Dr. Darcy, my girlfriend and I are both writing to you. We had a big fight last weekend and neither of us thinks we’re wrong. Hopefully you can help:
Me (g.f.1): We went out to Stonewall. My girlfriend went to the bathroom and while she was gone, my ex came up to me. She was a little drunk and started telling me about how she was just stood up on a blind date. Next thing you know, she started crying at the bar and when my girlfriend came out of the bathroom she saw me hugging her. Miss Sensitive (my girlfriend) decides to leave Stonewall, then gets mad at me for staying and not running after her. WTF?
Her (g.f.2): Yes, we both went to Stonewall. And yes, I went to the bathroom, came out and saw the ex girlfriend swooning in my girlfriend’s arms. What my girlfriend didn’t tell you was the history of her and her ex:
They broke up about a year ago. I’m the third new girlfriend since they broke up. Every other girlfriend left my girlfriend because she and her ex have such a crazy relationship. Basically, the only difference between how they behaved as a couple and how they behave now is that they don’t (I hope) have sex anymore. They are still as emotionally connected as ever, and although I’d love to blame the ex for most of it, my girlfriend plays into this craziness. She has no boundaries and falls for her ex’s drama at every turn. I wasn’t mad at my girlfriend for not running after me. I’m mad because she has NO CONCEPT of how to have a relationship with anyone but her ex and I’m tired of it.
Just when I started to get bored of the old Q&A format, my peeps add a little variety to my blog, for which I am grateful.
GF1, you are emotionally unavailable because you are still far too connected to your ex. You can’t go from lovers to BFF without a pause in the relationship, and I’m guessing you wouldn’t have burned through 2 girls between then and now if you had employed a pause. You cannot be all things to your ex. She needs to learn how to lick her own wounds and not capitalize on seeing you in a bar and sabotage your current relationship, which, btw, is exactly what she’s doing.
GF2, you are attracted to people who, at some level, are unavailable to you. Now don’t get all defensive on me… It’s not conscious, so the fact that you’re completely unaware of this pattern of attraction makes sense. Stay with me here, because we just might make some headway:
You love the excitement of the chase (a little more than most of us do). You’re probably competitive by nature and used to winning. Look at the challenge you had with GF1: Two other women failed to fill the ex girlfriend’s shoes, so along came GF2 (You). But now it’s becoming obvious that no one can tear those two apart, not even you, GF2.
I vote for a break.
GF1, sort out your stuff with the ex. Sleep with her again to see if there’s any chance that you want to get back together. If, after you’ve slept together, you find yourself cured of amnesia and recall all the reasons why you broke up in the first place, commit to erecting some reasonable boundaries. When you’re certain that you won’t fall prey to your hot-mess-of-an-ex, then you can initiate contact with GF2 and discuss revisiting the relationship.
GF2, spend this break becoming clear about your personal deal-breakers: Come up with a list of 20 behaviors that you absolutely will not tolerate in relationships. Then stick to that list, because you are worth it.
Phew. That was a lot. I wonder if this is what being a referee feels like…