While you weren't looking, I went and started an advice column. Where? Right here on my blog. Ha! I'll be sharing the questions I get and my advice every Thursday. Or atleast most Thursdays. You know how it goes. You can check out the details here. I'm excited about adding this new dimension to the blog.
Let's cut right to the chase and tackle the first one. Please be sure to offer up your own advice in the comments! I love to hear what you're thinking and different opinions are always helpful.
I recently stopped seeing my on-again-off-again boyfriend who was never really my boyfriend a few weeks ago. It was a love triangle situation that went on for too long. I let him go once and then when he came back, I really believed he was done with the other woman. He wasn't. Now I'm in that in between place where I'm sad because I love(d) him & I put in so much time and energy and that other place where I'm just angry and hostile. We have some unfinished business - he owes me money - so he's texted me a few times to discuss arrangements for payment. Every time he texts me I respond with snarky comments and I basically unleash my anger. Although I'm glad to be free, I find myself wanting him to text me so I have an excuse to "yell" at him. I'm fighting the urge to call him and ask to meet up so I can have one last discussion with him for closure. Won't that make me feel better? Or is this a bad idea?
I've been there and what you're going through sucks. If you're really done and ready to remove yourself from this situation, you do not need to have one last conversation with him. That's the last thing you could possibly need right now. Let me back up for a moment.
I mean, how many text message discussions are necessary in order to make arrangements for payment? I would think that it would be as simple as sending your address, right? My guess is that he's dragging it out intentionally to feel you out and see how responsive you are. And the fact that you are responding emotionally shows him that there's still something there - a window of vulnerability where he could get back in.
What if instead, you were terse with your responses? No games, no back and forth, all business. He wouldn't know what to do with that, because that's probably not how it's been in the past. There's probably always been some element of cat and mouse with you two where he acts up, you get mad, he chases and you get caught. So even though you think you are being angry and hostile and hurting him, you're not. You are engaging with him and showing him that your buttons can still be pushed. Be aloof and unemotional. Let him wonder what you're thinking.
As far as closure goes, you think you need it but you don't. Seeking closure means you want him to somehow make you feel better. Either he'll say what you want to hear and it won't be sincere or he'll be honest and tell you what you already know but don't want to accept. When you are really-truly-completely-fed-up-and-done, you won't have anything left to say to him and you won't need anything else from him. You'll know it and your silence will show him that you know it.
Try to come up with alternative actions for when you feel the urge to talk to him. Call a friend. Matter of fact, specify a friend or two that you can call and they'll know exactly what you're calling for and they can talk you off the ledge. Do you have a journal? Write down all the things that went wrong with the relationship, all the reasons that he's not good for you, and read this list when you feel the urge to contact him. Remember this: you cannot solve a problem with the same mentality that was used to cause it. So when you feel inclined to respond to him in the same way that you used to, don't. Be quiet and look inward so you can learn to soothe yourself from within. It won't be easy at first, but it will get easier. You can't move past this by seeking comfort from the very person who's been hurting you. Until you're ready to accept this, you're not ready to let go.
With love and encouragement,
What do you think, my wise readers?! Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. xoxo
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