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Parallax - Advice

October 17, 2005

How to tell when it's over?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question! My girlfriend and I broke up recently. A couple of days went by, and we still talked, until one night I decided to go the beach (where she lives during the summer) and surprise her. I thought this was going to go well, because we had split up a few times before, and seeing each other always worked. Instead, she told me that this break-up was real, that we shouldn't call each other as often and that we shouldn't hang out as much. But, before she got off the phone, she said there was a future for us, and she loved me very much. The next day she called and acted as if nothing had happened. We talked politely, and she said she would call me a little later on. It's been three days since she called. I plan to give her another two days before calling. What game is she playing? I still love her very much and want to be with her, and only her. What is going on? Email to a Friend


Her view:

Dear Needy,

She does not know if you're the one. She may be testing out other potential interests to see if she likes those better. She may also feel smothered and want a break.

Don't make it so easy for her by making yourself so available. Play hard to get. Call her less, spend some time with other girls—even if they are just friends.

Plant the seed that life will not end for you if she walks. This will give her pause to consider the thought of losing you. Right now you are an open-ended option who will wait forever for her. And she knows that.

Rattle her a little.

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His view:

Dear Needy,

You have split up a few times, and you still think this relationship is headed anywhere but down? You have heard from her that she wants a real break, but you're still thinking how many days you'll wait before you call again? What do you need, a tattoo on your forehead? Or a neon sign over your bed?

This girl is done with you. She may not even know it herself, but she is not thinking that she wants to be with you and only you. She may still love you, but whatever love she feels is more like dying embers than roaring flames. She's doing her best to let you down easy, and even—if she's that clever—to keep her options open.

Do yourself a favor and exit gracefully. Go suffer somewhere. Be heartbroken, but don't stick around like a fool, don't beg and don't lose your self-respect.

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