For clarity, I’m a lesbian but hate labels. With that said, I’m having trouble choosing between two women, both of whom I’ve dated before. I met ex #1 through work. She came on strong, and we had a very passionate relationship. I don’t think I have ever been that absorbed and given someone that much of myself before. But, after almost a year she decided we needed a break, which I took as an opportunity to meet new people. That’s when I met ex #2. We got together sort of knowing neither of us was in a place to commit to each other and we didn’t have any intentions to. However, we discovered we were really compatible and eventually tried to seriously date, which didn’t work out. Since then, we have stayed in touch and every couple of months we get together.
Currently, ex #2 and I are back “talking” again, but I ran into ex #1 the other day and I just can’t stop thinking about her. She’s gorgeous and truly knows everything about me, though we fought hard though and there are some negative times I really don’t like looking back on. Ex #2 is a bit more practical, very cute and gets along great with my friends and family. She’s loving, thoughtful, caring and totally in to me, so why do I want to risk all that to pursue ex #1? Why do we always go back to the risky ones? Is it curiosity? When I think about ex #1 it hurts because I know I gave everything I had to make that relationship work. I don’t know if I have it in me to ever try like that again. I guess I’m concerned if I’m making the wrong choice… — Between Two Ferns
Generally, the reason we “always go back to the risky ones,” when we have proven troubled history with them isn’t because we’re just so in love or because they have such a strong hold on our hearts or any of that romantic mumbo jumbo we tell ourselves when we’re in the thick of it — it’s because we’re addicted to the drama and not ready for a committed relationship. Think about it: if your exes were like cars and you knew car #1 was a beautiful ride but broke down all the time, then why on earth would you consider purchasing it if what you wanted was something reliable? Clearly, you don’t want reliable. And that’s fine. But quit playing ex #2 who has always been “loving, thoughtful, caring and totally in to you.” She seems ready for something real, and you aren’t there. Let her loose so she can find someone who’s ready for what she has to offer. Go sow your oats with ex #1 — if she even wants you — but be prepared for drama, hurt feelings and probably a broken heart. If you buy a lemon, beautiful as it may be, you have to expect it’s going to break down on you a lot. So, learn how to make repairs when you can, and move on when you can’t.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.