Dear Bitter Single Guy: I recently broke up with my bf of almost 4 years. We had a really good relationship and things were progressing towards marriage. We talked about engagement and kids, the whole nine yards.
As a result of all that talk of the future, I got somewhat cold feet, and asked him for a break, some time apart to let me think about us; there were some past issues relating to him protecting me. Sorry to end it short there. Otherwise, the story would get really really long. He was unwilling, but gave me that time. Two weeks into the break when I called him, he was acting like we had been broken up. That was so not my intention, but apparently he thought this was my slow rejection.
Eventually, that break turned into a breakup (surprise). I eventually came to the conclusion that I was ready to go 100% all in. No more feeling scared of the future.
To make a long story short, I asked him to get back together and he says no. I ask him why, and he says that I walk out on him too much, that my first impulse is to run away. BSG, why on earth is he thinking like this?
He says he can’t trust me anymore because he’s afraid that i’m going to end up walking out on him in our future when his parents die and his business goes bankrupt. We’re both 28. He may have showed my desire for a break as indecisiveness, but I explained to him over and over that that wasn’t the case. He starts point out all the other incidents in the past where he says i walked out on him: when we had an argument, I chose to walk away and return later on; when he was getting knee surgery, i took care of him for 2 months straight…one day i got really tired and cranky and couldn’t handle him whining and complaining, so i walked out of his bedroom…only to turn around and come right back inside and apologized for leaving the room.
He says he can’t trust me anymore and that he’s afraid to get his heart broken again. What’s the deal here? Is he seriously going to throw away a 4 year relationship because of this? I think it’s rather petty and in my head I think he’s being a child. Am I in the wrong? ~Ready Now~
Dear RN: The Bitter Single Guy absolutely understands how sometimes it’s important to step back and take stock of a situation before plunging in. The BSG thinks this is a logical and useful approach. The BSG also thinks this is an approach bound to create distrust in the person who got left behind.
Yup RN, the BSG is going to lean a little toward your Gilted Beau on this one. If you bailed on the relationship when he was all trusting and feeling good about you, then you did some serious damage to his ability to trust you. The BSG, if he were your Gilted Beau, would ask what has changed that should convince him that you’re not going to bolt again? If your impulse when you got cold feet was to dump him (which is what you did…in the typical parlance of relationships, “I need some time apart to think about us” means “I’m not brave enough to dump you directly, so I’m going to do it in stages”.) then what is going to happen the next time (and relationships, the BSG hears, are chock full of chances to get cold feet)?
RN if your Gilted Beau were to write to the BSG for advice after you ran out on the 4 year relationship, he would advise Gilted Beau to do exactly what he’s doing now. But the BSG is actually glad to have a chance to provide some advice for the other side of the coin! (that would be you, RN). OK, here’s what the BSG recommends. Say to Gilted Beau that you want a chance to earn his trust back and that you’d like to go out on a date with him. Get rid of that four-year-investment crapola, your investment in time doesn’t mean a thing if it’s an investment in a failing relationship.
Go out on some dates and let Gilted Beau start to feel comfortable again and if things go well, maybe you two can ramp back up to where you left off. But don’t expect that just because your feet have warmed back up that Gilted Beau should just welcome you back after you broke his heart.