Even when a breakup seems irreconcilable, moving on is rarely a straight-forward process. Dumpers and dumpees will often find themselves crawling across an emotional razor’s edge. On the one side lies a brave new world, on the other, the comfort, care and familiarity of an old routine.
Existing within the confines of this grey-area can give rise to a frustrating amount of mixed signals because of how unstable and raw the feelings involved are. Is missing you a way of paving the road to potential reconciliation? Or is it merely a way of bating a reaction to buffer their fragile self esteem?
This article is my personal take on what to make, and how to deal with the all-too-familiar I miss you from an ex after the romantic doors were seemingly closed.
The anatomy of post-breakup drama
If your ex is loathe to shut the door on communication, even though the decision to breakup as been made, they are usually one (or more) of three things.
- They wish to keep their options open (the grass may not be greener).
- They miss your friendship and companionship.
- They wish to salve their own fragile self-esteem at your expense.
Almost everyone will agree this trinity of intentions are at the basis of an ex’s contact. The problem however, is that I often find that people’s intentions are subject to change. Moving on is not a linear process, and some people are less prone to heed their pride or resolve than others. In short, there is absolutely no guarantee that your ex’s feelings towards you are consistent on a day-to-day basis.
Hot and cold behaviors are frustrating because they make our analysis and control over the situation next to impossible. While there is a possibility your ex is attempting to emotionally manipulate you by playing mind-games, consider also that it is entirely natural to be hot and cold after a traumatic breakup.
Is he playing mind-games?
If your ex says he misses you but acts hot and cold there is a chance that he’s taking you for a ride. If he’s keeping his foot planted in the door, but isn’t letting you in — he might be attempting to keep his options open, thereby making it easier for him to move on at your expense.
There are no rules for differentiating between genuine and artificial hot and cold behavior. But here’s the thing. As far as I’m concerned, and yes this is obviously a personal aside, it should make no difference.
There’s no such thing as a half-way relationship
As far as I’m concerned the only thing that matters is how respectful and honest an individual is. If he genuinely wanted to be with you, he would be (if reconciliation is what you want deep-down), or he would at the very least make his intentions transparent. If he cared for you enough he would not run the risk of playing a mind game that he could potentially lose — if it meant losing you.
Sure, we all make mistakes. But if his pride is greater than his desire to own up to them, is this objectively the kind of person you are willing to accept as a romantic partner?
Secondly, over-analysis can lead to further trauma should our hopes dissolve. Rather than allowing false hope to litter our meandering life path with obstacles, I would personally prefer dealing with absolutes. And this is something I have a complete control over (unlike attempting to suss out his intentions).
Dealing with this hot and cold behavior is something which he has to sort out. It is an internal debate which, out of respect for your own feelings and progression, should be played out internally before contacting you.
Accepting any other scenario is to potentially open the flood gates of projection, manipulation and trauma. Insist on clarity instead, and shoot down any form of behavior which is causing you pain or indecision. Put your needs first, you owe it to yourself!
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