Alex's Answer

I think I need a second opinion on my life choices

Your Question

Hey, Alex. I think I need a second opinion on my life choices at the moment. So I dated this girl about 4 years ago. She was extremely abusive at the time, she very emotionally manipulative although it wasn’t intentionally to hurt me, she just needed help that I couldn’t provide her at eleven years old, you know? She had a shitty home life, shitty school life, and I was her only bit of hope she had, and I knew it to. Quite a lot of “I’ll kill myself if you left me” got thrown around, and I didn’t think a whole lot of it at the time. Eventually though, I went to secondary school and because she was in the year under me, we separated. I didn’t see her again for a long time. So current situation, we’re talking again. She’s gotten so much better, even if everything else in her life hasn’t, and I’m so happy that she’s gotten this far. The issue is, I know she still likes me. And I don’t know what to do with that. She might go right back to her abusive ways, she might not. But even at that, I don’t know if I even like her anymore. I’ve had 2 relationships since her, and like, a million crushes probably. But I’ve been struggling so much lately with my mental health and my own love life that I almost want to get with her just to feel something. Even if it is excruciating pain, it’s better than this fucking depressive rut I’ve been in the last several months. I just want to love someone, I want to take girls out on cheesy picnic dates, and walk them home, and kiss them on the cheek at their door, but no one else seems to want that commitment and I maybe lowering my standards and going back to her might do my lonely little heart some good. I really don’t know what to do. 


Hi there, welcome to Ask Alex. Thanks for sharing what’s on your mind today. 

You said that you were in a relationship when you were 11 with someone who was abusive and manipulative towards you. You mentioned that she was going through a lot at the time and didn’t hurt you intentionally. After breaking up and going through two relationships since, you are thinking about whether to go back to her. You also said that being with her and in pain would be better than the depressive state you have been in for a while, and you are hoping to find someone to love. You’re now looking for a second opinion of what choice to make. 

Well done for reaching out and explaining what’s going on for you so clearly. That sounds like a lot of pressure to be put under at such a young age. It sounds like this relationship had, and is still having, a big effect on you. You sound like you really care for her and it’s good to know she is doing better. Two things that stood out from what you said were that you don’t know if you like her anymore and that you are struggling with your mental health lately. From what you explained, you seem to be going through a lot at the moment as you are experiencing feelings of depression and at the same time, wanting to find someone you can love and commit to. Sometimes when we care a lot about someone, we can forget to take a moment to think about what is good for us right now or what we need. Before we can care for others, it’s important that we look after ourselves and our own health first. Perhaps once you have managed your depressive symptoms, you’ll be in a better position to make a decision regarding re-entering a relationship with your ex-girlfriend. One of the ways we can do that is by talking to someone we trust. 

It could be a good idea to share how you are feeling with the people in your life, such as your parents or older siblings/aunt/uncle etc. How would you feel about talking it out with them? This website: is a great resource for young people in Ireland who would like support around their mental health. There are also a few articles on the website that might provide some clarity for you including this one which addresses what a healthy relationship looks like: 

If you’re not ready to talk to someone in your everyday life quite yet, you can always reach out to Childline for a chat. You can get in touch with us via our chat service at, or send us a text (50101). You can even give us a call on 1800 66 66 66. One of the things you can do when you contact us is practice what you might say to someone else. When we need to have a difficult conversation, saying it out loud to someone else first can make it less daunting. Remember, the team at Childline are here to listen to you. We will never judge you or tell you what to do.   

We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so reach out whenever you need to talk. We’d love to hear from you. 

Take care, 



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