Winners for the "Bridesmaids" contest have been chosen. I'll post some entries Friday. Thanks so much for the submissions. They were great reads.
I recently came out of a serious two-year relationship. While she was an excellent, beautiful, smart woman, our relationship just waxed and waned too much and occasionally I felt completely disconnected. As it was my first very serious relationship, I was often questioning whether she was "the one" and I found myself wishing to meet other people. After months of struggle, I finally ended things for good.
Fast forward a month or so and I am now starting to see another beautiful woman. I really wasn't planning on jumping back into things so quickly, but when I met her I knew I had to see more of her. I cannot express how much fun I have with her, and she really is a catch.
However, I find myself thinking about my ex non-stop, and constantly comparing the "new one" to her in my mind. I so enjoy this new woman but because of my constant thoughts I am not sure whether I have made a mistake. I know it is natural to think about your ex, but at what point should I be finding myself feeling 100 percent clear about this situation? Are these feelings unfair to the new woman?
– Confused Bloke, Boston
CB, you're thinking about the ex nonstop? Really? Like, all the time?
If that's true, you're probably just moving on too quickly. You said it yourself -- you started dating this woman before you were ready. You're comparing your experiences with her to your two-year relationship. Apples to oranges, my friend.
My advice is to put on the brakes. See this new woman but make it clear that you're just dating around right now, not dating seriously. Give yourself some Saturday nights alone. Because much of what you're feeling is loss and guilt. You let go of your partner of two years. You loved her. You thought she was wonderful. Of course you're going to long for her. It's difficult to mourn a loss while being someone's fun, new boyfriend at the same time. Give your brain a break. You can only multitask so much.
And for the record, you'll never be 100 percent clear about any of it. Sorry.
Readers? Is he allowed to contact the ex? Is he still in love with the ex? Is he being fair to this new woman? Should he be dating at all? Will he ever be 100 percent over it? Discuss.
Speaking of Love
"It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment."
— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
CAN’T HELP MYSELF is Meredith’s memoir about giving advice, learning from readers, working with an ex, and moms and daughters. It’s also a story about how an online community can become another kind of family.