I’m not exactly sure what to say. I’ve been with my girlfriend, Kath, for almost 3 years now but I haven’t been completely honest with her. It’s been 5 years since I broke up with my ex-girlfriend May Ann, yet I still love her and miss her so much. …..I didn’t really treat her that well. I was young, I was possessive of her, I got jealous so easily and end up pushing her away. By the time I realized my mistakes, it was too late. She was already happy with someone else.
I’ve been dreaming about May Ann….dreaming in my sleep. And now all I wanna do is get in touch with her, to ask her how she’s doing, to know if she still thinks of me like I think of her, to know if she feels the same way I do with her. I wanna hear her voice, I wanna see her smile, and I wanna hug her so tight. What is wrong with me?
My new girl is so nice to me, she loves me so much more than my ex ever did. I love her too, but not the way I love May. To me, Kath deserves so much better than what I give her. I can’t break up with Kath because it would hurt her so much. She has no one else but me, she trusts me so much.
What should I do? I don’t wanna break my girlfriend’s heart but I don’t wanna lie to her anymore. And about my ex, is it a good idea to reach out to her? The way we ended things wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure what to tell her.
I just need someone to talk about this and tell me what should I do. I hope you could give me some advice. Thanks, Elisa.
Dear Dreaming about your Ex,
Thank you for sharing your story. It’s tough to get over a breakup with someone you love. I have some hypotheses as to why you are dreaming about your ex right now. See if any are true for you.
Hypothesis #1: You’re dreaming about your ex-girlfriend, because there is something she represents that you want right now. Dig deep. Are there qualities she had that you miss? Was it your lifestyle together? A feeling of freedom or safety? A life path?
It’s true you had these things with her, but since you’re not together right now, you have to think past the person and into the qualities. You can work to find those qualities, whether or not you can be with her.
Hypothesis #2: This relationship is haunting you because you have grown enough to finally see all of your mistakes clearly. You treated your ex-girlfriend poorly and pushed her away, but that “your best” at the time. Now, you absolutely know 100% you could do it justice. And that’s a shit-ton better than what you once did.
Your growth is causing you to “see the light” over what you’ve done. When our mistakes are illuminated, we often feel pain. We kick ourselves. We blame ourselves. We wish we could redo that thing we screwed up on.
The good news? This means you have grown. You are a wiser person now.
Hypothesis #3: You’re dreaming of your ex-girlfriend because you are escaping into a fantasy instead of dealing with something real. Honestly, she’s a fantasy– after all, it’s been 5 years since you’ve spoken. You might not even like each other now. Yet it’s easy to imagine everything will be perfect with her, since it’s all imaginary.
It’s harder to deal with reality, like maybe that your current GF is awesome but not who you ultimately want to be with? Or that you wish you could be pursuing something else? Only you know what the “tough thing” you might be trying to avoid could be.
Which of my hypotheses are true? Is there anything that will help you think about what to do? Don’t tell me. You have to reckon with only yourself.
Finally, there’s this: It feels horrible to hurt someone by breaking up with them… but is that more horrible than pretending you are happy with her if you are not?
There’s also this: You will always love your ex-girlfriend. She meant a lot to you. You learned a lot from her, most of all, what it felt like to love someone dearly. She will always have a special place in your heart.
No matter whether you love someone more than they love you, or vice versa, love is still real.
Should you reach out to your ex? Not while you are with your current girlfriend. Deal with your current relationship on its own terms. Don’t make decisions with your current GF based upon whether you think you can find someone else or not. That’s needy and desperate. Nobody makes good decisions while they’re needy and desperate.
You may decide to contact your ex-GF someday. If you do…. only do it if you are prepared to truly accept whatever the outcome might be.
And most importantly: Let’s assume you’ll never be with your ex-girlfriend again. How will you move on? What will you do? How will you make yourself happy?
Now do all those things NO MATTER WHAT.
I believe in you.