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Still chatting with ex? Why bother?!

Innocent hours-long chats with a wimpy ex? Why bother?

Q: My ex from two years ago and I didn't speak at all after the breakup, but since the beginning of this summer, we have been talking online for hours every day. It is totally innocent and will never turn into anything romantic ever again.

The wrench is, he has this shrewish, controlling new girlfriend who (a) ended our relationship, (b) hates me and (c) feels threatened by his having any female friends. He is more or less not allowed to be talking to me, and lies to her about doing so, which I think is absurdly immature of them both.

Am I in the wrong for tacitly condoning this behavior? I told him once I would only talk to him if he was honest with his girlfriend about it (not that I care about her feelings, but it seemed like the moral thing to do), but that went by the wayside when he reminded me said girlfriend is totally unreasonable about these things and is easier sidestepped than confronted. What say you?

D.C.

A: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH, say I.

You're both making this "shrewish, controlling," not-at-all-new, two-year girlfriend sound more sympathetic than she probably deserves. If he has such a big problem with her "unreasonable" rules, then he can break up with her. Knock-knock.

And taking someone's attention for "hours every day" is not innocent when a fairly established girlfriend probably feels she has a rightful claim to at least some of that time; and when that time is instead going to his ex, who resents her and has ample motivation to undermine her; and when he's lying, by omission or otherwise, about how he's spending his time. At that point it doesn't matter if you and he are just plotting to knit booties for underprivileged children.

You, meanwhile, aren't just "tacitly condoning this behavior." You're actively enabling him to treat his current girlfriend the way he treated you. Your noble, be-honest-with-your-girlfriend-or-else ultimatum had all the structural integrity of facial tissue.

Maybe the girlfriend is a shrew who done you wrong, but you're being pretty horrible to her, too — and you're doing so for the dubious privilege of spending time with a guy who so lacks the courage to break up with women himself that he needs to recruit other women to do it for him.

So, the better question here is, what say you? I would suggest: "No, thanks."

A really attractive guy won't make you wait by the phone

Q: Need some advice on how to pass the time while waiting for a very attractive man to call who I am not sure is interested. I've tried everything to get my mind off things, but I find I just really, really like him a lot. Like a lot a lot. Anyway, would appreciate your thoughts and, no, I'm not calling him or asking him out myself. It's just not my style.

WAITING!

A: I don't know. I can't think of anyone more attractive than someone who is interested in you. Not wait-insanely-by-the-phone interested, but I'm-in-this-for-the-long-haul-and-of-course-I'm-going-to-call-you interested.

What you're talking about is adrenaline. That's different. That's attractive like a suspenseful movie — fun for a while, even worth WAITING! for, but nothing to tell Dad about.

Still chatting with ex? Why bother?! 07/30/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 30, 2009 6:03pm]

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