Sex Q&A: Leave Your Ex in the Dust

Why Your Ex Will Not Leave You Alone

Danielle from Pima County, Arizona asks:

Dear Liam,

Why won’t my ex leave me alone? He won’t give me what I want, and yet he won’t leave me be. It’s been a year since I broke up with him. I will admit that I let him take me out on dates (no sex) once a month thinking that it will progress into something more, but yet it has become a pattern. He shows up once a month and then disappears until the next month, and I’ve had it. I told him not to contact me until he figures out what he wants from me. But how do I get what I want? Do I rebuff and ignore or continue to give in to seeing him on his terms? If he is not ready, wanting or willing to work with me, I would rather be left alone than be in a pattern that causes me pain and confusion. What is up with him? (I will say this, when we were in a relationship it was super!)

Liam’s Response:

Greetings, and thank you so much for writing. While contemplating this situation, I confess I had to wonder why you care to continue this relationship. Looking at you, I see an independent woman: forthright, practical and very attractive. In spite of all this, you remain fixated on this particular situation, with this particular man, to such a point that I don’t think you’re able to see the proverbial forest for the trees. In essence, what you’re really asking me is how you can get the man you want, and I, in turn, wonder why on earth you want him. The whole thing seems more than a bit masochistic on your part. It’s as if you feel you deserve all the shoddy treatment for some reason. You see him without giving in to any pressure to have sex, and I applaud you for setting some kind of boundaries. But the bottom line is: he’s well aware that he could waltz right back into this relationship and your bed, if he wanted to. He knows you want a commitment from him; so for all your posturing, he remains very self-assured. He feels no threat from other men where you’re concerned and no pressure from you to either put up or get out. From what I see, what you are to him is a back-up plan; a reliable spare. You are a familiar source of sentimental comfort and a potential place of refuge if his main pursuits falter. I sense that he has another in mind for his main course, but she’s currently a bit out of his reach. She is married, beautiful and mysterious. His pursuit of her is fraught with danger at every turn, and if he’s rejected, if his heart is broken and his hopes dashed, your bed and your arms would at least be a sanctuary. Eventually, after he felt healed and whole, he’d leave you again.

It all sounds very sordid, I know, but he’s only following general human mating patterns in primal form. Your relationship was fated for a short-term haul from the start. He met you and liked you. The two of you had your mating cycle together and your season of bliss. But once you were conquered the relationship no longer held a purpose for him, and he went out to find himself another to chase. You utterly failed to build yourself any value in his eyes. You never became his friend, so he had no incentive to keep hanging out with you after the passion faded, as passion always does. Friendship is always the glue that binds. My advice to you is let this one go. Don’t relegate yourself to being somebody’s last resort port in the storm. You’re better than that. You have so much more to offer, and this guy is never going to figure that out. Move on with your life, and next time you have a chance at love remember, build the friendship first.

Liam

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9 thoughts on “Sex Q&A: Leave Your Ex in the Dust

  1. sls

    Liam,
    I too have one that will not leave me alone. We have 2 kids together and he always uses them to get a foot in the door. If I don’t let him come to my house then he ignores the kids, which breaks my heart, and theirs too. I have tried just not having anything to do with him and I find myself alone for a year at a time. I have to put in 120 to 130 hours every two weeks (night shift), and I sleep during the days. I am tired of being alone but I am even more tired of being 2nd best. Please tell me that one day someone will be coming into my life and that I will not have to be like this forever.

    Reply
  2. Diane Crane

    Good advice,Liam. I really think that some of us are so insecure that we will go so far as to just see anyone even though the relationship may be toxic for us. It’s part of the human condition. We freak out at the thought of being alone.

    Reply
  3. sbsteinb1suzanne

    Very impowering. I myself have been attracted to many emotionally unavialable men and have faced the dissapointment that follows when those relationships wither, sometimes they never even have a climax. Men will take every back door enterance they can, when the front doors into our lives are locked. Great article.

    Reply
  4. terry

    That is so true. in my experience most ex’s who have left you for someone else comes back because they don’t like the fact that you have moved on, and take advantage that you still may have feelings for them. so they use that factor to play with your mind and get you confused. it’s best to not allow them come back and manipulate you.

    Reply
  5. Rose Cocca

    i have a lot of love in my heart to give..and i very passionate with him…i just forget how to give in to it..i know him for many years and it all have to come back to me…he still the man i known all these years..but i have to get to know him again..

    Reply
  6. Rose Cocca

    i will always be in love..but i like to know a man better before i jump in bed with him…i dont want want to be a stranger to me…it will feel like going to bed awith a stranger…that is why i want to be with him as much as possible..to grow with him…i will like to date him..not just having sex..i love him for what he is …i the bottom line is i want to know him much more than a friend to me..i want more..and then everything will go up hill.from there…

    Reply
  7. Sara

    Wow…that hit me right between the eyes. Thanks for the insight into the primal human mating rituals. I’ll move on now…

    Reply
  8. Lola

    Ian, I enjoy you so much. You’re intelligent and thoughtful. Where else are you on the internet? If you don’t have at least a blog, you should start one!

    Reply
  9. Rose Cocca

    i have tried to have a freindship with him but he pulls away…i dont know what to do..i think he has someone else…if he feels he loves her move than i think he should stick with her…but he has to remember that he is not a kid anymore that he all grow up and a man ..looking to date someone who is not his age…someone someday is going to breal hes real bad…and then he realize he all grown up…

    Reply

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