The Austin Chronicle

The Luv Doc: A Bad Look From Any Angle

If you want to get to greener pastures, you’re going to have to slip past some barbed wire

By The Luv Doc, December 15, 2023, Columns

Dear Luv Doc,

I can't stop sleeping with my ex-boyfriend. I broke up with him three years ago. He was very controlling and emotionally immature in a lot of ways. After five years of what seemed like constant arguing I'd had enough, so I broke up, thinking I would find a better match through a dating service. That hasn't really panned out. All the guys I meet are really self-absorbed or just after sex. I am sure there are some nice ones out there but they are few and far between. Then I ran into my ex this summer at a friend's house party and we had a nice conversation that wasn't argumentative or emotionally charged. I found out he has a younger girlfriend that he likes but doesn't connect with on a very deep level. We started exchanging texts and then one night I invited him over to my apartment and one thing led to another. Now we hook up about once a month. I have told him I don't want to get back together with him and he says that's fine with him, but I can tell he still has feelings for me. I feel guilty about his girlfriend, even though he says it's not a serious relationship. If he said he was serious about her, I would leave him alone. I know I'm just using him, but the sex has been good and he doesn't seem all that upset about it. Still, I don't like keeping secrets. Sometimes I think I should focus on finding a serious boyfriend. I don't think I'm a bad person, but I certainly haven't told anyone else about this. I probably should get on with my life, right? – Ex Sexer

Pretty much anytime someone asks if they should get on with their life, my perfunctory response is, "yes," because clearly that person feels like they are regressing. I think that's a fair assessment of where you're at. You want to move forward and find someone you can really get excited about, but damn it, searching for the right person is an ugly business – even on Bumble.

Dating sites are rife with losers, douchebags, and knuckleheads, just like an average night at a local club (well, minus the shirtless bathroom mirror selfies), but that's the hill you've got to climb ... or perhaps the swamp you have to wade through. Remember: You wanted to find something better – or at least something different enough that it seemed better. Now's your chance. If you want to get to greener pastures, you're going to have to slip past some barbed wire. I'll bet you're up to it.

Sport-fucking your ex might feel good in the moment, but I'm guessing as you lay there basking in the sweaty afterglow, you're also sort of hating yourself for lacking the courage/fortitude to truly move on. You should honor that feeling. That's the withering remains of your self respect gnawing at what's left of your conscience – or maybe vice versa. I know that may sound a bit harsh, but it's only harsh if it's true. For all I know, your ex might be using you, but from your description it sounds like his participation in these occasional trysts might be based on some sad, desperate hope that you'll eventually get back together. If you're not having any feels at all other than the ones in your nether regions, well, that seems sort of emotionally rapey, doesn't it?

Lastly, as far as I can tell, you seem to be the only person actually benefiting from this arrangement. That's a bad look from any angle. Imagine telling one of your Bumble dates you're still sport-fucking your ex who also has a girlfriend. My guess is that he is going to excuse himself to go to the restroom and leave you to pay the check. Then he's probably going to talk about it on his podcast. Why? Because this is Austin. Everybody has a podcast – probably even your ex's girlfriend, and you don't want to end up on hers. So egg up, slip through that barbed wire to a greener pasture, find yourself the stud you've always dreamed about, and get on with your life.

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