Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“He Wants to Get Serious After Only a Week!”

I have been dating “Alan” for a little more than a week now. From day one, I told him that I was not interested in a serious relationship as four months ago, I had my heart broken by a man I thought I was going to marry and have a child with. Alan stated that he, too, was not looking for anything serious. Well, over the next few days, we saw each other daily. Alan never really asked me much about myself and talked about himself quite excessively. In fact, any time I tried to share something about myself, he would talk over me, which is why he took me by total surprise when he told me three days in that he was falling for me and wanted to be committed to me. I reminded Alan again that I was not interested in pursuing a committed relationship. I also reminded him of what he said the first day about not looking for “serious” as well. He said he understood. Yesterday, he asked me if we were a couple yet. Again, I told him how I felt and that in no way were my feelings going to change any time soon. He told me that he could not help the way he felt and he wanted a relationship with me. I apologized to him and told him that I could not give him what he wanted right now. I explained to him that we have only been dating a week and that there was still a lot that we did not know about the other. I even pointed out that he knew very little about me.

Today, we were supposed to get together for dinner. I have invited him to my place and I was going to cook. Well, at work, I started feeling under the weather and I texted him this. Later, after I got home I texted him again and told him I did not feel any better and that I needed to cancel our date. I apologized and told him we could make plans again this week when we both had time. Well, he got really bent out of shape and proceeded to say things like, “So do you randomly get sick this quickly often?” Or he’d say: “And I was really looking forward to you opening up to me tonight. I had something special planned…” He continued this behavior so I told him not to text me anymore tonight and that I would talk to him later when I felt better. I feel like I need to MOA based on his behavior tonight as well as the fact that he’s brought up a relationship with me a couple of times now knowing good and well that I’m not ready. What do you think? — Not Ready

First of all, can we all decide right here and right now to stop texting when we need to cancel plans — especially at the last minute — with someone? I’ve been guilty of this, too, and I am realizing now how rude that is and am going to make a conscious effort to stop. I know we’re all busy and everything and texting is super convenient and it has the added bonus of not having to listen to someone’s protestations or disappointment, but it’s not very civil. Let’s bring civility back in style and call people when we have to change plans on someone. Agreed?

Now, about Alan. Clearly, you two want different things. Obviously, this guy has some quirks. And obviously, you aren’t terribly fond of him. None of that even matters, though, really. You could think he was Mr. Amazing and if you weren’t ready for a relationship yet and he was, you still wouldn’t be a good match. And you aren’t ready for a relationship yet. And he is, as evidenced by how aggressively he is pursuing one with someone he barely knows (and doesn’t seem all that interested in getting to know). Yes, MOA. But do it kindly. And not in a text message. Call the guy and explain to him that it’s become apparent that you two want different things and it isn’t fair to either of you to keep spending time together when you are pursuing opposing objectives.

And in the future, if you want to avoid being “serious” with someone, maybe don’t spend every single day with him. Walk into the woods slowly so you can survey your surroundings before running blindly into a bear’s den.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.

73 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Christy July 2, 2012, 3:06 pm

    WWS & DTMFA

    I want all responses to be in initial form. I think we can probably make it happen. Also I really think DTMFA is appropriate in this case. Just not worth it.

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    • JK

      JK July 2, 2012, 3:10 pm

      IAWC. WWS. πŸ™‚

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      • avatar

        Taylor July 2, 2012, 3:24 pm

        So confused! What are IAWC and WWS again?

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      • avatar

        sarolabelle July 2, 2012, 3:29 pm

        IWAC = I agree with Christy?
        WWS = What Wendy Said

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      • avatar

        Taylor July 2, 2012, 3:45 pm

        Thanks! Or should I say TYS =)

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  • landygirl

    landygirl July 2, 2012, 3:11 pm

    For the life of me I don’t understand why you kept dating him after the first instance. Maybe you should be single for a while. I say this because you continued to date this boorish man even after the red flags were presented which makes me think that you don’t think highly enough of yourself.

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    • avatar

      MsMisery July 3, 2012, 1:11 pm

      Noooo kidding. When I had my heart broken by someone I “thought I was going to marry” I could barely get out of bed in the mornings and could barely sleep at night. I wasn’t spending all my free time with some new dude.

      Get a grip, lady! Spend some time by your onesome and find out what you want out of life, a relationship, yourself, et al….

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark July 2, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Yeah, it helps your cause greatly that you don’t want anything serious with somebody if you actually, you know, do simple little things such as NOT spending each and every day with that person…

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    • avatar

      bethany July 2, 2012, 3:41 pm

      WBGMS

      It sounds like you liked the attention he was giving you–thus the haning out all the time. But this backfired in your case, because if you hang out with somone a ton ASAP, no matter what you say, they’re going to think you’re really into them. Why else would you be with them so much?? LW- stop stringing this guy along. I know it feels nice to be the center of attention now and then, but give this poor guy a break. You don’t like him, you don’t want to be serious with him, so STOP hanging out with him.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 2, 2012, 3:55 pm

        I’ll trade you a WBS for a WLBHS. I’ve never gotten one of those πŸ™

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      • avatar

        Jubietta July 2, 2012, 7:12 pm

        I am remiss, I often think to myself, “Yes, WLBHS!”

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    • avatar

      ele4phant July 2, 2012, 6:28 pm

      I agree its giving off mixed signals to say “I don’t want a relationship!” but then spend every day with someone.

      But can we acknowledge that its also weird that within a week (even an intense, spend every minute together week) he’s pushing for coupledom? Like, that’s off. Even if they’re the love of your life, I don’t think anyone can reasonably be ready for an exclusive relationship after a week.

      I don’t know what the right move is, but somebody needs to pump the breaks here.

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  • avatar

    Caris July 2, 2012, 3:18 pm

    I have a friend went out with a guy that told her he loved her after only one week. He turned out to be a jealous, manipulative and abusive asshole.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph July 2, 2012, 5:13 pm

      Yes so much. What he’s doing now seems annoying but harmless, but it seems like a veil behind which there is capital-C-Crazy. He’s being possessive, clingy, and a little creepy.

      Maybe I’ve seen too many lifetime movies but when he says “you were gonna open up to me tonight” and “I had something special planned” I imagine rape, stab wounds, or creepy puppets and get the urge to run like the wind.

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      • avatar

        cporoski July 2, 2012, 5:46 pm

        But isn’t the only difference between amazingly romantic and creepy directly related to how much you like the guy?

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger July 2, 2012, 5:51 pm

        Precisely. When it’s mutual, this isn’t creepy at all. It’s those couples that say they “just knew.” Pheromones are some strong things and when they sync up (or whatever chemically happens), that can happen fast. I believe in “love at first sight” (or really “ease and attraction that will become love eventually at first conversation”) though it doesn’t have to work that way to be love. But when it’s one sided, it tends to sound creepy.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery July 3, 2012, 1:14 pm

        Meh, then it’s only creepy to outsiders-looking-in, and not the two doe-eyed love heads. Could still be creepy, though.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph July 3, 2012, 2:59 pm

        Well, rape or stab wounds are never not creepy. Even if you love the guy.

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    • avatar

      Anna July 2, 2012, 7:18 pm

      That’s the exact vibe I got from this letter. Sounding kinda possessive after only a week, can’t be apart. Creepy! I would run like hell from this guy.

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  • avatar

    Taylor July 2, 2012, 3:25 pm

    Alan sounds a little clingy and creepy. I suggest making it very very clear when you break up with him!

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  • avatar

    amy July 2, 2012, 3:35 pm

    What… the… Eff…

    Move on. You are not interested, and he looks like a stage 4 clinger. It’s only a freaking week. MOA and maybe, possibly, if he harrasses you (he sounds a bit creepy) change your number, and don’t let him know where you live!

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    • avatar

      cporoski July 2, 2012, 5:48 pm

      OK, true, but seriously, she is totally messing with this guy. One minute she says she doesn’t want anything serious, then she hangs out every day, then says he doesn’t know her and doesn’t listen, so he goes I am ready to listen, then she cancels on a text.

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  • avatar

    Amy July 2, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Ya – it’s not a good idea to see someone every day… but 4 months after a heartache over someone with whom you’d probably spent A LOT of time with – you probably liked the attention – and maybe weren’t too familiar with setting initial boundaries. And YES – if they start being creepy after such a short time over texts – they are going to drive you nuts. Get rid of him. I made a somewhat similar mistake 8 or 9 months ago. The third date the guy made dinner for me at his house. It became readily apparent that he was far too obsessed with obsessive compulsive cleaning for my tastes. Anyway – I tried to let him down easy and he blew up my phone with crazy texts about how I’d hurt him and how mean I was. I was like – really – it’s been like a week and a half since I met you… He’s affectionately referred to as the spic and span stalker now. Anywhoo… Enough with my story. Don’t feel obligated to date someone that comes on too strong, and in my experience, the guys I really like and really like me (at least for a while) are cool with seeing you once or twice a week at first and not texting and calling all day long. I’m sorry you are still getting over such a tough heartache though. That’s hard, hope you are doing well and feel really happy soon. πŸ™‚

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 July 2, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Yup, I’m with everyone here! How can you say you don’t want something serious, but continue to hangout everyday with someone! That is just fing with their mind, and clearly this kid is mind fucked already. You have led him on which is fine, it happens, and you only did it for a week so no real harm (unless he is a wackadoo) you just need to call him or invite him to someplace where you aren’t totally a lone to break it off with him, because this guy seems like he is going to be a little crazy, and like he won’t let go of you that easily. Be prepared for him to talk crap about you too, if you know the same people.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina July 2, 2012, 3:43 pm

    Definitely doesn’t sound like he will let you off easy when you tell him you are done (which you should–you’re not ready and he sounds on the crazy side). But be firm when you say you are done, and don’t get sucked into seeing him one more time or whatever he may ask, because it can be especially easy to be sucked in like that when you are vulnerable after a serious break-up and enjoy the new attention.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph July 2, 2012, 5:15 pm

      And do it in a public place with a strong and possibly armed friend awaiting your signal from across the room. And make sure he doesn’t follow you out of there. Because, creeper.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow July 2, 2012, 3:45 pm

    OOH! I wonder if I dated this guy!! I had almost the same experience. I went out with this guy, we hit it off, he wanted to see me again IMMEDIATELY. I’m not an every-day type of gal in the beginning, though. So we went on our second date two days after our first – and this time I started to notice some things that could be red flags, but nothing too out-there. I guess something just wasn’t sitting right with me. Still, we made “tentative” plans for Friday (as in, “Hey, maybe we can do something Friday?”). It wasn’t set in stone (or so I thought!!!).

    When Friday rolled around, I had a horrible day at work and I was in a bad mood. I hadn’t been able to access my cell phone for a period of time because I was busy and I didn’t have service – and when I got service, I found several texts from him AND a missed phone call. He was starting to get mad at me for not responding – even though he knew I was working!! Later, I texted him telling him that I just didn’t feel like hanging out since I was tired and cranky and felt like being alone, and could we maybe do something tomorrow? He IMMEDIATELY called and told me that I should have called him instead of texting (good call on that one, Wendy!) (but I was taken aback at how pushy he was with that comment) and tried to convince me to hang out with him anyway. He practically begged, and the more insistent he was, the less I wanted to see him. When I said that maybe we could do something tomorrow, he said, “Maybe? What does THAT mean? Maybe?”

    Then the next day he called at least 5 times. I didn’t answer at first – not because I was trying to ignore him or “fade out” or anything, but because I was trying to figure out what to do! Part of me wanted to give him another “chance,” but the more calls I got, the more I realized that it wasn’t worth it. I told him sorry, but it was just too much too fast.

    Seriously, though – was it the same guy? Do you live in St. Louis, LW?

    Just MOA. He sounds creepy and overbearing. And next time, space out the dates a little if you really don’t want something “serious.”

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 2, 2012, 4:02 pm

      Its kinda nice how these types of guys make it very clear upfront how crazy they are πŸ™‚

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      • avatar

        Matthew July 2, 2012, 4:50 pm

        Now, if only the crazy women would make it so obvious… πŸ˜‰

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 2, 2012, 5:14 pm

        Trust me, they do. Straight men are just too dumb to notice…

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      • avatar

        Christy July 3, 2012, 7:53 am

        And lesbians just accept it because they know they’re crazy too.

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    • dandywarhol

      dandywarhol July 3, 2012, 8:45 am

      Iiiiick. Good thing you found out right away, that dude has some issues.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest July 2, 2012, 3:52 pm

    I don’t really care if someone cancels via text, but…
    “something special planned…” $20 BUCKS IT WAS A PROPOSAL

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 2, 2012, 3:53 pm

      and listen to Wendy, don’t hang with someone every day and be surprised when they think you’re serious.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow July 2, 2012, 3:55 pm

      Yeah! I didn’t think canceling via text was that bad either.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 2, 2012, 3:56 pm

        But clingy dude haaaaated it.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 2, 2012, 4:19 pm

        Ugh, seriously? Canceling by text is so fucking tacky. And such a cowardly way to do it. Honestly, I don’t get the obsession the whole wide world has with texting. It’s made everybody so fucking rude. Nobody is on time anymore. Nobody. Instead they always text to say, “sorry, running late tee hee hee….” And then when they show up half an hour late it’s supposed to be all good simply because they texted. Whatever, was already HERE when I got said text, bitch. Meaning I’ve been sitting here for an hour starving and sipping iced tea… Sorry, pet peeve of mine. End. Of. Rant.

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      • avatar

        bethany July 2, 2012, 4:34 pm

        I take offense. I am always on time or at least 5 minutes early.
        πŸ™‚

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 2, 2012, 4:41 pm

        Bethany, you CLEARLY don’t live in LA then. Here, everybody is always, constantly late, it seems… πŸ˜‰

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      • avatar

        bethany July 2, 2012, 4:45 pm

        I’d rather shoot myself in the eye than live in LA. I’m very “East Coast”, and I was raised in a punctual family πŸ™‚

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      • avatar

        Ursula July 2, 2012, 5:34 pm

        BGM, I live in LA and I am always early. I HATE when people are late. They just don’t respect you or your time.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 2, 2012, 5:53 pm

        We should meet for lunch then… and be the only two on time in the entire city!! πŸ˜‰

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ July 2, 2012, 4:22 pm

        I agree with you. If someone has time to text, they have the time to fucking get where they are going, generally speaking.

        Being on time is a show of respect. If someone doesn’t have enough respect for me to show up on time, I start to doubt the value of the time we’ll be spending together.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 2, 2012, 4:46 pm

        I am ALWAYS on time, when my family/friends lie to me about what time I have to be somewhere. I think I’ve been “on time” to work maybe a dozen times in like 7 years. I’m the worst. I actually got to a restaurant on time ONCE to meet my dad and he wasn’t there. When I called him, he told me the reservations were actually 1/2 hour later than they really were. Smart dad πŸ™‚

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark July 2, 2012, 4:51 pm

        My best friend used to be like this. And whenever I gave him shit about it, he’d always brings up Marilyn Monroe and how she was notoriously late for everything… “You love Marilyn! She WAS late!!” One day, I’d simply had it snapped: “Face it, Sammy. You are NO Marilyn Monroe. If you were, I’d probably be much more forgiving… But you are just you. Sorry, you simply don’t generate THAT much excitement with your arrival to outweigh your tardiness…” He’s much more on time now. πŸ˜‰

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 2, 2012, 4:59 pm

        Haha! Well now that I think about it, she and I have a LOT in common…

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow July 3, 2012, 9:34 am

        Ugh, I’m always late too. My friends give me fake times as well. Luckily my boss is also late all the time, so she doesn’t care.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph July 2, 2012, 5:22 pm

        In the LW’s case, it depends how shitty she was feeling. If it’s really crappy, a text ought to be sufficient. Especially for a guy she’s dated for less than a week. And given that she gave him ample time to prepare by texting him early in the day from work.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones July 2, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Abusers push for quick involvement. Just sayin’ BIG red flag here. And you want different things. MOA before it gets any weirder.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest July 2, 2012, 3:59 pm

      You know, I often think we jump to the abuser accusations too quickly, but I gotta agree on this one.

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      • avatar

        Caris July 2, 2012, 4:48 pm

        The thing is, it’s typical abuser move. It happened to my friend. One week in and he was in love, she clearly wasn’t. Instead of MOA though, she stuck wit him. And he turned out to be an emotional abuser. And in every single story I’ve read about abusers, they go for a quick involvement like Sue said.

        Yes, there are probably ppl out there that go too much too fast who are not abusers, but better safe than sorry imo.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 2, 2012, 4:57 pm

        For sure!

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      • Leroy

        Leroy July 2, 2012, 11:05 pm

        +1 – I think that people are often a little too quick to cite abuse, in response to second-hand accounts, but this guy’s behavior throws up too many red flags. The icing on the cake is that she recognizes that he’s not particularly interested in her personal life.

        Not that his current behavior is necessarily abusive, but he’s demonstrating the hallmarks of someone who is likely to become possessive, controlling, and potentially vindictive. The LW should ask him about his past relationships. I’d bet that they follow a common pattern.

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  • avatar

    Trixy Minx July 2, 2012, 4:09 pm

    Why exactly are you hanging out every day? I would be getting mixed signals if someone said they didn’t want anything serious but gave me alt of their time.

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  • Budj

    Budj July 2, 2012, 4:24 pm

    I would say that your actions and your words were conflicting….don’t hang out with a guy every night unless you want him to get ahead of himself and the feeling is mutual….this guy is definitely way over the top and insecure about shit though.

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  • avatar

    redessa July 2, 2012, 4:48 pm

    I’m sorry but, seriously? You’re writing to an advice column about a guy you’ve know for week? You are under no obligation to him and you clearly don’t even like him. So why are you spending so much time with him and how is it even a question as to whether you should stop seeing him?

    I agree that he is coming on way too strong and frankly sounds psycho. He’s trying to get a commitment very early and I could easily see him quickly becoming very possesive, jealous and even abusive. That doesn’t give you permission to lead him on though. You tell him one thing but do another. Stop it.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny July 2, 2012, 5:09 pm

    This letter lost me as soon as she described how he would talk over her and interrupt her, and ask her very little about herself. I find it disrespectful when a guy constantly does this, it just makes me feel like I’m sort of an inconsequential part of the date/relationship, and the guy could be talking to a tree for all that matters. Even more weird is how, despite this, he wants to couple up so quickly. I’ve been on dates where I get the feeling like the guy is belittling me by not really taking my opinion seriously, and it’s not my cup of tea, thanks. If I were her I’d high tail it out of there quick, because this, combined with his pushiness for a relationship when you don’t even want one, is not ok.

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ July 2, 2012, 4:20 pm

    Just how pathetic can one person be?

    LW, no real offense towards you, but honestly, are you desperate for a rebound so badly that you’re willing to date ANYBODY in order to prove that you can move on from your last relationship?

    You’ve got red flags sprouting out of this weirdo’s ass and you aren’t even acknowledging the majority of them. All you see is “he wants a relationship and I don’t, should I MOA?”. Uh… after spending a whole week together he wants to be a couple after you’ve said twice (and he ignored you twice) that you don’t want a relationship. After he fed you a line that he didn’t really want one either. Then attempted to guilt you with he “couldn’t help” his feelings. He guilt trips you for cancelling a date (the first time you’ve ever done such a thing) and attempts to guilt trip you for being sick and attempts to bribe you into going through with it (“I had something special planned”).
    These are classic abusive signals. Manipulative, clingy, moving too fast, need I go on? Yet you only see the fact that he wants a relationship and you don’t. You aren’t long out of a very committed long-term relationship that left you heartbroken. Why are you dating? To prove that you’re okay? Obviously you aren’t, otherwise you’d have picked up on the warning flags on the field.

    Call (not text) this guy, tell him it’s not working out, that you aren’t ready to date at all and that you will call him when you are ready to date again. Then change his number to “Creeper” on your phone so when he calls again (he will, to act like a “friend” to keep tabs on you for when you ARE ready to date) you can ignore him. If he shows up, or starts harassing, simply tell him that by harassing you, he has no removed himself from your dating prospects and any further calls will result in police contact.

    Don’t date until you’re in a proper headspace.

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    • avatar

      Tracey July 2, 2012, 4:25 pm

      APPLAUSE!

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      • avatar

        Tracey July 2, 2012, 4:29 pm

        Oh, and tell him this only one more time. You’ve told him twice you’re not going to be serious with him already. You shouldn’t have to say it again. If he continues to contact you after that, don’t take his calls/e-mails/texts, but save any messages/texts/e-mails in case he ramps up his clingy behavior to straight up stalking. Good luck, and remember this lesson the next time you start to date someone so it won’t happen again.

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    • avatar

      Amy July 2, 2012, 4:33 pm

      Wow – very good advice…. But I get why she wants to move on and show her ex and friends that she’s moved on. But my experience (my own and a few others that I’ve seen do it) – it just creates a bigger train wreck. LW – Do you listen to the Randy Rogers Band? Check out their song “One Thing I Know” and maybe “Let it Go”. I listened to One thing I know on repeat for like 3 months – probably drove everyone else crazy. But it really was right on for getting over some lingering issues I had when I got divorced – but then I jumped into two relationships way too soon so didn’t spend time putting myself back together.

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    • avatar

      oldie July 2, 2012, 4:53 pm

      Starts well, but can’t agree with your last full paragraph. LW should NOT tell him that she will call him when she is ready to date. That just tells him to pursue her later. The message has to be that she doesn’t think they are a match and doesn’t want to date him. Don’t leave the impression that in a month she may be far enough from her breakup that she’ll be perfectly happy to date him. Needs to be a gentle let down, but the message must be a firm ‘not you–ever’.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger July 2, 2012, 5:33 pm

    As someone who IS a “hang out everyday with someone I click with” kind of person, I’m going to weigh in. (My ex and I had a 27 hour first date and also spent the next night together, and when I came back into his city the next weekend [which I had to do to take a test], I actually stayed with him and not my friends. We dated for 2 years and lived together.)

    I just don’t really get why you’re writing in. You dated a guy for a week, he’s coming on too strong and is a little self-centered for your taste… so don’t date him anymore. I guess I don’t see what the issue is — if you don’t like him, stop dating him. It really doesn’t matter what he wants in this case (though def. be nice about it).

    But I think your bigger problem is regarding relationship buzzwords, which are terrible at describing what you want. You say you don’t want a committed relationship but you spend a whole week with this guy — I don’t actually find this incongrous. I think you do want to be in an “exclusive” “relationship” but not a “committed” “relationship.” Think about it — you can be exclusive with someone you are dating without being in a “serious relationship.” I was dating a guy for 4 months once and we were exclusive, but he didn’t think of me as his “girlfriend.” I didn’t get it — I thought about the show Friends and how Joey had a new “girlfriend” practically every week. But the guy I was seeing thought “girlfriend” meant a whole different type of relationship, meant the kind of person you get a dog with, the kind you are truly committed to. I get it now.

    I get how she can spend all her time with someone without wanting to be in a serious relationship and all that entails. And as someone who has felt a connection where “you just know”, I disagree with all the people who think that there is a time-table for that and it has to be longer than a week. Don’t get me wrong — i don’t think it has to be that short, but it can be, without being creepy. But both people have to be on the same page about it.

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    • avatar

      redessa July 2, 2012, 7:25 pm

      I don’t have a problem with the idea that he fell for her quickly. It’s the idea that he’s disregarding her feelings or input (talking over her), getting angry with her for cancelling plans, essentially accusing her of lying (about her reason for cancelling), trying to coerce her her into doing what he wanted (still trying to come over after she said she didn’t feel well)…. None of it adds up to anything good.

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    • avatar

      Anna July 2, 2012, 7:48 pm

      I completely understand where you’re coming from because that’s how my relationship with my ex started. We already knew each other because we worked together, but our first date lasted about 10 hours until the sun came up. And we weren’t even doing anything, just talking! When morning came and we had to go home to take a nap for work that night, we kissed. And we hung out every day after that.

      The difference between my situation 9 years ago and this letter is that the relationship was clicking on both sides for us. The LW clearly isn’t clicking with this guy. He’s the one doing all the clicking. As she backs away, he pursues harder and that’s what is coming across as creepy to me. Women are typically the ones who are stereotyped as pushing too hard too fast for a commitment, but in this case it’s reversed.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. July 2, 2012, 6:06 pm

    First off, I agree with the texting thing. I would be really offended if someone canceled/broke up with me via text. I like old-fashioned good manners and that means talking to my face (or at least to my ear). Now, on to the letter. Every single list of characteristics of potential abusers I have read lists two things that show up in this letter: wants to be exclusive very early, and gets pissy if you change plans, even for a legitimate reason like getting sick. Also, a guy who talks only about himself and doesn’t listen to anything you have to say is a narcisstic control freak. RUN do not walk away from this guy ASAP.

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  • avatar

    Anna July 2, 2012, 7:24 pm

    Run like hell! This guy is acting possessive and creepy after only a week. And when you are together, he constantly talks over you and doesn’t even want to hear what you have to say? That’s not a good start to any kind of relationship. I really have a bad feeling about this, like this guy is just looking for any woman to put into the role of “girlfriend,” and he considers a girlfriend just another possession that he can use as he pleases and treat however he wants.

    Please, break up with him immediately and go on your merry single way.

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  • avatar

    Lo July 2, 2012, 7:54 pm

    I once was casually (or so I thought) dating a guy….I knew I was in an LW situation when his Facebook status changed to “in a relationship” and my first thought was “oh no…is that supposed to be ME!?!!?” – I got right on out of there and LW you should too. I’m confused why this even was a question for Wendy!

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  • avatar

    natasiarose July 2, 2012, 10:02 pm

    MOA. This guy doesn’t listen to you and doesn’t respect your boundaries.

    Also, I have to disagree with Wendy. Don’t call me when you want to cancel plans and waste even MORE of my time. Text me, as early in the day as you can, so I can go do something else.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant July 2, 2012, 10:24 pm

      I agree, I don’t mind a text. But ditto on the sending it with plenty of time for me to notice it.

      Don’t wait and send it five minutes before you’re supposed to meet me, when I’m undoubtedly already there waiting for you, suddenly stuck with no plans and out 2.50 for a bus I could have avoided taking.

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  • Copa

    copacabananut July 2, 2012, 11:22 pm

    THIS. My ex acted like Alan when I first met him; I ignored him, but after eventually getting to know him through school activities, I decided my first impression of him had been wrong. It wasn’t. The guy was jealous, possessive, manipulative, and controlling, particularly when he didn’t get me all to himself. Our dynamic was unhealthy for both of us, but these traits gave him all the control since. He ended up dumping me when he fixated on a different girl. I don’t know the entire story of what happened between them, but friends tell me within a few weeks of getting to know him, he’d creeped her out to the poin that she told him she never wanted to speak to her again. My best guess is that he told her he loved her.

    I know Alan isn’t my ex, but my point is that there is something really OFF with that kind of behavior. (My best guess is that it’s a self-esteem thing/fear of being alone.) Maybe I’m just more cautious because I’ve lived through a relationship with an Alan, and it was terribly toxic, terribly destructive to my self-esteem, but the intensity of Alan’s feelings are weird. My advice is to run like Hell. Run until you pass out, then when you come to, keep running.

    If nothing else, trust that you wrote the letter for a reason and RUN.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay July 2, 2012, 11:27 pm

    Totally agree with everything Wendy said. The LW clearly doesn’t like this guy, regardless of his behavior, so there’s no point in dragging this out. I hate when people cancel, and doing it at the last minute is the worst.

    I, too, think the LW should formulate a better idea of what she wants. She doesn’t want a relationship, OK. But does she want to really still be spending every day with someone? Does she just want friends? Or sex? Or casual dating? I think saying that you don’t want a serious relationship right now is sort of misleading because of the whole “now” part. Does that mean you just want to see where things go? Or is it off the table completely?

    Anyway, just food for thought. Things to figure out before expressing to another person what you need or want.

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  • dandywarhol

    dandywarhol July 3, 2012, 8:53 am

    Yikes. LW, back away from this guy. Even if you were ready for a serious relationship, this is not the guy you want one with. Just from your letter, it sounds like he is a narcissistic creep that could turn abusive. I have had a few abusive exes, and yes, they all came on fast and strong. Within a few weeks of dating, I was told how I was the best thing that happened to them, they were falling in love, etc etc. This is just a ploy to reel you in! I know it sounds extreme and dramatic, but these are pretty big warning signs. Let him off gently and don’t give in to any of his demands after. He might beg you to stay and work it out- don’t. You “dated” for a week. Just MOA.

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