Messy Relationship Drama, Long

I will try to keep this as short as possible. Almost 6 months ago, I broke up with my girlfriend, “Sally,” who I had been dating for about a year. Towards the end of the relationship, I had been feeling distant, and had been seriously considering whether to end it or not. Sally had been a friend to me before we started dating, and I was beginning to realize I still thought of her as a friend at times, and wasn’t really in love with her anymore, if I ever had been. We had been growing apart, but unfortunate events like Sally’s grandmother passing away made it easier for myself to postpone the inevitable breakup, which I was dreading.

One night, I made a big mistake. Sally and I had recently met a girl named “Jane” and had been spending some time with her and other mutual friends for about 4 months. The very first time I met Jane, I knew that she might be trouble for me. I was instantly attracted to her beauty, intelligence, and sense of humor, in a way that I never felt towards Sally. She gave me butterflies in my stomach, something I never had felt with my girlfriend. Sally and I had somewhat of a relationship of convenience, but with Jane, after a couple of months, I felt like I was falling in love. I began to talk to her online when Sally wasn’t around. Friendly conversations, nothing that could be considered flirtatious, but the way her mind worked was stimulating to me.

Anyway, you all can probably tell where this is going. After a party one night, Sally went home, in a bad mood, as was usual towards the end of our relationship, and left Jane and me together at our friend’s house. We were drunk before Sally left, and we got much more drunk after. The party began to thin out, and soon we were the only ones on the couch. I told her that I couldn’t stop thinking about her, and she told me that she felt the same way. We kissed, and it was one of the most satisfying moments I can remember. We both realized we had done something very wrong, and so we stopped ourselves from going any further.

I told Sally the next day, and we broke up. I felt terrible. The worst part was that she said she could forgive me, and I had to tell her I couldn’t accept that from her. I told her I didn’t feel the same way about her anymore. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her how strongly I felt about Jane, so I downplayed the emotional side of the night, and portrayed it more as a drunken accident. It was dishonest of me, but I couldn’t bring myself to hurt Sally anymore than I already had.

After this Jane and I began a very on again off again relationship. We didn’t see each other for about a month after the break up, a gesture of respect to Sally, who we both felt awful about hurting. But soon Sally moved out of town, and Jane and I began to move ahead with things. We went on walks, talked about how strange relationships can be, became intimate, and spent the night at each other’s houses most of the week. There would be times when Jane regretted how our relationship started, and she would say that she needed to reconsider things. But this would only last a day or two, and we would end up seeing each other again.

We never really talked about where our relationship was headed. I wanted to ask her to be my girlfriend, but I was afraid that pressuring her might scare her off, given the ambivalent feelings she had sometimes. It was enough to me that we were exclusive, and that I was spending time with her. I didn’t want to risk anything just so we could put a label on our relationship.

She went up to Canada for a month to visit her family. When she came back, things had changed. She told me that she didn’t think anything good could come out of what we had, considering how it all started. She told me that she didn’t think she could ever get past that. I didn’t really argue with her, because who am I to question her moral judgements? I also thought it might be like the other times, and she would change her mind in a couple days.

Well, she hasn’t. I think that a big reason she changed her mind is because of hateful things that Sally told her while she was in Canada. Sally sent Jane hate e-mails, calling her a whore, basically acting like a high schooler. I really don’t understand Sally’s motivation here. She’s not pining for me. She found a new boyfriend a month after we broke up. Yet she still is intent on making Jane and I as miserable as possible.

I don’t know what to do. I feel like Jane is sending me mixed messages, but I don’t know if that’s all in my head. After “our talk” she didn’t break off contact with me. She’ll instant message me every few days, or text me. I feel like she might miss me too, but I can’t decide how to act. On the one hand, I want to try to appear somewhat cool and not desperately available to her, which is why I usually wait for her to initiate any communication. But I also don’t want her to think I’ve lost interest in her. The truth is I am in love with this woman, and the relationship we had, even though it was only for a couple months, was the best I’ve ever had. I just wish I met her at some other point in my life. But I feel like I should respect her moral judgement and not push her to change her mind.

I guess to wrap it up… Should I:

A. Tell her I miss her, that I’m in love with her, and that I would never dream of hurting her the way I hurt Sally?

B. Forget her? (a.k.a. wait around in vain for her to change her mind)

Eh, be honest with her. It can’t make anything worse than it is right now, and at least you won’t be wondering “what if”?

Quoted for truth.

From a purely logical standpoint, what would you have to lose? Go for it, but buy some booze first just in case.

I’d recommend not including the “I would never dream of hurting her the way I hurt Sally” part; makes it sound like you’re usually a dick to girls and are making an exception :D.

Didn’t a certain someone mention something about high school behaviour?

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Then tell her that, plus a few specifics about her and your time together that made it so.

You had a one year relationship with Sally that you wanted to end, what, three months prior but for her grieving her grandmother’s passing? Perhaps Sally felt that ‘the whole world was abandoning her’, that this is what motivated her to replace you so quickly and to send such OTT drama mail to Jane. Maybe Jane’s moral comfort zone has inflated a bit because of Sally’s gaseous mail and she’s keeping in touch with you in the hopes her jitters go away.

Tell Jane you are in love with her.

Tell her the truth. Don’t be pushy, but tell her how you feel and that you’re confused by what feels like mixed messages. You’ll have to be prepared for an answer you might not want to hear, though.

If she decides she just can’t pursue a relationship with you, you’ve gotta cool it with the IM’s and texts. Otherwise you’ll always be hoping she’ll change her mind, she’ll continue to give you mixed messages, etc, etc.

I concur. Be honest about your feelings, and try to make your case.

I have one lingering doubt though. Is there a chance that she is using this as an excuse to break up? I find that most folks act in their own best interests, and are able to put most moral arguments aside to do that. In the grand scheme, this doesn’t seem like something that would prevent most from continuing on in a relationship, especially after your immediately broke up with the first one.

Thanks for bringing that up. In my drunken stream of consciousness last night (sorry about that), some things didn’t come out as well as I would have liked them to. I’m not trying to play games with her mind, not talking to her is a way to assure myself that she still has some interest in talking to me. If I started every conversation, I wouldn’t know if she was just responding out of politeness. I do start conversations with her sometimes. Probably a third to a half of the time. It’s hard not to talk to her more, but another reason I don’t do it so much is that talking with her reminds me how much I love her, and this puts me in a depressed mood afterwards.

I have wondered that myself, and I guess it’s impossible to know for sure. It really seemed to me that she was having as good of a time as I was while we were together, so I think the fact that I cheated with her on her friend is really the issue. It’s something she has expressed regret for during the months we spent together. She says that she is able to forget it when I’m with her, but she feels guilty when she’s with other people, or by herself. She has some fairly judgmental friends as well - One of them cried when Jane told her the story about the kiss. I think the time she spent with them in Canada might have pushed her over the top. Who knows.

I think I should talk to her. I’d rather do it sooner than later, and in person. Sooner, because this whole situation is making me neurotic. But I can’t help wondering if giving her some more time, letting things with Sally cool down, and waiting for her to settle down at her new, stressful job might give me a better opportunity to change her mind.

C. All of the above.

In that order.

After you’ve told her how you feel, then it’s totally up to her as to what she does with it.

I’m thinking that she might not think it’s worthwhile to go through the pain of her friend saying nasty things about her for a relationship that might be going nowhere. If you’re upfront with your feelings, (as people have already said), at least you’ll know that you’ve been upfront, have given it your best shot and have no regrets. And if you’re upfront, there’s the chance that the balance tips in your favor since she knows you’re serious.

But once you’ve done that, there’s not much you can do if she weighs the balance and decides it’s easier to move on.

Good luck!

I can tell you from experience that no matter how much Jane might love you and you her, there will always be that voice in the back of her head that wonders.

Every time you come home ten minutes after you said you would. Every time she calls and you don’t answer. She probably won’t freak out and come out and accuse you of anything. She will just doubt you. And it wont go away.

I wish someone would have told me that a long time ago.

Btw, she should be commended for recognizing this. Its very hard to treat this seriously when you’re hopelessly in love. It seems like it would be easy to get past. It is very much not.

Who cares how a relationship starts? Flowers grow in shit don’t they? I understood how people can have regrets, but I’ve never seen why this is a reason worthy of breaking up, and I’ve never heard of people breaking up for this reason unless it was used as an excuse. Then again, I’m not the guy you should be talking to about relationship advice, or so my last few dating threads would suggest.

Anyway, what should you do? Like others said, tell her how you feel. Don’t argue with her. Just tell her that you love her and want to be with her, and any other opinions you have on the state of your relationship.

As for why Sally would act that way? God knows. Women can treat other women like dirt for reasons that I can never fully wrap my head around. I wouldn’t even bother worrying about Sally’s deal.