Q. My boyfriend of almost 1½ years dumped me a little more than a week ago. He told me he can’t make me happy and that he doesn’t love me anymore. I was devastated and begged him not to make me go (we were living together). He didn’t want to hear any of it, so over the following two days, I packed my stuff and left.
Since then, I have been crying every day. I really love him, and the fact that he broke up with me after we had renovated the house together was even more painful. I haven’t contacted him since then.
Yesterday, he contacted me on Facebook saying that he dropped my mail in my parents’ mailbox (I am staying with my parents now). I didn’t know how to respond, so I just said thanks. Later that evening, he liked my new Facebook profile picture. This happened after a week of no contact.
I want to get back together with him because I don’t believe he is OK with his decision. His sister told me that he is really upset and that all he does is work. Could this be him reaching out to me? Or just being polite? I have to mention that he is a stubborn person and often takes the responsibility of his decisions very seriously.
A. It sounds like the breakup involved rejection and bargaining — but that you didn’t leave with a clear sense of what went wrong and when. If you need more information, this is the time to ask for it.
Sometimes breakups require more than one discussion so that everyone’s hopes, terms, and boundaries are clear. You want to know what he meant when he liked the Facebook photo. You want to understand his expectations for communication in the future. It’s OK to reach out for answers.
If he declines the request to talk — or simply reiterates that he’s no longer interested in being with you — you should explain that you need space from him in all forms. Facebook likes are confusing. He shouldn’t be inserting himself into your life just to try to make you feel better.
Also, as you consider reaching out again, please know that the information provided by his sister is probably true — but not very meaningful. Even if your ex was 100 percent certain about the breakup, he’ll still grieve the loss and feel sadness. He might be miserable and obsessed with work, but that doesn’t mean he wants to undo his decision.
It’s natural to want to fantasize abut better outcomes, but do not go into any conversation assuming that he’ll change his mind.
If he wants to feel like he’s the one that made the decision, don’t try to force him to change his mind about this. Don’t get your hopes up, but maybe give him some space and see what happens?
“Later that evening, he liked my new Facebook profile picture.” Don’t do this to yourself, kid.
Just block him, since you’re broken up. He liked your profile picture; he didn’t love it and bombard you with kissy faces and heart emojis.
This is a lesson to all dumpers: Don’t “like” your ex’s stuff on social media.
It probably took him months to screw up the courage to finally make the break and feels bad that he hurt you (which is why he liked your new profile pic). But he doesn’t want to go backwards. Don’t try and force him. Move on.
Sometimes a Facebook like is just a Facebook like. You can believe anything you want — but he can be upset about the breakup without wanting to get back together. It sounds like he took this pretty seriously if he not only broke up with you but he had to ask you to leave your shared home. So have a cry, go for long walks, eat some ice cream — whatever it takes. Live your life as if this was over, because it is.
“Live your life as if this was over, because it is.” BOOM!!