Boyfriend isn't over the ex-girlfriend HE broke up with, am an idiot for waiting?

I started seeing my boyfriend 7 months ago, we kind of skipped the dating bit and jumped right into the relationship bit, but I didn't truly feel secure in calling him my boyfriend until about 4 months back (partially because of this). There was no "let's go steady" moment or anything, hell he never officially has even said he likes me, but I know he does (otherwise how did we even get to this point?)

Anyway, he was really reluctant in letting me know about his ex-girlfriend, and only told me about her until we'd reached past the definite relationship point. Knowing about her is necessary, because she was returning from a year-long trip away, I discovered she actually knows almost all of my friends here, and we had to go on a two week trip together (friends + ex + boyfriend + me )

Apparently he hadn't told her about me beforehand, which was obvious by her super friendly overtures to me in the beginning, and had to tell her mid trip (she was decidedly different after).

At that point, we'd been dating for three months, I was really uncertain about everything because my boyfriend was so reluctant to talk about her, and I quickly realized there were still some feelings there. He broke up with her while she was away, and this trip together was essentially the first time they'd really seen each other since the break up.

I asked shortly after that trip if he still had feelings for her, and he said yes, but it's been getting easier. He'd thought of waiting before approaching me because of it, but he was afraid I wouldn't wait (he was right, I wouldn't have). He told me she wanted to be friends, and asked if that was okay. I told him I will never be the kind of person to tell him who he can and cannot hang out with. He's his own person and that's up to him.

I thought I wouldn't have so many jealousy issues with this. But more and more I kept thinking and obsessing over it, she kept posting on his Facebook so I couldn't possibly ignore her. So three months after I first ask him if he still has feelings for her, (we'd been dating half a year at this point) and he gets a bit defensive and says "it's not that easy to get over someone, I don't think you understand." He said he's just tried not to think about it,. But when he does think of her, he feels sad. When he thinks of me, he feels happy.

I'm in love with him, but I am really uncomfortable with the idea of telling him I am in love with him when I know he still has feelings for her. He hasn't said he loves me yet either (which I don't think he'd necessarily have to at this point, but I'm not sure I'll really be able to be the first to say it, considering)

Am I an idiot for waiting? Is him feeling happy as opposed to sad when with me enough? He broke up with HER, because he just didn't see a future together. Do you think him "having feelings" for her means he loves her still? Am I a rebound?
Updates:
For clarification, he went on a break with her 7 months before our first date, and told her they weren't getting back together 2 months before our first date. He had pictures of her in his apartment for a month until after we'd started dating except for one picture which I asked him about during our second conversation, and her postcards to him are still in his kitchen hanging on the fridge.

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What Guys Said 1

  • lol she sounds like a nice girl though from how she treated you...

    If he broke up with her, I think it's a lot different and better than if she dumped him. Strange that he's still into her though if he dumped her and is in a relationship with you. Usually when a guy dumps a girl, he has confidence it was the right move and will take some to grieve before moving on. It's only if the guy doesn't find anyone better that he begins to wonder if he made a mistake and thinks back to the past wondering whether it would've been better to stay with the ex girlfriend.

    You can't always go off what people say, as it's not always the truth. People will sometimes say what they think you want to hear to prevent an argument or awkwardness... Actions usually indicate how someone really feels.

    I did have an ex girlfriend tell me before when we were dating that she still had feeling for her ex boyfriend although it wasn't anything that she would act on and that she did want to be with me, it was just more of a residual feeling from the relationship... but she also hadn't spoken to the guy in years so it was less of an issue for us although it still bugged me a bit. If she wanted to still be friends with the guy, that would have made me very uncomfortable and I probably would draw the line

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    • Thanks for the comment.

      The problem is that she actually is nice. I think she was in shock. She had been living abroad since the break up that had started as a break, and as someone living abroad myself, I know generally when that happens, the abroad party tends to think there might be a chance when they get back. Except she got back and was shown in a very abrupt way, that her boyfriend had started to move on. On vacation. I HATE feeling bad for the Ex. She wasn't mean, just cold afterwards

    • But thank you for the reminder that he broke up with her. I just have to hope he doesn't discover he regrets his decision. It's really hard not to worry about with her so obviously pining for him still.

    • If you feel that's the case then you should talk to him about it. I know I would be uncomfortable with someone always hanging around an ex who still is trying to win them back.

What Girls Said 1

  • This is a tricky situation. I like that you added details about how much time he took "in between" relationships. However, the amount of time really isn't the deciding factor (1 month vs. 9 months). What really matters is when he FEELS he is ready. Apparently, he felt he was...until he saw her in person again. Please be cautious, the fact that he is attempting to maintain a friendship with her while admitting that his feeling for her still exist, WHILE maintaining a relationship with you really raises some red flags. Your relationship with him is in it's "infancy" stage. The two of you are still getting to know each other, inside and out, and that relationship deserves ALL of the attention. Honestly, I think it is too soon & bad timing for him to attempt a friendship with her. His focus should be on you, and then later, perhaps he could attempt a friendship. But because you're still early on in your relationship, it's no wonder you feel insecure and unsure about what to do. He needs to make you feel secure in your relationship, not tell you "you don't understand". Statements like that will lead to "Well, since my girlfriend doesn't understand, I'm going to talk this over with someone who does (ex girlfriend). And of course she'll tell him everything he wants to hear. That will then lead to "Oh, ex-girlfriend understands me completely. We have history together. I think we should get back together". And you'll be the one hurt in the end. I understand that you don't want to be THAT type of girlfriend who controls who he can & can't be friends with, but in this situation, I think you have a right to speak up for yourself. If it makes you uncomfortable, bring that up to him. See how he reacts. Will he put YOUR feelings first and back away from that friendship? If so, he cares for you. Or will he continue to tell you that you don't understand? If so, he's putting HER feelings first. Either way, you'll have your answer and you can move forward from there. I wish you all the best. I hope he IS a stand up guy and does the right thing. But, in the meantime and until he proves himself to you, keep your eyes and ears open. Watch how he responds to her FB posts. Watch to see if he becomes withdrawn from you, or secretive. Protect YOUR heart until he proves that he will...Good luck!

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