My Ex Still Thinks of Me
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I was with my ex-boyfriend off and on for two and a half years. I met him one year after his ex-fiancee broke off their engagement. Within the time I spoke of, he first broke up with me because he "thought of other women." This went against everything I understood about true love, and I don't believe I ever recovered. From that time on, we would hook up, date other people, get back together. Eventually, I began seeing a therapist because I was so miserable, and she has helped me get much clearer about what I want/deserve, and what I'm repeating in this relationship.
My question is this: he has tried to remain friends with me, saying he is closer to me than anyone else he knows. At one point, he even said he always thought that it would eventually work out between us. That even though he is "in love" with his new girlfriend, he loves me, will always love me. After so many good-byes between us, how can I walk away? I'm 31 - I can't keep going through this.
Well first, it's normal for people to think of others. A relationship is about two people who choose to be with each other even though there are other options. If the only reason you're with someone is that they are your ONLY choice, that's not very healthy. They should be the choice you made out of true love and caring, and the one you stand by even though others that are more beautiful / richer / more skilled come along. It's normal to feel attraction to those others. What makes you trustworthy, loyal, true, loving is the fact that despite those attractions, you gladly remain with your partner.
In any case, it sounds like he was abandoned by his ex, and then he was abandoned by you. So he has a lot of hurt to deal with. He's move on with his life, and found someone new, but perhaps this new person is not all that you were to him. Since you two have issues, though, he was trying to move on. The fact that you two are still good friends is a great sign - all great relationships are founded on strong friendships.
You only mentioned one breakup - when you left because he thought of others. If there were others, you need to sit down and think about what the 'grating point' is between you two. Is it your expectations? Is it his? You need to both accept each other for what you ARE, not for what you might change INTO. Can you both do that? If you can take that step, your friendship could turn into a really great relationship. But if it can't - if one of you is simply not happy with what the other person is, it's best to acknowledge that and to move on with life.
It's ok to still love each other. Many friends love each other dearly. But you need to sit down and make a serious discussion and decision about what you can be for each other. If you both work towards it, your relationship can definitely work. A relationship with two people who actively want it and work on it and who are best friends has great chances. But if one or both of you simply cannot accept the other as they ARE now, it's best to accept that, accept the great friendship you have, and move on.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com