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Is Love Really Infinite?


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Hello everyone. I really hope someone can help me clear my head on this topic, because I have been sabotaging my own relationship lately.



I am 24, boyfriend is also 24. I just got out of a 6.5 year relationship and entered into my current relationship shortly after. This may seem quick to some, but the love was gone from my old relationship for quite a long time (being as he was my first boyfriend, I did not recognize that/was scared to end it). My relationship ended very badly, and my unstable ex refuses to talk to me to this day. I wish we could have remained friends and miss friendly contact with him.


Boyfriend had a relationship before ours for 4 years, she cheated on him, they dated a bit more, broke up. She has major anxiety problems and other mental health issues(similar to my ex). Even after the relationship ended, they kept in close contact. He would give her rides to work every day for another year until she moved to a different state (which happened right when he and I got serious). So for them, it’s only been about 4 months of not seeing each other regularly.


The Situation:

My boyfriend and his ex talk probably 5/7 days a week(sometimes more, sometimes less) over facebook messanger. He told me they don’t talk over the phone. This is something that I did not have a problem with at first…I started to get really curious about what they were talking about though. When I asked my boyfriend what they spoke about he’d usually say stuff like “pokemon, memes, video games” etc. These answers were too vague for me.


In my past relationship, my ex told me one day (while under the influence) “I want to have sex with ___, because she’s prettier than you!” This lead to me snooping on his facebook messanger all the time and getting extremely upset at the conversations I’d read between him and this other girl. So my past is kind of interfering with my future here.


So I knew he left his facebook open on his computer so I figured “hey I’ll just read what they talk about and if it’s nothing bad then I have nothing to worry about”. I scrolled through quite a few days worth of convos. Most of it was normal..the stuff he told me they talk about. Then of course I see “I miss you” from him to his ex.

She agrees. He says “I’m happy with my current situation..” “I just wish I could have you both, but I can’t.” “I felt so passionately about you. I don’t know if I’ll be able to feel that way again.”

She says “We just love each other and that’s not hurting anything so whatever”

Then they go back to talking about regular stuff.


I was so heart broken, I still am recalling everything that was said. I couldn’t believe he would say this stuff to another girl. I confronted him when he came home. I owned up to snooping, apologized, and told him I didn’t want to be second best AGAIN to some other person. He reassured me that I wasn’t second best.

He explained that the passionate part was about being naive when they were dating, and that now he has to look at relationships from a critical point of view because she cheated on him. Which I told him, “No..that’s not what you said. What you said to her was about passion and you said you won’t ever feel passion towards anyone else basically”. He stuck to his story of that he didn’t mean he won’t feel passionately about me.

He told me “I don’t want her in the same way I want you. It’s different. Even if I were single today, I wouldn’t be with her.”

The conversation ended with him telling me he doesn’t mind I looked, he would make an effort to always keep me informed of their conversations, etc.


I have done so much googling about this..My feelings are extremely hurt and I have brought up his ex almost every day to him since (it’s been about 5 days), and I can tell it is wearing on his nerves, but he’s trying to be nice. I have been trying to work out with him ways that I can be okay with him talking to his ex, things he can do. I have read websites that say “nope he’s not over her, break up” and websites that say “love is infinite, just because he has feelings for an ex, doesn’t diminish his feelings for you” (the latter being what he’s told me).


So please…I need advice. I’m not really asking if I should break up with him…more so opinions on the situation. Thank you.

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To be honest he handled it well including forgiving snooping, reassuring you and offering to be more transparent. You do need to talk about boundaries with exes. Leave past relationships in the past. It was foolish of him to talk to his ex that way. It's really up to you to decide if this is a deal-breaker or you want to get past this.

He reassured me that I wasn’t second best. He told me “I don’t want her in the same way I want you. It’s different. Even if I were single today, I wouldn’t be with her.”The conversation ended with him telling me he doesn’t mind I looked, he would make an effort to always keep me informed of their conversations, etc.
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You entered into a relationship with someone who has not fully ended the last one, bottom line. It's not normal for exes to be friends, even less normal for them to talk daily.


I'm sorry, but they are not done with each other no matter what he tells you. And he should not have been running around looking for someone to be a substitute to her, which yes that is what you are. It's up to you if you want to stay, you aren't second best anything, but he is definitely not over her and appears to have no intention of being so.


Up to you if you stay, I've been in your shoes, I eventually chose to end things and find someone who could 100 percent be with me and no one else, because I don't do triangles.


P.S. I am married to a guy who is friends with one of his exes. They talk maybe once or twice every few months, she and I actually spend more time together now than she and he ever did. So friendship between exes can happen, but that's not what you're describing here.

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Yes, his reaction to me reading his messages was very kind. He's a very, very level headed guy which is so refreshing after my past relationship.

I do not want this to be a deal-breaker. I want my mind to move past this (part of the reason why I'm posting). When I'm not thinking about his ex, we have a great time. He's been very sweet lately, telling me randomly how I am irreplaceable, how I mean so much to him, etc. But then quotes from their conversation will just pop back into my head and I'll get very bitter and angry.

I feel like I am sabotaging our relationship by pushing him away in these moments.


We have spoke about boundaries. They still call each other pet names. I told him this makes me uncomfortable, and asked him to set boundaries and have a conversation with her about boundaries. It does not seem like he wants to call her by her real name, claiming that the "pet name" means nothing other than being a nickname. But he at least changed the petname back to her regular name on messenger after I told him it bothered me to see it pop up on his phone. He says he will make an effort to address her by her real name, but he did not sound convinced. He doesn't see it as a problem, and I feel bad for asking him to change something he doesn't want to. Especially if it really doesn't mean anything.


It's not normal for exes to be friends, even less normal for them to talk daily.


I've definitely heard the opposite. I have seen people say "Stay away from a man who hates his exes". I wish I could be friends with my ex. I do not think it is as taboo as you claim. I tells me he is over her, but still cares for her a lot because they were together for so long. I agree that neither of them is over the other, but they know being together romantically doesn't work.

I was thinking that maybe because it's only been really 4 months since ACTUALLY not seeing each other that could be contributing. Like they never gave each other time to be apart..They just dated, and then went to being "friends". There wasn't much of a break, maybe like a month, of actually no contact, no relationship.

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I'm not buying his story, but more importantly anyone who is still actively involved with an ex is not relationship material, (imo). In any event it seems as if you're in a rebound relationship, and heartbreak is more than likely right around the corner.


Be careful not to sell yourself short by making excuses for him.

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Do you think asking him to stop talking to his ex would be too much? Because I know EXs can be friends. I also don't want to be this crazy controlling girlfriend. Currently, I do not buy the story either, that is why I am having such a hard time moving past this. In my heart, I want them to stop talking. My head is telling me that is unrealistic and unfair.


Again, I've seen advice along the lines of "You can never stop loving someone. If they were with someone for a long time, they will never stop loving them. It does not mean they are not 100 for you, because love is not finite."

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Yes they should stop talking with pet names etc. I would ask him point blank where do you see us right now? Keep the focus on the integrity of your relationship. Love ceases all the me, so don't put too much stock in syrupy internet platitudes.

I also don't want to be this crazy controlling girlfriend. In my heart, I want them to stop talking. My head is telling me that is unrealistic and unfair
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I also don't want to be this crazy controlling girlfriend.


Seriously, everyone needs to dump this cliché. There is a giant difference between "controlling" - which means you tell him how to dress, when to get up, where he can or can't go, and you have a meltdown when the old lady at the supermarket smiles at him, convinced he's having an affair. Oh, and controlling people have zero issues with being controlling, in fact they think it's their god-given right. So no, you are hardly ever going to be controlling. But this kind of relationship WILL make you feel crazy.


And then there's having boundaries and respect for yourself where you are not with someone who has one foot in with you, and the other foot still firmly attached to an ex.


Take step back for a moment objectively and ask yourself, "If I didn't know this guy, was not invested in him at all, would I be able to look at him and the way he acts with his ex and think they really are just friends? Or would it be something more."


Would you have gotten involved with him, would you even have dated him at the very beginning if he'd told you all of these things right off the bat? "I talk with my ex daily, I call her by her pet name, we talk about the passion between us still, so won't you go out with me?"


I would hope you have more respect for yourself. And I have done the whole "Well, he's with me now, I don't want to interfere, etc." And the fact of the matter was my self-esteem and respect dwindled. This kind of relationship is very stressful, you will be more and more unhappy with it, and there really is no answer for "how do I make myself be okay when someone else doesn't have boundaries with an ex."


The only real solution and advice I can give you is if it's not something you would do to your partner then why would you tolerate them doing it to you?

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Thank you for you insight.


I sent him this message (because I couldn't wait till he got off work..I'm too worked up).


i hate that i feel like i'm wearing down your patience..that eventually you'll get sick of this and end it or resent me. that i'm being the "crazy girlfriend". but in my heart, I know i'm not being unreasonable. I wasn't the one messaging jake about how I wanted him still.

I feel like your relationship with her is harmful to our relationship and you need to cut back and make some decisions about what is more important to you. it's not all in my head...i know you're not over her. Ex's can be friends, but friends don't need to share passionate messages about the love they have for each other. I want you to have a serious talk with her about boundaries and where you guys stand..make it clear that you can't have conversations like you had the other day. that you BOTH need to move on. Objectively from my point of view, she is using you as a crutch it seems. someone who is always there to talk and make her feel better. she used you for rides after you guys broke up. she ing cheated on you and you still say to this day you love her(as a friend or otherwise). it's only been 4 months since you guys stopped seeing each other every day basically.

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It sounds like he is not over her. You don't want to be led on further. Tell him to respect your wishes of ceasing all communication with her. Basically what you are doing is seeing if he can even do that, if he can't then you know this will just lead to heartbreak.


It's not normal for him to be in this much contact and saying things such as passion and missing her.


If I did that to my current boyfriend about my ex, you bet he would be out of here!


It's not okay to keep close with an ex lover on his part. He can make as many excuses. It's just not fair to you.

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Do you think asking him to stop talking to his ex would be too much? Because I know EXs can be friends. I also don't want to be this crazy controlling girlfriend. Currently, I do not buy the story either, that is why I am having such a hard time moving past this. In my heart, I want them to stop talking. My head is telling me that is unrealistic and unfair.


Again, I've seen advice along the lines of "You can never stop loving someone. If they were with someone for a long time, they will never stop loving them. It does not mean they are not 100 for you, because love is not finite."


He's an adult who knows right from wrong, therefore asking him to stop talking to her would be pointless, and why should you have to police him like he's a child? If his heart were truly with you he wouldn't give her a second thought, never mind telling her "he misses her", and "wishes he could have you both."


It's your call, but it may become very tiring having to be continuously looking over your shoulder, as opposed to being in a secure and healthy relationship.

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Once the door to romance has been opened it can never be closed again. You can lie to yourself or others, you can pretend there are no feelings there, but if there were really no feelings wouldn't he be willing to stop the communication with her altogether? If you ask him to stop, he'll probably say yes to keep you happy. And then proceed to talk to her more secretly than before.


I tried the friend thing with an ex. For two years we talked about normal everyday things, not a single "I miss you" or "I love you" exchanged. At the end of it we both confessed that we were still deeply in love, but were suppressing the expression of those feelings to avoid complications. So that's how my "friendship" with an ex went.


Maybe your boyfriend is the exception, but I suspect he is deep in the grip of self-deception. You can join him in his delusion, or you can admit to yourself the hard truth: he's not over her, and he's not going to be over her anytime soon (if ever) -- especially since they are talking every day! The fact that he lied about the very, very obvious meaning of his words is further proof that he is hiding something more potent than you realize.


Love may be infinite, but there's a reason monogamy is the standard practice throughout most of the civilized world: the alternative hurts like hell.

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He's not over her, OP. Not by a long shot.


There is big difference between being friendly with an ex, and talking all the time and telling her he misses her and wants both of you.

His excuse is laughable, sorry.


They have not yet detached and they're not ready to move on. You shouldn't need to ask your boyfriend not to have these sorts of conversations with an ex. That should be a given. The fact that it's not spells trouble, and you most certainly don't need to force yourself to be okay with it.

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Whew, I applaud your standing up for yourself. Yes, you should draw those boundaries, you should lay it out on the table.


Now, keep us updated on where it goes. Keep in mind always OP, that you matter too in a relationship. A relationship where only one of you has a voice is not a relationship, not one worth keeping.


And I know it's hard and sometimes people are going to say, "Well, if you won't do it all my way then there's the door," and I'm going to tell you from very hard won experience that if they do that they've saved you enormous amounts of time and heartache.


I hope it all goes well for you and that you decide it's okay to speak up and want and demand the relationship you want as well, and if someone cannot or will not give that to you, to move on and find someone who will. You deserve to be number one.

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There are some people who CAN be friends with an ex, and that's all there is to it, but not after only four months since they effectively stopped dating and when they still talk every day.


Your boyfriend is in a very happy situation for HIM, and he probably won't want to rock the boat. He's got two half-relationships, with an emotional connection with her - but without all the hassle of being with someone who's demanding and unstable - and a day-to-day practical/sexual one with you. I'm also guessing, given the way you're tying yourself in knots trying to see his point of view, that you're much easier to be with than she is. Having two half-relationships is very handy for someone who's bat**** terrified of really committing themselves to anyone.


However, as you're becoming increasingly aware, it's at a terrible cost to your self-esteem. It's also very difficult, facing up to the fact that you will probably have to leave someone you're very attached to, and it isn't something you're going to do lightly.


In your situation, I'd go further than confronting him with his denial and requesting that he set boundaries with her (he's unlikely to), and actually explain to him that you respect his need to stay in touch with her, and his feelings for her - but that he won't be processing all this in your time and at your expense. You are a rebound, and likely to get very hurt in all this; it's all damage limitation now, and the sooner you leave this love-lorn guy behind, the sooner you can start your healing. This one isn't going to go away any time soon, and nor are your feelings of heartache.

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Thank you for the responses, although some of them are a bit hard to read and are being taken with a grain of salt (because, although it may be unadvisable, I am trying to take his word over opinions of people who do not know him).


Since posting, I have spoken to him often...bringing up any concern or thought I had on the matter. He has been very patient and reassuring. I am beginning to feel better.


He agreed that their conversations need to be cut down, that he can see how their friendship would be harmful and hurtful to me. He said he can see my point of view and wants to do whatever he can to make me happy, says this is the happiest he has ever been, etc, etc. He told me "I never thought about this hurting you, because I know my intentions. I know I want to be with you and only think about you." to which I kind of roll my eyes at, because of what he said to her (about wanting us both).

He says that he is over his ex in a romantic way and would not want to be back with her even if they were both single. He says they broke up for a reason, and he knows it would never work out between them.


He agreed to have a conversation with her about what he believes is acceptable in their relationship/boundaries/not using him as an emotional crutch. I also asked him to talk about how it's not really fair to HER boyfriend either that she's talking to her ex so often, to which he agreed. Letting her know that he will not be engaging her in conversations much anymore. He told me that he thinks she's making friends (she just moved) and that will help her not message him as much.


We were together most of the weekend, and I did not hear his phone ding once with a message from her. I asked him if they spoke at all recently and he said "She sent me a song when I was at work that I haven't listened to."

I voiced to him that I am slightly paranoid that he will just hide it from me now that I am upset over her. That he just silenced her messages so I wouldn't know they are talking. This type of thinking makes me feel really bad, because it's not based on his actions at all, just my own paranoia.

He assured me they haven't spoken at all the past day and he would not lie to me like that.


He has yet to speak with her regarding the whole thing, but he promises that he will. I am assuming he doesn't really want to do it while at work and also doesn't want to just bring it up randomly after they haven't even spoken for a few days. If I find out he has been talking to her WITHOUT having "the talk" about boundaries and such, I will be very upset and truly contemplate whether this relationship is worth the effort.


I know it is easy for others to look at 4 months and say "girl forget about him", but he really does seem like such a good match for me. We really enjoy each others company and get along very well. He can handle me when I'm being a sh*t, and I can tell him exactly whats on my mind without fear of causing an argument. My past relationship lasted 6.5 years and the guy I was with was only about half as good as what I have now. These are reasons why I'm struggling to just cut my loses, because I do not feel like I have lost anything. I think breaking up with him would be based on assumptions(that he values his ex over me - which he as told me over and over he does not) and I would regret it later.

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Okay here is another update. I would still appreciate opinions. Especially because a lot of the general consensus was "he's not over her, leave him", and I think his actions are proving that wrong as of late.

Last night, I asked him if it's really true that he hasn't spoken to her in a few days. He showed me his phone/messages between them and the last message was sent by her on Saturday (about her new furniture at her and her boyfriend's apt) and he didn't reply to it.

It also looked like he didn't reply to the text sent before that either which looked like it was sent Friday.


I am still waiting on him to speak with her, but i'm feeling increasingly silly asking him to talk to her about boundaries when it seems like they don't even talk as much as I thought they did. Maybe he has just recently cut back though because of this whole situation.

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I'm sorry to say this, because it may be what you don't want to hear, but I think part of this is from you moving too quickly into a new relationship. In retrospect you say the "l ove was gone from my old relationship for quite a long time" and you didn't recognize it, were scared to end it and it ended very badly. The reality was that you were together, love or not, and did not have much time after it ended to process it, heal from it, gain perspective from it. I believe that takes time and distance and probably effort. Consequently you are needing reassurance in this one, rather than trusting yourself, understanding yourself, knowing your boundaries. And you are also rewording what he said to her, making it worse for you (making " don’t know if I’ll be able to feel that way again" into " you said you won’t ever feel passion towards anyone else"). It is fine to have boundaries, but be careful about twisting his words and beating him over the head with them and expect to be happy.


I wouldn't make this about Love being infinite. Love can be big that way, but it does not equate with compatibility, respect, boundaries. The latter affect the here and now, this finite physical life where we make choices and decide how we live our lives. Keep your feet on the ground, remember to breathe, and if you work on trust issues, make sure you trust yourself first and foremost. And if you have to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, it goes first to you, since you will live with yourself always and learn the most that way.

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Thank you for this reply, and I'm honestly surprised it did not come sooner.

I do not feel like I needed much time after my breakup to heal and process. I have been reflecting on it and feel as though I have gained all I can from the relationship/breakup. Being with someone for that long as shown me things that I want, and don't want in a person. I do not regret being with someone shortly after ending it. I feel like these insecurities would have came up regardless of if I had waited to begin the relationship I am in now, or not.


I agree with your statement about me twisting his words. What he said, especially if he is being honest about his intended message behind the words, is not as bad as I'm making it in my head. He has said that he wished he would have just talked to me about how the cheating in his past affected him instead of trying to figure out if it was worth bringing up. I feel like any issue, big or small, is worth bringing up.


I guess I titled this the way I did to get opinions about if people think it's okay that he has love for his ex and me. The love he has for her is not romanic, "i'm going to leave my girlfriend for you" kind of love. But it is still hard to read or hear about feelings your boyfriend has for an ex, regardless of if they are "friendship" feelings. Especially when I do not understand those feelings. I do not have any feelings for my ex beyond "oh I wish I could talk to you about this thing because you're my only friend who would understand it, but I can't so oh well."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Swevelery,


Thanks for your sharing.

If the relationship was over, but why did you have kept contact with him by looking his activities?

Do you want to restart something or not with him? Are you in the doubt?

In my opinion, if that's touch your mood I don't think it's a good idea to be friend with your ex : after you make what you want.

First think about yourself ;-)

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