In a relationship or life jam? Send your questions to: [email protected] or reach me on Facebook.com/AskMindaHoney
Hey y’all! I recently created an anonymous form you can use to submit questions to my column. I’m going to answer a few of those this week and you can submit your own at:
Basically, is it possible for exes to get back together after years of separation?
Most folks will tell you this is more unlikely than it is possible. But hey, basically anything is possible.
When do you really move on after a breakup? It’s been more than a year since my four-plus-year relationship ended, and I’m in another happy relationship, but my ex still pops into my mind every now and then.
I’ve always heard that it takes half as long as you were with someone to move on from them. So, according to that logic you’ve still got a year and a half left to go. But depending on what kind of terms the relationship ended on, I don’t think it’s unlikely the person will pass through your mind on occasion. People randomly popping into your head just doesn’t mean that much, if you ask me. I occasionally think about random people. A person I had a class with. A cashier with cool glasses. An old friend of my mom’s. It doesn’t matter. The mind works in weird ways. Just mentally wish that ex well and get to thinking your next thought. It’s when you find yourself adding action to these moments — creeping on their social media or even sending them a text — that you should be concerned that you haven’t fully moved on.
I’ve got a big-time crush on an incredible woman who’s been burned a few times and doesn’t want to be in a relationship right now. We’ve been on a few dates and have great chemistry. I really, really like her, and I know she likes me, but I understand and respect her hesitancy to start something new. What’s the best way to take it slow, give her space, so as to not overwhelm her, but also stay relevant when she’s ready to be in a relationship?
—Ready When She Is
At first, I thought maybe the wrong person was writing into my column. Shouldn’t she be asking me how she can move past the trauma of her past relationship to potentially find joy with someone new? But I suppose your question is a fair one too.
I feel conflicted because if you’re truly respecting “her hesitancy to start something new,” then it kind of seems like you just have to move along to someone who can reciprocate your feelings. On the other hand, according to you, she likes you, and the timing just isn’t right. So, it seems like she’s open to friendship. But even just you saying, “Hey, let’s just be pals until you’re ready for more,” can put an immense amount of pressure on her to not feel like she’s keeping you waiting indefinitely and to also have to kick a new relationship into motion when that’s something she’s nervous about. So, what if you all establish a timeline?
You all can talk and decide that, for the next 90 days, you’ll be just friends and focus on getting to know each other. Decide what is and isn’t within her comfort zone. And in 90 days, you two have a check-in conversation about what happens next. This alleviates the pressure on her, keeps you from having to play the guessing game with your heart and allows her to trust that this isn’t some ploy on your part to trick her into something she’s explicitly stated she isn’t interested in right now.
If she’s coming off a series of bad relationships, regardless of how much chemistry you two have or how into you she might be, she’s not wrong for putting herself first. Re-centering yourself isn’t easy work, and it could be a testament to how much she cares about you that she’s unwilling to move forward with a relationship until she knows she’s really ready for another commitment.
This 90-day period is also an opportunity for you to make sure you’re really into her and can show someone like her the compassion and consideration they’d need to feel safe in a relationship. Who are you when the thrill of the chase is removed? Who are you when chemistry isn’t the entire relationship equation? Let’s find out.