Dear Red: The First One "Afterward"

Dear Red,

After my recent breakup, I've been silly & gone & fallen for an inappropriate guy who walks all over me because he will pay attention to my lady parts.... So if you can include any advice on getting over "the first one afterward" that would be more than a little bit amazing.

Sincerely,

Fallen


Dear Fallen,

Ugh, I know this feeling all too well. You're reeling emotionally from your breakup, you know logically that a new relationship is a bad idea, and then in walks Mr. Baby Face, and it's all over. I get it. And the screwed up thing is, your emotions are already so mixed up and intense, it feels a whole lot like "crazy in love" with the new guy...so much so that it's nearly painful.

And the thing that sucks the most? It actually kind of makes you feel better about the breakup, almost like it didn't happen at all, because your heart is telling you you've "moved on."

Which, of course, you already know isn't quite right...especially if you think he's inappropriate. And ESPECIALLY if he's walking all over you. Because those kind of shenanigans will eventually make you feel worse than you already do.

But I want to tell you what I told this girl...I almost feel like this fling with this not-so-great dude is par for the course. And being involved with this guy is just as much of the healing and self-realization process as anything else you'll go through. Good for you for at least recognizing it for what it is. If this were a 12 step program, you'd be well on your way to actual recovery.

As I get older, I realize more and more that there really are no on and off switches in life. It would do you no good if someone was just like, "Dump that dude right this instant! He's just taking advantage of you!" because a) you already know he's not great and b) I think you have to really get to the point where you truly believe you deserve better first.

Once a person is able to start working through the real issues he or she is facing (the real issue isn't that you want to get laid, right? Because we all want that), that's when the behavior can actually start to change. So that's my advice to you today.* Try to figure out what part of you is allowing yourself to be treated less-than-awesomely by this dude and see what you can do to change that thought pattern. I guarantee when the thought pattern changes and when you're back to a healthy place where you're demanding the best for yourself, the answer will seem obvious.

You'll get there. It won't be overnight. And hell, maybe you will try to quit this guy cold turkey. That happens, too. Just remember to take a little time to check in, get a little perspective, and try to figure out what kind of behavior is really best and most healthy for you.

Get it, girl.

Sincerely,

Red

*Clearly, if this dude was in any way abusive, my advice would be different.