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How do guys move so fast into a new relationship?
October 31, 2011 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Breakup after two years, why does it hurt so much that he started a new relationship when he said that's not what he wanted. Short version of the breakup: I am six years older, my ex is 22. I have known his family for ten years, best friends with his cousin and that's how we connected in the beginning. We had so much in common as far sports, out door activities, school, silly drinking times and mostly the family connection. We did not say we loved each other until six months into the relationship and it grew from there.

I decided to end the relationship about five months ago because he when he switched jobs and worked back with his best friend, he started to hang out and communicate less with me. He told me everyday that he loved me, missed me and didn't like that we didn't see each other but never made any made any real effort to fix it. Of course I told him I still loved him and I wanted to be only with him but I could tell he liked his space. We went down to seeing each other once or twice a week versus every other day. He said he was scared because he felt like we were married and he was afraid he was going to hurt both of us. For the next three months after that I thought everything was getting better, we still talked everyday, sex life was better and things were "fun" again. Then out of the blue I found out he was talking to another girl. He didn't have the courage to tell me outright so I found out through social networks. He lied to me when I asked and said I better not be seeing anyone myself. I run into him all the time because he drives down my street for work (even though he could go another way and my street is the long way to work) plus I am still friends with the family. He has seen me out with a guy and got really jealous and called my phone saying I am messed up for doing that. My question are: 1. How do guys move so fast into a new relationship when they weren't sure if they wanted to give up the current one? 2. How can I jump over this hurdle of thinking his life is great without me? (the new girlfriend is around his age but has two twin girls and partys all the time) No one should ever get to see how an exes develops but thanks to social networks it is hard to not look. Thanks for the input.
posted by Dee123 to Human Relations (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am six years older, my ex is 22.

This is the answer to everything.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:18 AM on October 31, 2011 [18 favorites]


No one should ever get to see how an exes develops but thanks to social networks it is hard to not look.

Take him off your social networks.
posted by sweetkid at 7:28 AM on October 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


He's an immature dick, but he's a kid so what do you expect. Delete/block him on Facebook or whatever, tell your best friend not to tell you about him, delete his number from your phone, don't answer his calls, stop looking out of your window when you know he'll be driving down your street. He doesn't exist.

Stop worrying about whether his life is great without you and make your life great without him. Living well is the best revenge, and all that.
posted by corvine at 7:29 AM on October 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


He lied to me when I asked and said I better not be seeing anyone myself.
He has seen me out with a guy and got really jealous and called my phone saying I am messed up for doing that.


These are also giant clues that you're better off without him, because he DOESN'T WANT TO BE WITH YOU but still wants to be A CONTROLLING ASSHOLE to you. Focus on the fact that you are now able to find a partner who will want the same things you do. Block him on Facebook and try to concentrate on moving forward.
posted by so_gracefully at 7:29 AM on October 31, 2011 [20 favorites]



He lied to me when I asked and said I better not be seeing anyone myself.
He has seen me out with a guy and got really jealous and called my phone saying I am messed up for doing that.


Wait, this kind of freaks me out. Stay away from this guy. I emphatically second so_gracefully's advice.
posted by sweetkid at 7:33 AM on October 31, 2011


Stop hanging out with his family, too.

Stop doing things that make it harder for you to recover.
posted by getawaysticks at 7:57 AM on October 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nthing that this has nothing to do with "guys" in general and everything to do with this guy being immature and controlling.

You are liberated from the burden of trying to figure him out, as his menacing behavior (calling you up and saying you're messed up? wow) has already told you what he is: a young lad who needs a lot more life experience and empathy.

This sort of person is best moved on from by cutting off contact completely and ignoring any contact they try to initiate. Really. No, it's not easy, but it is best for your sanity, because you deserve better than someone randomly calling you to insult you because he feels threatened that you noticed something he did that wasn't kosher. That is so convoluted. Congratulations, you don't need to waste any more time on him.

If you haven't already, tell him that you do not want any further contact from him. Then ignore him completely. In a few weeks, you will start to feel much, much better. If you keep up contact, however, he will drag you into his convoluted, controlling hole, where his only goal will be to make you feel bad for being a decent person. Please don't do that to yourself. (I speak from experience. I lost part of my youth to an ex like this and wish I'd listened to my gut rather than my "I should listen to him and treat him with respect" rationalizations. Respect has to go both ways for it to work. He is showing none, and has barred the route. Follow his lead and take another route. Away from him.)
posted by fraula at 8:13 AM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


How can I jump over this hurdle of thinking his life is great without me?

It's hard to see this now, but I think this is one of those situations where you'll probably look back years from now and be really glad that it didn't work out, even though it doesn't feel like it at the moment. If you can live, just a bit, in that future, it can help move past this hurdle. Think of a relationship in which you are cherished and valued and respected. Did this relationship have this? Isn't that what you truly want? When you are fortunate enough to find it, it'll be much more clear that you likely aren't losing something here that was good for you. Our emotions can be something of a smokescreen to what we really need (and deep down, really prefer) at times.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:26 AM on October 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was going to say that he's not the only immature one, that I think it's both of you, and then I re-read and saw the part about the call when you were out.

Here's the thing, you let him get away with that. I don't mean to be like "you give him permission", because good couples don't ask PERMISSION to do what they want to do. What I mean is that you, over your relationship, were ok with being owned. I can tell it in your tone. Actually, correction, you were ok with being owned and with owning. I'm not talking about the fun confusing sexytimes "Whose XXX is this?!" or whatever---I mean in terms of all of it. He dominated the relationship, and he KNOWS that if he asks you to get back with him you'll go for it. Even if he plays the "I'm seeing her but I really want to be with you tonight" and you'll go, and he knows that, so he's playing you like a deck of cards.

Immature and controlling and asshole of him, weakness on your part. It's not an age thing, there are plenty of 40 year old men who will do the same thing.

My advice to you is to stop trying so hard. Stop with the societally-placed image that a 28 year old NEEDS to be in a serious relationship and that YOU need it to happen on a schedule.

Also, seriously? Facebook? or other "social networks"? Come off it. It's like Jerry Springer in slow motion. Delete him, empower yourself, and don't worry about "omg love". You should wake up one day and find yourself there, not gush your way into it.
posted by TomMelee at 9:11 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


He said he was scared because he felt like we were married and he was afraid he was going to hurt both of us.

You want to know why he was able to move on so fast? Because by the time he said this (3 months before the breakup?) he'd already decided to break up with you. This is what guys say when they know they're going to end the relationship but aren't ready to give up the sex/stability. It's code for "I like you, but if this relationship gets anymore serious I'm out". I know this because I've said it, and it's an asshole thing to do. He just didn't have the balls to end the thing himself, so he waited around until you found an excuse to do it.
posted by auto-correct at 9:48 AM on October 31, 2011 [10 favorites]


1. How do guys move so fast into a new relationship when they weren't sure if they wanted to give up the current one?

Because maybe he suddenly became ready and mature, or maybe he is a fool rushing in, or something in-beteeen.

You also say: I decided to end the relationship about five months ago

Then you're done. If you can't stand to see this person live their life, stop looking.

It hurts to lose friends, but you need to learn how to mourn not just for the relationship, but the hopes and dreams you had for the relationship. You must accept that nothing will happen.

Now, it would not be impossible to change gears and reconnect, but that doesn't sound like where your heart and head are.

Your final comment: No one should ever get to see how an exes develops but thanks to social networks it is hard to not look.

This is an interesting problem. In some sense, online, and social networks can act like a small town -- with all the gossip, the happenstance of seeing each other again and the pain that brings up. Leaving is sometimes not an option, and there they are, living their life. You can either stay there and learn how to cope (or be embittered), or you can move to the edge of town (defriend the person, but not necessarily all the people the person and you share in common, or you can move to a new town (cut all ties). Your (difficult) decision.
posted by artlung at 10:33 AM on October 31, 2011


Stop giving your power away to a 22 year old.
posted by jbenben at 10:54 AM on October 31, 2011 [9 favorites]


You need to ditch the social networks connection, STAT. Also, block his number. You see him call? Don't answer. You see a voicemail? Delete unheard. You broke up and you need to get some actual distance, especially since you two seem to be driving each other crazy even after the relationship is over.

Yes, his calling you is immature - but frankly, you shouldn't be analyzing his current relationships as they have absolutely nothing to do with you.
posted by sonika at 11:45 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree with everyone saying that this is not about guys in general, but this specific guy and his bad behaviour. Please have faith that there are decent men out there, who would think that this kind of behaviour is as low and immature as it is.

1. How do guys move so fast into a new relationship when they weren't sure if they wanted to give up the current one?

I'm really sorry, but I think he did know he wanted to give up. He was just too cowardly/young/inexperienced to man up to it. Some people get over things really quickly, and some people jump into rebound relationships. But either way, he is irrelevant to you now, and your happiness does not depend on dealing with his drama anymore. Isn't that great?

2. How can I jump over this hurdle of thinking his life is great without me?

The only way I know of getting around this is just to stop contact. ALL contact. Stop hanging out with his family, at least for the next few months. I know that sucks, but it's generally the best way. No facebook, no tweets, nothing. Delete and block him so you don't even see his activity on mutual friends' walls or whatever. Install website blockers if you have to. Don't take his calls.

I used to think that the need to do this kind of strict no-contact was a weakness on my part. Shouldn't I be able to see/hear what's going on in an ex's life, and not feel hurt or jealous or sad? I mean, I'm awesome, and mature, and I know I'm better off without him, so I shouldn't HAVE to take him off my social networks, etc, right? I should be able to see all that and not give a damn, because that's what smart, strong women are capable of, right?

I've come to realize that this reasoning is, in a word, demented. If I want to avoid food poisoning, I don't go and eat egg salad that's been sitting in the sun for hours, and I don't rub raw chicken on my face. Similarly, if I want to get over an ex and move on with my life, I certainly shouldn't go about checking up on him to see what his day-to-day life is like, nor listen to him gripe and moan on the phone.

Bottom line: he is irrelevant now. His life has no impact on yours anymore, and his actions are in no way any reflection of your worth or value as a person. Ditch the dead mental weight and move on to a brighter, happier place.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 12:04 PM on October 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


2. How can I jump over this hurdle of thinking his life is great without me? (the new girlfriend is around his age but has two twin girls and partys all the time)

Um..seriously, if you are worried about how wonderful his life might be right now, just give this situation about another month or so and I doubt very much this will last for his 22-year old self.
posted by foxhat10 at 12:27 PM on October 31, 2011


From what you've told us, it doesn't actually sound like he's "in another relationship". It sounds more like he's "fucking around with other people".

And the reason he's doing that is because he is a butt-toad.

Block him from Facebook, don't answer his calls and consider that you dodged a bullet. One day you will realize that this is exactly what you've done.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:07 PM on October 31, 2011


2. How can I jump over this hurdle of thinking his life is great without me?

Many selfish jackasses feel their lives are better when there aren't people around who tell them they should stop being selfish jackasses, and maybe even aspire to be better than that.

They're wrong, of course, but there's no telling them that.
posted by mhoye at 6:02 PM on October 31, 2011


Thanks everyone for the helpful insight. Yes I guess I am dealing with this in an immature manner as well, facebook, caring about them in a new relationship, its all things I don't need to care about. I guess everyone questions what happened, why, where do i go etc. after a breakup, it is just nice to hear others people perspective on the issue. I think part of myself needs to grow up and realize that yes there are better things out there for me.
posted by Dee123 at 11:52 AM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aw, don't be TOO hard on yourself...it is sort of a thing we do, the sort of garment-rending thing wherey ou want to know what did you do wrong and what-if and but-maybe-if-I kind of thing. I guarantee that nearly all the people who've been telling you not to do that? We've still done it ourselves at least once or twice. We all get like Sally Field in that scene in the cemetery in Steel Magnolias where she's just shrieking "I just want to know WHHHHYYYYYYYY?????????"

So don't get down on yourself for feeling like that. But maybe sort of....reframe it for yourself? This is hard to explain -- but accept that "wanting to know WHYYY" as an emotion in and of itself that you just have to get through. Sadness isn't necessarily a problem that needs to be solved, it's something that you just need to feel. Happiness is also something you just feel, or rage, or whatever. And this want-to-know-why maybe is kind of like an emotion, like that -- if you let yourself just sit in that place of "it sucks that he broke up with me and I don't understand why he did and that feels crappy and I hate him and I don't know and it's stupid and BWAAAAARRRAAAHAHHHGLGAH", but just let yourself feel all that stuff without actually trying to get answers to that "why", that can...help.

Yes, I know that sounds totally nonsensical and ridiculous. But the hell of it is, is that you're probably not going to ever get satisfactory answers direct from him, because you will be getting answers from his own unique perspective -- which doesn't match yours. (He's also a BUTT-TOAD, so his answers are not going to EVEN MAKE SENSE, but we'll set that aside for now.) Even if you kidnapped him and chained him to a chair and subjected him to a polygraph and grilled him with a psychological analysis to get to the bottom of "why are you doing what you do," it still wouldn't completely satisfy you -- because he's working from a different playbook than everyone else in the world.

So the only way you're going to be able to answer that "why did he do this" is by answering that for yourself. And the way to figure out those answers by yourself is by first letting yourself grieve and feel all the ick you're feeling now and just get it out. And I promise you that the more you let yourself give in and "dammit, this just feels crappy and I hate it!" without trying to get answers from him, the more you'll start realizing, "....and now that I think of it, seeing him on Facebook all the time makes it feel even worse, let me stop doing that." And then your emotions will settle down just a little bit more and you may one day realize, "you know...he did always act kind of funny about me hanging out with my friends, but he was doing exactly the same thing by hanging out with his friend -- and he expected me to be fine with it. So why could he hang out with his friends but I couldn't with mine?...." What's gradually going to happen, as you just let yourself feel stuff, is that your head will clear more and more to the point that you can see the situation for what it is more honestly, and THAT is when you will see the answers to those questions yourself. And I can guarantee they're not answers he'd ever be giving you, and that we may not even be able to give you ourselves. But they will make total sense to you, and you can start to move on finally.

I mean, I still think "he's a butt-toad" covers a lot of it, but you'll find your own way of putting it.

Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:12 PM on November 1, 2011


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