I am in a long-term relationship, and love my boyfriend more than anything! I do not feel bored. We spend a lot of time together, and when we are apart we do our own thing (which is great). But for some reason, when I am alone, I end up calling my ex-boyfriend. We are friends but I know it is completely inappropriate. We still talk everyday (the days I am alone) secretly. We occasionally see one another. Although I am not doing anything "wrong" (no sex) I can't help but feel guilty. I try to keep myself busy but always end up in contact eventually. I do not want to be in a relationship with him…but something alluring keeps me in. I love the way he makes me feel, and his "bad boy, sexy vibe". I do not want to ruin my current relationship. What's happening to me?
Wow, totally tangled web! With a couple different boy-bugs caught up in it. Upon reading your query we scratched our heads and asked ourselves, why would you need to keep toying with the old boy if you're truly satisfied with the new? Maybe you have an insatiable appetite for men (we get that)? Or doting attention (we get that too)? It sounds like you're mostly just entertaining yourself with ex (like spending a half hour in Sephora playing with makeup cause you've got time before an appointment). But, there are hearts on the line, so it would behoove you to contemplate how you would feel if the tables were turned.
How would your own heart feel if your present boyfriend were secretly connecting with his ex whenever you weren't around? What if he had a quiet longing for her and wasn't quite satisfied with you? Would you be cool with it? Would you feel disrespected, diminished, hoodwinked? We aren’t saying you have to confess, we’re just saying to look at the situation through his eyes. How do you look? Is it possible that you’re trying to sabotage a good thing because on some level you don’t feel ready for or deserving of this present relationship?
Now we'd like to make a great big leap and ask a question of a different color... How is your relationship with yourself these days? Are you involved in career and hobbies that make you feel sexy/enthused/alive? Are you living on the edge of your own existence? Making brave professional connections? Taking bold creative risks? Is it possible that you're playing ring-around-the-rosy with your ex in order to procrastinate from the big badass life that is calling you? It seems you spend a lot of time with both of these boys. Buzzing from guy to guy is a very popular way to procrastinate moving forward on your path. In fact, we know women who have used men to avoid being accountable to any life purpose at all, then become quietly resentful when they end up with a lap full of babies and no chance to step up to their big dream. But since you are a Smitten reader, we doubt you want such a fate. We believe that you want to self-realize your way out of this web to a place where you don’t feel guilty and secretive.
In the spirit of Lent, we would like to offer up a 40-day challenge to you. Every time, for the next 40 days, that you want to reach out to your ex, instead reach into yourself. Yes, we know the urge is going to be very strong. Push it aside, get out your journal, and start taking notes on the things that could be really amazing to do with your life. Dream big and broad. When you’re tired of writing things in your journal, begin to put these ideas into action. Call someone you could interview on the topic. Reach out to a friend who might want to collaborate. Go to a specialized store and get supplies for a project. Research classes that could take your exploration and education to the next level. EVERY TIME you want that rush of attention from your ex, pour that energy into yourself. If all else fails clean your floors, organize an old box of junk, or sit in timed meditation. It’s just 40 days. We challenge you. PLEASE tell us how it goes!