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How did you find out she was a old girlfriend?
Are you living with him now or planning on it soon?
How do you feel about them talking?
It sounds like he has some feelings for this women, wither they are purely innocent friendly feelings or a longing for what once was only he really knows. I suspect that while he may not be waiting for her, he isn't willing to give up what once was. Often when a man is really deeply in love with a women he will hold onto the past in case something changes.
The reality is he likely does love you.......and more then likely wants to be with you forever. But he isn't willing to give up entirely on Sara and for that you need to thread carefully in this relationship.
I can not tell you what to do......or even what is best for you. I can tell you that his actions are detrimental to your relationship and in time if he continues you may likely grow to resent him and end up leaving. The fact that he is willing to allow you to be in pain in order to keep up this friendship speaks louder then any of his words.
I would suggest sitting down with him and letting him know this is really something that bothers you. I know you have told him before, but its time to do so and explain to him how serious this is. Instead of waiting until next year and then just giving up you need to be honest with him so he has time to deal with this.
The fact remains that he will lose another relationship if this continues, but if you wait and say nothing about leaving until next year he does not have time to work this out.
I would recommend explaining to him that while you love him, and want to be with him you also can not continue in a relationship where you feel you must play second fiddle to another women. Let him know you are willing to wait while he decides what he wants.....but that in a reasonable amount of time if he has not dealt with this issue then you are going to have to move on in life. This is not giving him a ultimatum, its explaining to him what you need in life and out of a partner.......he must make the choice if he is willing to work on his relationship or allow you to move on.
At the end of the day his relationship with this women will effect any new relationship and he must move on. He may want to consider counseling to deal with this problem of letting go so he can learn to grow in himself.