I am still attracted to my ex, but she just wants to be friends — is there any way that this can work?

02. September 2017 All About Children 0

The question

I am in my mid-20s. My girlfriend {}, ex-girlfriend now — that I went out with for two decades, broke up with me a year ago. But then, she turned around and wanted to be “friends.” We go to movies, have dinner, and sit on her terrace and speak. The issue is, I still find her very attractive, still need to sleep with her and am probably a little bit in love with her. The other issue is that recently she began dating a close friend of mine. It is torture for me to see them together. What can I do? I feel like I am in hell!

The answer

Well, purgatory, certainly, at the very least.

I have been in that dark netherworld myself. When I was in my mid-20s, I dated a 19-year-old waitress/bartender. She was hot and sexy. I don’t know if we had a lot in common intellectually, but I really had the hots for her.

Our relationship only lasted a month or two. However, the postrelationship relationship lasted a whole two decades. She teased me, she tortured me to the edge of insanity with all the casual sadism of a teenager.

She would change facing me. “Oooh, it’s time to go to work, I change.” Suddenly she would be in bra and panties in my flat. Sometimes she would be “too drunk to go home” and remain within my queen-sized bed.

And occasionally, she would throw this dog a bone, thus ensuring I remained on a really short leash, following her around town like a panting puppy, awaiting my benefit.

Who knows why people do so? Great for their self-esteem, I guess. But the issue with such arrangements is the amount it boosts their self-esteem is commensurate with the scope it disturbs yours.

As to your buddy, he’s in breach of what we predicted in bachelor days the Five Year/Foreign Country clause of the Friend Code: “Though shalt not date a close friend’s ex before a period of five years hath elapsed, or you experience her/him in a foreign country.”

Draconian, possibly, but the Friend Code was and is aimed at maintaining friendships. And this is the sort of situation which may lead them to implode.

What I’d do in your boots: First of all, never, ever, hang out together as a couple. That is, to use a few new-age neologisms, “self-harming” behaviour. And you need to practise “self-care.”

Personally, I would avoid your buddy for the time being, too. I am not saying turn your back on him. Simply put him in “the penalty box” for a short time. Partly for breaking up the Friend Code, partially because he is bound to remind you of your ex. At least for today. You want a complete media blackout on your ex, so that you can start to forget about her. They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but I do not agree. “Out of sight out of mind:” That is the cliché that will set you free. (In my case, my ex thankfully relocated to Los Angeles to become a writer/actress.)

{} I could speculate that in your heart of hearts you would like to win your ex back. I’d let that go. I’ve seen these break-up-date-someone-else-get-back-together arrangements can work — for a little while. Nevertheless, the next iteration never seems to work out in the long term.

It is telling, I think, that you called her “girlfriend” initially, then adjusted yourself. You need to let go.

It’s not merely a question of self-esteem. Getting hooked on an ex — the dopamine shot you get when you see her — it is like any other medication.

It can ruin your career, your health … (My ex used to get off work at two a.m. — then wish to start her day, partying with the other restaurant employees. I would go with her. I needed to be at work at 8 a.m.!)

You want somebody who will love you for you, who will know you and understand you down to the floor and love you anyway. The earlier you place this relationship with your ex from the back view, the better for everybody.

Are you currently in a sticky situation? Send your issues to . Please keep your submissions to 150 words and include a daytime contact number so we can follow up with any questions.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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