He wants to see his ex; should I be worried?

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Dear Guys,

What do you do if your new boyfriend tells you he needs to meet an ex-girlfriend to see if something is still there in order to move on with you?

He got a call from somebody he was with 12 years ago and it totally threw him off. He always wanted to be with this girl and it seems he never got over the fact that they didn’t have a chance to work out. She got married in the meantime. Has a kid. Her marriage didn’t work out and so now she’s reaching out to him. What I had/have with him is perfect! But we have only been dating for a month, although talking for three months. In addition, our relationship is long distance.

So what do you do? Do you allow him to go see her to figure out if something is still there, in order for this to be off the table for good? Or do you leave? Does he get to test the waters and then decide? I am so confused. I don’t know if I understand it or if I am just hurt beyond everything? Does he get to choose? Is it wise to put things on hold until he has figured it out? Is he a jerk for allowing her to have this power over his heart after 12 years and jeopardize what we are trying to start? What do you do in a situation like that? Do you get on a plane and fight for him or do you back up because there is nothing you can do about how he feels?

I want him and me to work out. I found out about this person by accident. He didn’t plan on telling me that he was going to see her. He was going to meet her and then either tell me or keep going with me. Should I give him the chance to figure it out or do I remove myself from the situation? If he felt the same way I feel for him, I wouldn’t jeopardize what we have started. I closed all the doors to the past after we started dating. Shouldn’t he have done that too? Why is she reaching out to him now? They had 12 years to figure out how to be together, they must love each other deeply. Not.

What is the chance of me losing him?


Dear Amy,

You’re in a tough spot.  We’re sorry. We’re sure it feels like a betrayal on several levels. One, that he’s still open to her and wants to see her. Two, he hasn’t realized that you’re the only woman for him. Three, that he wasn’t going to tell you. (How exactly did you find all this information out?)

What we can say is that this happens more than you might think, with one exception. That it’s all out in the open. That’s the biggest issue we have here. That he’s keeping this all a secret.

Let’s look at it from his perspective. You’ve only been dating a month, and since it’s long distance, you’ve maybe seen him once or twice for a few days. Is that about right? He may think you’re great on many levels, and may see potential for a serious relationship, but it’s unlikely he’s in love with you just yet. However, this other woman is someone he had a long relationship with. You don’t share the circumstances of their breakup but we imagine he was hurt in the process, which was likely compounded by her marriage and baby. You might say: How could he still be open to a person like that, someone who betrayed him? And we don’t have a great answer, except that he never got closure and he wants it now.

As per what you should do? Ideally, the two of you would have a discussion about it. He’d explain his reasons and you’d listen. Then you’d say you understand that he needs to do this, and although it’s hard for you because you care about him a lot, ultimately you support him and want him to be happy. You’d stress of course that ideally you’d want him to be happy and content with you, unencumbered by her, or the memory of her. After that, you’d to sit and wait. We know, not fun. But that’s the reality of the situation.

The question remains: What are you going to do? Are you going to talk to him? If so, he may accuse you of snooping or worse. That said, his reaction will tell you much. If he loses it, or breaks things off with you, then you know that the relationship wasn’t as solid as you imagined. Hopefully, he’ll understand and try to make you feel better about it.

What we wouldn’t do is try to impose your will and demand he not see her. That’s going to backfire.

Could you lose him?

Yes. It’s possible. One way to guarantee losing him is to make him feel guilty about his decision. The other way is that he decides he still loves her. But ask yourself. Do you really want to be with a guy who is pining for another woman? We doubt it.

Last note: Once again, the red-flag for us is his secrecy. If he ends up seeing her and realizing he wants to be with you, you still need to discuss how this all went down. Remember, you’ve got to be able to trust your partner, especially in a long-distance relationship. Without it, you have nothing.

Let us know if you have any follow-up questions or comments? And please share our site with your friends. Thanks!

All the best,



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20 Comments on He wants to see his ex; should I be worried?

  1. Thank you Guys for the quick response.
    I found out on facebook, i had a weird gut feeling and i asked him straight up who that person is.
    Things have been really weird the past week. We talk but its cold.
    I know he is probably going to see her this week. Just the thought of it is tearing me apart. I guess there is nothing i can do. He knows what i want, this is either gonna break us or make us. I possible will lose him, if i dont already have.
    I know that this whole situation destroyed a lot feelings on my end and trust.
    The waiting is killing me. I wish i never had said something then possibly there would have been a decision after he went there.
    I’m really upset and hurt. But thank you Guys for your response.

  2. @Amy……We’re sorry you’re in pain. This is hard. But we want to stress again. You’d be less hurt, and less upset if he had been open about it. If he had said, “Honey, I’m really sorry. I care for you a lot, but this is just something I need to do.” Or something like that. The fact that he hasn’t made this more of a “team” effort and that you’ve been left to wonder, is probably what’s the most upsetting. Hang in there. And keep us posted. If you need a distraction, make plans with friends, or keep yourself busy or visit our post: The Perfect Guy? and weigh in on the conversation. Take care.

  3. Hey guys,
    Sio i think he flew to see her. I can just feel it. He didnt say it, but i know. He sent me a picture of him in a car going to the airport i suppose. This is torture,. Just thinking he is gonna spend time with her is killing me. I have no idea how to survive the next days without losing my mind.
    I wish i had nevee found out.
    I sent him a picture of us we took a few weeks ago. Just saying what i missed. So that he sees it whenever he lands.this is tearing me apart.
    And who says that there will be a decision? What if he is even more confused. This is like organ damage, but from that you die. This pain could go on forever.
    Im trying to keep calm but i dont think i have ever been this tortured.
    I dont understand how he can send pictures, being on the way there. I told him… this is tough … his answer was… i know babe.
    Just giving you an update.
    Not sure whats gonna happen. But its out of my control. And thats the tough parr.

  4. @Amy….Yeah, it sounds really tough, especially since it’s out of your control. We’re not gonna try and soften it, but we do think you’ll have some answers upon his return. FYI: Not sure why he sent you the picture, but seems that you’re also on his mind, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although him sending you a pic is kind of a mix between completely insensitive and totally sensitive if that makes any sense. Hang in there. And yes, keep us posted and ask any follow-up questions when they come up.

  5. Its totally crazy. My heart is racing. I dont think he knows, that i know he is actually there.
    So do i just stay silent? Its not fair cause i wasnt physically present when he left. So do i just wait to hear from him and stay silent to not interrupt their time? Isnt that totally crazy?

  6. @Amy…..As much as you want to DO NOT interrupt their time together. Unfortunately you need to be the understanding girlfriend, even if you’re not feeling very understanding. That said, you don’t have to be the girlfriend who accepts everything. Meaning, the hope is, he comes back, he sits you down and the two of you have a heart-to-heart about his visit, your relationship and the present/future. If he doesn’t do that, or you’re forced to pull it out of him, that’s not a great sign. But for now, sit tight, or go run a marathon or something. Sorry, we’re just trying to loosen you up a bit. 🙂 Hang in there!!!

  7. Dear guys,
    I’ve been with my boyfriend for about 7 months now. He recently told me he still has feelings for his ex. They were together for 9 years and have 2 kids together. Other than me she was the only person he has been with. First love type thing. We talked the other day about him having feelings for her but they have not talked about getting back together (she also has a boyfriend). He told me he didnt know what he wanted anymore but he didnt wanna lose me. He has also said that I’ve treated him better than her. I literally spoil him rotten. He says he cares about me but he just isn’t over her. They split up 2 months before I came into the picture. We didnt break up but we havent talked for a few days cause I wanna give him his space to figure it out. I don’t wanna give up on him or our relationship. I need all the advice I can get. Should I give him time and space or is it a lost cause?

  8. @Britney……It’s too soon to tell, but no, it’s not a lost cause, and shouldn’t preemptively break up because he’s going through this. We’d advise you to be patient for now. But, a lot depends on what’s really going on. Meaning: If you were a rebound it’s possible he didn’t get enough time to grieve, which means he’s looking for closure, and he needs time to figure it out. However, on the flip side, he could be pining for her because he’s not in love with you. (Sorry to say that. We’re just trying to give the possible scenarios.) So what else does he say to you? Has he said he loves you? What is your relationship like? Has he talked a lot about her when he’s with you? And has he been in contact with her? (Probably because of the kids.) Does she feel the same way about him? Fill us in some more and we’ll get back to you. ps. We don’t tend to dig into the questions quite as much here in the comments but we’ll do our best. (We get much more in-depth with private questions.)

  9. Our relationship was pretty much perfect til a few weeks ago when he lost all effort. This was about the time he started school so I figured he was stressed out from that. He was the first one to say I love you and he said it often up until that point. He was everything I wanted in a guy. Sweet, caring, and very selfless. He doesnt talk about her to me other the occasional stuff that she didnt do for him that I do. They only talk as far as the kids that I’m aware of. She is also dating someone and he said that it’s not like they have talked about them getting back together or that anything is going on between them. He is just having these feelings and second guessing himself. He also told me that i was not a rebound. That all the feelings he had for me were real and that he still really cares about me. As far as ik she doesnt know that he is feeling this way but he did say that they still care for each other which I can understand. I feel like it didnt work out and they were both miserable so why waste more time and be unhappy when he had the perfect opportunity to be with someone who would give him the world and love and appreciate him like he should be.

  10. @Britney….It sounds like you have a loving relationship. We’d advise you to stick it out. Try to be patient, understanding and give him some space to figure this out. That said, in your mind, give it a timeline. Meaning, this can’t go on in perpetuity. If he needs a month or so to figure this out, fine, but if it goes on too long you’re just going to grow resentful. Also, remember. If he finally he decides he is over her and wants to be with you make sure it’s for the right reasons. The last thing you want is a guy who never gets over his ex. (It happens.) You want him to think he’s hit the lottery being with you. Finally: We think he needs to talk to her and express his feelings. They need to talk this out. Maybe she’ll talk some sense into him. You might say, well what if they get back together? Yes, it could happen. But if it does, you’ll know that even if things were great between you, he wasn’t the one.

  11. He did hit the lottery with and before this happened he always said he never as loved as the way i love him. I do umderstand they have a lot of history and he has told me that he has never been through a break up before so he doesn’t know how to handle it or what the right thing is to do. He also told me that he thought since he found someonw as special as me that the feelings he has for her would go away but they didnt. He has always talkes about the future he would have with me. Even considered giving me a key to his place. I don’t wanna give up because i know i can make him happy. Even his friends have said the past 7 months he has been the happiest he has ever been in a long time. But thank you for all your input. I’m gonna hold on and pray he realizes what he would be missing out on.

  12. @Britney…..One other thought……you know it’s okay for him to have a special place in his heart for her. It’s kind of normal. First love. (Right?) Mother to his children. They met when he was young. However, that feeling should be more of a warm, fuzzy feeling, rather than a strong, hot feeling. (That should be reserved for you.) We’ll be thinking of you. Keep us posted. And please let your friends know about us. (Like our Facebook page) Also…. We’d love to hear your thoughts on The Perfect Guy?

  13. Hey guys,
    So heres an update. He came back. I didnt contact him the entire time. Guess what, he tried to flip the skript. He was hurt?!? Because i didnt get in touch. The end of the story, i had to ask him to talk to me about the outcome of the trip. He was very weird, asked me what i wanted to hear. Well the good thing is, it didnt work. He got his closure. But he seemed hurt about it. On one side im glad its out of the way,, i dont ever have to deal with that person again. But i didnt imagine him to act this way. I expected him to be sorry and all that. I lost 6 pounds in the past week and i almost lost my mind. I hung up with him, feeling he didnt want to talk. I will give him the space. But what does that do to my feelings? Do i want to be with a selfish person like that. Will he put me through all that again? I have to reevaluate my feelings. A lot got lost on the way. Its less than two weeks and i will see him. I guess we will have to figure things out in person, face to face. He might be confused. But so am i. Im relieved i didnt lose him to that chick, but what happens next is going to be my decision.
    Thank you guys for the advice, not talking to him and waiting it out almost killed me and it was the hardest part. But sometimes thats all you can do.
    Should i have not said anything in the first place? Probably so, for the peace of my mind. Sometimes its better not to know everything. But it all happens for a reason.
    If he had went there and they both wouldve been in love, there wouldve been nothing i can do. What can you do about feelings?
    Im hurt and it will take me a while to trust again. He seems like we can snap back to normal like this. I sttill think this is going to make us or break us, but after he done this … i am going to sit back and watch what he does to make this work. I need to recover from the past two weeks.

  14. @Amy……Well, at least that part of it is done. Wow. Six pounds is a lot to lose in such a short time! Hope you’re back to eating, and eating healthy. 🙂 As you gather yourself for his visit, are you coming up with a game plan? Questions? Concerns? Or are you going to let it unfold and take his lead? Even though his trip and your relationship are related in some ways, in others they are not. He went to see her and something didn’t work out. That is separate from your relationship. Meaning, is he coming back to you with an open heart, free from that burden, and thrilled to have you in his life? Or is he coming back wounded, wishing it would have worked out with her? Now of course, it may not be that black and white. Like we said before, wanting closure with an ex is understandable. But you’re right. He needs to show you that you can trust him emotionally. Last note: However, there’s a balance here. You can’t be completely guarded. You have to still try and understand where he’s coming from. We know it’s hard, but sounds like you’re in a stronger place and have taken back some of the control, which we’re sure feels good. Keep us posted. And good luck and take care.

  15. Hey guys,
    It doesnt feel like hey coming back thrilled and excited. He seems distant and hurt. Does he regret wasting his time? Is he disappointed and hurt it didnt work out? It seems like it, he wasnt very talkative. Which bothers me. I should be cold and distant not him. Im just relieved that i dont have to deal with her and for whatever reason it didnt work out. But at the same time it doesnt mean that he will be open to work things through with me. I think i can only wait see him in person and go from there. I dont want to know what happened there. Im just glad the situation him being there is over. He is sending mixed messages right now. Im confused. I cant trust him. I guess i will have to give it time. Should i play the cold one… my feelings overall have not changed. Otherwise i wouldnt have dealt with all this crap. Im feeling better, but not good either.
    Thank you guys for all the great advice!

  16. @Amy…..Seems like you’re playing it the right way. Look, you still care for him a ton so you have to give him a chance to regain your trust and hopefully explain to you what’s going on with him. And it seems like he still needs to lead for now. Keep us posted and good luck when you see him.

  17. Hey guys, so heres the outcome of my trip. I went, we got to spend time together. And the effort was coming from him more than me. He had a lot going on while i was there, his life is chaotic, hes making major changes. He quit his company and decided ti move off the grid. As for our relationship, the answer is he doesnt know. We had an enjoyable time together, but of course the elephant (her) was always in the room. He is going to meet up with her again. I left with an okay feeling, knowing thar if he was in love with me he will come after me. But i would lie if i would say that after 48 hours I already miss him terribly. I dont know what is going to happen. I havent heard from him. And i will just have to move on. I have done everything possible there is nothing thats left to do. Im confused, because his actions (spending time, taking me out etc) and his words dont match. If he had such a great time with her, which he told my friend he did not, the trip was awful, why is he still unsure? Why would he invest time money and feelings in me and him. It all doesnt make sense. His ex still doesnt know about the situation. And i could easily reach out to her. But i dont want to get on that level. If he wants her, then he should decide. I cant understand that he just doesnt know. Does he want the cake and eat it too? I know as much as before my trip. The only thing that has changed is, i built even more memories with him but i also learned about his flaws. And i know he is not perfect.
    We had a really good time and when we argued then it was just about her. So what can I do. I will remove myself from this race. And trust that if he loves me or is in love with me that he will come for me and fight for me. I dont have any other option. Its really hard to let go.

  18. @Amy……It sounds like the trip was a success in some ways. Meaning, you had a good time and you learned more about the situation and about him. We know you really care about this guy, but honestly, he seems pretty caught up in his ex….waiting for her to make up her mind. Meaning, if she wants him back it seems that he’ll go to her. If she doesn’t, he’ll come to you. (At least that’s how it seems.) We are sorry. This sounds really hard. But keep in mind, if he does come back, make sure he’s not coming back just because she doesn’t want him, or he feels lonely. Like you said, he’ll need to earn your trust and show you how much he loves you. You hang in there and keep us posted.

  19. Ok so guys, I want to thank you so much for your advice! The rekationship is over. And I’m glad! I haven’t felt any better! The nightmare is finally over..
    If I have learned one thing, you cannot trust anybody, not after 2 months not after a year. You just can’t. I ended up texting the chick. And it turned out, when he dropped me off at the airport, he picked her up the same day. He flew her in. How disrespectful!
    She wrote me a book and she is as crazy as he is. They deserve eachother. I should’ve walked away when he first said he needed to know. I wasted my time and held on to something that was a big lie.
    So my advice now to anybody in this situation ever. Leave! If he’s doubting the relationship in any kind of way. Get the f… out. Nobody is worth being treated like that!
    As for me, I’m done. I don’t want to date anybody, I’m not gonna allow anybody ito get close to me for a long time. And its fine!
    So once again! Thank you guys for all rhe advice!

  20. @Amy….We are sorry. But we’re happy that you’re feeling relieved. It must feel good to not be in limbo anymore. Thanks for letting us know. We wish you all the best. Let us know if we can help in the future. And please let your friends know about us. Thanks.

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