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old relationship walks back into my life...looking for advice


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Hi all,


First post - thanks for having me! Reading around, it looks like this a very supportive environment. I know this is my first post, its a bit long but I appreciate any and all of you reading this. I just kind of kept writing until I didn't feel I could write anymore. There's some story here, so if anything maybe you can enjoy this little drama...(it's 100% true)! Any thoughts/comments/advice is welcome - and please don't pull any punches. I promise I will respond if you have questions or need clarifications.




Ok, so here's the story. Girl #1 - Amanda - I dated for about 1.5 years through college. She was older, and I broke up with her my junior year so I could "be in college." She had graduated, I wanted to have fun, go abroad and be on my own. This ended up working for both of us, as she eventually got a job teaching abroad and she went, taught and traveled for a number of years. We've kept in touch through this, talking via email and skype every few months.


For me, I went through my final years of school and met Girl #2 - Lyn - through a mutual friend. We ended up sticking together after school and eventually moved to the same city (not living together) and got jobs. Things were good for these first couple years. We had our normal ups and downs. Twice we came very close to splitting completely. Now we live together with two of our friends. We live well together - I do get a bit stifled sometimes but its mostly good. We're still in our first year of living together so we're still working out the kinks. We've been together 4 years as of a few weeks ago.


I care deeply about Lyn, but there's something missing. I'm not as emotionally invested in her as I once was. I've tried to keep the spark alive - as has she - but every couple of months we have a nose dive and get in a blow up fight. We do communicate (I've learned to be better at this) and try to work our way through these issues as best we can. As you can tell, I'm not 100% in this relationship. She talks of marriage, kids, our "financial" plan - these things scare the bejeesus out of me. Not just marriage but marriage to HER. I know I want to get married someday but I keep feeling like there's someone else out there for me. I feel like I could be happier than I am, romantically. The best way I can describe Lyn and my relationship (from my perspective) is convenience mixed with complacence. We're great support systems for one another, we're a team, communicate fairly well and have fun together but I can't shake this feeling that I'm just going through the motions. For instance, she's more emotional than I am and one of the major issues with this is that she wants me to be more emotionally invested in her...except...I'm just not. I love her but am not in love with her anymore. I tell her I love her -and I do mean it - but there's no spark for me anymore (or at least very little). I mostly say these sweet nothings so she's happy, not because its what I'm actually feeling. I'm not excited to see her when I come home. I don't feel a need to talk to her about my day anymore (even though I force myself to do this). The most time we've spent apart in the past year was when I went on a weeklong trip with som guy friends to go hiking and camping. Did I miss her? Not really. Did I want to talk to her when I was out there? Didn't feel a need to.


OK. Pause there. Not one week ago I get an email from Girl #1 - remember, Amanda? She tells me shes coming home and wants to meet for coffee. Remember, we've been keeping in touch over the years and I'd be lying to you if I told you we didn't have the occasional emotional conversation or two about "us." We couldn't help it. I couldn't help it. This is just what we do, and how we've been in our long distance communications. Earlier this year we got to the point in one of our skype's that we should break up with our significant others and run away together (so romantic!). This obviously never came to fruition and I got angry that she Amanda had this power to waltz back into my heart like this. So, I cut ties. For almost six months we didn't talk at all, until she sent me an email asking to meet for coffee. I complied.


So, we met. At first it was strange. I hadn't seen this girl in over 3 years, so there was a little bit of awkwardness to start. But then this faded away after the first 30 mins or so and we both realized that there was more to this than we thought. We had both verbally agreed that we should meet at least one last time to see how we felt about one another, both of us secretely hoping that we would be done with one another. This didn't happen. There were sparks. Big, bright lightening-bolt, metal grinding on pavement sparks. I had missed her, and she had missed me. We talked for as long as we could and then said our goodbyes, both of us reeling. How could we be together now? We hadn't seen each other for years, we both were in relationships, what were we thinking? Pretty soon, not two hours later I got a text from Amanda. She was staying with friends in a nearby neighborhood - did I want to come over and chat? I did, and made up an excuse to get out of the house, away from Lyn (honey, I need to go get some Advil - I have a splitting headache!). I sat down with Amanda for about 30 mins, and we just talked. Some of it serious, wondering how we got into this situation. I couldn't stay long and left shortly thereafter, once again reeling. The next day I go into work, Amanda still on my mind and I said what the hell - might as well spend as much time as I could with her to see if this was real. I asked her out to lunch, she complied and then I called out sick the rest of the day. We went back to her friends apartment and just relaxed. We kissed, hugged, laid on the couch together (no sex!) until late afternoon, when I went home to Lyn and pretended nothing happened. The next morning I got up, took the long way to work and ended up texting Amanda again. Did she want to get coffee? I wasn't too busy that morning and could always blame my tardiness on my "sickness" I got yesterday. Again, she complied and we spent the next two hours trying to enjoy each other's company, knowing that she had to take a bus back home in a few hours and I wouldn't see her for a long time. She told me she was planning on moving accross the country with her boyfriend. Now she wasn't so sure. She told me she wasn't happy with him, how she constantly compared him to me and that her relationship with him was more of convenience. We spent part of the morning brainstorming how we could be together. How could we make this work? What if one of us broke up with our significant other and the other one didn't? Would she move near me? Would I move towards her? Neither of us had answers, other than the fact that there was clearly something between us that both of us wanted to explore.


And so...this is where I am. My head is crammed full of happiness, guilt, anger, fright, and sadness. I have no idea what to do or how to do it. Do I take the leap of faith to be with Amanda? Do I stick things out with Lyn? I'm leaning towards Amanda, but is that because its new and exciting? This would mean hurting Lyn - deeply. She would never forgive me for this. I would lose this person in my life forever. Lyn is still my first "serious" relationship, the only thing I've known for the past 4 years. I am at a loss with what to do or how to handle these feelings.


That's it, thanks for reading, I know its alot. I do feel that writing this down helps me process and so...feel free to chime in. I'd love to hear from folks who have been through something like this before, or can help me identify what these feelings are. Thank you.



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Stop doing that. You're lying to her when you do that. You're feeding her perception that you are as emotionally invested in her as she is in you.





Don't stick things out with Lyn. It would be a lie. Even if Amanda wasn't in the picture, you still don't want what Lyn wants and the fair thing to do is to cut her loose. Lyn would be hurt, but she will eventually get through it and over it and move on. It's best not to live a lie just to keep someone from not being hurt---the lie will end up destroying both of you and possibly innocent children. You need to love Lyn with so much conviction that you know like you know your name that she is the one you want to marry and have babies with and live the rest of your natural with with. You aren't there. You said as much up above.


I also wouldn't count on Amanda--you left her once to be free to do your own thing. Amanda may be blowing smoke up your trousers while she's away from her boyfriend, but when she gets back, he may be able to turn her mind into taking that trip with him to the other side of the country.


Your best bet is to be on your own right now and get your head straight. Stop leading Lyn on by making her think that there is a future with you when you know there isn't.

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Kendahke- thanks for the response. Not to disagree with you, but here's the latest:


Amanda told me upfront that she would be breaking up with her boyfriend for herself, not for me. I would be doing the same. Obviously there are underlying feelings such as; hey...if we're both single why not try again? I'm not counting on Amanda to do a 180 for me. I know if I break up with Lyn, its going to be b/c I need to do it for myself, not because I want to dive right back into a relationship with Amanda. Amanda and I both agreed that we would take things slow, if we were to both be in a position where we found ourselves single and near each other.


I suppose what I'm anxious about is breaking up with Lyn. We've intertwined our lives so much, and I know there's going to be a big black hole in me if I do break up with her. I know I can get through this, its just pulling the trigger. Every time we've almost broken up, I've essentially "chickened out" and apologized profusely, begged for forgiveness and tried to smooth things over.

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I would stop and take a breathe here. Not going to lie. What you are doing is strickly because Amanda is inviting something "new" and "different" into your life. Everyone wants to taste the forbidden fruit, its human nature but, you need to stop and think.


If you are 4 years into this relationship with Lyn, OF COURSE she is going to start thinking about marriage and kids and all of that stuff - most women start thinking about these kinds of things after a relationship hits 2 years btw. If you're not - stop dragging Lyn in the direction of something that isnt going to end up the way she is imagining it. I know there is a lot of things about you're lives that you have interwined but, the fall out is going to be so much worse if say this goes on for 2 more years and then if you decide to call it quits, a lot can happen in a short amount of time - god forbid a unplanned pregnancy happens or something along those lines and than what?


If you care so much about Lyn like you say you do, I'd let her go and allow her to be happy and find the person she is meant to be with and who is going to WANT to give her the things she wants like marriage and kids and all that.


Now, as for this Amanda - she is in the same boat you are, continplating leaving her relationship because you are "new" and "different" as well. What happens when she goes back and say "this was just something I needed to deal with, but I know want to stay with my bf". Obviously, you are going to be crush but, you have already tarnished your relationship with Lyn by all the things you were doing with Amanda that you think is "harmless" - fact here is, kissing, cuddling, sneeking around with another women when you are in a relationship is wrong PERIOD. Doesn't matter if you didnt have sex - its cheating and if you are already doing, you should end things with Lyn asap because no women deserves to have the man that says loves her go behind her back the way you did while this Amanda was visiting.

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First of all, I know what I was doing with Amanda. It was cheating, plain and simple. I don’t have an excuse for it other than it felt right in the moment. I wanted to spend time with her, and I did.


I do have an issue with your comment, specifically “the forbidden fruit.” I’ve been fighting with this feeling as well. Truthfully, I'm not entirely sure if what I’m feeling is actual, true, real feelings for this girl or if it’s mostly infatuation b/c 1) I havn’t seen her in a long time and/or 2) it’s been so long since I’ve been desired by someone else other than Lyn. My reasoning here is this: I broke up with Amanda in college not because our relationship was bad. We had a great relationship. I was stupid and did it because I knew we would not be living the same “lifestyle” for an extended period of time (I in college, she in grad school many hours away). I also wanted to be socially “free” for my last year or two. Yes, I wanted to chase other girls, be a college guy and not be tied down to anyone. I was essentially bored with dating a girl who was not directly embedded in my social group. I think this is normal, and while it’s an immature move - can you blame me?


While Amanda was upset after I broke up with her, we took some time off communicating (close to a year) but started pinging each other now and then. It was friendly, non-intrusive, easy. She was someone I had a genuine friendship with and I enjoyed catching up with her every once in awhile. From there, it evolved into where we are now. What I’m trying to say is that there was (and is) no bad blood between us.


So, to respond to your comment - yes there might be a bit of infatuation going on, but there’s a basis to that infatuation that I think could be something more. A basis that goes back over 5 years to a time when I know we were happy with one another.

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