Need advice (yes, with a girl)


Well, I’ve tried to avoid this, but this time things are looking really grim. I think I’d better post this before I gather enough composure not do it, but instead suffer quietly and prolong this.

Some of you may have heard about my struggles with thoughts about my ex-girlfriend. A couple of times I’ve thought I’ve been over her and over it, but this isn’t so.

Basically, whenever I get closer with a girl - and by this I mean acquainting a little, don’t know, some playful chatter (maybe a little flirtacious sometimes), or a feeling of friendship, I begin to think of my ex-girlfriend sooner or later. It feels like no matter what I do, I can’t free myself. It’s as if it were a certain bond of loyalty or I don’t know what.

That I don’t want to involve myself with anyone, knowing I won’t have anything like I had with her any time soon and until then I will mostly see I don’t have a similarly close relationship, is not so much of a problem. I really should stay single for a while, I think.

The problem is, I still think of her, miss her, regard her as someone close. I used to pray a rosary a day for her, which I did until perhaps some two months ago, then less often, recently, regrattably, just every couple of days if at all. I still prayed for her in my normal prayers, but that’s it. Anyway. I knew she had filed for a scholarship in my country (a little bit more than 600 miles away, both in Europe), because she did when I was visiting her, but I didn’t know if she had been accepted and she wouldn’t have told me, either, since we haven’t exchanged a word online or otherwise for about two months.

I remember when we were breaking up (her decision), she said she still wanted to meet in real life, she would come to my country no matter what and so on. Well, today I asked her to let me know if she would like me to show her around, if she would be coming. She said something like, “Hello. Yes, they’ve accepted me, but I’d rather we didn’t meet at all. Hope you understand. Greets.”

It didn’t really sound protective or defensive, but rather some kind of hostile. I don’t understand where those emotions are coming from. Several months ago she said the break-up was almost uniformly a positive event for her, but she was some kind of friendly.

Before, while first she said she still loved me, later she started changing on that, telling me she only loved me as a friend or brother or something like that, that the feeling of being in love had never been strong, and so on. I was surprised actually, and it didn’t really ring true, remembering the way she acted when we were still together. It’s possible she has changed her mind on wanting to see me the same way she changed her mind on loving me, but on the other hand, if she’s coming anyway, and not coming here for me, there must be something emotional preventing her from seeing me. She can’t really say she’s so unaffected.

As for some more background info, we haven’t talked online for at least two months now (and rarely before), the break-up happened in February, it was devastating for me (still is), while she claimed not to be affected much. She supposedly felt better and as I said, the feelings were not strong in her case, according to her. Recently, I’ve been questioning myself on forgetting or being too tired - or preoccupied with work or play (more often the latter, alas) to say my rosary for her. It felt a bit as if she needed my prayer, although I make no pretence to know such things.

At any rate, I’m going to church now and hopefully I won’t decompose tonight or this weekend, since I need to finish my thesis by Tuesday evening. Just can’t allow myself to get emotional and live this through, but I don’t know what I’m going to do with this pain, how I’m going to survive the weekend, what I’m going to do in this situation.


The girl herself, since you may want to know, is an agnostic, born Catholic, she went to Communion and I think Confirmation as well. During the break-up she said she didn’t like the way she was Catholicising with me (well, yeah, she seemed to be becoming more Catholic), she mentioned problems with our differences, as in she had a problem with the fact I wouldn’t go dancing with her in Lent, or have children eat meat on Friday (still a part of discipline in my country), that I wouldn’t like her giving the pill to a future daughter, that I wouldn’t be accepting of premarital sex or gay relationships, some other problems with Catholic sexual ethics she wouldn’t listen to explanations of, plus, she didn’t know if she would want to have children and didn’t want to make a binding promise. I was hoping to stay with her and work it out, although it was hard, but she decided to break up on 2nd Feb. After that, things changed and you know the way they did.

So, I’m wondering what made the change. She denies being hurt by me and according to what she said, she doesn’t think the imaginary account is uneven or anything like that. So I don’t understand why she doesn’t want to meet like that. The cold and unfriendly, “assertive” language is hurting me as well. I should probably either take it at face value without thinking about it much, but I can’t really. And I can’t really conclude that she’s being selfish, either. There are just so many things I don’t understand. I vaguely recall she might have felt judged and she expressed the feeling (near breaking up) there were more and more expectations she couldn’t live up to, which was making her feel bad. She was tired of our “fights” (sometimes bitter discussions), was hurt some time before the break-up by something I told her (I told she would have to decide about her values on her own rather than having it done by other people), calling it the last blow or something like that, but there was a brief period in which she was happier and in the end she said she wasn’t hurt and she must have done some very bad things too. But it looks like there’s some hostility developing, more and more of it, while even in the early days after the break-up, she was friendly and she would come and talk about her day or pop up just to say good night. Later we truly stopped talking often, then talking at all, but I can’t explain this.

Care to share any thoughts on this situation?


You’re burning a candle for her. If she isn’t burning one for you then she is being kind by cutting off contact. Whatever you agree, you will still be fostering some vague hope of reconciliation.


It probably hurts just as much for her as it does for you and she doesn’t want to revive old emotions. Keep in mind, you invest so much in a relationship, so much of yourself, that when it ends, it can make things very difficult. Maybe she still loves you but is truly afraid to admit it? Maybe she’s just realizing this now, after thinking over the things you’ve said to each other?

I don’t know, this would be my guess on the situation. I’ll make sure to pray for you guys.


I think you’re lucky she’s gone. Your head tells you that, I’m sure. Your heart will eventually listen.

I don’t know her, but sometimes women will sit and think about things and get angrier after something is over when they’ve had time to think about it. Or she may have been hiding her anger at the time to make the split quicker and more peaceful.

Or maybe she feels guilty for hurting you and she’s now angry at you for making her feel guilty.

Or maybe none of the above. Which the point is, it doesn’t matter WHY she is behaving this way. It should just make it easier for you to let go of your previous image of her. Which may have been completely clouded over by infatuation and you didn’t see the original woman. The one you share few real enduring values with.

I’ve recommended the following before. Maybe it will help you too. (Hope you weren’t the one I recommended it to. If so, sorry.)

There’s a song we have here “Sometimes I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers.” It’s about a guy who runs into his old sweetheart years later and she’s not so wonderful anymore, and he thanks God that those prayers for her to become his wife were answered with a no, because he ended up with a much better woman.

Good luck. Focus on your thesis. That’s your future. This woman sounds like your past. Don’t take it personally. You can’t fix her issues. She doesn’t want them fixed.



Pray about it, pray that you do God’s will. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Maybe God is preparing you for a different relationship in the future. Stop focusing on what happened because especially in break-ups it is hard to know what actually happened. Emotions get mixed in with the logic and perceptions change. Move on to a new part of your life. Prayer is wonderful but it sounds like you need it more than her (As you said, not that we precede to know those things at all). Focus on other aspects of your life and other important people. Make friends. It takes time to move from such strong emotions for one person to strong emotions for another right away. Don’t worry about it. God knows how to do these things. Let him guide you. I will be praying for you.

God Bless;)


I can second this as a possibility, as I’ve been there. I split up with a fiance (for things that he was doing, basically a complete abdication of adult responsibility and the assumption that I would be happy to mother him while he “found himself”) and although we parted amicably on the surface, I did end up resisting all efforts to stay in touch, and would not wish to be in contact with him now, after several years. That is my past, I have moved on for valid reasons, I hope he has done the same, and I don’t see any point in attempting to have any kind of relationship. I was hurt badly, suffered much humiliation, and enough was enough.

It sounds as though the two of you have vastly different outlooks on life. You could not happily marry and raise Catholic children with someone who views life, marriage, and parenthood that way and resists all attempts to change. Perhaps she felt forced into conversion which IMO is not healthy for any adult and which would explain her anger. It needs to be her decision. You are indeed better off, and the past is the past. Let it go.


February was only 5 months ago - give yourself some additional time to get over this loss as it meant so much to you.

In time, hopefully, prayerfully, you will feel more like opening up to others and perhaps by then the thought of your old girlfriend will not keep you from moving on - but moving on you must.

Continue praying, continuing going out with other friends, make an effort to open up and just be yourself. Soon, I suspect someone else will catch on to your charm and you will be blessed. Good luck.


If you had moved on and were now involved in a wonderful relationship would you have contacted her and offered to show her around town. My guess is the answer is no.

You still carry this hope that if you spend time together you may be able to rekindle things. I would bet she knows this and that is why she was abrupt with you. She’s making the point that she is not interested and does not want to lead you on in any way, shape or form. She doesn’t want to see because it is over for her. She’s making a clean break.

As painful as it is and I know that it is, you need to accept that there is no future with this woman. You can’t make her love you, you can’t convince her to change her ideas that are against the faith -you can’t make her into who wish she could be.

You need to stop looking for the tiniest of reasons why she still may be emotionally invested in the relationship. She wants to move on and you need to let her.

Take the time to let your heart heal. The longer you hold out hope, the longer you relive eveything in your mind -the good memories as well as banging your head against the wall about what went wrong the longer the healing is going to take.

You really, really need to believe her when she says it over and let her go.


Thank you for prayers, kind words, advice (I wanted to address everyone, but the post came out too long :(). Yes, I suppose I’ve done a fair share of idealising her, although it’s not like I don’t see flaws. Or she in me. We were getting along well, it was those fights… well, it looked like we had so much we wanted to have even more. I honestly don’t know where I’ll find such a good girl or relationship. Probably shouldn’t have tried “improving” it. Well, she too, I guess.

I wasn’t forcing her to convert, it was more like “happening” to her around me. She got to declare some independence from friends and question some things. She developed a bit more absolutist view on matters philosophical and moral after realising all those exceptions provided-for were in fact empty. Anyway, she was in pain from the very idea I wouldn’t go out with her because of a religious fast (it was worse than laziness when I asked), and had a big problem with the idea of specifically-Friday and specifically-meat, for instance. Then was the problem of what to teach the kids (future ones). And some other things I don’t probably need to enumerate. I respect her too much to go on making a list. :wink:

What hurts is it feels like I’m shunned. You know, criminal, pariah, untouchable. Part of it is “The Catholic”, which is my due, part is probably rightfully earned (which hurts), part just hurts. Sometimes I wonder if it could have worked out, and I still feel responsible with her and can’t get rid of the thought we’re still intertwined somehow. Like the story isn’t over yet with us two (I’ve only really been wrong in such a thing just once, if at all, I think). I have a problem with those prayer-related feelings, too. Just in case, I do pray for her these days, well, the way I did before, that is the rosary again. Suppose she might have had with me what SeekerJen had with her fiance - too much humiliation or pain or what-it-was. Also hurts. Especially if we were best friends and we so hoped it would work out. She was a very good girl, kind and loving. Well, not beyond selfishness, but neither am I, and she was very reasonable, don’t know, rational maybe, contrary to what you may expect from people these days. Would hate to judge her in terms of “worthy” or “good enough”. Any girl has better things to define herself by than being “worthy” of me. :wink:

I probably shouldn’t complain so much if I actually wanted it to be without suffering for her, as much as possible, given she decided to split up. I should probably focus on my life for now, as I don’t want to end up comparing anyone to her, or judging people as good enough or not good enough in the light of the past. Certainly don’t want to hook up with just any girl. And I suppose I ought to be careful about talking too much or being too relaxed… wouldn’t like anyone to fall for me in my current state.


I’m sorry you are hurting so much. I really am. Some people just take longer to get over things than others. It took me two years to get over a ‘relationship’ that probably only existed from my perspective.

About the only thing I can offer is that somethings there can be two wonderful people who admire each other greatly but just aren’t a match.

It seems like your former girlfriend had come to the conclusion that she would have to be a different person from that which she perceived herself to be if she was to be comfortable around you. You two obviously held different views about Catholicism and it’s just the nature of some of those differences that if one of you is right then the other must be wrong. Women generally have an incredibly great need for their men to approve of them. (It’s just the way we are wired, whether we like it or not.)

But you really couldn’t and still can’t approve of her views on Faith. What you think of her views is probably a lot more important to her than you realized because they constitute a judgment of her. I think you need to acknowledge that you have been judging her, however rightly so that might be.

I think that you just have to get out and meet other women. Keep it on a friendship level for a while. You hopefully don’t measure your new male acquaintances against her; for now, at least, treat any new female companions the same way.



I feel so bad for you…your words and emotions sound just like what I went through.

I think what you have to face is that she did not love you…enough the way a woman should love a husband. She probably loved you some, and I think it is entirely possible to love someone some but not be in love with them the way a woman should love the man who is her husband.

It was so hard when I had to face this fact with the man I dated. I thought he loved me. I went over and over and over and over in my mind about the nice things he said and the way he treated me and could give you 1000’s of examples of why I thought he truely loved me but the fact is he left me so he really didn’t.

When people are madly in love the things you brought up do not make a difference. I know people who got married who practice different religions and are from different economic backgrounds…other people who are vastly different in age or beleifs…sometimes you can actually try and talk to these people and try and talk them out of marriage! It cannot be done when someone is head-over-heels! Beleive me, there are many parents who have talked themselves blue in the face trying to talk their child out of making a decision they thought would be unwise and it is hard to do.

For example: you said that she “talked herself out of being in love with you”. I am sorry to be mean but this is impossible. Could you “talk yourself” out of being in love with her? I bet you wish you could but it is impossible.

This was the hardest thing for me to face with my boyfriend because of my pride. I thought for sure he HAD to have loved me. All the things he said, did and we were so close. To admit that I spent over two years with a man who never even loved me made me feel like a total fool. This is why I kept making excuses for him like “he is scared”,“we got too close, too soon”, “he is afraid of committment”, “he is emotionally not ready”. This way I could put the blame on him because he was going through an emotional time…I did not have to admit I was a desperate woman chasing down a man who did not want to spend his life with her.

Please pray the rosary instead for your future wife. I am married now to a wonderful man and thank God I avoided the horrible marriage that would have been had I married a man who never really loved me, at least not deeply loved me the way a man should love a wife. I think he cared but that’s all.

Also, consider reading the book “how to survive the loss of a love” it really helped me (non-christian/non-religious but helpful). I will pray for you, this is no way for you to live.



I feel like im gonig thru the same exact situation, esp the part about anytime getting closer to someone else you think of your ex. We have been broken up for about exactly a year and i totaly know what your going thru. She called me last week to tell me shes getting married. At first i wanted to die but somehow its kinda given me closuer. Letting go can often harder than the actual breakup. Some Therapist say it takes 2-3 yrs to truly get over someone you love. My advice is hang in there, there well be good days and bad days, but someday you will find the girl your ment to be with. just be strong and keep praying.

goodluck and godbless.


From a male point of view:

Jettison the emotional baggage and consider yourself fortunate that it ended now instead of causing problems in the future if you had married her, because I do guarantee that in her current state there would be problems of the type you stated.


Thank you, all. It’s been a while. Those things aren’t really gone, but I’m a lot more emotionally collected - those recent days have been really bad. I still can’t get rid of the migraines and muscle tension, but I’ve got a whole new breath and all. It doesn’t seem to weigh on me so much. Went to Confession and Communion today, that also helped a lot. As of now, well, I don’t feel the same as just after leaving church, but I’ll do. I should be able to finish the thesis before tomorrow and that will be a new gust of fresh air as well. It was really hard even today morning. I actually had a dream of her that night. Then I went to get some flowers for my grannie’s birthday and guess what king of flashbacks I got. :rolleyes: Anyway, now is better and wonder what next.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit