In 1962, Neil Sedaka's single "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" spoke the truth about what happens when love ends. Leftover feelings of friendships and love often lead one ex-partner to the other, even when the other wishes for space. While being direct may feel mean, the breakup only becomes worse if you allow someone to take advantage of you. If an ex-boyfriend refuses to leave you alone, it's wise to confront him directly and explain your need for space instead of letting him continue to contact you.
Call your ex-boyfriend to set up a meeting. Before calling, set up the date on paper. Write down a place that is public and open, such as a busy park, casual restaurant or coffee shop. Avoid picking a place that you frequented together as a couple. You also want to choose a meeting location with a calm and quiet atmosphere.
Talk to your ex-boyfriend directly about meeting up when you call him. Stress that you want to meet him to discuss important matters between the two of you, rather than giving him the impression you just want to hang out for fun. Once he agrees to meet with you, arrange a convenient time during the day. If you pick a time at night, this can give the impression of a romantic date.
Meet up with your ex-boyfriend on the specified date. Speak directly to him in a kind tone, explaining that you want space from him. Tell him that you need a "no-contact" period of 30 or more days -- you decide the time limit -- to create closure after a break up.
Explain that during this time, neither of you is allowed to contact the other for any reason. Show him that this period of no contact is important to you. Use words such as, "If you care about me, then you agree with me to give each other space."
Pacify any arguments from him by listening first, then stating again that you want a no-contact period. While you understand why he still wants to hang around, you want something different. He needs to understand.
Stop answering his phone calls and text messages if he continues after the face-to-face talk. If your ex-boyfriend shows up at work or continues to bother you, then ignore him. If he confronts you, then remind him of the "no-contact" period.
Change your schedule at work or school, if possible. If he knows where you work and what times you go to work, then try to get different shifts. If his behavior becomes overbearing, then you need to stop being nice and be more blunt about not wanting to see him.
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- If you ex will not leave you alone despite your repeated requests, consider contacting the police and getting a restraining order placed on him.
- Breaking Up Without Breaking Down; Kristina de la Cal; 2007
- Get Over Your Ex -- The No Contact Rule; Michael James; 2011
- The Girls' Guide to Surviving a Break-Up; Delphine Hirsch; 2003
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