Dear Stavroula: When an Ex Comes Back into the Picture

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Dear Stavroula,

I am 27 years old and for eight months I have been dating a man who cares about me and loves me. I was happy with him and was making plans for a future with him; he really wants to get married and have a family. But about fifteen days ago, my ex-boyfriend showed up and asked me get back together with him. Since then I have been very upset because I had very strong feelings about him. He was the love of my life and it hurt me a lot when he left me for another woman one year ago. Now he tells me he realized he made a mistake and that I am the woman of his dreams. He calls me every day on the phone, insists on meeting me and tells me to end the relationship I have now. I do not know what to do, I’m very confused. Should I ruin a relationship that gives me security, love, tenderness with a man I love but do not feel passionate about? To forgive my ex, who left me suddenly for another? And if he leaves me again? Since he reappeared I’ve been thinking about him all the time, I do not know what’s going on.

Dear Diana,

From your letter I understand that you are very troubled and that you are facing a big dilemma. But no one can tell you what to do, because only you can answer the questions that concern you after thinking and deciding about your life.

I would therefore suggest that you initially get away from both relationships and stay for a while on your own, talk to yourself, try to clarify your feelings. Under no circumstances should you rush into marriage in the phase you are now.

You write to me that your ex-boyfriend left you for another. Did you have problems with your relationship? Did you try to fix but could not resolve them? Was he clear about his feelings for you? Had he shown you that he was not good in your relationship? Did he ask you to change things or just decided to leave because he thought he found something better?

If he had made it clear to you that he had issues or problems with your relationship and left because you did not resolve them, what has changed now that he wants to come back? If you were the woman of his dreams, why did he not understand it while he was with you to fight for your relationship?

Were his next relationships, after you, not successful and he wants to feel confident again with you? Did he learn about your new relationship, and selfishly, it bothered him that you moved on with your life?

You write to me that since he has approached you again, you are always thinking about him. For what reasons? Do you think of him because you still have feelings for him or perhaps because you were flattered by his return and what he told you?

You should try to remember how you felt in your relationship and how you felt when he left. Were you really happy with him? Did the way the two of you see life match, did you understand each other’s needs and desires? Or was it that the one thing that held you together was the intense passion, which is often caused by conflicts, quarrels, and the feeling that the other might go away? And when he left, how did you feel, how quickly did you overcome it and get on with your life? Would you be able to go through all that again if the relationship does not go well this time?

Finally, you should think about how you feel in the relationship you have now. You write to me that this man treats you beautifully, that he looks after you and loves you. What exactly are your feelings about your current partner? Do you love him, admire him? Do you see him romantically? You write to me that you do not feel passionate about him. If you mean that you do not want him romantically, you have to think if all the rest is enough to be with him in a relationship that will last and has a future. If you still want him but your relationship is not passionate, with the importance you give to this term, how much is it a negative compared with the other values ​​in your relationship, such as respect, understanding, and support?

Think, then, and make your decisions.

And one last tip, try to be honest with yourself and with others.

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