In your new singlehood, you may reconnect with friends for a night out searching for your next sexual encounter, eat your way through a pint of two of Ben & Jerry’s, maybe you decide to finally train for that half marathon you’ve always wanted to run, or simply try to better yourself. As you grieve, and possibly dedicate yourself to being the best version of you, you slowly get over your ex. You start feeling like yourself again, and then it happens: the contact. It could be a simple text inquiring about how you’re doing, a phone call, or an email. Nevertheless, you’re curious.
You and your ex meet up, you talk, reminisce, and those feelings come flooding back. While you’re thinking my ex must have missed me, you’re being told, “You’re so great, but I’m really not ready for a relationship yet.” Because of that "yet", you two decide you can be friends and you fall back into old patterns. You laugh about inside jokes, he watches your dog for you while you go out of town, she accompanies you to a work gathering, you two feel like a couple, but you’re not. You are in relationship limbo and you ex wants to know how far you will go.
Will you sleep together without the commitment? Will you still water his plants or take care of her cat while she’s out of town? Will you listen as he vents about his boss or she cries after a rough day at work? Your ex is testing this boundary, figuring out how to keep you in his or her life without having to commit to a relationship.
Overall, your ex was missing the companionship of a relationship, but probably not missing you. just not that into you.” In fact, your ex is probably actively dating and hanging out with you to fill up some free, lonely time. Unfortunately, as you’re thinking it could lead to you two reuniting, you are actually being used. You have become your ex’s emotional crutch. You are there when it is convenient for him or her, but your texts are rarely responded to, there isn’t cuddling after sex, and you two never spend the night together. Even if you two aren’t sleeping together, your sole purpose is to provide comfort and support until a new partner comes along to fulfill that role. And when your ex finally finds someone new, you will have to start the grieving process all over. However, to avoid months of agony, you have the choice to break out of relationship limbo and keep your mental well-being intact. While your ex is telling you he or she isn’t ready for a relationship, what you are really being told is, to quote Greg Behrendt, I’m “
Is It or Isn’t It?
Maybe you’re thinking, this isn’t me, I’m not stuck in relationship limbo. If you’re comfortable with the way the relationship is going, you probably aren’t stuck in relationship limbo. If you understand you and your ex may never get back together, or maybe you have no desire of reuniting and you are also dating, then you might be comfortable spending time with your ex until you find a committed partner. However, if you’re not comfortable, proceed with caution. You need to decide how important you are to yourself; if you’re not treating yourself with respect, your ex won’t show you the respect you deserve.
If you are in relationship limbo, try not to blame yourself. Blame your ex instead. Chances are your ex is emotionally needy and doesn’t like being alone. You, unfortunately, were the easy target, possibly because you were vulnerable after the break up. If you are hoping your ex will eventually come to his or her senses and see you for the catch you are, but you are being told some version of “you’re amazing, but,” it’s time for you to put yourself first and consider your wants and needs.
Cutting Off Contact
Keep in mind, your life isn’t a made for TV drama. More than likely, you and your ex won’t smoothly transition from dating to just friends. And, unfortunately, the best way to avoid getting in too deep and hurting yourself more is to completely end the relationship, including sex and trying to be friends. Although it may be difficult because of the history you two share, you deserve to be in a relationship with someone who wants you, not with someone who will use you to meet his or her own needs. Whether or not you decide to explain this to your ex it’s time to end all contact. No more texts, FaceBook messages, emails, or phone calls. In fact, it’s probably best to delete your ex from all forms of social media.
Do not set yourself up to be used by your ex. While breakups are difficult and you may find yourself missing your ex, but you deserve to be more than a booty call and someone’s emotional crutch. It is possible that your ex may contact you and genuinely want to rekindle the flame. However if you are being fed lines, your ex is more than likely trying to pull you into relationship limbo. If you hate games, ignore your ex’s advances. In time, the two of you may be able to be friends, but anything immediately after the breakup may be harmful to your overall well-being.