Mixed Signals

Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 07:48 am
Hello all,

My ex and I were making plans to get engaged -- rings purchased, parents & close friends aware, etc. I wasnt supposed to know but i stumbled across some information that "spilled the beans." However, I didnt want to ruin it for him so i kept quiet and went about as normal. We had a GREAT relationship. Extremely supportive, faithful, Christian, best friends, etc, etc. He was into me more, at times, than I was into him.

Suddenly, about a month after i found out about the engagement, he began to act extremely cold. He even asked that we take a "break." Of course this threw me off because i was totally expecting him to propose at any minute. Fast forwarding a bit -- we began to argue like crazy. He was super critical of everything i did, which was very abnormal. We have always been very supportive and loving toward each other. Then, he called it quits. No explanation. No nothing. After 4 years..

I had a feeling it was something a little more than "cold feet." I know him well. I left him alone for a week and went traveling with some friends -- totally ignoring him. Suddenly while away, he started calling, texting, leaving messages asking me to call him right away, etc. I ignored them all until i got back from my trip. Upon my return, he shared that he had cheated and didnt know how to deal with himself. He had never cheated before and he feels terrible and doesnt want to lose me. It broke me down. I didnt think it would break us completely (he kissed her, no sex) but i knew that it would mean a drastic change for the time being. He blamed the encounter on the fact that we're in a long distance relationship and though we had recently moved closer to one another, grad school didnt allow either of us time to visit. Also, he felt unappreciated after I gave a huge concert (im a performer) and thanked everyone in the audience except him -- (i felt terrible and crazy nervous up there. He was the BIGGEST supporter and i forgot to acknowledge him. He hasnt let that go and it makes me feel even worse about it!)

I was calm for the first few weeks, but then things got bad when i started to go through his things and found that he was pursuing more than one woman since our break up. I felt stuck about saying anything though because 1 -- we arent together and 2. i was violating his privacy. I began to act on my anger whenever we'd speak but he couldnt understand why i was lashing out so badly. He had never seen me act this way. The whole time, I wanted our relationship back and I wanted him to stop acting so new!! I was more than pathetic, to be honest.

So now, 8 months have gone by. I have only seen him three times, all at his request. Once, he showed up to my graduation and second, he asked me to hang out with some mutual friends. After hanging out with friends got cut short due to his mom going to the hospital, I went to their hometown to help him take care of her (last month). The visit with his mom was a great help to her, but he and I really struggled. We went out for dinner and a movie which was nice but besides that, I was mean and distant. I thought I had gotten past the anger but seeing him really brought everything back. After that, we agreed not to talk for a while and "grow" more.

This brings us to the last few weeks. He started reaching out through facebook (I had deleted him off there months ago so he started inboxing me). He left love songs, posted public status updates about the need to mend old relationships, love & protect women, etc, etc. I ignored him for about a week, but then finally caved. We ended up talking on the phone and having a light and fun conversation. He was asking about my plans, what i've been up to, telling me how great I look since I've changed my hair and lost weight. Im more beautiful than ever, etc, etc. We had another conversation and he said that he was in the middle of traveling. He was on his way to visit some friends but stressed that he would not be staying with this woman he was talking to while we were broken up (i confessed about going through his things a few months prior and he admitted pursing her but because he's lonely. He's hurt that we're separated but he's not ready for commitment and would only hurt me right now...) I pretended not to care, but wondered why he was stressing the fact that he wouldnt be staying with her. The conversation was again, light and fun, and then he had to go. He inboxed on facebook once while on the trip and sent a text to let me know he arrived safely. The problem is that I havent heard from him since! I know that it's true that he didnt stay with her (i shamefully have become a private investigator whenever he and I start talking.) The problem is he hasnt called since (this was 4 days ago). Maybe im overreacting but when I ignored him, he sent me messages every single day! When I finally give in just a little, it's back to days without calling. I know that he has "female friends" but im nervous about what it all means. I clearly still have feelings for this dude and im scared that he's not ready to be serious. He hasnt cut contact with the other women and stresses that he wants us to "be friends and see what happens." I dont want to be friends. I miss the guy that I love so much. I miss being able to tell him everything and not having to protect myself around him.

Im at a place in my life where I can move on without him. We've gone MONTHS without talking and I've got through it. Im secure with myself enough to know that I will be fine. It's those moments where he comes into my space and I get my hopes up because I still love him. Should I just walk away, or do I see where this "friendship" leads?

It's not about sex because when I spent a week with him last month, he didnt make a single pass. He spent his energy making me laugh and trying to "make amends" -- was i too hard by being mean?

While i was there a few women called and he was open about it. i got upset and jealous though because i miss being his girlfriend -- am I wrong?

I feel like im less jealous and angry at this stage and would like to get back together at some point, but i dont want to push him away. What do I do? HOw do I behave when talking to someone that im just friends with, but also in love with?

This is hard. really hard.
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View best answer, chosen by mzlaydeeofsong
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Reply Mon 1 Oct, 2012 08:18 am
He is allowed to have female friends, is he not? If you think he isn't, he is going to have them anyway. That's life in the big city. Everybody should be able to have whatever kinds of friends they want (friends, by definition, are people we don't have romantic relationships with, right?). So quit the jealousy re his female friends stuff - it'll only come back to bite you in the ass.

And - traveling people are permitted to be slow in getting back to others/being incommunicado. He might not have had bars on his phone. Perhaps there was a time differential and he miscalculated when you'd be awake. Maybe he was delayed 18 hours during traveling (that has actually happened to me). Whatevs. Three days of no contact is not a lot of time. Three weeks? Yes. But three days, when it's someone who, if I recall correctly, you aren't even technically with right now? You gotta let that one go, too.

You both need to grow up. He needs to realize that you screwed up your thank yous when on stage but that happens and he needs to recognize that people get nervous but it's nothing personal. And you need to understand that going through his stuff is a lousy idea no matter what your motivations or suspicions are. Can you trust him? If you can, then don't go through his things ever again, and 'fess up to having done so if you haven't already. If you can't trust him, then don't bother reconciling fully.

Can you live without him? You say you can, yet you are fretting over three days of no communications.

Prove you can be alone by treating this like any other friendship with someone who you never had a romance with. Three days of no contact? So what?! Go out and live your life. It seems, also, that he got back into full-on contact mode when he thought you were having fun without him. So go and have a life without him. If he wants to be a part of your life, he knows how to get in touch with you.

But understand that some of that is game-playing. You pull away, he gets more interested. You become available, he backs off. Wanna keep doing this forever? Ask yourself that.
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