I'm stuck living with my ex and she's banned me from talking to my love interest

DEAR DEIDRE: EVEN though my ex-girlfriend and I have broken up, she has banned me from talking to my new love interest. 

I don’t know what to do. I’m 30, and split with my ex, who’s 29, last year. We are forced to live in the same flat because we jointly own it, and because of Covid.

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Our relationship had been just friendship for months before we split, so when I started talking to a girl online – someone we both used to be at college with – I didn’t think she would mind.

Even so, I kept it quiet out of respect for her. One night, she went through my phone and saw my messages to this girl.

She went mad, asking how I could do this to her and demanding that I break off contact and block her on social media.

I agreed and told my new girl I couldn’t speak to her any more. She was really upset, and I realised I didn’t want to stop messaging.

We’ve since secretly met and kissed. I’m worried my ex – who suffers from depression – will find out. 

DEIDRE SAYS: Your ex-girlfriend doesn’t own you, but it sounds like she hasn’t accepted that the relationship is really over.

Although you still care for her, you can’t put your life on hold because you don’t want to hurt her.

You need to talk to her and make it clear how you feel, and start making arrangements to move out and sell your flat as soon as possible. 

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