Q. My ex-girlfriend and I are in our early 20s, and were in a very serious relationship for more than two years. Eventually things fell apart over the course of a couple of months. I had a lot of issues with myself — insecurities I often presented as arrogance, etc. I could be very mean to her, and I’ve taken time since the breakup to work on improving and bettering myself.
I am NOT the same person I was, and we are currently friends. We text back and forth, and I have called her a few times. The conversations have gone really well.
Since the breakup, I have realized what a complete idiot I was. I think she would be willing to be friends and try a different kind of relationship, but the problem is her mother. She lives with her parents, and her mother (who used to really like me) now hates me, and I don’t really blame her. I don’t really know what to do, because my ex-girlfriend wants to come visit me and have fun as friends, but her mom simply won’t allow it. How do I get her mother to forgive me and see that I am not the same person I was? It’s been a couple weeks since the breakup, and I’m not sure how much time to give it.
A. It’s only been a few weeks? After two years? If that’s the case, you’re asking for too much and way too soon.
Your insecurity and arrogance is telling you that because you’ve changed (or think you’ve changed), you deserve everyone’s forgiveness, validation, and attention — now. But that’s not how it works. People forgive on their own timeline. You must be patient.
You also must acknowledge that if this is a real breakup, you need space to reset. The fact that you’re so focused on her companionship tells me that you’re probably not ready to pursue a friendship. You have to figure out what it means to be single — really single — before you decide how you fit into each other’s lives.
I’d recommend cutting off all contact for now, but, at the very least, please leave her mother alone. Your ex can handle her own family. Her mom is her business.
I would be very skeptical of just how much you can better yourself in a couple of weeks. I would also be skeptical of these changes being permanent.
I once had a former fiance (thank goodness I didn’t marry the guy!) who called a couple of weeks after our breakup to say, “I have integrity now.” He and this guy would be great friends.
Speaking as a Mamma Bear, if I watched my daughter be abused for one minute, let alone months, I wouldn’t be too keen on letting you back in either.
Your ex-girlfriend is in her 20s. She can make her own decisions. But since it’s only been a few weeks, I think her mother is probably trying to make sure she doesn’t jump back into a bad relationship just because she misses the good parts. Breakups are hard. Sometimes we count on our family to help us make the best decision for us. Perhaps your ex-girlfriend isn’t being as controlled as you think she is.
I think there’s a very good chance the ex is using her mom as an excuse to avoid seeing the letter writer.
I am trying to start making my coffee at home to save four bucks a day, and I am having trouble doing that. And it’s been three months. NOTHING has changed in a couple of weeks, I guarantee it. You miss your girlfriend, so you’re telling yourself you’re a TOTALLY DIFFERENT man. You’re not. Give her time and space and, hopefully, she’ll realize she’s better off without you and want to move on. Also, please, no grand gestures, like showing up outside her parents’ house, blaring “In Your Eyes” from a boombox. They won’t be amused.
Her mother doesn’t hate you . . . she loves her daughter.