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Question #90099 posted on 07/19/2017 1:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why is moving on so tough? I met a girl before Fall semester started whom, up until a few months ago, I considered one of my best friends. We went on enough dates to nearly convince my friends that we were a thing. She brought out the best in me, and I wanted to be as [Christlike adjective] as possible when I was with her; not to impress, but because she deserved that as my friend. Just as I had never liked a girl more, I'd never suffered more emotionally because of one girl: If she wasn't interested, nobody could tell...she acted like she was. After months of confusion, I talked to her about it and found out she wasn't, even though she acknowledged she had led me on. I wasn't destroyed, though disappointed, and we hung out (as permanent friends) a few days later. I found out that she had lied about something important when we talked a few days earlier. That's when I realized that I couldn't trust her anymore. I left school a few weeks later, not having spoken to her since. I deleted her number. Unfriended her on Facebook. Whatever I needed to do to get her out of my mind.I didn't say a thing to her about it. What bothers me the most is that she hasn't noticed a change. And if she did, she probably doesn't care. She hasn't spoken to me since, either. The irony is that I told her the day we talked that I was afraid our friendship would crash and burn (as most platonic friendships do...she scoffed at that). But I didn't think it would be so soon. I tell my friends I've moved on, but I think about her every day. I say I never want to talk to her again, but I wish she would say something just so I know I meant something to her. She knows she was important to me. How do I move on? I know I'll go on dates again, but I don't want to be so paranoid and burdened that I never trust a girl again.

-me

A:

Dear you,

I'm sorry for the emotional burden you're carrying, and for how difficult it has been to move on. Unfortunately, I don't think I can offer much advice for how to move on, but I do think I can highlight an alternate view as to why this girl hasn't initiated any contact since the described incidence.

If I was the girl in this situation, and a guy whom I knew I had hurt emotionally (which it sounds like this girl did know) stopped talking with me, unfriended me on Facebook and deleted my number, I definitely wouldn't try to talk with him again no matter how much I cared for him. In fact, my abstinence from communication would probably be fueled by my feelings for the guy. I would take his actions as a very strong hint that he wanted nothing to do with me anymore, and I would respect that decision, no matter how much it might sting personally.

As time passed, it would only get easier to just do nothing and let the guy just move on to the next thing in life. In fact, I'd probably move on myself. I'd miss the friend I once had, but I would at least try not to hurt him more by seeking him out, when he clearly seemed to not want that.

Obviously I don't know the girl in your situation, so I can't speak for her. I'm just offering a plausible explanation beyond "she just doesn't care" as to why you've heard nothing from her.

~Anathema

A:

Dear you,

As I thought about this question after first reading it, most of my thoughts were the same as what Anathema ended up writing, and I wholeheartedly second what she says. Honestly, that's the way things go when you go nuclear like that  you miss her because you cut it off really quickly, and you didn't have time emotionally to respond to what had happened.

In addition to Anathema's fantastic insight, I do actually have a few pieces of advice on moving on. First, get busy with something. Do anything you enjoy doing, whether it's spending time with friends, playing video games, exercising, learning something new, or whatever. It won't necessarily help in the times when your mind is empty (for me, that's mostly when I'm in the shower or trying to sleep), but at least the majority of the time you'll be fine, and it'll get better from there.

Second, in the future, don't cut things off so quickly. If things don't work out the way you had hoped, or a person turns out to be different from how you thought they were, you don't have to quit them cold turkey. Just downgrade them to Minor Friend or maybe even Acquaintance. You don't have to talk to them all the time, but smile and say hi when you happen to see them. Let them know non-verbally that you don't resent them as a person and that you're doing just fine, despite whatever may have happened. Eventually the feelings will atrophy and die naturally, and moving on will be much easier.

Finally, don't let any one person's actions define your view of a group. Individuals are just that, and every new person you meet deserves a chance to show you that they're a good person.

-The Entomophagist