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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5968
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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I am currently in a relationship and have been with my partner

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I am currently in a relationship and have been with my partner for 3 years and 8 months and everything seems to be going fine and I do love her, however just lately I have been having dreams about an ex that I have not seen for over 5 years and cannot stop thinking about her. These have probably happening on and off for the last couple of weeks and when I think about her I just want to go back to her. I can re-call almost everything we did on our first date together and just thinking about her again melts my heart and makes me want to go back to her. The problem is we were only really ever seeing each other and because I was seeing other girls she did not like this and stopped seeing me. I am really confused and do not know what to do?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you feel caught between your current relationship with your girlfriend and feeling like you are missing out on being with your ex if you stay. The fact that you have this deep seated need to be with your ex when you are with your girlfriend yet you cheated on your ex when you were with her is pointing to an issue with your ability to feel happy in a stable relationship.

It is very possible that you have developed this issue over an unmet need or problem from your past. Many people struggle with having a stable and faithful relationship with the person they love if they have unmet needs or issues from their past.

Also, you may want to consider that when you were with your ex, you cheated then. And now that you are in a stable relationship, you want to go back. But if you were unhappy enough with your ex to cheat, then that is not going to change if you go back to her. You will still feel the same unless you resolve what caused you to cheat in the first place.

Because of the possibility that this issue with your relationship is a learned one, it is best that you seek therapy before you decide anything. You need to find out what is causing you to feel unhappy when you are in a stable relationship. A therapist can help you explore why you feel as you do and help you address any issues that are there, so you can feel better and more sure of your decision.

Talk to your doctor about a referral or you can search for a therapist on line at

It may also help to explore marriage and the reasons why you feel the need to look outside of your relationship now and what about your ex that you feel would be better if you went back. Make a list of reasons why you feel you were not faithful in the relationship. That can help you pinpoint what you felt then and why the relationship was not working for you. Also consider what would happen if you left your current relationship. How would you feel if you left this relationship and the relationship with your ex did not work out again but you could not come back to this one? Considering these issues can help you let go of the past and move forward.

I hope this has helped you,

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I agree that back then I was unfaithful and there must have been something that caused that to happen, personally though I think it was just down to being young and just starting out at university and wanting to live life, but the second I lost her I was distraught and did everything I could to keep it going with her however she just kept requesting that I left her alone. Rather than keep pushing this and borderline harassing her I left it although I would have done anything to keep her in my life.


I think the problem I have with the current relationship is that yes I do love her but do not feel that connection I had with the ex. The ex grabbed my heart and took it within such a short period and just looking at a picture of her brings all of them feelings rushing back.


The current relationship took time to fall for her and that could be down to being more cautious or it could be down to the fact I do not love her as much as the ex. Do you think a therapist knowing this additional advise would still be recommended?

Thank you for the additional information.

The fact that it took longer to fall in love with your current girlfriend does not mean you love her less. Every relationship is different. You can be friends with someone for years and develop a deep and lasting marriage, or you can meet someone and fall in love in a weekend. It is how you feel in that relationship that matters.

If you feel you still have feelings for your ex, it is worth exploring. But it helps to keep in mind that your ex may have moved on and still does not want to be in a relationship. And if you leave your current girlfriend, you might end up feeling the same way about her. You may also want to ask yourself could you leave your current girlfriend, not go back to your ex, and still be happy that you ended this current relationship? That can tell you if you are unhappy in your current relationship. So examining how you feel right now before you decide might help. And a therapist can help you with that decision.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Many thanks for all of your help with this.


Would confronting my ex (online) just to start talking and explore how she feels be the right thing to do whilst still in my current relationship or could that cause problems for my current relationship?

You're welcome!

Yes that would cause problems in your current relationship. That would be a form of cheating and could undermine the trust between you and your current girlfriend. It may even have the same effect as it did on your last relationship and effectively end this relationship. Not something you want to do if you have any doubt about leaving your current girlfriend. And your ex would see what you did, confirming that you are still cheating on your girlfriends which will not help her trust you.


I am happy to help with any additional questions. However, please don't forget to rate my answer as OK or higher so I am credited for my work. Thanks so much!