Dear Evan,

I have a bit of a situation right now. My college sweetheart whom I have dated for the past 5 years decided to move out of town. On that account, he decided to break off the relationship with me because he says that he is not ready to be in a relationship right now, but wouldn’t mind to come back with me once he’s ready (which is according to him in the next 5 years – after he has finished fooling around). It has now been a year and a half, and during that time, I have been dating this new guy who I really like. However, I find myself being emotionally unavailable for this guy because somehow I’m still hung up on my ex as I have this image that he will come back to me in the future. My ex basically keeps me on a leash – he’s not my boyfriend but he contacts me every day and knowing that I love him, it’s hard not to resist. The guy I am dating now doesn’t know of this situation and my ex also doesn’t know that I am dating someone else. It’s hard for me to make a decision on who I should commit to. My ex asks if I want to come back with him – but I’m worried that due to his past behavior (non-committal behavior) that he will just end up breaking my heart again and again just like before. But at the same time, I feel that I’m not available for this new guy and I feel that I am cheating on him. Can you help shine a light in my love life?

Cheers, A.

Until you cut him off, you will never be free to love again.

Cut him off.

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

Cut him off now.

Until you cut him off, you will never be free to love again.

Your ex knows it and loves it and exploits it mercilessly. He thinks he’s being a nice guy because he was “honest” that he needed five years to fool around, but all he’s doing is giving you false hope at a non-existent future.

Actions speak far louder than words — both for you, and for him.

His action — breaking up with you — should have spoken volumes about how he felt about you, but, apparently, it did not. Because the message — YOU GOT DUMPED SO HE COULD SLEEP WITH STRANGERS – is lessened by the fact that he still calls you every day and talks about getting back together eventually. How nice for you.

And your action — allowing your selfish ex to continue this charade, and committing emotional adultery on your current boyfriend — says a lot about how you feel. You already know this and you called attention to it in your email.

So where does this leave you, A?   With a pretty clear path, if you want to know the truth. Consider your options:

1)             Keep the status quo. Talk to your ex-boyfriend every day. Keep your dangerous fantasies alive. Lie to your current boyfriend. Close off the possibility for true closeness and intimacy.


2)             Cut off the ex entirely because he DUMPED you. Give yourself to the man who is NOT dumping you. Watch as your relationship grows with your committed efforts. Learn the meaning of true love.

Most of us cling to our fantasies as long as we can because a piece of us dies when we let them go.

The only thing you lose when you cut off the ex is this: the fantasy that it’ll eventually work out. Most of us cling to our fantasies as long as we can because a piece of us dies when we let them go. But for you to truly move on, you HAVE to tell your ex that it was nice knowing him and best of luck in the future. Sure, he’ll beg to come back — because that’s HIS self-preservation mechanism — but you will be strong enough to resist him.

You know why?

Because you’ll be looking in the eyes of your real boyfriend — the one who wants to be with you.

I assure you, it’s a much better view.