Struggling to Move On

Written by Editor on . Posted in Advice Columns

My boyfriend and I dated for two years. Last month, I decided to end the relationship. However, he continues to email and text me, asking to meet. He says he wants to talk in person so he can have closure. However, we have already had several conversations, and I shared my reasons for wanting to end the relationship. I prefer not to meet, and his constant texts and emails are very upsetting to me. I don’t want to cause him more pain, but I need him to accept my choice and move forward. What can I do to make this happen?

 

Breakups are difficult for both partners, even if you are the one who initiated it. Both parties need time to process the circumstances that led to the breakup and grieve the end of a dream that included having a lasting, healthy relationship together.

Many times, the person on the receiving end of a breakup may have more difficulty letting go, particularly if it was unexpected. If you are the initiator, communicating your reasons for ending it clearly, and from a place of empathy and respect, can help the other person maintain their dignity, accept that it is over, and move forward.

However, sometimes this outcome does not occur and the receiver’s behavior, your ex-boyfriend in this case, begins to violate your personal space and feelings. Although you clearly communicated your reasons for ending the relationship several times, he refuses to respect your decision. Perhaps he believes he can change your mind if you meet again.    

A person has to know and accept that a relationship is truly over in order to have closure. Maintaining ongoing communication or meeting after a breakup may blur the lines and send a mixed message. Meeting may lead your ex-boyfriend to hold on to the hope that you are open to getting back together.

It is also important to be aware that his constant emails and texts are violating your boundaries and interfering with your ability to heal and have your own closure. You have the right, and need to give yourself permission, to assert your boundaries in a safe and healthy manner. It is essential to be both direct and consistent in your message. For example, if your ex-boyfriend continues to send messages asking to get together to talk, you can tell him by phone or letter that you do not want to meet and that it would be best to stop communicating at this time so you both can heal. If he continues to violate your boundaries after that, consider blocking him from social media, emails, texts, and your cell phone.  

If there is a history of abuse in your relationship, then it is important to consider establishing a safety plan. The most violent time in an abusive relationship is when someone leaves or ends it. Safety plans may include changing your cell phone number; changing the locks on your door; and documenting or keeping evidence of abuse, such as pictures and threatening text messages.

Do not hesitate to contact the police if you need assistance or consider filing for a protective order. Know where you can go for help and tell someone what is happening to you. You can also call JCADA’s free and confidential helpline at 1-877-88-JCADA (52232) to receive emotional support and help safety planning.

For the past 17 years, JCADA has offered support to victims and survivors of domestic and dating abuse. These free clinical and legal services are available to any resident of the Greater Washington area, 14 years of age and older, who is affected by any type of domestic abuse. Staff are available to answer questions, offer support, and connect callers to services on our free and confidential helpline Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1-877-88-JCADA (52232).