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Death, Grieving and Coping With Loss Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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How long is enough of a grieving period? - February 22nd 2014, 11:10 PM

I got out of a long relationship a few months ago. It was a bad situation and we weren't good for each other. Well, mostly, he wasn't good for me. I wasn't perfect either, though. Anyway:

Question one: I feel like I will always love him, and not in a friend or brother type of way; he's told me this as well. I never felt that way with my first ex, and I definitely never told him anything of the sort. This thinking results in delusions of us getting back together someday, or like get married in the long run, but a reality check usually brings me back to the conclusion that I don't ever want to be with him again. Are these normal feelings to have? Can you "always" love someone like that, but keep it on the backburner if you know it will never work out?

Question two: I moved away a couple of states a few months ago. I told him I would need some space and maybe if I moved back--it was completely up in the air whether I was planning to or not--we could start over. But that he shouldn't count on it and I didn't want him to like wait for me or anything. He was contacting me too frequently, given that I told him I needed space, and I finally told him that we just can't talk. We had planned to meet up for coffee or something when I am visiting back home, which will be in a monthish, and I'm not sure whether this is a good idea or not? I feel like it would be an opportunity to really say goodbye in person and give him some closure on the fact that it's really over, but would this really benefit us?

Question three: Can you ever really be friends with someone who f*cked you over? We were best friends prior to dating, but he really, really, has done some bad stuff in my eyes. And I do think he's a good person who's made bad decisions, and I really wish we could be friends again, but right now, I just f*cking hate him and his weak constitution and lack of values. He cheated on me at the end of our relationship and got with one of my friends after we broke up, and there was a plethora of mistakes in between as well. Like I said, I wasn't perfect either, but I never did anything to him to like that. He has expressed a LOT of regret over these things, but I've finally realized that him being sorry will never mean that he's a different person from who he was when he did those things! Sometimes I think if I can forgive him as a person and just make peace with the fact that we will never work out as a couple, I would feel better, and I could forgive my friend and that girl as well, and then I would feel way better. But I'm really bitter and I just haven't gotten the courage to really forgive any of them.

Question four: I'm really starting to feel like I'm ready to date again and there's a few people that are potentially interested. I'm not ready to commit to a new boyfriend, of course, but I kind of feel like getting back out there a bit would help me. I'm weary of this because the last relationship I'm referring to was a bit of a rebound for both of us, I mean he swears it wasn't for him, but we had both gotten out of long relationships and it complicated things for me because I had feelings left over for an ex prior to him. I don't want this to happen again, and I really feel that I am a lot wiser about how to handle things this time around, but I guess I'm unsure of whether there's some amount of time that I need to wait anyway to ensure this won't happen? Is there really any amount of time that would make it okay, if I feel like I'll always love my ex to some extent?

I just don't want to hurt anyone else again.
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Re: How long is enough of a grieving period? - February 23rd 2014, 02:45 PM

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I just don't want to hurt anyone else again.
Hey there...
That's very thoughtful of you...but it seems the person your'e hurting the most is Yourself...

Quote:
i just haven't gotten the courage to really forgive
I know, it will be hard for you, but the first thing you can do is forgive him, everybody deserves a second chance and you don't need to be close to him as earlier and apart from that, continuously thinking about it will just make you sad...

Quote:
you know it will never work out?
You know, if you really love him so much what makes you think, it will never work out... i mean, every couple faces problems, you two should talk about it, and like you said both of you are not perfect so maybe you can give it a try, of course if he feels the same too...

Quote:
it's really over, but would this really benefit us?
I think, answer to this is completely up to you, if you really want to end it, go ahead...but if you are even a little bit confused,then don't make any move.

Well i know, This is not much of a help, but i really think, you are just angry with him, which is making you delusional, and the proof to that is, you are using the words love and hate together...i would just say, try to cool yourself first and think about it again whether you really want to end it or not...cause in the end, it should your decision...and as for dating again...i think you should try to make your feelings clear for your ex. cause entering in a relationship with someone else with feelings for ex. is bad for your new significant other.

So the conclusion is, just have a talk with him and reach to a conclusion together and if it's really hard for you then cut every possible way of connection with him for some time...

Hope this helps...




When you think you are not happy with your LIFE,

Always know that someone is Happy simply because YOU exists...
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Re: How long is enough of a grieving period? - February 24th 2014, 08:12 PM

In response to your first question, I truly believe there is only enough room in our hearts to fully love one person at a time in the romantic sense. When you discover the person you're meant to be with and acknowledge your feelings for them, all ex-partners will fade into the background. I don't believe you'll continue to feel this way once you have found that person. I've had something similar happen to me before. I held on to the fantasy of being with an ex after breaking up with them, and that fantasy didn't fade until I met someone else. I think it was a nice distraction for me, but as you stated in your case, a reality check always brought me back to the conclusion that we couldn't (and weren't) meant to be together.

In response to your second question, I think it would be wise to ask yourself what you expect "closure" to look like. For example, many people believe that "closure" involves meeting one time and having all their questions thoroughly answered, followed by a warm embrace or some sort of wonderful statement that will dull the pain of the breakup. Understand that this probably won't happen. You'll probably continue to have questions about why you (and your ex) acted in certain ways, why you couldn't work through your issues, why you can't be together, etc. You may feel the urge to meet with him again (and again, and again...), until you get all the answers to your questions. "Closure" doesn't usually occur after one meeting with an ex. "Closure" can be a long process, and more importantly, it's about what you can do for yourself, not what your ex can do for you.

In response to your third question, forgiving doesn't mean forgetting. Just as "closure" is about what you can do for yourself, forgiveness is about what you can do for yourself. When you hold on to anger, resentment, etc., you're not really hurting the other person. You're hurting yourself. When you determine it's time to let go of that self-made burden, recognize it's not about the other person at all. It's about giving yourself the ability to heal and to learn from past experiences. It doesn't mean you have to let that person back into your life, regardless of whether or not they've changed for the better.

In response to your final question, I can't give you a concrete period of time that needs to pass before you'll be ready to date again. You have to be honest with yourself. Know that even casual dates may lead to deeper feelings for a person, which may lead to a relationship. You may want to hold off on dating until you feel like you can handle a relationship in the near future, just in case you DO feel some sort of chemistry with the other person and want to take things further. As I stated earlier, I believe the feelings you have for your ex will fade once you've met the person you're meant to be with. In the meantime, you can help yourself by being honest with yourself about when to date again, whether or not you really need to meet with your ex in order to gain "closure," etc.





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Re: How long is enough of a grieving period? - February 25th 2014, 10:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambiance View Post

Question one: Can you "always" love someone like that, but keep it on the backburner if you know it will never work out?
Yes, you can but maybe not as intense as you do now..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambiance View Post
Question three: Sometimes I think if I can forgive him as a person and just make peace with the fact that we will never work out as a couple, I would feel better, and I could forgive my friend and that girl as well, and then I would feel way better. But I'm really bitter and I just haven't gotten the courage to really forgive any of them.

It is best that you forgive them but you need not forgive them right this instant. Its completely ok and understandable if you don't. Once you get over the hurt and move on from all these things that have happened, you will eventually forgive them or feel like doing so!

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Originally Posted by Ambiance View Post
Question four: I'm really starting to feel like I'm ready to date again and there's a few people that are potentially interested. I'm not ready to commit to a new boyfriend, of course, but I kind of feel like getting back out there a bit would help me.

If you feel like dating, you certainly have all the rights to. Especially, if it helps you. But if you dont want to get serious, just be sure to tell the person whom you're dating in a way that doesn't hurt his feelings..
Hope I helped!
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Re: How long is enough of a grieving period? - February 26th 2014, 01:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambiance View Post
Question one: I feel like I will always love him, and not in a friend or brother type of way; he's told me this as well. I never felt that way with my first ex, and I definitely never told him anything of the sort. This thinking results in delusions of us getting back together someday, or like get married in the long run, but a reality check usually brings me back to the conclusion that I don't ever want to be with him again. Are these normal feelings to have? Can you "always" love someone like that, but keep it on the backburner if you know it will never work out?
Yes, these are normal feelings to have. For example, I got into a random relationship (to be specific, my first relationship) in 2010 that turned out to be more serious than I expected it to be in the beginning and I've been dwelling on it ever since. Especially since the guy and I had an unhealthy relationship near the end of our first breakup, and then we ended it mutually the second time around but I still love him more than I've ever loved anyone else. Especially since he's still there for me as a really close friend. Even though we've been broken up since 2011, we still talk about how we're each others soulmates and that we'll inevitably end up together (and married) in the end. This makes it hard on me since he doesn't want any new relationships (and hasn't had one since our breakup) but I have to deal with it even though we both know it probably wouldn't work out since we have issues we just can't seem to get past. So yes, you can always love someone like that. Whether you can put it on the backburner is dependent on you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambiance View Post
Question two: I moved away a couple of states a few months ago. I told him I would need some space and maybe if I moved back--it was completely up in the air whether I was planning to or not--we could start over. But that he shouldn't count on it and I didn't want him to like wait for me or anything. He was contacting me too frequently, given that I told him I needed space, and I finally told him that we just can't talk. We had planned to meet up for coffee or something when I am visiting back home, which will be in a monthish, and I'm not sure whether this is a good idea or not? I feel like it would be an opportunity to really say goodbye in person and give him some closure on the fact that it's really over, but would this really benefit us?
I think this part is purely up to you. I feel it could possibly benefit both of you and give you that closure you're looking for as long as you don't give any mixed signals during the conversation that takes place (saying the simplest things like "I miss you" could really keep him on this idea of your relationship, I've learned this from past experiences). Otherwise, I don't see the problem with it because -- and I know this is a terrible way to phrase this, but -- could it really get much worse? If worse comes to worst you can always take the necessary measures to have him leave you alone by not answering his messages 24/7, and maybe that could help with the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambiance View Post
Question three: Can you ever really be friends with someone who f*cked you over?
No, not really. I've learned this the hard way. Either they'll do it again and/or they'll just keep coming into your life as a sour reminder if you let them. After reading what you wrote for question three, I feel it would be best if you two parted ways. Maybe you could forgive him later on in life, but you need to focus on what's best for you. If that involves moving on and ceasing contact with him, do what you need to do to get your point across. I'm sorry he's such an a**wipe (are we allowed to swear? I dunno so I bleeped it out).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambiance View Post
Question four: I don't want this to happen again, and I really feel that I am a lot wiser about how to handle things this time around, but I guess I'm unsure of whether there's some amount of time that I need to wait anyway to ensure this won't happen? Is there really any amount of time that would make it okay, if I feel like I'll always love my ex to some extent?
There's no set amount of time to start dating again. If you wanted to, you could've started dating again the day after all that crap went down. But truly, it's dependent on when you are ready to hop back into dating. To be quite frankly honest, you can't really ensure this won't happen again because people and relationships alike are pretty unpredictable for the most part. It's one thing to love your ex to an extent, and another to get with another person and string them along because you love your ex more. It's another thing if you still have feelings for your ex but you can move on and you love someone else. Does that make sense? I don't know if it does. I'm running on a no sleep kick right now so this is probably a bunch of mumbo jumbo. But I hope I could help you to some extent.
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Re: How long is enough of a grieving period? - February 28th 2014, 05:44 AM

Thank you so much for the advice, everyone. Very solid words of wisdom.
It's really difficult still loving someone who messed up so badly, but I'm slowly realizing that I think I imagined parts of him that weren't really there. Which totally sucks, but. It'll be alright.
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Re: How long is enough of a grieving period? - February 28th 2014, 03:05 PM

Quote:
Question one: I feel like I will always love him, and not in a friend or brother type of way; he's told me this as well. I never felt that way with my first ex, and I definitely never told him anything of the sort. This thinking results in delusions of us getting back together someday, or like get married in the long run, but a reality check usually brings me back to the conclusion that I don't ever want to be with him again. Are these normal feelings to have? Can you "always" love someone like that, but keep it on the backburner if you know it will never work out?
I think that one way that I look back at my exes is that I view it through rose-tinted glasses. However, I keep in mind that I am not the same person that I was during those times and neither is that person. I remember that there were reasons that why we broke up and that not everything is peachy.

I think this is more common with your first ex. My ex had this issue for a long time and we even ended up dating twice. The 2nd time around, I realized I just didn't care about whether we were dating so I ended it. He kept the "torch" burning for another year and a half till I returned to town. Then I went and dated someone else because my tastes and interests had changed and he found someone who was very much like who I was in high school.

Quote:
Question two: I moved away a couple of states a few months ago. I told him I would need some space and maybe if I moved back--it was completely up in the air whether I was planning to or not--we could start over. But that he shouldn't count on it and I didn't want him to like wait for me or anything. He was contacting me too frequently, given that I told him I needed space, and I finally told him that we just can't talk. We had planned to meet up for coffee or something when I am visiting back home, which will be in a monthish, and I'm not sure whether this is a good idea or not? I feel like it would be an opportunity to really say goodbye in person and give him some closure on the fact that it's really over, but would this really benefit us?
I made this mistake with some of my exes. I think it's nicer to say that they should move on instead of giving a maybe because you may end up like me and truly do move back. He kept that torch burning that entire time and thought we'd date again when I came back.

I'd avoid the coffee unless you truly do want to see him as friends.

Quote:
Question three: Can you ever really be friends with someone who f*cked you over? We were best friends prior to dating, but he really, really, has done some bad stuff in my eyes. And I do think he's a good person who's made bad decisions, and I really wish we could be friends again, but right now, I just f*cking hate him and his weak constitution and lack of values. He cheated on me at the end of our relationship and got with one of my friends after we broke up, and there was a plethora of mistakes in between as well. Like I said, I wasn't perfect either, but I never did anything to him to like that. He has expressed a LOT of regret over these things, but I've finally realized that him being sorry will never mean that he's a different person from who he was when he did those things! Sometimes I think if I can forgive him as a person and just make peace with the fact that we will never work out as a couple, I would feel better, and I could forgive my friend and that girl as well, and then I would feel way better. But I'm really bitter and I just haven't gotten the courage to really forgive any of them.
Give it 5 years and decide. I am in different to my high school and early college exes now even though we did some horrible things to each other after we broke up. You do lose the hate after awhile. It's exhausting and it's a lot better to recall the happy memories than the hateful ones. Heck my ex jumped into a relationship that weekend with another girl and I managed to get him to cheat on her twice with me only to throw it back in his face. Kind of crappy of me, eh? Then we dated again after eight months.

Also, you'll eventually forgive them or not care. It may seem hard to believe, but work on focusing on yourself and not let them consume your thoughts. It's the best way to move past that stage.

Quote:
Question four: I'm really starting to feel like I'm ready to date again and there's a few people that are potentially interested. I'm not ready to commit to a new boyfriend, of course, but I kind of feel like getting back out there a bit would help me. I'm weary of this because the last relationship I'm referring to was a bit of a rebound for both of us, I mean he swears it wasn't for him, but we had both gotten out of long relationships and it complicated things for me because I had feelings left over for an ex prior to him. I don't want this to happen again, and I really feel that I am a lot wiser about how to handle things this time around, but I guess I'm unsure of whether there's some amount of time that I need to wait anyway to ensure this won't happen? Is there really any amount of time that would make it okay, if I feel like I'll always love my ex to some extent?
The only way to know if you feel like you're ready is to try. It's okay to feel like you'll love your ex, but try to keep in mind that you may be idealizing the love.
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Re: How long is enough of a grieving period? - March 2nd 2014, 08:05 AM

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Originally Posted by Sarasa View Post

I'd avoid the coffee unless you truly do want to see him as friends.

Give it 5 years and decide. I am in different to my high school and early college exes now even though we did some horrible things to each other after we broke up. You do lose the hate after awhile. It's exhausting and it's a lot better to recall the happy memories than the hateful ones. Heck my ex jumped into a relationship that weekend with another girl and I managed to get him to cheat on her twice with me only to throw it back in his face. Kind of crappy of me, eh? Then we dated again after eight months.

Also, you'll eventually forgive them or not care. It may seem hard to believe, but work on focusing on yourself and not let them consume your thoughts. It's the best way to move past that stage.


The only way to know if you feel like you're ready is to try. It's okay to feel like you'll love your ex, but try to keep in mind that you may be idealizing the love.
So, strangely enough, I felt that I made some peace with myself last night. I shouldn't have talked to him but I did. He told me that I've been telling him we could be friends and then saying that we couldn't be and this was draining him; what I have been telling him is actually just that I'd like to be friends someday, but he misinterpreted it. but whatever, He talked a lot about how bad he felt and stuff, which kind of made me angry because it's like, what am I supposed to say? He should feel bad. I would feel bad if I was him. But I realized that the anger I've been hanging onto isn't doing me any good and I also realized that he's just not my dream guy and he's not going to be, more than likely. he's clueless and he's depressed and I don't want to make him feel bad anymore... I don't want to hate him and I don't want to be on bad terms with people anymore and I think I'm ready to let go. I might skip the coffee just because this could easily set me back by large margins or result in the two of us being delusional about the situation. But I'd like to be friends eventually just because it's nice. I told him we could be friends but we shouldn't speak frequently or about anything serious when we do talk. I think I am ready to at least see where something else might take me, and I think I just might have a suitor. I'm not sure how to go about this as I'm a little rusty, but it's exciting as well.

Thanks for the advice everyone! All of these were very helpful. :]
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