Date Somebody Who Still Has Feelings For Their "Ex"?

  • byronicheros

    Posts: 211

    Aug 07, 2011 5:17 PM GMT
    Okay,

    So, I need some advice, or rather, maybe I just want to hear what other people would do. I've been seeing this guy for about two months. We have great chemistry and we seem to have a lot in common (music, interests, etc.).

    On our first date, he said that it was the best day he's had all year. Unfortunately, most of the other times I've been with him he's been in a slump--sad even, but I've seen his good/brighter sides too.

    To Summarize his past: He was in a relationship a few months ago that it had to end because his friend/love/partner was a drug addict. He had to end it because he know it wouldn't work out. When he was younger his father was also a drug addict and he abandoned him. According to his therapist, he's suffering from a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder--where he's re-living all the feelings that he had when he was younger with his father.

    After, a month 1/2, we were making progress, but I got frustrated with the situation, so I was actually going to end it the other day. He told me that he'll put more effort into seeing me and communicating with him.

    Part of me thinks that if I'm patient, he'll eventually come out of the slump and we'll be able to progress in our relationship even further. Is it worth it? Am I just his rebound? We discussed it last night, and he doesn't want to make it serious/committed until he can give me himself fully.

    Part of me hopes something will come of it, the other, rational side, is telling me the red flags are telling me to go no further. What would ya'll do?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 07, 2011 5:35 PM GMT
    Mate you'll just have to be patient. Be kind and understanding plus the space he needs to sort it out. In the end I hope he'll commit to you fully but remember that some guys like to fix things that are not repairable.

    I wish the both you the best
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    Aug 07, 2011 5:45 PM GMT
    Oh Hellz no! Just say no.

    No no no no no no no no no no no no.




    NO.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Aug 07, 2011 5:52 PM GMT
    why would you do that? why would anyone do that?
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    Aug 07, 2011 5:57 PM GMT
    So long as he's not the one with the drug problem, I don't see what the problem is. It seems to me that it's just fine that he's got problems with emotion, this is human.

    the heart is complicated and we all have pasts. Take your time and you might find it pays of dividends. Give him the time he needs to heal and he might discover his hurt right now is just a good symbol of his heart's worth later.

    The heart is complicated.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Aug 07, 2011 6:01 PM GMT
    shortguybeau said...the heart is complicated and we all have pasts. Take your time and you might find it pays of dividends..The heart is complicated.


    beau, you said (typed) a mouthfull there!


    icon_lol.gif
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Aug 07, 2011 6:01 PM GMT
    I still have feelings for one of my ex's. I'd like to rescue him if I could, but realize that is futile. It does cloud my current relationship a bit, but not to the point of distraction. My current boy has some issues as well.

    Could you do better? ...an obvious, yet irrelevant question. You have feelings for this struggling soul. People come into your life for a reason. It's not for you to fix them, or vice versa, but just to be.

    Exit the relationship with love, if you feel the need. But, you're young, and together enough to stick around a bit and see where this is going...no harm.
  • byronicheros

    Posts: 211

    Aug 07, 2011 8:15 PM GMT
    Thanks guys. I really appreciate your feedback.
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    Aug 07, 2011 8:21 PM GMT
    I have "feelings" for all my exes. It "feels" great to be over 1000 miles away from all three of them. icon_biggrin.gif
  • dancedancekj

    Posts: 1761

    Aug 07, 2011 8:25 PM GMT
    Yeah, the call is up to you unfortunately. How strongly do you feel about this guy? Do you feel he is worth trying to help work through his issues? What if it takes months? Years?

    I dated someone for a couple months that I suspected never got over his ex, and it had been over a year. It made me feel shitty to realize that I was at best a placeholder, at the very least a passing distraction to help the other people move on. I hated feeling used, and hated that the relationship was all on me by the end.

    Sometimes it is worth it - othertimes not. You're neither a hero nor a villain either way, but the choice is ultimately up to how you feel and how patient you will be.
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    Aug 07, 2011 8:28 PM GMT
    Be patient with him, especially if you know in your heart that he's quality goods. Eventually he'll come around.

    Speaking from experience, people who come from unhealthy and abusive relationships have to learn self-reliance, and have to let go of the hangups they were burdened with during their previous relationship. Those issues don't just evaporate overnight, especially when you're with a truly loving individual.
  • byronicheros

    Posts: 211

    Aug 07, 2011 8:34 PM GMT
    Yeah, the good thing is we have great communication with eachother--and he's honest about his feelings for his Ex. I mean, I could tell me he's over him and in reality, he's not.

    I guess that's a positive? How should I feel about him talking about him and why he misses him? Is that too much? Can I tell him that I really don't want to hear what he liked about him? Or is it a good, healthy thing that he's telling me?

    My plan is to give him a little bit more time--maybe a month. If, by then, there's no "progression", then I might leave it as is.

    Second Question: For those of you who think I should be patient; Should I continue to date other people or should I give him all my attention?
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    Aug 08, 2011 12:17 AM GMT
    It he suffers from PTSD, this is not something that gets better in a matter of weeks and certainly being in an unstable relationship has worsened his state. Your offering him a chance to be in a more stable relationship, but should a boyfriend be a partner or a project?

    It does not seem selfish to me to chose not to be apart of that. He needs a lot of help, help that can come from you, his friends, his family and his therapist. But I am not sure if you are going to be able to endure all of the hardship ahead while he battles PTSD.

    Unless you have a really strong conviction to be with him, you are just prolonging the inevitable and setting up to create another situation of instability for him and you.

    If you do think you can tough it out, you should ask about becoming part of his therapy and read up on PTSD. He should know what his triggers are, and you should be aware of them as well so you don't accidentally excite him.

    There are several books on living with someone with PTSD, and making things work.

    I'm not doubting your character, but I have not met very many month and a half boyfriends with that kind of dedication to keep this kind of relationship afloat and I wanted to offer the hard advice first.
  • byronicheros

    Posts: 211

    Aug 09, 2011 12:28 AM GMT
    Wow, thanks Adam. That's pretty insightful. thank you.
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    Aug 09, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    Be his friend, but not his rescuer. Hopefully his therapist can bring him around.
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    Aug 09, 2011 1:14 AM GMT
    byronicheros saidPart of me hopes something will come of it, the other, rational side, is telling me the red flags are telling me to go no further. What would ya'll do?

    Lost cause. I've dated guys with exes they couldn't forget, and right now e-mailing with someone who's got a BF with an ex he's still involved with. These rarely work out.

    You wanna start with a clean slate in a guy. Sounds like this one has lingering commitments & attachments. Doesn't leave a lot of room for you.
  • Londonlife

    Posts: 4

    Aug 09, 2011 10:22 PM GMT
    Definitely stick with him at least for now and see how it goes. Its not his fault his last partner was mentally abusive and if you like him enough, then with your support he can get over it and realise that you are there for him - he will thank you for sticking with him in the long run. Ive been there myself and you do eventually get over it
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    Aug 09, 2011 10:41 PM GMT
    I'm usually wary of people who (at least act as if they) are numb to their most recent ex's... let's say, any ex's within the past year. So I wouldn't hold that issue against him, especially under the circumstances as you presented it. But it's clear he wants to proceed at a slower pace than you'd desire.

    This idea will sound corny at first, but have you tried pen-palling it for awhile? Not IM or e-mail, but just good old-fashioned pen and paper. Throw some pictures in there, too, or items related to your common interests. It allows you to stay in unique and intimate communication, allows him to keep a little distance, and allows you both to organize your thoughts about how you each see your relationship progressing.
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Aug 10, 2011 12:21 AM GMT
    dayumm saidI'm usually wary of people who (at least act as if they) are numb to their most recent ex's... let's say, any ex's within the past year. So I wouldn't hold that issue against him, especially under the circumstances as you presented it. But it's clear he wants to proceed at a slower pace than you'd desire.

    This idea will sound corny at first, but have you tried pen-palling it for awhile? Not IM or e-mail, but just good old-fashioned pen and paper. Throw some pictures in there, too, or items related to your common interests. It allows you to stay in unique and intimate communication, allows him to keep a little distance, and allows you both to organize your thoughts about how you each see your relationship progressing.


    I like this idea.
    Writing is uniquely therapeutic. Re reading, even your own correspondence, can give insight into your subconscious mind. Sometimes it is easier and kinder to say what needs to be said in written form. There is time to properly organize your thoughts and articulate them in a precise way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2011 12:30 AM GMT
    It's great he's being so open and communicative about where he stands.

    However, if you are really into it and start to feel any frustration/impatience at all, that will just put pressure on him... and pressure of any kind is that last thing he probably needs.

    If you can really keep it casual and be patient, waiting a bit longer is good. But that's hard to do when you really like someone. Seeing other people in a very casual manner (or mentally keeping the door open) might relieve some pressure.
  • byronicheros

    Posts: 211

    Aug 10, 2011 9:04 AM GMT
    dayumm saidI'm usually wary of people who (at least act as if they) are numb to their most recent ex's... let's say, any ex's within the past year. So I wouldn't hold that issue against him, especially under the circumstances as you presented it. But it's clear he wants to proceed at a slower pace than you'd desire.

    This idea will sound corny at first, but have you tried pen-palling it for awhile? Not IM or e-mail, but just good old-fashioned pen and paper. Throw some pictures in there, too, or items related to your common interests. It allows you to stay in unique and intimate communication, allows him to keep a little distance, and allows you both to organize your thoughts about how you each see your relationship progressing.


    That's an interesting concept. So, pen pal even if we live 10 minutes away from eachother?
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    Aug 10, 2011 11:31 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI'd listen to the red flags. My gut is never wrong. If your gut is telling you something is wrong you would do best to heed the warning signs.


    Agree.
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    Aug 11, 2011 12:04 AM GMT
    It's up to you whatever you decide to do, but I recommend you don't... as I still have feelings for the last two guys I fell for... getting better and will be able to date again in the foreseeable future, as for now. No harm, no foul!
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    Aug 11, 2011 12:07 AM GMT
    BambinoRex said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI'd listen to the red flags. My gut is never wrong. If your gut is telling you something is wrong you would do best to heed the warning signs.

    Agree.

    Second the motion.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Aug 11, 2011 12:07 AM GMT
    No way let him get over the ex first!