Dr. Reality Steve
Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
I hope I hit you on another low week, because I would love to hear your answer to my question. This happened during college, which I am a few years out of. But it still crosses my mind occasionally and puzzles me. Sad and lame? Yes. But it is what it is…. and I would greatly appreciate your wisdom!
So, I was hanging out with some older sorority sisters at their apartment before a night out partying. We were about to head out when the doorbell rang, and it was my sorority big sister’s ex-boyfriend (who attended college the next state over), surprise visiting (they had remained on friendly terms). He was introduced to all, seemed very nice, and was invited out with us to a party at a nearby frat house.
A bit into the party I had gotten separated from my friends, and was wandering around. Ex-boyfriend guy and I crossed paths (he was also at loose ends, not really knowing anyone) and we started chatting. After a bit, we agreed that we weren’t really into the party and decided to head back to my sorority sisters apartment to hang out there, and wait for them to return from the party. We had a blast. We played video games, talked, really connected and had a great time. Things were a bit flirty I guess, but not outrageously so. I wasn’t thinking of him in a “potential romance” way – he was from out of town, and my big sister’s ex. Chicks before dicks and all that…. So I was definitely less inhibited and more myself around him than I usually was around guys. It was nice.
The other girls got back, it got late, and everyone decided to call it a night. He offered to drive me back to my dorm and I accepted. We got there and parked and sat in the car for a sec, talking. He started talking about how he thought I was awesome and he really liked me but he couldn’t really date anyone right now – between school and his competitive college swimming, things were just too intense, especially for anything long distance. I’m kind of thinking, where is this coming from? All of a sudden, he went in for a kiss.
I was completely thrown as I had not seen that coming. I kind of turned away and deflected it in shock. He looked sort of hurt, and I felt bad – I also realized in that moment that I really did like him “like that” and was attracted to him. So I leaned over and kissed him. I asked him if he wanted to come up to my room and hang out for a little longer (which, I realize how that sounds after the fact, but I really did just want to spend even a little more time with this awesome, fun, cool guy and besides, my roommate would be in the room also – so no funny business!). He said he couldn’t, he had to get home, his parents expected him not to stay out too ridiculously late (it was probably 2 in the morning at that point). And he walked me to the door, left, drove away, and I never saw or heard from him again.
Obviously, he wasn’t out to hook-up, or he wouldn’t have rejected my offer to come up (however innocently it was intended). I certainly hadn’t asked or hinted about dating, so what’s with the speech? And why torment us both with a single kiss….and no more? Why even go there??
Help me out Steve!
Comment: With all due respect, I’m surprised you’ve spent more than 5 seconds thinking about this guy from back in college that was years ago who gave you one kiss. I have no idea what’s going through this guy’s head, but at this point, who cares? You certainly shouldn’t. I understand this isn’t like some big dilemma in your life and something that’s currently ruining a current relationship, but this story seems rather innocent and pretty innocuous. It’s over and done with, it was years ago, and it was one kiss. You shouldn’t even concern yourself with something like that. I’d say just forget about the dude and move on. He was a college guy. There could be a myriad of reasons for why he did what he did.
Dear Dr. Steve,
I have known this guy since I was in kindergarten. We went to the same K-8 school, High School, and college together. We have been friends for many years. He has dated other girls and I have dated other guys. After college he moved to another state but we kept in contact as just friends. Back in kindergarten his mom and my mom were really good friends and she always told my mom that she hopes her son ends up with a girl like me. Recently, I had my 20 year class reunion and he was there. I have not seen him since 2004. He told me that he has liked me for the longest time but never had the courage to tell me. He also told me that he recently moved back to our home state for a job transfer and only lives one hour away from me. When he was 24 years old he had a child and married the girl but they got divorced when he was 28. He has full custody of his daughter and the mom is not in the picture. I have never been married and I don’t have kids. I have dated other guys who have kids so it not an issue with me. I absolutely love kids because I am a pediatric doctor. I guess you are wondering why a girl who is 38 years old is not married well it’s because I have spent many years in medical school and have not had time to date much. Now that medical school is over I feel like now is the best time to settle down with just one person. The question I have is do you think I should go for this guy and take a chance on love and see where things go or should I stay friends with him. I am worried about our friendship and I don’t want to lose him as a friend. To be quite honest I have liked him for a very long time too. What do you think I should do?
Comment: Absolutely. Why wouldn’t you? You just said you’ve liked him for a very long time, you’re both single, and you have no problem with the fact he has a kid. Of course you should go for it. You’ll never know unless you try. I understand the thing about not wanting to ruin the friendship, but I guarantee you if you don’t try, you’ll always be wondering “what if?” You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Just remember that.
Hi Dr. Reality Steve,
I thought this might be a good opportunity to get a guy’s point of view on a subject I’m sure a lot of readers are familiar with.
I’m 25 and my husband is 31. We met 3 years ago and just recently got married this summer. Our relationship has been fantastic for the past 2 years, but for our first year, there was a lot of lying on his part about girls (who he talked to, texted, visited, etc). I eventually broke up with him over trust issues, but he reformed and became a wonderful and supportive and (most importantly) honest boyfriend, then fiance and husband. He did have one slip-up last year when he got me going through his phone (yes, I know, I shouldn’t be doing that) and while I didn’t find anything super suspicious, he sort of retaliated by sending flirty texts to other girls with the mindset that if I’m going to go through his phone because I don’t trust him, then he might as well send stuff. He realized that he did something stupid, apologized, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
The main reason I’m writing is my husband has a lot of female friends and, while I know most of them, there’s a few that live in different states and he never visits, but they text him pretty often. I work in a male-dominated industry and I have guy friends in the office and we’ll sometimes go out for beers or whatever, so I can relate to having friends of the opposite sex, but sometimes when he has his phone out, I see particularly one name at the top fairly often. We’ve had conversations about this girl and she’s married with a kid and is literally across the country. She dated his roommate back in college in 2002 so my husband says she’s always been “off-limits” because of guy code, but I just don’t understand this friendship. He pulled out his phone one day and showed me all their texts so I’d calm down and realize there was nothing fishy, but it just seems weird to me. They don’t text incessantly, but it has to be at least once every day or two. Another red flag for me is that they’re not Facebook friends because apparently her husband doesn’t trust MY husband, which makes me believe that at SOME point in their friendship, something fishy must’ve been going on. I don’t think anything is going on now but this girl just makes me uncomfortable. I don’t want to tell my husband to stop speaking to someone without a good reason and I know that it will just result in my husband resenting me, and probably still talking to this girl just out of spite. How do I handle this situation? Should I tell him it still makes me uncomfortable even if I don’t have a “good” reason? Should I just stop worrying about it since everything I’ve seen has been fairly innocent and he never physically sees her?
Sorry for the long e-mail, but I wanted to get all the details in and paint as good a picture as I could.
Comment: This one is easy. If it bothers you enough that he continues to talk to someone you feel uncomfortable about, then that should be enough for him. If he doesn’t want to change and wants to continue this text friendship with her, that’s a problem. It’s upsetting you. Shouldn’t your feelings come before hers?
And absolutely I think something happened with them back in the day. Especially since her husband is leery of your husband as well. There’s obviously some past that you may or may not ever find out about. But the fact of the matter is, it’s bothering you enough to tell him and he’s still defending her and their relationship.
Granted, he never physically sees her but I do find it odd he continues to text another woman friend of his every other day. What’s the point? What do they talk about? Not to say that a married guy can’t have female friends or vice versa. But to text that incessantly with someone out of state just seems a bit strange.
I’m hoping that Dr Reality Steve can shed some light on this situation! I’m 27, I broke up with my ex-boyfriend a little over a year ago. We were together for 6 years, and friends since high school before that. The relationship could have been over sooner than it was, but we were both reluctant to let it go because it had been so long. Ultimately though, we are better as friends. After we broke up, I started to date a bit, but nothing really progressed. I only wanted something casual at first, so it was mostly fine, but there were two guys I did develop feelings for. One was here for a work contract and had to go home for 6 months. We hadn’t known each other long enough to commit to a long distance relationship, but intended to keep in contact. Since he left we have only chatted a few times, so it kind of fizzled out. The second one didn’t tell me until after we started dating that he had a girlfriend.
After that ended, my friends came to the conclusion that I “only” date assholes. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, but can admit that particular guy was a bad choice. I met someone through one of my friends not long after who asked me out. My friends tried to push me to date him because he is a nice guy, but I didn’t feel that way about him, so decided against it.
Fast forward about 3 months. A few weeks ago I got back in contact with an old friend who I hadn’t seen in 2 years. We used to be close and I often wondered if there was something there, or if it was just friendly flirting. We were both in relationships in the past so we never acknowledged it. I considered him to be a nice guy, not for any major reason, just small things like lending a jacket or taking me home after too many drinks (and sleeping on the floor). When we were talking recently, I found that he and his girlfriend broke up about 6 months ago. We saw each other again a week later, and we hooked up. I was thinking that maybe my friends were right about the nice guy thing, until he told me that he wasn’t looking for a relationship. I realize his break up wasn’t that long ago, and I don’t want to be a rebound. I’m also going to be working in a different state for a few months next year, which I told him about, so it may not be the best timing. Or he just isn’t that into me.
It’s an obvious cliche that women chase after bad boys and ignore nice guys. But here is my question; when a guy you know is an asshole treats you badly, you can’t really complain because you knew he was asshole. But when a nice guy rejects you, what are we supposed to think? Should I just accept that because he brushed me off, he wasn’t really a good guy to begin with? Or could it be more complicated than that?
Comment: But you said you’re moving to another state for a few months, so how did he reject you? Just because he didn’t want to be in a relationship with you? You even said you don’t want to be a rebound, yet seem a bit mad at him for not wanting to be in a relationship with you. Just because a guy doesn’t want to be with you doesn’t mean he’s an asshole. There could be any number of reasons why Mr. Nice Guy doesn’t want to be with you, and it’s possible none of them actually have to do with you. Maybe he’s insecure? Maybe he’s not fully over his ex? Or the timing sucks. Maybe he likes you but doesn’t see it long term? I think you’re being too hard on the guy just because he said he wasn’t looking for a relationship.
Big fan, been reading since Jake’s season. I have a Dr. Reality question for you. It’s short and sweet: How would you go about breaking up with your live-in boyfriend/girlfriend? One that wouldn’t see it coming nor like it?
Comment: Uhhhhh, you kinda just have to do it. I’ve lived with one girl in my life. We lived together for 9 months and I broke up with her and asked her to move out. Trust me, it won’t be easy, and it’ll be quite uncomfortable until the day all their stuff is moved out and they’re gone. No one ever said breakups are easy.
The one thing you should try to do (if possible), is once you break the news, and once you tell them to move out, try and spend as many nights as you can away from your place. If you have family you can stay with, do that. That’s what I did. Coming home to that person who will obviously be pissed at you (especially since you said they’re not gonna see it coming) will only lead to long talks you probably want, and fights you don’t want to get into since it’s over. It’s not going to be a pretty situation regardless, so just remove yourself from it as much as you can.
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