You Need Help: Is She in a Bad Place or Is She a Bad Person?

Q:

I met a girl via work and she was in a 7-year relationship.

I liked her for almost a year before I approached her — first friendly but then making it clear I really liked her more than a friend. After realizing this, she soon broke up with her girlfriend saying that they broke up because of many issues they had and [were] not seeing life in the same way.

We started to see each other but it was not defined. She kept going on and on [about] how she feels guilty for breaking up [with her ex]. Then since we lived [a] one-hour plane ride away in different European cities, we would see each other every weekend, she still thought that [was] too difficult and kept asking me to move to her city.

After a month we had a fight and broke up, but we never stopped seeing each other. She told me she needs more time to get over [our] breakup and that she is not looking for anything serious at the moment — but kept saying she does have deep feelings for me. Also, via my work I will be moving to her city soon [and] she kept saying “When you move we can have a relationship.”

It’s been about three months, and she started talking to other women, and until I come there she is free as we are not formally in a relationship. She started dating on Tinder and kept telling [me] it’s just to explore to see what is out there, and then she said she is even open to a serious relationship if the right person comes along. She is also in touch with her ex-girlfriend, [who] said that if she would change her mind and got her stuff together she would take her back. She [also] already kissed one girl and told me how much she likes her and wants to see her again but keeps convincing me [that] the girl doesn’t like girls and it was a one-time thing but if she called she said she would go.

She keeps saying our sex is the best she ever had in her 10 years of lesbian experience, and that rationally I’m her top choice but she does not feel butterflies with me, and [therefore] she is not sure. This all happened in the last 1-2 weeks. Before that, we were seeing each other and she kept saying “Once you move here we will be together.”

I refused to see her ever since and she keeps being sweet and trying to win me back saying things [like] “I cannot believe that I lost you” and “I thought after this game and mess I’m playing once you moved here — I would be with you”

I would like to hear your advice. Is she just in a bad place after [her first] break up (May 2022 is when it happened — 7 days after that we got together)?

I love her but I would like to know — is she in a bad place or simply a bad person?

A:

This — dear sweet reader — is fucking messy.

I am gonna be very direct and clear in the advice I am about to give you. These are my thoughts as an outsider to this situation and I just wanted to “warn” you because I don’t want you to think I am being mean or not being empathetic. Giving advice still makes me feel weird ‘cos I’m like “Who the fuck am EYE lol” but when I do I try to break down everything as much as possible so you can follow me and my thoughts so — ready?!

First of all — why are you approaching people in relationships?

Like, this was bad from the get-go. Why are you approaching people making your want for them clear knowing full well they are in an (I am assuming) monogamous relationship?

This is… not it.

This is not the way and everyone needs to know that. Because what you are doing is starting your shit off MESSY. I know folks have their little workplace flirtations but this is kinda why I don’t vibe with those because they can take turns that you or your partner(s) at home may not vibe with. It can get really disrespectful, really fast.

Yes, sometimes these things that start off this way work out and are all happily ever after but how many get that story? If you were going to do this, you needed to wait until her shit was explicitly done to approach her about your want for her AND to pursue a relationship.

Even though I do not like that you decided to approach her whilst she was involved — I do not think that was the catalyst for her finally ending her 7-year relationship. She been wanting to go and finally had a person, a reason, and the will to do so. If something as simple as hearing from someone that they wanted her was all it took to end her relationship, it was not that steady to begin with. So no, it’s not like YOUR fault that they ended — but that don’t make what you did right.

Because if things are good as gravy at home and someone approached me while I was in my relationship, EYE simply would let them know I’m not interested, that it was low-key disrespectful, and remove them from my life as best as I could because I don’t need or want any of that lingering around. I may even question a teeny tiny bit why they felt they could approach me with that, and if I gave off that vibe but in the end conclude that I most likely did not because I am perfect.

Also, this is all from a monogamous standpoint but don’t get it twisted, you can be a person in an open or poly relationship and still be disrespectful in many ways. Having multiple partners/relationships doesn’t mean you can’t do harm.

I understand wanting someone but if they are in something (that is monogamous) then you need to wait until you know it’s a wrap. Not just until they are done but until they like are over a certain part of it ‘cos you risk so much messiness doing it the other way, which you well know because look where you are. If they are in something that is open or are poly then maybe wait until they approach you? Unless you know the vibe and “rules” of their relationship then handle it that way? But I doubt that someone that’s just a co-worker knows the ins and outs of your relationship dynamic and I am just trying to help you cover your own ass you know?

At the end of the day, I’m just saying, you cannot start something messy and be surprised when it stays that way.

Also, y’all getting together 7 days after her breakup is legit WILD.

The clarity of it all.

You said it wasn’t defined but then said you broke up — this too sounds unclear and feels like you both didn’t properly communicate.

  • Was it clear to both of you that y’all were in a relationship and then you broke up?
  • Did YOU just think you were in a relationship with her and she cut things off?
  • Or were y’all not in a relationship at all and in actuality just dating, fucking, and feeling and she just realized she didn’t wanna do any of that with you anymore?

It may sound like I’m just being nitpicky but clarification is needed on that point and it should have been made clear far before this moment.

Also on the topic of clarity/communication, I know you don’t wanna hear it but it feels like this person has been kinda clear from jump, but because of your like for her you may not have seen it.

  • She consistently tells you she is high-key ready for something big with everyone else but you.
  • She has told you straight out she doesn’t feel big things for you.
  • She is willing to try with a new girl she just met.
  • She said you don’t give her butterflies.
  • She is ready to give her ex another chance.
  • She is open and willing to pursue a relationship with literally anyone else who she deems is “right.”
  • She is telling you about other women that she wants to pursue, even straight ones.

She is telling you that she wants any and everything with everyone else — but you.

You are worth so much more than that.

So as much as I don’t wanna be on her side, it sounds like even within her mess and games she’s been rather clear to you about her wills and won’ts, and you have decided to stay on the ride thru it.

It’s okay, we’ve all done that, but now you know better and have to get off the ride.

The manipulation of it all.

So, she broke up with you and said she doesn’t want anything serious but still has deep feelings for you. You hate to hear it but both of these things can actually be true. Just ‘cos things end with someone doesn’t always mean the feelings go away immediately.

But what isn’t cool is her trying to keep you emotionally and lovingly attached to her by saying things like y’all can have a relationship when you move there, you’re the best sex she’s ever had, that she can’t believe she lost you, and da da da.

That is unfair on her part but you have to recognize what she is doing and not take the bait — ESPECIALLY WHEN SHORTY ADMITTED THAT SHE IS PLAYING GAMES AND BEING MESSY!!!

So yes, there is some manipulation happening here but I think you realize that already (great job!) but just don’t wanna admit it because it hurts. It hurts to admit to yourself that someone who you are into and even love is manipulative in some way. I’m sorry that you’re in this spot but now you know and can feel those feelings and move forward.

So is she in a bad space or is she a bad person? I really don’t know. Maybe both? But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter to me, what matters is that she is not making you feel great, it feels like it’s on purpose, and nothing about the situation is changing. All those things combined together should be enough of a reason to exit stage left.

Her telling you stuff about other girls is fucking weird.

Not only is it weird but it seems like some kinda power move.

She’s dating on tinder, kissing random straight girls and falling in deep like with them, holding out for her ex to change, etc AND TELLING YOU ALL ABOUT IT? WHOLE TIME KNOWING YOU WANNA BE WITH HER AND ARE GOING THE FUCK THRU IT?

This is rude, this is weird, this is disrespectful and really REALLY gross.

I’m going to tell you to cut off communication with her later BUT if you decide you can’t at the very least you need to set some boundaries, and one of them needs to be for her not to tell you about things with other people.

You need to let this person go.

She has told you she’s not feeling the way you do, and that she would be down to take her ex back which is the kicker for me ‘cos she is where a lot of this started.

You said she is free to do what she wants until you move there ‘cos you aren’t together. Babe, she is free to do what she wants regardless (AND SHE MOST DEF IS) and you need to recognize that too. Just because you are moving there doesn’t mean y’all are about to be together.

Living in the same city isn’t going to change the fact that she ain’t ready. She is already dating a bunch of other people and fucking around (and for some reason telling you all about it) so don’t assume that when you get there all of that is going to change, and don’t plan your life there around that happening because mama you shall be let down it sounds.

Let her go and if it’s possible maybe don’t move to that city? Or do and then start a new chapter there that doesn’t include her.

You said you already refused to see her (great job at that boundary!!) but you need to let it all the way go.

You can do the thing that people do where you send one final text or make one final call to her, and then block her on everything OR you can do it the other way. Admit that closure is fake, block her on everything immediately, and remove her from your life.

Bottom Line

This person does not want you. She used you and your want for her as an excuse to leave a relationship she wasn’t happy in. She knew she was wrong for using you, and knew she wasn’t ready but got into things with you — maybe because she felt like she owed you.

You deserve far better than this type of situationship/relationship and all that’s left to do is end it and move through it and then forward.

So I wish you the absolute best and I hope you realize your worth and leave this drama behind you. I know as dykes we love drama but play it like an earth sign and love it from afar — when it doesn’t involve you and you just get to shake your head and wait for updates.

Happy Healing,

Shelli Nicole


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


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Shelli Nicole

Shelli Nicole is a Detroit-raised, Chicago-based writer. Her work has appeared in Bustle, HelloGiggles & Marie Claire. She is terrified of mermaids and teenagers equally.

Shelli has written 220 articles for us.

13 Comments

  1. Shelli, as usual this is fucking brilliant.

    LW, if you and I can sit in our own experiences together for a minute, I’ve been in a similar place. I had a “boyfriend” almost a decade ago who was having unprotected sex with me while also telling me about all the girls he was trying to pull at the club. I was in a situationship about five years ago with a person who started criticizing every little thing I did and telling me about all the girls who were flirting with them once they decided things were getting too real with me for comfort. The main similarities between these situations:

    1) Totally gross behavior from the other person that needed to stop, and

    2) An astonishing lack of boundary setting from my younger self.

    Shelli’s right: this is a self-worth issue. This isn’t something you have to put up with because queer relationships are somehow “inherently” messy (a stereotype that causes major harm in our community). It’s also not really important whether this person you love is a “bad” person or a “good” person going through a bad time. *You* are having a bad time, and you get to decide you want to get off this ride. There are lives that are better than this.

  2. “So is she in a bad space or is she a bad person? I really don’t know. Maybe both? But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter to me, what matters is that she is not making you feel great, it feels like it’s on purpose, and nothing about the situation is changing. All those things combined together should be enough of a reason to exit stage left.”

    This is basically it. Often people aren’t ultimately eeeevil and out to ruin your life, usually people are bad because their life is difficult and they resort to bad methods to get what they want. Maybe playing games is all that this person knows. But it doesn’t really matter in the end – you can have sympathy for their bullshit but still choose to divest from it.

  3. Oooof I really feel for this letter writer, that sounds so painful, especially with the move! I think you can do better, friend, and you ultimately deserve someone who is more clear, respectful, and consistent with you. I think you’re more than reasonable to tell this woman that you need strong boundaries and to cut contact with her in all forms, and that (if you want) you will reach out to her down the road if you ever want to resume contact. I feel you’ll flourish without this situation and especially if she’s active on apps and etc in the city you’re moving to, it gives me hope you’ll find more queer friends/dates with ease. Embrace the new space, imo, without her!

  4. Hoo boy what a mess!

    She left her long term partner to be with you? Red flag. You started dating a week later? Red flag. She’s telling you she’s not over her ex? Red flag. She’s telling you about other people she is seeing or wants to see? Red flag. She admits to playing games with you? Red flag. No healthy relationship will come from this miss and I agree with and have witnessed the saying abt how they get with you is how they’ll leave you (in this case, lining up someone else and suddenly leaving.) No thank you!!

    Defo agree with Shelli here…exit stage left, heal your heart, work on your boundaries, and when you’re ready you will find somebody who actually loves and respects you…without the red flags! Good luck to ya!

  5. I’m sadly familiar with the dynamic of wanting somebody who isn’t quite available– sometimes they pull back, other times they say enough to keep me hoping. The single most helpful thing for me in dealing with this kind of situation was reading about attachment theory and the way that it shows up in relationships. I don’t know how much you (the LW) are a reader– but I highly, highly recommend that you check out the book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind – and Keep – Love.

    I read this book as I was coming out of a relationship that brought up similar feelings then the ones you’re going through. I still reread it periodically because I find it both useful and soothing. When I’m wound up about relationship drama it helps me calm down and focus on whether I’m getting what I want; I also found it great in taking out the stigma around basic human needs and understanding why so many people wind up in these push-pull relationships and why they are so hard to leave.

    I’m rooting for you, I think you can feel a lot better then you do right now, and I hope you seek out this book!

    xoxo

  6. On the whole, not much to disagree with here. I especially am so thankful Shelli recommended blocking on all platforms in fairly short order, because when things get messy and manipulative it is otherwise really easy to stay emotionally or physically entangled in the relationship.

    I ended up getting with a girl in a similar fashion and with similar results. Rather than cut things off when they got “really rude and weird”, I ended up having a relationship with her for years. It was the most negative thing I have ever experienced in my entire life. I regret every moment of it. Don’t do what I did.

    (The one thing I do disagree with: do people really get into a multiple-months-long sexual relationship with a person because they feel like they “owe” them? Maybe you mean she felt like she owed question-asker a relationship or feelings even though she just wanted a hook up? But still, sounds more like this girl is very much enjoying whatever she is getting out of this. She probably liked the hook ups and sex, and she probably likes that she feels like she can tell question-asker anything and do anything to her, no matter how disrespectful, and question-asker will still hold a torch for her.

  7. This is all really great advice and this letter sounds like an example of,”how you get them is how you lose them.”

    Boundary setting and an increase in respect for both yourself (you don’t deserve her terrible behavior) and others (her ex didn’t deserve your terrible behavior either) would be tremendously beneficial.

  8. It sounds like you pursued her; she succumbed. Y’all had a fling, which didn’t work out. She explicitly said she wasn’t looking for anything serious, and was openly seeing other women. She said she cared about you, you were great in bed, but there was no romantic spark.

    I don’t mean this in a nasty way. (I’m the queen of fixated crushes).

    But it sounds to me that she’s been pretty clear all along, and that maybe you heard what you wanted to hear?

  9. Great advice, and OMG this at the end: “play it like an earth sign and love it from afar.” Never heard this take and dying to know more. Shelli you should write an earth sign explainer sometime….

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