Down and Confused About Being Dumped

Dear Toni,

My girlfriend of 4 months broke up with me two weeks ago. Things had started out great and I felt they were on the right path but she had reservations. We truly enjoyed our time spent together and connected on many levels. We talked a couple of different times about how she has a hard time with commitment due to her difficult life and I think that has a lot to do with her fears. She said that she was going to miss me and was very thankful we met. She just needed time to think, not making any promises for a future, but still leaving the door open. I obviously was upset, but I have been successful at no contact right now in hopes I can re-ignite what was there in the beginning.

Just before she broke it off, we went on a trip to Mexico--which may have been the breaking point that led to her decision. We seemed to have a great time for most the weekend. She recently posted many pictures of the trip and her birthday party on Facebook- but she didn't post any that I was in, even if it was just me or me and a friend. She cut me out of the post completely. I have run many different reasons through my head but I fear I am over analyzing. Is she completely done or is she keeping the intimate part of those experiences to herself? Do you think she is baiting me somehow? I'm really confused about how to analyze this while trying real hard to keep my cool and work on getting her back, but I just don't know what to think about this.

Some past history that may be important is that she was abused in a past relationship and was left by her husband when she was 8 months pregnant. Her son who is now 8 knew his dad but not for long before he left.
Any insights or advice you may have would be greatly appreciated.
--Lost in Love

Dear Lost in Love--

You and your ex were only dating for 4 months. While that may seem like a significant amount of time to you, it is really the approximate length of the first stage of a relationship. This initial stage is all about getting to know one another. Both people are caught up in all those initial feelings of excitement and there are chemicals that get released that literally block thinking--only allowing in those feelings of early attraction. When two people near the end of this phase, they begin to view each other more realistically, thinking about whether this is someone they want to move forward with, to the second stage of a relationship.

Many new relationships don't get past the third or fourth month because one or both of the individuals has decided that they are just not that into the other person. Your situation matches up with this scenario. I'm sorry, I know it's hard even when you haven't been dating a long time. Your ex did give you mixed messages, probably because she was trying to let you down easily. However, this only leaves you in limbo and is not the kind thing to do, as I often tell folks who want to exit a relationship. She said she would miss you but was glad you had met. From this statement, it is clear she is saying good-by. Where she is less than honest is when she focuses on her difficult past and left the door open with her comment about needing time to think. She had four months and a trip together, she has thought about it and decided to say good-bye. Her leaving you completely out of the picture on facebook tells me she has clearly moved on.

Please give this all some more thought and listen to your gut instead of trying to hold on to her mixed comments or any open door statements she made. She is gone and you need to start moving on as well.

(from January 2013)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

"The Pursuing-Distancing Relationship Dynamic"
List of more
"Soul mates or Something else"

This is the last "Soul mates or Something else" column.


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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