Dear Miss Matters,
It’s been four months since my boyfriend of a year gave me a sorry excuse for not being interested in the work required of a healthy, mature relationship. He broke my heart and I’ve been trying my best to mend and stop missing him. So I was pretty wrecked all over again when I found out from mutual friends that “Mister I-have-to-be-alone-so-I-can-figure-out-who-I-am-outside-of-a-relationship” has quickly found a friend-with-benefits (who also apparently looks a lot like I do. Eek.).
To add to the confusion, there are also reports that – despite the new girl – he asks mutual friends if I’m coming to his parties (despite not being invited) and also continues to stalk my social media accounts, whereupon he flips out thinking I’m making public digs at him. Like, he apparently asked his roommate (and my BFF) if a post containing the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote “‘If the girl had been worth having she’d have waited for you’? No, sir, the girl really worth having won’t wait for anybody.” was directed at him.
I’m tired of thinking about him. I’m hurt he’s moved on so quickly while I’ve been missing him. I’m over being confused about what he wants or where we stand. What do I do, Miss Matters?
Signed, Rosalind C.
Oh, Rosalind, Rosalind,
If you really hadn’t intended to post the This Side of Paradise quote as a public declaration of your independence from “Mister I-have-to-be-alone-so-I-can-figure-out-who-I-am-outside-of-a-relationship”, then I suggest you re-read it. (The quote will suffice, but the Rosalind character is a breath of feminist fresh air, so maybe the whole novel will give you a good kick in the skirt.) So re-read. And then I suggest that you adopt it as a personal, proud mantra and move on from your confused would-be Amory Blaine*.
It’s an old, old, sad story when the men we love move on too quickly to another woman. I know it’s so very easy to get stuck in the fear that what you had wasn’t real or wasn’t properly mourned or someone else had an allure more compelling than yours. But I ask you – and all the other girls who will cry into their pillows over this same or similar situation – to stay with the facts. Your former boyfriend needed to do some soul searching. We all do at certain points in our lives…so no judgment. Now, it looks like his search is currently leading him – not down a challenging (but ultimately rewarding) path by which he will collect the experiences necessary for a more productive, mature and lasting relationship – but quickly to another “companion” with whom he didn’t need to face the work. So, yes, it’s disappointing that it doesn’t look as though he’s doing what he said he was leaving you to do. But you obviously don’t want to remain in a gray area. Do you want to be with someone who hasn’t put in the effort? Or with someone who is confused enough to be hooking up with another girl while stalking your Facebook feed? Let this new girl fight the battle you’ve already fought. I don’t have to know your ex-boyfriend to assure you that he will come to the same crossroads with another flame. And he will either be ready to grow up (Yay for him!), or he will, yet again, flit to the next opportunity to have a good [short] time with another gal who doesn’t insist upon higher standards.
Your breakup probably has very little to do with you or how great/terrible your relationship was. It’s simply about the desire to commit to the effort and no amount of awesomeness on your part may have made any difference to a man who is currently idle in his own self-reflection.
As for his trawling of your social media accounts, he’s very likely using your apparent independence to push on the bruise he’s feeling post-relationship…which is doubled if deep-down he’s disappointed in himself for not putting in his work. Having to publicly watch you commit to the personal betterment he can’t manage at present must be frustrating to him. And sad for him. But not for you, Sugar. He knows you won’t wait. And he knows you shouldn’t. So let’s reward his intelligence in recognizing your strength and singularity and poise.
Be the girl really worth having.
All my love,
*[SPOILER] Mr. Amory Blaine chooses to embrace selfishness and idleness and ends up solo, Sugars. Solo. So do your work and don’t wait for folks who won’t do theirs.