Should I stay or should I go?

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Should I stay or should I go? Empty Should I stay or should I go?

Post by Gman on Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:22 pm

[ltr]Oh boy, this is quite the predicament….. it's a little long, but I'll try to keep it short:[/ltr]

[ltr]So this week begins my first year of my M.A. degree. Today, the professor of my first seminar published the syllabus of the seminar. According to it, each week, a different lecturer will come and present his research/work and at the end of the course, each student will select one of the lectures and write a critical paper about the topic that he presented – the paper will be 100% of the grade.[/ltr]

[ltr]Now my heart dropped to the floor when I read – black over white LED screen – that my ex-girlfriend is one of the guest lecturers and will present her research (which I already know about, obviously) next week. However, the syllabus also states that the mandatory participation rate in the seminar is a minimum of 80% - meaning I can go ahead and skip her lecture and it won't affect my grade.[/ltr]

[ltr]So I basically have 2 options – either I go ahead and attend her lecture or I simply skip it all together and avoid meeting her at all.[/ltr]
[ltr]Just to be clear – it's not like I'm going to actually write a critical paper about her research topic – that would be a classic case of conflict of interest.[/ltr]

[ltr]I am kind of freaking out about what the heck I should do. We did break up on good terms and I don't have any grudges or anything like that I am still holding against her or something like that. One of my main concerns is how SHE will react when she finds out I'm there – how will that affect her lecture or does this lecture play any part to her research/work somehow. I don't want to hurt her lecture just by the fact that I was there and that created a reaction in HER thus throwing her off and causing her not to deliver the best lecture that she can.[/ltr]


[ltr]Also, I have to admit that getting over her was pretty rough on me. The last thing I want is to create an internal emotional turmoil about her all over again over nothing. Logically, there shouldn't be a reason for me not to go – we are both mature adults and the fact that we'll meet again shouldn't affect the lecture somehow. But considering the fact that I started to physically sweat when I found out about this today and that it took me 5 minutes to calm down and slow my heart rate – I'm a bit worried……… I thought about emailing her, just to give her a heads-up that I will be there and thus allow her to mentally prepare for it too, but I feel that will be a REALLY AWKWARD thing to do. [/ltr]
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Post by eselle28 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:54 pm

My suggestion would be that you plan to go and try to go, but give yourself the option of excusing yourself if on the day of the lecture you feel particularly bad about attending. It sounds like your ex's field and yours at least overlap? If that's the case, this may not be the last time you run into each other. This might actually be a good time for your first professional run in to happen, since all that will happen is her speaking and you listening, with no requirement that the two of you interact. Given that, it might be good to attempt to attend if you can.

For basically the same reason, I don't think there's much of a point in emailing her ahead of time. You don't really know how she feels about the prospect of seeing you again in a professional context, and I think flagging it as a potential issue beforehand might actually make it a little more awkward for her than if you treated it as just another one of your class sessions.
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Post by reboot on Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:02 pm

eselle28 wrote:My suggestion would be that you plan to go and try to go, but give yourself the option of excusing yourself if on the day of the lecture you feel particularly bad about attending. It sounds like your ex's field and yours at least overlap? If that's the case, this may not be the last time you run into each other. This might actually be a good time for your first professional run in to happen, since all that will happen is her speaking and you listening, with no requirement that the two of you interact. Given that, it might be good to attempt to attend if you can.

For basically the same reason, I don't think there's much of a point in emailing her ahead of time. You don't really know how she feels about the prospect of seeing you again in a professional context, and I think flagging it as a potential issue beforehand might actually make it a little more awkward for her than if you treated it as just another one of your class sessions.

Cosign this. You may end up bumping into her throughout school and possibly professionally, so this is a low pressure, low stakes way of getting used to seeing each other. The first time will be the most awkward, so you might as well get it out of the way. I agree with eselle about not contacting her ahead of time. I am sure she is aware you might be in the audience given that she knows what your field of study is. It is best to treat this as a slightly awkward, but no big, thing.
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Post by Gman on Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:12 pm

Yeah, don't worry I have to decided to just deal with it. This is basically how life is in an adult life - knowing how to deal with somewhat unpleasent situations with maturity and level headedness. I just had a mini freakout when I found out the news and I guess I just wanted to vent a bit somewhere in a safe and secure manner. I calmed down, pulled myself together and realized that considering everything, this isn't really all that bad - especially because we parted in good terms with each other and not under nasty circumstances like cheating, nasty divorce or anything truly dramatic of that sort.
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Post by eselle28 on Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:14 pm

I'm glad to hear that! I can identify with the mini freakout. Sometimes it's easier to come to a rational decision after I've let all the emotional stuff out and given it some acknowledgment. Hopefully it ends up not being too big of a deal for either of you.
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Post by Gman on Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:31 pm

eselle28 wrote:I'm glad to hear that! I can identify with the mini freakout. Sometimes it's easier to come to a rational decision after I've let all the emotional stuff out and given it some acknowledgment. Hopefully it ends up not being too big of a deal for either of you.

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. I also realize that any effect of me being there while she lectures on her - is something that SHE needs to handle on her own, as an adult. That it isn't my responsobility to take care of her emotions and I can't predict how she would react anyway. It was something I was feeling responsible for - even though I have absolutley zero control over it. Understanding that makes dealing with this a whole lot easier.
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Post by Gman on Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:26 pm

Welp, the moment came and went - creating one of the more difficult days that I have ever experienced so far  Neutral

When we met, everything seemed fine. I was friendly (but not overly so) and she was looking better than ever and seemed also to be doing great. As expected, I had to sit down and watch her speak about her research for over an hour (which, unsuprisingly enough and just as I expected, she totally nailed it. People came up to her to tell her that it was a really great lecture). It took barley 15 minutes of concentrated effort from me to focus on the research and less on her, before that failed and I found myself looking at her fondly again. I had all my emotions about her flood me all over again..... Sad  

After the lecture was done, I took 2 minutes to just make some small talk and ask what's new with her. That's when it slipped out of me - when we were away from class, I told her that it felt weird to me that we weren't in touch anymore.... she told me that she doesn't usually stay in touch with her ex'es.... I took the hint, said goodbye and walked away. 

The rest of the day was pretty rough. I wasn't concentrated at all during statistics class and was depressed all as hell. I also just had a meeting with my therapist and she told me that it was clear that only now am I coming to rest that it's over, for good. I cried a bit and I am kind of a mess right now Crying . The only highlight of today was coming back home, where my mom just came with the nephews (from my older sister).... those sweet kids cheered me up on what seems so far a rather bleak day in general. 

But a little hope also left for today is a social meetup I am going to tonight, if only to try and clear my mind a bit... feeling despair, a bit depressed.... hopefully it will improve soon. Just needing to vent somewhere, that's all.
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Post by Guest on Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:36 pm

Gman, that's tough. It sounds as though your therapist is spot on, that this unfortunately is part of the process of getting over someone. I know when I broke up with my most recent ex, the SADFEELS continued to ambush me for a bit and it all came rushing back when she texted me on my birthday. I'm fine now though. Let yourself feel what you feel, it will lessen in time.

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Post by eselle28 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:52 pm

I'm sorry you had a rough time with it, Gman. Be good to yourself for the rest of today.
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Post by Enail on Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:30 pm

It sounds like you handled that like a boss. Be kind to yourself while you're dealing with the aftermath.
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Post by reboot on Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:42 pm

Cosigned all of the above. Breakups hurt but the hurt fades with time, so let yourself feel what you feel now and know that this is the worst part.
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Post by Wondering on Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:46 pm

Agreeing with what's been said above. I think you handled this pretty well. And time does heal these wounds, even if it doesn't seem like it will ever happen when you're still in the middle of those feelings.

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Post by UristMcBunny on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:15 pm

You handled everything really well today, man. This stuff isn't easy, and your feelings are natural. Be gentle and patient with yourself while you work through them.

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Post by Gman on Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:12 pm

Thanks all for your kind words. Yeah, today wasn't an easy day, that's for sure. I did however, just got the pokemon x and y soundtrack on itunes and it's simply amazing. Most of the tunes are very cheefull and optimistic - it's making me both sad about the past but hopefull about the future, which I guess is progress than just feeling really depressed about my ex....
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Post by Gman on Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:49 am

Updating this thread once more, because it now became clear to me that bumping into my ex while at university is now something almost unavoidable.
I now know that there is a course that happens in a classroom right next to another one where my ex has one of her classes... luckily though, her class ends just before mine begins.
I know all this after last week, I was waiting outside of class waiting for the earlier class to end so I can go in and catch a good seating place, when the room next door ended and I swore that I saw her leaving it. Today it kind of happened again - I was on my way to the class room and then I see her leaving the room nearby from afar (she didn't see me though, luckily).

The good part about all this is that the punch to the stomach isn't as bad as last time... I mean, yeah it still kind of stings, but as I am writing this I don't feel any particularly powerful emotions of longing or depression etc... so yay for progress! I have been kind of busy socially latlely, so that is definetly helping me recently.

Guess I am learning to dealing with seeing her every now and then from now on.
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