I dated a bad boy and now I don't know how to get over him.
April 2, 2013 6:24 PM   Subscribe

I recently dated this guy whom I have to admit I liked him a lot for the sex in spite of everything else I hated about him. He is your definition of a player, he is hot and cold, talks to you one weekend, and not talk to you the next. After three months of hot and cold behaviors, I have finally decided to let him go but inside I am still hurting. Any heart to heart advice?

I fell for the sweet words at the beginning, things like "I have never met a girl like you," "I want you to my future wife," "I am falling in love with you," etc and etc, and his extreme good looks. That was over 3 months ago. Now it seems like he only contacts me for booty calls. I cut off the interaction as soon as I realized that was all he wanted.

Admittedly, I am a little heart broken. I want to move on but I see him a lot at work. I know I fell in love with his d*ck (I just got out of a relationship and I was looking for a little bit of fun)... He is still nice to me at work. He won't talk to me much outside of work these days but he still stops by my office to say hi. It is hard for me to not feel anything when I see him.

if you have been through similar situations where you fell for the wrong person (guy or girl), what do you do to wean yourself off of them? What kind of thoughts do you tell yourself in order to move on?
posted by Likeashadow to Human Relations (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
1. Tell him to stop visiting you at work.
2. Find other things to do outside of work. Keep yourself busy.
3. In time, this will heal. Sometimes, it just takes time.
posted by xingcat at 6:45 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

You get over him the same way you get over any relationship - time and chocolate.

It sounds like you're not hung up on him because he was "a bad boy" - it sounds like you're still hung up on him because this literally only just ended recently. Maybe...too recently for him to be stopping by your office to chat. Not that I'm saying he should totally avoid you at work or whatever, but maybe taking him aside and asking that, for now, if he could please keep his communications with you solely about work, and that you're not ready for him to just drop by and chill out.

And time and chocolate. Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 PM on April 2, 2013

One thing that may help is to know that when the pain starts to subside and becomes more of a dull ache (because it will), you will look back and be really glad that this didn't work out, despite how your heart feels now.

Sometimes things that are truly right don't feel good in the moment, but they will later. It's in the "I never regret working out, but I always regret not doing it" category of things. Similarly, I am quite certain that you would regret giving yourself what your heart immediately wants, but you would not regret the alternative, which is (painfully) a future reality. It's okay to focus your future self, and not your immediate heart, to see you through the disappointment.

None of this, though, means that it doesn't hurt getting there. Sometimes time is the only thing that gets you where you need to go. It'll relentlessly get you there, though. So, I guess my encouragement is that good doesn't mean pain free, and the good thing is not always immediate. But, that doesn't mean that the process is bad, either. It's just not what we would always choose for ourselves if we had a say.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:56 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to clarify something. He indicated throughout the interaction that he saw a lot of potential in me but he doesn't know what to do about me because he doesn't know where he stands with his own life (ie. he may go back to school in a few years). I sensed that he did have genuine feelings for me, but he said he is not ready for any kind of talk about us. He kept saying to give him more time. So I don't know what that means? (ie more time for what???) do you want to be with me or do you not?
posted by Likeashadow at 6:57 PM on April 2, 2013

Ask him.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:03 PM on April 2, 2013

Mod note: Hi Likeashadow - moderator here. The way AskMe works is that you've asked your question, and now people will answer and you can read their answers and choose the ones you find helpful. This is not a place to have a back-and-forth discussion, or for you to vent or publicly process your feelings.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:07 PM on April 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

All it means is that he wasn't done sleeping with you yet. I'm sorry it hurts, but the good news is there are other guys out there who you can have amazing sex with and have your feelings reciprocated.

This guy isn't it.
posted by Space Kitty at 7:09 PM on April 2, 2013 [11 favorites]

You have a drama addiction. It's as vicious as caffeine or cigarettes, and you have to kick it just like you would one of those: by stopping and not using them anymore.

His words are just drama booster fuel; he's saying all the right things but not willing to do any of them. He's showing you who he is. Believe him.

He is a full-fat venti mocha with whip, trying to make you believe he is not, at his core, a big old cup of coffee. Have a nice big glass of water with lemon and tell him to go hang out at Starbucks instead of your office.

The headache will pass if you'll just go cold turkey for a week or two.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:14 PM on April 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

He kept saying to give him more time. So I don't know what that means? (ie more time for what???)

More time for him to get to fuck you with no strings attached while you wait around for him to fall in love with you.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:16 PM on April 2, 2013 [27 favorites]

Ack. "I don't know where I stand with my own life so give me more time" is one of the oldest excuses in the book. It basically means "I don't want a commitment but I do want to stay in your good graces for an occasional booty call."

If he really wanted to be in a relationship with you (or anyone else) he'd find a way, school or no school, life or no life, unless he was doing something like going to a remote island to study albatrosses. If someone wants you in their life they'll find a way to include you and make it work somehow.

Right now you are in the heartbreak phase, and that's natural. It's not because he's a "bad boy," it's because you're broken up. Time and no-contact (or as little contact as possible) and keeping as busy as you can with your own interests is the best healer. You don't have to date other men if you don't want to, but it's best to keep your life as full and fulfilling as you can with work, hobbies, friends, etc. as the more you do, the faster you heal, at least IMO.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:24 PM on April 2, 2013 [10 favorites]

I had a similar hot and cold experience. Love and marriage talk and then he would disappear for a few months. A part of it is that he is so used to women chasing him that he was confused by my higher standards. I would not show up at his door in the middle of the night, naked, like all the other women. So, he didn't know what to do with me. I finally got to a point where I realized that I didn't really love him, I just wanted him to want me. Once I figured that out it was easier to get over him.

Anytime that I have had trouble getting over someone, it is usually because I have failed to see something in myself that needed improvement. Once I see that thing and deal with it, the getting over part is easy.

To sum up, my advice is to work on yourself and try not to think about him. Why do you feel you aren't worth someone who will fight for you? Why do you feel that hot sex trumps real intimacy? Answer yourself those questions and see where it leads you.

Good luck, it will get better, and then it will get worse again, and then better, etc.
posted by myselfasme at 7:54 PM on April 2, 2013 [16 favorites]

To put it from another angle, he's manipulating you. I think he means well, i.e. he doesn't want to tell you no (which would hurt your feelings!) and he likes that you're into him. So, he'll do anything he can to maintain your interest because it makes him feel good, though he has no intention on following through with commitment.

And if he does... do you really want to be committed to a guy who's a player and "doesn't know?" Or do you want his commitment out of a sense of personal satisfaction or validation? I'm not asking to be mean, but in the past I've realized that I had maintained some long-standing crushes for their own sake. If the girl had asked me out, yeah I would have been happy at first, but... would that last? Probably not.

Also, it's okay that you're torn up about him. It sounds like he's charming and fun. But it also sounds like he's telling you that he's not ready for a relationship, and dating someone who's not ready for a relationship is a good way to be hurt a lot worse.

You made the right decision. I hope you find a way to occupy your time and mind (go play Ultimate Frisbee or take a drawing class) in the meantime.
posted by Turkey Glue at 8:21 PM on April 2, 2013

Just to clarify something. He indicated throughout the interaction that he saw a lot of potential in me but he doesn't know what to do about me because he doesn't know where he stands with his own life (ie. he may go back to school in a few years). I sensed that he did have genuine feelings for me, but he said he is not ready for any kind of talk about us. He kept saying to give him more time. So I don't know what that means? (ie more time for what???) do you want to be with me or do you not?
It means that he doesn't have his shit together, but he's happy to place some of the responsibility on you to contort your life and torment yourself by trying to please someone who will likely jerk you around.

If I were in your shoes, I'd give him the time he needs. Also, the space. Also, the freedom to see other people. Also, no contact from me. IOW, DTMFA. Hugs.
posted by SillyShepherd at 12:11 AM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

I knew a man with a literally legendary beard in San Francisco, who was somewhat of a brilliant character. He was a bicycle mechanic who played in a heavy metal band and grew organic vegetables. He used to say, "When people couple, pathways are created."

His meaning was that basically the addiction we have to people is a biological function. It's not really a mental function, as much as we would like it to be. The functional operation of brain chemistry has been discussed here and there on MetaFilter. The synopsis is that sex is designed to addict people to each other. When you sleep with someone, "pathways are created".

The Bearded Man would reflect in the foggy summers, literally sitting on a soapbox. (paraphrased) Yes, we all like sex, don't we. And we think we are in such control of it. The reality is much more animalistic. When you have sex with someone, pathways are created. Those are real pathways. Once created, you probably cannot get rid of them easily. The best you can do is to ignore them.

So what's the heart-to-heart advice? Ignore the thoughts and realise that they are just thoughts. The Buddha said that which we think is that which we become. Thus, when you find yourself thinking of this person, consider that firstly it's very natural given that pathways were created. Secondly, don't dwell on it. Let the thought arrive, but do not give it attention. This is really the heart of meditation and mindfulness, but it's a practice that works well in most other areas of life as well.

You cannot control the thought entering your mind, whether that is of his anatomy, or a shared future. Once the thought has arrived, recognise it, but don't fuel it. Do not rehash the experience or the time together. Give the thought no power... in essence, ignore it.

And also, give yourself permission to feel poorly about it. For whatever reason – and the reasons are completely irrelevant – this relationship has run its course and it is time to move on. It's bittersweet. There were good times, there were bad times. The important thing is that it's done now and it is time to move on.

It is also important to mourn even short relationships. Pathways were created. There is a physical imprint of the person in your brain. That is non-negotiable, for it exists and it is there. Recognise that, and allow it to be. Allow that person to have changed you and had an impact on your life, whilst also realising that process is complete.

There are numerous ways to facilitate healing, but an essential first step is to recognise there is an injury. If you fight the sadness and the separation, you will be in a state of resistance – and we know well that what we resist persists, so to speak. So embrace the sadness, and realise it for what it is. An echo of happiness and connection. It is not the last connection you will have to a person, it is simply one of many connections. When you can embrace the true bittersweet nature of the situation, and allow yourself not to which it to be different, but to accept it for what it was, then you will begin making moves toward freedom.

Also, the way stimulus works within the brain, it would probably be best to isolate yourself from him. Much as we are careful to ingest only food that we know is safe to eat, we must be careful what we feed our brain, in terms of information and experience. His presence will stimulate you, and activate the pathways that have been created, thus the greater degree to which you can remove his presence from your physical experience, the greater speed at which you will be able to ignore the pathways that have been created.

posted by nickrussell at 3:18 AM on April 3, 2013 [29 favorites]

MY wife was dating a bad boy type. He was only seeing her for the sex. The best way to get over him is to find somebody else.
posted by majortom1981 at 6:16 AM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

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