Mailbag: I’m Still Madly In Love With My Ex

Ex boyfriend

Hi Rachel!

So I’m still in love with my ex. I know, it’s pathetic. We dated for almost two years. We were perfect for each other. He was the reformed fuckboy and I was the amazing girl who made him want to change his ways. We went through a lot together. Family problems, distance, drama, etc. but we made each other better people through it all. And then we broke up. Senior year was looming and our futures were becoming reality and the distance had been too much. It hurt me more than anything, but I understood it. We needed to be single for each other, as much as for ourselves.

I wanted to move on and I tried so hard. I went on doing everything I needed to do. Blocked him on all social media, avoided his frat parties and hooked up with (a ton of) new guys. I focused on my future and school and friends. But I couldn’t get him out of my head. Almost every happy memory of my past two years had him in them.

In the year since our breakup we’ve had some drama. Not always, but a few isolated incidents. Him getting mad at me for “hitting on his friend” (um no?), him dating my sorority sister, me hooking up with some guy he used to live with (and confirmed they were no longer friends and this was after the sorority sister incident). We did hook up post breakup. It was a weird twist of fate that pushed us into the same place at the same time and it just happened. It was amazing. We just fell back into everything. For one night it, and we, were perfect. The next day however, he threw up a wall. Everything from the last night didn’t matter. Unfortunately, it happened again but six months later and after graduation. And then the wall was back up. At this point we live in different states. We have no hope as a couple but yet he’s still in half of my thoughts.

I asked him once if he still loves me and he looked me in the eyes and said no. I know this is wishful thinking but I can’t help but feel that he convinced himself not to love me in the face of the inevitability of separate lives. Just deep down, something in my heart will not let go of him and this idea that he still loves me, we just can’t be together. We were never going to change our futures for each other, I wouldn’t let him and he wouldn’t let me. There is no hope for us. And yet all of the feelings are still there. He acts like he still loves me. We have long emotional talks about everything under the sun, we touch each other like we’re still in love, and we fundamentally know everything about each other, even months later. And then the wall goes up and everything goes back to our normal broken up lives, with me being happy and single. This has only happened twice, but I have to ask myself why, over a year later, is this still happening at all? I would’ve been completely content to continue on with my life without these talks but both times it just kind of happened (and mutually seeked out might I add).

My ex is the type of guy who does not know how to deal or even understand his emotions. That’s why I don’t know if he loves me or not. Words and actions are not aligning and I can’t trust him to even know his own feelings. I feel like until I know if he loves me still or not, I can’t let go. I know I will never know, he may never know. I want to let go and I need to but I just don’t know how. Please help me.

I Want Him Back

Dear “I Want Him Back,”

What are you doing, girl? Seriously. I don’t mean to be mean (okay, I do a little bit, because at this point I think you need it), but you’re being crazy. I don’t mean cute, “OMG you’re so bad” crazy. I mean literal, “please back away from me because you’re scary,” crazy.

I know, okay. Breakups are hard. They kick you down and turn your world upside down. You feel like you’re dying or your universe is dying or happiness is dying because the person you loved most in the whole freaking world doesn’t want to be with you anymore. So what do you do? You decide to move on, which is a great first step.

You’ve done the deleting. You’ve done the blocking. You’ve done the breakup sex and the rebound sex and the “this is the last time we’re ever having sex,” sex. You’ve thrown out his shit. You’ve gotten rid of his phone number (not that it helps since you’ve had it memorized forever). You’ve sworn that you’re over him.

Except, LOL. You’re not.

So here we are. You, a sad, lonely girl who’s ex keeps luring her back only to make her feel like shit the next day when the orgasm spell is over. And you don’t get it. You don’t understand why he’s so nice to you, then invites you into his bed, only to make you feel bad the next day. You two loved each other. You went on trips and stayed up all night laughing. You had matching Halloween costumes and you made promises and pacts and deals for the future. So what. The hell. Happened.

What happened is that life moved on. You both changed. And he doesn’t love you anymore. I know you think he does. I know you think he’s lying. I know in the secret, vulnerable part of your heart you think that things might work out. You think that the Earth will shift, and jobs will be offered and in a serendipitous circumstance you two will meet, and fall in love all over again and live happily ever after.

But the thing is, it’s not going to happen. He doesn’t want to be with you. So much to the point that he said, to your face, that he didn’t love you anymore.

And that might be the hardest thing that has ever happened to you. Ever. It will make you feel short of breath and like you don’t really know what to do now. But it’s time to stop being in denial. You say you can’t move on until you know if he’s over you, but the truth is, he is. He has been. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can move on too. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. And I’m not saying you wont think of him every once in a while.

I’m not even saying you’ll stop loving him.

But what I am saying is that you have your answer. You have your closure. You have this hard, painful truth that the man you love no longer loves you, and it’s time you do something about it. It’s time you accept it and keep going. And even though it is the scariest thing to do, it will also be the most rewarding. Rebuilding yourself from the ashes of a relationship is one of the most badass feelings ever. You get to dye your hair. You get to get something pierced. You get to make out with hot guys at the bar and you get to devote every free moment of your time to yourself. So instead of pining over someone who quite literally doesn’t care, start getting over him already. You’ll always love him, but someday, that love will be different.

You’ll be different.

Because honestly, you deserve better than a late night text message from someone who no longer wants to be committed to you. Because yes, he loved you. But now? Now he loves the fact that you’ll come over and have sex with him when his other hookup is busy. So stop. Stop all of that nonsense, and start looking for someone who actually makes you happy. Because once you do, you’ll find him, and you’ll understand why it didn’t workout with this “fuckboy.” But the only way you’ll ever end up with the right person is to stop hanging out with (and hanging on to) the wrong one.

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Rachel Varina

(yeahokaywhat) Aspiring to be the next Tina Fey, Rachel spends her free time doing nothing to reach that goal. While judging people based on how they use "they're" vs. "there" on social media, she likes eating buffalo chicken dip, watching other people's Netflix, and wearing sweatpants way more than is socially acceptable.

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