I broke up with my ex-girlfriend for various reasons which I felt weren't what I wanted in a relationship or my future.
We've been trying to stay friends - increasingly difficult for me as she wants to spend too much time together.
Jealously has been showing up in her interactions with me, whenever she discovers that I’ve been out with friends or on a date.
I've said that I think we need more space and separation between us. I suggested no contact for a couple of months, no social media contact, etc.
She’s falling apart and it’s tearing me apart.
I can't be her friend in this situation. She's even asked to spend one last evening before I cut contact, asking for intimacy.
I don't feel right about it and told her so.
She’s someone whom I feel is very insecure, and has low self-esteem.
I'm feeling drained by being her friend, placed too high on the pedestal she’s created for me. What should I do?
You don’t say how long you dated her, nor how long it’s been that you’ve been trying to just be friends. I mention this because, if you had a long and intense relationship, she obviously had reasonable expectations of it continuing.
A break-up is hardest on the one feeling rejected. Sure, it’s hard on you too, but staying “friends” after having been lovers, is especially hurtful to her.
Her request for one last go at sex is close to dangerous for her emotional balance at this time.
Be kind but definite. Say that blocking her on social media is necessary for now, so she can get on with her own life.
Consider asking her closest girlfriend to watch out for her.
Meanwhile, it’s NOT a good time to date women she knows or would hear about. That’s the furthest thing from being her “friend.”
IF she says anything that sounds very worrisome, about feeling desperate or suicidal, alert her friend or a relative and stress the urgency.
Yes, that’s a purposefully alarming thought so that you’ll stop feeling you’re suffering as much as she is (you’re not), and get to the break-up as responsibly and definitively as possible.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man disappointed in the “exciting” woman who went quiet when he introduced her to his friends (February 19):
Reader – “In my 20s, I dated a divorced man in his 30s, who came from a large family.
“After several months, he invited me to a family celebration, my first time meeting them.
“His European-born parents spoke with strong accents, difficult to understand.
“Three of his siblings had spouses and children. All grew up in a small town together.
“I was overwhelmed!
“Many times at his family gatherings I quietly enjoyed them. One day a brother-in-law told me they'd all thought I didn't like them. I explained that they discussed people I didn't know and reminisced about things that happened before I was in the picture.
“After that he always discussed something to which I could contribute!
“I married my date and grew to look forward to these big family gatherings. After 40 years of marriage that BIL is still my favourite!
“This man should give his lady love another chance.
“Did his date feel they were making comparisons to his ex-wife?
“He should introduce her to one couple at a time. Until she knows them better, he should discuss things to which she can contribute.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who believes his narcissist father-in-law “stole” his son’s affections from him (February 20):
Reader – “How can a grandfather "steal" a child who lives with his parents? Children are capable of loving everyone around them, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
“Did the letter-writer alienate his son by acting overly possessive or by expressing negative feelings to the boy over his time with his grandfather?
“If he wants to rebuild his relationship with his son, he must stay the course.
“Phone calls, birthday/Christmas cards, gifts - even small ones - if possible, must continue, no matter the reaction.
“Eventually the boy will mature, and may decide to restart his relationship with his father.
“Perhaps he'll eventually see his grandfather as a narcissistic monster, or maybe as a beloved grandfather albeit a flawed human being.
“Maybe he'll also come to view his father the same way: worth of loving, even though also flawed?”
Tip of the day:
In a break-up, becoming “friends” doesn’t easily work for the person being rejected as a lover/partner. Proceed decently but firmly.