Q: Hi Meredith,
My girlfriend of 2.5 years and I recently broke up. We broke up for what seemed like very good reasons. We didn't get to see each other at all, we were in different places in our lives, etc. We parted ways on good terms and I felt great about it ... at the time.
Now that we've been apart for a month, I've had some new perspective. One of the reasons we broke up was that she refused to put any effort into our relationship. We didn't spend time together because she would only hang out when it was convenient for her. I spent every weekend at her place with her friends and she would never spend time with mine.
I also recently went through a severe health scare in my family, which took up a lot of my time. The only way I was going to get to see her during this ordeal was if she went out of her way to visit me. She didn't.
Flash forward to last week and I find out she is dating one of her "close guy friends." After one month! On top of that, her friends were saying things like "Finally!" and "It's about time!" on her Facebook wall. The short turnaround is what ultimately made all of this anger bubble to the surface.
I'm angry, Meredith. I'm angry about our one-sided relationship, I'm angry that she wasn't there for me during a time of need, and I'm angry that her friends, who I thought were mine as well, were smiling to my face while rooting for us to break up so that she could be with someone else.
My question is: How do I discuss this with her without it dissolving into a giant mess? She was a huge part of my life for a long time and I don't believe in keeping emotions like this inside. Any help you and the Love Letters community can give me on this would be most appreciated.
– Lost in Cambridge
A: The first thing to know, LIC, is that her friends probably liked you and cared about you a lot. My guess is that they wanted her to break up with you because she wasn't treating you well. They're probably saying "Finally!" because she's in a relationship that she's not phoning in. They probably thought you deserved better.
You have every right to be angry, but please know that nothing has changed since the breakup. You ended things because she wasn't into your relationship enough to make it work. That's still the case.
I know you're desperate to tell her how you feel, but what will that accomplish right now? There's no way for her to undo this. All you'll get is the temporary relief that comes with disclosure -- and maybe an apology. But will that really make you feel better?
My advice is to "defriend" her entire community. I love the internet, but not after a breakup. You're supposed to be allowed to date a new guy without your ex finding out. You're supposed to have the freedom to mourn the loss of a relationship without finding pictures of your ex's new relationship online. Protect yourself by disconnecting.
After that, make a list of people who make you feel happy and safe -- the friends and family members who make you laugh. Spend time with those people. Rant to them about your ex. Ask them to take you to the movies.
Wait a few weeks and then decide whether it'll really make you feel better to tell your ex that you're angry. Because again, I'm not so sure that you'll get anything out of telling her how you feel, at least not right now. Your real priority should be surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good, online and in real life. Focus on that.
Readers? Should he tell her how he feels about her moving on so quickly? What will he gain from disclosure? Should he be furious about her moving on? Thoughts about her friends and their reaction on Facebook? Help.
Recent blog posts
Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.