Dr. Reality Steve
Dr. Reality Steve,
I kind of can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m all jumbled up in my head and I need a third-party to tell me what in the hell is going on.
Last year was my junior year in college. I started the year with my boyfriend of about 8 months, which is also my longest relationship. Then I met this other guy in my fantasy football league. From the first day I met him, we had really good chemistry, and when things started to go downhill with my then-boyfriend he was there for me. I realize now that was just an attempt to get close to me and in my pants, but hey, it worked.
So not even a month into the semester, I broke up with my boyfriend. Right after it happened, all I wanted to do was hang out and talk to this new guy. And well, I did. Probably a week after I had broken up with my boyfriend, I was talking to this new one.
Things were going well for a couple months and we decided to make things official. Everything was going fine until we started fighting a lot in February and he broke up with me with the intent that we would work on things and get back together. Well, we did and got back together and then broke up again. This happened probably 4 more times. Except instead of him breaking up with me, I broke up with him.
My friends don’t really like him, just because they see how much we’ve fought and gone back and forth with each other. They just want me to be happy, but at this point I don’t even talk about him to them because I already know their minds are made up.
He’s not a big texter, which is fine. But he’s also just not the most affectionate guy out there. In our 6 + month saga, he’s only called me pretty once. I’m not saying I should be showered with compliments every day, but come on. If you can tell a girl tried a little harder just for you, throw her a bone every once and awhile. Anyways, I just got really tired of not feeling like a priority to him. Between limited communication, not a whole lot of affection, and both of our busy schedules, it was hard to feel like I mattered to him very much. He always said I should know that he cared because he would hang out with me when he could, but sometimes that wasn’t enough. Does that make me overly demanding?
So everything came to a boil a little over a month ago, I was tired of feeling like I didn’t matter and broke up with him. I told him I didn’t want to be friends because every time we tried that we got back together, I didn’t want to break up and work on ourselves because I was the only one who ever did that, and that I was so angry I didn’t even want to talk to him. A couple days later when I went to go give all his stuff back I asked if he had anything left to say. I had said a lot, but he had barely said anything. He said no, that he couldn’t give me what I wanted when we were together so the best he could do now would be to respect what I want. That just sounds like a manipulative line of bullshit to me.
So after awhile, I caved and we talk occasionally. Maybe like once a week. Nothing major just a few text conversations. But he asked if we could finally talk about what happened a couple days ago. I reluctantly agreed. He came over and had this big speech about being sorry and ended it with wanting to talk things out, no matter how long it took, weeks or months even, and trying to start over ,I originally told him to even drop the idea. I was not having it. He told me he loved me and that he really did want things to work out, that he could see us getting married.
I love him too, but I’m just so exhausted by all of this. The back and forth, all of it. I told him sometimes love isn’t enough and I was tired of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. He said sometimes when you try hard enough the square peg and round hole will fit. But i just think it’s not supposed to be this hard. I told him that all of this just sound exhausting. I have a year of school left and then I have to find a job. He just graduated and is still trying to find one. I don’t think I have the time or energy for it. Maybe once I’m graduated and settled into a job somewhere I could want to revisit it, but not now. And if I love him like I think I do, I’ll still want to later down the road.
But this whole talk has got me all out of whack. What do you think about all of this? What do you think I should do?
Comment: Awesome. First ever Dr. Reality Steve emailer where a woman says she met a new guy in her fantasy football league. Points for you.
However, lets get to the heart of the matter. I’m never a fan of people who break up and get back together over and over and over, and especially when it happens with college bf/gf’s. Ugh. There’s so much more out there that why put yourself through that with someone? What was the reason behind all these breakups? And what was the reason for all the getting back together? Sounds like maybe you just don’t feel like starting over with someone new and are just going with what you’re comfortable with. Don’t worry, a lot of people do that. It’s just not the healthiest thing to do. I’m sure you guys care about each other, but that doesn’t mean you HAVE to be together.
Even you yourself are saying it’s exhausting. If it’s exhausting, then don’t deal with it. Sure he’ll turn on the charm and do all these things to try and win you back because he know he can. It’s worked in the past. And the second he has you back, those things will stop and you’ll be back into your old rut.
Date around, it’s your senior year of college. The last thing you want to do is be stuck to some guy who’s nothing but drama and doesn’t even go to the school anymore. Even if you get back with him, you can bet your ass this guy will definitely want to know what you’re up to at all times. Even worse. I say let him go, cut off communication with him for a while, see other people, and re-evaluate at the end of the year. I still don’t think this will be the guy you end up marrying, but that’s your decision whether or not you want to cut yourself off completely from him. Sounds like you have a hard time saying no to him, he knows it, and he takes advantage of it. Don’t let him.
Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
I’ve been dating my current boyfriend for about 8 months and it’s the best relationship I’ve ever been in. Everything was going perfect until about four months ago when I found out I was getting laid off. I was having trouble finding a new job and I was stressed and I’ll admit I was not acting like my best self. I was overly emotional and overreacted at times. I could feel him pulling away, but we did make it through it and we’re still together. I found a great new job about a month ago. Now I’m in a good place, I’m taking care of myself with exercise again (which fell by the wayside when I was stressed) and I feel like myself again. However, I still feel like my boyfriend is keeping me at a distance. I feel like I’m in the dog house, like I’m in trouble and he doesn’t trust that the me he met is the actual me. I just don’t know how to get past this with him and get out of this doghouse.
How can I get past this with him and get him to stop treating me like I’m in trouble all the time?
Thank you and I hope you’re having a nice day!
Comment: You just have to straight up ask him what’s wrong. Is he being physically distant? Does he tell you you’re not the same? Exactly what is he doing that makes you think he’s keeping you at a distance? I say just have a talk with him and tell him the things you told me, and judging by his reaction, maybe you’ll get a clearer picture.
I have an incredibly complicated situation that I’m in and I could use any advice anyone is willing to give me. To get to where I am now I will give you the condensed version of the last 10 months-a year (and when I say condensed I mean its still gonna be really freakin’ long– I apologize in advance).
I started going to a new church about a year ago. It was much bigger than what I was used to but I quickly realized it was where I was meant to be. I started meeting all kinds of new people and was really getting involved there. I was 21 years old at that point and single. At the church I met some guys but really had my eye on one guy in particular (for anonymity’s sake I will call him A). He was gorgeous but not full of himself, smart, funny, the whole package really. But I quickly realized he wasn’t into me. He hardly ever spoke to me but his friend showed an interest right away (let’s call him B). I wasn’t interested in B at all at first, but then he started texting and calling me and I decided to give him a chance, particularly because his sarcastic sense of humor lined up with mine and he was actually pretty charming. We hung out a few times and everything was fine. I eventually found out he had somewhat of a bad past. He had issues with drugs in his early twenties– first of all, he told me he was 25 to begin with. In reality he was 30.
Second, he didn’t tell me this info, I found out through someone at church who told me that’s why he was going there, to get his life on track. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about redemption and second chances but it did bother me that he hid this about himself. I told myself it was because he was scared I would freak out so I let it go. We casually dated-not even sure you would call it that- for around 3 months and then all of a sudden he stopped calling and cut off all contact. I was really hurt at first because I truly enjoyed our conversations and felt I deserved an explanation; however, I am absolutely not the type of girl to chase after anyone so I got over it rather fast. Fast forward a month or so to valentines day- he texted me and said he really missed talking to me and he thought I was the one that cut off communication. At first I was pretty cold with him but I apparently fell for his charm again because by the next weekend I was fooling around with him, sending him semi naked pics of myself (I know, so so so stupid) and talking to him everyday again. Then about another week later, he cuts off contact again. This time I tried calling him a few times and he didn’t answer or call me back. I made up my mind right then that I was finished with him for good. So about another month and a half passed by and I was doing great.
Then one day I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I picked up the phone and it was an automated recording asking me if I would accept a call from B… from JAIL. I obviously declined but got on google right away and just typed in his name. He has a unique name so I figured maybe there might be some info online. Boy was I right. I hit search and up pops his mugshot, several websites listing his arrest details, etc. I clicked the first one and there are about 10 charges, all dealing with drugs, 3 being felonies. I didn’t know what to do. I mean here this guy is in jail with my number memorized and he’s calling me. And I have no idea why. He has plenty of family and friends that he could call. Not to mention all of the pictures of me he has on his phone that I’m sure he was passing around to his friends while he was high. So I just decided to stay calm and ignore him, there was nothing really else I could do. He called me every single day for about 2 weeks and I never answered and he finally stopped. This was all around the end of march-mid April. I didn’t have any more contact with him, I never even saw his friend, A, anymore at church so it wasn’t too uncomfortable. Then today, out of the blue, A texts me. I didn’t have his number and he didn’t have mine that I knew of. He told me who he was and said he had talked to B and that he asked A to get my address so he could write me from jail. I have a po box so I gave it to him. Mainly because I was curious about what B wants. I don’t intend to write him back. He is out of my life for good as far as I am concerned.
The complicated part comes in now. A texted me initially to ask for my address but we have kept up the conversation all night and he is just as interesting as I remember. Our conversation somehow turned to music and he ended up inviting me to a music festival with him— 2 months and 6 states away, definitely an overnight trip. I am not really concerned about that, I mean I don’t plan on going. I do think I might like to get to know this guy and see if it might go somewhere, but my gut is telling me to back away now. First of all, A is BEST friends with B. Like brothers. And I’m not really sure if he is actually into me or if he would even do that to B. (by the way, B is going to be in jail a very long time. I’m talking 3-5 years. He’s not getting out anytime soon.) Second, I don’t know if I really want to get into that. I mean even if he is interested, he is best friends with this guy and could easily be into the same things (drugs) B was and that is not me at all. I rarely even drink. It’s really my initial attraction to A that’s getting me confused. I really wanted him to ask me out a year ago and now it’s kind of happening. This whole situation has been a complete mess and has really screwed with my head so I would appreciate advice from an outside party!
Comment: Wow. I had re-read that one a couple times to get the whole story straight. And oh yeah, you’re absolutely right B probably shared your naked pics with his buddies. Count on it. Can’t really say he comes across as the most moral guy on the planet, so yeah. Just know they’re probably floating around out there.
So this relationship with A, where is it at now? You guys just talk on occasion? Have you been out with him at all? Judging by your email it seems like you’ve never hung out with him outside of church then he randomly invited you to a music festival 6 states away. Kind of odd. However, if you are interested in pursuing anything with A, and you think he’s now interested in you, you basically need to lay with him everything that happened with B. Maybe he knows everything already, or maybe he doesn’t. But you need to tell him and gauge his reaction to everything. Ask him how he thinks B would feel if you two started seeing each other. Yeah he’s in prison, but if they’re as close as you say they are, then ask him what B would think of all this.
I’m not saying don’t get with A and see where things go if that’s what you really want, but obviously be a bit careful. I’m sure you’ve already googled him. Lets just hope he doesn’t have a rap sheet like the other one. Maybe ask around church to and see what other people know about A.
So here is my dilemma, if you will.
I have a guy friend who has been within my close circle of friends for the last couple years. It was always the five of us having dinners at each others’ apartments and going out on the weekends. I always gravitated towards this one friend because of his easygoing qualities and his maturity – we would often break off on our own when the group would get together and have our own conversations. Because of that, his friendship to me is a unique one that I would equate to one or two of my very closest friends I’ve had since high school.
I’m recently single from a three year relationship that I believed was going to end in a marriage, and in no way ready to enter immediately into another relationship, but came to a realization after spending time with him and our friends over the weekend.
Some of the fundamental values and qualities that I was always searching for, but lacking, in my previous relationships are ones that he possesses. He’s dependable, honest, settled, ambitious and hard-working, and undoubtedly has made the same choices in life as I have. He moved to another city and bought a house in order to be closer to his immediate family – something I recently did not only for my family but for my last boyfriend. He was also with someone for four years and decided to end it because of a lack of drive on her part (again, similar to my decision to end my three year relationship).
It’s not unusual for us to go off and do something together or in a group, but I want to give myself time to warm up to another commitment and to also ensure that the “newness” of my more-than-friends feelings actually lead to something over time. I feel like if I were to rush into something, and it ended badly, we would lose our friendship and it would be hard for us to be around each other amongst our friends in the future.
It’s become obvious that we’re both searching for the same things in a partner. We’ve even had serious talks about our futures and how our goals are very similar.
What I’m wanting to know is how I can, without seeming like I’m leading him along, express my desire to get to know him on my own time that won’t jeopardize our friendship or the dynamics of our circle of friends? I’m uncertain whether I should fully express my feelings to him, and how I would reassure him that I’m willing to let things develop into whatever direction it goes, it’s just going to take several several several months before I agree to begin dating again or enter into an exclusive relationship. Especially if things don’t end up maturing into anything serious, I want things to develop naturally without being rushed or forced.
Thanks for your column and your advice!
Comment: I guess there’s a few unknowns here that I either didn’t pick up on, or you never shared. So the only time you see this guy is in group settings where you guys break away? Or have you been out alone 1-on-1 in a date setting? Has he said the interest is there on his end too?
If you guys have had serious talks about your future, then I’m sure he understands where you’re coming from. But yes, you should bring it up to him if this is someone who you’re serious about dating. It certainly isn’t going to hurt. If he freaks out because of it, or doesn’t want to wait, well then, he wasn’t all that interested. But by the sounds of it, it seems like he is and it’s something worth pursuing.
I have been a very long time reader, way before you ever started doing any spoilers. Your columns crack me up and I really love reading your opinions on the show, regardless of what happened on the last finale. I love what you do so keep doing what you are doing.
Anyways, this is the first time I have ever emailed you and I have a question for Dr. Reality Steve because I am looking for an impartial guys opinion. I am just finishing grad school next week and there is a guy that I have been interested in that has been in the same program so we have taken a lot of the same classes together. I did not notice him until around last summer after my last breakup and ever since then I have tried to get him to notice me. Not in an obvious way but just be friendly and make conversation when possible and make eye contact, but he is kind of a guy that keeps to himself so its been few and far between. I am pretty sure he is single because he just bought a house recently and I was asking him about it and he did not mention a girlfriend or wife. I am 34 but I look mid 20s to late 20s and I am a cute girl but I can be shy when it comes to guys and I am not really a flirty girl. He is also slightly younger I think 29 but seems like a mature guy. The only girl who he does really talk to is another girl in the program who we are both friends with and she is older than me and married but they have been paired together in a lot of groups which is why I think he is comfortable talking to her.
So my dilemma is that I think he is either A) One of those guys that does not pickup on signals or never makes the first move or B) Just Not interested and if he was he would have done something about it already. So I was thinking that since we are now both graduating and I will most likely never see him again and we both have a mutual friend that I would ask her to tell him that hey so and so thinks you are cute and smart and if you are interested here is her number and no big deal if you are not. In your opinion as a guy would you be flattered by that or think that a girl was weird for doing that because I feel like if I were to do something like friend him on Facebook that would be too awkward and weird. I figure if I don’t then I will never know, but writing this all out I feel dumb for even asking you because it seems like such a silly problem. I don’t normally read all the questions you get because they are just too long and boring but you seem like a normal guy who gives a pretty straightforward opinion so I was hoping to get yours.
Comment: My advice is you need to be more flirty with him. It’s hard to know if he’s interested or not just because I don’t have enough to go off by your email. Put out the vibe you’re interested, and if he still doesn’t seem to reciprocate, then let it go. I wouldn’t go the friend route since that seems very high schoolish. Might as well just pass him a note that says, “Do you like me? Check Yes or No.” At that age, he should be old enough to pick up on signs, and I think you could try a little harder to flirt with him.
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