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Dear Captain Awkward:

About two weeks ago, I was broken up with by my then-boyfriend of nearly two years, P. I did not see it coming, at all. A week before, he had invited me to his family’s reunion in the summer, and he had spent the previous weekend with me.

P and I met on a dating website, after I had been single for a couple of years. We seemed to click right away, he was very attractive and intelligent, and was fun to converse with. The only major problem in our relationship, that I could tell, was that he was bad at emotional intimacy. Like, way bad.

When he broke up with me, he sent a bunch of mixed signals. The few times we saw each other or talked during the first week after, he was way physically (& not platonically) affectionate, and was telling me all about how his day was going. Needless to say, it was confusing.

I spoke with a friend who is mutual friends with P, and she confirmed that nobody knew that P was going to break up with me, and that P was being a sad panda about it. He said (to my best friend) that I should get in touch with him when I was ready.

I ended up talking to my therapist about it, and she suggested that I figure out why he had broken up with me. Initially he said it was because he didn’t feel the way for me the way he thought he should, but all of his actions pointed away from that. So, I texted him to see if he was open to talking, and off we went to our favorite diner.

That talk, to say the least, ended badly. He hemmed and hawed and gave weird reasons (didn’t want to move in together, which was odd because I was nowhere near ready for that either), only to change his mind the next second. Then he said, “I just never saw myself with somebody like you.”

When I asked what that meant, he mumbled something about my “eclectic” fashion sense. Then, he blurted out, “I guess I always saw myself with somebody more conventionally attractive.”

This obviously hurt. In the beginning, I often wondered how somebody like me could land a guy so freaking hot. And now, cool! All my fears and insecurities came true! Awesome!

I got angry, and told him that there was no way, none what so ever, that we could be friends after this. He got sad, and was practically pleading with me. He apologized a bunch, promised he’d be a better person in the future, all that. When I left his car, I told him that he could consider himself free from me, and I went and ugly-cried all over the place. I deleted and blocked him from everything, disabled a lot of my social media accounts to avoid lashing out at him.

In the process of that, I came across a post he made on Reddit, asking how to forgive himself after he had hurt somebody, mentioning how he was never proud to be seen in public with me, and how he knew from the beginning that he was settling for way less than what he wanted in a partner, namely in the looks department.

It’s less than a full day later, so I know it’s too soon to make huge declarative statements but: This has utterly messed me up. Like, I’ve always been aware that I was less than cute by society’s standards but I’ve never had a hard time getting dates/hook ups/relationships, so I figured I was doing okay enough. Now, I have to deal with the knowledge that a man I was in love with for nearly two years, who introduced me to his family and friends, who seemed to have no problem having sex with me, secretly wished I looked like somebody else. From the get-go.

I guess my question is: How to I survive this? I can’t look in the mirror without bawling. I’m so nauseated that I can barely stomach food. I am hating my body and my face a lot right now. And I know I shouldn’t feel that way, that this anger should instead be directed at him for being such a jerkface, but it’s easier to point it at myself.

For right now, I am so turned off to the idea of finding somebody else, even in the distant future, because now I’ll always be wondering at the back of my head: What if this hypothetical person will also lie to myself about loving me and having sex with me while actually being embarrassed by me?

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Hello! I took a few days off to work at my real job and go to the movies and read books and hang out with my boyfriend. It was awesome and I will be doing more of that + shooting a short film in August.

Old business: If you donated to the pledge drive via the Dwolla link, I don’t have your email address. So email me and I’ll send you the link to the movie. Also, a few of the PayPal donors had email addresses that bounced back (or I may have missed you), so if you are missing the movie let me know and I will fix that ASAP.

New business:

Attention: The Foster Kitten Cam has new kitties.

Also, this is a very sad letter. I am putting it behind a cut. And I want to say something very clearly first:

This blogger is officially, unilaterally, and forever pro-choice. I believe the decision to terminate a pregnancy is morally neutral and should be private, legal & safe. I trust that anyone undertaking that decision has their own reasons that are better than anything I or any outside party could come up with. I will be moderating comments here accordingly. You can disagree with me…privately in your heart. Or on other websites. All anti-choice lobbying & debate will be deleted without warning. Repeat offenders will be banned without warning. This was your warning. If this is a hot-button issue for you and you don’t think you’ll be able to resist internet-fighting what you see as the Good Fight for Tiny Innocent Babies, maybe don’t click further. You will not change my mind, and this is not the place to try out your Ethics 101 arguments. The Letter Writer and I are not interested in your jibber-jabber.

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Dune Poster

Some things cannot be explained, only endured.

Dear Captain Awkward:

I’m having a really hard time getting over my ex-boyfriend.  It’s not like he was Darth Vader, he’s really nice, good, stable, friendly, etc.

We knew each other from college and were friends first. After being together for 2 years we started talking about getting married.  He wanted us to move in together and I wanted to wait until we were engaged. He gave me an ultimatum, like “I can’t get engaged until after we live together for a while, so what’s the holdup if you love me?”  I gave him the ultimatum of “Well, if you’re committed enough to want to be together 24-7, why is being engaged such a huge hurdle?”

He said he’d think about it. My birthday came in November, I thought maybe he’d ask me then. Christmas came in December.  Still no ring. I can see you rolling your eyes right now – I swear to god I was not one of THOSE people. After we had some serious talks  and he said he wanted to think about it, I never brought it up. I didn’t hint about it, I didn’t go through his pockets looking for a ring box, I didn’t pressure him.  I love my apartment and am in no hurry to move in – it’s just that I didn’t want to move in without that larger commitment there.

Finally in January he took me out to dinner so we could “talk”, and I thought “Maybe this is it!” and put on a really great dress and went to the Mac counter for makeup…and you know where this is going, right?

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