DEAR KELLY: I’m a junior and my boyfriend and I broke up three weeks before the junior prom. We had been going out for almost a year. I broke up with him because I was feeling confused about him and us, and was really moody, even though I know I love him. But a week later I changed my mind and reached out to him and he said he already had a date for prom and we could talk after prom about getting back together.
My younger brother is a sophomore, so I just invited one of his friends who my boyfriend knew. He invited a girl from another school who everyone at my school thinks is so pretty and is really popular. I happen to know that her mom and his mom are really good friends, so the moms probably made it happen. I made an effort to make sure he knew I wasn’t going with someone I liked, so his feelings wouldn’t get hurt and he didn’t do the same for me. I picked someone who wouldn’t make him feel threatened or jealous at all.
At the dance everyone was talking about her and how pretty she was and how amazing her dress is. I also know she does pageants, so I know her dresses are really expensive and she poses perfectly for pictures. It totally ruined my night and I had the worst time. He posted a picture of them and said, “best. night. ever.” Everyone was commenting on how fabulous they looked together, how on point her dress was, etc. One of his friends who I thought was my friend commented, “upgrade.” I was heartbroken and cried myself to sleep.
At school, everyone was acting like he was suddenly the coolest person because he brought her to prom. I’m so mad Kelly. He’s acting like it was him, when I know it was their moms who put this whole thing together. I’m tempted to tell people I know their moms are friends, but I haven’t yet. I asked him if we could talk and he said he has changed his mind and doesn’t want to be in a relationship anymore.
Kelly, please help me. I feel rejected and like he’s found someone better than me in just one week. He was saying like two weeks ago how much he loved me and now he doesn’t want to be in a relationship? Does that make sense? I’m sad, mad, confused and I miss my best friend but he’s like moved on and I feel left behind. Please tell me who is wrong here.
DEAR REJECTED: Feeling rejected, replaced or sad is hurtful. It sounds like you both can relate to this feeling based on what has happened. Remember, you weren’t the only one who felt this way. I’m guessing when you broke up with him he felt rejected or sad, so the hurt feelings ran both ways.
This isn’t a case of who was wrong. Neither of you were wrong. You broke up because your feelings were confused (not wrong) and he got another date for prom (not wrong). What happened was natural and normal. No one was wrong and neither of you were mean or disrespectful. It is merely a case of change.
Whether or not their moms orchestrated the prom date doesn’t matter. It’s a non-factor. And if you throw it out – like a put down – you will look like you are having sour grapes and being bitter because everyone thought she was fabulous. Show more self-respect than dissing who or how he got his date.
Be cautious of being angry with him for bringing her. He didn’t do anything hurtful. He brought a friend who happens to be pretty and poised. I’m guessing if they didn’t get so much attention from people you wouldn’t care as much. He was dumped, so he found a date. It wasn’t hateful or malicious, he just made himself feel better. You can’t blame him for that.
Step back and give him some space. You broke up because you were confused and maybe you would still feel the same if things happened differently. Our mind tries to heal our heart, so we push negative things about the relationship to the back and only focus on how wonderful it was, which isn’t the case. Don’t let go of the fact you were on the fence about the relationship before the dance. Let him sort his feelings out. You broke up, then had a change in heart, but he may still be sorting out all of his feelings around the relationship and the breakup.
Call your friends and find a time to hang out. Don’t focus on him or what has happened. Let it go and just enjoy friend time. Make peace with being single and take care of you. If your ex decides to stay an ex, move on with grace and acceptance. We need relationships to see and understand ourselves more clearly. You learned and you loved, and that is part of growing up.