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How long should you wait after breaking up with someone before contacting them

calamity

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Did you blindside each other when you did cause THAT is hard to come back from.

Yikes.
No. First time was me drinking too much and doing drugs. She said, "Enough," and left. Second time was almost a blind-side, but not really. She decided to go to Arizona for a month, and I retaliated by moving in a stripper and going back to drinking and doing drugs.

I have no idea how we came back from that one. But we did. :)
 

Arcana XV

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What Josie said makes the most sense. Definitely let her know exactly why you broke up with her. Make it very clear that it's over, do NOT lead her on in ANY way. And apologize profusely for engaging in what can only be described as "break-up" sex, except you were the only one who knew a break-up was imminent. She probably feels used, confused and she deserves better.

My ex and I recently broke up as well and even though it was a mutual decision with very little drama, I still feel the need to go over the "why" and the "what now" with him. Fortunately, we remain very good friends which makes it both easy and complicated. On the one hand, talking to him helps a lot. On the other hand, talking to him makes me question if we did the right thing by calling it quits. So be careful what words you use or you might end up hurting her over and over again.

Good luck, this kind of stuff is never easy even in the best of circumstances.
 

Northern Light

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There is no formulaic answer, other than you two will reunite if you're meant to, when the time is right. Trying to apply a predetermined time frame to a complex emotional situation is kind of pointless. If there is any remaining entanglement, any at all, then meeting up could just tear open wounds.

I think you should try to start adjusting to the idea of sinking back into your own solo lifestyle. Get comfortable being with yourself, continue working on what interests you, do self-development. It takes time. Then, without really meaning to, the heatedness of your emotions will have calmed down.

My advice would be to just let yourself randomly run into her one day, rather than looking her up. If it was an ugly breakup, then that might be best. If on the other hand you can part ways amicably, maybe a future friendship is possible. Hard to say. There are no "right" answers.
 

Dragonfly

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I had my heart ripped out and stomped on once. I can tell you this for a fact, there is no "reasonable explanation" that can "fix" a broken heart.

Chances are slim to none that you could make anything "better" by trying to "fix" what you broke.
Chances are better that you'd actually make things worse for her.

if she's truly not the right one, just let her go.
 

RetiredUSN

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I would talk to her right away and be very honest.

Dragging things out will only lead to a longer period of anxiety and stress.

She deserves that much, and you do as well.
 

JC Callender

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It sounds like you wanted to break up but don't know exactly why. If that's the case, then sure it will be tough on her because not only won't she be able to date you again but she might feel like you pity her because you don't think she can handle the real reason. I think when your on the receiving end of a break up, it's really hard to understand or accept that someone doesn't know exactly why they want to break up. If you think of a concrete reason that will give her closure with dignity, then I feel like you should let her know.

I'm wondering though if you know why you wanted to break up and explained it to her and she simply didn't want to understand. That happens too. It's hard when breaking up to see a person heartbroken and in disbelief, esp. about to leave on a plane out of town, so you may have said what needed to be said but she didn't want to believe it. If you realize looking back that you said everything you needed to already, then I'd let it go.
 

Abbazorkzog

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It depends on the person. I wish people would stop allowing themselves to be programmed into this societal hivemind where "'one trick' works on 'all women'" and other asinine dehumanizing non-truths.
 

calamity

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My thoughts are break ups happen for a reason, mostly with signs popping up that something is wrong long before the words, "good bye," are ever spoken. In my experience, explaining the why is never fruitful. You'll just get defensive responses and excuses in return, with promises to change. And, therein lies the rub.

If you want to work it out, go that route. People can change, but you have to make the judgement on whether or not this person is one who will on your own. Sometimes it's worth the gamble. But expect that change to come slowly, progress will be made in baby steps at best. And, to put up with that requires patience and love.

If you know it's over, if you know change will not cure what ails the relationship or that the person never will change, then lie. Fall on the sword, blame yourself for the break up--saying you want to date other people usually works instantly--and move on.
 

Risky Thicket

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My thoughts are break ups happen for a reason, mostly with signs popping up that something is wrong long before the words, "good bye," are ever spoken. In my experience, explaining the why is never fruitful. You'll just get defensive responses and excuses in return, with promises to change. And, therein lies the rub.

If you want to work it out, go that route. People can change, but you have to make the judgement on whether or not this person is one who will on your own. Sometimes it's worth the gamble. But expect that change to come slowly, progress will be made in baby steps at best. And, to put up with that requires patience and love.

If you know it's over, if you know change will not cure what ails the relationship or that the person never will change, then lie. Fall on the sword, blame yourself for the break up--saying you want to date other people usually works instantly--and move on.
It wouldn't surprise me if at the deepest level Nilly may be afraid of commitment. I speak from experience.

Men are much more likely to back away from deepening commitment. There are not many men who want to get hit in the face with a ball and chain, though we often don't know that and would sincerely deny it. We might be comfortable with an oxymoronic "temporary commitment" as long as we can still see the bright light of freedom shinning through a distant door. Once the door looks as if it is closing, the relationship can become altogether something different.

I am not accusing Nilly of that but, it may well be the reason even unknown to him at this point.

In my experience when the person and time is right you know it. Until that person or time comes we either fight it or deny it or run from it.

Women, I don't know. I've never pretended to understand them.
 

EMNofSeattle

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It wouldn't surprise me if at the deepest level Nilly may be afraid of commitment. I speak from experience.

Men are much more likely to back away from deepening commitment. There are not many men who want to get hit in the face with a ball and chain, though we often don't know that and would sincerely deny it. We might be comfortable with an oxymoronic "temporary commitment" as long as we can still see the bright light of freedom shinning through a distant door. Once the door looks as if it is closing, the relationship can become altogether something different.

I am not accusing Nilly of that but, it may well be the reason even unknown to him at this point.

In my experience when the person and time is right you know it. Until that person or time comes we either fight it or deny it or run from it.

Women, I don't know. I've never pretended to understand them.
I agree.

Years ago I met a lady on another online forum, we met once in person in Seattle and shared some fairly personal emails and phone calls, but I nervous about pursuing her for a relationship, partly because I was 20 and she was 25 at the time, but I think I was nervous about commitment really.

A shame really, It remains one of my bigger life regrets .
 

blackjack50

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Having been in the receiving end? Nothing you say would matter to me. I would be upset. Angry. And I would hate your guts no matter what you'd say. It happened to me at a point in time where I lost a lot of friends (drugs, military, etc) and I was very alone. It was not a good time for me. I never got real closure, but in the end? The only time she contacted me? I seethed with rage. What did she say? Happy birthday.

So. Yes. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on her. But the only thing you should understand at this point: you are the "bad guy" in her story. And unless you intend to get back together with her??? Why risk hurting her more.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

SmokeAndMirrors

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I'm coming to the good people of DP for help with a relationship because you guys are the bomb...
I'm gonna join the "leave her alone" side of the aisle, Nilly. I've been on bad form in break-ups and my experience is that trying to explain usually only makes things worse. She'll find her own narrative for how to heal the heartbreak, and it will probably work better for her than whatever you'd give her instead. You're trying to clear your conscience by attempting to fix what you broke. Well, I reckon it's a bit late for that. You might just have to live with having broken it on your conscience. At least if you truly want to do what's best for HER and not yourself.

I am also impulsive, and I also know from experience that if you are searching for a way to keep that door open, you'll drop that, quietly, into your "explanation." And she'll pick it up, and she'll hang on to it, because it's right there in the long, drawn-out letter you've sent her, which is a rather special thing for a young 21st century man to do, in a world where WhatsApp reigns supreme. How... romantic.

That is cruel. Don't give yourself the opportunity to do something cruel, when you have already had a poor showing of the break-up.

If you absolutely must, send her a text and tell her you're sorry for breaking up with her in a crappy way, wish her well, and promise not to contact her again. And then don't.

But preferably, just don't contact her.
 

Nilly

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So an update... first off thanks everyone for the advice. I figured that because it ranged from 'as soon as possible' to 'never' I should just do what felt right to me based on our relationship and I went ahead and dove in and wrote her one. As for a handwritten letter seeming a bit much, it was kind of a theme in our relationship so it seemed appropriate. I also texted her saying merry xmas to her and her fam which maybe wasn't the best idea but I figured if WW1 soldiers could put aside their differences on xmas it was the least I could do.

Looking back.... mixed feelings. I'm glad that I wrote something, but I was still a mess at the time and I have more clarity on the situation now than I did even a week ago (essentially, think people here are right about me having commitment issues, not just to a partner but to a lot of things in life, my goals, where I live, what I do). I think that what I wrote may have had the potential to be read into the wrong way, and I think if I had waited until now I could have put things in much clearer, less uncertain terms. I wish I had been clearer in the letter of my faults, and of my unrealistic expectations of her, that she would slot into my life, when I don't really have a clear idea of what my life is or where it's going.

But what's done is done. If her social media is anything to go by (which it probably isn't but its all I have to go off of) she's doing a damn sight better than me, and y'know what, good for her, she deserves it. She hasn't contacted me back (apart from some cryptic instagram captions and a few snapchat stories that at least seemed aimed at me - one of which was a real stinger, but I think I gave up my right to be upset at that when I broke up with her).

I feel a little better about the manner in which we broke up. It obviously wasn't ideal but I feel an experience like that(i.e. Five hour flight with a broken heart) is something that once over, is in the past. Whereas lying to or cheating on someone stays with that person longer because it invalidates and cheapens the whole duration of the relationship. Maybe that's wishful thinking on my part but I think there's some sound logic there.

During the breakup, she expressed an interest in remaining friends and I would like to as well. It's probably too soon to be possible right now but I truly believe that starts with a mutual understanding of each other and a certain level of amicability. We live in different cities and I do think that's ultimately possible.

Whatever happens with her in the future, the break up has been a kick up the arse for me. There are a few things I'd like to do/achieve/cross off of my bucket list, and I'd like to put a plan together for the next few years instead of just floating from place to place. Achieving those things does rule out the possibility of us getting back together (they take me away from NY for started, and there's no way going back to a long distance situation solves anything) which ultimately is a good thing.

I still really, really, really want to pick up the phone and talk to her, and one day I will, but I've done my part for now and space seems like it's the best thing for the moment. There are still things I would like to say, and in an ideal world I would go back in time and retroactively alter my letter, but that's in the past now.

Thanks again for all the advice, can't follow everyone's but it's so good to see more experienced peoples perspectives on this. It's helped immensely.
 

Winchester

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I'm coming to the good people of DP for help with a relationship because you guys are the bomb.

I recently broke up with a girl because I felt that we didn't have enough in common to sustain a lasting relationship. We had great chemistry, but there were some differences in values and interests that I didn't think we would overcome (I since have doubts that they were good reasons to break up with her but that's a different story).

The way that we broke up really sucked, and I feel like an absolute monster even though a lot of it were to due to the surrounding circumstance. She was visiting me in Arizona for a week (we live in different cities, but between both my current work client and parents also being close to where she lived, we managed to see each other every week or two). On the last day of her trip, about an hour before her flight how, some of the things I had been feeling in my relationship arose and we ended up driving to the airport with her in tears. Thankfully, instead of her getting on the 5 hour flight home, we were able to delay it until a later one, and talk through some of the things that came up. However, when she did leave she made it clear that she didn't understand why I wanted to break up with her, and felt that the issues that we had were something we could work through. The last thing she said to me before she left was that she was in shock that it was even happening. We are now on opposite sides of the country, and I think she deserves to know why I felt the way I feel.

There was no big trigger or event that caused the breakup to happened. I harbor no ill feeling toward her, and aside from the manner in which the breakup happened, I don't think she feels ill will to me. I just know she will want some closure as to why we broke up. I am writing her a letter to explain my feelings (which, to be honest, I'm still confused about myself) but have no idea how long I should wait before reaching out to her. The letter isn't trying to win her back, but just an attempt to explain things from my side a little more, so she can hopefully come to terms with the reasons I don't think our relationship work out. I still care about her so much, and I know she loves me, I'm just unsure if a relationship is the right thing for both of us or destined to fail. I've read a few things online and they say to wait 30 days to reach out again, or to just not reach out at all, but these all seem to come from the perspective of the person that was dumped, rather than the person that did the dumping (man I hate that word).

I suspect (and I'm a little afraid) that the answer to this question is 'it depends on the relationship' or maybe 'depends on the person'. Truth is, I'm an impulsive person, and our relationship moved very quickly. If that's the case, then I can see myself sending my letter in the next day or two (the breakup only happened on Sunday). 30 days seems absolutely ginormous, and I think I would feel incredibly guilty for not reaching out to her sooner. But at the same time, I feel like as much as I want to send it to her as soon as I can, there is such a thing as too soon. Maybe there isn't a real answer, but

I want to put myself in her shoes, but these situations are impossible when you're in them yourself, and it's much easier to know what to do when you're not emotionally invested. So I ask you this, if someone you loved broke up with you, and the breakup felt rushed, and you don't think there was time to really communicate properly with each other (and to be honest most of it was a tear-filled mess) would you want them to reach out to you sooner, and try to clarify things, or later, and give you the time and space you need to get over them?

Finally, I know this isn't a tavern, but if someone could slide a drink down this way it would be much appreciated. Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks all.
Edit: oops too late. :lol:
 
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