Question: I am inspired by your answers. I don’t know if my situation will work out. We had an informal, non-date dinner where I attempted to find out what is going on in my ex’s life. She said she does not want to give me false hope. “You know I am dating again” or “going out on dates”, I forget the exact words. My question is: Can I ask her if she is seeing someone else and if she is what do I do? The last time I tried asking her personal questions it became emotionally heated and the date ended badly. I want to know if it is wise or if there is a good way to ask if she is seeing someone else, interested in another guy or does it not really matter? I mean it does bother me to see she can just move on so easily. I am driving myself nuts thinking about it.
The Love Doctor’s Answer: I understand that it’s driving you nuts. It’d be nice to know that what you had was too special for her to just move on so easily. But here is the thing… the last time you got “too personal” things ended badly (your own words).
Whether she is dating someone else or not, in her mind there is nothing wrong with that 1) you’re not together, so it’s not like she’d cheating on you and 2) since she informed you she’s dating again/going out on dates she feels she’s being honest and open with you.
Of course that’s no comfort for you, but it’s the reality of being broken up. You asking her if she’s seeing someone else or interested in another guy could mean two things 1) you’re jealous (and if that was a problem in the relationship before then it means you have not changed) or 2) you’re putting pressure on her when she’s not ready (and that could cause her to suggest you don’t see/contact each other again – at least not now). In other words, there is really no wise/good way to ask.
Let’s just assume she’s seeing someone else or interested in another guy, what are you going to do about it? Ask her to stop seeing him? Will she stop seeing him just because you (an ex) asked her to? I don’t think so.
What you need to do is use the “time and space” you spend together to show her that you recognize there were problems with the relationship and take full responsibility for your part in contributing to the problems. Then you need to show her (not tell her, words mean little) what you are doing/have done to make sure that things will be different because you’re a better person.
Keep the focus on the two of you. The moment you introduce a third party — it’s a crowd and anything can happen. If she mentions someone she is seeing (which she most likely will if she is) or talks about how happy she is with him, tell her you wish you had done things differently — and wish there had been no problems with the relationship. But even with all the problems you had, when you look back, you see just how special what you had was and is.
That way you’re saying to her “I’m listening to you” but also re-stating how you feel about her without coming across as jealous or desperate or making the other person more “important” than he really is. Remember what you focus on is what becomes “important”. Don’t focus too much on someone else and in the process literally talking yourself out of the picture.
If it becomes a “habit” for her to talk about her new man, politely tell her that you want to be happy for her, but you’re human and it hurts to listen to her talk about someone else that way.
Pay very close attention to the things she talks about/says she likes/enjoys in her new life (without you). Don’t just shut her up because it hurts to hear how happy she is without you. The things she talks about/says she likes/enjoys in her new life (without you) are the things that keep her on the fence and not wanting to come back right away. If you can show her she can have all that (and more) in a relationship with you, it’ll only be a matter of time before she’s back into your life and into your arms!