Q. I was dating this guy for five years, and we broke up about six months ago. The main reason for breaking up was that I want to have kids and he has always said that he would never, so I ended it.
While we were dating, I met somebody. I didn’t cheat or even explore the idea, but when my ex and I broke up, I sent this person a message. We’ve hit it off and it’s been great. We’ve even gone on vacation together. As good as it is, it’s not the same, and I find myself thinking of my ex.
Just this week, my ex sent me a message that said he’s been doing a lot of self-reflection, and that being apart has given him “clarity and perspective.” He says his vision for his future has changed, and he can now see himself having a family. I really want to believe him but it’s hard . I don’t know what to do. Do I trust him? Or do I continue to explore this new love and leave him in the past? Help. — Conflicted
A. It doesn’t sound like you’re interested in leaving your ex in the past. You want to know whether his change of heart is genuine, and it doesn’t sound like you’ll be able to move on until you do.
It is possible that he’s changed his mind about a lot of things. Sure, he was in the “never” camp six months ago, but maybe that was because he loved your status quo. Perhaps he became open to new possibilities when your former life together ceased to be an option. (I have no idea what he’s thinking, of course, but neither do you, and you probably should.)
If you go back to your ex and learn that he really isn’t on board, that’s OK. One of the reasons you’re thinking about him is that you never gave yourself time to grieve the relationship. You moved on so quickly.
You’re not ready for this new relationship, so you should probably end it. After that, talk to your ex. Do more listening than talking. See how it goes, and take it from there. — Meredith
Have you spoken to your ex face-to-face, or are you trying to judge whether he changed his mind by his text/e-mail? Look him in the eye and see if you believe what he says. LUCILLEVANPELT
Kids/no kids is generally not something that people change their minds about, but ya never know. YOURDINNERISINTHEDOGG
One of my closest childhood friends went from “never ever” to “baby fever” so fast it made my head spin. So it’s uncommon, but does happen.
Don’t be [stringing] the new guy along. He is your rebound, and you really weren’t over your ex. You should have spent some time alone and done your own self-reflection before getting involved with a new dude. MMNNEE
You know, a suspicious person might assume [you] orchestrated this whole placeholder thing to shake your boyfriend’s hesitations out. MCDIMMERSONMeredith Goldstein’s new memoir, “Can’t Help Myself,” is now available. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.