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‘I Hate No Contact’

no contactHello Chump Lady!

I dated a guy for a while and decided that we weren’t a good match for marriage, so I broke up with him. I’d like to be married, so dating — for me — is with that purpose in mind. I was clear with him about the breakup, stating some reasons (flirting and female friends/ possible cheating as one of the reasons…) so he decided to move to another state, and he wanted to be friends until he moved.

I said okay, and discovered him saying he loved another woman on Facebook (she was saying Happy Birthday to him, and lived in his hometown, and it could have been casual and innocent,) but it was flirting, so I told him not to call me, not to text me, not to email me and not to message me.

He left me alone. And I’ve been happy! And living my best life as a single person. (I’d like to be married, but I’m making the best of being single. It doesn’t mean I’m dating; I’m just spending time with family, making friends, etc.) He texted on Valentine’s Day. I gave a friendly response (it had been many months since he moved.) Then he texted on my birthday in March. Then again, then he called, and now he is calling often.

The other day he said he wanted me to reconsider marriage, and I called him the next day and told him I didn’t have peace about the idea. He’s still been calling a lot.

I find that talking to him is disturbing my peace of mind. And that I’m thinking about him a lot. If he calls on Saturday morning, I think it’s because he has a date on Saturday evening. (It’s Saturday evening now…) If he calls on Monday or Tuesday instead of Friday or Saturday, I think he’s got dates on the weekends.

He says he isn’t dating anyone.

Am I paranoid, or what?

I would like to go back to that carefree existence, but I don’t know what to tell him! I love him, but we’re not right for marriage, so let’s never talk again?

I’ve already said all the things. Did he not believe them? I don’t want to just block him without letting him know that I don’t think I can handle being friends. But I’m not sure it’s the best thing all around.

This is more difficult than I imagined it could be!

One time I broke up with him in an email. I had tried breaking up in person, but there was always a reason not to! I didn’t want to text it, so I wrote a kind and well-thought-out email, and he’s pointed out so many times how uncaring it was that I emailed him instead of talking with him face to face.

Hmmmm… goodness.

What to do, then?

Do you have any suggestions? I hate No Contact, even though it’s necessary sometimes. And I’ll miss him all over again if he stops calling… but it isn’t working that he is calling…!!!

No Contact Resist

****

Dear No Contact Resist,

Give up the kibbles.  I think you’re really digging this idea that he Just Can’t Quit You. (Cue soppy rom-com.)

There’s nothing romantic about someone violating your boundaries. I know there is an entire Hollywood industry that says otherwise. Faint heart never won fair maiden, yada yada. But a guy that keeps persisting after you broke up with him is NOT relationship material. He might be stalker material, but boyfriend? No.

Let’s recap.

You don’t trust him. You think he’s shady with other women. You didn’t see you guys working out long-term. And you feel happier when he doesn’t call you.

Every time you try (feebly) to assert yourself, he pushes back.

You: Let’s break up. Him: Let’s be friends!

You: I want marriage. Him: Reconsider that!

You: Here’s a carefully thought out email why we aren’t good for each other. Him: I demand face-to-face contact!

You miss that? Really? Don’t you get invalidated enough as a woman without inviting more of this crap into your life?

In fairness to him, you are sending mixed signals. He asked if he could be friends — you AGREED — and then you’re upset that he’s flirting with other women? YOU JUST BROKE UP WITH HIM. He’s free to flirt with whomever he wishes.

Most ex-girlfriends really don’t want a front seat to that, so please examine your motives. Are you doing that unicorn 180 nonsense, of harrumph! I’m leaving! PICK ME. Trying to goad him into choosing you?

I find that talking to him is disturbing my peace of mind. And that I’m thinking about him a lot.

Yes, because you keep taking his calls. No contact could return your peace of mind.

If he calls on Monday or Tuesday instead of Friday or Saturday, I think he’s got dates on the weekends.

Here’s a radical thought — expend your mental energy on people who are available.

If he were your boyfriend (he’s not your boyfriend), then it’s totally understandable that you’d want to be a priority. To feel central. But this guy isn’t offering that. He’s shoehorning you in as he likes. Keeping you around as an option. (Excuse me, friend.) And feels very entitled to that.

Is that OKAY with you?

No? Then draw a boundary. He doesn’t have to like it. In fact, generally speaking, boundaries are not well-received. When you have a boundary, you have to let go of popularity and consensus. Healthy people respect boundaries. They might be disappointed, but they get it and they’ll work around. Users HATE boundaries. Much better to have chumps who go along, suck it up, and have no needs.

This guy is not offering you what you want. You are allowed to break up with him. He doesn’t have to like it. You don’t have to explain it to him. It’s YOUR boundary.

I hate No Contact

Do you need “friends” this badly? Do you think a future committed relationship with a new man is compatible with Mr. Booty Call? No healthy person is going to want to be part of this nebulous unfinished business.

I suggest some mental housecleaning. And… sorry… no contact.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Sweetie, you don’t need to be someone’s emergency backup plan. Quit that role right now and free yourself to make apace in your life foe someone worthy of you.

  • No Contact,
    From my perspective it sounds like you are stringing him along as much as he’s stringing you along. He lives in another state. He’s seeing other people. There’s nothing to gain from him. Answering his calls and continuing like this is not healthy for you and only takes your head space. I recommend more than “no contact.” Block him. Do this for your own sanity to stop your own addiction to it.

    • I had to block xFW when he just wouldn’t quit trying to hoover me back. Blocked on FB. Somehow got my email, blocked him there. Then he escalated to letters (he lives in another state), which I immediately threw away with no reply. Then he escalated to postcards, then registered mail. It was getting creepy. Finally, an attorney friend wrote him a firm letter stating that I had made it clear I did not want to be in contact with him, for any reason, and that the attorney was certain FW would abide by my wishes. I haven’t heard from him since.

      • Nicely done, Ivy League Chump. I’m clapping like a Leonardo DiCaprio meme. The best part is you not only went no contact, you got it legally enforced so he now knows that door is slammed shut.

  • At first, I thought there was a lot of wisdom & maturity shown….and then it went wishy-washy. Making decisions is great, but second-guessing them after leads you into self-doubt & at the mercy of manipulation (hint, the other party). Stick to your guns & move onto a better quality model (yes, you deserve it).

    • I think the OP is just confused about “niceness” and not wanting to be a “bitch.” It’s a crippling quandary that strikes a lot of people.

      I can remember being awash with mixed cultural messages and unconscious motivations when I was really young. I seemed to have my head on straight regarding dating as a teen. I liked shy, sober brainiacs with emotional intelligence and quirky senses of humor. But once I was on my own in college and afterwards and amassed a slew of quasi-traumatic experiences in the dating meat market which started eating away at my foundations, I began unconsciously looking for a bulletproof bodyguard and my taste in men followed suit.

      To paraphrase the old Roman poet, who then “will protects us from our protectors?” Finding men who can “handle themselves” in all situations in the Urban jungle (from street crap to encounters with freaks straight out of the Succession series) risks running aground with gift-wrapped narcissists. Each encounter and mishap cause more fear, fear starts making us compromise ourselves, superstitiously change ourselves around thinking it will give us more positive experiences, etc. I started getting “nicer” for a time because, as the saying goes, I thought being a vegan would keep the bulls from goring me. That didn’t work. Then I started agreeing with the FDR quote that you know someone by their enemies.

      If you have any character or integrity, whatsoever you’re bound to make several foes in a lifetime. A person without enemies never stood up for anything. The OP seems entrapped by trying to avoid this guy hating her and saying bad things about her. When you’re a young thing and already feel endangered (physically, financially, socially, *politically*, etc.), interpersonal negging feels more potent than it should be until you start sorting the unconscious internalization of cultural bs and realizing that you may not be looking for love as much as looking for a safe harbor and an armed security detail.

      I would prescribe joining some activist effort and learning to get hated for a good cause. Stick with it and you learn that the hate from the opposition, especially if it gets personal, is a mark you’re making an impact. Then it starts to be funny. You learn all about subtle attack tactics which are precisely the same whether political or interpersonal. Obviously doing this is about more than dating boot camp but I think the latter might be a bonus.

  • Listen to your gut. You know it’s not healthy and you know he’s not good for you.

    It sounds like you might be a people pleaser (I was one too). Maybe you think that if you set firm boundaries and stick to them that it makes you a bitch. You want to be liked and adored. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But you are not a bitch for sticking to your boundaries. It makes you powerful and badass. And like you said, at peace. Also, does this guy’s opinion about you really matter? It doesn’t.

    At the end of the day, the most important relationship you have is with yourself. And there’s nothing selfish about it. It’s a fact. So doing what is best for you is self-care, it is self-love.

    You will find someone who respects you and your relationship and wants to marry you. Attract that person. You can’t do that if you’re still connecting to a sinking ship. And you have this community here to support you 🙂

  • My marriage imploded and became a long-distance separation, supposedly to cool off and work on things. What it became was yet more blame and games. What he was actually doing with his time was a big question mark as well. All trust had evaporated, and I told him no reconciliation after a year. Then he had promised the divorce would be easy and pledged his undying love, but I knew that was a big fat lie and had low expectations. I picked a superstar attorney that an acquaintance called “grandpa with an iron rod” and got a good settlement. His brash, expensive attorney ($700/hr) bowed to mine and threw my ex to the curb.

    Once they are messing with your mind as their pattern, you have to cut them off. There is zero chance that you can have any kind of reasonable relationship with them. I now live a low-drama life and am loving it.

  • The proof is in the pudding: you feel better when he’s not in the picture. That’s why NC is such a blessing. Say goodbye (emails are fine), mean it, and block him.

    I’m a big fan of not chasing after what doesn’t want me there. I have a local friend who, for a few years, was my only local friend in town. He came over often for coffee and we had some pretty good chats. One day I realized that it had been a few months since we had visited (as happens in busy adult lives) and I reached out. No response. I tried again a few weeks later through a few different messengers. Nothing. A few weeks after that I asked a mutual friend if “Local Friend” was okay because the radio silence was unusual. Mutual Friend said, “He’s fine. We just talked yesterday.” Okay, I thought, he’s alive and social; he’s just ignoring me…? I have no idea why; our interactions up until this had never changed. I left it alone for another few months until I decided to try one last time. I texted him “Hey [Name], how’s it going? It’s been awhile and I’m just checking in.” I expected to be ignored and feel confused about it again. Instead, he answered back for the first time in long time: “Sorry, new phone. Who’s this?” I answered, “It’s Fourleaf. How’s it going?” Radio silence. And I’ve never heard back from him since.

    And then it hit me like a truck. He’s No Contact-ing me. No explanation why. It’s just one day I had my coffee conversation friend and the next day, poof, he decided that I was on his NC list. As someone who has boundaries and a NC list of my own (FW and his family) to protect my emotional sanity, I can certainly understand that Local Friend, without being objectively explicit (i.e. informing me) was putting down some pretty firm boundaries: we’re not talking anymore and if you reach out, I’m not responding. I may even block you.

    As a chump and a survivor of a traumatic marriage, I’m used to being the one who draws and enforces the NC boundary plan. I never expected to be the objective focus of someone else’s NC boundary plan. It hurt, yes, and I struggled with it and tried to untangle the skein of this friendship that had died on the vine: “What did I do? Did I say something over coffee one day that put me on your NC list? Are you dating someone and she doesn’t want you to have female friends? What happened? Can I fix it or get closure?”

    I let all these thoughts percolate but I kept them all in my head and didn’t reach out with any of them. I thought of my own boundaries with FW and how much it hurts when he pushes on them from time to time. I never want to be that person; I won’t impose where I’m not wanted. Local Friend has decided upon No Contact and his reasons are his own; he does not owe me an explanation nor do I want to demand one from him. The harder I push back, the more like FW I’ll become (shudder).

    • The moral of this story is that anyone, even chumps, can find themselves on a No Contact list. It’s a part of life. As chumps who value boundaries for emotional health (and not as a tool of punishment), it is up to us to honor those boundaries and not behave like pushy FWs. To get back to the original poster, you may want to give your Ex an explanation as to why you can’t be friends and talk anymore or you might not; that’s up to you. NC sucks sometimes for both those who enforce it and those who find themselves subject to it but, really, what’s the alternative? Push past those boundaries and create emotional turmoil? Boundaries are usually up for a reason. I hope your Ex gets the message that contacting you isn’t allowed anymore.

      • Something similar happened to me with a friend years ago. I was going through a difficult time and was being emotionally “leaky.” This friend had a sensitivity to what she called “energy vampires” and withdrew from contact with me. It hurt, a lot, but I also understood, because I had done the same thing in the past, to protect myself. I think she was wrong about me — I don’t think I’m a user and I was working on my problems — and it still hurts when I think about it, but I felt it was important to respect her decision. It was pretty interesting to be on the other side of that table though, and what I learned is that people who are concerned a lot with the happiness of others can worry excessively about “making a mistake.” “Am I right to end this relationship? Is the other person they really as bad (for me) as I think s/he is? What if s/he can change?” In the end, it doesn’t really matter. I’m fine, I hope my former friend is fine, I have lots of love and friends in my life, I hope she does too. Sometimes it’s just a bad fit, or wrong place/wrong time, and adults are ultimately responsible for ourselves. If it isn’t working for you, it isn’t working, and it’s OK to walk away.

      • Thank you Four leaf. I love your post. As someone that honestly has been abused and abandoned multiple times it’s hard sometimes. Lately my struggle is putting up boundaries so high that I can’t let anyone into my life. I can’t trust people easily. Also self hatred is a challenge. But I’ve had enough time to see that really most of the people who put me on a no contact/abandonment list I did not really even like. Living long enough is very interesting. You get to see the end result of the choices I make and the choices others make. Some are good some not so much. I’m in therapy trying to figure it all out.

    • I think your post here is beautiful. Thank you for being so vulnerable and telling that story.

      It took me years to stop chasing after people who didn’t want me.

      Once I stopped chasing, I had time to figure out who I really wanted to spend time with.

      Now my life is full of those people, to my joy. I’m aghast that I wasted so much time on people who didn’t matter.

    • Fourleaf, I always read and appreciate your comments for your earnestness, compassion, and non-defensive introspection. This comment, alone, demonstrates that you are not and will NEVER be like your FW ex who I’ve come to loathe, reading here. I have to say, FWIW, that think you’re giving Mr. Coffee too much credit. Sounds like ghosting to me. Sure, that’s his prerogative, and it’s futile to protest either way. I get that you are totally fine letting this guy go; you respect his boundaries and aren’t taking it personally. However, I see it a little differently. I judge the guy for being avoidant and unkind, and I think he’s missing out on a considerate friend.

      What Mr. Coffee did sounds very different from when we chumps go NC. Not that I’d recommend anyone sit through years of abuse before enforcing boundaries/expectations they’ve tried to communicate ad nauseam, in every possible way (and love language 😉 ). I was a people pleaser and took responsibility for a lot that wasn’t “mine,” but I’ve managed to start changing this. I got practice with NC and boundaries with Switzerland friends who’d had a front-row seat to the unraveling of my life and knew my ex was an abusive cheater, yet continued to invite him over after I left. I told the two women I’d been close to for years (but didn’t bother with their husbands or other friends in the group) that people who were my true friends were not friends with FW, and then I stopped responding. I coached myself not to not to internalize or feel the guilty about the icky feelings this stirred up. I also stopped myself from reaching out to say goodbye to several mutual friends before moving away when I realized that while I’d always been there for them (through spousal deaths, childbirth, etc.), they hadn’t reached out to me to offer support or even see how I was doing; that’s not friendship, and they didn’t truly care about me. I wholeheartedly agree that NC is about safety and is everyone’s individual prerogative, no explanation necessary. But I still think Mr. Coffee is a jerk, Fourleaf; I’d take it a step further to guess that he wasn’t keeping himself safe from you, but rather avoiding something uncomfortable in himself.

      You are worthy of true friendship, Fourleaf. Even if you needed a lot of support and couldn’t reciprocate in kind, for years. Even if you’re mortified looking back at the emotional vomiting and drama that you subjected your friends to. I’m sure that even at your worst, most self-centered and unstable, you were still a person who cared and was loyal and wouldn’t willfully hurt your friends. That is a big something. You are worthy of love, and you matter, even when trauma and the stress of single motherhood and FW dealings has reduced you. If friends abandoned you, I’m sorry. You were unlucky, not unworthy. Sorry for reading too deeply into this/your other comments and for projecting my own recent aha moments into your scenario. I know you weren’t looking for advice or cheerleading when you posted this. One of those times where I wish I could post a private response or even just have a conversation…

      Anyway, hugs, and thanks for being a mentor and friend to CN.

    • i this this subject is a worthy of a discussion on it’s own TBH. the way that chumps struggle with their own boundaries in friendships/relationships and reasons why. like Lola, i find Fourleaf’s post beautiful because it’s vulnerable and open.

      i was raised as a RCMP police officer’s daughter and that meant we moved. every time i moved to a new town, i had to fit in and it was difficult. 70% of kids hated RCMP and didn’t welcome me or, worse, bullied. i learnt fast to adapt to fit in and to accept the BS. i would accept friendship from whoever offered it, whether it was a good thing, bad thing, indifferent thing. it was survival. occasionally, i made a good friend and my reaction to this was intense relief and over focus on this person–an unhealthy way of being a friend. so, my friendships were the wrong size.

      this coloured my friendships for a long, long time, and it is only in my 50s that i understand my own behaviour, and have shifted course. relaxed. in a sense, i’ve set boundaries for myself.

    • Fourleaf,

      Being dumped by a friend of a few years without any explanation is not the same as going “no contact” with an abuser/cheater/bully. In my opinion.

      • You’re right, it isn’t exactly the same. But being dumped by a friend is painful and leads to questioning “what did I do to cause this?” and “what’s wrong with me?” Just as I’m sure many of us questioned why the abuser/cheater/bully we were with treated us this way. Fourleaf offered a view of the other side of the No Contact equation, and it was a valuable message to think about.

    • He sounds like one of those guys who use friendship as a basis to get more. Then if after a period of time (known only to them) they don’t get it, they’re pissed off at you for “friendzoning” them, even though they posed as a friend, and they move on to another target.
      You are well rid of that guy.
      Ghosting somebody who has done you no harm is mean and cowardly.

      I was ghosted by the one guy I dated post-breakup. I’m glad I found out what a cowardly shitheel he was before I made an investment in a relationship with him.

      • I was ghosted by my fiance after he got another woman pregnant, and that hurt more than the cheating.

  • A guy I know, who seems like a really nice, upstanding guy, once told me that after his divorce he saw dating as a “numbers game.” By dating he meant sex, and by numbers game he explained that he reached out to any possible woman…exes, new ones, the lady who works at his dry cleaner…and some number of them responded. He didn’t even care why and didn’t seem phased that the majority of them did not take the bait, just as long as he got sex on the weekend.

    Don’t be a number.

    • That’s what my ex used to say and do about dating before he met me. But then I found out he never stopped

    • JustWondering, have a hunch that this is most people. Which is why, as an independent, outgoing, single and attractive 41-yr-old woman, I still haven’t been on a single date in the two years since leaving my ex. (Well, that and it doesn’t help that I’ve been working a ton, taking classes and living in a rural area during a pandemic.) Online dating might be my best hope, but it just seems like an exercise in futility — and a painful, disappointing one at that. I’d love to share intimacy and companionship with someone I find attractive, trustworthy and kind, and I’d love to make up for the years wasted on my neglectful, immature, unappreciative ex. Just can’t fathom it. Stories from friends, mid-twenties and up, all validate my reluctance.

      • Bread & roses, this makes me sad! I’m glad you’re enjoying your life in so many ways, but if you want to share it with someone this community is proof that there really are good partners out there.

        With respect to online dating, I’ll just say that it’s one tool you can use to find someone, and it’s totally up to you how much you let it be a part of your life and who you let in. Even if there are ten creeps out there for every one decent human, give yourself credit for your ability to choose what’s right for you & leave the rest. Who to trust, and when.

        But of course everybody moves on in their own time. I wasn’t ready to date until about 2.5 years from “DDay.” Good luck to you.

    • My therapist stated that once you’re in the rolodex of a psychopath you’re there for life. Eventually your name will come up. It may be 20 yrs but he’ll reach out to see if he can score anything. Doesn’t matter if you divorced him and went complete nc. On my part, I sincerely hope she’s wrong but she she said people will call her years later and say he reached out.
      I kind of believed her when the ex brought a person that was in my high school “friend group” to my mom’s funeral. I had not seen or spoken to her in over 30 yrs for good reasons. They are completely on the same level and had zero business there. He was using her to get info and we’d been divorced and nc 3 yrs at that point. He flipped through, is now wealthy and she went along with him. Not sure what her boyfriend thought about that.

      • My therapist said something similar. I didn’t quite believe her, but he always reappears via an email to me or a card to our adult kids. With me, he always makes some sort of legal claim which is the only way I’ll respond. My attorney predicted the last one and told me exactly what to do when we closed the legal file, and sure enough, there it was seven months later. I got it closed out without yet more legal fees. Our adult kids haven’t responded at all in four years. He still claims a right to a relationship with them.

        • The ex does it through the court system with me. It seems he can last about two years before stirring the pot. I hope last time was the last time. It’s nerve wracking.

    • This is how my EX operates….he casts a wide net, does small superficial “favors” for people, and then sees who takes the bait. During our short, ill-fated, and doomed from the start wreckonciliation attempt, he more or less drunkenly admitted that he was “keeping a list” of women he knew for potential hook-ups. He then tried to gaslight me and denied saying it, but I realized it was absolutely true, and in fact, that he had done the same thing throughout our marriage, “helping” soccer moms, co-workers, etc.

  • The phone guy is feels like the guy on the bachelor, he goes on a date, goes home, calls the next contestant, old Faithful.
    I see him as being a diversion or shield preventing you from making new friends. Your mind isn’t open to making new friends when you’re waiting for this guys phone call or concerned that he’s on a date. Wondering who he’s with when he doesn’t call.
    He’s using you as an ego boost. If his dates don’t work out, that’s okay, he know you’re home waiting for his phone call on a Saturday night.

    Make new friends. Friends who enjoy spending time with you.
    Block the phone guy.
    You’re used to having this guy around like a pair of old slippers. We like our old comfy slippers and don’t think we need new slippers until we get a new pair and we realize how grungy the old slippers are.

    • Great comment, 💯 Brit! YES!Block the phone guy. These hot & cold, inconsistent, avoidant types are lowkey very toxic because they’re neither fully IN nor fully OUT of one’s life. They’re standing in the doorway preventing an authentic & true partner from arriving, even though TOXIC is not remotely how it outwardly appears since the context is friendly/casual.

      De-center the ones who aren’t into you. “Never let a man tell you twice that he doesn’t want you.” — Judge Lynn Toler as told to Steve Harvey. (Applies to all genders & all relationships, too.)

  • Yes. This is constant boundary violation, which always creates a space for a Solid Gold Pick Me Dancer to strut her stuff.

    You’ve seen Mr Persistent in every rom-com, and it always works out so prettily.

    Snap out of it! This is your brain on hopium.

    Real life is much better and more rewarding than fantasy. But you won’t appreciate this again until you do a Dopamine Detox (it’s an actual thing, and you need it.)

  • The LoveChat podcast is a good reinforcer for “no contact”. It seems aimed toward young people and focuses on self-awareness/improvement. Also advises healthy boundaries.

  • If I’ve got this right, he is doing the very thing that was the reason for your break-up:
    “I was clear with him about the breakup, stating some reasons (flirting and female friends/ possible cheating as one of the reasons…)” Only this time, you’re on the other side. Potentially you’re the person he’s flirting with and a female friend he may or may not want a relationship with.
    “He said he wanted me to reconsider marriage,” is bizarre. You are NOT in a committed relationship or even dating, so why suggest you reconsider what you want? It’s not reconsidering your dinner choice, or your college major. He wants you to reconsider your decision that you want a committed lifetime partner vs…him?
    “I find that talking to him is disturbing my peace of mind.” So stop talking to him! Don’t take his calls, don’t respond.
    Going No Contact was hard for me at first. He was deliberately provocative, emailing me directions to pay various expenses (“or your credit will be ruined!”) and informing me that he was coming over to get items he wanted. Sending everything through my lawyer was expensive, so when a response was required, such as “I’m coming into the house with friends Y and Z to get sports equipment,” my answer was a complete sentence: “No.” A few times, to avoid legal escalation, I’d call Y or Z and tell him that he, and only he, could come to the door at a specified time, and I’d put out the items my ex requested. When he emailed that the bank branch was closing, so I’d have to empty the safe deposit box and do the paperwork, because his key was in the beautiful blue twist-tie envelope in the beautiful antique bedside chest, that we bought together on a special trip, I was very tempted to point out that the blue twisty envelope was from our bank twenty years and two cities ago, that he’d taken away the bedside chest a decade earlier to use as a support under his equipment (and replaced it with one I hated), and that he’d taken his key two years earlier. He was either deluded or trying to delude me. I avoided a hefty bank charge for failing to turn in the key by bringing in mine and verifying that the box was empty, but I did not give him the satisfaction of a response.
    After a while, I took pride in the messages and demands left unanswered, and grew to love No Contact, because each time I refused to respond was a time when I regained control.

    • BTW, early on, I took what was left of my valuables and my records out of our joint box and opened one of my own, in another bank. Fraudster had already stolen some of my jewelry and financial documents. My grandson told me he had also seen him going through my jewelry box at home. My ex took my emergency envelope, stole the cash, replaced it with blank paper, and for some bizarre reason sealed it and signed his name and a date across the flap.

  • Email him back – “I am considering marriage. Just not with you. Be well!”

    And block him everywhere. Everywhere.

    You’re a fallback plan b or c pal:fuck buddy:safety net.

    Let that shit go.

    • This – 100% Pick me dancing sucks. The better you get at it the more you actually lose ask me how I know. You are fortunate to have found him out before you got too deeply involved for sure. Run don’t walk away, clean him out of your phone, pc and social media and throw a “block party” – quickly – like Biz suggests. You deserve better!

  • We teach others how to treat us. It works both ways, so don’t flounder once you’ve stood your ground. Just because a maze of imbiciles exists in the dating world doesn’t mean you have to adjust your parameters. If you’ve come far enough to know your value and dismiss this person as unacceptable, don’t second-guess yourself. Stay the course!

    • Latitude, maybe you are telling the OP, who was NOT chumped, that her wishy-washy behavior will be accepted & mirrored back to her?
      I hope so.

      “We teach others how to treat us” does not apply to abusive relationships. We don’t teach abusers to abuse us. That saying is up there with “It takes two to tango” when one person is an abuser.

  • I dated a daughter of one of my moms best friends for 2+ months. We had been friends since we were toddlers. She broke up with me by FB messenger. I lost all respect for her because of it. I think it is disrespectful to break up with someone by email, messenger, or text.

    I have stayed friends with former girlfriends for 30+ years.Even dated my “first love” and high school girlfriend after my divorce. She is giving mixed signals to this man. If, in his mind, they are friends which is why he is calling her on Mondays or Tuesdays. I personally don’t believe he is crossing HER boundaries because she either truly doesn’t have one or isn’t enforcing her own boundaries.

    • In this day and age, I think it’s not the classiest way to break up, but it’s easier and cleaner and often safer.
      My son – at age 22 – tried the classy in person break up, and 2-3 times, the girlfriend ended up convincing him he was responsible for her happiness, insisting on extending the relationship, even though he was literally miserable, and she knew it. Finally, he messaged her it was over. And got a whole bunch of abuse about his character. Then she had the nerve to text me about how sad she was, could she stop by. Uh, no, I saw the messages. I was so nervous about his in-person breakup because she was an angry person, and volatile, with somewhat of a checkered past with the truth. A smooth, facile, experienced liar. Maybe there’s a reason someone uses a message. She’s with another person now, also slightly younger than her, vulnerable, with a few bucks. She has a type, and I was relieved when my kid finally extricated himself.

      • Every person should read the chapter “I was trying to let him down easy” in Gavin de Becker’s book Gift of Fear. The unconditional and explicit rejection. It applies to men and women.

        Some people like to keep harems and bull pens for ego kibbles though.

        • Yes, “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin deBecker is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it.

      • Yep.

        My ex left me after a 21 year marriage, moved his stuff out while I was working. Of course I knew by then he was involved with a whore. I didn’t hear from him for about two weeks, then he called and wanted to talk.

        He had told me the night he left he thought it was going to work out, but he needed some “space” to get his head straight. So I was still in hopium. When he called a couple weeks later I wish I had just said bottom line are you coming back home and going to counseling? Yes or No. But I let him come back and in person rip my heart to pieces with stuff I wish I had never heard.

        Of course he never intended to come back, he just needed to get out of the house that night with the least amount of angst and letting me think we would work out was easiest.

        Sadistic bastard got his in pretty short order; but it still would have been easier for me to just not give him an audience.

      • It wasn’t that. She could have called me on the phone. I have been broken up with before. The worse I did was send a mixed tape to my “first love” in high school when she broke up with me. I didn’t care whether she broke up with me or not. Her right. But do it in person or by phone (unless your life is in danger).

    • Sir, I think if they started out as friends it would be different. But I think she was only in contact with this guy for dating, and he suggested the friend thing after she tried to dump him. I had to dump someone by text because I think he knew it was coming and avoided my phone calls. It was fine once I texted him and he even agreed it was time to move on. I think he just didn’t want to endure the uncomfortable conversation. So I get that you were dumped in a really hurtful way by someone that should have cared more for you than that. But if it’s not a long term or close relationship, sometimes you can say what needs to be said however works best for you, and move on. It’s not necessarily a bad thing depending on the situation.

    • I broke up with my ex in person, even though I was scared of him, but only because at that point I was suicidal from the misery of being with him, and didn’t care if he tried to kill me at that point. But I still had to change the locks on the house and rent an office in another town (I used to work from home) in order to stop him from turning up on workdays, without permission and unannounced, to harass me about my decision to leave him. He also shoe-horned his way into some of my friend-groups after the breakup in order to keep tabs on me, turning up recently at an all-day event where I was performing and glaring at the men in my group. He also kept wangling invites to my family’s gatherings in order to pull me outside to question my decision; and turned up at my evening work events claiming to be my partner. He felt that it was my responsiblity to make him feel better about our breakup, and said that because the relationship had made him happy, that it didn’t matter if it was making me miserable.

      In retrospect, I should have broken up with him by email and blocked him immediately–it would have prevented a lot of harassing late night calls, at least. My experience with him has led me to feel that a face-to-face conversation is not always the best way to end a relationship, and that I should err on the side of caution from now on.

    • Sir Chumpalot,

      I’m curious. How old were you when you dated for a couple of months ? Granted, you did know her since childhood but two months isn’t much of a romantic relationship.

    • I think in cases of adultery, cheating or any other abuse it is perfectly reasonable to send an email, text or phone call.

      I do agree in this case she is not making her boundary clear, and quite frankly given the history; I would just stop answering any forms of communication. If she felt she needed to send one more text “please don’t contact me again” wouldn’t hurt; but I doubt I would.

    • She did break up face to face. Then he moved away. She only emailed him to get him to leave her alone after the breakup. He whined about it and didn’t comply.
      He doesn’t really want to be friends. He wants to keep her strung along as his plan b.
      She’s been wimpy about enforcing her boundaries but she did state them. He just didn’t listen.

  • instead of trying to pick apart what he’s about, pick apart what you’re about. why do you need to hang onto guys like him? do you get a bump from adoration? it’s a rush. have you been trained to act a certain way with men (i.e. coquettish)?

    whatever the source within yourself, you’re sending mixed messages to this guy. he’s not the guy for you. so, get straight with yourself and figure it out, and right your course.

    and move on with yourself as the captain and crew of your ship.

    • Yes, I wonder if the original poster is hoping this guy will “come to his senses” and ask for her back, etc. I know I clung to that hope for a very long time after DDay (longer than I even admitted to myself for some time), in part because I wanted my old life back, but also because I wanted to feel loved and valued. I had to face some painful truths about why I was still seeking validation from someone who had betrayed and abused me so terribly so that I could truly begin to heal. It’s a long journey and sometimes I still feel wistful for what “could have been,” especially when I see families enjoying milestone events together (graduations, wedding, etc.). But I also have come to “trust that he sucks” thanks to CL’s guiding wisdom.

  • I feel like this person sets boundaries verbally, but doesn’t follow them physically. It’s almost like they are enjoying the nebulousness and emo drama they are creating.
    And at CN we all know what type of person enjoys nebulous centrality laden emo ego kibbles…..the NARC.
    Sorry, just seeing parallels here! Tell the guy to stop calling, and then stick to it.

  • Isn’t this guy in another state, physically? From what I’ve seen, long distance relationships don’t work.
    I’ve had this happen to me and in hindsight the guy was either hedging his bets, or he was bored. I’m sure your ex would be open to you moving to where he is. Heck, i’m sure he’d be open to anything that requires the least amount of effort on his part, and the maximum amount of attention on yours.
    I mean, you send him a letter to break up with him, and he demands that you do it face-to-face? This isn’t about what he wants.

  • “I think you’re really digging this idea that he Just Can’t Quit You.”

    It’s an addiction, to feel like you are central in his life even if he can’t have you. It’s a heady feeling thinking that no one will ever be as good as you. You are feeding his need to be in your head, aka kibbles. He doesn’t deserve your energy. He’s an energy vampire.

    The contact is an addiction, no matter the high you get when you see his name pop up, and then it’s always a let down and confusion.

    That’s why no contact is the answer. You need to go cold turkey. It’s HARD.

    • “t’s an addiction, to feel like you are central in his life even if he can’t have you. It’s a heady feeling thinking that no one will ever be as good as you. ”

      Yep and it is why most of them (cheaters) want to be “friends” with a betrayed wife. The want to feel like they are so great that ex wife will take a smaller part of them rather than not have any of their awesomeness at all.

  • On the off-chance that this guy is just clueless and entitled, rather than an actual stalker, I would answer his call ONCE more, and say ”I’ve been thinking about it, and I’m not really in a position to be friends or to be in each other’s lives. I wish you the best, but I will no longer be chatting with you on any level. Good luck, hope things work out for you” and then end the call as quickly and courteously as you can so that he is not confused or has no idea and is just summarily blocked. This way, you know, for a fact, that he is clear why you are no longer speaking. The reason is ”because it doesn’t work for me”. No further discussion or explanation is needed. You aren’t proximate, so you won’t keep running into each other, which is great. Just go back to no contact and draw a line under the whole thing.

    Free up your head and your heart and your emotions for someone who makes you feel safe in every sense, where there’s no game-playing or rollercoaster, just happiness and shared goals. It’s out there!

  • Respectfully, this isn’t “No Contact” because you haven’t blocked him yet. Block his number, block his email, block all his social media. Make it impossible for him to reach you and you’ll be delighted at how fast you forget him.

    And no, you don’t need to get him a heads up that you’re doing it. You broke up because he’s a weasel. You don’t owe him anything. He’s fired himself from your life and relegated himself back to status of a stranger.

    Ladies, staying in touch with an ex is one of the biggest piles of BS society has ever fed us. Nobody gets to waste your time and still enjoy access to your emotional labor.

    • “Ladies, staying in touch with an ex is one of the biggest piles of BS society has ever fed us.”

      When I was first D’d, I can’t count how many acquaintances would ask, are you still friends? My answer was always “define friends”. If I had to be at the same event, I of course treated him and whore civilly. A quick nod, and keep on moving type of thing. At that time folks bragging about how they were still “friends” with their exes, was seemingly a point of pride for especially women, it was the cool mature thing to do. Not sure why.

      I hope it is not as bad as it was then.

      • Every woman who’s bragged to me that she’s managed to “stay friends” has inevitably come to me later crying that the guy was now treating her like shit, trying to rekindle the relationship, stalking her, hitting her up for sex or money, etc.

        I don’t get it, tbh. If a man blows it with me, he’s wiped from existence. I give it my all in a relationship but once it’s over, it’s over and that door will never open again for me.

        There’s millions of potential friends out there for each of us. No need to be friends with exes.

        • The advice columnist Jean E. Carroll created a dating website where exes would vouch for former boyfriends. A head scratcher. If these guys were so great, why were they women’s exes ? Huh 🤔

          • That is way too much unpaid labor for me.

            I imagine Carroll thinks she’s helping women with this stunt, but men need to pull their weight and and prove themselves in relationships without women (once again) picking up the slack.

          • Lots of reasons. Like I want kids, she doesn’t. Or she’s Jewish, I’m Hindu. Or I wanted to travel, she wanted to stay…
            Not every breakup means the people involved are shit.

  • Chumplady is 100% right. Establish and maintain No Contact with this guy. You dodged a bullet with him.

    He’s using you as a backup plan, and/or trying to set you up as a side piece.

  • You suspect he cheated but still “love” him? Fix your picker. You’re young yet so that picker-fixing will sink in deeper and will last a lifetime.

    Rule #1: Cheaters are loveless. Cheating is closely akin to battering psychology in terms of attachment disorder, pathological (and oftrn concealed) need for control over partners and masked dependency. What they call love is a kind of infantile dependency that makes them feel ashamed and then angry at you for “causing” it, thus the nearly vengeful attitude about cheating (they believe–falsely– that you victimized/controlled them and deserved betrayal) and the need to “dilute” their dependence on you by compulsively pursuing other. If that sounds sad sausage and “fixable,” bear in mind it’s on the same spectrum as serial killers. This is fucked up beyond your paygrade to fix and recidivism is through the roof. All batterers cheat and cheaters are more likely to be eventually violent even aside from the life-threatening diseases they expose you to. It only gets worse.
    #2: Do not love the loveless. Sappy ballads and soaps (stop listening/viewing ASAP) always say the heart wants what it wants but that’s bs. The heart wants what it’s been trained to want by media and family upbringing. Deprogram yourself.
    #3: What an abuser calls love is dependency or simply that you are useful. They will destroy you with shocking efficiency. They will camp out in the space which should be occupied by someone who genuinely loves and supports you and you’ll gradually starve to death. Other people will begin to sense that caved in, starving-soul vibe and will reject you merely because it unsettles them. You’ll lose friends and miss opportunities and career traction. It’s better to be single and free to amass support and love from many sources than to be slowly entrapped and isolated with someone who starves you.
    #4: As CL says, hurting you does not hurt him. The normal empathy that would make a normal person cringe at tormenting others is missing. He knows that dragging this out is bad for you but his self interest quells any pang of conscience. See rule #2.

    As they say in Alanon, if you can’t detach lovingly, do it with a meat cleaver. For another bon mot, there’s a Taoist expression that goes something like “If you.want the universe to fill your rice bowl, clean it out.” In other words, avoid toxic people as much as possible in all situations and setting if you want true love and friendship.

  • Blocking him is a win-win for you. You’ll be at peace and mental space will be free to openly date others without worrying about hearing from him.

    And blocking shows him you’re serious about what you said and what you want. It’ll also show you have self-respect and ignite the instinct for him to seriously pursue you. If he does find a way to reach you, you should be able to tell within the first convo or 2 if he’s serious and if he’s not, back to the block list and your peaceful life.

  • Please just stop this nonsensical limbo. He’s not your friend. Send him another email or text informing him you don’t want him in your life, then back it up by blocking him. Let him whine about it not being face to face, because you won’t have to hear it.

    He’s a manipulative manbaby who uses you when there are no other women around to give him succor.
    That’s what this is. You are plan b.
    You deserve better than that. No contact is the only way this guy is going to stop using you. Some FWs will back off enough that you can do limited contact, but this guy sees any contact as an invitation to use you. He likes keeping you off balance, wondering what his intentions are. It’s a game for him. The only way you can win this game is if he fucks off forever. Make it so.

  • Hi No Contact Resist. I think it’s great that you are reading Chump Lady. If these are new concepts to you, it may take a while to absorb the ideas here & then put them into practice. You are finding how difficult that can be.

    I’m confused by your original post. It is not clear to me that you were chumped. I think you are writing to CL in order to figure out what you want, to determine your boundaries, and to strengthen those boundaries. It’s great that you can begin dating relationships with the idea that you can determine “if this relationship is acceptable to me.”

    You made the decision that this guy is not marriage material. Believe in your decision for yourself , for good reasons: he flirted with others, he told another woman on FB that he loved her. Now carry out your decision. This keeps you safe. And when you don’t give out confusing signals to him, you are becoming a person of integrity & character.

    • Thank you Up and Out… I just responded to everyone (my comment might be in moderation) but I didn’t see your post. I really love what you said here… “Believe in your decision for yourself , for good reasons: he flirted with others, he told another woman on FB that he loved her. Now carry out your decision. This keeps you safe. And when you don’t give out confusing signals to him, you are becoming a person of integrity & character.” Thank you!

      • To add to my reply to you elsewhere: Something that helped me break out of situationships with tirekickers was I learned to start feeling INSULTED. This guy thinks he’s entitled to waste your time! Where’s your indignation?

        For me, asking myself this question made me realize I’d been raised to deny my feelings, my boundaries, my right to my own body. I wasn’t allowed to speak up in the face of egregious disrespect and boundary stomping. I learned to get indignant when people (particularly men) disrespected me.

        Anger is a friend. Not a nice friend, but a reliable one especially for women. Anger tells us when something is wrong, when something is missing, when we need to stand up and scream. Anger will make you advocate for yourself and bounce shitty people from your life. It made me stop tolerating assholes and demand more at work. It’s earned me more money in my career, better friends, quality sleep, and less stress.

  • Hello all!

    I want to say that I’ve been reading your comments all day and I’m highly appreciative. (I’ve been caring for someone who just had surgery, and her three kids, so I haven’t been able to respond.)

    Thank you CL, for answering my questions. Thank you CN, for chiming in. Very, very helpful.

    The basic facts, that I probably didn’t make clear:

    This is a good guy. We dated for about six months and I broke up with him because I discovered that our values were different. For that reason I didn’t think we’d make it being married. (I couldn’t do it in person. I was very attracted to him and looking forward to seeing him, always… and we had so many things planned… and we were cooking together, etc.. When to say it? As soon as I got there? After we ate? When we were out and about? When he picked me up? I did not want to break up with him. I loved him. Finally I emailed him. He also had a habit of interrupting me, and I wanted to tell him how much I loved him and have him hear that… and that I wish it could have worked out…) We got back together and I came to the same conclusion and broke up with him again. (This time in person.) That’s when he moved. I helped him move to another state, then we said our goodbyes, and he didn’t contact me until just recently.

    When he contacted me, he said he’d like to revisit the idea of getting married to each other again… and that he’d be willing to move anywhere in order for us to just be married and happy together. Kind of on the up and up…

    Extremely helpful things from Chump Lady… (most helpful in all caps:)

    “He violated my boundaries by contacting me.
    HE’S NOT OFFERING ME WHAT I WANT.
    <<<<<<>>>>>> (I don’t know why, but helps to have someone just say that!)
    HE DOESN’T HAVE TO LIKE IT.
    MOST PEOPLE DON’T LIKE BOUNDARIES THAT ARE ENFORCED ON THEM.
    IT’S UNFINISHED BUSINESS, AND THAT’S NOT ATTRACTIVE TO SOMEONE NEW.
    I need to do mental housecleaning.”

    Just as helpful things from Chump Nation… (most helpful in all caps:)

    I’m his emergency backup plan. I’m stringing him along as much as he’s stringing me along. HE’S TAKING MY ENERGY AND MY HEAD SPACE. He could get more persistent. I’m being wishy-washy. SECOND-GUESSING MY DECISIONS HAS LED ME INTO SELF-DOUBT. I can’t have a reasonable relationship with someone who’s messing with my mind. I SHOULD LISTEN TO MY GUT. IT’S NOT SELFISH TO BREAK UP WITH HIM. I DON’T HAVE TO PLEASE HIM. I FEEL BETTER WHEN I’M NOT IN TOUCH WITH HIM. Emails to break up are fine. Texts, emails or phone calls are not fine. Only in-person breakups are okay. BEING FRIENDS IS FINE. PERSPECTIVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF NO CONTACT (thank you, Four Leaf. If I go No Contact, I’ll tell him and explain why.)

    MAYBE I’M WORRYING EXCESSIVELY ABOUT MAKING A MISTAKE! AM I RIGHT TO END THIS RELATIONSHIP? IS HE AS BAD FOR ME AS I THINK HE IS? <<<<<<>>>>>> SOMETIMES IT’S JUST A BAD FIT, OR WRONG PLACE/ WRONG TIME. <<<<<<>>>>>> <<<<<<>>>>>>

    Guys who friend-zone you might want more from you. When you don’t give them what they want, they’ll say you friend-zoned them! Don’t be a number. He might be keeping a list of women. You might be one in a harem. Don’t be in the rolodex of a narcissist. Long distance relationships don’t work. Move on with myself as the captain and crew of my ship. He’s probably in the dating pool. (My thoughts here —-Lots of grey area for him to say he’s telling the truth: maybe he’s on a dating site, maybe he’s gotten phone numbers, maybe he’s calling different women, maybe he’s reaching into the past and calling those women… etc… But maybe he hasn’t settled on anyone; hence, he’s not “dating.”)

    And yes. Mixed messages; I’ve been ambivalent. Wishing it could work.

    And yes. I still love him and I really dig the idea that he can’t quit me. He loves me too.

    And yes. I NEED TO MAKE MORE FRIENDS.

    Thank you again!

    This gives me some clarity for a difficult situation. I’m amazed by the strength of the comments and their affect on me; and I know this is nothing compared to experiencing a D-Day. Nothing at all. Zero. But you all responded anyway. As if it was something. I appreciate that. So much. Thank you, CL, for posting it and commenting.

    • I get it. He’s good looking. You wrote he has a habit of interrupting you. That’s disrespectful and boundary violating !

    • I’m glad you found this helpful!

      One comment though: He’s NOT a good guy. Your standards are just low.

      I don’t say this to be mean. I’m saying this because I’ve been there. In fact, I could’ve written your letter when I was in college. I was in a hostage situation, ahem, I mean “on again off again” dumpster fire relationship with an abusive guy who played games and wasn’t sure about me.

      That asshole wasted my 20s, partly because he’d argue with me any time I tried to leave. Finally I wised up, ghosted him, and blocked him everywhere. He freaked out and stalked me for a year but gave up when I never responded.

      Shortly thereafter, I discovered Chump Lady and learned about personality disorders. I couldn’t believe the bizarre, crazy-making behavior I’d experienced had an actual name in medical literature.

      I share this story because you MUST understand a few things:

      -This guys sucks.
      -You’re not compatible.
      -He WILL waste your life if you let him.

      I didn’t understand the enormity of that last point when I was 19. When you’re a kid, you have your whole life ahead of you and don’t get how fast a decade will vanish when you waste it with an asshole.

      Real talk: You dated this guy for only 6 months, which isn’t enough time to fall in love with someone. Codependent obsession? Sure. But that’s not love. 6 months is barely enough time to get a sense of a person’s values and whether they’ll be a good spouse.

      Meanwhile, he was flirting with other women and made it clear he wasn’t sure about you. That means HE’S NOT HUSBAND MATERIAL. A guy who’d be ready to be a husband would be courting you properly. He wouldn’t be entertaining other women. He’d be locking you down because he’d be scared to lose you to another guy. He definitely wouldn’t be saying he’s not sure about you and doesn’t believe in marriage.

      The fact he’s hoovering you doesn’t mean his feelings have changed. What it means is he’s slept around and discovered you were his best option, so he’ll say marriage vows to lock you down as a home base (and a steady supply of attention and sex) while he fucks around on the side. Anti-marriage men who are lukewarm about you don’t change their views overnight. They do get lonely and horny though.

      If I were giving advice to my younger self, I’d tell her to block guy. You won’t find closure or answers with him. You’ll only find it by cutting the poison off (block him!) so you can do rigorous self-reflection: Why was I attracted to this guy? Why do I think this is the best I deserve, a man who disrespects me at every turn? Why do I think I don’t deserve better?

      (I’ll give you a hint … my answers were all some variation of: I think I have to earn love from people, because I think I’m unlovable.)

      Read Melanie Beattie’s book, “Codependent No More” for more guidance. Don’t waste your time seeking closure with this guy. He can’t give it to you because he’s a dead end. He’ll happily waste years of your time if you let him though.

  • I’ve never been entirely successful with no contact. I had children with one ex, business entanglements with the other. My hardest LC has actually been with family members. My dad was toxic, and I developed a system of LC with him. I have other family members that are intrusive and draining, I generally am able to keep my boundaries with them. I am going through a painful withdrawal and LC with one of my sisters just now. She is bi-polar. She was truly horrid to me in March, when I asked her to help me with our mother.

    Here is why I think I have a problem: I want to forgive, and I want closure, and I want an apology. When I have done something wrong, I seek forgiveness, closure, and apologize. Evidently, this is an unrealistic expectation on my part. No matter how much I would like to be friends, or resolve issues, some people just cannot apologize. Or they do so in an insincere manner. So, I have learned, in order to survive I have to accept I am better off with low or no contact with these people. Even people I have loved, or still love. I love my bi-polar sister. I hate what her illness does to her, and to those around her. But here’s the thing, she is an adult, she’s getting treated, but she chooses to drink on top of her medication, and she chooses to pursue unhealthy choices. She drives all her partners and friends away. She wants to act like things she does are “no big deal” and we should “just get over it.” She wants no consequences. She accelerates her bad behaviors. I have put up with more than I should, and she believes this makes her behavior acceptable. But I have decided it is not acceptable, and now I am mourning the loss of my sister.

    I am also mourning the loss of my mother to dementia. It seems I have many things to mourn these days. This is my problem. They cannot or will not change.

    I think many of us mourn the loss of what we thought would be or could be. We romanticize. We have to stop dreaming of the impossible and learn to live with reality. It is hard, but necessary for our survival.

  • I reread the entire chapter of de Becker’s book on letting people down easy. Also known as setting and enforcing boundaries.

    The fact that a romantic pursuer is relentless doesn’t mean you are special-it means they are troubled.

    Do not negotiate. “No” is a complete sentence.

    The rejection should be “I don’t want to be in a relationship with you.”

    (Stalkers) who cannot let go choose people who cannot say no.

    The way to stop contact is to stop contact.

  • I get that she’s reeled in a bit by his “reconsidering” the marriage thing. But he’s just figured out how to reel her back in. That will fly out the window once he’s got her back in his harem. Seriously, this is just cake.

  • “I told him not to call me, not to text me, not to email me and not to message me.”

    He left her alone until…he texted her on Valentine’s Day. And a month later on her birthday…Then he called. And called. And called more often.

    “No Contact Resist” is an appropriate name. She leaves the door open for contact by not blocking this guy on phone, text, social media and other avenues. She SAYS “not to call me, not to text me, not to email me and not to message me” but leaves the door wide open and then responds to the supposed boundary violations. She “said all those things” and then is mystified why the former BF doesn’t believe her.

    If you want no contact, close the door. You don’t have to explain anything. Just block. But notice that what you are telling us (and maybe yourself) is not what you are really doing. You hate no contact. That says it all.

    Ask yourself why you hate “no contact” with someone who doesn’t want what you want, who doesn’t respect verbal boundaries, who flirts with other women when you’re dating, and who may be a cheater. Because you are all up in his business and he’s playing you about considering marriage and both of you apparently love the game.

    You know the solution to this issue if you actually wanted to move on with your life.

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