Wants Her Ex Back

Q: I have an ex who lives a long way from me. I recently ended a relationship and one of the reasons was that I'm still in love with my ex. He and I have spoken about me coming to visit but it seems to go nowhere. We both can tell each other we love each other, but I want to see him now and I feel like he's hesitant. Should I back off completely or just tone it down? -- Wendy, 21

Dr. Susan: Whatever the reason that your ex is an "ex" is probably what's holding him back from being enthusiastic about seeing you now. Maybe he's got someone new by now. After all, you did. In which case he's just being "nice" by saying he loves you. It's often hard to tell what a guy means if he says one thing and seems to be acting in a way that's opposite that. He could be waiting to see how his new relationship, if he has one, works out before committing to seeing you again. Long-distance relationships are awfully difficult, even in the best of times.

So what I'd suggest is that you come right out and ask him. You have nothing to lose at this point. "Hey, you say you love me but when I talk about coming to see you, you seem hesitant. Are you? How come?" From his answer, you should be able to tell if it's time to tone down your communications or simply give up on him. If he's not open and forthright in his answer, you have to assume he's holding back for a reason. In that case, I wouldn't just show up on his doorstep. It could prove embarrassing to both of you.

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