Relationship Advice

Is He Really Over his Ex-Girlfriend?

The Question:

I’ve been dating this guy for 3 years, and just found out from his ex-girlfriend that in the first year of us dating he was still sending her flowers, and making CDs of songs that made him think of her. She broke it off for good, and the last 2 years he has been with only me, but he has never gotten me flowers, or even made me a CD, and I don’t think I’d even want it. After finding out what he did the first year of our relationship, I feel like if she would have came running back into his arms he would have left me for her.

Now he tells me he only loves me and wants to be with only me, but as far has being romantic to me, that will never happen, for he did it in the past and it didn’t work, so I just have to love him for him, and not for what he did for her. But I’m like we have been together for 3 years now and you have never gotten me flowers or anything, and he told me it was something between them, and it would only bring up old memories. What do I do? I love him so much, but all this really hurts bad. I need some good advice, please help me.

The Answer:

This question leaves me with a few questions of my own – Is this really about the romance or the fact that you’re not sure if he’s truly over her? Maybe you feel that he doesn’t love you as much as her and that the ‘romance’ would prove his love to you? – Just a few questions to ponder…

It sounds like your boyfriend was not over his previous girlfriend when the two of you decided to get serious, but claims that he is now. This can be a tough one because he never really gave himself time to heal and let go of the previous break up which could result in him carrying around this baggage for a very long time.

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Dealing with broken trust

Open communication and honesty are the two most important components of a successful relationship. You have to honestly know in your heart – If his ex-girlfriend called him up tomorrow, would he leave you for her.

He broke this trust at the beginning of your relationship. If he went around your back for a full year, then I’d be concerned about his commitment now. But only you can really gauge if he’s truly moved on.

However, let’s remember that 2 years have passed. People change, feelings, and emotions change. And they tend to change all of a sudden, when the time is right for each person. So while he may have been dishonest with you for a very long time, he may be perfectly committed to you now.

Open and honest communication from this point forward will be critical to the relationship – especially since the trust has already been broken once. Ask him how he honestly feels – you’ll have to be very careful to do this in a trusting, open, and non-threatening way. Otherwise, he’ll just shut down and not talk to you. You also have to be prepared for what you are going to hear – it may not be what you want or expect.

Listen to your heart

Down deep, you know if he’s really and truly devoted to you and shares your love fully. But the trick here is to listen to what’s really there in your heart, not what you want to hear.

Are you jealous of his ex girlfriend?

An important question here… Was romance important to you even before you found out about his affections toward his ex girlfriend?

It’s definitely OK to always grow and change (your mind, your thoughts, your beliefs), but be sure your desire for romantic gestures isn’t just out of jealousy over the ex girlfriend.

You know… “He did it for her, why not me?” That’s a very destructive path.

Identify your needs in the relationship

I don’t think it’s the flowers or CD’s you’re looking for. It’s the way these romantic gestures make you feel – special and desired; to know that he truly loves and desires you.

Understand that romance is a way of life. Not all men feel comfortable with romantic gestures because it really puts their heart on the line. Since he has been rejected before, it may even be more difficult for him.

One idea is to take the time to figure out the exact things that make you feel special and wanted. Sit together and make a list of the top 5 or 10 things that make you feel desired. Make the commitment to do these things for each other on a regular basis, no matter how big or small. Because you’re both a bit jaded in this area, be patient and non-judgmental with one another.

Another thing you can do is help him feel very secure in the relationship so that he will feel safe in making romantic gestures. Compliment him on the little things that he does do and let him know every day how important he is to you and how much you appreciate your relationship. The fastest way to change him is to change your perception of him. Every night before you go to bed write down everything that you like and appreciate about him and your relationship – before you know it, he’ll start giving you even more reasons to appreciate him. It may sound a little backwards, but this is a very powerful exercise.

Stay together or break up?

Different people come into our lives for one purpose or another. Our instinct is to stay with the same person forever because we’re afraid to move on, but sometimes that’s not truly the best answer for us.

Many times people grow apart in a relationship, and are no longer happy together. This is primarily because we’re always growing and changing. When a couple is not completely open and honest in their communication, they often grow in different directions emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When this happens, it may be necessary to move on. I’m not a believer in settling for second best or holding on to a failing relationship.

Spend some time in quiet contemplation or meditation. Ask God, the Universe, or whomever your higher power is, to help you make the right decision for you. If you listen – the answer will come to you. It’s up to you to act on the answer that you receive.

In Summary

The past is only a memory, the future is a dream. Only now is real. Live in the now!

As hard as it may be, you should let go of the past and forgive him for the broken trust in the beginning of the relationship whether you choose to continue the relationship or not. “Forgiveness is God’s gift to the forgiver, not the forgiven”.

Decide what’s truly important for you in a relationship and go after it, whether it’s with your current boyfriend or not. Don’t settle or hang on to your relationship for the wrong reasons.

Once your feelings and desires are clear to you, sit down and seriously discuss your wants and needs with your boyfriend.

If you desire a life of romance and your boyfriend isn’t able to provide it, then it may be time to move on.

In this case, I would seriously consider some couples counseling because there are so many issues that you are each dealing with, that you may not be able to get through them alone. An objective 3rd party can really help in a situation where you have so many delicate issues to talk about.

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