Dear B. Scott,
I’m 23 years old and a virgin at that. I haven’t really had that much experience when it comes to relationships, but I feel like I’ve learned a lot from the mistakes friends and family have made. Recently, I got into a relationship with someone way out of my comfort zone, he was completely different from what I’m used to dating. We’ll call him “Joe.” I was initially excited, despite the fact that we are physically opposite from each other—him being a really skinny White dude and me, the “extra thick” Black girl. Also, communication was never our strong suit: I ended up finding out from other people that he considered me his girlfriend.
But the real problem started when my ex came back into my life claiming he missed me. We hung out a couple of times and I could see that that he was completely different— he was more respectful, a complete gentleman, and ready to accept the fact that I was a virgin and not sleeping with him (this is what had caused our original break-up).
I started noticing the subtle differences between the two and I was comparing them constantly. Joe would never walk on the outside of the sidewalk, my ex would. Joe could really make me laugh, my ex couldn’t. Joe would never hold my bag for me, my ex always knew to do this. Etc, etc.
After I had been dating Joe for three months, it just seemed like we made better friends than romantic partners and we broke up. No drama or hard feelings. But as I started spending more time with my ex, I couldn’t help but to think “I wish this was Joe.”
I feel like I’m concentrating on the few good times I had with Joe just to create issues to prevent me from being with my ex. It’s like I’m ignoring all the awkward moments (there were plenty) so that I ruin my chance at being in an actually healthy loving relationship.
Do I actually care about Joe or am I just trying to sabotage my chances with my ex?
Dear love muffin,
Kudos to you for stepping outside of the box and trying something different.
There’s nothing wrong with the fact that you and Joe didn’t work. In fact, I think it’s great that you two realized you work better as friends and are pursuing that type of relationship.
As far as your ex is concerned, I would spend some time evaluating why exactly you broke up in the first place. Ask yourself if those things have changed or if they’ve gotten better. You mentioned he seems completely different, but from past experiences I’ve learned that only time will tell if things have truly changed.
Often times people gravitate towards their exes because they’re comfortable with them. You said yourself that Joe was different from the types of people you usually date, so it seems as though you’re finding comfort in your ex because he’s more along the lines of what you’re used to — not necessarily because he’s the person you want to be with.
I would suggest that you take some time away from both of them to figure out how you feel. There’s nothing wrong with having some “me” time, and it sounds like that’s exactly what you need.
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