Saying Good-Bye to Hook-up Pal
Q: I've had an on-again, off-again relationship with someone for nearly a decade. I think we realize we're not right for each other, but we have an intense chemistry and deep understanding. We often hook up when we both find ourselves single. We fell out of touch most recently several months ago when I first met the love of my life. I recently got engaged and I can't shake the feeling that I need to tell my ex-lover. We had joked over the years that we'd someday wind up together and I don't want her to be hurt or surprised to hear the news from someone else. Do I say anything and, if so, what? --Ben, 35
Dr. Susan: Sure, it's only good manners to let your old friend/hook-up know you've found a lasting love and are engaged. You and she have shared some good times and helped one another fill some lonely hours, but now that's over. Her reaction isn't up to you. I wouldn't recommend doing this in person, as your current girlfriend would probably be uncomfortable with that. You're planning to let your girlfriend know about this history, right? In fact, why don't you talk over with your soon-to-be wife how to handle the situation. What happened before you met her is one thing; what you do now affects your mutual future.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.