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Dear Christine, What’s Going On in West Bloomfield

| October 31, 2016

ccc 2Dear Christine, I have a problem with my exgirlfriend. We dated for 3 years, but never lived together. We had a lot of fun, but some parts of the relationship just didn’t work. Like, she didn’t like that I had gained weight during our relationship (30#), and I didn’t like how she never offered to pay for anything we did together, even though she makes more money than I do! So, we’d fight, but underneath it all, I really was in love with her. I’m bi, so it was my first time with a woman, and I fell really hard for her, and I’ve had a hard time getting over her the past several months. I still have a hard time not contacting her, at least a text once in a while, but I have been learning that less contact is less painful for me. She has seemed like she’s not hurting at all, like this breakup didn’t bother her, which hurts me! She has been going out partying with friends and living it up more than ever. My problem is, that we had plans in place for many months in advance, such as tickets to a concert this summer that I got ages ago for us, and a week’s vacation together at a friend’s condo in North Carolina at the beach for the last week of August. I’m not sure what to do! I did take her to the concert a couple of weeks ago, at Pine Knob, and I had a great time. I knew some other friends were also attending, so we all went as a group. I had fun talking with a guy in the group, though I wasn’t flirting. I’m not ready for another relationship, and I don’t think it will be a man next time, but who knows! Anyway, after the concert, we all went out for dinner and drinks, and my ex got really drunk. The more she drank, the more she hit on and flirted with this guy I was talking to! That is so weird, because she’s 100% lesbian and has never been with a guy, ever! She also kept commenting on how good I look, as I have been working out all summer and lost that 30#. I also was on the “break up diet” and couldn’t eat for months after we broke up. What’s going on with my ex? Why is she drinking so much and not acting like herself? Why is she hitting on a guy when all she’s ever done is go out with women? Why can’t she just act normal? It’s driving me crazy, and I want to call her and talk to her about how confusing this is for me. I know I probably shouldn’t, but she has always answered my calls since we broke up, and always been there for me when I needed her. Now I don’t know what to think!

From What’s Going On in West Bloomfield

Dear What’s Going On, Good questions! Very good questions that neither you nor I can ever hope to answer. The bottom line is people are unpredictable, and sometimes we don’t know our own motives, and sometimes we have mixed motives for the things we do, and even when we know our own motives, they may appear to be misguided to an outsider. Friends, family and exes often have vested interests in our behaviors and choices, as they perceive that my choices reflect on them somehow. Well, whatever your ex girlfriend is doing, deliberately or unconsciously, you just aren’t going to know.

It sounds like it really isn’t working too well for you to have contact with her and try to have a friendship, at least not yet. You sound like you’re coping with the breakup, but it’s been very hard on you, and forced you back to a relationship with yourself. That’s ok! That’s good! Not easy, not fun, but where you need to be right now. Keep exercising, keep going out with friends, talk with lots of people, and give yourself time to heal before you 1: start dating again, and 2: try to hang out with your ex, even in the context of a large group of friends. She may not have fallen as hard for you as you did for her, but she’s got her own process, her own feelings and her own path to figure out. If she’s drinking too much, and being too flirty with the wrong people, it just isn’t your problem. Truth is, it never was your problem, and now that you’re exes, it has nothing to do with you. Could she be acting out out of a sense of loss of the relationship with you? Certainly. And perhaps it’s something else entirely. Perhaps this is who she really is and she just kept all that under wraps around you when you two were an item.

Bottom line, it sounds like you’re taking care of yourself, and letting yourself have time and space to heal. I’d suggest avoiding having contact with your ex, even in group settings right now. Why? Because it was difficult and painful for you. However, it also sounds like you are learning from these experiences, so it’s not wrong or bad, just painful. As long as you learn from the hurtful situations you put yourself into, and learn how to better take care of yourself, no experience is wasted, and all is growth and additional data you are gathering about YOU: who you are, what you need, and what you can’t have in your life. So, notice your exes behavior and let it go. She is in charge of her behaviors and choices in her life and will learn whatever it is she needs to learn from these interactions. For now, at least, you walk your own path alone, and she walks her path by herself.

Take care, Christine Cantrell, PhD

1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888

Click here to email Christine.

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