I was dating this woman for about a month, I really liked her. She’s sweet, kind, smart, beautiful, and I really enjoyed hanging out with her and wanted to keep getting to know her. The only thing is there’s a red flag that came up. She’s high on weed all the time. Like, I’d go pick her up for lunch and she’d stand outside the car and smoke. I don’t think I ever saw her sober. When she’s really high, she’d repeat herself and talk in circles, it was kinda a lot. And I started to get the vibe that there might be an alcohol issue there too. As someone who’s dealt with substance issues, my friends and my therapist told me to cut and run, so I did. I told her what the issue was for me, and I bailed. And now I regret it. It’s like I know I probably did the right thing, I just don’t feel that way, and I can’t get her off my mind. Should I go back? Keep it moving? I thought she could’ve been important, what if she was supposed to be, and I really fucked up here? Please help.
Hi Reader! Thank you for sending in this question, it’s a tricky one and I wanted to tackle it.
First, I want to say two things can be true at once. You could be right for leaving this woman but you also could have done the leaving all wrong. I’m not sure how the conversation between you went, but the way you describe it seems like it was abrupt and might have blindsided her. If that’s not the case and she was fully able to engage with what you were saying to her about how her substance use made you uncomfortable, then ignore what I just said.
On the flip side of this, you two had been seeing each other for about a month, which isn’t very long. If someone is doing something in a relationship that makes you uncomfortable you totally have the right to cut and run. But I guess what I want to ask you is, were you kind? When you told her that her smoking and drinking made you uneasy, were you compassionate, or were you judgmental? How you performed this “breakup” may be at the center of why you can’t seem to get her out of your head.
I ask about kindness because it is important when dealing with people we care about. My history with drugs and alcohol has been well documented on Autostraddle, so I come from a place of experience. Many people that altered friendships or relationships with me because of my drinking were kind in their delivery, and I still have friendships with those people to this day. Those that were unkind I don’t talk to anymore. A big question for you will be do I want this woman in my life at all, in any capacity? If you do, then your kindness and compassion toward her will be imperative.
Also, you say that you took the advice of friends and a therapist in leaving this situation, which is totally valid. Your friends and especially your therapist may see a situation clearer than you can when you’re the one being swayed by feelings of attraction that they are not subject to. Was smoking weed a ton really a deal breaker for you? Ask yourself that, because it’s really all about what you want and what’s best for you. If the drug use really did make you that uncomfortable then, as I said earlier, you were well within your right to leave. But you are expressing regret, so there is something unresolved in that relationship that you may have to work out with her or on your own.
It sounds to me like you are stuck in this perpetual state of “what if?” What if she had a good reason to smoke so much? What if your relationship was going to be great and loving? What if you were wrong? To resolve those what-ifs, I think you have to ask yourself these questions:
Why did you end it?
Were you kind?
Are you comfortable not knowing her at all?
That last one is particularly important. She can be in your life but not be your partner/girlfriend, y’all can have a friendship that is full and mutually beneficial. But is that what you want? Do you want more or maybe nothing at all? I know it sucks to answer your questions with more questions, but this isn’t the kind of question where I could say “delete her number and never talk to her again!”
If you do end up going back to talk to her, I’d suggest expressing regret for how you ended things. Maybe you were abrupt and didn’t give her the chance to explain or tell her story. If that’s the case, then you could resolve your feelings with a simple: “I’m sorry for the way I ended things, I still don’t think we are compatible for the reasons I mentioned, but I wanted to express regret for cutting and running the way I did.”
If you don’t talk to her again, I would talk to your therapist about these feelings and see what they have to say. You can also journal about your emotions around the situation, which might help you understand why you are still hung up on her. I would also chat with your therapist before you do attempt to talk with this woman again, just to let your therapist know that you are thinking of making this decision.
I hope this helps you even a little bit.
You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.