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I don't know how to forgive myself and move on


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Old 28th December 2017, 9:27 PM   #1
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I don't know how to forgive myself and move on

So, I'm gonna just describe my dating history as briefly as I can- for context I'm aged 21, female.

I got rejected a bunch. Had one serious relationship but it wasn't happy, he had anger issues and sometimes would say things to hurt me. I broke up with him April last year. Went out with a few dates over the next several months but nothing major really happened until April this year.

I met a guy, and just felt like we hit it off straight away. Kissed him on the first date, and then saw him a couple times over the next week and slept with him over that time too. He told me that he'd recently got out of a relationship and I became paranoid that I was a rebound, especially when he mentioned that he went to an event and people mentioned his ex a bunch and it made him upset. Anyway, he'd treat me really well (or so I thought at the time), but the one issue we had was that we lived an hour away from each other and found it hard to schedule because he worked weekdays and I worked weekends. He broke things off after a couple of months and said this was why. Says we can be friends, but never makes the effort to message me again.

So I then find out he's dating someone new a couple months later, who lives further away, and he's actually boooking time off work and planning to see this girl, which he refused to do with me. Obviously I was annoyed and confronted him and he basically told me the real reasons he wasn't interested: I was too introverted, not interesting enough, not attractive etc. Obviously my self esteem was pretty crippled.

Anyway, I moved away to university a couple weeks after finding out, and a week later I meet this new guy. The night we met we went drinking together and ended up kissing but I felt an instant attraction and we had a bunch of stuff in common. He seemed really interested at first. Again, I rushed into things after I vowed not to make the same mistakes as I did with the last guy because it took me so long to move on.
Anyway, a week later we went to the cinema to watch a horror movie, I persuaded him even though he told me he hated horrors (I'd dated guys before who said they were bad with them but they weren't that bad, and I thought it would be cute to comfort him or whatever) anyway he told me he couldn't stay over that night bc of nightmares. This set alarm bells off in my head and I told him that I was worried he'd leave or whatever, and I think at some point I'd talked about what happened previously to me. I told him how I felt under a lot of pressure and that I felt like we were taking things so fast and that it made me anxious.
Things just continued to go south after that and i made the mistake of chasing him. The next week, he refused to stay over again although he was still having sex with me. Then a week later he told me he couldn't be with me because he had too many commitments and he was struggling with depression etc. promised me he was telling the truth after I asked him directly and said he'd message in a couple of days and that we would be friends which he said for ages that we would if it didn't work out.

Obviously had my doubts but I trusted the guy to some extent because I'd spent a fair bit of time with him. Anyway he doesn't message and eventually I message him after a couple weeks, super chill at first but then I just crack and send him an overemotiinal message. He tells me he doesn't know how to respond and I just sent him a really angry message about it. Again, another mistake.

So I leave it a month and try again. I speak to him on the phone and it went okay. Then we talk a couple days later and I was dying to see him and work things out because I was still upset so I asked if he actually wanted to see me. He read it and didn't respond and so I sent another rage fuelled text, I was so let down that he hadn't tried to message me or apologised for not messaging and then he told me he was in a lecture and got told off when he was trying to respond. He told me that he didn't message because he was feeling depressed and it felt like a bit of a cop out and he hadn't even apologised for it. Anyway after that he basically said I'd put him off being friends by the angry messages so I just apologised for getting angry and explained how my esteem was low. Anyway that's basically where it got left.

So, its been a couple of months since we split and I'm still struggling to forgive myself for the whole thing and letting myself fall into another situation like this. I guess I still haven't let go of this fantasy of him, i think it's partly knowing he lives 10 mins away and attends my uni so I could see him anytime I leave my house.. I hold onto this hope and I know I shouldn't. I just feel sad that we didn't try to be friends or at the very least just talk things over properly and kill the awkwardness and animosity between us.

So I realised I need to take a break from dating and work on my self-esteem, socialise more etc. Because I literally became so depressed and didn't put myself out there as much as I should have over the last few months at university.But I'm just having such a hard time with self blame and letting go of it all. It feels so awful when you make the same mistake again after you thought you'd learned the first time. If anyone can offer any advice or wisdom on my situation, it would be appreciated.

Last edited by JustAGirlx; 28th December 2017 at 9:36 PM..
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Old 28th December 2017, 10:22 PM   #2
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I think your last paragraph is a really encouraging sign.

You are aware that your emotions and self esteem are getting the better of you, and that you need to take some time to work on things. You should be proud of yourself for doing that!

When you feel ready to date again, my advice would be to not push so hard and be so confrontational when you start to get anxious. Just take a breath and pull back a little.

One other tip I have learnt is when people you date pull out the "lets be friends" card, they seldom mean it unless you were already friends to begin with. It is usually just a generic thing people say to be polite.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. We all learn from our mistakes, but sometimes it is a process that takes time (especially if it has been triggered by emotional issues from past).

Keep working on building up your confidence and self esteem, socialize with positive people, and see a counselor if you think that might help. Most importantly, fight the negative self talk with positive self talk.

Good luck!
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Old 29th December 2017, 1:11 AM   #3
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I went through every emotion mentioned in your post. I was just so angry that she cheated and left me after everything I've done for her and our family. I was beyond devastated for months on end. Honestly, it took me 8 months to get over it and start moving on (3.5 yr relationship).

Now, when I do see her, since we have a child together, I feel free and not bothered. I discovered that she's a terrible person and her choice of words towards me really hurt. I think that's when I really put it in my head to just let her go and move on.

What was I thinking? She cheated once, came back a few months later. Took her back, took her on vacations, had a baby, gave her and my daughter the world, and she ended up cheating on me again and ended up leaving me.

I should've just never took her back tsk...tsk...tsk... Shame on me.
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Old 29th December 2017, 3:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Scarlett.O'hara View Post
I think your last paragraph is a really encouraging sign.

You are aware that your emotions and self esteem are getting the better of you, and that you need to take some time to work on things. You should be proud of yourself for doing that!

When you feel ready to date again, my advice would be to not push so hard and be so confrontational when you start to get anxious. Just take a breath and pull back a little.

One other tip I have learnt is when people you date pull out the "lets be friends" card, they seldom mean it unless you were already friends to begin with. It is usually just a generic thing people say to be polite.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. We all learn from our mistakes, but sometimes it is a process that takes time (especially if it has been triggered by emotional issues from past).

Keep working on building up your confidence and self esteem, socialize with positive people, and see a counselor if you think that might help. Most importantly, fight the negative self talk with positive self talk.

Good luck!
Thank you for your message. I really agree with what you are saying. I'm going to try and put in the work I need to. Honestly, what is worrying me is that I'm having a really difficult time getting over the whole thing and I'm not sure I can because I've always dated to get over previous guys, apart from with my ex, who after some time I saw wasn't really what I wanted in someone. My mind just can't seem to stop going back to when I was dating this guy and how things maybe could've worked out if things happened differently. I'm better than I was, but I don't know how to get rid of these feelings completely. I know that maybe dating would help in terms of seeing other options but I don't want to risk falling into the same trap again.
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Old 31st December 2017, 8:14 AM   #5
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You are a wonderful woman. I would have asked you to be my girlfriend in a heart beat but you are too young for me, just 21. I like your approach. Only thing I would advise is, dont give out sex until they stay over

Being a dumpee always hurts more than being a dumper. But that also means you are a strong person, atleast to me.

Also dont push too hard or appear too clingy or pushy. Relationship is a two way street. So allow another person space and let them respond.
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Old 1st January 2018, 10:16 AM   #6
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This might go against ur value system but found it works for me. Wen u start dating have a few options in case one or 2 fissle out. Because they will u have at least other options it's nothing to feel guilty about in my opinion they're probably doing the same. Person wth options always wins
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Old 1st January 2018, 1:15 PM   #7
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You are at university to learn more than just academics. It's a time to find yourself. To discover who you are.

Keep up with your school work but build your self esteem by meeting new people having adventures, trying new things. Explore the world around you.

If you need more support then that, seek out peer counselors or professional therapy through your school. At the very least check out some self help books from the library & do the exercise to build your self esteem.
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Old 1st January 2018, 1:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JustAGirlx View Post
Thank you for your message. I really agree with what you are saying. I'm going to try and put in the work I need to. Honestly, what is worrying me is that I'm having a really difficult time getting over the whole thing and I'm not sure I can because I've always dated to get over previous guys, apart from with my ex, who after some time I saw wasn't really what I wanted in someone. My mind just can't seem to stop going back to when I was dating this guy and how things maybe could've worked out if things happened differently. I'm better than I was, but I don't know how to get rid of these feelings completely. I know that maybe dating would help in terms of seeing other options but I don't want to risk falling into the same trap again.
Don't do that. One, it hurts the people you date. Two, it hurts you because you let yourself and others down. Three, you're avoiding the healing nature of introspection and alone time along with the personal growth it can bring.

And certainly don't blame yourself. You've done what most people do when a relationship is falling apart. It's normal and it's human. But no use in crying over spilt milk. What happened yesterday doesn't define who you are today. Everyday is a chance to start over and begin fresh so I'm glad that you are aware of yourself. That's a good sign. It means you will grow and get better.

There is plenty of time to date. Right now, what you need is time to yourself to heal and discover what you are capable of doing by yourself. This will bring you confidence. University is the perfect opportunity for this. It's a good time to meet a lot of people of different backgrounds. They will teach you something. The more you interact, the more practice you'll get at socializing. Join clubs/activities to help you. Also stay on your grind and focus on studies and figure out what direction you are heading and then establish goals. A longterm goal and several short-term ones further divided into weekly and monthly and semesterly goals. Fly solo for a year or two and build a quality life irrespective of guys. You'll not only heal but will discover self-worth and respect and will develop a life that is your own that'll help cushion the crippling affects of rejection that can come from dating.

Once you have that, get back to dating. You'll find you'll be far more stable emotionally.

Goodluck to you

Last edited by Beachead; 1st January 2018 at 1:57 PM..
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Old 2nd January 2018, 3:24 AM   #9
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Don't do that. One, it hurts the people you date. Two, it hurts you because you let yourself and others down. Three, you're avoiding the healing nature of introspection and alone time along with the personal growth it can bring.

And certainly don't blame yourself. You've done what most people do when a relationship is falling apart. It's normal and it's human. But no use in crying over spilt milk. What happened yesterday doesn't define who you are today. Everyday is a chance to start over and begin fresh so I'm glad that you are aware of yourself. That's a good sign. It means you will grow and get better.

There is plenty of time to date. Right now, what you need is time to yourself to heal and discover what you are capable of doing by yourself. This will bring you confidence. University is the perfect opportunity for this. It's a good time to meet a lot of people of different backgrounds. They will teach you something. The more you interact, the more practice you'll get at socializing. Join clubs/activities to help you. Also stay on your grind and focus on studies and figure out what direction you are heading and then establish goals. A longterm goal and several short-term ones further divided into weekly and monthly and semesterly goals. Fly solo for a year or two and build a quality life irrespective of guys. You'll not only heal but will discover self-worth and respect and will develop a life that is your own that'll help cushion the crippling affects of rejection that can come from dating.

Once you have that, get back to dating. You'll find you'll be far more stable emotionally.

Goodluck to you
Thank you.
Yeah, I kind of know rebounding is a bad idea. It's just, I have this feeling I'm not going to be able to let go fully of the idea of him until I find someone else. it catches me by surprise sometimes. I just think about how things could've been if I'd been more cautious and about if in the future we could try again when I've worked through some issues. But I think a rebound would just distract me from trying to deal with my self esteem issues, or I'd just end up in the same situation but with another guy.

while I'm aware that my mistakes and past doesn't define me, it's hard knowing that someone is permanently lost because of those mistakes.

I will try to follow your advice. It's hard for me to stay away from guys though, sleeping around doesn't appeal to me at all but I have a high libido which I wish I could express..I guess that's why I fall into the pattern of sleeping with the guys I like too quickly. I do crave all the other things that come with a relationship too. Most of it you can get from friendships I suppose.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 3:42 AM   #10
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You're putting too much pressure on yourself and on these guys to make things work. Sometimes two people just aren't meant to be with each other and don't have that much of a connection, so that's why he couldn't drive an hour to see you. You were trying to force something that was never meant to be. The same probably applies to the second guy you dated. I think you're looking for someone to want to be with you you to validate your self-esteem, and that's not how it should work.
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Old 2nd January 2018, 5:21 AM   #11
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I had common interests with both and seemed to get on well with both. Both also expressed interest in me at the start and we kind of bounced off each other. So I think there was a spark there with both, at least initially and that it maybe got burned out because of the pressure. I don't think you can make judgements on whether or not we may have been compatible if things had been approached differently.

i feel like I already talked adressed the pressure I put on these situations and that I have a self-esteem issue. I'm just not sure how to fix the esteem issue. I struggle a lot with loneliness and feeling disconnected from others. I don't have any close friends (apart from family)
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Old 2nd January 2018, 8:02 AM   #12
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Might not be the best advise but.. At your age, never ever be the one to open your heart and emotion.. most guys around your age are really after one thing only and once you bring out the contentment card.. They bolt.

Kissing on the first date is good.. Is a little tease but you never initiate it, ever.

Sex.. Hell no.. at least after a month. They don't stick around.. they not worth it. Make they chase you, not the other way around.

Never send a text in anger.. I've yet to know any text that was send in anger which worked out well.

Take a break from dating now, I think you've lost yourself and you need to find yourself and get back to your life without depending on others.

You sound like a wonderful lady and smart.. Loving and gentle but don't go heavy until you are both a couple and don't assume you are a couple until the guy asked you to be his gf.

But right now.. Go join a club, pick up MMA.. Go to the gym.. and if you have urges, I hate to say this but find a FWB but right now, a relationship is the last thing you need.

I know this is a hard time.. Just take it one day.. One week.. One month. In 10 years time, you'll laugh at this and realised it's part of growing and learning.

Be strong.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 12:54 PM   #13
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You have some patterns in dating that you may want to spend some time looking at. Have you tried to get to the root of your dating pattern? I am wondering what your relationship was like with your father and why are you seeking validation with men? Dating comes from the word "data" and the purpose is actually to collect data on a person and to just get to know a person. It sounds like you need to take more time to get to know a person before you become emotionally attached. Take the time to know their values, their character, their integrity, and then determine if you really want them in your life. In order to be able to really know a person, you must first know yourself, so taking time off of dating is a very wise decision. Take the time to develop self-awareness and determine what you want in a relationship. Practice the skills of healthy relationship, communication and conflict resolution, with a circle of female friends. The book, Boundaries in Dating, may also be helpful.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 3:05 PM   #14
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You have some patterns in dating that you may want to spend some time looking at. Have you tried to get to the root of your dating pattern? I am wondering what your relationship was like with your father and why are you seeking validation with men? Dating comes from the word "data" and the purpose is actually to collect data on a person and to just get to know a person. It sounds like you need to take more time to get to know a person before you become emotionally attached. Take the time to know their values, their character, their integrity, and then determine if you really want them in your life. In order to be able to really know a person, you must first know yourself, so taking time off of dating is a very wise decision. Take the time to develop self-awareness and determine what you want in a relationship. Practice the skills of healthy relationship, communication and conflict resolution, with a circle of female friends. The book, Boundaries in Dating, may also be helpful.
My relationship with my dad wasn't terrible but I guess he wasn't always there as my parents were divorced, I don't think it actually was much of a big deal as I don't remember the divorce. He was probably really more of a friend than a father figure, didn't really teach me anything and never would talk to him about issues I was having etc.
My relationship with my mum was also very complicated as she had mental issues.
I was also bullied when I was younger, and had a lot of difficulty with making friends and have never been able to keep friends for long.
I think it's also because in the past I'd been rejected by a few guys and it left me feeling increasingly anxious. Not to mention the only relationship I had was with a guy who had anger issues, lied, cheated and manipulated me.

I do agree on that dating should be for getting to know someone. I want to know them better before getting attached so that I know that they'd be right for me. The last thing I want is to end up in another relationship like my last.
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