“Ugh, I’m obsessed with a guy who’s really bad for me”

Dear Sarah,

I’ve had a “friends-with-benefits” relationship with a guy for a little over a year and a half. The thing is, I’ve fallen in love. I started developing feelings for him after about nine months, but I didn’t say anything because I was too scared of how he would react. So, I just let it go on. After a year, I couldn’t hold it in and told him. He said he was sorry but didn’t feel the same about me. It broke my heart but I figured I’d get over it.  Then it happened again. We hooked up and I felt horrible. I loved him, but all he wanted was sex. We broke it off then got back together again—this pattern kept repeating about four more times.

Eventually he ended things for real because he got a new a girlfriend, who was PREGNANT—and not with his child. I didn’t know how to deal with this, I was freaking out. Then we started talking, and, of course, we went back to hooking up. We’ve had this thing going on for so long, I don’t know what to do. I recently moved to another town and don’t see him as much which is causing me to rethink the situation a bit. Still, it’s three months until our two year “anniversary,” and haven’t put a stop to it, even though he has this other girlfriend. How do I let him go once and for all?

—Crying in Idaho

Dear Crying,

I know you are hurting, but you need to cut this guy out of your life for good, right now. He has another girlfriend and it’s not fair to her—but especially, its not fair to yourself. Honestly, the dude sounds at best, lost, at worst, toxic: casually hooking up with you after you professed your love for him; starting to date this other woman who sounds like she’s in a messy situation herself; hooking up with you again and again. . .What? It’s time to pull the plug on the soap opera that is apparently dominating two, if not all three, of your lives.

How do you let him go? You stop calling him, texting him, FB’ing him, IM’ing him, Snapchatting him, emailing him, and eventually, crying over him. I’ve received a pile of letters this week from girls (and a few guys) who are suffering from some version of your problem: moving on after a relationship is clearly over—or needs to be. Its never easy to get over a broken heart, but the frequency with which I hear how many women obsess for months, if not years, over their exes, makes me suspect, that today, with the ability to cyber-stalk someone literally at our fingertips, moving on is harder than ever before.

So, its going to take a major social media purge and a whole lot of will power. What will you do with yourself in the meantime? LIVE! See your friends, go to movies, exercise, volunteer at an animal shelter, play Twister—do anything you enjoy that gets you out into the world thinking about other stuff and meeting other people. Drop by drop, the drug that is your obsession with him will drain from your veins, and suddenly it will occur to you that you haven’t thought of him for days and you really, really don’t care anymore. Won’t that be great?

You got this!

Love, Sarah

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