She’s missing the guy she dumped. Why?

She likes her new guy a lot more, so why has she started thinking about the old one?


Q. Dear Meredith,

I dated “George” for a little over a year. Things were great until they went sour and we ended with a nasty breakup. It was a drawn-out ending, and he really wasn’t treating me right by the end of it. I was George’s first serious relationship, and he didn’t take the breakup well.


To add to that, too soon (under a week) after George and I ended things, I met “Ringo.” I wasn’t planning on starting anything serious after such a draining breakup with George, but life happens. About a year later, I am still with Ringo. He is wonderful, and while we have our moments, I know we are a compatible couple and are happy together. My question is: Why have I recently started to miss George? I have made a long and thorough list of reasons NOT to miss him: We had some strong differences in our values, he had anger management issues, he was rude to me when his friends were around, he (kind of?) cheated on me (made out with several people), etc. Why am I getting these “I miss George feelings” now?

One last thing: George and I live in somewhat intertwined worlds, and I see him around a couple times a month. While I wish we were on pleasant enough terms to wave hello, he does his best to make me feel invisible. Why do these encounters fill me with a sense of guilt? Why do I even care if he says hello? I think I’ve left you with too many questions and not enough details, so I apologize. But I’m curious to hear what you and the readers have to say about any of this.  

– Why do I miss my ex

A. I think it’s one of two things. Or both.

Option 1: This has nothing to do with George and everything to do with Ringo. You claim that you and Ringo are compatible, but you could be having doubts about the future. Maybe you need some time alone to figure out what you really want. Perhaps you’re looking for someone new — like John or Paul.

Option 2: This is all about you wanting to be liked. It’s normal to feel bad when someone avoids you in public, even if that person is an ex who was rude to you and made out with other people. That doesn’t mean you miss the relationship.


No matter what, I do not think that this is about wanting to be with George. Read those two options a few times and figure out which one speaks to your gut.

 — Meredith


“ . . . he had anger management issues, he was rude to me when his friends were around . . . ” Those comments alone are enough to say you should not be with him. And it’s precisely those things about him that have him pretending you’re invisible. A therapist can help you sort through your thoughts and feelings. And you should do that before moving in with or marrying Ringo.


Option 3: You like being treated like dirt. Option 4: George rocked your world in bed and Ringo is, well, Ringo.


I think you should forget about both George and Ringo and fly solo for a while.


Let it be.


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