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You Asked: How Do I Move On?

Dear Sugar,

A month ago, I broke up with my boyfriend of a year. The relationship was exhausting and left me restless and unhappy, so I ended it. Since then, we've seen each other (we share a lot of friends and frequent the same places) and have, on occasion, shared a physical connection out of momentary desire. I always regret it and stick to my word about wanting to remain broken up. He believes me, but he’s still a bit too needy for my liking. I communicated that I need space, and he's starting to get the idea.

Here’s where it gets hard. I've had a crush on a guy for a few years, even through my relationship with my ex. I never acted on it, but recently this guy has shown interest in me and I honestly can’t get this guy out of my head. The thing is, I'm a chronic dater. When I get out of a relationship, I usually find myself in another one pretty quickly. I don't want my crush to be a continuation of this trend, but I do want to pursue it — he's intelligent, interesting, pensive, and adorable.

However, if I start dating someone else this soon, my ex will flip, and he can be violently scary when he's upset with me — he would never do anything to hurt me, but I may not hear from him for a couple of years. I'm stuck. What should I do?

—Chronic Dater Christina

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Chronic Dater Christina,

You say that you’re worried about your ex’s emotions, but you're still sleeping with him even though you know that he has stronger feelings for you than you him. That's certainly sending mixed signals, so sure, he's going to be very hurt by your interest in another guy. Break things off with your ex; that means no more fooling around, and I’d even take a few months away from gatherings of mutual friends. If you make it clear, without any question, that it’s over between you two, then while he’ll still be hurt, it won’t hit as close to home.

As for your tendency to hop into relationships too quickly, I don’t think that means that you can’t pursue a relationship with this other guy; it’s just a good reason to take it very slowly. Hold off from defining your relationship with him. Resist the urge to see him every day. Make lots of time for yourself and your friends. And most important, enjoy flirting and getting to know him. It's one of the best parts of a relationship, and often the most fleeting!


Join The Conversation
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
Move on and stop leading your ex on by sleeping with him. Take things slow with the new guy.
Phunkometry Phunkometry 9 years
I'm sorry, but if your ex is going to get "violently scary" because of something that does not involve him in any way (btw, please stop the random "physical connections", he's getting the wrong idea!), then he does not deserve to be your "friend", and you should drop him like a hot potato. I'd been in a similar situation quite some time ago. And for a high school relationship, it was really scary and just way beyond my level of understanding. He really didn't want to let go, and it was hard for me to do so also, but after a few days of breaking up with him, I just stopped talking to him cold turkey. If I ever saw him (we went to the same school), I would just pretend that I didn't, and walk the other way. We were in drama club together, as well as photography classes (trust me, I've never been so afraid of the dark room before or since) and that was pretty tough to get around, but I think you just need to be a tough cookie. When I dumped this guy (and I actually just told him that we should "take a break" since I was scared of what he'd do), he went home and attacked a telephone pole in his backyard with a baseball bat. Trust me, you will be glad when he is out of your life. You don't need the fear or the drama. Don't let him control you. Anyhow, about this new guy, I say go for it--just take it easy. Who knows? This other guy (you've had your eye on him for so long, he's hardly "new" anymore) might be the love of your life.
sass317 sass317 9 years
I get where you are coming from, I was totally ready to be single for quite a while when an amazing guy walked into my life and now we are married- however I had cut all ties with my ex, I had to, he was destroying me. You cant start something new until the old relationship is over- totally, completely over. The new guy might be great, but you think he is going to stick around if he thinks you are still stringing your ex along? Doubtful, and then he will be gone and you might have missed something that could last. I would also suggest taking a break from the big group activities where both guys are going to be there- that sounds like a fight waiting to happen.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I agree - you need to stop seeing your ex right now. Honestly, I make it a policy of mine to stop all communication with the guy after we've broken up. This isn't true for everyone, but I think for most people - being friends with or hanging out your ex after you're broken up, makes it ten times more difficult to "move on." As far as the other guy, I think you should start out being great friends and taking things slow with your crush. You can't help that you already have feelings for him. It isn't like you're just jumping as soon as any old guy asks you out.
skgandhi skgandhi 9 years
I feel like I was in the same situation. I was going out with someone and we were serious but broke it off and were still dating w/o a title for 3 years after that. I know its hard to let go, but you have to do it. Don't get into this new relationship just yet because down the line you may regret it. You want to break off all physical/emotional contact with your ex and make it a point that you two are no longer anything but friends before you start dating again. That will give you both time to move on. Also, it will give you time to get to know this other person. If you really like him then wait a few're feelings can only get stronger, right?
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
You absolutely have to stop seeing your ex and especially have to stop the physical thing you guys are still doing. Those things are the absolute #1 reason that neither of you is able to move on. It may sound harsh. It may be hard to break away from your ex after so long together and so many feelings for each other. But for either of you to move on, you have to do it. And you will never be able to be friends with him, or maintain any kind of healthy connection, unless you spend some time absolutely apart. If there is anything between you worth preserving--friendship, caring, whatever--it will still be there after the anger and hurt and jealousy and guilt fade away. But if you don't stop seeing each other, at least for a while, those things will never fade away and will never allow the good things about your relationship to come to the forefront. Just stop seeing your ex. Seriously.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
It's bad to jump from one thing to the next.
mlen mlen 9 years
i would say tell this new guy you are interested but want to take it slow, if he's into you then he'll be cool with that. and then tell your ex you really think its best if you have some more space and spend some time apart. that way you can ease out of that and ease into the new relationship.
Marci Marci 9 years
Okay, well first of all, I applaud you for recognizing your habit of chronic dating and not wanting to fall back into that pattern. Change can only come with recognition of a habit, so you're halfway there. Secondly, stop the relationship with the ex. Just say no. It's no different than saying no to the Twinkie or the candy bar; it isn't easy, but you can do it. You need a clean break from him, just for yourself. Thirdly, the other guy. I met my now-fiance two weeks after getting out of a very longterm relationship. My inclination was to not date him because I needed a break. But he was so great that a part of me knew I'd be crazy not to explore it. So the timing wasn't fantastic, but he sure was, and I'm glad I gave it a shot. I just didn't dive in head first; I took my time, put my toe in and moved slowly.
indielove indielove 9 years
Your ex is possessive and wants no one to be with you but him. Stay away for him, cut all ties, forget about that 'friendship' factor. Give it a few months, you won't even remember that you were even lovers, much less friends. I've been with a guy like that in the past, not fun!
Bettyesque Bettyesque 9 years
Christina, the relationship with your ex is over and you shouldnt even factor that in. If you are a chronic date you need to evaluate this current situation and decide if this time your feelings are different and genuine which it seems but what you have written. I recently went through something similar and while I was told to wait and not date at all .. by everyone .. I decided to go with my heart. Its now almost a year and half later and Im still the happiest Ive ever been. In my opinion you just never know unless you take a chance.
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