"On paper, my current boyfriend is everything, except the love of my life."
Each week, the inbox of our venerable advice columnist, Miss Information, is flooded with queries. And although she makes a valiant effort, she can't answer them all. To deal with the surplus, we've decided to turn to you. So, don your spectacles and help this woman out — give her advice in the comments below.
I got out of a long-term relationship earlier this year — I was completely in love with this guy, but he cheated on me repeatedly, and our breakup was protracted and ugly.
I had a couple of rebounds and got over it, but it took a while. Recently, I've been seeing this other guy, and he's everything my ex isn't. He's closer to my age, he's got a great career and is upwardly mobile (compared to my ex, who's working part time and pursuing a career as a writer), he makes me laugh — on paper, he's everything, except the love of my life. The problem is, I don't feel as strongly for him as I did for my ex. There's a lot of affection and physical attraction, but the deeper, tingly, goosebumps feeling just isn't there.
This is compounded by the fact that my ex recently contacted me, and he wants to get back together. It's been almost a year since we broke up, and in that time, I feel like he's grown a lot — or at least he's saying the right things — and we're both in a good spot to try things again. He's started therapy and seems to be working on a lot of what made things between us so difficult.
If I take him back and old problems come up again, I know I'll have no one to blame but myself, and I'll have squandered a perfectly good relationship with a lot of potential in the meantime. There's the safe, smart, choice with the "ideal man," and then there's the guy who might have been the love of my life. Is it smarter to play the "long game" and assume I'll develop feelings that I don't have right now, or get back together with the person for whom I have the stronger feelings, but who has the worse track record?
— Between an Ex and A Hard Place