About a week ago my ex began emailing me again. We haven’t spoke since the breakup. It hit me like a ton of bricks: I’m still so in love with him! He feels the same. Being with other people has shown us how much we took for granted and has changed us. I want nothing more than for us to start out slowly focussing on the friendship first. I still would like to remain friends with my current boyfriend but he’s going to be crushed. What is the best way to handle this? What do I and don’t I say? — Wants Out
Well, I’d leave out the part about how you aren’t attracted to him at all and how he has bad breath and you think he’s poorly educated and he grosses you out. I’d probably leave out the part about how being with him made you realize how much you took your ex for granted. I’d also leave out anything about wanting to remain friends with him. Honestly, the last thing the guy needs is a “friend” who is grossed out by him and pretty much used him to get over an ex (until the ex came back).
What I would say if I were you is that it’s totally over between you and you’re going back to your ex. It may “crush” him, as you say, but giving him the closure you didn’t get when you and your ex broke up is the kindest thing you can do in this situation. Don’t leave the door open. Don’t leave him wondering why you ended things. Don’t let him think there’s still a chance of reconciliation. Tell him in no uncertain terms that you aren’t in love with him and that your heart belongs to someone else. If he asks you why you dated and moved in with him in the first place if you were still in love with your ex, tell him the truth: you enjoyed his company and thought being with him would help you move on. No one with any self-respect is going to pine over a woman who was only with him in an effort to get over someone else.
With luck, the truth will set your boyfriend free. In time, after he gets over the hurt feelings, he’ll hopefully see you as a bullet dodged and be glad he escaped with minimal harm.