After the breakup, what if you miss him?

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.

cloudsIt’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.

plugIf you were the one pulling the plug, if you get back together do you trust that he’ll make the changes needed to satisfy you? Or are you willing to live with the former deal breaker(s)?

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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4 responses to “After the breakup, what if you miss him?”

  1. Bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    This is so true!!! IMHO, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is the best policy when it comes to failed relationships, (if not so easy to follow sometimes)…

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  2. NCHarleytear Avatar

    The comment from Bookyone is true!!! My ex after living together 91/2 yrs. wants to still date after believing some lies from his son .He broke up with me and expects me to be here at his call—imagine that. If you can –when you start remembering good memories remember the bad it’s easier. Get up look in the mirror and tell yourself wow I am a beautiful person!! Hang in there.
    Good Luck & Big Hug from someone who is missing mine too.

  3. NYSharon Avatar

    Keeping a journal helps. I look back to refresh my memory of why it wasn’t good and how far I have come since.

  4. Gatti Avatar

    When I broke up with the ex (or, more accurately, he broke up with me!) I read all the diary entries I wrote when I was upset with his verbal abuse. If I’d had any regrets about breaking up that put paid to them!

    Everything is so much better now.