As children, we don’t just learn from school books and lessons. We have an innate curiosity that makes us watch the way people interact. You may not realize it, but in your mind, you have cataloged impressions, from ever single interaction you’ve ever witnessed.
As a child, I quickly noticed that my parents didn’t interact with each other like my friends’ parents did.
Well, because I am adopted and my parents are significantly older than the parents of the kids in my classes. They grew up in another generation and, because they couldn’t have children together, interacted differently. They just weren’t overly affectionate with each other. Now, don’t get me wrong, they love each other very much. In fact, they still do to this day. It’s kind of cute. But, it isn’t the kind of love you see in movies or fairy tales, you know the kind of love everyone hopes for.
Now, I was a huge reader as a kid. In fact, I still am. I love books more than I like most people. One of my favorite books, when I was a kid, was “Great Expectations.”
Yeah I know, weird, but I was an odd kid. It worked out for me in the long run. The reason for this, was because it was like an anti-fairytale. It didn’t have a happy ending, and people manipulated each other, just like they I saw people do in real life every day.
Now, as children, most people aren’t taught this, but that curiosity… it leads us to pay attention to the world around us. Now, because kids are so caught up in phones and video games, it’s likely that they don’t see as much going on around them. But they for sure see the things going on at home.
My childhood was before it was considered normal to give kids cell phones at 6. (I won’t even go off on that tangent.) I got my first cellphone, a Nokia brick, at 16. That may date me a little bit, but… who cares?
So, anyways, I had to fill my time doing other things. So, I spent a lot of time watching people and drawing conclusions from their actions.
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Now, I was no Sherlock Holmes, I wasn’t making wild accusations all over the place. But, I would tell my mother that I noticed in church that a couple who usually sat close together were sitting with their children in between them. The only conclusion I could make from this is that either they were upset with each other or they were trying to keep a closer eye on their kids.
I would notice if this went on for a few weeks and I would notice if one or both of them happened to miss a service. From this, I could conclude that they were probably splitting up, and sure enough, I was almost always right.
And my mom would tell me that it was none of my business.
Although, the relationships we witness growing up can play a major role in how we see our own relationships as adults.
It takes a little effort to understand why you pushed your girlfriend away.
And, guess what!
Only you can figure that one out because only you know your situation.
I know… you’re probably thinking, well that’s lame, I wanted someone to just tell me the answers.
I feel your pain. But I have good news, I’ve made a list of the most popular reasons I’ve heard people give for pushing someone away. So if you aren’t sure of your reasons as to why you did, perhaps you can find some direction in these.
- I didn’t want repeat mistakes I’d made in the past.
- I didn’t want to repeat someone else’s mistakes.
- I imagined all the ways she could hurt me.
- I didn’t think I was good enough.
- I thought I could do better.
- It was too fast too soon.
- The relationship didn’t have a foundation.
- There was too much space between us already.
- I just don’t get women. She was so confusing. (my personal favorite, if you wanted to know)
The list can go on and on and on, but those are just the ones I hear a lot.
Let’s break them down a little so they’re more relatable.
Repeat Mistakes – Usually, a self-preservation move made as a response to the pain suffered from a past relationship. In my experience, this is usually triggered by something happening in the most recent relationship that reminds him of something that happened during his past relationship. For example, if in a past relationship, your previous girlfriend had a habit of nagging you about little things. Even, if that wasn’t the reason for the relationship turning to crap, it definitely was a part of the relationship that stuck in your mind. So, when your most recent ex-started nagging you about taking the trash out, you might have inadvertently related this recent relationship with an old one and assumed that it was headed in the same direction.
Someone Else’s Mistakes – Seeing other people’s relationships crash and burn can make anyone a little wary, especially if you have seen the fallout up close, like with parents, siblings or close friends. Witnessing the pain of heartache over my lifetime was enough to make me keep people at arm’s length for most of my college career, so I really do understand if this is where you are coming from.
Overwhelming Possibilities – If the future scares you a little bit, then this might have been a factor in your actions. I’ve found that this happens a lot with overthinkers. These tend to be people who tend to worry a lot about what MIGHT happen, not necessarily things that are likely to happen. They let the scary thoughts in their head overcome reason.
Self-Doubt – There is this perfect equilibrium that you don’t see in many couples these days. Where they see each other as partners rather than one being better than the other. So often things go one way or the other. In this case, he would get it in his head that she is somehow better that he will ever be, that he doesn’t deserve her. In this case, he would push her away because he thought she could do better than him.
Over-Confidence – This is the exact opposite of how self-doubt pans out. Basically, he sees her as not good enough. He pushes her away to make room for someone else. Sadly, with social media the way it is these days, we are constantly berated by other options. People telling us how great we look and how exciting our lives seem. Then there are always those messages from people checking to see “if you’re seeing anyone” or “if you’re happy in your relationship.” It’s easy to get the idea that you have other and possibly better options.
Too Fast, Too Soon – This is what happens when a couple started dating and he overinvested without realizing it. Suddenly, he realized that it had been 5 months and he got comfortable with her. He might actually have felt real feelings. To some people, no, to most people, that is a terrifying thing in the world. And fear can be the best motivator for rash decisions. And pushing someone away because you love them is, well, it’s usually a rash decision.
No Foundation – Any relationship, romantic or otherwise, has to be built on a solid foundation. A romantic relationship requires a foundation of trust and respect. Without these two pillars along with friendship are what keep a relationship balanced. If one of the three falls short, the relationship crumbles. Recognizing this, or feeling the effects of this would have anyone backing away slowly to avoid the fallout. It is a natural to want to avoid being hurt.
Growing Distance – Sometimes, a rift forms, even if it’s a little one. In this case, that rift grew to an overwhelming crevasse. That tiny rift can grow even if it was something that went unnoticed at first. If it is ignored and it grows into a crevasse, it can become impossible to repair. This happens a lot in longer relationships or relationships that have sustained a harsh blow, like a death or a history of cheating.
Overwhelmed by Confusion – I get it. Women are confusing, but then again, so is everyone else when they want the people around them to predetermine what it is that they want or need. But that’s where the one thing that every relationship guru, therapist, whatever you want to call them has preached since the dawn of time… communication. Too often do people find themselves avoiding communication with their partner for whatever reason, usually fear of being hurt.
Look at the relationship you were thinking of when you opened this article. Do any of these reasons sound familiar? Maybe a combination or a portion of one of one of them?
Whatever reason you had for pushing her away, only you can determine what it is and it will most certainly take the time to figure that out.
A lot of people skip this step when they start No Contact. They expect to just be able to say, “I’m sorry,” and go on with life. But you know what that will do.
Have you ever seen a little kid get in trouble for something, apologize, and then just do it again? Your ex is hurt right now, possibly even angry with you. How do you think she’ll respond to you just saying you’re sorry?
If you are expecting anything more than… this…
…then you should just prepare for disappointment.
There is no moving forward if you don’t sort out what got you to this point.
What better time to do that than during No Contact?
Understand Her Position
There is another thing you need to understand and that is her perspective. If you pushed her away and it is unlikely that you completely understand why you did it, is it not understandable that she is also in the dark on that matter?
Once you understand where she’s coming from, you can start to see why she might be irritated at you.
Whereas most people would advise you to explain yourself to her so that she can understand. But, the only way she can understand is if you understand and she has had time to move past being hurt or upset. That is why No Contact is so important.
Let me tell you about my first great love. I met him my freshman year in college. I was instantly taken with him. I fell for him and we were happy for a little over a year.suddenly he just… went missing. I couldn’t get ahold of him no matter how hard I tried. If I saw him, he wasn’t just mean… he was utterly cruel. I went through phases of hating and missing him for almost a year. Eventually, he came back into my life. He apologized. I was young and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
He joined the armed forces. A lot of things about him changed. So, when he came back and visited home a few years later and I had to be around him in a friendly setting. He pulled me aside and apologized, yet again. I accepted his apology while reminding myself that I would never ever let him close to my heart again like before. So, permanent friend zone.
To this day, he apologizes to me at least once every single time we talk, but because he hadn’t made any changes to his habits. If I had ever forgiven him to the point of loving him again, I am certain he would do it again, even today, ten years later.
He still gets the Doug Funny Treatment.
What Happens Next
After you manage to do both of these things, understanding why you pushed her away and understanding how it may have seemed from where she was standing, you can finish No Contact like a pro and then move on to the next step in the Ex Recovery Program… Texting.
Here are links to a few articles on successfully mastering No Contact.
Here’s the main article on making contact after No Contact.
Any movement forward can be followed from there, but none of it can be done properly without taking a personal survey of where you stand now and how you came to get here. In order to be successful, do what this article lays out for you before you move on the other steps. But, when you do, you have a steady support system here at EGR.
You’ve made it this far, let us be a part of your journey. Don’t be afraid to reach out with any questions you might have in the comments. We would love to help you get her back!