Rekindled feelings for an old flame, what do I do?

A couple years ago my girlfriend and I were broken up for 3 or 4 months. During that time I met a girl who was from the town I was living in while she was home for thanksgiving. She lived on the other side of the country and had a boyfriend, but she was going to break up with him and possibly move back to my state. We ended up hanging out once that week and really got along. She came back for Christmas and we went to a party, where she told me that she really liked me. She was still with her boyfriend though, so, with a few drinks in her, she kept leaning in to kiss me but caught herself and veered off to my cheek or neck each time. So technically we never hooked up. That was the last time I saw her, as she went back after the holiday.

I ended up getting back with my girlfriend a month or two later, and I only exchanged a couple texts related to football with the other girl, because I was just playing that situation by ear since it wasn't a viable option at that point. Sure enough, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved back (2 hours away), but that didn't happen til the end of that summer, so I couldn't pursue it then.

Problem is, I never stopped thinking about that other girl. I love my girlfriend very much, but we've been together almost 7 years, we're like an old married couple, haha. I wish things timed out differently so I could have dated her and seen if it was a good thing or if it would have fizzled out. The uncertainty kills me. On paper and on the surface, she's perfect for me: really hot, really smart, really cool, loves football as much as I do. My girlfriend is really hot, really smart, pretty cool, doesn't like football much but respects my need to follow it. I seemingly have more in common with the other girl, but I also barely know her. My girlfriend is like family to me though, we've been through so much together.

I never broke it off with the other girl Because we were never technically dating, I just stopped texting her. I felt like I owed her a conversation though, but wanted to do it in person. I never got the chance. So two days ago I went to the bar I used to work at that I knew she'd probably be at on Thanksgiving eve, and she was. She has a new boyfriend, that was there. I saw her almost immediately, and she got very excited and took me by the hand and led me to another room where we talked. I apologized and explained why I never texted when she moved back. She was really cool and we hugged and I joked that we'd get married if we were both single at 40. But she had said "I really liked you" and "nobody ever blew me off like that", so I felt bad. I could also tell she still had feelings for me, and almost got the vibe like she'd leave her boyfriend if I wanted her.

Now she's all I've thought about since then. Plus I got in a fight with my girlfriend on Thanksgiving so we didn't talk, and all I did was think of how I could be with the other girl. We made up, but I still have the heart flutters. But that's crazy right? And I love my girlfriend, but I can't shake the feelings.


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  • If I'm being honest, it sounds like you feel obligated, safe, and perhaps responsible to your current girlfriend, but not in love. I'm of the belief that once you've loved someone and devoted a span of years to them, you're almost certain to experience a buffer period between falling out of love and recognition for the current situation.

    I don't think you're crazy. I think you're in that buffer period.

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