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[QUOTE=citygirl23]I just have to concentrate on the negatives! That always seems to help...and there are a lot. It was always about him, even when he was sweet and caring and loving, so it made it really hard to realize.
I am worried about not finding someone who is so attractive like he was AND someone who clicks with me right away on so many levels like he did. We were attached at the hip, never thought it would change. I know I cant think about it now, and everyone says here that I will find someone better...I dont know, aren't there lots of people who don't?[/QUOTE]

Hi CG!

Iím sorry that I havenít been around over the last few days to provide support, but I really hope youíve been holding up as well as could be expected. I think you are incredibly strong, special, and brave, and I have absolutely no doubt that you will come out of this happier and tougher than ever. Itís important to remember that while many people donít find love that lasts a lifetime or only find love with one person, this isnít that common, and it certainly doesnít happen to really amazing, confident, and well-adjusted people who have as much to offer a partner as you do. People like you will always attract men, and Iím sure that once you have time to healóand please donít push yourself to get over this in any specific amount of time, as it is a long and painful process that is different for everyoneóthat there will be no shortage of interested potential partners for you to choose from. Iíd suggest giving online dating a try when you feel up to datingÖit definitely did wonders for my ego after my heartbreaking split last year to get messages from hundreds if not thousands of guys since then, almost all of which were filled with compliments and made me feel really desirable and appealing again. I love men and dating, and I started soon after my split, but donít feel badly or like thereís something wrong with you if you arenít ready or interested in dating for some time to come. However, I think you are completely unjustified in worrying that you wonít find someone better than your ex, and it will probably happen sooner than you think. Iím sure there are more guys out there than you realize who are every bit as attractive, sweet, and caring as your ex without being nearly as selfish, self-absorbed, immature, and inconsiderate as he was on way too many occasions. Itís impossible not to feel like you might be alone forever and not find someone as great as your ex again following a breakup, but in reality, your ex wasnít all that great, or he wouldnít have been stupid enough to leave you. The fact that he was able to turn his back on you just proves that he isnít the right partner for you, because the right man would never ever want to live without you in the center of his life. Somewhere out there is a man who will love you as much as you love him and treat you as well as you treat him, and given enough time to heal, I guarantee that you will someday look back filled with relief that your ex cleared out of the picture in time for you to meet someone who made you realize how much better you could do (not to mention how much better you deserve)!

As far as moving on, I think Susie hit the nail on the head, and my own experience supports it. Before the breakup Iíve discussed, I had been the one to end every single one of my numerous past relationships, and in each one, I was able to move on quite quickly and without much difficulty because I was already emotionally detached from each relationship before I actually ended it. In a lot of cases, I even overlapped boyfriends, which Iím not proud about in retrospect, but I do think itís important to point out that dumping someone and then moving onto someone else ASAP isnít a behavior thatís confined to men. I think itís almost universally true that people who initiate a breakup have given it serious thought and come to terms with the idea of going forward without their significant others before they actually break the news. Thatís one of the reasons why I think itís such a horrible idea for the people who are broken up with to hold out hope that their partners will change their minds if they wait around patiently, because their partners have likely given the breakup all the thought they plan on giving it before announcing their decision. Everyone gets over relationships and moves on at a different rate, which also varies depending on the particulars of the relationship in question, but in general, those who decide to leave get on with their lives and date again much sooner because they have had a lot more time to adjust to the breakup and get used to the idea of being single again compared to their exes, who often didnít see it coming or were in denial about the impending split.

But CG, in your case, the fact that your ex said all this stuff about still loving you and not wanting anyone else then turned around and acted exactly the opposite just proves that he isnít good enough for you and that he definitely isnít the right guy for you. As far as trusting again goes, itís so worth it to open your heart again, please believe me, as my ex did just what you describe in post #144, but I have had a relationship since and have no doubt that Iíll find someone else to love who will make me happier and be a better match for me than my ex ever was, as much as I loved him, because we were in retrospect probably too young to know ourselves well enough to pick a lifelong partner. I think all of you ladies in your early twenties need to keep the faith and get back out there and enjoy dating again when you feel up to itÖremember that itís way too early for most people to settle down. Itís important to grow into yourself as an independent adult and have a lot of dating and life experience before you are really ready to pick the right partner and settle down for good, and for most people, itís a mistake to do this before your thirties. Also, keep in mind that you can never know for sure how a relationship will turn out, but love is so wonderful that it is well worth the riskÖalso, most relationships arenít meant to last forever, but can be wonderful during a particular time in your life. Someday soon you will find another person to love who will love you back just as fully and unselfishly, and it wonít be all about himÖplease believe that you deserve better, and that you will get it now that you know not to settle for anything less in return than everything youíre giving to a relationship. Your ex wasnít meant to be with you forever, or else he would have wanted that as much as you did and shown you a lot more consideration, devotion, and respect and a lot less selfishness and self-absorption. His behavior just doesnít make sense, so please donít drive yourself crazy trying to make sense of itóand please, please stop torturing yourself asking these questions that have no answers! It is doing no good at all to obsess about him and try to make his irrational actions seem logical. You were still quite young when you started dating your ex, and hopefully over time, experience will show you that your ex wasnít nearly as special as you thought, and that there are tons of attractive guys out there with who you have equally great chemistry and who are much, much more sweet and caring than your ex. Please donít doubt that, and donít doubt yourself, no matter whatóthis is your exís loss, not yours! When the time is right, you will meet someone who makes your ex pale in comparison and makes you thrilled that you were freed up to meet himÖjust hang in there in the meantime, as it will get easier over time, and you have a great attitude and tremendous inner strength that will get you through this before you know it!
[QUOTE=steakie46]Hi VM,

How long after you broke up with your ex did you start dating again?

Also, why exactly did you two break up?

I really need to make some friends and have ppl to hang out with, but I am so bad at it. Any tips?[/QUOTE]

Hi Stacy! :)

Please don't ever hesitate to ask me anything that crosses your mind...I've shared just about everything here, and I certainly would never hold back anything that might help someone else! As I've said, prior to meeting the ex who broke my heart toward the end of college, I'd dated quite a lot of different guys and had several other relationships during which I was genuinely in love, so I'd had a pretty unusual amount of experience with guys by the time I started dating my ex, though I'd never been dumped or had my heart broken before.

We moved in together right away and from the start faced numerous outside pressures, such as our respective roommates plotting together and lying to us in an effort to manipulate us into not getting involved with each other. They tried really hard to avert this as his roommate was literally going through a prolonged mental breakdown, during which time he had to be institutionalized by the police and his parents three different times because my roommate, who wasn't at all popular with men, was so enthralled by having her first ever boyfriend, mentally ill or not, that she helped him break out of the mental hospital each time. When he finally moved out of state to be near his family, she went back on her fruitless crusade to dissuade my ex from being with me and to try and steal him away, which it turns she'd also done behind my back several times with past boyfriends.

Soon after, we moved to spend the summer with his family in NYC, which was also a difficult and stressful period for us, because I was never really comfortable there, and his psycho grandmother waged a war to try and come between us, as she liked having complete control over my ex. The rest of his family and I got along okay, but they disliked the idea of him being close with anyone near our college, because it might keep him from coming back home on vacations and after he graduated, so it seemed like our relationship was under siege from that angle just like it had been since we first met at college. Then finally we got out of there and moved into our own place, which is always stressful, and as soon as we started our senior year of college, I had my wisdom teeth removed and ever since then, Iíve suffered from horrible chronic pain that shoots up one side of my face. Iíve seen about a dozen doctors and been on and off tons of different medications since then, and the terrible pain along with the side effects and anxiety that came along with the pain and various treatment efforts would have put a huge strain on any relationship.

Through all of this, my ex was wonderfully loving, sweet and supportiveóhe has never been anything but kind, patient, and caring to me, and he is truly a great person. I guess the timing and cir***stances were just against us, because for the next few years, we stayed strong and united, but tended to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world because our love was so intense that we were happier alone and because we are both introverted homebodies at heart. In retrospect I think that wasnít a healthy move, but itís a mistake many young couples make, and we did the best we could, but his family continued to pressure and manipulate him into going home to NYC from the moment we graduated. We were both struggling with uncertainty following graduation anyway regarding jobs, graduate school, and our future plans in general, though we had vowed to stay close and united no matter what. Then one Christmas things got unbearably tense, and I basically couldnít stand his family anymore and broke downÖwhile we made up and held on for several more months, that was definitely the beginning of the end, and his evil grandmother came to visit and was so horrible to me that I had a car accident, after which I couldnít stop crying, full of hatred, rage, and frustration with his family, and my ex found it difficult to comfort me without feeling like he was taking sides against his family.

They always made it so it was me against them and put my poor ex in an impossible position trying to please everyone, which he always did because he was so kind-hearted and sweet that he couldnít stand to let anyone he loved down. After the weekend with his grandmother and my breakdown after it, he left, saying he needed a break, and while we reconciled briefly, ultimately he bowed down to the pressure his parents and other family members, who were greatly inspired to continue coming between us once they saw theyíd driven us into needing a break. We really thought nothing would come between us, but ultimately he wasnít strong enough to resist the external pressures on him, and I think that between my chronic pain and his family, we were just under way too much strain from all possible sides. Itís really sad, because we never had anything but immense love and were nothing but kind and sweet to each other throughout everything we went through, but in the end, I know we just werenít meant to be, because otherwise weíd still be together.

And quite frankly, in some ways itís a relief not to have to worry about his miserable family and his uncertainty and unhappiness with everything, though itís incredibly difficult dealing with my health problems without the unconditional love and support he provided, though my family has helped immeasurably since we split. I was absolutely crushed for months after he left, though I did start dating again within a few months, even though I wasnít ready to get seriously involved with anyone else. I realized that I loved being single and not having to answer to anyone or be tied downóit was absolutely great being able to date a ton of different guys, because I love men, lots of different men, but Iíd been stuck in serious, long term relationships for much of the time since I started dating. Iím kind of like the stereotypical guy when it comes to wanting to experience as many different guys as I find attractive, both in terms of dating and in terms of sex in certain cases, and I loved being free to do whatever I wanted.
I'm blaming myself this morning again. I just woke up and these feelings just come flooding out.
I think it might be because I went down to his area last night to meet up with my best friend and some friends from college. The whole time I was facing the window, and I kept looking to see if he would walk by (we were on his exact street- it was painful). And I kept getting so mad that I was doing that.
The psychologist Im seeing said that this week, my 'homework' was to let myself feel what I feel and to stop being so hard on myself that I can't just push him out of my head. She said it is a loss and my feelings will not just 'go away', despite how horrible he was. So I guess I have to ride these feelings of self-blame out, as well, but I hate it.

When I think about us in the past, I wonder if I was too hard on him sometimes. He went to Egypt for a month during the summer and still managed to make contact with me (emails, IM) every day. That is pretty incredible considering. However, at the time I felt that I was available for him all the time, and I even sat around and waited for him to get on the computer when I could have been out doing whatever. Now Im thinking- this was MY fault, not his. Whenever I wanted to talk to him, I was screwed, cause I couldnt get ahold of him, but whenever he wanted to talk to me, I was there. This was somewhat of a common theme in my relationship with him as some of you know, what with all the sacrifices I made for him. So it was things like this that caused resentment in me over time. Now Im just wondering if I ruined it all by being too dependent.
Part of me thinks that boyfriends sometimes cause their girlfriends to be more needy/dependent at times because they aren't giving them what they want. Maye it was like that in this case?
It doesn't make his behavior acceptable at all once he got to dental school, because that was all his fault. He was the a**hole there. Yet, this morning, Im wondering if I drove him to it.
I know you are supposed to concentrate on your ex's faults, which Ive done, but now Im second-guessing myself. Im thinking- what if his faults weren't really huge faults at all, they were just me being too needy? What if I was the problem?
I hate feeling this way. And I know it doesn't change the end outcome anyway. I mean, he lied and betrayed me and we aren't together anymore. Its just, he was, I thought, so amazing and we were so in love, and even though our relationship wasn't equal, I can't keep thinking that I helped to ruin a good thing.





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