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Should I be friends with my exes?

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I have two exes that I am in close contact with. I will call them Pat and Mike. I see each one every couple of weeks. I dated them both earlier this year ... Pat for one month, and Mike for three months. Both of them dumped me. I was REALLY into both of them when I dated them. I realize that I am the type who can sometimes make the mistake of getting too emotionally invested way too quickly when I meet someone that I like a lot. Pat broke up with me because he said my feelings were stronger for him than his for me. Mike dumped me because he said I didn't love myself and that we were not compatible ENOUGH for a LTR.


Right now, I consider them good friends of mine. They do both have their problems as friends... mainly that they find it awkward and difficult to discuss many emotional topics. We have similar INTERESTS, but our personalities are different. I enjoy having them in my life as people to talk to about politics, religion, and history. Also, they are usually up for hanging out and doing fun things like hiking, biking, playing pool, bowling... active things that I love doing, but I have trouble finding others to join me. I feel confident that these two do care for me as a friend.


I am currently in a monogamous relationship with someone that I've been seeing for seven months. He knows I hang out with these two men, and he has met them many times. He feels no jealously towards them, and says he trusts me and feels confident that I have no romantic interests in them and vice versa. I always tell him he is right, because I do NOT have an interest in breaking up with my bf for either of them or in cheating on my bf.


The problem is this... I still harbor lingering romantic feelings for both of them. Logically, I know that my boyfriend is a much better match for me, but I cannot control my feelings on this matter. I put up a great front with Pat and Mike that what I feel for them is purely friendly. My guess is that they would be shocked to know about my feelings for them. I'm so good at putting up this front that I've even fooled one of my closest friends. She said that I seem very at ease when I'm with them.


My question is... should I stop being friends with them? Or should I pull back on my friendship with them? I feel like I've TRIED cutting back, but then I get sucked back in because I do care for them. I'm afraid cold turkey is the only way to go as far as moving on from them. I just have mixed feelings, since they are not bad people and can be a lot of fun. Also, remember that I do care about them and do feel a connection to them. However, I just feel guilty about the way I feel towards them while having a boyfriend.


There is also the option of telling both men that I have feelings for them. But considering that I have a boyfriend that I don't want to break up with, I think that would be an unwise thing to do! I would imagine Pat and Mike would feel very awkward around me after hearing that.


Some things that have made me feel badly lately:

-I find myself often hoping that both men will feel jealous when seeing me with or hearing about my current boyfriend. They seem pretty comfy with him, though. I had a party earlier this month, and the three of them chatted it up about their common interests for a long time!

-I keep having romantic and sexual dreams about Pat. I never have these kinds of dreams about my current bf!


I understand that a lot of what is going on here is wanting to have my ego stroked. I want them to want me. I want them to regret giving me up. I want them to think, "What a great catch. I was a fool to let her go. It's too bad she has a boyfriend now."


Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much for reading!!

I know this was a long one!

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I start by allowing my caring to be that type I have for anyone, even strangers. Then as I feel more confident that I am thinking clearly about them on a consistent basis, I can allow more personal friendship feelings of caring. If at any time I feel the caring turning romantic or sexual, I step back to the type of caring I have for anyone. Repeat as often as necessary.

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Don't!...believe me, it will only take you to some different ocean of emotions..you don't wanna be in a mess as such. Control your emotions, you wouldn't be asking the question here if you hadn't got doubts in your mind about whether it would hurt you or put you in some awkward position.

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