Dear Breakup Girl,
Your column is great!! I’ve read and learned so much from your advice given to others, and now I need your help. Here’s the scoop: I’m 26, and 4 years ago I met a special guy who was my first. We dated for 3 years, moved in, and after 10 months I broke up with him. I realized that after living together, he was not the man to spend the rest of my life with…a lot of it was the little things, but there were some other issues as well. We moved out (apart) last Sept. I dated a few people after that, but nothing serious. Come march, my ex sent me an email (it was approaching our anniversary).
We ended up meeting, and well, I’m sure you know the rest. Also at that time I was feeling very lonely and was ecstatic to be with him again (although still unsure about the future thing). We started going out again. As exes, he had changed, for the better. After a while though, it just got too comfortable. He was settling in nicely into my 1 bedroom apartment. It was all too familiar. A couple weeks ago though, I met someone, we hit it off. After one night, we fooled around and I ended up spending the night. So, I was unfaithful to my ex, who had become not-so-much my ex anymore. I told him, of course, and now I feel like crap. He was extremely angry with me, called me every name under the sun, and also sent his friend an email with horrible things written about me, and copied me on it. (This is not like him at all!) Yes, I am sorry, he was a great guy…he loved me so much. Now I’ve thrown it away. The question is, I don’t know why! Was I afraid of commitment, or did I just need to have fun? I don’t know, but I wish I hadn’t now. I’ve wrecked my ex’s life twice, why? This new guy doesn’t even mean anything to me!!! What do you think is wrong with me??
Nothing is wrong with you. You’re allowed (vs. recommended) one rebound; you’re allowed (vs. recommended) one relapse. It’s just in your case, these two incidents happened to, um, overlap. Tell your ex you’re truly sorry (let’s hope he apologizes for the little e-mail incident), and give yourself some serious space. Also, a break.
This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.