How Do I Learn To Trust Again After My Two-Month Situationship Ended Abruptly?


I’m a cis queer woman in my mid-twenties, and I’m mourning yet another 2-3 month-long relationship that ended unexpectedly, and this time it’s messing with me in the way the others haven’t.

To keep the background of it all short, before this I’d been single for about 4.5 years. Around the start of COVID, I realized I really needed to work on my relationship with relationships, so I committed to therapy and eventually started SSRIs. All of this has been super helpful, and about a year after moving to a new city, I decided to start dating again, but nothing stuck until this most recent person. We went on a first date, but a few days afterward, she reached out to tell me she had a lot going on and didn’t have the capacity for a relationship. I was initially upset but wanted to be friends, because we got along well, and we spent a few months developing a friendship I was really happy with. Then she confessed feelings, and I did the same, and we decided to try dating out to see where things went.

For two months, we’d started doing the stereotypical couply things: When we were visiting our homes for the holidays, we were always in contact, and she told me she couldn’t stop talking to her family about me. When I got back, we ordered a sex toy together (which we’d talked about doing a few weeks prior and I’d never done with a partner before). Then all of a sudden, after we got back to my place after a date night, she told me she has too much going on in her life and doesn’t have the capacity to be in a relationship with me.

I was and still am very confused by everything. I know we hadn’t formally defined the relationship yet, but she knew from the jump where I stood re:situationships, and I genuinely didn’t think she’d break things off so suddenly.

It’s been almost eight weeks and I’m doing better than I ever have after a breakup thanks to the work I’ve done on myself, but I’m honestly still fucked up about how I go forward once I’m ready to put myself out there again. I opened up to her in a way I never had with anyone and really put in work to be honest about my anxieties so they didn’t backfire on me like before. Now I’m not sure how I can trust anyone else to not break things off super suddenly when it happened with someone who made me feel genuinely safe and secure. I’ve never been in a healthy long-term relationship and thought things with her were going in that direction, and now I’m not really sure what to do. Some magic words of wisdom would be SUPER appreciated, it’s tough out here!

Thanks for listening!
Baffled & Bummed Out


Dear baffled and bummed out,

I’m baffled and bummed out for you, too! It seems like things were going so well, which makes the sudden breakup even more confusing. You’re definitely not alone in feeling torn up about a short situationship. Most of the time, the 2-3 month relationships I have are more difficult for me to work through than long-term full blown relationships. I think a big part of that has to do with closure. In a typical monogamous long-term relationship, there’s often a sense of if/when things might come to an end. You’ve known that person long enough to identify behaviors that may suggest changing feelings. In a short dating stint, it could be harder to read the signs or feel comfortable sharing uncomfortable feelings. Regardless, it sounds like you and this person were very close and shared many intimate moments, so you’re completely valid in feeling upset about this.

I don’t have any concrete answers for you, but I can offer another perspective. Sometimes people just can’t handle saying goodbye. Some people can’t even handle strong feelings. This could be your ex-situationship’s case. Often, relationship changes that feel sudden aren’t exactly impulsive for the person making the changes. She might’ve been grappling with many complex issues either within or outside of the relationship and didn’t have the tools to handle it and/or didn’t know how to communicate it. She might’ve been afraid to face her strong feelings and thought goodbye was easiest done in a quick, non-emotional kind of way. It’s also interesting that she stated her intentions/boundaries at the very beginning of the friendship, changed them via her behaviors in becoming more involved with you, and then broke up with you for those same reasons. She knew what she wanted (or didn’t want), developed feelings for you and pursued those (defying her own boundaries), and then realized one day that this dynamic isn’t what she wanted and hurt you in the process. This is why sticking to your intentions and continuously communicating is so important!! It seems like you were pretty clear throughout the relationship, and maybe she just wasn’t super honest with herself, and therefore not honest with you.

I feel for you in grieving this whirlwind relationship, but I’m proud of you for working on yourself! It sounds like you’ve set aside an ample amount of time to process your emotions and figure out who you are. Not many people take time to do this, especially before or after dating, so I want to commend you for your hard work on yourself. Trust in other people will take time, which is the most annoying answer to hear. Continue to trust yourself and tell people what you’re looking for. Ask for their expectations and intentions in return. Vet future dates based on these intentions and values and stick to them. You deserve a love that won’t leave you, including love for yourself. Have patience (even though it’s truly rough out here) and let yourself grieve.

Wishing you lots of love!

You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.

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Em Win

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Em now lives in Los Angeles where she does many odd jobs in addition to writing. When she's not sending 7-minute voice messages to friends and family, she enjoys swimming, yoga, candle-making, tarot, drag, and talking about the Enneagram.

Em has written 71 articles for us.


  1. I feel so much for you, Letter Writer! I’ve been in very similar situations and they have been hell on my already anxious mind – it’s been hard to trust that any relationship, even friendships, won’t just end suddenly. I think Em’s advice was good, I don’t have anything else other than to say, you are not alone and I wish you good healing!

  2. Letter Writer – As a cis lesbian now in my 30s, I had a LOT of these 2-3 month situationships in my mid 20s. More than I can count.

    I realised everyone was so flighty in my 20s because people were afraid of being tied down when their options for short term flings are quite literally endless on dating apps. It’s literally the prime time of your life to meet people who aren’t yet settled with kids and married, to travel and to endlessly work on your career. It’s common for people to come and go like bus boys in a restaurant in your 20s when it comes to love / sex / romance. It’s the same for the heterosexuals too, I assure you.

    I know many straight women who jump from guy to guy like monkeys on a branch simply because they can, regardless of how good the spark is between them or who they are as a person.

    People do settle and calm down into meaningful relationships as they get older. If you do find these short situationships exhausting, then don’t bother with them. It’s okay to focus on yourself and date yourself. It really is. Maybe it’ll be more valuable for you in the long run. I dated myself for 2-3 years, got into therapy and worked on myself. It was easily the most valuable thing I’ve ever done for myself by a long shot, because now dating and rejection does not phase me at all.

    I dated SO many women in my 20s, women from all over the globe from different backgrounds and cultures, and many of these situationships were a total waste of time. Some were great, some were extremely self consumed and vapid to the point that they were astounded at the idea of making space for someone else in their routine (i.e a healthy relationship with compromise), some turned out to be outright abusive and vile.

    I’ve now been dating my current girlfriend for 2 months and this is by far the easiest and most loveliest relationship I have been in. And this time 4-5 months ago I had completely given up at the idea of ever finding anyone decent after years of terrible dates, situationships and scrolling through multiple dating apps endlessly. So it does work out eventually. And this is coming from a person who had dozens of situationships in my 20s that only lasted 2-4 months at the very most.

    Things may not have gone wrong between you, sometimes people just lose interest. It’s not anything you did wrong. It may not even be about you. She may have just felt that the same spark and interest wasn’t there, so moved on swiftly to not waste anyone else’s time.

    Look at it this way, when one door closes, another opens. Always. Sometimes it’s okay to take a backseat and go with the flow. Maybe you’re being directed to someone even more well matched for you.

    Sometimes all you have to do is trust the process, while taking care of yourself and knowing that it’s not you – what you’re experiencing is extraordinarily common in your 20s. But it does get better.

  3. I feel like the other piece of it is that you can’t control or predict what other people do. This may happen again, although I hope it doesn’t! The thing that you can reliably grow your trust in, is your own resilience in the fsce of the occasional capriciousness of other people

  4. The only thing I would offer here is that if somebody starts off by saying that they have too much going on in their life to be able to be in a relationship, and then “changes their mind,” they probably like you so much that they have talked themselves into trying to make room for the relationship. But nothing changed in their ilfe that opened up room, and so all the factors that made feel they would be too busy are still there. And then burnout occurs, and they realize they were right in the beginning.

    So if you ever find yourself in that particular situation again, of someone who previously said they were too busy now saying they’ve changed their mind, I’d suggest you question them closely about it: Did anything in their busy life actually change? There are valid things that could have changed, like maybe they changed jobs to one with a lighter workload and hours. Suddenly having space for a relationship where they did not before would make sense then. But if the answer is that nothing in their life changed, they just want to try to fit in the relationship…I’d be skeptical. They may have the best of intentions, but are not being realistic.

  5. As someone who has both been in a similar situation as the letter writer and at another time acted similarly to the ex, I just want to say that I think your advice here is bang on, Em!

  6. Boy is this timely.

    I got surprise dumped on Monday by someone I’d been seeing regularly for the last 4 weeks. After five consistent dates that were pleasant and breezy, the abruptness of the breakup really threw me for a loop.

    It just blindsided me because the day before and the evening of, they’d been voicing their interest in continuing to date and the dinner date itself went well for the most part. But just as I’m heading into the subway stn, they just sprang “I think we should stop seeing each other” on me after the usual goodbye hug. I asked the reason and all they said was that they realized they didn’t want the responsibility of maintaining a relationship and had a lot of going on and then hugged me again and left.

    Which I understood and I could also see some potential long term incompatiblities cropping up but I just did not care for the last minute, public breakup when they could’ve picked any earlier time during the date or in a less public place than a subway entrance. It also stung because it meant I only had under two minutes to process that this previously calm and pleasant growing connection that might’ve lasted for a few more weeks or months was now ending immediately.

    It had only been weeks so I wasn’t deeply invested but still it sucks to lose a connection abruptly and it’s jarring to be so early that any resentment that might’ve grown hadn’t even sprouted. It’s a hard lesson to be reminded of, that I need to still be trusting and open but also maintain certain selective standards when selecting future partners so I’m not wasting my time and energy on people who aren’t in the right place for a relationship.

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