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Help! I Still Love My Ex
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What do you do if you find yourself thinking: "I still love my ex.”?

How do you know if it is real love, or just a residual fondness, and seeing your past relationship through "rose colored glasses"? In reality, it is perfectly normal to have residual feelings for your ex. You may still see your ex fairly often due to running in the same circles, having the same friends. There might even be children involved. This all combines to keep the relationship-that-was, right in front of your face.

Is this a good thing?

Is this a bad thing?

Well, yeah!

It's good because if there is a chance at a re-kindled or newly-kindled relationship, then it is more likely to happen naturally as you see each other. It's bad, because if the relationship is destined to not ever renew itself, if may keep one or the other of you from fully healing and moving on. Because of this, you might lose out on meeting some people who could have become very special to you.

So what you need to do, is to find out what you really mean when you say: "I still love my ex.". If you were the one to break things off, you might be realizing that you made a huge mistake. You may find that you really do love your ex, and were a fool to let your ex go. In this case, it might very well be real love that you are (still) feeling. If you were the person that was left behind, you could still be healing. It's like going through a death in the family, there are many stages of "grief" that you have to go through, have to process, in order to come out the other side as a whole person.

The next question is: how does your ex feel? If they have moved on, and you have not, then there is little hope, at least not while they are involved in another relationship. If this is the case, then take what friendship/love that you are offered and enjoy it for what it is. Just go with the flow, and don't do anything to upset the delicate balance that has taken some effort to achieve.

There may be an opportunity down the road if your ex's new relationship doesn't work out, but not now. If anything is going to happen, it must happen in its own time.

Now, if your ex hasn't moved on, they are not dating, or at least not in a committed relationship, then you might just want to pull an old high-school trick. Have coffee with a good friend of your ex's, or a brother or sister you know they are close with, and ask them in confidence if your ex has ever mentioned wanting to renew your past relationship. No matter if the answer is yes, or no, it lets you know something.

Again, if they have no interest, don't mess up what you have right now, just go with the flow.

Much of what you are feeling as "love" is not love. It is a fondness, and the feeling you get when you replay lots of great memories in your head. It is the want and need to feel those feelings again. Just because you feel these feelings, doesn't mean that you are destined to get back together, or even that it should be allowed to happen. Really think about the past relationship. Not only think about the great parts, but also the really bad parts. Just as there were fine reasons why you began the relationship in the first place, there were reasons why the relationship deteriorated. You have to be honest with yourself about the whole thing.

Having trouble remembering the bad parts? No worries, this is a normal thing. It's why people decide to have a second child. If they remembered the whole going to the hospital thing for the birth of their first child, the whole lots of pain, yelling and cussing, blood and squishy weird noises thing, they would never go through it a second time. But we all tend to forget the unpleasant parts; we all focus on the good.

So what do you do to recall the bad parts? Ask your best friend. Go up to him/her and say: "I'm thinking about trying to get back together with my ex; Talk me down quick!" They'll look at you like you just told them you ate a kitten, and say: "Are you nuts?"

Then you'll get the real "skinny" on the dark side.

Now you might have enough information to know which road you want to travel down. It's very likely that you'll decide that it isn't to try and rekindle your old relationship, for whatever reason.

In that case, what will happen is one of two things. Either you will slowly drift apart, or you will remain friends for a long time. That in itself is a good thing, we all need good friends, right? Good friends are hard to find. Having your ex as a good, longtime friend tells you that you made a good choice, way back when, and while your romantic relationship didn't work out, you still chose a quality person. You can feel good about that.

If you do decide that you want to pursue a new relationship with your ex, (This is important! You can never get back what you had. Never-ever! What you might be able to do, if you are extremely lucky, is to begin a new relationship with an "old friend" with whom you have a long history. New-New-New, get it?) Then you need to get some guidance. Note: if your old relationship ended because one or the other of you had an affair, you’ll need to look for information that is focused on this topic.

Try seeing a marriage counselor, or look for courses on the subject, something that can give you guidance, a road map of sorts. If you had gotten some counseling before during your relationship, and your relationship failed anyway, make sure to find someone new...

What you want to do is to figure out how to build a stronger relationship then you ever had before. If you're still thinking: "I still love my ex.", and you are determined to try and create a new relationship with them, remember to take it slow! Have a short coffee date, or if you have children in common, a trip to the zoo, or to a park. Start building new memories, and see if there is anything there.

Start down the road that might end up being your new relationship, and see where your new life takes you.

Street Talk

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