So basically I recently “broke up” with this girl. The reason I’m phrasing it like that is because we only dated for like a month. During the time I was dating her, I realized she had an abusive ex who gaslit her, was emotionally negligent and also implicitly fat shamed her by joking that she needs to lose weight. I was very empathetic to her situation and realized she was still healing from this abuser.
However, as I spent more time with her, I realized that she brought up her ex every time I was with her. She broke up with me because she had recently found out that her ex was cheating on her during a time in their relationship when things were going very well. She told me that she is not ready for a relationship and has issues trusting people who she doesn’t have any mutual connections with (we met through an app).
Now, our break up was very amicable (I even cuddled with her after and kissed her goodbye) and I really respect her decision to not dive into a relationship that she wasn’t ready for. However, as time passed, I realized that she might have used me as an emotional band-aid to forget about her ex. When she found out that he cheated, the wound just opened up more and I wasn’t enough to forget the pain. I don’t think she was being malicious or that she was doing it knowingly, however, I do feel a bit used.
To fully understand my situation, I think you need to know a bit of my backstory. I’m 24M, had a very sexually repressive childhood and socially awkward growing up. I had a transformation in college where I became physically attractive and confident and started hooking up with a lot of girls as a means to compensate for the lack of sexual gratification. I realized that that path was not going to help me, I worked on my self esteem and decided to give real dating a shot.
This girl was the first person that I decided to open up to romantically and I feel very angry and upset at myself as I didn’t see the signs. I don’t hold any ill will towards her and I think she’s quite wonderful, but I do wish that the first person that I opened up to didn’t inadvertently use me as a coping tool. I know life isn’t a fairy tale and sometimes things just don’t pan out the way you would’ve liked them to, but it still sucks.
Now Doc, how do I process these feelings of anger and resentment? More importantly, in the future, what can I do to potentially stop this from happening to me again?