Does the person who did the breaking up typically look down on the person broken up with? How can I stop worrying about this issue?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
It's been more than a month since my ex broke up with me, and I'm doing a lot better. It was an amicable, if one-sided, break-up: he wasn't sure, after a year, if he loved me, and plus I was his first girlfriend, so he wasn't going to be satisfied until he had a point of comparison. We both agreed that we'd like to be friends again after a period of no contact.
I've been doing pretty well, moving on with my life, getting back into old hobbies and finding new ones, reconnecting with friends and family. I still think about him every day, which I think is natural at this stage, and I'm happy that I've gotten to the point where I don't feel sad when I think about him, and I no longer want to get back together with him.
The only problem is that I do have one lingering obsessive thought: that he never really "knew me", whatever that means, either because he didn't try hard enough, or because I was always hiding my "true" self from him. This may be a sign of incompatibility, or this may be a personality flaw that I need to work on, but I don't show the majority of what I am, I expect people to come dig for the qualities and quirks beneath the surface, and I took it as a sign of disinterest that he never tried as hard as I wanted to find out more about how I thought, what I was interested in, what made me awesome and unique.
In the days after the break-up, this made me feel like his lack of love for me was partially my fault - we got along so well, maybe if I'd just been more open with myself, I'd have been an actual person to him, and he would have loved me. Or conversely, if I had been more reserved - not falling in love with him until he put in the effort to get to know me - I wouldn't hurt this much now, and maybe he'd see me as more of a challenge, more interesting. I also had this idea that it might work out if we got back together, only this time he would try harder to get to know me, and somehow that would ignite his feelings for me.
I'm now at the point where I realize that none of this makes sense, but even though I've worked through a lot of my issues, somehow I'm still obsessed with the idea that he never really knew me, and that means he never knew the stuff that made me awesome. I still think he's a really cool person, and respect a lot of things about him. I would like him to feel the same way about me, especially when we become friends again. But I can't help but worry that he thinks poorly of me, and maybe thinks of me as lesser than him. I mean, he broke up with me, so essentially he was saying, "I can do better," or, "you're not good enough for me," right? Along the same lines, I no longer feel bad about the idea of him dating someone else - I just hate the idea of him dating someone else, and thinking, "Gosh, this one is so much better than my ex."
Note that this isn't really a romantic issue anymore. I have pretty low self esteem in general, and I worry a lot about what everyone thinks of me. All of my friends think I'm somewhat amazing, and I hate the idea of being friends with someone who might not respect me the same way.
I know I didn't give out a lot of details about the quality of our relationship, but I think that's incidental to the issue. He clearly liked me - at least in terms of what I did for him, and how I made him feel - but I wonder if even that might make him look down on me, that I was always doing things for his sake. I guess it's hard for me to think back clearly to how it was, and in my mind it's turned into him enjoying being around me, but not respecting me, whether or not this was really the case.
tl;dr - does the guy who broke up with me necessarily think he's better than me? Is there anything I can do to stop worrying about this, or any way I can reframe the issue in my mind to make it feel a little bit better both right now and when we become friends again? (Is this a normal thing to worry about, or is it just my low self esteem playing up again?)