I have this friend (and before you tell yourself, “This is you, who are you kidding?” it really is a friend) who has been dating someone for a little over 3 years now. She is now 28 and he is 36. Three years is a fairly long time to be dating someone (especially at these ages). In the course of their three year relationship, they have never moved in together and it never seemed like my friend wanted to bring up the topic because she didn’t want to “rock the boat.” At times, they talked vaguely about a future, but never with specifics, and the guy said he didn’t think he would get married. Their relationship had a few ups and downs along the way, including one incident where he applied for and interviewed for a job which would relocate him half way across the country. He only mentioned it to her when he found out that he didn’t get the job! (So much for letting her prepare for a potential move or even inviting her with him). Skip forward a year or so and this past summer…he broke up with her. He told her that she was too insecure for his liking and that his last girlfriend (whom he dated for a few years and ended several years ago) was more cultured and well traveled and spoke several languages, so he was comparing her to my friend and it wasn’t adding up. What a guy, right!? It’s not me, it’s actually you and that you aren’t at all like my awesome ex or as sophisticated as us. Needless to say all of her friends were happy. She was finally free!
Not so much. They ran into each other and started sleeping together again. She brought up being together, but he said he wasn’t ready for that. She then stumbled across some sexy texts he sent to an ex and discovered he had a Match.com profile and had been messaging girls while he was telling her he only wanted to be with her (just not in an actual relationship with defined terms apparently. But that he knew when he was ready it was all her). When she brought it up to him he 1) was pissed that she checked his phone and turned it all around on her and 2) said now he REALLY needed more time to think about their relationship. So they continued to bone. Later, she told him how hard this was on her and he agreed that he didn’t want to lose her. So he promised to get rid of match. Because really, he needed to focus on himself anyway. He said he needed to work on things on his own before committing, that was all. But he wouldn’t date. Pinky promise. Right. Weeks go by and he IS STILL ON MATCH. She could see his profile…How you ask? Well because she made a fake Match profile herself of course…. To test his loyalty and honesty…and she “winked” at him on Match as someone else. He then emailed this fake profile. I’m telling you, I couldn’t have written it better myself if I was a paid Lifetime Movie screen writer. He told this fake profile person “Holly” that he wanted to meet up with her and that he had broken up with a girl last summer (my friend) who, and I quote, “just wasn’t the one.” He also went on to say that he had dated another girl a few weeks back who just ended it with him (so while he sleeping with my friend and telling her that he was not dating, he was). He also said he had invited this girl to his office Christmas party (he never even asked my friend to his till after over a year of dating) and that he wished he had met this “Holly” sooner to take her.
My friend was pretty upset and decided to talk to him to end things (without telling him about her ultra-secret psycho stalking persona). When she did, he cried, and she felt bad. Yep, somehow she felt shitty after all of his lies. Even though the very same night he was meeting up with my friend, he MADE A DATE WITH “HOLLY” for a little later that evening. Since it was my friend pretending to be this Holly person (whose picture was otherworldly gorgeous by the way- can’t believe he really thought she was real), naturally he was stood up. The next day, he told my friend that he really thought she should go on a planned trip to Europe with him for a few days after Christmas..and lo and behold…she went! She decided to just pretend like none of this happened. He doesn’t know she made a fake profile, so she can just pretend he’s not dating around and telling people she’s not the one. In fact she said she wishes she never found out. And so she is talking to him again. In fact, I am pretty sure she is hiding just about all of their rekindling from all of her friends (if you have to hide it, you know it’s not ok…). It’s like the Twilight Zone.
I am of the belief that if a guy isn’t with you- he doesn’t want to be with you. If he says he doesn’t want to get married- he either doesn’t want to get married or he doesn’t want to get married to you. Especially after 3 years and being 36 years old. But she keeps making excuses for him. Saying that he must care for her or why wouldn’t he just end it (apparently guaranteed booty and someone to lean on doesn’t measure up in her mind). He’s using her. We can all see it, but she won’t. Can you please tell her what a loser she is being? Yes, I am her friend, but even I have to call her pathetic on this one. We’ve all been there where we have hung on too long- but am I right? Is this insanely too long? Please dispense your advice as you feel fit and feel free to shorten this up as it’s rather long. Thank you!
A concerned friend
Comment: Your friend is a bona fide idiot. Plain and simple. Can’t stand women who constantly make excuses for guys that treat them like sh**. Low self-esteem, no self-pride whatsoever, and all and all a bad situation. It’s clear as day this guy is using her every chance she can get, and her warped mind has her thinking he’s really into her. What makes it even worse is she’s seen visual proof (with the sexts and the fake Match account she created), and STILL is with him. If those examples won’t make her leave him and move on, doesn’t look like anything you say or do is gonna help. Some women out there just love being treated like dirt, and unfortunately, your friend is one of them. Someday she’ll learn, but doesn’t look like anytime soon as long as she keeps this guy in her life.
Dear Dr. Reality Steve
I really need some guy advice and I hope you´ll respond I´m a 23 year old college student and I´ve been interested in my brother´s best friend for quite a while. Lets call him X. He´s a few years older than me and was in a relationship for a couple of years until this summer when he and his gf broke up (they have a young daughter together). I was excited and thought to myself that now I could make a move (he knew that I liked him) but the opportunity never came since I didn´t see him for a long time. I tried chatting with him online and he was really nice and all, but he didn´t start conversations with me after that, so I stopped. I tried to forget about it since I didn´t want to waste my time.
However, I met X at a party last month while I was out with my brother and some friends and we all got pretty drunk. He almost completely ignored me at first but later that night he magically seemed to change his mind and put his arm around me and started hugging me etc. but mentioned that he thought it was extremely uncomfortable to do this with my brother around. Long story short we went to his house and spent the night together – he was so nice and sweet and I was just thrilled that this had finally happened. We also spent the morning cuddling in bed which normally doesn´t happen after one night stands, at least not in my experience. Before I left I asked him if it really bothered him so much that i was his friend´s little sister and he said yes, but that it didn´t have anything to do with me. He kissed me goodbye and said he´d call me. Well, you can probably guess what happened next….He didn´t call! I was really hurt at first but now I just want to know why the hell… Is the sibling thing stopping him? Does he think I´m too young? He´s not over his ex? He just doesn´t like me!?? Should I try to contact him or is it desperate? (I´m guessing yes). Hope you can make sense of this!
Thanks for reading!
Comment: I think he took advantage of a girl he knew liked him. I wouldn’t ever expect to hear much from this guy in the future, if at all. Especially when he admitted to you it bothers him you’re his best friend’s little sister. If he’s never even bothered to broach the subject with your brother, or your brother doesn’t know about the hookup, it’s for a reason. Because he doesn’t want your brother to know that he violated his younger sister, and he probably cherishes his friendship with your brother more than he did a one night stand with you.
I think you got your hopes up for the wrong guy. Does your brother know you always liked his best friend? What’s he said about it all these years? And do you really want to get involved with a guy who has a kid with someone else when you’re 23? Probably best to just chalk it up to a night of sex and start liking guys that aren’t linked to family members. You’ll avoid a lot of awkwardness that way.
Thanks for your awesome blog- I’m always chuckling when reading (and read year round). Always wishing you the best in taking down the corporate powerhouses who want to own your ass because, frankly, they’re just scared of you.
Anyway, wanted to pass along a not-so-mainstream ‘relationship/sex/love’ question.
In an attempt to be pithy, let me give you my background: I dated for probably 10 years (I’m 26). My longest relationship was just over 4 and after looking at rings together, I decided I simply wasn’t ready to get married. The remainder of my relationships are primarily 6-12 months.
Anyway, I finally decided that I was dating for the wrong reasons. I realized that I was looking for someone to ‘complete me’ or some other random bullsh** Disney movies shove down our throats whilst still in utero.
I’m now on an exceptionally fulfilling path in which I am just enjoying being me, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Will I date again? I’m sure. But for the time being, I have realized I will fail at any relationship if I do not accept and love myself first.
Anyway, since coming to this realization, I have become increasingly exhausted by so many of my friends discussing their love lives (guys, girls, married, single, gay, etc.). I’m happy to lend an ear, and I can only give my experience on what’s working for me. It’s just frustrating when I tell people what I have found to work for me, and that’s simply that unconditional self love is an essential first step to finding Mr/Ms. Right. They nod their head, and then before you know it, are back to their destructive behaviors.
Why are so many people afraid of loneliness and rejection, when we inherently are lonely and reject ourselves by looking for external solutions to our internal problems?
Anyway, to solve this disappointment, I’ve decided to take a path of equanimity and ultimately just accept everyone on the path they are on. I am not perfect, and I wouldn’t expect perfection from my friends either.
Just wondering if you had any experience in this arena, and could provide your insight. Even to be incessantly mocked would be acceptable. I just figured I’d mix it up a bit for ya.
Comment: Experience in the arena of being single? Why yes. I’ve currently got a PhD in it.
I guess the difference between you and I is thoroughly enjoy hearing about other peoples relationships. I’m fascinated by it. I could sit and listen all day to relationship stories, as long as a few trainwreck dating stories are there to even it out. Although, most people don’t want to hear what I have to say if they’re telling me about a bad date or bad relationship, so I usually just laugh.
I think there’s nothing wrong with self-love. A lot of it. Like, every day. Just don’t over do it. You could go blind.
Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
My senior year of high school I feel head over heels with a guy who was starting his freshman year of college out of state. We successfully navigated a year of long-distance dating, I started school at the same college the next year, and we happily dated for several more months, nearly 2 years in total. We were young and naive, but each other’s first love, and convinced we were going to get married and live happily ever after, so much so that at age 19 he’d bought an engagement ring and made plans to propose.
Fast forward a few months and things just started to crumble. My family didn’t like him much, which was always tough for me. I started to wonder if we were much too young to be thinking about marriage, so I told him I wanted to “take some time off”. I studied abroad for a semester and we both started casually seeing other people, but I guess I kinda assumed we’d eventually get back together. I guess he didn’t see things quite the same way, because he started dating another girl seriously. I was heart-broken. Up until this point we’d maintained a close friendship, but his new girlfriend insisted he cut off all ties to me and was rather nasty to me. I guess you can’t totally blame her for wanting the ex out of the picture, but it still seemed a bit uncalled for, especially since I was very careful not to try and get in the way of their relationship and we shared a lot of friends, so we ran into each other often. In general, people (including my ex’s best friends) thought she was pretty bitchy and jealous and couldn’t understand why he’d want to date her. It hurt, but he graduated early, got engaged to her, and moved, and life moved on.
Fast forward a few of years. My ex has now been married to this girl 2 years and I’m engaged. My fiance happens to be friends (nothing super close, they ran around in the same circle in college) with my ex, but my ex and I have no contact since she’s forbidden him to speak with me. It’s so bad that he had to skip out on a college buddy get-together/reunion when his wife found out that I’d be there with my fiance. Ridiculous.
Anyway, a couple of days ago I got a text out of the blue from my ex. He said he wanted to talk and asked me to call. I was surprised, but did. He essentially apologized for cutting me out of his life and being a jerk. And then he told me that his wife was moving out and they were separating. I was apologetic, but I didn’t really know what to say, so after a couple of awkward minutes I asked about his parents, who were always awesome to me, and we started catching up about life and jobs and whatnot. At the end of the conversation he apologized again for cutting me out, I told him it was okay and that I understood – he had to side with his girlfriend/wife, not his ex, right? It was a long time ago and I’d forgiven him. He said he’d like to be friends with me and my fiance again, if we wanted, and I told him to feel free to keep in touch.
It didn’t seem like a big deal then, but now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have told him to keep in touch. My fiance knows everything about the conversation and has said he’s fine with us being friends again. I would like to fix our friendship, but I’m also a little worried. I don’t think he’s trying to win me back or break up my engagement or anything, and I think he does have good intentions and is just realizing how stupid he was to be a jerk now that his marriage is falling apart and he’s reflecting back. I don’t want to do the same thing and cut him out of my life when he just wants to be friends, but at the same time I don’t want to be an emotional crutch for a man going through a divorce. I don’t him to romanticize our old relationship or wonder what if. And I certainly don’t want to hurt him by unintentionally being his emotional rebound.
So, thoughts? Should I try and be friends with him? Or do I need to steer clear of him, and if so, how do I do it without being a jerk?
Thanks, Dr. Steve!!
Comment: By the way, not surprised at all your ex and his new wife got divorced. The minute your new girlfriend steps in and starts dictating about who you can and can’t be friends with, that’s never a good sign.
I guess it all depends on how much he wants to be back in you and your husbands life. Does he want to do stuff all the time with you guys and be a third wheel, or, does he just not want it to be awkward if you guys are in the same place? If it’s the latter, you should be fine. You said yourself you don’t think he’s after you and wanting to win you back, and you said your husband is fine with it. So for the time being, I don’t see the problem. I guess the only way it will become one is if he starts creeping on you, or texting you dong shots late at night. Then you might have a bit of a problem. Other than that, it seems harmless right now, but just be wary. He could just be lonely now that he’s separated and realizes what a jerk he was by cutting you off because wifey told him to and wants to make amends. That’s what it seems like on the surface. You’re fine with it, your husband is fine with it, so just go with it until/if it gets weird. Then put your foot down.
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