Single again. Relieved and sad.

Well, I’m concluding my little story here in the forums.

About a year ago, I came here asking for advice on how to ask out one of my best friends. I took your advice. Asked her out. She accepted. We were a happy couple for a while.

I posted another thread after I found out she cheated on me with another one of my friends. I admitted to some wrong-doing on my part, including but not limited to installing a keylogger on her computer to make sure she wasn’t still cheating on me. We tried to work it out.

And now, to conclude this whole story, last night she told me we were both making too many sacrifices to be in this relationship. I compromised too much by staying with a girl who would cheat on me. She compromised by constantly feeling “punished” by me for what she’d done (although I don’t feel I was punishing her a bit). In any case, she’d decided there was too much damage to fix and it was best to cut our losses.

She felt the same way I did… she saw us old, with children, with the white picket fence and the whole “American Dream” stuff. She just didn’t see us “now”.

I’m upset and sad, but also a little relieved, I guess. I’m sad I lost 2 of my best friends through this “experience”. I’m sad I lost a year of my life in this relationship. I’m sad I have to go back to dating, which I thought I was done with forever.

But I’m excited for the possibilities, too. After a week or so of moping, I’ll get back on that horse and start dating again.

But honestly, if she calls and asks for a second (okay, third) chance, I’d tell her yes in a heartbeat. Despite everything that’s happened, I still love her more than I love myself (which is probably my first mistake).

Thanks for the help asking her out. Thanks for the bit of condolence when she cheated. Thanks for putting me in my place about the keylogging. Thanks for reading this. The end of a chapter is always sad, but I have no regrets. Even knowing the ending, I’d go back and ask her out all over again.

You didn’t lose a year of your life. You spent that year exploring a relationship with someone you care about, learning a lot about her and yourself in the process. It’s only “lost” if your perspective on life now is exactly the same as it was before you two got together, which I’d think is nigh impossible.

Of course. I guess I just mean that I’m turning 27 in about 2 weeks (ironically, the same exact day that the ex turns 26, and we were supposed to be celebrating in Disneyworld. I guess that trip is off). I pictured myself married with a kid at 27, but now I’m starting from scratch. Again. So it feels like I wasted it since my timeline is now off.

But I see your point, and thanks for reminding me. You’re right that I’m coming out of this stronger, better, and I know I’ll land on my feet and my glass is half full and whatever other cliche. It’s just hard right now.

The end of a relationship is always sad. I’m glad your keeping things in perspective.

Good luck for the future.

Thanks. And now for a really pathetic request.

As I mentioned, I lost 2 of my best friends in this ordeal. Another one moved to California with his girlfriend recently. I’m feeling pretty alone, pretty sad, and I’m looking forward to many long nights at home, alone, wishing things were a bit different.

I know it seems sad and miserable, but maybe an email or 3 from people would cheer me up a bit and keep my mind off things. If you’re looking for a good deed of the day, or looking for a new penpal, well, it would just help me out.

My email is I look forward to anyone wanting to keep a lonely guy company.

Oh boy, time to dust off that old Brooklyn adage.

“I know where you’re at 'cause I’ve been where you been”

Two things I noticed while reading your tale of woe.

  1. You most certainly didn’t waste a year of your life. First you gained valuable experience that will roll into your next relationship, and second, that experience is worth a lot more then 365 days.

  2. The emotional withdrawal is a natural part of the end of the relationship. You’re supposed to feel crummy and empty. That’s good, because IT SHOWS YOU CARED about it. Would you rather be some soul lacking asshole (I know a few) that just shrugged and yelled “next!”?

Having a connection with another individual is perhaps one of the most intense things a person can do. (haven’t tried skydiving while on crank). The indescribable highs aren’t possible without the (hopefully infrequent) lows. It’s better to have love and lost, then to have never loved at all.

Take time to lick your wounds, but also remember that a new adventure is awaiting, and will be on you before you know it.

E-mail sent. :slight_smile:

I didn’t get married until I was 32 and I had my first child at 37. I had a 5 year relationship, a 3 year relationship and my husband didn’t propose until our 5 year anniversary. I’ve spent more time that I should have thinking about “time wasted.”

Then one day I had a revelation. It didn’t matter how many people left me, only one needed to stay. Finding and having that one person truly makes up for all the ones that left. I always felt I needed to keep pictures and letters from past relationships because I felt I would end up living my life alone. It was many years into this relationship before I realized that the previous relationships didn’t matter. Yes, they led me to the path to my husband, but they were mere stepping stones.

FWIW, I met my husband one week after he broke up with a girlfriend of 3.5 years. I was supposed to be his rebound girl. 13 years later, no sign of rebounding. You never know when the one is going to come around or where you might find them, but being open to it counts for a lot. Right now you are the walking wounded, which is to be expected. Now dust your happy ass off and realize that being the type of guy who would be willing to “work out” a woman cheating on him is a pretty understanding guy. That can be an extraordinarily valuable asset IF given to someone that won’t abuse it.

My husband and I are almost a year away from me discovering a drug addiction. 1/3 of the folks think I am an idiot for sticking by him, 1/3 think I am unbelievably understanding and the other 1/3 think I am both. What I do know is that he learned a valuable lesson. When I said 'til death do us part, richer or poorer, sickness and health, better or worse, I meant every word of it. Even if I got the poorer, sickness and worse all at one time. Your past relationships teach you about yourself and should give you strength in going forward into new relationships.

What I learned about you from your post:

  1. You value friendships immensely
  2. You are very forgiving.
  3. You are willing to go the extra mile to solve problems.

Those aren’t bad things. Don’t feel too bad about the keylogging. When someone is being dishonest, sometimes it takes extreme measures to convince yourself it is the case. I had a friend who was an electrical engineer who’s wife was cheating on him. He rigged all the phones, installed hidden cameras, etc once he found out she really was cheating on him, he divorced her post-haste. (In his defense, she swore they guys were always “friends” and that he was over-reacting)

You need to find someone who is willing to give as much as you do to keep a relationship going. There is an old stupid saying that says both partners need to give 100% because sometimes, only one has anything to give. I’ve lived it and it is true.

E-mail sent, as well.

I’m too lazy to keep up email convos, but my AIM name’s in my profile.

Hang in there. There’ll be a lot to get over, and a lot to look forward to.

Thanks for all the emails and words of wisdom, everyone. I’ll reply to each and every email, but it’s a busy day at work at the moment and I’m trying my best to keep my mind off everything. I slept a long, long time last night and woke up feeling a whole lot better about everything this morning.

The no-contact thing is tough. She’s been one of my best friends for almost a decade, and my girlfriend for over a year. And now, all of the sudden at what I can only assume is a hard part in her life, I have no idea how or what she’s doing. It’s a weird feeling to say the least, but it’ll get better in time.

Yeah the “I wonder what she’s doing right now” thoughts are tough. I remember when I came out of what was my first real long relationship, 3 years. I went home that night and figured I’d sit down for a second and just think about things. I ended up staring at the wall in a state of catatonic grief for over 7 hours! I wasn’t even aware of the time, the whole thing felt like five minutes to me. :eek:

Anyway, the point is that at first you’re going to think about her every second, literally. Then after a week, it will be every other second. A few weeks later, you’ll be able to go 5 minutes without thinking about it. So on and so forth until one day in a few months you’ll realize you haven’t thought about her all day. No one will tell you this process is easy, but the good news is it’s finite.

Until then, keep busy, take up bird watching, and you’ll be fine.

wasson, I’m sorry to hear you lost your two best friends, at least temporarily. That’s tough.

Here, can I mail you my cat to tide you over? He’s the best for giving comfort and has a great purring bedside manner. :slight_smile:

Hey, wasson, just wanted to step in and give belated good wishes coming your way. I’ve been there, man. I walked away from the one after graduating college, because she was manipulative and a bit dangerous, and for months I was walking around in kind of a daze in which every thought that went through my head either started with her or wound up with her within two minutes. Joining the army helped; it jump-started my life and got me out of Nowhere-town. Also, I met the real one in the army, and over a decade later, we are happily married in a wonderful city.

Please, for the love of God, do not join the military, but realize that while most good things come to an end, so do most bad things, and someday, what you accomplish in getting over her coupled with what you learn from this relationship will help you immensely not just with finding the love of a good woman, but also with improving your life in general (and it is amazing how closely linked both of these are with each other).

It’s OK to feel pain. Anyone with more empathy than your average serial killer is going to feel pain at the end of a relationship. Just hang in there and don’t give up on yourself.

This is my tough-love advice: do NOT put any stock in her words about “not now.” Maybe it’s true, but it will not help you get over her if you cling to the hope that someday in the future she will come back to you. I know such things seem like a comfort but they get in your way.

I know, man, it’s hard. But it can also be fun. You will have adventures out there, you will meet new people, and one of them WILL be the one you’re looking for. It’s only up from here.

Try internet dating. Worked for me. If you want details, feel free to e-mail me when you’re ready to try it. Hang in there.

I also had a relationship blossom then wilt over a period of a year. Looking back, having a relationship that lasts a year is a pretty nice timeframe- it gives you and the other person enough time to start to get to know each other, but isn’t so long that the breakup is utterly devastating.

I look back at it and chalk it up to an adventure. It was a great way to get a sense of what I do and do not want in another person, and also look into my own conduct around others. Our breakup was mutual, though I was sad it had to end since it was the longest relationship I had up to that point.

I think it is perfectly ok for you to feel relieved and sad about it. Just try not to let these events get in the way of you moving on with your life. When my best friend broke up with his girlfriend (over similar circumstances as yours did) it really messed him up inside and made it hard for him to move on.

Hey, wassoon, you’ve got my sympathy. Yeah, changes can suck. There’s one thing I’m going to call you on though, okay?

You say you’re twenty-seven and you thought you’d be married with a kid by this point. You see yourself as way behind scheduale. Well, don’t. Sometimes life has a way of throwing stuff at you that you can’t even imagine when you’re young.

Here I am, forty-six years old, twenty-five years in on a relationship that didn’t include an wedding and likely never will. Yeah, I’ve got the kid - two of 'em, in fact, but the picket fence is unpainted plywood and the house is a rental. The guy, except for a brief burst a few weeks ago, makes it pretty clear he’s really not in love with me. Sucks, right? But…

Since last year I’ve moved into a part of my job that I love, doing presentations with animals. I joined a band, a tribute to my favorite band actually, and I’ll be doing my first performance with them in two days. I’ve wanted to be in a band since I was about six. I lost some weight, got my teeth fixed and dyed my hair. Oh, and I fell in love. He likes me very much, as a friend right now, but I think it might progress. Even if it doesn’t, this is a person I like as well as love and I know the friendship will be there for a long time to come.

The point to all this? Stuff is going to happen to you for the rest of your life. Twenty-seven isn’t any kind of a cut-off point. It’s just where you are right now. There is so much more. Your perception of age will change too. I keep waiting to be old. At twenty-seven, forty year olds were ancient, fifty was unimaginable. Now I look at my friends and see one, aged forty-nine, listening to Rob Zombie and Wednesday 13, another getting her first tattoo at sixty, and my boss, aged fifty-nine, getting engaged again for marriage number four. He sure as hell isn’t giving up!

You’ll make it, wassoon. You’ll miss her like hell. Then one day you’ll realize that your life kept happening while you where missing her and all the newer memories you have are of things that didn’t include her but were good anyway.

Good luck to you.


I gave myself this same advice when replying to one of the wonderful emails I got from you Dopers. You’re right… I have to look at this relationship as over for me to move on and come to terms with it. As much as I’d love for her to come back, I have to assume she never will. It’s really tough.

That’s another one of my goals. In fact, following a complete meltdown in front of my parents, my dad recommended I go see a counselor to get my head on straight so I don’t carry this baggage into my life or future relationships. So, soon I’ll be in therapy, which is really bizarre to think. But I think it’ll be good for me. I can’t keep constantly feeling like a victim, and I can’t constantly be so jealous, hateful, and distrusting as I’ve been lately.

All that said, thanks to the many emails I got from the many Dopers who’ve sent them. I’ve replied to all of them at least once, and many of them more than that. But I got a returned email on one of them that said it couldn’t be delivered! So if you’re the one who didn’t get a reply, you may want to make sure your reply address is accurate in your email program. Said person has no computer at home, hint hint, so hopefully she’ll check this thread from work and know that I did read and appreciate her email.