The woman I've been dating did something to hurt me really badly, and I don't know how to proceed. Yes, this is long.
posted by anonymous to human relations (81 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have been dating an amazing person for the past 1.5 months. Even though it's a short amount of time, everything moved lightening fast - after 3 weeks, we were spending 4-5 nights a week at each others places, planning weekend trips together, meeting each other's family and friends (and getting along great) and the future in general. We talk every day and have told each other, in some of our most intense moments alone together, that we are falling for each other. Again, this might sound like something that moved too fast after a month and a half, but it felt right - I've never connected with another person this way and never been so attracted to someone on a physical and emotional level. She told me she felt the same. Unlike other people I've casually dated, I feel strongly about her and like there is potential for a serious, long term relationship.
But there's always a catch - whenever I broached the topic of a serious, exclusive relationship with this woman, she told me she couldn't do it and that she wasn't ready yet (she had gotten out of a particularly rotten LTR 6 months before). She said she liked me so much and so intensely that she didn't know what to do, be we agreed we should just keep dating and enjoying each other and see where everything goes. I told her flat out - upon her asking how I'd feel - that while she is allowed to do what she wants and I recognize that there is nothing I can do to control her, the idea of her with someone else would utterly devastate me because I just am not interested in doing the same. She reassured me she is also not interested in seeing or sleeping with anyone else, nor does she want to. And so I didn't worry. And so we continued our "casual" relationship that consisted of extremely non-casual things. And every day we saw each other we continued to grow closer.
And then she slept with someone else. The night before a romantic weekend vacation that she had suggested we go on together. She told me about everything 2 days after we got home from the trip. It was with a work colleague in her industry that skews extremely aggressive males who try to sleep around often with peers. Of course, there was alcohol involved.
As I told her I would be in such an event, I am absolutely crushed. I am feeling a mix of feelings:
- Foolishness - In a way I brought this completely upon myself. She specifically told me she was not ready for a serious relationship, and I had this idiotic idea that we could still be together and date each other while she sorted out her feelings. I realize I should have cut it off when she told me she wasn't ready to be exclusive and let her get in touch with me when she's ready, but I knew that I would have regretted cutting everything off so abruptly for a long, long time. I took a risk and it backfired. A lot of this is my fault.
- Anger - Angry at myself, but also angry that even though this woman told me she did not want a serious relationship, her actions spoke otherwise: Spending entire weekends together, meeting friends and parents, talking about spending the holidays together, holding each other really close and talking about how strongly we felt for each other. These were mostly things she initiated and I bought into, not the other way around. She also told me that she saw a future with me. I felt so safe and comfortable with her and can't believe she would let herself act so serious with someone she "wasn't ready" to be serious with.
- Disgust - That she would sleep with someone else and then share a bed with me the very next night, after how intense everything had been between us. I've been using protection with her, but not sure if I should get tested to be safe (I slept with her multiple times after).
- Disappointment - She did something to me that I just couldn't imagine doing to her. It feels this is clearly an indicator of who ultimately cares less. I am hurt and disappointed that after making very clear to her how I would feel if she did this, she chose to do it anyway.
- Jealousy - Someone else got to have sex with her and be inside her and see her in a way that only I (albeit selfishly) wanted with her all to myself. She says she didn't mean for it to happen and was drunk and caught up in the moment, and all I keep thinking is "well it must have been a pretty passionate moment" and picturing/imagining everything. This feels like my most irrational and possessive feeling and I hate it but it's there.
I have told her all of these things and she has been apologizing profusely. She has been calling and emailing me to let me know how sorry she is, how horrible she feels, and that she only told me the truth because she realized she had to if she saw a future with me and wanted to be serious with me, which she realized she wanted. She said that our weekend together after her fling made her realize she wants to be exclusive, but she had to tell me this before she felt she could move forward.
I think her telling me was really honorable and it's nice that NOW she wants to be exclusive - and I really want to forgive her and forget about all of this and just move forward. I mean, if this turns into something long term...in the grand scheme of things, encountering a bump in the road like this 6 weeks in, before we were technically "serious" (no matter how we both claimed to feel and act otherwise) should be miniscule...right? I feel like I SHOULD be able to get over it, but I'm so scared I wouldn't be able to do that - this feels like such a bad foot to start a relationship on. I'm having so much difficulty even looking at her and thinking about her and feeling the same physical and emotional attraction that I did before this all happened. I'd feel like there would be a little ball of resentment inside me at all times, and it would set a nasty tone for our entire relationship. And of course I'm so scared that I simply wouldn't trust her, and clearly it's all pointless without trust.
I guess I just need perspective. It has been a day since learning this. Should I cut it clean? Should I cut it clean and give her time to get herself together and maybe try again in the future? That would feel the same as just letting her go and I'd still feel awful. Should I try to resolve this and move forward? How do I forgive? How do I let go of this all, the disappointment and jealousy and nasty thoughts, and trust someone again? What can I discuss with her to make things work? I just don't know what to do and feel frozen, like everything is the wrong decision.