However, I’m in sort of a different situation. About six months ago, my boyfriend of two years and I broke up. Long story short, we had our issues, but he’s the one who ended it. I really, really loved him, and I ended up being really hurt by how it all went down (he’s already with someone else – OUCH).
Six months later, I’m still not over it. I’ve tried to put myself back out there, and I go out with my friends all the time to meet guys. But once I’m out, I don’t want to be there. All the guys I meet just seem like jerks. And even when I start talking to a guy, I get weird – I freak out if he doesn’t text me back fast enough, or I assume that he only wants to hook up with me and I get upset.
I want to be happy and find a great guy, but I don’t know how to make that happen! Is it me? Is it the guys? Am I doing something wrong? Everyone tells me that time will make things better, but it’s already been SO long and I just want to have fun again.
Jaded in Texas
Thanks for sharing – it sounds like it’s been a rough couple of months. If it makes you feel any better, I (and Becky, and probably everyone else reading this site) have been there, and it sucks. “Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.” So say the French poets. Gotta love the human experience, right?
But all hope is not lost! Let’s talk about how to get you back in the game. There is absolutely, 100% definitely someone out there who is better for you than that guy. But how to (want to) find him?
First off, if you haven’t done this already…let yourself be really, truly hurt by what happened. Look at it, face it, embrace it, feel it. We modern women take pride in being strong and optimistic and rational – but sometimes we just need to give ourselves a freakin’ break. So don’t beat yourself up about your reaction. It may not feel like it right now, but when you’re 110 years old and thinking back on your life, you’re going to be happy that you experienced the full spectrum of human emotions. This is the stuff that great films, books, plays, songs, paintings, poems and diary entries are made of.
So get angry:
Then get sad:
Don’t blame yourself for missing him sometimes:
And finally, start seeing this as an opportunity to kick life in the ass:
(and listen to a few perfect pop songs, while you’re at it)
Here’s the kicker. This next part – re-entering the (non-)dating scene and enjoying your love life again – is totally up to you. You have to stop thinking of yourself as the victim, and of guys as your enemy. We’ve all been hurt, and we’ve all hurt other people. The whole world would be one big, open, bleeding heart wound, if we let it. But at some point, you need to decide that you’re not going to be that girl with baggage. You need to wake up every morning, feel that pang of hurt, and consciously say to yourself, “I will not be that girl with baggage. I deserve more than that. And the guys who I’m meeting deserve more than that.” You need to commit to starting every day, and meeting everyone in your life, with a fresh, open-minded attitude. Eventually, the pangs will lessen, and if you make the effort, the baggage will disappear. But it’s all on you to make that happen.
Because here’s the thing – right now, you’ve got baggage. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but you are heading in the direction of becoming that bitter, cynical, cliched old woman who believes that everyone is out to screw her. You’re expecting every guy you meet to act like your ex, or treat you like your ex, or hurt you like your ex. You’re acting a little crazy, and you’re not giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. And who wants to be with that girl? No one. So reverse the tide before it’s too late.
Shifting your mindset and refusing to let your baggage take control will undoubtedly improve your love life. You know how guys often go for younger girls? Well, I’ve talked to many men about that. And other than simply being physically attracted to them (am I the only one who was definitely less cute at 18? why did no one introduce me to the world of hair products back then??), they’re also attracted to their lack of baggage. You’ve only been hurt by so many guys when you’re young, and it shows. You laugh, you trust, you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you emit a vibe of lightness that pulls people in. Can you really blame guys for being into that? Especially if the other option is to be with a scorned and jaded ball of hurt?
WTF?! BOTTOM LINE: Admit that your ex sucks, let yourself be upset over it, and then see him for what he is – one jerk amidst a world full of guys who could potentially treat you with the love and respect that you deserve. Then, for as long as you need to, consciously commit yourself to letting go of your baggage, stay out there, and watch as the good guys come to you.
All that said, make sure to leave a little time in there to Get Your House In Order, ala WTF?! guest blogger JoJo’s suggestion. Guys aren’t going anywhere, and it sounds like you may need to do a little spring cleaning before you’ll be ready to jump back into something else. The more you get your ish together, the more you’ll remember and believe that you’re awesome and worth loving. Only you can know when the time is right to plunge back into the romantic universe. Don’t force it.
Jess is the co-creator of Dating & Hookup, alongside her childhood best friend Becky Lynch, and is the author of the book - yep! - Dating & Hookup. She never tires of hearing your post-dating stories. She wants you to enjoy your love life, and is full of advice on how to do so.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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