Dear Stavroula

Dear Stavroula: Why Does He Want to Get Together after He Asked to Break up with Me?

October 29, 2023

Dear Stavroula,


I’m 30 years old and I was in a relationship for two years that ended a month ago. I had and still have very strong feelings for this man. We broke up because he wanted us to. The reason was that he no longer feels as romantically attracted to me as he used to – but he claims that I am the most important person in his life and that he needs me to be in his life even as friends even if we find other partners.

As much as I’ve been hurt, it’s very hard for me to get this man out of my life, and I think I’d rather see him on friendly terms than not see him at all. We talk on the phone often, we go out once a week for lunch or coffee, and every time I’m with him he shows me that he cares about me and that he really wants me to be well. I don’t hide from you that every time I see him, I feel very strong emotions and inside I hope we will meet again. Sometimes we got a little closer but I didn’t dare to make the first move, for fear that he would reject me and I would lose him.

On the other hand, his behavior confuses me a lot. I don’t understand why he insists on seeing me, buys me gifts, helps me with my master’s degree, asks my opinion about his work, but makes no move to get back together since he asked me to break up. Can you help me figure it out?




Dear Elsa,


A difficult transitional period often follows the break up after a long-term relationship, not only for the one who was broken up with, but also for the one who chooses to take the step, because even though the separation indicates that there were problems in the relationship, which the two partners were unable to resolve, it is not easy to go from a relationship of intimacy to estrangement from one’s partner.

And that’s why many times divorcing couples try to maintain a friendly relationship.

The reasons are many.

The one who did not want to break up feels that something remains alive in the relationship, that he still has someone to talk to in a difficult time, or to go out with when he feels lonely – or that maybe this way the relationship is maintained even in another form until some possible reconnection.

The one who chooses to break up is likely to feel guilt about the breakup and worry about how the other person is dealing with it. After all, strong habits were developed and the absence of the other, at least in the beginning, could cause intense feelings of longing. He may still be afraid of loneliness and thus try to maintain a relationship as a plan B, in case something better does not arise in the future.

It is not easy to get into the mind of another person, to understand the motives behind their actions, and this is also true in your case.

So, regardless of the reasons why your ex wants to continue the relationship with you as friends now, the question is whether it all helps you to move on with your life.

As comforting as it is, the fact that this man still chooses you to be a part of his life can also become very painful if you try to reconnect and he doesn’t want to, or even worse, when he moves on to a new romantic relationship. .

That’s why it might help at this stage of your life to keep some distance from your ex-partner until you can perhaps see more clearly the reasons why he broke up with and understand his intentions better.

Talk to people you trust, or someone special, share your feelings and concerns with them, and ask them to help you through this difficult first period of separation.

Although nothing rules out a reunion with your partner in the future, it is very important that the problems that led to the separation have been resolved and that you both realize that continuing the relationship is a conscious choice that requires responsibility, respect, and effort and not a solution of despair or hasty decisions.


Dear Stavroula, I have been divorced for 24 years.

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