How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Tori, Psychologist Your Own Question
Tori, Psychologist
Tori, Psychologist, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 328
Experience:  Work/Coaching Psychologist & Therapist
105912372
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Tori, Psychologist is online now

I have been speaking and meeting with my ex for 5 years and

Customer Question

I have been speaking and meeting with my ex for 5 years and I am feeling insecure as he is changing job, since we are not officially together
JA: The Psychologist will know what to do. Please tell me everything you can so the Psychologist can help you best.
Customer: We met when we were 23 and moved together fairly quickly. But then broke up several times during the 5 years Been apart since 2019 January but started to talk again last march Been meeting since and he seems more secure nowadays ( which also sort of scares me, he used to be avoidant with everyone else, not just me)
JA: Is there anything else the Psychologist should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: And I don't know where we stand, I am scared to ask but terrified that I am just a bench warmer and not taken seriously and may find someone else during the change in his life
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 11 days ago.

Hi, I hope I can offer some help with your question.

You say you have been speaking and meeting for 5 years, although not always in the capacity as being officially together. You have not stated whether when you meet up if you are romantically involved, or just meeting as friends and keeping your interactions in this way.

He is changing jobs and is coming across as more secure, within himself, more confident in himself perhaps. It seems his developing self security is causing you to feel scared - perhaps his developing confidence causes you to feel that he needs you less? In a sense if this is the case, it may reveal that deep down you feel your relationship may be built around him needing you to feel more secure, rather than wanting you because he enjoys your company? I am just wondering if this resonates with you, because this can indicate a type of co-dependency rather than a healthier inter-dependence. You have mentioned that he used to be avoidant with everyone, not just you. Do you feel now he is less avoidant in general, or more so with others - and so continuing to be avoidant with you?

We need to look at ourselves and our own feelings of confidence and self esteem when we find ourselves feeling threatened by the growth of a loved one. In a healthy relationship we want to be encouraging and enjoying our loved ones growth, not feeling threatened by it, as this may indicate that we want to keep them they way they are because it benefits us, and makes them more dependant upon us, may even give us a sense of control over them, but as we can see this is not characteristic of a healthy and nurturing relationship.

It would be helpful for you to consider why you feel scared to ask where you stand. In a sense this is like saying I am scared to know the truth, because it will spoil the illusion that I have more with him than I actually have. But this very fear can keep you stuck. If you know truthfully how and where you stand with him, then you can make honest decisions about what you want and where you want to go next. It seems you may at the moment be giving up accountability to him - waiting for him to decide your fate. If you have feelings for him and want it to go further then what do you really have to lose by sharing this with him and being honest about this, and asking him how he feels to. Not knowing is just waiting to see if he doesn't or doesn't hold any promise. If it is not for you, and he isn't taking you seriously, then why would you want to go on waiting to find this out, would it perhaps be better to know where you stand.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi, thank you for the quick reply. I meant that we were together for 5 years and been messaging and meeting again for about 1.5 year. We text every day and meet fairly frequently and we spend 3-5 days together, doing normal things not just in between the walls.
I do understand and see how my fear of him having a new job and potential growt is unhealthy, I am obviously feeling embarrassed by it but this comes from my insecurity with my position.
I am uncertain about my next move as I am anxious and can be acting on a whim while his past avoidant behaviour could make him get scared and close up even if he doesn't mean it ( or so I think). I would like to get myself into a more secure mindset and be able to bear the events of life and not to put premature pressure on others when there might not be threat for me if I just wait a bit more. I know I should be able to openly discuss my feelings with other but different people with different attachment styles could react differently.
Expert:  Tori, Psychologist replied 11 days ago.

Expressing yourself needn't be dependent upon how others may or may not react as long as you are willing to accept their reaction or response and deal or cope with that effectively yourself.