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sabbersolo's avatar

How long before I can ask my girlfriend to give us a second chance?

Asked by sabbersolo (191 points ) 1 month ago

We’ve been going out for almost 7 months now (not a particularly long time, I know). We live in the same city (London) and share an international background, which is initially what brought us together. We’ve done so much together – trips to cities, 2 trips abroad and we laugh and share great conversations. My whole world fell apart last weekend and I’m just asking myself what I did wrong. She thinks our relationship has plateaud and that we won’t grow anymore. But she still wants to keep in touch. I’m so confused since this has come out of no where and we haven’t even talked about it before. Didn’t see it coming at all. I’m just so distraught and surprised. It’s been a day now and I’m just so tempted to talk to her and ask if we can give it a second chance. But she knows how I feel so maybe I should let her contact me first? I’m leaving the country in a few days just for the weekend and I just can’t bear not knowing if we could work it out or not… Thanks for your comments.

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31 Answers

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Don’t go begging to her. Learn to be ok on your own. She will sense it if you are too dependent on her for your emotional health, and she won’t like it.

Make sure you are independent, driven, and have a purpose in life that does not involve her (like your career, or some sport you are dedicated to). Then invite her to be a part of your story. Only when you can obviously be fine fantastic without her should you try to start things with her again.

sabbersolo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Thanks. That’s very sensible indeed. I think that perhaps the problem is I have been too dependent upon her for my emotional health. I love her dearly, but the fact is most of my friends have now left the city and I haven’t been as social as I should have been from the beginning. I guess I should prioritise that first. Thanks again for your answer :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Be active. By that I mean do things – without her. Post a few pictures of your trip on FB. Talk to your friends before you leave. Socialize.
It is critical that you show competence, capability, and yes, happiness, even if inside you want to curl up in a ball.
Hang in there for a couple of weeks, maybe until after your trip, then try to contact her again. Use the premise that you want to give her a souvenir you picked up overseas. ” XYZ reminded me of you and I could not resist. Old habits and all.”
Do not appear needy. That “You complete me” nonsense only works in the movies.
You need to show that you are complete without her. Got it? Now, breathe.

I wish you well. .

sabbersolo's avatar

@LuckyGuy All great advice – thanks so much. I’m totally in danger of just letting everything go and succumbing to the temptation of trying to get her back. This, rather than working on all the other positive aspects of my life that I should be focusing on. I think I will contact her again after some time, since I feel that we left the whole matter unresolved. Perhaps after the trip.

It’s going to be a tough week, but I’ll pull through. Cheers :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

@sabbersolo You can do it. Concentrate on packing for your trip and making contact with your friends. You have only 2 or 3 nights before you go so get busy and see if you can meet at least one of them at a restaurant (or pub) to catch up.
How’s work? How’s the new job?
How’s Colin doing? Did he have the surgery? Did you hear about Justin and Anna? You’ve been out of the loop so long you thought he was still with Penny! And what about Violet?! We all knew she liked to drink but that other addiction was quite a shocker.

Have that kind of discussion. Positive and not much about you. Your split with Abigale should be way down on the list and should not take more than 2 minutes of the time. That will be difficult.

If you have a common circle of friends it will not take long before it gets back to her. Some FB addicted friend will make a boast post.
Make sure you are smiling in every single picture. Fake it until you make it, mate.

You’ve been here long enough to know people here really care and are pulling for you.
Have a great trip. Let us know how it goes.

marinelife's avatar

I would give her time to miss you. Go on your trip without contacting her. Maybe send he a little gift from wherever you are with a “thinking of you” message.

sabbersolo's avatar

@LuckyGuy Funny – one of my buddies just split with his girlfriend as well (at her behest). This was last week as well, incidentally. We’re going for an after work therapeutic beer and I can guarantee this will be one of the main topics. But, as you say, I should definitely try to steer away from this and not let it control my emotions. It’s so easy to want to reach out for comfort though. It’s only been a few days, and I most definitely haven’t come to terms with it, but I suppose it could be counter-productive.

I’ll make the most of this week! Thanks again!

sabbersolo's avatar

@marinelife I was thinking the exact thing. She collects postcards actually, and I always bring back/send one to her. I guess this could be a way for her to get in touch. Thinking of getting her a little something but maybe I’m getting ahead of myself… I’m just trying not to get my hopes up or anything, even though I probably have already.

elbanditoroso's avatar

She dumped you. The “lets keep in touch” line is bullshit. That’s to make you feel better, and it gives her a backup in case her search for other guys fails.

She’s not coming back, and you can’t make her. All the rest is frosting.

Move on to someone else.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There is some truth to @elbanditoroso ‘s comments so be prepared.
All my advice above is dual use. It covers you in any case. By ‘enjoying’ singledom you will be subtly telling all of Abby’s friends that you are out there, have your head on straight, and are available.
By the way, Alistair told me that Morgan has been interested in you since that trip to Thailand, but the Girl Code precluded her contacting you while taken. And she’s no longer seeing that jerk with the Pinoccio tattoo! Just sayin’.

sabbersolo's avatar

@elbanditoroso @LuckyGuy I appreciate that. I know it’s one of the biggest cliches in the book. I’d still like to resolve it though since it all went very quickly! Cheers.

kritiper's avatar

She has probably already moved on emotionally so it might be best if you did as well.

sabbersolo's avatar

For those interested I’m feeling much better, even though I’ve got this frustrating nagging feeling inside that my world’s turned upside down. God, how emo can you get? Anyway, she texted me yesterday. Who would thought she would have broken the radio silence first? Said she wanted to give me space but also wanted to check in and see how I was doing before going on this trip. Whatever this means regarding her feelings I simply told her that we should talk after I return. Period. It’s hard not to get my hopes up but I’m still glad. Maybe all I need is some final closure, should this be it…

LuckyGuy's avatar

@sabbersolo You worte: ” I simply told her that we should talk after I return. Period. ”
Perfect! I wish I could give you more than one GA!

And an extra GA for getting back to us!

Have a great trip. Be sure to have someone take pictures of you smiling. It is important!

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@sabbersolo Good on you. Sounds like you’re on top of it!

sabbersolo's avatar

So I’m back. Had a great time with family, ended up being really busy with lots of activities. But it was still incredibly hard to ignore that deep hurt inside, no matter how hard I tried. Anyway I contacted her today – we spoke for a good 20min during my lunch about both our weekends. I asked her if we could meet up later in the week and she pretty much said she’d have to think about it (we might need more distance). Guess that’s a sure-fire sign that she’s moved on. She did say let’s be in touch though, even though she’s busy with her studies etc. I just feel so broken atm, but trying to soldier on.

Thanks for all your support. It’s so hard to let go.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@sabbersolo It sounds like the fog is clearing from your glasses and you are getting better at reading the writing on the wall.

“Let’s stay in touch” can mean let’s leave as friends aso we do not have to hide from each other if we happen to be at the same party. Believe me, that has value. So many people need to hide from former lovers.

Your job now is to not lose the dignity you still have. You are not allowed to bare your soul to her any more. Sorry pal! If you do get together with her, the meeting needs to be short and pleasant, and in public! The only reason for such a meeting would be to give her the postcard you got for her or to return that thing she accidentally left at your place. That is it. Don’t bug her! Don’t make be come over there! :-)

Tonight, go out for a beer with your friends in public. And don’t forget to change your status and post a few FB photos of your trip. They are important for many reasons.

Chelsie is secretly happy you are single now.

sabbersolo's avatar

@LuckyGuy I certainly don’t want to hide from it, which is why I called. At the same time I don’t know if I can keep being in touch with her if this really is it. Would most likely be impossible for me to move on.

Haha, yeah I’m trying to be more social than ever just to think of better things. I know in the grand scheme of things this is very trivial but – It’s. Just. So. Tough.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@sabbersolo I have faith in you. You can do it.
I have to warn you that “Keep in touch” often means “Bye. See you at the next class reunion or mutual friend’s wedding” It does not mean “Call me tomorrow.” Or even next week.

It IS tough. And you are not the first, nor the last, person to go through it. In fact very few people go through life without having the same experience. They are the unlucky ones, indeed!

Breathe, just breathe.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@sabbersolo You’re being sensible. Top work! It will get easier, I promise. Let me tell you a piece of my story.

When I moved to my current city, I got into a relationship within a few months. Her friends became my friends, and three years later when we broke up I wanted to maintain my friendships with her friends. In a way, I hijacked her group – because I didn’t care if she was around, but she didn’t want to see me. We’ve been apart for nearly three years now.

This past weekend I spent at a holiday house with that group of friends. Two and a half days, and she was there the whole time. I actually enjoyed it, because she still gives me the cold shoulder, but I don’t give a sh*t. These days I find her behaviour childish and amusing.

I know this isn’t a direct parallel to your situation, but I wrote that just to let you know it can be done. It is hard at first, but it gets easier. Once you realise that you don’t need her, those feelings won’t come back. If, like me, you decide at some stage that you’re actually better without her (and maybe with another incredible woman you find), it will all fade into a story from ancient history. Nothing worth doing is easy, and pain is the greatest teacher. Soldier on my friend.

sabbersolo's avatar

So she texted me saying she was sorry she can’t see me now since it would be too hard for her. Basically we had a VERY long chat by text messages after I returned from the trip. And yes, it basically ended with me saying I hope we can work it out but that she stands by her decision. And then nothing for a few days. But then only yesterday morning she messages me randomly in the morning, sends me one of those silly buzzfeed-type tests. (She failed this ‘which of these films have you seen’ test). Wrote “I guess you’re not surprised” because we’ve always joked at her lack of movie knowledge. So of course I get all excited. But I just find it so confusing that she’s doing this after all that. I feel like I’m being messed with. She’s going through a dissertation at the moment which I even offered to read. Man, I don’t know what to do…

On top of this, my flatmate is mutual friend’s with her flatmate. They ALL went out for dinner yesterday without me knowing (5 of them). God I felt awful when my flatmate told me. In hindsight she was sorry as well since she should’ve asked me but I said fine. The interesting thing is the two of them were alone at some point and what I got from what she said is that she is confused over what to do, and that it’s very hard. She asked how I was doing and so on and what I was doing this weekend. My flatmate told her we were going out together and she said that it was a shame she couldn’t come. God, I just don’t get it….

LuckyGuy's avatar

You wrote “I just don’t get it….”
Sure you do! “I’m being messed with”
Yep!

She has the upper hand. Any time she wants, she can send you a buzzfodder text and you’ll answer. Not just answer, mind you, answer and get all excited. It is crap.
Don’t give her the power. Ignore it – like she ignored you yesterday.
She stands by her decision and has already moved on! Oh she’ll keep you on the back burner in case it does not work out with the next guy. (or if your income goes way up – read Freakonomics buy Levitt and Dubner)

Now you need to do something exciting without her. Plan your weekends ahead. Make them fun.
May I suggest an activity that will get you outdoors and meeting others? Look into Geocaching. You can do it any time, anywhere and you can do some really exciting finds. You will also meet a lot of interesting people. Most of them are single. All are educated and in reasonably good shape. They are not at home sitting on the couch eating bonbons while watching reruns of Jerry Springer.
If you can’t do that (and you have no excuse not to) try getting in shape. Use the time to work out a bit. A little goes a long way.
Do not reply to buzzfodder crap.
Here’s a bold move She might decide to invite you out in a group activity. I’d recommend saying “I’m sorry I can’t make it. I’ve got something else. planned.” But if you are weak and can’t resist then go but avoid talking to her. Spend most of your time talking with everyone else. This is your time to start making friends without her.
You can do it.

sabbersolo's avatar

@LuckyGuy You’re absolutely right – I’m probably just digging myself a deeper grave. I don’t know how long it will take to overcome, but it’s been two weeks now and the pain is still very raw. Maybe I’m easily led on, but I’ll work on it. In the meantime I am keeping more active than ever. Got two epic biking and hiking events lined up, have taken up guitar and scheduled another trip abroad. Trying to stop moping and just get on with it. “Do or do not there is no try” and so on and so forth…sigh

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yoda was wise. You can do it.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@LuckyGuy has given you a great response, so I won’t repeat what has been said. But as well as using the prior engagement idea, I would recommend a more aggressive approach depending on your comfort level. You are an important man who is constantly busy with work, social engagements, hobbies, and improving yourself through constant reading and exercise. You are short on time, and she has demoted herself by breaking up with you.

Therefore next time you receive a text from her, don’t reply immediately. Don’t stick to a given timeframe, but for the first one wait at least several hours beyond your normal response time. Completely ignore texts that have no clear purpose. If she sends you buzzfeed rubbish again, bluntly ask her why she would waste your time with something so trivial.

You should also not renew your offer to read her dissertation. If she asks, make an excuse that is obviously poor – “I can’t read it tonight, it’s my guitar practice night”. “I haven’t read it yet, because I decided to go to the gym instead”. You do not have time to support her since she demoted herself. She’ll soon get the message that she is no longer your priority, and wonder why. Intrigue can work wonders.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I hope you are holding up. We’re pulling for you.
It’s been 2 weeks. Did you investigate that geocaching site?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I can only deals with your opening question of how long do you wait. I say you wait until you figure out what went south. Getting back together without figuring that out will just circle you back there at some future moment. Has she given you anything concrete or the same old generic line? There is always something under the water, sometimes you see the tip like an ice berg, other times it is like a sunken log and you never see it until there is a hole in the hull. She doesn’t see you and her going long-term into the future, if so why? She wants kids and figure you don’t, or vice versa? She doesn’t want to commit the time needed for the relationship because of job or school? What you need is some facts to hang your hat on.

sabbersolo's avatar

@LuckyGuy Holding up, but still with hunched shoulders. I can feel this is going to be a long one to wait out. Yes – I checked it out and will try it out soon along with a bunch of other activities. Thanks for all the tips!

@Hypocrisy_Central Thanks for your reply! Well after a period of no contact we finally started a long discussion via email. And we finally nailed what the issue was. Some of it involves lack of communication. Which is what made me so distraught since I’d like to work it out now based on what we now understand. Another development that popped up is her possible departure from the country in a month and ½. Certainly complicates it. But I was left with a ‘give it some time, please! let’s clear our heads’ response before she left for a short trip. So now I’m just unsure of the real meaning behind her words. But I suppose if I’m being honest with myself, it’s not likely that she would want to start over if she were to leave and return at an uncertain point. Basically I’m depressed because I wish I’d noticed the signs earlier, and because I won’t be with her again/never see her again.

sabbersolo's avatar

@LuckyGuy Three weeks tomorrow! **depressed emoji**

LuckyGuy's avatar

@sabbersolo 3 weeks! Huh. Just for the record few women find depressed guys attractive.
How many positive FB posts did you make? You need to do at least a couple.
Get moving! You’re burning daylight!

sabbersolo's avatar

@LuckyGuy Several pics with friends! Also new haircut and a new bike. Lots of positive responses :) Btw she liked a couple of them. Well I never . . .

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