Trying to get my ex-girlfriend back

My ex is dating another man but we have recently started talking again. I still have very strong feelings for her and she does for me as well. We have been hanging out behind his back and have been telling each other that we love each other and want to be with each other. She says that she should leave him because she is cheating on him with me but she hasn’t.

She says that he treats her great and that it is a good thing for her and she is afraid to give it up for something that might not be. (In the past I had a hard time telling the truth because I didn’t want to upset her or make her think less of me).

I am by no means a perfect man but I have pushed to improve myself to be more attentive and to not lie about anything. She told me the other day that she needs to be with me but then seems to continue to go back and forth. I have not been pushing her to decide because I know it is a big decision to make and I love her and want what’s best for her.

Last night I changed my Facebook picture to an old one of us and apparently someone she works with saw it and now she is worried someone will message her boyfriend about the picture I posted and she is mad at me and saying I took it too far.

She and I are not Facebook friends right now and we don’t have too many common friends so it was not my intention to put it out there to cause trouble for her relationship.

What should I do about this? I know I love this girl and I want to be with her, but all this back and forth is stressful on us both.

Am I taking things too far? Am I doing this wrong? What is my best course of action?

Response:

Sometimes it helps to take a step back and look at the big picture. You and your ex-girlfriend broke up and she is dating someone else. She is now spending time with you behind his back. She says her boyfriend treats her great, but she is also seeking attention from you.

Some people are needy when it comes to love – they need a lot of attention from their partners and from others as well (see anxious attachment). They often feel confused when they do this because it isn’t really about the people involved; it is about their need for attention.

When you were dating her, was she needy? You seem to suggest that when you say that you are working on being more attentive. The same goes for working on being more truthful. Anxious individuals often respond poorly to the truth so their partners often hide the truth from them. If this pattern fits your past relationship with her, then you should be cautious.

Putting pressure on her will only increase her anxiety. It won’t make her leave her current boyfriend and want to be with you. Take down the Facebook picture, take a close look at her behavior, and put your feelings of love aside. Would you really want to be in a romantic relationship with someone who acts like that? Probably not.

“Love” fools people into thinking they found the perfect person (see love). But, love does not make a relationship work in the long run. Try falling in love with someone who is healthy (see healthy relationships). You will save yourself a lot of drama in the long run.

 anxious attachment | troubled relationship

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