Hi friends, and welcome back to another edition of Dear Dating Bitch! Before I get into my words of wisdom (this time for a reader who found an Ex on Tinder), I want to apologize for being MIA in the advice department lately.
Life, other obligations, all of that jazz sometimes gets in the way. And this isn’t a job for me, so blogging tends to take a backseat. But when I saw this letter in my inbox, I immediately wanted to post it.
If you’re a new reader, Dear Dating Bitch is my online advice column where I give general life and relationship advice to readers, agony aunt style.
So, if you want to get some advice from an anonymous bitch on the internet, go ahead and submit your questions here. And don’t worry – I’m anon so you are too!
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Dear Dating B: Ex on Tinder Advice
Q: I was in a year-long relationship that ended in February 2023. My ex (I’ll call him Chad) is the one who decided to end things — he initially asked for some space and then a week later, he broke up with me over text. In his breakup text, he said my sensitivity to animals, tough conversations, and illness were good qualities but didn’t match what he wanted.
It hit me pretty hard. Chad would often talk about our future, how in love he was, etc. And then bam. Blindsided. On top of that, I’ve had some recent dating fails that seem to have reignited the pain of that breakup.
Fast forward to yesterday: I opened a dating app and Chad was the first person to pop up. I made the mistake of looking at the dating profile and saw that he wrote how much he loves animals. But when we were together, Chad was always talking about how he didn’t really like animals that much! (My own love of animals was also one of his reasons for our breakup).
I’m trying to consciously resist the urge to reach out to a member of his family to be like, “Guess he wasn’t so serious about that break from relationships…”
I don’t know, I feel like I’m spiraling, and I have OCD too which elevates things to another level. Any words of advice you can offer?
Troubled Tinder Ex
Dear Tinder Ex:
I honestly cannot tell you how much I relate to your message. Seriously – this sounds almost exactly like something that I went through several years ago. The constant reassurances of love. Being blindsided by a breakup. Finding my ex on Tinder. Reading his profile. Feeling hurt and angry about what I read. All of it resonates with me.
Now with the benefit of hindsight, I can tell you a few things that I think might help.
1. It will get easier
I know, I know – that’s such a cliché thing to say! But I promise you, it WILL. It just takes time.
2. People are complicated
Right now, you might be reading Chad’s dating profile and feeling betrayed. You might think that the future he seemed to promise and the love he had for you was a lie. And maybe it was – it’s always a possibility. It’s also a possibility, though, that he did genuinely love you and want a future with you but that X, Y, or Z got in the way. Maybe it was bad timing. Maybe it was specific deal breakers (the tough conversations or illness you mentioned.) Or maybe it was something that had nothing to do with you.
Whatever the reason, it’s irrelevant. (I know, it isn’t to you, but for the sake of argument, let’s put that aside for now.) What is relevant is this: you had a relationship, it ended, and you feel heartbroken. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the why’s or what ifs. Focus instead on letting yourself grieve and heal.
3. Don’t act on your impulsive impulses
I’m pretty sure you already know this one, but I’m going to say it anyway: please do NOT reach out to him or his family.
Again, your letter seriously resonated with me in a number of ways, including this part. I, too, felt an overwhelming want to talk to his family. But, looking back, I can’t for the life of me remember why I wanted to. To hurt him? Embarrass him? Get answers? To feel something other than helpless? Who knows. Who cares. It wouldn’t have done a damn thing.
Again, I suspect you know that. Otherwise, you would have gone ahead without bothering to get a second opinion (And I’m glad you did, by the way.)
I think what you’re feeling right now is a combination of things: betrayal, anger, hurt, and – critically – helpless. That’s natural after a breakup. In a lot of ways, we are helpless when someone rejects us. But in other ways, we have more power than we think.
You can’t convince your ex to go back in time and not break up with you. And you likely can’t convince him to try things again, now. You also can’t stop your mind from obsessing over the details.
What you can do is this: take a step back.
Think about why you want to reach out to his family. What do you want to say to them? Write down exactly what you would say if you did reach out. Then, fold up the paper and put it away. One day, you’ll look back and be glad you never sent it.
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What do you think of my advice this week? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, thanks for reading. If you’ve got questions of your own, make sure to send them to me here!
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