My Ex Said He Wasn’t Ready For A Serious Relationship, Then He Got Engaged As Soon As We Broke Up — WTF?

Rejection is bad enough, but when that rejection involves the guy I was crazy about getting freaking engaged to some other woman within three months of having dated me, that’s a whole other wound. People told me not to take it to heart, but that was easier said than done.

  1. I gave him so much love and it wasn’t enough. I really was the best person to this guy. We dated for a while before he told me he “wasn’t ready” for a serious relationship. Still, we were in each other’s lives and I really loved him a lot. It’s sad to think that my love just wasn’t enough to make him want me. But I guess as Dita Von Teese says, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there will always be someone who hates peaches.”
  2. I made him a better man. I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything, but I definitely made him a better man and boyfriend. Thanks to me, he learned self-confidence and he chased his dreams. He also learned that he couldn’t just treat me however he wanted — thanks to my boundaries, he learned how to treat a woman with respect. Pity he couldn’t give me that respect he learned from me.
  3. I felt used. I mean, how does a guy tell me he’s not ready for a relationship and then go and get hitched to some other woman after a few weeks? It made me feel like he’d just been with me to use me for all the help and love I gave him. Damn.
  4. I’d entertained ideas of marriage. I really loved this guy and there were times when I’d imagine our relationship becoming serious and perhaps even heading down the aisle. I don’t care that we never got there — hell, he proved to be a sad excuse for a boyfriend who’d make a worse husband — but it’s sad because clearly we’d been on totally different pages all along.
  5. I’m tired of ending up with these guys. It happened to me with this guy and once before: they break up with me and then get married to the next woman who enters their lives. I feel doomed to be the woman these men practice How To Be A Great Boyfriend And Future Husband on. I’m so sick of being tossed aside.
  6. I was a “starter relationship” — it’s a thing! Clearly I’m not the only one because these kinds of “starter relationships” are a real thing. They’re basically when a guy gets with a woman just to become a better person and get ready for a real relationship before ditching her for the type of woman he really wants. Yikes. I’m sorry but these guys should be slapped silly for treating women like this. We’re not toys!
  7. It makes me feel like I’m not marriage material. I can’t help but internalize these experiences and wonder if the problem is that I’m not the kind of woman men want to marry. I know I’m a great person to be in a relationship with — I’m kind, supportive, and so on — but maybe there’s just more that I need to be. It sucks to feel like this because I’m not sure where I’m going wrong and if I’m the one who needs to change or if I’ve just bet on the wrong horses in the past.
  8. He didn’t truly love me. One of the most hurtful things about this guy is that he obviously didn’t feel strongly for me, otherwise he would’ve wanted to be in a serious, committed relationship with me. That’s what also hurts about him moving on so quickly with another woman and asking her to marry him. He loved her so much more and knew right away that he wanted to be with her. With me, on the other hand, he’d just been confused. Ouch.
  9. I should’ve run. I wish I hadn’t stayed with him and hoped that he would’ve changed his mind. At the slightest whiff that he wasn’t into me, I should’ve run as fast as my heels could carry me. Instead, I stuck around and tried to be the best girlfriend I could be to keep him around. It was pathetic and I got screwed over.
  10. There’s no such thing as not being ready. It was such BS for him to tell me he wasn’t ready for a committed relationship with me. I bought it, really believing that he wouldn’t lie to me, but he did. There’s no way a person won’t be ready for a committed relationship if they love their partner. They’ll rise up to meet the challenge and face their fears, not dump them.
  11. There were other signs that things weren’t right. Looking back, I can see that there had been signs this guy just wasn’t going to end up with me. For instance, there were always parts of his life to which I wasn’t allowed access to, and as time went on, he became more and more emotionally distant. It didn’t happen overnight, which is what made it so subtle and difficult to track. Of course, I didn’t really need all these signs — the biggest sign was that he’d said he wasn’t ready. I should have listened.
  12. I made it easy for him. I thought I was making it easy for him to choose me and love me, but really I was just making it too damn easy for him to screw me over because I was so available to him. When combined with how I avoided all the signs that he was bad news, this was the perfect recipe to be The One Before The One.
  13. He settled for me. I guess it’s not a long shot to say that by sticking with me for as long as it was convenient for him, he was settling. Then, when The One came along, he threw me aside. What a jerk! I’m nobody’s practice, starter or chance to settle.
  14. Ultimately, my story’s not over. I might still cringe at the thought of being with and loving this guy, but you know what? It’s made me stronger and I’ve learned a lot. The next time the guy I’m with shows me any sign, no matter how subtle, that he’s not going to be with me in the long-term, I’m out of there. My story’s not over and honestly, neither is his. I’m sure he’s full of deception with other women and even his wife. He can’t have moved on from me so fast without having a lot of emotional baggage. I’m just glad I’m not the one who has to help him unpack all that stuff.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.