She vs. He Sara: No Love

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Each week, Ouch My Ego‘s resident life coaches, Sara Montoya and Mario Leal, square off against one another, offering male and female perspectives on issues submitted by our readers. Send your boy/girl questions, concerns, grievances and scenarios to shehe@ouchmyego.com and let Mario and Sara weigh in on the dilemmas that ail you.

Dear she/he,

An ex of 6 years wants me back. Problem is I don’t even believe in love anymore. She’s really sweet and kind, albeit a bit boring. She knows how i feel but is persistent and has been loyal to me during our time apart. I’m not entirely abject to the idea, but there’s hesitation. What’s a bro to do?                                                                                                                          -Anonymous

Sara:

You don’t believe in love anymore? SIGH. I can’t agree with you. Let’s go to Exhibit One, ladies and gents – 500 Days of Summer, the epitome of post-modern love stories, to respond to this. “It’s love. It’s not Santa Claus.” You might be in a state of disillusionment or general feeling of “meh,” but that doesn’t mean that love doesn’t exist or that you won’t ever find it and be happy again. Chin up, man. It’ll happen. It just might not happen right at this moment, and that brings me to the next part of your question…

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You have a history with this person. She’s sweet and nice and smart and kind of pretty, but boring. She’s vanilla when you really want Cherry Garcia. She’s not the girl of your dreams, but she’ll follow you around like a puppy and won’t ever cheat on you. Her persistence must mean that she really loves you, and that’s not the worst thing in the world, right? You can just put in the extra effort to add some spice to the relationship to make up for her being completely dull.

So how are you going to answer this, then: How does it feel to settle? There’s a reason why you broke up in the first place. By getting back together, you’d be doing a great disservice to yourself and the girl. You both deserve to be in a relationship that is both exhilarating and comfortable. Don’t settle for ellipses when you want an exclamation point. If you’re not feeling it, be honest. Tell her that if you proceed with the relationship, you’ll be content, but not happy. Hearing that will sting for a bit, but if she keeps badgering you about getting together, then you have to question why she wants to be with you in the first place. Is she insane? Who wants to be with someone that keeps pushing her away? She needs some self-respect and you need some self-esteem. As cliché as it sounds, if you both loved yourselves more, you wouldn’t want to be with someone who didn’t think you were absolutely amazing (her) or be with someone, just because they were there (you). No matter how much she insists or protests, stick to your guns; she’ll thank you later.

Mario:

If you’re not into it, it’s not going to happen. Nor is it worth your time to really pursue. Here’s the problem with the whole “I don’t believe in love” thing: what’s the point of even asking for advice? If you were apathetic about the whole situation, you wouldn’t care one way or the other. What you need to do is figure out why you don’t care about “love” anymore. Ask yourself: “What is love, and what do I want to get out of it?”

Maybe this girl can help you figure that out. It’s nice to have someone who stays in your life as you progress in relationships. Though you did describe her as boring and that’s probably the reason you’re not with her anymore. If you’re only asking about how to let this girl off easily without hurting her feelings then sorry, it’s not going to happen. Nice people can get their feelings hurt too and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Her nice and loyal nature should be commended, but should not be the only reason to keep her around. They may be the ingredients you need in your girl, but not the spice you’re looking for. If you’re still open to trying something in the realm of a relationship, you need to add that spice.

Whatever the answer was that you came up with for “What is love and what do I want to get out of it,” apply it here.

If your answer was a random outing where you bungee jump, do that. If it’s experimenting in bed, try that. Whatever it is, make it happen and see if what you want can happen with this girl. Sometimes, to make something work, you have to take the lead. This is your life so you should be in control. She’ll let you know when she wants something different, just like she’s letting you know she wants back in.

If you’re unwilling to try it, tell her and always make sure the dialogue you keep with her afterward is exclusively friendly, nothing more. There’s no point dragging things on and playing yourself and her. 

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