I was seeing a man — “Rob” — last summer, whom I agreed to keep things casual with until, you guessed it, we fell for each other. He started taking me on romantic dinners, telling me how he cared for me and buying me lovely gifts. However, I was set to leave for a graduate writing program in the United Kingdom. He and my friends threw me a fabulous going away party. He stopped short of telling me he loved me, saying, “I love this, I love that and I love…” and trailed off. The day I flew to the UK he gave me his suitcase and e-mailed me THREE times to check on me. He messaged me in October to wish me happy sweetest day.
Our contact stalls a bit in November and I’m inclined to give him up. However, the first week of December less than a week before I come back, he talks about how he’s missed me and is looking forward to spending the holidays with me. But then he blows me off all winter break and doesn’t see me, save once, in three weeks. I then discovered that he slept with one of my best friends while I was away. Horribly enough, this is a friend who identifies as a lesbian. I cut off contact with the both of them. But before I did that, I destroyed his suitcase before giving it back to him, cussed him out in a Starbucks, gave him a souvenir UK condom and told him to take it and fuck himself.
I felt so hurt and broken after I found what happened. I stopped eating and couldn’t get out of bed for all winter break. I pulled myself back up, got a power haircut and generally feel better. But now that I’ve returned to the same town, I hate to say: I miss him. I see the places we went and think about what great times we had. It’s been six months since I’ve seen him. He’s the only person I’ve ever really liked. (I dated in the UK, but nothing serious and now that I’m back home I haven’t dated at all.) I’ve recently experienced a loss in my family and it might feel nice to have someone in my corner, even as a friend. Is it worth it to open the lines of communication again? Am I crazy? — Crazy Girl
No, you aren’t crazy. You’re hurt. Two people you liked and trusted betrayed you. Even though you and Rob weren’t in a committed relationship and you were both free to date other people, it was wrong of him to string you along and act as if he were interested in pursuing something with you only to sleep with one of your best friends. And it was equally wrong of your friend to sleep with Rob! But people make mistakes. They do stupid things. On the scale of stupid things people can do to one another, I wouldn’t put this indiscretion on the more extreme end, but whether it’s a forgivable act or not is entirely your call and there are several things you need to consider before you potentially reach out to reignite a friendship or relationship with either of the two people who betrayed you.
First, since it’s a friendship with Rob that you specifically asked about, I’d suggest you decide whether you’ve had enough distance to really move forward. Do you still feel angry? Bitter? Incredibly hurt? Or, have those feelings been replaced by more ambiguous emotions, like loneliness, for example? And if it’s loneliness that you’re feeling, how can you be sure it’s Rob you really miss and not simply the company of someone who makes you feel good? There are other guys out there besides Rob. Instead of trying to reignite something with someone you may have some mixed/unfinished feelings for, you could commit to meeting new people with whom you don’t have any baggage.
If what you want is a friend to help you through a rough time in your life — the loss of a family member — then you can really do better for yourself than a guy who broke your heart, even if you do have good memories of your time together. What you need is someone for whom you don’t have complicated feelings to lean on. Aren’t there other friends in your life? What about the other people who threw you a going away party before you left for the UK? Can’t you rely on them for companionship and support right now?
I’m not saying you should never reach out to Rob again, but until you have a better handle on your emotions and on the reason why you want to talk to him again, I’d hold off. If it’s friendship you want, he is not the best choice for you right now. If it’s a romantic relationship you’re after, then be clear about that and ask yourself whether you can really move past the feelings of hurt and forgive him for his betrayal. And be prepared that he may not be receptive to you. It’s been six months, after all. You did not end things amicably. He may have anger and hurt on his end you’ll have to deal with. He may have moved on with someone else. If you aren’t prepared for all of that, don’t contact him yet. Wait until you aren’t so vulnerable and can deal with any potential fall-out or disappointment that might arise in contacting Rob after all this time.
Also, what is a “power haircut” exactly?
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.