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My ex-best friend turned crush basically cheated on me and I can't get over it, what do I do?

Lexi W

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Hello, this story is a bit complicated but I will try to make it understandable to the best of my ability.

About 2 1/2 years ago, I met this guy online. He and I had a lot in common and we quickly became best friends. I was 16 and he was 15 at the time. I am now almost 19 and he's almost 18. We truly became best friends. We talked about anything and everything. We would call or text for hours at a time. He was truly my best friend and no one made me happier. Just looking at photos of him would make me smile. I haven't exactly had a ton of friends in my life, mostly due to my social anxiety, and many of the friends who were guys were mean to me because they thought it was funny (for example, called me ugly). But he wasn't like that. He was nice, told me I was pretty, told me I had a really good personality, etc. I truly trusted him with everything and loved talking to him.

In early 2020, I developed feelings for him. They only increased as time went on but I kept them a secret for fear of ruining our friendship. In September, he asked me if I had feelings for him. I confessed that I did. He told me he shared those feelings. He lives in Oregon and I live in Massachusetts. I have family near him and we always discussed meeting. We agreed that due to the geography, now probably isn't the time to be in a relationship. But we agreed that if in the future, if we got to meet, we'd consider dating each other. I am actually supposed to go out there this summer if covid calms down to visit my family and I was going to meet him when I went there. So we'd sort of had this mutual agreement that when the time was right, we'd give it a try. Our friendship simply continued as normal after that. A couple of times he asked me if I still felt that way, and I told him I did, and he said the same.

In late November, he started acting weird. It bugged me. He's always really genuine with me. We laugh a lot and truly enjoy one another's company. I sorta brushed it off. However, as a couple of weeks went buy, I asked him if I'd been annoying him lately. We're open with each other. He told me no, he'd just had other stuff going on. I told him I was sorry to hear that, and told him he could talk to me about it if he needed to. He told me that, no, it was a good thing. And then the thought hit me. I asked, "a girlfriend? lol".

Then my whole world crashed down. He had a girlfriend. He had been seeing a girl for a month and NEVER told me. He told me he didn't tell me because he felt like he was leading me on (the exact reason he should've told me smh). He tried to say "sorry", but in my honest opinion, sorry does NOT cut it. He claimed his feelings for me were gone and he chose her over me. He said he was acting different because he wanted to make sure he didn't have feelings for me. He basically cheated on me. He allowed me to wake up every day and live each moment thinking someone out there cared about me and liked me as more than just a friend. I'm not confident, so that really felt validating to me. I was basically living a lie, I now know.

I tried to make things work. I unleashed my anger on him before that though. But I soon realized I was too angry. What he did was absolutely, undoubtedly, unforgivable. But its weird. He still views all my instagram and snapchat stories, and even tried to keep our streak for awhile (I ended it). I don't know if he's just being a creepy stalker or if he still has feelings for me or what.

I know that cheating is never okay, and I know the pain, hurt, and utter dread I've felt the past 6 weeks is not okay and is not something a true friend would inflict upon who was supposed to be his best friend. I know he's a bad person who doesn't deserve me. But, I still find myself really missing him. 

It's been hard. I don't often fall in love with people but I truly fell in love with him and he broke my heart. I miss having someone to talk to. I miss feeling loved. No one outside my family ever loves me. I don't have many friends and I've been single my entire 19 years and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of being a single virgin whilst my roommate, my sister, and all my friends have had successful relationships. I feel like a loser. Believe it or not, this guy was the first crush I've had since I was 14. Additionally, this was the first time I'd ever told a guy my true feelings for him. Of course the first time I have to have my heart broken 😞 

I'm lonely and angry. I miss my friend, but I hate him at the same time. I'm just feeling really lost. It's been 6 weeks. I thought I'd feel better by now but I've been utterly depressed. I don't feel loved or valued in this world by anyone other than my family. I just want close friends who are there for me through thick and thin (like he was) and maybe a boyfriend. Or maybe both. I know this is long and I really appreciate any of you who have read this far. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you so much ❤️

PS: I just read this through, and I realize I come off as a bit unstable. I am actually pretty average, I am a college ice hockey player who also happens to succeed academically (biology major), loves to watch movies and play video games, but who just seems to really struggle in the relationships and friendships department. Just figured I should include that. I'm not really the "desperate" or "crazy ***" type. I'm an extremely laid back person and consider myself to be a good listener. Just thought I'd give y'all a better idea of who I am 🙂 But wanted to include everything I'd written before to really make sure my situation is understood. Thanks for taking the time to read and let me know if you need help with anything too ❤️ 

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I'm sorry you're hurting, OP. 

I can understand why you're sad and disappointed. However, this is not cheating. 

And I think it's important that you don't frame it that way, as it will unnecessarily add to your anger. You two were not dating, have never even met. It's not possible to cheat when you're not a couple. You were wise to avoid calling it a relationship until you'd had the chance to meet him in person and see how things were. But it wasn't a good idea to expect commitment from each other until that point; real life just doesn't work that way, as you're seeing. As far as I can tell, he didn't make you any promises to wait for you and not date anyone else. 

And even if he had? It would not have been a good idea to hold him to it. You two have only tentative plans to maybe meet, months from now. It just isn't realistic to expect someone to offer you loyalty in these circumstances. I don't doubt you've grown close to each other over the years, but it sounds like you've developed an unhealthy attachment to him by pinning such high expectations and on him and essentially placing your happiness and sense of self-worth in his hands. Maybe he felt "safe" because he was so far away, but it's not sustainable, in the long-term. 

Now would be the time to address the other areas of your life you're not happy with. It's the perfect time to tackle that social anxiety and low self-esteem. Online relationships are rarely fruitful and as you continue to grow into adulthood, you'll benefit from developing the tools to build more constructive relationships. 

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Sorry this happened. Step back from this. 

That's all you can do. He's full of a lot more hormones now than when you started talking. It's still less mature than you however.

Unfortunately that means he's naturally going to seek out real-life girls.

You should do the same. Get some nice pics and a good profile on some quality dating apps and start talking to and meeting men.

Also try your best to broaden your friendship and interests circles. 

Focus on college and all the new guys you'll meet there.

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He was words on a computer screen.  Not a boyfriend, not a relationship.  So no, he did not cheat on you.

Utilize the internet for chat buddies rather than trying to create a romantic relationship because, as you saw, these have no basis in reality.

There must be young people in your city or town.  Since you have social media, make friends with local people you can actually (safely) see in person.

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I understand how this goes. It happens to a lot of people. It's a hard lesson learned that having a virtual relationship is a waste of time because it's 20% reality and 80% fantasy. LDR's have a short shelf life. Eventually someone meets someone locally, and moves on. It was very difficult for him to tell you so he started to fade instead. I don't think how you feel would have changed even if he told you right away he started to see someone . It's heartbreaking all around.

You are missing out in the best years of your life and it's from you not dealing with your anxiety is the cause. Only you can control your destiny, and how your life plays out...Your best course of action is to deal with your anxiety first, with maybe a therapist, and make steps to develop socially. You are in college. There are so many opportunities to meet and date, socialize and make friends. You are ripping yourself off by hiding yourself away in front of a computer screen. The only way to see change is to make changes yourself.

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