and I’m so happy for you! 🙂

    My ex broke up with me a little more than a month ago because I got too insecure and needy I’d get upset (sometimes even cry!) over the littlest things every time we went out. Eventually he snapped and broke up with me. He felt pressured and suffocated — I didn’t blame him, cos even my parents thought I was acting a bit too crazy. I guess I was too scared of losing him. He was the perfect bf every girl could only dream of having until he decided to break up via a long email. I did not reply — I applied no contact right away and did not reach out once.

    After about a week he sent a short email asking if I was OK. I waited a day to reply, telling him nonchalantly (even though I was feeling everything BUT nonchalant!) I was OK and I agreed we needed time apart. I also apologized briefly for acting the way I did in the relationship. Then I went back to NC. A week later he unfriended me on Facebook and took down our photos together — while I felt hurt I still didn’t reach out.

    Another week passed (it would have been 3 weeks post-breakup at this point) he dropped another email checking if I was doing OK. I waited another day and told him I was doing well. Another few short nonchalant emails back and forth he finally asked to see me. And we did meet.

    I was (acting) my happy self when we met up and told him I was grateful because I needed this time apart. He was amazed at how “mature” I was in dealing with the breakup (if only he saw my depressed self curling up in bed crying for weeks! Haha). He expected me to want to “talk” when he broke up with me, but I stayed cool. And he was impressed.

    On our “date” we actually had a lot of fun and shared a lot of laughter, it felt almost like our first date all over again! We realized we still have so much love for each other. He brought up the breakup and said he felt that it ended because we got too serious too soon (we started talking about marriage only after a month and spent most of our free time together pretty much right away) and the pressure made us a bit crazy.

    We didn’t really have a conclusion on our reunion “date” as to where we go from here because honestly we need time to think and see. He needs to know I’m no longer that crazy insecure girl he once went out with and I need to know he will not up and leave again when the goings get rough. It takes time to find out.

    Before we parted ways he asked to see me again the following week. We don’t talk every day now (heck, not even every other day sometimes!) and when we do, it’s normally about logistics (in the past we would text pretty much ALL day). He didn’t say the words out loud but I feel that he is trying to “take it slow.”

    Is it a good sign or bad? I know with every couple that finally got back together they took it slow and took their time to rebuild their relationship. But how do you maneuver it? How do you do it without feeling rejected? Because honestly, we used to spend so much time together and when we weren’t we would be texting ALL the time — going from that to this makes me feel weird. At times I would wonder just how much he really wants me, like, “if he wants me so badly wouldn’t he try to get in touch more?” — EVEN THOUGH I think what my ex is doing is the right thing to do — better go slow than to have the whole thing blow up in our face again.

    I know your relationship with C and the reasons you two broke up are totally different from mine, but I really would like your insights on how to go about the whole reconciliation process. For how long did you stick to seeing him only once a week? Did C ask to see you more often? If so what did you say to turn him down? And how was your communication like in between dates? Daily contact?

    Oh gosh, just realized I’ve typed you a novel! I’m so sorry but I wanted to let you know your posts have helped a lot of us!! 🙂

    • I stuck to seeing him for a week for a long time. And he communicated with me a lot, but remember that we were broken up for a lot longer than you and your ex have been. I also told C no several times and had been with someone else, so by the time C was back with me, he was very anxious to be with me and wanted to do everything right. It actually was really overwhelming and I found myself pushing him away. In your case, your person wants to make sure that you won’t get needy and insecure again, so he is the one who is holding you at a distance. Basically, you need to earn his trust that you can be calm and secure and that might take a while! That he’s not calling or spending time with you might hurt your feelings for a while, but I think it’s worth the investment. As long as you play it cool, you should reach a turning point where he trusts you again and you can grow much closer. Basically, let him j initiate all the contact, which is hard, I know! But you want to leave him wanting, and you want to show him that you have a full life that he’s not the center of. It’ll be ok!

      • Thank you Jen so much for your advice!! Even though I’m naturally a clingy person I rarely initiated contact when we were going out. So yea, it won’t be too much of a challenge for me to wait for him to reach out! 😉

        A little update! So far we’ve met up twice and on our second “date” there were some major fireworks and he was SOOOO close to kissing me. But I told him I only kiss someone who I call my boyfriend. He said he would like to be my bf again but I told him I want us to get back together for the right reasons. He chimed in and said he agreed because he doesn’t want to get back together only because we have amazing physical attractions. So we decided to pray about it (we are both committed Christians).

        The next evening he texted me and said he is still praying about it and has lots of thoughts circling his brain, and that he wants to make sure his motives for wanting to get back together are right. I told him I really appreciate it.

        What should I do now? I wasn’t trying to make him to make a decision to get back into a relationship with me now as I actually prefer just dating again and letting things flow naturally. I told him I wasn’t comfortable kissing someone who is not my bf because I don’t want us to get into the “relationship limbo” where everything becomes more confusing, NOT because I was trying to pressure him into a relationship. I know I want to take my time to get to know him again, but he is probably thinking I want him to make up his mind, like, now. Should I reach out to him and explain or should I just wait until he contacts me again? What if he says no to getting back together? What do I do then? Does my situation look grim to you? HELP ME JEN! 😦

        • Haha, don’t stress. I would just send a simple text that says, “I just want to be clear: I’m not trying to pressure you into getting back with me. I actually really enjoy how things are now.” And see what he says. 🙂

  23. Hi Jen! Thank you for the advice. I didn’t end up saying that in a text, but in person instead! I also told him I don’t think it’s the right time to get back together yet because it would feel forced if we did – I wanted it to be a natural progression and since we enjoyed spending time together so much, there was no need to rush. He agreed and we carried on with the night with lots of fun and laughter.

    Then you guess what happened two hours later? He asked me to be his gf again! Then I realized that if I had forced him to make a decision two hours ago he would probably rather we stay broken up, or he might agree to get back together but only half-heartedly and would end up not being very invested because it was never his idea to get back together. He loved how I could see the situation clearly and wasn’t desperate to get back together.

    Jen you are so right about that “something snapping inside you” comment. Something did snap inside me the other day and suddenly I am no longer as attached to how our relationship will eventually turn out. I was so needy before because I FEARED losing control. Now I embrace the uncertainties and I can finally feel PRESENT in this new relationship with him! 😀

    We are back together for about a week now and are deliberately seeing and talking to each other less (compared to our old relationship) so we can slowly rebuild the foundation again. Also when we see each other our time together becomes more precious! We’ve also changed a few little things from our old relationship so that this one could start off on the right note 🙂

    Thank you Jen for being in this journey with me! :’)

    And I just wanna say, ladies, if you want your ex back, patience and restraint are your best friends. You need to completely let go of how things might turn out and just live one day at a time. Patience will pay dividends!

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself — patience and restraint are your best friends! I should have called this blog, “If you hold back, he’ll come back” lol 🙂

      I am SO happy you’re back together and that something has shifted for you. I seriously wish you all the happiness and love in the world!!! ❤️

      • Ah patience and restraint are something I struggle with 😦 my ex ended things with me but we still live together with a month left on the tenancy (I’m taking over the flat on my own) I was surprised that he didn’t leave straight away but he said he had nowhere else to go.

        My aim was to be calm, cool and collected but I’ve slipped up 3 times and had emotional chats with him, the last one ended with me shouting at him to leave this weekend. He went outside for 10 mins then I apologised and said I was sorry for shouting and pressuring him. Next day though he tells me he was looking to move out next week anyway and he’s found a spare room.

        I’m so angry at myself as I hoped in this final month of cohabiting that I could be on my best behaviour and show him how calm I can be. But I fear I’ve ruined that and I’ve proved to him I’m an emotional mess who can’t change.

        Then again – he had dumped me a few weeks ago and not left! I couldn’t begin grieving!! So I’m not too hard on myself for these slip ups because honestly I’m surprised I wasn’t worse.

          • Thank you 🙂
            Situation is still weird. We met up a few times which was lovely but I simply couldn’t hold my emotions in.
            I’m struggling with feelings of guilt as I didn’t treat him as well as I should have, and I allowed my anxiety/pain to overcome myself in the relationship. Counselling is helping but I feel huge waves of grief and wish things had been different.

            He still has belongings at mine – I need to be firm and ask him to take them as it’s really hindering “moving on”. I’m just scared of the finality I guess. It all feels very messy and I feel this stage has outstayed it’s welcome.

  24. Jen.
    I don’t know you and we live in different country but
    i feel like you are with me when i read your post.
    Everyday i read your post and say loud to myself.
    And finally today..after reading your post and repeating to my self…i cried so hard. Not because i’m sad but i felt something so strong. Everyday i have to fight against my fears but i will fight and i know that ‘this pain will pass and i choose myself and my happiness above all things’

    Thank you Jen really 😉 i’m finally strong enough to protect myself.

    • Rachel,

      Thank you for your sweet comment. ❤️ It really touched me. What country are you from?

      I know exactly what you mean when you say that you felt a very strong emotion. Yes, you CAN protect yourself and you will experience healing, and then you will find love again.

      Your comment really touched me…reading things like this makes me feel so happy and like I’m doing the right thing.

      I wish you beautiful times in the future and please know everything is going to be okay. Your healing will get much quicker from now on. You may feel sad sometimes but very soon, all of the sadness will be gone. I promise. I’m here if you need anything.

      Love, Jen

      • Hello Jen 🙂
        Thanks for your reply !!
        I’m originally from South Korea but I live in London.

        Jen, I learned how to love myself as who i am and how to trust myself and the universe from your posts.
        Most of all…you let me know that the world is still beautiful place. It’s amazing that there is someone who feels for me even though i haven’t met you, Jen 😉

        Thanks for your posts and reply. Your braveness to share your stories makes people’s heart warm and people brave enough to love themselves again.

        much love from Rachel.
        p.s sorry for my English!! 😉 still difficult to learn!!

        • My husband and I were just saying how much we want to visit London!

          The world is still a very beautiful place and its beauty and joy are always available to you. That’s the hardest part to remember when things are hurting so much.

          You are very deserving of love and I know good things are coming to you.

          So much love!

          PS Your English is great! ❤️

  25. Hi Jen,

    Your article really did make my day so thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s been a month since my boyfriend broke up with me and I find myself being very up and down (mostly down). Prior to our breakup, he was planning to propose, went ring shopping and claimed he couldn’t imagine life without me. But then he kind of saw someone who he was attracted to and started comparing me with her…saying he is not “satisfied by my personality” and that he’s not sure what he wants (completely out of the blue).

    I don’t know if I want him back. I love him dearly and would have done anything for him (he was my first serious boyfriend and we were living together). Of course the emotional part of me wants him back more than anything. I want him to wake up one morning and realise the mistake he’s made, want him to apologise for saying (in sugar coated words) that I am not good enough and that he wants more (after saying he couldn’t live without me, blah, blah). But part of me is scared that I would not be able to get past the hurt he’s caused and the fact that he ran away from a beautiful relationship without even TRYING to make it work. I also don’t really know how I feel about him giving up our relationship for a superficial feeling of “change”. Is it normal to be in two minds about it? I respect myself a lot more than I used to and I know that I deserve someone who loves me for who I am and who is proud to call me his. But I was so attached to my ex that I cannot imagine sharing my life with anyone but him (I know it’s normal, but the irrational part of my brain keeps asking “what if you will never find anyone to love you like he did?”) It’s exhausting.

    But your article made me see myself as empowered. I don’t feel empowered right now, I’m still in the grief/depressive state of the breakup, but I did print it out and stuck it on my bathroom mirror to read every morning. It really reinforces the idea that this is just a phase and that it will get better. So thank you so much. I don’t think I read anything that soothed me as much as your article did. I guess if my ex and I are meant to be together we will be together when the time is right. I’m trying not to linger on that thought too much as it makes me hope and hoping is not good when trying to get over someone. But I loved him so much (more than I loved myself, which was my biggest mistake in our relationship) that I can’t help it. I’m looking forward to that moment when something in me will snap and I’ll say to myself “enough is enough! Snap out of it”. I guess time heals all wounds. At least I hope so.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful article (once again). You are a lovely person for sharing this. It really did make my day.



    • Oh and I completely forgot to ask, do you think it’s possible for someone who wanted to propose to you to break up and then realise he’s made a mistake?

    • Hi Emma,

      Try to be gentle with yourself too — it’s only been a month. I think after one month I still was crying in the bathroom at work everyday and wasn’t sleeping. You’ve done a lot of healing in just a month!

      It’s totally normal to be of two minds about it. The part of you who respects yourself knows that he did something harmful to you that you didn’t deserve, and the part that was abandoned very much wants him to change his mind and make it right. I felt the same. As time when on, the part of me who respected myself grew little by little, until finally my “snap” came and I no longer cared if he wanted me back — I just wanted to enjoy my life again. It’s very ironic that the moment you no longer care if they come back is usually exactly when they do. C and I will celebrate two and a half years of being back together and one year of marriage next week and I’m very happy, but that being said, I know I could have been totally happy with someone else too. Your brain will play tricks on you, telling you that you’ll never love as deeply as you loved your ex, but you will — whether your ex comes back or you find someone else. When your brain asks you that question, try saying, “Thank you for sharing, I know you’re just trying to help, but I am going to love again and next time I love it’ll be even better.”

      Even if he doesn’t come back, believe me when I say that you will have a chance at closure. He will in time realize how hurtful what he did was and you will have a chance to talk about it. The pain will fade and be replaced with a new lease on life. I promise — I’ve seen it too many times now.

      It will all be ok ❤️

      • Hi Jen,

        Thank you so much for replying so soon. I really appreciate your kind words. This breakup really did make me believe in the “law of attraction.” I always secretly feared that he would break up with me, partly because I was so happy in our relationship and always feared it would end. And it did happen like that, out of the blue. One day he wanted to marry me, the next BAM, he “no longer feels it” and wants out without even trying to make it work, while I’m left behind feeling like a piece of chewing gum stuck on someone’s shoe.

        This was also why I loved your articles so much. What you said about letting go, loving yourself and moving on is the best advice ever for both reasons: if it’s meant to be, being positive and happy will attract him back, and if it’s not meant to be then you’ll be happy with yourself anyway. It’s a win/win situation even though it doesn’t feel like that just yet and I won’t be able to believe it until I see it. I guess letting go is a choice as much as a feeling and right now I am stubborn and don’t want to let him go. I wouldn’t be able to tell you why.

        Unfortunately, there’s also the vicious cycle of wanting to move on for the wrong reasons, in the hope that it will attract him back. I honestly don’t want to feel that way, and I am still working on educating myself not to feel that way. Logically, I know that I deserve to be loved and that when the time is right someone will cross my path and I will be swept off my feet (or so I hope). But like you said, I shouldn’t expect so much of myself a month after the breakup. Maybe he will come back. Maybe not. Either way, I’m holding on to all the wonderful things you wrote about and the logical thought that one day it really will “all be ok” with or without him.

        Thanks again for everything and congratulations on your wedding anniversary! I hope you two have a wonderful time. Your story gives me hope. ❤


  26. Hello Jen 🙂
    It is really pleasure to read your posts not only about breakups but also about life!!
    If you don’t mind, i would like to get an advide for you about my situation.
    we had long-distance relationship about 1 years and half and out of no where he broke up. but.. the most painful part was… it happend just before i took an airplane to meet him after 10 months apart.
    it was really really difficult time for me cause.. i even don’t know how to explain my feeling at that time. it was just too much for me.
    anyway i went back to my country and had to go back to London for studying.
    after 2months without any contacts (he contacted me saying ‘ how are you?’ but i ignored. ) i decided to talk to him but i pretended everything was really fine.
    I was really scared of everything but i didn’t say anything and i didn’t blame on him cause the 2moths gave me a great strenth to forgive what he had done to me.
    To make it short, he came back to London to meet me and apologised about everything. i forgave him and we were so great about 6 months (but was still long distance cause he had to go back to his country to find his job) until he got an job offer from NYC. we fought a lot but mostly due to my fears and distrust. i thought i was healed after we got back together but i wasn’t. so we broke up again with so much bitter feeling toward each other. but we couldn’t stop talking. we talked talked. and it’s been a 6months to talk with him. but.. i don’t know it is good idea to talk with him almost everyday. i get hurts when i feel like he likes someone else ( i just cannot believe that he likes me only after that breakup) and when he didn’t send me messages. we are still in different countries. can u give me some advice for me through my email?? thank you Jen and sorry for this long story 🙂

    • Hi there,

      I don’t usually recommend long distance relationships without a plan to be together set in place. And the only reason I say that is because I get so many letters just like yours. Also, I had one when I lived abroad, and a guy strung me along for months before I got wise enough to figure out that it was never going to happen. It doesn’t mean your ex doesn’t love you…I have no doubt that he DOES love you, but long distance relationships almost always end painfully.

      Is he ever going to live in your country or are you ever going to live in his? If so, when? If not, why continue the relationship?

  27. Hi Jen,

    Thank you so much for this website. You are such a beautiful person for making time to give us heartbroken people advice. I am certain that wonderful things are lined up for you in life for all your support. I don’t even know you but I think I love you a little bit for what you have written. 🙂

    My story is very similar to that of Emma (who commented above). My boyfriend (28) of almost five years broke up with me (23) completely out of the blue after considering engagement and even going ring shopping with his family. Our relationship was wonderful (or so I thought). He always said he was happy and that it was “effortless” with us and for that he feels very grateful, that I am different to all of his exes. And yet after going ring shopping he got cold feet and went into the other extreme–he broke up with me, saying he loves me but “not like I want him to love me”, that he no longer “feels it,” and he also proceeded to tell me everything that he disliked about me. He claims I am emotionally dependent on him, that he doesn’t feel we are equals in the relationship and that he feels as though he has more power. I agree with some of the things he said….it always takes two people for a relationship to fail. I am an introverted person, I am a pessimist and I don’t love myself as much as I should (although I had been working on all of these issues even before he mentioned them). I understand how these made him feel less attracted to me, I really do. But equally, they were not extreme issues. I had never been in a relationship before him. He was my first boyfriend, my first love. He was a few years older and had been in various other relationships before me, although none as serious. When I told him I was willing to work on these (for myself, not for him) he just didn’t seem to believe me. He never even mentioned these issues before, never even gave a sign he was unhappy in the relationship. He claims that he no longer wants to try to make it work, although he did say he doesn’t know what the future holds and that if we are meant to be together we will be together (but for now we have to let go completely). How can some body be so sure about marriage, go ring shopping (and be extremely excited about it) and then, out of the blue, not want to even try to make it work? He even said he doesn’t know if he ever loved me, or if he actively sought an “inexperienced” girlfriend who couldn’t hurt him. SAY WHAT? His change of mind was so out of the blue that I just couldn’t process what as happening for a while.

    I am completely devastated. I know I have to let go and move on (for my own sake, although right now I can’t stop wishing that if I just give him some time he will come back) but I just can’t stop the wheel of thoughts. EVERYTHING reminds me of him, I sometimes run to the toilet and sick up because I can’t stop myself from thinking about him and torture myself with various scenarios. Moving out of our apartment took me two days and they were so traumatic that my brain has erased the memory of packing and clearing out. It’s all foggy and painful. It’s been two months since we broke up and one month of no contact and I haven’t managed to let go one bit.

    I guess I will never fully understand what happened to him. If he were to come back I would be able to forgive him but it would take a while for me to trust him. That being said, I feel completely hopeless…I wish for him to come back but my mind keeps telling me that he probably won’t. There’s no point thinking about it…I KNOW I have to focus on me, I have to grow as a person and become more confident. But every time I try I feel like damaged goods. I feel like I will never love again. I trusted him entirely, I was always there for him (he always turned to me for advice). But when it was his turn to be there for me, he just sopped believing in me. He labelled me as needy and emotionally dependent and stopped believing that I can grow as a person and mature. I just don’t understand. I was never jealous, never said anything when he went out with the guys, I went out with my friends too (though not as much)…it just feels like he amplified all of these flaws of mine and looked for reasons to end the relationship. It also hurts because we were both final year postgraduate students and we both had a lot of work. The difference between us was that he made time for his hobbies whereas I didn’t know how to. I prioritised our relationship and my uni work…so I became a little boring. But this dynamic would have ended in a few months anyway and he never claimed it bothered him. He saw how much work I had to do…we both did.

    A few days after our breakup, he called saying he was sorry and that he had taken me for granted and that he was confused. He gave me false hope for an entire day and then texted 12 hours later saying he will just stick with his gut feeling and walk away. That day of false hope set me back so much. It was like he broke up with me all over again.

    Anyway, I am so sorry this is so long. I guess I am just wondering what your thoughts are on this mess. Is there anything more I can do to help myself? I have been out of town for a while, spent time with family and friends, exercised and even went out, but nothing seems to help. There’s a gaping wound in me that seems to just grow and grow. No contact seems to help a little bit…since I did all those desperate things that you are not supposed to do after the breakup (begging, pleading, lowering my standards….and it all embarrasses me now–no one should be this desperate). But I still talk about him all the time to other people. I just can’t stop hoping that this is all just a phase he’s going through and we will work it out in the end (although he pretty much told me I have no hope). I have never felt this pathetic in my life.

    Thanks again for everything, Jen. I wish I could send you virtual cupcakes and chocolate.


    • Hey A.,

      Yep, I’ve been there…my breakup was almost exactly identical to yours. He wasn’t my first boyfriend but I was extremely dedicated, very dependent and convinced he was the one. (I mean, he was the one…eventually, since we’re married now.) Right around the time we were supposed to get engaged, he got really cold feet and ended it very suddenly…I had to move all my stuff out in garbage bags in one night and I had nowhere I could go, so I cried in my car all night. I was super devastated, cried every day at work for six weeks, lost 25 pounds, the works. It was a total nightmare for four months.

      Listen, it’s only been a couple of months for you, so you have to be more gentle on yourself. Is there anything you can do right.this.second to heal the pain? No…but everything you are doing IS healing the pain, even though you can’t really tell. I promise.

      You have to face this devastation and loss. It’s happening for a reason. Once you move through this, nothing will be able to devastate you like this again. You’ll never feel too needy with a guy because you will already know that you can survive the worst-case scenario. It is VERY liberating and you will be VERY grateful to have experienced this…once it’s all over (I know, that sounds 100% impossible right now, but I promise). Your life, from now on, is always going to come first, and THEN your relationship. A guy will never feel with you that you’re too dependent. He will admire your independence and seek to be someone worthy of sharing your life with.

      The depth of the kind of pain you’re experiencing will change you forever…in a good way. You’ll be more compassionate and you’ll help others. It will soften your edges. And mostly, you’ll come to believe so relentlessly in your own strength that no one will be able to take advantage of you, ever again, for the rest of your life. The lesson you’re learning is worth, seriously, a million dollars. That’s what I would pay if I had to go back in time and learn the lesson again. It is that worth it.

      It’s important to get your heart broken — really, awfully broken — once in your life. It really is. And I’m sorry you’re experiencing this now, and I really DO know how you’re feeling. I know it feels like you’re never going to get better, that you’ll never love again and that you’ll just remain this sad, empty shell version of the bright person you used to be. And I want you to know that none of that is true; it only FEELS like it’s true. From this, you will love deeper (but a little more carefully), you’ll feel an even more intense joy, and you’ll be more alive than ever. You will be the opposite of damaged goods. I know she annoys some people…but think of Taylor Swift. Damaged goods? Nope…the most successful singer in the world. That pain turned her into more than she was ever going to be on her own. And she’s helped millions of people through sharing her pain. (I never used to like her, but during my breakup I listened to Red constantly. During my sister’s heartbreak, she listened to 1989. You might not like Taylor Swift, but the girl knows a thing or two about devastating breakups.)

      Healing from this is like when you cut your hand and it’s bleeding and stinging and you think it’s always going to feel that way, and the pain bothers you so much. But it heals. It’s inevitable that it heals. Most of the time, you can’t even ever see where the cut was…and sometimes, there’s a scar, and you grow fond of the scar. Sometimes, you need a doctor or someone to help with the healing…but it heals. And the only thing I would maybe recommend to you that definitely helped me a lot is talking to a therapist, just short term, while you’re sorting through all of this. Most therapy is covered through insurance, and there should be free counseling offered through your school. It helped me immensely just to have someone on my side who listened…because I drove my friends crazy after a while because I wouldn’t stop talking about it.

      It WILL be okay. It WILL get better. And will he come back? Probably. But by the time he does, you might not want him anymore. He’ll come back right after you give up and assume that he’s never coming back. I mean really give up…not give up but still 1% hoping. When you FINALLY give up in however many months, when you FINALLY snap and say, “You know what? This is pathetic, I’m going to stop waiting for him and live my life,” THAT is the very second he will realize he made a mistake. Be prepared for that too. You can’t shortcut it. You cannot attract him back while you’re feeling like this…he will sense it and be repelled. Only once you claim your power, give up on him and start considering dating others and really finding happiness again will he become attracted to you again. It’s a shitty thing that happens during breakups.

      That’s the whole reason I wrote this blog. He came back the minute I gave up and moved on. And when he did come back, it tore everything open again and it was MUCH harder to learn to trust him than I ever thought imaginable.

      This is happening to you right now for a reason, and even though it feels unbearable, it is fortifying you and making you the strongest, happiest, most compassionate you that you can be. So hang tight…and just like the cut on your hand, it is inevitable that this will heal.

      Sending love,

      • Dear Jen,

        I may have cried a little (a lot) while I read your reply (and thank you so much for taking the time to write such beautiful and encouraging words–it truly means a lot). You are one hundred percent right, getting your heart broken in an awful manner is probably one of the best life lessons out there. I do regret losing him (even though I still hope that I lost him temporarily) but I will never regret the lesson. Even if he does come back, I will be a much stronger person for going through this shitty period.

        I love Taylor Swift. I really do. She’s the goddess of break up music. I never appreciated her songs more than I do right now…both the sad ones and the empowering ones.

        Honestly Jen, thank you so much for your kind words. You really made my evening.

        Love, ❤ ❤


  28. I just want to let people know that this article is absolutely correct. I’m moving into my fourth month after the breakup & I’m finally starting to lift my head up and smile.

    I have a full life and I can laugh without him. I can thrive by myself. It’s strange but there will be a sudden turning point where you can feel hopeful and optimistic for the future & appreciate just how strong, interesting and lucky you are.

    And you won’t remember quite how dark it was at the beginning because you’re done feeling like that.

    I don’t think my ex is coming back: I accept it and it’ll be ok. Sometimes bad things happen to make space in your life for something better.

  29. Hello,

    I’m curious, during your time apart from your ex, did you delete him off of Facebook? I’m going through a breakup and agreed to ever date again we would have to build a friendship first. Before we even try being friends though I think we need time apart. Would you suggest deleting him completely out of my life?

    Thank you!

  30. Hi Jen:

    You recently answered a few questions for me and your answers were super helpful. I debated about sending additional questions, but wanted to get your take on a few items in my personal situation. Sometimes it helps to get an outside perspective…

    Briefly, my ex and I were together for a year and a half. The last three months of the relationship he pulled away significantly due to pressures in his life – kids, finances, grief over loss of a parent some time back. I became increasingly needy, upset, and sad.
    When he broke up with me

    • Cont… He said we needed to take a step back, he had a willingness to work onour relationship but didn’t have the energy at this point in his life. He said he needed to work on himself and get his life in order and more manageable. He felt he couldn’t meet my needs as I need lots of time together while he does not. We had a very small amount of contact in the first month and saw it each other briefly twice….we’re neighbors. But no contact the second month.

      In your opinion, does this sound like I have a chance in the future, or does this sound like a typical break up where they are trying to soften the blow? Any opinion you can give is appreciated. Thank you 🙂

      • All breakups are typical breakups is what I have learned after answering reader questions for almost 2 years now. They all start out looking hopeless. Sometimes there’s hope. That actually depends much more on you than it does on him.

        It’s always hopeless in the beginning. That’s why he broke up with you. In time, if you continue no contact, he’ll become curious about you and reach out. He may want to get back together then or he may still be skittish — that mostly depends on you. He may date someone else as a way to show he’s “over” you. Even that doesn’t matter as much as you think. I dated someone after C and I broke up for whom I had deep feelings…but C and I still ended up back together + married. And we ended up that way 100% because of the work I did on myself while we were apart.

        Either way, if you’re the kind of person who needs lots of time together while he doesn’t, you may need to accept that you’re not a match. Figure this out now because if your love languages are different, you could spend 5 months working on getting him back, only to lose him again and end up right back at zero.

        But mostly, you need to figure out that it’s not about getting him back. You didn’t actually lose him. You lost you. It’s about getting YOU back and until you figure that out, you’ve got no shot with him.

        I don’t really like talking about what the “chances” are of people getting back together. It’s too hard to read what someone is like over just a few sentences on the Internet…forget about what their ex is thinking. I have no idea. What I DO like to talk about is how to heal yourself and learn how to be less dependent on a significant other. Read the post I wrote called “I Honestly Don’t Care if You Get Your Ex Back.” It sounds harsh but it’s coming from love. I don’t know your ex, so I don’t care about him. I care that YOU learn how to heal and how to become comfortable and less needy in a relationship…because that’s the only shot you have at being happy, whether you get your ex back or not.

        Best of luck and remember that at the end of your life, the longest relationship you will have had is the one with yourself. How do you want to feel about that relationship in 60 years? It’s time to figure that out NOW.

  31. Hi Jen,

    I gratefully stumbled upon your blog after a solid month and a bit of googling “get my ex back”, like yourself.

    So I’m a little more than a month into a break up, me being the dumpee. We (my ex girlfriend and myself) met when I was working abroad. After a year of dating we decided mutually that I was to return home, build our foundations and she would come after (within the year or so) as there were talks of marriage. A month or so after I got home she told me her family was in financial trouble and she had to take care of it. I assured her that everything would be ok, to just put her head down, plow ahead and after she can make the move for us to be together. Then a few months later after many arguments and semi-break ups (lasted about an hour before we “got back together”) she finally decided enough was enough and ended our long-distance relationship.

    Our relationship was not perfect, we were madly in love but a large part was my jealousy, anger and control-issues that essentially caused the relationship to fall apart, mixed in with some trouble that arose in her life and long-distance that exemplified all the problems. I’m trying to fill up my time, to keep me from thinking about the situation but sometimes we will talk and everything will be fine, but then we’ll both start reminiscing to each other and then the crying starts. So I know she cares about me still (but enough to want to get back together in the future? I don’t know). I have been contemplating about moving back to her country to work (I’m going through some reverse culture shock anyway) and also a bit to try and get her back.

    However I saw recently that she became friends again and was hanging out with a mutual friend we had back when I was abroad (they were friends for a few months before my ex met me). The 3 of us were good friends until, for whatever reason, this friend decided she didn’t like the idea of us together and so kept forcing my ex to break up with me. She would always try to pin me against my ex (and vice versa), as well as getting her boyfriend to try to convince my ex the same. So when my ex wouldn’t break up with me, she proceeded to send a series of messages to my ex basically saying how much she hates her and was hurt that after everything she’d done for her my ex could just leave her like that.” We had spoken many times about how this friend always seemed to have ulterior motives so I am hurt that my ex went back to her.

    Do you think she’s just trying to see her life without me, and then compare to what could have been? I would like to go back to work in her country again and be close to her (also, we have a dog together that I regard like my son) but the other part of me is thinking to just stay in my country, forge ahead and I’ll see her again when I see her. I just never know when to let go and when to let nature take it’s course.

    Thanks for taking the time to read! Cheers and congrats on everything working out for you!

    • Hi Melissa,

      I’m not really sure what your ex is thinking — that’s not my area of expertise. I will tell you that I don’t recommend long-distance relationships, ever. So if you really want to get back together with her, I wouldn’t even consider it unless you’re living in the same country. I firmly believe that affection has to be maintained by physical proximity.
      Sounds like you both really care for each other, but you have some insecurity issues you need to solve + proximity issues. I’d work on the insecurity/jealousy first, since that will follow you everywhere and has the power to sabotage all aspects of your life.

  32. Jen,

    I am sure you’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again, your post has truly touched my heart. After a month of being apart, I finally told my ex that I could no longer be friends. Like so many other people I was conflicted because I read so many different articles online but I had to be true to myself, I just can’t continue living in the ‘limbo’ phase. Originally he said he was done and there was no changing his mind, but then after my heavy pleading (insert humility) he said he would be open to working things out later but didn’t want to give me false hope. I held on for a few weeks thinking that I could be strong enough to just be his friend and hope that he change his mind. He would text me here and there and I thought to myself why is this person trying to contact me if he’s the one that broke it off. It made me realize that he just wanted to keep me around as a Plan B. as much as I love him, I am learning to love myself more. I was able to tell him today, that I felt taken advantage of and I wasn’t appreciated. As many others, I have no idea what will happen but I had to regain control of my own sense of well-being. Your blog gave me the confidence that I did the right thing and I thank you so much for taking the time to write something that brings peace to people who are in pain. Right now I still feel numb but every day I try to do something beautiful for myself and I just booked a flight to Hawaii. I plan on having the time of my life, though right now it seems difficult. Thank you again Jen. 💕

    I only have one question? How do I maintain no contact when I have to see this person at my congregation twice a week? I did tell him I don’t want to talk to him but there’s absolutely no way I can fully avoid seeing him 100% though I know he will respect me enough (I hope) to give me my space. We are just both really involved in our congregation and share the same friends, so I just wanted to know if you had any suggestions?

    • Hi Rae,

      That can be difficult when you’re forced to see each other. I would make a group of friends at your congregation and stick closely by their side. Act as happy and calm/natural as you can when you have to see him but never go out of your way to talk to him. He may actually wonder why you look/seem so good and are getting over it so fast.

      Thank you for your kind words + you can get through this! ❤

      • Jen,

        Thank you! That’s what I have been doing, so I guess I’m on the right track. I will keep you posted as to how my life pans out in the next few months. I appreciate your blog so much though!! 😊💕 it has honestly brought me a sense of peace during this time.

  33. Hi Jen: I left two comments…accidentally hid send before I was finished…and was just wondering if you received them. I did not get the confirmation email that I normally get. Thank you 🙂

  34. Dear Jen,

    I’ve been meaning to write this for a few days now (I posted another comment under “Anonymous” a few weeks ago). For almost three years I thought that my ex was my life, that I couldn’t possibly live without him, that my life was meaningless without him in it. And the three months following the end of our long term relationship (and almost engagement) have bee the most difficult of my life so far. Never have I felt so broken, so low in self-esteem and so anxious and depressed. Waking up was painful, eating was almost impossible, studying even more so. I thought I was always going to remain an empty shell, the shadow of the girl that I was before. I did everything they tell you to do to get better. I exercised, I went away for a long time, I stopped stalking on social media (even though I haven’t deleted him), I spoke about the breakup almost constantly just because I needed to get it out of my system. But when I got back to the place I had to move to after our breakup I wasn’t better in any way. I cried that whole day, thinking “this is not my life”, “it’s not supposed to be this way”, “what have I done to make him stop loving me so suddenly”, “I will die alone”…the whole list of negative shit that accompanies you after a traumatic breakup. And for two days that didn’t stop. I thought I will never meet anyone like my ex ever again, that I had lost my soul mate, that I had to have done something terrible for him to walk away as if the last three years meant nothing. I hoped and hoped and hoped and hoped and HOPED that he might call, hoped that he may come to reclaim me and that he will say he made a mistake.

    Fast forward to a few days later. I grudgingly went out for drinks with some new-ish friends to celebrate something and BOOM. I met a guy. Now, let me just say that meeting someone was the furtherest away from my mind at that point. I didn’t even want to imagine myself with anyone but my ex and I vehemently refused to believe there was any light at the end of the tunnel for me. I convinced myself that I was going to die alone and depressed with equally alone and depressed cats. But the connection I had with this wonderful new guy…I cannot describe it. It felt so, so, so right and we had so much in common. I even had butterflies in my stomach. For the first time in months, my ex was not on my mind at all. Anyway, long story short, this guy kissed me. Did I feel guilty because I felt like I was betraying my ex? Absolutely. But it only lasted for a few minutes and then I kissed him again. And the second time around, the ex was completely absent from my mind.

    And that is what it took. Ever since I met this new guy (two weeks ago), I haven’t shed a single tear for my ex. I’m not entering into a new relationship or anything like that (although I wouldn’t say no to hanging out with him and having fun) but it showed me how much more there is to life than sadness and despair. It showed me how much life can change in a few hours. It showed me that there can be love after heartbreak, even when you feel like you will never meet anyone like you ex ever again. To be honest, I think I could grow to like this guy so much more than my ex and that’s saying a lot (I always considered my ex my soulmate, I was certain we were supposed to be together and that the universe would fall apart if we ever broke up. The universe certainly didn’t fall apart when we did though).

    Looking back at our failed relationship now that I have detached myself from it almost completely, I can see things that I didn’t want to see before. Sure, I was a bit too emotionally dependent on him, I was a bit young minded and naive and yes, I was probably a bit needy from time to time. But he was a selfish narcissist in the way he broke up with me, he never gave a damn about anyone but himself, put the entire breakup on my shoulders even though I never did anything to hurt him, and even if he were to come back, I probably wouldn’t take him back anyway. While the thought of him with someone else still bothers me a little, I think it bothers me more because of my wounded ego than because I want him back. I think I am reaching a point where I don’t give a damn about what he does and who he’s with any more. Not today, but soon. I can feel it.

    Anyway, the reason why I am writing is because I wanted to thank you. You once told me that one day I will snap and I will grow tired of being so pathetic, of crying for him, of wanting him back, of feeling so low. And that moment came to me when I least expected it (and I honestly never believed that another guy (anyone who’s not my ex in fact) could cause this snap in me (and butterflies in my stomach)). I am such a pessimist and the fact that I’m writing this amazes me too….haha. There definitely is light at the end of the tunnel. You can let go and move on. You can live your life to the fullest even though your heart may be broken at your feet. You can heal. There is hope. And you can certainly like someone as much as your ex…perhaps even more. You can still be swooped off your feet.



    • Hi Mel, I’m not really doing that anymore since most situations are about 95% the same and so I’ve probably addressed a very similar question in one of the 400+ comments on this post. Plus, I’m in the practice of helping people let go of the ex rather than giving advice from how to behave with their exes. Does that make sense? Is that the advice you were wanting to know?

  35. Jen,

    Why, Why, Why were you so right?!

    I told you I blocked my ex on social media and haven’t initiated contact. He had been messaging me here and there since our breakup and I finally had enough of him communicating with me on his terms.

    Yesterday he found 5 different reasons to text me during the duration of the day and I ignored every single attempt. Then, as I am completely knocked out in the middle of the night I am awakened by him calling me, not once but twice because I didn’t answer the first time. I felt my heart sink and I don’t know why I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt.

    Because of who my ex is and how confident and prideful he comes off, I never imagined that distancing myself would bother him at all. Is it a power struggle? Why do guys lose it when you are finally being strong?

    When you finally communicated with “C” was it only because he came to your job or would you have eventually reached out to him?

    I just wonder how & when that moment hits you and you realize: Now this person appreciates me and I can trust to let them back in my life.

    I can say just the few days that I have had no contact have given me clarity on how I was really being treated and made me remember so many instances where I thought to myself “Why did you put up with that?” that cannot happen unless you give yourself space and have that other persons voice outside of your head.

    But please tell me you struggled, I have to smack my hand and tell myself “NO!” you are not calling him back. LOL

    • It is a power struggle. He’s used to having you respond any time he feels like contacting you. You were safe for him. He knew that if he ever wanted to come back that you’d let him back in. That gave him security — he could go out and explore the world but if things went wrong, he could go back to you.

      You’ve changed the entire game by blocking him and he’s confused now. This is not you. This is not predictable. This is not what he was counting on. So now he’s scared, and maybe hurting, and you feel guilty because of that.

      But you shouldn’t, because he still doesn’t think he’s totally lost you (that’s why he’s calling) and it’s definitely not time to let him back in yet. If you do, he’ll get comfortable again.

      Later, once he faces that he’s really, truly lost you…he may do some heart searching and he may sincerely choose to change. It’s like a “snap” occurring for them. You feel it. You KNOW. Then, and only then, would it be advisable to let him back in.

      Oh sure I struggled when C did this. He texted and called and suddenly he wanted to give me the world. But I didn’t trust it and I stayed away. I hated the thought of him hurting, but where was he the first four months when I was hurting so badly?

    • Hi Diana, I’m no longer answering emails because I get more than I could ever respond to. I recommend reading all I’ve written, including the comments. 🙂 The answer to your question will surely be there!

  36. It has been 2 and half months since my break up that ended a week before our one year anniversary. I think my ex is with someone new. He told me he was very deeply in love with me. We broke up because of constant stupid fights that he would only want to resolve on his own time. We broke up because I ignored him for 2 days. He used to tell me he was afraid of losing me. When we got into arguments he would yell a lot also followed with name calling and telling me to shut up. I don’t know why I am still thinking about him. He was with me through some rough times. When he used to get emotional I didn’t know how to comfort him because he would constantly tell me that I should know what is bothering him. I couldn’t take the mind games and his no comprising ways. Watching something on tv was an arguement if we didn’t watch what he wanted to. He never wanted to drive out by me. I used to drive 40 min to see him. He once upon a time used to meet me half way. His way of affection was buying things. I tried to give him a lot of stuff back. He started getting ruder. I got a random pic message last month with no comment, after I thought he blocked me. I’m trying to just remove this icky feeling, I don’t want him back. He is 35 and still lives at home and is trying to open a risky business. I don’t want that. I’ve tried your methods. But I continue to wake up with chest pain and I hate it. What can I do. I think I still love him. Or feel like I lost something but I think the universe has better for me. Any suggestions to remove him from my brain would be great.

  37. He also deleted me on Facebook and snapchat. I blocked him on fb cuz I was sick of seeing his face pop up. I blocked his number so I won’t get any random texts. Everyone says you deserve better. We were together for a year and he was afraid to meet my family but I saw his daily. He used to tell me he needed to ‘mentally prepare’ for the first visit. I think I’m just mentally draining myself. Thankfully I haven’t lost weight and I sleep well. The random thoughts of good times and a guy who wanted more than anything to marry me keep creeping up on me. I don’t have a lot of serious relationships because it takes me a while to trust and open up. It was easy for me around him. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I want to drive to hi and tell him I love you. Then other times I’m like where has my dignity gone. Any advice would be great. I read your blogs daily and your words do help. Every time I feel like I move forward 4 days I step back 2!

  38. I think I’m moving backwards because I’m almost 30 and thought I’d marry this guy. But I couldn’t take the yelling and constant lil jabs and criticism and jealousy if I spoke or went somewhere.

    • Well, two months isn’t a long time; you can’t expect yourself to have moved on yet. I think what concerns me is that he has a host of manipulative issues and you’re saying you don’t want him back, but you’re on THIS blog and experiencing the urge to drive by and tell him you love him. Do you see how that contradicts and why that could give you trouble letting go?

      This is not the guy you want to marry. He’s not going to take care of you or learn how to best communicate with you. He’s going to continue to manipulate you. And if you think he’s with someone else, do yourself a favor and let him torture her. It’s hard to trust new people, but you’re only making your trust issues worse by being around this guy. Let him go. Your chest will ache for a while. It’s okay. Your body is grieving. It takes time. It WILL pass and you will be stronger for having survived this. The next person you’re with will be so excited to meet your family. This relationship with your ex was, and was always going to be, destructive and dysfunctional. It doesn’t have to be that way. ❤️

  39. I agree with you 100%. The things that pop up into my head is the guy that was great for 6 months. It was my first year of teaching and I had the most horrible time. I’d have anxiety attacks and nervous break downs. He was always there. He would sit and FaceTime me for 3 hours while I worked on lessons. He would get me things for my classroom and always supportive. I didn’t have a lot of time. Sunday was my only day off. We would hang out all day on Sunday cuz I couldn’t see him during the week. If I couldn’t see him on a Sunday or made plans w someone else he’d yell. During fights he would cry and get emotional but then flip and start yelling. He told me I do not acknowledge him. Never knew what that meant cuz I constantly would show and tell him how greatful I was. I think that is what I miss along with the silly stuff he did to cheer me up during teaching. First year teachers have it very rough. I keep picturing those moments. But at the same time I think about how I had to watch what I would say because if he came out wrong he would snap. I think he had a lot of insecurities because he was big on material things. He was also engaged back in 08 and told me the girl lied and went crazy and he got engaged to her because his father told him to. Never got full story. Asking about past relationships was a no no because he said it didn’t matter we are in the present! BS! I know there were a lot of red flags and I had my blinders on because of the severe anxiety from my job. When I finished in June I started seeing things so clearly and had more time. Hanging out for me seemed like a job. It got exhausting. But u could see what I miss. I know it will eventually fade from my brain. The random pic message pissed me off. I think it was just mind games. I didn’t think a 35 year old would play mind games. I apologize this is so long. But it’s good to get it off my chest. I think I got set back cuz the new girl he might be with is a religious immigrant and he is not religious or speaks any language but English. It’s like he is someone else. That was frustrating to see. I wish I would have seen the 10 people he was before

    • When I was 28 I dated a 46 year-old man (don’t ask). I’ve never had my head so screwed with. He was extremely sensitive and could misinterpret anything. He also was jealous of anything and anyone, from my girlfriends to my dog. I’m not joking. I had to move half a world away to get away from him. Beware of older men who still act like teenagers. Even if he was nice to you when you were stressed…wouldn’t anyone who loves you do that? Don’t mistake normal acts of love with something out of the ordinary, especially when paired with unpredictable manipulative behavior.

  40. Hey Jen,
    I commented her a few days back about my manipulating ex. We haven’t spoken in 3 months. Today I go on my Facebook and he sends a reported message about a pic from a year and a half ago that I put on his timeline. I don’t have the pic. He can only delete it or untag himself. I don’t see the pic anywhere on my end. It was just posted to his timeline. Not sure y he is reporting it now. I blocked him before so not sure how he got unblocked. But I blocked him again. I notice he still has our pics up yet reporting a pic of one that only he is in. I’m trying to move forward. And honestly this totally helped move 20 steps ahead. Either he is thinking about me which I hope I burn in his brain for his emotional abusive mouth. Or he is the narrcisist and just wants attention. Any advice. Like I said I just deleted the message and blocked him.

  41. Hi Jen
    When you finally deleted your ex off Facebook did he question why you did?
    Dealing with this now and I don’t know if he deserves an explanation.

    • I should add: I’ve been really nice to him every time he reached out over the past few months but had my snap last night when I realized I have a whole new life now and he hasn’t been part of my come back.. my re growth… and even tho I want him, I don’t want to keep waiting around. It’s time to move forward.

  42. Hi Jen,
    Let me start by thanking you for this site. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve come here for hope, encouragement or strength during my journey. You have found your calling and I know so many others share my sentiments. That being said I wanted your thoughts or advice. I’ve read others stories and never thought to comment until now. I could really use your advice. So here goes…
    My ex and I broke up almost 6 months ago. Without getting into details, he was going through something personal which neither he nor I really understood at the time. He pulled back and I tried to be patient and understanding. And then I snapped. Keeping everything inside bubbled over and I convinced myself he wasn’t being honest and I reacted in a foolish and immature way which led to our breakup. Nothing irreparable but still hurtful and childish. I apologized the next day. He never responded. Weeks became a month and I reached out with a text. I told him I hated how things ended and asked if we could meet. He replied and said he didn’t like the way things ended either, that they felt “unsettled” but he needed to think about meeting and would get back to me in a day or two. I never heard from him and I never reached out again. I figured if it really bothered him that things were “unsettled” then he would do something about it.
    So for the next 3 months I beat myself up, cried, missed him and thought about him all the time. Then finally the cloud began to lift. I forgave myself for reacting the way I did. I’m human and I made a mistake. I forgave him for not communicating like he should have. He did the best he could where he was at that time. I stopped crying and thinking about him all the time. I threw myself into my running (I was training for a marathon) and started going on dates (no connections but nice getting out again). I felt good. I felt like my wound was healing and there was only a tiny little scab left.
    The night before my marathon I thought I might hear from him but I wouldn’t let myself think about it too much. It was also his birthday. I did not wish him a happy birthday and I did not hear from him. I ran my marathon the next day and went out to celebrate not even thinking about him. And then I got a text. Just seeing his name on my phone after all these months. Of course I had in my head if I did hear from him what he’d say and let me tell you, it didn’t say any of that! Lol. He asked if I ran the marathon. I was out and waited to reply the next day. We went back and forth a bit about the race and he said I’ve kept an eye on your training so I knew you’d do well. (I use an app that tracks your runs and he was looking at them there). I said I hope you had a nice birthday. He thanked me and said I can’t believe you remember that. I replied of course I remember. He sent a smiley face emoticon. I never replied with anything else and I haven’t heard from him since. My birthday just passed and I heard nothing from him.
    My question is why would he reach out to me?? He could easily have found my marathon results online. Why tell me that you have been keeping an eye on my training??? And then why not contact me again?? I’m so confused and now I’m thinking about him again. Friends tell me to just send him a msg telling him how I feel but I can’t. I feel like it HAS to come from him. I truly believe that if he wanted to be with me he’d do anything to get me back right??? He obviously doesn’t want to be with me because he’s not trying. Ugh I just don’t know what to think and now I think about it all the time. The wound is open again. Not as bad as before but open nonetheless. I’ve always felt that our story isn’t over. I don’t know how it ends or what the next chapter is but I know there’s more to write. Any thoughts or advice Jen you can offer are greatly appreciated!!

    • You’re right; your friends are wrong. It has to come from him because if it comes from you, you give him all the power.

      Why do YOU think he reached out to you? He was curious about you and testing the water. This is what always happens. And he’s either ready to lean in for more after testing, or he’s not (in this case he wasn’t).

      I say this in almost every comment but I will say it here again:

      For him to want you back, he must think he’s lost you. Completely.

      If you tell him you’re missing him you’re gonna set yourself back another six months. It has to come from him and it can’t while you’re still wanting him.

      It’s not time yet, my dear. I wish I could tell you it is, but it’s not.

      The wound won’t stay open as long as last time.

      I would ask yourself why you’re not angry that he didn’t offer to be at your marathon to support you, even as a friend. Because that’s what someone who cared even a little bit would do.

      You’ll soon realize that he isn’t giving you what you’ll deserve and you’ll snap. And then what happens after that will be up to you.

      • Thank you for your advice Jen! You have such a way of making everything seem so clear.

        The thing I struggle with is technically I am the one who broke up with him. That being the case does it still need to be him to be the one to initiate? I am awful at putting myself out there for fear of rejection or embarrassing myself. I have no idea where he is in his life or if he’s with someone or single. He has no social presence online which I love, but there’s no way to know anything! As much as I fear rejection I also fear each of us both feeling the same way but unsure how the other feels so no one makes that first move. But I’m not trying to fool myself either. I am happy in my life and the pain of the breakup is no longer fresh and raw. I’ve done a lot of things for myself and worked on some things I needed to change about myself. I don’t need to be with him but I want to be with him. I also believe if we are meant to be we will find our way back to each other. Just not sure if I have to be the one to make that initial leap!

        • I asked a guy friend on this one and he said maybe send a neutral text to see how the ex responds. “Hope you’re well and wanted to check in” might work. I personally don’t recommend initiating but maybe it could work!

  43. Hi Jen,

    First, I wanted to say that you are a ~phenomenal~ writer/discerner of grief, empathy, & emotional intelligence in all of us humans.

    I’ve only just started to read “self-help”-y things like this (I’m just loving Pema Chodron & bell hooks my goodness my goodness), but you should know that if you were ever thinking of writing a book, it would blow up immediately. Your blog alone has been so helpful to me.

    I wanted to ask, what is C’s account of what happened during your 6 months apart? Would you be willing to tell us a rough version of what his process was like, the realization, of finding his way back?

    love always

    • Hi there 🙂

      I have address C’s portion of the journey in several other comments, but because almost 500 comments can be a lot to read through, I’ll simplify it here and if you want more, you can dig through the comments to find the rest:

      – We broke up when we were 30. I was feeling very antsy about wanting marriage and kids and moving out on our own.(We lived in a guest house on his parents’ property which I hated.)
      – He wasn’t making as much money as I was at the time and I was rushing him during a time that he felt he couldn’t provide for me.
      – As I got more antsy and clingy, it drove him away. (This happens in almost every comment people send me. The person who is afraid of losing their s/o almost always initiates the loss because their fear makes them impossible to deal with.)
      -It all culminated over three nights when we had some bad fights and he realized he needed to be on his own for a while. I cried and begged but that only made things worse.
      – Once I left, he isolated himself completely and was pretty destructive for a while. He withdrew from people who loved him/mutual friends and hung out with some not so great people. (I see this a lot too — the ex will often try to find their place with new/different people for a while. It’s normal and they find their way back eventually.)
      – He went on two dates while we were apart; neither one went well.
      – In January he asked me to meet up for coffee. I was 25 pounds lighter and looked sickly to him. He had a hard time facing what the breakup had done to me and pulled away further. I told him to leave me alone, forever, at the end of that day. The horrendous meet-up is what allowed me to abandon hope and to finally let go. (Lesson learned: letting go speeds up the process like you wouldn’t believe.)
      – In February he reached out and I told him I’d begun dating someone else. He began to think he had pushed away the one person who had ever really understood him. (He realized that he’d lost me completely. This is very important in the process.)
      – Later in February his grandmother died and he had a realization that he’d loved me deeply, but by being afraid to let me down he had ended things rashly.
      – He said all the things I’d been longing to hear for so long but in my mind, it was too late. He told me he would wait for me as long as it took.
      – In March it ended with my other guy. It was a coincidence…it wasn’t ever going to work with him but he was very important in the process.
      – I didn’t let C back in until late April and I made him take it really slow because I was afraid. I only saw him once a week and I refused to move in. This was actually probably better because making him take it really slow upped my worth in his eyes — he knew he had to earn my trust back and he worked really hard to do so. Plus, I had a new life and I’d grown really independent. He wasn’t the sun in my universe anymore.
      – We did that for several months and went through the hard process of beginning to trust each other again.
      – There had been kind of a role reversal. I had been so sure he was The One in the previous relationship. This time, he was the one who was sure and I had nerves.
      – In late September he proposed. We underwent 6 months of premarital counseling to work through everything we’d been through.
      – In January we moved in together.
      – In August of 2014 we got married.

      He still works hard and this relationship is totally different from the relationship we had before. Before we broke up, he had all the power. He was everything to me. Now, he’s my husband so he’s obviously super important to me, but there are other things in my life that are just as important: my work, family and friends, and time on my own. I never put C at the top of the list but I balance my relationship with him with my other relationships. This gives us breathing room and I think he appreciates me so much more.

      He has also blossomed with work which allows him to provide financially (very very important for men), and he has outside friendships. It is better than it ever was before and we work hard to keep it that way.

      That’s the short version! 🙂 Hope it helps.

  44. I can’t begin to tell you hoe great reading this has made me feel! My boyfriend dumped me out of the blue (two days previously I was the love of his life, best thing that ever happened to him etc) and then just boom by text he needs to be alone, sort himself out… He was recently divorced so I think it was maybe too much for him. We were weeks away from moving in together. Needless to say, I was devestated and did the crying, texting, letter writing.

    Then one day it dawned on me. He knows you loved him. He knows how good you were together. If he wants that again, he’ll come back and if he doesn’t… well, he’s a fool. He had me ready to spend the rest of my life with him and decided he was better off without me … so … bye!

    I’ve started dating others (nothing serious), been introduced to LOA and using a lot of its principles to feel better about myself, I’m looking for a new job, got really into working out, rediscovered my love of reading, started yoga classes like I always said I would and took a big shopping trip. I try and do something for myself every day, even if it’s just sitting with a good book and a hot drink for an hour. I went to see a therapist about abusive relationships in my past – which I now realise affected how I acted in this good relationship – and feel a burden I’d been carrying around has been lifted.

    He broke things off because he felt he needed to be alone and sort his own life out after his divorce. In truth, I’m glad it happened because I never would’ve done these things for myself or learned to love myself, to be grateful/positive etc if he hadn’t done it.

    A part of me hopes that once we have both had some time (it’s almost 3 months now) then maybe we can build a stronger, new relationship. I certainly still love him, I forgive him for hurting me and wish him all the best… But if he doesn’t come back, then it’s his loss, and I will be just fine.

    • This is one of the comments I wish I could share with everyone because you truly get it.
      The time you are spending working on yourself is PRICELESS and will save you so much heartache in the future. Yes it’s sad to lose someone. But better to have temporarily lost him now before you moved in together.
      You absolutely have a chance of reconciling with him. Continue to do the work you’re doing! It’s so powerful and you will receive deep, true love in your life…whether it’s from your ex or someone even MORE suited for you! ❤️

      • Thanks for your response Jen. Sadly, I wouldn’t say I have ‘moved on’ completely – I still think about him every day, but not in the heartwrenching-breaking-down-in-tears-in-the-mall kind of way that I used to. More in a “Oh that reminds me of the time D and I did X/Y/Z, it’s a shame we can’t do that anymore.” Do I want us to work things out? Absolutely. Do I want to text him everyday and tell him how much I care for him? Yep. But texting him isn’t going to help. And believe me, because we were about to move in together I lost my apartment as I had already ended my lease, I had given up my job because of the impending move… I was left with NOTHING, unemployed and sleeping on my girlfriend’s couch, and it was AWFUL – that’s partly why I acted so desperate in the first month after the break up.

        Things are getting better day by day. One day I realised that feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I had plenty to be thankful for, even if it was ‘just’ that I had a friend who let me stay with her. I had money in the bank, clothes, a car, health, family, friends. All I know is that I have to get myself back to the happy, confident, independent woman he fell in love with – but I need to do it for ME. If we reconcile, then I will be in a better position to be a better girlfriend to boot. And god knows, I won’t be giving up my work/apartment/hobbies/life for any man in a hurry ever again.

  45. After having this post resonate with me and stick with me for the past couple of days, I decided to text me ex and make peace with him and send him good wishes similar to the message you send Jen. I told him I hoped he was feeling happier in himself, that I certainly was and I can see that his decision was the best for both of us at the time. He replied that he was so pleased to hear that I was doing well. What will happen now? Who knows. I hope that one day we will reconcile but only time will tell and there’s no point wasting the days in the meantime…

  46. Mmmm yeah, it’s me again. Something has come up in the ‘situation’ and I’m not sure how to deal with it. Wondering what you might think… ex had been eyeing an item in an antique store for months, I secretly bought it and had the store keep a hold of it for me until Xmas. He noticed it wasn’t in the store anymore and was bummed… but I knew secretly inside that in 5 months time he was going to find it under the Xmas tree in our house. So romantic I thought. Best girlfriend ever right? Of course, he dumped me (similar reasons to your story from what I have read) in August. I never did anything about the gift as at the time I thought we might be back together by Xmas. Well, we won’t be. And the store have emailed asking me to come and collect it – a refund isn’t possible that was the deal when they held onto it for me for soooo long. What should I do? I think giving it to him will be taken the wrong way but I also hate the idea of selling/giving away something that I know he had such an attachment to. I feel like I’m in that episode of FRIENDS where Ross gives Rachel the antique brooch she saw for her birthday…

    • Honestly Katie I wouldn’t use this as a reason to reach out to him. Sell it online or tell the antique shop that you don’t expect a refund but you won’t be picking it up.

      Be careful of your subconscious trying to find excuses to talk to your ex. When you really think about it, it isn’t necessary. What would you do if your ex had passed away instead of broken up with you? You’d leave the antique at the shop. You need to treat this situation exactly the same because in a way, it is the same.

    • That is SO true. We would mourn them and grieve and time would heal us. In the past I have looked at breakups like a death, and knowing I wouldn’t run into him made it easier. In this case, I work in the same building as my ex boyfriend, so it’s impossible to think of him being gone. I’ll have to face him five days a week. UGH

  47. Did you ever still think about C after you had ‘moved on’? I feel great 95% of the time, new role at work, online classes, doing so much for myself and then he will creep into my mind and start to feel really angry/sad with myself for still thinking of him and with him for putting me through this. Like you, I certainly wouldn’t be running back into his arms. I feel like I don’t even know him anymore… but the little memories of the old relationship are still there and I’m frustrated that I can’t quite banish them!

    • Oh yes. Especially when I was dating someone else. I’d fight with the new guy and think, “C wouldn’t have ever said that.” It’s totally normal. Your brain is still processing the unhealed parts of what happened. Be patient with yourself. It’ll eventually pass. ❤️

  48. Jen,

    To be honest— I’m genuinely in the worst situation I can imagine. My recent ex and I had gotten to the point of getting a marriage license together, and broke up in the heat of one horrifically bad fight.

    He had this terrible history of lashing out & burning those close to him in moments of duress (a byproduct of his untreated bipolar) which hadn’t happened in the case of our relationship, and then began happening the week before the breakup… To be fair, there were an enormous amount of stressors involved as well: money troubles, we had a project we were working on together that we both felt the other was slacking on/sabotaging, he was getting into fights with his best friend, we were about to move to NY to attend university together, and other external drama… When he explained the sudden breakup to other people, he explained that it was 70% perfection, but the other 30% the fights were nightmarish.

    He sent me one “closure/apology” letter, which didn’t really apologize, but seemed like his best attempt of making himself feel better for what he’d done to me. I didn’t respond to it. I tried reaching out a month later (after he’d moved to Paris) via email, and he called me on the phone, we spoke for about 30 min, he told me he loved me, and then a week later he told me he didn’t want to communicate with me.

    I left it alone for the past 2 months, but reached out via facebook last night out of concern due to the attacks in Paris. He reacted ~viciously~: calling me psychotic and manipulative, and that I reached out not out of concern but just to elicit a reaction from him, and all sorts of completely inappropriate bullshit.

    I honestly was completely shocked. I feel like I’ve spent the 4 months since our breakup going through all sorts of processing, and had, recently, gotten into that feeling of forgiveness…it just became clear that this was a person who had once been very good to me, who I had loved enormously and had loved me, and for whatever reasons, it had not worked out. When I heard about the bombings in the city where he now lives, I was filled with fear and love and concern for him. I had no way of knowing/suspecting that he’d be so toxic, upon hearing from me.

    Would you be able to help me make sense of this?

    I don’t even think I want him back. I had held onto a bite-sized wisp of a fantasy that maybe, in a few years, after mutual growth, we might make reparations… But this is too too hostile. I just don’t understand all the anger.

    Thank you!

    • Being bipolar is really serious. There are times he can’t fully be in control of his actions and this was one of them. So there’s not a lot I can do to help you make sense of this, because mental illness doesn’t make sense. My guess is that you contacting him caught him off guard which for some reason upset him.

      You were moving into a place of forgiveness, and after the sting fades a little, you should focus even harder on going back there. Because he’s not in control of himself and he destroys things he loves. It’s like a fire that burns out of control.

      My advice is always the same. Forgive, let go, focus on healing yourself. If you can’t forgive, focus on the other two and the forgiveness will come on its own.

      I’m sorry you were reaching out to him in love and received such a hostile reaction. It has almost nothing to do with you and everything to do with him.

  49. Thank you, Jen. I feel like this really solidified, for the first time, that, no, I don’t want to go back. No, not at all. I can’t.

  50. After a year of living together, he broke up with me only a month ago. It caused us to go in different directions (we were living together in Oregon). He went back to his parents home in Florida, I went to a new job in California. I begged him to come back, to give it another try, he refused, said he needed to go back to FL where his parents have a car waiting to give him. Kept saying he was only going to pick up a car, but now is staying for over a month of holiday festivities. Saying he wants to meet me in California after that. Am I being strung along? He recently got back in touch with an ex that he was still talking to behind my back when we first got together. Yet he’s texting me
    Every day, multiple times, and initiating talking on the phone once a week. Doesn’t say anything about getting back together, but says he misses me, misses my touch, my kiss, can’t wait to see me again, confiding in me, sharing memories with me. I’m afraid to go NC, afraid it will push him into that ex’s arms or someone else’s. Afraid he’ll bail on the plan to meet me in CA, and it’ll be my fault because I stopped talking to him. I’ll never even be in the same state as him at that point. Help! Feeling so lost.

    • Well, none of this is your fault. He left you. That was his choice. What you do to guarantee a reunion with someone who clearly isn’t presently ready to actually be your partner is your decision. If NC pushes him into someone else’s arms you should be thankful that you learned who he really is sooner than later.

      You’re all wrapped up in fear. The worst has already happened. Let go and know it’ll be okay. With or without him.

  51. HI Jen,

    I royally messed up…I am extremely ashamed and I can only blame myself for how I feel now. I tried to get several people to go with me to my ex’s house to pick up my final items…noone could make it and he finally got irritated and said I really need to come get it. I had to drive a second car and so I ended up driving him home. When I pulled up, we sat for a while and he kept touching me. I told him it was time for him to go and then he held my hand and basically spewed a bunch of lies about how beautiful I was etc etc etc….and after a hour of almost crying, he asked me to come inside and you know the rest. I could kick myself in the face. It was amazing, but I left late that night even though he wanted me to stay. The next day, nothing…no text…no nothing. I texted him that I kinda felt like a piece of meat and in return he said he didn’t know why and thought we were on the same page (my fault). He travels a lot and even though at one point we were engaged, he now wants to play the field( at least that is what I am feeling). He told me that every day was a struggle for him too and that he would always love me and always be there if I needed him. Jen, I have been through several break ups and I have never ever felt like this. I have never experienced this much pain ever in my life. The last thing he said is that he would love to still see me, but not date, just be friends and to see where it can go. I am a confused mess and my heart is running the show. We were in love, madly in love….more than I have ever loved anyone. The reason we broke up was because I had trust issues….He told me when I just saw him that he had always been faithful and that we needed time apart to see if we were meant to be. I just don’t know what to do…do I stay in his life…go fishing, skiing….do the things we always used to do? Or, do i cut him off…let him go….I know the answer, but I need to hear it….He said some painful things the last time I saw him, like we were lucky I never got pregnant etc. That cut me deep and I am now 32…never wanted to have kids until I met him. Now I am just lost. Now that I basically became a booty call for him, I am hurting even more….He held me and kissed me and stared into my eyes…snuggled me and said how much he missed me being next to him. I don’t want to be a doormat anymore…I wish I could leave this town and never come back. I hadn’t seen him for a month and I am now back to where I started emotionally if not worse.

    • There’s nothing that isn’t reparable. And even though it feels worse right now, you’ll recover more quickly than you did before. The secret here is to draw a boundary. So if he reaches out, you say, “The other night was a huge mistake and makes me feel sick to my stomach. I don’t do casual — friendships or intimacy — and I’ll need you to leave me alone for now.” This immediately places power back in your court because you’re dictating the frequency of contact. He’ll probably be baffled. And then a week later, apologize. Don’t view this as a setback; see this as the necessary rocky road to your liberation. But this wasn’t as big of a mess up as you think…nearly everyone messes up and hooks up with an ex. It’s what you do after that counts. Relax + breathe; it’ll all be okay.

      • HI Jen,

        I really messed up…I forgot to mention that I had a miscarriage 2 months before we broke up..I had not told him at the time because his job was very stressful and then I lost the baby 2 days before his birthday..then my fathers as dieting and I wanted to be in an emotionally stable place when I was going to tell him. Then we broke up and I felt in my heart that if we were done he deserved to know. I sent him a letter explaining what had happened. I had simply not told him at the time because I was truly wanting to protect him. He had always wanted children and I thought it cruel to tell tell him around his birthday and then so many things happened in that month. Now I don’t know if he will ever forgive me. After I told him he said he was extremely hurt that I had not tip him at the time. That I had communication issues. Now I feel in my heart that this is the last straw for him. I feel like things just keep getting worse, but I do not regret telling him. I had no other motive, then to share what he had a right to know. I said one last apology and I will not speak with him at all. I know I have hurt him again and he needs time to heal. I keep fighting with myself because he is my dream man, but at the end of the day he would get annoyed if I simply wanted to stop to grab a cup of coffee…My every day needs were rarely being met, but yet it has been a month and my mind and heart to move on….he would never do the important things with me….I guess I am at a place that if he does not reach out then I know we are done…I need to move on..I wish it was next year already…do you think me not telling him for a month is something he will ever forgive? I hope that in a month I will be seeing strait….maybe healed a bit. Thank you for everything

  52. He kept commenting on how great I seem to be doing and how pleased he is to hear I’m happy… then blocked me on all social media and communication methods except texting. I told him I couldn’t be bothered with his games anymore, that I started dating someone else and to leave me alone. Feels empowering but God do I miss him every day. I know I can be fine without him but I’d still rather not have to be.

  53. Hi Jen,

    Just wanted to reach out to you (like everyone else here) to tell you how amazing this page, and the other one regarding how you got your ex back, are. It’s been so therapeutic, and honestly it has helped me speed up the healing process a lot sooner than I thought. Your break up sounds very similar to mine, and as soon as it happened I knew I needed to make a change inside of me. I know I have some insecurities and self-esteem issues that I need to deal with, and these blog posts have been the catalyst to understanding the importance of these changes that I need to make. Moreover, they’ve HELPED me make these changes and have reminded me that I need to love myself first before someone else can. Do I hope that things will workout with my ex? Sure, but right now I am open and even excited about the possibility of getting out there and meeting new people. I deserve to be happy and I am not willing to put all my energy into negative thoughts about someone who doesn’t want to be with me (right now), all because of your words here. I’ve also read through every single comment on this and the other post, and have screen shot the ones that resignated most with me. I re-read them and try to internalize your advice, almost like affirmations. So thank you for taking the time to write these posts, and to comment to each individual who has responded here.

    One question, when your ex does reach out to you, what is the best way to handle it? As in, what is the best way to respond when they reach out to say “How are you doing” or “What’s new with you?” My ex only reached out to me once, and that was to congratulate me on my university graduation. He knew how important it was to me. I reached out to him once about a month later to tell him I had finally watched Star Wars (a movie he had been bugging me about watching and to which we were going to watch together) and he responded quickly and nicely, but didn’t ask how I was or anything like that (which I thought was kind of odd because I know he cares a lot). So when that “how are you” text does come eventually, and if followed by a “we should meet and catch up,” what is the best way to handle it?

    Also, did all the comments on your other blog post get deleted? I went to comment on that one, and noticed there weren’t any of the 600+ comments, unless it’s an issue on my end.

    • Weird! The comments weren’t showing for me either. I had to do some clicking around and thankfully they are still there, though I don’t know how to help readers get to them. Can you imagine if they’d all been deleted? How terrible!

      You know what, I’m gonna be totally honest here and tell you that I SUCK at answering the “So how have you been” text. I botched it with C and I’m sure I botched it with others in the past too. I guess my best recommendation would be to be guarded but friendly, and don’t reveal too much. Getting the ex back is a slow unfolding, not a race. If he contacts you, he’ll be wanting to dip his toe in to test the water. Don’t give away a lot. Be optimistic but not overly fakely happy. Short, and to the point. “I’ve been doing really well, thanks. Hope you’re well too,” should suffice. Don’t even ask about him. You want him wanting more of you…so being short to the point of nearly ignoring him is actually the most effective. Remember that men are hunters…they’re used to their prey playing hard to get and that’s what keeps them interested. Hope this helps!

      • I think that’s the best advice I could have received on that question – so thank you! I definitely wont be sitting around waiting for that text, but If I keep focusing on the advice you’ve given (work on myself, try new things, letting it go), I expect that text will come at some point. Men are curious beings after all!

        Thank you again – I am almost 3 months into my break-up and feeling much happier than I was a month ago. Letting it go has allowed me to stop analyzing the break-up and just accept it for what it is: an honest to god break-up, that in hindsight, needed to happen for me to make an internal change. Honestly Jen, you have no idea how much your words have helped!

        Glad you were able to fix the comments issue, perhaps it’s just a temporary glitch on wordpress that will resolve itself for other readers.

  54. Hi Jen,

    I feel better after reading your story. I broke up with my ex three weeks ago. Like everyone else, I do feel want to get him back. But, I know, the more I chase after him, the more he will run away from me. Now, all I want is to move on with my life. The problem now is, we’re living together. I cannot move out for now because of financial problems. I have to stay in the same house for at least another 3-4 months before I move out, forever. What is the best way for me to show him that he got nothing to do with my life anymore? I can’t avoid to face him every day. We still talk to each other, but I can sense the tension between us.

      • I’m afraid I don’t have any. Because I came from another state. I’m finishing my thesis writings right now, and right after I settle everything then I can only go back to my family.

        • Well, then do the very best you can and try to be in the house as infrequently as possible. Spend time studying in coffee shops and libraries. Be cordial when you see him but don’t ask about his life. He should wonder why you seem to be doing so well; it will make him curious about you. Whatever you do, don’t let him see you mope around. He doesn’t deserve to see that side of you.

          • Hi Jen,

            It’s me again. I made a stupid mistake today. I stalked to my ex-bf’s Whatsapp. I found out he is trying to date a girl from his work place. But, the girl rejected him. Then, he kept begging the girl to accept him and told her that he can feels that the girl has feelings for him too. He said he missed her so much. He can’t wait to see her in 2 weeks time. He told her all his future plan. Like, he’s going to resign in 3 months time. He wants the girl to give him chance to date her. He keep sending texts to the girl every single day. He looks so miserable.

            I crushed. Fyi, one of the reason he dumped me is because he said he has fallen for this girl since the day we broke up. Why only after we broke up he realized he liked the girl? I just can’t accept that he moves on so easily after 5 years we’ve been together? Is it so easy for him to forget me? I really really wanna move on and let go. But, it’s so hard. It’s been a month since we broke up. I still can’t forget him. I just want to help myself feeling better. I’m going for a 10 days vacation this weekend. Should i tell him that I’ve accepted the fact that we’re broken and wish him all the best? Or should I just disappear for the whole vacation? Can I hug him for the very last time?

  55. hi jen…..soooo fudge I wish this stage in my life was over because it is seriously messing with my amazing job…anyways. He must have forgotten that we shared a gmail account. I only ever used it to pay one bill, but essentially it is his account. I went in there tonight and saw that he has already signed up for This is 1.2 months after our break up. Any thoughts? Was I dating a complete jerk? this sucks.

    • It’s not that abnormal. My ex went on dates pretty quickly after we broke up. Men don’t like to be alone. If it makes you feel better, almost all first dates go badly and any relationship he gets in so quickly after a breakup is doomed to fail. A lot of times men will date to distract themselves from missing you or thinking about your breakup.

  56. I got insecure and texted him after seeing that. I told myself not too…then I asked if he wanted to do something next week and he said yes, that would be fun….then a basic how are you back and fourth…mostly me. I know I should just shut down my communication and be done for a while. Any suggestions?

    • You don’t sound insane but this isn’t how you want this to play out. I’ve written hundreds of other comments to others in a similar vein. He has to think he’s lost you completely to actually want you back. I don’t give strategy on playing games, I try to help people heal. If you want a “get him back” strategy, that stuff is all over the Internet. 🙂

    • No, he wasn’t cruel. He said things that REALLY hurt (“I guess I just don’t love you enough” was one do them) but he never said anything below the belt. It still took a long time for him to prove himself. We took it very slow, I insisted that he go to therapy (which he did) and we went to 6 months of couples counseling together.

  57. I just want to say thank you. I did what you said, I cried and begged and bargained on how much i would change if he’d just not leave me. Of course he loved me but after all the turmoil we had in our relationship he told me that although he loved me he didnt feel IN love anymore. after that i fell back, followed all of your instructions, started going to the gym and most importantly, left him ALONE. after 2 months he was reaching out to me and saying much he missed me and how much he just wisjef things between us were better, i didnt reinforce him by begging him back or make myself look desperate. i just let him spill his heart and was honestly indifferent in attitude amd tone. well…a week after that he told me he couldnt take being without me any longer and asked me back. i said no because i was honestly scared and didnt want to make it easy for him lokr i always had in previous breakups (2). so he waited for me to make up MY mind and after a little back and forth and didvussing what we had changed and would work on and improve i said yes. and like that, i got my ex back. he got ME back. Thank you again for this site.

  58. I have been following these comments for the past few months. I have truly tried to live and breath this philosophy… I started going to the gym, found a new apartment, went to therapy to deal with the effects of a previous partner who had been abusive (and had with hindsight affected my behaviour in this relationship), I got my absolute dream job (LOA for the win), signed up for an evening class and spent a lot of time having ‘me’ time and making an effort to see friends. We had some contact for the first 4 months as we had practical and financial issues to sort out and he dragged his feet… I was upbeat, friendly and always caring, as he told me he broke up with me because he needed to be alone to sort problems in his life out. I told him that I couldn’t be there for him anymore as it wasn’t being appreciated. It’s been total NC for a month now. As we turn into 2016 I felt so optimistic. It’s not me, I thought, it’s just him and he needs time. I’m making great changes to my life and the new me is in such a better place and I was so grateful we had some time apart… but now, I find out he’s been dating someone else for the past month or two. I’m devastated. All that time I tried to be friendly and caring as we sorted out our practicalities I feel like I made such a fool of myself. Urgh!!

    • Being friendly and caring is never making a fool of yourself. You are a new, stronger you now and he’s taking his old self into a relationship that probably won’t make it. You’re still 100% better off than if you had spent 4 months pining for him. Your ego is hurt, but it will recover. And as I’ve said many, many times…getting an ex back is not the point and very often not the happy ending…getting yourself back is.

  59. Hello Jennifer,
    I just came across your blog yesterday and I am so intrigued with all that you have advised. You are a such a helpful soul and you will get back goodness multiplied!
    I would like your advise on my situation too.

    My husband left me and our 2 children on March 27 2015. He just went to work as normal. But in the evening while I was preparing the dinner and getting the kids for bed, he called up and said that he has separated and not to pursue him, and he didn’t tell me where he had gone. I was in shock. The children were unaware also. Later that night I realised that all his cupboards were empty and that he had taken all his belongings. He did this while I was out running errands after the school runs on the morning when he left. I was devastated. I begged, pleaded cried but he was so stubborn. I even begged his mum and cried (she lives abroad) but she was so hostile. I know I so degraded myself.

      • Hi Jen, thanks for replying. Due to a glitch, i couldn’t send my whole message. This is just part of it. So that’s why, the repeat messages. I hope you could advise once you read my full tory. Thank you. You are a wonderful person and you are doing a great job 🙂
        I AM xxx

  60. My boyfriend left me in October. So it’s been 3 months. I worked so hard for this relationship. In the end, way more than him. He broke up with me because he had to move 2 hours away. We tried for two months but he decided he loved him freedom more than me and that he needed to start his single life again. It completely destroyed me. I had never loved someone so much before. I treated him so well, never lied, never even thought of another guy. I wanted this relationship to work. I understand now that he wasn’t putting effort in and that I deserve better but we were perfect for each other. He hasn’t tried to contact me at all. I did see him at the gym and we spoke for 5 minutes. It was really awkward. He was cold, I was passive aggressive. Last night would have been our anniversary, instead of sitting around I went skiing with friends. Which was something he loved and always wanted to take me to do. I decided much like what to write to never say no to anything. I’m going to Madrid this summer to be an au pair. Joined a volleyball team. Took up ballet. Took up hip pop dance. I work out a lot. I know he works out constantly and is going to Yellowstone to work over the summer. Which is different for him every different. They’ve all really helped with my confidence. I’ll be moving to the city that he lives in in the fall. I want us to have a second chance so badly. To just love each other and be free from our past. I know it’ll take a lot of change on both our parts but I think it’s good change. I’m just scared that he has no interested in me anymore. He said terrible awful things to me durin our break up and said he couldn’t be casual or friends because he couldn’t put past our feelings but that we may get back together in the future and that we’ll each other again. I don’t want it to be the awkward 5 minutes at the gym. I want us together as changed people. I’m just scared that he loves his freedom more than me.

    • You say he didn’t put in the effort you deserved, but that you were perfect for each other.

      Him not putting in the effort you deserved is the very thing that makes you not perfect for each other.

      Keep doing all the things you’re doing, but do them for yourself instead of him.

  61. First of all, Jen, your blog is awesome. Thank you so much.

    My situation is pretty different. I’ve been reading comments and comments for guidance and advice but I feel like it would be best to share my own story, so… here goes. (Sorry for the length)

    I’m in sophomore high school. In the beginning of June 2015, I met this girl who belonged in my class. We had not talked at all during the first day, but we began becoming curious for each other and started small talk. The chemistry was great. As the days go by, we talked a lot, laughed a lot, hung outside of school with ourselves or even our other friends. She became an essential part of my life, a close friend that I could always talk to. I loved it.

    Then I realized that I started to develop feelings for her. We’re both girls, and I was pretty sure that she wasn’t interested in girls due to her past relationships. I kept these feelings hidden and would only confide it into one of our mutual friends. The more time we spent together, the more I started to fall for her. We would flirt from time to time, but I never thought it serious.

    Until I realized she liked me too. The mutual friend who I once confided in told me that the girl I liked (let’s call her J) was starting to like me. I was filled with so many positive emotions, but I kept my cool. I continued to treat her as my close friend, but the intimacy upped from there. Fast forward to October 2015, and we’re dating.

    Everything is ethereal. Young love at it’s finest. The butterflies, the first kisses, the late-night conversations, I couldn’t ask for more. We would send each other gifts the next day at school. Snacks or letters or small-stuffed animals on each other’s desks. She wasn’t the one who showed much of her emotions, but I truly knew that she loved me. She would gush about me to her other friends, and I would too. We were considered the HS sweethearts in our school, and although the attention we got shied us, we laughed and joked about it daily.

    But boy, did we fight. We never came close to yelling our heads off, but we used to fight a lot in the beginning of our relationship. We talked it out somewhere in the middle and there was a time where we didn’t fight and our relationship peaked around late-November. I remember so many happy memories. Suddenly, late-December took a toll on us. We fought about silly things, things that shouldn’t even be fought over, and I guess it tired us out. We stopped contacting each other for a while since it was the break. We messaged each other daily, but I missed her so bad. I started to notice that she’d stopped sending me ‘I love yous’ before going or the random ‘I miss you’ when we would be talking. I shrugged it off as nothing, because aside from that, our texting seemed fine.

    Now, it’s the first day of school since the break, and since she’s my classmate I’m excited to see her. We talk, and here’s where I get touchy with her. I try resting my head on her shoulder or holding her arm, no big deal, I think, because I’ve done this with her numerous times and she never complained about it. But the moment I try to hold her arm or something, she backs off. I’m confused and slightly hurt, asking her, “Hey, what’s wrong?” She looks at me, annoyingly, and says, “You’re clingy.” and moves someplace else, talking to some other friends.

    At first I didn’t think too much of it, and continued. Big mistake. She kept avoiding me that Monday. Since we would eat together with other friends in Recess I thought it’d be a great way to bond with each other. She didn’t interact with me much, instead she focused her attention to our other friends. I felt like an outcast. By dismissal I tried to kiss her goodbye on the cheek as we always did, but she made an excuse. Whatever, I thought, we could settle this when I get back home.

    She texts me later that she feels like I’m smothering her. That I was way too clingy earlier and that she needed space to breathe. I apologized to her, although confused since I was always like that with her prior to the break. We ended up talking about it and it led to a fight. I sent her a long message at night and we told each other that we were sorry, I love you… I thought it was going to be okay the next day.

    It wasn’t. She ignored me completely. And it hurt. She sits near me in class so seeing her talking to others and laughing along with them wasn’t easy. I tried to be happy on my own too, but it felt off. Whenever I tried to reach out to her our conversations would be short. No more laughing, no more talks. I stopped eating with her and went with another group because I thought we needed space. I didn’t know what went wrong. I thought it was going to be okay.

    She broke up with me last Friday, on the first week of January through call and text. She said she couldn’t handle it anymore, that she didn’t feel the spark we used to have. “It’s just gone now,” she told me. I was devastated, holding back the tears as I tried to talk her out of it. She said she was sorry for being so cold to me this week, explained that she was trying to figure herself out and realized she wasn’t the person she thought she was. She didn’t want to break up with me at first, for fear of how I would react, then realized that I’d still get hurt either way.

    She explained to me that we lacked communication. I think that was a huge factor in our breakup, that even though we talked a lot, we didn’t get ‘real’ to each other often. I understood, but my heart was heavy. I told her I wasn’t stopping her. She said it wasn’t my fault for making her choose this decision. That there was nothing wrong with me. That I was an amazing girlfriend. I want to believe it so badly, but I still ask myself what went wrong.

    It wasn’t a toxic breakup, for sure. She said she would always care for me and wanted to be the friends we were before soon, since apparently we were ‘happier.’ I foolishly said I wanted the same. How could I? After everything we’d been through, all those fights where we ended up getting stronger, and this was the one that broke it. We both got tired, I’ll admit that, but I didn’t want to give up. She was my first and I believe that she’s worth fighting for, no matter how difficult she can get. But it was over. I told her I needed space, and she understood. We said we’d miss each other, and I sent her a sort of closure message that said I was grateful for the experience. She felt likewise. We had minimal contact over the weekend. I cried countless times.

    The next Monday felt so difficult. We’re classmates, and we sit near each other. We do not initiate any form of talk. The only times we talked was for reasons such as schoolwork and group projects. I tried to do no contact, but it’s almost impossible when your ex happens to be your classmate. We barely texted each other and it was more of topics on school, and less on the ‘how are you.’

    I did not tell her that I missed her, I did not tell her that I wanted her back. I did not tell her that I still loved her, no matter how much I wanted to. Last Friday, there was an icecream party during homeroom, and it just so happened that I was helping her out in getting her own ice cream cone. It was cramped so our arms kept brushing together, but it didn’t feel as awkward as I thought. There was mutual silence, mutual respect, and once I gave her her cone she quietly moved away.

    We ended up taking a picture together afterwards. She stood up on a chair, with me below her, although unintentionally. When they were about to take the class picture she put her hands on my shoulders as balance, and a slight elation filled me. We both smiled with our teeth, looking as if nothing bad had happened.

    We did not say goodbye to each other after school. I texted her good luck on her tournament this weekend, she replied in a friendly manner. Our conversations occurred in the group chat, short talks but in good spirit. She even enjoyed one of the jokes I put in, something that she always loved about me.

    I asked her during the breakup, that if time had passed, and if we had become better versions of ourselves, that maybe we could try again. She said yes, and although that gives me hope, I don’t want to cling on to it. I want to become happy with myself, and I guess through all this soul-searching I realized that although she made me endlessly happy, I could still live without her. It’s so hard to say it, much less type it on here, but I cannot wait to finally move on from that relationship and be a better person.

    Like J said, I also want to be her old friend soon. I’m torn because I also want to move on first. I tried doing no contact but I learned that it’s hard because of school and our group projects. I am going to see her on Monday until Friday, and she sits near me. I honestly don’t know what to do in my situation, so I’m looking to you for advice, Jen. We still both have feelings for each other, but she seems to be moving on better than me. I want to move on too. That’s the only way I could have a chance of getting her back, and if not, well, I’ll know that there’s someone out there for me, and it doesn’t have to be her. Because I fucking deserve that.

    I want to know how to heal, to forgive, and to work things out in my own time. Thank you so much, Jen.

    • Well, you can’t do no contact in high school, which is hard. But all of us who are older than you have been there. High school breakups are the worst, but what’s really quick to heat up can also be really quick to cool. In other words, you may recover sooner than you expect.

      I would be cordial if she speaks to you. Never initiate contact. Never speak to her first unless required by school. Never ask how she is, never make eye contact. Being clingy will kill any relationship, but being cool and distant will bring almost anyone back. But because you both have such hot tempers, rekindling your relationship will likely meet with the same end. Not until you’re older, less temperamental and insecure, will you experience a truly fulfilling relationship.

      Love is so much about freedom. I didn’t know that till I was 30. The heat and clingy passion of youth smothers the fragile flame of love. Work on your confidence so your next love doesn’t meet the same end. ❤️

      In the meantime, spend time with other friends, stay as busy as you can. It’ll hurt during the day when you have to see her. Write your feelings out in a journal at night. Exercise to release the pent up emotions. Confide in friends who won’t tell her. And, in time, it’ll pass. You will be okay. ❤️

      • I’ll be okay, yeah, I needed that. I have a sport so exercising is no problem, and it really does help me keep her off my mind. Your comment about us being hot tempered threw me off, haha. Sure, we fought a lot, but it was those quiet fights. I never yelled at her, never shouted and seldom got angry, neither did she. But anyway, what’s done is done. I will grow.

        You’re right, I’ve had so many people comment about how young I still am, and that the opportunities out there for me are endless. Honestly it makes me excited just thinking about it. I’m working on being less clingy, and I’m glad to say that I feel more cheerful and confident than last week. Progress is progress!

        The journal thing sounds like a good idea. I hung out with friends last Friday but unfortunately the emptiness was still there, I’m reminding myself that it will fade soon. The healing process is way too hard but I find happiness among some of my friends and I’m truly grateful that I have them with me.

        It was very pleasant to share these thoughts with you. I feel like a lot has gotten off my chest. And thus, we reiterate what you have said countless times, I will be okay, whether it’s with her or not, I will be okay.

        Cheers to you and your husband 🙂

        • When I say hot tempered, I simply mean that you fought a lot. I’m not implying you mistreated her at all. Quiet fights can actually be worse, because you’re failing at communicating. At least in the angry fights, resolution is happening.

          If your fighting eventually split you apart, I consider that a big communication issue. Which, by the way, is so normal at your age. At your age, I couldn’t communicate my way out of a shoebox and I cheated on most of my significant others instead of just being able to talk to them about why I was unhappy. Fighting a lot was a regular part of my life until this, my final, relationship. My husband and I now communicate so well that if we fight twice in a month, that’s pretty unusual. But that took years of work on my part…journal writing, therapy, bad relationships.

          Love is out there and each relationship will get better, you’ll unfold and bloom, and get better at communicating each time. It only gets better, I promise.

          I can tell you’re very kind and loving. The girl who gets you permanently is very lucky.

  62. Hi Jen,

    Thank you so much for this blog post. You are incredibly insightful and well-spoken, and the care you have for your readers is incomparable.

    My ex broke up with me last week. We had been dating for 5 months, but have known each other for years and years. I had just moved to a new place and gotten out of an incredibly emotionally destructive relationship of 3 years when we started dating. Yeah, that was a big mistake. He pushed for the relationship even after I told him my situation and that I like him a lot but was afraid. But when you’re in love you do things you know might not be the best for you…so I moved forward with him. Things were blissful for a couple months – he and I can stay up til 5 in the morning talking about everything, make each other laugh until we cry, and care for each other deeply. I have some insecurity and self-esteem issues from my previous relationship. I was often made to feel like I didn’t matter at all, and was told hurtful things over and over. My ex-ex (haha) was often cold and indifferent and would push me away, and then pull me back in. I gave him all of my energy because I thought I could help him, but I had nothing left for myself or anyone else. This led to unrealistic expectations for my now-ex. I needed constant reassurance. I picked fights and lashed out. I would push him away because I was afraid of getting hurt and being close. Eventually, you guessed it, it did push him away.

    He said the way my last relationship affected me was ruining our relationship. He’d wanted to be there for me as I worked through the insecurity and to trust him and open up to him, but that the fighting was too much. I was crushed, as I have recently started seeing a therapist to deal with these issues, but of course, things don’t happen overnight. Our breakup was painful and we both wept. He said he loved me more than he’s ever loved anyone and wished that I would see all the amazing things he sees in me in myself. He wants me to heal and become the joyful, lively, confident person I really am, but he thinks we need space and that I need to do it alone. He expressed hoping we have a chance in the future because he loves me deeply. He apologized for being selfish in pushing for the relationship when I wasn’t ready and for poking my emotional wounds (though the way I was affected is my issue). So we’re done.

    This past week has been full of reflection. Of course, I blamed myself. Why was I stupid in jumping into a new relationship without having dealt with my issues? Why did I keep pushing him away? Why didn’t I get help before? But the truth is, everything happens as it’s meant to. I saw my therapist, who helped me stop completely blaming myself. I saw an energy healer (highly recommend for anyone who believes in this sort of thing) who helped me IMMENSELY. I got a cute haircut. I’ve started going to spin class and yoga class again, which I’d stopped doing. I booked a short vacation to the Bahamas with a close friend. My ex and I texted a couple days ago. I broke NC, saying I wanted to tell him about my discoveries. He responded telling me he missed me and to tell me. So I did, and I guess I made a mistake in saying that I would continue working on myself, thanked him for giving me his love and space to do so, and that I would love the opportunity to try again down the line. He responded saying he loved me very much, that he was just still very sad right now and would start doing things for himself again, and that I was inspiring to him. He already said before that he hoped we could try again, so I know I shouldn’t read into this too much. I know he is in a great deal of pain, too. So, back to NC. We have mutual friends, so I know at the latest I’ll be seeing him in late May for our friends’ wedding. It’s hard to not reach out to him because we ended lovingly. I don’t want to be cold or distant, but I know I should be act indifferent.

    Of course I hope that we come together and try again. But I am feeling optimistic after only a week. I know that I will be a better person for myself and for whoever I next enter a relationship with, be it my ex or someone else. The energy healer said something that resonated deeply with me – she said that with my ex-ex (emotionally abusive relationship, though I know he just has issues of his own) I consented to give him my power and my energy, but the empowering piece was that I can reclaim it. That’s what I’m trying to do, and I know I will be a stronger, more independent, confident person for it – who I am at the core. I miss my ex, as he is the type of person I want to grow old with and I love him so much. I want us both to be happy, though. And I’m working on that every day. Again, thank you so much. Thank you for focusing on self-improvement instead of silly games to manipulate someone back. Congratulations to you and C! I will continue referencing your blog when I need a boost. Love.

    • Well, I’ve hit rock bottom. We spoke on the phone for 2 hours last night and went through it all. I told him I was angry at him for giving up when I’d just started therapy, I told him I felt abandoned. I then sobbed and tried to convince him we could figure it out together, I could change, I could be better, I would fight. He sobbed too and said he loved me so much but felt like the relationship was unbalanced, which it was. He said that he’s hurting too, misses and loves me, but knows that we need to be apart. I begged him not to give up on us and he, through sobs, kept saying, “Stop crying, my beautiful girl. I’m not giving up on us.”

      Emotional abuse is a crazy thing. You don’t realize how much affect it has on you. I sure didn’t realize what 3 years did to me until I started dating my most recent ex. I sabotaged the relationship. I was guarded, suspicious, insecure, when he gave me no reason to be. I couldn’t believe him when he complimented me. I apologized to him for asking him to stay, I realize that was selfish of me. I want him to be happy. I love him and I don’t want him to shrink anymore because of my pain. Our breakup is a bit different in that I feel like this is my fault. I’m having trouble stopping the “I should have just…” or “Why didn’t I take time?” or “If I healed before we dated, everything would be perfect” thoughts. I’m having trouble letting go of hope to reconcile in the future. I feel so hopeless today. Dealing with this heartache of losing, who I feel is the love of my life, on top of dealing with the pain caused by past emotional abuse…it seems too much. I wish I could see the future and see if my ex would be there. He says the only thing getting him through is the thought that he’ll get to have me in his life in some capacity after we’re both healed. I don’t know what that means. We’ve sent long weepy texts back and forth but it needs to be done, I guess.

      I know I have so much pain to deal with. I want to be happy, secure, confident and strong for myself. I want to be that way, regardless of whether or not he comes back. But as you all know, letting go of that hope is so hard. It’s so hard for me because I know we love each other. I hate myself for screwing this up and I hate my previous ex for wounding me so deeply. I’m in a dark place 😦

    • Hi Jamie, this situation is exactly like mine. Would love to talk to you about it, do you have an email? Thanks x

  63. Jen,

    That was a great article, and though it was written a while back, it was nice to read. I am currently going through a breakup after a 4 year long distance relationship. We have quite the history. We dated for three months in my junior and his senior year of high school. He broke up with me after his graduation because he was going to be going to college, and he was also afraid of commitment at the time. I accepted the break up and didn’t contact him. I moved on and dated someone else briefly, but he never moved on, and started pursuing me again 6 months later. We rekindled our relationship for the summer before I went to school a state away. It took convincing to get him to agree to long distance, but we went for it, and it worked out for quite some time. However, it has never been his favorite thing, and he often struggles with it. We are amazing when we are together, but it’s very hard when we are apart. We have had a lot of ups and downs trying to figure things out. Recently he just said that the distance was killing him, and he just couldn’t do it right now. Also, that we are too dependent on one another and we need to learn to live apart. That he has always loved me, and it has nothing to do with his feelings, but he just really can’t do the distance. He told me the break up was killing him as much as it was me, and that in different circumstances he thinks it might have worked. Ultimately he said that at the very least we need a break to become our own people, and that if we work out down the line when I’m set and he’s set, he is open to it. I had a very hard time accepting this, and did do some pleading to no avail for two days. The next day, I sent something telling him that I understood where he was coming from and agreed that he was right about the break up. He told me that that meant the world to him. I asked him if he honestly ever saw us getting back together again, just for my minds sake, when I move back home after next year. He said that if we were in the same area and single, he thinks it would be dumb to say we wouldn’t. I didn’t talk to him for 6 days, I went to New Orleans for spring break, and had a really good time. But then I had something come up that was big in my life (I was diagnosed toward the beginning of our relationship with bipolar disorder, but after a recent breakdown, I was told I was misdiagnosed with bipolar, and rather have anxiety/depression), and I asked if we could meet to talk about it, and that us meeting would have nothing to do with us getting back together. My mental illness was sometimes put at the forefront of our relationship, so I figured that letting him know why certain things were the way they were and that I was going to get better was important. He said he didn’t think it was a good idea, as he has really been struggling trying to stop thinking about me and just having me contact him was making it worse. I said I understood, told him via text about the misdiagnosis, and let him know that my hospitalization after our breakup due to my breakdown was in no part due to him, since I knew he had found out. I also told him that I already feel a million times better due to my new treatment, or as good as I can feel. However, I also went on to say that I had been thinking a lot about him too, but I know that feelings and thoughts from a 4 year relationship are going to take time to let go of, and I find solace in that because the longer it takes, the more meaningful it was. I also told him that I don’t think we are done with one another in the future, and told him what my dad said: “I get the feeling you’ll be right for one another someday, but maybe that day just isn’t today.” I then apologized for contacting him, and let him know that I would leave it in his hands, as he knows where to find me.
    He never responded.
    Have I made a mistake in telling him all those things at the end? I guess telling him I see us having a future and all that isn’t making him curious. I said it because I thought maybe he’d find solace in it just as I had. Is there something I should do to fix it or put myself in a better position?
    I see myself reuniting with him in the future, and I just feel like I completely messed it up by leaving contact up to him, and telling him all those things.

  64. Hi Jen

    I know you don’t reply to comments anymore. Just wanted to say thank you so much for being my inspiration and relief most days for the last 2 months. My parter of 9 years and father of our son (7) left out of the blue. Typical “I’m not sure I’m in love” argument. He’s moved out and I’m trying my best to build a life for myself and my boy. What I find the hardest is NC. it’s impossible with the reponsibility of a child. Also his family loves me so much and are in constant contact with me. I want to heal. It would be easier if I didn’t have to talk about anything like finances or childcare… Any advise would appreciate it. Especially because I feel for my boy. He doesn’t understand what’s going on. His dad said he needed space away to figure out whether he wanted me or not. I wish to be strong to not need him at all. I trust the universe will bring me the love I deserve. In the meantime I’m so thankful for this blog. Thank you Jen. All the best. Maria.

    • Hi Maria,

      I can’t pretend I know what to do when the split involves a child, as we don’t have children (yet — we will in 3mos). I know that NC is not a possibility.

      What would I do? I would be brief in any interactions with the ex. Only reach out when it involves your son. Keep the communication short and strictly business (not overly accommodating, yet not bitter).

      After 9 years together and raising a child, I don’t know if anyone feels “in love” the way they used to. When your dinner conversations consist of projects that are due and when soccer practice is, it’s pretty easy to forget to give an extra kiss on the cheek, or to send the text that says “I’m so thankful for all you do for our family,” or to remember to do the little things that made you each feel special when it was just the two of you. Our baby isn’t here yet but I am ALREADY feeling that way — that too often I’m still in pajamas at noon with no make up on (the previous me would have NEVER let C see me without make up), or that I ask for too much or am too ungrateful.

      But you know? If your man left because you’re not wearing lingerie and sending him dirty texts and making his heart race, I don’t know…part of me thinks, “Well then, fuck him.” Obviously I don’t wish single motherhood on you, nor the knowledge that the next 11 years of raising your son will be alone. But it sounds like your ex wanted more of a thrill ride with his woman than he wanted a partnership.

      The only advice I can give is to focus on your son and yourself. Give both of you the kindness and time to process the pain that you need. As for your ex, tell him you have zero obligation, nor desire, to give him time to “figure out” if he wants you. If he’s unsure, then he can stay moved out & gone, while you work on yourself and wait for someone who doesn’t blow away when things get boring.

      Being with someone for years and years gets boring sometimes. And then there are times when it’s like the life is re-injected into your relationship and you’re so glad you stuck it out. If your ex doesn’t realize that, then let him go fail with the next woman, because he will.

      I’m sorry for your loss and heartbreak and I wish you truly speedy recovery and healing. It will come. That’s the only thing I can say I know for sure after talking to 400+ people through their breakups. The healing and joy always comes. How to get through the pain is unique to every situation, but the outcome always has resolution + relief.

  65. Hey Jen/everyone – I know comments are closed but I still wanted to share my story as it feels very cathartic to do so and this blog has really helped. I’ll stay brief – my ex and I started dating 7 years ago (he is 2 years younger) so he was still in college. We had an absolutely AMAZING relationship. His last semester in college, he broke up with me completely out of the blue because he had been with his ex for 6 years before me and knew I was the one he wanted to marry. He said for the first time in his life, he needed to just be on his own with friends before graduating, but didn’t expect me to wait. I, of course, waited…and it was hell. The worst, most self-destructive 6 months of my life…i didn’t take a second to myself. 6 months later, he graduated, came home and we got right back together as if nothing had happened. I was SO happy to be with him again. Fast forward 4 years, we just broke up again (6 months ago in Oct). Little fights repeating over and over eventually lead to this even though neither of us wanted it, we didn’t know how to fix what had been broken. Over the last 6 months I have realized how insecure I was and scared to lose him again that any time we would fight, i would say “I feel like you don’t want to be with me” which killed him to hear. Needless to say, according to the LOA, my negative thoughts brought me to this break up. I am thankful for the time apart because 1)I have REALLY grown as a person and learned about the power of positive thinking and 2) For the first time in 2 years,I can see how insecure I was and took it out on Joe. I made him feel like he wasnt enough because I was so insecure with myself. I thankfully had the chance to explain all of this to him 2 weeks ago and he was so appreciative for me apologizing for how I made him feel (like he wasn’t enough) for the last 2 years and said it all makes sense how our first break up effected me. He was a crying mess the whole time and said he’s been a mess off and on since we broke up. Before we said goodbye, he was squeezing me so tight and I asked him if he was trying to move on. He said (through his tears) “I don’t know what I’m trying to do right now. I have so many mixed feelings”. I KNOW I need to let go and stop hoping and hanging on. But it also kills me that I have finally reached this point and I don’t know if its too late. He is so amazing and treated me so well with so much love, and now I can finally see that. I tell myself all the time the things I know to be true “If its meant to be, time wont matter” and that I need to let go. But he’s the kind of guy that if he knew or thought I had moved on, he would think I was happier without him and he would let me go regardless of him wanting me back or not. He would just want me to be happy. It’s a huge struggle in my mind because in my heart of hearts, I know we are meant to be and I felt like we didnt give it a fair shot because of how I wasn’t my true self the last few years. It breaks my heart how I treated him thinking back – he tried SO hard to fix things, but I was in such a bad state of mind to realize it, that I lost him. Im getting stronger and doing things for myself…the only thing thats missing is sharing with him the “new” me and its a void.

    • I forgot to mention – about a week after we met up, I texted him (before I found this blog) and we texted back and forth a bit. I then asked if he wanted to hang out again, just something fun and not so serious like last time. He hasnt responded and its been a week 😦 I understand it make have been too much too soon and him not responding was for the best because I would have said something back if he said anything. But now after reading these blogs, I feel like I took 1 step forward only to have taken 2 steps back. Have I completely lost the power of him seeing me as more confident and pushed things back?

      • He’ll only see you as confident if you get more confident. And you’re not there yet. You might think you are, but you’re not. You’ll only get there if you accept that he wants it to be over. That’s the part you’re not seeing. He didn’t end it because you were insecure (it may have contributed, but it wasn’t the main cause). He ended it because, after a total of almost 10 years together, he wanted to be free and experience something else.

        By you trying to own 100% of the fault, it makes you think you can fix 100% of the breakup. But you can’t, as you’re refusing to accept that he WANTS it to be over.

        You have to accept this before anyone can give you further advice, or before any advice at all will sink in. It was the hardest part of accepting my breakup. Things may have been my fault partially, but C left me because he wanted to leave. He wanted to be on his own. He needed to experience that for himself.

        My recommendation is no contact, EVER (just like it is with everyone else — sadly, your breakup is not unique), and to let go of him and work on yourself. That way, when you meet someone new or if your ex does return, insecurity won’t play a role in your relationship. You’ll only gain the confidence you need by getting through this. And you’ll only get through it if you stop hanging on.

  66. Hi Jen,

    I can’t thank you enough for how helpful your posts have been during this tough time for me.

    About 8 months into my relationship with my boyfriend, I sank into a wave of depression and anxiety. At first he was great at supporting me, but then when I had a panic attack, he’d get angry and started pulling away, which made me feel ten times worse.

    My patience broke after about a month and a half of fighting, him calling me names and telling me he had come to hate me, mixed with moments of him acting really lovingly towards me, which made me feel confused and like I deserved the times when he wouldn’t speak to me or said hurtful comments. We broke up after a period of two weeks when he hadn’t initiated contact at all, my depression was at an all time low and I felt really alone and sad. I brought up the subject of us breaking up because I wanted more from him, but I suddenly changed my mind, and by that point then he didn’t want me back.

    Fast forward two and a half months and I’m no longer crying every day, although I still feel shaky and like I love him. I didn’t speak to him for 67 days (I counted!) but then broke when I saw him on a dating app and I phoned him, partly to get some of my things back, and partly because I missed him so, so much. But when I spoke to him on the phone, it was like a different person to who I once loved picked up. He was casual and spoke to me as if I was a friend. I asked him once more if he’d ever change his mind about us not being together, and he said no.

    I’m now on medication and going to therapy, going for runs regularly and trying so hard to get myself back. Part of me feels like I deserve better, but part of me still misses and loves him. He still takes up a large majority of my thoughts, and I’m trying to come round to the idea of this being done forever, after he said originally he wanted to stick by me and build a life together and marry me.

    Hopefully the real snap will come soon. I can feel it approaching.

    Thank you so much for everything and all of your helpful writing. I don’t know how I could have been this strong without it.


  67. Hi Jen! I know you are done responding and taking emails but hopefully you can take this situation into consideration! I’ve read nearly all the comments and have not seen a situation like mine. We were in a relationship of 5 years when i let the insecurity and lack of self love keep us from having what i truly desired. Bottom line he only wants a friendship and a casual relationship but in the midst of our break up i found out that im pregnant! I’m so confused on how to move forward n focus on me when im carrying his child! Im not sure how i can work out or incorporate things that will bring my confidence up when im still undecided on how to go through pregnancy alone or if i should! I really need some advice. I have a child from a previous relationship and just want to get to a happy place where im loving me n her no matter what…i know this may b out of your league but if not what advice do u have? I mean dating is nearly impossible i would think since im carrying someone else’s child so in my mind i just feel when i talk to other people i can never get serious n there’s always a wall up bc i dont want to let my guard down n they not want the responsibility of dating a pregnant woman n to b honest i really dont prefer someone raising my child. I mean in my daughters situation it happened although her dad is still very active but its just like if it not their blood child they can leave without looking back at the child with any care. I said the next child i have i will be married to the father n my ex gave me a ring but i wasnt in alignment with what i truly wanted. Any advice?

      • Yes. He knows. He has children from a previous marriage and only wants kids by his wife someone he’s going to be with. I feel the same and getting back together is the least of my concern. Yes i want him n all that comes with having a family n the security in a relationship but since we broke up its like trying to focus solely on me is so dim. I mean i cant do extensive working out bc im carrying a child. Looking for yoga for pregnant women in my area…so with where he n i are i dont know if keeping the child is best for either of us. I mean i want to be with the father n not go through pregnancy ALONE as well as i want to be srrong for my baby so that when he or she comes i can give them the love n happiness they deserve. I’m not wanting to end my pregnancy bc i love my unborn I’m just so unsure on how to move forward in these circumstances.

        • I think you need to spend a long time searching your heart, because either decision will alter your life irrevocably. These blogs don’t apply so much to you because there are literally three lives hanging in the balance.

          Forget working out or dating. Try to get quiet, take a whole week, and really search your heart for what you are being called to do.

      • I don’t want to sound confusing…yes my desire hasn’t changed…i would live to have the relationship with him that i desire but letting go fully is where i am. Not to get him back but to fully get me back…the process seems different for me seeing as to how a week after we broke up i found out i was pregnant. Again, yes he knows but bc of the turmoil neither of us are excited to bring a child into this 🌎. There was no physical or verbal abuse just alot of emotional imbalance n insecurity on my part. There was cheating on his part in the beginning of our relationship so i guess i just never took time to rebuild and focus on where i was broken. Im in a better place now to do so mentally n emotionally. I read when things fall apart as u suggested n started talking to guys but i feel like im not being real bc i dont reveal im pregnant n my intention is never mire then just open communication n friendships that will help me get my mind busy and in the direction of moving forward. I dont know it just seems my situation is tougher bc althoughhe wants another child he wants to b married or at least working towards marriage before bringing another child into this world. I dont want to have this child alone nor do i want him to think im trying to trap him u know! Just alot to understand i guess…

  68. Ok. I commented again before i read your last comment. I will do just that get quiet and search my heart! Thank u so much for your advice. I did see a psychic who told me hat he and i would be married in a few months n to keep our child…that he is in love with me i just have to find that love n trust within me. I know it doesn’t matter what she says its only what i believe n want. So im committed to taking this week to do some searching within myself. I’ll pray and ask for a genuine sign of how to move forward for me n pray as i hope u will that the universe guide me to the best outcome for all of us including my daughter as the universe knows the way that right now i cant see. Love u n thank u for ur quick response! Such an amazing soul!

  69. Hello Jen.
    I’ve been reading your lovely posts and I couldn’t help but to hold on to hope.As you can tell from my name, I am a male, so I read your blogs as non gender specific. However when you say that MEN will come back, I get a bit sad because maybe it wont apply to me. Does your post apply to males to? I just wanted a quick advice from you and I understand that it may be busy, so im going to make it brief.

    We dated for a year, she had to go back overseas for half a year. She returned but is in another state just for study. Her home is the state where we met. While she was gone, I became needy and desperate. When she came back she told me that she couldn’t handle the pressure of her being my only emotional and social support. She kinda hoped it will work out, that I somehow grew and become independent. I was dependent and lost myself. She is right, that now in the relationship would NOT be the right time. I agree with her with that. But I want to be with her in the later. She likes me (she said that a month ago). I love her. That’s the problem. The emotional imbalance and shitty timing.

    We had chatted few days ago. I told her I cant be friends with someone I am in love with and I said Ill contact her if a time comes. I told her that I wont text her but that I wanted to keep the lines open for any possible communications in the future. She then explained that shes not particular good at gauging at things and saying that there is pressure on her end. So I said to her if shes ever in state and single, give me a call because I don’t want to lose the slightest chance of being together. She said she promised to call. I am not talking to her now. I wasn’t sure if i was being needy or desperate, but I was somewhat calm.

    I feel like at this point i blew it, but she told me to be truthful, so I did tell her what my thoughts and feelings were at that point.

    Any thoughts?

    • Also I forgot to add, there is no bad blood on our behalf. I still trust her and everything, but I am just heart broken. and I ended the text with “bye for now”. Ugh i feel like everything I do is like “make it or break it”.

  70. Hey Jenn.
    We ceased contact and I have deleted apps where we used to chat. However, we are still friends on Facebook and she has my number. I just unfollowed her so i dont get any notifications. She knows I dont resent her and she understands why I did this. Shes currently studying in another state. I’m not going to initiate any contact, I think its wise for me to not contact anyway. She hasn’t contacted me either. There is no point in contact when shes in another state right?

    I do miss her a lot these days. I’ve been making some new friends and been hitting the gym pretty hard. I’ve also been seeing a psychologists fortnightly to fix self esteem/anxiety issues and to grow mentally. I’m really pushing myself to find new things and to grow. Every time something awesome happens in my life, I wish i could tell her, show her, wish she was there to see.

    There are still thoughts about her, a mixture of good and bad. I often came here to relieve myself in case im feeling super sad. Every time im not busy, thoughts about her increases and I feel sad that the relationship was actually pretty good, but the long distance caused me to be really insecure and needy which lead to a disaster. Perhaps some of it was due to lack of communication.

    Your blogs introduced me briefly about LoA. Being a science student, its really hard to believe about that stuff. I’m a very logical person and I want to believe trust me, but my mind is caught up and I end up becoming confused/ frustrated. I watch some LoA videos as well for further learning.

    I wanted to ask you what are the chances of her coming back/ will she come back. These are the thoughts that come to my head often. I know that you’re not a psychic and because i’m asking such questions, i’m coming from a place of lack.

    Im not sure how/what you’re going to respond with. I just wanted to let you know whats been happening with me and my thoughts. Theres’ probably more so say but I cant think of any right now.

  71. Thank you for your story. I’m 43, have been divorced 8 years and am having a hard time not giving up on ever having the relationship I want. I know your advice is good as I have used it on the multiple broken hearts I’ve had to nurse over the years. I just wish I wasn’t becoming so jaded and hopeless as none have ever come back, and the right one hasn’t showed up, even though I have a full, grateful life and have let them go as you describe. Hindsight has shown several of those times to be a blessing and I know me wanting them back was just my ego being hurt by the rejection. This last one (2 months ago) is taking it’s toll. Everyone from my mother to my hairdresser thought he was the reason it hadn’t worked with anyone else. I was in a great place and not even looking when we met. I felt on our first date I was going to be with him. My gut is aching with a feeling it’s not over but I fear that’s just me longing for the him and the relationship. I am at a low now that I haven’t felt since my divorce. Over time I have let go and mourned not having other children, finding someone while my son was young so he could have siblings (biological or step) to grow up with and have watched many of my divorced and single friends move on to happy and doting relationships. It’s just hard to be in these shoes at this age. And it’s hard to let this one go and start over even though I am doing all the right things. I pray each day for acceptance for where my life is and acceptance for the reality it’s not where I thought it would be. I know he is struggling with things too and it feels like such a waste. Life is so short to throw away something good. But it’s also too short for someone who isn’t capable of what I deserve.

      • Sorry in advance for the novel 🙂 Thank you. I know I have a lot of good life ahead regardless of my relationship status. I believe he had commitment and some depression issues. We went to high school together and live 2 miles apart but didn’t know each other until nearly 2 years ago. We met and it was pretty much love at first sight, no games, and were very close immediately. I have been divorced longer and I’m just further along the path and have done more work to be emotionally healthy. We discussed a future multiple times but a little over a year into it he became uncomfortable discussing it. He told me that he loved me, loved being with me, and didn’t want anyone else but when he thought of his future he felt paralyzed. He also has a negative view of marriage. He was married 15 years before and it wasn’t good for a long time. Things had always been good between us so I let it go and decided to enjoy the relationship as I’m not on a timeline and I don’t know that I need to be remarried anyway. I’d be happy with life partner and solid commitment. Anyway, at the same time this happened his teenage daughter became very difficult, his relationship with his ex deteriorated and he was unhappy with changes at his job. He became depressed dealing with all this. He pushed me away when I tried to be supportive. He was emotionally withdrawn for a couple of months finally ending it saying he needed to be alone and couldn’t give me what I want. He said the pressure of a relationship was too much and he felt guilty being a bad boyfriend since he had nothing left to give with all his problems. I have left him alone completely… I have insane will power in these situations 🙂 however we have run into each other several times (we run in close circles) and he clearly has a hard time seeing me. I always keep it light and cordial and don’t say much other than hello. He gets visibly upset and can barely face me. I can say he has done exactly what he told me. He is alone and just spends time with his superficial bar friends. I have unfollowed him on social media but he continues to like and watch my posts. I am working up to deleting him but it just feels like another breakup. The whole time we were together he would literally light up when I walked in. It sounds silly but when he looks at me I still feel that love and there is a lot of energy between us. I think in his mind he is being chivalrous because he has convinced himself he needs to be alone. But I feel that’s a cop out and if he wanted to change things he would. I know I need to keep moving on. It just feels hopeless at the moment and I miss him. I know the difference between missing having a boyfriend and missing the actual person. And it’s really him I miss.

        • This doesn’t sound like it’s over to me. Sounds like classic guy overwhelm. Doesn’t make it hurt less, I know. Age doesn’t matter. I’d keep going on as you are but expect a “knock on [your] door in the pouring rain” Taylor Swift kind of situation within the next six months. And at that point you’ll need to decide if he really was that special person who made everyone in your life believe that he was the reason nothing else worked out.

          We don’t generally let the ones go who make us light up when they enter the room so easily. I’m not going to say expect him back for SURE, but I’d bet money on it.

          Keep me updated?

  72. Hey Jen,

    After your “snap” and deciding to let go and move on, did you have any personal mantra that you repeated to yourself? Eg. “let go, he’s not coming back”, or “I deserve more.” etc? Is it helpful to tell myself he is not coming back? I hope it makes sense 🙂

  73. Hi Jen,

    I just want to thank you for this very inspiring post. It has really helped and inspired me a lot to start again and pick up the pieces of my life. It has been a few months since my boyfriend of 10 years broke up with me. I was completely devastated. I felt like my moving on was so slow but upon stumbling here on your page, I realised that people have their own timeline and ways of coping up and moving on from a break up.

    Thank you for your advices. All the best to you and your family!

  74. Hi Jen, Not sure if you’re reading messages at the moment, but your writing is so clear and honest and your thoughts are genuinely inspiring. Thank you. I wondered if I might run past you my situation please?

    I have been in a 7 year relationship with a man who is 20 years younger than me. I am now 53 and he is 33. On paper it doesn’t look like it should work – but it always did, our families both accepted it.We laugh a lot and enjoy each other’s company. I look younger than my years, and we’ve been on holiday with his friends.

    He is very mature and I feel much younger than my years. No kids either side and neither of us want kids. But we have both worried about the age gap periodically.

    He ended it 4 months ago (it seemed sudden) because I think he wanted to cut loose for a bit – have some space, not worry about doing certain social things with me (he was my main source of social life – which I know is wrong) and the big one – the age gap had got the better of him! But I think, with a little prodding from some jealous people who see him successful at his work and happy in his relationship…so they began pushing his buttons…However, he said on the day after ending it, I Love you so much and I can’t stop crying – which sets the scene for the past 4 months!

    He has been in contact almost every day by text and phone but with very mixed messages. I realise that he just can’t let me go. I realise that he loves me. We have spent 4-5 evenings together during this split up and have inevitably been close – which has been wonderful – like a new relationship.

    But he admitted (at least twice) that he doesn’t feel he has to do/change anything at the moment, because he doesn’t really feel like I’m gone. That comment is not lost on me! I put in No Contact last month but he last 5 days before telling me he misses me and I allowed contact to resume. It was 5 days after that, that he spent the whole night with me. But still things continue in the same vein…

    We often chat on the phone for an hour or more in the evenings. He always says I love you, I really fancy you, and I think about it all the time but I also have had comments like ‘but I don’t want to be in a relationship at the moment’ etc. Last Saturday he was calling telling me he really misses me, and by the Thursday he told me he thinks about me all the time but doesn’t want a relationship at the moment…and doesn’t want to give false hope…(he has said all this before too) But this time I told him ‘let’s just forget it, because i’m finally fed up with all this nonsense’. He saw surprised, but I think he gets it! He text me that night at 1am saying sorry for what he said, sometimes says silly things. I didn’t reply and I’ve heard nothing since. I know that I have no choice but to remain in radio silence, but I feel very sad and just wonder if you think it’s likely he’ll reach out to me at some stage and if he does, what do I do then…?!

    ooh i’m sorry this is long. Thank you if you have read this far…xx

    • I do think you need to stay silent, because it hasn’t dawned on him at all that he’s lost you. It sounds like the bond you had became more of a best friend-ship than a passionate relationship, and that is what he can’t let go of. If you continue to share the bond you have, it is very unlikely anything will change. That said, you do have a unique situation. I think you need to let him go for now, though. ♥️

      • Thanks for such a super quick reply Jen! Yes,it had become like a friendship to a degree, especially during this past year, where we were so busy with work, it made me sad to read those words you wrote – but you were right and it makes me panic somewhat…although we still shared the intimacy but not enough of late (but I just hadn’t considered that could be a reason)! BUT since the split the relationship has become VERY passionate indeed, (which he now says he is thinking about ALL the time) so do you think that might help to bring things back for us…? Or should I create more of those intimate moments for us – so that he realises what we can bring it back to? One last question, Is it likely he’ll get back in touch at some stage, if I maintain the radio silence? xx

        • He will definitely get back in touch. For sure.

          I don’t think you should focus on showing him anything or creating any kind of moments, because you’ll just give off an air of being desperate for him back. He needs to feel like he has truly lost you for you to become something he will fight for. And that may take time.

          Many alternate futures are possible. Stay open and make this time about rebuilding YOUR slide, and not re-attracting him. The right future will unfold for your ultimate happiness, with or or without him. ❤️

  75. Oh, just to add too, he spent at least three months, crying about the split to his friends, his Mum, to me as well – one month back he was in pieces crying to me, saying he loves me SO much but can’t stop crying and always feels he should just come home to me, but feels in a black hole…I thought he was depressed as did he, but he seems a bit better now…but of course ‘cake and eat’ it – why change anything, but how can i get it back to where we were for a new start?! xx

  76. I read your blog post a few years ago when I was reeling from a heartbreak. I followed your advice (Well, most of it). I let go, I blocked him everywhere and I met someone new and… Fell in love again. When the ex did come back in my life, I was no longer interested. It didn’t matter that he promised me all the things, marriage, kids etc. That I had spent seven years previously hoping to hear. I just didn’t want the relationship anymore. However, I find myself in your blog again. Sadly the new relationship I had formed ended this summer. I feel like I let myself down somewhat as I did all that you advise one shouldn’t do. I cried (a lot), begged (a lot) and I tried to save the relationship even though he made no effort to save it. To cut a long story short he changed drastically after the sudden demise of his father who he was a carer for. He felt that he didn’t want to love or be loved anymore. I found him on dating sites and also found him messaging girls on social media. So, I had to walk away after trying to save what i thought was the best relationship of my life full of love and respect. I’m now four months out of the relationship and i feel I have gone through hell and back with the grieving process. I still can’t reconcile who I fell in love with vs the heartless guy I walked away from. I went radio silent. He blocked me everywhere despite him being the one who was found to be on dating sites etc. Anyway, a few weeks ago he reached out to me. He simply sent four words in an email. He told me to stay away from my ex. When I replied and asked why and what he meant. He simply said that he had stumbled upon some information about my ex and therefore I should stay away from him. It was all cryptic and he ended the email with ‘I won’t contact you again’. I feel like he kickstarted my grief all over again by opening the lines of communication with such a cryptic email that shows he still cares on some level, and then pulling the rug back from under my feet by saying he won’t contact me again. I know grief does crazy things to a person but I don’t know if he has become this person as a result of grief or he was always someone who kept his options open through DMs and dating sites and I just found out now. I also don’t understand why he would email me now several months after radio silence. I just feel so confused and heartbroken again. I just can’t figure this out and I keep scouring through all your blog comments hoping to find some eureka moment that makes sense to my situation but I’m struggling, jen. I still love him so much. I can’t believe he would throw our relationship away like this. We talked marriage and kids. Do I just maintain silence and let go?

    • When they reach out like that, it can truly start the grief all over again. But when you’re really and truly over him, there will be no grief left.

      I think he reached out because your other ex sounds horrible and your recent ex, though he may not want to be with you now, sees you as a kind and decent person and he doesn’t want anyone to hurt you.

      Grief does horrible things to a person. My brother just died, so I know. It can make you want to push the people away who know you the best. That’s why he’s on the dating websites. With someone new, he can be someone else.

      I would still recommend silence, as he seems really volatile right now. But I also don’t think it’s the last time he’ll contact you. Grief is unpredictable and he may eventually change his mind.

      • Thank you, jen. I also wish you healing and peace to help you come to terms with your brother’s death. I am very sorry for your loss. Thank you for always be kind and supportive to your readers. I will continue to read your blog for years to come, I am sure. I also want to say that I bought the book you recommended by Pema Chodron and ended up buying many copies and gifting them to my friends too. You receive much positive energy unbeknownst to you as a result of this blog and how many people it has helped. Wish you nothing but positivity.

        • Oh, I love hearing that! I’m glad you liked the book and shared it with others. Another one I read and have given away is How to Survive the Loss of a Love.

          I always say that a breakup can be worse than a death. During a death, everyone is grieving the same thing together. After a breakup, it’s only you who is in that pain, and your beloved is off somewhere else trying to be happy. It can be unbearable. Be gentle with yourself during this heartbreaking time!! Thank you for all of the sweet words.

          • Dear Jennifer. Happy New Year. I hope you are well. I just wanted to let you know that I did everything you said. Everything. Even read the books you recommeneded. A whole year after I posted this comment, my ex did come back. He wanted to talk about getting back together. But, I was not the same girl he left behind. My self worth had grown significantly, I had peace of mind and heart, I didn’t feel sad anymore and I loved myself more than I loved him. I’ve told him I’m not interested in speaking to him. Who knows. This may change. Just like you slowly came around to the idea of reconnecting with your ex. But for now I am so so sure that I don’t need him anymore and I can be completely happy without him. This is the second time your words have helped me. Both times, both past relationships, seemed to be so broken beyond repair. Horrible things said and done etc. Yet they both came back when I TRULY let go. Thank you so much. I don’t even care anymore if my ex and I get back together 😊 but you were so right. I wish everyone who is suffering from heartbreak can read your blog.

            • You don’t know how happy it made me to read this! Letting go, FULLY letting go — is like alchemy. The person who entered the fire of grief is not the same person when they exit. And for the rest of your life, while you won’t be immune to pain, you will no longer fear its presence in your life, because healing is always possible. I’m proud of you, and thank you so much for sharing this with me. So beautiful.

              • Dear Jen & Zana,

                I want to thank you both for comforting me through a really tough time. My ex of four years and I had a falling out a few months ago and we haven’t spoken since.. The next week of the breakup, I got furloughed from my job indefinitely. This is one, if not, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. But coming here (as I have for years now), gives me hope. Hope that one day I’ll be okay.. one day, it won’t hurt anymore. I hope that day comes soon.

                • Hi MJ. What a terrible time to go through…a terrible time. The isolation during this particular period + heartache is just honestly unbearable at times. I really get it. I’d theres any way we can support you, please let us know. ♥️ Even if it’s just listening.

  77. Very truthfully said Jen! When you really let go, exes reach out unexpectedly and sometimes for quite random reasons… it’s amazing how it works! Moving on does wonders! I remember reading your blog a few months ago and now I realize how right you were!

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