Exes and no’s

Joey Garcia

My girlfriend broke up with me because I was going away to college and she was staying in Sacramento. She didn’t want a long-distance relationship. I was caught off guard and got really depressed. After a long conversation with a friend, I realized that it was probably better for me this way. The problem is that my ex-girlfriend calls and texts me all the time wanting to be friends, wanting to get back together, wanting to know if I miss her. I don’t know how to handle this, so I don’t respond a lot. I miss her but don’t want to get back together. What should I say to her?

Tell her that you would like to be friends, and for that to happen, you need at least three months without any contact. No calls. No texts. No “liking” each other’s posts on social media. Explain that you need to focus on building a life at college. If she pouts, call her on it. If she tries to manipulate or intimidate you, call her on it. Own your request. Tell her that the no-contact is to help you grow. Then maintain that boundary. Trust that you are taking care of yourself. By not caretaking her emotions, you are giving her the space she needs to learn how to take care of herself.

My now ex-boyfriend and I are in our 50s and had a healthy relationship in every way, including sexually. But almost every time after we would have sex, he would feel guilty and use the Bible to say he couldn’t have sex outside of wedlock. So we broke up. I ran into him recently at a social event and he asked to speak to me privately. He said: “Have you ever said you would never do something again and then you do it anyway?” He said he wants sex with me again. I said no and told him it was like his decision to never drink again. He said he would not drink because it causes problems. I said no again to his invitation to have sex and I ended the conversation. What do you think of his behavior?

Guilt settles in when we believe we’ve behaved badly. But when an individual consistently chooses activities that make him feel poorly about himself, a compulsive personality is more likely the culprit. Don’t blame the Bible, though. The Bible is a convenient shield that allows your ex-boyfriend to perpetuate a pattern of pleasure followed by pain. After sex, he struggles with guilt. He probably also suffers from shame, the core conviction that he is hopelessly damaged and unworthy of love. When any religion or philosophy is delivered in an autocratic manner, those receiving the message are imprinted with guilt and shame. That is rarely the intention of a religion’s founder.

Enough about your ex-boyfriend! You need to celebrate your empowered “no.” You had the opportunity to repeat a relationship with a man who lacks self-awareness and self-control. You refused. You’ve got a backbone, girl. Self-love will lead you to a man who is ready for the kind of relationship you desire most.

Meditation of the week
“Whenever someone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high the offense cannot reach it,” wrote René Descartes. Who needs your forgiveness?

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