ByÂ Baila Sebrow
For months, I was dating a super gal who had been running after me for a long time before we dated. But then she suddenly turned into an icicle.
I probably should have listened to everyone who told me to play it cool. But I was so happy to get someone like her that I acted wimpy and always gave in to her. Whatever she wanted or hinted at, I would get for her. Her wish was my command. You can say that I spoiled her.
I would bring her lunch every day at her job. Sometimes I would even treat her co-workers. All day, every day, I would call her to let her know she was on my mind. I would get her flowers and gifts, just because. I used to drive her back and forth from work, and took her shopping too. People would say that I was in her face too much. They warned me that if I continued that pattern, she would break up with me. But she really loved all those things–until now, when she sent me a text to say she doesn’t see us as a couple, and that we should stop dating immediately. No warning at all.
My heart is broken in a million pieces. We were supposed to get married one day. Everyone tells me to move on and forget about her. But I want to find a way to get her back. I am still so much in love with her. Can you give me some tips to get her back?
When someone you love ends the relationship, for whatever reason, it feels natural to want that person back and to pick up where you left off, the way things used to be. In actuality, that is not always possible. Yes, sometimes, someone breaks off a relationship and then reassesses that decision, or is strongly convinced to reconsider. But those who have found themselves in such situations quickly discover that the patched-up relationship is hardly ever the same. And it’s not just the relationship aspect; you and she will have become changed people. That could work–or it might not.
There is no doubt that you endured the shock of her abruptness, and as a result your mind is probably playing out all sorts of scenarios. Although you talk about all the wonderful things you did for her, I am sure you have moments when you wonder if there was something you could have done differently.
If you are ever blaming yourself, please know that is natural. Feeling desperate and vulnerable, you want to do whatever you can to make it better. You envision receiving some tips or advice that will enable you to turn things around. There is nothing worse than the feeling of being in a catastrophic situation and being incapable of making it better.
Although there is no miracle solution, there are some tactics you could try. You have made it clear that you are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to reconcile with this woman. So, for your own good and for your peace of mind, we need to look at it from more than one viewpoint, and perhaps even play devil’s advocate.
I don’t know this girl that you speak of, but I am prepared to say that even though she broke up with you in a text without prior warning, her decision has been in the works for a while. Very rarely does it happen that someone has a sudden epiphany and will just abruptly end a relationship that was serious enough to prompt talk of marriage. To you it appears that way, and her behavior strongly suggests it, but intellectually you need to accept that she had a reason to come to that conclusion. Yet she conveyed the decision in a cruel manner.
Calling her as often as you did, bringing her lunch every day, and anything else that you did for her might have been too much for her; you have to consider the possibility that she felt overwhelmed being indulged that way. I understand that there are women out there who wish to have a man like that in their lives, but it’s not for everyone. Has she ever given you any hints that your overzealous, expressive deeds were a bit too much for her, but you did not pick up on it–or you chose not to? Her wish might have been your command, but at the end of the day she may have felt emotionally asphyxiated.
I am not telling you this to make you feel bad. It is specifically because you want to try to reconcile, or at least to learn from your actions, that you need to consider that you might come across as being clingy. Unless one is a small child, clinginess is not an attractive feature. People need healthy space, even in the closest of marriages. For a giving individual it can sometimes be hard to interpret how much to give and when to pull back. And for the person receiving, it can also be difficult to say “stop,” especially if it appears that the giving individual is enjoying it.
You are a sensitive fellow, and your faithful response to her needs with the flowers, gifts, and endearing calls clearly demonstrates your devotion to her. Sadly, that was not sufficient for her to remain in the relationship.
Please remember that as of now we are grasping at straws. That said, you may need to consider another possibility of why she broke up with you. Perhaps, while you thought that everything was going well, she may have met someone else, leaving you in the dark for a stretch. Or maybe what she texted you was indeed true, and her decision to break up with you may have had nothing to do with anything but her own feelings.
The heart of the matter is that you want her back. You can try texting or calling her, but be prepared for the idea that she may not respond to you. Those who have made up their mind usually try to avoid anyone who will attempt to change it. I am typically not a fan of showing up anywhere unannounced. However, since you have already established that aspect of your personality, and she won’t answer your texts or calls, show up to her place of work with lunch–just this once.
Whatever method you use to get her attention, emphasize that all you want is an opportunity to find out why she broke up with you. Tell her that she at least owes you the benefit of closure. It could be that she will decline any overture for dialogue. And if that is the case, you will have no choice but to stop pursuing her and to move on. I will warn you not to display any stalking type of behavior.
If you do get the chance to have her attention, tell her how you feel about her, and ask why after dating you and discussing marriage she felt the need to break up in such an impersonal fashion.
If she chooses to open up to you and tell you that there were issues bothering her, ask her how she would have liked for things to be. If they are amenable to you, and if you truly feel comfortable changing in the way she might request, tell her that you are willing. Get her involved by saying that you would like her help in showing you how to be the future husband she envisioned.
Fighting to get someone back in your life is usually much more difficult than discovering love with that person in the first place. You need to realize that not only did she make the decision to end an ongoing relationship, but there could be someone else in her life now. She might be dating another man, and, if so, as painful as it can be, you will have no choice but to move on, as your friends advised.
If things do work out between the two of you, you might find that you will have a deeper connection to each other, especially if you appreciate one another and improve on those areas that require it. If things don’t end up working out, you will at least feel confident that you tried. That closure will make it less painful to move forward in life.
There is something else that needs to be addressed. When someone is not in your life anymore, it is natural to idealize that individual. You mentioned all the things that you did for her, but didn’t point out even one thing she did for you. Even if things were to change and she would agree to the possibility of reconciliation, ask yourself the following: Is she really that wonderful, and is she really worth your having a one-sided relationship where you give but do not receive as much as you deserve? You need to reflect on that factor before you reach out to her. Be honest with yourself and your feelings about what you want out of a relationship.
Baila Sebrow is president of Neshoma Advocates, communications and recruitment liaison for Sovri-Beth Israel, executive director of Teach Our Children, and a shadchanis. She can be reached at Bsebrow@aol.com.Â Questions and comments for the Dating Forum can be submitted to email@example.com.