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Should I Keep Reaching Out?

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Should I Keep Reaching Out?

Postby Robnew » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:38 am

Hi

I posted in the significant others forum, but was wondering if someone who had avoidant tendencies could help me with a little insight and guidance regarding my ex girlfriend.

Full story is on the other board, but in brief we'd been in regular contact since we split (her choice, after an argument), and everything was quite fun and friendly, and we'd even talked about getting back together. It seemed her feelings for me hadn't changed, and that the main issue was that we weren't living together anymore, and she hated the time we spent apart. She had said several times that she found it unbearably painful at those times, and would admit to acting up because of it. It made me sad to think she felt like that, and said she should just call me whenever she needed to, and I'd always be there for her, but she couldn't do that.

The last time we met, which was about a month ago, was again very friendly, and we'd even made plans to do other things, and so I was hopeful things might be working out. However, since then she's withdrawn and pulled away sharply. There was no explanation, just a complete reversal from friendliness, to distance and a lack of response to any messages. Is that a common thing?

I knew she was under a lot of pressure at work, and was confused about us and so, after a couple of weeks of her being distant I called and said that perhaps I should give her a bit of space, as she had a lot on her plate, and that this was maybe just unfairly adding to it. I thought she may appreciate that, and feel less pressured, but instead she seemed a bit agitated and angry about it, and hung up.

I figured it best to leave it and didn't chase her about it, and left it a couple of weeks before sending a text saying I hoped she was well, and that it would be nice to catch up if she wanted, but if not have a good weekend. I got no response. That was about a week ago.

I admit I find it hard sometimes, as I'm not the type to chase or be overly emotional, and so sometimes she seems to think I don't care, or don't think about her, and yet when I tell her she then tends to pull back again, although never too far, and not like this.

So now I'm unsure what to do. Is it best to just leave her, and let her reach out, if and when she wants to? Although she finds that really hard, even if she wanted to.

Or should I keep reaching out every now and then? I'm happy to do that, but equally don't want to be annoying, or find it pushes her away further. I don't even know if she's angry, indifferent, dismissive, or sad and trying to bury it.

I guess I don't know whether she's just lost interest and moved on, or if she's finding it too difficult and so had pulled away to detach fully, or if she wants some reassurance, and for me to fight harder for her. She did say when we first split that I didn't fight for her, but who knows whether she cares about that now.

I don't mind doing the latter, as she's always responded to me being persuasive and persistent in the past, but that seems impossible now that she's being entirely unresponsive.

I suppose I'm asking the impossible, by wanting some insight into how she may be thinking, but I do care about her very much, and when we were together we got on really well, so don't want to give up on her if I think there's a chance things can work.

So, if anyone has any thoughts on what I should do, or how best to do it, then I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks.
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Re: Should I Keep Reaching Out?

Postby Robnew » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:05 pm

Oh, and I meant to ask, if I do reach out, what's the best way to do it?

Should I ask if she's ok and why she suddenly pulled away when we seemed to be getting on so well?

Should I apologize/explain why I said I'd give her some space, as she may have taken that as abandoning her?

Should I tell her I miss seeing her and spending time with her?

Or should I just act as though nothing's happened, and send something neutral, like telling her I saw something she liked and wanted to let her know?

How much space is enough? Is reaching out weekly too much, or is leaving it longer likely to make think I've given up and moved on?

A week before she pulled away it looked as though we might get back together. She asked to meet and we had a good time. She was flirty and even hesitantly raised the possibility, albeit with reservations. In hindsight I think she opened the door and wanted me to be more forceful about it, but instead of pushing for what I wanted I tried to be understanding. Would she have taken my hesitance as as rejection or ambivalence? If so how can I overcome that now?

It's hard because she gives no clue what she's thinking. Normally when someone distances themselves it's because they don't care, but how do you know that with someone who distances themselves because they do care? With such a person it could be either, so is there any way of telling?
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Re: Should I Keep Reaching Out?

Postby Robnew » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:11 pm

As an update, I texted her yesterday. Nothing pushy, just a note to say I saw something she liked, and thought of her and wanted to let her know. Again no reply.

I suppose I should leave it now, and either she'll reach out at some point or not. It's confusing because she's never totally ignored me like this before, and the last time we met we were getting on really well, so it's hard to understand the abrupt change, especially when she had previously said how much she was missing me and how hard that was for her.

If she wants to bury that pain and move on because she thinks a relationship is impossible then I get it, and wouldn't want to add to that by continually reaching out and reminding her, regardless of what I want.

However, if she is as confused as she said, and just needs a bit of space to clear her head, then I don't want her to think I've given up on her. Mainly because she can be like two people. When she's distant she can be very assertive, bad tempered, and even hostile, but when she's feeling closer she can be a little nervous and unsure, and would at best be very hesitant about reaching out herself.

The hard part is that she never asked for that space, and just took it, so it's impossible to know if it's space she wants or a complete and final break.

I suppose, given that she's never completely ignored me like this before, and has always apologised when she's been a bit distant, it now feels like she must hate me. Is that possible, or a way someone might try to detach? Or does someone withdrawing like that have no idea what the other person may feel about it?

If you'd totally given up on the idea of a reconciliation, would you tell the other person, and ask them to stop contacting you, or would you just ignore them and hope they'll just stop?

To be honest I feel a bit silly, as with anyone else I'd just leave it and move on, but I know from experience that she reads abandonment and rejection into almost everything, and does sometimes think I'm a bit aloof and guarded. So, whilst I want her to know I'm here for her if she wants, I also want her know that I'll leave her alone and move on if she really wants that too.

I guess I'm happy to admit that my request for any insight, advice and guidance is in part selfish, as I don't want to lose her, but equally I do care about how she feels, whether she wants me or not. To be honest, if I knew she was happy without me, then I guess I'd be ok letting her go and leaving it at that, and moving on.
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Re: Should I Keep Reaching Out?

Postby psychosquirrel » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:50 am

Robnew wrote:Should I Keep Reaching Out?


Short answer: No.

I think you did enough. If she has any second thoughts,
she should make the next move.
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Re: Should I Keep Reaching Out?

Postby Robnew » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:48 am

Thanks, that's what I was thinking too, and just needed an unbiased perspective, as sometimes it's hard when you're in the middle of things.
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