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Should I try to make it work with my ex?

Anonymous • Nov 14, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Q: My girlfriend and I split up a couple months ago after two years together. Immediately after splitting up with me she had a fling with this rebound. Our spark had faded, we were arguing and I pushed her away instead of fixing it when we were at our worst. But I do think we can fix it if we both want it. Right now, we're both just confused about our feelings. She says she loves me, but has some feelings for someone else; she enjoys spending time with him but isn't looking for a relationship with him.

I don’t see how she can like him that much when she says all that to me. On numerous occasions she still kisses, cuddles and talks to me. It's a classic rebound, just the excitement of a new guy and that'll wear off soon I think. She just said that she can't fix it or try it with me if she has feelings for someone else, no matter how insignificant they are compared to what she feels for me. I agree with her. We're both (mainly her) just confused about our feelings and need to clear them up. 

Do you think time apart completely will help us realize what it is we truly want? And will the excitement/novelty of him will wear off? Or should I keep seeing her, casually, just have a nice time, not take it seriously, have fun and hopefully we'll both remember how good we are together?

A: Ah, the archetypal rebound relationship that makes the underdog believe if he just waits it out, she will come to her senses and he will rise again as the victor to her heart. Sorry dear, but that typically only happens in our favorite romantic comedies. The only thing she is confused about is how to break your heart as gently as possible. Right now you’re allowing her to have her cake and eat it too.

When you’re in a strong relationship there is no need for an intermission after two years to sort out your feelings. There is no confusion. It’s either there or it isn’t. You either work on it or you don’t. There are no vacations here. You don’t just wake up one morning and decide you’re going to sleep in someone else’s bed for a spell while you figure out if you really love the other guy.

Come on. This isn’t about what she wants. What do you want? Do you want to be the guy who waits around patiently panting and wagging his tail waiting for scraps from the table or are you going to be the guy who marks and protects his territory? By this I simply mean take control of your own fate. You’re more than welcome to not take things so serious and just enjoy your time with her. But it’s likely that she will find another form of excitement once the novelty of this guy wears off and you will still be sitting, waiting for scraps.

Q: I dated this guy in 2010 from a dating website. We dated a few times after having a coffee. A little bit about him, he's pursuing his PhD as a scientist. I was single, raised my dog, and worked hard to pay my bills. He and I have talked and were sexually attracted to each other. A couple months later, I found out that he was trying to fix his three-year relationship with his ex-girlfriend who cheated on him. They got back together a year later and I think they are still together. I never wanted a rebound and I should have asked how serious his commitments were. He mentioned that he wants us to continue being friends and offered a casual relationship. I rejected his offer.

Anyway, I moved on and found a good boyfriend. We’ve been together for two years now. Over the past three years, the other guy has been trying to add me as a friend on Facebook . I rejected him twice.  He recently texted me, "Hey, how have you been. Hope you have a good day." There are so many mixed signals he's been giving me and he knows I have a boyfriend. The truth is I like to think of him as a friend. Maybe someday we could talk at the coffee shop or have a beer, nothing too personal since I am still committed. I don't want to give the other guy the wrong impression or send the wrong message by accepting him as a friend. What I should do? What does he really want? Why would he try to add me on Facebook?  

A: It’s been two years since you’ve dated him and he even suggested you remain friends. So, maybe he just wants to be friends? Nah that would be too simple. What’s the harm in becoming friends on Facebook unless your new guy would have an issue with it? Asking how you’ve been is hardly sending mixed signals. I’m not saying you should have lunch with him but really, Facebook friends is harmless.

Why is it everyone thinks there always has to be some ulterior motive? Too many people tend to flatter themselves beyond the reality that a member of the opposite sex, even an ex, could like them or have an interest in how they’re doing without there being a romantic connotation. This is completely your choice but you should lighten up and stop reading so much into it.


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