Into the grey

Stacy W wrote:

Sean,
I read your article yesterday about the girl still living with her ex and I don’t see what the big deal is.  I am a single 28 year old woman living with my ex, and we’re best friends.  Yeah, I’ve dated guys that couldn’t get past that fact, but to me if they really want to accept me for me, they’ll have to get used to the fact that I don’t plan on leaving my current situation until things get serious.  Why can’t guys just deal with it?

(I emailed her some more questions and asked how long she’s been in this “situation”, if she and her ex have ever been more than friends whenever she isn’t dating someone, if there are jealousy issues on either side, and how long her last few relationships lasted)

To answer your questions, I’ve been living with my ex (as him being my ex) for almost 2 years.  Relationships usually last a few months, but the guys can’t seem to handle things and then bail.  To me, if I wanted to be with my ex, I would be-but I don’t, and they can’t see that.  Yes, we’ve done the FWB thing as most guy girl roommates do when single, and yes, there are times when jealousy issues have come up because the FWB things was put on hold due to a relationship.  We don’t do that all of the time, just when we’re single.

I just don’t feel I should give this all up just for the HOPE of eventually meeting someone.  Why can’t guys just be okay with the fact that I am dating them and not focus so much on who my roommate is?

Stacy W

Stacy,
There is so much wrong here, I don’t even know where to begin.  Let’s break this down into a numbered list.

1.  Going into a dating situation and expecting someone to just “get used” to something (whether it be a personality trait or living situation) is no way to start a relationship.  It’s all about communication and compromise.  If you like someone enough to start any kind of relationship, you should also be accommodating to their needs as well.

2.  You’ve been living with your ex for almost 2 years (with him as an ex).  You then stated guys last a few months then bail, but you don’t tie your ex’s jealousy into the whole equation?  If he is freaking out or causing you stress that boils over into your budding relationship, you’re not giving 100% in your new relationship.  Frankly, I’d never even start something with someone that lived with their ex.

3.  The whole “If I wanted to be with ____ (insert person place or thing here), I would” statement is something that no one in a relationship should ever say.  It basically shuts down communication.  If the person you are starting a relationship with is having issues, you’ll want to keep communication open, so maybe approaching it by asking clarifying questions to get a conversation going that will hopefully uncover the issues.  It would be a better approach than saying that you “could easily be with this guy, but you’ve decided not to be for now”.

4.  You’ve done the FWB thing or are doing the FWB thing.  You gave an ambiguous answer, but there is only one response.  Stop.  If any guys have ever asked if you’ve done the FWB thing with your ex while living together and you’ve answered honestly, I can see why they’d want to leave.  It’s a HUGE messy grey area that no guy would ever want to be a part of. As far as you moving out and giving up “all this” in the hope of meeting someone else?…when a normal relationship ends, it’s what people do.  They go their own ways, close the door on their old relationship, and move on with life.  You’d not be moving out to find someone else, you’d be moving out to start a life without the ties (that are obviously still there) of an old relationship holding you back.

Stacy, I’d say you’ve got to get out.  The problem here isn’t the guys, it’s you.  You seem to have an inability to let go and move on.  Maybe it’s also a fear of being alone or a fear of change?  If you’re ever going to be happy, you either need to figure things out with this ex and be in a relationship with him (you’re almost there as it stands..) or move on, move out, and get on with your life.

Sean

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