I began dating my current ex-boyfriend over three and a half years ago. We made each other happy and he was always very loving and supportive. He was my first serious relationship (I am in my early 20s and he was in his late 20s). It wasn't until his driver's license was suspended that it all went downhill. He began getting comfortable with me always picking him up and driving him everywhere. It became evident that he was stagnant with his career and his life. He promised he would try harder and change; for a few weeks he did show some change, but then he returned to his old ways.
I eventually moved in with him and his roommates. After four months of living together, I felt the need to go through his phone and found "sensual" pictures and texts from his coworker. It led to a huge fight and I moved out that same day. He didn't apologize and instead said I was overreacting because he didn't do anything physical with her. Weeks later we got back together after he apologized and said he was going to change.
We decided that trying something new – moving away from our hometown – might be best for our personal growth and relationship. Once we settled in and started our new jobs, I began to notice we would never go to bed at the same time and he would stay up until 4 a.m., claiming it was because his job started later than mine. I began to have my doubts again and started looking through his phone. He seemed to always leave the phone unlocked but cleared all texts and internet history, which was obviously strange. It wasn't until we were watching a movie that I picked up the first phone available to google something, and I found a website where he was connecting to other women.
He has moved out but we still keep in touch and have sex occasionally. My question here is: Should I truly cut him out of my life even though I feel like I am emotionally over him? Or can I just enjoy him in this way?
– Still seeing him
You say you're over this man, but that doesn't mean you're over the breakup and the betrayals. You gave us a very comprehensive list of everything he's done to hurt you. That means you're still keeping track of every detail. There is nothing about your letter that suggests you're feeling breezy about the breakup. Even if you don't want to get back together with him, you're still disappointed.
If you long for companionship and sex in your life, you're better off seeking it elsewhere – with someone new. The search for this new person will help remind you that your ex isn't the center of your dating story. Keeping him around is an easy way to get lazy about expanding your community, which is exactly what you should be doing right now.
It's not good for you to keep looking at – and sharing intimate moments with – a person who hurt you multiple times. I'm pretty sure you feel the same way, which is why you wrote your letter.
Readers? More than 250 words of this letter are about disappointment and betrayal. Is the LW over it enough to to keep him around as an ex-with-benefits?