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Sex + Relationships

Real Live College Guy Sean: His Ex Is Back In The Picture, What Now?

Broke from calling late night love lines for advice? Looking for the lowdown on the hoedown when it comes to college guys? Real Live College Guy Sean is here to help you pick apart the mind of the average college guy. Whether it’s avoiding that awkward weekend hook-up, or full-on relationship advice, Sean is here to save the day!

I have been semi-dating a guy at another college for over five weeks. We hang out 2-3 times a week: at parties, dates, you name it. He’s always paid for dates, made it out to my campus (his campus is in the city, mine isn’t) more than once, and taken time out of his schedule to see me. All of his friends that he has introduced me to already know about me. He’s clearly talked to them about me. Even his fraternity brothers know me as his girl. He has told me he really liked me on multiple occasions, and has shown it too. Everything has gone really well, and we’ve even had the talk about being exclusive. 

Out of the blue, I got a phone call today where he basically told me that a girl that he had a “complicated romantic history” with has stepped back into his life again in the past week. He also noted that nothing physical has happened yet, but that he feels dishonest seeing both of us. I basically told him that I don’t want to see him unless he’s figured out what he wants. He then said he wants to see me in a few weeks, probably on a friendly basis.

I stand by what I said, but at the same time I REALLY like him. Is there any chance for this to work? – Ex-Rated at Exeter

This situation breaks my heart.

This guy may have been the Prince Charming you thought he was. However, sometimes guys can be very good at covering up the fact that they’re still hung up on their exes. Obviously, break-ups torture both people in the relationship and if there are lingering emotions or any lack of closure, sometimes it can take quite a while for a guy to move on mentally. Furthermore, this can only be made worse when your ex talks to you or tries to come back into your life.

That being said, this guy deserves a tip of the cap for giving you a heads up. Directly telling you that his ex came back into his life is a tough thing to do and his obvious guilt about the situation is also noteworthy. Unfortunately, there are some guys today who probably wouldn’t even mention that an ex is back in the picture. Luckily, this guy owned up to his emotions and simply told you, which hardly eases the realization that being the rebound sucks.

In this scenario, it was smart for you to express that he needed to make up his mind before committing to you. Since he plainly said that if you were to meet up again it would be strictly platonic, you shouldn’t be left waiting for him to decide what he wants. It’s tough because he was such a good guy, but waiting for him to choose between you and the ex will likely yield a messy situation. While it sucks right now, this situation is likely for the better. From what I gather, this came out of nowhere, with no previous indication that he was still hung up on an old flame. Think about it this way: if you guys were together in a long-term relationship up until this went down, this scenario would be much more difficult to handle. You’d have had more time and emotions invested, and if she came back into his life, then the split would be much more difficult.

Hypothetically, if he and his ex decide not to get back together, he may end up trying to rekindle the flame with you. However, if this happens, proceed with caution. If he was quick to give up something with you to go back to his ex once, what’s to prevent him from doing again it in the future? If he does come back, it’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to take that chance. Personally, I’d move on. There are many other great guys out there who are more capable of leaving their love history in the past.

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Sean is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in communications and minoring in film studies. Attending NYU in the fall to pursue a Masters in Journalism, Sean enjoys writing about virtually anything. In his time at Pitt, Sean has worked as a DJ for an automotive program on campus and abroad in London.Sean is originally from Rhode Island, which is far from Pittsburgh, but he is fond of the scenic drive. Sean likes tea instead of coffee, photography, and fire alarm testing (through his cooking). Sean also enjoys playing guitar and piano, skiing, golfing, and practical jokes. You can follow Sean on Twitter at @seanmcfarland1.
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