Author Topic: How to break up with someone who has abandoned you, and their (Final Update #96)  (Read 23576 times)

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TurtleDove

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Her feelings are real, even if some would dismiss the relationship.

I am trying to say this delicately.  It is unreasonable for Jane to have "feelings" for John whom she never met.  She may have feelings for his online persona, but this is not the same as an actual relationship.  I wouldn't want Jane to get hurt again by mistaking feelings for a persona for feeling for an actual human being.

ilrag

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I think the discussion on if it's a real relationship or not is missing the point. The OP has said that her friend thinks of it that way, so we're not going to change her mind on that.

If I were the OP I'd want advice on helping her let go of it as if it was. Once the friend has some distance from the entire situation it probably wouldn't hurt to bring up concerns about "getting serious" with some one she hasn't met.

Steve

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Well, the discussion is probably not only missing the point, but going to get the thread locked too.

From the etiquette stance, I would say: do not reach out to John. No response is required. He is using the stuff on you that we all tell people to use if we want to break off friendships: he is busy, he is not communicative, and he leaves all the initiative to Jane. She should take the hint and stop contacting him.



Teenyweeny

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And that, friends, is why you should meet in person ASAP after meeting online.

I know many, many people who met online, and I have to say that as the amount of time without meeting in person increases, the likelihood of the relationship working out decreases. People build castles in the air, and as the time goes on, that castle become more and more elaborate. The only problem is that the more elaborate the castle becomes, the less likely it is that reality could ever live up to it. And whilst one of you might be building the castle, the other may be building a beach house with someone else entirely  ;).

I too am highly sceptical of his 'sick mother'. And even if he does have a sick mother, as MrsJWine says, most people lean on their SOs in times of need. They don't not speak to them for 3 months.

Unfortunately, OP, your friend needs to take this as a lesson learned, and move on. If I were her, I would send an email, simply saying:

Dear John,

As I have not heard from you in 3 months, I have taken this as a clear indication that you do not wish to continue our relationship. This email is to let you know that I too consider our relationship to be at an end. Do not contact me again.

Jane

Then I would eat a huge tub of ice cream and move on. And never, ever let any future online relationships last for more than a couple of weeks before you meet in person. If the other party isn't willing or able, the chances of THAT relationship working out are slim to none.





dawbs

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*snip*

Dear John,

As I have not heard from you in 3 months, I have taken this as a clear indication that you do not wish to continue our relationship. This email is to let you know that I too consider our relationship to be at an end. Do not contact me again.

Jane

Then I would eat a huge tub of ice cream and move on. And never, ever let any future online relationships last for more than a couple of weeks before you meet in person. If the other party isn't willing or able, the chances of THAT relationship working out are slim to none.

I tink this letter is the way to go...because if nothing else, it gives Jane a bit of control--the 'you can't fire me, I QUIT" thing that's sometimes necessary to move on from a relationship.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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I wouldn't contact him at all.  I would just move on.  He is not worth another second of your friend's time. 

Teenyweeny

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I wouldn't contact him at all.  I would just move on.  He is not worth another second of your friend's time.

For me, I'd want to let him know that I know what he did, and that I'm moving on. I'd hate for some skeezebag to be sitting at home thinking that I'm still out there, pining for them.

We both agree that she should dump his sorry behind. Whether she does it with silent dignity, or whether she send him a short, dignified note is her call.



RebeccainGA

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I have had one of these, sort of - someone I'd met once, we'd talked online for months, and she was on her way to see me - literally. She called, said "I'll see you about 8!" and I didn't hear from her for over a year. When I did hear from her, she didn't remember who I was (sent me a 'who is this?' text from her cell phone. Turned out she got arrested on her way, for possession of an unlicensed gun and prescriptions not written for her (narcotics).

Tell her to consider it a bullet dodged. There's no telling what *actually* happened, but it was undoubtedly not what she expects, and likely isn't his mom. And hey, maybe it leads to something wonderful - because of this episode, which I posted about on an e-mail group I was on back then, I ended up meeting the person who would become my DP, who I've been married to for almost seven years! Best thing that ever happened to me!

TheVapors

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Thank you all for taking the time to read and respond.

I'm not sure what Jane will want to do, yet. Heck, I don't even know what I would do in this situation. But, I'll definitely pass on these many suggestions. When she decides (probably after some good ol' thinking time), I'll be sure to update.

The703

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I'm guessing that he's married. How did they "meet"? Internet dating site? I agree with the other PP's. If they never met how could they be "dating"?



Decimus

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I think it is entirely possible to have a "real" relationship online -- but the likelihood of it being a successful one does diminish if the people don't meet reasonably soon once things begin to move beyond feelings of "friendship".  That being said --

She ought to send a "dear john" letter, because it will give her mental closure and help her move on.  And that's all she she should do.  Whatever the reality of John is, the relationship is dead.  She needs to take whatever steps make sense for her to give it closure.

O'Dell

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Whatever is going on with John, Jane should consider it over. I think she should do what she needs to do to close out this chapter of her life. If that means a note telling John that she got the message, that's fine. Who cares what he thinks when he reads it? She shouldn't worry about that.

Whether she sends him a message or not, she should delete all his info, emails/letters, voicemails, etc. Just as one might do after a conventional relationship. It makes it easier to move on, in my experience.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

Yvaine

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Her feelings are real, even if some would dismiss the relationship.

I am trying to say this delicately.  It is unreasonable for Jane to have "feelings" for John whom she never met.  She may have feelings for his online persona, but this is not the same as an actual relationship.  I wouldn't want Jane to get hurt again by mistaking feelings for a persona for feeling for an actual human being.

Oh, the feelings are real and they exist; if the people do end up meeting and it works out, the feelings that developed while they were still just online get built upon; they don't start over at zero. It's just that sometimes it doesn't work out instead. And it's totally possible to fall for a "persona" even if you know the person in the flesh. Lots of people are liars. Doesn't mean the hurt isn't real when someone falls for a liar, online or otherwise. Her pain is real and she will need to heal for real. And I think just ignoring him is going to be more healing than giving him the chance to laugh at her.

That said, I do think it's best if people having an online relationship meet as soon as possible, for the reasons Teenyweeny describes. Feelings developed as a "pen pal" can be real, but you have to meet in person before you can be sure it's something you can build on.

BabylonSister

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I feel bad for Jane. It must have been a painful last few months. Etiquette-wise, I'm sure there's nothing she needs to do but writing him a letter might help. If anything, it might show him that she won't be available the next time he's between girlfriends.

Winterlight

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 He hasn't contacted her in 2 months. Whatever he said before is moot. Unless he's been abducted by aliens, he could have managed a five-minute phone call.

I think the best thing Jane can do is delete his contact information, block his emails and get rid of anything John-related. Then have some ice cream.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls