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Dear John,

     My boyfriend broke up with me a few months ago but since then we've spent lots of time together. It is almost as if we are still a couple. We spent the holidays together and he looks after me when I need emotional support. He's bought me gifts and we even went on a romantic getaway together. Lately he's acted differently and won't accept my calls or messages at certain hours, especially in the evening. He says he doesn't want to talk to me anymore. I don't understand what's going on. We had a great understanding as friends and a great relationship when we were together. Please help me understand what happened?

Dumped Me Not

Dear Dumped Me Not
     It is hard to read a lover's motivation when we bring our own emotion to the reading; and it's even harder to see things we don't want to see. You may be in the dark, but from an outsider's vantage point, this one is pretty clear.

After your ex broke up with you, the pressure of being a couple was relieved and he wasn't opposed to hanging out and having sex. But you continued acting like a girlfriend, and he began acting like a boyfriend again. Considering his abrupt departure thereafter (not to mention his unwillingness to talk at certain hours), it is likely that he has found somebody new. He is now doing what he should have done in the first place: cut it off completely with you without leaving hope.

Becoming friends with benefits after a break up rarely works because the participants have different motivations and different desires. The breaker-upper is happy to have sex without commitment, but the jilted one secretly pines for reconciliation. At some point the lines become blurred.

It's time you see your situation with more focus. Consciously or not, your ex-boyfriend played with your emotions at a time when you were most vulnerable. He then showed his true colors by dumping you without explanation. His self-centeredness and disregard for your feelings are things better left behind.

The good news is you can now move passed this loser and shop for someone more worthy. And next time, if the store closes up, keep the merchandise locked away.

Thanks for playing,

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