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thechef asks

Should I contact my ex-girlfriend - very confused - BIZARRE story  

Dating | Closed

HOW WE MET: We met September last year at a baseball game. I was absolutely drawn to her in a crowded room. She was with a group of her girlfriends and I walked up to her, asked her for a light and told her that I could feel she had great energy. She did. She had such a great smile. That's what drew me to her. I didn’t want to ask for her number so I just gave her mine and told her to call me. We only spoke for about 2 minutes then I went back to my friends.

Fast forward 2 months, November 2008. I get a call from her. Out of the blue. We absolutely connected and spent hours on the phone. Talking about everything. And I do mean hours and hours. We started dating and spending time with each other shortly afterwards.

She lives on the west coast of Florida and I live on the east coast. 200 Miles apart. Aaahhhh, long distance you may think. A deal breaker surely. But my situation is unique. I travel throughout Florida every week and was easily able to schedule myself to be on the west coast one week and the east coast the following week. That meant we could spend quite a bit of time together and I would stay at her house when on the west coast. Our connection was electric. Really, really, really (did I mention really?) strong. I could write pages here to back that up, but I wont bore you, just take it as gospel that we were falling madly in love with each other. It was absolutely a mutual feeling.

BACKGROUND INFO ON ME: Now, before I go any further, some important background info on me: I had finished a very distressing relationship 1 year earlier where the girl went completely crazy on me and I had to try getting a restraining order. She would text me dozens of times back-to-back, fill my voicemail box and threaten to impact my work life if I would not spend time with her. She would not leave me alone. Needless to say this scared the bejesus out of me and I decided to completely avoid relationships and girls in the aftermath. This was all before I met my girl at the baseball game. Yes, I did tell her about this bad past relationship and how I was somewhat damaged as a result. She was okay with this.

BACKGROUND INFO ON HER: Some important background information on her: She was just coming out of a 10 year distressed relationship with a man who was several years older than her. Clearly they were on the cusp of breaking up. I feel that I was the catalyst to their breaking up permanently. I don’t think that is either a good or a bad thing, I just feel like I speeded up the inevitable process. There is absolutely no reason for me to believe that she would ever go back to him. I am 99% certain of that. She told me about all this and I was okay with it, just like she seemed okay with my situation. You should also know that I have a very demanding work schedule with my company and would easily consider myself a workaholic. I told her right from the start that my work came first. (This had been a major bone of contention with my last relationship and I was eager to not make the same mistake twice). Only other thing I can think of is that she was laid off from work about 6 weeks ago.

WHERE THE PROBLEM STARTED: Right around March 2009, I dropped off the radar completely for 5 days. Didn’t call or email. While there was no particular reason for this, no argument or anything, I think I was testing the waters to see if she was going to go psycho on me like my last relationship. During this 5 day period, she did not call me at all either. That's important, because I was not ignoring her, had she called or emailed I would have responded, but I think I just wanted to see what would be the outcome if I was 'less available'. Stupid, I understand. But that was my flawed logic at the time. We recovered from this incident and things seemed to be back to their previous euphoric state!

In mid June 2009, 2 weeks after I had surgery which had me out of commission for about 10 days, she told me she wanted to ‘give our relationship a rest for a while”. She felt I was not putting her first and while she understood my work obligations she felt I was just not making an effort to stay in touch as much as I had initially. This is definitely true. I can not argue that. She did not feel it was fair to ask me to change and equally did not feel it was fair for her to settle for less.

Faced with the clear and present danger of her being completely out of my life I felt incredible pain. Enough pain where I took huge steps to drive a wedge between my personal and work life. To balance better. I needed to regardless and it took this to get my ass in gear. I got a second cell phone for friends only and got into the habit of turning off my work phone at 5pm. Weekends were for me, and not work. My schedule started to become more normal and you know what, I felt better and far less stressed.

But at this point it was too late. She had (quote) ‘lost faith in me’. Her sparkle was gone and we hardly spoke at all. My calls went unanswered. Text messages replied to the next day. No interest to maintain any contact with me. And I understand all this. She had no reason to believe that I would be any different as she brought all this to my attention 2 months earlier. But I would add she did not frame her concerns 2 months earlier as ‘hey this is a major deal breaker’ so I didn’t address it as such.

Once I saw she was ready, willing and able to end our relationship, I took huge corrective measures and I fixed the damn problem. Now it is almost September and I am still living a very balanced work/personal life, she’s just not in it. And that makes me really sad as I truly loved this girl with all my heart.

Now I am feeling mixed emotions of regret and honestly some anger towards her. What started out as her having a problem with my lifestyle, a problem that was fixed, has now thrown a spotlight onto her and her ability to completely write me off and underestimating my willingness to change. And it wasn’t just change for her sake, I needed to have better balance in my life. I get that. And I am happy I made the change. But it is amazing to me that considering the unbelievable connection that we had, how easily she seemed able to flush me out of her life and just ignore me completely. We have never argued at all. The only problem we had is what I mentioned. Knowing that we were so compatible and so thoroughly enjoyed each others company, it just KILLS ME to think she was able to ‘give up’ so easily and move on.

I have passed the point of apologizing. She knows I am sorry for the initial problem I caused. She also knows I fixed the problem. But she is just not the same person any more. We met end of July for drinks on neutral ground and I barely recognized her personality. She was just not the same. I could tell she was nervous and sad, but she was just not the same. Again, she said she had lost faith in me and didn’t know how to regain it. She said she needed me to be patient with her. I told her I had endless patience for her, but being human, I needed to get some reassurance from her that I was not pestering her and that my efforts to re-build our relationship were not in vain. At some point, if she kept blowing me off I would just run out of steam and give up. A guy can only take so much rejection before it becomes blatantly obvious that the efforts are in vain and it’s best to move on with my life. She understood, and told me directly to NOT stop keeping in touch with her. Sounds encouraging, right? I think.

So, I proposed a trip to Ireland and Amsterdam to ‘reset the clock’ and move beyond all this so we could just get back to where we were before. She seemed willing. But as I got closer to booking the flights she didn’t return any of my calls or text messages for 5 days. Even though our situation was strained, we had got back in the habit of texting regularly and for her to disappear for 5 days was very out of character. I was genuinely worried.
that something had happened to her and I left her 2 messages asking her (to be fair) please let me know either way whether or not she wanted to go on the trip, I didn’t want to book tickets and not have her show up, and for her to please at least let me know she was okay.

I got an email the next day saying she was sorry, had been out of town and phone was dead. Funny, if her phone was dead it should have gone straight to voicemail, but it didn’t, it rang like it was just being ignored. She went on to say in the email (quote) ‘she knew we would have a fab time but didn’t feel right about the trip somehow. She hoped that someday she would be able to share my favorite places with me’ (end quote). That was the last email I got from her.

A few days later I sent her an email explaining how painful it was to want to call her or spend time with her, knowing she didn’t feel the same way. I say ‘knowing’ because actions speak louder than words and she was not making any effort at all. Amazing how all this has come full circle from something I started (and fixed) to something she is perpetuating and seems incapable or unwilling to fix. I told her in the email that I had complete confidence in the strength of our connection (because it was REALLY strong), that she could overcome her concerns as I had already balanced out my lifestyle. I told her I was putting her “on friendly notice that I would NOT be contacting her any more with suggestions for us to hang out” as I felt like I was pestering her (even though she said I was not) from this point forward I put the ball in her court and told her to call me if and when she really wanted to be with me. I told her that if she was really mine and I let her go she would come back to me and if she didn’t come back she was never mine in the first place. Yeah, I know corny, but completely relevant in our situation. The tone of my email was upbeat and not angry at all. That was all 3 weeks ago and I have not heard a word from her. Period.

Ironically, as I type this, I myself am in Ireland, having taken that trip myself anyways just to recalibrate myself and I find myself so disappointed that she has given up so easily and that she is not here to share this great trip with me. I understand that life goes on, as much for her as it does for me, but I just can NOT understand how or why she would walk away from our relationship considering how great we got along together.

My gut feeling tells me a few things. (1) I was a rebound from her long term relationship, she loved me, but I scared her off with my work commitments and she didn’t want to settle for less. Perhaps her previous 10-year boyfriend was incapable of change so she assumes I too am incapable. I hope this is not the case, because I clearly have changed for the better. At least I have that right? (2) She is seeing someone else and for some reason she just cant or won’t tell me. That would really suck, because I would just rather know. I’m a big boy and can deal with, would just hate to think I am being lied to. (3) Maybe she felt really strongly for me and that scared her. Maybe she just needs to blow off some steam coming out of a long-term relationship. Maybe I was some of that steam.

Anyway, I know this has been an insanely long post. But I actually feel better just venting and writing down the train of events. As I read back through this I know I did wrong, but equally I know I fixed the problem and I am just genuinely disappointed that she could not see that.

So, after all that here’s the question. While I have not made ANY contact with her for 3 weeks since that last email, should I reach out to her? Does my not making any contact just solidify her point that she has lost faith in me? Or, should I just recognize that I have done a good job laying all my cards on the table and resign myself to the fact that she has moved on and I should too? I love this girl, and just cant believe that we would break up, FOREVER, over something like this. I do believe there is one person for everyone out there. The right person. But when that falls apart I equally believe there are plenty of others out there that you can meet and start fresh with. I am willing to move on. I just need to make sure I am making the right decision. If the length of my post here is anything to go by, I am clearly paralysed by analysis.

I just need impartial third-party advice here from some people that don’t know either of us. And if you have suffered through this long overview I would appreciate some candid feedback. Thanks!







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