Dear Barb—In the Heat of the Moment

Dear Barb:

I am a guy in my early thirties.  My girlfriend and I had been living together for eight years until I ended it six months ago.  The problem is I did not want to end it, I just got angry and said it was over and that I was moving out.  A week later I found my own place.  We have been in communication almost daily since I left.  I want her back, but I don’t know how to change things.  I feel if I told her I didn’t really mean it, she would become even angrier and may not want to even be friends with me.  I have noticed that she has some new friends and seems to be especially close to one guy.  He seems like a nice enough guy, but I am still in love with my ex.  Do you think I should take a chance and tell her what I’m feeling in my heart, or should I move on and learn from this mistake?  I still feel the pain and loss as if it happened yesterday.  I need some advice.  Thanks, John.

Hi John:

Thanks for your email and so sorry you are going through this challenging time.  Breakups are always hard, especially when they result from an emotional outburst that was not meant.  It would have been much easier if you had tried to rectify the situation earlier.  Six months is a long time and obviously, your ex has been able to move forward with her life, but you have not.  My feeling is that you should have a heart-to-heart talk with her about how you feel.  It is hard to know how she will take it.  She may be happy, or she may be angry and hurt.  The fact that she has another person who is interested in her may color her response.  It is very sad when people react with such intense emotion that it messes up their lives.  If you choose the other option to move on, you will always wonder what would have happened if you had told her how you feel.  Whatever you decide to do, I believe you would benefit from some counseling to learn how to manage your emotions.  Following are a few tips to help with your emotions.

To begin you need to acknowledge your feelings, that way you will be able to understand if you are overreacting to a situation.  By doing this, you will learn to control your reactions before they escalate.  It is important not to make a life decision while you are under stress or anxiety due to lack of sleep, illness, or financial hardship.  Wait until you are in a good place with your life and have taken the time to think clearly about your decision.  As well, self-care is essential for your well-being, go for walks, cycle, or swim.  Physical activities as well as meditation will help to clear your mind and help you stay centered.  These are all things you can do no matter what you choose to do about your current situation.  Hope I have been helpful.  Best of luck in the future John.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.