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A complicated breakup, how to work out the future?

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Guest ArenaMan

Forgive me for being unable to include everything which I think is relevant and important without being concise. I welcome any thoughts which you may have about anything regarding my situation.

I've been dating this girl (I'll call her Sarah) for over two years. During this time, I lived with her, while still having a dorm room but which I rarely visited. Our relationship was pretty serious, we both thought about the possibility of engagement at times. We were in the same class (in college), but I'm taking a 5th year to finish degrees in engineering, math, and computer science. In the spring she was accepted to a top ranking school for her program and we've known that after this year, she'd be in grad school and I'd still be here in undergrad. This summer, I'm staying in town to take some summer classes and she's here to finish her research so that she can get a publication.

The house I'm renting with some roommates was in bad shape and so while we waited for the landlord to fix it, Sarah and I lived in a friend's apartment for the beginning of the summer. The friend wasn't living there and hadn't moved out yet, so she let us stay there temporarily. One of my roommates (Adam) is also in town, he intended on getting a job but never did. While we were staying at our friend's apartment he was house-sitting outside of the city.

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I sensed that Sarah was having difficulties with our relationship so I brought it up, and she acknowledged it and said she needed time to think about things because she didn't know if she was ready to carry such a strong commitment through to graduate school. We agreed it was best if we both had some space to think about things, so I moved into the house. After about a week Adam moved into the house. Shortly after Sarah moved in as well (a separate bedroom), since our friend had to move out of her apartment. We still continued to spend time together, and as Adam had become my friend and consequently Sarah's over the previous year, it was usually the three of us hanging out (and also visitors who have been coming and going throughout the summer).

I was getting the impression that Sarah was more interested in spending time with everyone but me (usually just Adam). I concluded that she was evading the issue of breaking up with me and I thought it would be best for both of us if we did break up. I talked to her about it, and we did break up. It's always hard letting go of someone you've grown into, but for the most part I felt pretty good about it and I felt like I had closure and a breath of fresh air. I felt comfortable spending time with her and hanging out with everyone.

A few days after the breakup, however, I came home after class and went to Sarah's room to say hi. Her door was open and she was just waking up. She said she couldn't find her glasses so I looked around for them and saw a condom wrapper on the floor. I didn't mention it but I went to my room and dealt with my shock for a few hours. I started to put the pieces together.

During the time that Sarah and I had been living apart from each other, I noticed that she and Adam were spending a lot of time together and being secretive about it. When I drove to class in the morning, his car would be outside of the apartment she was staying in, and on one such morning he drove back out of town to house-sit, so I knew that he had stayed the night. When I was with Sarah, she wouldn't let me answer her phone calls, so I assumed she didn't want me to see text messages or her call history. My friend told me that Adam admitted to having a girlfriend of sorts, but that he wouldn't reveal any details about it. I attributed it to his introverted and closed personality, and wanting to keep his school friends separate from his girlfriend. She was often flirty with him, but I didn't realize it was flirting at the time. I am fairly certain that they had been involved for at least a few weeks while Sarah and I were still together, and were interested in each other for much longer.

The worst part of this is that after I told Sarah what I knew, how I was hurt, and that I didn't understand she could do such a thing to me, she said she was sorry, but I don't think she was. I thought she'd realize that she'd made a great mistake, and that she shouldn't see Adam anymore to keep from making it anymore painful for me. For a few days I didn't think it was even a question.

I realized that she was still seeing Adam, or at least still flirting with him and probably sleeping with him. Eventually I noticed him sneaking into and out of her room at night. I told her that I had been willing to try to salvage a friendship with her because she was important to me, but I couldn't do it if she wanted to keep the door open with Adam. She told me it wasn't fair of me to give her an ultimatum, that if she had to choose, she would choose me, but that this was not the 'me' she knew. She said I was being controlling.

She tried to ignore the conditions I put on a potential friendship with her. She was friendly with me, I took it to mean that maybe she was coming around. I played along for a few days, but it was obvious that nothing was changing. I finally told her that she had made her choice, and that I would have to force myself to cut her off. That morning she had been moving out of the house, which I found out shortly after making things final. I haven't seen or talked to her since.

From the beginning, it wasn't even a question of whether it was worth it to try to be friends with Aaron or forgive him. He hasn't offered any sort of apology but I really don't care, I don't have or want anything to do with him. Unfortunately, we are both living here until the lease ends after August. It will be unpleasant but I can deal with it.

At this point, I think I'm moving on pretty well. I don't feel so attached to Sarah, and I am no longer having trouble sleeping or getting my mind off of the whole thing.

I'm trying to figure out, however, how to approach the next year of my life. I'm going to have some very heavy semesters, more demanding than I've dealt with so far. After that I'll be going to graduate school. Although I don't even want to think about dating again, I do want to love someone again. I don't know how long it will be before I feel ready for another relationship, but if I happen to meet someone this year, would it be better to save myself the trouble of a long distance relationship, which will be a very likely consequence? Would it be worth trying? Worth having a different experience, if only temporary? I suppose I am also wondering about the futility of actively making new friends, and whether it is worth the effort if I'm going to be leaving after a year, when I could just give myself more breathing room in my academic life.

I am also wondering if I'll again make the mistake of trusting the wrong person too much. I am not sure I should have ever gotten involved with Sarah in the first place. At the time there were some signs that maybe we would work, maybe not. I thought I'd take the chance, and wasn't so lucky. I want to learn how to trust someone without doing so blindly. I don't want to close myself off from the world and from new people, but I also don't want to be betrayed again. I suppose this is just something I'll have to learn.

Any thoughts, or suggestions? I'd appreciate any of it. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

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First off, your scenario is pretty awful and I'm sorry that had to happen to you.

I would focus on your schoolwork, and instead of actively trying to "make friends" just keep your eyes and ears out for people who are of the right caliber of person (for potential friendship or even just friendly acquaintanceship, if that is all you have time for) and don't be scared to go down the path of getting to know someone, but don't go past your comfort level if you're not ready... friendships are supposed to be an added value to life, not a cause of stress of emotional anxiety.

In terms of women, each scenario will be unique, so you have to base your decision on the full context of your situation and of her person. In these cases, pay attention to your emotions!! If you pay attention to them correctly, can save yourself a lot of trouble. Use your emotions as indicators as to your values, don't use them as the final arbiter, but listen to them - they are lightning-fast responses based on your values and will often tip you off to things that your consciousness is not - follow them to explicit understanding via patient introspection (questions like "what about X made me feel Y?" "do i often react this way to Y? if not, what about this particular X?" etc)

I hope this helps :?

Edited by athena glaukopis
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She told me it wasn't fair of me to give her an ultimatum, that if she had to choose, she would choose me, but that this was not the 'me' she knew. She said I was being controlling.

Just a point of clarification. It is not controlling to withhold your esteem from someone based upon their lack of character. It is not an ultimatum. It is your free choice as to whom you associate with. She is simply telling you that it is not "fair" for you to not let her have her cake and eat it too. I would say that's all you need to know about her to make a decision.

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Despite whatever other negative aspects may be attributed to her, I agree with Dr. Laura when she says "Choose wisely, treat kindly". It's the first part that people usually mess up. As Athena said, You have to make it about your values (and theirs). Also you need to remember that unearned love can be of no value - that should help with the finality of getting over Sarah. You didn't earn her (or else she wouldn't have betrayed you). Make sure not to get involved with another girl until you do.

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You didn't earn her (or else she wouldn't have betrayed you).

This would be true if earning someone's actions necessarily led to just evaluations by others. This is not necessarily the case, and in fact, when the other person is of questionable character, one can do everything necessary and still not earn respect.

I think a better way to state it is that she didn't earn him. The fact that she cheated on him could go to her character just as much as to her evaluation of his.

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I want to learn how to trust someone without doing so blindly. I don't want to close myself off from the world and from new people, but I also don't want to be betrayed again.

The first part comes from learning the cause and effect of a person's actions and the role that volitional choices play. This means learning what to consider as someone of high character. Which means, what are proper values, and how do they translate into actions. The difficulty is that even when you have a handle on this aspect, what you know is only what someone tells you about themselves and how they behave, both of which can be contradictory. Judging other people is not an easy thing to master, but the only way is to think it through, introspect, determine what a good character is and then judge people according to that.

The basic fact is, that becuase people are volitional, then you always run the risk that things won't work out. However, as you get better at judging people, that risk reduces.

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I'm sorry to hear that. I know how you feel.

I don't know how long it will be before I feel ready for another relationship, but if I happen to meet someone this year, would it be better to save myself the trouble of a long distance relationship, which will be a very likely consequence? Would it be worth trying? Worth having a different experience, if only temporary? I suppose I am also wondering about the futility of actively making new friends, and whether it is worth the effort if I'm going to be leaving after a year, when I could just give myself more breathing room in my academic life.

A long distance relationship never worked for me or for many of the people I know, and probably not in your situation since it seems to be somewhat like mine, as far as her personality and actions, especially this:

She told me it wasn't fair of me to give her an ultimatum, that if she had to choose, she would choose me, but that this was not the 'me' she knew. She said I was being controlling.

All I can say is, I know it hurts man, but you have to break it off. Holding on will just tear yourself apart.

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Guest ArenaMan

Thanks for your comments so far.

Just a point of clarification. It is not controlling to withhold your esteem from someone based upon their lack of character. It is not an ultimatum. It is your free choice as to whom you associate with. She is simply telling you that it is not "fair" for you to not let her have her cake and eat it too. I would say that's all you need to know about her to make a decision.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Also you need to remember that unearned love can be of no value - that should help with the finality of getting over Sarah. You didn't earn her (or else she wouldn't have betrayed you). Make sure not to get involved with another girl until you do.

Could you elaborate? If I'm interpreting correctly, then who's to say she's not acting irrationally by pursuing a fling with a limited reward at the cost of a friendship? Is it impossible to be earned by someone and act in such a way as to contradict the fact?

All I can say is, I know it hurts man, but you have to break it off. Holding on will just tear yourself apart.

To clarify, I do not intend to re-enter a relationship with Sarah and probably not even a friendship. When I was referring to having another relationship, I meant having a relationship with a different person in the future.

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you are still very hung up on her, enough to post here.

this whole situation is superfluous-she really doesnt care about you

what does this have to do with objectivism ?

i feel for you tho i TRULY do, and it will get better guaranteed

pam

Edited by pam
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"Being controlling" is usually (read: a majority of the time) just a woman's way of saying "I want to live and do whatever I want with no consequences" or as Kendall pointed with the proverbial cake.

Long distance relationships only work for the following people: those are insanely in love with each other, fictional people or people can't get anything else. So unless you far into one of those three criteria, I'd avoid the long distance thing if I were you. Focus on your studies, plan out your career, and start laying the foundations to having a great life. Years from now, when you have your life straightend out... then it will be perfect to really pursue some romance....

... But by then all the girls will be taken. Oh well, have a beer and play video games instead! :D:P

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Regarding closure:

Dr. Hurd recently posted an article about closure. I recommend you read it as a starting point. I also recommend that you analyze your actions to see what you can learn from them. Even a perfectly moral person can be fooled and hurt by a dishonest one (see Rand & Branden), but in the vast majority of cases careful retrospection will reveal mistakes on both sides. When you carefully analyze what happened and determine what actions (if any) you could have taken to minimize the damage, and when you recognize that whatever values you thought you saw in this girl (I assume honesty and integrity were among them) were not really there, you can move on.

You said you spoke of engagement. What were the values you considered important enough to form the foundation of a lifetime commitment? Were those values really sufficient? What convinced that you had found those values in this girl? Were they really there? How might you have realized they weren't earlier? Again, I recommend Dr. Hurd, specifically his article on love.

Regarding the situation:

From your first post, I can see one moral mistake and one (or two) psychological mistakes on your part. The moral mistake was asking her to stop seeing the other guy after you ended your relationship. There are legitimate reasons to advise a friend about her choice of sexual partner(s), but your feelings, however painful, are not one of them. Further, as you were no longer her romantic partner, you had no right whatsoever to ask/demand that she stop seeing him or anyone else. In fact, I think the fact that she stayed with the same guy she cheated with is a point in her favor: it shows that her cheating wasn't arbitrary or nihilistic, however dishonest. She seems to genuinely value this other guy, and while you do not need to support her, you should not interfere. Of course you can (and should) judge her by her romantic choices, but you said yourself that Adam was your friend for a year. You probably think she "traded down," but if you esteem him enough to call him a friend, she probably doesn't deserve to be condemned for her choice (unless you both do).

The one (or two) psychological errors were moving in and remaining in the same house while "taking a break" and after you broke up. Nothing immoral about it, it's just a very bad idea. In a similar situation, I would go to great lengths to avoid living together.

Just to clarify, when you decided to "take a break," what exactly was your status? Was there any reason she might think it okay to start seeing someone else? Hopefully your terms were very explicit. Even if you did clearly agree not to become romantically involved with anyone else during this time, it still isn't really clear to me from your post that she cheated on you. Could you clarify: when you confronted her, did she admit to having sex with (or kissing, etc.) Adam/Aaron while she considered the two of you to be in a monogamous relationship? If she didn't begin a physical relationship before breaking with you (unless she thought the terms of your "taking a break" allowed that), you can't fault her for falling for another guy, including flirting and spending lots of time with him (even overnight, if it was non-physical). If she wanted to break up with you, but wasn't doing anything about it, that is certainly her moral error, and it's good that you tried to be sensitive to that. But it can be hard to tell if another person is stalling or carefully considering. Only Sarah can answer that.

The whole point of "taking a break" is to figure out if you really want to be with this person. Spending time with another person you find attractive can be a good way to go about it. Deception is wrong, but it's also wrong to sacrifice romantic happiness to someone else's hurt feelings. You'll have to answer my aforementioned questions before I could agree that Sarah and Adam/Aaron owe you an apology.

I hope I don't seem to be attacking you unfairly. I don't know you or your moral stature or the other people involved, so I'm trying to interpret this as openly as possible. You may be all victim here, or not, but unless you left out some very significant information I think I can safely say your ultimatum was morally wrong. Beyond that I'm all speculation.

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If this helps anybody at all, I can tell 'my first love' story and my own sollution.

Then I was fourteen, I was stupid and experienceless. yet I still fell in (puppy) love with one girl I knew practically nothing about. Later it appeared to me what a small b*tch she was, without manners, without real friendship, it was like other people was her tools. There are people lke that in the world - some are better, some are worse.

After crying for three months I realised that she was not the problem, problem was me - I gave too much attention to one girl. So I began talking to everyone - talk is cheap(like in Morrowind). By doing that, I found out some things I never knew about before:

1. Practise makes perfect;

2. The less you are affected by relationship, the easier to close it;

3. Relationships shouldn't be your passion;

4. You won't get hurt if you don't care;

5. Reject before you get rejected.

So now I know I have nothing to lose and I don't care about success of relationship, I have my own point of view and it is pretty easy to live without a relationship at all. I just act like a friend with a girl, tell some jokes and etc. Girls fall in love with me so fast, I have to run from them :P

Thaks for your attention and bad intentions(joke) reading this.

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Guest ArenaMan

Thanks Kendall and Mammon, good points.

Starling, that was a great reply. Thanks for asking the right questions and being objective.

Regarding closure:

Dr. Hurd recently posted an article about closure. I recommend you read it as a starting point. I also recommend that you analyze your actions to see what you can learn from them. Even a perfectly moral person can be fooled and hurt by a dishonest one (see Rand & Branden), but in the vast majority of cases careful retrospection will reveal mistakes on both sides. When you carefully analyze what happened and determine what actions (if any) you could have taken to minimize the damage, and when you recognize that whatever values you thought you saw in this girl (I assume honesty and integrity were among them) were not really there, you can move on.

I am gaining a lot of closure as time goes on. Aaron (you noticed my mistake of mentioning his actual name, good eye) is still living in the house with me, so it's not entirely out of my mind but I am not experiencing pain so much as annoyance.

You said you spoke of engagement. What were the values you considered important enough to form the foundation of a lifetime commitment? Were those values really sufficient? What convinced that you had found those values in this girl? Were they really there? How might you have realized they weren't earlier? Again, I recommend Dr. Hurd, specifically his article on love.

I'll check out Dr. Hurd's articles, thanks. I always thought that Sarah was ambitious, independent in thought and in action, attractive, and has an expressive personality which is important to me. She wasn't as explicitly driven by reason as I am, but I always thought that we shared a lot of the same ideals whether she knew it or not. She definitely had her flaws but even when I was with her she grew out of a lot of them. I've recently begun to see that her psychological problems go much deeper than I realized. I can never know what she was or is thinking, but this was my first serious relationship and I have learned a lot about when to be wary when it comes to romantic partners.

Regarding the situation:

From your first post, I can see one moral mistake and one (or two) psychological mistakes on your part. The moral mistake was asking her to stop seeing the other guy after you ended your relationship. There are legitimate reasons to advise a friend about her choice of sexual partner(s), but your feelings, however painful, are not one of them. Further, as you were no longer her romantic partner, you had no right whatsoever to ask/demand that she stop seeing him or anyone else. In fact, I think the fact that she stayed with the same guy she cheated with is a point in her favor: it shows that her cheating wasn't arbitrary or nihilistic, however dishonest. She seems to genuinely value this other guy, and while you do not need to support her, you should not interfere. Of course you can (and should) judge her by her romantic choices, but you said yourself that Adam was your friend for a year. You probably think she "traded down," but if you esteem him enough to call him a friend, she probably doesn't deserve to be condemned for her choice (unless you both do).

Do you think I should have immediately broken off communication with her and killed the possibility of being friends with her? I did not demand that she stop seeing Aaron, but I told her that I was willing to give her a second chance to salvage a friendship. Of the two, she must value either my friendship, or her fling with Aaron, more than the other, and I wanted to give her an opportunity to make sure she was making the right choice. I admit that I was holding on to the hope that she would decide she had made a mistake, but she doesn't seem to think it was... I've accepted that.

Why was it not legitimate to give her the choice of me (as a friend) or him (as a romantic interest)? Since I only have control over my friendship with her, and since I refuse to participate in a friendship while she chooses to continue hurting me by seeing Aaron, it's either give her that choice or make it for her by refusing a friendship. Or am I missing something?

I feel like my biggest mistake in all of this was to esteem her so much as to have such a serious relationship with her. I can only try harder from now on to be more careful.

The one (or two) psychological errors were moving in and remaining in the same house while "taking a break" and after you broke up. Nothing immoral about it, it's just a very bad idea. In a similar situation, I would go to great lengths to avoid living together.

We both committed to doing things which require living in this area for the summer, and it was difficult for her to find another place to live. I told her that I'd prefer it if she moved out, but since her ability to live here had been a condition I agreed to under which she chose to work here, I wouldn't refuse it. I'm glad she eventually moved out, however.

Just to clarify, when you decided to "take a break," what exactly was your status? Was there any reason she might think it okay to start seeing someone else? Hopefully your terms were very explicit. Even if you did clearly agree not to become romantically involved with anyone else during this time, it still isn't really clear to me from your post that she cheated on you. Could you clarify: when you confronted her, did she admit to having sex with (or kissing, etc.) Adam/Aaron while she considered the two of you to be in a monogamous relationship? If she didn't begin a physical relationship before breaking with you (unless she thought the terms of your "taking a break" allowed that), you can't fault her for falling for another guy, including flirting and spending lots of time with him (even overnight, if it was non-physical). If she wanted to break up with you, but wasn't doing anything about it, that is certainly her moral error, and it's good that you tried to be sensitive to that. But it can be hard to tell if another person is stalling or carefully considering. Only Sarah can answer that.

I should have been more clear. We weren't taking a break from the relationship exactly, but just giving each other space to think about the situation. I told her that I suspected she had been sleeping with Aaron during that time, and she didn't deny it. Aaron had a mark on his neck from making out with her during that time. As far as I'm concerned, she cheated on me, and she admitted it in so many words.

The whole point of "taking a break" is to figure out if you really want to be with this person. Spending time with another person you find attractive can be a good way to go about it. Deception is wrong, but it's also wrong to sacrifice romantic happiness to someone else's hurt feelings. You'll have to answer my aforementioned questions before I could agree that Sarah and Adam/Aaron owe you an apology.

I didn't expect either of them to sacrifice romantic happiness to my feelings. If I thought that Sarah really was choosing romantic happiness, I would have more quickly accepted her decision and moved on. However, she has made it a point that she broke up with me because she doesn't want a commitment in graduate school. She told me that she sees me as the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with, but that she's not ready for that type of relationship in graduate school. The way she put it, she'd be lying if she chose to enter into a relationship with Aaron, and I think the most that will come out of it is that she will keep in touch with him, maybe romantically, until she finds something better. This seems to me to be the fling she couldn't wait to have. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But that is why I've pressed her to make a choice... I wasn't sure that I believed that she really thought throwing my friendship away was worth it.

I hope I don't seem to be attacking you unfairly. I don't know you or your moral stature or the other people involved, so I'm trying to interpret this as openly as possible. You may be all victim here, or not, but unless you left out some very significant information I think I can safely say your ultimatum was morally wrong. Beyond that I'm all speculation.

Thanks for your input!

Edited by ArenaMan
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Okay then, Sarah definitely cheated and should be condemned. Thanks for clarifying. She's obviously very mixed up. Someone should tell her that there's no such thing as "the person I want to be with for the rest of my life except grad school and one fling right before grad school." She also clearly lied about ending her relationship with Aaron, so another black mark on her sheet. Aaron also betrayed you (twice) and owes you at least an apology, so I think your decision to end that friendship is completely right. The fact that Aaron hasn't tried to be your "buddy" since indicates he implicitly acknowledges that as well. Too bad he's unwilling to do so explicitly and redeem his character a bit.

Re: moving out, it always seem so difficult, but the relationship should be worth more, in most cases, besides your own psychological health. Just advice for the future, and it isn't always possible/practical I know.

The problem I have with your ultimatum is that you say "I want you to give up something you value because of my feelings," as opposed to "Your actions are contrary to the value I see in you, thus if you do not abandon those actions I will no longer value you." You were right to feel hurt when Sarah betrayed you, and to devalue her by ending your romantic relationship. Whether or not you should feel hurt by her continued relationship with Aaron depends on whether or not her doing so betrays some value you saw in her (without which you no longer value her as a friend). So what value is she betraying?

I think you want to condemn her for having a fling. If that's the case, we need to debate whether or not flings are morally wrong (I think they are not, in fact they are often quite beneficial). If you just have a problem with this particular fling, why? Aaron's demonstrable dishonesty and failure to apologize to you could be a valid reason, but your hurt feelings are not the reason. The reason is whatever caused your hurt feelings. If the cause is valid, then the core of your ultimatum is just, but the wording was off.

By the way, you are really awesome for taking my comments so well! It is especially difficult to take criticism when you've been seriously wronged and hurt, and even more so from a total stranger. Kudos.

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Guest ArenaMan
Okay then, Sarah definitely cheated and should be condemned. Thanks for clarifying. She's obviously very mixed up. Someone should tell her that there's no such thing as "the person I want to be with for the rest of my life except grad school and one fling right before grad school." She also clearly lied about ending her relationship with Aaron, so another black mark on her sheet. Aaron also betrayed you (twice) and owes you at least an apology, so I think your decision to end that friendship is completely right. The fact that Aaron hasn't tried to be your "buddy" since indicates he implicitly acknowledges that as well. Too bad he's unwilling to do so explicitly and redeem his character a bit.

Re: moving out, it always seem so difficult, but the relationship should be worth more, in most cases, besides your own psychological health. Just advice for the future, and it isn't always possible/practical I know.

Thanks :P

The problem I have with your ultimatum is that you say "I want you to give up something you value because of my feelings," as opposed to "Your actions are contrary to the value I see in you, thus if you do not abandon those actions I will no longer value you."

That's probably a better way of getting at what was going through my mind.

You were right to feel hurt when Sarah betrayed you, and to devalue her by ending your romantic relationship. Whether or not you should feel hurt by her continued relationship with Aaron depends on whether or not her doing so betrays some value you saw in her (without which you no longer value her as a friend). So what value is she betraying?

I was hurt by knowing that she cheated on me with my friend, and continued to see him right in front of me. What was causing me hurt by her continued relationship/fling with Aaron, as long as I had tried to stay involved with her as a friend, was the constant reminder that my friendship wasn't worth sacrificing pursuing a romantic interest in Aaron.

Maybe, just maybe, if she had actually known Aaron very well, if she was looking for more than a fling, if she had acted considerate to me and made it clear that she couldn't help having an overwhelming desire to pursue him, and wanted to minimize the damage it caused me, I could buy that she truly valued me even though she was pursuing Aaron.

Her actions, however, indicate to me that she has little regard for what she put me through, and that the reward she is getting by being with Aaron is limited, but still worth more than my friendship. I don't want a friendship with her if, after a couple years, she cares so little for me.

I think you want to condemn her for having a fling. If that's the case, we need to debate whether or not flings are morally wrong (I think they are not, in fact they are often quite beneficial). If you just have a problem with this particular fling, why? Aaron's demonstrable dishonesty and failure to apologize to you could be a valid reason, but your hurt feelings are not the reason. The reason is whatever caused your hurt feelings. If the cause is valid, then the core of your ultimatum is just, but the wording was off.

I think you're right that I'm condemning her for having this particular fling, because of how she's making my life more difficult by involving people in it (it's hard not to think about how she cheated on me with Aaron when I see him). She was very aware that anything she did with Aaron would stir up bad feelings for me, and yet she continued having a fling with him anyway.

This would also be true if she had not cheated on me. It wouldn't have been as hard to deal with had she had broken up with me before having a fling with Aaron, but showing a lack of consideration for me the way she did, I feel is condemnable either way.

By the way, you are really awesome for taking my comments so well! It is especially difficult to take criticism when you've been seriously wronged and hurt, and even more so from a total stranger. Kudos.

Thanks... detaching myself from her over time has made it easier to think about the situation clearly. I can't blame anyone for their honest criticism when I ask for it. So thanks for it!

ArenaMan,

So Sarah was sleeping with Adam AND Aaron? Or, I dunno, what is the deal? Are they the same person?

They're the same person.. I didn't want to use actual names, but I slipped up. Adam was the name I was using to describe Aaron, so Aaron is the person I'm referring to.

Edited by ArenaMan
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Now I will suggest you how to work out the future: meet other girls. Meet as many as you can. Nothing heals heart better than new relationships. talk to them just for fun. Thinking about other girl makes you not afraid of other girls. If Sarah was a b****, that doesn't mean other women are. Trust me, that worked for me. Feeling future not important to you makes it a good relationship.

And now, stop worrying about Sarah. If you still live in the same apartment, invite your new female friends there. If Sarah sees them, that's even better. Show her you don't care about her and that insulting you was bad not to you, but her. That's her fault you broke up, not yours. So be the real man and move on. ;)

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I think you want to condemn her for having a fling. If that's the case, we need to debate whether or not flings are morally wrong (I think they are not, in fact they are often quite beneficial). If you just have a problem with this particular fling, why? Aaron's demonstrable dishonesty and failure to apologize to you could be a valid reason, but your hurt feelings are not the reason. The reason is whatever caused your hurt feelings. If the cause is valid, then the core of your ultimatum is just, but the wording was off.

You've piqued my curiosity. What, exactly, is beneficial about a fling? Especially a fling that's basically a rebound from the end of a long term relationship?

It's a bad idea to make blanket moral evaluations about types of romantic affairs. Like everything else in morality, context is key. That being said, in most contexts I can think of, flings are negative to self-esteem, reflect a lapse in romantic standards, and serves to diminish the importance and value of sex and relationships to one's own life.

Edited by Myself
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