© Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/cultura/Corbis

Before my current boyfriend, whom I’ve been with for 2 years, I was involved with another guy for just 3 months. We had broken up as he didn’t want to hurt me since he wasn’t over his ex. Ever since we broke up he kept in contact with me, without my current boyfriend knowing. I had a stronger bond with my ex and I was so close to his family that I used to live at their house – to date his mum still texts me goodnight everyday and I visit them sometimes – my boyfriend knows about this. 

The problem is that I never stopped having feelings for my ex and now he is over his ex and wants me to be back with him. If only I wasn’t in a relationship I would gladly reunite back with him. I don’t know what to do because sometimes I feel that I don’t belong with my current bf but with my ex… and I cant bring myself to leave him because he is a really nice guy and I know he wouldn’t think of hurting me… But I know on the other hand as soon as my mobile rings and its my ex a smile comes to my face. I know what I’m doing is wrong and I don’t know how to proceed. I’m really confused and  I don’t have a clue as to what is the right thing to do. 

Dear Confused,

It looks like you are caught between two good choices and that is what makes deciding so hard. But it is time to decide as a) this situation is causing you anxiety, b) your current boyfriend’s trust is being abused (when he’s so kind enough to honour the friendship you developed with your ex’s family) and c) your ex isn’t going to wait forever if it is him you want to be with.

Don’t be blinded by the strong bond you say you had with your ex – it is not the only factor that makes a relationship work. Among other things it depends on both your character traits and what you are aiming for. Are your current desires for the future compatible? Also, do be aware that some people are attracted only to what they can’t have, the forbidden fruit (i.e. you in a relationship), because of issues of their own. You might find that once you enter a relationship with your ex his attention and desire for you may wane after some time. Not saying this is a certain eventuality, but but do keep your eyes open to minimize regrets!

And speaking of regrets, if you did get into a relationship with your ex and then it didn’t work out, would the trying still make it worth it? Is it something you need to know no matter how it unravels? In that case, caring for and not wanting to hurt your current boyfriend is not the same as being in love and wanting a future with him. If he found out you’re still in constant communication with your ex he would not only get hurt but also feel betrayed. So staying with your current boyfriend not to hurt him does not hold. Do keep in mind that you haven’t really given him a chance as you were still involved with your ex, emotionally if not physically.

In the grand scheme of things, death is as important as birth. It is the harmony of nature’s cycle. Killing a relationship (not necessarily the feelings) is as necessary as starting one. If a lioness doesn’t hunt down and kill a zebra, she and her cubs would be the one’s dying. Which relationship you’re going to kill and which you want to give life to is for you to choose.

If you decide to stay in a relationship with your current partner because you value it, you must make a conscious decision to put your ex aside if you’re ever to have a decent go at making it work – at least for a while, so that you can evaluate and enjoy your relationship without interference from an other, giving it a fair chance to develop.

Perhaps taking your attention away from ‘making a decision’, and focusing instead on stilling your mind for a while will help. When you’re in balance you will notice your gut feelings. It would serve you well to take a few steps back and look at your situation from more than one level without the activity and clutter of the mind. How to proceed, then, will become more obvious.

What’s your opinion?  Comment in the box below.