On rebounds, sorority girls, and douchebags.

Dear Coquette,

My new guy still has dreams about his ex. I’m not sure what to think about this. Is he still hung up on her? We’ve been dating a month. They lived together for several years and had a year of breaking up and getting back together, which ended about two months ago.

Sweetheart, not only is he still hung up on his ex, but guess what? You are the rebound.

It’s no one’s fault, really. It’s just a timing thing. He’s fresh out of a long-term live-in relationship, so unless he’s a serial relationship junkie, don’t expect much in the way of commitment.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Keep dating him if you want. Have fun, but for your own sake, don’t get too emotionally invested. Odds are, you’re not gonna make it to girlfriend status with this one.

I have a terrible reputation due to my general bad behavior. For a while I decided to run with it, but it is getting to the point where I have zero credibility and others can willfully do mean-spirited things to me with no repercussions. This abuse has extended from normal girls in my sorority all the way up to the girls in charge, who have done things like search my room and make me move mid-semester just because they could. Hatred and ostracism have reached a fever pitch, and I feel like my life is crumbling. How do I change my reputation? Is this one of those things that I will have to ride out, or will it ever get better? I’ve cleaned up my behavior drastically in the last semester, but no one seemed to notice. I am dreading returning in the fall to the same treatment I received last spring. Help me, Coquette. I’m a mess.

Hatred and ostracism have reached a fever pitch? Don’t be such a drama queen. You’re not a mess. Your life isn’t crumbling. You’re just dizzy because you think the world keeps revolving around you.

Listen, kid. The world is full of shallow, self-centered sorority girls who think they have a reputation, when in fact, they’re all just living at the center of a tiny college-girl bubble fueled by estrogen and Adderall. You do not have a reputation, terrible or otherwise. You are not special. No one cares.

When you get back to school in the fall, treat people with kindness and respect. Do not be petty. Do not be mean. Go volunteer at a homeless shelter, and practice not saying the word “I” in every sentence. In other words, grow up. You’ll be fine. I promise.

He was a douchebag who wasn’t good enough for me, and I don’t want to be with him, but why do I still care so much about him?

Because you don’t actually believe that he’s not good enough for you.


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