It has been a little over one month since the two of you decided to part ways — for the third time in two years. You are determined to walk away once and for all; leaving behind the countless incidents of infidelity. Sick and tired of waiting hours for him to reply to your text messages or simply to answer his phone whenever you call, you have decided that he will never hear from you again. You love this guy deeper than you have ever loved anyone else, but the dynamics of the relationship have hurt you worse than anything you’ve endured in your past. You have worn yourself thin by worrying at night that he is out in the streets flirting or sleeping with someone else. He denies ever meeting or conversing with the scantily clad “others” who are suddenly commenting all of his online photos. Every time you ask him a question or request that he explain a situation, his response is always, “what do you mean? stop blowing things out of proportion!” The relationship you share with this guy takes a toll on the other facets of your life and you simply refuse to carry the emotional burden into a new year.
However, your frustration with being mistreated by this man has not overpowered your intense connection to how he makes you feel when everything between the two of you appears to be “okay”. Watching him live his life from a distance, as if everything in his world is perfect and happier without you has become painful and difficult to endure.
The reality is that you are the one who ended the relationship, again. Your man agreed to let you walk away in that moment as a temporary fix to the issues that he didn’t want to verbally address. You have broken things off with this guy several times in the past. However, the moment you begin to miss him, the two of you have always reunited.
Since men tend to exist as very routine creatures, your man has become quite familiar with your cycle. As a result, he no longer fears permanently losing you or missing out on the long term benefits of having you in his life. Your “run and return home” routine has trained this man into his own cycle of avoiding your questions when the two of you are together, allowing you to break things off, waiting for the turmoil to cool down and then knowing you will eventually come back to him.
The entire time that you have existed in and out of this man’s life, there has never been a period where he was truly forced to feel your absence. It crossed his mind during the first breakup that he would never see you or hear from you again. That’s why he showed up to your job unannounced, cried on your lap inside the car, and worked so hard to win back your affection. Now, he doesn’t even take your absence or physical withdrawal from his life seriously. Instead, he uses the weeks or months of separation to hangout and “chill” with other individuals he finds attractive. He takes full advantage of the two of you not officially being together by now openly engaging in all of the activities that he would normally hide from you. And the moment you dare to question him about his decisions or reckless behavior, he knows that he can toss it in your face that YOU broke up with him. This man knows that he doesn’t have to be cautious of how he carries himself, because you’ve trained him to believe that ultimately, you’re going to return to the relationship.
Most often, guys experience the “Play” phase almost immediately after their relationship ends. This is the phase of behavior that you are misinterpreting as your man being perfectly fine without you. The “Play” phase is the initial period following a breakup that lasts between 4 to 6 weeks. During this “Play” phase, guys will purposely avoid dealing with emotional pain even though he IS hurting. There is very little self reflection as it pertains to the mistakes they’ve made. Men will use this time to buy new clothes, create dating profiles on different hook-up sites, go to the club with their friends, invite strangers to stay the night at their place, purchase high end items to fill your void and usually just indulge in the foods, people, places or things that you would otherwise suggest they stay away from.
Your response to his “Play” phase must be total silence. This time, do not react out loud to his antics. He is expecting you to post emotional status messages on Facebook or “Im doing me” quotes on Instagram. He’s waiting for you to text and call him to fuss about the new whores he is spending time with — just as you usually do. Your normal reaction gives him the opportunity to laugh at you, brag to his friends that you’re blowing up his phone and simply relish in the fact that he still has your heart tangled in a knot.
IF you even decide that it’s worth your energy to ignite a reconciliation, it becomes important that you remain distant in all regards for a minimum of 10 to 12 weeks. It usually takes guys this long to enter into their “Self Reflection” phase following a breakup. Once the novelty of his single life activities has worn off, he is now beginning to feel the intensity of your absence. Additionally, the pain that he has been able to suppress over the past few weeks has risen to the surface. The combination of your absence and his refusal to acknowledge his pain forces him to examine his own weaknesses, misgivings, failures and disregard for others. He is no longer enjoying the “pretend my life is perfect” behaviors because the universe is forcing him to address the role he has played in the dissolution of his most important relationships. You need him to undergo this growth period, otherwise the cycle will repeat itself.
Sometimes, guys need to experience their own peril as a result of avoiding the issues that plague their lives. Allow him the space to make believe that life is happier without you because in your mind, you already know it’s simply an act. If the man you love is never able to make a conscious connection between his internal problems and the poor relationship decisions he tends to make, then he may never become the man you can spend the rest of your life with.