A healthy relationship after a breakup can be difficult to achieve. For many, a total severing of ties is the optimal choice.
But that can be complicated when friend groups have solidly overlapped over the course of the relationship. Staying in each other’s lives can be necessary.
One young Redditor managed the all-too-difficult task of amicable separation. The post-relationship friend zone went smoothly for awhile.
Until it didn’t.
To iron out how guilty she ought to feel, she turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit. In her post, Redditor lkrs-956 explained the dynamics from beginning to end.
It all started with the breakup.
“I (18F) dated my ex (18M) from sophomore to the end of junior year of high school. We broke up amicably, and both moved on.”
“He dated more girls during the summer, while I remained single. We were still around each other a lot, because our circles of friends had blended, and our younger sisters were best friends. At the beginning of senior year, I still texted him from time to time because we shared a Government class and sometimes compared notes.”
“But overall, we weren’t that close.”
When her ex began feeling some emotional strife, he turned to her for consoling.
And then consoling transformed into something very different.
“Towards December, things with his girlfriend got rough and he began to lean on me like an emotional crutch, often asking me if I could come over so he could vent to me in person.”
“Once, he asked me to go out to get dinner with him, and I declined, because I wanted to respect his girlfriend and because I was not his friend.”
“He then decided it was a good time to tell me that he still loved me and wanted to get back together, because he could see himself marrying me and having kids one day. I was extremely creeped out because I was – and still am – a teenager who wasn’t even thinking about those things.”
When she was honest about her feelings, he didn’t take it well at all.
“I told him that I didn’t feel the same, and he did a complete 180.”
“He called me a prude that was full of herself, and said that I should be careful because no one would want a girl with brains, and that he was my best option for a future.”
“…. No. I ended up blocking him so I could spend the holidays in peace.”
But the saga did not end there.
Unbeknownst to her, he was laying the groundwork to smear her reputation.
“I thought that everything would go back to normal, but once I returned to school, everything blew up. I noticed everyone was giving me odd looks, and was so confused until my friend pulled me aside and told me that my ex had decided to expose the ‘truth’ behind our breakup.”
“Basically, he told anyone who would listen that I was cheating and sleeping with others, and almost gave him an STD.”
“To make things worse, he claimed that I had taken videos of it and shared it with him. Which is, needless to say, a federal crime.”
The rumors made her angry on multiple levels.
“I was PISSED. One, I had never slept with anyone. He was the one trying to pressure me into that.”
“Two, I come from a Catholic family, who would disown me if they even heard a rumor that I was having premarital relations.”
“And three, I was being accused of a federal crime.”
Those damaging accusations were too much to turn the other cheek.
She engaged the proper channels to make sure he faced consequences.
“I went straight to the Dean and told him everything. We attended a private school that didn’t take such things lightly, and I was assured that swift action would be taken.”
“I left it at that, trusting that the school would do what they felt was right.”
“Three months later, and I come to find out his admission to a top university along with his full ride scholarship for football had been rescinded. I was shocked when I was called to the Dean’s office and given a formal apology from my ex and his parents.”
But the severity of that punishment was more than she’d expected.
Though too late to change anything about it, she still wanted to know where, morally, she stood.
“At the time it felt right, but now, I feel like the punishment may have been too harsh, even if what he accused me of could have put me in jail.”
“Am I the A**hole ?”
A hefty majority of Redditors took her side.
They dubbed her “NTA,” meaning “Not the A**hole.”
These supportive comments pointed out two key variables—she couldn’t predict the future and what he did was objectively not okay.
“NTA. You didn’t plan for his scholarship to be rescinded; you simply went to the proper authorities to make certain his lies didn’t impact your own life.”
“He’s the one who chose to spread all those lies about you in the first place.” — maggienetism
“NTA. You didn’t cause his university admission to be rescinded, he did when he chose to make up serious false accusations.” — Matt_NZ
“NTA, you did what any reasonable person would do in that situation. You couldn’t have foreseen his scholarship would be rescinded.” — Dinszy
“NTA. You’re not responsible for his actions. It’s unfortunate that HIS actions have cost HIS future to take a hit, but that’s HIS fault. You’re not the asshole, and I hope he learned his lesson.” — iautz14
“NTA. You didn’t choose how the school handled the situation, and the consequences he’s facing were a result of his own behaviour towards you.”
“It’s probably good that they’ve handled it as severely as they did. It’s a good learning opportunity for him, and hopefully he doesn’t do anything similar to anyone else in the future.” — ViolentDelights97
Some felt the consequences could have—and should have—been more severe.
“NTA. I would even say that the punishment wasn’t harsh enough. He deserved it for being so nasty. What he did was defamation. An attack to your character.”
“If it happened to me, I would’ve gathered evidences from people he told these baseless rumors to (texts, chats etc), tell my parents and sue his damn a** for defamation. It’s okay to let them apologize but stand your ground. Don’t let them manipulate you.”
“He pretty much ruined himself by trying to ruin you over a rejection. what an a**.” — AndyArsehole
“NTA. What he did? I think you let him off easy. Honestly, I hate it when people are like ‘oh, but you ruined his life!’ Nah, man, he ruined it by being a di** and now he’s reaping what he sowed.” — el_pobbster
“NTA. Hs claims were defamatory. He became abusive and attempted to destroy your reputation because he turned you down. He doesn’t deserve his admission or his scholarship.”
“Frankly, you could sue him or in some jurisdictions, you could press charges.” — ViolasDIL
Others hoped the punishment would reform what they felt were obvious character flaws.
“NTA, man this guy sounds like prick. Just because you’re talented at sport doesn’t mean you get a free ride to be a prick” — unluckychemist
“NTA. That’s the kinda guy that needed a good lesson I hope he connects the dots as to why he got the punishment he did.” — quiet0n3
“NTA – hopefully he learns a very important lesson from this and becomes a decent human being not the animal he was being formed in. Good job [Original Poster] and don’t feel guilty.” — ma3leemz
Here’s hoping the Reddit validation helped her get over this situation as well as she got over the relationship in the first place.