My ex and I broke up almost a year ago and against my better judgment, we’ve stayed in touch. We text each other congrats when one of us shares interesting news on Facebook, we Snapchat every so often, and we’ve even talked on the phone a couple of times. However, recently he’s started to ask me for dating advice and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
He dumped me. Let me just get that one out in the open. He’s the one who ended our relationship. It wasn’t a question of compatibility, but rather diverging post-grad plans. His reasons were valid, but the execution was… abrupt, to say the least. Pro tip: don’t dump a girl two days after introducing her to your parents.
We were FWB for a while. Once my anger subsided, my ex and I grabbed a coffee and agreed we missed each other. With only a couple of months until graduation, we decided to resume the relationship on more casual terms as friends with benefits and the added agreement that we’d only sleep with each other. I mistakenly assumed this meant he might change his mind and re-commit to a legitimate relationship.
Our casual arrangement ended on good(ish) terms. When the year came to an end, we hugged goodbye and wished each other the best of luck with our respective futures. Agreeing to keep in touch, we said we wanted the best for one another—even if that meant moving on and meeting someone new. At the time, I hated the idea of him meeting someone else but I knew it was inevitable eventually.
I like the idea of remaining friends. Theoretically, I’d like to remain friends with my ex, but as every rom-com shows us, guys and girls can’t be platonic friends. Frankly, I don’t find his friendship particularly enriching—that is to say, I don’t gain much more from his friendship than I do from any other. He’s not my go-to when I need advice but I seem to have become his.
I no longer feel romantically attached. Really, I don’t. Sure, the first couple of weeks apart were tough, but eventually, I got busy with a new job, new city, and new friends. I don’t feel like I need my ex as for emotional support and I’m absolutely not pining after him. I’ve begun to see the flaws in our relationship and to visualize life with my true Mr. Right.
Still, I feel weird when he texts me about dating other girls. Am I wrong in thinking this is a little bizarre? I mean, I told this guy I loved him and now he’s asking me whether or not a sushi restaurant for the first date is too presumptuous. I do care about him and want him to be happy, but I’m not sure I’m in the right place to facilitate his happiness with another girl. Plus, that was our sushi restaurant.
Is he trying to make me feel jealous? He could ask just about any other girl he knows for this kind of advice—his sister, his mom, his best friends’ girlfriends—so why is he asking me? Of course, I read into every message, wondering if he’s genuinely interested in my opinion or simply trying to lead me on. I can’t help but feel that if he is, it’s working.
He could be bluffing. Part of me wonders if he’s making up these girls he mentions to (again) make me jealous or at least to get some attention. It’s not the most absurd thought in the world and frankly, it’s not like I haven’t thought about doing the same. The thing is, I haven’t actually done it.
I’m starting to question whether or not I’m really over him. All this internal angst begs the obvious question: Am I really over him? If I evaluate every text as much as I do, desperate to uncover his secret agenda, can I honestly say I’ve moved on? Sometimes I tell myself I need to give it to him straight and let him know that I am not his personal love guru, but then I fear I’ll miss him if he stops reaching out.
Did he text other exes when we were dating? If he’s asking me for advice, who did he ask when he and I were together? I hate the idea of him sharing the details of our relationship—even in its early stages—with other girls, so I can’t betray these girls by influencing my ex’s dating game.
The only way forward is by not looking back. Cue Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.” What the hell am I doing helping him move on when it’s only holding me back? I know this kind of half-relationship isn’t healthy and I owe it to myself to raise my standards and finally cut the ties to this dead weight of a relationship. That’s how I’ll finally move on and find the kind of guy who doesn’t question his dating game. Confident, self-assured, and crazy about me—that’s the kind of guy I deserve.
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