Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Don’t Let Vulnerability Deter You

DEAR NATALIE: I'm attempting to reconcile with my ex-girlfriend. We were hanging out a lot more frequently this year, and I thought we were starting to entertain the idea of dating again. But I never spoke my feelings about this to her, mainly because I thought we would have more times together. I took our time together as friends for granted. So about a month ago, I texted her and got no response. I find out via social media that she started dating someone else. I was shocked, it freaked me out, and it really broke my heart. Since then, I've expressed my feelings to her via email despite my wishes to meet with her in person. She says that she doesn't want to see me. I've been seeing different women recently, but I'm still secretly heartbroken from the friend that I lost. I don't think she and this new guy are very serious. But I don't really know. Maybe it's wishful thinking. I just really miss my friend, and I want a chance for us to reconcile. This morning, I left roses and a note at her apartment steps. Was this a good idea? -- HEARTBROKEN GUY

DEAR HEARTBROKEN GUY: I'm so sorry that you are going through this. A broken heart may be the worst pain out there, but remember that all things are temporary. Unfortunately, it does sound as if you waited too long and may have missed the window of opportunity. The fact that she isn't responding to your emails or sweet gestures makes me think that she has moved on emotionally from you. Perhaps she didn't want anything serious with you or with anyone, or she may just need emotional distance from you right now until she figures out what she needs. Leaving roses and a note was very sweet, but now it's time to step back. If things are meant to be, she will contact you. The ball is in her court. In the meantime, think about what you want out of your next relationship - whether it is with her or someone else. Having gone through this, you may realize that moving forward, it is best to say what is on your heart. There is strength in vulnerability, and learning to express yourself may prevent more heartache in the future.

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to nbencivenga@post-gazette.com or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)