Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Getting over a broken heart:
“My ex says he still loves me but he needs freedom.”

Hey Terra,

My boyfriend of 2 and a half years just broke up with me. He says he still loves me, but he needs "freedom." I don't understand what he means by this... and every time he explains it, it confuses me even more. He says that he doesn't want to "hook up" with other girls or anything like that... but he just is "tired of the relationship" and is "sick of trying." We spent a lot of time alone together, mostly at home. I suggested that if we got out more, things would improve. However he responded as "he didn't want to try." He insists on still being friends, and calls me all the time, and always tells me how he still loves me. Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand why if you love someone, why you wouldn't want to be in a relationship with them? I am really confused, and also really want him back. I am brokenhearted, and while it may seem like he is "playing a mind game" with me, or it seems as though he may be a mean person, he really is not. He cries about our relationship too, and says he wishes it could be different. Please offer me some advice on how to deal with him, and our relationship, and how I can get him back? Thanks!

Broken Hearted

Dear Broken Hearted,

You want to know how to "get him back"? Sorry, I don't have any magic love potions. If your ex wanted to be with you he'd be there. As for how to "deal with him and the relationship" the best advice I can give you is to accept the fact that this relationship has changed.

It sounds like he cares a lot about you and still has strong emotional ties, but his feelings for you are no longer romantic. If he's still calling you, that shows he needs your friendship but he wants to control the amount of "togetherness." Possibly his need for "freedom" means that he isn't comfortable with all the obligations connected with being your boyfriend. The message he's sending is clear: "I value your friendship. I want to be able to call you and talk. I don't want to hurt you, but I need some distance between us."

So what are your choices? (You always have some.) You can accept where he's at, be a sincere and good friend, redefine the relationship and move on from there as friends. Or, if it's too painful for you to hear him crying about the relationship and how he loves you and "wishes it could be different" then set some limits. (You're entitled!) Tell him that it hurts too much to pretend you are friends when you still want to have things back the way they were. Tell him that YOU need some freedom (emotional space) so that you can get on with your life. And then make some plans with close friends (promise yourself you won't bore them talking about your ex) and open your heart and mind to the next chapter in your life.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,


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