Same Behaviors. Different Outcome?

Dear Dr. Darcy:

My ex and I broke up over a year ago, but [we] remain close.  During the time that we dated she had issues making a commitment to me and insisted on dating other women.  Well I tried doing it her way but after a while I couldn’t take the pain of feeling like I wasn’t enough for her so eventually we broke up.  Since then I’ve been dating more casually and I now enjoy being with several people.  And…recently my ex and I started hooking up again, only this time I’m not trying to get her to be exclusive with me. Is it ok for me to have fun with my ex?

ANSWER

Have fun.  Just don't have amnesia. It’s not her I’m worried about – it’s you.  She’s never waivered in her position, which is to say, she always wanted to date several people simultaneously.   You, however, have consistently attempted to do it her way, only to find that you’re hurt in the process.

When I reference amnesia, I’m referring to your history of doing something that doesn’t come naturally and that doesn’t feel right to you.  Don’t forget who you are and what your struggles were with this person.  I’m clear that right now things are going well, but are you clear that that’s how it started last time?

I’m surprised that you haven’t capitalized on this time in your life to find yourself a monogamist.  You have a history of feeling hurt when you’re not in an exclusive relationship.  Yet here you are again, doing the same old thing and hoping for a different outcome.  I don’t think it’s going to work, girlfriend. I think fucking the ex is a short-term solution to a longer-term problem, and I think it’s only a matter of time before that becomes painfully apparent.

Writer’s Stats: Female, lesbian.