Torn In Love- New Guy Is Great- Old Love Comes Back-What To Do?

Dear Liz, I have been dating a guy for about seven months now. He is great, he loves me and would do anything for me.  We get along great, and I love him. However, I have kept in touch with my ex for about five to six years now, and we are on good terms. My ex and I dated back at the end of college/grad school for about three years. He ended the relationship because he got scared and thought the next step was to get engaged, etc. My ex and I recently ran into each other a few months ago. After he saw me, he realized he had made a mistake, told me I am his best friend and realized that we belonged together. I had waited so long to hear this from him. He understands I am in a relationship and am happy, but needed to tell me. I guess I had always waited around for him, but continually dated, and finally decided enough was enough and finally moved on. Part of me wants to try it out, but he's in another state, and is undecided on where he will move to after his clinical is over. Another part of me thinks I’m crazy to even think about that, when I am content and happy with my new relationship and could see it advancing to marriage, etc. The thought of ending it makes me upset because I care for and love him. When I was with my ex, I had thought at that time that he was the one. Am I just thinking about the ex because it is a fantasy I had always wanted in the end to work out? I feel I'm torn and am not sure of which way to go.


Hartford, Connecticut


Hi in Hartford,

Thank you for writing in, I hope I can help.  This is the kind of situation that’s going to require the kind of truth and faith inside yourself that can be really challenging.  It might be helpful to try to go over everything carefully and honestly to begin.  If indeed you decide to stick it out with your new guy and hope for it to move to a future together forever, it would be helpful to be really honest with your self about your ability to sever ties and emotions with the ex.  Is that doable?  IS there a part of you that will always wonder what would have happened?  And if things go wrong at some point in the new relationship will you always think the ex may have been the better choice?  IF you decide to try and move forward with the ex, break ties with this man you love now, you’ve already spoken of how difficult that will be.  To measure all of this with a sound mind can feel impossible….Truth is only you know the true face of your heart and what you need to do.  Whether you can navigate your way there  or not is the question.  Looking at this at face value here is my suggestion.  A life time is a really long time, marriage is FOREVER. 


            Is there any way you could be honest with your guy, the one you’ve been seeing for 7 month’s?  Could you tell him your thoughts and heart and let him know you think looking at the long term of your life that you may need to see where you are and what could or might be with the ex?  I realize that sounds like a break up of sorts and it is, but the truth is, what is supposed to happen here will happen.  You and the ex may not be able to figure it out and if current boyfriend really loves you, he will want this for you.  He doesn’t want a piece of your heart always wondering what might have been with the ex.  It’s complicated but will be well worth the success and truth of the rest of your life.  Honestly you are going to have to give something up here, and I think your odds might be the best by being honest with current boyfriend.  You may lose him, but if you’re meant to be with him you’ll learn that and can go back.  Love doesn’t turn on and off.  And if while you’re reading this you’re thinking you could never ever do this in the way I’m suggesting and would die without new guy….then there’s your answer.  You tell ex you have moved on with no room in your heart left for him!


Whatever you choose, you must be honest and look further down the road than most of us tend to look.


I wish you good life, and want to remind you that two great men love you, and there is the silver lining….do the right thing for you here!

Best, Liz


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