Amicable Break-Up, Ex Needs Time, What’s My Next Move?

Question: My ex and I broke up after a 3 year relationship because she wanted to try dating other people. She had been in a 16yr marriage and her ex husband was the only man she’d ever been with. I was heart broken and confused but understand where she is coming from. In all purposes it was an amicable breakup. We told each other love each other a lot and we spent the whole day together. At times she was very sad and cried and said she hated herself for doing this to me. I was a good man, but the timing was wrong. We greed we both needed time apart but would stay in touch.

I needed a little time to compose my emotions and did not contact her for one week. After spending time with my family, I felt emotionally ready to contact her and sent her a short text, but I received no response. I sent her 4 more text messages over the course of 2 days but still no response. I left her alone for 2 weeks but after I read your article, How to Respond to an Ex’s No Contact Rule, I sent her “If this is that no contact game, it’s not going to work. Since you will not respond, I’ll assume you want me gone out of your life and will respect your wish.” Less than an hour later, she sent me “Not playing games. I just need time. I will get in touch when I am ready.” I sent her a text back “I understand. Contact me when you are ready.”

My question is, why didn’t she just tell me she needed time to heal in the first place? What’s my next move?

Yangki’s Answer: I agree that it’d have made things less ambiguous if she had just been upfront with you in the first place. But it’s also possible that after she agreed to stay in touch she either realized she wasn’t emotionally equipped for it, OR like most people she read about the “no contact rule” and decided to go that route. Whatever her reason for changing her mind about staying in touch, respect her wishes.

The most important thing is that you took the initiative to get a response, and “I understand. Contact me when you are ready” was a perfect response.

What this means is that you can’t do anything to try to get her back until she’s ready to start communicating with you again. Not a good place to be when trying to get back your ex but these are the cards you’ve been dealt with, and all you can do now is play them well.

Use this as an opportunity to work on yourself so you are ready to show the changes you’ve made when she’s ready to start communication.

But don’t put your life on hold. She may decide never to contact you again or decide it’s best to move on. Keep the door open, but live your life, and when she comes back, you get to decide whether you want her back or whether it’s too late — you’ve moved on (or met someone else).

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