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"I keep giving my ex more chances"

I have a problem a BIG problem......I met this guy last summer and we hit it off right away and he was so sweet and kind and we loved each other. I broke up with him after the summer for two months because he started to treat me like garbage and was really moody at times then he and I started to hangout and one thing lead to another and he kissed me and I told him it was wrong and everything (this went on for a few days) until one day he was like "do you want to go out again" and so I took him back the second time and gave him a chance.

I ended up breaking up with him again after two months because he broke his promise and hurt me again. Now we're broken up and I went to his house a few times and he would try and kiss me and make the moves on me and I would tell him that it was wrong and I just want to be friends, but he wouldn't listen. I went along and kissed him and we ended up making out for two days.

I waited about a week and I went over to his house and he told me he had a girlfriend and I was hurt but I acted really strong and told him that I wasn't hurt over it. After that he was acting all strange and he wouldn't really look at me and he so tense and depressed. It seemed he’d changed or he had to be different around me for some reason and he didn't even walk me to the door or anything like he use to.

Do you think he still likes me and is trying to get me jealous?? Or does he really have a girlfriend??

28 Mar 2006
Name: Chloe
Age: 18

Dear Chloe,

Remaining friends with an ex is one of the trickiest things in the world to do. Let’s be honest, when you date someone there’s a whole lot of physical attraction and romantic chemistry involved, and when you break up and decide to be “just friends”, unless the spark between you has already died (on both your parts!), it’s next to impossible to divide the romance from the friendship and focus solely on the latter.

Recently I was talking to a trained therapist who told me the whole notion of breaking up and immediately trying to forge a platonic friendship is absurd. She made a great point by saying usually it’s the person who’s over the relationship that wants to still be friends because that gets him or her off the hook without the guilt associated with breaking someone’s heart. And the person who still has hope that one day the romance might be rekindled says, “Yes! Of course we should still be friends!” And then hangs on every sweet, kind thing his/her new “friend” says or does in the hopes it means he or she wants to get back together. And what ultimately ends up happening is that person who’s so full of hope ends up getting his or her heart broken over and over again, instead of just once.

It sounds to me like this is sort of happening between you and your ex-boyfriend. Every time the two of you hang out and something ends up happening, emotionally, you land yourselves right back at square 1. And when it comes to getting over an ex, although a necessary first step, square 1’s not such a fun place to be.

Although it hurt so much, when my ex and I broke up we decided we weren’t going to talk anymore. Beyond just the heartbreak of ending a relationship, I ached over not being able to talk to him or see him when I wanted, but in the end, the decision was definitely for the best. I went through the stages of loss and moved on with my life much more quickly than I would have if every other day I was picking up the phone to call him.

The key here, if you truly want to get over him and move on, is to let go. I know it’s scary and I know it hurts, but like a rubber band, you’re constantly going to be yanked and jerked backwards if you continue to stay attached. Right now you’re connected to him both emotionally and physically and what’s hurtful about that is that essentially you two are not together. That means that you continuously feel these strong feelings for him, yet he’s dating and perhaps even expressing sentiments to other girls, and as much as you try to deny it, that’s hurtful and frustrating for you! (It would be for anyone.)

The way I see it you have to make a choice.  You can either give it one more go and hope with all your heart that things are different this time (i.e. that after two months he doesn’t start treating you like garbage again) or, you move on. You release him so that both of you can move forwards, and in doing so, you’ll find that your attachment to him, and consequently your pain, will lessen.

And in being free, you’ll be in a much better position to start getting to know and forging relationships with other guys (guys who treat you well all of the time, not just sometimes!).

Good luck!

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