Should I see my ex-boyfriend (who has a girlfriend, and who I'm still in love with) when I'm in his city in September? And if I do... how?
posted by anonymous to human relations (50 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
We broke up about a month after I had left his country and come back to mine. Physically and emotionally, but especially logistically, it was just too hard being together but apart, and in any case, whether I would be going back to his country was a little bit up in the air. The only thing we knew for sure is that I wouldn't be back for at least sixteen months. So we ended it. We stayed friends, though, and we did a lot of emailing and IMing and keeping in touch on facebook, though less over time. By April or so this year, it seemed like he was over me, and I thought, as I've been thinking for fourteen and a half months now, that I was very nearly over him and would be clearing the last hurdle any day. But clearly, I haven't. We were only together a few months, but he was the first person I had ever been in love with. I don't want to go on about him, but everything about him just makes so much sense. And what makes it hard, I suppose, is that we didn't break up because we didn't love each other or like each other or because we were somehow incompatible. It was just because I wasn't there anymore. And I can't convince myself that it's better this way, only try to accept that it is this way.
Anyway, a few days ago I emailed him to tell him that I would indeed be coming back to his country (but far away from where he lives), and that I would be stopping in his city for a few days before moving on to mine. He emailed me back yesterday. He was very effusive, actually. He said, among other things, that he can't wait, etc, but he that wants to be honest with me: he has a girlfriend (and by the way, she's from where I'm headed!). He hopes it doesn't cause me any pain and that I'm not angry. Well... No, of course I'm not angry. I'm not surprised either. It's exactly what I expected to happen, and even what I figured was actually happening in the last few months. I just didn't expect it to feel so incredibly awful to know for sure. I feel sick. I've been telling myself all this time that I probably didn't even want us to get back together (you know, probably). Now I really just have to face up to the fact that I totally want us to get back together, and have all along.
And right now I don't know if I should even see him. How do I stop myself from secretly thinking that if I'm just awesome and beautiful enough, he'll realise that he wants me and not her - and being devastated all over again when it doesn't remotely happen? How do I stop myself from weeping into my coffee? What if he expects me to meet her? (I looked at her facebook, by the way. She's fucking adorable.) I already know I'll be overwhelmed by other things. I'll be in a country where I still don't completely speak the language, living out of two suitcases, days into a journey to a place where I won't even have an apartment yet. I'll be weak. So I just don't know. I feel so stupid, too. Like, didn't I already do this? Didn't I already cry over this man? How come the rest of my life doesn't ever rise up and eclipse this nonsense? What is wrong with me? I haven't told even my closest friend how I really feel ("Oh, yeah, I'm a little sad about it."). I don't want her to know.
I don't even mind pining away in my bedroom for another fourteen and a half months, as long as I get over it eventually. But I'll be there in September and we'll be in front of one another. And I don't want to make it awkward, especially for him. I don't want him to feel like he's done something to hurt me, or like I object to his being happy in his new relationship. So what can I do between now and then to harden my idiot heart? What are the least emotional circumstances in which we could meet? How can I think about this, and how can I be, so I seem like a normal, happy, non-lovesick person? I also kind of wonder if I should just put it off for a while, until my situation is a little more stable, but then that would be weird; we have been talking about this reunion for more than a year. We have been talking about it up to yesterday. And of course, I would really love to see him. So dear Metafilter, please advise me.
Apologies if I've put too many details in this, by the way. I know AskMe isn't my diary. It's just I'm not even sure myself what's relevant, and I know I won't be able to do much clarifying later. Even more details, if you're wondering: I'm a girl; I'm 21 and he's 28 (I know); I haven't replied to his email yet, but we always take our time responding to each other; and I swear I've been cool with him all along - yes, he must realise that I was in love with him once and that it wouldn't just go away, and he must have noticed that I've been cheerfully breaking my back to talk to him in a language I don't even really speak for over a year, but I don't think he has any idea of the true extent of my pining. Thank god. And thank you so much for reading, and in advance for any help you can offer.