Ask Amy: Pandemic shuts down long-distance love
Over a year later, I still feel the hurt and abandonment of being so unceremoniously dropped at such a critical time by someone I had come to trust so completely.
It has affected my outlook about relationships and my ability to try again.
Sometimes I feel completely "over it," but then am set back by some triggering behavior or thought.
I used to be a very hopeful, romantic, and optimistic person.
Now whenever I meet someone new, I find myself scanning them for signs of danger and looking around for the exits.
What can I do to cultivate a more trusting and less stymied outlook about romance?
– J, from New Orleans
Dear J: This woman dropped you abruptly and in the worst possible way, without providing any personal justification or explanation. This says a lot about her, because she had the option to part as friends, as painful as that might have been for both of you.
Your reaction now is understandable. People who have been burned instinctively avoid getting too close to the flame in the future, but in avoiding future relationships, you are expecting others to pay for what happened in your own past.
This is the twisted symmetry of your emotional fallout.