Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q & A: "my first love cheated on me and broke up with me"

Name: Dave
Question: Hi. Thanks in advance for your advice. I recently was broken when my first love cheated on me and broke up with me. She is 18, I am 21, and in college, she was still in High School. We were together for 2.5 years. This was around 2 months ago. I love her still. I was happy with where my life was at. I have read many advice columns, that say exercise, hang with friends, keep busy, etc. But none of that works. I still feel like I am hiding a pain, and I feel like the pain is getting worse, not better. My friends have been trying to be good advice givers, but nothing they say dulls the pain. My ex and I were having problems, but I didn't expect her to cheat on me, leave me for someone else, and then tell me how great he is, while still asking to be my friend. I realize now, that as bad as it got, I still miss her, and want her back in my life. I know that nothing anyone says can make the pain disappear. But I guess what I'm asking is, why did I go through all of this effort and love and invested emotion to be hurt like this? Why after everything, all I am left with is a torturing memory of what was, and what could have been? I see all these wishy washy questions on your site of cheaters, liars, and people who don't consider their partners feelings. If this is all that will come of opening your heart to someone, why do we bother? How was it so easy for her to forget me and move on, even after we were together for so long? It doesn't make any sense. We had a long distance relationship, which required a lot of hardship on both people. It didn't need to end like this. It didn't need to end. She was supposed to come to my college, and we were supposed to be happy together. It just doesn't seem right. I hate this pain I feel. I don't even know if she cares that I am out of her life. Thank you for your time.

Hi Dave,

Thanks for writing...I'm sorry you've gone through so much recently. Sometimes, it's hard to see yourself as an individual outside of your relationship with another. Sounds like you were really hooked on her, so let's take a look at some reasons behind what has transpired...

First off, you're 21 and she's 18. Three years is no big thing, but now she's reaching a point (or a rite of passage) in her life that you've already been through...You're doing the same thing. You have a lot more experience than her in life, and will see things a little differently. You see a long-term future, she's seeing a future of midterms. She's probably stretching her wings and trying to be her own individual after being a part of your life for so long...Remember, she's been with you since she was 15 or 16 years old...She hasn't matured on her own. She's probably feeling the needs to check things out on her own, and she's still a bit more naive and immature on her outlooks. Most people her age tend to be a little more focused on themselves and the here-and-now instead of the long-term vision of the future. And if she is looking at the future, she's fighting to see it from her own standpoint instead of one that is a part of a couple. I'm not condoning her actions, nor am I boohooing them. This might be something she's going through right now, which is not out of the norm.

You are having problems letting go because you have no closure. It's like the stories you hear of people who unfortunately lose a limb and they wake up for years trying to scratch an itch on a leg/arm that's no longer there. I'm taking for granted that this completely blindsided you, so everything's been thrown out of whack...I don't know all of the details, so I'll go on the notion that it's all pretty innocent and you really didn't have it coming. So what to do now?

Take comfort in the fact that you know that Love is out there for you...If not with her, then at least you know it's possible with someone else who's right for you. It's hard not to be skeptical, but don't give up on the whole idea of love - just give up on her. I know that you still feel that there's so much unanswered because of the way it ended - one day everything's fine and then the next, she's gone - but let's get to the reality here...You shouldn't be together. Be thankful you know about it now and that you are free to move on...She Cheated on you...I don't care if she's spreading her wings, checking out the grass, whatever - If she cared about you and your feelings, then at least she could have given you the courtesy of ending your relationship before stabbing you in the back. Pretty cowardly, and again, immature. You have the right to be hurt, but only for so long. It's time to get to the anger stage so you can blow through it quickly and forget about her. Right now, you might think she's the sun, moon, and everything in-between, but she's not. She's an Ex-Girlfriend. Wish her well and move on to someone even more special and better...

And you will find better, trust me. Sometimes people are really not made for each other, and this is one of those cases. Stop feeling so down-in-the-dumps and get on with YOUR life. I can guarantee you she's not feeling sorry for herself or giving much thought as to what you are going through...So you don't do it either. You have a lot to do and accomplish, and having the right partner by your side is an important part of that, but it's not the end-all of everything. Stop torturing yourself over "what if"...Start concentrating on "what will be" as that is something you can control and build on. You had a great time with her, and you should be thankful to have had the relationship...You know you can love and be loved, that you can be with a partner, share your life, etc...All great things. But now move on and use your newfound wisdom and collective knowledge to your advantage and make your next relationship even better...I hope this helps, and please spread the word about the site.

Name: Eve
Question: Hello! My problem goes like this: I have an ex-boyfriend whom I have not seen or spoken to for about 4-5 years. I have already forgotten about him since I already have a new boyfriend to which I plan to marry soon...but I just woke up one morning missing him and since then, I cant stop thinking about him already. it's as if he's talking to me in my head and telling me to wait for him. Or am I just plain crazy? We had a very difficult relationship before you see...our families tried so hard to tear us apart. I accidentally got pregnant and we already made plans of getting married but my dad found it out and forced me to get an abortion...practically dragged me into the clinic to do it. so I lost the baby and his family sent him to Hong Kong. the last we saw each other he told our friends that he still loves me and misses me so badly. Am I just imagining things or can it be fate that I woke up one morning remembering him and what we've been through? Can you pls. advice me on what to do...I'm so sad and confused.
Thanks and more power!

Hi Eve,

Thanks for writing...Sounds like you have some unresolved issues that are coming back to the surface. You're standing on the brink of a major rite of passage (getting married), and now the feelings of unfinished business of your previous passionate relationship are coming back from your subconscious. I'm not a professional, but I'm thinking you should talk to one. These are issues that you need to work out, and I think you can't do it alone (or with the old boyfriend/current boyfriend)...You need to work it out within you so you can finally accept the end of your past relationship, let it go completely, and be happy with your new one. This old, painful, and emotionally charged relationship needs to be put to rest, but I don't believe by establishing reconnection with your old flame and trying to work it through will create any positive outcomes...I think that the only working through it needs is with a therapist. You've come a long way to getting your life back in order - Always think of moving forward, not backwards. 5 years is a long time...Don't give up the ground you've made during this time. You have a whole future with your new love, and one that is without the issues that your old one does. If you went back to the old relationship, you'd have to first wade through all your old history before you can even think of looking at the future...Do yourself a favor and settle your inner doubts with a professional. Once that's done, enjoy and appreciate your current love...I wish you the best of luck!

Name: Lisa
City: Edison
Question: My ex boyfriend and I are still friends but he likes me and I told him we can hook up and stuff and so I was hanging out with him and his 2 friends one of them "lets call him D.W." I am also friends with, but I had just met the other one "lets call him Colon." I was flirting with Colon a lot & we clicked & I gave him my s/n so that night we started talking on line and I told him I liked him & he said he liked me to but now I don't know what to do because My Ex will be mad if I go out with his friend

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for writing...I'm somewhat torn here...On one hand, I'd ask you to decide what you think is more important to you - Your friendship with your ex, or you future happiness with this new boy. On the other hand, I'm never been one to think very highly of guys who go after their friend's ex girlfriends - It's a whole "loyalty-to-your-friends" thing. That being said, I'm thinking that you have to think of yourself and your long-term goals. To be brutally honest, you can date whomever you want, whether or not your Ex is comfortable with it. He's your "Ex" for a reason, and if he has issues with your dating other people, then he should have given your relationship more credence and effort to begin with (I'm basing this on the assumption that you broke up with him or it was mutually ended - If he dumped you, I'd believe he wouldn't want to stick around that much). If his friend is actually placing you over his friendship with your Ex, then I'd think he's probably not excellent friends with this guy. Be happy - If you think there's an actual long-term chance with this new guy, then go for it. If not, then you'll have to weigh your relationship with your Ex against it. One other thing - If your Ex is still interested in you, then he's probably not going to like the thought of your dating ANY guy, so you'll always run into the chance of upsetting him. Hope this helps, and best of luck to you!

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