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OT: Still not over him?

I am still friends with an ex-boyfriend from about 3 years ago. We dated for a little less than 3 years and he decided to go to a college 10 hours away. He wanted to have a long distance relationship until we grew apart. I wanted him to stay a year and us to move together, but he said that he couldn't see himself married to me. Long story short, we broke up. He has had four girlfriends since with nothing longterm. I dated a few people and then met my boyfriend who I've been with for about two and a half years. I love my boyfriend. But I've never loved anyone like I did my ex. None of the emotions are as strong. That really bothers me, and makes me wonder if I'm missing out on something.

Usually this is something that comes up in my mind occassionaly. I'm thinking of it now because he e-mailed me last week to say that he'll be out of contact for the next few months because he will be in a remote area and wont have access to phones or e-mail. We only talk about once a month anyway, but for no apparent reason this news brought on a dream about him. Maybe this is TMI, but it was a very detailed sex dream. I woke up feeling guilty as if I'd actually cheated on my boyfriend. Ever since then I can't get this out of my head, not just the sex part, but every aspect of how I felt about my ex when we were together. If life was a romance movie we'd be the couple who broke up and ended up realizing the error of our ways and living happily every after. However, I'm old enough to know life isn't like that. And being realistic I know that we've both changed over the years and don't even know eachother that well anymore. Over the years there have been a few instances where it seemed that he has similar thoughts although his timing and my timing have never matched.

I guess none of that matters as he is moving to another state and I am in a relationship. Realistically I know our lives have completely different paths. I don't even know if he really does feel the same way, and I would never be able to ask because I'd rather not know than lose the friendship we have. But why do I keep feeling this way? Will I ever be completely over this guy? Am I cheating myself in my current relationship? Was what I felt before just the excitement of first love and young age? My best friend thinks that I am just silly to be stuck on this. Has anyone ever felt this way?

Wed. Jun 21, 11:38pm

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I have not had that situation to the extent that you do, but it certainly has happened. A face to face a couple years after we broke up was what got me over my ex. Seeing him in a new job and settled into a new place and living a life that he enjoyed but that would make me miserable was enough to get me over it. We are still friends to this day and I will always care about him and hope he is doing well, but not in a way that is remotely romantic anymore. Really it was a very liberating experience. It sort of 'freed' me to care deeply for others without feeling like I was betraying the memory of the love we had shared.

Best wishes to you!

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 1:22 AM

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I think sometimes at a distance you fondly think of memories and romanticize the past. You are only remembering the good things. If he was your first major love this is often hard for people to get over. Your fantasies are just that, fantasies. Are you happy in your current relationship? Or is something really missing. Sometimes it's hard for people to know the difference between a fun fantasy or a some sort of message your brain is telling you to get out of your relationship. It can go either way.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 6:15 AM

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Sounds like he is never going to give you what you want from him and may be continuing a friendship with you to be nice. You need to take a break from your friendship with him and focus on your current boyfriend to see if your feelings for him are real or if he is just a placeholder until your ex wants more from you. You are not being fair to your current boyfriend by continuing a friendship with your ex if you still have feelings for him. You need to be honest with yourself and cut ties and move on. It may seem like you'll never get over him, but until he wants the same thing you do, you have no choice.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 8:59 AM

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8:59 following up

and just so you know, i speak from direct experience, i'm not judging you, but am understanding exactly where you are coming from.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 9:01 AM

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i have found that many times when i thought i was missing an ex-boyfriend or even another close, non-intimate friend, what i really missed was the way i was feeling when i was around that other person. you know, my level of self-esteem and my keen socializing skills, or my being relied upon for support, or the fun i was having because i was going out to places and doing things that i (we) really enjoyed. i started taking myself to the places i'd had great memories from and brought new people in my life to the events i've been brought to in the past by people i really enjoyed. although i still miss people sometimes, it's more of a recognition than a longing now.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 9:44 AM

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Is this me?

I started reading your post and thought "did i write this last night in my sleep?" i can completely relate because i am you right now! it's crazy. i have been in a relationship with a great guy for a year and a half. my ex and i had a relationship for 6 years (4 of the years we were in college on opposite sides of the country), but during those years away we had an open relationship and dated other people. yet we always found our way back to one another. maybe we didn't let ourselves at that time fall in love with someone else because we really just wanted to be with each other.
anyways, after college we moved different cities because of jobs, all the while making plans to be together for the next move. that's when i met my current boyfriend. i still have thoughts of my ex every single day and it drives me crazy. i can't stop thinking about him and it makes me feel guilty. i'll snap out of it occasionally and live my life happily with my current boyfriend, but then it hits me again. I was hit again with thoughts of my ex a few weeks ago, and ever since then i've been really really distant from my boyfriend. i've also been more aware of the little things he does - how he washes himself, brushes his teeth, etc. - his inefficiency drives me crazy!!! sometimes i say something, but most of the time i keep it to myself. he knows i'm acting differently and get easily irritated right now but he hasn't said much except the fact that we dont' have sex much.
i'm not sure what it is. i'm not sure if i can't stop thinking about my ex because i should be with him or if the little things that lack in my relationship now force me to think of the "perfect" relationship i had with my ex and wish i had that. although maybe it only seems perfect now because i think of all the good times. or maybe these thoughts are telling me to get out of the relationship i'm in now. but it's a great relationship when i'm IN it. should i h ave to force myself back into the relationship so i can see why i love my current boyfriend so much? or are the doubts a sign i should get out? i know you guys don't know the two relationships i've had. but let's just say one man is similar to me and we have a really deep connection. the other man is the exact opposite of me - he doesn't think too much and just has fun.

hopefully, someone out there that has gone through this can give us a little advice or a few things to think about.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 12:15 PM

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I went through the same thing and to be honest I do think you are still cheating yourself in current relationships. I did the same thing with an ex for over 5 years. Everyone else I was with never seemed to compare to him. But the problem was not with the new guys I was dating, it was with me. I was hanging on to something that was great while it lasted but it was time to move on. I made the decision to move on and I am now engaged and LOVE the man I am with now. I still think of the ex now but not in any way other than I hope he is well and he is a nice person.
I hope you are able to do something soon to move on, until you do I don't think you will be happy with anyone. It has to be a decision on your part.
Good luck and know that many of us have been through the same thing!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 1:19 PM

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OP here - above poster, wow! You described all the questions I've been asking myself. You also pretty much described the 2 guys. They are complete opposites! I've often felt that if I could somehow mix the two of them I would have the perfect man for me. Thank you so much for posting. At least I don't feel like the only one now!

Maybe I am romanticizing the past. And it is true that my ex will never give me what I want. I'm not even sure what I want! Maybe it is more about my current relationship which I do have doubts about.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 1:25 PM

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Hey, OP

I'm the 1215 poster going through your same situation. I was just thinking...

everyone seems to say move on and i often think "but you just don't understand the connection i have with my ex". funny thing is...i think most people that have been in love, which is probably a majority of the people telling me to move on, do understand what we're going thru. maybe it is time to just force myself to stop thinking about my ex. it was a great relationship and although there are little problems with the relationship i'm in now (like how he brushes his teeth, hahaha, how lame is that! i know i know), there were problems in the relationship i had with my ex too. the only difference is now i'm not with him, and i only think of the good, perfect times. my ex and i were very similar and because of that we didn't admire one another, but i have admiration now. my ex didn't open doors for me or adore me in the way my bf now does. my ex was a different man around his friends, whereas my bf now is who he is all the time. maybe i should start remembering those little problems from before and start cherishing how good the relationship i'm in now. there must be a reason why i'm not with my ex now and why we didn't move to the same city after school. it just didn't happen. i could have made it happen, but i didn't.
the 119 poster made a good point: "i was hanging on to something great while it lasted, but it was time to move on".

i go through cycles. i focus on my current relationship and give my bf all my heart for a few months, and then have a little spell like this. but once i talk to others (like i am here) and realize that he deserves all my love, i snap out of it. i'm going to make the decision to snap back out of it now. it's very emotionally draining and depressing.
hopefully one day i can make the decision to snap out of these cycles forever. i guess it's just hard to change my thoughts since for 6+ years i believed that my ex was the one. now i'm dealing with getting that out of my head.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 3:23 PM

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OP Again. I agree with you completely. And I am going to do the same thing. My ex wasn't and isn't perfect. It's easy to idealize something when you can conveniently ignore the unpleasant parts. I'm so glad I posted this here. I almost didn't, but I really feel I've gained a new understanding. Thanks everyone who posted.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 3:37 PM

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