Should I sever contact with my ex?

Dear Sherry:

My ex-boyfriend and I are still spending a lot of time together even though we broke up over a month ago. I love him, and he has feelings for me, but he's afraid to "commit." He was supposed to go visit this girl he met at a wedding shortly before we broke up, then changed his mind. He said to me, "It didn't feel right." My question is: Do I stay with it and hope that he will get over his fears, or should I break off the contact, even though it will mean losing a good friend?

A

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Sherry Amatenstein

Sherry is the author of The Q&A Dating Book and Love Lessons from Bad Breakups. She has taught dating seminars, appeared as an expert... Read more

Dear A

Most relationships end with a series of whimpers rather than one big bang (not that kind of bang!). What I mean is that it's tough to let go of someone with whom you've felt close; with whom you've shared hopes, dreams and, yes, "bangs." A relationship -- even a bad one -- is a cocoon that insulates us from the big, bad world. So it's natural that you and your ex are still keeping company.

However, he was afraid to commit to you a month ago, he's afraid to commit today, and he'll probably be afraid to commit a month from today. He's jerking your chain by giving you false hope that he won't go see this other girl, yet pulling the rug out from under you by letting you know there is another girl in the picture (one he met BEFORE you two broke up).

Why should he make a commitment to you? He gets to spend time with you, kiss you and caress you as well as anyone else who catches his eye and other parts. (Remember, once you broke up, you lost your claim of exclusivity.) Tell him that if he wants to date you he has to dive in despite his fears and make a commitment. End of story. Otherwise he can visit this other woman, if not with your blessing, then with your goodwill.

Right now he's not your friend; he's an ex with the power to really mess you up emotionally. My advice: You've got to cut the cord binding you to him before it chokes you.

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