To The Guy Who Dated Me Even Though He Wasn’t Over His Ex

It took a long time for me to realize and accept that our relationship didn’t fail because of anything I did, but because you weren’t actually over your ex. Sure, there were times when things were great between us and I don’t regret the relationship, but over time, I couldn’t keep outrunning the looming dark cloud hanging over us and it had to end.

  1. If you’re still heartbroken over her, I can’t stay to fix you. Having your heart broken sucks, and there’s always a grieving period when you end a relationship, no matter how crappy things got at the end. I get that, but what’s not OK is your not being totally upfront and honest about where you were at with things when we started hanging out.
  2. Just because you’re sad doesn’t mean you have the right to drag me down with you. I stayed too long and did myself no favors. As I grew more attached, you grew more distant, more resentful that I wasn’t anything like your ex. Thank God I realized sooner rather than later that you were still reeling from your previous relationship. You need to heal on your own, without me.
  3. I’m a good listener, but I’m not your therapist. I’ve sat by your side and listened with a caring heart and open ears to your stories about how your last relationship went down — whose fault is was, how it ended, why it ended, how your qualities matched up and where they fell short… There’s a certain point, however, when enough is enough. At some point, it all became too much, and while I’m big enough to admit that having or being a listening ear for another person is a great quality, it’s time to see a therapist who could actually get paid to listen to your B.S.
  4. I’m not your ex and shouldn’t be compared to her. Hey buddy, newsflash — your ex-girlfriend and I are two completely different people. Just as our appearances are totally unique, so are our personalities. For all the times you threw it in my face that you never argued with her like you do with me, I don’t care. That’s your problem, not mine. Using past relationship experiences with another person as ammunition to hurt me didn’t make me want to stay, it made me run for the hills. With every mention of her name, you totally discounted my feelings, and that’s definitely not what you do to someone you care for.
  5. Just because you’re insecure about things from your past relationship doesn’t mean you can take those out on me. I get it — you came into my life with serious baggage. But hey, we’ve all got a skeleton or two in the closet, so I’m not judging. However, the one big, huge, ginormous mistake you made was not letting those past insecurities go. It’s kind of like when you’re really interested in a new apartment, but the landlord won’t allow pets simply because the tenant before you didn’t take care of the place. Don’t be that landlord, ever, with anyone in your life.
  6. I will never discount the importance of having the serious talk too soon. Admittedly, I was trying to be the cool, laid-back new girl in your life. I knew that I liked you and that you liked me, but we failed to actually have “The Talk.” And why is that? Was I just so afraid of being too clingy or risking you ending things too soon? Well, here’s the thing: I developed feelings, and that’s that. Whether I told myself I’d get hurt if you left or not, I would, and I had to own up to that. Next time, I’ll be upfront from the get-go.
  7. Deep down, I knew you were emotionally unavailable, but you weren’t honest about that. As mentioned, even though I felt as though things were going just fine (great? no, but good enough to stick around to see where this was going), and we were going through the typical motions of dating, the total honesty wasn’t there. I now know, though, that while you liked having me around, you were never completely upfront about what you were going through. I could manage to ignore the little things, but what I’ll never discount again is asking a guy the harsh, detailed facts about what he’s thinking.
  8. If you don’t make me your priority, or if your actions suddenly change, something’s not right. When we first started seeing each other, you were always doing what you could do to make me happy and making a real effort to spend time with me, even in between our busy schedules. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, it all changed. You stopped reaching out to me, with no explanation, and started acting cold. Of course, by this point, I was already invested, so it was difficult to pinpoint what was actually going on. Never again will I try to salvage a relationship in which the cause for disconnect is a guy’s ex. Screw that.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia