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‘I have big regrets about dumping my first serious girlfriend’

Dear Coleen

I ended things with my girlfriend a few months ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her since. It’s making me miserable.

We got together really young – she was 18 and I was 20. I’m 28 now and for a while I’d been having this nagging feeling I shouldn’t settle for the first girl I had a proper relationship with, so I ended it.

Things weren’t perfect – we argued a lot about getting engaged and buying a house. She wanted to do those things, but I always avoided discussing them because of my doubts – that things had run their course and I should experience other things in life and other people.

Now, though, I’m regretting my decision. I miss her all the time and I know she misses me, but she’s also very angry with me. When I hinted recently we should try again, she screamed at me for “messing her about”.

Why am I so confused about what I want? I don’t want to mess her about or hurt her any more than I already have.

Coleen says

If you’re genuine about how you feel and have realised you don’t need to go out and explore other things, then it’s OK to admit you were wrong and try to get things back on track. But you need to be sure.

Be careful that you’re not just feeling this way because you haven’t met anyone else and it’s better to be with your ex than no one.

Also, it’s natural to miss someone you’ve been with a long time and to miss the life you shared, even if it was the right decision to separate.

You’ve been used to having someone by your side all the time, so it’s going to feel weird now that you’re on your own. You can’t blame her for not jumping straight back into a relationship with you.

She’ll be scared that you’ll change your mind again, so you’re going to have to work hard to convince her.

If it doesn’t work out, then it’s a tough lesson that the grass isn’t always greener.

Lots of people fall into that trap of “what if?” only to realise they had a pretty good thing going already.

However, I understand why you felt like that because you got together so young.

Sit down with her and explain you panicked and were worried about committing to her when you hadn’t experienced anything else, but that she’s the one you want.

Just be aware that if you do get back together, she will probably want to move your relationship on and mortgages and marriage will be back on the agenda.

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