I got broken up with by my long-distance boyfriend. He was my first boyfriend and almost all my firsts. We had been together three and a half years when he told me the distance was too much and we didn’t have enough time for each other, but he still loved and cared about me.
We were meant to move in together the end of the next month, so I didn’t understand the problem. He dragged out the break up, even having a two-week break from communication just to still end it with me. Anyway, we agreed he’d drive up to say goodbye properly. On this meeting, he told me he couldn’t even think about touching someone else and that he could change his mind in a few months and might want to get back together.
What he didn’t know was that the night before I had seen photos on Facebook of him at a beach with a girl who was wearing his jumper (during our ‘break’). I confronted him and he told me it was a one-night stand who he ended up getting on with and that’s why he broke up with me.
I had messaged the girl as I couldn’t be certain he was being honest. So, I was right to be as she told me they’d been speaking for 6 months on Snapchat and the ‘one-night stand’ was them meeting up for the first time and they had met every weekend since. She had no clue about me as he had told her a fake name and said he lived near her (a 5-hour drive from where he actually lived). Basically telling her he was working nights whenever he was with me so he didn’t have to text. Some really thought-out things to not get caught.
On confronting my ex again, he admitted this and started blaming his mental health (he had struggled with dark moods for over a year but always refused help) saying he downloaded Tinder as a distraction, but set the location far so he wouldn’t ‘physically cheat’ on me. And then said he was going to get help and he was sorry (no intention of reconciling with me though).
I carried on speaking to the girl and we swapped stories and ultimately he was living a double life. Even using words like darling which he had never said in his life. She said she was finished with him for obvious reasons but then I found out she’s still seeing him because in her words ‘she can’t walk away’. I found out that he told her that he chose her, where as to me he said he broke up with me because of the guilt, but after a few weeks he was going to break things off with her because of all the lies he’d told her about his life.
Because of this I feel like by confronting and telling her, I’ve opened up the opportunity for them to have a normal relationship (he even said he was glad it happened). And that he has gotten away with what he has done to me (and quite frankly her). He has blamed it all on his mental health and as someone who also struggles I don’t think it justifies the extent of what he did.
I’m not one to be angry at the girl, since she didn’t know. But the fact that she decided to carry on with him after finding everything out that he’d done just makes me see her as stupid. She even posted pictures of them on a trip on Facebook (it soon got deleted) without a care for who would see it. I can’t help but dislike her now after she gave me the ‘I’m a girls girl’ speech yet is now playing happy relationships.
I don’t know how to heal, I do still love him as those feelings don’t go away that quickly. I can’t stop looking on social media seeing if there’s any clues whether they’re still together now. And I have seen him taking her all the places we went (and I planned). But at the same time I don’t want to delete him so he can see my best life and regret it. After all he was still telling me he loved me till the last day.
I just feel like I have come out the ultimate loser while he is now playing happy families and I can’t seem to get over the anger and sadness of it all. The worst is I keep having dreams about different situations and wake up extremely anxious and like I’m about to have a panic attack. I know the meh will come eventually but right now I can’t even see it in sight.
All the best,
Dear Winner in This Shitshow,
Sweetheart, you sound really young. I know it hurts, but you just lost a loser. This was not someone worthy of pinning all your dreams and hopes on. He’s just a fuckboy, and those are as common as dirt.
Best thing you can do with pain is learn from it. So I’m going to go through your letter and highlight all the red flags and faulty thinking. And remember, I’m doing this not because I’m some bitchy editor with a red pen who wants to drink your tears, but because I’m a former chump among chumps who’s done all the naive, dumb things too.
I wised up, and you will too. How to have a relationship is a skillset, and we’re always learning. But the first rule is: “Is this relationship acceptable to me?” Not as you imagine it could be, or want it to be, but as it is RIGHT NOW. Take a hard look at the evidence.
Did you want a 3.5 year long-distance relationship? Did that feel very satisfying? I know he was a first among firsts, so you don’t have a lot of data points to compare with, but there are a lot more guys out there who are more available — in every way. Emotionally, physically, geographically.
I’m not saying LDRs can’t ever work, but they aren’t ideal. Especially when you’re young and don’t have a lot of dating experience. It’s like a relationship with training wheels — a lot of dreaming, hoping, and anticipation, punctuated by some great in-person together time. (And some LDRs don’t even have that, but romance scams are another column.)
A LDR means you miss out on all the every day intimacies and frictions of a regular relationship. You’re putting yourself on the shelf, (see Hopium), when you could be next-ing him. Or having a love that grows and deepens based on actual lived experience. Not texts and screen time.
Sadly, LDRs are perfect for scoundrels like your ex. It’s so much easier to conduct a double life. And my educated guess is you and Beach Girl aren’t the only chumps in this story.
Now, let’s look at those red flags.
We had been together three and a half years when he told me the distance was too much and we didn’t have enough time for each other, but he still loved and cared about me.
It’s okay for relationships to end. I know we’re dealing with a freak here, but freak or no freak, people are allowed to break up with us. It hurts, of course. But being rejected is the risk we take when we put ourselves out there. It is totally survivable — and you get to do the rejecting too! (See first lesson: Is This Relationship Acceptable to Me?)
This guy wasn’t breaking up with you, however, he was lining you up as Plan B (Q, Z…) Otherwise known as cake. Don’t ever be someone’s option. That’s not winning. That’s being a side dish on the pussy buffet.
He dragged out the break up, even having a two-week break from communication just to still end it with me. Anyway, we agreed he’d drive up to say goodbye properly.
You know what says “Goodbye”?
And then no contact. Rejection doesn’t get better when you prolong it. You were doing the Pick Me Dance. Thinking your presence could change his mind. Ugh. No! Life is not a romcom. He’s not going to have an epiphany. He’s going to feast on kibbles.
he could change his mind in a few months and might want to get back together.
The proper answer to that is:
No answer because you’re never putting yourself in that situation to hear such garbage because you’re never meeting someone long-distance to break up, OKAY?
Failing that? Total derision.
I confronted him and he told me it was a one-night stand who he ended up getting on with and that’s why he broke up with me.
And this is where you decide he’s a cheater and that’s unacceptable. So you will not be policing his social media, or following up with his latest Twinkie, because he cheated on you and that is UNACCEPTABLE.
By wading deeper into this shitshow, you’re demonstrating to him that he still has centrality. That his explanations (from a lying liar who lies) could have meaning.
Pay attention to the evidence — he confessed to a one-night stand (it’s worse, of course) — and that’s a deal breaker.
Move swiftly to no contact.
She had no clue about me as he had told her a fake name and said he lived near her (a 5-hour drive from where he actually lived).
A fake name? So he’s quite an experienced fuckwit. Probably has a closet full of disguises and a twirly mustache. My point is, he’s a villain. Trust the suck.
On confronting my ex again,
That’s not trusting the suck.
There’s no point in confronting him, because there’s no person to hang a conscience on there. He’s an empty human suit with a sack of lies.
Cheating, first clue. Fake name, second clue.
saying he downloaded Tinder as a distraction, but set the location far so he wouldn’t ‘physically cheat’ on me.
Says the man who has been conducting a long-distance relationship with you. So what was his radius? Saturn?
She said she was finished with him for obvious reasons but then I found out she’s still seeing him because in her words ‘she can’t walk away’.
We don’t control other people. What she does with the information is her business. Apparently, she wants to pick me dance for Rodney Dangerdick. Or whatever his FW alias is.
You don’t tell her because you want to clear the field, you tell her because it’s the right thing to do. And then you LEAVE IT ALONE. Because (first rule!) this relationship is not acceptable to you.
I can’t help but dislike her now after she gave me the ‘I’m a girls girl’ speech yet is now playing happy relationships.
It’s hard to respect. But she’s a dimwitted stranger. Not a member of the universal sisterhood.
I don’t know how to heal, I do still love him as those feelings don’t go away that quickly.
You wasted 3.5 years on a fraud. The love feelings will go away with no contact. Get mad, and vow not to waste one more minute of your precious life on this creep.
I can’t stop looking on social media seeing if there’s any clues whether they’re still together now.
Yes you can stop. STOP IT. Chump Lady is reaching out through the interwebz and slapping your hand. STOP LOOKING. START CONCLUDING. He’s a fuckwit. He bamboozles people. She’s one of his latest bamboozlettes. You were one, and now you’re not. Hallelujah.
And I have seen him taking her all the places we went (and I planned).
They aren’t original. Hold out for a man who can plan his own goddamn dates.
But at the same time I don’t want to delete him so he can see my best life and regret it.
That’s the pick me dance. STOP IT.
They don’t regret anything. Oh hey, is there soft-serve ice cream at the pussy buffet? That’s what they’re thinking.
You were of use to him. That’s it. Shut down the social media. Block. You don’t need a portal into his life and he doesn’t need one into yours. Do you really want a fuckwit hoovering you? Offering you the prime position of Option #1,753?
I just feel like I have come out the ultimate loser while he is now playing happy families and I can’t seem to get over the anger and sadness of it all.
Oh come on, this guy’s happiness is as genuine as his fake name. Did you just tell me he has dark mental health issues? Do you really think he found happiness with a woman he didn’t even share his identity with? What Hallmark movie are you freebasing?
If he’s happy, sad, constipated. STOP CARING. Put yourself first, because he sure didn’t. You’re a person who deserves a whole relationship with a sane, whole, healthy adult. Hold out for that.
You’re going to grieve for awhile, but the trajectory is a lot shorter when you go no contact.
Shore yourself up, fix the picker, and know that better days — and better men — are out there.