General Question

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Is my ex still harboring feelings for me?

Asked by LeavesNoTrace (5674points) November 28th, 2011

This is kind of a follow-up question to my other question so it might be helpful but not necessary to read that one.

As some of you know, I was experiencing a lot of anxiety over potentially seeing an ex boyfriend that I still have affection for over Thanksgiving break.

The day before I went back to school, he messaged me on Facebook and we had a really nice chat that ended up going for a few hours. We kept it light for the most part and didn’t talk about the relationship. Right before I sign off, he asks what I’m doing that night because he would like to see me before I leave…

Long story short: he comes over to my house around midnight and we end up just sitting in my room talking until about 6:30. It felt really good actually. We laughed a lot and relived some good memories of our time together. We still didn’t talk about our relationship much but he did disclose that he’s not happy with his girlfriend and wants to end it with her sooner rather than later. Because we’re both technically with other people we sat a respectable distance from each other and didn’t really exchange any physical contact but there was a lot of meaningful eye contact on his part that indicated that the attraction is still mutual.

Right as the sun is coming up, I walk him to the door to say goodbye. He extends his arms for a friendly hug which I willingly oblige but he does something unexpected. He pulls me in very close to his body and gives me 3–4 kisses on the cheek and neck which I also do in return. He then kisses me perilously close to my mouth and holds my face a mere two inches from his and looks into my eyes as if he really wants to kiss me if I would give him any indication that he could. Not wanting to do something transgressive to our significant others, I don’t kiss him on the lips despite really wanting to. He says that he would like to come down and see me in the city sometime soon and says goodnight.

After he left, I couldn’t sleep a wink for not being able to process what exactly happened there…

The next day, he asks if he can give me a ride to the train station which I let him do and our goodbye was similar to the one the other night. (tight embrace, intense eye contact and more kisses on the cheek that don’t quite go ‘there’)

Today he’s been all over my Facebook account, messaging me to chat and ‘liked’ a song I posted on my page that reminded me of him. (Not sure if he knew that)

I haven’t been able to talk to my friends about this as I can barely process it as it is. I know that it’s unlikely we can ever be together in the near future because he’s across the country but I’m trying to make sense of what’s happening between us. My ex is kind of a non expressive, shy person so he can be hard to read. What do you think he’s trying to tell me?

And yes before anyone brings it to my attention; I’m aware that I sound basically 14 years old right now. :-[

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17 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

Maybe or he might just be looking for a soft landing out of his current relationship. Regardless, you need to talk to him, there’s obviously a conversation between you two that’s begging to be had and he’s the only one that can really answer your question – assuming he knows the answer.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@wonderingwhy I really want to but I don’t want to risk being too bold and embarrassing myself in front of him.

A relationship with me wouldn’t really be a soft landing out of his current relationship since there’s considerable geographic distance between us that would make it implausible to work. Also: for everyone in general – I’m not asking if I should get back with him, I’m just more trying to get some insight into what he’s thinking when he behaves this way after two years of not being together.

6rant6's avatar

When you’ve got something hot on the stove, you have to wait for it to cool down, not push other buttons. Just stop feeding the flames.

Kardamom's avatar

You probably don’t want to hear this, but you guys broke up for a good reason. You weren’t a good match. As I recall, you said that he left you because he had fallen out of love with you, and that was pretty much the only info he gave you. And you’ve been suffering ever since with the “What did I do wrongs?” and the “What could I have done differently’s?” instead of just realizing that the relationship wasn’t working and was meant to come to an end. And this guy just sits on his pedestal, getting bored with this woman or that woman, knowing full well that you are standing at the bottom of the pedestal waiting for him.

The other thing that worries me about this whole situation is that this guy came to you and kind of put you in a bad spot. He probably knows that you still like/loved him and so now, that he’s “fallen out of love” with his current girlfriend (although he hasn’t had the balls or the decency to actually break up with her before coming over to your house and getting you all worked up). He sounds like one of those guys that likes to always have an iron in the fire, and to have a back up girl. You’re the back up girl. He already has a history with you, so it’s easier to march on over to your house and get some loving, rather than to figure out what he really wants from his life.

That guy, that I described in your last Q, the one that really did a number on me, came back at least once, and he might have even attempted to come back a third time. But I was so dumbstruck in love with him, with an emphasis on the dumb part, that I couldn’t see and didn’t want to believe that he really had no particular interest in me. He only came ‘round because it was easier than starting a new relationship from scratch, when all he really wanted was some quick, easy loving without having to be obligated to me. I was his back up girl. And that is a position I wouldn’t wish on anybody. It’s sort of like Friends With Benefits, but because you/me had a relationship with him before, you/me didn’t see it like that, but the guys do!

I’m not sure if you are still dating the other guy, that you mentioned a couple of Q’s ago, the one that sounded like a real nightmare. On This Thread. If so, you’ve got 2 problems on your hands. It’s always a bad idea to get involved with someone, when you’re already involved with someone else. Everybody should break up with everybody else, before anybody else gets involved, or re-involved. Playing kissey kissey, even if you’re not actually kissing on the lips or sleeping together is still not a good idea.

Neither one of these guys sounds like a very good match for you, and it seems like you are a very loving and emotional person that gets sucked into relationships, even bad ones that you have a difficult time leaving. I’ll re-iterate my advice from the previous Q and suggest that it could do you a world of good to get some short term therapy, to find out why you can’t move on from bad relationships, and how to gain some inner strength to find out what you really need and want, and how to be self-sustaining (with or without a boyfriend).

Reading this Q, put me right back into the middle of my own awful situation, from way back when, so I can totally relate to how you feel. It’s one of the suckiest things in the world to come to the realization that you are being played and that the love of your life, doesn’t feel the same way. But do yourself a favor, and don’t spend 2 more years agonizing over this guy. Move on, but get yourself some help. No one expects you to do it alone. Moving forward is hard, falling back into the trap is easy. Don’t let that happen to you.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@Kardamom you make a lot of valid points but I don’t think he knows that I like him. I’ve been doing a pretty good job of kind of remaining friendly and neutral. I act happy with my life and don’t make too much of an effort to contact him generally.

Kardamom's avatar

I just read your last post. Regarding why he is acting this way. It’s easy for him to do that. It’s easy for him to come over to your house and get some quick loving from a person that he knows still harbors feelings for him. That does not mean that he is harboring feelings of love for you. It means that he knows where to get some quick loving, while he’s falling out of love with his current girlfriend, and not knowing why and not telling her why. In the immediacy, it’s easy to be with you. It won’t be easy, when he re-explains that he fell out of love with you and has no explanation as to why. He probably doesn’t know.

Try not to read too much into what he is doing. Men are usually not as complicated as women. He’s acting this way, because it’s easy.

You probably do need to have a conversation with him, but it needs to be a very serious conversation where you ask him all sorts of hard questions that he may not be able to answer or may not be intersted in answering.

Questions such as:

Do you still love me?

When you said you fell out of love for me, 2 years ago, can you explain why?

Do you love your current girlfriend?

Are you still together with your current girlfriend? If so, are you planning to break up with her?

Do you think it’s OK, for us to be canoodling while you’re still with your current girlfriend? Does it bother you that I still have a boyfriend?

Are you considering getting back together with me? If so, how do you propose that things will be different now, instead of just falling back into the same old patterns?

If we got back together, how would things be different? Would you expect me to move where you are, or would you plan to move to where I live? Or would you expect to have some sort of long distance relationship with me?

If we decide to have a long distance relationship, how exactly is that going to work, so that you aren’t tempted to cheat on me?

Would you be willing to go to some couples counseling with me, to figure out whether or not we really are compatible and likely to be able to make a relationship work? If not, why not?

Kardamom's avatar

@LeavesNoTrace Oh he knows that you still like him. First of all, when he broke up with you in the first place, probably told him how you felt about him and that you loved him and didn’t want to break up. I’m sure you cried and let him know how you felt about him. He did not feel the same way about you.

Also, the fact that you were willing to canoodle with him was a pretty clear sign. And if he’s like anyone else that’s ever been involved with anybody, he has radar that you may not be aware of. He’s heard it through the grapevine from someone. Believe me, he knows. And he’s taking advantage of that fact.

Kardamom's avatar

Gotta head out for dinner, friend. I’ll check back later. Just go with caution and ask lots and lots of questions before you do anything.

marinelife's avatar

Well, ask him if he has feelings for you. Tell him you are confused by his behavior. Tel him that if has feelings for you, the next time he contacts you it will be to tell you that he has broken up with his girlfriend.

blueiiznh's avatar

There is a reason you are ex’s. Please remember that.
A person will always remember the positives and discuss or think about those.
You repress the negatives and then you end up all confused.
Statistics are pretty low on back sliding relationships.
I know what my gut says based on what I have read along with adding my past experience, but this one is for only you to determine and know what to do.

If you are considering starting it up again, potential reasons to take him back are:
You truly love who he is and his life goals;
He enriches your life;
He is a good companion;
He does not only think of himself.
There are probably many more things to ask your self but it’s a start

You may also want to read this question about How do you tell the difference between love, lust, infatuation

LostInParadise's avatar

What do the two of you have in common? From your previous post, you indicated that leaving him allowed you to go places that you could not have gone to had you been together. Try to picture what things would be like if you were with him again.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@LostInParadise What I really want to know isn’t “should I get back together with him” it’s more “Is he trying to get back together with me?” :)

LostInParadise's avatar

What difference does it make? It is time to move on. Have a heart to heart with him. Tell him how much you enjoyed your time together, but you are no longer the same person and you are looking for something different now.

Ryukushun's avatar

If you’re wondering if he still has feelings for you, yes he does. If someone truly loved another person at one time, that feeling will never completely go away. Seeing you again after so long, would probably stir up those feelings more than intended. He most likely still has feelings for you, but the depth of those feelings you have to find out. He might be like what others have said and he was probably just trying to have a change up from his current relationship by trying something with you again. If his feelings are strong he will pursue you, you don’t need to pursue this or think about it to hard. You’ll have your answer in time.

LostInParadise's avatar

The guy was described as a bit of a narcissist in previous post. Narcissists are not capable of loving anyone but themselves. I would guess he sees how much you have changed and considers it a new challenge. My advice is not to bother with what this guy thinks.

blueiiznh's avatar

@LeavesNoTrace As yourself and others have suggested, you know where your feelings are. It just sucks to have then hanging out there and not know what to do with them.
If he truly is interested, he will show signs of such. He may however simply want intimacy and be masking it with these other things. You will be amazed at what some men will go through just to conquer intimacy with you only to leave your heart broken again. I am not saying this is him, but be careful. Take your time and see if his interest is truly in you as a person and not sheer pleasure. If he is willing to built a relationship, he will do it without the silly and intrusive kiss-kiss-peck-peck.
You are in control of this and the respect you deserve.

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