What to do when your ex pulls you back in and pushes you away

Chica asks:

I am still stuck on this one guy. We speak once or twice a week, though I am the one who texts first and his replies are usually short. He is dating someone else. He barely talks to me like he used to before. But Shirelle, I am still stuck because of one reason: he once drunk dialed me and said things like he wished he could say things he actually felt, he wished my parents had accepted us, he wished for us to have a happy story… During that call he was constantly saying I am the only one who actually gets him, who knows him, etc. I did not know what to say. Because I never expected him to feel all this, I used to think he had moved on and I didn’t matter. But after that call I am confused. Also, one of his close friends told me that he and his girlfriend had a huge fight because he was constantly talking about me in drunken states, and also said that this new relationship is just an escape for him. His friend told me he thinks that he is with that girl just to get over us, as it is way too difficult to carry on with our relationship after the way our parents reacted. I too feel that he is trying to escape from our situation. His friend also mentioned that he wanted me to hate him, hence he behaved the way he did. He wanted me to move on, so that it would be easier for both of us. I really don’t know what to do. I do want to move. I try to convince myself everyday that he does not care, that I am not important to him. But still somewhere my heart is not ready to accept that he is done with me. It  truly feels like he is pushing me away so that my parents don’t create a scene again and don’t harm me the way they did before.  I really don’t know what he feels. All I know is we both still connect, and we both still understand each other’s pain. I feel like there still is this weird spark between the two of us. Please tell me what to do

Your Mate,


Hi Chica –

So I can’t tell you, or anyone, that you’re right or wrong to feel the way you do about someone.  Feelings are feelings, not facts, and they can’t be right or wrong.

But I can, and will, make a suggestion.  I want you to imagine me, or if you have or know a dog you really love, picture them instead!  Now imagine you’re with me or that dog, and we approach two bowls.  One of them has regular dry dog food inside it, with a sign that says “This is very healthy.”  While the other has a delicious roasted lamb dish inside, still warm so the smells are just heavenly, but it has a sign on it saying “This might be poisoned.”   Now you know that I, or that other dog, is going to head toward that lamb, right?  But do you stop us?  I mean, the lamb’s sign only says it “might” be poisoned.  It might be just fine too, right?

But my guess is that you lead us to the boring one!

You love this guy.  He’s fascinating and passionate and has expressed all sorts of wonderful things to you.  But he’s also shown you that he can’t be trusted.  He’s all about you one day, and all about hating you, or resenting you, or hating your family, or loving this other girl, the next day.  Now he’s even shown that he can’t be trusted by her, because when he’s with her he’s sometimes talking about you!

Love him, Chica.  Feel all you do for him.  Just as I love the smell of that lamb.  But I’m going to direct you away from him, because as long as he’s the way he’s been, he is GUARANTEED to hurt you, again and again.  He has done an excellent job of proving to you exactly the sort of person he is and the way he treats others, especially those he’s romantically involved with.

Now as I said in my last letter to you, he might grow up.  He might change.  He might become a really fantastic man… someday.  But he’s not there yet.  Currently he’s many cool things, but he’s not trustworthy in any way.

Many years ago, my human friend Handsome was very much in love with a woman who treated him kind of the way this guy’s treating you, though they were a couple at the time.  She’d be all loving and adoring, and then pull away, over and over.  Eventually she broke things off with him completely, and he was devastated.  And a dear friend of ours said something amazing to him, that changed his life.  “I know you’re heartbroken and I hate seeing you feel so bad.  But I’m glad she broke things off.  I couldn’t stand to watch her treat you like that anymore.”  

I suppose, deep down, he still loves her to this day, at least somewhat.  But his friend was right.  That relationship couldn’t go anywhere, except to keep dragging him down.  

If you go back to this guy, I’ll support you in any way I can.  But I’d be happier if you told him, “Come back when you’ve grown up,” and found yourself some other friends to hang out with, and maybe another boy to fall for.  Or better yet, what he’s not yet:  a man!



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