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Getting over an ex and then being friends...

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My situation started back in October, Me and a girl at University got on very well, We live in the same building at University, have the same friendship groups and hang out with all the same people..we were best mates and helped each other through all sorts of situations, went out partying together and just loved being in each others company, all sounds great... then we slept together.. and this became a regular occurrence, the sex was great.. and we agreed that as it was great and we trusted each other that its fine to carry on, which we did, we kept it quiet for a while, and then after a while it got out and people started to find out.. many weren't surprised, whilst others were.



After a while, feelings started to get involved and we both told each other this..and it became more than just sex, we wouldn't get with other people, and we would spend time just loving being in each others company, we went on a few dates and it came to that point where we were practically ' together' but without the label.


Now here comes the complications, exactly a year ago, she went through a horrible break up where her ex cheated on her and went off with another girl travelling on the trip they were supposed to go on together, we always spoke about it, and she would say how she's not over her ex fully, and how much he hurt her.


Me and her were at the stage where we were practically in a relationship but without the label, and she told me that she would love to be in a relationship with me, and would it be anyone else then she would have gone into it, but she didn't want to ruin something potentially special by going in and breaking up due to her ex,and maybe things might happen in the future.. so we decided to take a step back and cool things off over the vacation at uni. Stop talking everyday, and she lives far away so that would help, oh and she was going on holiday so perfect situation right?.


Well that didn't happen, she told me it was too hard to not speak, so we ended up speaking all the time whilst she was away and i went up and saw her when she got back.. we spent 3 days together, it was amazing, and came to the conclusion that when back at uni, why not carry on how it is as it's so good..


A few days back at Uni and she says its not fair that we can't spend as much time with each other as we would like and it's affected the time we spend with our friends, so we break it off again.. but again, it goes back to sleeping together again and spending time together, when we're drunk we usually get together, it came to the point where it was completely broken off due to her not being over her ex and not ready for a relationship and we said we'd go back to being friends.. easier said than done on my part..


Been back at university for a month now, and this is the situation.. I have been down and depressed for a month, my exams were affected by it, my friends say they haven't seen me as much as they used to , I see her everyday as we live in the same building, my friends are her friends, so we are all in the same room together when socialising and we all eat together at breakfast lunch and dinner, and it's just hard, she's started getting with someone else now, i know i'm better than this and ask myself why i let myself get so involved, but i really like this girl.. like alot... i guess i was really falling for her...


I've been through a bad break up before and NC worked brilliantly, but now.. i can't do that, and for my own sake i need to be friends with her, otherwise university life will be a misery, but i guess i'm just finding it hard... as i can't get away from it all.. She is still very messed up over her ex a year on and is in no state to go into anything, so it's the right decision, it's just i'm finding it harder than i thought and i feel i'm making excuses for why i seem a little down and keeping myself to myself..


Any Advice would be largely appreciated, i've tried to explain as best as i can, but it's hard to fit 4 months into here....

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Oh dear ... I hate to say it but I think that once you guys split for the holiday break, and then she reneged and continued to treat you like her de facto boyfriend, she was using you. Not consciously, not in a calculated way, and not because she doesn't value your friendship. In fact it sounds like she really did wish that you and she could have had a proper relationship ... but her heart just wasn't there. Maybe because of her ex, or maybe because she's young and all over the place right now about what she wants.


And she knows that she was jerking you around a bit, using you for sex and companionship. I'll bet she really did like the sex, and your company. But for some reason she's not going to embrace the whole package. You're right that NC is always the best way to heal from something like this, but I understand that you can't implement that right now. But here are some things you could try:


1. Find one or two new activities, or a new friend or two who have no connection to your current friends. These new activities/people won't completely replace your current group/habits, but they'll give you an outlet once or twice a week that has nothing to do with her.


2. Don't feel that you have to make it easy for her. Remember, if she'd kept to the original plan over the holidays, you'd be a few months into healing by now and probably not hurting nearly as much. Your priority has to be taking care of your own well being, so that your schoolwork isn't affected and so that you can move on and bounce back to the person you were before your ill-fated romance with her. Obviously you want to maintain your dignity in front of the group but you could privately tell her that while being friendly and civil towards each other when thrown together won't be a problem, you're going to keep your distance and would appreciate it if she'd do the same.


The specifics of what that entails are up to you. If she claims to really care about you and to still want to have you as a friend, then she should be willing to do whatever she needs to in order to help you get over this. If that means that she doesn't come along on every group outing, so be it. If that means she takes a few extra steps to make sure she's not parading a new guy in your face, so be it. It's not about dividing up your mutual friends or testing anyone's loyalties, or forcing her to do a perpetual penance for her sins, it's about showing courtesy towards someone who's hurting. Your requests can't be unreasonable, of course, but you should feel free to make some short-term requests for consideration.


If she's not willing to accommodate you then she's not really that interested in being your friend. And that's good information to have. She should be willing to give you some space and time to regain your balance. If she'd accidentally knocked you off your feet while riding her bicycle, she'd understand that you need a few moments to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and regain your breath. Even though she didn't intend to knock you down, she nevertheless did! And it hurt! She should have been a bit more careful. So now she needs to show you some consideration.


Lastly, recognize that while she might be a good person in general, the stuff that happened over the holiday shows that she doesn't always act with your best interests in mind. Even if she blinded herself to this truth, she was selfishly using you when she knew deep down that you guys would not have a proper relationship. So going forward, don't assume that she's going to treat you with the respect and responsibility she owes you. That seems to be a shortcoming of hers. We all have them. Recognize this, and assume control of the situation when/if she starts to try to reel you in again. You don't have to go along with her. And you almost certainly shouldn't! She might be hurting still from her ex, she might be young and flighty ... but that doesn't give her leave to treat you carelessly. So don't let her!

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Thanks so much for such a well and thought out reply, i feel that all you said makes sense, and I am trying my best to come to terms with this, trust me... but it's so difficult, especially as i see here every single day without fail, and that can't be changed unless i just stayed in my room the whole time, i understand that time with her can be limited and other activities can keep me busy, but, i still feel like there is an attachment there on my part, almost as if I want to spend time with her and know what she's doing but it's just difficult.. I feel she is completely oblvious to the fact that she was using me, she's someone with low self esteem and would never want to put anyone else through what she has been put through, but i guess i've just let myself get involved in a dangerous situation and come out worse and am now left searching for answers.... any more advice?...

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