Is it always good to burn your bridges?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2004
Is it always good to burn your bridges?
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 12:13am

I've always had the tendency to "burn my bridges" with people who I either don't like as people or who have hurt me on some way. This usually occurs with friends not so much with ex-boyfriends. But lately I've tended to stop doing this so much and do the reverse. That is, if a friendship is getting on my nerves or I find out something about the person I don't agree with then I distance myself now instead of completely cutting all contact with them. And now I cut contact with exes b/c well it makes more sense.

For example, I was friends with this girl for 6 years and thought I knew enough about her. Well apparently I didn't. We made the mistake of living together and I found out how much of an annoying spoiled brat she is. Plus I heard her talking about me to her sorority friends while I was in the next room which screamed of immaturity to me. I moved out two months ago b/c I lost my job and well she was getting on my nerves so I moved back in with my parents. We haven't spoken for the past almost month and I'm honestly fine with that and it seems she is as well. She hasn't made the effort to speak to me. Usually in this type of situation I would have told her off and blocked her on social media sites as well as deleting her number from my phone and all of that b/c my thought was always I don't wanna deal with drama. But maybe I'm maturing or something but I didn't make a scene when I left instead we calmly talked things over and we went our separate ways. I don't know that we'll ever be as good as friends as we used to be but right now I'm not worried about it.

Then there comes the ex issue. So my last ex and I broke up 2 years ago this month. We were really close and for the longest time after the break up we talked about things that we probably shouldn't have continued to talk about. It was pretty confusing between us. I deleted him once from FB and avoided speaking to him in anyway for a few weeks after our break up. Then we tried being actual friends after that time but that didn't happen. It was still weird between us. On New Years of this year, he told me that his new year's resolution was to stop doing something that he hated going back to but he hated to leave. It left me and my friends thinking he was referring to me which proved to be true b/c he stopped talking to me and when I would say something to him it was always very short and terse almost rude. We were living on either side of the country which is why we broke up in the first place. I left him alone for a few months until I found out through a mutual friend that he was moving away to southeast asia... I was so shocked by this. I asked him about it and again with the short terseness. He moved there and then I moved in with the friend that I mentioned above. I was moving to a new city as well.

Over the summer he messaged me asking how things were going for me but once he started acting nice it was as if he realized something and would stop and go back to his short and almost rude responses. I was getting tired of this weirdness. So when I lost my job and had more time on my hands I did some soul searching if you will and realized that even though I had convinced myself that I was over him I realized I really wasn't so I cut contact with him completely. A little while later I moved back home and ironically so did he. We didn't talk for a few months there. Then all of the sudden I started to apply to a bunch of places and realized that a lot of things were pointing me to his city. I was really hesitant to apply to there but my family and friends all told me well you never know maybe that's where you're supposed to end up. The more I learn about it up there the more I like it. Before we broke up he tried to convince me to move up there with him but I couldn't b/c I had just been accepted into a program at my university and it would be difficult to apply to somewhere completely new and start over again. But now I feel like almost every day something new pops up that keeps pointing me to living up there.

First of all, as a pagan I always look for places that are more pagan friendly which is why I moved recently to the city that I did [Boston and was going to be living in Salem, MA] but I soon realized it was way to gimmicky to be like a pagan community that I would feel comfortable with. Salem is fun on Halloween and as a tourist trap but not to live. And after doing a bit of research on the topic I find that Minneapolis [where my ex lives] has the biggest pagan community in the US. One of my favorite book publishers of pagan books is headquartered out of there also which I applied and spoke to HR about positions [they aren't hiring right now unfortunately]. Then comes the artsiness of the city which is one thing that he tried convincing me on to move there b/c I have a degree in photography now. MN is very supportive of the arts as I've found out recently through a documentary that was aired on PBS. Then as someone who has grown up being an airline child meaning my dad has worked in the airline industry for over 30 years we moved around quite a bit. From NYC to Memphis and then to Atlanta. He worked for Northwest Airlines which had a main hub in MN and before we moved to Atlanta my dad was offered a job in Minneapolis which he didn't take b/c he hates the cold so we moved to Atlanta. But now that Northwest was bought out by Delta things have changed. My dad recently convinced me to try working for Delta in any position so that I can after a few months to a year get a job in my field with them as they mostly post those types of jobs internally. So I applied and a week later I received a call from their HR and we talked for a while. The HR lady practically told me I was hired but I would need to fill out some things online and that they would be in touch for training. Now there's a possibility that I may end up in Minneapolis.

I had messaged my ex a few weeks ago saying that I had applied to the pagan book publisher up there and that it would be nice to atleast know someone in the area. He responded and wished me luck and what not. I tried adding him on FB again but he never accepted which I thought was odd in a way. One of my friends asked him one day when they were hanging out why he hadn't added me on yet and he said he just needed some time to think about it. I'm not sure what that means exactly and she didn't either so she just let it slide.

So now I'm a little confused on what to do here. There is a slight possibility that I'll end up moving there but of course it's not 100% sure. And it's always good to have someone near that you know so that they can get you started practically in the new city but he doesn't seem to want to be a friend. Which I guess is fine, I can be in a new place and make new friends I'm not afraid of that. But after some time of thinking about things, I feel as though I still am not over him. I feel like I've tried everything to get over him. Cutting contact with him is what people always say is the cure to getting over someone and I have done this in the past with wonderful results of forgetting someone within a few months time. I've tried following through with other guy interests. I've even tried the whole closure bit of asking him all the questions I've ever had about us so I won't have anymore in my head. Now the only thing I can figure is that maybe I'm living through memories here and since I haven't seen him in person for 2 years perhaps if I see him again I can realize we are different people now and I can finally let the past go. But then of course what if I move up there? It is possible to avoid people of course... I don't know... now I feel like I'm rambling and not making sense.

Sorry this is long but any sound advice would be much appreciated here! Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2008
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 7:15am
Wonderful to have you on the board, hefinca85!!!!

I feel that it's hard for you to get over your ex because your heart is not ready to FULLY let him go. I know it is made up in your mind to let him go but your heart could be holding on to that bit of hope of you two getting back together. At times, it will seem like all of our plans are destined to take place in a particular place whereas other times it is just a matter of coincidence. I don't think you should attempt to further the relationship because you have a lot going on in life. Also, it seems like he is perfectly fine with the two of you being civil.

Have you dated anyone else since this relationship?

Hope to hear from you soon:)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2004
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 1:55pm

I'm a little surprised someone actually responded haha... I thought it might be too long for people to get through. But thanks for taking the time to do that.

Yeah I get frustrated with the fact that I haven't let this go yet and I've tried moving on with my life by moving to a new city and starting a new life for myself. I've tried putting it all behind me. This morning I had a talk with my mom and she said that it seems that whenever I end up with nothing really concrete going on with my life I tend to go back to thinking about him. Which I find to be true. Right now all I have is a part time retail job and not really any close friends around me at the moment. My only close friends are all far away. I've never felt much connection to Atlanta so it's hard for me to feel at home. I used to use Meetup in Boston to become involved in groups and I was meeting people that way. But now after moving back and trying that route here the groups here are not really at all what I would want to get into. It's either Christian related groups such as bible study and Christian singles and then Black sisters groups [which I'm not being racist here] but I know I will not fit in there as I am white/Hispanic. Then there's couples groups and that's all I've really found through Meetup for the area. I know I need to meet new people and get out there more but it's hard when I have no idea how to do that here in Atlanta. My family tends to think I put a block for myself when I'm here without even realizing it b/c it's easier for me to meet people when I'm away from here.

But to answer your question, I haven't really dated since we broke up. I've flirted around with guys and have had some interests but nothing ever goes anywhere really. I know that would help me a lot if I could find someone who really struck my fancy but I haven't found anyone yet that really does it for me. One of my good friends is coming here for two months for the holidays and she keeps telling me she's going to introduce me to some of her guy friends and that we're going to do a lot of stuff together when she's here. Which I'm happy about and look forward to it a lot. The friends that I do have here are work friends and they're much older than me as in 30-40 years older than me. I have fun with them at work but yah know it's not the same as having friends at your age.

I'm just looking for something to really make me feel at home again. Again I don't know that I'll end up moving up to MN but it's definitely becoming more attractive to me and I've come to wonder if it does have something to do with the fact he is up there or if I really like it. And I think it is my own personal interest mostly. I've decided that if I do end up having an interview up there or even pontentially move up there I won't contact him. I've decided to just completely not talk to him ever again. It's been a month already since I spoke to him last and I've spent up to 4-5 months this past year not speaking to him so I'm pretty sure I can do that again. Hopefully that'll give me enough time to find someone new.

This morning when I was talking to my mom she was telling me that from what she could tell my ex is one of those guys who has a hard time committing to someone or something and that's just something he needs to figure out on his own and there's potential for him to come around once again. But right now he's keeping me at a distance b/c he feels like he needs to live his life first. When we were together he hinted around at marriage to me b/c I've been the only girlfriend of his to meet his parents. He told me that he didn't ever plan on introducing a girl to his parents unless he planned to marry her. He talked to me about what he wanted his bride to look like and he joked around at how I would like to be proposed to. I also had a pregnancy scare with him and it was as if after that happened he freaked out on me even though he says that wasn't it at all. I think he does just need to figure out what he wants which I mean I do too. I would like to feel more stable in my career and feel comfortable with my living situation before I can actually settle down with someone. Sometimes I feel like what we had was really great but it just wasn't the right time for us.

I really just need to focus on what's good for me and keep myself distracted which I haven't really done much of b/c I have nothing around here to really keep me distracted other than work and family. Hopefully things will improve soon!