After a breakup, it can really feel crappy when your ex moves on almost immediately while you’re still hurting — but when you’re the person who moves on first, it can come with its own mess of emotional conflict. When I found someone else not long after getting out of my long-term relationship, part of me felt guilty knowing how you’d feel if you found out I’d already been hooking up with another guy. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that this was exactly why I shouldn’t feel even an ounce of shame for what I’d been up to:
I was miserable with you for far too long. The good times were really good, and the bad times were really bad… and lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I spent a long time being completely unhappy with you, and once we ended things, I saw no reason to hold myself back from searching for the happiness I had been missing from our relationship.
I wanted to think about myself for a change. I gave my heart, soul, and everything else I had to make our relationship work. I sacrificed a lot to try to make you happy, and whether or not it worked, I was left exhausted by the end of it all. I’m not a selfish person, but after ignoring my own wants and needs to focus on yours for such a long time, I needed to focus on what I wanted for a while.
I needed to feel sexy again. When things started to go downhill for us, one of the first things to decline-— both in quality and frequency — was the sex. I felt downright ugly towards the end of our relationship, like I was the epitome of undesirable. Deep down, I know I’m beautiful, and I have enough self-confidence to keep my head up even when my dating life is completely dead. But I can’t deny that it felt good to know that someone else wanted me, even if it was a very temporary fling.
I don’t owe you anything. I know you’d be destroyed if you found out that I found someone else so soon after we broke up, and the last thing I want is for you to be upset, but quite frankly, I’m not going to hold myself back just because your feelings might be hurt. What we had is done, and while I did everything in my power to make things easier on you when we broke up, I’m not going to impose a waiting period on my dating life to give you time to get over things.
It’s none of your business now. If you don’t want to know who I’ve dated or slept with since we broke up, don’t ask. It really is that simple. I’m not going to go rubbing it in your face that I already found someone new to hang out with for the same reason I’m not going to interrogate you about your post-us dating life: it doesn’t involve our former relationship. You and I are both free to go sleep with whoever we want, so even if you find out about what I’ve been up to, you have no leg to stand on if you get pissed about it.
I was a saint while we were together. Even when things were bad, I didn’t so much as flirt with another guy. In fact, I barely even looked at other men because you were all I could see. You never had to worry about me doing anything remotely sketchy, even when the romance between us was completely dead. So now that we’re done, I’m going to allow myself to exhale. I’m going to flirt with other guys, kiss other guys, and date other guys knowing that during the time I was with you, I was the most loyal girlfriend you could have asked for.
I want to take advantage of being single. It’s been a long time since I haven’t been in a relationship, and to be honest, I didn’t realize how much I missed it until now. Even when I’ve been single in the past, I haven’t messed around too much. But you know what? This time, I decided that I want to do things a little differently. I want to have fun. I want to have a true single woman experience, and that means if I want to have a no-strings-attached relationship with a hot guy right off the bat, I’m going to do it.
I needed to be reminded of what passion felt like. Even though the tenderness and familiarity of a long-term relationship is unlike anything else, you can’t deny that there’s something particularly electrifying about the passion that comes with a brand-new fling. Our sex life had been so lackluster towards the end that I’d virtually forgotten what it was like to be touched by someone who couldn’t keep his hands off me, and now that I’ve gotten a taste of it again, I feel renewed. That part of me — the one that had fun during sex and enjoyed romance — needed to be reawakened, and I don’t regret seeing someone new so soon in order for it to have happened.
He was actually nice to me. Just with that, he was already a step ahead of you… or at least, the person I broke up with. Sorry, but you were a douchebag to me as things between us started to fall apart, so I don’t feel even remotely sorry for hooking up with someone who treated me like a human being instead of a catcher’s mitt for every rude thought that came to his head. If you wanted me to have a harder time moving on from you, you should have made yourself harder to move on from.
I did absolutely nothing wrong. We’re broken up. We are now two single people who are free to have hundred-person orgies or remain celibate for the rest of our lives if we so desire. I was as good of a girlfriend as I could be to you, but the second we decided to end our relationship, we both became free. I chose to take advantage of that freedom, and no matter how you may feel about it, it doesn’t mean that I did anything I shouldn’t have.
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