As resident ‘Real Fairy Godmother’ for @femalefirst_uk I have answered their latest reader dilemma below..
Rewind to last year, I’m a student living with my closest university friends. It’s bad (I know) but I had a massive crush on one of my housemates; a guy who had a girlfriend at the time. They broke up and he started flirting with me almost immediately, I (stupidly) went along with it.
After some back and forth I confessed that I had feelings for him. Then we started something that is hard to define, somewhere between friends with benefits and a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship. It lasted about two months but was pretty intense (although I didn’t sleep with him despite his cajoling).
It ended on bad terms as he went from sending me messages daily to ignoring my messages for over a week with no explanation. This was extremely stressful. When I returned to university from the Easter holidays, he tried to pick up where we left off and I point blank refused. I made sure to tell him I wasn’t happy with how things happened and that I wanted to try a real relationship or at least be on good terms as friends. It was rocky, but we seemed to patch up our friendship.
Then, a short time later it seemed to me like something was starting between him and my best friend. This was solidified when we went on a night out and they seemed ‘close’ (flirting and grinding). It upset me a lot as I was still raw from the problems between him and I. I told them how it hurt seeing them together in that way, and she seemed sheepish but reassured me nothing was going on (as did other friends).
I had no contact with him over the summer holidays and felt horrible whenever I thought about what happened between us. We came back to university and were living together again when a group went out to a club (I was not there). It came out that he had gotten very drunk and was groping my best friend. I dismissed it as him being a bad drunk as she seemed embarrassed by the situation. I still had suspicions and voiced them, finally convinced when, yet again, I was told nothing was going on.
At some point (I forget when) I told him that I still liked him in spite of everything and he had no reaction other than to ask how he could make the feelings go away. Then, it came out that he was seeing someone new (from his old high school) and I was upset that I was not told/given some warning. I went through a pretty dark time at this point. But I got over it soon enough when I realised he was an asshole and all I could do was find other things to occupy myself and move on.
Now, some months later, I’ve come across my best friend’s diary and did something stupid – looked in it. What I have found out from it is seriously making me question my friendships with everyone in the university house.
Basically, very shortly after our ‘thing’, at about the time I suspected something, my friends were indeed sleeping together. This appears to have been going on over summer and into the next academic year. From what I read she was stressed about my reaction (i.e. if I would have another breakdown) and possibly losing me as a friend if they admitted to seeing each other. She acknowledges that what they were doing was risky and seemed to hope time would help. It is clear that things stopped between them, although I’m not sure when or how (it seems like she may have been blindsided by his new girlfriend too).
I’m having problems processing this mostly as I have been lied to for about a year now, despite my having asked for honesty multiple times. I now realise other friends were aware of what was going on and have also lied to me and evaded questions that may have unintentionally given it away.
I’m more hurt that I have been made to look a fool than that anything went on between them, as I have battled with ‘paranoia’ over it and actually confided to my friends about it. I even fended off outsiders who asked if anything was going on between them, confidently telling people that nothing was going on and that they were just good friends – they are both aware of instances of this too. I also got pissed off when another housemate implied that someone out our group of friends had slept with him – thinking she was referring to me. I feel so stupid for not trusting my gut.
So, I guess my question is, what do I do? Better yet, how can I move past it? I know it was a complete breach of privacy to look in her diary and I really deeply regret it, but I’m not okay with having been lied to for so long. Especially by my best friend who is infamous for being a terrible liar. Apparently, I was mistaken 🙁
Our Resident Real Fairy Godmother Michelle Zelli says:
Oh darling, this could be the most perfect gift you have ever received!
The story is horrible, disloyalty and dishonesty every which way you turn. But here’s the rub….. you have been dishonest with yourself. Your intuition has told you things were not as they seemed. Only by listening and learning to your inner gut feelings will you be able to heal and grow.
You have been gaslighted, bamboozled, treated like a fool. You have chosen to ignore so many signs and kept coming back for more.
It’s heartbreaking to feel betrayed by a friend and a love interest but it’s also a big wake up call. Use this to change your ways. Commit to personal development of your self value. If you truly valued yourself you would have dropped this ‘somewhere between friends with benefits and a girlfriend- boyfriend relationship’ before it had started.
When a guy is in a relationship and they start flirting with you, it’s a sign of their values. They’re putting the writing on the wall for you to read their subconscious warnings of what to expect. Rose tinted specs, of feeling enamoured, colour the red flags as unimportant. They are important. Pay attention to the way someone treats you – and how you really feel around them – right from the get go.
You might find that learning about Love Addiction would be a big help for your future. Those rose tinteds don’t attract sunshine, they attract more storms and disappointments. (Pia Melody is a great place to start. I also regularly cover this issue in my Live Coaching Sessions on Instagram.)
I wish you every success on your journey and hope you will dig deep to heal old wounds of self-uncare, replacing with a juicy dose of self-love.