My Ex-Boyfriend Recently Contacted Me, But I Am In A Serious Relationship.

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Evan,

I have been with my boyfriend for a little over two years now. We live together, plan to have a house in the next year, and get married. But recently an ex-boyfriend got in contact with me that I haven’t seen in about three years.

What is very confusing for me is that I fell hard for my ex and everything was going fine and then he dumped me out of the blue. It was a pretty good, clean break, and I accepted it and moved on but there was one problem, I was pregnant.

Many people would say he was a typical guy, but he wasn’t. He lost his virginity to me, and that’s impressive seeing that he was well into his twenties! He told me he was afraid of what we would be and I believed him. He was obviously not ready to have a child, and apparently not ready to break a promise to himself that not many men make. I tried to talk with him until I lost the baby due to complications. Ever since then I try to never look back. I never talk about the daughter I once had and lost, even with my boyfriend now.

Basically, I have no idea what my ex wants. Why would he contact me out of the blue and ask for casual conversation? He hasn’t even brought up the fact that he basically left when I was going through all that horrifying stuff. It makes me hurt and I want to ask him why he did that. I’m also afraid that my current boyfriend will be hurt that I still care. Most importantly, does he really want to know what I am up to or does he want more? I’m afraid to ask.

-Definitely Confused

Dear DC,

Let me share with you that your feelings of confusion are normal.

Let me share with you also that your feelings of confusion are also highly destructive.

Read your letter again. It’s like you’re the poster child for bright, emotionally irrational women everywhere…

You live with your boyfriend, you’re buying a house, you have marriage on the horizon…and you’re seriously contemplating what to do with the guy who dumped you when you were pregnant?

Read your letter again. It’s like you’re the poster child for bright, emotionally irrational women everywhere — the ones who let their strong sentiments for a toxic man cloud their judgment so thoroughly that they seriously consider undermining a healthy relationship.

I could only imagine if my wife were the same way. After all, in late 2009, she got a call from her serious ex-boyfriend from nearly 15 years ago. (I think this one cheated on her; I’ve lost track). Anyway, he was just “checking in” to see how she was doing. This is not-so-thinly veiled code for “My life hasn’t gone according to plan, so please let me know if you’re still single, because if you are, I’d like to start sleeping with you as soon as possible”. And, in fact, as soon as my wife informed her ex that she was happily married, he didn’t see fit to continue the conversation much longer. So much for “getting back in touch.”

Your best revenge is your own happiness — not getting closure from some dick who couldn’t stick by you during your most trying hours.

Remember, guys are simple and guys are selfish. And if all it takes is a phone call out of the blue to make you second guess your entire healthy relationship, who’s to blame your ex for trying? Best case fictional scenario for you: the ex says that you’ve been weighing on his conscience and he wants to apologize for all the pain he caused you and wish you well in your new life. But that’s pure fantasy. A more realistic scenario would be the one in which he gets you to cheat on your boyfriend without actually leaving him (that way he won’t have to deal with those sticky commitment issues). And after a few rolls in the hay and after destroying your ability to trust yourself, he goes back to his old ways and disappears into the night.

Be smart, DC. Tell your ex that you wish him well but that you’re in a happy relationship and have no desire to see him again. Your best revenge is your own happiness — not getting closure from some dick who couldn’t stick by you during your most trying hours.

For your own sake, sweetie, let it rest.

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Comments:

  1. 101
    Shay

    I used to think that if you like someone, you do. If you don’t, you don’t. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be so clear cut.

    I’m now dating guys which I’m neutral about. See how it goes.

  2. 102
    Ruby

    Selena #98

    “Ruby, sending mixed signals is THE big indicator that someone JITIY. Someone who really is into you makes their intentions clear. If someone is sending you mixed signals it’s your job to decide whether or not you want to continue to date that person.

    Actually, I wasn’t thinking of someone sticking around just for sex, but to keep a relationship going on their own terms. But you’re absolutely right, though, in any case.

    EMK #99

    I recall you saying that you called or emailed your wife-to-be every day that you were dating, so it’s interesting that you managed to do this despite having “mild reservations”. No judgement there, I think it’s great that you hung in and things worked out.

  3. 103
    anette

    There seems to be a lot of , “men should change who they are and how they behave” comments here. And it seems that some people are saying men should behave a certain way so that the WOMEN can date them and be happy.

    I’d rather some-one change their behaviour so that THEY can be happy. A guy shouldn’t change who he is for me, but so that he can be a better and more successful, loving person as this will make his life better. If he doesn’t want to do that, then it is his loss and not my problem.

    I don’t see this as letting men have a “get out of jail free card”. As Evan has stated, with the current freedoms us women have, we do have a choice in what we will or will not put up with. The men are the ones that will miss out on great women, if they do not know how to treat ANY woman(even one they love) corrrectly.

    I’m just glad there are some men out there, that are honest with us ladies about what men are thinking and why they are thinking it. It just helps us to make better(more rational) decisions FOR OURSELVES. None of the advice honest men are giving us is ever intended to teach us how to change a men and I don’t see it that way.

    I just love learning to understand how men think. It’s really quite fascinating and really helps to stop seeing certain blokes through rose coloured glasses!! lol 🙂

  4. 104
    Diana

    I wouldn’t mind dating someone who had mild reservations about me, and definitely the other way around. It’s impossible to know 100% immediately. When you think you do know, time often reveals that you were wrong. Our judgments can be seriously flawed. I might not would even know he has reservations.

    I don’t see this as jerking someone around. You can both have the same romantic inclinations (they’re inclinations, after all) and still have reservations. I have experienced my own reservations growing into immensely deep, abiding love and friendship, and I would not have had it any other way. I also believe in giving men a second chance, and looking past what could be my own barriers, if I allow them to be.

    I don’t mean to sound Pollyanna, but I don’t go into dating assuming, thinking, expecting, “being on the lookout,” etc. for a man to turn into a dog or do me wrong in some way, though some would say I have every right to. Our thinking has a tendency to be our own prophecy, and we attract that which we are.

    There are many good men out there and there are jerks, too. The same applies to women. It’s up to me to accept the accountability and the responsibility for how my relationships exist, and my own state of happiness and peace. I am quite capable, intuitive, and intelligent enough to recognize mixed signals, a douche bag, a sexual user, or anything else the man might reveal, and take matters into my own hands. If I meet a man who starts to show that he’s not the man I thought he was, it’s called “next.” It’s as simple as that. I am not desperate nor do I suffer from low esteem, nor am I ever lonely enough to accept anything less than what I feel I deserve.

    And I agree with Anette ~ I love learning more about how men think. I regret not having a greater understanding sooner.

  5. 105
    A Reader

    Here’s a thought, and it’s just a thought. How do men get to be jerks? Are they born that way? Probably some are, but my money says the vast majority of men were born as perfectly cute and adorable babies who were taught to be jerks — how? By their parents? General society? Women who put up with it? All of the above? I know that each individual woman can only change how she deals with the jerks that exist. I just wonder why it’s not legitimate to question how humanity can avoid creating future generations of jerks, and maybe rehabilitating a few of the jerks we already have on our hands. As I said, just a thought.

    Oh, and I stand by my statement about not dating men I have reservations about. For Evan and all those other people who say it worked for them, more power to you. But I want to be enthusiastic about anyone I’m dating, and have him feel the same way about me, otherwise, why bother? But then again, dating never ranked very high on my hit parade of entertainment options, anyway, so maybe I’m biased against the process.

  6. 106
    Evan Marc Katz

    Thank you, Diana. That’s extremely well said and probably the most effective attitude for a woman who wants to open up to love.

  7. 107
    Diana

    Ah shucks. It ain’t nothin. Thanks for the nod, Evan. Love your blog and your advice! 🙂

  8. 108
    Evan Marc Katz

    @A Reader How would you react to a similar statement about women on a blog giving men dating advice? “How do women turn out to be bitches? Are they born that way?” And so on and so forth. Just imagine your horror at reading the stories of men railing against beautiful, manipulative, narcissistic, selfish women who have terrorized men, who keep coming back for more.

    These are true stories. But they are only part of the picture. Until you wrap yourself around the fact that there are millions of good men out there, you’re never going to meet any of them. I’m sorry you find dating and men to be so disappointing.

  9. 109
    Karl R

    A Reader, (#105)
    It’s not a legitimate question because women don’t agree on what a “jerk” is. You probably believe I’m a jerk. My girlfriend disagrees. Obviously, I’m not about to change my behavior when she (and numerous other women) find it perfectly acceptable.

    A more legitimate question would be “How can A Reader get every woman to agree with her opinion?” If you can answer that, then the other question will become legitimate (and possibly moot).

  10. 110
    Selena

    Re:#104

    Diana that was great! 🙂

  11. 111
    A Reader

    @Karl #109, at the risk of sounding callous and unfeeling, it matters not even a little what you do. If you and your girlfriend are happy, more power to you, just like Evan and his wife. I don’t expect every woman in the world or even any other woman on this blog to agree with me. It’s my opinion, and I was merely asking a question. It does seem interesting that you would have such a venomous response to a simple question, but I’ll leave that whole can of worms alone.

    @Evan #108, I will agree that there are good men out there. I have actually met one or two. There is a very good man out there who would marry me today if I gave him the word. I know this because he said so. But I don’t love him, and I don’t want to use and abuse someone who loves me. I actually draw a fair amount of male attention. I guess I am what many men would call attractive. But I don’t try to get by on my looks, because I have a perfectly good brain and I’d rather put my stock in my smarts than in my curves.

    As for a blog that gives men dating advice, you said so yourself, men don’t seek dating advice. As other women on the blog have stated, and as I have observed, “dating” advice for men seems mostly to center around “how to get her to drop her panties without getting stuck with a commitment.”

    But I don’t condone women using and abusing men any more than I condone men using and abusing women. That’s where you’ve got me wrong. Using is wrong, whether the user has two X chromosomes or an XY pair. You are right about one observation. I am deeply disappointed in most of the men I encounter. And as for dating, I would rather have dental work without Novocaine than to subject myself to the meat market that passes for dating these days.

  12. 112
    anette

    #111

    You said “And as for dating, I would rather have dental work without Novocaine than to subject myself to the meat market that passes for dating these days”.

    I have felt the same way, and still do to a degree. Dating, and realizing that almost every man you are trying to get to know, ONLY wants to get in your pant,s makes you feel invisible. It’s horrible and dehumanising and can make you very angry, hateful and disapointed in men. It is especially problematic if you are attractive.

    I now realize, that men do and will have sex with many available females. I don’t hate them for it, in truth it is probably part biology. I just know the signs now, and I do not take it personally NOR do I partake of it, knowing what I want.

    It is a meat market, and that is fine. Many men are looking for just a sexual release and a bit of meat. Okay. So be it. Getting past this is not “putting up with male behaviour” because you cannot change a males tendancies. You can only look for the male, that will suit you and like you beyond his desire to sleep with you.

    And for the record, men do go through the same “ringer” when it comes to women. It isn’t all “bad male” behaviour out there. There’s plenty of bad female behaviour as well.

  13. 113
    sayanta

    A Reader-

    I’ve said this before, but what the heck, I’ll say it again. Your comments seem to scream that you don’t care about dating and what passes for ‘dating’ in today’s market (I hate that unromantic word, but since everyone else uses it…). Dating and men don’t rank high on your list. Yet, I find it interesting that you not only come to this blog, but that you’re a frequent poster. Almost as if, on some level, you want to come away with a glimmer of hope about dating and better understanding about the process (which goes against everything you’ve said in your comments). That’s usually why women come to these blogs, to either understand dating, or to bitch about men. I’ve done both. You seem to be doing more of the latter, while at the same time stating you don’t care about what men think.

    To make things clearer, I’ll use this example. I hate sports. Despise them. Don’t understand why people get excited about seeing a bunch of guys slam or bat a ball. But I don’t go on sports blogs writing about how sports are a waste of time and how I hate them. That would be ridiculous and a waste of my time, because I really don’t care.

    But, I probably WOULD post anti-sports comments on sports blogs if 1) I was bitter about not being athletic and wanted to rail at people who were, 2) I wanted to get deeply involved in sports but somehow was prevented from doing so (this relates to #1). So, I’m now posting on these sports blogs because I care. I could rail about how sports are stupid and I don’t care about them in my comments, but of course, intelligent people will see right through that.

  14. 114
    Diana

    Thanks, Selena! I love reading this blog not only for the advice, but also for the different experiences of others, and everyone’s views which are often so varied.

    Just to add ~ I am not dating right now nor do I have all that much of an interest in dating at this chapter in my life. It isn’t due to thinking negatively about men or relationships. It’s about choosing different priorities and responding to other demands for my time. Still, I find the learning and reading to be fascinating. As my life continues to evolve, I will have a full arsenal. 😉 Not that I’m planning for a love war, mind ya!

  15. 115
    A Reader

    @ sayanta 113 I never claimed not to care about men. In fact, I have repeatedly stated that I wanted a relationship. On the other hand, I’m not willing to accept what seems to pass for acceptable male behavior. I truly do not understand why this is such a problematic point of view for so many people here.

    I thought that anyone who was willing to maintain a civil exchange was free to post on this blog, but it has become increasingly clear that I am not welcome here. So be it. I’ll find somewhere else to read and post, and leave you all to whatever . If you respond, I will probably never see it, because I never intend to load this blog on my browser again. This is my last post.

  16. 116
    sayanta

    well, I’m risking answering to someone who’ll never read my response, but so be it. I’m not sure how my post was seen as an attack on your desire to post on this blog. It’s no skin off my back whether you post- I was just calling you on the contradictions in your posts.

    I’ve never claimed not to care about men…repeatedly stated I wanted a relationship.

    Really? Then why did you say in a previous post, “dating never ranked high on my list of entertainment options.” This seems to be a blatant contradiction. It seems that you’re getting irritated and defensive whenever someone’s calling you on these contradictions.

    Now, I’ve been known to bitch and rail against dating and men too. The difference is that I’ve usually admitted (albeit later) that that’s what I’ve been doing.

  17. 117
    Selena

    I’m rather where you are also Diana, which is why I appreciate your posts and positive outlook. And the fact that having had a long lasting relationship previously, you aren’t writing about “LTR’s” strictly on theory. 🙂

  18. 118
    Selena

    @Sayanta
    Sometimes people just like to vent on the internet. Great place to do that actually, but it always bemuses me why people would choose to vent about how bad men are, or how bad women are (remember verbosity and vino?) on a blog that has a big header at the top “I Am A Personal Trainer For Women Who Want To Fall In Love”.

    Surely gender-bashing websites abound aplenty in cyberspace – why pick here? 😉

  19. 119
    sayanta

    *118-

    Selena, THANk you!! That’s my point.

  20. 120
    Kenley

    Lots of people who want a relationship don’t enjoy the process of dating. I was one of them. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to have a relationship without dating — unless, of course, you do the arranged marriage thing.
    Perhaps A Reader came to this site in hopes of reading inspirational stories about how women have found love with great guys. Unfortunately, the focus of the blog does tend to be about the bad behavior of some men and how to avoid them. If a woman is down on men (and many women are at least once in their life time,) this blog — not Evan’s work in general, but this blog re-confirms/re-enforces the idea that men can be hurtful much more than it celebrates how great men can be. So, it does ad fuel to the fire for those women who just aren’t all that happy with men at the moment.

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