My ex and I broke up 2 months ago because she felt like I deserve more and I felt like she needs time and space to put her focus on the things she stresses out about. I miss her dearly and want her back. What do you recommend?

 

The two of you are so hyper-focused on what the other needs that neither of you knows how to identify your own needs. If it didn’t scream lesbian merge, I’d call it co-dependence. Though who knows – maybe it’s both.

You’re each exhibiting an attachment style called *Ambivalent Attachment Style, which is characterized by an uncanny ability to read a room, but like any strength, when dialed up too high, people with this attachment style can become preoccupied by concerns of how their partner feels, what their partner thinks and making projections about what they imagine their partner needs – to the point that they haven’t developed the ability to identify and articulate their own thoughts, feelings and needs.

What you need to do is take that superpower of yours and redirect it inward. Learn how to identify your own emotions. Then, increase your ability to explain why you feel the way you feel. You can do that by downloading an app made by Yale University called Mood Meter. I recommend you set up alerts to go off 3-5 times daily where the app will ask how you’re feeling, and it’ll give you an emotions chart that you can scroll through to expand your emotional vocabulary.

I want you to do this so you’ll be able to guide your partner on YOUR needs. Otherwise, the two of you will continue to do this codependent tango where neither of you knows what she wants but is quick to point out what she presumes the other wants.

Start there and let me know how you’re feeling in a few months.

*The Ambivalent Attachment Style is also sometimes referred to as Anxious Attachment Style, Preoccupied Attachment Style, or Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment Style. I don’t know why these theorists can’t decide on ONE term for each style, but they can’t.

PS: Want a cheat-sheet to see what each style means and how these traits show up in our relationships? Click here for the chart I give to my private clients.

Writer’s Demographics:
Gender: Female
Sexual Orientation: Lesbian