When I was 14 I fell in love with a guy and we broke up two years later. I can say that it was true love because I’m 26 now and I’ve thought about him all along, up until we reconnected and I found out during our time apart he did six years of jail time. Our feelings for each other came back full speed and things were good — for a minute. After a while I just started to feel a little bit of distance from him, so I questioned him about it and he chalked it up to just getting out of jail. Meanwhile we’re going on dates, he was at my place all the time, and we even talked about him moving in together (he was in a halfway house). So I sent him a text one day telling him how I’m so happy he’s back in my life and he calls and proceeds to tell me how much he loves me, and that how he doesn’t want to hurt me like the other guys and that has a girlfriend who, apparently he met when he was in jail. I know I may look stupid to some folks but I am seriously crushed. All the history we have and all those nights of reminiscing, how good the sex was — when he told me he was in love with me I kind of believed him. Now I’m confused, hurt and mad. I’m trying to be alright. I’ve been working out tough for the last three days and I’m going keep it up. I’m picking up extra shifts at work, trying to reach out to friends — anything to get my mind off of him. I deleted his number and I think I’m going to message him on Facebook and ask him to lose all contact with me. I just want him out of my system, but I still feel like I love him. I’m still mad and sad, but damn am I stupid or what? By the way, I don’t seek or go after guys from jail; it’s just that I thought about him all the time when we were separated.
Brande: You’re not stupid. The scenario you described happens to women everyday – with otherwise upstanding men who’ve never set foot in a jail cell. The issue here is this man’s choice to be dishonest. He misled you and it’s not your fault. In fact, you should give yourself credit because you noticed the signs (his distance) and you addressed it. Unfortunately, the excuse he provided for his behavior at the time (having just gotten out of jail) was not the truth, nor was there any way, from what you’ve told us, that you would’ve known otherwise. Be proud of yourself for not tolerating his dishonesty and knowing that, even though you may still love him, he’s not someone you need to be with. So, yes, I encourage you to cut all ties because you deserve better. Don’t fault yourself giving him a chance. Everyone reminisces on their first love from time to time and wonders what could have been. The truth, though, is that most times, as you found out, the fantasy is much nicer than the reality. Let this guy and what you shared together at one time go and spend your energy on attracting men who won’t take advantage of your generosity, nor disrespect you by carrying on simultaneous relationships with other women.
Jazmine: I wouldn’t call you stupid. I would say that you just got caught up in a bad situation. It happens to the best of us. I’m sorry that you’re hurting and I realize that the emotions that you’re feeling right now are really intense. I think it’s great that you’re making productive attempts at keeping yourself busy instead of sitting around sulking. I wish that I had some profound advice for you, but the truth of the matter is that only time will heal this wound. Well, of course, it depends on what you do with this time, but you seem to be on the right track. Continue to work on yourself. Perhaps picking up a new hobby would also help you to keep busy.
If you can, avoid wracking your brain trying to figure out what went wrong. At the end of the day, you probably never will and honestly, at this point it doesn’t even matter. This person does not truly care about or love you or he wouldn’t have put you in the situation that he put you in. Also, I don’t think that it’s a good idea for you to reach out to him and tell him to “lose all contact with you” if you have already ended things with him. Show him that you’re done through your actions. Messaging him will only open the door for further dialogue.
I know that you’re hurting and no, the feelings that you have for him won’t go away overnight, but I promise that you’ll feel better in time. And once you are feeling back to your old self, it may be a good time to think how you can avoid winding up in a similar situation.
Victoria: I don’t think you’re stupid. I think you loved him and you don’t know exactly how to move forward. But if he told you he has a girlfriend, you REALLY need to move on. From personal experience I can say that the best way to really do this is to purge him from your life, which you have been trying to do. However, don’t hit him up on Facebook telling him to never reach out to you again–that would actually make him reach back out in response and part of me thinks that’s what you want. But I wouldn’t recommend it.
We’ve all been hurt by people we are in love with and I think you’re doing a good job of focusing on other things to get your mind off of him. Keep up with that and focus on you. When you’re ready, get back out there and meet new people. But as for this particular man, it doesn’t sound like he’s worth your time or your tears.
PS: Please be sure to get tested if you didn’t ask him to get tested before engaging in intercourse since he was with another woman behind your back. A lady literally got on a city bus I was riding on one day in tears telling anyone who will listen that the man she loved who had just come out of jail was cheating on her. She had just found out that he was not only sleeping with her, but quite a few other people–both men and women. Be safe.
Veronica: No, you’re not stupid. You fell in love with someone who wasn’t right. And you’re not alone. If you ask and look around, you’ll find plenty of these stories. Honestly, it’s a good thing you found all of this out before you decided to move in with him.
I think what you’re doing–removing all of his contact information from your phone and social media networks– is a good thing. If it were me, I wouldn’t even send a Facebook message because it could read as an attempt to speak to him, even if the exchange won’t be pleasant. You don’t need him to remove you. YOU remove him. And really, really stick to that. Because there’s a 95 percent chance that homeboy will come sniffing back around. And when he does, send that fool to voicemail, ignore the texts and delete the DMs and Facebook messages. He’s already shown you he can’t be trusted.
You might have to fake it for a while but keep reminding yourself that you’re done and deserve better because you do. Just like everything difficult in life, it’ll take time to get over this dude. But one day you’ll look up and realize you don’t care like you used to and you’re taking care of yourself instead of worrying about him. And that’s a great feeling.
Lauren: You’re not stupid at all. It’s okay to still love him and want to slap him at the same damn time. Your emotions never define your intelligence, common sense, or the outcomes of your life goals. Ultimately they test you and you seem to be doing a great job of passing those tests. You’ve reached out to others to communicate how you feel and you’re working out the anger at the best place- the gym! Since this incident happened only a few day ago, give yourself time to be upset and don’t place a timeline for you to get over it. Learn what you can from this because it will help you to bypass dating red flags in the future. Also, don’t put so much weight on the history, sex life, or intimacy you shared with him. Put more weight on his character and actions. Ask yourself: Why did he put himself in this situation? You’ll begin to have clarity and assess who he is and who you are as individuals instead of shifting blame.
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