Thrown away
October 8, 2012 5:16 AM   Subscribe

My ex-lover and "best friend" blocked me on Facebook and I'm having a hard time dealing with it.

Of course this is about much more than Facebook.

Earlier this year I started sleeping with a friend of mine (We are both in our late twenties). We slept together for several months, hung out as friends, and became close, though we weren't exclusive.

Towards the end of summer a girl he had been interested in for a while broke up with her boyfriend and my friend decided he wanted to see her exclusively. I was, of course, disappointed that we were ending our sexual relationship and things were a bit awkward for awhile. I didn't know how to act around him. One day, when I knew I was going to see him later that night at a party, I wrote a card to him saying that I couldn't pretend I wasn't still attracted to him, but I didn't want to get in the way of his new relationship, that I loved him and I wanted him to be happy. He read it and he gave me a big hug and things seemed good between us.

But things weren't good with his new girlfriend. He would call me, text me, and come over to my apartment to ask advice on how to deal with their issues. I would give him my best advice, and he would thank me enthusiastically. He would say he couldn't confide in her the way he could with me, that I didn't judge him, that he loved me and I was his best friend.

He told me he told his new girlfriend about our relationship. He also told me that she found the card I wrote him and got upset about me.

One night he texted me about the three of us hanging out. I responded but he never responded back. Later he told me that that's because his girlfriend got mad at him for texting me.

His girlfriend is working overseas for a couple months. My friend and I hung out one night and he said he didn't trust her and thought he should break up with her. Again, I gave him my best advice. Later that night we had sex. I told him it wasn't a good idea but we did it anyway.

One evening I was hanging out with him and two mutual friends. Someone, not me, brought it up that I was feeling jerked around and confused by him. My friend demanded we talk about this even though I told him it was not the time or place (we were in public and had been drinking). He said he made a huge mistake sleeping with me that last time and that he loved his girlfriend. Eventually, I told him that I was worried that when his girlfriend came back to town I wouldn't see him anymore, that we wouldn't be friends. He promised me that we would still be friends. He told me he would break up with his girlfriend if he could no longer be friends with me.

Things got teary and awkward, but when we parted that night I thought we were on decent terms and could possibly revisit things when we were in a better, sober state of mind. I still wanted to tell him that if he wanted to actually be friends he needed to treat me better, match his actions with his words, and figured we could have that conversation another day.

The next day, he blocked me on Facebook.

I realize that he probably just doesn't want to deal with it anymore, but not knowing for sure is driving me crazy. I want to contact him but I know that's not a good idea. We have lots of mutual friends and live two blocks away from each other. (I hang out with his roommate as well, who refuses to talk to me about any of this.) I'm worried about how to act if we run into each other. I wonder every day if I'm going to hear from him. I go from being extremely pissed off at him to missing him.

I'm trying to keep busy and exercise, but I would like some perspective on how to deal with the uncertainty of everything, or things I should be telling myself. He's treated me like a used tissue, I know that, but it's still hard. Thanks for any advice you can give.
posted by girlmightlive to Human Relations (37 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I think that you REALLY need to read "Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback girl" by Natalie Lue... You haven't acted in your own best interests here and I think you'll feel better when you start to deal with the decisions you made that resulted in you giving support to New Girlfriend, sleeping with him again etc. and all this emotional mess.
posted by misspony at 5:23 AM on October 8, 2012 [7 favorites]

I think you're doing the right thing in trying to move on, and that you definitely should not try to resume contact. This person has treated you very badly for months.

It's easy to say when I don't feel the things you feel but it seems to me you're better off without this person in your life.
posted by gerryblog at 5:24 AM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

Nothing is uncertain - it is over. Once you cross the line into a FWB relationship you end up crossing the line into a disposable friendship. That's just the way it is. Sure, there are people who can keep a good friendship with an ex but it usually involves a different level of friendship which probably depends on keeping emotional distance. Be cordial if you meet and keep the distance for now until you gain emotional distance.
posted by JJ86 at 5:35 AM on October 8, 2012 [6 favorites]

I go from being extremely pissed off at him to missing him.

The "missing him" part may be your brain trying to avoid admitting it was wrong about him, that trusting him was not a good idea, and that he's actually kind of an asshole. But fully accepting all of those things and embracing your own wrongness is the only thing that will really let you move on. Let yourself feel stupid and naive for a while, and then all of your feelings toward him will become pissed-off feelings, and then you won't really feel anything for him anymore (except maybe pity, because if he keeps treating people like this, he won't end up happy). This is a learning experience that I think a lot of people have to go through in order to understand their own worth and how they deserve to be treated by sexual partners-- if you let yourself really process this, you'll come out the other end much stronger.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:43 AM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

So...lemme get this straight:

You two were friends with benefits. Then he found a girlfriend, but kept you on retainer to fill any needs she might not fill. He continues relationship with said girlfriend, all while keeping you waiting in the wings and telling you how much he loves you while knowing DAMN WELL how much you still like him. Oh, and apparently he still gets to fuck you when his girlfriend is away, which just makes this whole thing even more ridiculous.

So what it boils down to is: THIS WAS ONLY A GOOD DEAL FOR HIM. All you were getting out of this was heartache and uncertainty. All his girlfriend is getting is an untrustworthy cheating ass of a boyfriend. He gets all the sex and emotional support he needs.

And now he has cut you off because you're not playing the role he wanted you to play? Lovely.

This asshole did you a favour. My advice is that you continue in this spirit of no contact, even when he comes around again looking to patch things up (and he will - mark my words, he will).
posted by futureisunwritten at 5:44 AM on October 8, 2012 [75 favorites]

One of the pieces of advice often given here on AskMe when people ask "How do I avoid repeatedly going back to a relationship that I know is bad for me?" is "Block the person on Facebook." It doesn't necessarily mean that he hates you, or that they never want to see you again, but perhaps he needs to cut off contact in a major way to avoid rekindling feelings that he doesn't want to rekindle.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:45 AM on October 8, 2012 [7 favorites]

Sex complicates things. I hear about FWB, but I always suspect that these arrangements aren't equal, and that one person has stronger feelings than the other person.

What can you learn from what you've experienced here? Did you really have a FWB relationship, or were you hoping that it would turn into something more with time? Be super-honest about it. There's no one in the room but you.

This guy is jerking you around, but you're 100% complicit in that. The minute you decided that FWB was what you would settle for, you became the default girlfriend.

Find ways of being busy, stay off the computer for a while, read books, watch some TV, meet up with friends to see movies, do whatever you need to do not to be alone in a room with a computer.

I always recommend that you sit down and really evaluate what you want in a relationship. I like writing it down with pen and paper. Make your list. Make it as long as you like.

Think about the concept of respect. Do you feel that this guy respected you? Really and truly respected you? Did he act in your interests or his? Is this the kind of thing you want to repeat? I didn't think so.

Also, reflect upon why you felt the need to settle. He flat out told you he didn't want you for a girlfriend, but you went ahead and had a sexual relationship with him. Why?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm old and my concepts of how important a sexual relationship is may be different from yours, but I believe that when people have sex, that's it's not just physical release, that emotions become involved. Some more than others. With that kind of thing at stake, why would you risk yourself in this way?

Learn from this that you're not the kind of person for whom a FWB relationship will work. That's HUGE. Also learn that you're not the type of person who should settle for less than what she wants.

Hang in there, in a year you'll wonder what you were thinking and it won't hurt at all. Until then, live an awesome life.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:53 AM on October 8, 2012 [27 favorites]

These facts could also be read as : you are a former FWB who sent him a love note; Engaged in an ongoing emotional affair, and then a physical affair.

You are the other woman

If he has any any any intent of staying with his girlfriend he has to block you on FB and ignore you otherwise.

If you have any intent of having a healthy relationship with anyone, you have to do the same.
posted by French Fry at 6:03 AM on October 8, 2012 [26 favorites]

You really can't be a friend to him while he's in a monogamous relationship if you both are willing to sleep with one another while he's attached. In fact, from the tone of your question, it sounds like you don't really want to be a friend-with-benefits, you want more than that, which is your right, but it's not the relationship he seems to want with you.

At this point, it doesn't matter why he blocked you on Facebook; it's a good thing for both of you. For him, to see if he can salvage the relationship with his girlfriend, and for you, so you can move on from this in-between status you've been keeping with him.

Don't contact him at all for a while. Let things settle. I don't know if you could be friends in the future, but it certainly seems like you can't keep it to "just friends" right now.
posted by xingcat at 6:03 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

This happened to me, only we never ended up having actual sex -- just other stuff. Looking back on it a couple of years later, I'm glad he got a girlfriend and blocked all communications from me. He said his girlfriend was 'making him' but who knows if that's actually true. All of those things I told myself about him-- that he was cute, that his band was good, etc. turned out to be just things I was telling myself so I didn't feel so alone. I can't say the exact same thing about your situation, but I think there are some hidden truths in your story as well. Take off your blinders. You'll find someone who wants you and only you... until then... enjoy yourself. And as the others have said, trust me, in a year you'll look back on this and scoff at how much time you spent pining over what'shisfacethatdidn'twantyouanyway.
posted by camylanded at 6:15 AM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Keep this guy out of your life and count your blessings that he's gone. Do you really want to be with a guy who cheated on his girlfriend while she was overseas?
posted by windykites at 6:16 AM on October 8, 2012

It's a blessing that he blocked you. Now you don't need to see his stupid crappy drama clogging up your feed.

Log off Facebook and find ways to get over this guy, because that's what you need to do. Call it a learning experience, dust yourself off and go set up a situation with someone new -- a situation that gives YOU what YOU want (because you deserve it).
posted by mibo at 6:25 AM on October 8, 2012

It sounds like his cutting you off on facebook and generally is the most honest and best thing he has done with regard to you yet. By cheating on his girlfriend with you he has shown you exactly how much he cares about the women in his life, and exactly how good of idea it is to be one of them. By lying to you and jerking you around so hard he has shown you that you do not represent some kind of special expection to how much he cares about the women in his life. By pressuring you into sex while you were voicing concerns he has shown you that he is at the very best a scary motherfucker who does not respect your concerns with regards to sex.

Fuck this guy, you deserve SO SO MUCH better.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:28 AM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

You have feelings for him. He doesn't have feelings for you.

There are 7 billion people on the planet. Move on.
posted by dgeiser13 at 6:38 AM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

There are no silly "rules" to FWB aftermath - - do what makes you feel better.

He's 2 blocks away ; get out there and face him, and ask the questions you need answered. This is the fastest way to closure. How much "exercise" can you possibly busy yourself with? Put this conclusion on your terms - don't let him have the last word.
posted by Kruger5 at 6:51 AM on October 8, 2012

I have to agree that there is no uncertainty here. Of course it feels that way to you because you're in the situation, but it's clear to an outside observer what has happened here.

You knew him for a long time and presumably had a lot of positive experiences with him. Then he got into a sexual relationship with you, and then (ostensibly) dumped you for another woman, and then played you off against each other while maintaining sexual/romantic relationships with both of you.

It is not normal for him to dump you for someone else and then use your friendship as an excuse to complain about the problems in the relationship that he dumped you for. Even if it didn't reek of "my wife doesn't understand me," it's an obviously boundary-breaking and cruel thing to do to both of you. Of all the people in the world he could have complained to, why you? In the future, this is the point at which you need to get suspicious and shut things down.

I am going to get soapboxy here and say that you've been baited into accepting lower standards both in morals and in relationships. This whole FWB business is a complete crock which was invented so that one person could get used and hurt and wouldn't be allowed to complain about it. I call it Friends With Detriments (I got that term from another MeFite, I think). Please do not listen to any influences that tell you that sleeping with a guy who is in a relationship is ever excusable, or that any arrangement whereby "we're friends/lovers but I don't care about you" is anything but demeaning.

Finally, I know how painful it is to have one view of somebody, thinking they're a good guy and a friend, and then having them treat you like garbage. It seems so much more complicated than that, but unfortunately all the high emotion and chemicals and excuses is just a cloud of smoke and mirrors around a fairly simple moral wrong.

I'm sorry, I know it hurts, but his blocking you on Facebook is at least a step towards making his actions consistent with his words, since the whole picture strongly suggests he doesn't respect or care about you and only wants to relate to you on exactly his terms.

Since he's in his late twenties I'm pessimistic that he'll mature out of this, but until and unless he ever comes back to you with an apology, unsolicited by you, for how shittily he treated you, and an explanation of his detailed plans for treating you like a human being in the future, you should block him on Facebook too, and everywhere else, and give him the cut direct if you ever see him again.
posted by tel3path at 7:04 AM on October 8, 2012 [13 favorites]

get out there and face him, and ask the questions you need answered. This is the fastest way to closure. How much "exercise" can you possibly busy yourself with? Put this conclusion on your terms - don't let him have the last word.

No way. Unless you turn this into a scene that you will infinitely regret in the future, he will not give you any more answers or respect than he has shown you thus far.

Don't let him have the last word? Forget he ever existed. He will expect you to still be pining. DON'T PINE. (or pine only in your brain and do not let this effect your actions in any way.)
posted by Kronur at 7:06 AM on October 8, 2012 [9 favorites]

Look at his blocking you as an unexpected gift.

He's been using you in every way --- yes, he HAS been 'jerking you around' --- using you for sex, using you as a shoulder to cry on, using you as a backup/better-than-nothing partner. He does not care for you like you cared for him, he was just using you while he was between 'real' girlfriends. You should refuse all contact from him for AT LEAST a year, whether email, text or phone, plus unfriend him entirely on fb: all of this will enable you to move on in peace. (If he does try to contact you, delete the messages unread.)
posted by easily confused at 7:06 AM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

I disagree with Kruger5.

Closure doesn't come from "answers," and certainly not any he could give. Closure comes from within--from viewing what transpired in an accurate way, accepting it, coming to terms with it, and letting him go.

My read on the situation is that he's a cad. He's strung you along emotionally while dating someone else. The lines he's fed you about how you understand him and his girlfriend doesn't is classic cheater parlance. This is the second time I'm linking to it on metafilter in a few weeks, but the Simpsons even have a parody country song about this. He didn't act like a "best friend" or even a "friend." He acted like a dirty, manipulative player who has no respect for women. People who have respect for women don't date people they feel they can't emotionally connect with (which may or may not be true; I'm guessing not), or keep other women on retainer because they want to fuck them when their girlfriends are out of town. Sounds like now, he's trying to be less of a douchenozzle to his girlfriend who is the person he made a commitment to. Not you.

You need to stop pursuing him. You need to stop trying to contact him. You need to let go. You might not be feeling it yet, but go on a few dates with other people. Don't talk about him with these people. Just act like you've moved on. The sooner you start doing that, the sooner it will be true.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:11 AM on October 8, 2012 [13 favorites]

And ZOMG, do not walk up to him in person to confront him. Pursuing him for anything at all, including "answers" or "closure" is just playing his game. He is certain to use it against you, to paint you as a crazy stalker with a crush, and in all likelihood will feed off what he will see as your delicious attention and pursuit.

The only way he should be able to get your respect back should be to approach you himself under his own steam, and to value you enough to risk embarrassing himself in the process. I don't picture this guy having the cojones to do that.
posted by tel3path at 7:14 AM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

"He's 2 blocks away ; get out there and face him, and ask the questions you need answered."

Please don't give this motherfucker the satisfaction. The kinds of guys who will work this hard to keep two women in love with them under the expecation that it is reciprocated do so such that they can enlarge their egos with how much they can get women to care about him. He will say whatever he thinks will keep you strung along as much as possible while keeping his girlfriend strung along so that he can keep you as a source of ego inflation and backup girlfriend. You deserve better than that.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:33 AM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

Blocking you is not about your value as a person, or even your value to him specifically. It's about his situation being complicated and about your specific relationship dynamic pushing things in the wrong direction.

Yes this is a gift. He may have been jerking you around, he may have actually though that you could go back to being friends after the FWB stuff.

Human relationships, especially involving sexytimes, get messy fast. They're never as cut-and-dried as "he was just using you, he's an asshole"

Also, I find it really interesting that anyone commenting on the FWB aspect has been all "he got sex out of it, and you got nothing!" as if women get nothing out of sex other than the ability to get something else they really want. A FWB is a two way street.
posted by softlord at 7:35 AM on October 8, 2012 [10 favorites]

He was finally forced to choose, and he let you take the hit. Never mind the part where you were lovers. He wasn't a very good friend. If he treated someone else you care about this way you would be furious with him and not want to see him. He might at least have explained himself, even super briefly, before blocking you. Though you would still be blocked, you wouldn't have this frustrating not-knowing-why component making a bad feeling worse.

You're doing the best things, keeping busy, exercising, asking us, even. It will suck for a long time, the missing him. Like PhoBWanKenobi said above, closure doesn't come from answers. - It comes from perspective, and that just has to take time. Hang in there.
posted by tomboko at 7:52 AM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Block him back.
posted by AugustWest at 8:16 AM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

I've been this guy once long ago.

It is easy to be all judgemental but breaking up is hard on both sides particularly when two relationships are adjacent like this. Feelings, needs and the irrationality don't just go away. It's not a binary switch and people have weaknesses.

This is not to say I wasn't an asshole. I was. I'll own that and he probably will at some point as well.

What you need though is to understand the situation rationally and not just from the position of the relationship rage moral judgement enforcement division.

He might be blocking you because he is trying not to be weak. He probably wants to be a better person than he is and is failing.

You have zero obligations but you could probably help him out by cutting off an avenue of failure for him and by maintaining only a very remote connection that can one day in the distant future potentially return to being a friendship. It didn't that work out that way for me but who knows...
posted by srboisvert at 8:37 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Consider it a blessing in disguise. Everybody wants closure and to get rid of all the uncertainty, but rarely does anybody achieve it.

You said yourself you feel like a used tissue, and nobody ever deserves to be treated like that. It wasn't fair of him of talk to you about his girlfriend while you're hoping for more. Take this situation and learn from it, and keep doing what you're doing to keep yourself busy and distracted. Time is on your side, and although it's going to hurt like hell and probably take a long time, one day you'll look back on this and realize it made you a stronger person. Good luck!
posted by stonecutters88 at 8:39 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

girlmightlive, you were NOT thrown away. It may feel like that, but that's not true. He didn't throw you away. You are not garbage to be thrown away. Get that right out of your head. You weren't thrown away, my love. Getting kicked in the face with reality hurts. He didn't treat you (or her) right. Bottom frigging line.

Give yourself a great big hug and pick yourself up off the ground.
Now dust yourself off.
Check for cuts and bruises.

Ok, you're still whole. You're still you. A you that doesn't want to be someone's "friend" if they are the only one getting benefits. Go about your business the best you can. The ONLY thing you can do is plaster a smile on your face and fake it 'til you make it. Really, love the hell out of yourself. Do nice things for yourself. You're gonna be okay.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 10:06 AM on October 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you've declared feelings for someone and they go on to date someone else and complain about them to you, your reaction should be anger, because they are insulting you and treating their girlfriend disloyally. It is never a compliment or a testament to your listening/advice skills or the closeness of your relationship. They are not thinking of your feelings at all, just setting you up to feel justified when you cheat.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:34 AM on October 8, 2012 [11 favorites]

In other word this wasn't a friendship, he was grooming and using you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:35 AM on October 8, 2012 [5 favorites]

If this guy came here and asked us what he should do, we'd probably slap him around a little bit for behaving badly. But then we would tell him that he needs to cut off all contact with you and block you on facebook. I'm sorry, I know it hurts, but this is absolutely the best thing for all involved parties. I totally understand your desire to find ambiguity and uncertainty into this situation, I do. But from the outside the situation is actually really straightforward. He can't have a relationship with his girlfriend while you're in his life, he wants to have a relationship with his girlfriend, and so he has removed you from his life. It hurts, I know, and I'm sorry, but the best way for you to feel better is to focus 100% on putting your energies anywhere else than him.
posted by Ragged Richard at 11:10 AM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I wanted to thank everyone for their insights so far. You've given me a lot to think about and some much-needed perspective. I was certainly no angel but I should not have let him treat me so poorly and that's what I need to remember going forward. I won't be contacting him.
posted by girlmightlive at 11:36 AM on October 8, 2012 [10 favorites]

I have been in (roughly) your position. I want to add to the chorus here, especially what Ruthless Bunny said:

Hang in there, in a year you'll wonder what you were thinking and it won't hurt at all. Until then, live an awesome life.

That's it. Have an awesome life.
posted by 3491again at 12:25 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you've declared feelings for someone and they go on to date someone else and complain about them to you, your reaction should be anger, because they are insulting you and treating their girlfriend disloyally.

The young rope-rider speaks the truth. When you get enough distance from this person, you will be angry, and should be.
posted by ead at 12:40 PM on October 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

I feel really sympathetic towards you, but am also struck by how passively you describe yourself. You made a choice to sleep with him that last time, a choice that was for both of you a bad idea. Yeah, he's blockd you and that sucks but seriously it sounds like neither of you were bringing out the best in the other. You want friends who bring out your best.

My advice would be to join MeetUp or whatever and get a new hobby and some new friends. You will be a lot happier if you become interesting to yourself sans drama
posted by spunweb at 3:25 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

You know, he really took advantage of your affection for him and your desire to be helpful and a good friend. Unfortunately it's something most of us have to learn through difficult personal experience.

Good luck.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:51 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Um, I do feel bad for you, but at the end of the day, you can only control your actions and what you do.

If you had feelings for this guy (and it's obvious that you do/did), you should have done yourself a favor and been up front and declared them. This whole situation feels like you were kind of going along to get along.

I know we at MeFi like to think we're all sorts of open minded and can just have FWB relationships with whoever with no emotional repercussions, but the truth is way different and far messier as you've learned here.

The fact is, this guy is doing you a favor; he's obviously doing this to curry favor with this other woman. Why would you pine about a "friend" who doesn't seem like he was much of a friend to begin with?
posted by PsuDab93 at 6:42 AM on October 10, 2012

French Fry: "These facts could also be read as : you are a former FWB who sent him a love note; Engaged in an ongoing emotional affair, and then a physical affair."

Except that it was he who pursued the sex on the last encounter, while she resisted it. He essentially took advantage of her feelings for him in order to attain the sex. So while she may be the "other" woman, it is not as cut and dried as you present it.

OP, the problem here, as it nearly always is, is one of perspective. Right now this person is your focus and seems so important to you. Eventually your feelings will change and you'll be okay with him not being in your life. In time, you'll actually be glad that this happened, because it freed you to find someone awesome who cares about you and your feelings. In the present this knowledge is only really helpful in the abstract, so maybe just eat plenty of comfort foods, hang out with close friends, and watch your favorite TV shows or movies to feel a bit better. Stay out of the dating pool for a while so you can catch your breath.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:20 AM on October 10, 2012

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