Is he trying to manipulate me?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
Ok this is going to be long but I feel like I got to start at the beginning of the end to give a proper explanation of the situation. Here it goes:

Almost 2 months ago I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years. We had been fighting for a couple months and constantly for the month we broke up. Our sex life was extremely poor. To the point of him rejecting me almost on a daily basis. We hadnt had intimate contact for almost 3 months prior to the break up. Well the day we broke up he had lied to me about some pety stupid things (he's done it our entire relationship) and it just was the last straw and I broke it off. Well I love him dearly and I truly regreted my decision once I calmed down and was thinking clearer. I called him and told him that I was sorry and basically groveled and begged for him to take me back. He said he didnt think he could ever forgive me and that he needed time. That he loved me but that he wanted space. So I tried to give it to him. I talked to him a little bit everyday. I had keys to his house so when he was at work (with his permission) I dropped them off along with a letter I wrote pouring out my heart. He messaged me on aim later saying that he really appreciated the letter and that he still loved me. Well we decided to meet for breakfast saturday morning. He calls late late friday night and says he cant meet me *insert lame excuse here* so i end up driving over his house, making a huge a** of myself and he doesnt want anything to do with me. So I leave. Well then he proceeds in the following days to tell me I am his best friend and he doesnt want to lose me in his life ect. He tells me on that following Monday night that he met someone on friday and kissed her (I presume why he didnt want to see me then). I was really upset and he just kept saying he didnt want me to hate him and that he loved me but it was different now. So I figured ok thats it, he doesnt want me anymore right?

Well...thats what I thought. I tried being "friends" wasnt working so well for my emotional stability. So I implemented no contact. Well I told him that following thursday that I thought it was best if we didnt talk for awhile until I could let him go. Well he flips out saying he doesnt want to not talk to me, im his best friend, that i dont need time ect ect. I go ahead with NC anyway. Didnt last long he starts sending me messages saying he doesnt hate me and stuff on saturday. And I broke down and started talkin to him.

I should also mention during every conversation he flirts with me mercilessly. So I have to drop some stuff off at his house of his while im on my way out that evening. He flirts with me some more, and then comments on looking at my butt. And says thats what guys do when their attracted to a girl. Then says some comments about if I came inside I might try and kiss him and if I did he didnt know if he could be the bigger person and stop me. So we chat for a bit and then I leave. He txt msgs me later that night saying hes sad cause him and the other girl broke it off. I told him I was sorry to hear that.

He also asks me about any guys im talking to, who im going out with, where im going, how im doing ect. When I ask him why does he care, he says he cares about me as a friend and that he's not jealous of these guys. I said ok. What else was there to say?

Well 4 nights after I seen him he starts dating this 18 yr old girl (hes 24) they've now been together about 2 weeks. I've seen him once since he started dating her. He introduced her to me because it was his birthday and I had bought him a gift. Of course he doesnt tell me shes there. But at this point I know their dating and have been good in letting go of any emotional feelings. So shes there I say hello and im really friendly (I handled it well) she leaves, I give him is gift talk and hang for a little while and then I leave. So I decide its best after that if I just try and not talk to him that much. Not so much NC as less. (we used to talk every day before that) well I went about a week and he sends me an IM, asking me lots of questions and then tries to get me to ask him questions about his new girl. Im not interested so I dont ask.

I dont look at his myspace or facebook anymore but I've been told he put up pictures of him and his new gf and he says "I love you" after 2 weeks...we also work together but i havent been on the same location for a couple months so I go back to working with (them both) in a couple more weeks. He asked me if it wasnt going to be awkward for me. and i said no i could care less.

It's hard to say exactly all the things hes done to make me think hes still interested but its not in the words, its in the actions and how he says things. Hes said that maybe we'll be together in the future and that he still cares about me. But he also tries to rub how happy he is in my face. Almost like hes trying to prove to me that hes happier now.

I just want to figure out whats going on. I think im almost completely over him. But then he says more subtle little comments and its like im back to being the pathetic girl that was begging for him to take me back all over again. But i'm doing well with the whole give him space, act perfectly fine, go out, meet people...I guess I'm doing everything I should be doing. He's just running me in circles. Is he just trying to keep me on the back burner? Or keep me as a safety net? I want to be his friend, really I do. But i cant if he keeps flirting with me and giving me fractions of hope that he still cares. I dont know what to think! Advice
I think you are right that he is either keeping you on the back burner or as a safety net.

Tell him that you want to be his friend but that it isn't working because he keeps flirting with you and that makes you think he still cares. This won't be easy to say to him (maybe), but it should solve the problem.

Good luck! George

-- from George
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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