Fooled me three times …

We chat at 1 today.


Last May I went through a difficult and unexpected breakup. I had been dating this guy for almost a year, and even though I thought things had been a little off with him, I figured he was stressed with school. That summer I was moving to Boston, just one street away from him. That wasn't planned; it was just the way it worked out. So, to say the least, the month leading up to my move-in date was nerve-racking and not as exciting as I thought it would be. I was moving in with people I'd never met before, so everything was hitting me all at once.

After my move, I ran into him a few times. The more I saw him, the more I wished I would meet someone else. Sure enough, I did. He was extremely funny, nice, and I was very attracted to him. We exchanged numbers, and one week later met up and had a really great time. I was having such a fun time with this new guy that I was forgetting about what had happened with my ex.

But after about a month, the new guy went back to his ex-girlfriend without even giving me an explanation. He wouldn't answer any texts or calls, and I was so confused. Another month went by and I received a text from him. Sure enough, I went back to hanging out with him because he said he and his ex were "done for good this time." Apparently not for good -- because he did the same thing he did to me the first time.

We naturally stopped talking and months went by. This past spring, I went abroad and I receive a request on Twitter ... from him. I couldn't believe it and I was confused about why he would be interested anymore. Days later, he sent me a message and we began talking again. When I got back, we went out like we previously did and had a great time. I soon come to find out that he had been in serious trouble (I can't go into details) and was trying not to get me involved. We broke up again. I feel so stupid for falling for him for a third time. Although I am upset he did this to me, I am still really disappointed it didn't work out. Why am I so caught up on a guy who doesn't deserve me?

– Frustrated, Boston

You're not really into this guy. You're just caught up in the disappointment -- because disappointment is awful. You had a bad breakup and thought this guy might be the answer to your problems. You got your hopes up and he let you down, leaving you bummed and confused.
Two things to focus on as you get yourself over this: 1. You just got to Boston and you basically live with strangers. It's a great time to make new friends so that your dating life doesn't feel so critical. 2. It's a good time to get ticked off. You seem to have skipped over the anger phase and are stuck on longing and self-punishment. This guy dumped you twice to go back to an ex. Twice! I understand that his rejection stings, but please take a moment to break up with him in your own mind. You have to reject him, even if it's your own, private decision. This guy is not the partner you're looking for. Let yourself come to that conclusion.

The big thing is, don't confuse disappointment with unrequited love. Just because you're bummed about losing him doesn't mean you want him back. You wouldn't want to give this guy a fourth chance, right? Disappointment goes away. Just call it what it is.

Readers? Why is she stuck on this guy? Does this have anything to do with the ex or living with strangers? Is she confusing disappointment with love? Help.

– Meredith