My Ex is Still in Love with Me. What’s the Right Thing to Do?

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Reader Question:

My ex is still in love me and I’m dating his best friend. About four or five months ago, I broke up with my boyfriend of seven months. We just weren’t right anymore. Now a month and a half later, he confessed he has and always will love me.

Note: I’m a teenager, so this is different dating than adults.

What is the right thing to do?

-Rebekah (United States)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Rebekah:

What is the “right” thing to do is a very different question from what “should” I do. This isn’t an etiquette question. This is a question about your feelings, the feelings of your ex-boyfriend and the feelings of his best friend.

You’ve got quite a nest of emotions to consider here, darling. The best I can do is to outline a few questions for you to consider.

First of all, when he was your boyfriend, did you break up because you two were not compatible or because you missed an opportunity to learn some conflict resolution skills?

And is your ex really in love with you now, or have you become more attractive since you are holding hands with his best friend?

And what about the intentions of his friend? Is he competing with his buddy or being a truly attentive boyfriend?

I disagree with you about one thing. Dating for teenagers isn’t different than dating for adults. Every relationship we have affects every other relationship we will have. We are training ourselves to be a good partner all our lives.

Are you learning to be kind, loyal and honest while being clear about getting your needs met? Or are you bowing to pressures from guys in attempts to feel “liked.”

My suggestion: Figure out who you are, what you want and communicate that clearly to both young men. It’s your feelings that matter here.

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