ex’s wedding

Reader G. M. writes:

Last fall I got dumped by a guy who said he “wasn’t ready for commitment”. He got a new GF a few weeks after we broke up (he was probably dating her while he was with me, in fact). And I found out via Facebook today that they’re engaged now. Apparently the wedding’s next month. And I am going crazy. What should I do?

Dear G.M.:

First of all, get on Facebook this instant, head over to your ex’s page, and block him. Then, go over to his new GF’s page, and block her, too. Are any of your friends part of the wedding or talking about it? Block their status updates from your wall. Cut the entire scene out of your line of view. Most importantly: quit stalking your ex on Facebook. Do it now. Got it?

Next, you need to put this wedding in perspective.

Let’s start by having a hate fest on the ex. I don’t know you, and I don’t know the guy, but if he’s capable of telling you he wasn’t ready for commitment and then getting all up in a committed relationship pretty much right after he said that, then he’s a liar anyway and you don’t want him. There must be other things about him that are awful. Everyone has a bad side, and you just weren’t aware of his when you were dating. He’s a creep. He’s a jerk. He treated you poorly. He doesn’t deserve you.


Maybe there's a train a-comin'! Image: Rosen Georgiev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now let’s talk about reality a little bit. Maybe he broke up with you because he actually didn’t like you. Maybe he broke up with you because he honestly thought he couldn’t get committed. Maybe the new girl refuses to let him jerk her around like that. Or maybe she’s pregnant. Maybe she’s blackmailing him. Maybe their marriage will last three weeks.

But it doesn’t matter. He’s your ex. He’s outta’ the picture. You need to have enough self-respect to move on.

I know, it’s hard. You want to think about how great things would be between the two of you, and how he totally missed out on how great you are, or how he totally spurned you.

These are not healthy or productive lines of thinking. You feel bad. Okay, understandably. Feel bad. Own it. Admit it. Now quit feeding it.

The best thing you can do for yourself in this situation is distract yourself, rather than force yourself to rehash it over and over again. Bad feelings exist, yes, and they’re terrible, but they go away after time has passed. All you have to do is spend that time somehow (other than brooding over the bad feelings), and one morning you’ll wake up and realize you don’t remember this guy’s name.

So let’s set this rule: For the next week, you are allowed to think about this crappy boy once a day for five minutes. In those five minutes you must list at least three things about him that are pretty unbearable. Then you must leave wherever it is that you are and go for a walk. Or get some ice cream. Or call a friend who has serious troubles of her own (preferably someone who is facing a life-threatening illness, or has a family member who is, so you can talk about something important rather than wallowing in a lame ass ex). You should set a time for this to happen. At 12:55pm every day for the next week, you focus on how crappy he was. The rest of the day, if your brain turns to him, you must force yourself to change the subject.

After a week of this, you cut back to three minutes a day. After a week of that, you cut back to three minutes every other day. After a week of that, it’s one minute once a week.

With the rest of your time, you are to find a new hobby that does not involve stalking anyone on Facebook. I recommend collecting something, or becoming an expert in something, like gardening or sewing or French cooking. I also want you to enlist your friends on getting you out of your head. Go out. Have fun. Force yourself to do this. Hang out with people who are committed to you in non-romantic ways (these relationships tend to be more lasting and important in our lives, too, if you haven’t noticed). Focus on these things.

I hope you don’t know the date of the wedding, or where it’s going to happen. If you do, I hope you’ll be somewhere else doing something so fun you don’t even remember it’s going to happen. You should make plans now for that to be the case. I did write a blog about getting over it; that may be the best advice you could have right now.

But now that you’ve read this, why haven’t you blocked the two of them on Facebook already?


5 Responses to “ex’s wedding”

  1. 1 Zach
    April 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Sadly, I bet when he said “I’m not ready for a commitment” he really meant “I’m not ready for a commitment with you.” Guys in general would rather use an excuse than deal with the consequences of telling the harsh truth. I’m not condoning this action, but it happens all the time. And what girl really wants to hear the “you just aren’t “the one”. “

    • April 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      I agree. Unfortunately, there’s nothing this girl can do about that. She needs to get over it, and dwelling on the fact that he wasn’t ready for commitment WITH HER won’t help per se.

      • 3 Zkeller
        April 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

        True. I agree completely with your advice. I just thought that for future reference in general, this phenomenon isn’t an isolated incident. Females should understand and not be confused if the same type of response is given to them. As a male, I again apologize.

      • April 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

        And to be fair, girls do it, too. And sometimes people aren’t ready for commitment at one point with one person but then magically are a few weeks later. It’s not a simple issue. Still, it won’t help this girl to think about the ex’s motivations. She’s got to think of her own.

  2. 5 Richard
    April 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    “Feel bad. Own it. Admit it. Now quit feeding it.”

    Advice for the ages!

    As for the dumpage ‘n stuff … Does anyone who can legally drink still believe the break-up excuse? I know, you have to come up with something but it’s all drivel. Kind of like that short story you had to write in grade school. You shat something out ’cause you had to. Then someone has to get all scatological about it and talks and talks and talks about every little bean and kernel. Meanwhile, you fidget and wait, uncomfortably observing while they digest it ’cause it’s another of your duties.

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