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Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like you? I think I was in a relationship with someone who didn’t really like me. I think they found me annoying or maybe they changed their mind and held things in…I don’t know, it went on much longer than it should have and I get these like flashes of memories of things she’s said or done and it still really hurts. She broke up with me in 2020 at the start of the lockdown and I still get these flashes of painful memories.
After the breakup, we each took some space but eventually tried friendship but I felt miserable and like a doormat when we were “friends” so I’ve asked for no contact. That was 2021.
Last week, I went ice-skating and saw her at the rink and I still feel so emotional. Does anybody have experience feeling angry with a person after the break up and the anger kind of growing? With a therapist and through journaling I keep finding new things to be upset about and now I’m in a place where I’m like wow I really let her off easy and I’m angry about that. Does anyone relate to taking forever to get over a person?
I really feel like she didn’t like me and I don’t feel like my friends understand because she’s so nice to them but it was different in our relationship. Idk. I feel like an idiot for trying to be friends and I hate how angry I feel when I see her, especially when I see her having a good time. I feel pathetic! I’m hoping other people can share similar experiences and what’s helped them.
I’ve been where you are right now, and I’ve also been where (it seems like) your ex is. First things first: FEEL YOUR FEELINGS, and don’t feel bad about them. And don’t feel bad about not feeling bad about them. It sounds like you’re almost feeling guilty about being angry. As a person who was culturally raised to feel shame around anger, I totally get this. It can take me years before I realize I was wronged or something somewhat traumatic or unjust happened to me. I’m still processing a relationship from 2019! According to the many therapists I’ve held over the course of the past five years, we can only begin to process the deeper, more painful feelings once our bodies feel safe. It makes a lot of sense that you’re still mulling over the relationship. You’re finally in a place where you can take a step back from being in the intensity of the relationship.
The fact that you’re even processing in the first place tells me you’re not being pathetic have a right to be upset. You’re saying you felt hurt by them and that many moments of the relationship felt painful. You can’t blame yourself for staying in something you couldn’t see at the moment. When you tried to hold onto something you felt such real feelings for, you “felt like a doormat.” That’s not okay! That alone is something you should be mad about! Even though it’s felt like an eternity since the relationship, you’re only just now seeing the whole picture for what it was at the time. You’re learning new information you didn’t have access to before. Healing and grieving never have a timeline. It’s taken me one week to get over relationships, while it’s taken me almost a decade to get over someone I never even dated. The healing process is unique because all our wounds and vulnerabilities are all so different. If I were in your position right now, I would definitely feel upset by the resurgence of so not-so-fun feelings after I thought I gained closure with it.
Eventually, most people breaking off relationships end up with some hostility or resentment. Right now, you’re feeling a bit of that toward them. What’s more confusing for you is that they possibly didn’t like you while in the relationship, even before things started to turn sour. I can really only take guesses as to why this might be.
I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been this person in the relationship, and more than once. It was never something I was cognizant of at the moment, but months or years later, I reflect back and think about how I really didn’t like this person. I amount a lot of this to codependency and trauma-bonding. My very first girlfriend literally provided me housing and food in return for my emotional stability. We had many other toxic quid-pro-quo dynamics, but eventually I grew to resent her, because I felt like I was responsible for her emotional wellbeing. Part of it, at least for me, was also the idealization of the person that only falls flat when the honeymoon phase passes. It’s not uncommon to see relationships where one person puts the other on a pedestal or wears rose colored glasses. Only time reveals the truth of complicated dynamics and incompatibility. When this begins to happen, infatuation can switch to restatement quickly. It’s like that saying about how the line between love and hate is thin. I’m not saying it’s any excuse, but rather another perspective.
I can’t tell you why your ex may or may not have liked you. You might not even be able to discern that. You two started dating for some reason, and it ended for a reason as well. Maybe this person needed something from you at the time? Maybe they were looking for one type of relationship and ended up in another? Maybe they were still figuring themselves out and dragged you along for the ride? Maybe they were really into you and pulled away out of fear and insecurity? Maybe they were drawn to a thing in you that they hate in themselves? Relationships and attachments are messy, and until we learn to heal ourselves, we sometimes end up trying to get involved with someone who we think could heal us instead.
I don’t know the reason they may have disliked you, and it sounds like you might not even know the reason. What I would encourage you to do now is reflect on the reason this is important to you. More broadly, what would you need to find closure? Some people can get that simply by doing the internal work, while others need to hash it out with the person they were entangled with. Only you will have a better idea of what you need. Just know that moving forward you’re completely valid in your post-breakup feelings, no matter how long ago it was.
You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.