Break up: Will he come back?

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DTR talk required

Dear Guys,

I’ve been dating someone for the past one and a half years. We are 25 and 27. Our relationship was very good and our bond was solid; we were always very happy together. After one year together, I discussed with him the possibility of moving our relationship forward in the next one to three years. It was like pulling teeth. My feelings turned to resentment after many months. Finally, he decided to try counseling to see why he was so afraid of commitment even though he loves me.

I broke up with him last month after I couldn’t take it anymore. Two weeks later he comes back asking for more time. I give it to him. One month later, he tells me he still couldn’t come to terms with marriage and so here I am now.

I’m so upset I haven’t talked to him because it will make me feel worse. I know he wants to be friends. What should I do? I love this man and thought he was the one I’d spend forever with. Part of me says to cut ties but the other part says there are so many people that get back together down the road, maybe that’ll be us, so I should stay friends.

What are the chances of reconciliation? After all, we did not break up because we don’t love each other anymore. Help!


Dear Sandy,

Thanks for your question. We’re sorry you’re going through such a difficult time.

We think his actions speak louder than his words. We don’t doubt he cares a lot about you. We’re sure you’ve shared a lot of great times in the last few years, but clearly something was missing for him, or he would have been excited to move forward with you.

People sometimes get back together down the road, but not too often; and if they do, it’s usually many, many years down the road, when people have matured, evolved, and almost become different people. But most of the time, after a painful few months—and sometimes a bit longer—people go on to live their own lives, finding new love and possibility.

We think your best plan Sandy is to let yourself grieve, and then start to move on. You might have thought this guy was the man of your dreams, but our sense is, when it came down to it, he didn’t feel the same way. Clearly there’s something he isn’t telling you. Or maybe there isn’t anything to tell you beyond the bottom line: His gut tells him something is missing for him.

Even though this may be difficult to hear, but we think you ultimately want a man who loves you the way you love him, and who is just as excited at the prospect of spending his life with you, as you are with him. Because as you know, without this reciprocation, resentment and anger will likely flourish and that’s no foundation to build a relationship from.

We have faith that all of this will work out for you Sandy. Hang in there. And when you do find the right person for you, you probably won’t have to even have a discussion about moving forward; our guess is it will just happen naturally.

All the best,


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9 Comments on Break up: Will he come back?

  1. Hi Guys.
    Recently my partner ended our relationship of three years. He cannot give me a true reason why, just that he feels I could not trust him (although he had an ex constantly in contact with him), and that is over relationships. I feel that he wants to follow the likes of his friends and live the freedom life without the responsibilities of a relationship.
    He has a few fears i.e love, and therefore could not love me whilst together.He also feels that his heart is being held by the ex who contacts his. There relationship ended several years ago but were first loves. He says that any contact with her does not phase him at all, but he is confused as to why he thinks she holds his heart. I am confused as to why he could not love me the time we were together. Now he is blocking everything, bottling up everything and does not want to think about it. He claims that there is no going back for us, so we are trying to remain friends. I know his head is messed up from many years of pain. Will this effect him at all and will he see how good he had it? Or being the stubborn person he is he will just move on and keep bottling things up to push me completely out of his life? It would be nice for him to miss me so I know that we did have something.

  2. @Aimee…..We’re sorry. Whatever happens it has to come from him. He has to initiate any sort of reconciliation. He’s caught up on his ex, plain and simple. This might all be fantasy, but if he thinks it’s reality there’s nothing you can do about it. He’s had three years to be with you. if that’s not enough time to realize how great you then it’s clear he was never really open to you in the first place. The only other consideration is that he may be using his ex as an excuse, and your lack of trust, to break up with you. Our suggestion: Let yourself grieve, then try to move on. This guy’s got some growing up to do. Sorry.

  3. Thank you for your comment. I agree with the growing up part. You make a valid point about being open to me in the first place. The hardest part to deal with is the fact I was with the guy for 3 years and he could only tell me he wanted to love me. Would it be wrong to try remain friends? Even when he says his head is so clouded with everything at the moment.

  4. @Aimee…..Why do you want to be friends with him? Is it to make sure he doesn’t forget you? Or to give him a constant reminder of you? Because if so this will likely backfire. You’re going to feel confused, resentful and hurt if he keeps seeing his ex. We’d advise against it. Maybe just keep in touch with him casually and then see what happens. He still has to be the one to initiate reconciliation. Good luck and take care.

  5. Is there any hope?

    Hi Guys,

    I really need some guy advice, I’m so low and I don’t know what to do. I warn you this is pretty long…sorry…

    My boyfriend broke up with me in January after 5 wonderful months. He gave a vague, illogical reason and it then transpired over the course of the next month that he suffered from serious bouts of anxiety and had struggled with depression in the past. He said he didn’t deserve someone as good as me and felt guilty whenver he was happy.

    That month I showed him how deeply I cared for him and we got back together with him saying that he’d realized how much he cared for me and that he’d never had such a connection with a girl ( He’s 22/23and I was his first relationship despite having slept with about 15 girls before and being a serial-flirt).

    3 weeks later after “taking it slow” (this was his request which I interpreted to mean no sex) and BOOM – breaks up with me again saying that he didn’t have sexual feelings for me and that I never used to initiate sex during our relationship. Huge hit to the ego as I’m an attractive, tall, slim blonde and his friends used to joke that he was punching above his weight big time with me.

    We had no contact for 2 months. I then saw on facebook that he’d gone abroad to visit a girl that he knows through friends who had always wanted something more (I thought he had a crush on her too throughout our relationship). I couldn’t help but angrily and irrationally text him and confront him about this. I admitted for the first time that I had been totally in love with him and that my world was broken after seeing that he’d gone to see her.

    He texted back after his trip and told me some confusing things. Firstly that he had been told a quote from his uncle that “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself” and had only understood it fully when he was with me. He said that he had no liking or respect for himself. And that the more he likes and admires someone, the more he hates himself. He said he hated himself throughout our whole relationship.
    Secondly he added that he and the girl were not dating and that his trip “was one of the worst times” he’d ever had. I asked why and he said that he had forgotten who he was and only felt comfortable when drunk (which is how he had felt with everyone apart from me).

    I asked why he had to choose me to be his first girlfriend experiment when he had had so many girls before. He said that I was the only girl he had ever felt close to.

    Another few miserable, utterly depressing months passed and I then decided to send him a friendly text saying that it was a bit sad he was becoming a stranger after being my best friend and it would be nice to catch up.

    He immediately phoned me and we talked like old times for over an hour. Just joking and having playful chat. It was like nothing had ever changed! He said he would text me and we’d catch-up in person.

    2 weeks later and no text, I finally contacted him and we met up for coffee. We were together for 3 hours just talking and joking again, it was so easy and comfortable! And he seemed happier – he’s got a stable job he likes, a whole new set of friends through work and a great social life and he doesn’t drink as much anymore.

    10 days later he phoned me after I had left my job to see how I was doing. It was a nice chat and he suggested he’d ring me over the weekend and watch some sport together. Never happened….

    Out of desperation I invited him to see a live show of an artist that we both love. He said yes but stated “as long as you know that it’s just as friends.” I responded saying that the sexual attraction was gone so he had nothing to worry about.

    We had a great time at the show and he was leaning in to me getting really close all the time making comments and our skin kept touching. Afterwards he was supposed to go and meet friends in a bar nearby but we lingered outside the venue talking. He walked with me slowly to the station and waited with me until my train came before going to join his friends. All in all 40-50 mins. We were so absorbed in talking that I nearly missed my train!

    And finally, today was his birthday and I sent him a card (nothing romantic, just a standard birthday message. But I added that I hoped he’d be happier this year). I guess being a girl I was hoping he’d be a bit touched by me sending a physical card rather than just a text or facebook message, but his reponse was a simple, disappointing text saying ‘cheers for the card.’

    Now my feelings: I cannot get over this. It’s been 6 or 7 months and I’m still in agony. Not a single day or half a day has gone by without thinking about him and getting upset. And what’s so frustrating is that I feel like he knows deep down that we work. He’s admitted that I’m the only girl he’s been close to, that he’s never had such an amazing connection with anybody, that he feels himself around me. And I feel exactly those feelings. I’ve met other guys in this time and it’s just not the same…that connection was really something special and i miss it SO MUCH. We have exactly the same humor, outlook on life and things around us, the same tastes in music, tv & film and that we brought out the best in each other. It’s simple: we just get each other.

    And in these months I’ve improved myself hugely. I feel like he used to compare me to the crazy, party-loving girl he visited abroad and I was boring in comparison. But after breaking-up, I had so much extra time to fill that for my own sake I took up team sports, starting running and going to the gym, also grew my hair real long, started dressing more sexy and sophisticated and now I’m always going out to bars and clubs, meeting friends and just doing random stuff trying to have fun! (And trying to distract myself…) I feel more confident, attractive and a hell of a lot more sexual. He knows all this (not the sexual part) as it came out during our catch-ups and he said he was proud of me for improving my life.

    What do I do?! I feel like I –need- to tell him what’s going on with me inside even though the chances of a positive response are so slim. It’s just killing me! what if there’s a tiny bit of hope, or if what I say can make him realise what I think he knows but doesn’t admit to himself?

    And if me not being sexual enough was the only problem then that’s most definitely fixed. My libido has been crazy these months, I just want to pounce on him so bad. I wish he knew!

    But I feel like it would mean the very end of everything if it’s a negative response.

    As you can tell I’m just in such a state…I don’t know what to do or think about any of this. Can you offer any explanations, advice or insight? I know that I should move and find someone else who loves me, that I shouldn’t waste my time on him. But that’s much easier said than done.

    Thanks guys

  6. @Lucy…..First of all, thanks for your donation. We do appreciate it! We’re truly very sorry about this. Breakups are very hard. Good for you for improving your life and trying to work on yourself. You can try to tell him all of this but he’s got to see it on his own. He’s got to be the one that initiates some sort of reconciliation, not you trying to convince him that you’re perfect for him. And honestly, to us it sounds like he needs to work on himself as well. Maybe he doesn’t drink as much, but it sounds like he uses alcohol as a crutch. (That’s usually a sign of addiction. And a red-flag to us.) Okay, now we’re going to give it to you straight. Understand that we’re trying to be supportive, but still honest. Five months isn’t very long. You called him a serial-flirt. Well, it doesn’t sound like he’s changed. He’s young and our sense is he didn’t want to be in a long-term relationship. He still wants to do his same-old, same-old and play the field. Or at the very least be available to play the field if an opportunity arises. We think you need to start trying to move on. Usually the grieving process takes about half as long as the relationship, sometimes more. But you’ve been stuck on this for close to eight months. If he hasn’t tried to get back with you by now he’s not planning on it. You need to move on. It starts with simply not contacting him and not responding to his messages. You need separation from him. He’s keeping you in an emotional holding pattern, or you’re doing it to yourself. So of course no other guy compares. You’re not close to being open to dating anyone else. What we can tell you is that you’ll be surprised when you meet someone new and you don’t have these problems. The sexual chemistry will be there from day one, and you’ll be able to trust him. Trust, in the sense, that he’s not going anywhere. Learn from this past relationship, and apply your new knowledge and understanding to your next relationship. You deserve someone who loves you the way you love them. Good luck. We’re pulling for you.

  7. Thanks Guys, appreciate the sincere response. I know everything you’ve said is true… Do you think there’s any point at all in telling him how I feel (mostly to get it off my chest) before cutting all the contact?
    Out of curiosity – imagine if you were with a girl who you had an amazing connection with and who was not stereotypically sexy, but pretty and cute (more Dianna Agron than Megan Fox!) But she’s quite shy at initiating sex and doesn’t like public affection. You’re kinda insecure and want to feel more wanted and start to go off her because of it and end things….Would you ever go back to her if she changed? If you realised that she’d become more confident, more sexy, more experienced and you knew how badly she wanted to be with you sexually? Or would you not really believe it or not care. I’m not for a minute going to go and tell him any of that because I’ve got some dignity and self-respect left (I know it may not seem like it!) and I won’t for a second consider being his “f*** buddy”, no way. But I’m just trying to understand how guys think.
    I was also wondering how important connection is for a guy. For me it’s the be all and end all which is why I’m struggling so much to understand why it doesn’t seem to matter to him.
    Now I’m going to sound really big-headed (which trust me, I’m really not at all) but I know that I’m a good-looking blonde with a nice body which I’ve worked hard for, I’m bright, I’m great at joking with guys as as I grew up surrounded by brothers and as a result have a crude, more male humour (which goes down well with guys) but I’m also a girly-girl and the “sweetest and kindest” girl he says he’s ever met. And I have fun! So what is the problem?! Why is “playing the field” more appealing to a guy?! 🙁

  8. @Lucy……First of all, Dianna Agron is totally hot, so we’re not sure where you’re going with that. 🙂 Of course, Megan Fox is off the charts. You being shy and not into PDA doesn’t really factor into this. If it does, the guy’s got issues. Something else must be going on. Either he’s not feeling the way he wants to feel, or he’s too immature to get serious with someone and just wants to be free to play the field. This has less to do about you and more to do about him. Seriously. So you need to shift the way you’re thinking about this. As per connections: Guys are all about physical connection. If the sex is good and they’re really hot for their woman, they don’t care quite as much about the rest. That’s not to say they don’t think emotional connection is important, it’s just that it’s a distant second. (Which is different than women.) Honestly, you sound perfect. And you deserve a guy who thinks that. Relatively speaking of course. (No one is actually perfect.) But you deserve a guy who is as into you as you are into him. It will happen. But this guy is not the guy. He has no idea what he had. It’s time to move on.

  9. Hey guys, you’ve helped me before I hope you can help me again.
    My bf broke up with me bc his ‘feelings weren’t progressing and he didn’t know if they ever would’. We had a great relationship, amazing friendship, incredible compatibility and he is someone I want in my life. He is 29 and enjoyed being single before, and having freedom. He told me as much 2 months earlier when he said he wasn’t sure if he was ready to give up putting himself first, and wanted to be totally sure before advancing the relationship (Yes, I know..that’s basically my answer right there. But I guess part of my question is, will us being apart make him realize maybe having all that freedom isn’t what it’s cracked up to be?).
    Also, keep in mind, this is his first longer relationship (he hasn’t dated seriously in over 10 years), he is religious (no living together before marriage, although we did have sex), and he’s not one of those guys who’s out looking for a ‘piece of a$$. He wasn’t looking to date when we met, he doesn’t flirt, etc. I would be incredibly surprised if he dated anyone in the next year.

    I didn’t beg or plead, but I took 12 days of NC, which I needed to work on myself and reflect on the relationship. After that, I sent him an e-mail saying there is no hard feelings, I understand and accept his decision, and am going to work on myself and find someone who will love me. He wrote back and said he cared and still cares very deeply, but it’s the best for both of us and he hopes I find what I’m looking for.

    We got together the following day before our baseball game, and had 45 minute coffee meeting. We talked like normal, about what we’d been up to in our absence from each other, work, baseball, etc. It was really good. At the end I told him I truly think we could be great friends, and hopefully we can keep communication open. He said he’d like that. Baseball game was great, he was attentive (moreso than before), tenderly touching my hands when I got hit, and interacting very well (I couldn’t help but wonder what everyone else was thinking, knowing we have b/u). I played a great game, and had a genuinely good time. He texted me post game to say “Great game btw, I’m glad you played :)”. No communication since then, but we have baseball on thursday again.

    Guys, do you think I’m taking the right approach? I’m going in with the idea of really only being friends, and if we’re meant to be it will happen. I feel like our relationship ended because he got scared, and maybe in time he might change his mind. I am open to communication, but am keeping my distance right now because I feel like space and time are the best for both of us. In the meantime, I joined a dodgeball team and have been spending alot of time with friends. I am open to dates if someone asks. I am moving forward hoping that we’ll come back together, but assuming that we won’t…hope for the best, expect the worst.

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