Hoping For Better

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

When and how is the right time to tell an ex who wants to get back
together (has explicitly said, “I’d like to get back together”) that you
are not only not interested but have begun dating someone else? The
new something is very new, very exciting, but may be just a big hot
flash in the pan. That said, I want to give it every chance to succeed,
and that includes allowing some incubation time without prying eyes or
gossip. Last night I had dinner with my ex who asked if I was seeing
anyone. I felt like a liar when I said “Not the way you mean,” but
immediately saw the hope in his eyes and he once again said, “Maybe
we could get back together. “I don’t want to be cruel so I said, “Not
now.” But I know the answer is “Not in this lifetime.” But I do enjoy
the friendship.

Hoping For Better

Dear Hoping:

The intersection of truth and discretion is a dangerous place. Lots of
accidents happen for which there’s no insurance, and a deductible
that’s high enough to do lasting damage to many relationships. You
owe yourself the greatest benefit, to give the new relationship a
chance. But you owe your ex the benefit of honesty if you are really
sure you do not want to reconnect. That’s not only common decency
but will allow both of you to move forward. If the friendship really has
legs as a friendship you will find news ways of relating that are not
based on his wishing and hoping and hanging on for you to make a u-

As for the privacy that you want for your new relationship, yes you
also owe that to yourself. But you do need to have a better answer
than a lie. I&'d vote for. I’m just starting to see someone. No I don’t
want to talk about it. My fingers are crossed but it is too new to know
if there’s going to be enough energy to make it a long-run relationship.
Like any pregnancy, after the first three months have past and the
danger of miscarriage is over, I’ll be happy to tell you about the smile
I hope to still have on my face.