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"Is my ex using me?"

Hey, I broke up with my ex twice this year. After the second time he tried to win me back like he did when we first broke up, so we ended up having little one night stands and then a few days after he told me he had a girlfriend. It really hurt! After about a month my friend slipped out that I still had feelings for him and he broke up with his girlfriend and I found out days after that he had lost his virginity with her so it hurt even more; when he told me this he looked sort of ashamed to say that he lost his virginity to her because I guess he thought it was me he was going to lose it to.

Anyways I still had feelings for him even after what he told me and we would make out again. I found out from one of his friends that he wanted me back but wanted to be single for awhile. I was fine with that so we were friends and he would still try and make out and he seemed to think it was ok to make out with me because we were friends and he was comfortable with me.

One day I was over at his house and I told him "No we can't do this anymore" and that I felt like he was using me and he was like "why can't you trust me for once?"

After about 3 weeks of hanging with my ex and making out, I found out this other guy likes me but he’s taking forever to ask me out! Anyways I told my ex I am seeing someone else because he’s trying to make the moves on me again, but I miss him now and can't stop thinking about him and in away I want to go back. What should I do? And is my ex just using me?

4 May 2006
Name: Monica
Age: 17

Dear Monica,

It’s not that you and your ex-boyfriend are using one another by continuing to make out, but rather, you both still have residual feelings for one another, and because neither of you are seriously dating anyone else, going back to one another feels comfortable.

Unfortunately, it’s only really comfortable (and fun) if both of you are in it for the same reasons.It sounds to me that in continuing to be physical with him, you’re hoping it will eventually lead to something more profound – for example, a real relationship. You tell yourself you can handle a physical relationship if you know for certain that it’s going to ultimately turn into something more. Regrettably, because that transformation has yet to happen, the type of “relationship” you and your ex have going on now makes you feel used and unloved. I know – I’ve been there!

Can you see the slippery slope you’re riding?

And to make matters worse, you’re playing games with one another. You make out with each other, but in order to try to move your relationship forward and get your ex to want you for something more than just physical, you try to make him jealous by telling him you’re dating someone new. And when it doesn’t have the effect you want it to – your ex getting upset and proclaiming his undying love and affection for you – you feel even more hurt and slighted than you did before.

So what do you do? You’ve got to cut the games and be honest with him. Sure you can keep up your physical relationship, but it doesn’t sound to me like you can handle it.And the longer it continues (with no real relationship coming from it), the more upset and used you’re going to feel.

If you want to be with him – and I know this is scary – I think it’s important for you to be upfront with him. Explain to him that you’re into giving things a second try. I know it’s hard – if he says “no” your ego is squashed – but what’s a worse fate to suffer:  A wounded ego or never, ever knowing if he’s interested in forging another relationship with you?In my opinion, a slash to your pride is a small price to pay for going after your heart’s desire…what do you think?

However, if you decide you do want to move on from him (and that’s a-okay!), then get out there and start dating other people. And why wait for that guy to ask you out – if you know he likes you (and even if you didn’t know that) why not take the initiative and ask him out yourself? Just because we’re girls doesn’t mean we have to be so submissive and wait for our crushes to ask us out! We have voices, right? So let’s use ‘em!

Good luck!

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