My on-off boyfriend of about a year and a half and I recently broke up. We’ve been growing apart and becoming more like friends, and I’ve always felt like he doesn’t completely let me in. We broke up once before, but this time I feel like it may be permanent. We’ve decided to stay not just friends, but best friends, seeing that we have also become close friends in the process of us dating. This means that we still hang out, go out for drinks, party, and of course, have sex. The only major difference is no daily calls or texts. The post-breakup sex has been great: very passionate, raw, and spontaneous. It’s definitely different than the sex when we were dating.
I also recently moved into a new apartment, and my ex was the only one who helped me. He actually did most of the work, and even bought some stuff for my new apartment. Now, I love hanging out with him, and I think he’s a great friend (plus, I obviously don’t mind the sex). I am currently fine with our relationship right now, but I’m concerned that I might get emotionally attached and get hurt in the future because I tend to get emotionally invested when it comes to boys.
I just don’t know where is this going. Will we eventually get back together? Will we stay as whatever this is? I still love and care very much about him. I just feel like he seems to want me when he isn’t with me (the first time we broke up, he later wanted me back).
I’m 22, but I’m ready to find someone to share my future with (I know, I’m only 22. I’m so young. Blah blah blah. I’ve heard it all, but I think I am really ready).
My question is should I do something with this relationship if it isn’t going anywhere? I could be using my time and energy to look for a new boyfriend.
A Confused Ex-Boyfriend
I’ve got some news for you, ACEB. You know how you’re worried about getting emotionally invested?
Look, for a lot of people, being in a relationship is preferable to not being in one, and so when a relationship ends because it’s run its course (as opposed to a specific inciting incident, like cheating or abuse) people tend to hold on past the expiration date.
You guys were in a rut when you were together, but you still love each other and enjoy each other’s company. So you break up, and whammo – you’re suddenly much closer and the sex is inexplicably hotter than ever before! Who knew?
Of course the sex is hotter, because in your minds it went from being sweet-but-unexciting domestic relationship sex to naughty, raunchy, swingin’ singles sex. And of course you’ve grown closer, because now that you’ve had time to miss each other, you do.
Right now you’re okay with your relationship, because there are exactly zero foreign elements. But the minute that either one of you gets a little dong-hungry for another dude and follows through on that craving, things are not going to feel as copacetic as they do now. And you should listen to me, because I use words like “copacetic.”
You and your not-really-ex need to sit down and have a long talk about your situation as it stands now. Conventional wisdom tells us that on-again-off-again relationships never work out, but conventional wisdom also makes allowances for skinny jeans, so toss that out and figure out what you mean to each other. If you really believe you’re not meant to be together, the best thing to do is to have actual space. And I mean for a long time. You’ll never get over him if you’re constantly at his side. It will be an unbearable barrage of uber-suckitude, but necessary if you want to move on.
Geek girl here. I’ve been following your SGM Seeks LTR in NYC series for a long time, ever since a random search for Lord of the Rings brought me to your episode about watching LOTR instead of visiting your family at Christmas . I got caught up and know that you’re a part of a lot of fandoms. My question is which is your favorite fandom? Personally I’m an X-Men girl, but I’m curious about you.
I love this question, FQ. I could talk about this stuff all day.
It’s true, I confess. I have ties to a lot of different fandoms. Right now I’m starting my journey into Song of Fire and Ice (aka Game of Thrones ), and before I started I was actually concerned there wasn’t enough room in my head for yet another universe. (Turns out there is. I just had to replace all my basic knowledge of math with the houses of Westeros .)
A fandom that I’ve really come into in the past three years is Doctor Who and its saucier sister, Torchwood . There’s just something about the combo of refined British sensibilities and batsh*t crazy sci-fi, slathered together with an unimaginably affecting emotional appeal, that pulls me in. If you want a great read about being inDoctorinated, check this article out . I’m also a big, big fan of Harry Potte r , as evidenced by the fact that Morris’ and my first vacation together was to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter .
But while I’ve laughed, geeked out, and shed more than a few tears over the Doctor and the students at Hogwarts , it’s not number one. For a long time, my top obsession was a tie between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lord of the Rings .
Buffy was meaningful to me because I was roughly the same age as the main characters of Buffy, Xander , and Willow when the show was on TV, so as they grew, I grew. The elements of feminism, martial arts, gay equality, magic, horror, humor, and empowerment for those are never considered the “cool kids” rings as true for me now as it did when the show was still running. I think of all of Joss Whedon’s creations, it’s the very finest.
But at the end of the day, I’m a Tolkien man through and through. I’m currently reading The Lord of the Rings for the … actually, I’ve lost count. It’s either the eighth or the ninth time. I delight over every sentence. Every word is perfectly chosen, and every invented Elvish word beautiful. I could watch the movies (and the making-of bonus features) until my eyes bleed. The fact that The Hobbit is now going to be three movies instead of two hasn’t pissed me off and sent me into a rave about the cash-grab film industry; it made me excited that that’s three more hours we’ll be able to spend in Middle Earth.
But that’s just mine. Okay, gentle readers: what are your favorite fandoms?
To ask JT a question, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org . Messages may be edited for space.
You can find previous editions of AfterElton’s Ask JT advice column here .