Dear Miss A,
I miss my old boyfriend from a few years back and have been thinking about him a lot lately. We were very serious and parted ways on friendly terms because I wasn’t ready to take the next step. I want to test the waters to see if something is still there, but he lives in another state, which makes it difficult. If he lived in town it would be easy because we could just hang out any old day. Making a trip to see him ups the stakes automatically. I know if I open this conversation and I am wrong, maybe I will have peace of mind for resolving the question, but I would probably lose his friendship forever. I just want to start by testing the waters, so I don’t risk anyone’s feelings if I don’t have to, but what can I do from far away? When is it okay to revisit old feelings and under what conditions? How sure do you have to be before reopening that door?
Miss My Ex
Dear Miss My Ex,
I think it’s natural to wonder what might have been with an ex. I commend you for taking this seriously, and realizing that your actions might have consequences. I think it’s really mature of you to not to want to hurt his feelings by making a mistake. Some people don’t take the other person into consideration at all.
You need to take some time to sit down, maybe journal, and think about what has changed since the time when you didn’t want to take things to the next level. If what kept you from moving forward was a personal goal–such as wanting to attain a certain level of career success, to go to grad school, or to live abroad, and now you have accomplished that goal–then I think you might be ready to get back together. However, this doesn’t mean that he is willing to take you back. When a guy wants to get engaged or get married and the woman is the one to break things off, that really takes a toll on his ego. I’m sure this crushed him. I’m not sure that he’ll be able to trust you to open himself back up to you.
If what held you back was something concerning the relationship, then perhaps you are just missing the good times you had with him, and perhaps you’ve blocked out the bad times. I suggest that as you are thinking and journaling, that you write down the problems you had in your relationship. Try to remember the issues you had with him. Because you really need to think this through before involving him. He’s been through enough.
Even if you examine the situation and think you want to date him again, I think you need to have your goal be that you reconnect as friends first. If he has family or friends in your area, you might email him or call him and see if he might like to get together for lunch when he’s in town. If he never comes to your city, then maybe plan a visit to see a friend who also lives in that town and suggest you get together. This should be something very casual. You should NOT expect to spend the entire weekend with your ex. Just make the trip have lunch and maybe brunch the day you leave. Don’t make it romantic. If you don’t have a friend in that city, maybe invite a friend to join you, and buy tickets to a concert, or plan to visit museums or whatever that city has to offer. Make it be a “girls weekend”, and again just meet him once – twice a the most, during the day, sober, and talk. You will be able to tell a lot from your 2 or 3 hours with him. Perhaps he is in another relationship? I think it would give you some closure to do this. Perhaps you need to apologize to him for not being ready, and build his ego up by being open and genuine about all the great things he has to offer that you still appreciate.
Please stay in touch, and let me know how it goes!
– Miss A
Andrea Rodgers is a Dating & Relationship Expert for HealthCentral’s SexualHealthConnection.com. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.