A man still has feelings for his ex, and he wonders if he should reach out and try to rekindle things.
Dear Sexes: I’d been dating this girl for two years, but last fall she returned to Europe to finish college. We did the long distance thing for a few months, but broke up in December when I visited. It’s been four months since the breakup, and I’m still not over her. We stayed in touch when I first returned to the U.S., but she wanted some space, and we haven’t spoken since. I want to visit her over the summer and reconnect, but I don’t know if she feels the same way. What should I do? Should I just move on?
She Said: There is nothing like heartbreak. It boggles the mind to imagine so much physical pain without a physiological reason why… It’s agony. And I’m sorry you’re in it.
In reality, the best thing to do would probably be to try to move on. But the fact is, sometimes we need a little more before we’re ready to let something go.
There’s a delicate balance to asking an ex for more—-whether it’s more information, more attention, more love… It’s hard to do without coming off as pathetic or overwhelming to her. And yet if there’s a suspicion that she may feel the same way, it’s worth it.
So take it from your best girl friend: Make a plan to call her when you’re going to be feeling good about yourself. See a great movie with friends, then call her when you’re happy. Or call after a work out when you’ve got all those great endorphins going.
When you call her, try to stick to the facts. Say something like, “I get it that we’re broken up, but I’m curious if you think there could be a future for us at some point?” And then validate whatever it is she says by saying something like, “I totally understand that while we’re apart you just don’t think this is going to work. But I still care a lot about you and feel a bit unsettled with how we left things and that’s why I’d like to know, just really straight-up, how you see the future for us.”
Keep it cool. You don’t need to say, “I love you so much, I can’t breathe, I can’t eat, I’m a mess without you. I’m in agony!” She knows you still have feelings simply because you’re asking. You don’t need to lie and pretend to not give a shit… Just keep your eye on the objective that you’re simply looking for more information. If she doesn’t feel the same way as you, the last thing you want is her saying she does simply because she feels bad for you.
Go in strong, and you’ll get an honest assessment of where she is. And that’s the best thing you can do for yourself at this point.
Then move on if need be. Though I know that’s easier said than done. I suggest the movies Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, (500) Days of Summer, and Say Anything as salve for the broken heart…
He Said: What’s the status of your relationship right now? Are you on speaking terms at all? I suggest you take baby steps (before you visit her in person). If you haven’t been talking much, test the waters with some emailing and talks on the phone. If all goes well, and you still think there’s a special chemistry/connection (between both of you) then go visit her. However, I have to implore you to proceed with caution.
If you go and visit in person, you could get some clarity, but you might not like the answers you get. There’s also the possibility your visit could be a wonderful time and a smashing success. But then what? You’ll be back at square one. In love, and trying to stay in love, long distance. That didn’t work last time. But, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again (I guess). Good luck. I think you’re gonna need it.
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Photo of Man in autumn park with girlfriend in background. Man call on the mobile phone courtesy of Shutterstock