Question: Dear Luise: My long-term boyfriend has broken up with me. It was very unexpected. He wants to be friends, but says the door is not necessarily closed. We have had sex a couple times since it happened. He doesn’t initiate calling me, but mostly will answer my calls. I’m trying hard to give the space, so that I can see if we can have another chance. Plus he still has some stuff that I’ve given him. I take it as a plus. How can I salvage our relationship or at leasttry to. I think there are feelings still but the space part is so hard. I’m used to talking to him regularly and I sure miss seeing him. Please help. J.
Answer: Dear J.: I think the “I need space…let’s just be friends” thing is about the oldest excuse in the books for infidelity. What does it mean? “I don’t need you? I want someone else? I’m bored? I’m seeking my freedom so I can play the field?” What? It’s just an excuse for dumping someone in my book.
You were in a committed relationship…so it must mean, “I don’t want that?” Right?
Sure you still have feelings for each other…you have been together a long time.
And apparently he drops in on occasion for some sex but what’s in it for you?
He says the door isn’t closed and he still has some stuff he hasn’t returned. All of those things sound terribly convenient for him…not for you. Where are you being considered at all? What about your hopes and dreams? What about your plans and feelings? What about you?
It sounds thoughtless and callous to me…selfish and self-absorbed. I think you might be wise to tell him that you are giving him “unlimited space.” Along with it, ask that he return what doesn’t belong to him. Also make it clear that occasional sex with you is not to be part of his “space program.”
His decision to break up with you was one-sided. He didn’t discuss his issues with you or give you a chance, as his partner, to be heard in response. Of course is was a shock and it isn’t easy to turn your feelings off. However, try to see that self-respect will see you through this. He’s showing you no respect at all. Any respect you get is going to have to be your gift to yourself. Blessings, Luise