Anna Pulley, @annapulley
RedEye's sex columnist
10:16 AM CDT, September 13, 2012
I am currently in a debate with my head and my heart on if I should rekindle my relationship with a recent ex. My heart says "Yes, go for it! He's amazing, wonderful, funny, sexy, smart, and your best friend!" Yet my head (and everyone including key family members around me) says "Hell no, what are you, nuts?!" We dated on and off for two years and have been off now for 5 months. I moved out, got promoted and have a great life going on. He has a house, a career and we always have the best time together. I just don't want to hurt everyone around me for making a decision to be with him. But what I don't understand is why everyone has an opinion on it in the first place. It seems like these people are so unsupportive of my choices and see something in him that I don't? They never dated him, I did. It's so overwhelming to explain to them I don't want to bother, but this is the love of my life. I'm lost and confused. Any advice?
—Lost in love
I know how you feel, having gone through a similar situation myself recently. It's definitely frustrating to convey to friends and family how a person is, like, your perfect soul mate when you're breaking up every five minutes. You didn't really go into why your relationship is so topsy-turvy with this guy, but you don't need to because my advice would probably be the same regardless.
Listen to them: stay off-again.
It's true your friends and family did not date your boyfriend, but I'm going to venture a guess that they did hear all about him, including the details around the many times you've parted ways and gotten back together again. Are our friends sometimes wrong about our love lives? Of course. Are they acting out of love and concern for you that, if you get back together with this guy, it's just going to be more of the same not-so-great pattern? Probably. Are they worried that you've come so far these last few months, with your swank new promotion, new living space and "great life," and that that will all topple if you decide to give Mr. Sometimes Great another shot? Yep. You might be similarly appalled at me for joining their chorus of "no's," especially since I'm a total stranger (the nerve!). But, just like a fish doesn't know it's in water, it's far easier for outsiders to see a situation clearly, because we're not under the influence of the powerful (and addicting) love chemicals that sometimes blind us.
Love depends on all kinds of unpredictable factors in order to succeed. It can be messy at times and uncertain, but contrary to pretty much all pop songs, love isn't a "roller coaster," a "battle field" or a "losing game." At its core, love should be easy. Love is mellow and calm and stable. The frustrating, hot and cold, up and down business that has consumed you these last two years is not sustainable. You may have ridden on the highs to get you through up until now, but it won't work forever. The "hell no, what are you nuts?!" part of your question tells me that. Very few people in happy, long-term relationships have that thought running through their heads.
I think another reason you might be feel lost and confused is because you never allowed yourself a clean break. In other words, it sounds like you're still spending time with your ex. I would urge you to cut that out, at least for a while. This doesn't mean forever necessarily, but allow yourself enough time and space to really move on. You deserve that, at the very least.
Sometimes you have to crush your own heart in order to mend it. Here's to wishing you relatively smooth sailing from here on out.
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