He Still Pines for his Ex
Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
For the last two years I dated a guy that couldn't get over his ex-girlfriend. He waffled back and forth between us, but he always came back to me. He didn't date her over these two years, but continuously talked with her about the possibiltiy of getting back together with her. I know I should have left if he couldn't make up his mind, but I didn't. I'm really not sure why I allowed myself to go through that. Deep down we both knew our relationship wouldn't work, but we stayed together probably out of the fear of being alone.
Well, one month ago we broke it off and he started dating a different ex, his highschool sweetheart. Here's the hard part. He wants to stay friends. We really are the best of friends and I would hate to lose that. But he always goes back and forth between his ex's and I'm afraid he may veer back in my direction one day.
I don't want him to be the one for me, but I fear I'm so lonely that I'd go back even after all this. It's also hard to be his friend because when we get together his phone rings and it's his new girlfriend. It just feels so weird.
I know it's right to not be dating him, but it hurts to see him talking to her and loving her when I can't touch him anymore or say "I love you." Isn't that funny? My mind knows we shouldn't be together, but my heart isn't catching up to my mind. I still get hurt even though I don't want him to be the one for me. So how do I stay friends or should I?
It does sound like this guy has a lot of issues, and that probably no matter who he is with, he'll have longing thoughts about previous girlfriends. He'll always remember the best parts of previous relationships, and in any current relationship he'll use those others as fallbacks. So it sounds like he doesn't really work on issues in a current relationship, if it goes wrong he just jumps to another one, and in that one he idolizes the others he's had and so on. So you're definitely wise to be cautious about being drawn back in.
It's very normal for you to feel uncomfortable seeing him lovey-dovey with others. Your love doesn't just turn on and off, and it takes a while to get over anybody. And yes, it can be very tempting to slide back into a relationship you've had with someone - even if it's a bad one - because it seems easier than 'starting from scratch' with someone new.
So yes, I'd stay friends because having someone that understands you is important in life. But I'd keep a bit of a distance for now until you get over him more, so you're not torturing yourself when you're not quite healed up yet. Or maybe agree with him that he shouldn't be chatting with his girlfriend while you're there, it's not very polite in any case if he has a guest. That would be a reasonable request to make.
And I'd work on getting out in the world and being open to someone new. You know now much more about what you like and don't like in a guy because of your experience with him. Which is valuable. So go out and engage in the hobbies you love, hang out with other friends, do things that introduce you to new people. There are millions of guys out there, and a fair number of them would be great for you. But you have to be where they can meet you and get to know you. So make that effort.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com
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