It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss whether longterm dating deal-breakers have to affect the short-term, how long is too long to commit, and when to let a friendship rest in peace.
After a few months, when we got a little more serious, I reminded him that he desperately wants kids and I desperately don’t. I broke it off, but eventually we started chatting again, and now I am starting to miss him and realize I’ve had feelings for him, as he says he does for me. We have so much in common, and except for our plans for family, we complement each other really well. Should I break it off permanently? We discussed the possibility of an open relationship, but we just don’t know if it will work. — No Mama, But Still Some Drama
Since you know this relationship has a shelf date and you’re already developing feelings that make it difficult to MOA, you should definitely summon the willpower to sever all ties now before you’re even more invested and risk a much, much worse heartbreak.
The sad truth is you took too long to decide what you wanted. Seven years is a LONG time to wait for someone to “pick you,” and your ex decided to MOA. You need to respect that and also accept that, if he were really the one for you, you probably would have figured that out a little sooner.
I have a friend whom I met a few years ago in college. We quickly became very close, but the friendship became turbulent because he had feelings for me that I did not reciprocate. I ended up transferring to another school, and, after I did so, “James” would call me consistently in a drunken state. This happened almost every weekend for a year until I visited that town this past spring. We saw each other for lunch, and it was clear he was not doing well (for what I can imagine is a combination of several things in his life). After the visit, he angrily texted me and told me how he had never been in love with me and he was sick of people asking him about me, as well as saying that I never really knew him. It hurt me that he lashed out at me, as I felt like it came out of nowhere. After that I deleted him from my phone and blocked him on Facebook.
We haven’t spoken for months. We have several mutual friends, so I ask them how he’s doing, and it seems lately as though he’s been well — going to grad school, working, drinking less, and just generally doing better by himself. I truly miss him but am worried to reach out to him. If he’s doing better without our friendship in his life, I wouldn’t want to take a chance of derailing that. At the same time it happens so often where I miss him and am hurt to think about how things were left between us. Do I let it for good, or should I try to reconnect? — Dissed by a Friend
I would leave the ball in his court to contact you since he’s the one who initiated a “friendship breakup.” Accept that you may never hear from him again and that the friendship has run its course. If he does reach out some time, it will (hopefully) be a welcome surprise, and, if you never hear from him again, you’re already on your way to moving on.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.