Michele O'Mara

Why Can't I Tell My Ex to F-Off ?

Filed By Michele O'Mara | August 31, 2010 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: boundaries, break-ups, saying goodbye

fuck-off-soup.jpgI try my best to stay on good terms with my exes. I wouldn't say we always end up friends but we can at least see each other and have a decent conversation.

However, it's different with one person. She's my first love, she's with someone else. And lots of things used to eat at me about them, about us but now she just frustrates me. I want to tell her to get the fuck out of my life and that I get opportunities too, I just choke every time.

It's been this way for years. It started when we were together, and I eventually came to the conclusion that I didn't want to tell her to fuck off because I was so in love with her.

But now we're not together. It's so simple for me to just say fuck you and fuck off, but I don't, I just stay there letting shit come up until I eventually get frustrated and I'm the one who ends up sad. Why is it that after being so strong before and so able to just tell my significant others in past relationships "This isn't working, get away from me" I seem to be stuck? Why can't I find the strength and motivation to just tell her to leave me alone?

Dear F-Bomber,

Your question starts with "I try my best to stay on good terms with my ex's" and it ends with "Why can't I find the strength to tell her to leave me alone?" And all I can discern from the middle of your question is that you are still in love with her.

Relationships with exes are complicated. And if you are still in love with her (which it seems you are) then your "frustration" is probably more about unresolved sadness and hurt than it is about anger or irritation. Perhaps the struggle to tell her to leave you alone is because you simply don't want her to leave you alone.

First loves are unparalleled. Most of us remember all too well our first loves. Rarely, however, do we end up with them. There are, of course, some exceptions.

When it comes to lesbians and exes, things can get complicated. My rule of thumb is that couples need to separate for 90 days - having little to no contact after a break up and then resume contact from a new perspective, as two people who have been spending time living life apart. The separation allows you the space to create an identity outside of your relationship. The break gives you a chance to heal from the pain. It also gives you a chance to get out of habits you've formed as a couple - like calling her "honey," or touching her affectionately. These habits can be very difficult to break and lead to poor boundaries as friends, sending mixed messages.

If you take a 90 day break and still feel a strong desire for more than friendship, then it is probably in your best interest to not spend time with your ex because it will most likely fuel your thoughts and fantasies of reunifying. This is okay if she reciprocates the feeling, but often that is not the case.

So when it comes to saying "F off," my suggestion is that you start with a request for a 90 day break. Have no contact, at all, and see how that feels. Once the 90 days are up, assess how you are feeling and consider contacting her for a friendship. Consider your motivation for having this friendship and be sure your friendship is not a cover for your deep desire to get back together. These hidden agendas and hopes can cause a lot of emotional turmoil and lead to reactions that seem disproportionate to the situation.


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I wish 90 days was enough for me. It always takes me years to get over exes. I’m also super sensitive, shy, and break easily during break-ups.

Good luck with your quest to move on. I encourage you to completely sever ties with your ex. So many times I see women make themselves more miserable trying to 'play it cool' or act overly mature because they are trying to prove something. I wonder who and what they are trying to prove. Are they trying to prove that they can continue to make themselves miserable even outside of the relationship?

My thought is that there's a reason it didn't work out, so let it go. The only times I would consider remaining friends with my ex is if we were truly good friends before we got together.

I say go for it. Tell your ex to F off. It will feel really good and empowering.

Boundaries are needed, indeed. This person doesn't explain much about her problem, but that much is clear.

I've come to accept that there's certain people I will never, ever get over. If I love somebody it can be hard for me to stop, unless they go to an extreme and do me wrong. The only solution is distance.

I wish it was that easy for me as well. My "ex", or girl I dated and fell head over heels for, well, we work together..I dont get a break from her. I've had to learn to somehow distance myself from her emotionally while continuing to work. And we work close together. We HAVE to be able to get along. And I tell ya, it's so hard for me. I have alot of unresolved anger and frustration...more so because I feel rejected and toyed with and unsure of her intentions from the get go. Anyhoo, doesnt matter now, we have both moved on, but for me, I dont think i will ever be able to get over her...I'm totally in love with her and wish I could turn it off. I'd like to tell her to f'off, but what would be the point? It would just create a worse, already awkward work environment. Sucks.

Interesting topic. I found that releasing the possessiveness and loving my ex was challenging. It truly worked when I understood that I needed to embrace what was best for my ex and accept the reality that it wasn't me that was best for my ex. That is difficult but the benefits emotionally for both of us have been great.

I have been suffering in love with my ex for 7 years and enough already. I need a help group, or person. Please help me. Thx Chris