His Secrets Led to Break-up
Q: I was dating this guy for about a year. We had a pretty good relationship overall. The last time we were on vacation I saw his journal and got really curious and started reading it. (I know that's a terrible thing to do.) But what I read was heartbreaking. He wrote that he really didn't see a future with me, he thought that I wasn't intellectually or socially compatible with him. I got really angry and broke up with him although I didn't tell him that I read his journal. But now I am having a hard time getting over him. I know that I deserve better, but why is it so hard to let go? -- Macy, 24
Dr. Susan: It's always hard to let go when the other person is the one who makes it clear they don't really see you as their perfect match. You've got the right idea, though, Macy, which is to keep reminding yourself that you deserve a much better partner than this guy. Not only was he looking down on you, but he didn't have the guts to discuss his concerns with you. He was stringing you along even though he knew deep down that there was no future for the two of you. His dishonesty ought to bother you just about more than anything. Of course, as you know, it's not nice to read someone else's private journal, but personally, I find it hard to blame you in this case. You could have brought up the subject in a better way than by breaking up with him the way you did. You might have asked him if he saw a future for the two of you, and whether he thought you were a good match for him overall. It would have been interesting to see what he would say. The heart of letting go, though, is to give it some time. You were not expecting to have the entire year you spent with him obliterated suddenly. And get out there and do stuff in the world rather than sit around thinking about what might have been.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.