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This article was co-authored by Jessica Engle, MFT, RDT. Jessica Engle is a relationship coach and psychotherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She founded Bay Area Dating Coach in 2009, after receiving her Master's in Counseling Psychology. Jessica is also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist with over 10 years of experience.

Hey, I have been dating this guy since 8 months. He was a roommate of my friend. He really liked me since day one he saw me. Then he tried to pursue me and observing for three months and after that he proposed me . We have age gap of 6 years. I am older than him but I told him everything about me since day 1. He had no Issues with that. Our relationship was really good until his mom came from India to visit him. He lost his father after we knew each other as friends for 2 months . He said now you are the only one for me and I won’t let you go in any circumstance. He once told his mother about our relationship over the phone and his mom disagreed saying don’t think about this now and it’s not possible you are too young. Now she is in USA for two months and completely refusing our relationship saying my boy is younger one and his maturity leveled are not developed and we lost his father and you are older this relationship won’t be allowed in our family and this is not possible. He is 27 years old. He has 3 years older unmarried brother. His mother is very controlling and because they just have lost their father in Nov-2018 , he is supporting his mother and broke up with me saying this is not possible. It was my mistake . Go marry someone else. But mind you he was the one who convinced me for his love and supported me till May end 2019 but after that he stopped taking stand for me and I tried a lot, convinced him, begged him but he is so sure not to return to me. I have tried this no contact rule since July 1st . It’s been 20 days. One time he texted me how are you on 15th of July and I replied not bad. He didn’t replied anything else after that. Now I guess his mom is going back to India . What should I do next?
Hi Lauren, I've been wrestling with this with family and friends and thought maybe someone else online could help.Here's my situation. I have known my fiance for over a year, we met online and have visited each other many times. I've flown over to ireland three to four times for weeks at a time and she had visited the US for six weeks to try it out in february and for the fiance visa for six weeks in July-Sept. We would talk everyday for four to five hours a night while we were apart. She is very close to her family and loves her country. She believes Ireland is the best thing since refried beans. My plan was for her to Move to the US and we could live there while she could visit ireland for two to three months every year with the future kids for summer and christmas and then we'd move to ireland for good when I retired since I'm the bread winner and my specified job is in america (I'm a petroleum Engineer). However she back peddled and said she doesn't think what we had is strong enough to leave her family. So she came up with a five year plan. When she moved to the US for five years then we have to move back to ireland and find work there. I really loved her to i agreed to the promise. Well while she was over in the US for the fiance visa she started getting really homesick. A week or so before the wedding she said she realized why she had doubts about the marriage and that was that she loved me but wasn't "in love with me" and that I should treat her more like a lover instead of a friend. But to not worry about it and we can work on it. The next night she popped the question. "If i wanted to go back to ireland in a year will you go with me?" I said no. "what about after five years to raise our kids?" I sighed and just said no. She called off the wedding and cried alot. I should have said something other than no. Like, yes that's our plan. Or we'll do what's best for our fam...
Similar situation, Charlotte. I’ve been going through some rough anxiety and depression and have been moody a lot and he decided it is not right for him. We had planned a life together. We were so sure we were meant for each other. I am trying so hard to get back to myself with a change of medication. It’s difficult because we do work together. I’m devastated and lost.

I met a guy whilst travelling in Australia, and we dated for four months and travelled together the whole time. He said he loved me many times, that I made him feel things he never felt before and couldn’t stand the thought of me being with anyone else. Things felt so perfect. He made me feel like he wanted me so much. We are both from the same area in the UK and planned to carry things on when getting home. The last time I saw him at the airport, he told me he loved me and would be waiting for me when I got home in 2 weeks. However, as soon as he arrived home, he told me he changed his mind and didn’t want to commit to a relationship because of work and because his life is too busy. In the same phone call he also told me that he didn’t want me to get with anyone else. I love him so much, I started no contact as soon as he broke up with me and we haven’t spoken since (its been 10 days). I accepted his decision and told him that I couldn’t be friends right now as it was too hurtful, and that he had no right to expect me to wait around and not get with anyone else. He got very angry at this and called me bitter and childish. I don’t understand how his feelings changed so quickly. We still stayed friends on social media. I upload photos of me having a great time with friends, never post anything negative (although deep down i’m really suffering). I’m focusing on me, have taken up a new hobby and started hitting the gym more often. I just love him and miss him so much, every morning I hope today is the day he will message to say he made a mistake and wants me back. Is there any chance he will come back soon? or eventually? I don’t know what to do to make this happen. Any advice would be great.
The No Contact role is a powerful method, it works great. At first cut all contacts, don’t text or call him. Give him the space and time to realize what he has lost by letting you go of. In the meanwhile make your life busier by getting involved in new activities. Take care of yourself, always be at your best behaviour, and wear an attractive dress that you know he likes, hang out with your friends and exchange jokes with them and laugh whenever possible as nothing had happened. Sure thing, when he sees that you are happy on your own, he can’t help but want to have you in his life once again.
My ex and I have been together for 4 years(live together since year 2 and still living together), long story short he broke up with me the beginning of October. During that month I didn’t come home but slept at my moms place. He called me sometime the middle of October and asked how I was doing. And told me how he wasn’t feeling good so I said this was what he wanted and he said he thought that was what he wanted. At the time i didn’t know about the No Contact so I made a mistake for picking his call. We would text back and forth and it seemed like everythingwas back to normal. Around November I stopped by our place and he was there..we hooked up 3 times and that was when he decided to stopped sleeping there. He would stayed at his parents or friends place, and that’s when we rarely seen each other or texting. Throughout the months he’d stopped by our place sometimes to get his stuff or shower then left. Sometimes he’d fold the blanket and fixed the bed when I didn’t have time to do that morning. It wasn’t till 2 weeks ago that night he suddenly came back. I was sleeping and heard the door opened. We talked he asked about my day work like how he normally does and I asked about his. Then he started saying “you can tell that i stopped by sometimes right(ie. fold the blankets)?” Also said coming back looking at this place made him feel sad that was why he doesn’t want to stay there long. I don’t remember specifically how it happened but we started talking about the past and he had an emotional breakdown and teared up. Saying how bad I mistreated him when he was there for me, supporting me and helping me financially(I told him about my debt) and physically because when we were together I didn’t have to pay for anything. He paid for rent, food and when we go out too. My needs and happiness goes first before his. But I wasn’t there for him leaving him at home alone most of the time when I was at my moms.” I know I was wrong and I apologized to him and hugged him. He said not to worry about him and to let him stay and think(I didn’t asked what he meant by that). The next night we talked more. At night I pretended to be deep asleep and touched his hair and put my hand on his chest. I guess that action made him feeling uncomfortable and didnt come home the following night. Weekend we do our own things and didnt see each other until the following weekday. He told me about having a talked with one of his bestfriends on sunday and that his friend suggested him seeking counseling. He told me about his struggles at work too. I dont know what got into me but at night i wanted to cuddle with him like how we used to but he pulled away saying he can’t at this time, that was when I thought about moving out. We didnt see each other the rest of that week. I texted him on friday saying I found a place and will be checking it out sunday afternoon. It was then around sunday evening when I got a text from a friend saying she ran into my ex at a tofu place with a girl, that was when I know why he been acting the way he did. I didnt asked him until monday night when we see each other again at our place. He told me that he just got back from his parents place. It seemed like they had an argument. He always wanted to move into a bigger place an apartment (even when we were together but i couldn’t help him cus of my financial) and seemed like none of his siblings can move in with him. He told his mom if only she didn’t kicked him out that year and that he has to find a place none of this would’ve happened he wouldn’t be in this situation and that hes not in debt(I guess eventho his salary wasn’t enuf for us he found other ways to do it). He was willing to pay rent but she still wanted him to move. He reminded her about her asking me to help him find a place. That was when we decided to moved in together and thats when he asked my moms permission for us to move in together when originally he was supposed to live by himself. He told her about the diamond ring that he helped me pay(my mom wanted to get me a diamond ring to have as a gift from her and he helped out by paying $700, after we broke up I wanted to give him back his money so I sold the diamond back but he didn’t take it.) but he didnt take back the money and she called him stupid for not taking the money. He said he thought that was the right thing to do at the time and he did it because of love. Long story short he got mad and left and started screaming in his car(that was what i was told). Then I started asking him about the girl. He admitted it. He said they been dating since March and shes kinda young. He said sometimes when he did something and her respond wasnt what he thought. When they started texting and the things they do or places they go reminded him of me and he doesn’t know if what he was doing was right. He asked me if I’ve been seeing anyone. I told him the truth that I had and that was last March also and we dated for a month, but it didnt work out because I was like him doing things reminded me of him so I ended it. I told him about me seeking relationship coaching and how the coach said our relationship was lack of communication and he agreed. He said I rarely communicate with him or tell him my feelings and thoughts and waited until it builds up and take it on him, and we started talking about the past. I ended the conversation early and wanted to sleep but truth is I was hurt inside knowing he is with someone. The next morning when I was getting ready for work he was awake and wishing me to drive safely(this I havent heard in a long time after we brokeup). The next night I was in bed and he came home. He asked how my day was. Then he asked if I was hurt about the news. I said no. He said he can feel it because he knows how I am even when we were together he didn’t talk to his friends that are girls because he knew I don’t like it and that hurting me was the last thing he wanted to do. That was the reason why he didn’t want to tell me. He asked me about the guy I told him about last night and asked if I’m seeing anybody else. I said no. Just hanging out with friends. He also asked if the reason I reached to relationship coaching was because after I found out about the girl, I told him no it was before. Then we ended up talking about the past…AGAIN. How he got his ways just to make me happy and taking care of me, supporting me. He knows I’ve done a lot for him in the beginning of our relationship that was why he always wanted to do more for me later on in our relationship when he got a good job. Loving and caring for me. Doing all the things for me and buying me expensive things. Supporting me financially so that I can only concentrate on paying my bills, he been doing everything for 2 years but I haven’t shown any signs of improvement. He sometimes sees me buying stuff. And I sometimes got mad at him for spending time with his family or siblings. He said that was part of the reason why he was never at his parents place for too long and that he’d be home early waiting for me. The last fight we had was because of him coming home late from having dinner with his brother. I got mad and wrote him long text, saying if hanging out with his sibling and pokemon go is more important to him then we shouldn’t be together(he recalled the incident). That was when he snapped and broke up with me. He asked how could I say that? I know i was wrong. My temper has got into me and saying things that I shouldn’t have. He also said if only I had concentrated more into our relationship than his family then it would’ve been better, but I wasn’t at the time when we were together. I hold grudges against his family and stopped visiting them eventhough he once told me he’s family oriented.
Talking about your previous relationship with your ex girlfriend can be pretty tricky because it is bound to bring up old memories and not all of those old memories are going to be very good. On top of the “bad memories” things get can get really emotional and if you don’t know how to handle those emotions the conversation is going to eat you alive.
Hey girl, I don´t want to be rude intruding in something that´s clearly none of my business, but reading you has made me very upset about you boyfriend, or well, the father of your child. He needed space, but started seing someone else? I know you must love him, but that´s not a mature way to behave. If he can´t be responsible for his actions and its consequences, you should better move on. And you say it was a planned pregnancy, so there was a discussion and plenty of time to declare that he was not sure about it, if that is the case. It is very unfair that now he gets to decide if he wants to be there, in this stage of life, if he is “ready”, while you are already pregnant and shouldn´t it be something just yours. He is inmature, selfish and irresponsible, you don´t need another child to raise but the one you are carrying. So, I send you from very far away, all my strenghts and good wishes, put yourself up together and love yourself, so once the baby is born he/she will have a caring mom. The best for you and your baby, take care of yourself…
My situation is a little different than most, we’ve been together for 5 years and he’s currently in the military now, he just ended things, with multiple reasoning but the last one was him saying he didn’t have time for a girlfriend nor did he want one. It’s been a week since we broke up and also a week of NC, I haven’t reached out, but is this going to work, is he really going to miss me even with us being so far away and his schedule being so hectic?? Please someone give me some advice…
Found out a guy who I was secretly in love with for 9’years also had feelings for me. He reached out to me first and we connected immediately (even though We had been aquentinces) . Intense chemistry, he was telling me within weeks that he was falling for me, that he would go through his horrible divorce all over again of it meant being with me, how beautiful I am, how refreshing it is to have someone who gets his large family and who already knows them, included me in days with his daughter, we slept together 2x, he would… Read more »
Use the time away to get a better understanding of the relationship. Dating coach, Lisa Shield, adds: "Many of us feel fear when trying to meet people after a breakup because we don't have a good enough understanding of what we did wrong in the past. Take time to reflect on your actions and your partner's. If you don't make sense of the past, it's going to be really hard to move forward."
Well, let me just say this. Having an intense conversation with your ex right after a breakup is not a good idea. In fact, I think it is one of the dumbest ideas there is. Now, I do realize that logically you may realize that this is the case but when you are actually in a situation that you have so much invested in it is hard to take a step back and think logically.
Hello I can imagine your going through a hard time trying to understand this guy. He’s confusing you because he’s confused himself. He has distanced himself because this is what guys do when they are thinking if they want to be with you or not. This also shows how he doesn’t care much about you and more about himself. He says these things like I miss you and all that stuff to make sure your still around for him as an option but does his words match his actions? If he missed you he woukd see you. Does he see you? No ? Then he’s not telling the truth he’s using words to keep you about for his own ego and loneliness. There’s a way u can find out if he wants to be with you or not and that’s by ignoring him he sends u a msg like I miss you can I talk to u or just hello no mater what his msg says u say nothing. A woman’s silence shows and expresses your hurt more than your anger and words do. This also gives him time to properly miss you and it also stops you looking easy in his eyes men want a challenge they want to chase so give him what he wants and don’t feel bad about it either he hurt you did he care ? Sounds like he didn’t.
im doing the same thing you’ll do now your not alone i know it hurts but that what u should do, let him lose you and thinks hes a failure dont allow him to think he can play with your feelings, your not his toy if he cant decide what he wants then leave him to grom up and make decisions in life, hes immature and you did the right thing your so smart of going no contact and standing on what you want bravo, now do not let him take advantage and decide what he wants do what you want, you want him as a bf he didnt respect that he wants friends you dont so bye to him and lifes always comes around believe me one day he’ll come begging to have you back.
Why don’t you advise sending the man a brief text that recognizes he needs space and give him the time and space he needs? The guy I’ve been seeing for almost a year got fairly emotional one night and finally made a commitment to me. I think did, anyway. Lol But the very next day he became a bit cold and distant. I’d get brief replies to my texts, but that was it. I also know he’s dealing with some personal things as well. I texted him, told him I felt he was going through a few things and needed space. He replied with a Thanks! which confirmed my thoughts. A few days later, I texted him again, told him I missed him, (shows I’m not upset) but I understood he needed space and told him to take all the time and space he needs. (Shows understanding and willingness to allow him to do his thing) I also told him that if he ever wanted to know how was feeling or how I felt about him to listen to a specific song and ended the text with some sweet words. (To reassure him and to hopefully give him an earworm to keep him thinking about me and make him miss me.) Then nothing more. No texts. No calls. Nothing. My plan is to keep busy and let him contact me.
Give each other space and time to heal. Being together doesn't mean you've got a leash over the other person. When mending a broken relationship, your instinct might be to spend every waking moment together. But this prevents the two of you from stepping back and seeing the big picture or your relationship, it’s good sides and bad. Spending every waking moment together often leads to fighting or feeling trapped.

Your articles always leave me teary-eyed, Renee. They are full of brilliant and compassionate insights. You speak of being authentic, you speak of trusting in the infinite perfection of the universe to give back what we put in. You speak of having a pure open hearted connection and leaving our fears at the door. This article made me cry. And I think it’s because it rang so true. We all want to be admired and trusted. I feel like whenever a man fell in love with me, it was after he revealed something shameful to me and I just accepted… Read more »
so one day it so a happened that l had a show to perform in since am a model,,,, he shopped for me and gave me everything l wanted to run the show but surprisingly he never showed up and on going home there was another woman who was there and pregnant for him .......,... l cried out my eyes and l moved out of the house in the middle of the night and left the two..... it marked the end of our communication and l regretted why l just moved out the house and during that time he never wanted to see or talk to me
While it is important to not pursue your ex for a month or so, it's okay to be responsive if he or she pursues you. In other words, if you get a call, don't hang up on your ex or refuse to talk. It is not necessary to try to play mind games or play hard to get, and doing so would have the potential to push him or her further away, which is the opposite of your goal at this point.[6]
Last message I told him that I’ll let him having time there to get things done after he told me that he’s not struggling with everything. (he has lots of extra expenses for this move too) He said he has anxiety about kids moving away (where we are now and new location is about 13 hours fly) but anyway he will prepare everything for them to move smoothly.

I say that because we’ve been together for three years. I just feel like he would’ve figured out sooner than later if I was what he wanted in a girlfriend. Our relationship is/was so great. We talked everyday, some days less than others but at the beginning and end of the day we always made contact. We hung out mostly 4out of 7 days a week. We’ve always made enough time for eachother, and what we want to do ourselves. We hardly ever fought. Of course we’ve had our few disputes, but nothing we couldn’t work through.
Until recently , I contact him again hoping to win him back another time(for godsake I dunno why after all the scolding from him to me and disrespecting me).Thinking I have grow to be more confident.Sadly, I made the mistake again falling in the booty call. I regret so much. What should I do? I keep choosing him over and over again. Although he said he dont want my love .Yet I keep going back to him.
This also seems like a misplaced expectation of what love is and what relationships can do. A relationship will not solve all your problems, or make you whole, or give you ecstatic happiness at every turn. I’m not sure what “enough” for you looks like. It sounds like you need to mature in your understanding of love and adjust your expectations, rather than throw in the towel or play games with his heart. Have a conversation with him, but also do some introspection with yourself of where these ‘shoulds’ are coming from.
Guys are going to naturally cycle between wanting intimacy and wanting independence. Trying to guess the reason is impossible – some guys want space to reflect on the relationship, some more insecure guys may even want space because their friends make fun of them for being “too whipped”, some guys want space because they need time alone to clear their heads and gain clarity in life. Maybe hes struggling with a personal issue, or with his work. The reason could be anything for a multitude of different reasons.
If you and your ex recently broke up but you really want to maintain a platonic friendship, sending a text to “check in” without asking for anything —i.e., pressuring them to meet up, telling them you “need” to talk, etc — is a solid way to let them know. Sending messages that don’t require a response allows your ex to decide if or when they will respond. By giving them the power to continue or ignore the dialogue, you’re basically saying “I’m here if you need me.”
Here’s my problem, I was begging, pleading, and trying to look pity for my ex-girlfriend just to make her stay. We had sex then goodbye. Then i saw your videos about No Contact Rules. Following your advice about no contact rules was hard as hell. My target is FULL 30 DAYS no contact but in my two weeks of battle. Suddenly she texted me, i try to ignore her, then she call me using other number so we talked since its likely rude to ignore her at all. She told me she wasn’t happy in her new bf. She felt sorry for me. She’s asking me if there was any chance to rebuild our relationship?Is she still welcome to my life? I told her i am awesome now, i currently dating to someone else the she get madly jealous. She doesn’t want me to date others.She really want to see me but ill be the one who refuse to see her. I told her i will only see you when you come back to me. She wanted me to stick around but u said to your videos not to get in friendzone.
I know this is hard and I am so sorry that you are going through this. You have dated a man that is emotionally unavailable and is following the same pattern that he had in his life. You mentioned his father never married his mother so this is an issue that he has to overcome himself. This is his past playing into his life now. You have to make yourself less available to him and understand that you deserve more than this. I would encourage you to book a session with me or a male coach on my team so we can help you during this time. You can reach out to me on my contact page. If so please state you messaged me on my blog so I can remember. We are here if you need further guidance.
Even if a man is completely in love – it’s natural for him to drift away at times. There may be something he’s going through that you don’t know about, or he may be having a difficult time at work. The point is, you dont know, and there is more going on in the world than just you. If you feel it in your gut that you guys are still close, give it the benefit of the doubt.
Think about why you want him back. Breakups are never easy, even when the relationship was not a good fit. For this reason, it's crucial to think about your motives for wanting to get your boyfriend back. If you want to get back together because you are sad or lonely or don't like being single, you should probably reconsider. Just because you miss your ex does not mean you should be with him. These feelings will go away eventually, although it may take some time. If you want to get back together because you genuinely care for your ex and you can see yourself having a future with him, then go ahead and try to get him back![2]
I know this is hard and I am so sorry that you are going through this. You have dated a man that is emotionally unavailable and is following the same pattern that he had in his life. You mentioned his father never married his mother so this is an issue that he has to overcome himself. This is his past playing into his life now. You have to make yourself less available to him and understand that you deserve more than this. I would encourage you to book a session with me or a male coach on my team so we can help you during this time. You can reach out to me on my contact page. If so please state you messaged me on my blog so I can remember. We are here if you need further guidance.
I found this article one of the best in a very long search I had been doing. Hope it will be helpful for me to help repair my relation with someone whom I extremely care about but made her angry with a useless conversation. I never intended to hurt her but I did. I am hurt too but cant let her remain angry. This post might get helpful in getting me rid of this state.
It’s tough for someone to nail down to source of feeling not OK, but they unconsciously latch onto things that will get rid of this feeling, usually through reassurance or trying to make situations come about that they feel will make them happy and finally grant them relief. This inevitably impacts your vibe, you become a parasite of sorts and everyone you come into contact with is simply a means to an end.
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