Should you leave your current relationship because you never got over an earlier one?

Shreyash1009 asks: Two years ago I proposed to a girl with whom I’d been in love for five years. That time she rejected the proposal saying we were friends, but after a year she proposed back to me. It was my first relationship and I could not build a good bond with her. After two months she told me that it was not working between us. I was heartbroken and it took some time to be back. After some months I tried to propose to my friend’s ex-girlfriend and she was convinced. I was not serious with her, but she was having strong and serious feelings for me. We have been together for a year and a half, and I am not serious for her but she loves me. I am still not able to forget the girl from before. I am very much worried and don’t even know what to do.

Hi Shreyash1009 –

This is a really tough situation.  I’m sorry for you, and for both of the girls.

Humans tend to believe that romance will be like… well, like buying a dog.  You find one you like, you take them home, you train each other, and after six months or so it’s a perfect relationship with unconditional love and loyalty till death do you part.

Yeah… no.

Romance between humans is way more complex than that, with all kinds of opinions and resentments and hurts that happen all the time.  And, yes, sometimes a spark just doesn’t happen, or it goes away.  And that’s really really sad.

As with your letter – you don’t say a single word against either of these ladies.  It’s not that one cheated, or started hitting you, or stopped bathing.  This is just a case where feelings are inconvenient. 

So, I hate to say it, but if you’re sure about the way you feel about the second girl, I think that probably the best thing to do is to let her go.  Will it hurt her?  Absolutely.  Just as it hurt you when the other one rejected you.  But you did survive it, and this one ought to as well.

If you and this girl had been married for years and were raising children together, I might say something different here – I might argue that if you two get along okay, it could be worth it to stay together for all the good things your marriage gives you, even though you’re not feeling that romantic thrill.

But you’re not married, and you don’t have kids.  And the best thing for you and her might well be to move on and find someone else better for you. 

But wait, I’ll also argue against this!  ARE you sure that you’re not interested in the girl you’re with now?  Is your love for the other one more a fantasy than a real interest?  After all, I’m not hearing you say that you’ve spent the last couple of years pursuing her.  Could you actually be happier with this one than with someone else?

No one fits every wish anyone has for a partner.  There’s always compromise.

Your job, my friend, is to figure out which is the best way for you to go.  To hurt this girl’s feelings so both of you can be free, or to work harder to make things work with her.

I’ll be glad to help with whatever you decide.  But the decision is, and has to be, yours.

I wish you great wisdom and the best of luck


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