Out of My League

My girlfriend and I were together for about 5 months. We are both in college and that is where we met last September. I was about a week into my classes and things were going along as normal. The usual classes, the usual students. Not really the place where I would expect to meet someone because I was taking engineering and the class was almost all guys. There was one elective class in business administration that was the exception. The ratio of male to female students was about 1:1. And it’s here that I met Ashley.

I was in love the moment I saw her and somehow managed to strike up a conversation on a few occasions without allowing my nerves to ruin everything. I don’t do well with women and I’m very shy. But for some reason, this worked and I felt comfortable around her.

It wasn’t long before I asked her out to a pub crawl night. And to make a long story short, we started dating regularly after that. It was the greatest time of my life. It changed my whole perspective on life and I found myself leaping out of bed in the morning to greet the day. Something I have never done in all my life.

She even accepted that I had only a handful of friends and that I wasn’t really that social. She had a very large group of friends and that was apparent as I got to know her. As bad as this sounds, I wondered what she was really doing with me. I’m sure her friends thought that also.

All my life, I have really only had male friends. And not the cool guys either, more like the engineering types in my core classes. I had little experience with women when I met her and once (I can’t believe I thought this) I even believed she had lost a bet or something when she started talking to me. I know, I have to work on my confidence.

So for 5 months, we carried on in this whirlwind romance. Things couldn’t have been better. But I always had this feeling of dread that the hammer could fall any time. And that hammer did fall about 2 weeks ago.

I started getting jealous of one of her close friends. She had known him since grade school and they seemed pretty close. So close that he thought it was okay to make sexually suggestive comments on her Facebook page. I should have let it go, but I felt that I had to say something with me being the boyfriend and all. In hindsight, not a good move.

I decided to send him a message asking him to cut it out. He responded with a nasty reply and reminded me that they had always got along like that and it was nothing to worry about. But the tone of the message was sarcastic and degrading. I felt like they belonged to some secret club. One in which I would never be a member. They shared a long history and he suggested that they were closer than her and I would ever be. I should have known better than to get involved. My inexperience, I suppose.

The next time I saw her, she was different. I knew right away that he told her and I prepared for the worst. Long story short, we talked about it and she reassured me that they were just friends and would never be any more than that. As proof, she suggested that if they were going to go down that path, they would have done so years ago. Seemed reasonable.

But it wasn’t going to go away. He started making sarcastic comments on Facebook and taking shots at me. This continued on for a few weeks and I sent him a message asking him to stop. He replied that he had no idea what I was talking about. I talked to her about it and she didn’t seem that concerned. In the weeks that followed, I noticed that she wasn’t as friendly towards me and we hardly did anything at all together. She always seemed to be doing things with her friends.

I felt like she was about to dump me, so I decided to break up with her first. I wasn’t serious about it, and I thought that she would come back to me, crying and asking me to take her back. It didn’t work out that way. She never contacted me at all. At school, she ignored me and didn’t even look in my direction. I realized that I made a mistake – a very childish mistake. I texted her and asked if she was okay and if she wanted to be friends. She replied with “Whatever.”

This week, I finally managed to get her to have coffee with me. After a decent, civilized conversation, I told her that I made a mistake and wanted to try again. She replied by saying that we should just stay friends. The words went through me like a knife. My inner voice was saying, “well, you really effed things up now.” Panic, then depression overcame me. She told me we could meet again, but just as friends, as she left. It was over and I had done it. I barely remember leaving the coffee house I was so distraught. I took a chance and she called my bluff. So embarrassing!

Since then, my life has been hell. It felt like the end of the world. My brother told me that I’d meet someone else, but I knew he was just trying to help. Deep down, I know that I’ll never meet anyone like her again. She was out of my league and that’s not me feeling sorry for myself. She really was. I knew it and everyone else around me knew it.

My pain is so deep right now that I can’t think straight. Thank goodness we don’t share a class anymore because I would have to drop it.

My five month romance is something that I will never forget. I was a different person and I never wanted it to end.

The problem I have right now is that I can’t stop thinking about her and it’s ruining my life. I have responsibilities and expectations that have to be met, and all I feel like doing is staying in bed under the covers. Was it worth it? Hard to say.

I am on my second day of no contact. Up until now, I was texting and phoning her like a fool. If I were on the other end, I would have probably told me to get lost. Right now, she isn’t responding to any contact.

It’s taking everything I have not to contact her.

Any advice on how to make this any easier? Thanks in advance.

Troy

Hello Troy,

One of the first things I noticed about your letter is that you seem to have low self-esteem. You have convinced yourself that you were not worthy of dating this woman, so you have no chance at getting her back. At least, that’s what I understood you to say. Never say never.

But I’m not going to sugar-coat things for you either. It is possible that you were out of your league. Yes, I believe there are classifications when it comes to people. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is what it is. Physical appearance is number one it seems, but occasionally, you can get by with a great personality. I think this is true in your case. But it’s going to be a constant battle.

When people hook up “out of their league,” it can be tough. You mentioned waiting for a hammer to drop. That’s a great analogy.

Yet, I know people who are out of each others league physically, socially, intellectually, and they are together and happy as can be. So, you should know that there are no hard and fast rules. I think you are selling yourself short. Your lack of confidence is not going to help here. If you believe you have nothing to offer this woman and your 5 month relationship was a fluke, then that is going to be your reality. She is going to know she can do better.

You may actually be looking at your former relationship a little skewed – like finding a rare treasure and losing it. At the time, you can’t believe your luck, then you suddenly lose it and it’s gone for good because you never should have found it to begin with. It’s like winning the lottery and losing all your money. What are the chances of winning again?

The thing you have to keep in mind is that she went out with you. She went out with you and she was happy – you both were. Don’t discount that and cheapen it by saying it was a fluke.

As far as having nothing to offer her, you are going to be an engineer, no? A very respectable profession, higher than average earnings. You have more to offer than you think. And even if you weren’t in a high paying profession, there is something about you that she found attractive enough to become intimate with you. People don’t do that unless they want to be more than friends.

I believe you should be looking at eventually getting her back. I know you don’t think you have a chance now, but again, don’t sell yourself short. The worst thing you have done to this point is initiated a fake breakup. Okay, it makes you look bad, but there are worse things. She may forget all about that in time. At some point you can admit that you were scared and made a bad move.

Now, whether you try to get her back or you just want to get through this with your sanity intact, your course of action should be the same. Treat her as a friend. Don’t be mean or vengeful. Have tons of patience. Be confident that things could turn romantic again.

Right now, in this moment, you are suffering. Not able to deal with anything in your normal life. All you want to do is curl up into a ball and shut the world out. That is normal and most of us feel like that after a bad breakup. But you need to fight this urge. Take a day or two to mourn your loss, but after that, get back into your normal routine or it could start to affect your long-term psychological well being. You need to get out and be around people – even though that is the last thing you feel like doing right now. And you need to find someone who can lift you up. Yes, you are going to be a bit of a downer, but if that person is understanding and compassionate, all will be good. Some people like taking on a task like that – it’s like their pet project 🙂

Whether you are looking to get her back or to just ease the suffering you are feeling right now, the last thing you want to do is harass her. Text messages are not your friend at the moment. Even though you’ll be suffering for the next month or more, it will be worse if the situation escalates. Don’t burn your bridges by throwing away her friendship too.

You are in the worst of it right now. This is as bad as it gets if you don’t escalate things. The wounds are fresh and emotions are at an all time high, but it isn’t going to last.

Thanks for writing in.