Anyhow, immediately after the break-up we tried to be friends, which was a huge mistake. It was really an easy way for him to get all the benefits of a girlfriend (sex, companionship, support) without the label. After a few weeks of that I decided enough was enough, and I cut off all intimate contact with him and started dating other people. We still maintained a semi-close relationship, though — I would call him on his birthday or he would call every couple of weeks to see how I doing.
After a while, the weekly contact began to wane and eventually two years passed with very minimal contact between us. Around this time, while at work one day, K and I ran into each other. K had his new girlfriend of a year with him and awkwardly introduced us. I played it cool because I honestly did not feel any feelings of wanting to get back together with K. I even told the new girlfriend not to worry about me or be threatened at all because K and I were just friends. This later backfired on me when after work that night K called and said that his girlfriend had felt disrespected by my words.
After this incident (and another incident where the girlfriend accused me of prank calling her) communication between K and me was highly confrontational because I felt K, knowing me personally, should have defended my character more. I told him we should part ways as friends and not have any contact with each other. K seemingly agreed, but several weeks later called me to seek advice about something hurtful his girlfriend said to him. Although I had asked him not to call, I allowed the conversation and also reestablished our friendship at that time. Later on, realizing how much drama his girlfriend was and the way that he ignores his friends when he has a new girlfriend, I decided to once again end the friendship and move on.
This cat-and-mouse game has been going on pretty much ever since. I would end the friendship, he would call randomly a few weeks later, and we would be friends again. Recently, he called (in the middle of the night) and basically said that he needed support since none of his other friends have stuck around and his girlfriend has started acting out. Frankly, I am tired of the back and forth. I either want to have a valued friendship with him or nothing at all.
I would like to know if you think he wants to be friends or anything more? Is he just using me for the support that his ex-friends or girlfriend couldn’t provide? Part of me wants to tell him that if he wanted my love and attention then he should have appreciated it when we were together. Another part of me would really like his friendship back. Another part wonders if he still wants me back. No matter how many times I “break it off” he comes back like a sad puppy wanting to have a friendship again. Should I keep him as a friend or let him go once and for all? — Cat and Mouse
The new girlfriend isn’t the one causing all the drama — YOU are. You keep chasing a man who dumped you, broke your heart, and continues to play you like a tambourine. He’s not defending your character to his girlfriend because YOU aren’t his girlfriend and because what you said to her was legitimately offensive (honestly, if I was dating someone who introduced me to an ex and she said to me, “Don’t worry, I’m not a threat! We’re just friends!” I’d be all, “The fuck? Who says that??”).
Bottom line: if you’re sick of feeling like the fall-back friend for a guy who not only doesn’t value you as a romantic partner, but doesn’t seem to value you very much as a friend — and whom, let’s be honest, you really want MORE than friendship from anyway — MOA. The only person keeping you in the endless game of cat-and-mouse is you. So end it and move on already.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.