Dating Women: Is revenge on an ex ever justified?
Dating Women is an occasional relationship column that appears in Health.
Q Is vengeance ever a good idea? I’m feeling particularly bitter and resentful about a guy who was falling all over me, in love with me one week and then back with his ex the next, claiming he still had feelings for her that he had to figure out. I’m not talking about the kind of revenge that involves bodily harm or damage to any of his possessions, just something that would make me feel better about how badly this guy treated me, and make him feel as bad as he made me feel. Any ideas?
A You can’t fight fire with fire. It just results in a bigger fire. And, honestly, he hasn’t done anything that many of us haven’t done before — that is, be confused about our feelings/make a mistake/get back together with an ex.
The best revenge you can have is to find another better relationship and/or be happy and enjoy life. If you can’t go directly to happy, do something that will help satisfy your revenge urge without starting an inferno. Write him a nasty letter but don’t send it, for example. Anything that helps you satisfy your desire for payback but won’t get you arrested.
Q My girlfriend of six months recently sat me down for what was essentially an “I need space” conversation. I immediately assumed that this was simply a disguised, gentle way of giving me the boot, but I was confused because I really felt like things had been chugging along quite nicely. When I told her this, she completely agreed and said that’s the reason she needs some breathing room. She went on to explain that most of her past relationships failed because she felt she invested too much of herself in trying to making them work and lost her identity in the process. She’d eventually resent this and end things. She said that because she feels we have something special, she wants to make sure she doesn’t repeat this pattern and feels that establishing more space for herself within our relationship will ultimately be better for it. What do you think?
— Space Issues
A I do think space can be good for a relationship. But in order for the concept of “needing space” to be good for a relationship, you both have to be actively involved in how it goes down. What kind of space does she need? Also, set a time limit on your little “space” experiment.