Does My Ex-Girlfriend Still Want Me Back or Is She Just Using Me?

Dear Evan,
My girlfriend and I started dating in August of 2007. We became really close, not just to each other, but to each other’s friends and family as well. We talked on the phone at least 4 times a day, and nothing seemed to be holding us back. That was until early June, when she told me didn’t want a boyfriend anymore, because she wanted to enjoy her last summer of nursing school without having to “check in” with a boyfriend.

We didn’t see each other for a week, then she invited me to her sister’s house to watch the College World Series, and when we were leaving, she made out with me. We started seeing each other again, almost every day, and it was as if we were still dating, minus intimacy. We still talk on the phone multiple times a day and go out to parties and events together. We also attend church together every Sunday. She even talks about my future-whether I will be married or have children and whether or not she’ll be my wife and their mother. However, still, there’s NO intimacy beyond just a kiss on the lips.

To make matters worse, I think she’s dating an old boyfriend named Ben. There have been several occasions where I’ve invited her to attend an event, and she couldn’t, only to later to find out that she was out with Ben. Even one of her friends has said she is dating Ben!

I just don’t get it….is she dating Ben?  Is she dating me?  Is just playing us both?  Is this the way she is with her close guy friends?  I am so confused.

LJ

If you, dear reader, have ever been this position – wondering where you stand with someone who seems to have feelings with you, but doesn’t really act on it – please click on this link:

http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/best-of-evan-marc-katz/

Go to the section marked: If You’re Dating a Man Who Won’t Call, Commit, or Make an Effort For You. There are seven articles that deal with different variations on this question. All of the questions are from women, but, thanks to LJ, we can now add one from a man.

So here’s the deal, bro:

The only two people who are confused are you and your ex. She’s confused and is sending mixed signals. You’re confused because she’s sending mixed signals. But, from the outside, it’s pretty clear what’s going on.

You may have a piece of her heart, but you don’t have her respect right now.

You’re her best friend, and even if she doesn’t see herself marrying you, she definitely doesn’t want to lose her best friend. She also knows that you are hung up on her, and that you will do whatever she asks. This gives her way too much power over you – and, for what it’s worth – doesn’t make you any more attractive to her. You may have a piece of her heart, but you don’t have her respect right now.

Just as clearly, you don’t even have respect for yourself right now. Which is why you’re willing to talk on the phone multiple times a day, go to church together, and put up with her seeing her ex-boyfriend – and STILL not be angry enough to walk away.

In short, she’s using you. Not because she’s an evil person. Not because she doesn’t care about you or wish you the best. Nope. She’s using you because she CAN. She’s using you because you LET her. She’s using you because she’d rather have you in her life on HER terms and hope that you’ll put up with it. She’s using you because people are inherently selfish and will invariably do what’s best for THEM.

So your ex gets to keep her best friend, confidante, and church buddy; she gets to mess around with other guys on the side; she gets to keep your undying love and devotion – and she doesn’t have to give ANYTHING up. What’s her incentive to stop talking with you every day? That’s right! There IS none.

That’s why expecting her to give up the benefits of her relationships with both you and Ben is foolish. As long as you are cool with being used, you get the relationship you deserve. A relationship with a woman who has so little respect for you that she’ll see her ex-boyfriend publicly, and still hint to you that you two may be married one day.

She’s using you because you LET her.

You claim to be confused, LJ, but really, that’s a smokescreen. You need to recognize that a woman who loves you doesn’t date another guy, a woman who cares about you doesn’t keep you on the hook after you break up, a woman who wants you physically doesn’t keep things platonic.

And yet you ignore all this evidence and claim to be confused about your relationship.

I hope, after reading this, that you’re no longer confused.

I hope, after reading this, you’re angry.

I hope, after reading this, you move on.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Jennifer

    I guess I don’t get how he’s being ‘used’. I don’t get what he should be so angry about. She said she wanted to break up and she gave him her reason. She’s not ‘using’ him for sex or money. All they do is talk and spend time together, which he clearly wants to do as well. Even when she talks about a hypothetical future, she’s careful to not say they will definitely be married to each other. So she’s not lying to or manipulating him.

    I’m all for not seeing her anymore to concentrate on meeting other women that can give him what he wants, give him time to grieve the loss of the relationship he thought he had, but I don’t get why he should be angry. It doesn’t seem to me like she’s doing anything really over the top.

    1. 1.1
      Hanny

      Jennifer He is being USED every one have feeling do you want some one to send you away and asking you to come if only needed in their life? This is NOT a job where you can be lay-off with benefits you are talking about some one heart. He wants to have a clarification of who she actually preferred or she is auditioning?

  2. 2
    Honey

    If a relationship is going well and both people are on the same page, there are no mixed signals. While I do think that the kissing thing is kind of strange, her actions clearly indicate that she does not want a relationship with him, but that he is the “backup” guy. If he’s okay with that, fine, if not – stop spending time with her and find someone who will make him a priority.

  3. 3
    Steve


    Jennifer Dec 11th 2008 at 10:07 am 1
    I guess I don’t get how he’s being used. I don’t get what he should be so angry about.

    I think the heart of the issue, as it is with many of the emails that Evan gets, is that intelligent people don’t want to admit that they no longer can have what they want. So, they believe a weak rationale that everybody else can see through or they are “confused” about what is going on.

    LJ’s exgirlfriend is acting like she still is his girlfriend in many ways.

    There really hasn’t been a clear transition from being a couple to being friends. They were a couple one week acting in certain ways and the next week they were “friends” acting in many of the exact same ways. The “if we are married someday” comments and the kissing on the lips are added curveballs.

    LJ’s ex girlfriend probably knows this at some level, but doesn’t want to give the benefits of LJs company. She is an intelligent person who can see these things, but doesn’t want to give up what she can longer ( at least until some time has passed ) have.

    LJ himself can probably see all of this, but like his ex girlfriend he doesn’t want to admit to himself that he can no longer have what he wants.

    We all tell lies to ourselves this way.

    If not, Evan would be out of business. So would the authors of “He Is Just Not That Into You”, which by the way is a soon to be film.

  4. 4
    Steve

    LJ;

    I don’t think you are seeing the situation clearly because you haven’t accepted that the situation yet. Ask anybody else their opinion. They will tell you. It is over

    Start acting like a friend to her if you can handle it at this point in time.

    Don’t accept kisses from her. Don’t give her more time and attention than you would an ordinary friend. Use that attention and time to start dating.

  5. 5
    Lance

    Totally agree, this guy has been LJBF’ed…let’s just be friends. It’s not strange at all that they kiss, kissing for chicks is like holding hands. It’s no big deal. I’ve actually been in this exact situation and it totally sucked. I had to make a 100% clean break to get over it.

    It’s an issue if he’s calling 4 times per day. There’s such a thing as spending too much time and being too clingy. Not attractive. He needs to work on that and becoming more secure before considering dating ANYONE, much less an ex.

  6. 6
    Hot Alpha Female

    I think some people get caught up in the assumption that the more you talk to a girl, the more her parents like you and the more she shares with you. The greater the chances are.
    I would say that if you do the complete opposite your chances would increase 10 fold.

    Hot Approach Coach
    Approach Anywoman, Anywhere, Anytime

  7. 7
    Steve


    Lance Dec 11th 2008 at 01:54 pm 5

    Totally agree, this guy has been LJBF ed let’s just be friends. It’s not strange at all that they kiss, kissing for chicks is like holding hands. It’s no big deal. I’ve actually been in this exact situation and it totally sucked. I had to make a 100% clean break to get over it.

    There are prostitutes who will do anything for money,but who will not be kissed on the lips. That means something intense to women. So does holding hands.

    I agree with you otherwise. Being friends for a woman means different things than it does for a man, even for close friends. Guys don’t give their friends pecks on the lips or call their friends several times a day. Given all of this is happening a week after a break up LJ’s girlfriend would have to be a fool to not this or she is too selfish to care.

  8. 8
    Adrian

    Agree with you steve, i was in the same situation with my ex, we weren`t together but she was calling my dog “her son”, she told me she wanted to eat with my family, call me late at night, just to talk etc…

    I started to think, well maybe this is going somewhere…wrong.

    we talk about it and she said, she didnt want to be with me..at the moment, maybe in the future, but, she enjoy talking to me, the advice i give her and all that other motha jazz, that she view me as her friend, i didnt even say anything, i just told her, im not your friend..nor i want to be one, i was aiming for the tittle of husband, im sorry honey, but i choose my friends, may God, Buddah, or Alah, protect you and always look out for you.

    it was so damn hard, but for the sake of my emotional health, it was the best thing to do.

    best regards.

    Adrian.

  9. 9
    thomas

    I can relate to this.

    I came across someone that had a dude that she was living with, but still wanted my attention.

    A few years ago, I became freinds with a woman, but she was dating a guy. After 2 months, she started to get clingy, she always wanted me to take these long walks with her. By month 3, she was always groping me and molesting me. When I would go some place to eat, she would want to come with me. The worst thing, she would sometimes talk to me in some weird baby voice. By month 4, she would go through my stuff like it was her own. Even if I asked her not to, she just ignored me and went through my stuff and did what she wanted to do. By month 5, she started to give me small gifts all the time. By month 6, she started to make me hold her purse when she went to the bath room.

    That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I told her that it had went on for too long and that she had a dude that deserved this and not me. When I was out by myself, people thought that she was my girl friend and would ask me questions about her. I would tell people no, it was some girl that hung out with me. Most people did not believe me.

    At one point, I had to chew her out several times over a few weeks that I was not her dude. She just kind of sat there each time and looked at me like I was retarded. Each time I chewed her out, she was cool for about a week, then she just got worse.

    Over the next 3 month period, I tried to avoid her as much as possible. I came across her once a month. She would yell at me that I was not keeping in contact, she talked down to me like I was a puppy that messed on the floor.

    After a year of knowing her, it just got old. No matter what I said she did not listen. I eventually had to tell her that I did not want to have anything to do with her, that I never wanted to see her face again. No matter what I did or said, it would not work. She would not stop molesting me and she had a dude.

    It just got to be frustrating to have some chick that is hanging on you all the time talk to you in some weird baby voice who buys you dinner, but scares off any chick that you are really interested in. If a girl is with a man, leave her, make a clean break and go after someone that is more serious.

    When I told the her to go away and I never wanted to see her again, it was the worst feeling that I had ever felt. About a month later, it was the most relaxed that I felt in a long time.

    I do not know if I was the back up guy, but I do not like to feel like I am a second place trophy.

  10. 10
    The InBetweener

    Yeah, dude, Steve hit the nail on the head.

    Steve Dec 11th 2008 at 01:05 pm 4

    “Don’t give her more time and attention than you would an ordinary friend.”

    As a matter a fact, unless you really still WANT to be friends with her, she should be cut clean off. [IMHO]
    Yeah, you might still have some type of feelings for her, but it’s OBVIOUS that she does NOT reciprocate those same feelings and since your feelings towards her were/are NOT her concern, why should her feelings matter to you anymore?

  11. 11
    downtowngal

    It sounds as if LJ and his ex are on different pages. To Jennifer’s point, if LJ’s being used, it’s his own fault for putting up with a situation where he’s not getting what he wants. Expectations come into play whenever feelings are involved, and obviousy this guy has feelings. He misses her so much that he’s hoping they’ll get back together. The only solution is for him to make a clean break and do what’s right for him. Only over time will the right thing happen (meaning they’ll get back together or he’ll grow as a person and discover he deserves better).

    And I don’t nec. agree with Hot Alpha Female. In this situation, yes, I agree, less is more from LJ. But in general, if a guy is pursuing a woman, contact is a good thing (I’m not talking about OCD-calling 10x per day after the first date behavior, but showing general interest).

  12. 12
    Jennifer

    @Steve #3, I get what you are saying, but I still don’t understand the call for anger. I don’t think he should see her anymore and all that, but what is there to be mad about? She hasn’t deceived him, she hasn’t lied, she stopped sleeping with him; he’s just been leading himself on, like most of us are prone to do sometimes.

  13. 13
    Adrian

    what evan is talking about is that she knows how he feels, and yet she is not being clear about where they stand, she`s playing him for a fool(with no opossition from him) and he needs to wake up and see that she is just playing games. A person who truly cares about you (whether she or he is in love or not) tells you, without hesitation..I dont love you.

    Thats why he needs to be mad.

  14. 14
    Robert Lehrer

    You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache if you stop trying to figure out what she’s doing.

    The bottom line is that she’s with someone other than you. If you can live with that without trying to get her back, fine. Then be her friend.

    If you can’t live with that, it’s time to walk (away from her). If this is the case, I revise what I just wrote. Don’t walk, RUN away.

  15. 15
    Steve

    LJ

    1. She told you that she didn’t want a boyfriend, as in any
    boyfriend, as it was demanding too much of her attention while in school.

    2. Yet, she is now dating someone else. She is still in school.

    1 + 2 adds up to that she doesn’t want you, in particular, as a boyfriend.

    Maybe all of that togetherness, even if she encouraged it, made her start seeing you as clingy. That may not be the case, she may have just grown bored with you or something reignited with her ex. Its over either way, but you want to file that away as a possible mistake to avoid in the future.

    Set up appropriate boundaries your ex. Be her friend, not her girlfriend.
    See her and her family much less. Once you do that and have been out on a few dates with new people you will feel noticeably better.

  16. 16
    Steve

    @Jennifer, post #12

    She has deceived him. She dated him for over a year and a half. She didn’t tell him the truth about dumping him. She told him that having a boyfriend while in school was demanding too much of her attention. Yet, she is dating someone else despite still being in school.

    Most of LJs anger is not her fault, only some. Like it or not, men are not women. They don’t do the intimate behaviors LJ has done with his ex with their platonic friends. Men aren’t “girlfriends”. If a woman is behaving toward a man the way LJs ex is to him, a man is likely to think they are interested in him romantically.

    Yes, she broke up with him, explicitly, but doing these behaviors has helped LJ to deceive himself and that self deception is what led to LJ being angry. His self deception isn’t technically her fault, but she could have drawn more appropriate post-breakup boundaries to have put a stop to it.

    Men and women do become friends after having been a couple. Most of the time it doesn’t happen in a week and most of the time even if a close friendship forms it isn’t at the level LJ described.

  17. 17
    hunter

    I think, LJ messed up somewhere, he can move on, start seeing someone else, or, continue to see her. The sooner LJ starts seeing someone else, the sooner the bond is broken.

  18. 18
    hunter

    Thomas…..she must not have been a good lover!….some people keep parttime lovers, when the going is good!……

  19. 19
    hunter

    ……either that or, you are the kind of man that behaves…….

  20. 20
    thomas

    either that or, you are the kind of man that behaves.

    I have had a few girls ask me if I was gay. I responded with, “does that matter, because you already have a dude on your arm.”

    If a chick is with a guy, I do what I need to do in order to keep her off me. I would never want it to happen to me, so why do it to others. Plus if she is willing to do it to one guy to get to me, what is there to stop her in the future to make her not want to do it to me to get her next catch?

    It just seems like some females always have to have a guy. They will be with a guy, even if they do not like him, just to have some one. So when they transition from one guy to the next, she will have two men at the same time, over lap, to cover things in case it does not work out with the new guy.

  21. 21
    cinnamon

    “I would never want it to happen to me, so why do it to others. Plus if she is willing to do it to one guy to get to me, what is there to stop her in the future to make her not want to do it to me to get her next catch?”

    Good to know there are still people on this planet who think that way.

    But Thomas, just to be fair, there are plenty of men who also have no problem picking up on the next women even though they are still involved with the previous one, not to mention these who just want to have affairs on the side.

  22. 22
    Sunflower

    I was in exactly the same position, albeit, I was the female in the situation. I was like his comfort blanket – always there, someone he could rely on, because (as I now realise) he knew that I was more devoted to him than vice versa. To him I was just convenient. We were totally best friends, spoke many times a day, always each other’s “go-to person” in times of trouble. While I was living through it, every time there was any intimacy, I just kept thinking, “OK, so maybe it’ll work out better this time”. It never did.

    The break-through came when he told me that he’d made a huge mistake messing me around, and that he wanted to spend his life with me. And so I trotted back again. 4 days later, he called it off. THAT’s when I finally saw the light.

    We had a year of barely being in touch (which started with me giving him a good piece of my mind). Nowadays, we talk maybe once a month, and meet once a year – but he knows what he did to hurt me, and in fact, rather than me being the puppy to his whims, I now feel as though I have an upper hand, having made it clear that he can never mess me around like that again. We speak when it suits me, when I have time in my schedule. (Admittedly, we are in the same social group, so complete avoidance is not an option)

    I’m only sorry I wasted so long thinking things would work out. If it’s right you’ll know it. If the other person makes you question or worry about where it’s going, then it’s not right. You should feel relaxed, not on a knife edge.

  23. 23
    hunter

    on post #20

    Thomas!….It is not always what it looks to be!……I have approached women who, had their son-in-law on their arm!…Others had their nephew/son!…..

    If a woman asks you if you are gay, you, most likely missed her “subtle” advance.

    You posted previously, that a woman came up to you and licked your face, that, means she wanted you to chase her…..I know it gets difficult in a work environment. The difficult part being, there is no “privacy”. Any date you take her on, most any activity you do together(including lover spats), the whole building complex(where you work at) finds out about it…..

  24. 24
    Seductress Within

    What LJ needs to do is stop seeing her and talking to her. The reason this break up is so easy for her is because she hasn’t lost anything she didn’t want to loose. She has the attention, the adoration, and a friend who will be there when she needs him and still gets to date the new guy.

    If LJ stops all contact, she may turn up the heat to win him back, but the end of the story is the same. She may string him along, but she’ll never come back 100% to the relationship. That ship has sailed.

  25. 25
    Jonsi

    I absolutely think he has every right to feel angry, and I only hope he doesn’t turn that anger inward on himself and become bitter. Is she using him? I’d say yes. She knows how he feels, and despite her claiming “this is just friends,” her letting him down easy has nothing to do with his feelings, it is to prevent him from saying or doing anything to her, including dropping her like a bag of bricks, that could hurt her feelings.

    This woman is selfish and immature.

    We’re all selfish and immature in love, but if she genuinely valued him, she’d be telling him “I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I value you and value what we had, but I don’t see a future with you, not because you aren’t an incredible person, but because we just aren’t quite the right people for each other. I am sorry, but I want to be direct because I want you to heal and move on and find the relationship you deserve. You deserve an amazing relationship, but I am not that person. I sense that you still want more than friendship and it’s not fair for me to try to be your best friend when I know you are hurt and want more. How do you feel about all of this? Do you feel it would be better if we took a clean break until you are ready?”

    It’s all about boundaries, LJ. She’s not an evil person, but she is not truly your friend. Any woman who takes a long hard look at you and decides she can do better elsewhere — and that is the default position to take whenever the breakup reasons are equivocal — does not deserve your friendship, at least not until you feel that you have healed. And you set that timeline, not her.

    You can either tell her straight up “you need to level with me. You still act like you want me to be your boyfriend, and that needs to stop. It’s apparent to me that you and I are over and I don’t appreciate your maybe’s about us having a future. Be honest with me. How do you really feel?” And you accept nothing less than her wanting to be with you exclusively, or you drop off the face of the Earth. I wouldn’t even negotiate a period of no contact. If she were capable of understanding that, she wouldn’t be treating you like this in the first place. Women who understand the value of taking a break before rebuilding friendship usually encourage it, not to be cruel, but because they genuinely want you to heal and move on because they want you to find a healthy, meaningful relationship.

  26. 26
    Steve


    If LJ stops all contact, she may turn up the heat to win him back, but the end of the story is the same. She may string him along, but she’ll never come back 100% to the relationship. That ship has sailed.

    Right thing to do, wrong motivations. Game playing is a dead end.
    There are plenty of quality women out there. LJ is better off accepting that is over and finding one of those quality women.

  27. 27
    Seductress Within

    Steve, I’m not suggesting he play games. I sincerely believe he needs to let her go and stop all contact. My prediction is that when he does, she will “turn up the heat” meaning, do things to make him feel like her feelings are stronger than they are in order to bring him back to the comfortable spot she currently has him.

    If she does that, she’ll be the one playing games and I don’t want him to believe he still has a chance with this girl because ulitmately that relationship is over.

    1. 27.1
      Hanny

      yes!!! leave her alone.

  28. 28
    Steve

    @SW, post #27

    Thanks for clarifying. I agree. If after LJ pulls himself together his ex turns up the heat to keep him around he should leave her behind or make it clear he only has time for her AFTER he has given whoever he is dating all of his time that woman deserves.

  29. 29
    Virgogirl

    “A few years ago, I became freinds with a woman, but she was dating a guy. After 2 months, she started to get clingy, she always wanted me to take these long walks with her”

    WoW Thomas!! Why was there even a sequel to this story?
    “by month 3…..” oh wait, that’s when she started “groping and molesting” you right.? You know, in some parts of the WORLD, molestation is actually a crime??
    Okay next, should I even ask why there was a month 4, 5, 6…hey wait, are you sure you’re still not seeing her?

    You-are-a-riot!

  30. 30
    Max

    Jennifer,

    Your posts made me see red. I am curious if your reaction would be the same if it was LJ who played hookie with her and allowed her to wait on him hand and foot? No selfishness??

    LJ, Hear this, if you wanna know how bad it can get. 4 years ago, this WOW co-worker met me first. She was bright and good at her work, and we slowly grew to be good friends after 2 years, till one evening she spoke to me about a life-long commitment. I was floored, probably because I am C- in looks and dating.

    Gave up the sensible, compatible, though not exciting woman I was living with, and we grew close together. She was possessive – going through my mails, calling me several times every day, being over at my pad any time she was free, cooking for me, initiating wonderful sex – life was heady sweet. Only she never moved in, as I wanted her to, nor slept over.

    6 months ago, she tells me her ex is back in her life, moving in with her, however she’d like to keep things between us exactly as they were earlier.

    I told her it was over between us, but she would’nt accept that, but kept saying I was her love and life, she loved me very much, just that she had to agree for her family’s sake to try this man.

    The fool I was, I stayed with her for another month. I flipped when she told me how she hated sleeping with this other guy, and that she gave the password for her email accounts to this man. The beaut is she still hung out with me every opportunity – lying to her live-in guy about her whereabouts etc.

    So, I quit my job and moved to a city 6 hrs away, because I could’nt stop loving her, and kept dreaming of her being with me. My brain knew that there was no future, but my heart was so strong!!.

    She continues calling me, on mundane matters (could I please book her tickets on the net with her credit card? could I help her decide on a future course of studies, how should she approach a coworker who’s upset with her etc…) interspersed with how neglected she feels with the man as he’s selfish and a wee bit simple, and how she warns him that she’ll walk out on him.

    I finally underwent counselling 2 months ago, and have mostly gotton over my feelings for her. Her calls continue, and several mutual friends have told me she keeps checking on me.

    I am not mad at her, rather pity her for being such an insecure person. However, I AM mad at myself for having allowed her to ruin my life, and having to quit a job I liked. My steady girlfriend has been in touch since, to reiterate her support and belief in me, but something’s died within, and I think it’s unfair for me to go back to her after all this. I want to close these doors for good, but am so vulnerable, it scares me to think that I’d absolutely accept this woman into my life, if she came to me.

    I accept all my faults – being a doormat and a complete fool, but does that give anyone a right to use me as the fool I have been? To me, that’s downright unethical. But maybe that’s just me.

    I’ve learnt an expensive lesson, when you see someone acting possessive, or being too sweet on you, don’t give in, but evaluate early on. Procrastinating on the decision is a fatal idea.

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