Somehow I ended up in a situation where I was competing for my boyfriend with his ex. We were broken up for a short period of time and he was hanging out with and hooking up with her. He ended up choosing me and I worried for a long time that he made the wrong decision.
They started hanging out.
We broke up for a number of reasons, distance being the major one. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue in a long-distance relationship and neither of us was sure if we wanted to move to the other person’s city. While I occasionally swiped on Tinder, I didn’t go on any dates. He wasn’t actively dating either (we were both pretty depressed over the breakup) but he was hanging out with his ex-girlfriend that he’d broken up with before we got together, who had just happened to break up with her new boyfriend around the same time.
Their hangouts increased.
They started hanging out more, going to events together, and doing casual friend type stuff. I knew they had a lot of common interests and genuinely had a decent friendship, but I also knew they were probably sleeping together. As the hangouts increased, I got more anxious about whether or not they were going to get back together. I was still trying to decide if I should move on with my own life or pursue getting back together with him and it was hard with her in the picture.
She stepped up her game.
She started tagging him in stuff on Instagram, inviting him over for dinner, and stopping by his place. I could tell he was getting more and more confused about what he wanted and it wasn’t helping that we were so far apart. She had the advantage of distance and convenience, whereas I was hours away.
Their old issues resurfaced.
Their same relationship problems started coming back up even while they were only friends with benefits and he started to take a step back from her. During this time, I tried to lay low because I didn’t want him to decide to be in a relationship with me for any other reason than he wanted to be with me.
I gave him an ultimatum.
I eventually told him it was her or me. I got tired of the back and forth and I was sick of worrying if he was falling for her again. I told him he couldn’t be talking to us both and he had to choose. He told me that he missed me and he felt like our relationship was worth saving despite the distance. He ended up telling her he couldn’t be friends with her, and she got pretty upset. I felt a little bad for dictating who he could be friends with, but it was pretty clear at that point that her motive wasn’t to just be friends and even he agreed.
I felt a little guilty about his choice.
He ended up moving here to be with me and although I was elated about his choice, I still harbored a little guilt. I felt like he was giving up the life he built somewhere else to be with me and it was a lot of pressure. He gave up his job, apartment, friends, and living close to his mom and aunt. Moving here meant he had to find a new job, new friends, and have a relationship with his family from a distance.
I worried he picked wrong.
For a long time, I kept worrying that he would have been happier with her. Moving was hard, and without his friends and career, he spent a few weeks feeling kind of lost. I always pictured them together in the town he grew up in with his job he worked hard for and his longtime friends. Sometimes I would bring it up with him, asking him if he would have been happier back there, but he would just roll his eyes.
I finally had to lay it to rest.
Eventually, I had to realize that he made the decision to move and the decision was his alone. If he felt he made the wrong choice, it was on him to correct it. But he didn’t feel he made the wrong choice, and he kept reassuring me of this. I was worried he had given up too much for me but he told me something I’ve heard before: his ex was his ex for a reason. He said the time they spent together showed they couldn’t even be friends, not to mention in a relationship, because their same issues came back up (mainly her jealousy). He explained they were never a good fit because she didn’t support his dreams and didn’t want the same things out of life the way we did.
He’s in charge of his own destiny.
I stopped worrying so much once our relationship progressed beyond long distance. He eventually got a job here he really liked and found a group of friends he fit in with. Once our lives settled down a bit, I started to see how much he was really flourishing in ways he never had when we were long distance. That’s when I realized he was right. We were really good for each other, and I had nothing to be worried about. I had to trust that he made the best decision for his own life—and that decision was me.
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