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Girldfriend broke up with me a couple of days ago


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Here is the quick and dirty - we're both 34, matched on a dating app, but we actually went to HS together, so we had a decent foundation of shared experiences from back then. We'll call her C and I think we connected hard. After a couple of months, C dropped the L-bomb, which I liked. I liked her a lot up to that point, and after she said it, I think I fell even harder.


I had been single for a long time. In fact, I haven't dated much, to be honest. Three relationships, each lasting a couple of months to the longest (and most recent one) being a little over a year. We'll call her A. That was about 5 years ago, but A and I kept texting daily. I think originally I was hoping we'd get back together...but then it kind of just turned into a co-dependence of having someone generally available. This obviously was not healthy, but it had been going on for so long that I was honestly afraid of losing it.


Before the weekend C said she loved me, she happened to the text chat from A when we were getting dinner and a drink and I was showing her something on my phone. She was very upset that it was on a daily basis, and she said she needed time to think. I wasn't able to give her an answer about why I texted A so frequently because I honestly never thought about it. It was just so routine but also so inconsequential that I never really thought about it over the almost 5 years it had been going on. My friends kept telling me to stop, but I realize now it was a co-dependence, as I said above.


After giving her space for about a day or two, we got together again, talked it out and I explained a bit what the text with A was all about, and I even showed it to her. The text conversation was generally pretty superficial, just checking in throughout the day, saying good-morning and goodnight, but it wasn't the right thing to do. So C and I had a long chat, I explained as best I could, and we ended up in a good place, I think. She told me she loved me a couple of weekends after that.


It wasn't all smooth sailing, of course. I have some big insecurity issues and find it hard to trust a partner. I can so easily just assume that the partner is one foot out the door, ready to find someone new. In the case of C...she was so much more impressive than me. Smarter, more attractive, so much more developed and in touch with who she was, and her interests were cool (art and stuff).


There were a couple of things that concerned me. I also always noticed that she still had the dating app icons on her phone (I had deleted mine and told her I did that), but I never asked her to delete them or told her at that point that they made me uncomfortable. My insecurities got so bad that I once checked to count the number of condoms she had when I was at her apt once to see if any were used. It was crazy of me, and she kinda caught me so I asked if there was anyone else. She said no and I had no reason to not believe her. I don't recall if I brought up the dating app stuff at that point. But additionally, the two of us once hung out with one of my male friends (who is also in a relationship, we double dated before) who is going through a tough time career wise. We were getting a drink and he was talking about how he was having a hard times and put her had on his chest and hand quickly, kind of as a comforting move, but it seemed to intimate to me. I felt pretty bad after that. She also got his cell number so he could send her his resume and she could see if she knew anyone that could help (and that's all that happened, my friend showed me the text).


Then, more recently, were on a date, walking around, and she talks about what she likes in relationships. She doesn't always like holding hands (I do, and we had been doing that all the time up to that point) and she doesn't like texting all the time, she prefers phone calls at the end of the day or talking in person (I obviously like to text in addition to that stuff). She was worried that if we didn't text often, that I'd retreat back to my texting with C (which hadn't really stopped to be honest, more on that later). Insecure me was convinced she was pulling away rather than recognizing her preference in dating (I did think she was willing to meet in the middle for handholding/texting).


I stewed for a couple of days, and then I just decided to tell her how I felt about the dating apps and the thing with my friend. I put it all in an email and then we had a phone call to talk. She said she forgot about the apps, which is why she never deleted them, but that she also doesn't check them at all. I told her how they made me feel, but I didn't ask her to delete them. As for the thing with my friend, she was pretty convincing in saying she wasn't interested. We also talked about my insecurities and she recommended seeing someone and she was willing to support me during that process. I cut back on the texting with C, but surprisingly, she seems to reach out a bit more.


Anyway, while all this is going on in the background, I'm still texting with A. I've been trying to cut back, but what I really should have done was gone cold turkey. This past weekend, C sees a goodnight text from A, and that's it. C is done. There was no going back, and I don't blame her. We chatted for a bit that following sat over text, and I said I was going to go see someone. I also sent her an e-mail early sat morning trying to explain everything and how stupid I felt about texting A. It wasn't enough to win C back, but she did kind of leave the door open saying that she'll be thinking about me and hopes that I let her know how things are developing with my psyche. Honestly, I don't know if she'll ever take me back…and that makes me sad.


I guess this is more of a vent than anything else. I did see a therapist on the following Monday and it was ok. I think I need to try out a couple of people before settling on someone. I also completely stopped texting A. Before I did, I asked A what the point of our texting was, and she said it was a co-dependence that had probably gone on for too long, and that it was just filling a need until we each found a person that could take up that slack. Interestingly, she had also been seeing someone and was in love, but she didn't tell him about our texting.

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Sorry about all this.


I'm happy to hear you're seeing someone, as it seems there are some critical wires to untangle. Until then—and it's all doable, so take something like 100 deep breaths really quickly—you're going to find the business of romance pretty exhausting. And, well, you may exhaust some women.


Let's start with A. You need to figure out—on your own, without guilt and shame pulling the levers—if that is healthy or not. Sounds a bit dicey, as you've framed it, but I also know you're in an emotional place and maybe looking for coals to rake yourself over. But until you can explain it with calm and clarity, it will make someone edgy, because it's a source of edginess for you. And if it's just exhaust fumes from the past and some co-dependent stuff—well, yeah, best to learn to shed those husks.


What comes through in this is that you don't think very highly of yourself. What's up with that? C is just a woman, after all, not a goddess. But it seemed you had this kind of deity/mortal dynamic, at least mentally: your insecurities boosting someone up and bringing you down. Not super healthy, especially when it leads to condom counting. Better to learn how to express to someone that you're uncomfortable with them still having dating apps on their home screen (very human) than becoming a swifter counter of condoms (very weird).


In how you've described all of the above, there is a link between A and C: neither quite seem like people, more like ideas that represent different ideas you have about yourself. That might be something to explore.


Anyhow, I'm sorry about all this. I would consider it over, as I'd do the same in C's shoes. It's not even about it being a woman—I'm in a relationship, I'm friendly with a long ago ex, there's no weirdness—but about you lying and disrespecting her. Hard to come back from that—just as it's hard to form a real bond if you're too suspicious of someone to even create respect, or too suspicious of yourself for self-respect.


Those, I think, are the big wires that need some attention right now, as your ability to accept and respect another, be it an actual girlfriend or just the idea of one, is always going to be directly proportional to how much of yourself you respect and accept.

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Pouring emotional energy and time into an ex will always drive away a romantic partner who possesses self worth, so yes, you need to totally cut that practice out for good.


No need to ever pry about a partner because secrets will always eventually come out, if there are any, just as the texts from A popped up into C's face.


It's a good thing you're seeking therapy, because making a partner pay for a crime they've never committed is a self-fulfilling prophecy that the relationship will go down the tubes, and you're the one who made it happen. Thoughts create actions, which results in consequences. Hence, it's no wonder how quickly your relationships normally end.


Be alone for a while and learn the skills the therapist teaches you. A healthy romantic relationship will exist in your future if you put the self-work in now. Good luck.

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I'm afraid to say that I'd be totally done with you, too.


You proved yourself to be dishonest and hypocritical, in the sense that you were suspicious of your girlfriend and called her to task on a few things when you were still communicating with your ex on the down-low. Not cool. You had a chance to rectify those things and you didn't.


In my opinion, you didn't trust your girlfriend because you knew you were not trustworthy yourself. You knew what you were up to when her head was turned and you were afraid she was capable of the same. This is projection.


Learn from this one. Try to understand why you're clinging on to your ex at the expense of your relationship.

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You admit that you have trust issues, yet you were the one continuing to text an ex, even after you knew your girlfriend was really unhappy about it. I am not convinced that anyone "forgets" they have multiple dating apps on their phone, but you were a bit of a hypocrite.


Your girlfriend trusted you not to keep texting your ex and you broke that trust at the same time you were being suspicious of innocent contact with your friend.

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Unfortunately, you don't sound ready to date and you're sabotaging things by holding a torch for someone from 5 years ago. No point trying to point fingers at the new woman about dating apps, condoms, etc.


It sounds like your fault-finding missions may be more about hiding from the world and in a safe but meaningless place texting this old flame... "A" only represents the tip of the iceberg here. It's not even about her.


Step out of the dating area before you hurt innocent people with finger-pointing, sabotage, distrust, nonsense defensive accusations, etc. A therapist is the person, not "A" or "C", who could help you most right now.

That was about 5 years ago, but A and I kept texting daily. I think originally I was hoping we'd get back together.... My friends kept telling me to stop


I also always noticed that she still had the dating app icons on her phone

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First, you know what to do about the breakup with C (or you should). And continuing to chat/text with her, looking for validation, is not it.


Go no contact. Start working on improving yourself. Get fit. talk to someone professional about the trust issues. If C contacts you be polite, but don't initiate communication. She made a decision and you need to respect it.


Secondly, you described your continuing dialogue with A as a codependency. What do you get out of it? Was it worth maintaining it at the cost of your relationship with C?


Perhaps part of your self improvement process should be to address the cause of needing that codependent relationship with someone from 5 years ago.


No-one can tell you whether or not C will take another look at you, but if she does in 6 months time or whatever, make sure it's an improved version of you. Also that you can truthfully say that you stopped the texting with A, and

have had no communication at all with her for those 6 months.


Remember though, that the no contact/self improvement process is not something you do to get an ex back. You do it for yourself. If they come back, it's a bonus.


Good luck.

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