Dating, relationships

Can a Old Flame Be My New One?

Dear According to T,

I’m on Round 2 with this guy. We dated a few years ago, but are exploring things again. Last time, he bailed. This time, I want to. Not to “get him back”, but because I feel he is too emotionally stretched to fully engage…especially sexually. I am wrong for wanting to call it quits?



Dear Hates.Recycling,

Thanks for writing to me.  It’s not an uncommon practice for a person to want to give a previous guy he was talking to a second chance.  Heck we’ve all done it at least one. After some time has gone by, we hope the second time will be different.  We hope what drove us apart the first time won’t drive us apart this go around.  We hope it was meant for us and the other person to be together in a relationship if we cross paths again.  More often than not however, most of us end things with the old flame for a second time.

I’ve come to learn over the years, that reuniting with an ex isn’t a good idea UNLESS there are two things present.  First, there has to be apparent growth and change between you two.  If the ex hasn’t matured and grown, then whatever bothered you about him before will inevitably come to bother you again at some point.  Or perhaps it was you who needed to grow and change.  In that case, have you appropriately dealt with your own issues that caused friction in the former relationship?

Second and most important, there must be certainty on your part that you are not getting back with the ex out of pure comfort.  Ask yourself, am I wanting to make it work with this guy because he’s familiar?  Because being with him is better than being alone?  If the answer to either one of those questions is yes, then you should follow your gut and call it quits.  It’s better to end things sooner rather than later.

Going forward are my usual suggestions.

  1. If you really do like this guy, you’ve seen the growth, and you know you’re not just settling being with him, then talk to him about the disconnect. There may be a good reason to explain what’s going on with him, and maybe he’s willing to work on solving the problem.
  1. If you wind up breaking things off with this guy, DON’T feel bad about it. If you two aren’t meant to be, then you aren’t meant to be.  Life really is too short to be trying to make something work with Mr. Wrong.

As always, nothing but love.

Best Regards,


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