Can You Ever *Really* Unravel The Mystery of Why Someone Dumped You?

Name: Westley in SF
Age: 36
Question: Six years ago, I dated and eventually got engaged to the love of my life. Five and a half years ago, the engagement ended with her mailing the ring back, and we haven’t spoken since. I’ve tried, I’ve emailed, called, texted, written, pleaded, begged, but she won’t see me and won’t talk to me, although she does email and respond to me.

The post isn’t about her though. I’m just giving you some background. The point is that I’ve never had any closure and honestly haven’t been able to emotionally move on.

That’s not to say I haven’t tried, I have. I date often and since the breakup, I have honestly been crushing it. Women seem are really attracted to the slightly older, heartbroken bachelor, especially girls in their 20s (I call it being Hank Moody). I have dated casually and I’ve dated seriously. I am a great boyfriend, I know what to do, but all too often it feels like I am going through the motions. The spark isn’t there, I’m doing things, like sending flowers or leaving notes to find, because I know they are what women want, not because I’m impassioned about them. I even lived with one girlfriend, in an attempt at settling down, but that didn’t work.

Since then I’ve had a different opinion of dating… I meet a lot of amazing women — gorgeous, smart, successful, funny, fun, etc — and I enjoy their company, but I find that I don’t actually want to date any of these women. I don’t want to go through the end of a failed relationship with them, I’d rather be friends with them. Instead I date girls, sorry how this sounds, that are beneath me in education, career, socio-economic status, and the such. They’re good girls too, but I only date the ones I am comfortable excising completely from my life.

I guess I wanted to know if this is normal, being unable to move on and being resigned to a life of permanent bachelorhood. Should I be honest with one of these amazing women that I’m an emotional cripple? Or should I keep silent as I keep dating, hoping that I might eventually find someone who can help me move on? Or am I a particularly pathetic case of a broken heart?

Your ability to attach and detach seems to have been seriously affected by your broken engagement. I don’t know if it’s closure that you’re looking for, because we can give that to ourselves if we choose to. Something about how she ended things has taken a huge chunk from your ego and self-esteem. The only way to get it back is to rebuild it yourself, I’m afraid.

That’s the basis of most people’s need for closure. We don’t really want answers or to know why things ended. The why doesn’t really matter. What we want is to believe that the other person cared enough to acknowledge our hurt and pain. I’d guess that in the majority of cases, those of us who have sought closure at some point weren’t even given the truth. We were told what we wanted to hear because the other person wanted to unburden themselves in some way. Either they no longer wished to deal with us, no longer wanted to fear repercussions or just wanted to get rid of their own guilty conscience. Extending the olive branch, so to speak, is for their benefit. Not ours. It’s disingenuous. I honestly believe that, only in the rarest of cases, do we get the truth. And you know what? I would almost guarantee we wouldn’t want it anyway. That’s why the idea of closure is a myth. It doesn’t really exist.

Is what you’re experiencing “normal?” No. But it is common and even typical, especially when someone was excised the way it seems you were. It sounds like it was sudden and rather cold. To be frank, if I’m following the timeline correctly, this whole thing sounds impulsive and rushed. That makes me wonder if maybe there aren’t deeper issues going on here. Like maybe you get attached too quickly, thereby making it harder to detach?  To get engaged and then un-engaged in six months implies that the relationship itself wasn’t all that strong to begin with. As an aside, I find engagements that happen after a year or less to be questionable, but that’s me.

Mailing someone’s engagement ring back to them and refusing to see them sounds odd. Usually, the woman keeps the ring or has the decency to return it in person. If she’s not willing to face you and give that ring back, it makes me think she feels a tremendous amount of guilt about something. Now you’re trying to unravel the mystery of what really happened. That would explain your need for closure. There’s a piece to the puzzle that’s missing and you can’t move on without it.

I think you want to know whether she ever cared for you at all. The problem with asking a question like this is that you don’t want the truth here. Nor are you likely to get it. She’ll hide behind plausible deniability. She’ll never admit the truth.  Ergo, your pursuit of closure might be pointless. I think you need to accept that. Doing so might allow you to start healing enough to find something substantive and healthy.

Like I said, beyond what I’ve shared I don’t think I’m qualified to address your concern too deeply. This sounds like something you need to work through with a professional, if only to give you a second pair of eyes to help you uncover that last puzzle piece. You probably have it already. You just need someone to help you find it.


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29 Responses to “Can You Ever *Really* Unravel The Mystery of Why Someone Dumped You?”

  1. Cherry Davis Says:

    He might also try to date women closer in age to him that he’ll have more in common with than his dating girls in their twenties who likely are not as established as a man in his late 30s. That’s likely why he’s not having ‘connection’ with the girls he’s dating whom he finds physically attractive but are not able to challenge him intellectually and have the same ‘life’ touchstones.

    • Rick Says:

      I think you’re missing his point; he’s dating these women specifically because he doesn’t want to make a connection, either purposely or subconsciously. He’s aware of that, and wants to understand why he can’t move past it.

      Excellent post. I think we can all see a bit of ourselves in it. I know I do.

  2. Trisha Says:

    This was an interesting article about closure. Given the OP’s story, I can see why he is so reticent on starting over with someone who could actually mean something to him. I went through something similar in spirit. I caught my then-husband cheating on me, he denied it, and I had to go to the expense of using a PI so I could get the photos/video I needed for him to realize that I DID know what I was walking about. After I kicked him out and we started divorce proceedings, every married man I met told me that he would try to come back at least once. Not only did he never even contact me after the details were settled but he never even admitted to ANYONE (friends, family) that he was having the affair. (Three years later they are supposedly engaged but I’ll believe that when I see it.) To think that someone I was in a committed relationship/marriage with for 11 years didn’t have the decency to be truthful EVEN WHEN CAUGHT can only lead me to believe that those 11 years meant nothing more than the bump in lifestyle he got by being with me. OP, your letter pointed out to me that I too never really got closure and I am finding it hard to really give myself emotionally to a relationship even 3+ years alter. I’ve had boyfriends I was committed to technically but my heart isn’t in it as much as it should be. As Moxie said, “I think you want to know whether she ever cared for you at all.” You and me both. But since we will never know the answer to that question, somehow we have to make peace with it so that we can give someone great a fair shot at our hearts because until you (and I) stop looking for that answer, no one really stands a chance at getting through.

  3. Marshmallow Says:

    Sometimes there is no making sense of things, there is only making peace with them.

  4. Adrienne Says:

    Agree with Moxie’s advice and the comments posted thus far. I have to add that I do think it’s mean that the fiancé won’t tell him why she ended things, even though he’s begged her for an explanation. Poor and immature behavior on her part.

  5. Trouble Says:

    I think this situation with your ex hurt/shocked you so badly that it caused you a deep trauma. Women who remind you of your ex are a no-go and probably make you flash back to her and your pain to some degree, turning you off entirely. We all deal with trauma in different ways You might look into EMDR Therapy…it is probably the most effective therapy for recent trauma (within the past 10 years or less). It’s the recommended therapy for U.S. military veterans and is quite effective. I used it to deal with some of the traumatic experiences from my previous marriage (repeated infidelity and abuse). It totally rewires your response to situations that remind you of that past trauma.

  6. LostSailor Says:

    It sounds like it was sudden and rather cold.

    It sounds extremely cold. And the natural response is to wonder, even obsess over the question “what the fuck did I do wrong?” The fact of the matter is that most probably he did nothing wrong. If he had done something, I have absolutely no doubt he would have heard about it, and probably with some volume. If his supposed transgression was so egregious that she wouldn’t even talk to him, then he would know what he did wrong. If she mailed the ring back and cut off all contact completely, then I agree with Moxie’s assessment that she did something that she felt so guilty about that she couldn’t face him.

    My response would have been to talk to her family and friends, right off the bat. If the OP didn’t do that, I’d question why he didn’t. I wouldn’t recommend it after all this time, but it might be an option if nothing else works.

    From the OP: The post isn’t about her though.

    Yes it is. All the subsequent problems stem from this.

    The only way to get it back is to rebuild it yourself

    And, yes, this is the solution. And it’s likely to be painful. And trying to do that while still trying to date isn’t the answer. OP won’t find the solution in trying to find another woman. The answer is inside, and coming to peace with the idea that it wasn’t his fault, it was hers. To accept that without anger is tough, but where he needs to go.

    You can’t commit because your last true commitment was brutally rejected and you don’t want to risk that hurt again. But part of being human is to take a risk. And to learn to deal with the hurt.

    I’m normally not a big fan of professional therapy, but this might be a case for it. Not long-term, mind you, but therapy focused on this one issue alone (don’t let the therapist try to broaden the scope here, or you’ll be there for years and years of weekly fees).

    OP, you’ve wasted many years looking in the wrong places; the answer lies within. You still have time, but I would urge you to deal with this now, before too many other years pass you by.

  7. VJ Says:

    Well some good thoughts here, and therapy might be one of them. But ‘normal’ or not, this is not at all that uncommon. Think of it. These are some profound issues of trust and more than occasionally abandonment too. That’s a not insubstantial proportion of the population, both male & female, for one reason or another.

    Most common are issues pertaining or arising from childhood traumas related to same, and a whole complex of pathology can be built upon these central dynamics that can easily endure for decades. So it’s something that’s durable enough to remain an issue and problem for the afflicted for a good long while.

    So I’m not certain we’ll be soon ‘getting to the bottom’ of the rejection, often it’s for purely selfish reasons that someone does not seek or desire to explain. Some of it might be for strange or unusual, even profoundly silly ’causes’ that might otherwise reveal non-rational prejudices or even deeply embedded misinformation that can not be adequately explained by anyone, let alone those who are a party to it. ‘I could never marry a Catholic, the Pope’s always been the anti-Christ!’ (To use an example that might be more familiar say 100 years ago). So choose your poison it could easily be something silly like ‘I could never marry a Black/Hispanic/Irish/banker/painter/artist/poor/Short/Fat/sick/disabled guy from Buffalo!’

    But it’s likely that if you’ve (OP here) not heard of it from her, I suspect it’s something she wants to keep a secret, and/or something she’s deeply embarrassed about, and probably for good reasons too.

    But getting back to the central premise. It’s a trauma that’s real and measurable, even physiologically. And there’s likely more than a few folks walking around with the same trauma. My thought is to choose a bit better and to start with “…a lot of amazing women — gorgeous, smart, successful, funny, fun, etc — and I enjoy their company, but I find that I don’t actually want to date any of these women. I don’t want to go through the end of a failed relationship with them, I’d rather be friends with them.” There’s nothing to say you can’t date them And be friends with them either. I’d start at the top. It’s a little known fact that even those ‘lesser lights’ you’re now fond of dating are fully capable of breaking your heart just as well as anyone else. And then how are you going to feel when this last ‘coping strategy’ is proven false or does not provide any sort of adequate protection from much of anything, trauma wise. That’s the bottom line here.

    The choice is yours, living means certain suffering. Enduring it all requires better judgement and a tougher disposition a broader mindset, and a lighter perspective to the prospect of dating. It’s not as challenging as nuclear physics, and you’re not pining for a love who died of Cholera in your arms. Forever lost to the ages. You were just rejected by someone who was clearly someone unworthy of your love & attention. Find someone worthy of it, and someone who makes you feel glad and proud to call her your own too. Cheers & Good Luck, ‘VJ’

  8. Erin Says:

    Chris this has to be one of the best posts of advice you have ever written. As a long time reader, I truly believe your advice, although many consider harsh, is often spot on for everyone not just those dating. Your words here about closure being a myth I absolutely believe are true. We all long for answers to questions regarding all sorts of relationships in our lives that end but truly the only answers that matter are the answers that only we can answer for ourselves. Why did we allow ourselves to be in certain situations, Why did we not see clearly what we should have seen, a million different whys for each of us and yet I think we need to live a lot of years to realize we make or break our own lives. All the power really does exist inside of us but sometimes we think others hold power over us. Truly I think this has to be one of your best posts. To the poster, as the old saying goes when the right girls comes into your life the stars will align and YES you will then realize you have moved on and you are ready. The right girl obviously has not been one you have dated. The best of luck to you and one day LOVE will hit you like a mack truck and all the dating experiences of your life will probably make more sense to you at that time!

  9. Selena Says:


    You wrote you haven’t formed an emotional attachment to a woman since the end of your engagement. Even though you’ve gone through the motions, even though you’ve lived with someone. Perhaps your former fiance was feeling/doing the same thing with you. She liked you, even loved you, but deep down she didn’t she herself spending the rest of her life with you. It would appear she was at an age when there is considerable pressure on women to marry – which may have led her to accept an engagement, but subsequent realize she couldn’t go through with the marriage. Since you did nothing “wrong”, she couldn’t give you a reason for ending it. She may well be embarrassed for “leading you on” so to speak, when her heart wasn’t in the relationship as she had to believe.

    Regardless, Moxie is quite right in observations about “closure”. And 5.5 years is a long time to carry such hurt inside to the point it affects you becomming close to others. I hope you will follow her suggestion and talk about this with a professional. It may speed up the process of you finding acceptance and peace about what happened. Which is what closure really is.

  10. D. Says:

    Sounds like the OP got burned. Badly. In light of that, it’s no surprise he’d seek “safe” dead-end relationships and just kind of go through the motions of romance. A few thoughts, though.

    1.) You will not get “closure” from her. Or at least, you shouldn’t expect or hope to. Maybe one day you’ll run into each other in the airport and get a 10 minute conversation out of it, but most likely, she’s just…gone. And maybe that’s why you’re hanging onto the “closure” angle — because it’s a form of hanging on to her. Accepting that it’s over is not going to be easy, but it is necessary.

    2.) You date “down” because it’s safe. There’s no emotional risk involved whatsoever with these people. In your gut, you KNOW it will never go anywhere, so, there’s no real danger in going out with them. With someone where you might have real potential to get attached? Now that’s scary, because it means you could get hurt again like you did before. Thing is, from the tone of the original letter, it sounds like you WANT more. Or at least you want to want more. That’s good. That’s a starting point. Focus on it, and build on it.

    3.) I absolutely agree with VJ about getting therapy. Seriously. It’ll help. Nobody is “normal” if you dig deep enough. EVERYONE could use a little “couch time.” And regardless of what’s normal or abnormal, the fact is YOU want to change this, and therapy may prove a mechanism by which you can do that. Even if it’s not therapy that you do, if you want to get to a place where you can date people you know are your equals, you have to start confronting the pain you felt and the fear you feel if you want to find something more. As VJ mentioned, you can’t avoid pain in this life. You may be avoiding the pain of a future break-up by dating people you don’t really care about, but you’re trading one pain for another: the pain of a deadened life. If you can accept the risk and the pain of being hurt, and decide that it’s worth it if the upside is the kind of romantic love you once felt, then you may be more willing to risk it.

    4.) As a last point, even if you aren’t going to do any of this for yourself…do it for the people you get involved with. You may not put a lot of emotion into your dating, even as you go through the motions of it all, but they may. And chances are, when you finally break it off after the cutesy notes and flowers and such, they’re left hurt, too. Your inability to connect with them has repercussions beyond just you. If you KNOW you have a tendency to do this, maybe you should at the very least take a break from dating until you sort through all of this, rather than get involved with someone only to hurt them because you went into things knowing they weren’t right for you.

  11. India Says:

    Something to consider is whether you have been perpetuating the pain and hurt you experienced to other people. You go through the motions with women who you admit are good people. How have things ended with them and could some of them may be hurting due to a lack a closure with you? If anything, the thought that you may be transferring your pain onto others should motivate you to seek some counseling. Do not date for a while until you feel like you are at a more healed place.

  12. wishing u well Says:

    OP, I’m sorry to hear of your loss and your continued pain. Moxie is right: closure is a myth. The fact that she shipped the ring back to you and refused to see you is all the closure that you will get. Trust me: it may be kinder than the woman telling you the truth.

    I’m going to share my story as I have been in a version of this situation years ago. I’m not proud of how I conducted myself in this situation, and I ended up deeply hurting someone. I had a 4 year long distance relationship with my college sweetheart, and things ended very badly between us. We lived several states apart from each other for the entire relationship. When things were good, he was the sweetest, most romantic boyfriend a woman could want. However, beneath his sweet demeanor was a horribly mean, spiteful, controlling, and verbally abusive person when he didn’t get his way. When we went through some tough times, I got to see this side and it was the polar opposite of the nice guy I thought I knew. As things continued, I realized that I did not like, let alone love, what I was finding out about this person. It was painful to realize that the idea of us being together was unrealistic. I fought to save the relationshp the best that I could but ended up discovering that I had grown past it. Deep down inside, I was unwilling to accept this and continued to try. I just was tired, numb, and wanted to go on with my life. No matter what he said or did, he would verbally reinforce that he loved me, and I know that in his mind, he did. His definition of love was not my definition of love, and one day, I finally sat him down, explained to him my position, and ended the relationship. I even made him even repeat the things I was saying to him. He said he understood. Then 2 months later, he shows up in my state with an engagement ring. I was floored, and I realized that he wasn’t going to let me go without a fight. In his mind, the many things I was saying about my unhappiness in the relationship were all due to the lack of an engagement ring. He honestly believed that his proposing to me wiped the slate clean, so to speak.

    I also realized that he wasn’t going to just go away and leave me alone, which is what I desperately wanted at the time. I just wanted to go live my life, and I felt that I was too young and inexperienced for the level of seriousness of which the relationship had escalated. So I remembered something that he previously told me, “If I ever propose to a girl and she says ‘No’ or gives back the ring, then that’s it. It’s over for me because I’ve done everything.” I remembered this, and I decided to follow through accordingly. (Mind you, I’m not proud of this unacceptable, manipulative behavior on my part). I accepted his proposal with a ton of conditions. “I’ll marry you if A,B,C,D, and E change.” After I accepted the engagement, things quickly went from bad to worse. It was almost as if he felt “free” to release his true personality because “now he had me.” It was horrible, and the constant verbal abuse that had become the new normal escalated to threats of physical harm. I didn’t know what to do, and at that point, I was not willing to see how much further his anger would escalate. I ended the relationship and made a point to overnight the ring back to him with a signature required, and I cut all contact with him afterwards. After a year or no contact, he showed up randomly a year later by my home, and I ignored him then also (while being very frightened). I’ve never seen him since and have no desire to ever see this person again in life. .

    Does he know this? Most likely not. I’m sure he thinks that when he physically threatened me, that did it. I’m sure it would have broken him to know that I never planned to marry him and I only accepted his proposal as I couldn’t figure out any other way for him to “GET IT” that I just didn’t want to be with him anymore and no longer loved him. There was no way I would ever marry or live with a man who found it acceptable to treat me in the way he consistently had begun to do, and his mother had given me a warning about him that scared me. This let me know that this was an issue that had likely popped up in a previous relationship of his. Not only that, I wanted him out of my life permanently, and I was 22 years old. Again, I’m not proud of my behavior. But sometimes you just don’t want to know why a person cuts you off. Please, go to therapy and begin to heal from the past. I wish you well.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      he previously told me, “If I ever propose to a girl and she says ‘No’ or gives back the ring, then that’s it. It’s over for me because I’ve done everything.”
      So why didn’t you just say “no”, rather than accepting it with a bunch of conditions you knew he wouldn’t meet just so you’d have the opportunity to give the ring back?

      • wishing u well Says:

        At the time, I didn’t believe for a second that he would just accept me saying “No” and leave it at that for good. For months I kept trying to end things with him, but he refused to accept my repeated attempts to leave him.

        Bear in mind that before he proposed I thought I HAD gotten through to him that we were over for good and I wanted us to live separate lives. I also remember thinking when I ended things that he seemed to take it way too well, but I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth and had no contact with him. Two months later he showed up to propose, and it was an unwanted surprise. He literally said “That was a nice break. I needed it but we can’t stay apart like this.” He behaved as if I had never ended things at all, and I had been very blunt about wanting to move on. It was surreal. I remember thinking at the time that I would never be able to get him out of my life unless I did something drastic. It all was too much: the attempts to control me and show his “power” over me, the verbal abuse, the stunts he pulled…I had to get out. I was overwhelmed and starting to get very scared. And at that point, I honestly believed that ithe stunt I pulled was the only thing that would work, beyond things escalating to the point where the authorities were involved (and they were clearly headed in that direction).

        Again, a poor choice for me at 22, but a few critical lessons were learned. And I afterwards made a point to do the work on myself and my issues afterwards because I didn’t want to attract that dynamic in my life going forward. The first question I asked myself after it was said and done was “What did I overlook here? What did I miss? What is it about me that I am not aware of that attracted this dynamic in my life? How do I need to improve?” And thus it began. I’m a very different person now than I was at 22, but it took a lot of hard work.

      • wishing u well Says:

        Based on what my ex told me, it was clear that he considered a woman breaking an engagement to be the “ultimate” wrong, and this was a very strong line in the sand that he was adamant that we would not cross. And I was banking on that as my drastic next step because I didn’t want to have to get the auhorities involved. He lived several states away, so getting a restraining order would not have been easy, and I wanted him out of my life as quickly as possible. When he physically threatened me, he was dumb enough for the first time to do so on my voicemail, so I now had evidence. I advised in writing that if he showed up or tried to have any further contact with me, that I was taking this to the police. And that is how he finally left me alone.

  13. Trouble Says:

    This is something my brother told me about my ex-husband a few years ago…I was wracking my brain trying to figure out why my ex had behaved as he did (the cheating, the lies, the abuse–and he was an ostensibly nice guy that I met in sunday school who was very actively involved in church). I just could not get it to make sense inside my head. I felt responsible, somehow.

    Finally, after listening to me talk about this subject ad infinitum for a period of months, my brother sat me down and said, “Michelle, it doesn’t matter why he did that stuff. He’s an asshole. He will probably always be an asshole. You didn’t do anything to cause him to be an asshole, he’s just built that way, and we know this because he behaves like an asshole. So, stop trying to take responsibility here. You married an asshole. That’s your responsibility. But, none of us knows why he’s an asshole, and it doesn’t even matter why…we know he’s an asshole. Accept that fact, and let it go.”

    This chick was an asshole. I don’t know what happened or what you did wrong or right, but the way she handled it was shitty. There’s nothing you can do about it, and you can’t change it. At some point, you have to just accept that fact, and move on. Some people suck and you can’t fix them. You can only fix yourself.

    • Trouble Says:

      So, go to therapy. Work on fixing yourself. Do the hard work of learning to let yourself care about someone again and learn to trust. You deserve to be loved. You need to internalize that fact and live like you believe it.

      • wishing u well Says:

        Agreed! As a former asshole who did the work facing herself so that I could change and grow from the experience, it’s worth it. And never have I treated anyone in such a way again, regardless of their actions. I am ultimately responsible for myself.

        • Trouble Says:

          I don’t think you were an asshole. He was lucky you didn’t file a damn restraining order.

          • wishing u well Says:

            I take responsibility for my part in this. I was a jerk for accepting his proposal, knowing full well my intentions. I should have declined it. I believe that he did love me (his definitieion of love, not mine) and I also believe that his escalating actions were out of fear of losing me, a sort of desperation. I tried to leave a few times and ended up backing down. Anytime I wavered due to the pleading, guilt, etc – I was inflicting more pain by giving a false sense of hope, thereby accidentally adding to the crazy. (There were a lot of behaviors on his part that I left out, such as his calling me 30+ times daily, constantly clocking me, berating me if I said or did anything that did not meet his approval in the slightest). By the time I stood firm and broke up with him for good, he didn’t respect it because he had backed me down before. His response was to give me space and then up the ante with the marriage proposal. My little master plan of the planned broken engagement worked to get him out of my life, but it is one of the most underhanded things I have ever done. May God forgive me.

  14. Erine Says:

    unless a person did something horrible and their partner leave them and dnt want to talk to them ever again, mosy of the times unreveling the mystery of being dumped is pretty easy: the dumper was not realpy in love with the dumpee. when you r un love or truely intereste, you will not dump without a huge hurtful thing that had preceded
    you physically need to see the object of your affection and dumping the one ypu love hurts the dumper like a withdrawal hurts a drivingg addict. if they dump it means they were lukewarm,about the dumper. OP dhould reconcile with that ffact and date without loking back or comparing too much

  15. Erine Says:

    OP, I once was in a similar position, only ai was more like your ex, althougj mucj more considetaye and I did tell tue truth after hiding behind nice wods about its not you its me failed and he demanded a real reason. the real reason was that I was never into him and only liked him as a person but thay was my attempt ay settling down with a.good guy. it was uncredibly selfisj of me and I really felt very guilty about tue whole thing cause I knew from tje beginning that i didnt feel much for him. we werent engaged but pretty micj were headed in that directipn aftrt a few months. one of the reasons she didnt talk to you was the fact that she felt vey uneasy about what she did and tue other was that since you were not on her mind tue way she was n yours, she did not feel that internal urge to talk to you and it was more like a chore. since it was not yiur fault and was all her confusion at your expense you have nothing to blame yourself for and that should help you to move on

  16. Marshmallow Says:

    The OP mentioned his ex “emails and responds” to him, which makes it sound like she initiates some contact. I’m curious as to what these messages say and also why she is still in contact with him knowing how he feels. This to me is pretty cruel.

  17. yb Says:

    Since you already know that you are emotionally unavailable maybe you should stop dating women who will surely fall for you. How many broken hearts have you left in these past 5 and a half years? Sounds like you are loving the attention these well intentioned women are giving you. Hank Moody. Plzzz.

    And I honestly don’t believe that you don’t know why your ex broke off the engagement. Sounds like some serious denial. I think the only thing hurt by this trumped engagement was your ego.

    • LostSailor Says:

      Yeah, OP. Your letter isn’t about you, it’s about the women. Your problem is that you’re trying to deal with your issues by concentrating on yourself, where the correct way of dealing with your problems is through the lens of how it affects women and then acting accordingly in the interests of those women.

      Viewed correctly, that your ex suddenly and without explanation broke off your engagement and still refuses to talk to you cannot possibly be an issue with her, it has to be you. That you can’t see that you’re always the one at fault is the result of serious denial that women’s actions are always right and the blame is always on you.

      Get with the program, dood!

  18. OP Says:


    I really empathized with you. I went through something similar. A few years ago my boyfriend broke up with me out of nowhere and the only explanation he gave was that he could not take our relationship any further. I was devastated as I loved him deeply. Anyway, I started seeing a therapist and it was the best decision I ever made. My therapist helped me understand that it wasn’t me, it wasn’t my fault. That the issues were with my boyfriend and whatever he was going through.

    Fast forward two years, I ran into my ex boyfriend on the night of my birthday of all days. We had not spoken or corresponded once since the day he broke up with me. Not one email, text, call. It was better for both of us that way. But seeing him that night was surreal. We said our polite hellos and it wasn’t painful to see him. He said he had things to say to me and we went into a corner to talk. He proceeded to tell me that the reason why he broke up with me was because of his issues and that he did love me. He apologized for everything. He essentially gave me the closure that most people would want. But instead it brought back all of the pain I experienced years before. Friends tried to tell me that my ex gave me a ‘gift’ that they would long for from an ex. It took me a while to see it that way and now I feel at peace.

    I realize that I was in a unique situation and people rarely get the closure they need. But what I can say is that you should consider looking into seeing a therapist. I can only speak for me, but speaking to a therapist helped me get through the pain and loss. I already had some form of closure before I ran into my ex. I had already moved on and found peace and was able to love again. Seeing my ex just reconfirmed that it wasn’t me, it wasn’t my fault. Our relationship ended because of his issues.

    Anyway, good luck to you and I hope you get to a better place with whatever path you may choose to help you get there.

  19. Crotch Rocket Says:

    Five and a half years ago, the engagement ended with her mailing the ring back, and we haven’t spoken since. I’ve tried, I’ve emailed, called, texted, written, pleaded, begged, but she won’t see me and won’t talk to me,
    It sounds like you’re blaming yourself, but if she hasn’t told you anything specific you did wrong, then you have to assume that you didn’t; instead, you must assume she did (or had done) something she felt incredibly guilty about and that it was easier to walk away than to admit it to you and face the consequences.

    Should I be honest with one of these amazing women that I’m an emotional cripple? Or should I keep silent as I keep dating, hoping that I might eventually find someone who can help me move on? Or am I a particularly pathetic case of a broken heart?
    You’re not particularly pathetic, but you do need to understand that dating is not therapy and that it is unfair of you to transmit your pain to women you date in retaliation for what another woman did to you. Most importantly, the solution is not to be found in others (the “closure” myth); the solution is to be found in yourself, and if you haven’t managed to find it within a few months by yourself, then you probably need a therapist to help you do so. You’re about five years overdue on that.

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