Many times when one continues seeing a former love, the temptation is to see hope that really is not there. It is so easy to project a happier ending and grasp onto bits and pieces of conversations which seem to indicate a possible future together. Past relationships most all the time are learning experiences.
Kelsey Asks Nancy:
“My ex and I were together three years before we broke up. We fought often, but always made up and the good always outweighed the bad. We were very open with each other, very honest, and very goofy. Once we broke up, he dated another girl and I started dating another guy. However, we continue to see each other and he thinks I can do better than my boyfriend (and I then said the same about his girlfriend). He said he misses me, that he wants to see me be in a happy relationship, and that his life is so confusing right now and that if his girlfriend saw the “real him” she wouldn’t like it, but that he is happy with her. He also said he wants to keep me in his life forever and that it would be impossible to cut each other out. I have met his girlfriend before they started dating and have some mutual friends, and from what I know she is a very sweet girl. I haven’t spoken to him since this conversation. Since then I have been unable to stop thinking about him. I broke up with my boyfriend because I knew it was unfair to him. I think I still love my ex and want to know what kind of signal he is sending. Should I hang in there as his friend, hold out for a relationship, or give up completely?”
Most of the time, relationships that do not work out initially are not going to work out after a breakup unless both individuals work through the personal challenges which led to its ending the first time around. Mutual physical attraction is definitely not enough to keep a relationship going long term. He wants to keep you in his life because your relationship is familiar and on some level emotionally safe. However, he does not want a committed relationship with you. If he did, he would pursue that possibility. I encourage you not to hold onto a idealized picture of the relationship you want to have with someone who is now involved with another woman. The best approach at this point is to take the time to examine your role in the demise of your past relationship and see what barrier to love prevented it from lasting. It is easy to blame the other person, but the one who finds true and lasting love is not too proud to look at what they brought to the relationship that contributed to the breakup. We all have room to improve in love and the lessons you take from this experience will definitely help you in the future with the right guy.