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He already kissed another girl... just a week after breaking up with me. Help with coping?


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Hi,

I just thought I'd reach out. My ex-boyfriend has been so incredibly confusing. He initially said during the breakup with me that he had feelings for this girl in his home state (he's in my state for another year for university) and he changed his phone lockscreen from a picture of me to a picture of her and him... and then he signed up for online dating again "for fun," and he revealed to me yesterday that he almost immediately deleted his online dating profiles and decided he would work on himself and his studies for a year... but then, he started connecting with this girl who's in one of his online classes and he knew had a crush on him, and he got a COVID test a few days ago just so that he could kiss her safely. It seems like he doesn't know what he wants...

Did our relationship mean nothing to him? I feel terrible, absolutely dreadful being replaced. I know that our relationship wasn't healthy... he said so, and I thought so. He has a very avoidant attachment style, and I'm more anxious. We were fighting a lot in the end, but I was willing to look past the bad and try to make things work out with him no matter what. But obviously, he didn't think I was worth it. 😢 I've been barely able to eat or function with how much pain I've been in over him. I have such a low self-esteem and felt at one point that he was my savior. He was so sweet and kind in the beginning, but in the end he became extremely cold. He even revealed that he was planning on breaking up with me for MONTHS now, even though he went out of his way to get me a really thoughtful birthday gift and he kept saying he loved me "so much" every day. And he also gave me empty promises in my birthday card and a card for our year long anniversary of knowing each other, promising that "we'll create the best and most powerful love any two humans have ever known" and "I look forward to many more years with you"...

We agreed it would be for the best to cut off all contact. But I still know where he lives and even though I deleted his number I could still reach out on Instagram since I created a new profile... I hate these intrusive thoughts that pull me to contact him and find out more about this new girl who he's seeing.

All our good memories feel tainted. He used to be the biggest highlight of my life, and now I feel hopeless. Please help me to feel better 😢

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3 minutes ago, heartslament said:

My ex-boyfriend has been so incredibly confusing.

I've been barely able to eat or function with how much pain I've been in over him. I have such a low self-esteem and felt at one point that he was my savior.

We agreed it would be for the best to cut off all contact.

Sorry this happened. How long were you dating? Involve yourself with school, work, hobbies interests, etc. 

You dodged a bullet. He seems like a player who comes on strong, then just keeps shopping around. It's nothing personal, that's just what players do.  The great thing is, now you know what a superficial horndog looks like and can avoid this type in the future.

Make Sure you Block and delete him and All his people from all your social media. Do not keep tabs or follow or stay involved. Reach out to friends, family and a therapist.

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Hi,

I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. It’s so hard trying to reconcile what someone says with their behaviour, when they blow hot and cold. 
My advice would be not to feel bad about feeling hurt. That’s OK - let it out, feel the pain and move on. It’ll get better and easier with time. 
But please, please, please - whatever you do, don’t chase after him. It’s clear that he liked you and you had a good time together. But he clearly didn’t like and respect you enough. Take it as experience and a blessing that it didn’t go any further before that became apparent. 
Also, try and avoid contacting him if you can. I know it might be difficult to go completely no contact, but just enough at least not to see all the things he’s doing with other girls. It’s really inconsiderate and does nothing for your self esteem. Protect and look after number one - he’s shown his true colours. 

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2 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sorry this happened. How long were you dating? Involve yourself with school, work, hobbies interests, etc. 

You dodged a bullet. He seems like a player who comes on strong, then just keeps shopping around. It's nothing personal, that's just what players do.  The great thing is, now you know what a superficial horndog looks like and can avoid this type in the future.

Make Sure you Block and delete him and All his people from all your social media. Do not keep tabs or follow or stay involved. Reach out to friends, family and a therapist.

2 hours ago, LunarUK said:

Hi,

I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. It’s so hard trying to reconcile what someone says with their behaviour, when they blow hot and cold. 
My advice would be not to feel bad about feeling hurt. That’s OK - let it out, feel the pain and move on. It’ll get better and easier with time. 
But please, please, please - whatever you do, don’t chase after him. It’s clear that he liked you and you had a good time together. But he clearly didn’t like and respect you enough. Take it as experience and a blessing that it didn’t go any further before that became apparent. 
Also, try and avoid contacting him if you can. I know it might be difficult to go completely no contact, but just enough at least not to see all the things he’s doing with other girls. It’s really inconsiderate and does nothing for your self esteem. Protect and look after number one - he’s shown his true colours. 

Thanks... we were dating steady since spring of this year, but we met in autumn last year. I do realize that I had some not-so-good traits too, and I actually broke up with him in the beginning multiple times because I wasn't feeling butterflies or "the spark" with him. But then I begged for him back after he broke up with me in winter this year, and after a lot of persistence, he kissed me and said we could be boyfriend and girlfriend again. I'm reflecting on it and honestly, even though lots of people are telling me he didn't treat me the best, I also didn't treat him the best. (I would constantly ask him if he still loved me, I would tell him my ideals that he didn't meet fairly subtly, like wishing he liked more of the stuff I like and wishing he had a car and could drive, and I would guilt trip him if he didn't let me come over because I felt unwanted... I was pretty manipulative, I realize now.) I guess I need to just accept that we tried, and at the end of the day, we're just flawed humans who weren't meant to be together forever. I think that, with my very poor self-esteem and my parents somewhat neglecting me/not providing me the comfort I needed when I was younger, I have a very fuzzy perception of what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like. I've always been a hopeless romantic, waiting for my "knight in shining armor" to whisk me away and save me from myself. I thought it would bring me validation and hope and that was what I was most looking forward to and getting up out of bed in the morning for. 

I just don't know how to pick myself up after thinking he wanted to be with me forever, and making him my "life force" and my everything and my hope in life. Our future was what I was living for, even despite our constant bickering and breakdowns in the last few months when he fell out of love with me. I don't even know if I truly loved him... I feel like I'm so messed up. I just loved the concept of love most of all. 

Does anyone have advice on how to learn to love yourself, and to not feel super duper guilty about the downfall of a relationship? 😢

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Sorry about all this. 

This may be a strange thing to read, knowing your heart is hurting and life feels turned inside out, but from the sidelines I can't help but see this as a potentially great (if tough!) moment in your life. You are clearly very aware of some places in yourself that need some work—namely, your own sense of self, and self-esteem, so you're not using romance/attention/men/whatever as the major support beam for all that. If you can come to see this topsy-turvy relationship as something you needed to learn that lesson, and take some action—well, I'd call that a major victory, one that will prepare you for a mode of connection in the future that is deeper, more stable, more sustainable. 

Curious: Do you have any experience with therapy? One way I see therapy is that it allows us to get intimate with some darker and unseen corners of ourselves—to learn to love them, in other words, so they're not so volatile, not these magnets drawing us toward and into things that don't really serve anything but the needy little child that resides in all us adults. So, per coping and growing and self-love, that could be a start? It's fortune cookie stuff, but at the end of the day our connections with others—and the richness of love we feel for and share with others—is only ever as deep as we're willing to connect with ourselves, to love ourselves.  

Subtract romance from your life for a moment—this romance with him, the idea of romance as it buzzes in your mind—and ask yourself: What makes you feel particularly alive? What's something you'd like to see, or do, that you've yet to see or do? This can be small, like a book you've wanted to read, or gargantuan, like sailing around the world. But speaking only for myself, I've always found questions like that to be my own "life force," particularly coming up with some vague answers and then seeing about chasing them down out in the world. That way connecting with other people becomes much more about finding someone to continue asking those questions alongside, rather than someone who can be the answer to all your problems, since no mortal possess such super powers. 

My few cents. 

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You really should block and delete this guy from every possible social media app there is.  You dont need to know what he's doing now and who he's seeing.  Work on yourself, sounds like you need a boost of self esteem desperately.  Distract yourself when you start thinking about him.

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6 hours ago, heartslament said:

Sorry my situation is so complex and complicated by the way! I feel bad for writing walls of text ;w;

What stands out is you have remarkable insight.

Even though you tried to make this work and had some wobbles, ultimately you understand why you wanted it to work and why it didn't.

Work with why you needed this to work. Why it didn't has a lot to do with him, but why you needed it to work is where that insight is.

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OP, it's not necessarily that you and he are "flawed humans," but you are both very young and still learning how to do relationships. There was bound to be some immaturity on both sides, missteps, and the like. 

You two are not right for each other, but there is an opportunity for growth here if you cut ties with him and go your own way. There is no reason for you to know anything about his current dating life, let alone who's on his lockscreen, why he got a Covid test and whatnot (How do you know those things, anyway? Did he randomly volunteer that, or did you specifically ask?)

Time to realize this was just one of those relationships that wasn't meant to last, but one in which you take some lessons from. 

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17 hours ago, heartslament said:

I'm reflecting on it and honestly, even though lots of people are telling me he didn't treat me the best, I also didn't treat him the best.

Don't make the error of using your own mistakes to justify his bad behavior. If he didn't like something that you were doing, he could have said something about it. 

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Some people when they break up, need some kind of definitive "can't go back now" moment, so they have one -- kissing a new person is such a thing.

Others, such as yourself, keep looking for ways for the break up to feel hurt and betrayed even more so.

I'm sorry yo are hurting.

Please find a way to move forward and away from your feelings about this guy. You have a bright future ahead of you.  Looking back is just more ways to hurt yourself.

 

Edited by jimthzz
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I'm sorry you're going through this. Breaking up is always full of all sorts of confusing emotions and it can be tough to not allow yourself to have low self esteem over it.

Try not to place your value or worth solely on how this guy is behaving. There might be loads of different reasons for why he's doing the things he is and none of them might have anything to do with you. It also says more about him.

He might be extremely fickle, he might be a bit of a player. He could also be getting involved with this girl as an ego boost. It's difficult to say what he is thinking, but the fact that he has basically jumped from one girl to the next, doesn't say much about him.

You and he weren't compatible. Try to focus on that and not on blaming yourself or feeling like you were all to blame. If there was something you think you might have been able to change or do better, then take it as a lesson for your next relationship, but don't forget either that he was not without fault too in why things didn't work out.

It's natural to mourn a relationship, but don't place your value or worth on this relationship ending, or how he is handing it.

All you need to focus on, is healing, learning whatever lessons this relationship might have taught you and to move on.

Whatever he is now doing, or whomever he is now 'dating', do your best to ignore it, to not check up on him, or to get any updates on him from anyone.

All it will do is make you feel bad and overthink things and it's wasted time. 

If you're finding it difficult to deal with your anxiety, depression or self esteem issues, find a therapist or trained counselor who can help you work through these issues, so you're not struggling as much as you are now.

Build yourself up to be stronger, value yourself more (and not place your value in someone else's hands). Know your own worth and don't feel bad if you have to leave a relationship because it isn't working.

You deserve to feel better than this, and I hope you find ways to give yourself that. 

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The first brave thing to do would be to cut all contact with that ex, no social media, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, emails and the likes. 

Meanwhile start taking baby steps to concentrating , focusing on what you have in life, what you want to accomplish, anything you wanted to do maybe adding a new skill to your plate. its never too late to learn and take up new stuff in life.

Dedicate some time for that every day. Initially it would be difficult to focus but only when you start, things will get better, it takes a while be patient with yourself.

Edited by Spawn
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Wow, thank you so much to everyone for their super thorough and kind replies! I am so grateful to all of you for helping offer your advice! 

I do have a wonderful update, though! I met up with him today for one last in person closure, and he was very patient and warm overall. I had written a ten page journal entry of all the things I wanted to say to him, mostly positivity (I told him I'm finally coming to terms with and accept the fact that we aren't meant to be lovers forever) and reminiscing over the good memories and gratitude towards him for the times we have shared and for being my first love. I did end up asking about the girl he kissed, but I am honestly happy for him. It sounds like they are going to work a lot better together than me and him, since she is more independent/probably less needy, has more in common with him, has a more similar personality to him, and they probably will be getting along more and having a healthier relationship than we did. -sigh- I just... I couldn't help but cry still, because even though I was never truly sure about him and me working out together and he never gave me butterflies or "the spark," I genuinely fell in love with him, and he did with me, too.

I'm going to miss him so incredibly much. Sure, I won't miss all the fighting and upset times in the end, and I won't miss feeling so insecure and unstable regarding his feelings as he fell out of love with me... but I think I'm going to miss having him in my life as my closest companion. He got to know me in ways no one else has ever gotten to know me. He gave me my first kiss, along with my first time being intimate with someone, and he got to see all the sides of me... the good sides and the bad sides. I think that's so beautiful, but at the same time, terrifying... because... I can't help but feel so attached still, because he got to know me so well. I don't want to let go, but I know I have to. Spending a whole year with someone, and practically every day of that year with that person, is such a lovely and close experience. Going from that to never ever talking again potentially is so depressing. Although, he did say that maybe when I'm a lot more healed and steady and confident on my own, he would definitely be up for meeting in person again and listening to my happy updates. He said he believes in me and he knows I will be able to achieve everything I want to achieve and find true love with someone who "gets" me more. I really hope so. I'm so sad to think about our chapter coming to a close, you know? Because even though in the end our relationship was unhealthy for both of us, he means more to me than anyone I've ever met still. I am not very close to my family, and I barely have any friends, so it's just... so difficult.

I hope I can learn to heal myself and feel completely whole on my own. I need to be my own best friend, but I don't know how. I don't know what I'm going to do without his frequent texting and calling to look forward to every day. I mean, I guess I've been surviving without it... barely... for the past week or so. Still... I can't believe that I ever didn't know about his existence. He became my entire world. My life felt so different without him, and now I'm going to live it without him again... I don't know how I'm going to adjust. 

I just don't know. 😢

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Great insights. Hopefully you'll take your journalling to your therapist to unpack and sort some of that out.

It's good to view this as a chapter. But... A chapter that belongs to you, not him .

Some mistakes were make such as making him the center of your universe and living for the future.

Relationships are in real time not "when things get better" time. Relationships are also partnerships, not one worships the other and therefore accepts bad treatment.

Even this closure conversation was soul killing. He's going on about his new love thier compatibility,etc. and you're going on about how amazing he is. Does that seem right to you?

There's a lot to learn here and that is he's not your oxygen without which you can't live, that whatever selfish traits someone has is something you don't have to worship.

Make sure this gets sorted out in therapy. These types of cognative distortions are typically addressed and self-defeating behaviors are replaced with more constructive ones.

The mindset you have at this time attracts abusers, narcissists, players and other assorted damaging types

Take care and use your insights wisely.

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You put a lot of blame on yourself for being the demise of the relationship, but remember that he was an integral piece to the unhealthy dynamic that you had with him. 

A good partner loves your quirks and flaws as much as they love your perfections. They don't disappear when things get rough. They stay by your side and work things out with you.

On 12/12/2020 at 2:53 PM, heartslament said:

He even revealed that he was planning on breaking up with me for MONTHS now

7 hours ago, heartslament said:

I won't miss all the fighting and upset times in the end, and I won't miss feeling so insecure and unstable regarding his feelings as he fell out of love with me

It sounds like a lot of your so-called 'insecurity' was really your gut screaming at you that something was wrong. Hopefully, you will eventually learn to listen to this voice, and not dismiss it as 'neediness' or lack of independence. 

 

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Think of this as an opportunity to expand your world.

Never make one person the center of your universe because, as you've found, if things don't work out for some reason you're left feeling like you have nothing.  Which isn't true, but this is the story you've been telling yourself.

Start writing a new story.  Reconnect with family, reconnect with friends you neglected to focus solely on him, do things for yourself.  What have you always wanted to do?  Make a list and start doing them!  You can safely road trip on your own, you can take up photography, you can learn to make a fantastic puff pastry or hollandaise, you can take up yoga or ballet.  The possibilities are endless!

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5 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

you can take up photography, you can learn to make a fantastic puff pastry or hollandaise, you can take up yoga or ballet.  The possibilities are endless!

Highlighting this to talk about how such pursuits, while great for moving through heartache and toward self-repossession, also come in really handy inside relationships, not just in the wake of them. 

Like, imagine a future, where you're with a new dude. Things are great and healthy, all in all, but you hit a rough patch, as people do. Maybe he's struggling with work, maybe you're struggling with family—who knows? Point being, instead of trying to "fix" that rough patch through seeking attention or creating some curious game that no one can win, you turn to something you've already established brings about a sense of self, of joy, of purpose. You do some yoga, you make a puff pastry—and, presto, what seemed like the apocalypse 45 minutes earlier is now a manageable fire.

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21 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

Highlighting this to talk about how such pursuits, while great for moving through heartache and toward self-repossession, also come in really handy inside relationships, not just in the wake of them. 

Like, imagine a future, where you're with a new dude. Things are great and healthy, all in all, but you hit a rough patch, as people do. Maybe he's struggling with work, maybe you're struggling with family—who knows? Point being, instead of trying to "fix" that rough patch through seeking attention or creating some curious game that no one can win, you turn to something you've already established brings about a sense of self, of joy, of purpose. You do some yoga, you make a puff pastry—and, presto, what seemed like the apocalypse 45 minutes earlier is now a manageable fire.

Yep, because that man will not be the only thing in your world.  You will feel accomplished and productive.  Then you can tell him "Honey, we're hitting a bit of a snag here.  I'm going to go for a run and then finish the needlepoint I've been working on.  How about we reconnect a bit later on and we can make that terrific cheese souffle we've been practicing?"

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Thank you guys so much for your thoughtful replies again... ah, I feel so incredibly guilty. Even though our last in-person closure yesterday was really peaceful and bittersweet and overall nice, today I picked up the Christmas gift he ordered me while I was still his girlfriend (a cute plush) and talked to him on my phone while he was looking out at me from his window. Why? Well... I was so selfish and thought that I definitely, absolutely didn't have a chance of having COVID-19, so yesterday I encouraged him to take off his mask while I read the journal pages out to him so I could see his facial expressions and smile one last time. We were both unmasked. And I gave him a bunch of hugs... 

This morning, I found out from my mom that my dad tested positive for COVID-19! :'''( I felt SO GUILTY and terrible for basically forcing my ex-boyfriend to take off his mask and be in such close contact with me yesterday. He is getting a test in a few days and I got tested today, and I won't know the results to my test or his until a few days after each. I guess I just thought there was such a little chance of having it, and I really wanted one last time to see his full face and hug him. 😢 And now, because of my selfishness, if he tests positive he won't be able to go to his hometown (he lives a few states away) for Christmas or his birthday and he won't be able to get his Christmas presents and visit his family. It's all my fault... 

He did say he does forgive me, as I didn't know at the time, but that we should have been more cautious. And he said there's no harsh feelings. But he was quite cold and confusing... he said that he doesn't have feelings for the girl from his hometown who he mentioned during breaking up with me and made his lockscreen anymore, because of this new girl he kissed. He's so confusing! But... I am too. I guess it's understandable he was more cold and not as nice as usual, considering I may have ruined his chances of seeing his family until spring of next year. Still... it hurt when he basically said he doesn't want to deal with me anymore. I was crying a lot and he seems sick of seeing me cry and just seeing me in general. He used to say I was his world, that I was the love of his life, and even in the card that he lied on at the beginning of last month for our year anniversary of knowing each other he said that he looked forward to many more years to come. And now, he's okay as okay could be... glad, even... to kick me out of his life. 

I guess we're both immature kids who don't know what we want, at the end of the day. Even though we're in our twenties, I've never been in a relationship before him, and he's only been in toxic relationships... probably including the one with me. 

I'm so distraught. I keep going back to the good memories of him, when he made cute voices for my plushies (I am pretty childlike, heh...) and he showered me in kisses and affection and love, and when he reassured me and made me feel so valid and beautiful, and when we spent good times together playing sweet and funny video games and watching movies and shows together. He used to look at me with so much warmth and genuine love. But now, he looks at me like the last person he wants to see... he probably doesn't even care at all if he gets to see me again or not. He is just so done with me, and it kills me. 😞

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I don't know how I'm going to cope. How I'm going to feel whole on my own. I did used to knit scarves, which was fun... maybe embracing my creative side would be good to do again. And I have always wanted to draw more, along with writing and reading. I had a job interview for a café which I was really looking forward to, but now that's postponed because of my dad getting tested positive for COVID-19. Gahh. I hope he's going to be okay. 

...I still can't kick these thoughts of the new girl he's kissing out of my head. She's honestly a LOT less beautiful than me, and I know that might be mean to say, but... it makes me feel better that at least appearance-wise, I feel like I'm an upgrade (she doesn't even have my cute freckles or pretty brown hair, and he even said before that he loves freckles and he doesn't like blondes nearly as much!!! And she's blonde!!! I can't help but wonder if he likes her just because he's lonely and she revealed to him that she has had a crush on him their whole semester? But he said that this is the real deal and he already feels sure of long term with her, something that he never felt sure of with me). But inside, it sounds like she is a lot better. Like I previously mentioned, more independent/less needy, and has more in common with him and probably less selfish too. And apparently he said that they have been calling for four hours straight; WAY longer than he and I ever called. And even though he apparently isn't in love with her yet, I feel like it's going to happen so fast. 

I was supposed to be the one who'd marry him. I was supposed to be the one who'd meet his family in person, which it seems like she's probably going to do eventually because he likes her so much. I feel like I'm BURSTING with envy and almost hatred towards her. And him. Why can't he love me anymore? Why can't I ever be enough? Why...?

I think I'm going crazy. 😢 

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Also, to everyone who said that he was a jerk for voluntarily gushing about this new girl to me... it isn't like that. I was the one who desperately asked for more information, and to see the pictures they took together (they're way less cute of a couple too... but they're his lockscreen now). I feel like such a pathetic jerk. Just because he's the first guy to pay any interest in me romantically and willingly get to know me, I have been viewing him as some sort of alive Ken doll who is mine and mine alone. 😞 I do want him to be free. I do want him to find a purehearted and not selfish love. But it is still killing me inside for some reason.

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1 hour ago, heartslament said:

I may have ruined his chances of seeing his family until spring of next year.

You have to figure out how to stop kicking yourself while you're down. This is not all your fault. You didn't know you'd been exposed to COVID. He didn't have to take his mask off and hug you, etc. 

1 hour ago, heartslament said:

I was the one who desperately asked for more information, and to see the pictures they took together 

This too. More self torture. Very common after a break up, but it's not helping you.

I just googled "How to stop torturing yourself" and google completed the sentence: "after a break up." 

Maybe if you read through some of those search results, it will help you to get a handle on this.

Edited by Jibralta
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6 hours ago, heartslament said:

, I have been viewing him as some sort of alive Ken doll who is mine and mine alone. 😞 I do want him to be free.

Hopefully you realize that most monogamous relationships are about being exclusive?

Try not to use altruism to rationalize his bad behaviors.

You need to put your self respect much higher on your list of priorities.

Therapy could help with that as well as these distortions that he's a god and you're a worshiper.

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