Why did she start doing X on social media?

I received an email from a reader and would like to take the time to respond.

I will comment inline as I think that will give us all the most insights.

Subject: Please help me get my ex back
I hope this email finds you well.
I’m going through pain and sadness. I’m hurting. I’m heartbroken. I truly hope you’ll be able to show me the right direction. I don’t know what to do.
I was in a long distance relationship with this woman that I love so much. We were together for 3 years. I live in T. and she lives in I. Sadly, I left the relationship on March 21st of this year.

Long-distance relationships are incredibly tough. Physical intimacy tends to be the glue that holds a relationships together. You need a very strong foundation and stellar communication to pull it off. It’s not impossible, but I see them fail more often than I see them succeed.

Our relationship was going fine, but the past 1-2 months, she became cold and distant. Her phone calls/txts slowed down, her good morning/good evening messages stopped, giving me the silence mood and the hot/cold shoulder.

This is a common pattern. The relationships don’t tend to end abruptly. Sometimes it feels as if they ended abruptly, but it’s only when we’re in the thick of things and not able to see the bigger picture. With time, and distance from our ex, the bigger picture becomes more clear.

It messed up my mind trying to figure out what’s going on. I couldn’t eat, sleep and focus. My gut instinct started bugging me. At first, I couldn’t ask her what’s going on, as I didn’t want to come off insecure, weak, needy and clingy. But, one night on my way home from work, I emailed her a lengthy letter explaining how I feel about the situation, the signs that I’ve observed and that I’m hurting. I asked her in the letter what’s wrong, if there’s anything going on behind the scenes, telling her that my gut instinct bugs me. I emailed her because I thought healthy communication is the key. She texted me the next morning saying that everything is fine, you got nothing to worry about, nothing’s happening, life’s just busy overwhelming… I took her words for it, but she still continued to act the same. We also FaceTimed about it, but she still continued to act the same afterwards. She knew I was sad and hurting.

Another common pattern. Our gut speaks to us. Actions speak louder than words. What do her words say in this case? Her words tell us “everything is fine”, we’ve got nothing to worry about, it’s just life that’s overwhelming.

What do her actions say? Why is her initial reply to a heartfelt email a text the next morning? Her actions continue to send the same message: something IS wrong. That’s why this guy’s gut is giving him signals. Something ISN’T right, she’s just not telling him, but it can easily be understood if we discount her words and look at her actions.

In February, I told her that I’m planning to visit her in April. I live in T. and she lives in I. She didn’t seem excited. She was hesitating to go see her giving me various excuses with the work schedule. I was ready to book my ticket and was just waiting for the green light. She never said anything about my visit in April unless I brought it up which I did multiple times. She didn’t give me a chance to go see her in April.

Another red flag. If a woman is not clearing her schedule to see you, she’s not into you. This shouldn’t feel like a struggle. At the very least you should feel like she’s trying as hard as you are to find some time together. The fact that she isn’t is a major red flag.

Another thing to note here is the frame of mind Fred is in. He says “she didn’t give me a chance to go see her in April.” I understand that if you show initiative to meet her and she doesn’t free up time in her schedule, she’s not giving you a “chance” to see her — but that should probably also be the last straw.

At this point our partner is behaving distantly, denying anything is going on and refusing to meet with us. All her actions are communicating she doesn’t want to be with Fred and at this point Fred should trust his gut. If Fred valued himself he wouldn’t continue to let someone treat him like he’s not valuable.

She may have fallen out of love. There’s nothing wrong with that. It can happen. As I said, long-distance relationships are hard. I’m not pointing any fingers at her. All I’m saying is that at some point, even though you haven’t heard the exact words come from her mouth, the signs are on the wall. She’s not putting any effort in trying to be with you. You’re hurting yourself by continuing to pour love and energy into this relationship.

This is the point where you draw a line in the sand and you say something to the extent of:

“I care about you and I want to be with you, but only if those feelings are reciprocated. I don’t want to be in a relationship where I feel I’m investing more love and energy than the other person. Currently I’ve been getting that feeling and every time I try to talk about it, you tell me nothing is going on. If you’re not able to talk about this then I’m afraid that for me to continue to value myself I need to end this relationship.”

That’s scary. Of course you still love her, but you’re not going to put yourself through agony like this. You have too much respect for yourself to do that.

Let’s see what Fred says next.

I don’t have Instagram, but my friends told me that she has been posting flowers on her page. One time she posted flowers for Valentine’s Day and two times she posted flowers in March. My friends sent me the pictures. That was heartbreaking. Many things started crossing my mind: who’s sending her flowers, is she talking to someone else, is she seeing someone else, etc.

She also started using phrases such as: if it’s meant to be it will be, if it’s God’s willing. I feel she was throwing hints for our relationship. She’s never said such things before. We always used to talk about plans, living together, engagement, marriage, kids, traveling.

Okay so this is why we should draw a line in the sand earlier. This is a space we don’t want to be in. We don’t want to be over-analyzing her behavior on social media and trying to construct hypothetical scenarios in our minds.

Why was she posting pictures of flowers two times in March? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. You should block her on instagram and every other social media account you have. Better yet, go on a social media break.

The mistake Fred is making happens earlier. He’s not able to draw a line in the sand.

I was hurting, being sad, feeling lost, torturing myself trying to figure out what’s wrong, and on March 21st, I sent her a closure email explaining everything that I’m telling you in this email plus I attached the pictures of the flowers. She never replied back to my closure email. It’s been over a month that we haven’t talked/texted/FaceTimed.

Torturing is the right word here. A closure email is a good idea, but sending it to her is not strictly necessary. If you do, don’t write it in a way where you expect a reply. This will just set you up for disappointment and quite possibly a horrific emotional roller coaster if she does.

At this point, if it wasn’t clear already, it’s completely over and Fred should treat it as such.

I love her very much. I miss her so much. I walked out of the relationship with many unanswered questions. My dear, what do you think about the whole situation? Why she became cold and distant? Why she was hesitating to go visit her in April? What about the flowers? Who was sending her the flowers? Do you think someone else got her attention? Do you think she was talking to someone else while still being in relationship with me? Why she never replied back to my closure email? What truly happened? Why I lost her? Do you think I made the right decision to leave the relationship? What do I need to do at this point?

It’s very understandable that these questions grip you. Why did she become cold and distant? Why didn’t she want to meet with Fred? It’s very rare to get answers to these types of questions — and you shouldn’t aim to. At this point the closure you crave needs to come from yourself. You have enough evidence that she definitely does not want to be with you and definitely does not want to talk about it.

Although that’s not incredibly satisfying, those are enough reasons for you to draw a line in the sand.

I think you made the right decision to leave the relationship, but it also sounds like that decision was made for you.

The first thing you need to do is get rid of hope. The woman you picture in your mind, the woman you still love — that person no longer exists. She has shown repeatedly she does not want to be with you and did not want to talk about it. That doesn’t give you all the answers, but it is enough information to decide that you’re not going to pour any more energy into this.

You need to get rid of any sliver of hope you have that you will ever get back together. Anytime you catch yourself longing for her, loving her, wishing you could be close — remind yourself that she dropped so coldly and wasn’t even able to tell you.

If you can find some anger through that process — good, use it. Don’t dwell in anger, but if it can help you sever the attachment you have to this woman, all the better.

You will undoubtedly have unanswered questions. Put them in letter. Write it all out. Be as petty and as vindictive you can be. But don’t send it. This is about releasing emotional energy, not about sending any type of message.

Then, slowly but surely, start to carve out a new life for yourself, one that doesn’t revolve around her. What do you have in your life that has meaning? If you don’t have an answer, then perhaps reflect deeply on that.

I’m sharing this painful story with you in trust and confidence. Please walk me through this pain with your wisdom.
Thanks and God bless,

I can’t agree when you say she isn’t lying

Hi Jesse,

I think it’s sugar coating reality when you say she isn’t lying. Well I can’t agree with it. When a woman left you for another guy and goes into the relationship with him, you know, she didn’t pull him out of the closet, so he has to be around and to prove himself to her that is better option than you. And that requires lying and emotional cheating.

Continue Reading

I did nothing to deserve this

First off, thank you for writing this post. I related with a lot of the points you made. My girlfriend left me a couple of weeks ago and I’m currently trying to piece myself together, but damn is it hard.

She explained to me that our relationship had to end because she didn’t know if she wanted to be in a committed relationship anymore. She went on about how she started feeling that way for a couple of months. It was after Thanksgiving she knew she was going to leave me for sure.

I personally could not trust a word that came out of her mouth at that point. I was so blown away by what she was saying because she always acted like she loved me. I never once thought her feelings were going another way because I trusted everything she told me. When she broke up with me she explained how she still loves and cares about me, which I found to be bullshit. It was bullshit because my friend later explained to me that she was out drinking with her new friends that same night.

The hardest part was that I knew when she broke up with me, that it was because she wanted to see someone else. I knew who the person was too. I had seen him at parties and other social gatherings and I saw the way she interacted with him that there might be a chance she had some connection with him. During the break up I brought up this point, and she assured me that was not the case. She said she didn’t even know if she wanted to date at all.

Well my feelings were confirmed when after a couple of weeks I saw her around campus with her new boyfriend. That day I lost my damn mind. I felt so betrayed and crushed because I knew everything she told me was a damn lie. All the times she told me she loved me during the months her feelings were going away, that I mattered to her, that she would always be there for me, it was all I fucking lie.

Its hard to think how someone you loved can move on so fast and have the time of their lives, while your sitting her devastated trying to figure out what to do. Even though I’ve been told many times not to blame myself, I can’t help but do. I question what I did do to deserve this? The hardest pill to swallow was that I did nothing to deserve it.

Its really hard to move on and focus on yourself when you feel like there is no point in doing so. Especially when this is the second time this has happened to you. At least this time it did not involve my best friend. Although it still hurts all the same, and for some reason it hurts worse. I truly loved this person and thought that she loved me too. While the entire time, behind all the fake bullshit she was feeding me, she was counting down the days she could leave me for someone else.

I think the hardest part for me is how I should deal with this anger. I have blocked her out of my life and accepted that I will never see her again. Now I’m just left with myself and all these angry emotions and no where to put them. I have smashed and thrown away anything that reminded me of her, but I’m still angry. This feeling keeps holding me back from moving on and bettering myself. I really just wish that I can turn on a switch and and forget everything about my ex as fast as she forgot about me. Although life isn’t that easy is it?

Sorry if this shit post was hard to read as Im still fresh from this break up. I just wanted to share my story and see if there was any suggestions on how to move on from this kind of break up. I just want to get rid of all this rage I have and I can’t find a healthy way to do it. I stay up at night thinking how my ex is probably fucking her new boyfriend while I’m sitting here in a shell of my former self.

Hey man,

Thanks for sharing and sorry to hear what you’re going through. It sounds like a very tough pill to swallow, but it also sounds like this is exactly the pill you need to be swallowing where you are right now in your life. Let me explain.

You’re describing what happened from your perspective. Understandable, it’s what we default to. At the same time we can often glean the most insight into a situation if we look at it and describe it from a perspective other than our own. In your story in particular I suspect you’d feel differently about the situation if you’d be able to look at it differently. Here’s an example.

You say she was lying to you. That’s possible, but I think it’s unlikely. It’s far more likely her feelings changed, over time. It’s difficult to be aware of what you’re feeling exactly. It gets more difficult when your feelings evolve. It’s more difficult still to accurately articulate your feelings. And if you’re in a relationship where you’re not trained and conditioned to articulate your feelings… well… you’re not going to be hearing a whole lot of truth, that’s for sure. But is it lying? I wouldn’t say so.

So from your perspective she’s not telling you the truth. But, perhaps, from her perspective, she didn’t know the truth. Perhaps what she knew evolved, and has continued to evolve. Telling you she’s not sure if she wants to be in a committed relationship anymore is an attempt at an easy let-down. It’s her attempt at leaving the relationship without hurting your feelings.

Adopting a different perspective not only gives you more insight (and a better approximation of the truth), it also get rids of the notion that you were “lied” to. If you weren’t lied to, there’s less reason for you to be angry. Isn’t that what you wanted to begin with?

There’s something else going on here, if you’ve followed me this far. If you’re able to look at your situation from a different viewpoint, gain insight and dissolve anger, all of that is happening in your head. None of it has to do with her. It’s all about how you’re approaching your thoughts and how you’re interpreting what’s happening in your life. Only by taking responsibility yourself for feeling angry can you work to overcome it.

Next, you mention that you “never once thought her feelings were going another way because I trusted everything she told me.” I would be careful here not to cast everything into a black-and-white world where someone can either be trusted or not, or what they say is true or not. A woman can feel unsure about how she feels about you, but that doesn’t mean she’ll tell you in your face. And there are many instances where I think she shouldn’t. Think about it. Some days you may feel more in love than others. If you’re feeling less in love one day, should you tell your partner right away? And are you lying if you don’t? No, of course not. It takes a while before you’re able to see a pattern. And even when you do, it can be a short pattern that passes. These things aren’t pinned down easily.

It’s part of your job in a relationship and as a man to keep tabs on your woman’s emotional state. Is she feeling happy? Is she feeling fulfilled? What she says is one thing, but how is she carrying herself, what is she radiating, what is she doing with her life? Words are only a small part of the story. It’s more about noticing how she’s feeling than asking how she’s feeling. She won’t spell it out for you, you need to develop a sixth sense for this.

This, incidentally, is what relationships teach you. If you’re not in tune with how your partner feels, you have no barometer and no self-correction mechanism. If there is distance between you and your partner and if that distance is growing, you will be unaware of it and unable to correct course.

So, rather than believing that you did nothing to deserve this, that she lied to you and that that is the cause of your anger. I would encourage you to experiment with taking more responsibility for how you’re feeling. What if your anger is the consequence of looking at this through your eyes only? Instead of asking what you did to deserve this, ask yourself what you did that got yourself here. Were there really no signs she was losing attraction for you? Was your sex-life amazing until the day you two broke up? Unlikely. You want to move past the anger? Let’s start with some radical honesty with yourself.


She dumped me saying she’s not over me cheating

We’ve been dating 3 years. I cheated a year ago. Thought we were past it. She dumped me a few days ago saying she’s not over it. Finally stopped being irrational and crazy emotional today but i’m just pissed that she would throw away the bond we had over one bad choice. I’m 25 and I thought maybe we would get married (and i know she wanted that too). I’m giving her space but idk how much space is too much. I keep thinking she’ll come back but then I also feel like it’s really over and I’m just so angry at myself and her. I know she still loves me but i thought our bond meant more than a mistake I made a year ago. She’s ended things for now but she still has us as a couple on Facebook. She hid her relationship status but hasn’t deleted it or me so I feel like that’s a sign of something. I just know if she comes back I really would do everything the right way because this experience has opened my eyes to how heartless I’ve been and all the things I need to improve on in my life.

Hey man,

Thanks for sharing. I don’t know of many couples that survive infidelity, if I’m honest, I think it’s unlikely that yours will.

You need to reach your tipping point so you can decide that staying in contact with her is not worth the pain anymore. Block her on every channel you can think of and go full no contact as you start putting the focus on yourself.

She’s not throwing your bond away based on 1 mistake, she’s also considering the possibility it may happen again. Forgiving is one thing, trusting again is another.

My ex-girlfriend emotionally cheated on me and I can’t get over it

From Alex:

My girlfriend of 4.5 years recently broke up with me and it has really screwed me up.

I am someone who is ready to settle down and she was also the same. I met her when she was studying to be a nurse while I already have a career. We met in Summer of 2013. I knew that dating a student would entail paying for a lot of things but I was ok with it, if it was the right girl. She also told me that she is looking for someone who is not looking to still get wild and “spread seeds” and just devote themselves to one girl. I told her that is me and she does not have to worry.

We were so in love but a few friends and family warned me about dating a nurse. And that once she is done with school, you will see her less and that her job will be her new family. And nurses do date within their work alot especially when they spend so much time with their co-workers and doctors. I told them I’m not worried and she said that she would never do that to me.

One day we had a disagreement and she was worried that I would break up with her over that and I told her that I would NEVER break up with her UNLESS she hurt me or betrayed my trust. Those are the only 2 reasons why I would break up with her. If we have issues, it can be fixed but intentional harming and unfaithfulness could not be fixed as it is very damaging. So now she completely understands that I would never leave her over petty arguments.

Fast forward to December 2016. She has been doing her work experience at a hospital and she is starting to get to know her co-workers. We get into an argument about something and she confesses to me that she said this to a co-worker “I’m having problems with my boyfriend and I want to let you know that I find you attractive”. Even though she said that his response was that “I’m flattered but I don’t date co-workers.” My heart sank. It was an indescribable feeling as I’ve never been cheated on before. Keep in mind, this is what you call “Emotional Cheating”. It is when a partner shares secrets with someone they are attracted to and acts upon the idea of being with someone else. Learning about her actions, destroyed me. We fought about it and she admitted she made a mistake but in the end and she moved out.

I missed her so much I broke my own rule. I said that I would only break up with someone if they cheated on me. She did cheat on me but I still wanted to be with her. But we lived separately and continued dating. Fast forward to July 2017, 7 months after the first act of unfaithfulness, I finally found the strength within myself to forgive her and to forget the past. Once I have decided to forgive her, I made a promise to myself to never bring up the cheating situation with her. We would never talk about it as if it never happened.

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago, I finally tell her that I forgave her about the cheating in December last year but then she reveals this new bit of news. “I have been avoiding the guy I told you about who I work with but I recently saw him at a birthday party and I find that I’m still attracted to him.” Basically, she wanted us to break up so that she can have a chance with him. I died again. We finally broke up.

But I still miss the hell out of her. I know that I can no longer forgive her for this 2nd offense (with the same guy). In fact, I am taking back the first time I forgave her. I should have listened to my friend’s warning about dating nurses. I could say that it was my own fault but she even said to me that I don’t have to worry. Her only excuse is that, it just happened, I can’t control my feelings. YES YOU CAN. I work in video production, I work with attractive models and beautiful actresses all the time. I interact with them and give them direction but I don’t allow myself to pursue anything because I can stay loyal and I thought I had an awesome and faithful girl. Yes those people I work with are attractive but that’s it. It doesn’t mean that I allow myself to become attracted to them. That’s part of what makes up a loyal partner.

Anyways, this is what happened to me for dating a nursing student. I installed Tinder and deleted it instantly after I couldn’t believe how many nurses were on there. Maybe it is hard for them to keep relationships because of the tough schedules and the “options”. I have nothing against nurses in general but from this point on, I would never date one ever again.

We are still friends and unfortunately, I’m so weak that I still think we could have a chance together. I actually am completely aware that it is over but I can’t seem to get her out of my system. It is not easy letting go.

Hey Alex,

Thanks for sharing.

Before I give you my take on your situation let me preface with what I understand on the topics of cheating and finding other people attractive.

Cheating to me means betraying your partner’s trust. Doing something that you promised you wouldn’t do or something that they would not approve of you doing. What that is depends on where you draw the line TOGETHER. If you both agree that kissing other people is okay, then kissing does not constitute cheating. If you both agree that telling someone you’re attracted to them is going too far, then that constitutes cheating.

Her actions in and of themselves do not constitute cheating. There is no objective label “emotional cheating”. If her actions can be considered cheating it’s because she violated an agreement both of you made not to cross a certain line.

Having said that, her initial actions sounds like the actions of someone trying to push an interaction forwards towards more intimacy & more sexual tension and signaling sexual availability. I think it’s fair to be alarmed by that. Not so much because it’s a transgression of some line but because it’s an indication that this person wants to create intimacy and sexual tension with someone else.

The second “offense” I would not classify as an offense at all.

She’s (still) attracted to this guy and she wants to give that a shot. It sounds like she was open, honest and respectful about this to you. I respect that.

I tend to agree with her that you can’t control how you feel and I’m not sure why you think that you are able to control who you’re attracted to. If that were the case, you wouldn’t be posting here now would you? You would just turn off your attraction to her. Clearly that’s not how attraction works.

That being said, the one thing we do tend to have some control over is our actions. We can feel one thing, but then choose not to act on it.

In her case, however, it sounds like she chose to act on her feelings for this man by disclosing them to him as well as disclosing her relationship troubles to him. If there’s anything on her part that you can bemoan, it’s that.

All in all it sounds like she feels so strongly for this guy that she’s willing to sacrifice what you have together for a chance with him. (There could be more going on with her, but that’s what we know).

I think the way you’re framing this whole thing is making you suffer excessively.

You say you can “never forgive” her, yet in the same breath you say you’re “weak” and think you can “still have a chance together.” That to me sounds like you want to be tough but you’re not acknowledging that you’re in pain.

Underneath anger invariably there is pain

Then, regarding forgiveness. Not forgiving her, and rolling back your first forgiveness (which is nonsense btw man), that only affects you. That only makes you bitter. That only makes you hold on to this like a painful experience that’s going to cloud your days. There’s no benefit to you.

Just let yourself be hurt. You’re losing someone you love. That hurts. But your anger is just masked pain. It’s creating different forms of suffering for you.

Bottom line is you still love her, but she doesn’t want to be with you. That hurts. But almost everyone reading this has also been there.

Stop being friends, it’s not going to be possible. Go no contact. Open a new chapter in your life. Get in touch with your pain. Learn the lessons that are here for you.

All the best.


My finacé broke up with me

Hi Jesse.

A month ago my fiancé dropped the bomb on me that she’s not ready for marriage and wants to be single and independent. We’d been together for exactly two years and two months and shared the most amazing memories of my life. She was always completely loyal and I thought she was always honest with me. Before her I was never able to commit to someone 100% but with her I was sure from day one. She had a few flaws as do we all such as not easily able to accept criticism or being responsible enough to look after a job (went through 5 jobs in two years and obviously I shared her stresses). I loved her and accepted her although sometimes stressful and frustrating I gave everything I had to always support her to the best of my ability.

A month before the breakup she began to spend a lot of alone time with a mutual friend of ours. Going for night drives and always talking non stop. They have a lot in common. It’s the first time I’ve ever told her (and him) I was uncomfortable with the friendship and want them to stop spending time together alone. He said no worries he respects that but she was continuously defensive saying she’s done nothing to ever break my trust. After a week they were at it again. This caused huge fights between us as I felt she wasn’t putting me or our relationship first and I felt blatantly disrespected by both. But still she’d put up fb photos on fb saying she can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together and how lucky she is.

Within a week of having ‘doubts’ and me trying everything humanly possible to let her see how good we were together and the amazing future we can still have, she gave me back my ring. I told her I’ll give her two weeks space to see what single life is like in a final attempt to save us but one week in, he seized the opportunity to ask her out and she said yes. We have all the same friends so it’s impossible to avoid them. I’m shattered, broken, angry and miserable. I smiled in tears and told her I just want her to be safe and happy and that I’ll always love her. She cried and said I was her first love and first of so many things and that will never change.

The wedding was supposed to be in one month. Booked and paid for and so was the honeymoon. I’m trying to stay positive but it feels like my life slipped through my fingers along with her.. I’ve lost 10 kg and have dreamt about her every night so obviously I’m struggling badly with sleep.. nothing I’m trying is helping me feel better.
Thank you

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Why do I still love her after she cheated on me?

Hi Jesse,

Still feeling like shit it’s been roughly three months since this break up. Finding out she’s pregnant and then just the other week found out she’s been cheating on me with the same for about 3 months before this breakup. Every weekend she would go out with her aunt and uncle to have drinks well that’s not the only thing she was doing. I’d even ask her if she was sleeping with anyone cuz their were weekends where she wasn’t calling or at least letting me know. She would lie right to me saying no. But I gave her the benefit of the doubt and gave her my trust that she wasn’t doing anything. The break up was easy compared to the cheating part. I feel betrayed embarrassed, my dignities been taken from me. like my hearts been stomped on its like she stole apart of and I’m searching for it. Picking up the pieces. The sad thing is I still love her. Why would someone love somebody after they crushed their world? It’s affecting how I work at my job I don’t eat sleep and force myself to get things done. Thanks for letting me say some of what’s going on in my life

There may be two levels of analysis here.

You still “love” her because you don’t love yourself

When we crave connection and we crave someone’s affection, sometimes it doesn’t matter what they’ve done to us. We’re willing to look past any wrongdoings on their part — even cheating.

This only happens when we forget to value ourselves. When we forget to believe that we are worth more than the treatment we’re getting. And the only reason we cannot, and do not, stand up for ourselves is because deep down we have false belief that we are simply not good enough.

When we believe we are good enough and when we are able to love ourselves, there will simply be no room for people that treat us unlovingly.

You still love her because love is not a choice

You might still love her because the circuits in your brain are simply still… there.

You still love her because you loved her before you learnt all this and you can’t just turn love off. These feelings need to come down organically, and they will. 3 months is not a very long time.

Other things to consider

Getting cheated on feels horrible for one because we instinctively take it as a rejection of who we are. It feels as though somehow this means that you’re not good enough. You trusted her, you made yourself vulnerable to her – and she chose to stab you in the back.

I’ve been cheated on and I’ve been left for another guy. I know the embarrassment you’re talking about.

Looking back, I’ve come to see that those relationships weren’t going to survive in the long run anyway and that the women I was with weren’t right for me. The pain I went through made me stronger and although initially it made me want to close my heart, ultimately it taught me how to be brave and continue to open my heart, despite the risk of getting hurt.

The embarrassment is completely gone. I felt embarrassed because I felt like a joke, a sucker a push-over. But that only lasted as long as I saw myself as the person that had been personally rejected from being in a relationship I wanted to be in with someone I wanted to be in it with. With time and with insight, all of that changed.

Trusting her was brave. Turned out you couldn’t – that’s a valuable life lesson and it will help you develop and hone your intuition going forward. You opened your heart to her and she chose to betray you. That’s sad on her part. I don’t pity you. I pity her, because somehow she wasn’t ready or able to accept that love. I also pity her because she must be living in such darkness and pain for her to be able to deceive someone so close to her so deeply for such a long time.

Make sense?

She used me to move on to another guy. Should I confront her?

Hi Jesse,

Just wanted to say a big congratulations on the site. The advice here is pretty much exactly what I needed and relates so closely to how I’m feeling.

I am 26 and my (ex) girlfriend is 24. We had been together almost 7 years before she broke up with me 5 weeks ago. During the 7 years we had some great times together and I was living at her family home with her, her brother and her dad for the past 2 years. Earlier this year (Feb-April) I believe I was going through a quarter life crisis. I’ve always had the goal to live and work in London (I am Australian), a goal that she never shared. During the period from Feb-April I was short with her and pushed her away due to unseen resentment towards her. In early May she said we needed to take a break and I moved back home for a few weeks. We got back together again and broke up again and then got back together again for a couple of months. The communication was still there and I did everything in my power to become the person that I thought she’d always wanted. Then 5 weeks ago she said she’d had enough and didn’t know if she felt the same way about me anymore. I grovelled for two weeks, cried and wrote her a letter outlining my future goals with her, which resonated well with her for a few days. After two weeks she said it was over and she thought of me as a really good friend.

I have been in no contact for 3 weeks now and still feel helpless. We are on the same phone bill and I went through her records and found hundreds of calls and texts to a number that has been going on for the past 4 months. I called the number and a guy answered. I want to know if I should confront her about this or if I should just remain in no contact? I love her to death but I have a feeling that she has used me for her succession plan with this guy.

Any help would be appreciated.


Sounds like this was probably your first relationship, correct? Our first breakup tends to be the most painful. It’s the first time we experience strong romantic passion towards someone else and it’s usually the first time we are on the receiving end of that feeling as well.

Because it is our first time experiencing these feelings, we have no frame of reference. We can’t compare how we feel about this girlfriend to our previous girlfriend. We don’t have the life experience to know, and feel, the difference between what’s special about being with this specific person vs. the pleasant feelings any relationship would give you.

So after 3 weeks of no contact I’m not surprised you “still” feel helpless. That’s normal. This was your first love, you were together for 7 years and now it appears she left you for another guy. The natural response is helplessness. And 3 weeks is no time at all.

Your assessment about what’s going on with this number she’s been texting with is probably right. Our instincts are surprisingly well attuned to these types of situations.

Should you confront her about it? Absolutely not.

There’s nothing here to be gained by you.

If you do confront her, you’re going to have to break no contact and suffer the consequences of having memories and emotions being triggered.

If she confirms it’s true, what’s that going to do? Make you more angry, more sad – maybe bring up more questions (Who is this guy? How could she do this? etc.)

If she denies it, it may still make you feel bad for getting upset in the first place. Or maybe the way she answers your question makes you doubt she’s telling the truth. Next thing you know you’re obsessing over whether or not she’s lying to you and has been doing so for months.

And what if you get into an argument about the fact that you went through her phone records?

Fuck. That.

Don’t do it man. There’s no value here for you.

Your commitment to no contact is about avoiding temptations like this.

Emotions are going to draw you in. Your mind will find convincing arguments that you should contact her, that you should check her Facebook or her phone bill.

Fuck. That.

No contact all the way man. No exceptions. This wouldn’t help you in any way.

What is the quickest way to get over her?

The quickest way to avoid more pain than you’re already feeling is to make sure you don’t see your ex-girlfriend anymore and aren’t reminded of her anymore.

This is incredibly simple advice, but can be very hard to follow. If you do, you will feel the benefits.

So much for avoiding more pain — what about recovery? What is the fastest way to get over this?

Pause for a second.

If this question occupies your mind, let’s see where it’s coming from first.

Ask yourself this: Am I fully accepting of my current situation?

Because there is something about your current situation that is making you ask how to leave it behind as quickly as possible.

If the answer is yes, great! You have nowhere else to get to and have no reason to concern yourself with doing so quicker.

If the answer is no — dig deeper. What are you not fully accepting of?

Observe whatever thought or feeling surfaces. Do not judge — just observe. (Hard, I know. Perhaps even overwhelming)

That is your next step.

That is what’s making you ask how you can get over your ex quickly in the first place.

The act of observing without judgment will allow whatever it is you’re not accepting to lose its energy until you do become accepting of it.

This may lead you down a long winding path of self-discovery, but it’s the only type of recovery that will truly make a difference in your life.

My ex-girlfriend needs time and space, but she still loves me

My Ex-Girlfriend Needs SpaceFrom a reader:

Hi, my girlfriends been left the house now for 6 weeks saying she wants time and space so that is what I have given her. It’s been tough really tough. Anyway I found out the other week she needs to be on her own and be single, even though she still loves me. Obviously traumatised by this which was apparent to her, I have tryed (sic) to accept this. We haven’t had contact for 3 weeks then boom, she text me two nights ago saying she is coming back to the house on Friday to pick all her things up. ( she only left with a plastic bag full of clothes)which gave me hope, but not anymore! Deeply saddened and know now that this is going to happen! Please help if there’s any advice you could share. Many thanks

Women will tell you they still love you, but they’re not in love with you. What the hell does that mean?

In order to understand what is going on we need to better understand what we mean when we use the word “love”. Renowned anthropologist Helen Fisher asserts there three primordial brain networks that evolved to direct mating and reproduction:

  1. Lust, which is characterized by a craving for sexual gratification and emerged to to motivate our ancestors to seek sexual union with almost any partner.
  2. Attraction, is characterized by increased energy and focused attention on a preferred mating partner. Also referred to as romantic love or being in love evolved to focus our courtship attentions on a single individual at a time, thereby conserving precious mating time and energy.
  3. Attachment, also called compassionate love, is characterized by feelings of calm, security, social comfort and emotional union and evolved to motivate our ancestors to love this partner long enough to rear their young together.

Important to realize is that these three systems can operate independent of one another, as Helen Fisher notes:

Men and women can copulate with individuals with whom they are not “in love”; they can be “in love” with someone with whom they have had no sexual contact; and they can feel deeply attached to a mate for whom they feel no sexual desire or romantic passion.

In the beginning of a relationship there is a lot of romantic love. Feelings of lust quickly enter the mix as you get intimate with each other.

In the traditional Western course of events, you meet a man or woman. You talk and laugh and begin to “date.” Rapidly or gradually you fall in love. As the camaraderie escalates to bliss, your sex drive surges into higher action. Then after months or years of joyous times together, your raging romantic passion and raw sexual hunger begin to wane, replaced by what Theodor Reik called that warm “afterglow,” attachment. In this scenario, romantic love has triggered lust; then with time, these raw feelings of passion and desire have settled into a sinew of emotional union and commitment—attachment.

But over the course of a relationship, it’s not unusual that feelings of lust subside, and even the initial feelings of eophoria attributed to romantic love are known to wane. As you’ve gotten to know one another on a deeply emotional level, these initial feelings are partly replaced by feelings of affection for your partner. Non-romantic affection that is. Or as Helen Fisher puts it:

Romantic love did not evolve to help us maintain a stable, enduring partnership. It evolved for different purposes: to drive ancestral men and women to prefer, choose, and pursue specific mating partners, then start the mating process and remain sexually faithful to “him” or “her” long enough to conceive a child. After the child is born, however, parents need a new set of chemicals and brain networks to rear their infant as a team—the chemistry of attachment. As a result, feelings of attachment often dampen the ecstasy of romance, replacing it with a deep sense of union with a mate.

When a woman tells you she loves you, but she is no longer in love with you, she is saying that she feels affection towards you, but she is no longer feel romantic love for you, or for that matter lust.

It seems to be the destiny of humankind that we are neurologically able to love more than one person at a time. You can feel profound attachment for a long-term spouse, while you feel romantic passion for someone in the office or your social circle, while you feel the sex drive as you read a book, watch a movie, or do something else unrelated to either partner.

How did that happen? We can only begin to understand the complexity of love, but I believe what it comes to down to is that she lost attraction for you. Dating guru Eben Pagan coined the phrase: “attraction isn’t a choice”, elegantly summarizing the insight that love befalls us, we do not chose it. I believe it applies to falling out of love as well. Falling out of love is not a choice.

Falling out of love is not a choice

We can, however, hypothesize what might have contributed to this change of heart.

Often women are attracted to a single guy in part due to his independence, his energy and his outlook on life. It’s these characteristics that draw her into the relationship and induce feelings of romantic love and lust.

Women, however, will continue to test you throughout your relationship. It’s their innate mechanism to make sure you’re still the man they fell in love with. They will test to see if you’re the rock in their stormy waters, if you stay true to your values and if you uphold your identity throughout the relationship.

Guys, especially in a first relationship, tend to lose themselves in their relationships. They start appeasing their girlfriends and start putting her needs and her happiness above their own. We do this, ironically, to appease our girlfriends, to make her happy. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect. We become whipped.

This complacent behavior communicates that we do not have a strong identity, that we don’t adhere to our values and that our needs can be superseded by those of others. This is what women test you for. And if you start failing these tests, she loses attraction to you.

Paradoxically, the more you’re willing to sacrifice yourself for her, the more you end up pushing her away.

Fast forward a couple of months and she finds herself in a relationship with someone she has come to know intimately well, but somehow it doesn’t feel right. The initial, overwhelming feelings of romantic love have all but disappeared. She cares about you, she feels she loves you, but she is not in love with you.

I need time and space translated to guy talk is: I feel affection towards you, but I am no longer romantically interested.

Even though she’s not being dishonest, it’s confusing as hell.

Other symptoms are a deteriorating or non-existent sex life, a lack of energy in the relationship and a lack of purpose in your own life. Am I close?

I hate to break it to you, but it sounds like it’s over. What’s more, your refusal to accept that very fact is what is fueling your pain. You need to turn off the stove that is heating up your emotions. Your recovery can only start when you accept that the relationship is over and that the girlfriend you once had no longer exists.