I’m Still In Love With My Ex, Should I Tell Her?

A man still has feelings for his ex, and he wonders if he should reach out and try to rekindle things.

Originally appeared at She Said He Said

Dear Sexes: I’d been dating this girl for two years, but last fall she returned to Europe to finish college. We did the long distance thing for a few months, but broke up in December when I visited. It’s been four months since the breakup, and I’m still not over her. We stayed in touch when I first returned to the U.S., but she wanted some space, and we haven’t spoken since. I want to visit her over the summer and reconnect, but I don’t know if she feels the same way. What should I do? Should I just move on?

She Said: There is nothing like heartbreak. It boggles the mind to imagine so much physical pain without a physiological reason why… It’s agony. And I’m sorry you’re in it.

In reality, the best thing to do would probably be to try to move on. But the fact is, sometimes we need a little more before we’re ready to let something go.

There’s a delicate balance to asking an ex for more—-whether it’s more information, more attention, more love… It’s hard to do without coming off as pathetic or overwhelming to her. And yet if there’s a suspicion that she may feel the same way, it’s worth it.

So take it from your best girl friend: Make a plan to call her when you’re going to be feeling good about yourself. See a great movie with friends, then call her when you’re happy. Or call after a work out when you’ve got all those great endorphins going.

When you call her, try to stick to the facts. Say something like, “I get it that we’re broken up, but I’m curious if you think there could be a future for us at some point?” And then validate whatever it is she says by saying something like, “I totally understand that while we’re apart you just don’t think this is going to work. But I still care a lot about you and feel a bit unsettled with how we left things and that’s why I’d like to know, just really straight-up, how you see the future for us.”

Keep it cool. You don’t need to say, “I love you so much, I can’t breathe, I can’t eat, I’m a mess without you. I’m in agony!”  She knows you still have feelings simply because you’re asking. You don’t need to lie and pretend to not give a shit… Just keep your eye on the objective that you’re simply looking for more information. If she doesn’t feel the same way as you, the last thing you want is her saying she does simply because she feels bad for you.

Go in strong, and you’ll get an honest assessment of where she is. And that’s the best thing you can do for yourself at this point.

Then move on if need be. Though I know that’s easier said than done. I suggest the movies Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, (500) Days of Summer, and Say Anything as salve for the broken heart…

He Said: What’s the status of your relationship right now? Are you on speaking terms at all?  I suggest you take baby steps (before you visit her in person). If you haven’t been talking much, test the waters with some emailing and talks on the phone. If all goes well, and you still think there’s a special chemistry/connection (between both of you) then go visit her. However, I have to implore you to proceed with caution.

If you go and visit in person, you could get some clarity, but you might not like the answers you get. There’s also the possibility your visit could be a wonderful time and a smashing success. But then what? You’ll be back at square one. In love, and trying to stay in love, long distance.  That didn’t work last time. But, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again (I guess). Good luck. I think you’re gonna need it.

Have a question for Eli and Josie? Ask it here.


Photo of Man in autumn park with girlfriend in background. Man call on the mobile phone courtesy of Shutterstock

About She Said He Said

Eli and Josie, friends since college, realized how lucky they were to have one another—an honest friend of the opposite sex who tells it like it is. They wanted to share that with the world and so www.shesaidhesaid.me was born.


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  3. I always wonder how people give all this advice like…forget her, move on…without really knowing the dynamic between the people they are talking about. That’s easy to say. but can you always predict life?

    I just got broken up with by my girlfriend of 4 years, but it was definitely because I screwed it up because I got bummed out about life and became emotionally distant to her.

    There’s no exaggeration to say she is the girl of my dreams, and things could definitely work cos I know what the problem was and what I need to do. It was my mistakes that ruined it. I have such a clear idea of how I would fix things.

    However the problem is she might not let me. But I can’t just let it go until I know it’s gone, not something this good. It could be years and years till I find anyone remotely as awesome as she is. Even then, I’ll never forget her.

    I think the people who say ‘let it go’ so casually possibly never had a relationship as good as that. If I don’t at least try to get it back, I’m throwing away 4 mostly amazing years with someone I truly connect with. If I lose it, I lose it. But not without a fight. Thing that sucks the most is that I was the one that screwed it up. Idiot.

    • Hey i was wondering did you ever contact her and what was the out come?

      • Grey Wind says:

        2:28am? I feel like you and I did the same thing. Searched stuff about what to do with exes in the middle of the night. I’m also curious if he ever contacted her. I hope he did.

  4. It’s her loss. Just forget all about her and find someone local.

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  8. Mike.L your comment is spot on!

  9. It sounds like she broke up with him, and if that’s the case I’d just try to move on. I know the feeling of breaking up and thinking you’re never going to find a girl as good as your ex. But this just isn’t true, there’s a reason you broke up. Secondly, if she wants to get back together, she’ll contact you I’m sure.

  10. wellokaythen says:

    I like the advice about only calling her when he’s having a good day, and only to focus on some specific questions, not a total declaration of agonizing love.

    If you do contact her, approach it as a way to get some understanding, not as a way to get her back or turn back the clock.

    Absolutely no drinking and dialing.

    • Na, she would ruin his good day.

      Keep your good days to yourself and guard them jealously.

      • Grey Wind says:

        I think Jimmy is a little bitter about some past relationship gone terribly wrong. I don’t think just ignoring her and pretending she doesn’t exist is the answer. If this guy is really still in love with her, ignoring and bottling those feelings up under the guise of not giving a shit about her is only going to allow those wounded feelings of heartbreak to fester and abscess. He needs to get it all out in the open with her, scrape it clean so he won’t have that lingering doubt of “If only I had said/done this it might have changed her mind!” That will cause him to become horribly angry and bitter towards her, and when added to the already festering heartbreak, it is a recipe for disaster and long therapy sessions.

        My advice, listen to the sexes. Start out slow, no self pity or loathing when you’re speaking with her, and just be frank. Ask her if she has truly moved on, if she can’t see a future with you. If she can’t, at least you have the validation and affirmation of knowing it’s done. Then you can allow yourself to start healing, and eventually you will WANT to move on, rather than this “Who cares about her? Forget her!” business where you’re trying to force yourself to move on before you’re ready.

  11. The sad truth is that your feelings won’t have any effect on hers. So you love her–so what? That’s not her problem, and she has zero obligation to reciprocate in any way.

    Move on, pal. Find someone who’s willing to give as well as receive.

    • Agreed,
      Copy left knows what he’s talking about.
      Had a very similar story from my past, I’d thought She was my soul mate. Stayed friends and kept in contact via phone, mail, email, missing her the entire time. Got back together 20 years later and it crashed and burned after a very intense and romantic period of living together. In a very short time discovered She wasn’t the person I’d thought she was. Recalled why I was somewhat relieved that She’d left for school to begin with. What I’m trying to say is She obviously left you. If she was the one, that never would have happened.

  12. If she asked for the breakup, just move on. She’s no longer interested. She likely learned more about herself, and now wants something/one different. At least for now.

    Keep your dignity, say nothing, and just move on.

  13. Neither of the “sexes” brought this up, so I think it’s important to bring up:

    Please do not tell her how you are feeling unless you are sure you understand why the break up happened in the first place, and further that you are willing to personally change whatever part of the break up you are responsible for.

    If you broke up because “long distance is hard” this means something. It means the two of you were unwilling to plan a future together. Maybe that meant she wouldn’t leave Europe, but it also might mean you wouldn’t consider moving there to be with her. At the end of the day, it might just mean that you have divergent goals and getting back together is essentially never going to be long-term.

    Unless you can say with certainty what the problem was, there’s no reason to expect any change, even if she shares your feelings. Spending time apart doesn’t fix the problems, it just lets you both avoid them.

  14. NO

    No matter how much you love her, she is not gonna want you back because you tell her you love her. Women don’t get attracted to men who tell them they love them. They get attracted to successful men. So be successful. Forget that has-been and make this world yours. Rip open the rind and spit out the seeds.

    Above all, abandon any notion of romanticism, everything you’ve been taught about it is a lie. Don’t listen to any men or women telling you to be honest and tell her. Just forget about her and turn all that love towards yourself. Cuz she’s nothing, dude. You’re the f’ing man.

    • I agree with Jimmy 100%. Be there, done that.

    • Suzylove says:

      Wow that’s funny but somehow untrue. We all need a little vulnerability and to know that theyv want to be your husband and father to your children. That’s v a very high honor if you asked me! And what would simeine have to do to not make you want to be there for them ascas husband and father? Don’t you want that? Howcome it’s changed so much?


  1. […] 10. Throughout life, you’re going to meet men who say things like “I’m not like every other guy.” If you happen across a man like this, kick him in the nuts.  The Good Men Project is a cerebral, new media alternative to glossy men’s magazines. Founded by Tom Matlack in 2009, it’s become a social movement: an ongoing in-depth discussion asking “what does it mean to be a good man in these modern times?” Proceeds from The Good Men Foundation are used to support organizations that help at-risk boys. This article originally appeared at GMP: 10 Things I’d Tell My Teenage Daughter About Men, Dating, And Sex More from GMP Magazine: World Peace, Part 1 I’m Still In Love With My Ex, Should I Tell Her? […]

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