Dear Dr. Love, I have recently visited your site and found the information very helpful. I am currently going through a break-up that seems to be taking it’s time and a severe toll on me. My boyfriend and I met almost a year ago and although it was not love at first sight it was the most compatible relationship I have ever been in. After 3 months of dating he received a job offer in a town 5 hours away. We continued to do the long distance dating for another 4 months after his move. Approximately 3 months ago, I forced the idea of moving in together, and so we did. It has been good and bad ever since. I know that the added stress of new locations and jobs and friends has been an undue stress on our relationship, but I can not decipher whether or not that is the reason he wishes to end it. My boyfriend and I have fought once a month for the last three, over what seems to be trival things. I believed that he was using these trival things to end the relationship, rather than find solutions to fix them. After our last talk, I believe my earlier thought to be completely true. I agreed to move out and move on and in the back of my mind I thought if I gave him some space he would come back to me. It has been 4 days since I have tried to locate a place and move out, in this time he has been affectionate, attentive, and genuinely concerned. He also not waivered on his belief that I am too negative for him and that he can never see us together in the future. I am getting mixed messages everyday and although I am trying to just move on with my life, I am lost as to how to deal with these messages. I know that in time all things will be clear, but in the meantime do I continue to try to push him away and complete my mourning over the love loss. Or do I admit that I still love him and allow us to see each other, but not live together. Confused
It sounds as though you are asking me to tell you what to do–either to move on or date him after you no longer live together.I guess you know deep down that it isn’t my role to tell you what to do; only you can make such an important decision for yourself. What I can do is help you clarify the nature of your own mixed feelings so that you can make the right choice for yourself.Your mixed feelings stem from the fact that you still love this man. You clearly hope that if you maintain ties by dating him that he will take you back one day. On the other hand, he has told you that you are wrong for him–that you are too negative–so another part of you is telling you not to invest any more time in what seems like a dead end relationship.At this point, your best course of action is to put his foot to the fire. He needs to convince you why you should date a man who has told you that you aren’t right for him. Does he think that living apart will make you more right for him? True, some distance may temporarily dilute his negative feelings toward you since he won’t be exposed to what he calls your negativity day in and day out, but as soon as you intensify your level of contact by spending more time to gether, he will once again react negatively to your own ‘negativity’ which puts you at risk of being dumped again.At this point he needs to convince you why you should give him any more of your time. What’s he offering you, other than heartache?Now let’s look at this problem from another angle. What if your negativity isn’t a built in part of your character, but rather a sign that you are bitter over unfinished childhood business. If this is true, then it stands to reason that you could actually purge yourself of this negativity by healing your wounds.If your negativity is the only problem he has with you and you are willing to work on healing this part of yourself, then perhaps you both don’t need to make a definitive break up. Clearly he is fond of you in many ways and this explains why he is conflicted about ending the tie with you (hence the reason he is sending you mixed signals). Perhaps he, too, would be glad to not throw in the towel before giving you time to see whether you can resolve the negativity that you are carrying.Before you go forward and date him, you need to have an assurance that he is willing to be patient with you as you grow. If he can’t give you that, then he isn’t a safe bet.In either case, you probably will want to work on this negativity for your own sake, whether you are with him or not. I hope you both work this out.