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

Dr. Wendy Walsh
Dr. Wendy Walsh Updated:
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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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