Monday, October 20, 2014

Life :: Advice Question / I'm Still in Love With my Ex...

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Anonymous asks,

"I recently went through a complicated and messy break up. I still have feelings for my ex, but I know they'll fade in time. I still have occasional communication with my ex and it's just complicated. Like life. Am I obligated to fill in my current boyfriend? When is the right time to share stories about messy exes? If I'm not cheating, is it really anyone's business?"

When Brandon and I met, we had both been single for about two years, casually dating people on and off. But before that, he was engaged and I was in a long-term, live-in relationship. We actually discussed these exes the first night we talked. It wasn't that we wanted to dwell on the past or trash-talk our old flames; we simply wanted to be open and honest with what we had both been through. This allowed us to gain some perspective on each other and find out what we were both looking for.

Now, I'm not saying you have to bring up your ex on the first date -- for us, the conversation just naturally flowed in that direction -- but I think it's healthy to be honest about your past. I wouldn't go through the details of every hook-up and one-night stand, but if you had any relationships that were long-term, significant, or recent, those should be mentioned. It also helps for you to know about his past as well so that you can pick up on any red flags that could occur in your own relationship. Of course, humans are constantly changing and hopefully he learned from his mistakes. However, love is embracing everything about the person you're with -- who they were, who they are now, and who they will be in the future.

In your specific situation, I would strongly suggest cutting off all communication with your ex. If you still have feelings for this person, and things are still messy, it could definitely interfere with your current relationship. Even if you're not doing anything sexual with your ex, I do believe there's such a thing as emotional cheating. If you're still thinking about your ex, it's not fair to your boyfriend. Even if he never finds out, you will never be able to give yourself fully to him until you lose those feelings. And the best way to do that is to stop talking to him! Get some closure and move forward.

I personally think that exes are exes for a reason. If it didn't work out, there's no point in keeping in touch. As for telling your boyfriend about this guy -- like I said, honesty is the best policy. You could say something like: "Just so you know, my ex is still in my life, but I'm trying to cut him out of it. Because of that, I think that we should take things slow. I really like what we have and I want to start this relationship with an honest foundation." If my boyfriend were hiding something from me, I would rather know. If he really cares about you, he'll respect you for telling the truth and give you the time you need to move on.

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