My ex started dating someone he met through me

Chat at 1 p.m.

I'm 23 and live in Australia. Last year I had to move to a different city for work and I met someone. We became friends and eventually I fell in love with him. He was 27 and I was 22, and I genuinely felt like I made him a better person and vice versa. In February of this year I had to move back to my city, and we knew that when I did, we would break up because we both didn't think long-distance would work.

We stayed in contact when I moved back, and I missed him a lot. He seemed to feel the same, but he was getting on better than I was. In April I flew to his city to visit him, and when we saw each other it was like no time had passed and we felt exactly the same. He came with me to my friend's party as a plus-one and we spent a lovely weekend together before I (sadly) had to fly back home. Seeing him after two months apart, and feeling just as enthralled by him as I did when we saw each other every week, I knew I still had feelings for him, even though we said we were broken up.

Three weeks later, while scrolling through Facebook, I saw a girl had tagged him in a post, and after I messaged him about it, he told me he was sleeping with/seeing someone else (that is, a girl he met at the party I brought him to). I was heartbroken and devastated. I felt like I had been cheated on even though we never said we would be together. I felt wronged that he would move on so quickly with someone he met indirectly through me.

He's now dating her, and he and I speak on occasion. Every time we speak I feel just as I did while we were dating, like I would drop everything to speak to him, and yet he pulls away because it's a "weird situation" with him dating someone else.

I guess my questions is, what do you do if you're heartbroken from someone who didn't technically do anything wrong? How do you treat a broken heart when you want to keep them in your life but you're unsure if it would do more harm than good? If you break up with someone, not because you don't love each other, but because of distance, how do you fix that broken heart?

– Heartbroken

Long-distance can work. It’s often unpleasant, but it's possible to pull off. The two of you could have made a choice to try for more (I mean, you were able to see him just two months after you moved), but ... you didn't. Think about the reasons you called it off when you left – because they still apply, right?

Also, I know you won't like this answer, but please stop talking to him. Your conversations with this man make you feel like you're still dating. Your chemistry with him is romantic, not platonic, which means you're extending that heartache and confusion with every wonderful phone call. Start treating this like a real breakup and protect yourself as much as you can. Maybe do some muting and blocking on social media. Teach yourself that he's not really in your life anymore.

If you've changed your mind about what you want – as in, you'd be open to long-distance – you can let him know. But you'd be doing it to give him the chance to tell you that he's not into the idea. It would be a way to get a little bit of closure, to be told that he'd rather move on than make it work. Because again, he did not look at you that weekend and say, "How can we make this possible?" Instead, he started dating someone he met at that party.

It's OK if you're angry about that, by the way. He didn't break any rules, nor did he cheat, but your feelings are your feelings. Be upset, block him, and start the process of finding new people to think about.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you move on?