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We Were Reunited in Love, and Then He Ditched Me 

Dear Athena,

I have known this guy for most of my life. We were friends as children, and as teenagers we loved each other. But then my family moved away and we drifted apart. Recently he showed back up in my life. He loves my family, and they love him. A couple of weeks ago, we had sex. It was random and fun, but since then I haven't heard from him. The weird thing is, he's still in contact with my family. Just this week I saw on Facebook that he is dating someone, and I was horrified. I thought we were really reconnecting. I don't know what to do or what to tell my family. I am so upset. I was so open with him about my past disappointments, and then he totally ditched me. I thought I was more important to him than that.


Burned by an Old Flame

Dear Burned,

Of course you're upset! What a jerk! I wish I could clobber him for you. I wish I could make it all better.

But the only thing that will make this better is time — truly the best medicine. It's not a quick fix, and it's not as fun as lashing out at him, but, as much as you may want to drop a bag of dog shit at his doorstep, you'd be wiser to move on.

He messed up, big time. He clearly took advantage of you, and he's got to go. I wouldn't bother trying to connect with him, but if you feel you need closure, you could write him a letter. It might be cathartic to tell him that he hurt you, particularly given your long history. But know that, if you send this letter, he might not respond, and I doubt very much that he will change. Your letter needs to be a step toward moving on, not a tactic to get him back.

Then I suggest you delete his phone number and stop following him on social media. Ask your family to do the same. So what if they have fond memories of him from the past? Given how he's treated you, they should understand and be sensitive to your side of the situation.

While it's tempting to analyze what went wrong here, don't bother. His actions were careless, thoughtless and selfish, period.

It might take time before you feel you can trust someone again. But the good news is, there are good guys out there, too — guys who would be psyched to be with you. The sooner you let go of this dud, the sooner you'll be ready to meet one of them.



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