Advice

My ex dumped me before the holidays last year, and now he wants to get back together

Dear Wayne and Wanda,

I dated “George” for a few months about a year ago. We met online and right away, I felt like I’d known him forever. We had great chemistry, he got along well with my friends, and we had a ton of fun together. Thanksgiving 2021 was approaching and I invited him to come to my family’s gathering.

Two days before Thanksgiving, George broke it off. He said we were moving too fast and he wanted to be sure about us, and that meant he needed to see other people. I was devastated and of course Thanksgiving sucked because I barely enjoyed the food and everyone felt sorry for me.

George pretty much ghosted me after that. I ran into him a couple times and he always seemed glad to see me but he never texted or anything. Fast forward to a week ago. George asked me to meet him, so I did. He said he did date a lot but no one ever compared to me and as Thanksgiving approached, he’s missed me and realized he messed up. He wants to start again. He even said he’d come to my family’s dinner.

Pretty sure my family wouldn’t be super excited to see him. I haven’t dated anyone since George dumped me and the breakup hit hard. Part of me knows I should walk away now. But a huge part of me wants to give him another chance. Like me, he’s just shy of 30, and he hasn’t had any long, serious relationships. I find myself rationalizing what he did. But I can’t get out of my mind images of him dating other women while I was miserable and missed him.

I don’t know what to do. Advice?

Wanda says:

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I’m not saying reconciliations never work out. Sometimes they do. But all too often when people romantically reunite, the original root cause of the breakup is still there, still festering, and still a threat. In your case, the cause of your breakup was, at a minimum, George’s indecisiveness. It could also be that George has struck out elsewhere, and/or is feeling the single dude loneliness brought on by the advancing holiday season. Either way, his motives are suspect.

Consider George’s track record: He broke up with you right before a holiday. He did little to follow up and check on your well-being. In fact, he didn’t contact you at all, which on one hand could be considered respectful, but definitely doesn’t track with a guy who missed you terribly and realized he made a mistake. Usually when we’re crazy about someone, we find it hard to stay away. That George was able to dart off so carelessly and plunge back into the dating pool doesn’t bode well for how seriously he cared for you or your relationship.

I vote no on giving George another chance. He already ruined one holiday season. Don’t let him also take down the joy of 2022 when he inevitably gets bored and decides he needs to go play the field again.

Wayne says:

Before we debate whether George gets another shot, let’s at least give him some credit: The dude is shameless when it comes to hunting down a free Thanksgiving spread.

Now, as for bringing him to your family’s gathering, or even seriously dating him again, you must start with the reality that this turkey already gave you bad heartburn. So, with that in mind, if you truly want to explore this again, he must earn his way back into your good graces by proving that his word, intentions and actions are true. No way he’s coming to Thanksgiving. He can meet you for coffee or a drink, or something that feels like a first date, over the long holiday weekend.

Let things play out from there. Just don’t let him drive; you’re in control of the pace, and he’s got a lot of work to do and a long road to travel. Trust your heart, mind and intuition to tell you if or when you can trust him again. And even if you two start clicking, forget Christmas together. Maybe — just maybe — you can do a New Year’s date, if you don’t already have something booked.

All of that said, if there’s ever a sense that it isn’t working for you, gracefully bail out — no ghosting. Or don’t go there at all. You don’t owe him a thing. If you want to, cut him off now and move on. Even though you two showed some potential, he broke your heart and acted like a child. You’ve spent a year getting your feet back underneath you. If you don’t want to face the prospect of this all repeating itself, don’t let it.

Wayne and Wanda

Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at wanda@adn.com.

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