No matter if you broke up with him or he with you, after a while — days, weeks, months — you may begin to miss him. The horrible things he said or did may fade and only the good parts are remembered. His sweet kisses, great sense of humor, thoughtfulness, and generosity are increasingly on your mind. It’s called selective memory.
It’s hard to remember that you broke up for a reason. If you called it quits, it was over some deal breaker that you thought was insurmountable. On reflection, you’re now thinking maybe you were too picky, rigid or uncompromising. His foibles are now cloudy, but his assets are shining bright.
If he broke up with you, it was over something he felt was an impasse. Do you think he’s had a change of heart? Do you believe if you promise to change, it will win him back? Perhaps. But he’d be contacting you if he wanted to explore it.
People — especially midlife people — have a difficult time making radical changes. It can and does happen, typically after some dramatic event like a health challenge or other wake up call. Or changes can occur after a stern talk with themselves or a loved one that their current life is light years away from what they want and they’d better make big changes now.
So, if you want him back, are you willing to make sustainable changes to fit what he says he wants? If you are highly motivated, then you can do it. However, most of us drift back into our old habits after a while.
I broke up with a man I’d dated for 6 weeks early in my post-divorce dating life. I apparently did it gently, as we’ve kept in touch. Every 6 months we’ll have dinner or see a movie. He has said he wanted us to be an item again, and I repeatedly tell him that I’m just interested in being friends. While I enjoy his company as a pal, every time I’m with him the things that got on my nerves come out again. Seeing him reinforces that I made the right decision. (See “He wants romance; you want friendship.”)
After dating a man for 6 months, I broke up with him for a variety of reasons. After a month, I’d met no one who was as attentive and I missed him. I was tempted to make contact, but reminded myself why I’d cut it off. The issues that I found unacceptable weren’t easily changeable, so I felt it was unfair to require those as a condition of our having a relationship. And they were not things I felt I could learn to live with. So I released him so another woman with different criteria could find him.
When I’ve been the person who was released, after the hurt wears off it can be easy to yearn for my former beau. My suggestion: don’t make contact. Unless your breakup was over something really silly, don’t give in to being drawn back into a relationship that he said goodbye to. That means it wasn’t a fit for one of you, which means it’s not a good fit. Period.
If the relationship ended amicably, you may be able to be pals, as long as you aren’t secretly harboring a desire to get back together. That only makes you crazy. And when he starts dating someone else, it will put an impossible strain on your friendship.
So know that it is natural to miss him. Especially if you are lonely (or horny). But don’t try to get back together. With very few exceptions, it will just elongate and exacerbate your heartache.
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