Dear Avi and Adele:
My ex and I broke up a few months ago, and now I’ve met someone else. I’ve moved on, but she can’t seem to. How do I deal with this situation?
Relationships end because one person is done with the situation, typically. It would be a rare occasion that you would both think the relationship should end at exactly the same time. Your ex is going through her own process and it sounds like it’s a bumpier road for her.
The only person you can change is yourself. While you’ve obviously moved on, give some thought to anything that you have done that has made it more difficult for your ex. Sometimes it’s possible to do things that, while well-intentioned, actually are more difficult for the ex in this situation. For example, did you express interest or willingness to be “friends?” This is the craziest idea that we have ever heard, yet nearly every dating relationship ends with the soft-shoe back peddling of “We can still be friends.” If you weren’t truly friends before your dating life, there’s no need to have any contact with that person, even if you mean well.
Do you respond at all to her texts, emails, or messages? Even if you think you’re doing the polite thing, you’re still keeping yourself in her current roster of emotional clutter to go through. Stop responding. Cold turkey. (And if you are feeling cold-hearted about doing that, then prepare a “final message” to her to send when she contacts you. It should be along the lines of: It didn’t work out between us and it’s best if we not be in contact. It’s healthiest for us to end communications now.”
If your ex is doing those lovely psychotic things that former loves seem to love to do (like keying your car, sending you hate mail, stalking you on Facebook, and generally talking trash about you) then you likely have to stick it out a little longer. But stick it out in silence, as this yappy dog thrives on attention. And of course, if any of her behaviors threaten your safety or seem to be escalating, contact the police right away.
-Avi and Adele
To submit questions to Avi and Adele, e-mail [email protected]. Please go to www.letmypeoplegrow.org – a blog dedicated to cultivating Jewish conversations on topics that matter, while educating, entertaining and engaging our national Jewish community.