I tried to salvage it at the time by pouring my heart and feelings into a long, handwritten letter to her. She said her mind was already made up, but we could remain friends. I did not want to hear this and so I went NC for a few months.
I saw her later a gathering and our meeting was brief, awkward, but amicable enough. However, it seemed clear that no reconciliation would happen as some dude was hitting on her in front of me and she seemed to enjoy the attention. It sucked for me, but that gave me the green light to date other girls (albeit not seriously).
A month passed and I saw my ex again at an event with mutual friends. Although I still wanted her back, I accepted that we could possibly be friends. I therefore approached her, said hello, asked about her family, etc. I was stunned when she responded by being rude and cold to me. I maintained both my composure and the high road.
I later found out others had told her that I was seen socializing with other women. But, so what? She broke up with me, said we could remain friends, she never reached out to me to reconcile, and she seemed to be flirting with another guy in my presence. At the time of the breakup, she told me that previous exes (even ones who had subsequently married other women) would contact her to try to get back with her or hookup with her. I resolved that that would not be me. Did she expect me to try again with her after our first, friendly, post breakup meeting?
I am both hurt and disappointed all over again.
Should I have not dated other women until I was 100% sure there was no chance to get back with my ex? If so, how would I know?