Girlfriend Talking to Old Boyfriend

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My girlfriend is talking with a guy she had a thing with before we started going out. I have been dating a girl for about a month now (we had been somewhat together for about a month and a half before, but we didn’t call it official). To put it plainly, I’ve never felt so strongly about a woman as I have with this girl, but I don’t know what to do about her talking to another guy that I know has strong feelings for her as well.

This girl has had some relationship issues in the past with a guy really screwing her over, and she’s made it clear that she struggles with trust issues. I’ve told her that no one is perfect, and we can easily work through the issues.

A few nights ago, she realized this other guy’s facebook status and wrote something on it (I knew it was a bad idea but I didn’t want to sound like a controlling person). After he ignored her post, he posted some depressing status, and she said I’m going to text him to make sure he’s alright. She started texted him just talking and being supportive of whatever he was going through, which I have no problem with. Then last night, I realize she’s been texting the guy all night, even when I was right there. She started acting really strange around me saying things like, “I just don’t feel the excitement we once had,” and “I (as in me) deserve someone better.” I took a look at some of the texts messages and they kind of put me down. He was saying things like he’s always thought she was the cutest girl in the world blah blah blah and she was responding with “Awe that’s so sweet.” What really stood out to me is she said, “there’s nothing I can do right now” (assuming because she’s dating me). He then responded, “Ya I understand,” then changed the subject to something else, and she responded, “So there’s really nothing we can do about this?” and they went on to talk about how they’re going to hang out together soon.

Now I feel like a sucker because I really like this girl. I’ve never actually been in a relationship, but having this girl in my life feels like I’m completed. I feel emotions I can’t even begin to describe.

I just don’t know what to do about all of this. I just get the feeling she wants me to break up with her because she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. I really don’t want to do that because I’m crazy about her. I’m just getting the feeling that she likes the rush of a guy fighting for her, and once she gets one to actually treat her well, she gets bored and moves on to find that rush again. I don’t know what to think, and it’s really stressing me out. Any help would be great. Thanks!

A. Most relationships don’t work. Let me explain. You date many people before you find one person to become engaged to. Many of the engagements end before marriage. Eventually, you find someone, the best so far, to marry. Half of all marriages end in divorce. It is both normal and natural, in the process of finding that special person, to have gone through many less than good enough relationships that end in a breakup.

A relationship can only continue if both parties want it to. There are two people in a relationship and every day each must vote “yes” for the relationship to continue. Two “yes” votes are necessary and just one “no” vote is enough to end every relationship, including a marriage with three children.

Dating is a process of trial and error and as I’ve already mentioned almost all of them end up as an error. It is a process of rejection. It is a process of saying (by one of the parties) “Nope, not good enough.”

Your girlfriend appears to be saying just that. I’m sure she doesn’t want to hurt you and you are probably right, she would prefer you breaking up for her because then she wouldn’t be guilty of hurting you and free to proceed with her old boyfriend.

I want you to look around at everyone you know who has a good relationship, even a seemingly perfect one. Then I want you to realize the long process of breakups, rejections, etc. that finally led to that really good relationship, that special person.

Go along with the process. Take your lumps, your bad times. It is the road to success. Each break up brings you further down the road. That’s not a pep talk from your online therapist but pure and simple reality. She likes the other guy more than you and that’s just fine because it’s true, she likes him more than you. Do you want a woman who really doesn’t want you? She isn’t right for you. She doesn’t love you enough to make you a good wife. That’s OK because it’s reality. You thought she might be and she thought you might be but it wasn’t the reality of the situation.

Keep dating, keep looking. Get ready for more breakups along the way but in the end, you will find her and she you. Good luck.

Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Dec 2010

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2010). Girlfriend Talking to Old Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/12/18/girlfriend-talking-to-old-boyfriend/

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