Dear people,

I broke up with my fiancé seven years ago and it pretty much wrecked me. At the time, we were both drinking too much, and our fights escalated to the point where I didn’t even recognize him. He decided to leave state and I thought it was goodbye and good riddance. It took me a long time to even think about dating another guy, but last year I started going out on a couple dates here and there and I have been having a good time.

A couple of months ago my ex contacted me out of the blue and let me know that he had moved back to Alaska and asked me out to coffee to clear the air. Since then we have been making it a weekly thing, and we both have apologized and made amends for a lot of the things that we had said to each other. He confessed that he has been in therapy and stopped drinking. I quit drinking as well. He revealed that there were some unresolved issues that he had been taking out on me, and that he still had feelings for me. I have since realized that I also still care about him.

All my friends are telling me that you never take an ex back, but it seems to me that the people we are now are who we both hoped that we would become, and maybe this is our second chance. He is one of the only guys that I have ever really, truly loved. I would hate to miss out on my chance at an amazing relationship because of some dumb rules that my friends have. What say you?

— Déjà vu

Well hi Deja. It’s quite the conundrum isn’t it? Getting back together with an ex is just a constant flood of memories that keep your head swirling. You of course remember all the good times, and all those warm, yummy, loving feelings that you had with this guy. Enough that you were ready to commit to marriage with him at one point. Of course, we must look at the bad memories as well. That part is painful and scary. You are wondering if it would end up just as bad this time around. It’s already terrifying to start a new relationship, but to start one with someone that you have already seen the worst of is even more scary, or is it?

That’s the thing, you already know what the worst of this guy is, so you can make this decision with that information already in your possession. You know how bad it can get, so can you handle that again?

We aren’t saying that it will turn out that bad, just that you know what it would be like. There are also some things working in your favor. Since you mentioned it, we are led to believe that most of your fights happened while the two of you were intoxicated. Since you have both sobered up, you have been able to have some conversations and fix some of those issues. Also, that relationship was years ago. You have both done a lot of work on yourselves in that time frame, and you mentioned that he has been going to therapy, which means that he is committed to making a change and continuing that process.

We aren’t sure of the details of your previous partnering, but there had to be something that attracted you to him in the first place. Obviously that spark is still there. The first time around may have been the case of two right people at the wrong time. Sometimes the circumstances aren’t correct, no matter how great the people are. It does not sound like either of you were abusive, simply confrontational. Our advice to you involves your friends. You might be caught up in those butterfly feelings in your stomach that a guy you were ready to marry might be the one this time around.

Before you take another step, explain to your friends that the two of you have been talking, and you would love for them to see how much he has changed for the better. In each group of our friends we have someone whose gut instinct we trust. Have an event where they can all be around him as well. Let them get a feel for the changed man that you are sensing he is. Their feelings aren’t as involved and maybe they can give you some insight into this. Take things slow dear. It’s easy to ignore red flags when we aren’t looking for them.

Good luck to you.

Dear Alaskan’s

I recently broke up with my girlfriend because her and I want different things out of life. Not just in small ways, but large conversations that we should have had early on, such as where we are going to live, and children, and finances. We were only together for a few months, so I wasn’t completely emotionally involved, but she was the best sex I have ever had. I prefer specific things in bed, and she was the first woman I ever found that would do them enthusiastically.

We started sleeping together again, and it’s amazing, but my boys are telling me that I am going to end up missing out on the girl of my dreams because I am still playing around with her. They think that we are going to get back together. Can ex-sex ever end well? Can we just be friends with benefits?

-JP-

Hello JP. Ex-Sex is awesome. There is less need for negotiations, you already know each other’s likes, and there are less awkward emotions about this no strings attached fun, provided you keep it no strings attached.

Just like all sexual encounters you need to have adult conversations about what this is, where it is going, and agree that the two of you will cut it off if feelings start to come into play. You can do a lot of this by never falling into the relationship traps. Don’t spend the night, no dates, no meals. Simply sex.

For one of us, ex-sex turned into the reason that she met her current husband. She was introduced by the ex, who spoke very highly of her abilities outside of the bedroom as an intelligent and emotionally stable and wise person. So, to answer your question, yes, it can end well. You just must be willing to put in the work to make it exactly the type of relationship you want.

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