Dear Dr. NerdLove:
This is the first time I (she/her) am making an effort to stay friends with my ex (he/him). We’ve been together for three years, sharing an apartment for 1.5 years. I ended things 4 months ago and moved out 1 month ago.
Since the breakup, he has asked me multiple times in different ways if I could imagine some form of cuddling/sex and I have always clearly said “no”. This was even a source of arguments when we were still together because I hadn’t been sleeping with him for some months…
A few days ago we spent the first evening together as really just friends and just the two of us and contrary to my fears it went pretty nice! We cooked, talked, listened to music. To me it felt nice and friendly, not too close or boundary crossing. Two days later he messages me “I guess this still doesn’t change the fact that you don’t want us to be closer? Sure, we had tasty food, a bottle of wine, listened to some cuddle-compatible music…”
My first instinct: Shit, I shouldn’t have done that! I was getting his hopes up with this atmosphere.
On second thoughts: Wait, I told him a million times that I don’t want to get physical with him. Do I really have to engineer our time in a way it does not get too cozy or send any ‘vibes’? Can I only put on death metal when we’re together so that there won’t be ‘that kind of mood’? Noooooo? Is it simply too soon to be friends like this?
So I messaged him that I feel like I have to state clearly for one last time that I won’t ever kiss him again or anything and that it stresses me out that I have to repeat it.
His reaction (in short): Stop mind-reading me, I was asking a question! Stop projecting your worries onto me! You don’t understand me anyways.
Grrrarg. Am I overthinking this? Am I mind-reading him? In a way I shouldn’t? I have a really hard time understanding his message any other way than “Is there a tiny chance we can fuck now that we drank wine and listened to some mellow music together”? Am I crazy?
Thank you so much
Navigating Muddy Waters