Case Study: Ex Moved To Another City For College

Dear Kevin

I came across your site and wanted to bang out my story, which is more complex than I can say now but here is the gist– what do you think? If I nourish myself and let it go, will she come back?

I was with a girl younger than me– I am 29 and she is 25– for nearly

4 years. We have never lived together. I was a T.A and she was a student in class when we met. She left to work in another state a year after we were together. For a year and a half I flew to another state almost monthly, usually for a long weekend. We almost always had fun– for a couple months she actually danced at a club while also working in a science lab, we had a threesome, and we had an honest open relationship for some of the time apart, although I didn’t really take advantage of it, she did get with girls and ended up seeing the same guy several times– he was opposite of me– and she liked him but ended it with him.

Four months ago she moved back to her parents place in Boston, which is 1.5 hrs. from where I live. Meanwhile, I finished a masters degree, got a job, she came to visit on some weekends. And then a month or a little more ago she decided to accept admission to a PhD program at UCLA. I didn’t react excitedly, because we worked so hard to get her back to Boston and in school there– she is from Boston and loves it there– even though I was ecstatic because I’d love to go to LA, but I needed to think how toque next steps in a new direction.

Let me say I was always there for her and supported her, and she’d say the same. But I did say a lot of stupid things, most of which I meant opposite. For instance, I’d say I could never get married or what guy wants to give up his dreams to just support a family, when really I want a family and to share goals and work hard proudly.

I have not wasted time. I got my degree, work, and am paying off this home I got whenever I moved to MA.

A couple weeks ago she ended it by saying she didn’t think we’re compatible. For instance, she said I’m an artist type and she needs more stability and to marry a man who makes good money so she can have a child. She said she didn’t think I really want that.

The Saturday after she said that stuff I drove to her parents home in the early morning and she was already in the lab working. So I talked with her mother for a while, her father hugged me and said, “sorry it had to end this way, she is young and confused.” When I did meet with my ex, she was angry with me for involving her family.

I told her that I want to be with her and that I love her just the way she is, that I was made for her. She said she is open to another guy in her lab that is Greek like her. She said a guy like him offers the stability she thinks she wants. She said she needed space to think, to weigh her options (she is a Libra). I’ve been totally supportive her becoming the woman she wants to be. I know she thought good of me. I always assumed we’d end up together because she seemed to pick me.

I thought about our meeting, I emailed, texted, and called her. She stopped phone conversations but still emailed and texted some. I offered to move to Boston, pay rent, and commute to work the next 6 months. If it worked then we could get engaged and both go to LA and both get PhDs– I can get into one, too, for sure. She replied by saying my willingness to make such drastic changes affirmed her idea that we are not meant to be together because I shouldn’t have to change. I am not changing, I am a hard working guy and thought she would be thrilled to be with me and at my will to try for real at a relationship with her, even go for a PhD, if she wants to marry a doctor, not to mention the degree is a great thing for my selfhood and my career. She made a comment that she wants to marry a man who makes more money than her, and she is in cancer research. I always thought we had a love more than that!

I told her I don’t need any other women. I want to marry her because I’ve always wanted that. I asked when else would I ever make such moves– when else would we stop being long distance, I asked. I told her that there is more to life than marrying a doctor or a Greek guy and that happiness isn’t so projected, neither is success.

I told her we already were going towards success. After all, I can pick up and go, leave a job as managing editor at a magazine, and get educated with her– wouldn’t that be fun and useful, I asked. She still seemed dead set on no.

Yesterday, I texted her sister, because I was dying on my own, and he sister said the only thing she could guess is that my ex had a change of heart, that my ex is hanging out with the new guy, who came to their thanksgiving, and that he will actually go to NYC whenever my ex will go to LA. The sister said my ex has not really said much and seems to be moving on.

Not long after communicating with the sister, I received an email from my ex’s mother, saying to please stop contacting the girls and to accept what’s happening because my ex doesn’t feel she was with the right person for her and that their family has to support their daughter’s decisions. I wrote back and gave my word, ” in case I will be her son in law one day”– because I told her mother that I have every intention to marry their daughter– that I respect them and will leave my ex alone.

Now it’s out of my hands. I cannot reach out anymore. My ex knows my offers and she is probably angry at me for communicating with her family after she asked to involve them anymore or she would never talk with me– so now she is probably really angry by me. She is with a new guy, that she told me she wasn’t really physically attracted to like she was with me, and she will move to LA in July. She seems to have totally said no.

Also, her mother replied to my email by saying that they know I am a GREAT (her caps) guy from a wonderful family, and she thanked me for being respectful. So, I think her family is still open to me– but it’s my ex’s decision to make, if her heart changes, if she wants to give us a chance before she goes away. She has to reach out to me now because I did all I could and came to this point, which I cannot pass anymore without things escalating to an ugly level.

I hope she knows I’m here. She knows I wanted to get engage this summer and, until a few weeks ago, she wanted that too. We are both first generation American. I thought we had it all going for us. Everyone always said we were a great couple, and suddenly her heart changed. She suddenly is with someone else, even!

Now I’ve royally ruined my chance to marry the person I thought I’d be happy growing old with– she actually said I missed the boat.

Is there any way, if I let it be, let it breathe, while she has so much on her plate, so to say, that she might realize she wants what we had going on? Will she at least maybe give me a chance and welcome my move to Boston?

During our time together I was good to her but could’ve done better to not take her for granted because she is so beautiful and so smart.

I am so scared to lose her– she knows I offered to move this January to Boston to see if we’d work or not, for real. Is she totally suffocated by my childish actions, which make me look like someone I’m not, rather than man suitable for her hand in marriage, you think?

She told my parents that she is Sad to say she will not come with me to my sister’s graduation in December– is she totally done or is she dealing with so much, her young age, a move across country, a new career, and now this new guy, that she needs to experience her life to realize I am the one for her? Or is she gone?

If I let her go, is it possible that she will reach out to me sooner than later? I really want her to want to live with me in Boston to really know what we have. If she goes to LA single then she will be surrounded by well to do men who will be attracted to her looks. Is she ever thinking of me and the good we had?
Also, I have her cat, which she got whenever she moved out of state, and I was supposed to keep it until we got together or she got her own place in Boston– we always planned for her to get her PhD in Boston, which is why she left and why she moved home, to save money for a place. She LOVES her cat but now it’s here with me. I love the cat and hope in some way it makes her remember what good we had together. I expressed viable future plans and intentions and my love.

Is she gone? Might she come back?

I apologize for writing so much off cuff. I must sound nuts. I found your blog and had to try this. I’ve been crying and praying for our relationship to work. All this might have been necessary for us to be great together. I think I might have been a little much with her family but at least I genuinely showed my love and commitment.

Can you help me please? If not, I understand. I’ve kept this a lot to myself so as to not bug people since we all wrestle with our own problems, no matter what.

Do you think there is any way she will give me a chance or come back?

Thank you for reading this long email.



In case you didn’t read the entire thing, here is TLDR version

ex_moved_collegeGuy and girl meet in a class. They had great relationship together. They even had an open relationship for some time. Then the girl decides she wants to marry someone who has stability, makes more money than her, is a Greek like her and a doctor. She decides to end it and move to another city for college. The guy offers to leave his job and get a PhD with her. She still refuses. Guy has a cat that belongs to the girl. He hopes that the cat will remind her of him and the good times they had together.

If you want a still smaller version

Guy wants to get his ex back. But the ex has lost all interest and has made other plans for her life.

Dear Ata,

I think your entire situation can be summed up in something that her father said “sorry it had to end this way, she is young and confused.

I know both of you had a great time together and I know that you want to get her back, marry her and grow old with her. But I think you are sort of becoming a doormat for her.

You decided to leave your job, do PhD and move to another city for her, after she clearly told you she doesn’t want to be with you. If that doesn’t come scream “Desperation” then I don’t know what does.

Not to mention, you didn’t consider your happiness and your life decisions. What do you want to do in life? Do you want to plan the entire course of your life to satisfy her? I know PhD might be good for your career, but you weren’t exactly doing it to fulfill your life goals. You were doing it so that you can somehow fit into her life.

Look, I am not saying that you shouldn’t sacrifice for your partner. If you are in a loving and caring relationship, you should do anything you can to keep the relationship going and stay close to each other.

But after someone breaks up with you, you should not tell them you will quit your job just to be close to them. It’s like telling your really good friend that you are ready to have a baby with them. If you do so, you will probably scare them off. Which is exactly what happened to you.

Now, I know you guys made plans to be together and she suddenly changed them. And you did whatever you could do to fit into her new plans. But did it ever occur to you that her new plans deliberately didn’t have any place for you in them?

What you could do?

Well, for starters, decide what you want to do with your life and start doing that. Find the things that make you happy and do them.

I am going to be honest with you. She is going to hook up with other guys while she is away. There is nothing you can do to stop it. The only thing you can do is to enjoy your life. If she realizes that she made a mistake by letting you go, she will come back.

I will suggest that you should apply the no-contact rule for at least 3 months before contacting her. During this time, you should start dating other girls and do everything you can in your power to stop obsessing about her.

After 3 months, if you still want to marry her, you can contact her and ask her how she is doing. Just a phone call will give you a pretty good idea about her feelings for you. If you think you have any chance with her, continue contact with her. But if she still has the same feelings about you, you should concentrate your efforts in moving on.

And as for the cat. As long as it doesn’t remind you of your ex every moment of every day, you should keep it. Otherwise give it to a friend.

Unless her cat looks like this. In that case, don't give it to a friend. Wait for her to get married with someone else and give it to him.

Unless her cat looks like this. In that case, don’t give it to a friend. Wait for her to get married with someone else and give it to him.