Ask Kathy B: Does he still love his old flame?

June 21, 2005

Ask Kathy B: Does he still love his old flame? with your question.

Question:Dear Kathy B,
I’ll try to make this long story short. My boyfriend has a long history of dating a girl he’s known since junior high. Apparently, she used him and played with his heart. At some point, I guess in high school, he told his mom he was going to marry her, an example of how much she meant to him. They went their separate ways through college and after he graduated he decided to make a long trip to live away from home for a while. The week before he left he ran into her and they “hooked up” for a couple days. He almost didn’t go away, but decided he had to. Since then, he hadn’t seen her for about a year and then we met. We’ve now been dating for about a year (and now living together). About 6 months ago I found emails between the two of them. In these emails, there is no mention of me and they are very sappy. She wanted to send him old love letters, etc. The big thing is: she’s about to get married and she said she wanted to find her “lost first love”. He sounded completely in love with her in these letters. I confronted him, in hysterics, and he said he was sorry, he loves me, and he made a huge mistake. I actually emailed the girl myself and we spoke. She claims she meant no harm and wasn’t trying to pursue anything, just close old wounds. That’s all fine and dandy, except that’s not at all how the letters sounded. In the “end” he sent her a nice letter, that he allowed me to read, stating that he loves me and that was all a mistake, etc. He’s trying everything he can to make this up to me and prove he loves me, alone. I’m just having a hard time because I don’t understand how the minute she shows him the slightest interest, he can fall madly in love with her again, and now, that I found out and he realized he may lose me, he can suddenly have no feelings for her and not care if he ever talks to her again. How can I be sure in 10 years, this won’t happen again? And, how can I know that he’s telling me the truth? I want to forgive him and move on with our relationship so bad, but I’m just afraid of getting hurt again and I’m afraid that if this could happen after all this time, maybe they’re meant to be together. I’ve been hanging on thinking this would somehow go away and we’d be normal again, but it’s been 6 months and it hurts just as bad as when it happened. I find myself constantly invading his privacy behind his back, searching for some sign or some new love letter. I can’t live like this. It isn’t me. I just want to know that he is truly not in love with her anymore and that he’s not with me simply because she’s getting married and he can’t have her. Any advice?

Kathy B’s answer

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