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Ex-Boyfriend Still in Love With Me

Group Therapy: My Ex-Boyfriend Is Still in Love With Me

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!


I need help. I dated my boyfriend for over seven years, and was waiting for him to propose once we were done with school. About a year after I was done with graduate school, I flat out asked him what was going on and if he was ever planning on proposing. He told me that he wasn't sure I would make him happy long term because of certain intimacy issues we had. He also told me he was focused on his career and that he wasn't ready to get married anytime soon, which was problematic because his job made it so that we were long distance for the majority of our relationship. None of this was ever communicated or hinted to me before, and I was devastated and heartbroken. I thought, there was nothing more could I do after seven years to convince him to want to marry me, and so I started to mentally check out of the relationship. It took me about three months to finally end things with him.

In the meantime, I'd become good friends with someone new that I met at work. We'd hang out occasionally, but nothing ever happened between us when I was still with my ex (I swear!). After awhile, he confessed to me that he had feelings for me, after which he and I decided to stop hanging out to be fair to both my ex-boyfriend and him. While that may have expedited the process of me breaking up with my ex, it didn't ultimately make me decide to leave him. I left my ex for the reasons above. I started seeing him after my ex and I broke up. Fast forward to the present, co-worker is my new boyfriend.

My problem is, now my ex is telling me that he didn't mean those things he said, and he said them out of fear of growing up and anxiety over our intimacy problems. He says me leaving him was a wake-up call and that he's changed. He tells me I am the love of his life, and that I am perfect, and why can't I forgive him for his immaturity, and the mistakes he made? He doesn't understand why I won't take him back. I don't have the heart to tell him that I'm seeing someone new. As much as he devastated me, I don't want to devastate him. I feel guilty and maybe that I did something wrong by letting myself get close to my co-worker. And even though nothing happened between co-worker and I, I can see why my ex would think I cheated on him (he knew of co-worker before), which would hurt him even more.

I know he has to find out eventually. I was just hoping I could tell him I'm seeing someone new when he was "over" me. I also feel guilty that because I mentally checked out of my previous relationship, it allowed me to fall for someone else so quickly. My question is, when and how should I tell him about my new boyfriend? Was what I did wrong?  I just want to do the right thing, which is what I've always tried to do, but I just don't know what that is anymore.

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danakscully64 danakscully64 4 years
7 years is a lonnnnng time. My ex "wasted" 5 1/2 years of mine. Although I like to look at it as a learning experience rather than wasted time (I learned A LOT about myself). You don't owe your ex anything, you don't have to tell him anything. He'll find out and he has no right to say anything negative to you. The ball was in his court and he didn't make a move when he had the chance. Alright, I'm going to be Dr. Phil for a moment. The only reason he's so "sure" now is because the only memories he thinks of are the positives. The breakup happened for a reason, he needs to accept that. I can bet if you two did get back together (say you and your current bf broke up and you decided to give your ex another chance), he would pull the same crap again. The 'honeymoon' phase would happen, but the problems would come back.
danakscully64 danakscully64 4 years
7 years is a lonnnnng time. My ex "wasted" 5 1/2 years of mine. Although I like to look at it as a learning experience rather than wasted time (I learned A LOT about myself). You don't owe your ex anything, you don't have to tell him anything. He'll find out and he has no right to say anything negative to you. The ball was in his court and he didn't make a move when he had the chance. Alright, I'm going to be Dr. Phil for a moment. The only reason he's so "sure" now is because the only memories he thinks of are the positives. The breakup happened for a reason, he needs to accept that. I can bet if you two did get back together (say you and your current bf broke up and you decided to give your ex another chance), he would pull the same crap again. The 'honeymoon' phase would happen, but the problems would come back.
dahliadreamer dahliadreamer 4 years
Seven years is WAY too long to wait. onlysourcherry basically said everything I wanted to say. In addition: On average, couples that stay together for a looooooong time generally get married after the 2 year mark. This is an average which means 3-4 years would have been alright, per say. But 7 years is a waste of your time. My suggestion: cut your ex from your life. Leave him on your Facebook, but don't talk to him. Ignore him. Block his number if you can, and do your best to focus on YOU. You have to learn to get mad at him because this man WASTED 7 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE you could have used curled up to someone like your current guy! Your new guy definitely doesn't deserve the aftermath of what went down with you and your ex. You made a decision, and if you look back now you're going to look like a chicken. Don't do it. Stop thinking about your ex's feelings, (I know it'll be hard because you've leaned on each other for 7 freakin' years,) and pull yourself together. Your new man sounds like he makes you very happy, and he deserves to have your full attention too.
dahliadreamer dahliadreamer 4 years
Seven years is WAY too long to wait. onlysourcherry basically said everything I wanted to say. In addition: On average, couples that stay together for a looooooong time generally get married after the 2 year mark. This is an average which means 3-4 years would have been alright, per say. But 7 years is a waste of your time. My suggestion: cut your ex from your life. Leave him on your Facebook, but don't talk to him. Ignore him. Block his number if you can, and do your best to focus on YOU. You have to learn to get mad at him because this man WASTED 7 YEARS OF YOUR LIFE you could have used curled up to someone like your current guy!Your new guy definitely doesn't deserve the aftermath of what went down with you and your ex. You made a decision, and if you look back now you're going to look like a chicken. Don't do it. Stop thinking about your ex's feelings, (I know it'll be hard because you've leaned on each other for 7 freakin' years,) and pull yourself together. Your new man sounds like he makes you very happy, and he deserves to have your full attention too.
la-nouvelle-vague la-nouvelle-vague 4 years
I don't think you did anything wrong as long as you didn't cheat on your ex with your new guy (which you say you didn't). It's understandable that you don't want to hurt your ex, but I think in this instance that's just inevitable. Don't feel guilty for falling for your new boyfriend and getting close to him because your ex couldn't give you what you need and because he wasn't willing to commit at the same level that you were. I think it would be best if you just told him that you're seeing someone else and that there's no possibility of you two getting back together. Yes, it will be painful for you and it may be painful for him, but after that you can lead your life and your new relationship drama free. Don't make your new guy or yourself suffer because your ex couldn't get his act together and can't figure out what he wants.
jenjen82 jenjen82 4 years
You need to realize that sometimes when you break up (or just many things in life that happen) things won't always pan out picture perfect leaving you feeling like everyone still holds you on a pedastal and everyone involved is just happy as a clam and doing great. My point is stop trying to be perfect. Your ex is DONE. According to you, your happy with the new guy. Either tell the ex its over and to leave you alone, or add that your seeing someone else. He might be devastated and hurt but that's life. It's not your problem and you need to accept that he might think of you as a horrible person. Still not your problem. You can't please everyone all the time!
GTCB GTCB 4 years
Meh, just let him find out about it on Facebook like all the kids do these days. Then he can deal with it himself and your hands are clean.
steph1234 steph1234 4 years
What bothers me is not that you moved on to a new relationship quickly, but the fact you are still holding on to your ex's feelings so tightly....and that is causing you to not be fair with your new guy or your ex. But also, if you don't let your ex know that you've moved on...he will hold out hope that you will come back to him....and he will receive no closure and will keep making empty promises. Do everyone a favor & tell your ex you've moved on and no matter how much he claims to have changed..it's over and he should move on as well. And on a side note- Every ex says they've changed in hopes to get you back...they really haven't...but that's a way of manipulation to make you feel you've inadverdently done something wrong so that you'll go back to him. and of course he meant those things he told you or he wouldn't have said them in the first place...enjoy your life and your new boyfriend and stop trying to please your ex...don't worry if he thinks you cheated on him....if you didn't....it doesn't really matter what he thinks because you're not with him anymore...Give yourself closure by telling him. This will be good for you. Enjoy your life! Move on! Stop worrying!
steph1234 steph1234 4 years
What bothers me is not that you moved on to a new relationship quickly, but the fact you are still holding on to your ex's feelings so tightly....and that is causing you to not be fair with your new guy or your ex. But also, if you don't let your ex know that you've moved on...he will hold out hope that you will come back to him....and he will receive no closure and will keep making empty promises. Do everyone a favor & tell your ex you've moved on and no matter how much he claims to have changed..it's over and he should move on as well. And on a side note- Every ex says they've changed in hopes to get you back...they really haven't...but that's a way of manipulation to make you feel you've inadverdently done something wrong so that you'll go back to him. and of course he meant those things he told you or he wouldn't have said them in the first place...enjoy your life and your new boyfriend and stop trying to please your ex...don't worry if he thinks you cheated on him....if you didn't....it doesn't really matter what he thinks because you're not with him anymore...Give yourself closure by telling him. This will be good for you. Enjoy your life! Move on! Stop worrying!
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 4 years
*easy to form with a new person
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 4 years
I believe that people can change, but they can't change within the same relationship. New habits are easy to form with a person, but old habits die hard with the same person. Highly likely scenario: you dump this promising new guy, get back together with the ex, and within a few months ex reverts to his old ways and "isn't sure he's ready for marriage." highly. likely. Stick it out with the new guy. Tell your ex. Move on.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 4 years
I believe that people can change, but they can't change within the same relationship. New habits are easy to form with a person, but old habits die hard with the same person. Highly likely scenario: you dump this promising new guy, get back together with the ex, and within a few months ex reverts to his old ways and "isn't sure he's ready for marriage." highly. likely. Stick it out with the new guy. Tell your ex. Move on.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 4 years
Outside of what I don't understand about your "intimacy" problems, (sex?) You should stop feeling sorry for your ex. Think about it like this. He wasted seven years of your life while you waited around for him to marry you. At the end of it he told you no. Thats seven years. Not one, or two, or three. He had seven years to decide. You grew old during that time. Now he's changed his mind. In my opinion thats too bad. The fact that you checked out mentally at the end and pursued something new is normal self preservation. I would be honest with yourself and deadly honest with the ex. There's no easy way. You need to nip this old relationship in the bud because if you don't the new guy or any new guy deserves a chance. You deserve a chance. Anyone new will walk away from too much ex boyfriend drama.
lcrox07 lcrox07 4 years
I know you deeply care about your ex-boyfriend, but that's just it, you care. He was apart of your life for some many years and it's hard to just cut someone off just like that. He is going to find out eventually, but i suggest you make sure things are official and stable with the new guy before you let your ex know. Like JoeTyndall said, he is not your problem anymore, but I understand why you would want to let him know. You want him to move on like you have. Again, just make sure things are cool then let him know.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 4 years
OP, I would add that, if you do not want to tell him face to face, send him an email.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 4 years
OP,I would add that, if you do not want to tell him face to face, send him an email.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 4 years
Be honest with yourself. Are you sure you're over your ex? You appear to still care deeply for your ex. When I broke up with my ex-bf (the serious one just b4 I met my husband now), I could hardly care what he thought about me. He could care less what I thought about him too (we both dated other people pretty soon after we broke up) and the reason we broke up was similar to yours (I mentally checked out as soon as I found out what my ex was thinking about us--similar to your ex). You've got some thinking to do. Put yourself in your current bf's shoes.Is it right to string away an ex-bf just because you supposedly feel 'bad' or it can be interpreted as you still have romantic feeling for your ex? I'd suggest to tell your ex about your bf when you have a chance or the next time you guys chat or something. Unless you'd rather let the grapevine tell your ex about your bf and then you'll come across negatively too to your ex. Good luck.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 4 years
Be honest with yourself. Are you sure you're over your ex? You appear to still care deeply for your ex. When I broke up with my ex-bf (the serious one just b4 I met my husband now), I could hardly care what he thought about me. He could care less what I thought about him too (we both dated other people pretty soon after we broke up) and the reason we broke up was similar to yours (I mentally checked out as soon as I found out what my ex was thinking about us--similar to your ex).You've got some thinking to do. Put yourself in your current bf's shoes.Is it right to string away an ex-bf just because you supposedly feel 'bad' or it can be interpreted as you still have romantic feeling for your ex? I'd suggest to tell your ex about your bf when you have a chance or the next time you guys chat or something. Unless you'd rather let the grapevine tell your ex about your bf and then you'll come across negatively too to your ex. Good luck.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 4 years
Have you officially broken up with your ex-boyfriend? If so, then you don't have to tell him about your new boyfriend. Like the saying goes, "He's not you problem any more."
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