Lesbianing with AE! You’re in Love, but She’s Not Over Her Ex

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Dear Lindsey,

I think I’m in love, but the person I’m in love with isn’t over her ex.

I’m normally a very guarded person, and it takes me a long time to decide whether I want to commit to someone or not. I met this woman recently, and we’re ridiculously compatible. I want to be around her all the time, and I can see us getting more serious. I used to make fun of my friends for moving so fast in their relationships, but I’m starting to get it.

I’ve had my heart shattered before, but I’ve completely moved on from my previous relationships. I’m in a very happy, stable place. This woman, let’s call her Tasha, had her heart broken recently. She’s still deeply affected by what her ex did to her. Although she assures me I’m not a rebound and she really likes me too, I feel like I should still proceed cautiously. The last time we went out together she saw her ex at the bar (it was the first time seeing her in person for several months), and she became very upset. She drank too much and spilled about their past. She said she might get back together with her if her ex asked. Her ex is engaged (she got engaged to the next woman very quickly), so that’s unlikely, but it still hurt to hear.

And get this! After I brought Tasha home, between profuse apologies for her behavior, she told me she might be falling in love with me right before she fell asleep. What the hell?! It was an emotional night. She doesn’t remember that part of the conversation. 

We’re clearly in different places, and it sucks! I’ve never fallen for someone this fast and hard. My friends worry I’m just setting myself up for disappointment. How can I know whether this is worth sticking out? I want it to be worth it, but I also don’t want to be a foolish idiot completely blinded by infatuation. Help me.

Sincerely,

little fool

P.S.

Cupid is a heartless BITCH

Hey Little Fool,

Rebound relationships can work – psychology actually says people who move on after a relationship ends may be emotionally healthier than those who take months or years to find someone new.

That said, if Tasha is in love with her ex and admitted she would go back if she was asked, it doesn’t seem like she is in a space where she can attempt to stick that rebound.

The fact that she told you “this isn’t a rebound thing” suggests that she’s telling herself that — that she is trying to show up and open up to love — but that she knows she’s got unresolved stuff from the breakup.

The fact that she told you “this isn’t a rebound thing” suggests that she’s telling herself that — that she is trying to show up and open up to love — but that she knows she’s got unresolved stuff from the breakup.

She got wasted at the bar after seeing her ex because she was too emotionally fragile to be present in the moment with the ex.

Her drunk admission of “I might be falling for you” should have you rethinking where this is going. It’s a major red flag.

Yes, I know that’s not what you want to hear – but how available is someone who would just as soon go back to their ex as move forward with you? She’s talking out of both sides of her mouth here, and she’s chasing LOVE — the drug, the feeling, the secure state of being attached — as the balm for her wounds. You happen to be the vehicle for the love at the moment. As well as the substitute for that engaged ex.

That might be a part of her urge to connect with you. If she isn’t over her ex and her ex has so clearly moved on as to be engaged — whether that’s a healthy and fulfilling relationship, you or I can’t say — then she might feel the need to shack up emotionally by falling for someone new. This of course, in Tasha’s mind, makes the ex super jealous and soothes her wounds.

Rather than be caught up in her verbal promises, you need to watch what Tasha does. She may be telling you she cares for you, but if she’s acting in self-destructive ways out of emotional distress, that tells you all you need to know about how ready she is to be a real partner. She may be whispering sweet nothings in your ear but if she’s openly courting her ex, whether or not her ex is interested, she isn’t acting with integrity – and your relationship is developing on a rotten foundation.

Rather than be caught up in her verbal promises, you need to watch what Tasha does. She may be telling you she cares for you, but if she’s acting in self-destructive ways out of emotional distress, that tells you all you need to know about how ready she is to be a real partner.

I would pause things with Tasha to give her space to heal rather than get sucked into something that’s already hurting you. You don’t need to be her mindfuck. You’re in a stable and healthy place.

But you are probably gonna keep seeing her, because feelings.

If you continue to date Tasha, watch for signs that the attachment to the ex is fading as time passes. If six months from now she’s still emotionally derailed by her ex — if she goes on a bender because the wedding happens and she sees photos, say — then you will need to get out, and it will be more painful than it would be to quit now.


Need Lindsey’s advice? Don’t be shy! Write to the editor: memoree@afterellen.com with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line. 

 

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