DEAR KELLY: My boyfriend and I broke up after going out for eight months. No sooner did he break up with me than he got together with another girl. It happened so fast, I wonder if they were hooking up before we broke up. He claims they were just friends the whole time, but I saw a picture of them hanging out once and people asked me if something was up with them, but I foolishly said no. My bad.
The worst part of the whole thing is that I have seen pictures of them all over Instagram and tweets from him about how special she is or quotes about being with the right person all the time. I start my day off well, then I see something about them and it ruins my day. I’m sure you will say just delete him, but I can’t. I feel like it will help me move on and accept this if I see what he is doing with her, but it’s not helping. Honestly, I’ve tried, but I can’t. I deleted him twice, but I had to look. When I did, it made me so mad and sick to my stomach.
I think I would be OK if I didn’t feel like he cheated on me, but I can’t help but be angry because I know he broke up with me to be with her. His sister is coming home from college for winter break, and I want to talk with her to see what she knew about them. She and I were so close, and I know she loved me. When I told her we broke up, all she said was that he was an idiot and I was the best thing ever for him. She felt bad for me because she knew how much I cared about him. But I bet she knows if they were hooking up before we broke up. I think if I know it will make it easier to move on.
How do I ask his sister without seeming too obvious? I don’t want to put her in the middle, but I want to know what she knows. Is it wrong if I ask her to coffee to talk about this, then to just check in on her and see how she is? If we are friends, shouldn’t this be an OK thing to ask?
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Just Want The Truth
DEAR TRUTH: Since you are asking for the truth, I’ll give you the truth. The truth is that he has moved on and you haven’t. It doesn’t really matter if they hooked up or not before you broke up. What matters is that you broke up.
You are choosing to torture yourself. You can delete his Instagram but you choose not to. You say you can’t; I say you can. And should. What healthy emotions can come from seeing him snuggling up with another girl or writing about how much he cares about her? How does this help you move on? It actually does the opposite. It keeps you tethered to him through social media. You stay connected to his life, what he does and who he spends time with. It is like emotionally stalking someone. You want to know what he’s doing or thinking because you haven’t accepted that your relationship is over. The only way you can move on is to let go: Delete him on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
If your intention with his sister is to milk her for info about her brother’s relationship, then forget the latte and stay home. Do her a favor and don’t ask her to coffee if all you want is the scoop on his new relationship. Not only will you seem creepy and rude, you will seem insensitive and thoughtless. It would seem like you were using her to pump her for information so you can use it against her brother. If you truly are a friend of hers, leave her brother out of any conversations you have with her. Be her friend, not his nosy ex-girlfriend. And please don’t try to be sly by asking about his relationship with the new girlfriend or whether she knows if they hooked up; it will be so obvious and you could lose her as a friend. Show some class and remind her why she liked you so much by acting maturely and with kindness toward her. If you try to ask questions about her brother, the odds are it will be the last coffee date you have with her.
Stop choosing pain and suffering by following him. Stop choosing to peek at his life through pictures and quotes. Stop focusing on whether he cheated on you. Stop being the creepy ex-girlfriend. Your relationship with him is done. The sooner you accept this, the better off you will be.
Be strong enough to let go. Focus on you, not them. Concentrate on being more emotionally healthy. Let go of calling them names. Be the bigger person. Let go of your anger and let yourself move forward. High school is about dating a lot of people. See this as a lesson. Not all the people in your life are meant to stay.
Write to Kelly Richardson at Teen Talk, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15880, Sacramento, CA 95852, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.