Your Turn: “Should I Tell My Ex/ Roommate That I Still Love Him?”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I live with my ex-boyfriend and we’re best friends but I still have feelings for him and they are driving me crazy. I can’t tell him how I feel because we live together and if he doesn’t feel the same way he would probably want me to move out and I have no place to go. I think about him all the time to the point where he’s constantly in my dreams and I’m so mentally and physically exhausted by the end of every day from thinking of him.

He makes me feel so good when I’m with him and he flirts with me all the time. We sleep in the same bed as well and cuddle at night. That is the time of day I look forward to the most — when he holds me. He’s the one I think about whenever I listen to sad songs. I’ve cried so many times because he “gets with” other people. I get upset but I don’t think I can really be that upset because he doesn’t know how I still feel about him.

I broke up with him because I was afraid he would leave me when I got close to him. That’s my defense mechanism in relationships, I guess. I know now in my heart though that I would be sooo happy to be back with him. Although another thought has popped into my head: what if I’m just jealous or I’m just lusting for him? I don’t believe it’s those things but it could be a possibility. But I’m starting to get so depressed because I can’t stop thinking about him.

Should I tell him how I feel? Should I keep it to myself for sake of the living situation and because I don’t have a place to go? Should I wait it out? Any advice you could give me would be so much appreciated!


  1. lets_be_honest says:

    For starters, get your own bed.

    1. i couldn’t agree more! i don’t even know what else to say really.

    2. TheOtherMe says:

      …”For starters, get your own bed. “…


      LW: get out from that situation as soon as you can & you might start to feel differently if you’re not “cuddling all night” with a man you still have feelings for. It does not sound like you’ve broken up at all.

      1. except for the part where he sleeps with other girls…

      2. Am I the only one wondering where the LW sleeps when the communal bed is being used for sexy time?
        Sweet lord I would not even be willing to deal with the mere logistics of this situation let alone the emotional baggage that accompanies it…

      3. Nope – I wondered too. Whatever the answer is – no good can come of it.

      4. Thanks for that, now I have a mental image of LW sitting in bed frowning with her ex and another girl hooking up right next to her. 😀

        Letters like this make me feel old, old fashioned, and tired (and worried about the future of the human race. And I´m only 32.

      5. Could you imagine being on a date with that guy, and the girl wants to go back to his place for a little action, and he says sure I just have to check with my roommate/ex and see if the bed we share is available tonight!

      6. The_Yellow_Dart says:

        Is the LW Sammi from Jersey Shore?

    3. This is very possibly my favorite advice you have ever given…I am literally convulsing with laughter

      1. Sorry if that sounds insensitive, LW- but seriously GROW THE FUCK UP

    4. 6napkinburger says:

      It is possible! I just did!

    5. I’m guessing she has her own bed, but she still sleeps in his bed anyway? That’s how I took it at least!

  2. Landygirl says:

    *bangs head on keyboard*

  3. MellaJade says:

    You need your own bed and your own room at the very least. You need your own space to even contemplate this situation. The fact that you’re asking if it’s just lust or jealousy leads me to believe you are unsure about your feelings. I can’t help believing that this is not healthy for you. This arrangement does not sound like a good idea and you need to concentrate on you first. Get some space and clear your head.

  4. O…M…F…G
    How do people get themselves into these situations???
    LW, just get out of there! Crash at a friend´s, anything. I´m 90% positive that your ex knows how you feel and is getting off with this whole bizarre situation. Don´t give him the satisfaction!

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Absolutely agree that he knows, which makes me not feel bad for him since she’s clearly using him for a living arrangement which is more messed up.

      1. Oops, I sknimmed over the part that she has nowhere to go 🙁
        Then definitely LW, get a bed or even an air mattress, put it in another room, and save like crazy til you can get out of there!!!

      2. cookiesandcream says:

        In all honesty, I’m pretty sure at this point a homeless shelter would be a healthier place for her to live.

      3. Landygirl says:

        I think living in a van down by the river would be a better place.

      4. lets_be_honest says:


      5. bittergaymark says:

        No, no, no! Not the Homeless Shelter!! Please! Think of the poor Homeless… Haven’t they suffered enough?!

      6. I don’t even buy that she has no where to go, I think she is more worried about losing what little she has left with this guy.

    2. jessielyn says:

      “I´m 90% positive that your ex knows how you feel and is getting off with this whole bizarre situation.”

      My first thought was: Oh, he knows how you feel about him. Trust me.

      You need to get out of this living arrangement ASAP and FOR SURE GET YOUR OWN BED!!! Or sleep on a couch. Or the floor.

  5. i think the things we regret the most in life are not the mistakes we make along the way but the chances we could have taken but did not. you definitely don’t want to look back on this time of your life and think “what if?”. i think you should go for it. if you guys are close friends like you say you are i doubt that he will throw you out if things do not go your way. but i would suggest looking into sleeping in your own bed until you sort your feelings out and talk to him in order to prevent further frustration and torture.

  6. silver_dragon_girl says:

    Ok. Um. Where to begin?

    First of all, you need to get your own place. This living situation is incredibly unhealthy, because you’re basically IN a live-in relationship with this guy, only he goes out and sleeps with other people and you aren’t “allowed” to care. So I say before you do anything else, figure out a plan to move out on your own. Whether that involves saving up some money, getting a first or second job, or just taking the initiative to find a place of your own, you need to do it, or at least start making a plan.

    Once you’ve started that process, start sleeping on the freaking couch.

    Now, should you tell him how you feel? Yes- after you’ve gotten out of this living arrangement and for god’s sake out of this sleeping arrangement. It can be difficult to differentiate between wanting someone for his own sake and wanting someone just because he’s *there,* which is why I advise you to put some distance between you two first. Once you’ve backed things up to a more normal “friend” relationship distance, if you still feel this way, then yes, by all means, tell him.

    About your “breaking up with him before he leaves” thing…girlfriend, I have been through that temptation. Why don’t you try just talking to him about it?

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Awesome advice. I would also just add that you might want to seriously deal with your issue of ‘breakup before he leaves me’ problem BEFORE you tell him how you feel. But yea, talking to him about it makes sense too.

      1. silver_dragon_girl says:

        Yeah, I think this is a definite “get thee to a therapist” kind of letter. I’m guessing she can’t quite afford one, though, and it can take a while to find good, low-cost of free counseling, so in the meantime…get your own bed!!!

      2. Shadowflash1522 says:

        The irony is, her so-called defense mechanism isn’t even working. She broke up with him b/c she was afraid of getting close to him and, lo and behold! She’s close to him, but in such a way that it’s torturous rather than loving, because she wouldn’t let him be close to her.

        Normally I would say confess, talk it over, and straighten things out but this–this is actually kind of sick. The only recourse is to move out, cut contact, and think really, really hard about who you want to be.

      3. I totally agree!!! This is the worst defense mechanism ever!!! LW, you need to learn to trust people and love yourself. You are ruining your chances of happiness and then staying in the painful situation.

  7. In my mid-twenties, I had an on-again, off-again relationship that lasted for years. We lived together the entire time, which definitely contributed to the situation in a negative way. Our emotionally damaged merry-go-round wouldn’t have lasted that long, or been nearly as devastating, if we had each been able to step away and gain a little perspective. Right now, it sounds as if you are still living as part of a couple even though the relationship is over. I agree with the other comments, step one is obviously to stop sleeping in the same bed. I also think you need to ask him what he wants. Are you planning on remaining roommates for the foreseeable future? If so, is it due to financial issues or is it that you really do want to be friends and housemates?

  8. Decide what you want. You want the current cuddling, watching him “get with” other girls scenario – join a masochistic support group and have at it. You want a real relationship instead of the nightmare fantasy you are indulging: Tell him. Get your own place. Start dating again. I don’t buy the “I have no place to go”. Unless you guys are cuddling in a cardboard box you have money for rent so you can rent elsewhere just as easily.
    It may be that you tell him and he tells you he is happy with the status quo. What’s not to like – he gets to live single when he wants and he gets to have the girlfriend experience when it works for him too. YOU are the only one crying on the bathroom floor unable to move on. If that happens you will have the consolation that at least you tried. And you can console yourself however you choose – in your own place.

    1. ReginaRey says:

      This is the advice I meant to give, but was too annoyed to even articulate.

      1. I know what you mean – I had to take a deep breath before typing too…

  9. I don’t know what your financial restrictions, etc are but there has to be some way to fix this so that you have your own place. To break up but still cuddle and sleep together is just not normal and not ok. Neither of you are benefiting from this situation. After all you broke up with him! You told him you didn’t want him and then continued to sleep in his bed. Like many others have said a good first step would be to sleep on the couch or a pile of blankets in another room anything. Then start looking for a cheap place to live with a roommate. And then the two of you need to actually break up and move on. And like ReginaRey and others have said, perhaps consider getting some sort of counseling to talk about your issues with relationships.

  10. Good lordy lord. Everyone else will help you with great suggestions, you don’t need me for that.

    However, might I suggest investigating a career as a romance novelist? I bet you’d be great with bodice-ripping material.

  11. cookiesandcream says:

    WOW. You are in a very unhealthy situation, LW.

    First of all, I strongly encourage you to move out or have him move out. I seriously don’t think that you literally have “no where else to go.” The fact that you think that and still spend time with your ex the way you do leads me to believe that you’re codependent on him. There must be at least one other room in your entire town/city that has a spare bedroom at a rate that you can afford. Even if you can’t, you definitely need to find a way to do it because continuing to live with your ex is just going to be detrimental. If the place is all under your name, then you are well within your rights to ask him to move out.

    As for your feelings for your ex, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think you should tell your ex how you feel. He already knows, and he hasn’t done a single thing about it. You two sleep in the same bed and cuddle (why exactly are you doing this?), so it’ll be no surprise to him that you still harbor feelings towards him. Did you two continue living together even after you broke up? If you did, then neither of you got the chance to move on because it’s ridiculously hard to do so when you live with a reminder of your relationship. In any case, I doubt he returns your feelings because you said that he hooks up with other people, and that’s hardly behavior that indicates that he likes you.

    Let’s go through the best case scenario: you tell him how you feel and he reciprocates your feelings. You two get back together, but that doesn’t solve the fact that you broke up with him because of your defense mechanism. I would encourage you to explore your fears about relationships in general; it can be done with the help of a therapist or on your own, but NOT with your ex! I don’t think I need to go through the worst case scenario because, quite frankly, you’re living in it.

    One last point I want to bring up is that romantic relationships are supposed to add to your life, and your “crush” seems to be sucking the life force out of you. Like I said, this is extremely unhealthy, so I would try to figure out what exactly it is that’s causing you to cling to him. How you feel about someone when they’re not around is just as important as how you feel when they’re not around. If you’re happy only when you’re with him and depressed when you’re not, then it will not behoove you to continue this pattern. Are you accepting this situation because you know for sure he’s not going to leave you? Are you allowing him to enjoy all the benefits of having you around without any of the work so he has no reason to leave? Is he even really your “best friend” if he’s allowing this unhealthy situation to continue?

    In any case, I wish you all the best, and in your case, MOA would stand for move out already!

    1. “romantic relationships are supposed to add to your life”

      Good for all of us- LWs and posters alike to remember this!

      1. Yes, they should be an enhancement, not a hindrance.

    2. ReginaRey says:

      “Are you allowing him to enjoy all the benefits of having you around without any of the work so he has no reason to leave? ” – I think you nailed it. I think she’s probably been left, or cheated on, or dumped by one too many guys, and this is her way of “protecting” herself from hurt….some job that’s doing! “He can’t leave me if we aren’t together!” Well….he’s hooking up with other girls, you feel awful and depressed…I’d say that he CAN leave you even when you’re “not together.” Good lord…move on!!!

  12. My teeth hurt from having to clench them tight enough not to laugh out loud (and disturb my new CubeFarm-mates). And my teeth are already bad enough, thanks.

    Sweetie – you are really a piece of work. You fucked yourself over in so many ways. First off, you acknowledge that your “defense mechanism” is to run from relationships. So, you allowed your DM to kick in and ruin a decent relationship. Your BF semi-called you out on it. He is sleeping around, but still getting much of a stable relationship out of the deal. Woman at home, cuddles at night, extra income, etc. You are the frigid wife he never had to legally marry. Congratulations. Idiot.

    Either come clean and get back together with the dumbass, come clean and move out, or remember those chesticles of yours are your ladyballs and grow the fuck up. Get your own damned bed and SLEEP IN IT, find some independence (whether that means enjoy the single life or get a new boyfriend is up to you, but I think you NEED to be single for a while), get a damned therapist and figure out your “defense mechanism” and stop it, and get the fuck over everything.

    You sound like a damned Stephanie Myers book. That is NOT a compliment. That’s probably one of the biggest insults I could ever give someone. You aren’t a teenager, so stop acting like one.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Anyway, what strikes me as strange re: the defense mechanism is that she’s entirely aware of what she’s doing, that its wrong and yet continues to do it or at least not try to fix it. How hard would it have been to just say to him, ‘listen, I know what I did and why I did it, but it was stupid so lets try to work on that together.’

      1. TheOtherMe says:

        …”the defense mechanism is that she’s entirely aware of what she’s doing, that its wrong and yet continues to do it”…

        Ugh, I have shamefully been there 🙁

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        You know, as I wrote that I found that its applicable in so many situations. I’m sure I’ve done it too. But I guess its sorta different here since she’s in really bad shape over it, to the point that she has to write to DW. She already knows how to fix this, probably knew what we’d say, yet it seems she just wants someone to tell her some new “right” thing to do. IDK. I’m very much one of those people that if a problem comes my way, I will find a way to fix it or just forget about it because its not fixable. LW, there’s an easy way to fix this. You know that. Now do it.

      3. Yeah. Our company got so big that us non-management types had to finally go into cubicles. There are four of us here in one big room. I started calling it the “CubeFarm” and our individual stations are “stalls”. It’s oddly appropriate because every manager has had to stop by to check it out and we’re starting to feel like zoo animals. I’ve already put a sign on the front door “Welcome to the CubeFarm – don’t feed the program assistants” and sat out 5lbs of candy for the management. Gotta ruin their diets for taking my nice, cushy office away.

    2. “You sound like a damned Stephanie Myers book. That is NOT a compliment. That’s probably one of the biggest insults I could ever give someone. You aren’t a teenager, so stop acting like one.”
      i was thumbing you up like 10 times… i know it doesn’t work but i did it; i couldn’t help it. so much drama in every word LW said. GROW UP!!!!

      1. I regret ever reading her “books”. The only reason I ever did was because my boys wanted to watch the “vampire movie” coming out. I read them all so I could say “you won’t like it”. They still insisted on watching the first movie. I can thankfully say that we haven’t had to suffer through the other ones.

        The only real good that has come out of my reading the garbage is my ability to argue down any “Twihard” on subjectability standards. The entire premise was implausible, but that is another complaint for another day.

  13. GertietheDino says:

    Oh, honey.

    You are not in love with this man, you have simply created a cycle of extremely co-dependent, masochistic behaviors (thinking it will all work out in the end). It will not. Seek out a therapist. Now.

    Move out.

    Move on.

    Best of luck.

  14. Sometimes direct answers are better. Here are the questions you asked:

    Should I tell him how I feel? I don’t think it is a secret how you feel. You are still living with him and cuddling and I bet you money he knows you still want to boo it up with him.

    Should I keep it to myself for sake of the living situation and because I don’t have a place to go? Find a place to go. You need to move out, because keeping this to yourself is going to do even more damage to your self esteem.

    Should I wait it out? No, don’t wait it out. Find a place to go. Be honest with him if you want and tell him how you feel but that you can’t continue like this. If things are meant to be, they will work out. But this situation as-is is completely ridiculous and unhealthy.

  15. My brain was going a mile a minute while reading this. With every sentence, the situation got more and more confusing.

    My advice after reading the first paragraph: look on craigslist and find a few places you could conceivably move to quickly if need be. Then tell your ex how you feel. If he feels the same way, great. If not, you’ll already be prepared with some other living options.

    My advice after reading the second paragraph: WTF are you doing still sleeping in the same bed with your ex? You’re letting him have his cake and eat it too. He gets to have you as his girlfriend when it’s convenient, but also gets to sleep with other women. He’s a dick, MOA.

    My advice after reading the third paragraph: wait, you broke up with him because you were afraid what might happen if you got too close to him? Maybe he’s not such a dick, maybe he’s hurt that you broke up with him for seemingly no reason at all, and he’s the one trying to hold on to whatever he has left with you, but going out and sleeping with other women because he thinks that will help him move on.

    Because this whole situation is so incredibly messy, I’d just stick with my first paragraph advice. I have no idea who’s using who here. Maybe he’s the asshole using you as a fake girlfriend on nights that he doesn’t go out and sleep with other women. Maybe he’s feeling just as hurt as you are because you broke up with him and are now sending him mixed messages by sleeping in the same bed as him. Too confusing. Just have an exit strategy ready, and tell him how you feel.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Not sure how he’s a dick. She dumped him. She’s using him still for a place to live. And she’s stringing him along. I say good for him for looking elsewhere, since he’s single, ya know.

      1. That’s my point, based on the letter, I have no idea who’s using who anymore. After the second paragraph (before knowing that she broke up with him), it really sounded like he was the one using her for cutesy couple time, but sleeping with other women on the side. But knowing that she broke up with him means that maybe she’s the one using him. He might not be a dick.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Sorry, I wrote that after I saw ‘he’s a dick, moa’ and before reading the rest of your comment.

    2. 6napkinburger says:

      And it says “I live with my ex-boyfriend.” Not “I’m living with”, not “I’m currently living with.” Nothing that denotes any sense of transiency.

    3. I had a range of reactions as well. When she said that SHE was the one that broke it off, and for a lame reason, I started to think, “Just TELL him already!” because they still act like they’re together anyway, and he probably won’t be the one to initiate a reconciliation since he was the one dumped.

      But then she second-guesses her feelings at the end. And overall, she just sounds really…. immature. So at this point, I’m agreeing with the consensus: She needs to be ON HER OWN and AWAY FROM HIM so they can both sort it out. Talk about self-imposed drama.

  16. katiebird says:

    How is this real life? LW, how the hell did you get yourself in this situation???

    1. Bklyn Grl says:

      Seriously. This seems like such a perfect storm of ridiculousness that I can’t even fathom a response. I have to believe it is fake. Who lives like this?

      1. I’ve known more than a handful of really emotionally confused people who involve themselves in BS of this sort, unfortunately. And in my experience, all the logic in the world can’t get through their messed-up headspace. It’s something they have to come out of on their own.

  17. I think the fact that you added two extra o’s onto “so” should answer your maturity level about the whole situation.


  18. ReginaRey says:

    This is so, so SO unhealthy and co-dependent. Here’s a list of things you need to do, starting right now: Stop sleeping in the same bed, move out, stop communicating with your ex, and perhaps start talking to a professional about your “defense mechanism,” because it’s absolutely unhealthy. Your ruining your chances of ever being in a normal, healthy, functioning relationship by continuing to feed your demons!

    The reason you’re so depressed isn’t because you can’t stop thinking about him, it’s because your life has NO definition! You aren’t broken up, but you aren’t together (even though you’re sharing a bed?!?), and it’s tearing you apart mentally. People weren’t meant to exist in a state of flux. END the torment, and move the fuck out!

    1. CollegeCat says:

      I agree and disagree with this. I definitely think she should move out (get her own place, go back home, find a roommate, crash w/a friend,w/e). This is definitely not healthy. However, I do think she should tell him why she is leaving. Tell him that she still has some feelings for him and is conflicted about what they mean. Don’t give him the opportunity to kick you out just explain what you are feeling and leave. There is a chance that this guy is as conflicted as she is and is only putting up with this weird living situation b/c he thinks this is all he can get (after all she broke up with him) and maybe with space between them they can both assess what they want. After a few weeks or months apart and with some therapy for the LW she can come to a decison with a clear head. If they both want to be together again then great (she shouldn’t move back in though)and if not at least she is already out the door!

      1. ReginaRey says:

        Yeah, I agree that she should tell him why she’s living. But I think she needs to be single for a WHILE. Clearly, she has some relationship issues and codependence issues to work through, and she can’t do that while fixated on a relationship, or even the *possibility* of a relationship. She needs a clean, complete, final break from him.

  19. Ohhh dear. You have put yourself in a very awkward situation. Move out, move on.

    Even if you’re best friends, that is not normal to sleep in the same bed and cuddle on a frequent basis. You still feel like there’s something there when apparently there isn’t, according to him. He is sending you some MAJOR mixed messages here while basically breaking your heart over and over and over again by dating other women.

    You are worth SO MUCH MORE than this, dear LW. Find your own place and your own bed and you will be able to make a more rational decision. While you’re wrapped in his arms thinking that there’s still something there, you won’t be able to think things through because through his actions he is being the biggest hypocrite/douche EVER. He is leading you on. Do yourself a favor and move out. Start dating other men. Your relationship with this one is over. Soon enough you will find someone better and much more deserving of your love.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Not to reiterate what I’ve already said above, but seriously how can you say he’s leading her on? SHE dumped him, SHE is using him for a place to live, SHE is choosing to lead him on by snuggling etc. She’s the one sending mixed signals. He’s done nothing wrong aside from clinging to a girl who’s an asshole.

      1. yeah i have to say the biggest mixed message she sent was breaking up with him and then still sleeping in his bed. he might be letting it happen, but then so is she.

      2. Ahhh…my bad, read the letter too quickly. That’s what sometimes happens when I multitask. Ha. I had assumed he had broken up with her since she was so upset about it.

        I don’t think either is specifically to blame. She should have never broken up with him in the first place if she still loved him. He probably thought he was doing the right thing by letting her still live with him, but at some point it would have been mature of him to suggest she AT LEAST move out of his bed if not find her own place after they broke up.

      3. and she could have at least moved out on her own accord, since she broke up with him? or slept on the couch? or many other options, instead they both together chose to sleep together every night. they are both in the wrong, but really she broke up with him!

  20. Turtledove says:

    Oh my.

    Honey, you do know that when you say you have no place else to go that everyone else knows that’s not true. You ALWAYS have options. They may not be ideal, but they do exist. So what you really mean when you say you have no place else to go is that you don’t want to go. Perhaps you feel that if you sit passively enough and hide from reality enough that something good will just fall into your lap. But it doesn’t work like that.

    Look, I’ve never met either one of you or seen you together. But I’d be willing to put money down that he is entirely aware that you have feelings for him. The fact that you allow his flirting and snuggle up with him in bed is kind of a clue in. I don’t know why he’s behaving the way he is. Maybe it’s because you allow it, maybe it’s because he’s punishing you, maybe it’s just because he’s a man of low moral fiber. In the end, it doesn’t matter- it’s still a douche move. But you know what, you are the one allowing it to go on when it’s clearly upsetting you.

    So you need to assert some control over your life. Make a plan to get out of this situation and implement it. Find a roommate or a room to rent in someone’s house. Maybe that means you need to get a second job. Well, then that’s what you do. You’re the only one with the power to fix your life so do it already. Find some willpower and learn to use it. Then perhaps the next time you’re in a relationship that you’re tempted to ditch because of your defense mechanism, you’ll have the willpower not to give in to the impulse.

  21. Shadowflash1522 says:

    Flag #1: I live with my ex, still have feelings for him, and have nowhere to go.
    Actually, this is 3 giant red banner-waving matador cloaks in front of a herd of angry bulls. Why do you live with your ex? If you still have feelings for him, why is he still your ex, and why do you live with him? What makes you think you have nowhere to go? Lass, a cardboard box would be preferable to the hell you have created for yourself in the space of a single paragraph. Move out, and/or resolve your Schrodinger’s relationship.

    Flag #2: We still have a physical relationship, we just don’t have sex.
    See, there are two circumstances under which it is possible to have a physical (non-sexual) relationship: A) when both parties are sexually attracted to each other, in which case it pretty much constitutes foreplay and B) when both parties are utterly *not* attracted to each other and it is totally platonic. Your circumstance falls into neither category and is therefore destined to break down. Again, deal with your feelings regarding this boy, and for God’s sake GET YOUR OWN BED!

    Flag #3: I have this defense mechanism about getting close to people, yet here I am, close to him, and I can’t stand it.
    To quote an earlier commenter, “Get thee to a therapist!” But seriously, your defense mechanism is A) unhealthy, since it can and has undermined every even remotely healthy relationship you have/had and B) ineffective, since here you are creating the scenario you were trying to avoid: you’re close to him but he’s not close to you and yes, it sucks. Believe me, I can appreciate such mechanisms and trust me when I say “therapy” is not a dirty word.

    Much luck to you.

    1. Shadowflash1522 says:

      Update: 2A makes more sense if it reads “when both parties are sexually attracted to each other, but agree to not have sex for one reason or another: one party has an easily spread STD, waiting for marriage, etc. Otherwise, it’s foreplay.”

      That’s where I was going with it but I screwed up the phrasing when I got distracted. The point is that it’s a delicate balance that only works when everyone’s on the same page, which the LW clearly is not.

  22. ele4phant says:

    Move out! Whether you tell him and he asks you to move, or you do it on your own, you cannot get clarity on the situation if you live with the dude.

    Get your own place, then take a risk and tell him how you feel. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t, but at least you can move past this masochist holding pattern you’ve created by living with him.

  23. Not only do you need your own bedroom, but you need your own life! You’re sitting around all the time consumed with thoughts about this one guy. Staying busy is a good way to ease your boyfriend’s grip over your life and your emotions. It’s also a good weapon against depression. So take classes, exercise, volunteer, go out with friends, join a book club, go to religious services, discover a new hobby, explore your city, whatever gets you out of that danged home you share together. The only way to move past your relationship is to actually try to leave it. Sticking around may feel easier now, but you’re setting yourself up for disaster–you have already figured that out. Begin acting like you have a life outside of your boyfriend, and eventually you will. The sooner and cleaner your break, the better.

  24. artsygirl says:

    LW – for my mental well being PLEASE do not ever throw in an off handedly casual comment about how you share a bed and cuddle at night with your ex. I had to read that sentence a number of times and still figured I must be having a stroke because it MAKES NO SENSE. I am having a Lewis Black moment here.

    Seriously you need to move out of his bed and preferable into a new apartment because distance is a good thing. You need to work out your feelings, your defense mechanism which makes you sabotage your relationships, and your co-dependency issues (hopefully with a trained professional) and then and ONLY then should you tell your ex. If he decides he wants to resume a relationship with you – DO NOT MOVE IN WITH HIM. Give yourself sometime and take things slowly to make sure you do not spiral back into this pattern of depressive neediness and masochistic co-dependency.

  25. Haven’t read the comments yet but I literally CANNOT WAIT. I am so excited to see what the DW readers have to say.

  26. ReginaRey says:

    I completely forgot until just now, but I once did something similar to this in my co-dependent-to-the-point-of-madness phase. Granted, I wasn’t sleeping in the same bed as my ex, but I decided we could go straight to being “friends,” so I’d go over to his apartment and watch tv with him…in his bed! Do you know what my whole goal was?? Quite obviously – to get him to want me back! Not to be his friend! And WHY did I want him back? Surely not because I actually wanted HIM as a person, but because without the relationship I felt like I was drowning. The relationship was my drug, truly, and I didn’t think I could live without it. So ANYTHING involving him was better than NOTHING, because surely I’d die.

    Well, I didn’t die. Eventually I moved on for real, and wised up. Do you know how I did this? I stopped communicating with him. I didn’t see him. I didn’t speak to him. I MOVED ON. You want to end the depression? You want to end this codependent madness you’re currently suffering from? Then you need to grow a vagina of STEEL and move out of that apartment. Take back your LIFE, LW. Right now, you don’t have one.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Since there’s no What Are We Wearing on here, I have to ask—the top you have on in your picture is from…? I love the pattern.
      PS that’s the only reason I go on TF anymore.

      1. ReginaRey says:

        Target! I love it! It has a cinched waist and it’s very flowy and flattering. I kind of want to order it in different patterns. And yes, What Are We Wearing on TF is one of the most entertaining things these days. Am I the only one who finds JW’s style…less than flattering? There have been some trainwrecks that no one seems to comment on.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Thanks, I’m going to have to hunt for it! Completely agree, it almost seems like she’s trying to not look good.

      3. Right?! Sometimes I just look at the outfits and do not understand. There have been some things I’ve really wanted to comment on, but it’s not worth it.

      4. OMG I am a SUPER DW stalker but this is my first comment as I LOVE “what are we wearing,” and I feel exactly the same about JW. Today she got some dark-wash jeans, though! Hooray!!

        And I also love your top 🙂

        I think this comment will due to “break the seal” of commenting-fear.

      5. do* not due…

        or maybe I meant this comment *was due [in order] to “break the seal”

      6. Not to thread-jack, but I’m pretty sure JW wrote the confession in this month’s Cosmo. I thought it sounded like her before I even saw the byline. So you can imagine.

        And I had to give up TF, but I checked it out recently, and the only article I even wanted to click on was a click-through to cracked.com. It made me sad–TF used to be better, right? Right?

      7. lets_be_honest says:

        How’d you know it was her? Mention of gently used pots? I swear to you every time I hear the phrase ‘gently used’ I cringe.

      8. The byline said J_____ W________.

        I forgot how much I enjoyed watching that breakup. I even miss the bitchiness about it (and all of TF) here at the beginning of DW. Who am I kidding, I REALLY miss the bitchiness. I guess we had to grow up though. 🙁

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        Alright, I’m super curious now. What’d it say or do you have a link?

      10. It was about how she had a bitchy boss who didn’t do any work and she basically ratted her boss out. I can’t find a link.

      11. Addie Pray says:

        I wish I knew what you guys were talking ’bout.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        The Frisky writer ‘JW’ and the What are We Wearing articles.

      13. I’m super curious now, too!

      14. It used to be WAYYYYY better.

    2. ele4phant says:

      Ugh, I did this too with an ex. Watching tv in bed led to cuddling, which led to canoodling, which led to me thinking we were on track to get back together. Turns out this wasn’t the case, and I got my heart broken again.

      Don’t get in bed with a guy unless its clear that you want the same thing!

  27. callmehobo says:



    Why are you still there? You are DIRECTLY causing your own problems by living with the guy you are pining for. I wish I could feel sorry for you LW, but you are literally the only one making yourself miserable. YOU broke up with HIM and now you are oh-so-anguished because he’s moving on?? You effectively told him to move on when you dumped him.

    WHY ARE YOU STILL THERE? Do you get a kick out of playing the victim card? Seriously, until you decide to change your bad habits (i.e. using “defense mechanisms”) by either getting some therapy or getting a needed kick in the pants- you are going to be miserable.

    So you can either be miserable and stay there, or you CAN GTFO and maybe become a healthy, rational person. Pining is way easy, and getting rid of your complexes is hard. However, you’ll feel much better when you do.

    Seriously. Stop being melodramatic and pack up your baggage (both literally and metaphorically)

    1. “Why are you still in the bed?!”

    2. ArtsyGirly says:

      Yay for Sassy Gay Friend!

    3. Look at your life! Look at your choices!

  28. Aside to BGM: I would like to call your attention to the fact that this LW is a woman and all of the commenters are calling her out. Some are more gentle than others, but everyone thinks she’s basically an idiot for continuing to share a bed and any kind of life with this guy.

    1. bittergaymark says:

      Yes, how nice. But really. Is it even remotely possible to defend anything in this letter? I mean, you’re not exactly setting the bar high here. I’ll be more impressed when the letter is a lighter shade of grey and you call somebody out on their shit.

      1. bittergaymark says:

        Oh. Wait. No, I am wrong. Even with this batshitcrazy letter a few of you (obviously, NOT you, MJ) are still somehow blaming the guy involved. Now that truly is hilarious. Hilariously sad… But still, hilarious.

      2. Seriously. This:

        “While you’re wrapped in his arms thinking that there’s still something there, you won’t be able to think things through because through his actions he is being the biggest hypocrite/douche EVER. He is leading you on. Do yourself a favor and move out. Start dating other men. Your relationship with this one is over. Soon enough you will find someone better and much more deserving of your love.”

        is one commenter, but it’s far more harsh than anything anyone has said about LW. And note than when that person realized that LW had broken up with him, and not the other way around, it went from “biggest hypocrite/douche EVER” to “I don’t think either is specifically to blame”. Hilarious is exactly right.

      3. bittergaymark says:

        Yeah, and don’t forget that somebody else wants to cut off his balls and staple them to his forehead. So, um, yeah…. I’d say malebashing has reached its all time peak here on Dear Wendy in this thread.

      4. bittergaymark says:

        Wait, maybe that was in one of the other threads today… Whoops, yes it was. Totally my bad. That is in the thread about being consumed with thoughts of one’s ex…

      5. Well let’s be fair. When it comes to malebashing, this place is the men’s locker room at the Playboy Mansion compared to the abomination that was Cary Tennis’ response and the ensuing comments linked to in the last thread. I strongly urge you to avoid that link at all costs.

      6. Aw, come on. You’ve never wanted to do that to ANYbody? 😉

      7. bittergaymark says:

        Um, strangely… No.

    2. They think they’s an idiot, but they don’t think she’s an asshole, do they? I would love love love to see the responses to letter that goes like this:

      Dear Wendy:
      I am living with my ex-boyfriend. He sleeps in my bed, and occasionally cuddles with me. He broke up with me for some bullshit reason, but I suspect he might still have feelings for me. Sometimes I wonder if he won’t say anything because he’s afraid I’ll kick him out…

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I know I called her just that somewhere on this thread and people agreed.

      2. Yes, I see that now. My apologies. You remain in the minority.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Idk seems like the majority are being quite nasty to her.

      4. Seriously, if I’m getting ready to DUMP someone that I live with, I’m going to ALREADY have an alternate place to go (assuming it’s “his” place and not mine). Who would expect to keep living there??

      5. Whoa… I don’t get why you want everyone to call the LW asshole? I am all for tough love and not sugarcoating things but I don’t think telling someone he/she is a horrible person accomplishes anything. I think it’s much more constructive to focus/criticize people’s behavior which they might actually change instead of critiquing their character(i.e. calling out a LW on specific idiotic behavior and telling her to knock that shit off instead of just telling the LW she’s an idiot).

      6. THIS.

      7. Wow, talk about missing the point.

        No, my preferred solution to the glaring double standard on this board is not that commenters should call EVERYBODY assholes, worthless, douchetastic, whatever.

        There’s one other possibility. Think about it…

  29. this is the definition of a mindfuck. and LW, you are doing this to yourself. why do you want to do this? figure it out in therapy before you even think about dating someone else, as it will most likely follow into your future relationships – you’ll withdraw when you feel he’s getting too close. find the root of your fear of intimacy / abandonment / what have you.

  30. bittergaymark says:

    Maybe my recent theory is true. Maybe most Dear Wendy Letter Writers actually REALLY do simply create all of their own problems in ways that can only be explained as pathologically deliberate. I mean, why did YOU break up? Why did YOU chose to remain living together? Why do YOU sleep in the same bed and snuggle each and every night? Why do YOU keep doing this shit over and over to yourself?

    I’m sorry, but the only possible answer is that you desperately WANT to be miserable.

    Mission accomplished.

    1. callmehobo says:

      Hear, hear.

      A classic case of someone who would rather be a victim than actually be happy.

      1. bittergaymark says:

        The REAL irony here is that the guy she is mooning over probably feels the same way. That’s why HE wanted to stay living with her even after SHE dumped him. That’s even why he is going out with other people…he is probably trying to make her jealous… Now, normally, I’d say he is acting like a complete idiot and going about this all wrong… BUT, considering that the LW is such a headcase, who knows? Maybe such insanity truly is the best approach…

      2. This is exactly how I read the letter.

        I also cannot imagine the pair of lovebirds in question to be any older than 16 or living anywhere else than his parents’ basement.

    2. And, she’s not even asking “Should I move out?” or “should I MOA?” She’s asking if she should tell him how she feels.

      This one is hopeless.

      LW, if you want to cuddle, buy a teddy bear.

    3. There’s NO DOUBT that this LW created her own drama. And instead of trying to fix it, she sits at home (HIS home, actually) crying to sad songs while he’s out boinking other chicks.

  31. 6napkinburger says:

    In my theme today of making everything about me, up until 2 weeks ago, I spent a month and a half living with my EX.

    I thought, objectively, it was the most unhealthy way possible (we acted like a couple, we slept in the same bed, we cuddled everynight, we made love, we kissed goodbye, we called about our days, etc while joking about how we were broken up).

    I was wrong. Your unhealthy living situation blows my unhealthy living situation out of the water.

    We had a discussion to make sure there was no confusion: no other people — AT ALL — until he moved out. Because let’s face it- I wasn’t broken up with my BF, we just were weirdly overly honest about plans to move on.

    And one night, he was going out with new friends of his, at a networking event, and I knew I wasn’t invited. They knew we had broken up and it was way too weird to bring your ex girlfriend to the event and we both knew that so it was clear he was going alone. But, I wanted to go. I had gone to all the others. And the second I realized that, I realized how ridiculous the whole situation really was and I asked him to pick a day for the movers to come, because it was unfair and unhealthy.

    How do you not realize this is ridiculous? I did! I made jokes and excuses, and even though there were real reasons why he couldn’t move out sooner, it was absurd, but I just wasn’t ready to let it go. I wasn’t ready not to be held by him. But the second I realized I no longer had him, that he was no longer mine, the excuses didn’t hold up anymore.

    You are getting nothing from this, even though the cuddling feels so good.

    Plus, I just bought a mattress! Its totally possible! an dI actually slept better on the airmattress. You must put your foot down and establish some boundaries.

    1. “while joking about how we were broken up” — this sounds like sitcom fare!

      Can I suggest you write your pain in a massive, hilarious, highly-marketable break-up gestalt?

      1. It sounds like it would be a lot better than that Jennifer Aniston movie (I can´t even remember what the hell it was called)

    2. I can relate. When I first started my divorce with my second husband, I was stuck in NJ. We were living with his parents (we’d been in NJ for less than 6 months) and were getting ready to close on a house not too far away from them. Needless to say – we didn’t buy the house.
      Instead, I spent another five weeks living in my in-laws home, with my soon-to-be ex-husband who I was mad at for wanting a divorce, and trying to keep things “together” sanity-wise for my kids since I was already a fish-out-of-water in a strange state, and dealing with the stress of a sudden death of a friend plus my grandfather being in the ICU in Alaska. On top of that – realizing that my late period wasn’t stress related to my grandpa, the friend’s death and the divorce, then the subsequent miscarriage because I’d been on my regular medications (which aren’t conducive to a viable pregnancy). I was a mess.
      During those five weeks, we did share a bed (king size, plus a 2 1/2 year old hogging the middle as usual), but we didn’t share much of anything else. We were cordial, but it was mostly because at that time, we didn’t want his mother or brother having anything to gossip about. The kids and I stayed long enough for my ex to take the kids out for Halloween and then we were heading back to Anchorage.
      Never again will I leave state. This is home.

      1. Alaska looks amazing, I don´t think I would want to leave either!

      2. Here in Anchorage, we are getting freezing temps at night now, frost and fog in the AM. The leaves are almost all off the trees and the “termination dust” is on the mountains.
        Someone reported seeing snowflakes falling at Rabbit Creek Elementary. We have a 50th Anniversary party there tonight. My grandma worked there, my mom and uncles attended school there, I went to school there, and my kids went there for two years. We are one of the few families that can boast 4 generations either working/attending the school, so we’re going. We can see the inlet/ocean from the playground. It will be fun to go see all the alumni from over the years.

  32. 6napkinburger says:

    Do you know what term sucks? “We split up.” So freaking casual. So blase. Boo.

    1. You think so? I’m not sure I see it as much different than “we broke up”, and it doesn’t imply blame, which is considerate. What term would you prefer?

      1. 6napkinburger says:

        Of course, generally, its good. Just not tonight.

        As I put on the other column, I just got an email from my ex, which warp speed changed how I was feeling, so I can sympathize even more with the other LW.
        He was just forwarding a friendly reminder from the cleaning lady who I am not enamored of. As he knows I don’t like her, he said: “Also, I’m happy to call her to let her know that we split up and that you won’t be needing her..”

        I’m sitting her writing long posts about how sad I am and he’s all hunky-dory, “we split up.” Grumble grumble.

        (Clearly he did absolutely nothing wrong and very little can actually be cleaned from an email as they don’t denote tone at all, but the first reading of it just… pah.)

      2. Dude, I know. Its the words that make it real, and hearin someone else say them? I see your “pah” and raise you a “beh”.

      3. 6, i’d just like to say that guys are really really great at putting up fronts and stuffing their real emotions down where no one can see them. i read your posts on the other letter, and i just want to tell you that the way that he is feeling has nothing to do with how you should or should not be feeling. even if he is just all happy go lucky about what happened (which i would bet money is not the case), it still doesnt have to change how you are thinking and feeling.

        you did the right thing leaving something that wasnt working. just let yourself get over this and everything will be ok. i was hung up on a guy for almost a year and a half of my life… dont let that happen. be strong enough to cut him out, work on yourself and your own happiness, and good things will happen for you. it will pass, i promise.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        ps If I got dumped, which I think he did, I would totally pretend to be cool and calm about it when I saw/spoke to my dumper. Maybe you can think about that too 6.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        6, Let it all out mama! Can I suggest listening to Smile by Lily Allen? Throw in a little Adele21 and Taylor Swift if you can stomach her while you’re at it. We’ve all been there, but I’d like to say I think it shows your smarts that you know its just not a good night and that this is a temporary feeling. Best of luck to you.

      6. Guys don’t like to wallow most of the time…he probably figures taking a light-hearted attitude with you is better for the future than gut-wrenching despair…not implying that’s what you wanted.

      7. 6napkinburger says:

        Yea exactly. Not like I would have wanted him to write some heavy-handed ode to our messy apartment.

        But emails and emotions really are a crazy thing. I went from “boo-hoo” to “ok, well then” to “sigh” and back to “boo-hoo” in like an hour, as I thought about all the “possible meanings”, which of course, there aren’t any, it was a simple, well intentioned note.

        I also just want to make it clear, I wasn’t upset by this email. I just got emotional whipplash from where I was and where he might be, and the disconnect stung at that moment.

  33. So because you’re not getting truly physical between the sheets you’re settling for being mind-fucked instead? I don’t know who is sadder in this letter – the guy playing the mind-fuck games or the LW ALLOWING herself to get into this situation. I don’t know if you realize this, but your worst fears that caused the break-up in the first place? You are currently living them! Everything but your body is getting close to him in your current circumstances and he’s leaving you many times over as he’s gets with other girls. Congratulations LW, you’ve made your own personal hell here – so get on that stairway to heaven and take some actions to MOA, PLEASE.

    1. Definitely the guy and his mind-fuck games are sadder. I mean, what an asshole, amirite?

  34. I agree with the others. Get your own bed. Preferably, move out. You said that you broke up with him, supposedly because of your own problems, but I know from experience that sometimes when you miss someone, you convince yourself that it was YOU who caused things to end and not them. In the end, though, it doesn’t matter because you’re broken up. He’s with other people. It’s over. Any guy who was worth anything would not allow this to go on.

    1. “Any guy who was worth anything would not allow this to go on. ”


  35. What the effing crap.

    How old are you? I’m dead serious.

  36. When I was in college, I had a “cuddle relationship”. The guy was a man whore and I wouldn’t sleep with him. But I think we were both lonely. When he wasn’t out with a lady, he would come to my dorm room and we would take naps.

    Here is how I know he wasn’t interested, I never felt his member get excited during the whole time. That will tell you if he is interested. Trust me, he knows you are interested. If he is getting excited in bed, then talk to him. If he isn’t, then I bet he just wants to rescue you. And that puts you in a pathetic, powerless situation.

  37. stilgar666 says:

    take that cuddling to the next level. this situation is so ridiculous, you really just need to go for it.

    if he seems resistant, just wait until he falls asleep.

    1. iseeshiny says:

      Cause rape is hilarious when its done to a man…

      1. iseeshiny says:

        ETA: Amirite?

  38. You are in a non-committed relationship right now that YOU made non-committal. Either move the frick out or ask to be taken back…it is seriously THAT simple….your pit of despair has been dug by your own two hands…luckily you can get yourself out of it too.

  39. delilahgem says:

    Well, I didn’t read everyone’s comments. I have been in a similar situation, and if I could go back and change anything, it would have been to move out sooner. My advice is to definitely tell him how you feel and maybe try to explain why your defense mechanism is what it is(if you can pinpoint it). Definitely change your sleeping situation, whether it be the couch, your own bed if it’s there, or get an air mattress. If you can stay with a friend once in a while, do it. You both need time apart to process whatever your relationship is. It has got to be torturous for you to still sleep in his bed and know he’s been with other people.

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