My ex and I are still good friends – how do I tell him I want more?

I had a relationship for 10 years with a great man. I left him because he was suffering from depression and unwilling to help himself at the time. It’s now been well over 3 years since the split up and we have become good friends. We have both had short-term relationships during the past 3 years. We still ski and do activities together and sure enjoy ourselves. We are now both single and presently on a ski trip together with friends. It does feel nice when we are together, very comfortable. I opened my heart out to him last spring and he knows I will always love him. So I’m not sure how to bring it up and ask if he is willing to spend time together and see where it takes us. How do I go about doing this? – Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for reaching out. Well, the good news is that you’ve already set a great foundation for the possibility of getting back together in the future! By remaining friends and keeping a strong connection going, it tells me that regardless of what happened in the past when you broke up, you’ve both maintained a level of respect for each other – enough to be going on holiday and spending time on shared activities. 

You mentioned that you opened your heart to him last spring – how did he react? Did he reveal how he felt? I’d suggest taking a minute to reflect on how that conversation went to best inform you of how to approach this next situation. 

In any case, here are a few things to consider when broaching the subject with him:

  • Find a good time for it. Let your ex know that you want to speak with him about something important beforehand and arrange a place and time to meet. This will remove the “shock” factor and give him a chance to prepare himself for what is coming. 
  • Just like you did last spring, open your heart and be honest about how you’re feeling. I’d strongly recommend reflecting on this before you speak to him so that you can be as clear as possible about what you want for the future. Do you want to get back into a full-blown relationship? Or just start spending more time together and see where it goes? 
  • If he is up for it, another important conversation needs to be had regarding the issues that caused you to break up the first time around. Has he sought help for his depression? What’s different this time around? 

I understand that this might not be an easy conversation to have, after all, it’s nerve-wracking putting yourself out there and potentially facing rejection. But that’s why its super important to be clear about your own feelings before approaching him. This will keep you grounded and on track throughout a conversation that could become quite emotionally charged. 

 Best of luck, and remember, if he doesn’t share your sentiments, it’s okay to allow yourself some distance from the friendship until you’ve fully moved on from him. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it doesn’t come to that! 

Sending love, 

Evie 

Do you have a question for Evie? If you would like advice from Evie, fill out the form here or send your problem to askevie@ideapod.com.

 

Ask Evie

Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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