You shut ex-boyfriend out, now he may do the same [Ellie]

Question: I broke up with my boyfriend of two years because we wanted different things out of life. We stayed good friends until he got a new girlfriend. I was thrilled for him, until she soon forbade him to see or speak to me.

I miss him and regret breaking up. I’m not lonely, and have dated others, but I feel like he’s the one for me; I just wasn’t ready back then.

I want to contact him, but I don’t want to come between him and his now-fiancée. I keep in touch with some mutual friends, all of whom say he’s unhappy with her and still in love with me. Should I leave him be or contact him?

Regrets

Answer: You’re suffering from rejection, even though you brought it about yourself. You didn’t think he was The One, until she had him. Your friends say what you want to hear — after all, he wasn’t forced to get engaged. And, if he wanted to contact you, he would.

Nevertheless, you can satisfy your curiosity through one “socially acceptable” contact: Call to wish him well, then admit you sometimes think you were just not ready at the time. If he has any interest, you’ll have opened the door. But be prepared for this: You shut him out once, and he may just do the same now. If so, move on.

Question: We’ve been best friends for 15 years, since we were 10. She moved, we went to different high schools. I went away to university, and got the job I wanted. She had a daughter right out of high school and works as a property manager.

I’ve always been there for her. When she had to move to reduce her rent, I helped out financially, and laboured with her to paint it to feel like home. She was in an accident in my city, called me, and I took the day off to help.

However when I ask for help, any plans are somehow forgotten. She’ll say I didn’t call her to see if she was coming so she figured it wasn’t happening.

I’ve also welcomed her into my family gatherings since her family isn’t the greatest. She’s shown up just in time for dinner, stayed only 20 minutes after eating, then returned home to her boyfriend, with whom I don’t get along.

She’s never been completely friendly to any of my other friends, from high school or university. When questioned, she’ll sarcastically apologize for her life and how it’s inconvenienced me.

I was recently involved in a car accident in which children and adults were sent to the hospital. Her response over text message was “it’s coincidence, and karma.” I’ve since deleted all contact, except phone numbers and never gotten any communication since then. Am I overreacting, or has she gotten the best of me for too long?

Feeling Used

Answer: You gave what you wanted to give at the time. There was an imbalance in your circumstances, which you accepted. What you didn’t realize was that it grated on her. You also failed to recognize that you judged her, for example, when you excluded her boyfriend. True “best friends” make allowances for each other’s choices.

However, her text was rude and unkind. Now that you know that there’s been simmering discomfort on her part, you no longer have to “prove” the friendship. But there’s also no need to shut her out completely. Just cool the contact, and only consider getting together again on equal footings.

TIP OF THE DAY

Do not mistake feelings of rejection for lost love.

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