i dated someone through two years in high school and then two in college. we did the distance thing in college, me traveling to see him every couple weeks, keeping things pretty strong. we have an intense connection, we have gone through periods spending every minute together and talking about getting married etc. we've also had tough moments, arguments and just general periods of separate growth.
we broke up almost a year ago. i was planning to move away, he was in senior year of college, we both decided it was time to be single for a bit. still, we would sleep together when in the same place, talk on the phone often, and talk about getting back together. we both dated other people in a casual way. he slept with someone else, i did not.
now i've returned from being away and at first all i wanted was to get back together. we discussed it and he said he wasn't sure if he was ready, etc. i said fine and got ready to wait it out. now a couple months later, i've decided that i'm not ready and he's decided he is. he gave me a very harsh ultimatum a week ago, telling me to not date, kiss, sleep with, consider being with another guy, if i intended to get back with him. i found this to be incredibly controlling. i've always been able to tell him about other attractions and happenings with other guys, but now i feel like i don't need to cause it will just fuel his jealously.
so the issues now are: i went on a date with a guy, very sweet, new to my life, available, good kisser. i didn't tell the ex. i don't want to tell him, but he asks many questions and i feel weird about lying after always being honest. still i don't find it much of his business, as nothing is serious with new boy. i know now, one week after the ultimatum that i don't intend to be ready to get back together for awhile. i want to explore further, see more, be single. i'm finding it incredibly difficult to communicate these feelings, constantly feeling guilty that i will hurt the ex. both the ex and i have tried some ignoring, or as we call it being super busy and unable to talk strategies since our ultimatum talk and it seems to be working. can i really keep going like this, or do i need to tell him?
side note: i am not sleeping with the ex anymore, by personal choice, to keep some boundaries that should have been in place when we broke up originally. he is aware of this and hates my decision but respects it so far.
my theory is that it will all come to be whatever its supposed to be with some time and reflection. how can i keep myself sane until that point?