Breaking up
September 27, 2010 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Breakup snowflake filter: Help me understand how best to do this...

I have dating someone for a few months (complicated story, but that's pretty close to it) that I have a very high level of attraction to, but I find him extremely self-centered, inattentive, and basically not a good boyfriend. Some examples (just so you can tell me, if you like, not to DTMFA):

- He sometimes doesn't respond to messages, sometimes for a couple of days.
- When I tell him my concerns, he sometimes diminishes them by saying something like "I know you've got issues"
- He works in a very social, co-working kind of office on an entrepreneurial venture. He told me that I should hang out with him there, do my own work, etc. Then, I spent two days there and his co-founders thought I was distracting him (which I really tried not to... in fact, I refocused him on work a few times). So he now says I should only come by on weekends and didn't seem to understand that I had planned my work around being with him.
- He tells me he loves me and wants to marry me (a bit too soon, imo), but doesn't seem to be able to take basic care of my emotions.

And the worst:
- He has insisted on unprotected sex twice in our relationship and I have had to use the morning after pill. The first time, I didn't realize that he had done it, and became extremely angry with him about it. We worked out a compromise. The second time, I got caught up as well and let him do it but was really pissed that I had to be the person to stop him even when he agreed to compromise with me to do other things (such as wearing a condom and then finishing with oral, not to be too graphic). He just doesn't seem to get the message.

- I shared all of these concerns with him, but he just gets hurt and we don't seem to get to the core of the issues and resolve them.

I feel like keeping him in my life as a boyfriend is distracting me from my goals and plans. I've rearranged travel and other schedules to be with him.

This is my first breakup so I'm really scared about doing it, terrified it's a huge mistake, etc.

So, I want to break up with him. I've read all of the breakup threads, but don't want to be generic. He's a very blunt, straightforward guy and I really value that. I want to be honest with him.

Questions:
-Can I let him know that these are the reasons I'm breaking up with him so he can fix it with the next girl?
-Should I use Miko's advice to not be specific about my concerns?
-I'm a bit mad at him, to be honest. How will I wish I had acted during this breakup, six months from now?
-Am I overreacting?
posted by alternateuniverse to Human Relations (51 answers total)
 
Okay, let's be clear. This...

The second time, I got caught up as well and let him do it but was really pissed that I had to be the person to stop him even when he agreed to compromise with me to do other things

...is problematic, and indicates that the two of you have some serious communication issues around sex that would need addressing. But this...

The first time, I didn't realize that he had done it, and became extremely angry with him about it.

...is a violation of your person, and frankly all your other stuff (his unresponsiveness, his busy job, your being distracted from goals and plans, etc.) reads as minor in comparison. I would kick him to the curb soonest. Use Miko's formulation if you want, but I think you'd be totally within your rights to just cut him off completely and never answer his communications again.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 5:38 PM on September 27, 2010 [8 favorites]


Also, don't marry him.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 5:39 PM on September 27, 2010 [7 favorites]


No, you aren't over reacting. I am not going to lie, it is never easy, even if you have done it a few times. But you can do it.
posted by Silvertree at 5:46 PM on September 27, 2010


Response by poster: Also, I told him some very personal things about painful events in my past. I made him promise not to share them, but am not sure if he will keep his promise. Any tips on how to handle that?
posted by alternateuniverse at 5:47 PM on September 27, 2010


Am I overreacting?

Absolutely not. I think you're underreacting. This guy is a Grade A douchebag and you need to break up with him as soon as possible. Don't even waste your time to formulate some elaborate break up plan, just tell him it's over. I wouldn't even do this in person, you don't owe anything to this guy after what he's done to you. I also recommend getting an STD test. If he's willing to have unprotected sex with you without telling you, who else has he done that to? Even though he's done some pretty awful things to you, breaking up is never easy. But find solice in the fact that there are so many guys out there that are waiting to treat you all kinds of wonderful. Never settle or sell yourself short.

Also, I told him some very personal things about painful events in my past. I made him promise not to share them, but am not sure if he will keep his promise. Any tips on how to handle that?

Maybe he will share, but anyone worth a shit isn't going to hold things from your past against you or judge you for them. We all have some pretty awful, personal things that we don't want the world to know but sometimes these things come out and it's okay. Your past has shaped you into the person you are now.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:50 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not gonna lie, I've been where you were before with the SURPRISE! the-sex-we-are-having-is-unprotected thing. It really pissed me off. I allowed this to happen to me around three times before meeting the dude in question in a public place to break up. I basically used Miko's formulation (which I think is very good) and gave him no specific reasons as to why, so as to avoid either of us going into any sort of weird break up histrionics. Then, I cut off contact completely. I highly suggest you do the same thing I did, but you know...YMMV.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 5:52 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I told him some very personal things about painful events in my past. I made him promise not to share them, but am not sure if he will keep his promise. Any tips on how to handle that?

Keeping the break up as clear and businesslike as possible will very likely contribute to lessening the chances of things getting overly dramatic. He DOES sound like a big old bag of douche, but even if he DOES share, I highly doubt anyone will judge you or even believe what he has to say (they'll know he's an ex and sometimes exes make up stuff just to be vengeful). Don't think of that as a reason to stick around longer. Get out ASAP. And act as mature and dignified as you possibly can throughout the break up process.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 5:58 PM on September 27, 2010


The unprotected sex is such a dealbreaker that you need to run, fast. I dated someone like this except that I was just somehow able to be militant that we weren't going to have sex without a condom. I do not feel superior to you, I swear that it was just luck and some kind of hidden fortitude on my part.

HE DOES NOT RESPECT YOU. HE ONLY CARES ABOUT HIMSELF.

please read that again and again.

Also, I told him some very personal things about painful events in my past. I made him promise not to share them, but am not sure if he will keep his promise. Any tips on how to handle that?

Most people will listen, but then ultimately judge HIM for betraying confidences rather than judging YOU for whatever the personal things were. Ultimately it reflects worse on him than on you. Also, it's a big fat warning sign for any woman who dates him in the future, because if he does that to you, he'll do it to her too.

-Can I let him know that these are the reasons I'm breaking up with him so he can fix it with the next girl?

No. Don't. It's not worth it. He'll argue back and he'll make you feel like there's nothing wrong with him and the next thing you know he's trying to ride bareback again.

-Should I use Miko's advice to not be specific about my concerns? YES. this is excellent advice that I wish I had 20 years ago.

-I'm a bit mad at him, to be honest. How will I wish I had acted during this breakup, six months from now?

Here's where I'll tell you that six months from now you will have this unsaid litany of things that you wish you had said to him. You will grumble and punch your pillow but you will ultimately be glad you didn't drag it out and have a big dramatic breakup and be very glad you kept your cool and just ended it without being specific.

-Am I overreacting?

You are UNDERREACTING. You have goals and plans? Get to 'em and DTMFA.
posted by micawber at 6:02 PM on September 27, 2010 [11 favorites]


Two things.

1. Break up with him. He's doesn't seem to be taking your emotions OR your attempts to talk about them very seriously. If you want to tell him why go ahead, but just tell him, don't get into an argument around it. He's not your project.

2. You are overreacting. Not to him, but to the relationship. You've been going out for a few (two, three?) months and you're already uprooting your work life to accommodate him, and bringing a level of drama to a situation that doesn't require it.
posted by alan at 6:19 PM on September 27, 2010


Forget the personal stuff you've told him. Put this worry out of your mind. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever mention it to him again or refer to any discomfort you have about sharing those secrets... JUST DON'T.


Here is why I caution you so strongly: This Guy Is A Charismatic Self-Serving Bully.

Exchange "Bully" for "Manipulator" - your choice.


You lose nothing by breaking up someone who would violate you in an intimate moment such that you would have to take the morning after pill afterwards. Twice. This is not someone you should be dating. You're 100% right to break it off.

The Script (via phone is preferable. In-person will set you up for more manipulation, but if you must do it in-person, do it in public. Do it at a restaurant, etc., and have your own car or cab fare so you can leave ASAP when the job is done.):

"Joe. This relationship isn't for me and I'm ending it now before we get too deeply involved. I know a clean break is best. I'm going now. Good bye."

Don't complain. Don't explain.

Block email and phone calls. Delete texts. He'll likely try to win you back, you know, just to dump you on his terms (It happens) so resist temptation once you've broken it off.

Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 6:19 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


My goodness! This guy is awful -- with a case of narcissistic personality disorder, I'd bet. Run.

I agree with the person who said you don't even owe it to him to do it in person. There's plenty of good sex to be had with guys who are kind and treat you with respect.
posted by heffalump at 6:22 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


-I'm a bit mad at him, to be honest. How will I wish I had acted during this breakup, six months from now?

If you make a clean break with little explanation, if you are scrupulous with yourself about refusing further contact with this creep....

In six months you will thank your lucky stars you followed the great advice of the wise folks on MetaFilter and saved yourself the drama and heartache.
posted by jbenben at 6:27 PM on September 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm also going to throw my vote in with the DTMFA group. He violated your wishes sexually which is a BIG no, and on top of that he doesn't seem to respect you in general. Even with the attraction there -- and I've been there, dating people I was so attracted to but who didn't respect me -- it's not worth it in the long run.
posted by runaway ballista at 6:29 PM on September 27, 2010


You're underreacting. Break up with him. He does not give appropriate value to your life, your wishes, etc. Follow jbenben's script.
posted by elpea at 6:31 PM on September 27, 2010


Is this the same guy you were asking about in your previous question, "how to break up with someone you're not dating"?
posted by jayder at 6:36 PM on September 27, 2010


Miko's advice has almost 500 favorites because it's that correct. The reasons not to follow it don't appear in your post. Get your hugs from friends and save longwinded explanations for your diary - he won't treat you the way you deserve to be treated in this, any more than he has treated you the way you deserve to be treated all along. And I really doubt that a man who pulled the "unprotected sex gag" on you twice will be taking notes to improve his next relationship.

In six months you might wish you broke up with him sooner (like, say, the afternoon after you bought that first morning-after pill.) If you do the Miko/public place/totally done/deleted texts thing, you will be glad that the drama is no longer a part of your life and that you handled your first break-up like a pro.

(I don't think you should do it via phone, not replying to anything anymore, etc. only because there's no egregious incident just now - he may take that as a provocation. A meeting seems wise, though of course do it on terms favorable to yourself.)
posted by SMPA at 6:42 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think Miko's script is too good for this guy. I think jbenben's is better in this case, and I would do it on the phone to interact with this loser as little as possible.

You should be proud of yourself for having the wisdom to know when to get out of this thing. No, you aren't overreacting, not at all.
posted by grouse at 6:48 PM on September 27, 2010


I guess I would bother to tell him about your reasons if you think that telling him would get it through his f&$cking skull that having unprotected sex with someone who did not consent to unprotected sex is a form of rape.
posted by bananafish at 6:55 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Questions:
1 Can I let him know that these are the reasons I'm breaking up with him so he can fix it with the next girl?
2. Should I use Miko's advice to not be specific about my concerns?
3. I'm a bit mad at him, to be honest. How will I wish I had acted during this breakup, six months from now?
4. Am I overreacting?


1) No, because 3.

2) Yes.

3) Like an adult. For the most part. Sometimes you will fantasize about pulling some shit out of a Lily Allen song, but it never works out that he just sits there looking devastated and melts into a puddle as you walk away. If you were the kind of person that thrives on that kind of drama, you wouldn't be asking this question, you'd be asking us what cocktails were stickiest and most likely to permanently ruin his clothes for when you hucked it at him.

4) No. He's acted like a dick, repeatedly, but more importantly, he doesn't realize that he's acted like a dick, and when you try to tell him, he doesn't hear you. You can't fix that; he don't want it fixed. That's why trying to explain why you're breaking up with him won't be helpful; he's not going to hear that either. Instead he'll come up with some other narrative that fits his metal picture of your relationship, in which he has always been awesome and you have been this unreasonable and demanding chick who's got all these "issues."

All people do this to some extent; I dunno how old this guy is, maybe he's just inexperienced and doesn't realize the ways in which he's being selfish. Or maybe he's 42 and an unrepentant douche. Or maybe he just doesn't respect you. Whatever the case, you can't fix people who don't want fixing, and the closer you can get to, "I care about you, but I don't feel like this is working, and I don't think it can be fixed, I'm sorry," the happier you'll be in the end.
posted by Diablevert at 7:34 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you are this unhappy after a couple of months, think about how miserable you will be after a couple of years (or decades!) with this guy. Breaking up is never easy but you owe it to yourself to make the break quickly and cleanly then go out and enjoy yourself. Someone better will come along. Guaranteed.
posted by MsKim at 7:42 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


- He tells me he loves me and wants to marry me (a bit too soon, imo), but doesn't seem to be able to take basic care of my emotions.

The only causes of this coming up Way Too Soon are manipulation and crazy.
posted by almostmanda at 7:43 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Best answer: DTMFA. Seriously. This is not a huge mistake, this is a really good idea.

Specifically, follow Miko's advice, and do not try to explain the specifics of why you are making this break. It is not your job to fix him, which is a good thing because you can't. He will learn and evolve at his own pace or not. When you look back what you mostly want to be able to remember is that you acted with dignity. Crying is fine, shaking is fine, even vomiting is fine but what you really need to avoid is accusations, blaming, explaining, and other behaviours that result in escalating back and forth and the inevitable drama that comes from that.

alternateuniversePoster: Also, I told him some very personal things about painful events in my past. I made him promise not to share them, but am not sure if he will keep his promise. Any tips on how to handle that

Yes. Let it go. There are two reasons to do that. One, it's a hard reality to emotionally take on board about really personal stuff (you've been a victim of assault, you have an STD, your childhood included a pivotal trauma, etc.) but those details aren't as primal to other people as they are to you. The thing that is a Big Huge Super Secret Deal to you is on a practical basis probably just more data to him. Two, you can't actually do anything about it. He's going to do with that data whatever he does with it and you have absolutely zero control over it. The most likely scenario is that he does nothing (see #1) so it is unlikely to be worth your worry.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:20 PM on September 27, 2010


The second time, I got caught up as well and let him do it but was really pissed that I had to be the person to stop him even when he agreed to compromise with me to do other things


Great for him, sucks to be you. He values the relationship differently to you.
posted by the noob at 9:42 PM on September 27, 2010


The fact that you're even asking tells me that you're ready to get this over with. My suggestion to you at this point: if/when you do DTMFA, make sure you make a clean break, and don't try to "be friends" or "stay in touch" or anything dumb like that. The last thing you need is to get together and break up with the same guy over and over for the next year.
posted by Gilbert at 10:23 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I did it -- but I feel terrible. I was crying and he held me and was so loving and I just... I think I made a terrible mistake. How could I have done this? I am nearing the end of my rope I can't stand it I'm falling apart how could I do this I am so so so so stupid
posted by alternateuniverse at 10:34 PM on September 27, 2010


Honey, what you're describing is an abusive man. Dump him and never return -- just because a guy appears loving sometimes doesn't mean ANYTHING positive! It means he's inconsistent, and when things start going bad for him, the play-acting will commence, and so will his ability to pawn off the blame onto you.

You must be strong. You must get away. He will only cause you pain and suffering. These kinds of people do not change -- he is clearly self involved and self serving. You deserve to be with someone who takes care of you consistently, honestly, and without guile!

Get out, erase his number from your phone, block him on Facebook, and create an email filter should he try to contact you there. Repeat to yourself that you are worthy of someone better, that you deserve somebody who does not treat you this way.

I know where this road leads. A relationship is a series of transactions; don't let him bankrupt you.
posted by patronuscharms at 10:50 PM on September 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


No, no, no, no, no. You did the right thing. What you're feeling now is a completely normal reaction and breaking up with someone is never easy to do. I know you've heard people say it a billion times, but these things really do get better with time. And the fact that he was loving as you were breaking up with him was a total manipulative move. He is not a loving guy, he's already proven that to you. I strongly suggest that you seek out some therapy to help you through this and to help in the future with recognizing unacceptable behaviour in men.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:54 PM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Feeling remorse and regret immediately after a breakup is common -- yes, EVEN WHEN the breakup is the only correct and healthy thing to do. Stay strong. This guy is extremely clueless and inconsiderate at the very best; more likely, he's an abuser. Sometimes doing the right thing hurts. This doesn't mean it's not the right thing. Honestly, that was probably the most important lesson I ever learned on my path to growing up.

You did it. Good for you! Hang tough... we've all been there. It really, truly, seriously gets better.
posted by scody at 11:00 PM on September 27, 2010 [6 favorites]


You are not stupid and you probably did not make a mistake! I have felt that way after almost every one of my breakups, even from men who were abusive! Breaking up is hard and emotionally draining. Hang in there. I'm willing to bet thatin time you will be thankful for your strength in ending a difficult and imperfect situation (I know I sure was!)

Just think of all the things that were not right (or were downright wrong!) in that relationship. You've opened up your life for someone who is much better for you! Good luck.
posted by MrsHarper at 11:10 PM on September 27, 2010


Good. As everybody upthread has already noted, I think it was the right move.
So what are you going to say to yourself when you feel like you made a mistake or you feel lonely and you want to talk to him? This is not a rhetorical question; really think out what you're going to say to yourself, and really say it, should the need arise.
I've had to do this, and I hung on much longer than I should have, so I'm telling you this from experience. Turn the page, and try to get started on the next one. By all means, don't go backward.
posted by Gilbert at 11:15 PM on September 27, 2010


I'll also add this, I felt exactly the way you do now when I broke up with the man who I had to send to jail for beating me up. He was also extremely emotionally abusive and manipulative. I cried and thought I was making a big mistake and that maybe he could change and treat me better. Leaving him and not looking back was the best thing I have ever done for myself. It was also the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. Please memail me if you need to talk.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 11:16 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Oh honey :(

The first time you fall in love, the experience is magical not only because of what you feel but because you have never felt it before. It's overwhelming and glorious and terrifying and you literally cannot believe anyone has ever felt this way before.

First breakups are the same. It is so painful you cannot imagine how you will possibly survive this because you do not have the experience to know that you will. It is so horrendous that you can only imagine nothing is supposed to feel this way and that therefore the breakup must be a cosmic level mistake.

It's just awful. The first few days are the worst but then it slowly gets better. It doesn't seem like it but it does. Rally your friends. Call people. Ask for support. Browse the breakup tag so you understand how almost universal what you're feeling is - knowing other people survived helps you know you can, too.

I posted an Ask about how to help my sister through a recent breakup and people pointed me to some resources I thought were great, particularly this and this. Maybe they can help you, too.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:43 PM on September 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also I want to remind you in the most gentle way possible that this guy has been selfish, demanding and problematic for you for a while. You've done the right thing here.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:07 AM on September 28, 2010


You aren't stupid. Jerks can be loving when it suits them; all of your reasons still stand. You didn't make a mistake, and you're going to be okay.

Like DarlingBri said you're totally allowed to call people and rally support right now.

It gets better, you'll be okay. Do something nice for yourself in the meantime. Watch a TV series you've been meaning to check out or reread your favorite book.

And a hug from an internet stranger. We've all been there and we've mostly turned out okay.
posted by NoraReed at 1:37 AM on September 28, 2010


Response by poster: I cried and completely lost my shit and was shaking and choking. My friends came over to help me but I just kept on saying I'm so stupid so stupid and I ruined everything and I deserve what I get...

but thank you everyone for your kindness and internet hugs and I hope some day I will feel better and can also pay this kindness forward.
posted by alternateuniverse at 3:23 AM on September 28, 2010


As long as you remain broken up with him, and avoid all further contact with him, you will feel better - and better sooner - than if you had stayed. Remember that for as long as it hurts, and down the line you will know it's true.

You do not owe this guy any sympathy or any further explanation. If he wanted you to stay, he would have been a better boyfriend to you. You can and will do better; you knew it when you posted this question, you knew it when you decided to break up with him, and you know it now.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:51 AM on September 28, 2010


To the OP:

{{{hugz}}}

You are not stupid. You did not make a mistake.

I won't lie: it'll hurt like hell for a while. But avoid him, call your friends for support, and allow yourself to fall apart for a day or two.

Then pick yourself up off the floor, and repeat to yourself:

"He lied to me about unprotected sex."
"He blew off my concerns."
"He distracted me from what I want out of life."

Repeat every day, as many times as you need to, until it sinks in.











To the rest of the thread: What's "Miko's formulation"?
posted by magstheaxe at 7:08 AM on September 28, 2010


How to Break-Up by Miko.
posted by barnone at 8:30 AM on September 28, 2010


Response by poster: So it's the next morning and I'm not doing too well. I have a therapy appointment tomorrow and I hope I can sort some of this out. But I am very unhappy at how I pushed this guy away. I appreciate all of your support. I wish this were simple and I wasn't so heartbroken. I feel so nonfunctional today and cannot get out of bed.
posted by alternateuniverse at 8:56 AM on September 28, 2010


Congrats on the therapy appointment. It shows you're taking care of yourself. Please keep doing that. Even if all you can manage tomorrow is to roll out of bed with minutes to spare, go see the therapist while you're still in sweatpants (or whatever), and get back home and directly into bed again, it'll be a day well spent.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 9:18 AM on September 28, 2010


alternateuniversePoster: So it's the next morning and I'm not doing too well. I feel so nonfunctional today and cannot get out of bed

Totally normal. Totally crappy and totally normal.

But I am very unhappy at how I pushed this guy away.

Try being very unhappy about how this guy treated you instead.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:22 AM on September 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am bursting with sadness for the fact that you feel sad.

Breaking up feels bad, because normal people attach to other human beings, even awful other human beings.

If this helps you, I find the concept of a partner who tricks or manipulates his lover into unprotected sex just. . . mindboggling. This is *a sex act to which you have explicitly refused consent*. I would literally stay with a man who hit me in anger first. . . and I wouldn't stay with a man who hit me.

Passion makes us all weak monkeys. But even monkeys have limits.
posted by endless_forms at 10:27 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


You did the right thing. It is always hard. Always, always, always. You are not alone.
posted by grouse at 10:44 AM on September 28, 2010


I am sorry you are so sad, now that it's done - but if it's any consolation, it is to be expected. After the breakup, sometimes you spend awhile just remembering the *good* parts, and you might remember them as even more good than they were while they were really happening. And you think how could I have let that go, and will I ever find anything like this again, and I could have put up with the bad stuff...

It's okay to think all of that stuff, but it doesn't change the fact that you wrote a lot of good reasons to *not* be with this guy. Don't get back together with him. Don't. I really mean it. There can be things about him that are fun and great - but he's a bad boyfriend, and I might even go so far as to say not even really a boyfriend at all.

If you've tried to fix it and he won't meet you halfway, if he doesn't respect you and your feelings and what you need, then the relationship is fundamentally broken and there is nothing you can do on your own to fix it. Nothing. And it wouldn't have gotten better on its own.

I think the therapy appointment is a good idea, and it's okay if you feel sad for awhile. Talk to your friends, get out and do something, anything productive. Start thinking about those plans that he held you back from.

In six months, when you look back you may have a twinge of sadness, but you will feel better and you will have moved on.
posted by mrs. taters at 10:46 AM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: All of this is complicated by the fact that I have an opportunity to move across the country for a couple of months to do some training and he told me that he did not want to do a long-distance relationship. I figured if he loved me and wanted to marry me but wouldn't wait a few months for me then it wasn't real. I am not sure that I wanted to do the training, but I knew that he was influencing my decision and that I cared about him so much that I might compromise myself just to be with him.
posted by alternateuniverse at 11:45 AM on September 28, 2010


I am so sorry you have a hard time. I know it is cliche, but it will get better. You did the right thing.
posted by Silvertree at 12:01 PM on September 28, 2010


He wouldn't wait a couple months? How much evidence do you need that this guy is bad news? Hope you're doing a little better. Hang in there and don't back down. The worst is over.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 12:38 PM on September 28, 2010


Response by poster: Well, it was a program that lasts for several years, but only the first year is structured in two-month chunks with one-month breaks in between. After that, i can do it online. So yeah, maybe it was his own issues that kept him from working that part out with me.
posted by alternateuniverse at 12:50 PM on September 28, 2010


Just chiming back in to say that I'm sorry you're feeling sad, too -- but also to reiterate that this is totally normal. I know that it doesn't make it suck any less to hear that, but it's true! It will suck for awhile, but it really, really, really will get better as you go on, as difficult as it may be to believe. Every breakup I've ever been through -- seriously, every single one -- was followed by a period of thinking "I will never get over this." And I was wrong every single time! Just remember: feelings pass -- even feelings of sadness, fear, regret, and anger. Feeling like you'll never get over it is just the fear that these painful feelings will be permanent. But they won't be -- they ebb and flow, and you really will feel better in time.

In the meantime, it's really good to follow the advice upthread to think very concretely and specifically about what you're going to do and/or say to yourself in those times where you feel you may need to call him, or where you just don't know what to do with yourself. Make a list and write it down, if that would be helpful. Think of phrases that will give you a little comfort and strength, such as "whatever happens, I can handle it" or "I am treating myself with self-respect." Think of practical ways to be kind, gentle, and comforting with yourself when you're feeling bad, such as going for a walk, doing a little yoga, taking a warm bath, watching a silly movie, etc. I don't recommend doing a lot of shopping to distract yourself, but I think it's nice to have small but comforting things on hand that will specifically bring you some comfort: your favorite tea, keeping flowers around the house (again, doesn't have to be anything fancy -- daisies from the grocery store will accomplish this just fine), etc. Be good to yourself, stick with therapy, and keep moving forward!
posted by scody at 1:52 PM on September 28, 2010


NEVER EVER miss out on an opportunity to truly do something for you just because a "loved" one tells you you should stay! My uncle got accepted to Stanford on a full ride scholarship but didn't go because his girlfriend at the time guilt tripped him into going to another school with her. When they both arrived at school in the fall, he realized she had dumped him for being weak and was now with someone else. This was 40 years ago, and he is still bitter and ashamed for what he did.

If someone TRULY HONESTLY loves you, they will stand by you as you pursue your dreams and they will be there for you when you return. And even if they aren't, there is nothing to stop you and that person from reconnecting years later.

Promise us you'll stay away from this guy! Please! My heart is breaking on your behalf because I have been through this exact situation twice and I believe with every fiber of my being that you deserve to be happy and that you can do that -- all without this creep interfering.
posted by patronuscharms at 2:04 PM on September 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your emotions are totally normal and you're doing everything-- including asking for help from your friends and taking care of yourself and therapy-- the right way.

Hug hug hug. You'll be okay.
posted by NoraReed at 1:25 PM on September 29, 2010


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