Updates: “Heartbroken” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Heartbroken,” a high school student whose boyfriend of a year and a half broke up with her. “This wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t have to see him. But we’re in high school and we go to the same school [and] see each other all the time,” she wrote. You gave her tons of advice on how to cope until graduation. After the jump, find out if she followed your advice and how she’s doing now.

All the comments on my letter really helped a lot and knowing that other women have felt just like I have and know exactly what I’m talking about almost helped more than their suggestions! (The suggestions were all really great too and I definitely used some of them on a daily basis.) 

Unfortunately, things got even worse after my letter was posted; I found out that my ex had started a rebound thing with the girl he had dated about a year before he started dating me. I just flat-out started avoiding him and, for his part, he respected that and kept his distance, which I appreciated (well, I appreciate it in hindsight). I spent all my spare time with my friends and just tried not to be alone. A few weeks ago, after keeping my head down and just trying to get through, I had to face him. I was talking to two of our mutual friends when he walked into the room and, for some reason, came over and joined the conversation. In a lull in the conversation, he turned to me and asked me how I was. I couldn’t even speak. It just astounded me that he had the audacity to ask me how I was when, to me, it was clear that I was dying and it was all because of him. I left the room in tears.

But things started to change after that, almost imperceptibly at first. By last weekend, I realized that I was fine. I had let go of him and his hold on me and I had accepted that we were never going to be friends or even talk ever again. That made me a little sad because, before we dated, we had a really strong friendship (he wasn’t a great boyfriend, but he was a good friend). But I knew it was for the best. And, on the plus side, I didn’t love him anymore! I still cared about him, but not in the way that I had.

So, I was in a really good place when I logged into my email Monday morning. But as the page finished loading, my heart stopped. There was a message from him. It had been sent late the night before, heavily under the influence and alone. The spelling was atrocious (this made it obvious he was drunk; he usually has impeccable spelling). It was a long apology. For everything. And, at the end, there was a plea for our friendship back. He said he knew that he was in no place to ask me anything, but that he wished we could just talk again.

After I freaked out for a little bit, I stopped and checked how I was feeling. I checked for the anxieties that had been a constant presence for the last three and a half months. They were gone. And I wanted to be his friend. So, when I ran into him, I asked him if friendship was what he really wanted. He said it was. But, in order for me to even consider that, I had to get some stuff off my chest, which he agreed to. We sat down and he let me spill out everything I had been feeling. And when it was over, we were back to normal. We were friends.

It’s been four days since that. I’m keeping really aware of how I’m feeling, but so far, so good. There’s a week left of school, I’ve only got three exams, the weather has finally turned warm, I’ve accepted the university and program that is my first choice, and I’ve got all my friends back. I’m pretty content. — Heart-happy

So great to hear you’re doing so well. Enjoy your summer and best of luck as you start college in the fall!

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.


  1. WatersEdge says:

    Sounds like you did a great job coping with this situation! And bravo to you for stopping to check in on your feelings before deciding how to react. If everyone did that, the world would be a much calmer place.

  2. Girl, are you sure you just finished high school? You sound more mature than a lot of people I know who’ve got 20+ years on you! I’m glad you’re doing well and best of luck.

    1. I was thinking the same thing, haha.

    2. spaceboy761 says:

      Actually, she sounds 18 years old and a lot of people are morons.

      1. I agree that a lot of people are morons, but I think she sounds way more mature than most 18 yr olds.

  3. BoomChakaLaka says:

    This is such a heart-warming update LW. I’m so happy to hear that everything is going super well for you. Good luck with exams and have a fantastic summer. This is only the beginning of the what will turn out to be the best years of your life. Get ready to live!!!

  4. Sounds like you have everything in check to start a fabulous summer. Yay for you! Keep moving from being heartbroken and keep your heart open for more that life has to offer now!

  5. I like the updates on Dear Wendy a lot more than I did for the ones on The Frisky. It seems all of the one here, the people really appreciate the advice they are getting, when the ones on TF were all bitchfests!

    1. spaceboy761 says:

      Here, let me generalize this form for you:

      I like ********** Dear Wendy a lot more than ********* The Frisky. *********, ********* , ********!

    2. Today’s update on TF actually had a point – Wendy gave good advice, but some of the comments were atrocious!

      1. @TheGirl – totally agree! I almost cringe when I see the link-backs to DW from TF. I want Wendy to make $$ off of this, but I REALLY don’t want the quality of commentators to dilute the good thing going over here.

        Although I noticed another Rachel East / ReginaRey post on TF today! HURRAH!!! It’s funny, because I’m not yet used to looking out for her byline but her two articles so far are the only recent ones that make me go “Huh, this reminds me of the old/good Frisky, wonder who wrote it?”

  6. Good luck! I thought people gave great advice on that one : )

    And think of this as practice…many more hearts will be broken before this world ends haha…and sorry if that sounds morbid – I mean it in the most positive way.

    P.S. Why is my cubicle neighbor clipping his nails right now? That seems wrong somehow…

    1. honeybeenicki says:

      Ick I hate when people clip their nails in their cubicle. There was a lady who retired and when we cleaned out her desk for a new employee we found a bunch of nail clippings in her drawer. Like… a bunch. Yuck.

  7. Great update! Glad to hear things are going so well, LW! Sounds like you will be well prepared for the future romances that you will encounter in college and beyond!

  8. LW, good for you! I’m sure it’s not easy but you’re clearly actively learning from this experience. The self-reflection will be a fabulous tool for you as your world opens beyond high school. I guarantee you’ll understand where the commenters who derided you as overly-dramatic, self-centered and immature are coming from. That doesn’t mean what you’re going through now and how you’re reacting to it isn’t necessary and normal. But you will gain perspective.

    While in a few years’ time you may cringe at how much brain space this whole episode took up, do yourself and your future daughter (if you’re on the kid-train, of course) a favor and save this series of correspondence. Pull it out when you sense this coming on for her.

    Good luck!

  9. Ohhhhh first loves (If this is you’re first) Can be so hard to get over, and the fact is you will always look back on “You’re First Love” so it’s great that you worked it out with him and can be friends.
    Later when you do walk down memory lane you can do it knowing that it end with a positive note and it will be a nice memory of love and not a bad nightmare!

    You have so many good times ahead of you all fresh and new! Good luck in all that you do!

  10. missarissa says:

    I think its great that she’s happy and leaving school and that she feels better, and I think she handled it as well as an 18 year old can. While, of course, I’m generalizing, but my first real relationship, at 19, ended, it felt like my world caved in. I too would say that I was sad about the relationship, but I missed “my friend.” So when friendship became an option, I jumped too and was convinced that we could “just be friends.”

    I’m sorry but its a young-love lie. you can’t be friends with your first love, even after 3 months, which you will soon realize. Its wonderful that you’re leaving for school, so the point is moot and you aren’t/don’t have to make any life-decisions about this. But I just question the “greater-than-18-maturity” everyone is talking about, when she fell victim to the very real and very tempting “we can be friends” trap. I don’t hold it against her; those feelings are so real and viceral and it feels so good not to have to let him go completely. I’m not telling her she shouldn’t have done what she did; I certainly didn’t.

    But, this is not the end of the story if you guys hang out. We will get a second update saying, “as friends, we went to the state fair, where he won a pink elephant, and he gave it to me, not as a girl-guy thing, but because he knows I love elephants. when he drove me home, we decided to go for a walk and hang out on this playground down my street… etc..etc…etc.” That’s just how young love works.

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