Sex and Love.
November 15, 2011 7:51 AM   Subscribe

How do you get over the shock and pain of discovering you've been sleeping with someone who hasn't been in love with you for months?

Together almost a year, broke up 1 week shy of anniversary. Ex stayed with me because he loves me very much and because he wanted to fall back in love with me, but our LDR was just not working for him. First person I ever slept with, and I feel pretty dejected because up until a few months ago I thought we had really solidified our relationship and we both agreed we were moving towards something serious.
posted by These Birds of a Feather to Human Relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

As Dan Savage has said, all relationships will fail until one doesn't. I know it hurts, but I also take it that you are really young. Life is long (hopefully) and you will move onto happiness, more heartbreak, happiness, ambivalence, happiness, more heartbreak, and if you stay open, happiness that lasts.

But, for now, it is awful, and you just need to cry and wait it out. Nothing else for it.
posted by Danf at 7:59 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Yep, there's not much you can do but wait things out and not be self-destructive.
It's gonna take some time.
posted by D.C. at 8:04 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

These things happen. LDRs have notoriously bad survival rates. Most people don't end up spending their lives with the first person with whom they slept. By the nature of the context of your question, you're even aware that your relationship hasn't been solid for a few months. In essence, your relationship was solid in your estimation for what's normally referred to as the "honeymoon" period, and suffered shortly after--which also happens very frequently.

Each time hurts, but each time also gets better. Allow yourself to mourn your relationship, reminding yourself still that you're free now to find the right person, the person with whom you'll have more than a few solid months.
posted by litnerd at 8:17 AM on November 15, 2011

You will get over it eventually, unfortunately, it will take time.

There's no easy way or quick route to get over a relationship no matter if it was evident or not that it was ending.

Don't feel betrayed or mislead if you are heading that way. Everyone has different processes of what they want or not want in a relationship. What he did didn't work for you, but it worked for him.

Do feel that your life will get better and that you are a person worthy of a beautiful love life again.

Go do some things that you enjoy or haven't had a chance to do. Soon, the heart will heal and you'll be dating again.
posted by Yellow at 8:21 AM on November 15, 2011

Time, Distance, Shielding.

Time does not heal all wounds, but it helps. Minimize any time you have to be in contact with him.

Distance. I was an LDR so you won't be running into him lately, but avoid online haunts that you both share (or unfriend him, etc.) so you don't run across him/anything he's posted.

Shielding. Put anything that he gave you away. You don't have to throw it out, but keep it away for a little while so you're not reminded. Spend as much time as you can staying busy with people. If you find yourself in a funk, get out of your living space or call someone to come by and hang. Don't spend all your time with just one friend.

(Time, Distance, Shielding is the mantra for avoiding radiation - short time exposure, distance from source and effective shielding. It's where I originally acquired the three in combination.)
posted by Hactar at 8:52 AM on November 15, 2011 [6 favorites]

How do you get over the shock and pain of discovering you've been sleeping with someone who hasn't been in love with you for months?

Lots of people sleep with each other for reasons that have nothing to do with love. In fact, I'd say that happens more often than not, but I'm probably being cynical. It might be a good idea to divorce the two a bit. It sounds like your guy didn't even have bad intentions. Also a lot of people confuse infatuation with love and maybe when the infatuation faded, he didn't have the patience to wait for love (which tends to be more subtle) to take its place.
posted by empath at 9:02 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm so sorry to hear this. I dated a guy for 8 months, met the parents, traveled together, the whole nine yards and then one day he told me he could never see himself falling in love with me (even though I recently told him I loved him). We broke up. It sucked.

What helped me at the time was to give myself permission to feel. This sounds funny, but I let myself feel awful and got through it a lot quicker.

Cutting off initial communication will help move things along.

Focus on people in your life who DO love you: your friends and family and whomever else you consider part of your support system.

Once you're over the initial trauma, this is a prime time to let yourself feel, let yourself breathe and just BE for awhile.

Do something new. Join a social club/take up a sport/hobby/travel/whatever to give yourself the boost you need.

Focus on things you like about yourself. For every negative there's a positive.

Time, time, time. Good luck.
posted by floweredfish at 10:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Accept that it is. Moving on will be easier when you do. Mend your heart and prepare to share it again.
posted by JXBeach at 10:48 AM on November 15, 2011

This is a major loss and you will experience grief. It sucks, but you will come out of the back end of this stronger for the experience. There are stages of grief which most people experience (although there is some controversy to this model) - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Allow yourself to feel the first four so that you can get to the final stage, acceptance. You might experience denial as just shock or numbness, or start questioning the whole relationship. It is normal and perfectly OK to find yourself angry, perhaps extremely angry at your ex. Bargaining can be with your God or just obsession with how it could have been different etc. Of course you will and probably should feel sad about your loss. These feelings can come in various order, or all at once. In the end though you have to accept reality for what it is and move on. It's done, it's in the past. You are living now and in the present.
posted by caddis at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2011

At some point (not -now- obviously), you can half-jokingly call it:
"sexual and/or relationship experience."

You know, in case anyone needs a resume.
posted by DisreputableDog at 12:57 PM on November 15, 2011

I am so angry, you know? I finally found someone I was compatible with sexually, trusted them enough to have a sexual relationship with them, and I get dumped because I'm not able to be in their city for another 7 months. We were having a great weekend -- and then suddenly things went so off and his loving demeanor changed to "I want out"! I don't feel safe thinking about sex anymore and that devastates me.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 4:53 PM on November 15, 2011

That's really it - I am so used to being sex-positive and right now the thought of this guy and all the good experiences I had with him make me want to throw up. I don't understand how to squash that and none of the literature I have for sex Ed deals with that issue.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:34 PM on November 15, 2011

Many relationships would not survive a seven month separation. Relationships require constant nurture and attention and that can be very difficult from afar. I wouldn't beat yourself up over that aspect of things or draw generalizations for the future. As for feeling burned out on sex and relationships that is also pretty normal after a break-up and will fade with time.
posted by caddis at 3:45 AM on November 16, 2011

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