My ex boyfriend messed me up. How to date now?

My ex boyfriend was what we like to call a piece of work. He lied to me, cheated on me multiple times, made me feel crazy for suspecting him, made me apologize for being suspicious, dumped me multiple times and then would sweet talk me into coming back. He even had a back up girl for when we broke up but would kiss me and tell me that he missed me every time I tried to move on. Now he is out of my life but when I try to date I get really worked up over little things. I don't trust any guy and I get really upset because I feel like they are going to not like me because of little things that I do or say.

My ex would leave me any time I did something "wrong" and he would make dates with me and cancel them last minute. Now I have all this anxiety that when a guy can't make it to something or doesn't text back it's because he doesn't like me or he is seeing someone else. I feel like a crazy person...but I know it's because my ex really messed with my head.

How do I get past this? How do I actually enjoy dating? My anxiety is out of control. It's been a year since we dated and I am still like this.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • There are already some good answers here, but let me add this:

    Your real issue here was a lack of self-worth and self-respect. A girl with a healthy amount of these things wouldn't have tolerated that crap, and would have dumped his ass and never looked back. In fact, even if he doesn't know it, he almost certainly "targeted" you BECAUSE he could tell right away that you lacked self-worth, which means he knew he could get away with treating you like crap and you'd take it and allow him to manipulate you.

    What you need to see is that you are worthy of self-respect, and more to the point, it's up to you to DEMAND respect. That doesn't mean people need to kiss your ass in some phoney extreme, but they absolutely need to treat you decently and respectfully, like a PERSON, and a BOYFRIEND needs to treat you even better, even in his worst moments. If he can't or won't, then it's YOUR job to DUMP HIS ASS and move FORWARD, and never look back. He doesn't deserve your look or your time.

    Once you accept that you ARE a worthy, deserving person, and demand that others treat you that way if they want to be in your life, then dating will start to be much more enjoyable, because the abusing manipulators like your ex aren't going to be drawn to you as much anymore. You'll no longer be a "good victim" for them, and they'll look elsewhere, while better guys will be attracted to your confidence.

    It all starts with YOU, and your own attitude about yourself.

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What Guys Said 16

  • You're definitely in need of some psychological help; not the kind where you're a psycho and you need to see a shrink but rather there is some inner work you need to do on yourself involving self love and respect, trust, and worth. The mind is associative: you experienced a negative and abusive relationship with a male figure and now you connect all the thoughts and emotions you experienced with every guy you now meet...this only makes you normal. However you have extensive work to do on your thought patterns as they are flawed. The anxiety you felt during your relationship you still feel today. You need to learn to separate the two. What you experienced/him/who you were back then and what you're experiencing today/new guys you meet/ who you are now are different phenomena, you can't connect the two and you must learn where those emotions and thoughts should be left, which is in the past. You're a really pretty girl, its a shame to let the actions of an a**hole dictate your life and thoughts, you deserve better, keep that in mind.

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  • WOW what a fool ! well I would be grateful for that being over. Yes it is hard to not make a mold of a someone when the same characteristics. However you must NOT do that, it isn't fair for someone to clean up another's mess.

    I feel I have been on the clean up crew before and when it was fixed and ready to move on together I was dumped for another to enjoy or reap the benefits. It is actually unfair to the next in line or others in the future if you don't take time to heal,

    So my advice is to you is to take time away from dating and heal from that, get centered. You were in a chaotic relationship where you sold yourself short. You should never do that again. this is a healing learning lesson. And just keep in mind we are all not the same.

    I know a year is a very long time but was it quality time getting right in your head or wasted on being resentful...

    The messed up thing about resenting somebody is that you spend all that time thinking of them and they don't give a second of space in mind of you.. Kinda useless don't ya think :/

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  • Self esteem I s an antidote to anxiety, and action is the antidote to fear. You gotta get back on the horse and date again, KNOWING that they could do the same stuff and hoping that they won't. Just remember not all guys are like your ex. Most are a lot better, so your odds are good. Only you can manage your fear.

    Don't know if I can help on the self esteem front without sounding like a creepy old guy, but here goes. You girl, are effing BEAUTIFUL. Any guy that cheats on you is brain damaged. No joke.

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  • When I was in the military and getting PTSD briefings, they would tell us not to worry about certain things because they were a normal reaction to an abnormal event. This guy was a jerk, don't get bitter, learn to love yourself, focus on the things you are grateful for, and don't date another guy that is just like the last. Grief is normal, your reaction is normal and I was always told that anxiety and other symptoms are normal for a short period but when they continue and get worse, you need to seek help. If you are still having issues after a year, I would recommend it. Your own mind can be your worse enemy if you let it.

    You aren't crazy, and this guy was probably manipulating you. I don't have a manipulative bone in my body and it is really hard to understand how people can be like that. But trust your logic, he probably put you in a position to make irrational decisions.

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  • "My ex would leave me any time I did something "wrong""

    Reminds me of a friend and his girlfriend, holy fuck they broke up three times a day..

    "because I feel like they are going to not like me because of little things that I do or say."

    I think that's very common to an extent when you're just meeting someone, sometimes just someone you like.

    Not texting back I generally take as an insult, but it depends.. some people are just like that and some people read shit and forget all about it, hard to tell without knowing them.

    I've talked to so many girls who date guys that manipulate them and do all of the same shit, then even when they realize they are being manipulated and shit just kind of go back again and again never learning. Just try to be more optimistic, not every guy is a douche bag and as you've seen there are VERY, VERY obvious signs if you don't turn a blind eye.

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  • It's in the nature of most young guys to cheat. We like to fuck different girls. There is a lot of bullshit advice out there. Here is my opinion which others will be sure to bash.

    Tips for making a guy think twice about cheating"

    1) Be super hot: Hit the gym and eat healthy. Most guys stay loyal to fine ass.

    2) Don;t be crazy: It gets annoying to hear about your problems

    3) Don;t be clingy: It sounds like he controlled you and made you apologize. You should be very quick to cut a guy off if he isn't going to pursue you.

    4) Give good head: nuff said

    These tips will increase your chances but still remember guys are wired to cheat. Bi_tches be fine ya know?

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  • as others have said - just force yourself to realize that not all guys are the same.

    And I always suggest - put it in perspective. Per some 2008 census chart analysis article, there's roughly 30mil guys between ages 18-35 in the USA. that's 30,000,000. Surely not ALL of them are liars and cheaters, right? I know I'm not... Hell, date me.

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  • You've said it yourself. You already know why you feel the way you do. Don't let your ex boyfriend get inside your head and discourage you from dating. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first. The trust part comes later. You just need to find a guy worth taking a chance on and then allow yourself to open up and be vulnerable, otherwise you will never be happy.

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  • Realize that the new guys you'll be dating aren't your ex boyfriend. They're totally new people who didn't do all that stuff to you.

    I'd take some more time for yourself before you start dating again. Hang out with your friends, have some fun, forget all about that douche. He's not worth remembering for anything.

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  • Honestly, if you put up with all of that stuff then you were probably messed up to begin with. He didn't put a gun to your head and force you to stay with him (as far as I know), so there was obviously something you liked about the abuse. I suggest you think about what it was that attracted you to him, then choose the opposite when dating from now on.

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  • I'm sure you dated the kind of guys your dad warned you about, and will continue to do so.

    You're still young, aren't interested in the right things, etc.

    It's a tough road ahead.

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  • You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.

    Learn and forget

    Smile and love yourself

    Blink and life is over

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  • You'll me back with him before the year is over. After all women find douche bags attractive.

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  • Maybe you should focus on healing and realizing that you are deserving a better companion. Remember no one can break your heart more than once without your permission.

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  • Why the hell are you worked up over some jerk. Try dating a nicer, less douchey guy. There are lots of guys out there who are thinking wtf? Why do bad boys always get to be pursued like this by girls? arrrrrrrraaaaaaggggggghhhhh it drives me insane.

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  • This hurts me in a personal way, because a girl I had liked and asked her out, and she said she wants to be friends and told me she's messed up. She said her ex dumped her on Prom, and overall wasn't a good person, and it makes me feel so bad that girls get treated like this, if I ever get into a relationship, I will not treat my woman with such low worth, and I guess, it's just me as a compassionate person, and never been in a relationship, makes me wonder, when will I finally get a good girl such as you to be with and we both can be happy.

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What Girls Said 3

  • Just know that one man doesn't define all men. (just like you know one woman doesn't define all women).

    There are SO many good men out there that won't treat you like shit. Often times the best guys are the ones that get overlooked. As long as you're aware of that it'll all be ok.

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  • Don't take this the wrong way, but have you tried talking to somebody? Because those types of fears aren't just going to go away on their own, or by dating another person. But, just try to work on yourself a bit (it really is great having somebody to talk to). I mean, you at least know logically that it's him just messing with your head, and that not every guy is like that, so that's definitely a start.

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    • If I could see someone I would. But I don't have the money at the moment.

    • Oh, well, maybe, you could try not be with anybody in a serious context, and just do it for fun. And, hopefully, your confidence will be able to build up eventually. Because, even if it seems like a year is a short time, in the context of things it's really not. So, I guess try to just give it some time. I'm sorry this isn't very good advice. But, I just hope that it will get better for you.

  • You need to date multiple guys. Dating is about getting to know multiple people. If you want a relationship you just need to go out and have fun. I'm not talking about sex. I don't think you can be rational if sex is involved. I'm not trying to judge you I'm trying to be honest. You sound like a girl that jumps quickly into relationships and has sex. Yet you don't really know these guys. You think sex seals the deal and it doesn't.

    Date and get to know multiple guys so you understand more about what you want out of a long term relationship. And also get a vibrator.

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    • Actually I am not like that at all. I won't have sex until a guy is committed to me for at least two months, probably more. Sex is not on the table at all.

    • Show All
    • This is actually a helpful post.

    • It would be helpful if I was the kind of girl who slept with guys right away. But I'm not...

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