“He Wants to Get Back With His Ex”

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    March 9, 2023 at 9:04 am #1119059

    From a LW:

    “For the past few months, I’ve been hanging out with this guy I know from work (we’re not coworkers; I’m technically a “student-in-training”). In any case, we were “introduced” by my friends and basically started to hang out on hiking trips like every other weekend or so. We started out all nice and friendly – talking to each other and getting to know each other like friends would. And we are just friends. Though recently, I started to realize that I’ve come to develop some feelings for him. Of course, I haven’t said anything yet. I wanted to wait longer, get to know him more, and see if he was developing feelings for me too.

    But about two days ago, I find out that he’s going on a trip with his friends and his ex-girlfriend, though I don’t think it’s the first time. I’m sure he’s still hanging around her and going to all these places with her and their friends. Anyway, from what he said, they dated for about 3 years and broke up in February of last year. I don’t know who called it off or why the broke up. And he said that he never really got over her and he wants to get back together with his ex; that now they’re “trying to make it work.” I mean, I understand being with someone for 3 years is a long time and it’s no wonder he hasn’t gotten over her yet. Though needless to say, I didn’t want to hear that, but I definitely felt that pain in my heart when he said it.

    I don’t know if or when they’ll get back together, but if they do, I think that means the end of him and me hanging out. The end of our friendship. At least for me. There’s no way I’d be able to keep hanging out with him and be happy knowing there’s someone else. It’d be too painful for me. I’ve never been in a relationship before and I know I shouldn’t cry over what I never had, but it’s still hard. I know people will say to get over him, but that’s always easier said than done. And if I have to get over him, the only way would be for me to end our friendship. No contact or anything, just slowly disappear from his sight. One of my friends says it’s not a good idea and to stay friends. And then another friend says I should tell him how I feel even if means ending our friendship. But would telling him be should a good idea, whether or not he ends back with his ex? I think that if I told him, it wouldn’t change anything except make things awkward between us, and he’d still end up with his ex and tell me he just wants to stay friends. Thus, ending of friendship no matter what I do. Knowing my luck, I can already see a not-so-happy-outcome for me. What should I do?! – Forever Alone”

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    March 9, 2023 at 9:53 am #1119068

    If you’re planning on disappearing from his life anyway if/when he is back with his ex (or with someone else) and if your friendship is, for you, really contingent on the possibility of a relationship, then I don’t see what you have to lose by telling him how you feel about him. Two things will happen: he will return the feelings (either immediately, or perhaps gradually once you put yourself on his radar “in that way”); or, he will not return the feelings and you can disappear from his life as you were planning to anyway, knowing that you at least tried and it wasn’t meant to be.

    Miss MJ
    March 9, 2023 at 9:56 am #1119069

    This sucks, I’m sorry.

    I think you already know what you need to do and that’s limit your interactions with this guy. That’s how you “kill” a crush. There’s no point in putting yourself through watching the guy you have a crush on be with someone else. And, you’ve only known him for a few months. It’s not like you have to end a life long friendship here.

    Also, I’d advise against telling him how you feel. Life isn’t a rom com where he will somehow boomerang around to you if only he knew. It’s just going to make things weird and awkward and then you’ll feel even worse.

    So, limit your contact to work stuff only and also make a point to hang out with other friends, join a new group or even get on dating sites. Essentially fill up your life with things other than this guy. If you’ve got a full and fulfilling life, you won’t be “forever alone” even if you’re single.

    March 9, 2023 at 10:00 am #1119070

    Hi. Sorry,this is disappointing/sad for you. I think the only thing to do is nothing. If he gets back with her, just tail off your contact,outings with him. They may happen anyway if he has a girlfriend again. Don’t try to be friends,it will just be hurtful and painful for you.
    I would not tell him your feelings. If he had some interest in you that way,he likely would have shown it by now,and he would not be rekindling an old romance. Start going on outings more with friends and think about meeting someone else to date. I wish you well.

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    March 9, 2023 at 11:04 am #1119072

    I think your inclination to distance yourself is the right one, LW. I don’t think he’d be talking to you about his feelings for his ex if he was interested in more than friendship with you. (Also, I don’t fully understand the nature of your work relationship with him, but it’s probably for the best not to mix your romantic and work life.)

    Anyway, if you’re upset, that’s okay. It’s sad to lose a crush, getting over someone you were into or a situation you felt hopeful about sucks. If you want/need to cry about it, do that.

    One last tidbit is that assuming you signed off as “Forever Alone”… work on that attitude! 🙂 I wish I’d had when I was younger the abundance mindset around dating that I finally found when I got a little bit older.

    March 9, 2023 at 12:42 pm #1119073

    I’m on team “tell him”.

    Don’t expect anything to come of it. But if he sees you as a serious friend, and you suddenly stop talking to him if and when he gets back with his ex, he deserves to know a reason why.

    If the sexes were reversed, we’d be coming down on the guy for only being in a friendship because there’s a chance they might hook up. There’s a lot of valid reasons it’s not the same when you flip the sexes, but the guys feelings do deserve some consideration, and I think he deserves to know the truth behind why you were friends one day and the next you weren’t.

    March 9, 2023 at 12:57 pm #1119074

    I’m in the Don’t Tell Him camp. Whether he gets back with the ex or not,
    him telling you about all this was him trying to gently let you know that he’s not into you. He already knows you have a crush, and he doesn’t feel the same way. I think your plan to distance yourself is a good one, since there’s no point in torturing yourself watching him move on with her or someone else.

    March 9, 2023 at 2:51 pm #1119075

    I agree with Wendy – if you’ve decided that it’s all or nothing (and I don’t fault you for that – you do what’s best for you), then I see nothing wrong with shooting your shot and saying “Look, I’m not going to stand in your way, but this is how I feel and since you don’t feel that way, I’m going to go on my way instead of being miserable”.

    Maybe he’ll get back with the ex – maybe he will remember why they broke up. Who the hell knows?

    March 9, 2023 at 10:07 pm #1119076

    The gap between not knowing him well enough to share that vs. crying over him telling you he hopes to get back with an ex is a little wild to me. Like, things change all the time. This trip could be a disaster. All is not lost. Learn to bide your time and watch things unfold. Exes generally are for a reason. Ski trips don’t change that.

    Take a breather and wait it out, and maybe don’t cut someone out, right away immediately…because who can say if he even got back with her if they’d even last?

    There are oceans of reactions between “disappear completely” and confronting him with your feelings. Like, the middle, doing nothing is not a bad place to fall.

    You don’t know enough to be crying about this yet, IMO. That’s what I’d tell you if you were my friend. Save the tears for a real heartbreak.

    And yes, stop labeling yourself forever alone, and being generally negatory about your self and dating life. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if you keep saying that to yourself. If you expect to be disappointed, congratulations you will be. Life sucks and is really hard A LOT of the time. Don’t be the first person who shits on your dreams, before you can even dream them, and yes, this guy is a dream right now.

    I wouldn’t cut him out. Go ahead and give it distance but you never know. Life is funny and anything can happen.

    March 9, 2023 at 10:11 pm #1119077

    I do think there may be a likely he knows you’ve caught feelings. Maybe cutting him out of your life is the right move for you, but I wanted to give you another tactic. Nothing is a nice move sometimes.

    March 10, 2023 at 7:26 am #1119079

    I guess you have nothing to lose by telling him, but I think he’s interested in his ex and not interested in you in that way. If you tell him then at least you know you did all you could do. And I guess maybe there’s some small chance he sees you in a different light after that. The thing is though, this guy is in love with someone else, and that’s not going to go away. He needs to try again with her, and either it will work out or it won’t. It’s going to take time for him to work through his feelings for her and figure out if they have any future together. They may even have to get together and break up more than once. You do not need to be competing with her for his feelings. You could say something like you’ve realized your feelings for him are not just friends, and so to protect yourself you need to walk away from this friendship while he’s working things out with his ex. If things change, give you a call.

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