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Parallax - Advice            August 7, 2000



   Another long-distance call from her ex...

Dear Conversely, Ask us a Question!

I still keep in touch with a former boyfriend who is out-of-state. Why? Not sure... He calls me, but I don't call him (anymore). If and when he calls, he's Mr. Lovey-Dovey: sweet, kind, happy, nice. The last time I called him (we talk once every two to three months or so), he was rude, impatient, cold and wanting to know 'why' I called. So I don't anymore. I learned my lesson! Last time he called me, he blatantly stated that he's looking for a wife! Why me? The 'cold call' (from me) was after the 'wife call'( from him). What's up with him? We are not 'kids' anymore, we are both forty-one and have our own lives. We didn't have a long-term relationship, but still managed to fall in love! We also have not seen each other in two years.

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Her view:

Dear Lovey-Dovey,

I say cut the tie and move on. You're halfway there anyway. It's probably just some security thing that causes you to keep in touch. But two years is a long time - I think it's time you parted ways completely.

Any sort of rude response like his requires a little turning and leaving. He's clearly more hassle than he's worth - nothing more appealing than a crankster.

Find someone in your own zip code if you'd like a real relationship - someone who treats you respectfully all the time. There are few things as annoying as hot-and-cold. If ex calls you again, tell him you are only interested in sex and not to bother you unless he's right around the corner. Unless you are considering the wife thing seriously?

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His view:

Dear Lovey-Dovey,

I think your questions were: Why do I still keep in touch with him? Why does he tell me he's looking for a wife? What's up with him?

First him. He realized, after two years and lingering love, that you are not going to work out for him the way he hoped. He was pissed at himself for believing it could work and that one day you would move back and marry him. He took it out on you by being cold and rude. (Or, it is entirely possible he was just having a lousy day at work...)

He told you he's looking for a wife because he felt like sharing. Because he wanted to see if you too were looking. Or maybe the random thought just crossed his mind at precisely the same time he was speaking with you.

He calls for the same reasons we all call. Loneliness, curiosity (has she moved on? is she seeing someone else?), or because he has no one else to call. Pick your theory. I don't think it matters so much, I don't think you need to know why former lovers keep in touch with you. After all, it's good to feel like you have a multi-dimensional life, where the past can walk into the present any day, sometimes pretending to be your future.

Perhaps that's why you keep in touch with him?

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