Facing a problem with your life, your sexuality, relationship, family et cetera? Write in to our advice columnist, Ling, with your problem. All emails are confidential and your anonymity will be preserved.
I have been in a relationship of 2 years with another woman. She is a great woman, and I love being with her. However, before I met my current girlfriend, I was in a relationship with a woman for 4 years – and I was completely in love with her, and I saw myself spending the rest of my life with her. Our relationship ended because she had to move to Canada for work, and there wasn’t much chance she was going to come back, or me being able to move there with her, due to reasons like family and work.
After that, I met my current girlfriend, made myself move on and make a new life. However, I have never stopped loving my ex, and I still feel that I could spend my life with her. I love my current partner, but I don’t see us settling down long-term.
Recently, my ex returned from Canada for good. And we have been meeting up for coffee, and feeling the old feelings return. I have not cheated on my partner, and I will not, but I am thinking of leaving her. But she’s such a wonderful woman, and I don’t want to hurt her. But at the same time, I know I am in love with my ex, and will always be.
What should I do?
The fact that you are thinking of leaving your current partner shows that you are already convinced the relationship is not going to last. In addition, you seem to be quite adamant that you will always be in love with your ex. In such a scenario, I would advise you to sit down with your girlfriend and explain the situation to her.
Discuss this with your girlfriend and be very honest with her. You need to make sure she understands the history between you and your ex. Do not start by telling her you want to break up. Instead, share with her what you have been feeling and how you are currently in conflict with yourself. By being open about it with your girlfriend, you will be respecting your relationship with her and giving her a chance to allow her to understand how you feel. The aim of this conversation should be to ensure an open communication exists between you and her so that you can work together to resolve the problem. Keep in mind that she is your girlfriend, not your ex. The reason why you are thinking of leaving her may not be because of your ex, but rather due to an underlying problem in your current relationship.
Most people would not even think about feelings for other people unless there is something fundamentally wrong with their current relationship. From what you have stated, your problem stems from the fact that you could envision a life together with your ex, but are unable to see it with your current partner. Therefore, it is important to tackle this problem together with your girlfriend and see if you are able to resolve it. You both need to agree on whether the relationship should continue before being able to take any further steps to save it.
As for your ex, the feelings may have returned for you, but that may just be due to the familiarity of your 4 years together. Time can change people and she is no longer the same person you were in love with. She may not feel the same way as you do and you may just be in love with the past. For this period of time, you should not allow your meetings with her to mean more than just having coffee with a friend. Remember, as long as you are still in a relationship, any action by either of you will render you a cheater and her the third party
You have already stated that your girlfriend is a wonderful woman. Should you continue this charade, you will end up hurting her deeply. At the same time, you will hurt your ex by getting her involved as a third party. It is important for you to be fair to both ladies and not allow this to escalate. Therefore, you should plan to speak to your girlfriend as soon as possible.
A successful relationship is built on good communication and trust. By doing the right thing, whether you continue with your current relationship or start afresh with your ex, you will have built the basic foundation for a strong relationship.
Good luck in working things out.