My ex and I broke up over a year ago because he wanted space and felt suffocated. He also said he wanted to focus on school and not on a relationship. The confusing part is that he still wants to talk and calls me almost everyday. We hang out whenever we have time and occasionally have sex. He says he does not want a relationship with anyone.

What can I do to get him to want to be in a relationship with me again? ——Jessica

Hi Jessica,

It sounds to me like your boyfriend didn’t really want to break up, however he couldn’t handle being suffocated anymore, so this was his way of keeping you at arm’s length. Brilliant strategy, I must say!

So, you have to ask him in what ways were you suffocating him. Start the conversation with, “I’m just curious …” This will usually get you a more honest answer. You then need to listen without interrupting or being defensive. Even after he seems to have finished speaking, pause for a few seconds and then ask him, “Was there anything else?”

You then need to ask yourself whether you really were doing those things and if you would be able to control yourself from behaving like that in the future. If you can’t, there’s no point in getting back together, because it will just end again.

Suffocation is usually the result of insecurity. You feel the need to be in constant contact and know everything that’s going on, for fear of losing him. However, as you can see, it’s actually that type of behavior that will cause you to lose someone.

If you honestly feel you’ve grown over the past year and have learned from your mistakes, you can then have a conversation about getting back together. Be sure to address all his “space” and “suffocation” issues.

If he doesn’t want to get back together, I would suggest you stop having sex with him, although you can continue to hang out. You then need to start dating other guys. Be sure to let him know you are doing this. If you still have a chance with him, he will eventually tell you he doesn’t want you to date others and wants to get back together!

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