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The proverbial other shoe

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 26, 2009 10:34 PM

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This reader is stressed out, waiting for the other shoe to drop ... or the other shoe's ex to come back ... help.

Q: I am 29 and recently started dating a guy who is 34. We went out for the first time about 9 weeks ago and really clicked, and talked often after that -- not every day but pretty much every other day. About 5 weeks ago after we went out, we amped up our conversations to once a day and now talk several times a day and see each other often and will spend nights together. Things seem to be going great but I worry I am his rebound girl.

In the "get to know you stage" we talked about our past relationships and he told me that before he met me, he was with a girl for 8 years and was engaged. After four months she called it all off and ended the relationship. Her reason was she wasn't ready and had never really dated anyone but him and wanted to live independently. They had started dating when she was 19. She told him she needed to end it and didn't think he was the one. The rub is -- she has been living in Florida the past year finishing her master's degree so it was a long distance relationship the past year but she is moving back to Mass. in a month so this breakup happened over the phone.

He told me he was crushed when she ended it and never saw it coming -- that they got along so great and he was completely shattered for weeks, they had plans to buy a house this summer and were planning a 2010 wedding and were literally best-friends. He and I met about two months after all this happened, and since that conversation we don't often talk about anything related to our past anymore. We are starting to build what I think is a great foundation for a relationship and he has told me he no longer considers himself single and neither do I.

This weekend we were out and he got a phone call from her, he said they still talk maybe once a week at most but it is nothing to do with their relationship and more of a "how are you" type of conversation. I asked if he wanted to see her when she comes back to Mass. and he said no and that he is probably going to tell her they need to stop talking for a while and let the dust settle and maybe down the line they can try to be friends. He said he has told her about me, he did date a couple of girls between her and me but nothing serious so I wasn't "Next Girl" but I am the next serious girl.

He is a great guy, has a great circle of friends, very successful at his job, honest, attractive and has a lot going for him, speaking for myself I am all those things as well which is why I think we are a great fit. I have been single for over a year. I am very fearful that when she comes back to Mass. he may want to see her or she may want to see him, I just think back to when he told me how crushed he was that she ended things (I could see it in his eyes, the pain he was reliving) and with so much history (8 years) between them two wouldn't take much for her and him to give it one more try when she is back in this area and I'd be left out.

I don't want to bring this up to him and make him think I am insecure -- and he has given me no reason to be -- but deep down inside I am worried about falling for him but I also don't want to ruin what is a great thing we have.... Aghhhhh!

-- AscaredofBeingReboundGirl, South Hadley, MA

A: I get it, ASOBRG. You're scared. You're trying to figure out what will go wrong (and when) so you can manage the outcome. The good news is, much of this is out of your hands, unless you want to bail for no reason just to feel like you’re in control.

On paper, this dude seems to dig you. He has been honest. He has been clear. His breakup was miserable and complicated.

I'm a little concerned about his pace (he was only upset for weeks? not months?), but I do think he seems fairly self-aware.

My concern isn’t the ex. It’s more that you’ve only been together for a few months and that you seem to be moving rather fast, especially in your head. You're still learning about him and what he's capable of. There will be many tests before things get really serious. How he copes with the return of his ex is just one of those tests.

Start trying to enjoy your time together -- as opposed to considering all that could go wrong. I know it's hard, but breathe a little.

And as far as rebounds go, we’re all rebounding from something, aren’t we? Every relationship follows the one before it. My dinner was my rebound from lunch.

It's nerve-wracking, but this is dating. There are no guarantees. All you can do this early in the game is cross your fingers and keep showing up.

Readers? Your thoughts? Help stop the madness. And try not to make too much fun of this woman for counting her relationship in weeks. Share opinions here. Read yesterday’s chat here. Follow my very sporadic Twitter updates here.

-- Meredith

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79 comments so far...
  1. I saw you today

    She's lovely

    You're such a heavenly pair

    You hope and you pray

    Someday she'll take you all the way there

    You should know better, darling

    When push comes to shove

    Angels don't fall in love

    Posted by val May 28, 09 11:07 AM
  1. 'Edith-
    Lean Cuisine lunch to late night Buzzy's rebound?

    Posted by Jenny Craig May 28, 09 11:18 AM
  1. At this point, I'd say you are still in the "get to know you stage". It's very possible he may want to see her when she comes back, but you can't waste time worrying about that. It isn't just about her necessarily - at any time he could come to you say he doesn't think it's working out (for reasons unrelated to her) and wants to move on, but you can't worry about that either. It is still VERY early in this "relationship". I would just hope that if he does choose to see her that he'll be honest with you about it.

    And if I were you, I'd take things slow and easy - counting the number of weeks and logging the number of times per day you talk to him on the phone is odd.

    Posted by bumbly-bee May 28, 09 11:19 AM
  1. 'Edith-
    Lean Cuisine lunch to late night Buzzy's rebound?

    Posted by Jenny Craig May 28, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Dear ASOBRG,

    Once again, Miss Meredith has given great advice. Enjoy what you have. Saying that you're "scared" will only make him hide his interactions with his EX. The EX thing will play itself out one-way or the other in the next couple of months with or without you dating him.

    The only thing within your power is to continue being a sane, non-flaky fun new girlfriend. (A few cute outfits and extra care to look your best wouldn’t hurt.)

    Yes, that bad news is that you don’t have “history” with him. Good news is you don’t have any “bad history” either.

    My only question for you is this: Have you gotten any feedback from his friends/family on your current relationship vs his relationship with his EX? Are they as a group:

    A. Hope that he reconnects with her?
    B. Happy that she is out of the picture?
    C. A mixed response?

    That would be something that could give you a glimpse into the possible future with this man that quite frankly you don’t know all that well. But friends/family do know him.

    I hope things turn out for the best for you all.

    Posted by Lain the Blunt May 28, 09 11:24 AM
  1. If she knew what she wants (He'd be giving it to her)
    If she knew what she needs (He could give her that too)
    If she knew what she wants (But he can't see through her)
    If she knew what she wants He'd be giving it to her Giving it to her.
    Ooooooh....Meredith how was Bangles ?

    Posted by Mork May 28, 09 11:24 AM
  1. Love Letters readers, wa-wa-would you pleeeeease pass the jelly (or the Polaner All Fruit)??? Ascared is about to become TOAST!

    In one month, when the fiancee moves back here, the “how are you” conversations (You really, truly bought that line from him?!? Seriously?) will turn in to “how are you” get-togethers, “how are you” horizontal hokey-pokey, “how are you” weekend getaways, etc. Hell, the 2010 wedding is still a good bet too. Maybe in time this guy you’ve been dating (I notice you didn’t refer to him as your boyfriend) will let the dust settle with you and you two can be just friends. Maybe he’ll invite you to the wedding as a thanks for helping him kill the time until she graduated and moved back in state.

    Bur seriously, what’s the problem? You are worried about falling for him, but you don’t want to ruin the good thing you have going? What does that mean? Why not just keep being FWB’s, which is exactly what you are now, right?

    Apologies to all those offended by my direct and stern tone, but she completely lost me after the comment about how he “has a lot going for him, speaking for myself I am all those things as well” (Hello Big Ego?) as well as her “we don't often talk about anything related to our past anymore” (Hello Denial?).

    This is a child.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss May 28, 09 11:26 AM
  1. You need to chill. He sounds like he is doing everything right. People have pasts and they have exes -- I'm sure you have these things, too. So maybe he does want to see her again -- maybe it would help him find closure. You just need to talk about him about this as it goes along but try not to turn into Freaky Insecure Jealous Girlfriend BEFORE there is a reason to.

    Posted by suz May 28, 09 11:30 AM
  1. ASOBRG - Meredith is right. You have no control of this situation. You will just have to wait it out, and trust him. If he sees her or does something you are uncomfortable with then you have every right to voice that. I wouldn't share the fact that you are scared just yet, you don't want him to think you are insecure. At the same time, you do have a right to know where your relationship is going and what you would and would not allow concerning the ex. Try to not to think about it too much and remain positive! He's with YOU now, and that's what you should focus on.

    Posted by chloe May 28, 09 11:33 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith. Enjoy your time together. I've been in a similar situation before, but you know what? You can't control what will happen, only what you chose to do about it.
    Hang in there, don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.
    Don't worry about things that haven't happened.
    Best of luck!

    Posted by bevumass May 28, 09 11:35 AM
  1. First off, you ARE the rebound girl. By definition, the first person someone dates after a break up is the rebound - cant do much about that other than avoid that situation in the future.

    As someone that had a very similar thing happen to me (long relationship, engagement, out of the blue break up) - I can tell you that he is NOT over her. Not even close. If that is ok with you, and you can take the idea that every night when you go home - he is thinking of her and possibly even talking to her on the phone (or soon in person) then keep with it. If you want something that is totally there for you, then you need to find a person with a clear head and an open heart. It isnt even his fault that he still thinks of her, it is perfectly normal after 8 years.

    He may like you, he may want to spend time with you and get to know you, but in the end - even if he isnt intentionally using you, you are the rebound and will get hurt. Sorry to be so blunt, but that is what is going to happen. Open your eyes.

    Posted by Patrick May 28, 09 11:36 AM
  1. Love is crazy.....The best advice I can give you is to go into all relationships with an open heart and mind. And of course hope that your partner comes in with the same openness. Don't feel threatened by his past or his ex. She had her chance, and now you have yours.

    Posted by Sabs May 28, 09 11:36 AM
  1. What is with the bad poetry?

    I have been in a position not very different from yours, and I decided that the best plan was to be in the moment. I decided to enjoy my guy right then and there, have fun, laugh my head off and hopefully make him laugh, and show him (and myself) what a happy, healthy relationship was without worrying about the ex coming back or what the future was going to be. I decided to enjoy the relationship to the fullest in that moment without regrets. We had a blast. We grew closer. By the time his ex moved back into town he realized that whether or not she wanted him back, he had a better life with me. He still does.

    Posted by Meri May 28, 09 11:40 AM
  1. Ascared...don't be. He may want to see her, as Meredith said this is out of your control. Take the high road, if he tells you he wants to see her, be honest, tell him you'd rather he didn't, but you understand if he needs to. Don't harp on it or cry...just be honest. Tell him you really like him and enjoy spending time together and getting to know him better. You have a lot going for you or he wouldn't be with you, don't forget that. Then see what happens, however, if he sees her without telling you, there's an honesty problem...always better to know this sooner rather than later. All will work out in the end, either way! Good luck!

    Posted by Spock May 28, 09 11:42 AM
  1. Don't let him out of your sight and make sure to snoop on all his calls, e-mails and texts.

    Posted by Alvin May 28, 09 11:43 AM
  1. There is a strong possibility that you are a "transitional object". If his relationship and future planning with his ex was as serious as he proclaims (marriage, house, best friends, etc) then it's gonna take a heck of a lot longer for him to truly heal and have closure, especially since he's been dating people since it happened. Try like 2-3 years to truly get over it. He's still got a lot of "firsts" to go through related to her (first time not being together on various holidays, first 'anniversary date' they aren't together, first time not going to friends' annual special events as a couple, etc. etc. etc.).

    It's about your tolerance for risk, and this one has higher risk. If he is really as shocked and shattered as he said, and she's willing to communicate with him, then they are going to continue to communicate and sometimes it may be intense with little room for you.

    Remain as independent as you can, don't interfere with his process, and keep your own social network and interests as priorities in your life without getting everything enmeshed with him. Only time will tell what is going to happen.

    Posted by yupokay May 28, 09 11:50 AM
  1. that's an awkward situation. Just try and ignore him and have a nice time.

    Posted by Mork May 28, 09 11:55 AM
  1. Question is, do you want to be an Offensive or a Defensive Rebound? Edith is correct; we are all rebounding from something. The one thing we can do; however, is put our best foot forward and make sure your best defense is a good offense…keep the ex off the field. There’s no perfect scenario here. Life is about change. Here’s what I did with my fiancé: About a year after we started seeing each other (took it excruciatingly slow…kids etc) her ex asked to come back to the womb. She was upfront and told me about it. I said that she needed to explore what was best for her and her family. I was confident we had something quite special…and things they did not have. While her counselor told her not to stop seeing me, we allowed the situation to play out naturally. It wasn’t long before he revealed himself as the same guy, different day. It solidified our relationship. I think it’s appropriate for her to lose his number, but if the two of them have unfinished business, you want it to happen now, not after a few years when you notice: “…Lipstick on his collar, perfume on it too, tells me he's been lying, tell ya what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna put it in the want ads, this girl's in misery, gonna put it in the want ads, somebody rescue me.” Be straight with him. It’s a great way to set up a relationship of trust and respect.

    Posted by valentino May 28, 09 11:57 AM
  1. Dear Rebound Girl,

    There's nothing you can do in this situation. In many ways your hands are tied and what happens when she comes back, is what is going to happen. They have a history you cannot compete with. They will undoubtedly meet up to talk and/or lunch. Not every meeting with an ex results in ex sex. I've had friendly lunches and met for drinks w/ an ex, that ended with nothing more than a hug.

    Just keep doing what you are doing, which is showing your new boyfriend that you are awesome to be around. I know its cliche but just prepare mentally for the worst, but hope for the best. Keep the faith that she still wants to be single and doesnt not want him back. Do not show your jealousy or insecurity in any way shape or form. Fake it til you make it. If you get the chance to meet her, be as friendly as possible. Hopefully she'll end up getting a job in another state and moving far away. Dont let your fears get in the way of your heart.

    Posted by trueluv4eva May 28, 09 12:00 PM
  1. You are being U S E D ! Boston is rebound city at its finest . NEITHER of them is over the other . He is shaking you under her nose to get her riled. He texts her in the middle of your date. Something SO urgent could have waited.I would DUMP !
    He needs no contact with her for a minimum of so many months. But I believe you said they have a child so thats difficult. You can't WIN.Get out ! Now while you have some of your sanity. 3~~ somes just dont work relationship wise.
    "how do you gently break up with someone???..
    Thats like saying how do I gently drive a monster truck through a china/glass/crystal shop.

    Posted by Mork May 28, 09 12:02 PM
  1. Get out now!!! There is absolutely no way they will not have some kind of reconnection when she gets back. You started dating him two months after this and you wern't the first girl he dated. Guess what, that is soon enough to still be a rebound. I have an ex who is engaged and still calls me. Neither one is over each other yet and even if they are they going to have one last go! sorry honey. You're dreaming. Get out!!

    Posted by Beantwon13 May 28, 09 12:02 PM
  1. As long as you stay alert and keep your eyes wide open for the worst possible thing that could possibly happen, in the unspecified future, you will surely see it.

    Posted by prairiemike May 28, 09 12:02 PM
  1. This dude’s dirty laundry is recent and smelly… The reason he’s a good catch is the exact reason why he’s been in a relationship for 8 years! Nice dudes like this don’t stay single long. Keep showing up. Go slow. Don’t get too invested.

    And hopefully he hears some appalling stories of his girlfriend’s single days… Maybe she slept with 6 guys or something. These things will work in your favor- because right now there’s a good chance he’ll be doing his ex when she returns.

    Posted by yep May 28, 09 12:05 PM
  1. I think this is a case of letting the prevailing culture create more of a problem than there really is. The "rebound" stuff is more myth than anything, and you are not in a scene out of "He's just not that into you"....Live your own life and relationship without respect to the past or what popular culture dictates may or may not happen. This guy sounds honest enough, and if he want to go back to her, he will. That's all there is to it. He seems sensitive enough to break it to you gently, but until that day (which may never come), enjoy what appears to be a good relationship.

    Posted by yikes May 28, 09 12:11 PM
  1. Rico's advice is what you are looking for and here it is:

    Rico thinks love is a wonderful thing. He thinks you have already "fallen" for this guy. It also seems he may have "fallen" for you based on the time you spend together. However there is a caveat here in that maybe he spends a lot of time with you to keep himself from going crazy thinking of the ex that broke his heart.

    OK, so now you are wondering what to do next? Rico is sure this caveat is what crosses your mind every now and then. So here is what Rico suggests you do. Going forward you will continue to date this guy and see where it leads...What you may want to do since it has only been 9 weeks is to start making some summer weekend getaway plans with him to see where his head is at, and yours too. 9 weeks is a short time but not so short when you are both at the age most consider to be a time to get married, have kids and buy a home. Making a plan past a weekend ahead is surely a way to begin the planning of a long and successful relationship. The cape, newport or somewhere further like Maine or VT or maybe the boat to Nova Scotia for a weekend would be nice (you are both succesful in your carreers). After that start talking about a Labor day getaway to Wine country in California or maybe a weekend in Paris? There are lots of great deals on travel and there is no way better to get to know someone than travelling with them and it also keeps him away from MA where the ex could inconveniently bump into him somewhere.

    Rico thinks you have a good thing going and you have normal thoughts about stability. It is understood and totally fine to feel the way you do. If he seems to be hiding things from you or is out with friends more than usual then you have reason to worry. Don't be a snoop but do be aware. Here is another thing Rico thinks...You are afraid to let him know you are insecure. Rico thinks that maybe showing a little of that insecurity could help out. Men like a strong woman but we also like a woman that wants us, that makes us feel wanted. We men get a thrill knowing you are afraid to lose us, it makes us feel better about ourselves, our looks, etc...Kind of like a compliment. Women like to be wanted too and maybe just maybe he feels the same about you. Maybe he feels you are so attractive and successful that maybe he is playing above his league? Maybe just showing some vulnerablity will bring his out and will put you on an even better track at what could be something special.

    Rico is happy there was a normal letter today, not whining about some nonsense. Rico thanks Meredith for this one and will write more later while he thinks of other things to tell this writer. She is on the right track and seems to be doing the right things so far, just hopefully stays out of snooping or being accusatory towards the new guy. Just give things time and let life happen.

    Gears not Gas...

    Love always,


    Posted by Rico May 28, 09 12:13 PM
  1. I agree with yupokay on this one. You're in a high risk/high reward situation. If your emotional investment in him is premature, he realizes that he is still in love with his ex, then you could end up in Heartbreak Hotel. On the other hand, the ex could come back and he could realize that his relationship with you is more mature and healthier for the long term than what he had with her. Potential for high reward.
    Keep a balance in your life of activities with friends, family and your own interests outside of this relationship. In other words, don't put all your eggs in one basket because you could end up with scrambled eggs on this one.

    Posted by exvermonter May 28, 09 12:14 PM
  1. She wants him back. Here's how I think this happened. She went to Florida, met a guy or guys she wanted to sleep with, broke off her engagement to appease her guilt, sewed her wild oats, and probably got dumped because she's inexperienced in dating. Better yet, she realized fantasy is better than relaity. God bless her, she probably thought she'd have much more fun dating other people and wanted to get the "what ifs" out of her system before she tied the knot. Now that she's moving back, she'll have no problem reclaiming what she wanted all along - a committed relationship to her best friend and lover of 8 years. Protect yourself.

    Posted by kmira May 28, 09 12:18 PM
  1. As long as you trust him, go for it. At some point they really should not communicate. 8 years and a potential marriage is NOT something you can go to being friends with.

    Your insticts seem on par, so do his. The ball really is in her court....if she wants to get back together with him, it may happen. Thats 8 years and a marriage/house vs 2 months.

    Be yourself and offer what you have. It will work....or it won't. (and I would also suggest prayer, for a clear head & guidance)

    Posted by swfoutsida May 28, 09 12:20 PM
  1. #14 last paragraph. I've lived this. Could not have said it better.

    Posted by lilac22421 May 28, 09 12:31 PM
  1. he isnt over her. with her its a pure ego thing. she refused to speak directly with him for a year. (they used the nanny to talk back and forth and the nanny even said on speakerphone that his exwife didnt want to be home when he came to get their child). the wife iniated the divorce 3 years ago. he kept trying to get back together.
    she just must like him pursuing her forever which is sick. and now he'll be left alone again when I leave. Sick Sick ! Get out . Glad you see this for what it is....always someone has to get hurt when these idiots are not OVER the other person and hurt the new person coming in..

    Posted by Mork May 28, 09 12:33 PM
  1. Narcissists need attention from everyone. It is not surprising that he needs it from his ex. You'll find that a good deal of narcissists have trouble leaving the past in the past because they can't give up that 'supply' and will fight to keep it on some level. Rarely is it about anything approaching 'normal relationship' stuff though. Just the equivalent of a crackhead looking for more crack. If you leave, he'll pester you the same way regardless of how many other girlfriends he has at the time.
    "Advice is what you ask for when you already know the answer but wish you didn't."
    -- Erica Jong

    Posted by Mork May 28, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Bet if you broke up with him, he'd be back in baby's arms in a flash. Only one way to find out without the agony of defeat...and either way it goes...it's on your terms.

    Posted by val May 28, 09 12:42 PM
  1. This happened to a friend of mine about four years ago. The guy even mistakenly called her by the ex's name once. I told my friend she was crazy, being used, prepare the worst, etc. etc. And now they are married and the happiest people I know. My advice to you is to keep working through it. Good guys - and this guy sounds great - are hard to find around here. And all relationships are complicated, and while the ex-girlfriend / excess baggage could cause problems, there is no guarantee that this would work out even if he had been single for years. Give him a chance.

    You might want to sugget that he go to therapy for a while to work through the break up in a healthy way. He's definitely having a tough time and he can't talk to you about it. Otherwise, he might feel the need to find closure face to face with the ex (in what could be a very unhealthy way).

    Yikes. I hope she doesn't cause trouble when she moves back to Boston. Good luck at working through it. Love is worth fighting for.

    Posted by Edna May 28, 09 12:44 PM
  1. If you truly are that great a catch then he'll stick with you if you keep him interested and occupied. If you aren't that great a catch he'll be bumping uglies with his ex before she unpacks her suitcase. If you want to keep him and are just average then get yourself some condoms with holes in them or better yet just leave them home when you go away for the weekend and have a few drinks then show off that sexy you in new lingerie and oops you happen to be pregnant...

    Good luck

    Posted by Alan May 28, 09 12:44 PM
  1. If you're better in the sack than the ex, you're 90% there.
    Study up on all those Cosmo sex tips and execute them with enthusiasm. We can tell when it's a chore and that's a turnoff.

    Posted by sean May 28, 09 12:50 PM
  1. I am the one who wrote today's letter to Meredith, this can be confirmed by Meredith or the moderator because the email address I post below is the same one I sent the original email from. I was happy to see it posted so soon. I just sent it on Tuesday.

    A few points, first I have become friends with some of his friends and they really don’t talk about “her” much, only to say she just ended things so quick and has shut the door from what they know. It is not a topic of conversation I have with them, clearly I am not quizzing his friends behind his back. The one friend who does talk to both of told me 2 weeks ago he seems to think she “checked out” of the relationship a few months before she officially ended things and may have met another guy in Florida that helped facilitate things. He said she seemed so happy with her decision and said “she felt a huge weight had been lifted from her back” . He said she was a “young” 27 and nowhere near ready to settle down so it was the right thing for her to do even though he hated seeing his buddy hurting after it happened. The friend brought this up unsolicited when we were all at a bar, he said that we seemed so happy and he was glad to see his buddy moving on and we were a good fit. I did tell my guy about this conversation because I felt it was the right thing to do and he said that that friend knew her well and that was pretty much the same stuff she was telling him.

    We have never labeled our relationship so that is why I didn’t referring to him as my BF in the email but I think the next time we have to introduce one another to a new person we will say “This is my GF/BF -----“ . I trust him 100%, I would never read his email, go though his cell phone txt messages nor snoop on him. I have neither the time or the desire to do that. I just really like the guy and hope it works out. The preverbal elephant in the room will come in a few weeks when she returns to the area, if she wants to see him or vice-versa. Right now I don’t think it will happen but if it does I have faith he will tell me then I will have to make a decision on how to react.

    Posted by Issabelle AKA ASOBRG May 28, 09 12:54 PM
  1. She'll be back and you can bet she'll be wanting to get together with your boyfriend. Now he does sound very mature and well grounded, so hopefully he's mature enough to handle this situation.

    Either one of two things will happen. He'll either tell her that he's got a new girl and that she needs to hit the road. OR He'll fall back in love with her and get back together with her.

    Just tell him to be honest and not to be afraid of telling you his feelings, even if you may not like them.

    I'm with kmira. I think she went away, didn't like the long distance thing, met a guy to fool around with, he turned out to be a loser, and she realized she loeft a good thing.

    Posted by Mikey "Insane" Monkeypants May 28, 09 12:55 PM
  1. My first wife wanted to be friends with an ex (who really was someone she was still seeing behing my back) and I gave it a chance and it bit me. Worse still I later took her back and she cheated on me again and we finally divorced. While this is just my experience and everyone is different, I smell a rat. If he were deeply in love with you he would have no need for anyone else or closure or anything else but his one true love..

    Posted by techdood May 28, 09 01:00 PM
  1. Agree with Rico as well as kmira. I think you should tell this guy that you're scared of what will happen when she comes back into town. You don't have to sound obsessive or jealous, but it might be a compliment to him if you tell him the situation is making you worried. I also think that there's a chance this girl has had her time alone and will want him back. Have you asked him what he'd do if she wants to get back together? Perhaps she has no interest, perhaps she's now sure more than ever he's not the one, perhaps she's in a relationship on her own. I don't think it'd be crossing the line to bring this up--you're both at the age to get serious. I'd be more worried about her than him.

    Posted by davidhasthecode May 28, 09 01:11 PM
  1. Meredith is right on the money here. Little in life is a sure thing. Sometimes you get have to lay your bet down on a live one and hope it comes in. Seems like what you've described is a reasonable risk for you to take. Good luck!

    Posted by Bony Melon May 28, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Issabelle,

    Rico loves that you wrote back in. He is thrilled to hear of the other conversations with his friends. Seriously, Rico is very happy for you and thinks this could be a wonderful relationship that could bloom through summer and on and on and on.

    Rico is also glad to hear you are not the snooping type, THANK YOU!!! Rico is tired of those posts to be truthful. Rico has a wife and child and before that when they started dating Rico is sure both of them had their insecurities. But Rico assures you that even though both of them had ex's (his was a few years back and lots of dating, hers was under a year) that they each brought something to each other that no ex was going to mess up. Keep up with what you are doing and take Rico's earlier advice and plan some getaway's in the newar future...start small 2 week advance plans then move on to month or 2 months out...that shows your desire to continue the relationship and also will get an answer of where it is going from him. Got it? Rico is off to do some work but please keep writing in more and Rico will read and see about more advice for you. Rico likes your question and thinks he can help.

    Love always,


    Kick Gas...take that 2 mile challenge? Rico did

    Posted by Rico May 28, 09 01:22 PM
  1. Unbelievable! But surprisingly, you’re not mad. You’re not pissed, disgusted, or even happy that the cactus now gets what she did to you. You feel nothing. In front of you is just another guy who has no respect for commitment, vows, or other people’s feelings. It’s about him. It’s always been about him, and that still hasn’t changed. He is what he is, and that’s all there is to it. Why waste emotion and energy on someone who’s being himself? He has his life, and you have a better one with your sweetie. All you can think now is that you can’t wait to get back home to him. You two have a good life together, and that is what matters.

    Posted by Mork May 28, 09 01:33 PM
  1. I met a guy, who had been with someone else for 8 years, moved in together, etc etc. I felt insecure, seeing as she was local and for the first 1.5 years, he & I were long distance.

    He and I are married now. I got over the insecurity and he's never looked back.

    Move forward, have fun, don't harp on it. If he goes back to her, you were never meant to be, but if he sees you are a secure + great girl, he may think twice. There's a good reason their relationship broke up, so you and he should move forward together and let the past be just that, past.

    Posted by alisa May 28, 09 01:34 PM
  1. I cant believe how off base and moronic some of the posters out here are. Boston is rebound city? If you are a great catch, he will stick with you? Rico thinks you should start making long term plans? LOL. Talk about MISSING THE BOAT.

    This is 100% out of your hands. If you like going through life with others in control, then stick with this situation. If you like to know that all the emotions you put into a relationship, you get out - then RUN DONT WALK and get away from Mr. Damaged. You are the rebound - no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    Posted by Chris May 28, 09 01:40 PM
  1. This is how I look at it: if a guy is a cheater, he will cheat. Hanging out with other women will not make him a cheater. In other words, if he's the kind of guy that would cheat on his girlfriend, he will do it regardless of who he hangs out with - he could hang out with only other guys, but if he wanted to cheat, he would find a way.
    That being said, you can't control him, and you can't control other women. You can only control yourself. I know it's easier said than done, but try to relax; you're only pushing him away by being so insecure. Is it possible for you to go meet them for drinks one night after work, or to meet his work friends in another context? Seeing the situation for yourself, and feeling involved in that aspect of his life might help you feel more secure in your relationship. Jealousy is a wasted emotion, throw it away.

    Posted by Mindy May 28, 09 01:45 PM
  1. Unfortunately for you and for the rest of us, I'm afraid this Hoss character is right.

    You are in denial. Your dating pals friends are telling you that the former GF has "shut the door" on their buddy, but you know for a fact that your boy and her are talking on the phone at least once per week. It's probably more than that and it's probably more than "How are you" stuff. AND it's close to the time she's returning to the area. Do the math. He's either lying and keeping things from his boys or he's lying and keeping things from you, or both.

    Also, you don't trust him 100% or else you wouldn't have written the letter. Wake up.

    Posted by Bob Dwyer May 28, 09 01:46 PM
  1. Good luck. If you're happy, take everything for what it's worth, not what you think it might be worth. Your guy, and his friends sound pretty honest and straightforward.
    It's okay to worry a bit, but don't let it ruin your fun.
    Are you in Boston or South Hadley?

    Posted by bevumass May 28, 09 01:49 PM
  1. 1) I was this guy, my current girlfriend took the chance on me, (I took the chance on her) and we could not be happier today.
    2) If you want to meet the right guy you may have to take some chances of your own.
    3) Remember, this guy was good enough to be in another woman's life for 8 years, chances are he isn't a scumbag...
    5) Try to remember, the glass is not half empty, it is half full. This is the time to be courageous. It could turn out to be the best decision of your life.

    Posted by qwerty May 28, 09 01:50 PM
  1. I think your fear is totally reasonable, even if he hasn't given you specific indications that he wants her back. If he plans to cut off contact with her for awhile when she returns, it sounds like he's at least trying to move on and really wants things to work out with you. But if they still talk, and the talk is friendly, it's entirely possible that she's had her chance to be on her own and realizes that she made a mistake. Even if he thinks now that he's moving on, the pull of rekindling that love and friendship he had for 8 years might take him by surprise if she were to ask him to forgive her and try again.
    I think you have every right to let him know that you're apprehensive. I think it is possible to say that you're worried that your relationship is moving faster than he might be ready for, while still being his fun, non-neurotic new girlfriend. But letting him know that it's on your mind and asking him to be open with you about his thoughts is all you can do. Trying to get him to tell you what will happen or convince him that he should forget her and be with you might be asking more of him than he can give, and pressuring him will probably work against you.
    If you can mentally step back from the idea of a long-term relationship and continue to just have fun with him, he might be really encouraged and attracted by your calmness and insight. But much as he might like and appreciate being with you, it might be too soon for him to consider himself committed to a new long-term relationship. If it's possible to withdraw your "I'm not single anymore" declaration without hurting his feelings and getting in the way of the fun you have together, do it.

    Posted by Liz May 28, 09 01:51 PM
  1. This letter just goes to show you that women are never satisfied. They will always find something to nitpick about. I wish we could send this girl, Meridith who's advice is usually crap, and Rico out to sea without a paddle.

    Posted by DumbBsAreNeverSatisfied. May 28, 09 01:52 PM
  1. Mork, are you even reading the same letter as everyone else here? There is nothing about cheating or narcissistic behavior or anything. So far, both the letter writer and her boyfriend seem to have acted on the up and up and I for one definitely believe that they will get past this as a normal part of starting out a new relationship where everyone has past baggage. Good luck, Issabelle!

    Posted by move on May 28, 09 01:54 PM

    Posted by Been around May 28, 09 02:02 PM
  1. Wait, you met 2 months after they broke up, and "he did date a couple of girls between her and me," and you hadn't dated anyone for a year. And you two have now been going out for 2 months. Wait. Just wait. (As in, you have placed a lot of importance on this relationship to make you happy. How about it's not so important. How about he is your accessory, not your center. Make yourself happy. This relationship may not lead to marriage. Can you handle that?)

    Posted by catherine May 28, 09 02:11 PM
  1. Do the math: If he is 34 now, and he dated the ex for eight years, and she was 19 when they started dating-- that means he was 26 and dating a girl who was 19.

    Repeat after me: 'Ewwwww...' I mean, what did they do in those first years? Go to Pixar movies together?

    This man had issues then, and he has issues now. He needs much, much more dating experience to be a reliable partner who knows what he wants. Cut your losses regardless of what this ex might want to do when she moves back to town. Life is too short for losers.

    Posted by Joey May 28, 09 02:16 PM
  1. Mork from Ork
    Are you reading the Clark Rockefeller piece? BTW, Mindy was having an affair with Fred McConnell. Na Nu, Na Nu.

    Posted by Anonymous May 28, 09 02:19 PM
  1. if on paranoid suspicions , It's amazing how people can convince themselves to believe whatever they want to believe.if you have a history of paranoia, then find some counseling for that. You may have something in your history that predisposes you to those feelings and it would do some good to identify them so those issues don't keep cropping up in your relationships.

    Posted by Mork May 28, 09 02:21 PM
  1. Tough one........If they are "talking" on the phone at least once a week, they BOTH still have strong feelings for each other, no doubt about it.......I wouldn't stop seeing him yet, nor show any jealousy, but DO be prepared for the worst.

    Posted by ricjin May 28, 09 02:27 PM
  1. Gender bias yet again. Either that or you rubes are reading a Love Letter from the archives or some other blog. Stop coddling her and give her the straight dope.

    1. I agree with earlier poster, you do not trust him 100%

    2. There's a reason why he's not applying a label to your relationship. I would post what the relationship is to him (think of a two word term, second word is buddies), but the first word wouldn't get past the censors.

    3. No doubt neither he nor his fiance has shut the door on anything. They are talking on the phone regularly. She's moving back. You honestly think that they are talking weekly while she's in Florida, but when she returns to Boston they won't talk and/or see each other? He seriously told you that "he is probably going to tell her they need to stop talking for a while ". That is the funniest line of the week.


    Tell him to call you in 6 weeks if he wants to pursue a legitimate relationship with you. It will give him time to think and allow for her to be back in the area for a couple of weeks as well. Do not invest any more time, texts, phone chats, pillow talk, regular admission to your fun factory, etc., etc. until then.

    Posted by Gas Not Spokes May 28, 09 02:27 PM
  1. Taking things slow for a bit, especially considering the fact that she's coming back to town soon, sounds like a good idea. Figuring out if both of you are ready for a serious commitment is important- you definitely don't want to be like one of the previous letter writers who found out that after years of marriage and kids the significant other was still pining for and communicating with the ex. So don't forbid him to talk to her or see her. Although it would be very hard to deal with, you want to make sure he gets his closure so he won't spend his life wondering if he should have tried to rekindle things with his ex. If he does see his ex I think you should talk to him about their encounters in a very non-threatening way (i.e. try not to give him a reason to want to hide things from you, even if it's innocent.) Make him feel comfortable enough to talk to you about things. He may realize he wants to be with you now, or he may want to give his ex another shot. It sucks, but please remember not to force things that may take time to develop or figure out.

    Posted by SS May 28, 09 02:34 PM
  1. One more insight from Rico before his double macchiato: Rico, as you know, hates cheaters, but does not think vivid dreams and foreplay of the imagination is cheating. Wife and kid, kid and wife, sister and brother, priest and choir boy. 2 mile challange: Walk a mile for a Camel...send smoke signal for cab.

    Gears for Tears

    Love, All Ways

    Posted by Rico May 28, 09 02:44 PM
  1. When a guy's buddy says something like that, consider the source. If the commenting buddy seems to be a keen observer of human nature or a genuinely good guy (along the lines of someone you would set up with your sister or a good friend) then you can take that seriously. It isn't the kind of thing that a guy will just say about his buddy to make conversation.

    Posted by Meri May 28, 09 02:46 PM
  1. You can only hope that his ex respects the fact that he has moved on. Men are weak creatures. If an opportunity is presented without effort, you can bet they take it. As women, we have to stick together and never move in on what is not ours or no longer ours. And then there is harmony.

    Posted by VanillaLatte May 28, 09 02:55 PM
  1. I agree with all those people who believe that Ascared is the rebound in all of this. There's no doubt about it in my mind for the following reasons:

    1. SHE broke up with him, and not the other way around. He can't possibly have turned off his feelings for her in only a few months (after 8 years of dating).
    2. He still talks to her once a week. While I think it's nice that he shares this with you, think about it - do you talk to your ex-boyfriends once a week? Most people do not.

    I have been the dumped girl before (just like a lot of other posters). My ex was willing to talk to me nearly every day after he broke up with me (also long distance). Sometimes the conversations were just "hi, how's it going"...other times much more heavy as in, "I miss your sexy body...." And I wasn't the only one to instigate these conversations. I look back now and think there was a bit of a power play going on. I wanted him to still want me. Even as I dated my rebound I continued to talk to the ex, and while I had fun with the rebound, I didn't get over the ex until my next relationship. The rebound was really just a rebound. Sorry chickie - hang in there!

    Posted by muskrat May 28, 09 03:09 PM
  1. SAYING he's over her & BEING over her are 2 different things. it takes MUCH longer than a few weeks to get over your ex-fiance/bestfriend that you dated for 8 years. you know the old saying - the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new. I'm sure you helped heal some wounds, but that's no guarentee he won't go back to the ex. not saying he definitely will - but you're just gonna have to play this hand out to find out what happens. you got some good advice, don't freak out, don't be jealous, just see what happens. whatever will be - will be.

    Posted by polly21 May 28, 09 03:32 PM
  1. Rico did not say to make LONG TERM plans, what he said if you had read what Rico said was that she should start making plans in advance for weekends leading to eventually making longer term plans...His advice sounded like advice to follow for a relationship at her stage and going forward for the next year or so...You are a moron Chris.

    Great advice Rico, I agree!!!

    Posted by Love Rico May 28, 09 03:51 PM
  1. The part that bothers me the most about this is the staring and the inappropriate comments. I would talk to your boss and get her insights before doing anything else. If that doesn't work, contact the guy in Flagstaff and be extremely direct. Good luck, Steve!

    Posted by Mork the Dork May 28, 09 04:09 PM
  1. I think it isn't unusual for people to meet "the one" shortly after breaking off a long-term relationship. It definitely happens, and it surely seems like he IS just that into you. I personally am in touch with exes of mine and in fact my husband knows several of them, and one guy I had a fling with (we wound up just friends before hubby and I started dating) used to hang out with us a lot. HOWEVER, weekly phone calls with someone he dated for 8 years before breaking up two months prior should be of concern to you. I agree with others who called this a "high-risk, high-reward" situation. I don't think you should jettison a great guy because of what MIGHT happen. However, Yyou need to have both eyes wide open and realize that you could in fact get hurt. If you can live with that, then go for it. Realize at some point it may be appropriate for you to request some boundaries, however.

    Posted by jj22 May 28, 09 04:21 PM
  1. Ascared,
    You barely know one another....don't look for something wrong. Enjoy the time you have together while it lasts. If the ex comes back ( and she will ) you may get crushed so be ready......Eight years together, broken engagement and he's all set after afew a weeks.HELLO!!!!!!!!????????? I need a sip of what he's been drinkin'. Don't get too wrapped up in this one until you know for sure that the Florida chic is packed away in the little box in his mind and he can move forward. Good luck.

    Posted by Anonymous May 28, 09 04:25 PM
  1. "Love Rico"'s post has all of the hallmarks of "Real Rico's" writing: CAPS, commas in place of periods, dots, insults, and a space between the body and the closing. Oh, and three mentions of "Rico," not counting the signature. Hmmm - need to defend yourself much, Rico? The charges being leveled of self-agrandisement and insecurity may have some basis in reality.

    By the way, Rico's suggestion of making plans two weeks out or whatever is an old ploy that is often tried and can be spotted a mile away as desperation. Let HIM make the suggestion for the weekend in Paris, Issabelle.

    Posted by Frico May 28, 09 04:40 PM
  1. Why the insatiable need to be in a relationship? Why are you limiting yourself to one person at the age of 29? You have been "single" for a year. Oh my goodness, what's a girl to do? Single for an entire year? How can you live with yourself? You must get your perfect man, your perfect house, your perfect children....NOW!!! He also has been in an eight year relationship. You are both so insecure with yourselves that you feel it necessary to be with someone else full time. You talk multiple times a day, you been sleeping together regularly after four or five weeks. At least I give him a bit of credit....he is tagging you nightly while he is setting you up for the fall. I love that you and the other lemmings out here "like his honesty". He is playing you, you are the rebound girl and you accept it because your pathetic life is not complete without getting the ring on your finger by the age of 30. He seems to really be dealing with the loss of an eight year relationship in a profound way....by having sex with you while thinking about her! Perfect!!!

    Posted by leykis101 May 28, 09 04:44 PM
  1. Ascared, my suggestion is to take him to bed tonight and rock his world. He'll forget all about "What's her name" after that.

    Posted by Kay-man May 28, 09 04:46 PM
  1. Is the hall still reserved?

    Beers, no Glass

    Love Train,

    Posted by Shaniquo May 28, 09 05:51 PM
  1. It is already a problem-as noted above. You wrote in about it...you're worried! And it is just starting. So-check yourself. Can you run with this or no? In or out?
    We cannot tell you what will happen...he cannot tell you.
    You have to figure out if you can handle the situation...then go from there.
    What will YOU do is the question-not what will HE do.

    Posted by pb May 28, 09 07:07 PM
  1. "They were best friends” for eight years. Why is anyone surprised that they still find things to talk about every week? They love each other. That could be mighty different from being in love with each other, particularly after a year apart.
    Don't worry about being the rebound. Be happy this very nice guy is playing ball with you. It sounds like you two have a good thing going. Don't blow it by worrying about things that may never happen. IMHO there are some mighty angry and perhaps even unhinged people plying this board. Their craziness doesn't have to be yours. Enjoy the here and now!

    Posted by KatesNonna May 28, 09 07:18 PM
  1. One to fear rebound
    Two to wed at the altar
    Three for just one night

    Posted by Haiku May 28, 09 09:57 PM
  1. ASOBRG - reading your intitial letter and subsequent post, I have a strong sense that you two are very mature adults who treat each other with mutual respect. I think you guys will be fine. It's a tough situation to be worrying about her, but even if that happens (which I am doubting at this point), remember all the good things about yourself that make such a nice catch attracted to you in the first place. Those will never go away. Take your time, enjoy your time with him, let things develop at a reasonable pace and keep open with each other. You guys will be fine. Enjoy the weekend in Acadia! ;-)

    Posted by Rozzwell May 28, 09 10:52 PM
  1. For the naysayers out there, OF COURSE it is possible that he could get together with his ex and not go any further. I have done this. In my experience, getting together with exes only confirmed that we shouldn't be together as a couple. In fact, I'm still friendly with an ex-boyfriend from many, many years ago. He's a wonderful guy--but for someone else. Being with him for the rest of my life would have driven me nuts...and we both know this. In fact, both of us are married to people much more suited to each other, but this doesn't mean we can't chat every now and then.

    Posted by Aviatrix May 29, 09 12:19 AM
  1. Anyone spinning this positively for her has seen too many Hugh Grant movies.

    1. They were in an 8 year relationship that ended less than a year ago.
    2. They had plans to buy a house together this summer.
    3. They were engaged and had a 2010 wedding in mind.
    4. She broke up with him.
    5. He talks to her all the time.
    6. She broke up with him over the phone.
    7. He's lying to his friends and telling them he's shut the door.
    8. He's told you that he may tell her soon that they can't talk anymore.
    9. She's moving back to Boston in June.
    10. He hasnt considered or referred to you as his girlfriend yet.
    11. You two don't talk about the past anymore. Is that indicative of building a relationship or fostering a no strings attached fling?

    Sorry, but it does not look good for you. It just doesn't.

    Posted by GirlWhosBeenInYourShoes May 29, 09 09:15 AM
  1. moi thinks meredith has an eating disorder

    Posted by mikeinsalem May 30, 09 02:14 AM
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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