On Setting Jealousy Aside and Dealing With a Breakup [Dear DBN]


He loves me, he loves me not, I love him, I love him not.  Wouldn’t it be great if it was as simple as one or the other?  Unfortunately, in love and war, it can be difficult to know how and when to end the battle.  This week, we’ll see if it’s worth hanging around a FWB situation when things get sticky, and how to move on when things are really over.

I started hooking up with my best friend of the opposite gender. Everything was great, perfect friends with benefits, until he left to another state to party for summer. I understand we’re not exclusive, and as far as I know neither of us want that. But I find myself wondering what he’s doing, or who he’s doing, every night we aren’t in contact. I’m naturally a jealous person but I wasn’t expecting this. How do I get over the jealousy? Does this mean that I’m more serious about him than I thought?

Have you ever found a really special nook?  Like a stump by a creek perfect for quiet, or a singular bathroom hidden somewhere in your office?  A place that isn’t technically yours, but is definitely your hideaway?  Now think about the first time you ran into someone else there.  Shock, irritation, dismay – who is occupying your special space?

This is the same thing.  He’s not yours, per se, but it’s still jostling to find some other chick camping in your spot.  It’s worth the time to sit down and think about how much you like this kid and in what way.  You might discover that you really do just want to be friends, but that you’re not comfortable with a sharing program, i.e. friends with benefits. I know it comes across as badass to be the person who doesn’t give a shit, but it really is fine to care.  It’s actually a little more realistic and easier on the soul.

Since he’s gone for the summer, now is the perfect time to sit this “relationship” out and figure out what you want.  You might want him, but you also just might want some loyalty.

Any wise words for recovering after ending a long term relationship? Plus all my good girlfriends are busy with their relationships.

Yes, I do have some words: you are going to think about him a lot.  You’re going to think about when him you order olives on your pizza or when someone says they love Van Morrison or when you see an X-Terra with a Cornell sticker (JUST EXAMPLES), but just because you think about him does not mean you still love him.  That applies for the rest of your life.  And it is integral for getting over someone.  This girl I used to be friends with in high school popped up in my dream last week.  I didn’t wake up and think, “Ugh, I wonder if we should have been better friends.  Is her best friend pretty?  Ugh, she’s probably some successfu-” NO.  I woke up and thought, “Huh.  Dana.  Weird,” and carried on with my day and life.

You will think about him.  That is normal, and it does not mean he was the love of your life.  Everyone thinks about their ex.  Everyone.  One of my exes liked my status the other day and I thought to myself, “I wonder if we’d hit it off now.”  I also wonder how I would react in a hostage situation – that doesn’t mean I need to seek it out.

If your comeback routine is looking like a solo roll, don’t fret.  There are things you can do on your own to recover.

First, the offensive moves, aka movie-marathoning your life.  You know the montage with some Vanessa Carlton or Colbie Callait song playing in the background where the character pulls herself up by the bootstraps.  Do that, but probably in more realistic outfits.  Build an inspiration board, train for some 10-miler, pick an easy cook book and cook two recipes per night.  There’s a lot of doubt, sadness, worry, and all that shit brewing in your system and the safest way to release is to keep yourself busy and goal-oriented.

Second, defense.  Unsubscribe from all Facebook feeds involving him and his best friends.  Even de-friend if you find it necessary, but trust me when I say over-technological-exposure is a sure-fire way to keep the feeling embers glowing.  Throw a metaphorical bucket of water on it and unfollow the ex.  Also, find a Manure Pile friend. Hear me out. Growing up with horses, we would pile up the shit behind the barn and then distribute it around the neighborhood to the local gardens.  Figure out which friend you can dump all your shit on and she’ll magically grow beautiful vegetables of hope out of it.

Remember, there’s nothing actually wrong with your life other than the feeling of dragging yourself through a field of mud because emotions are weighing you down. Emotions, however, are maleable.  All you really need is a kick-ass pep talk and a theme song.

CollegeCandy is excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with one of our favorite Tumblrs, DateByNumbers, to bring you some of her very best advice. Each week she’ll tackle your questions. Life, love, sex, the real world…nothing will be off limits. To submit a question of your own, visit her “Ask” page and keep an eye on CollegeCandy every Thursday afternoon!

I've written for Teen Vogue, Thought Catalog, Leveled Magazine, College Candy, How About We, and have been featured on several HuffPost Live segments. Creator and leader of Bold Moves October featured on xoJane and Neil Gaiman's blog. Both Neil and Jane appreciate boldness. I specialize in pep talks, very long bike rides, and matching my lipstick to my heels.