I want to contact my ex -- is my reasoning sound?
May 21, 2016 5:12 PM   Subscribe

I broke up with him 2 weeks ago

I want to contact him because we didn't really talk through the breakup. (we dated for about 7 months, and had ups and downs during that time, quite a lot of disagreements stemming i think to having a very similar personality)
Actually, I was rushing away on my bike to go to work when it happened, so there wasn't really a conversation at all. I just said, "I think we should see other people"
I want to tell him all the positive things about him because I really did love him. i want to tell him that the reason i broke up with him was that i couldn't stand having deeper feelings than him. I told him I loved him about 2 months ago, and he hadn't said it. I found myself feeling too vulnerable to ask so we didn't talk about it again. We had started bickering a lot over little things, like what time to set the alarm. I feel that he wasn't looking for a commitment and I began to feel like being with him was pulling me away from my goals. I'm not sure if I made the right choice, but what's done is done. I honestly didn't want to break up, but had to let my mind overcome my heart.

I just want to check in with him, see if he hates me, and explain why it happened.

What should I know before doing this?
posted by winterportage to Human Relations (27 answers total)
I think all the reasons you say you want to contact him aren't the reasons at all. You want to try to get back together. Frankly, though, it sounds as though he wasn't as into you as you wanted him to be, and breaking was a ploy on your part to try to get him to miss you. My advice is to leave it (and him) alone. Move on.
posted by Dolley at 5:17 PM on May 21, 2016 [13 favorites]

You are still hoping he will say the things he didn't say when you were together. He won't. If he wanted clarity about why you broke up, he would have asked for it. He hasn't. Let this/him go and move on.
posted by headnsouth at 5:17 PM on May 21, 2016 [30 favorites]

No. If he wants to know, he knows where to find you. Please don't rip the band-aid off his recovery.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:18 PM on May 21, 2016 [20 favorites]

No. The post-breakup talks NEVER EVER EVER clarify or resolve anything, and they just prolong the pain. It will accomplish exactly the opposite of what you want it to.

You're broken up. It's over. Resist the urge to re-entangle yourself; it will only make things worse.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:19 PM on May 21, 2016 [19 favorites]

Yeah man, you tossed off a "I think we should see other people" as you were running out the door? Your reasoning stinks. Don't contact this guy again, leave him in peace.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:20 PM on May 21, 2016 [21 favorites]

Oh gosh no! Absolutely not.

Stay no contact. Move on
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:20 PM on May 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

If feeling more strongly than he did was really hurtful for you, talking to him again is just going to increase your hurt, because he still doesn't feel very strongly for you. He didn't say he loved you, he didn't fight the breakup, and he hasn't contacted you himself. Don't reach out to him, because it won't have the outcome you want and will only hurt.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 5:21 PM on May 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

ok yeah I can see how contacting him and trying to explain this will actually make it worse for him not better.
The reason I wanted to was because when we were together, he had told me about one of his previous breakups when his ex broke up with him and went no contact and he took it personally and got really down because he didn't understand why and couldnt figure it out. So I thought in this case, I could just let him know that it had to happen because of the imbalance in our feelings, but that I wasn't really rejecting him. So that he will understand why. Because really, i already got snubbed in this situation.
But you're right, if he wants to know he can ask me instead. Maybe he will eventually and in that case, i can explain it then.
posted by winterportage at 5:37 PM on May 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

One of the hard things about breaking up with someone is that it stops being any of your business whether they're doing well emotionally or not. If he doesn't understand, takes it hard, or gets really down, it's not your place to try to change that. Sorry.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:54 PM on May 21, 2016 [12 favorites]

Yeah, it's on him to ask. I generally think this kind of thing would be OK if there were no complicating circumstances and you had a change of heart and wanted to explore getting back together, but if you don't, and if you would be further hurt by him saying that it came as a relief and he didn't really feel the way you did [again], then there's nothing really that's going to come of this. If he feels confused by the way it ended, he can ask. In the meantime, it sounds like you're thinking a lot about him. It would probably be a good idea to find someone new to think about instead of mining the past. You had some good experiences in that relationship but you know you need warmer interest from a partner than it was going to bring you. So go out and find that.
posted by Miko at 5:55 PM on May 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would definitely contact him. He can always say no. It could help you both to express your feelings, but this may mean hearing things , or not hearing them, with maturity and grace. I say contact him and by all means don't pressure him in any way.
posted by waving at 6:00 PM on May 21, 2016

I don't think I would be further hurt by it. I was strong enough to break up with him while still being in love with him. I'm not completely closed to the idea of getting back together, but I'm not counting on it. I would want to know his true feelings and let him know mine.

What is a nice and no pressure way to ask him if he'll meet me?
posted by winterportage at 6:07 PM on May 21, 2016

No do not do this. There is no way to reengage him that will not hurt him more.
posted by ch1x0r at 6:11 PM on May 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

[winterportage, Ask is not an appropriate place for a back and forth or for asking follow-on questions.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:18 PM on May 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

If you dated for 7 months, wait at least 7 weeks and see if you really really think you still need to have this conversation. Just to get your balance back first.

He'll have to be a big boy and deal with the fact that other people need to take care of themselves first. If he "takes it personally" that you are taking time for yourself to get clarity, he can buy a ladder and get over himself.

But something that is HUGELY helpful to do is to write down what you'd tell him. Put it in a notebook, write it in Notepad on your computer. Come back to it in a week or two and re-read it. You may find you need to write a new version, go ahead and do that. Keep re-reading it for your 7-week moratorium and see if your feelings about the whole thing don't change dramatically.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:48 PM on May 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

No no no no no no no. You didn't handle the break-up very well, it sounds like, but you don't get a do-over. It's done. And if your main issue was that he wasn't invested enough, then it makes no sense to initiate contact -- if he were invested, he'd contact you. And even taking your reasoning at face value, that you want to give him closure, then contacting him now would be undoing whatever closure he's managed to accomplish in the last two weeks, and set him back.
posted by lazuli at 6:51 PM on May 21, 2016 [6 favorites]

So, only one out of many answers so far says to contact him and you're running with it. You're not hearing what the vast majority here are saying, which is: don't contact him. If he wanted to hear anything from you or get back together, he would have contacted you. You are the one who ended it. You owe him peace now. Don't contact him. This is over and reopening a wound you inflicted isn't OK or nice. It's selfish.
posted by quince at 6:55 PM on May 21, 2016 [23 favorites]

Let's say you wait the seven weeks before contacting him and dutifully update your written speech each week as your feelings change. Let's say you're being realistic about the break up, but secretly would love to see how much your leaving has hurt him. Or maybe you really are looking out for his feelings and don't want to leave an open wound like the last girlfriend. Think about how you're going to feel if you walk into that meeting poised, confident, and with seven weeks of practice on how the conversation will go and he DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT. Because he wasn't as into you as he was the other ex, or because he's met someone new, or because he was an asshole and you're better off without him.

I don't see the up side. One chapter ends and another begins.
posted by defreckled at 7:45 PM on May 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

Based on your responses, it looks like instead of looking for advice here, you are looking for validation for what you want to do.

The vast majority of responses advise not to contact him and let it be but you are arguing with those and trying to justify what you want to do by reiterating points you've already made, adding nothing to consider.

If you contact him, either he will get hurt further, you will get hurt further, or both of you will get hurt further. There is no other option.
posted by TimBridge at 7:59 PM on May 21, 2016 [6 favorites]

Don't do this. You need to move on. I suspect you want him to run to you and resolve all your worries that maybe you were wrong in breaking up with him. That's normal. But you need to focus on moving on and making it less complicated.
posted by discopolo at 8:16 PM on May 21, 2016

Nothing good will come from contacting this ex. He wasn't that into you. You've both gone pretty far with no contact.

If he wanted to know, he would've asked that day. He didn't. Because he's fine not knowing.

Listen to everyone above. Save yourself the heartache of finding out he's fine. Move on! Opportunities abound.
posted by Kalmya at 8:25 PM on May 21, 2016

I think you should absolutely do this, if you're into feeling really, really shitty about yourself and want to feel as low as possible.

Having done this myself a number of times, I can tell you that it doesn't end well. You're not going to get any kind of closure, you're not going to learn that he missed you. You will likely learn that he took you seriously when you suggested seeing other people and that now he is seeing someone else and does not want you back or want to talk to you about his feelings. Because he likely doesn't have any deeper feelings on this.

Just let him go and move on with your life.
posted by palomar at 9:52 PM on May 21, 2016 [11 favorites]

I just want to check in with him, see if he hates me, and explain why it happened.
What should I know before doing this?

If you did this, and add me to the chorus saying NO this is a Really Bad Idea, any of the following might happen:

1. He won't answer your call because you hurt him and he's blocked you and doesn't want to talk to you. Ever. Again.


2. He won't answer your call because honestly, he wasn't all that into you and he's glad you broke up and you saved him from doing the dirty work and if you call he'll think, "Ugh. Now what does she want?" which will serve to confirm to him he was right not being all that into you.


3. He'll answer your call and you'll have a stilted conversation where he will say he's fine and it will be weird because he won't say how much you hurt him thereby depriving you this golden opportunity to comfort his troubled mind.


4. He'll answer your call with elation and say he's done serious thinking and he treated you badly and you broke his heart and he wants a chance to make it right.

Just kidding about #4. That won't happen. That never happens.

But what can you do? You can take this feeling and do some thinking about how this isn't the greatest way to end a relationship. Learn your lesson and be a better person.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:57 AM on May 22, 2016 [11 favorites]

4. He'll answer your call with elation and say he's done serious thinking and he treated you badly and you broke his heart and he wants a chance to make it right.

Just kidding about #4. That won't happen. That never happens.

It happened to me once. But since neither of us had any time to work on the issues that broke us up in the first place but now we were also too afraid to face up to just leaving again, it turned into pretty much the most miserable toxic drawn-out relationship possible.

I'm just now coming out on the other side of it and it's been awful.
posted by Kimmalah at 7:18 AM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

What is a nice and no pressure way to ask him if he'll meet me?

There isn't one. I gave this answer to a similar question recently.

You broke up with him in a pretty callous and offhanded way, based on what you have said here. It's 100% up to him to decide if he ever wants to hear your voice again.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:07 AM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Don't do it.
posted by languagehat at 9:13 AM on May 22, 2016

It happened to me once.

It happened to me once too, but the thing is, it was broken-broken and couldn't be fixed, which were the same reasons for the initial breakup. In the end it was worse than just breaking up once. Wish I'd saved myself the time and trouble and let the first breakup stick.
posted by Miko at 9:13 AM on May 22, 2016

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