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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cheesy Wednesdays: Cheese Gets an EX-Boyfriend

[Dear Readers,

Welcome to another episode of Cheesy Wednesdays, where we follow one reader's forays and foibles though the world of LDS Teen Dating.

I've posted several letters from Cheese (and her friend, Mac) over the years; in fact, you can find them by clicking the "Cheese" Label on the side, but it's been a while so I'm going to be posting several of them over the next few Wednesdays.


Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

I did it.

After three months of having a serious boyfriend, I let him go two days ago.

I really didn’t want to and it hurts horribly, but I knew it was what I needed to do from a spiritual prompting and I couldn’t deny it.

I’m so worried about ExBoyfriend though. He doesn’t understand and keeps asking “Why? “

I feel so heartless when all I can say is “because I felt like I should.”

He never did anything wrong—kept high standards, treated me like a princess, and is an all-around great guy. I really do want to stay friends with him because I still care about him.

Is that possible?

Is there anything I can do to help him recover?

Every time I hear from him or one of his friends I feel horribly guilty for dumping him for no reason!

As for me…I think the best thing is for me to go on lots of Casual Group Dates with as many different guys as possible. Not get into another relationship, just date for fun, you know?

Another guy, let’s call him BB, asked me out on a CGD tomorrow—hooray, distraction from pain!

But I’m a little worried.

If I go out with him will it damage ExB even more?

Will he think I dumped him so I could date someone else? (I didn’t!)

I don’t want either of those things. I just want to make the ouch I feel in my heart from letting him go disappear for a while.

I’m also a little worried that people are gonna think of me as an evil heart-breaker if I start dating again so quickly after a breakup.

Is there some “respectable” length of time you’re supposed to wait?

Or something advisable for my own sanity?

I know I did the right thing for me, but having trouble moving forward!

- Cheese

Dear Cheese,

Sure, it's okay that you still care about him. It would be kind of heartless if you didn't.

The best thing you could do for him to help him "recover" is to give him space, even if he doesn't realize that's what he needs.

And clearly you didn't "dump him for no reason" - his friends should leave you alone and mind their own business - you had a reason, everyone does, even if you can't exactly articulate it right now, or do so in a way that he (or they) understands.

(You mention what your reason was, by the way.  Go back and read your email and see if you can find it.  It's a pretty good reason.)

You can't let the potential hurt feelings of our ex-relationships keep us from dating new people.

That's their self-imposed problem, not ours.

 It would be pretty callous and cold to be affectionate with a new guy in front of a recently dumped guy, but simply going on a date is acceptable . . . and suggested.

He may think that you dumped him for someone else.

He may feel confused and hurt.

But, honestly, there's not much you can, or should, do about that. Simply knowing that you did the right thing is enough.

"Respectable amount of time" only applies to death, not breakups.

(Although, I typically advise people who've recently gotten divorced - especially those with kids - to wait a while before jumping back into the dating pool.)

Breakups, regardless of which side of them we may be on, take time to get over.

At least they do for decent people.


 - Bro Jo

PS: For what it's worth, I'm glad you've moved back into the CGD group.


Emilie said...

Yay, Cheese! As someone who has been in similar predicaments, I can tell you that yes, people will probably judge you. But it doesn't matter because you know you are doing what's Right. Resist the urge to jump back in because of both of your hurt feelings! I failed to do that at your age, we were constantly in and out because I felt guilty for having a boyfriend (despite how wonderful he was), and the to-and-fro ended up causing a LOT more pain for both us, even though we're both great now (he's on his mission, we write, I go on dates, it rocks, and I know we're doing it the right way now).

This much I know: you will both recover, and blessings will come from this.

Laura said...

Dating is a part of moving on.
Within 10 days of being dumped last fall, I started to develop an attraction to a friend. He had the same attraction, and a week later we went on a date. It was a GREAT date, and was surprisingly relieving for both of us. No commitment, just a step forward and away from the hurt. Granted, both of us were the ones dumped, not the ones doing the dumping, but it's no fun either way. I've been on both sides.
So have fun! Date! Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and He helps those who help themselves, so get out there and make the best of it. :)