I saw another woman on his Instagram story

Send your problems.

Dear Meredith,

A few months ago I started hooking up with a friend. Admittedly, he was hot and cold the entire time. And admittedly, I was hoping it could eventually become something more serious. We, of course, never had the conversation about what was happening between us.

A month ago, when I saw him last, he was distant and pulled away when I would touch him. When I asked how he was feeling, he said he didn't know. I told him I was backing off until he knew.

Fast forward a month and I hadn't heard anything. On his Instagram story, lo and behold, there were images of him with another woman. When I confronted him about how I was feeling, he told me point blank it was never his intention to take anything further. Immediately I started to compare myself to her.

My question, Meredith, is: How do you not blame yourself when someone you were interested in chooses someone else over you?

– Critical Thinker

Some things to consider:

1. You have no idea how he feels about this other woman. Instagram stories are a moment in time. Whatever you saw was temporary.

2. Let's say he's smitten with her. Does that really say anything about you? You can compare yourself to her all you want, but you'll never know what inexplicable thing has drawn him to her. I'm sure you can come up with a list of people who are, on paper, better catches than this man. Yet ... you want him. You won't be able to figure out why he wants her, so stop trying.

3. You built this relationship on hope, but that wasn't enough. His moments of hot turned cold pretty quickly. The lesson here is that actions and words are both important, but so is consistency. He didn't show that.

Mute his accounts – and hers, if you're following them. Force yourself to start hoping for someone new.

– Meredith

Readers? Help the LW stop comparing.