Dear Wendy: “Should I Wait Around For My Crush To Get Over Her Ex?”

I’m a lesbian and there’s a girl I’ve been hanging out with on a daily basis for a while now whom I’m interested in. Until this summer, we were both in relationships, but at the beginning of this school year, upon finding out I was single, she immediately said, “We should date!” Since then, I’ve been getting really mixed signals from her (we’ve drunkenly made out twice, and kissed a few times sober, but with a lot of platonic hanging out in between). She’s told me that she’s conflicted and although she really likes me, she doesn’t want to hurt me because she isn’t over her ex. Honestly, I had expected this, and told her that if she needs some more time, I’d wait (to which I got no real response). I’m more into her than I’ve ever been into anyone in my life, so I’m willing to wait, but I feel sort of stupid and it bothers me that I’ve turned down other offers in the meantime. She told me before that it took her almost a year to get over her last ex, so I don’t know if I want to wait THAT long, but if I lose my chance with her, I know that’s a regret I’ll carry around for a long time. What should I do? — Tired of Waiting

Do not wait around! Look, if this woman’s interested in you, she should be worrying about losing you while she hems and haws over her ex. I’m not saying she isn’t justified in taking time to process her breakup, but expecting you to wait around for her while she figures things out is redonkulous. If she’s really interested and she sees you moving on with one of these other women who are pursuing you, she’ll be much more likely to make her move. Sometimes people need a little incentive to pull their heads out of their arses. That’s not to say that you should use these other women just to get this girl’s attention, but certainly, if you have some interest in any of them, for God’s sake, don’t turn them down just because someone you like better maybe might want something with you one day. In giving some of these other ladies a chance, you might just find out you actually like them better. And if you don’t? Well, at least you gave it a shot. At least you didn’t let the possibility of what might be eventually keep you from exploring what could be right now. After all, if things never work out with your first choice, won’t you regret having passed up these other women when you had your chance?

I dated my “high school sweetheart” for eight years, and was engaged to marry her. However, about a year and a half away from the wedding date, while I was away in grad school, I met another girl I fell absolutely head over heels for. She had all the qualities that I value in a partner, a friend, and a person. I realized that the relationship I was in was merely out of “comfort,” and that we had simply grown used to each other over the years, and weren’t necessarily a good match. There were NUMEROUS other issues in my relationship as well. She’s a fantastic person overall, and I care for her deeply, but I broke off the wedding and subsequently broke her heart.

It was at this time she revealed to me that she had cheated on me four years before and never told me. I was livid. However, I instructed my family to be supportive of her and keep her under their wing. Fast forward six months, and her parents and all of her friends hate me, and call me a “scumbag.” She has NEVER told them the entire truth of her cheating history, and is playing the victim card. What’s even worse is she still sees my family from time to time while I am loathed by hers. This upsets me because it’s time for her to move on, and I feel that it’s not fair to my current girlfriend, for whom I have very strong feelings. Is it too much to tell my family I don’t want them talking with her until we resolve our differences? I want the best for my ex-fiancé, but it tears me apart inside to know that my family is still supporting her despite her outright refusal to talk to me. — Ex-Fiancé

Wait, let me make sure I have this straight. You didn’t break up with your ex-fianceé because she cheated on you — you didn’t even find out about that until after you ended your engagement. You broke up with her because you met someone you liked better. Despite learning about her cheating, you still “instructed” your family to take your ex under their wing. But now you’re mad that they remain close to her because you think it’s unfair to your current girlfriend? It’s tearing you up inside knowing that your family supports her? If you didn’t want them talking with your ex “until you resolve your differences,” why did you encourage them to support her?

Face it: you aren’t upset that your family is still close to your ex; you’re upset that you look like the bad guy. And the reason you look like the bad guy is because you dumped your fianceé for someone else. You dumped her before you knew she cheated on you, so you really can’t use that as the excuse. You realized you weren’t truly in love with your ex. You met someone else. It happens. You aren’t a bad guy because of that. But you are being kinda dickish for thinking that if everyone knew your ex cheated on you four years before you dumped her, somehow that would validate your breakup and take the heat off you. It’s dickish, because the one has nothing to do with the other. You didn’t dump her because she cheated on you; you dumped her because you fell in love with someone else. That’s not your fault, but you also really can’t blame your ex’s family for being upset with you. You hurt their daughter.

Yeah, I get that it’s frustrating that it seems your girlfriend is playing the “victim” card when she isn’t exactly a perfect angel, but I’m not sure she’s really playing a victim card. She’s probably just being hurt and upset. Her eight-year relationship ended. Her fianceé dumped her for someone else as she was planning her wedding. That’s got to sting, regardless of whatever mistakes she made or how she hurt you. And her parents are being loyal to her as they should be. Your parents are being loyal to you in doing as you asked them to do: remaining supportive of your ex. So, quit blaming other people and take responsibility for your actions. If other people think you’re a scumbag, that’s their business. You know in your heart whether you acted with integrity or not. Isn’t that enough? Look, if you’re uncomfortable with your family’s relationship with your ex-fianceé, tell them so. Tell them you wish her well, but you have a new woman in your life and you’d love nothing more than for them to embrace her as they did your ex when you were with her. And then be grateful you have a loving family who supports your decisions and respects your wishes.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”} with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

Follow me on Twitter and get relationship tips and updates on new Dear Wendy columns!