Catch And Release

Hello Dr. Darcy,

I usually trust my instincts when dealing with women and relationships. However, everything flies out the window when it concerns an ex who is a friend and who also happened to be my first love. A little background on me: I am in my early 30's and didn't come out until I was 24.

Anyway, my question concerns this ex. I have known her for 10 years now and always stayed in touch whether through phone or FB. We only dated for two years (one yr on and off) and tried to be FWB [friends with benefits] once but she wanted a relationship and I did not (I was scared honestly).

My issue with her always arises whenever she is single. When she is single, she contacts me. Recently, for the past two months she texts me three times a week. I suspect she has been single since last year but I'm not sure. While her texting me isn't necessarily a problem, I feel like I am being used because she is lonely and has no one else to talk to. Yet, the rational side of me knows that she talks to friends and family from her hometown.

I feel this way even more because she has stated recently that she is very lonely.  I admit that I am a little lonely. Now that we have been contacting each other, I am starting to have romantic feelings for her again. She doesn't text things about us being together or anything romantic except for comments about our sex life when we dated (which was good) and that we should get together to catch up. She recently stated that she doesn't know herself and that she can't talk about who is she because she is still learning about herself.

Although I haven't stated to her how I feel, I feel confused as to how to overcome these feelings. Should I stop texting her and stop the friendship? What would be the best way to handle this?

ANSWER

I think it’s a foregone conclusion that doing what you’re doing isn’t going to help you overcome your feelings for her.  If that was going to work it would have worked by now.

Lesbians are a little masochistic in the way that we attempt to remain friends with exes.  Unless there’s a solid break from one-another (ideally the amount of time that you were together), friendship is a setup for more heartache.

If you are lonely, filling the void with an ex is going to stop you from finding a real solution to your loneliness.  The loneliness can be used as motivation to find someone to date but it will only do that if you allow yourself to feel it.

You know the end of this story. You’ll break up for the same reasons you broke up the last time.  Give yourself a chance at a different ending and date someone new. As far as the ex is concerned, I think it’s ok to release her.

Writer’s stats: Female, Lesbian.