There are so many girls out there whose family, friends, sorority sisters, plastic surgeon, brother’s ex-girlfriend, first-grade teacher, ex-boyfriends, third cousin’s prom date, wacky aunt, hot stepbrother, job, diet, workout regime, dog, cat, etc. I used to know. And when I say “I used to know,” I mean that if the SAT was a standardized test of their lives, I’d be working on my second doctorate at Stanford right now.

I knew these girls better than I knew myself. I actually got to know some of them so well, I exhausted myself trying to get to know them any better.

So why don’t we have a single memory or photo together? Because they don’t actually know me. They might know of me, but they don’t know me. At all.

How might they know of me? If they came across a photo of their boyfriend and me together and asked him who I was… then they would know.

I was the ex and they were the girls that I could never be. The ones that even though I knew deep down, I shouldn’t compare myself to, I couldn’t help but do so. He had chosen her and she was now with him – the him that I deserved, the him that I did everything for, and the him that suddenly wanted a committed relationship and everything that I was only good enough to experience the promise of but never the actuality. And now, she was.

I was alone, picking up the pieces and couldn’t stop social media stalking. I wanted to know everything about my ex’s new girlfriend. Why couldn’t I ever be the chosen one? Why was it always “her” and not me? How could he say that he wasn’t ready for a relationship and then all of a sudden give her the relationship that I wanted with him? And how could two hours have just gone by and I’m now on her Mom’s boss’s daughter’s prom date’s Instagram profile?

Why did I even care?! I couldn’t stop the obsessive thoughts and behavior.

With some exes, I couldn’t say for certain that I even wanted them back. I knew deep down that he wasn’t right for me and that it could never work. I knew that there was nothing he could ever say that would justify what he did and give me the closure I deserved. I knew he was emotionally unavailable. But that didn’t make it any easier or less heartbreaking when I found out he was dating someone new.

The only way I can explain it is that I didn’t really want him back, but I also didn’t want him to be dating someone new.

I wanted him to suffer the way I had and regret what he lost.

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What does it mean when he says he needs space? What should you do?

This can be very confusing. Especially if when you give him space, he’s still texting and communicating with you.

As hard as it is, you need to listen to his actions –  not his words. Most of the time, when a man says that he needs space, it’s because…

  • He’s done with the relationship but doesn’t want to feel like a bad guy.
  • He’s taking your temperature to see how far he can push the “I need space” thing (while still keeping you around, getting his needs met, not having to be committed to you in any way, and seeing what else is out there).
  • He genuinely needs space.

If you’re with a good guy who genuinely needs space right now but wants to be with you…

There won’t be any confusion. He will communicate with you and make it clear through his actions that he wants to remain with you, but is struggling with x,y, and z. Then, it will be up to you both to decide how you want to proceed. This is what happens in mutual relationships.

You don’t need to empathize to a detriment here. Your instinct knows when you are getting respected and it knows when you are not.

If he says he needs space but has no issue being ambiguous about it and keeping you in relational limbo…

Give him the space he wants and take it very literally.

If it’s space he wants, do the one thing that he will never be able to do and speak with your actions. Don’t talk to him, hook up with him, or allow him to have any of the benefits of being in a relationship (of any kind) with you. Cut him off. He can’t claim to need space from you and then expect to have access to you whenever he wants.

You have every right to be hurt. You can cry and you can be confused because yes this is bullish*t, but if you had healthier levels of self-esteem…

The second that he says he needs space and can’t give you anything other than more red flags and confusion, you would make a dignified exit. Why? Because you have your own back and always look out for the one person who you should never want (nor will you ever be able) to take any space from – yourself.

Live your life and stop making room for people who can be happy with “space” in between you both. Start gravitating toward the people who couldn’t imagine a day without you. If that’s just your family right now – that’s okay and if you don’t have a family, guess what? You have this community and you are never alone.

You’re worth so.much.more. and you know it.

x Natasha

If you need further and more personalized help with your breakup, please look into working with me here.

One thing that I’ve always a hard time with is bouncing back after a breakup and trying to figure out how to stop hurting.

I’m much better now than I was years ago, but every now and then, something happens and I find myself stuck on feelings of pain and rehashing the past.

One year after a very painful breakup, I still felt completely stuck. How could he just forget about me and move on so quickly with another girl? Didn’t I mean anything to him? Wasn’t I enough?

I hadn’t been enough for him because I believed that I wasn’t good enough for anyone – myself included. You can’t get someone to see in you what you can’t see in yourself.

I was devastated. So what did I do? I would go involve myself with another emotionally unavailable guy or a new friend that I felt like I had to “win over” and somehow compete for their love and attention. And as long as I involved myself with people like this, I never had to deal with the pain of my past. Even though I was in pain, I wasn’t really doing anything to get to the root of it.

I didn’t know how to stop hurting. My pain was a weed that I kept spraying the repellent of denial on, instead of taking the time to get the right tools and uproot it once and for all.

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“Does he miss me? Does he regret what he did? Does he think about me?”

Those questions have taken up more of my time and brain power than I ever think I’ll be comfortable enough to admit. If I would have taken a fraction of the time that I’ve spent pondering those questions to learn a new language, I could have written this post in 9 different languages by now.

You’ve gone through a horrible, traumatic breakup with an emotionally unavailable guy that broke your heart and whether you’ve done enough things to cause drama/embarrassment or it just hurts too much to be “friends” with your ex or you’ve both agreed to go your own separate ways or whatever the case may be, you’ve stopped communicating and are in no contact. The WORST, right?

You don’t want to hear from him, but then again, you do. You so do. It’s like a drug and you’re going through the most excruciating withdrawals. Every day that you don’t hear from him feels like an eternity and with every minute that passes, it’s another dig deeper into the self blame, obsessing and FBI-style stalking. Your self-esteem is at zero and you start to question your worth because if you were good enough, he would have reached out by now. He would have done something… ANYTHING.

All you hear is crickets.

You never thought he could just cut you off so easily. You see him living his happy life on social media with some new girl who looks like everything you aren’t (and whose profile is private). You’re in pain and doing the best you can to get through every hour without losing it.

Every time you hear a text message alert or you hear your phone ring, your heart races and you think… “Maybe it’s him?” It never is.

After breakups with some of the most toxic exes who I knew were not good for me, I have to admit, I still wondered…

“Does he miss me? Does he regret what he did? Does he think about me?” Continue Reading

You’re going through a traumatic breakup where you didn’t get any closure and are missing your ex. All you can think about is what he’s doing, who he’s doing, why he hasn’t reached out, and when you are ever going to feel like yourself again. You’re exhausted from obsessing but you can’t help it. He was so selfish throughout the relationship and you just want any shred of proof that he’s hurting as badly as you are. You want to know that you meant something to him, that your relationship mattered, and that he regrets breaking your trust.

+ This is applicable to men as well. This post is written from the perspective of a woman (me), but nothing on this site discriminates against age, gender or orientation. We all experience these feelings and are in this together.

You need to know that you’re not as forgettable as him “forgetting” you has made you feel.

You’re proud of yourself for staying on your white horse, maintaining most of your dignity post-breakup and not reaching out. But you miss him and it’s been really hard.

Then one day, your girlfriends insist on taking you out that night. You order a drink and start to feel a little. Pain? What pain?! HA! This is great! You’re dancing and flirting and actually having fun. Then, all of a sudden, you get rejected by a guy you were flirting with or you may even start talking to a great guy and feel sick because it’s not your ex.

You see all of your friends calling their significant others and right then, it’s like a wave comes crashing down. You think to yourself that he really wasn’t that bad OR the flip side, you get even more hurt and angry. You just want to know why the hell he hasn’t reached out or even acknowledged your existence since the breakup. You think about how even after a few drinks, getting all dressed up, and being out with the girls STILL makes you miss him (despite how he treated you) and you want to know why he hasn’t reached out to you when he’s gone out and had a few.

How could he just forget you? How could he not miss you like you miss him? Didn’t you matter at all to him?

Your fun night girls night out turns into you having to go to the bathroom… which turns into an opportunity for you to see what he’s up to stalk on social media. You get triggered even more, drink even more, and then…

It doesn’t matter whether you decide to call him or if you see something that upsets you and you call one of his friends or another friend of yours or whether he picks up or you leave a message or you text him or some random chick picks up his phone or whatever.

Whether you make any kind of contact or not, you miss him and this is basically how the rest of it goes… Continue Reading