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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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me again

wow, i really think way too much, but hopefully i'm amusing someone out there with my thoughts :-)

so my current bf is about 10 years older than me and he's ready to buy a house and start a family. maybe my fears of being tied down to a house and no longer being free to travel or move from city to city has caused me to go through this phase again. thinking of my ex makes me feel free because we had always talked about moving to australia or traveling across the U.S. for a few months. part of me still wants to do that and maybe because my bf now is settled in a job and a city he loves, i feel trapped. i want what my bf wants - a family and to settle in a house where i can finally plant a garden - but not just yet.

OP, is there something like this that has caused you to think so much of your ex? maybe you are living one way and still yearn to live another.
what did you mean by "i'm not even sure what i want"?

maybe taking a crazy adventure trip for a month or two will make me feel free for the moment and then ready to start a life with my bf.

...still thinking... :-)

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 3:39 PM

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When I said that I don't know what I want I meant that I'm not sure what I would want from by ex. We live very differenent lives. I love my life, and he honestly wouldn't fit into many parts of it. He has very different career goals and a very different view of life. I wouldn't want him to change any of those things. Those are some of the things I like best about him so if he did change enough to be able to fit into my life as more than a friend, then what I've always liked about him would also have to change and then he wouldn't be the same person. I honestly don't think I'd want him if he was enough like me. You know, I honestly realize that this isn't the guy for me. I always felt like he was "the one", but he's not. Not for who I am now, and I like who I am now. I don't want to change that for anyone.

Maybe a little adventure would help you. It is a big decision to take on the "white picket fence" lifestyle. Definitely don't do it until you know you are ready.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 4:36 PM

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Hi, I'm the 1:19 poster again

I'm glad I could maybe help but I forgot to say that I too went through cycles. I wouldn't see the ex for a long time and then I would run into him and immediately start pulling away from my bf and also pushing him away. This would last until my emotions about my ex calmed down and then I would go back to 100% devoted to him... It was really hard. My fiance stood by me even when I told him I still had feelings for the ex. And the ex still had feelings for me too (and told me) but it just wasn't something that would work out anymore. I finally got over it and am SO HAPPY I was able to. I went through the same feeling of "nobody understands what we had 5 years ago"... and then I thought... "YEAH 5 YEARS AGO!!!"

So it is hard and I have survived and I hope I can be a help to anyone else going through this!

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 4:52 PM

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Sometimes we live our lives in the fantasy of what could have been and we miss out on some wonderful feelings for someone else. We build this fantasy up so beautifully in our heads that it is all we think about. Sometimes the fantasy is better than real life. But we will never know how incredible life can be with someone new if we can't let go of the fantasy. There is a reason the relationship didn't work. Maybe it is time for you to let go and move on with your boyfriend. Open yourself up to new feelings and enjoy the one you are with. I wish you all the happiness in the world and I truly hope you allow yourself to move on. Sometimes you just can't go back. I tried, it didn't work for me. As time past we were nothing like we used to be. The fantasy was better. I have since moved on and I have a wonderful husband that I wouldn't trade for anyone. It took me a while to open up and allow myself to really feel loved and give my love too. Real life has become better than the fantasy for me.

Friday, June 23, 2006, 10:29 PM

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I am/was going through something similar. My ex wasn't the best boyfriend or else we'd still be together but something about him made me feel special and important. Then the other half of me felt miserable when he wouldn't call or when he started cheating on me. I went through counseling to get over my need to please him, to make him want me and to stop thinking about what ifs with him. Just today, his wife (he didn't even have the balls to tell me he had gotten married and had a 10 month old baby) instant messaged me and asked me why was I talking to her husband. I told her I didn't even know he was married. She wasn't upset because he's been cheating on her. We talked (im'd) for about an hour, she made me realize that I'm glad I'm with my current instead of my ex.

Friday, June 23, 2006, 10:43 PM

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Thank you, all, for your stories. I'm not the OP, but I'm going through this same situation. All of your comments have helped me get through this and realize how much love I have for my boyfriend. My ex is in the past, and I'm in love now...and very happy. We had a wonderful weekend together because I gave HIM all of me. Thanks again for your support!

Monday, June 26, 2006, 10:20 AM

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I don't want to sound negative, but make sure while you are giving all of yourself to anybody, that you are receiving all of them. Coming out of a bad relationship or a controlling one, distorts your ability to view relationships as they really are. Take some time and give all of yourself to yourself.

Monday, June 26, 2006, 8:13 PM

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Boyfriend Blue's

Hi there-- I happened to see your post this morning... I wanted to share a few thoughts-- though maybe at this point its irrelevant. You may no longer be with your current boyfriend.
Sometimes we romanticize the past -- everyone looks better and bigger and brighter because we remember the good things. What we forget is that they left us and broke our hearts ... so why hang on to it? Your new man is in your liife- he's the one who is there for you. (Well, maybe) lol
Anyway-- seems to be, that you may be having these feelings though to remind yourself of what you value in a relationship-- perhaps this man currently in your life doesnt fulfill your needs so you are going back to a past time where, even though it didnt work out, many of your core emotional needs were met. Bear this in mind-- betcha its a warning bell-- really do some deep introspection on this. Good luck!

Saturday, July 01, 2006, 3:00 PM

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