I moved to a new city last fall with my boyfriend of 2.5 years and everything seemed to change. We slowly started to grow apart and I decided I wanted different things out of life. So just a couple of weeks ago (after about 5 months of us both being quite unhappy) I made the decision to end things.
While the initial conversation went really well, the next couple days were kind of crazy. He started snooping through my email and generally acting strange. I went on vacation for a week and came back to our apartment to to find out he’d gone on five dates while I was gone. While I wasn’t angry I was quite taken aback by it. He said he was just trying to be honest with me.
We’re still living together and he’s supposed to move out by the first but he still hasn’t signed a lease or started packing. He’s still all kissy kissy with me and I don’t know what to do about it. A part of me just wants to keep the peace for now and roll with it; I know we will always be good friends and we’ll see each other fairly often. This is a phase we need to get through, right? But I just want to move on!
What should I do?
Stressed in Hollywood
First of all, congrats on what seems to have been a rewarding, nurturing relationship. 2.5 years is a good run! I am sure that you learned heaps about love, men and most importantly yourself. That’s good stuff for the back pocket….nothing like real life experience to inform what you want of the future. But now it’s movin’ on time. So let’s get to it then, shall we?
Your former man is upset, impulsive and acting out. Although the initial break-up and post conversations went well, at some point the reality of this hit him like a ton of bricks. It seems he’s in a panic of sorts and (like many of us occasionally do) wants to distract himself from reality. A reality that is chock full of loss. He just lost his girlfriend, his apartment and the life he created for himself with you in Los Angeles.
Instead of actively dealing with this pain he is slapping a band aid on it and distracting himself by dating, ignoring a looming apartment search and disrespecting your physical and emotional boundaries.
He needs to move out.
(no matter how close you are as friends)
It’s only natural that he will want to begin dating other women but NOT while you are living together and even IF he did sneak a date you do not need to know about it. His “honesty” has gotten confused with kindness. It is not kind. It is cruel. It completely disregards and disrespects your past relationship and hopefully your amicable future one. Underneath, I sense he may be looking to spark some jealousy and regret on your end.
Flat out—he needs to properly exit this relationship with you before he gets to have a new one with someone else.
I understand your natural instinct is to “keep the peace.” But have you considered that you are doing yourself a disservice? While trying to give him the understanding and patience he needs, perhaps you’re ignoring what you need? What do YOU need from him in order to end on a high note? Mull this over and have the courage to communicate it.
I would suggest scheduling a new sit-down together.
With respect, ask for what you want. Declare what you need.
Affirmed feelings have epic reach. Watch + see.
Then for the good of your friendship agree to a realistic move-out plan. Perhaps you would feel comfortable offering your help. This would be a stellar way to create the space you crave sooner vs. later.
Break-ups are never easy. Even when they’re relatively peaceful.
Most of the time you will get hurt. Even shattered.
An unaddressed emotion, stinging memory or ping of lustful longing may bubble up to disrupt your flow + send you in a second guessing spiral.
My advice? Hold on tight. Go for the ride.
Recognize and give tribute to what you need to pulse forward.
Then do just that.
And for the love of god…don’t hook up with him just cause he wants too and you think it might be a good way to “keep the peace.” No reason to compromise yourself, ma’ dear. Sex will just muddy the waters.
Have you ever been a similar situation? What advice would you give to our friend?