Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

The one that got away?
January 11, 2010 9:19 AM   Subscribe

How on earth can this work out alright?

Hi y'all,

I can't believe I'm posting another Long Ridiculous RelationshipFilter question. But here I am, in a pickle.

I have an ex. He is my ex because I broke up with him, in September of 08. I loved him more than I've ever loved anyone. But we were long-distance after I graduated college (leaving him still there finishing school, actually) and found ourselves faced with what seemed like insurmountable obstacles. Neither one of us wanted to change our lives enough for the other, and I got resentful and restless.

Here's the kicker: One drunken evening, while confessing my worries about Ex to a friend, the friend kissed me. And I didn't pull away. In fact, I kissed back.

Shamefully, cowardly, I never told Ex. Instead, I took this to be the final nail in the coffin and ended things without confessing. (I also stopped drinking around said friend. He is in a relationship with someone else. He is not a present issue.)

Fast forward to now. Ex and I have stayed in sporadic contact and seen each other every now and then since the breakup. He just moved to my city for work, ironically enough. I just got out of another relationship, which wasn't working at all, perhaps in part because I never stopped having feelings for ex. I've compared everyone I've dated (or been on dates with) since to him, unfavorably. Ex recently called me up and we met for coffee. It was really lovely, and I'm thrilled to have him back in my life at all. But, deep down, I know I want more. I miss him. I want to tell him I'm sorry, to tell him I never stopped loving him, that I think he's the real deal.

Problems with this idea:
1) Ex is seeing someone. I don't know how serious they are. That feels unkosher to me. (Imagine how I'd feel if I were in her shoes!)

2) I don't know if I am in the best place to start another relationship. I am still reeling from the last one. The thing to do would be to work on myself, figuring out my own dreams and goals and trying not to pin them on a guy. I don't want to drag someone into my own confuzzled life when it would only make him unhappy.

3) The prior drunken kiss.
Can Ex and I build a (hypothetical) future without that kind of disclosure? If we do end up giving things another try, would telling him be the right thing, or would it only cause him pain?

Bottom line is that I'm afraid if I don't tell him the truth about my feelings while I still can, I'll regret it forever. Really forever. Dream-about-it-in-the-middle-of-the-night-when-I'm-an-old-lady forever. Even if I get shot down, at least I'll have tried and will be able to move forward. Right? Maybe? Or am I just being selfish?

Lay it on me, MeFites. Thanks.
posted by bookgirl18 to Human Relations (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Numbers 1 and 2 are significant issues that I think you outlined really well and suggest that you know better than to stir things up with this guy right now. Number 3 is inconsequential and not at all worthy of discussing, whether you get back together or not.

It may well be that you and your ex would be great together again but unless he's not seeing anyone, you should focus on Number 2.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:25 AM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


#3 doesn't matter, you are right about #2, and #1 is an even stronger reason than #2 to keep it to yourself.

I think you can be friends with someone of the sex you generally date. Not everyone agrees with this. But if the three (yes three) of you think this, then you ought to stay friends.

Maybe later on you'll both be in a position to start a new relationship. But currently, neither of you is.
posted by fritley at 9:25 AM on January 11, 2010


I'm not sure what you should do -- my only advice is this: omit #3 from your decision-making process. If you end up in a relationship with this guy, then you can decide whether to tell him about the kiss. If you never end up in a relationship with this guy, it's a non-issue. The kiss isn't important enough to be even a small factor in whether or not to pursue this relationship.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:27 AM on January 11, 2010


#3 has nothing to do with your decision. Otherwise, I do agree with Breakup Girl's rule of "no poaching." Find out his status before making a move.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:38 AM on January 11, 2010


The drunken kiss is a red herring. Just forget about it, and never ever mention it to Ex.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 AM on January 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


hey, reading some of your previous questions, seems like you haven't been out of your past relationship very long. I'm just wondering if what you're feeling now towards your ex could be a result of having just broken up with someone and missing being in a relationship?

perhaps give yourself some more time to think things over and recover from your last break up and then make a decision whether or not you still want to get back with ex
posted by frozenyogurt at 9:54 AM on January 11, 2010


None of the things you list are obstacles:

1) The other girl - ignore her. This is about you and him. He shouldn't cheat on her, but there's no reason you can't tell him how you feel and let him make a choice between you two. This is painful, but it's a fact of relationships. Putting yourself in her shoes, would you really want a guy to stay with you who was really in love with his ex?

2) "Best place to start a relationship." There never is a best place, so don't worry about it.

3) Drunken kiss. Totally irrelevant.

What might actually be an issue is why you "got resentful and restless" before you broke up. Are you sure you've resolved whatever the issue was then? You weren't willing to change for each other then; are you now? Could you see yourself moving again to be with him, and vice versa, should the need arise? Were there any issues in your relationship that you're just conveniently forgetting now?
posted by yarly at 9:55 AM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Don't do anything until ex breaks up with his current girlfriend, that'll give you time to get yourself together over your own recent relationship upset, forget the kiss and take it to the grave.

You aren't required to disclose intimacies that happened when you weren't in a relationship with the person.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:56 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sloooooow down. Take it one step at a time. Forget the drunken kiss. Really. It's significant to you because of all your emotions but ten years from now it'll be a non-issue. Maybe even 1 year from now. Keep in mind that you broke up with this guy. You have friendship and trust to rebuild before you even think of getting in a relationship. So, be friends. Enjoy this process of "getting to know you" again. Don't do anything freaky and like try to pull him away from his girlfriend. Work on yourself. Focus on your life and goals. Keep in touch with this guy. Don't stop looking at other guys and just, as they say, play it by ear. You're fine. Everybody will be fine.
posted by amanda at 10:05 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


You aren't required to disclose intimacies that happened when you weren't in a relationship with the person.

I'm pretty sure that the "drunken kiss" happened while she was dating this ex, and it was part of why she broke up with him.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:05 AM on January 11, 2010


Also, you're less than two months out of that other relationship. Don't do anything about declaring your love for your ex right now--wait until you get over the last relationship.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:07 AM on January 11, 2010


1) Ex is seeing someone. I don't know how serious they are. That feels unkosher to me. (Imagine how I'd feel if I were in her shoes!)

If you don't wait, then you will end up in her shoes. Guaranteed.
posted by anniecat at 10:15 AM on January 11, 2010


Forget that number three happened, its a non-issue after all this time. Instead, consider: you think you're not ready for a relationship, and he's in another one. If it were me, I wouldn't worry about being "ready", I'd just let him know that I broke up with him over all the distance concerns, not over him, and if he ever finds himself free to do so I'd love to have dinner, catch up, and see if that old spark is still there for both of us.

No need to make it more complicated than that, and much like that kiss helped you decide to end the relationship, you being available when he's "free" will help him decide if he's dating a keeper or if he's dating a placeholder for you.
posted by davejay at 10:39 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


side note: that doesn't mean you have to, or should, wait for him if he's not free right now -- just that you put yourself out there, then keep moving on with your life, and if you both end up able to investigate the spark again (a day, a month, a year, a decade from now) he knows you're receptive to at least being approached in a similar fashion.
posted by davejay at 10:41 AM on January 11, 2010


You aren't required to disclose intimacies that happened when you weren't in a relationship with the person.

I'm pretty sure that the "drunken kiss" happened while she was dating this ex, and it was part of why she broke up with him.


You're right; failure of reading comprehension.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:03 PM on January 11, 2010


Leave this be until you are done healing from your recent breakup.

Sometimes a breakup makes you look back at other past relationships, and sometimes it might make you think about them in a not fully clear way. Not saying for sure that's what you're doing, but it can happen.

If this is *the*guy, he will still be there when you're done with #2, or at least well along. Don't jump back into a situation with him to avoid doing that.

The previous drunken kiss is irrelevant - forget it and move on.
posted by KAS at 12:12 PM on January 11, 2010


I tend to think disclosure is required when one could have possibly picked up/passed on an STD after contact with another person outside of the relationship. A kiss? I wouldn't tell.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:25 PM on January 11, 2010


This is about you and him. He shouldn't cheat on her, but there's no reason you can't tell him how you feel and let him make a choice between you two. This is painful, but it's a fact of relationships. Putting yourself in her shoes, would you really want a guy to stay with you who was really in love with his ex.

Damn this is good advice. Make up your mind, OP, do you want this guy back on his own merits and for how you guys are together? Then go get him. I would say tell him you miss him, and want to hang out (don't ask him if he wants to get back together immediately, do some stuff just the two of you to remind him what he's been missing), then kiss him or make it really really clear that he's supposed to kiss you now. He may reject you, he may try to use you for sex rather than get serious again with you (be prepared to handle both of these eventualities) or he may jump at the chance to get back together.

To summarize: Decide. Act. Deal with Consequences. In that order.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:28 PM on January 11, 2010


There are other people in the world as good as he is, who are single. People who believe 'all's fair in love and war' deserve exactly what they will get...either turned down hurtfully, or a second chance with someone whose word will always be in doubt.
posted by Cuppatea at 1:03 AM on January 12, 2010


« Older California unemployment: Where...   |  Is there anything like Univers... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.