Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

How to get over my best friend leading me on and basically cheating on me?

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  • #1005888 Reply
    avatarLexi
    Guest

    Hello. This story is sort of complicated. Basically I met this guy 2 1/2 years ago. He was 15 and I was 16. Now he’s 17 and I’m 18. So he and I became best friends. He lives in Oregon and I live in Massachusetts. But we genuinely became best friends. We told each other everything and we’d text for hours everyday. We’d often call too. I’d never had a friend quite like him. He meant more to me than anyone. I felt like he was genuinely the nicest person I’d ever met and thought he really cared about me. In early 2020, I started to develop feelings for him, because I was at the lowest point in my life and he was really there for me. So I hid these feelings for months, until one day in September he asked me if I had feelings for him, and I told him the truth. He confessed that he too had feelings for me. We agreed that right now isn’t the time (because of the geography) but that we hope we can make it work together in the future. And then our friendship basically continued as normal. He asked me a couple times if I still had feelings and I told him yes and when I asked him, he said yes as well. Then out of nowhere in late November he started acting REALLY WEIRD. I did not know what was going on and one day in December I asked if I’d been annoying him. He said no, he said he just has other stuff going on. Being a good friend I told him I’m sorry to hear that and that he can talk to me about it if he wants. Then he said it was actually a good thing. Then out of nowhere I just said “a girlfriend? lol” and then he confessed that he did in fact have a girlfriend and didn’t want to tell me because he felt like he was leading me on. I was beyond angry, and hurt. I’ve spent the past month and a half truly and deeply depressed. I was very angry because he basically cheated on me. He’d been dating this girl for a MONTH and he NEVER TOLD ME. He allowed me to believe he still had feelings for me that entire time. I was living a lie. Knowing there was someone out there besides my family who loved me was a comfort to me. It got me out of bed every morning and boosted my self confidence so much. He completely broke my heart and I’ve been so hurt ever since, I can’t even breathe sometimes. I don’t talk to him because he does not deserve me after that. But now I just miss having my best friend. Having that person I could talk to about literally ANYTHING. He’s a piece of shit and doesn’t deserve to be missed but I’m in so much pain. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I just wish I was dead. No one loves me outside of my family. My heart is completely broken. How do I move on? I don’t have many friends now. He was my best friend and meant the world to me. I’m just so lost. Nobody loves me and it hurts. I’ve been single my entire life. Normally I don’t care about relationships that much but i REALLY fell for this guy and now I have no idea what I should do. He doesn’t deserve my friendship but I deserve a friend, and I lost that. No one in my life ever stays.

    #1005933 Reply
    avatarbrise
    Guest

    LW, I am sorry for your heartbreak. It happened to everybody, you know, to have a relationship during teen years with doesn’t last. He should have told you sooner but he did tell you. This is very frequent again. He isn’t a “piece of shit”. He is just the average guy.
    Look, your connection was mainly – or only? – online. This can’t be a real romantic relationship. Sure, you had a great understanding, you had both feelings with each other, but there isn’t the real physical contact. It can’t compete with an in flesh relationship.
    So it was a first relationship in your romantic history and there will be more. You enjoyed a lot the connection you had and you see that this is a first step in your woman’s life. Now you have the opportunity to focus more on your life in reality, out of internet or your phone. You say that you have no friends: invest your energy there. When one is sad, it helps to make new activities, new contacts. I know that this is difficult now with the pandemics, but start with something you like in your area. Contact your real pals – there are certainly some that live in your vicinity.
    This will build your self-confidence, so that you don’t depend on one person to feel fulfilled and happy. This isn’t a healthy relationship, to want to get out of bed for one person. You are enough: you get out of bed for yourself, for your life, your future. Focus on your immediate future. What will you do in your studies or professional life? How can you acquire new skills for your future? There are a lot of possibilities to redirect now your energy into something constructive.
    If you feel too depressed and in pain, seek therapy. A few sessions will already help you.

    #1006113 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    I know it hurts, and I’m sorry you’re going through this.

    Here’s the thing: These online-only relationships aren’t real. I know they seem like it because you talk to them constantly and get really deep and share things, but they’re just a fantasy. And when a fantasy bubble pops, you feel awful. You lose not only that whole nice illusion that your mind built for you, but also that outlet you had to talk to someone and fill time. It totally sucks.

    I have a strong opinion that people who get into these arrangements are messed up and not available for a relationship for whatever reasons. Guys who do this crave attention and typically are talking to other women or are in another relationship.

    When I was 27, I was in a bad-fit relationship and we’d just had a fight and broken up. I started talking to a guy on a website where I’d originally gone for relationship advice. He lived an 8-hr drive away, in a different country. We immediately became super close and messaged and talked *constantly.* Literally all day we were on IM. I didn’t tell him that I got back together with my boyfriend, and it went on like that for like 2 years. He kept pushing for us to meet and move from friendship to dating. I always suspected he was talking to other women and, looking back, I think he probably had a girlfriend(s) too.

    Anyway, we did meet up, and we used to get together for fun weekends like in Montreal and stuff. But the whole time I had this on-and-off boyfriend and he had whatever he was up to. At one point I went to visit him and there were earrings on his nightstand that he kept explaining differently the more I pressed him. So I turned around and left and drove home. It was sooooo fucked up.

    And I see letters here all the time from people who started talking to someone online and it ended badly like you. It’s because 1) you get into those things because you’re not in a good place to begin with and 2) those things aren’t real. You have to spend significant in-person time with someone for it to be real.

    Weekends with that guy were always fun, but once I spent a week at his house and worked remotely, and it sucked. The reality with him did not live up to the fantasy. He was an attention-craving cheater. He cheated on everyone he was ever with. It wasn’t personal. It had nothing to do with me, that’s just how he was. I cleaned up my act and moved on, while he married someone, cheated on her, and divorced. I haven’t spoken with him in at least 10 years, but I can see he’s married again.

    Anyway, I told you that long story hoping to show you that this shit happens to everyone, it’s a life lesson, it has nothing to do with you or your self-worth, and you’ll move on and be happy. You do need to make sure you block him everywhere and NEVER talk to him again, so that you won’t backslide and you can move on. He’s like a bad drug.

    You’re only 18. You’re going to live your life and experience real love, maybe multiple times. You don’t need this guy. It wasn’t real. You’re okay.

    #1006134 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I can tell you at your age, I had low periods where I truly felt I was alone, that no one loving me, etc. Your feelings right now will not last forever, and you will have actual real love in your life. I promise things get much better after the teenage years. Is there anyway you could speak to a counselor at your school? They might be able to help you with your feelings of worthlessness.

    I agree with everything said above, that these texting/online only relationships are not sustainable or really real. You felt alone, and made a connection with a guy too far away to have a relationship with. You both shared feelings, but he did eventually tell you he has a gf. I don’t think he told you the best way, but 17 year old guys don’t generally understand how to navigate these things. He may have acted like an idiot. That doesn’t make him an evil piece of shit.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    #1006626 Reply
    avatarbloodymediocrity
    Participant

    It’s true, we’ve all been there. Even in the late 90’s early days of AOL instant messenger I’m pretty sure I fell in love with/had people fall in love with me at least three or four times. And I’m an unlikeable dork!

    And I know how real it feels, and your hurt is valid, but in time as you heal, this will absolutely feel rather…disproportionate.

    In the meantime, keep yourself as busy as you can safely do during a pandemic, seek therapy if you need it, and take comfort that we’ve all walked that path at some point.

    #1007018 Reply
    avatarLexi
    Guest

    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I really appreciate it. Like you said, things are really hard with the pandemic, and on top of that I have social anxiety, so I really struggle to meet people. And I’ve definitely noticed the problem you brought up, where I place my self-worth in what others think of me. I intellectually know it is wrong and unhealthy, but in practice I just can’t stop it. It hurts when people don’t value you. It’s hard to value myself when no one else (besides my family) does. That’s sort of where I’m stuck at this point.

    Again, thank you so much for your response.

    #1007021 Reply
    avatarLexi
    Guest

    First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my post. I am sorry to hear of your relationship that didn’t work out. I know you said online relationships aren’t real, and maybe you’re right, but I think the most painful thing is how real the friendship did feel. No one in person made me feel the way he did. You’re probably right about the fantasy bubble though. I really had myself convinced that he and I would be dating one day in person and it would be fantastic. That was something I’d imagined for months. Now I don’t have that imagination anymore. It really, really hurts. The friendship really did feel real and genuine to me, and I’m hurt that I lost that now. I blame myself often even though I know it’s 100% his fault, not mine. Again, thank you for responding and I hope you have a nice day.

    #1007323 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Growing up is really hard. Most of us learn the hard way with stuff like this. And it does hurt.

    Just because you believe others don’t see your value doesn’t make you worthless. Most people in this world are so self focused, it takes good friends to see your value and care about you. And they aren’t easy to find always, especially in your teen years. Don’t get down on yourself. Do your best to move on but make some positive goals to crush.

    #1007333 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Trust me, the real thing is so much better, because they really really know you. They’re there to see you at your best and your worst. You actually share a life together, and you’re real with each other. It can’t and won’t ever be like that in an online-only thing, or even if you meet but only spend limited fun-time together. Online-only things are only a distraction. You learned early, which is great. Don’t do it again. Also, 18 is truly a baby in the greater picture of life. Many many people don’t find love until much later. And college (post-pandemic, irl college), grad school, and first jobs are wonderful places to meet new friends. You’re going to get on with your life and form relationships and have fun.

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