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Scarlett Letters: My Ex Wants Me Back, But I Don't Want Him

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Dear Scarlett, 

My ex wants me back. We dated back in 2011, and we dated once before that, but broke up because he wasn't trying. He thinks he's going to get back together with me, but I don't want him anymore. I told him not to get his hopes up because he doesn't know what the answer will be. I need advice on how to handle this. How do I end things with him?

Signed,

(L)over

(female, 26)

Dear (L)over,

There may be "50 ways to leave your lover," but even so, it's rarely simple. You two have a history, and it's easy to second-guess yourself. It sounds like you're ready to let him go, though, and are just looking for the right way out.

Take some time to run through the reasons you don't want him back. Make a list of what you're looking for and why your relationship didn't work out before. That way, you'll be sure of your decision and prepared to communicate it clearly.

Also consider what kind of relationship you want with him moving forward — if any. In your letter, you sound a bit annoyed. He's disappointed you and taken you for granted. Do you want him out of your life for good? Do you hope to eventually be friends? The answer will help you decide how much energy to spend on this — whether to shoot him a text or have dinner and talk it over.

A few more things: If you have mutual friends, you may want to give them a heads-up. Also, nowadays people are able to stay aware of each other on social media. If you don't want him up in your business, draw some boundaries online. Most importantly, prepare for feelings of regret, sadness, anger or all of the above — not just from him, but for you, too. He's expecting to get you back, so this is likely to be a rude awakening.

Love,

Scarlett

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