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It lasted just shy of three years, but in that span of time, I felt a vast array of powerful feelings I had never felt before.

While we were both hopelessly in love with each other, our youth worked to our detriment. Our dynamic was as passionate as it was tumultuous. You need a surplus of other things: a cohesive vision of the future, in-sync timing, heaps of respect, unbreakable trust -- all of which we lacked.

The breakup was brutal.

When your ex dating someone prettier than you

Our lives had become immensely intertwined, and both of us suffered seemingly endless waves of an impenetrable sadness that incessantly washed over us. Together, we held hands on long plane rides to different countries, embarked on a colorful spectrum of adventures, saw new things with fresh eyes, staved off old demons and built a life. I was convinced I would never recover from my heartbreak, and neither would my partner. How could we feel a love like that again?

But the sick, twisted reality about falling in love is at some point, one of you will inevitably fall for someone else. I decided, amidst my vodka-induced meltdown, I was going to check this new chick out. She had blonde highlighted, haplessly wavy hair -- effortlessly untouched from the heat of an iron. Her face was adorned in little delicate glasses.

What it's like when your ex dates someone who's everything you're not

I, on the other hand, am tall with a head made up of dark brown hair that I style with a degree flat iron, daily. Within minutes of taking in her slew of toothy selfies and college girl quotes, I drew some pretty drastic conclusions about a girl I had never met nor spoken to. I firmly decided she was most definitely a carefree bohemian girl.

The type that goes to festivals and wears fringed kimonos and adheres flash tattoos onto her tanned skin. In my mind, she was free of the endless stream of torturous thoughts that seem to perpetually tug at the strings of my heart at all times.

She had normal friends who were easy to be around. She blindly worshiped my ex. And it cut the surface of my skin with such a piercing intensity, its sting broke through to the core of my heart. For six months, I stalked this new girlfriend with the same perseverance and dedication I had once dutifully pumped into my career and creativity.

I both envied and hated her simplicity, the way in which she posted basic pictures of boring sunsets and pink cocktails in plastic cups -- and most of all, the uncomplicated relationship she appeared to be having with my ex. They seemed to forever be engulfed in sandy dive bars wearing flip-flops and living out the American Dream.

I began to question the qualities I had once appreciated about myself: the unrelenting drive, the feistiness, the fierce opinions and irrepressibly outspoken nature. Finally, at some point, I came crashing down to my senses. I began to realize everything I had concluded about this girl was built on the false foundation of her social media presence. I knew nothing about her. The girl with the perfectly ponytailed hair who posts a bikini picture weekly with abs cut from steel is silently suffering from a warped body image.

The girl who is constantly updating her status about how blessed her life is numbing herself with drugs.

I had allowed myself to get twisted up over a cartoon of a person, which is precisely what our social media persona is -- a one-dimensional Minnie Mouse version of ourselves. Remember, nothing you see is online is real. By Zara Barrie. It was the only time I had ever envisioned the great expanse of my future with another person.

Someone who sometimes is the very opposite of you. Alcohol and a broken heart have always served as a catalyst for my destructive decisions. Within seconds, my eyes penetrated her image: She had blonde highlighted, haplessly wavy hair -- effortlessly untouched from the heat of an iron.

She was short. She blissfully smiled in every picture and wore denim shorts and flat shoes. She probably played soccer in high school and had a mom who baked. How could my ex be so immersed in a relationship with someone so opposite me? Had my ex secretly pined for a girl who was merely sweet and casual and easy-going?

We all do it. Behind every smiling selfie exists a desperate need for validation. Search Close.