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home : columns : dear harriette May 13, 2021

3/30/2021 9:06:00 AM
Reader ready to revisit relationship with ex

DEAR HARRIETTE: My ex-fiance and I have been broken up for four years now. We got engaged in our early 20s and never got married. Our relationship lasted three years. Over the past year, he and I started communicating again. The more we communicate, the more I find myself wondering if we made a mistake by calling off our engagement. Neither of us is in a serious relationship at the moment. I'm curious whether or not I should give this another go.

We didn't break up because of abuse, infidelity or any serious reason; we broke up because we were young and disillusioned with how we thought a potential marriage should be. We have no kids. Am I being unrealistic for thinking we could give it another go? -- Second-Guessing

DEAR SECOND-GUESSING: Young love is often fleeting because of bad timing. When you have an opportunity to revisit an old relationship that was positive but became too close too soon, why not go for it?

Start with an honest conversation. You can say that since you two have been communicating again, you realize how much you appreciate him and your friendship. If you have missed him, tell him. Ask how he feels. No need to make this a confessional. Instead, just start talking openly about your feelings.

If you want to date him again, say so. Since the two of you are free and single and still care about each other, it could be lovely to explore this and see what unfolds.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm dating a man who has a 5-year-old son. He has his kid with him every other weekend. We've been dating for about eight months now, and he still won't introduce me to his son. I'm trying to not read too much into it, but my feelings are hurt. I feel like if he can't introduce me to his kid, he isn't very invested in our relationship. I try not to nag him about it, but it's getting harder and harder for me to act like it isn't bothering me. He mentioned to me that his son's mother specifically asked that he not bring women around his son, and he wants to avoid conflict. Is this a red flag? What should I do? -- Red Flag

DEAR RED FLAG: It is wise for single parents who are dating to protect their children from transient relationships. Yours seems more committed than that, though. But the reality is that it's still a new relationship, and he has his kid's mom to contend with.

What this means is that you two need to make some decisions. Start by asking yourself what you want in this relationship. If you feel that you have a future together, talk openly about that, and find out where he stands. If your relationship is serious, at nearly a year long, it makes sense that you would want to meet his son and be in his life in some way. That will likely require your boyfriend to explain to his child's mother that you are important to him and a part of his life; therefore, her rules have to relax. It could take time for him to get this woman to accept the new normal, and you will need to be patient. Figuring out a relationship with her will be part of your reality if you two decide to stay together. So take it slow, and do not try to force him to choose between her and you. There's no winning there. They have a child together.

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