I took your advice, MetaFilter, and broke up with the guy who I wasn't totally feeling things for (and had checked out of our relationship). Some time has passed and he seems to be resolving most of the reasons for my unhappiness. He'd still be a great co-parent and partner, so, should I reconsider? Or is it too soon?
So, this was me seven months ago, "no tingles, but my chance at having a family."
Fast forward until about two months ago, after much painful deliberation (and many attempts at trying to work things out, big talks, offering therapy, trying to exercise together — he was unresponsive to all), I told him I wanted to take a break. He said no. So I said I wanted to break up.
Well, that got his attention pretty darn fast. He was profoundly sorry. He took full responsibility. He admitted he was (1) very depressed, (2) not dealing with it out of shame and embarrassment, (3) was taking me for granted, and (4) just thought he could "ride out our problems."
He has now thanked me for the breakup as a big "wake-up call." He said he has lost other relationships to his depression. He is now seeing a therapist, working out daily, making plans for his career and himself and has already lost weight and is eating healthier, quit smoking and has regained his sex drive.
I am both pleased by this and super frustrated by it. If we did
hypothetically get back together, I don't want to be in the position of policing his progress for the rest of our lives, having to constantly threaten a breakup to get him to pay attention to my concerns. I've been telling myself: he's got to figure out his depression on his own and get in a stable place for several months before we can even consider getting back together.
He took the breakup very hard. While he's been accepting of my decision he seems willing to do anything he can to get back together (which makes me a wee bit nervous about all the "progress" wondering if it's also a bit for show...). We've been talking, carefully, about 3 or 4 times since the breakup and many things seem more hopeful. We still have issues — there's not much to talk about and we don't share a sense of humor — but we do have shared values: he says the most important thing, his life dream, is to have a family. He is a good person.
Being single the last few months has been hard, lonely and sad. I have not felt like dating. The dating scene is predictably bleak. Another birthday is around the corner and I still want a family.
What I need from you, good people of MetaFilter, is a healthy framework for figuring out what criteria I should expect/demand before considering getting back together. What would you want to see before entertaining a reunion? How much time should go by for him to prove that his changes are lasting and real? Should I wait for him or should we both be dating while broken up? Or should I just walk away entirely and move onward?