How to treat someone who’s just broken up with you

Heartbroken asks: I’ve been in a relationship with this girl for seven months. Now I (a girl who’d never been in a relationship with a girl before) have fallen in love with her. However high school carries rumors, and I heard certain stuff about her and her ex -girlfriend. Although I was upset, I trusted her and we moved forward. We argued a lot but we also shared good moments. But for the last couple of weeks, things just haven’t been right. We got into a fight about my texting her while she was asleep (though she apologized for that one), and I made a joke while we were chatting, and she hung up on me, and then broke up with me! I must include that within this time her ex has been texting her. What should I do? I can’t stop crying and feeling guilty. I love her so much.

Hi Heartbroken-

There’s a lot about this relationship I don’t know, of course.  Even with my great hearing, my doggy ears can’t hear what’s going on in her head at this moment.  But I am sure of one thing: it’s not about you texting her. And it’s not about your joke.  And it sure sounds to me like there’s no reason for you to feel guilty.

In fact, it sounds to me like she is feeling guilty!

I see humans do this all the time.  When they’re feeling bad about themselves, they lash out and blame others for anything they can find – especially the person they’re feeling bad about doing something to.  Someone shows up late to a date, the other person says “Hey where’ve you been?” and the latecomer chews them out for being demanding.  Or, my favorite, when Handsome gets a late start driving somewhere, and I get to sit in the back seat and see him curse out all the drivers who are going too slow for him to speed – as if it’s their fault he’s late!

Now again, I don’t know what this girl has done, or has thought.  But the fact that she’s been texting her ex, and that she’s acting this way, make me think she’s been pulling away from the relationship and you.  And if so, there’s really nothing you can do about it.  In fact, the best thing might be to just pull away too, and let her feel what life is like without the girl who’s been closest to her for seven months!  After all, one thing about exes, there is always a reason they’re exes!  So maybe she and this other girl are about to be reminded of why they broke up!

But if she does come around, either as a friend or asking to be more again, you owe it to yourself to ask her one thing: What Happened?!  And she owes you an answer.  A real answer.

The real answer might be a tough one to hear.  Maybe she’ll have some complaints about you she didn’t ever tell you before.  Or maybe she’ll say she’d just lost interest in you.

But anything will be better than the excuses she gave.  Especially as anything she tells you could be the foundation of a better and more real relationship than you two have ever had.

But again, for now… I’d say to give her space.  All the space she wants, and more.  Stop feeling guilty, but let yourself mourn what’s lost.  And then call your other friends, get out, go see movies and eat fun food and go dancing and laugh.  Laugh a lot.

I’m sorry that something you truly loved has come to an end – whether temporarily or for good.  But your job in life now is to take that broken heart of yours and give it the best time it’s ever had.  Once it’s cried all it needs to.

All my best,


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