Last Summer I broke up with my boyfriend, who I was with for six years. The first year into our relationship was great, but soon after that he started cheating on me. I did not find out until months later because we were having a long-distance relationship for three out of the six years. I really loved him, he was my first boyfriend, and I was already thinking about a future together, but he just wasn't as ready as I was. I started to see that besides our constant troubles of his relations with other girls, we were on totally different levels as to what we wanted from our relationship. In our last months as a couple, the romance was completely gone, we didn't do anything with each other anymore, and we basically lived together like friends. When I asked him if he wanted to break up with me, he said it didn't matter. I then met this other guy whom I adored so much, and I finally had the courage to break up with my boyfriend.
He did not take it well at all, so there was turmoil for about four months after, while I was starting my relationship with the "new" guy. After six months with him, I broke it off because I constantly found myself thinking about my first boyfriend. At times I am mad because of all the heartbreaks he caused me, but other times I really miss the good times we had. He was a really sweet guy, amazing to me, but when we were apart he would cheat. I have no regular contact with him (maybe once every two months) but I'm still jealous when I hear stories about him and other girls. I still love him, but I don't want to be with him again. I believe that I'm still not completely over him but I do want to be. Can you help me out of this? — Stuck in the Past Patty
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Dear Stuck in the Past Patty,
It's pretty clear from your letter that you aren't over your ex. Since you jumped right into a new relationship before you were even fully broken up with your ex, it doesn't surprise me that you're still harboring feelings for him. Getting over someone you cared for and were with for as long as you were will not happen over night, but unfortunately the only way you'll be able to have a healthy relationship with someone else is if you put him in the past.
I'm glad to hear that you have minimal contact with him, and while it's only natural to miss the good times and forget about the bad, they still exist. Perhaps you should scroll up and re-read the beginning of your note. He cheated on you, he wasn't as ready as you were to further your relationship, and he didn't seem to have any sorrow about the possibility of breaking up. Since he was your first boyfriend, you will probably always have a special place in your heart from him, but I think we both know it's time to leave him in the past. You deserve to be with someone who possesses all the good qualities that you saw in him without the unfaithfulness and dishonesty. Be strong, lean on your friends and family for support, talk about how you feel, and with time, I have faith that you'll be able to move past this relationship. I wish you luck.