Dear Harlan: I came to college with my high school girlfriend. We both went to the same school so we could stay together. We are no longer together. She dumped me. I no longer want to be here. I feel alone and so betrayed. How can I overcome this feeling?
Dear Betrayed: Let me start off by telling you how much it hurts to break up. It’s awful and incredibly painful. It’s not what you expected. We’ve all been there. You expected this to go one way, but it took a dramatic turn. Here’s the thing about relationships: There are no guarantees. There was always a chance that this wouldn’t work out. In fact, there was a fairly good chance. Get over feeling betrayed by giving her permission to change her mind. You could have been the one to change your mind. Feeling betrayed is only going to keep you thinking about her, resenting her and blaming her. Instead of blaming her, blame relationships. I know it’s a lot to take in, but you will get beyond this. The best way to move on is to focus on what you want (other than her). Make what you want dependent on you. If you want an education, stay in college and work toward getting your degree. If you want to get an education without seeing your ex, go somewhere else. If you want to be happy and can’t get there, reach out to a counselor or other mentors who can help you work through this. The goal is to be focused on being happy with yourself. Yes, it’s painful, disappointing and upsetting, but this is part of love. Look inward and focus on what you can do to make yourself happy. Do this and you won’t be as vulnerable in future relationships because you will always have love — the love you have for yourself.