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Parallax - Advice

October 29, 2001

My boyfriend's back

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!My boyfriend and I broke up three times, and after every breakup we got back together. Right now we're not 'together' but we see each other often and we hang out a lot. He graduated last year, but now he's unemployed and uses me a lot for support. We both agreed we needed to meet new people and finally, I have. I met this nice guy who's in one of my classes. I don't know if I can tell my ex-boyfriend about this new guy because I think he's going to be really depressed. I don't want to hurt him, but I also need to move on. How can I handle this?Email to a Friend



Her view:

Dear Goodbye-girl,

He had his chance and you need to move on - honestly and swiftly. You should just come clean and be yourself because you cannot keep your new life from him forever.

There is always that sinking moment when you find out your ex (the one who pined for you endlessly) is actually really gone - it's just unsettling. He will go through that process; he will be sad, then mad, and then he'll dislike you for a while. And yes, in a few weeks he will move right along.

You're actually doing him a favor by being clear. This way, he has no misgivings or regrets. He will see you have moved on, and he'll do the same.

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His view:

Dear Goodbye-girl,

The main problem will be to decide whether your ex-boyfriend is really your ex, or still your boyfriend. You seem unsure…just look at your question.

You say he uses you a lot for support. Your use of the word use is also interesting; maybe he needs to use someone else. The best way to give him an opportunity to do that is to break the news about your new amore. The sooner Mr. Ex knows that he's falling behind in the 'meeting new people' contest, the sooner he'll get off his crutch and start working the unemployment lines.

You're worried he'll get depressed and so on? All the more reason to hurt him. He needs to snap out of it. Lead by example; if he won't follow, that's even more reason to dump his pathetic butt.

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