My recent ex girlfriend and I live in the same city and many of our friends still want to hang out with both of us. It kills me to be around my ex, she’s all over other girls and putting all her energy into “being single.” We were together 8 months and it was amazing-hot, sweet and fun. Even though it’s really hard to hang out with her in our group of friends these days, I never turn down the invite. (Why shouldn’t I be around my friends? I’m going through a break-up and need them just as badly as she does.) I feel tortured the entire time. Sometimes I drink so much I pass out. Can’t she see what she’s doing? I wish my friends would stop inviting her out. But I’d never ask them to choose between me and my ex. Also…If I’m really honest…I look forward to seeing her even if she’s not my girlfriend anymore. Maybe one of these nights she’ll see that what we had was special. Maybe not. Maybe we’ll hook up again. Which would be nice. and terrible. Dang, I feel crazy! What now?
Crazy? Doubtful. Lovesick? Without a doubt. You, my dear Diggity, fell smack dab into a sweet romance. For 8 lovely months, it sounds like. I’m guessing that your heart was in your throat, you felt giddy, excited, happy. ALLOFIT. You had a full, immense, crazy-making LOVE experience. Maybe you both played it cool. Maybe neither of you said the “love” word. That’s fine. But 8 months is more than enough time to start thinking about the zillions of ways you feel crazy for a girl who you are in a relationship with. So first of all, congratulations. You fell in love.
Secondly, you are hurt that it didn’t work out. You are disappointed. You sound crushed, not crazy. You also sound hopeful for the return of your ex’s affection. Maybe you cant fully comprehend the reasons it didn’t work out- maybe you feel (eek-I hate this word) rejected.
As the old song goes, breaking up is hard to do. And because dykes keep their friends close and their exes even closer, it often makes recovering from breakups super difficult. How can a girl’s raw heart start to heal up and become ready to flex again with love for another girl if the ex is around every day or week, (maybe) unknowingly keeping that heart raw? For a lot of folks, breakups are full of huge feelings. These feelings need to be aired out. Maybe written down? Maybe danced out, or puked out, or meditated about. It’s not bad or wrong to have any of these feelings when a relationship is ending. (Anger, sadness, hatred, confusion, and on and on.) It’s just if the ex is around for any of this, it can make the breakup drag on and become excruciatingly painful-as if it isn’t already.
Here is where the Ex-Diet comes in.
1) You could ask your friends not to invite you out if your ex will be there. You could also just ask your friends each time if your ex will be coming. If the answer is yes, then maybe you stay home that night. Or call up another friend. Or take yourself to a movie. Be gentle with yourself.
2) You could ask a trustworthy friend or two to be a stand-in for your impulses to reach out to your ex. (This is a key strategy, but it has to be a friend who you are sure will not go back to your ex and stir up drama by talking about your texting.) Everytime you want to call or text you ex, call or text this friend. Sometimes you may text about your ex, sometimes you might decide to share with the friend the funny joke you would have shared with your ex. Use this to train your heart (and habits) to connect to others in your life, rather than your ex.
3) If you and your ex are on speaking terms, and you feel comfortable, be honest. Let her know that you are going to need a few weeks/months before you can hang out as friends, because you still have some raw feelings. She might protest. She might call or text even more—which is hard. If you know in yer heart of hearts that it likely wont work out, then stick to your guns. Tell her you care for her but that you need the time and friendship can come later. If you stop responding at this point, she’ll know why.
4) Make an even BIGGER LIFE for yourself. Pick up an instrument and take a lesson. Try baking something. Go on bike rides. Treat yourself to a massage. Make new friends outside of your circle. Take a vacation. Call a relative. Take improv comedy classes. (<——never hurts to laugh)
5) Try this for 3 months. If thoughts of your ex still make you want to cry, fight, drink, or scream, go for another 3 months. Repeat until your ex becomes a neutral person for you, and being around her feels less charged.
Your friends and your ex have a whole lot of power in this situation. But only because, in your state of breakup feelings, you are showing up to every social situation they invite you to, which is increasing your pain. It’s hard not to want to blame them for inviting the ex. And you want to get angry with the ex for acting like a recently single girl (which she is). Diggity, your friends and ex may care about you a lot, but when you force your raw heart to hang out with them, you and up acting in ways that make you feel worse. These friendships may be good for your heart a little later, but right now, give yourself some time to heal. Best of luck.