Why did she start doing X on social media?

I received an email from a reader and would like to take the time to respond.

I will comment inline as I think that will give us all the most insights.

Subject: Please help me get my ex back
I hope this email finds you well.
I’m going through pain and sadness. I’m hurting. I’m heartbroken. I truly hope you’ll be able to show me the right direction. I don’t know what to do.
I was in a long distance relationship with this woman that I love so much. We were together for 3 years. I live in T. and she lives in I. Sadly, I left the relationship on March 21st of this year.

Long-distance relationships are incredibly tough. Physical intimacy tends to be the glue that holds a relationships together. You need a very strong foundation and stellar communication to pull it off. It’s not impossible, but I see them fail more often than I see them succeed.

Our relationship was going fine, but the past 1-2 months, she became cold and distant. Her phone calls/txts slowed down, her good morning/good evening messages stopped, giving me the silence mood and the hot/cold shoulder.

This is a common pattern. The relationships don’t tend to end abruptly. Sometimes it feels as if they ended abruptly, but it’s only when we’re in the thick of things and not able to see the bigger picture. With time, and distance from our ex, the bigger picture becomes more clear.

It messed up my mind trying to figure out what’s going on. I couldn’t eat, sleep and focus. My gut instinct started bugging me. At first, I couldn’t ask her what’s going on, as I didn’t want to come off insecure, weak, needy and clingy. But, one night on my way home from work, I emailed her a lengthy letter explaining how I feel about the situation, the signs that I’ve observed and that I’m hurting. I asked her in the letter what’s wrong, if there’s anything going on behind the scenes, telling her that my gut instinct bugs me. I emailed her because I thought healthy communication is the key. She texted me the next morning saying that everything is fine, you got nothing to worry about, nothing’s happening, life’s just busy overwhelming… I took her words for it, but she still continued to act the same. We also FaceTimed about it, but she still continued to act the same afterwards. She knew I was sad and hurting.

Another common pattern. Our gut speaks to us. Actions speak louder than words. What do her words say in this case? Her words tell us “everything is fine”, we’ve got nothing to worry about, it’s just life that’s overwhelming.

What do her actions say? Why is her initial reply to a heartfelt email a text the next morning? Her actions continue to send the same message: something IS wrong. That’s why this guy’s gut is giving him signals. Something ISN’T right, she’s just not telling him, but it can easily be understood if we discount her words and look at her actions.

In February, I told her that I’m planning to visit her in April. I live in T. and she lives in I. She didn’t seem excited. She was hesitating to go see her giving me various excuses with the work schedule. I was ready to book my ticket and was just waiting for the green light. She never said anything about my visit in April unless I brought it up which I did multiple times. She didn’t give me a chance to go see her in April.

Another red flag. If a woman is not clearing her schedule to see you, she’s not into you. This shouldn’t feel like a struggle. At the very least you should feel like she’s trying as hard as you are to find some time together. The fact that she isn’t is a major red flag.

Another thing to note here is the frame of mind Fred is in. He says “she didn’t give me a chance to go see her in April.” I understand that if you show initiative to meet her and she doesn’t free up time in her schedule, she’s not giving you a “chance” to see her — but that should probably also be the last straw.

At this point our partner is behaving distantly, denying anything is going on and refusing to meet with us. All her actions are communicating she doesn’t want to be with Fred and at this point Fred should trust his gut. If Fred valued himself he wouldn’t continue to let someone treat him like he’s not valuable.

She may have fallen out of love. There’s nothing wrong with that. It can happen. As I said, long-distance relationships are hard. I’m not pointing any fingers at her. All I’m saying is that at some point, even though you haven’t heard the exact words come from her mouth, the signs are on the wall. She’s not putting any effort in trying to be with you. You’re hurting yourself by continuing to pour love and energy into this relationship.

This is the point where you draw a line in the sand and you say something to the extent of:

“I care about you and I want to be with you, but only if those feelings are reciprocated. I don’t want to be in a relationship where I feel I’m investing more love and energy than the other person. Currently I’ve been getting that feeling and every time I try to talk about it, you tell me nothing is going on. If you’re not able to talk about this then I’m afraid that for me to continue to value myself I need to end this relationship.”

That’s scary. Of course you still love her, but you’re not going to put yourself through agony like this. You have too much respect for yourself to do that.

Let’s see what Fred says next.

I don’t have Instagram, but my friends told me that she has been posting flowers on her page. One time she posted flowers for Valentine’s Day and two times she posted flowers in March. My friends sent me the pictures. That was heartbreaking. Many things started crossing my mind: who’s sending her flowers, is she talking to someone else, is she seeing someone else, etc.

She also started using phrases such as: if it’s meant to be it will be, if it’s God’s willing. I feel she was throwing hints for our relationship. She’s never said such things before. We always used to talk about plans, living together, engagement, marriage, kids, traveling.

Okay so this is why we should draw a line in the sand earlier. This is a space we don’t want to be in. We don’t want to be over-analyzing her behavior on social media and trying to construct hypothetical scenarios in our minds.

Why was she posting pictures of flowers two times in March? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. You should block her on instagram and every other social media account you have. Better yet, go on a social media break.

The mistake Fred is making happens earlier. He’s not able to draw a line in the sand.

I was hurting, being sad, feeling lost, torturing myself trying to figure out what’s wrong, and on March 21st, I sent her a closure email explaining everything that I’m telling you in this email plus I attached the pictures of the flowers. She never replied back to my closure email. It’s been over a month that we haven’t talked/texted/FaceTimed.

Torturing is the right word here. A closure email is a good idea, but sending it to her is not strictly necessary. If you do, don’t write it in a way where you expect a reply. This will just set you up for disappointment and quite possibly a horrific emotional roller coaster if she does.

At this point, if it wasn’t clear already, it’s completely over and Fred should treat it as such.

I love her very much. I miss her so much. I walked out of the relationship with many unanswered questions. My dear, what do you think about the whole situation? Why she became cold and distant? Why she was hesitating to go visit her in April? What about the flowers? Who was sending her the flowers? Do you think someone else got her attention? Do you think she was talking to someone else while still being in relationship with me? Why she never replied back to my closure email? What truly happened? Why I lost her? Do you think I made the right decision to leave the relationship? What do I need to do at this point?

It’s very understandable that these questions grip you. Why did she become cold and distant? Why didn’t she want to meet with Fred? It’s very rare to get answers to these types of questions — and you shouldn’t aim to. At this point the closure you crave needs to come from yourself. You have enough evidence that she definitely does not want to be with you and definitely does not want to talk about it.

Although that’s not incredibly satisfying, those are enough reasons for you to draw a line in the sand.

I think you made the right decision to leave the relationship, but it also sounds like that decision was made for you.

The first thing you need to do is get rid of hope. The woman you picture in your mind, the woman you still love — that person no longer exists. She has shown repeatedly she does not want to be with you and did not want to talk about it. That doesn’t give you all the answers, but it is enough information to decide that you’re not going to pour any more energy into this.

You need to get rid of any sliver of hope you have that you will ever get back together. Anytime you catch yourself longing for her, loving her, wishing you could be close — remind yourself that she dropped so coldly and wasn’t even able to tell you.

If you can find some anger through that process — good, use it. Don’t dwell in anger, but if it can help you sever the attachment you have to this woman, all the better.

You will undoubtedly have unanswered questions. Put them in letter. Write it all out. Be as petty and as vindictive you can be. But don’t send it. This is about releasing emotional energy, not about sending any type of message.

Then, slowly but surely, start to carve out a new life for yourself, one that doesn’t revolve around her. What do you have in your life that has meaning? If you don’t have an answer, then perhaps reflect deeply on that.

I’m sharing this painful story with you in trust and confidence. Please walk me through this pain with your wisdom.
Thanks and God bless,
Fred