Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend of over a year broke up with me three weeks ago. For a few reasons, our “future” is up in the air while he figures his issues out.
This is where I’m having my own issues, aside from being pretty devastated by the breakup itself. While I would be so happy to be back together right now, I’m trying to deal with things as if we are broken up for good.
The only way I know how to deal with that is to completely cut someone out of my life, though. He seems to want to talk every few days, but this just confuses me.
This results in my getting frustrated and acting like a jerk, being short with him, or just not responding to messages — which is the opposite of what I want to do, I want to talk to him. I don’t know how to simultaneously “move on” while leaving the door open for reconciliation in the future, in my mind two completely opposite things. How do I deal with this?
It’s perfectly fine, even reasonable, to say to a recent ex that you need a period of no contact so you can adjust to the new order of things. A month, two months, whatever seems about right for you now. You can always revisit once your head clears.
“Moving on” and “door open” aren’t mutually exclusive, if you think of things this way: Limbo is messing with your head, and your messed-with head has you “acting like a jerk,” and acting like a jerk will kill any chance at a reconciliation, right? So, a clean break is, counterintuitively, the move least likely to interfere with a possible reconciliation.
Plus, your absence will help him with his “issues,” and show him whether he misses you.