Dr. Reality Steve
Regarding Tenley: You both talked about the effects of finding out that an ex had moved on with their lives, specifically becoming an expecting parent. I had a similar experience myself, though it wasn’t with an ex, per se, but someone I had casually dated. In this case, I got one of those “people you might know” notifications on FB and it was this guy I hadn’t seen or heard from in a couple of years. In the years since I last saw him, I’d begun and ended a relationship with someone else (which left me with a broken heart), so when I saw this other guy show up on FB I clicked on his profile out of curiosity. Turns out, he’d just updated his profile/cover photos with ones from his recent marriage. When I saw that, I actually broke into tears. Part of me was feeling hurt because while we were dating he always used the “I’m not looking/ready for a relationship” line with me*, and here he was a mere 3 years later getting married! But part of me was upset because it made me feel that much more lonely. It’s not that I wanted to be with HIM, but more about re-living the loss of my more recent relationship, whom I thought was “the one.” I think the hurt comes because it’s a reminder that someone has moved on with their life and found happiness, and you have not. So, it’s interesting how some random encounters can bring up all kinds of past hurts that we thought were resolved. The heart can take a long time to heal.
Actually, maybe I do have a question: when guys say, “I’m not ready/looking for a relationship,” and then next thing you know they’re in a relationship with someone, what’s up with that?? Code for “I don’t want to be in a relationship WITH YOU?”
Comment: Every case is different, but yeah, usually it just means “not with you.” In your situation, I mean, it was 3 years later so he easily could’ve matured and realized he did want to be in a relationship. If you say that to someone, then a month later or whatever you have a significant other, then yeah, that’s pretty much a slap in the face to the person you just told you weren’t ready for a relationship. No one “finds themselves” in a month. Sorry. But in 3 years could his priorities have changed? Absolutely. I know there was a time in my life where I wasn’t ready and I’m sure I dropped that line on someone as well. So in your case, I wouldn’t necessarily chalk it up to it being he just didn’t want one with you, since it happened for him 3 years later.
I need some guy outlook on something and since I don’t have any guy friends I thought I would ask you. I’m a very traditional girl in a sense where I like the guy to come get me, hold the door open, etc. However, when it comes to paying for dinner, I would hope he would pay for it. I have no problem paying for it, but feel that he should pay for the first date. However, my sister says it’s 2017, and you should go Dutch. However, I disagree with that. If a girl said to you for a first date that you should both go Dutch, then what would your response be? Would you be ok with it? Would you tell her, thanks but you got it? I’ve heard that if you don’t ever want to see a guy again, then you pay your part of the meal? With society changing, should I just change my view and just be prepared to pay for the meal? My problem is what if he wants to take to go to a nice restaurant and I want to make sure I can afford it, but I do want to go on a date with him, but I can’t afford the fancy restaurant. What do I do then?
I feel I should add I’m 33 and my sister is 38. She is married with three kids and works, and her husband doesn’t. I’m not sure if her being the breadwinner has anything to do with her feeling you should go Dutch on dates.
Any help or advice you could give me would be great.
Comment: I’ve never asked a woman on a date then went Dutch. Ever. I think it’s silly. I agree with you more than your sister. If he asks you, he should pay. Period. End of story. But I also agree that if I were on a date and she insisted on paying for her half, then yeah, she wasn’t interested and probably didn’t want to see me again. If you get asked on a date, then no, you shouldn’t go into it thinking you might end up paying for half. If he asks you out, then says during dinner or when the check comes that you should go Dutch or ask you to chip in, well, then I just wouldn’t go out with him anymore. But that’s just me.
Thank you for your advice on the very first Dr Reality Steve post today (the one about the girl in a relationship with the lingering feelings for the ex). I’ve been in a similar situation – I am married with a young daughter and every few months my ex finds a way to contact me (phone, email, Facebook… which I had to delete because he kept contacting me… and Instagram). The harder I try to avoid contact, the harder he tries. I love my husband and my life but there will always be residual feelings for my ex since he was my first and I was with him for 3 years. And the fact that he pops up every couple of months telling me he made a mistake, to leave my husband, and that he wants to make me the mother of his kids makes it really difficult. But reading your advice today really helped. I have to let it go. I’ve been with my husband for 6 years (that’s including dating time) and it’s time to let those feelings for my ex completely die. Like you said – he just wants something he can’t have. I should continue to ice him out completely. Keep up the awesome advice for us poor souls.
Your Torontonian fan
Comment: Yes, I agree. ESPECIALLY since you have a new life, a marriage, and a child. Your ex screwed up. It’s his loss. Nothing wrong with always caring about someone you had a past with, but it doesn’t mean you need to act on it. I hope you aren’t letting this ex interfere in your marriage. Sounds like you’re not, but I wouldn’t even have any contact with the ex. Unless it’s to tell him to respect your current situation, you’re not going to leave your husband for him, and that he needs to move on – not just you.
I recently took a job in Houston and will be moving at the end of July. I decided to move because I’ve lived in Ohio for almost my whole life and wanted to move to a new city with no attachments. About a month ago, I started talking to this guy that I met on Match. He seemed really sweet and cute, so I gave him my number, figuring that something would happen and it wouldn’t go anywhere. We continued talking for about a week and a half and then he asked me out. I figured at that point that it was only fair to tell him that I was moving so that he could decide if he still wanted to go out (I had mentioned in prior conversations that I was looking for jobs outside Ohio, but never said that I had accepted one). He said this changed things, but that he still wanted to go for drinks to celebrate my new job, which I thought was really sweet. However, in our conversations, he and I had both talked about how we were marriage-minded people and not trying to date just for the sake of dating, so I thought it was a bit strange, but I went anyway, thinking that it was a great way to get in some extra dating practice before moving with no pressure because it wasn’t going anywhere (I’ve been in graduate school for the last year and a half and have not been on many dates in that time).
So we went and had a great time! We laughed and talked for several hours. We both talked a little bit about our past relationships and he mentioned that he was a serial monogamist, not having been single for more than about a year in his adult life. We had gone to a wine bar right around the corner from my house, so he drove me home and walked me to my door and gave me a hug and said we should continue to talk. That was about 2 weeks ago and since then, he has still been texting me every day (just like we had before I told him I was moving), but has made no effort to meet up again. He said that we would go out once more before I left, but I’m not really sure what is going on here. I’m trying to play it cool and not get all in my head about it, but we are in such an ambiguous zone. A big part of me wants to say to him, “Look, we both know I’m leaving, so let’s either give this thing a real shot in the next month and evaluate what we want when I leave or let’s just cut it off”, but I feel like that’s a little extreme.
Overthinking it in Ohio
Comment: I think you are overthinking it like you said. It’s really nothing at this point. You’ve seen him once. And you’re moving in a month. I doubt you guys have talked about it, but is he stuck in Ohio? Did he ever mention he could move? Whatever the case, sounds to me more like bad timing. You’re moving, and if he’s not, is this something you want to do long distance? You barely know him. I would just play it by ear at this point, if he asks you out before you leave, go with him, see what he says, and take it from there. My thinking is that this will die off once you move and you won’t hear from him much. Unless of course you make the effort to. Then it’s possible. But I think you’ll be too entrenched in your new job you’re not gonna want to put out the effort to someone back in Ohio.
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