Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Ex Stalks My Tumblr Every Day. Does He Want to Get Back Together?”

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Long story short, my ex and I were trying to be friends and move forward (he was even flirting with me!) until he mentioned he’d met someone. I told him I couldn’t be around him anymore if that was the case. But then after a month of no contact, he sent me a long, emotional, hand-written letter about his struggles emotionally and how he wasn’t happy being casual acquaintances with me, and that he hoped I’d forgive him one day.

After another month of really low contact, we’re now in almost constant communication. He reaches out to me every day, he seems interested in my life, and we have lots of emotional discussions about what went wrong and what we were trying to fix about ourselves. I confessed to him a lot of my fears about the disarray my life is in right now (more than just the relationship situation) and he was incredibly supportive about it, really listening. BUT the one argument we’ve had in all this was when I was trying to find out if he was still seeing this other girl. I didn’t want to be strung along. He had been avoiding the topic since we started talking again, mentioning her only by name and like a common friend I should already know. He got really upset when I stopped being subtle about asking and just asked. He said she wasn’t “pertinent” to any of our interactions so there was no need to talk about her, even though I feel like it’s VERY much so, especially considering I wish to reconcile and he knows that. He hasn’t made anything official on Facebook about her, and none of our mutual friends seem to know too much about her.

I guess I’m just trying to figure out why he’s taking so many pains to reach out to me on an emotional level with even more frequency than before the new girl appeared on the scene. I know he’s trying to be more open and honest with the people in his life, but I don’t think he’s going quite as far out of his way for them. I mean, he even stalks my Tumblr every day. I have hope things can be fixed, but this other girl remains a big wrench in my perception of how things are going. — Strung Along

Oh, honey, if you think this is going to end well, you are deluding yourself. There’s a reason you broke up (or, from the sound of it, many reasons you broke up), and there’s a reason you aren’t back together again. Hint: he doesn’t want to be with you. That’s a hard pill to swallow, I know, but you aren’t doing yourself any favors by thinking anything else. He knows you want to reconcile. If he wanted that, too, you’d be a couple. But you aren’t. He doesn’t want you. He wants to be able to date other people.

Oh, but he reaches out to you EVERY DAY! He’s opening up in an emotional way, you say! He’s even “stalking” your Tumblr. Ok, first of all, the definition of “stalking” isn’t “Checks a blog once a day,” or we’d all have restraining orders against us. He’s curious. He wants to know what you’re up to. Because he wants to get back together again? No! If that’s what he wanted, that’s what he’d get. You’ve made it clear to him that you’re available for the taking whenever he wants.

He checks your Tumblr and reaches out to you all the time because he likes you and he likes that you want him so bad. He likes being wanted and desired. It makes him feel important, just as it makes him feel important and needed that you want to turn to him — an ex! — to unload your problems. He likes knowing that you’re there for him whenever he wants and that he can go and date other people — who knows how many women he might be seeing! — without explaining himself to you or answering to you and you’re STILL going to be waiting in the wings for him if and when he should decide he wants to be with you and only you (which, by the way, probably won’t ever happen, and if it does, it won’t be until he’s been hurt enough by someone else first to want the easy love you can give him). So he keeps tabs on you just to make sure you’re still single and waiting for him. And because it feels good to keep an emotional connection with you while having a physical relationship with whomever else he may want to get intimate with. It’s the best of both worlds.

You know what, if your life is in such disarray, as you put it, make things a little easier for yourself and quit it with the ex drama. You don’t need it. MOA. Quit waiting around for him hoping he’ll come back to you. Quit trying to find out what’s going on with the other girl. Quit letting him call the shots. Just quit being so desperate and get some self-respect and move on. This ship has sailed and it’s only coming back if it decides the storms are too messy elsewhere, not because it necessarily chooses you. Aim higher than that.

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

143 comments… add one
  • katie

    katie September 5, 2013, 10:15 am

    this is just confusing. your first sentence is about how you were trying to be friends with your ex, but that he was flirting with you..? that doesnt make sense. that is a contradictory thing, wanting to be friends with a former partner, and then being seemingly happy that he is flirting with you? i dont get it.

    and i dont understand your motivations. you say that you were trying to be friends and move forward, work on yourself, ect, but then you spend the entire letter talking with some kind of ownership over this guy and wondering when he will wise up and you two can get back together. so what is it? do you want to move on and work on yourself or do you just want to get back together with this guy? i mean i guess the two can happen together (the working on yourself part, not the moving on part), but you are talking about doing one thing and then acting in a completely other way.

    and as for him “stringing you along”- bullshit. he is single! you guys broke up, remember? you have no ownership over him. he is free to date who ever he wants to. if you dont want to pine after a guy who is going to be dating multiple people, then stop.

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      fairhairedchild September 5, 2013, 1:43 pm

      THIS. I was so confused about her saying “he was even flirting with me” in the same sentence as trying to be friends. When I read your comment about her “ownership” over him you hit it on the nail Katie!

      I know so many people who will move on, start a new relationship or say they are “working on themselves”, but be soooo offended when their ex gets a new relationship and go “its good to know I’ve been replaced” etc etc MONTHS after the break up. If every ex had claim over us or we had claim over them, then people would never move past the first break up -ever-. And that would be a very boring, crazy world. Sure it sucks when you see an ex being happy (even if you already moved on first…or didn’t) but life goes on, you were a part of their life for -that moment- but now there’s so many other opportunities for each of you to make new moments with new people (which doesn’t mean you -have to- be in a relationship, it can be with friends, family etc).

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow September 5, 2013, 10:25 am

    Maybe he just….wants to be friends? If you can’t do that without wanting him back and analyzing everything he says/does, then cut him off.

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    • avatar

      Nadine September 5, 2013, 1:30 pm

      Yep.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 10:30 am

    “trying to be more open and honest with the people in his life” Sounds like he’s being real honest with you and his new girl.

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  • avatar

    painted_lady September 5, 2013, 10:31 am

    A-fucking-men.

    I realize, partly due to socialization and romantic comedies, partly due to wishful thinking and low self-esteem, women tend to treat romantic interest like some sort of secret code – OMG! He put a smiley at the end of that email! He must be in luuuurve! He made a point of saying hi today! We’re totes getting married! I’m not making fun, I am completely guilty of this. But if a man isn’t interested enough to say, “Let’s go on a date,” or if he isn’t interested enough to worry about hurting your feelings or losing you by telling you about the other women in his life, HE ISN’T INTERESTED ENOUGH. Yes, he likes being pursued. Yes, he likes being desired. Yes, he will totally flirt and even fool around with you if there are no consequences to him. But if he isn’t actively expressing interest in dating you, he doesn’t want to date you.

    I feel like we sometimes mislead people with the saying that relationships are work. Yes, I have to work in order to keep my relationship happy and fun – it’s easy to get complacent! – and it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. But the part where my boyfriend and I decided that we wanted to be in a relationship? Easiest thing in the world. The part where we stay committed to each other and to being a couple? Don’t even have to think about it. You shouldn’t have to work hard to convince someone to be or to stay with you. You shouldn’t have to do so much work to convince yourself. That should be the easy part.

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    • avatar

      starpattern September 5, 2013, 11:42 am

      “I feel like we sometimes mislead people with the saying that relationships are work. Yes, I have to work in order to keep my relationship happy and fun – it’s easy to get complacent! – and it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. But the part where my boyfriend and I decided that we wanted to be in a relationship? Easiest thing in the world.”

      This exactly! It’s a hard line to walk for sure, but nobody should have to work this hard to figure out whether someone even wants to be with them in the first place.

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    • lemongrass

      lemongrass September 5, 2013, 11:45 am

      WPLS

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    • avatar

      Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 1:28 pm

      I hate to say this, but the book “He’s Just Not That Into You” seriously did change my outlook on dating. Made things a LOT less dramatic. Bottom line, if he’s not dating you, or actively trying to date you, he’s just not interested enough.

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      • avatar

        Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 1:29 pm

        And then they undid the pretty viable message of the book by making a romantic comedy about it.

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        painted_lady September 5, 2013, 1:42 pm

        Yeah, I would be lying if I said I didn’t see it, but it was definitely annoying that it was happily ever after even though every single rule that was set out in the book was broken.

        And yeah, the situations in the book were pretty oversimplified, but it was pretty good for laying down a hard line against all the stupid justifications we make when it’s just that we reeeeeaaaallly want to believe someone’s interested.

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      • avatar

        MMcG September 5, 2013, 2:27 pm

        You mean a movie was different from the book it was based on!?! I didn’t think that was allowed to happen 😉

        Kidding… it’s like that commercial with the women saying that everything on the internet must be true as she goes off with the ugly guy who she thinks is a french supermodel.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 2:30 pm

        I finally watched Something Borrowed, after reading it about a year ago. It was actually pretty close to the book. I was surprised.

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      • avatar

        Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 2:50 pm

        I had Hunger Games book/movie rage when my husband questioned things in the movie every 5 minutes. I wasn’t mad at him for asking the questions, I was mad at the movie for leaving out so much that it made you question the motivations of the characters. I had read the books before the movie so I didn’t even realize how many holes needed to be filled for a non-reader.

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      • avatar

        MMcG September 5, 2013, 3:47 pm

        My favorite and most representative movies that were books are actually the novellas written by Stephen King. Shawshank Redemption, etc.

        The longer King novels (like the Shining) have to be edited down otherwise they would be 5 hours long… but you end up missing so much!

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    • Nicolasa

      Nicolasa September 5, 2013, 6:02 pm

      Preach!

      (:

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  • landygirl

    landygirl September 5, 2013, 10:32 am

    Your ex is a douchebag who wants his cake and to eat it too. I suggest cutting off all contact with him permanently. He is stringing you along until something better happens. If you need to talk to someone, talk to a therapist, not your ex boyfriend. Until you decide that you deserve better, you’ll always accept less.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle September 5, 2013, 10:34 am

    Yeah, I was (like katie) confused by the first couple sentences— you were trying to be friends, but he was flirting, & you found you couldn’t be “friends” any longer once he was seeing somebody new? That’s not how friendship works, but I think you know that.

    Look, it’s tough to be “friends” with a recent ex— the lines get blurred, as you’re experiencing. If I were you, I’d cut off all contact. Because communicating every day, having emotional discussions, leaning on each other… you seem to think that means you’re on track for getting back together? & you’re not. Sooo it’s better to end all communication & stop tricking yourself into believing this guy still wants you.

    As for why would he still talk to you if he doesn’t want to be with you…? WWS. With a side of, maybe you’re his back up or something in case things with the new girl don’t work out? Who knows. Either way, why would you want to remain in your current position with him?

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  • avatar

    Bunnycsp September 5, 2013, 10:36 am

    Dear Wendy…I check your blog every day….sometimes multiple times. Sorry for stalking you.

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    • katie

      Katie September 5, 2013, 10:45 am

      If “sometimes multiple times a day” makes you a stalker, I don’t want to know the word for what I am.

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    • avatar

      rachel September 5, 2013, 10:47 am

      Haha, I was thinking Wendy would need restraining orders out against a whole lot of us.

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      • avatar

        MMcG September 5, 2013, 10:59 am

        Not sure what the rest of you are talking about… I am just an avid reader who is interested in humanity and helping people 🙂

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass September 5, 2013, 11:46 am

        Unlike yesterday’s LW, I’m here because I like drama. Not sure what that makes me!

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      • avatar

        MMcG September 5, 2013, 12:03 pm

        Pretty sure it makes you human 😉

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      • avatar

        Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 1:32 pm

        Lemongrass, that makes you classy 😉

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  • Lyra

    Lyra September 5, 2013, 10:37 am

    In my opinion it isn’t possible to go from ex to friends within a month. I tried that and it failed miserably. I was unhappy because I was still holding onto the fact that I wanted to be with him and I was making myself emotionally unavailable as a result.

    This won’t end well. Do yourself a favor and put a lot of distance between yourself and him.

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  • avatar

    cdobbs September 5, 2013, 10:41 am

    LW this statement says it all “He said she wasn’t “pertinent” to any of our interactions” ….if she wasn’t in the picture than he would have said that she was gone, but he didn’t say that….this guy wants his cake and eat it too….LW move on to someone who will treat you with respect….not some guy who gives vague answers about his personal life so he can keep stringing you along

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ September 5, 2013, 3:07 pm

      “if she wasn’t in the picture than he would have said that she was gone”

      Exactly!! If you broke it off with him earlier because he was dating this woman, and he’s still dating this woman, well, then, there’s your answer, LW. Forget this guy and move on.

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    • dabbler

      dabbler September 5, 2013, 11:25 pm

      So, sidebar, how’s things going with your guy?

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. September 5, 2013, 10:52 am

    If you’re feeling strung along, it’s because you’re letting him string you along. Like Wendy said, you’re giving him all the power. This is why I recommend, even in a “good” breakup, that there be a period of no contact. None. No emails, no texts, no calls, zip. It gives you a chance to get over whatever feelings you had for this person. If you’re this upset over some girl he is dating (which he is entitled to do, by the way), you do still have feelings for him, and he knows it. Guys love to know that women want them, He is putting on an act to keep you hoping because it feeds his ego. This guy is a jerk. He doesn’t want you, he wants the ego boost of having more than one woman pining for him. You even told him that you wanted to reconcile. If he wanted it, he would have done it right then. Do yourself a favor: stop talking to him. If you need someone to talk you, find someone else. Get some hobbies, hang out with some friends, go volunteer at an animal shelter, do something to take your focus off of him and onto you where it belongs. Make your life about you and not about him. You want to move forward? You have to let him go, he is only holding you back, and he is doing it because you are letting him.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. September 5, 2013, 11:08 am

      One more thing: You say he told you he hoped you’d forgive him? Does that mean the relationship ended because of something that he did? If so, remind yourself of that every single day.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo September 5, 2013, 10:56 am

    I never say that the other girl isn’t “pertinent to our interactions.” I always say “germane.”

    I say, “Baby, she’s the germane to my jacksons, the sizzle to my reactions, the schism to my factions. Yeah!”

    Sorry for the rhymes. I may not speak jive, but LW’s ex sure does. And why wouldn’t he? She believes it, don’t she?

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana September 5, 2013, 10:59 am

    and this is why i typically think it makes no sense to try to be friends with an ex unless you are really over it, you had a short relationship and quick easy breakup for reasons that included you just weren’t compatible, and or you were good friends before you got together. just brings too much drama in my opinion. i wanted to be friends with my first ex because i thought if i was, he would eventually realize how much he missed me and come back to me and want to be with me. HA that certainly did not happen. in fact it just dragged out my healing process by about 4-6 months and kept me from moving on and a host of other BS (see above letter). you aren’t over your ex you want to be with him and you can’t be his friend right now and maybe ever, and guess what that’s not a big deal. there is no law that says exes must be friends. if you really want to be his friend, give it a few months depending on how long you were together and then revisit the situation.

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  • avatar

    SasLinna September 5, 2013, 11:00 am

    You and your ex were never really trying to be friends at all. There was flirting, and you said you couldn’t be close to him anymore if he was dating someone new (doesn’t make sense if you were trying to be friends). He was writing you handwritten emotional letters. Usually doesn’t happen with friends either. Nevertheless, he’s still playing on your official idea of “being just friends” when he dodges your questions about the new woman. So I would drop this “being friends” joke really fast.

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  • avatar

    MMcG September 5, 2013, 11:07 am

    Please be a teenager, please. At least that would make this situation a little easier to digest…

    Ladies, put down the ouija board, eight ball and diving rod that you are trying to use to figure out a guy’s intentions. I hate to stereotype but most men (hell humans in general) really aren’t that manipulative, it just seems that way when you read too much into a situation (please see painted lady above) and/or you haven’t actually taken the time after a relationship to truly get over it. If a person’s intentions aren’t obvious, and their actions don’t match their words, they just aren’t into you and you need to stop pretending to be friends or anything more than a simple EX.

    LW – have you heard of the friendzone? Well women can put men in the zone too… “we’re just friends” when in reality you want something more. STOP IT!!!

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    • avatar

      MMcG September 5, 2013, 11:32 am

      *divining rod. Can’t spell in the am…

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl September 5, 2013, 12:45 pm

      I’m hoping LW is a teenager because I don’t know anyone older than 20 with a Tumbler.

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      • katie

        katie September 5, 2013, 12:51 pm

        what even is tumbler? i dont even know!!

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        MMcG September 5, 2013, 1:39 pm

        Me neither… these damn kids today and their fancy interwebs!

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        Christy September 5, 2013, 9:27 pm

        Oh dude, I have a Tumblr. Gf has two tumblrs. And we have a secret couples Tumblr that we have a password on.

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    • avatar

      Ali September 5, 2013, 7:53 pm

      This is exactly what I thought!! There is no way that someone would ask this question unless they were in high school, college at the latest (hopefully a lowerclassman, too). I can’t imagine why you would have to ask someone if the fact that the guy you want to date (again) is dating someone else is “pertinent” to your decision to get back together with him (even though he doesn’t want to get back with you). It’s such a non-problem that this post is a black hole.

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  • avatar

    j2 September 5, 2013, 11:14 am

    Good grief! You really need something to divert you.

    I recommend a hot karate instructor. It seems to be working for at least one other here ….

    😉

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  • avatar

    oldie September 5, 2013, 11:32 am

    You are this guy’s back-up plan so he doesn’t get lonely if his main relationship with the other girl fails. Also, he would not turn down the chance to be FWB with you, while keeping his other gf as his actual relationship. You are just begging to be strung along. You want him back so badly that you can’t move on to a new relationship or really live your life as an unattached single without him being the center point of your existence. MOA, only do it for real this time.

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  • avatar

    HmC September 5, 2013, 11:35 am

    LW- it feels like you’re not really asking what this guy is thinking- you’re asking someone to tell you that he’s into you and wants to be with you. But the truth is that if he wanted that, you would probably know it and you wouldn’t have to ask us. The biggest thing I had to learn about dating is that sometimes guys will pay attention to you just because they’re bored or lonely, not necessarily because they want to be with you. And it’s not just guys, everyone gets bored and lonely and uses others to some extent sometimes. And we all have times when we don’t even know what we want or what the heck is going through our own heads. It doesn’t make him evil or anything. But you’ve got to look out for yourself. This whole mess sounds exhausting. The right guy won’t feel exhausting. Don’t you want better for yourself?

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  • avatar

    jbk886 September 5, 2013, 11:38 am

    LW, you’re used to talking to this guy about deep, emotional topics, and maybe you’ve forgotten about the rest of your support group that can fill that same function in a healthier way – your friends, sister, mom, etc. This guy isn’t being honest with you, and he can’t fill that function anymore. Leave him in the past and use this time to reconnect to the other people who matter to you. It will put your head in a better place, make you a happier person, and help you to be well adjusted for when you do find the guy who is willing to treat you with love and respect.

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  • lemongrass

    lemongrass September 5, 2013, 11:44 am

    WWS! This guy is using you. You make him feel like a big shot and where does that leave you? He doesn’t care. You need to cut him out of your life, put on your big girl panties and move on. Right now your life is in a standstill- you’re trapped trying to get back to what you had but that’s not going anywhere so you can’t move forward. Only once you release yourself from this situation (because only you can release yourself. Do not sit waiting for him to do it!) will you be able to move forward.

    Also, know that he is treating you like this because you let him. This is unacceptable behaviour and shutting it down when it first happens sets a precedent that you should be treated well. When anyone starts pulling crap with you, don’t take it! You are only setting yourself up for more.

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle September 5, 2013, 11:47 am

    I hope the LW did not stop reading when Wendy said “He checks your Tumblr and reaches out to you all the time because he likes you”

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  • avatar

    Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 11:53 am

    I disagree, and a big WOAH to all the posters calling this guy a douche. They’re both single; he has no obligation to give her all the details on any other woman he’s been going on dates with, especially since you all have argued in the past that you’re not a player if you casually date multiple people while trying to figure out if any of them are worth pursuing a deeper relationship with.

    I totally agree with him that this other girl isn’t relevant. If you don’t want to date the guy when he’s dating other girls too, then don’t. But if I was talking about maybe getting back together with an ex and being serious about it — even if we were talking as emotionally as you and he seem to be — and she kept asking me if I was dating other women, I would tell her it’s not relevant either. What’s relevant is whether YOU and HE want to get back together; if you do, then, yes, he has to drop the other women. But it’s not like he’s under some obligation to drop the other women before you agree to be monogamous. You’re just going to have to take a leap of faith that he’ll do so once that happens, and he hasn’t given you any reason to think he won’t.

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed September 5, 2013, 11:56 am

      WGFS!

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    • avatar

      MMcG September 5, 2013, 12:07 pm

      Yep, yet another situation where it’s easier to blame the guy – who has no responsibility to the LW whatsoever – than to blame the LW for the way she is being treated.

      I mean the letter speaks for itself… “my ex and I were trying to be friends and move forward” /=/ ” I wish to reconcile and he knows that”

      Exactly LW – he knows that AND HE DOESN”T WANT TO RECONCILE WITH YOU OR EXPLAIN HIS PERSONAL BUSINESS TO YOU. It’s called a sign. Please read it and stop trying to pretend there is meaning between the lines!!

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    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana September 5, 2013, 12:13 pm

      yeah i also agree with this i don’t think this guy is a douche necessarily, especially in the situation you outline, but also i don’t really know if he is trying to casually date her. she doesn’t mention they have even seen each other, just been talking a lot and having emotional conversations…so in that case it seems like he is using her for that outlet while having possibly sexual relationships with another girl/putting in the time to actually date the other girl while reaping gf like benefits from his ex? the lw is a bit confusing in her letter because i can’t see how you would be jealous of an ex’s new girl when you guys are just texting constantly and not seeing each other or even dating? i just don’t get it. also the whole thing is moot because she cannot casually date him or apparently even talk to him without getting jealous or wanting to be his gf again so she just needs to cut it off and move on.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom September 5, 2013, 12:31 pm

      If she thinks that he is working towards getting back together then she does deserve to know if he is dating someone and needs to breakup before he would be available. If he just wants to be friends then he should quit flirting and remind her that they are friends and won’t be anything more. I think there is a combination of him giving mixed signals and her wanting more than he does.

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      • avatar

        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 12:43 pm

        Yeah, but there’s a difference between “dating” as in “going on dates with” versus “in a serious relationship with.” If I’m talking to my ex, there’s a reason she’s my ex, and that means bridges have been burned. And, I’m sorry, but if you’re happy with someone and that person has done everything right, you’re not walking away; she has done SOMETHING — small, big, whatever — that made him uncomfortable enough to see someone else. So as much as I may write her love letters (which in my opinion is the paper equivalent of drunken texts), I’m going to be cautious in moving forward. And, yeah, I’m not going to shy away from tackling big topics with her, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to move slowly at reconciling. And during that process I may very well see other women, because there’s no reason not to, and there’s ESPECIALLY no reason to gossip about them to her.

        We don’t know if she wants more than him; he may want to be with her but needs to be sure that history won’t repeat itself. If she wants to be impatient, that’s absolutely her choice, but I don’t think this issue she has is going to magically disappear when she dates the next guy.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow September 5, 2013, 12:33 pm

      Yeah, I don’t think he’s douchey for saying that his new girl isn’t “relevant” – because she’s not, if he’s just trying to be friends – and it’s perhaps even nice of him if he knows it hurts LW for him to talk about her. But I also don’t think he’s trying to get back together with LW, which is what it sounds like you are implying?

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 12:37 pm

      So stringing someone along is super great behavior? Oh, ok. Pretty sure no one called him a douche, and called out the girl entirely.

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      • avatar

        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 12:52 pm

        I’m not trying to call posters out, but since you challenged my comment:

        Your ex is a douchebag who wants his cake and to eat it too, – landygirl

        Also, I was speaking in broad terms to the notion that he’s somehow a terrible person for not discussing the other woman he’s seeing, which I think was pretty clear in my response. Again, I’m not trying to sing out specific posters, but let’s quote posts in which the writer is clearly saying the guy is terrible that were written before the time stamp on my post:

        this guy wants his cake and eat it too….LW move on to someone who will treat you with respect….not some guy who gives vague answers about his personal life so he can keep stringing you along, – cdobbs

        This guy is a jerk. He doesn’t want you, he wants the ego boost of having more than one woman pining for him. – Kate B

        he’s still playing on your official idea of “being just friends” when he dodges your questions about the new woman. – Saslinna

        You are this guy’s back-up plan so he doesn’t get lonely if his main relationship with the other girl fails. Also, he would not turn down the chance to be FWB with you, while keeping his other gf as his actual relationship. – oldie

        This guy is using you. You make him feel like a big shot and where does that leave you? He doesn’t care. – lemongrass

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        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 1:08 pm

        *single out. Sorry.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 1:08 pm

        That’s awholelotta quotes! Sorry for “challenging” your comment. How dare I? Relax buddy.

        Do you really think this guy isn’t stringing her along, or do you think that’s acceptable and nice behavior? Just curious which one it is.

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        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 1:13 pm

        You relax. I wasn’t saying it like I was mad. I was saying it because you said you were pretty sure no one said he was a douche (which someone did) and your tone suggested that no one was blaming the guy (which many people were). I was just putting it out there to say that I wasn’t just imagining things is all.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 1:22 pm

        Again I ask:
        Do you really think this guy isn’t stringing her along, or do you think that’s acceptable and nice behavior? Just curious which one it is.

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        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 1:29 pm

        Sorry. I missed that question. No, I don’t think he’s stringing her along. I don’t think he’s representing that he’s being monogamous with her; I think he’s saying — in words or in actions — that he’s open to repairing their relationship, but it’s a process. I think to expect more from an ex is foolish, and I think that he’s right to deem other women out of bounds for conversation because it has nothing to do if the two of them get back together unless he’s done things that show he’s capable of cheating on her. And he hasn’t, as far as we know; in fact, he did exactly what we would ask someone to do: break off the relationship if he’s interested in pursuing other women. He may regret it now and want to rebuild things, but that doesn’t change the fact that trust has been lost and needs to be rebuilt. Sure, he started it based on what the LW’s saying, but I don’t think he walks away if he felt fulfilled in the relationship, so I think HIS rebuilding is making sure he doesn’t get back into whatever situation was bad for him before.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 1:35 pm

        He is absolutely stringing her along, knowing how she feels, pulling her back in with dumb handwritten letters, etc., all the while seeing someone else rather than just saying, yes, I’m seeing someone else and we’re getting serious or even saying I’m weighing my options with her and you. Instead, he refuses to tell her about the status of his new relationship. That’s like, the definition of stringing along. And the lw is just as dumb for allowing it.

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        MMcG September 5, 2013, 1:46 pm

        I think she’s stringing herself along. She says he’s being flirty. She’s reading into things that aren’t there. And she’s the one pretending she wants to be friends when she really wants something more. That’s on her.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 1:49 pm

        He sent her a handwritten letter though? I’ll believe he’s flirting, since she says so. Its possible he’s not though. There’s plenty on her, for sure. But I think he’s gladly allowing her to string herself along while he strings her along too.
        “long, emotional, hand-written letter about his struggles emotionally and how he wasn’t happy being casual acquaintances with me, and that he hoped I’d forgive him” Saying you weren’t happy as casual acquaintances with an ex, in a letter like that, followed up with daily phone calls leads me to think he at minimum is stringing her along, at most, wants her back while taking his time so he can bang this other chick.

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        MMcG September 5, 2013, 2:03 pm

        IDK. It could be that he’s feeding her BS, or it could be that he screwed up in the relationship and was trying to make amends… as friends.

        I mean one person’s long handwritten emotional letter is another person’s one page – sorry I sucked glad we can still be friends correspondence. It’s like she’s putting more value on it because it’s handwritten or something and combined with her assertion that he was flirty – while he was actually out finding other people to date, makes me think a lot of this is in her head because she wants to get back together with him and can’t move on.

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        MMcG September 5, 2013, 2:04 pm

        I mean, if they were trying to be friends and move on as friends, why is he the bad guy for taking her at her word and calling her up and telling her about his new gal?

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      • theattack

        theattack September 5, 2013, 3:00 pm

        And my question is why wouldn’t he be okay with telling her that he was seeing other people? The only possible reason is that he’s trying to string her along as a backup. If he’s actually trying to just be friends with her, there would be no problem telling her the truth.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 3:02 pm

        Exactly!

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ September 5, 2013, 3:15 pm

        Yes, exactly. If he weren’t stringing her along, then he’d be open about the other women he’s seeing. He’s being shady about it because that’s what made her stop being available as his back up in the first place.

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        oldie September 5, 2013, 5:51 pm

        Miss MJ — he has been open about the other woman he’s seeing. He hasn’t kept the other woman or his relationship with her a secret. He hasn’t pretended not to have an active love interest. He has said that his relationship with the other woman is a private thing, between him and that woman. That’s as it should be and undoubtedly what the other woman, who is his actual gf, expects and has every reason to expect. We’ve had lots of LW’s complaining about exactly that. Their bf is friendly with an ex and over-shares about his relationship with LW. That’s kiss and tell and it’s never pretty. You wouldn’t like it if your SO was discussing your relationship with an ex, just because she was curious. The ex needs to know that there is an existing relationship. That’s really all that she is entitled to know. It’s lame to ask for more and not at all shady to refuse to divulge more.

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        BreezyAM September 5, 2013, 9:15 pm

        There’s another possibility… He may be genuinely trying to be friends, and not allowing her into that area because he feels it’s not her business, since she is just a friend. If she was “just a friend” to him, and he knew she was still into him, he may be avoiding the issue so as to avoid her getting all butt hurt drama controlling about it. Or trying to go find these people he may or may not be dating.

        In the past when I’ve tried to be friends with an ex who usually wanted to be friends before they were really ready, I would not allow discussion about my personal/dating life, even if we were discussing getting back together. Because then it would always turn into them acting all butt hurt about me cheating and them being a fucking Rachel and I was not about to be cast into the role of Ross whinging BUT WE WERE ON A BREAK. If we’re on a break, I’m screwing whoever I want until such time as we are back together.

        I don’t see it as a string along either. I have a feeling that she’s leaving out some big ol’ chunks here, about what these discussions are regarding getting back together. I have a feeling if there ARE any discussions outright, she’s been told specific behaviours that need to change, and he’s waiting to see it, and isn’t going to indulge any nonsense for her to whine about later by telling her if he’s dating during this time.

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        LW September 6, 2013, 11:56 am

        Hey, LW, here….

        Guy, your answers, of all the answers, make the most sense to me. The people who have been so quick to call out my ex have the same knee-jerk reactions that all men are doing this thing for this reason have this mentality that I know doesn’t really fit my ex or the situation. I realize I wasn’t totally clear in my letter about the whole situation, but this exact comment that you just wrote here actually seems to be just what might be going on. It reassures me that regardless of the situation with the other girl, that doesn’t mean that he’s not trying to repair things with me and that it’s a PROCESS that doesn’t just happen over night. Just the other day he was telling me that he’s been doing a lot of important journalling and thinking, and though he’s not ready to talk about it yet, he feels that the last time we hung out was a very important interaction for the both of us.

        For some background, he dumped me in the middle of a drunk argument, where he had a melt down and just dropped everything on the spot, and it was about six months ago (this girl was first mentioned about three months ago). He’s been dealing with problems with booze and reconciling with himself over stuff he’s not really ever taken time to handle. So not all of this exactly has to do with me, either. If anything, I feel like what he’s trying to see, just as you say, is that I am taking care of my own stuff and that it won’t repeat.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 1:28 pm

        My point was that while calling the girl out, which I think almost everyone did, the guy has part of blame because he’s stringing her along. I know, though, men can do no wrong. I’ll take your manly advice and relax now. Thank you sir.

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        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 1:33 pm

        Right. Because THAT’S what I said here: that men can do no wrong. Not that THIS guy isn’t wrong; of course I’m generalizing to include all men.

        When you say things like that, LBH, it makes me want to ignore everything you say as being ridiculous. And I don’t like doing that, because you make good points the vast majority of the time. But you know I didn’t say that no man can do wrong, and you know I wasn’t telling you to sit in a corner and be quiet because you’re a woman or whatever else you meant by “manly advice,” and you’re just being inflammatory and not contributing to the discussion. Please just stop.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 1:38 pm

        Ugh you can be very annoying and know-it-all ish. Maybe you should ignore everything I say and I’ll do the same. Pact-sies?

        For the record, when someone starts their comment with an ego-filled phrase of “since you challenged my comment…” it generally will not be received well.

        Anyway, noted that you think its totally sweet and cool to string someone along.

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        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 1:54 pm

        … which would apply if he were stringing her along, which he isn’t.

        You said “Pretty sure no one called him a douche.” Someone obviously did. It wasn’t egotistical to say you were wrong just because I did it directly. You weren’t saying it because you were confused; you were saying it to be snarky about it. If you want to be snarky, don’t get all pissy when someone’s snarky back at you. And if you don’t want to be called out for trolling someone, don’t do it in the first place.

        Someone disagreeing with you isn’t the same as someone insulting you. I don’t see you mocking everyone else who responded to my post.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 2:01 pm

        You’re not sticking to the pact.

        Saying ‘I’m pretty sure about something’ is not snarky. Its just what it is. I say I’m pretty sure X didn’t happen at work to my bosses. Should they fire me for being snarky? Relax pal. Not seeing where I said you were insulting me and after a few years of posting here, pretty sure (literally pretty sure, not this new apparently snarky way of saying pretty sure) I’m not a troll. Take a chill pill. You think his behavior is cool. I don’t. End of story. People are allowed to disagree.

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        oldie September 5, 2013, 1:20 pm

        No, I don’t think it is clear that he is stringing her along. We have this tale strictly from LW’s perspective, but even from that viewpoint, it is clear that she is hanging onto him for dear life. If he is stringing her along, it is by a rope that she has tied around his waist. It is very clear that they have set boundaries for their friend relationship. It is equally clear that he has respected those boundaries. He has been totally upfront that he is dating another woman. He has been totally upfront that discussion of that other relationship is off limits. There is not mention that he has asked to date LW, or to have sex with her. The only thing that some might say he has done wrong is to engage in flirty behavior, but opposite sex friends often do engage in somewhat flirty behavior. She say nothing to indicate that he has crossed a line that is improper for ‘just friends’. He seems to have openly discussed topics that they have mutually agreed to put on the table. No indication that he has pried into her life. Lot’s of indication that his listening to her problems and discussing with her have been helpful to her. So how exactly is he stringing her along. That she is flying the false flag of “I want to be just friends” is not his foul, it’s hers. If she chooses to imagine that this is more than it is (friendship and possibly serving as a backup plan) that really isn’t on him. She is using this guy as her emotional confidante of her own volition and there is zero evidence that he has blabbed or otherwise misused what she has told him.

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        LW September 6, 2013, 12:09 pm

        LW here!

        I replied to someone else explaining that my letter wasn’t totally clear. I think you make some good points but… the thing is that we DO go “hang out” alone together, and it often feels like dates (he invited me to a party this weekend). He buys me lunch, he talks to me EVERY DAY, reads my Tumblr multiple times EVERY DAY, asks what I’m doing, where I’m going, who I’m hanging out with. The attention he pays to me now is even more than when we were trying to be friends before the other girl was even a factor. He shares with me HIS emotional struggles as well, his efforts to clean up the problems he allowed to get in the way of the relationship. He was NOT up front about dating the other woman and I had to practically force it out of him so I could know what the situation was, and that was when he got angry at me. Someone above made a comment that suggested that perhaps he is seeking to repair things but understands it’s a process. That makes sense to me, and that what should be focused on is my relationship with HIM and see where it goes. That last bit makes sense to me why he behaves in a way that honestly feels just like it did when he was trying to court me in the first place. It sort of bothers me that the implication here is that I’m an idiot who can’t see the forest for the trees, when, if anything, I’m seeing too many trees. If it weren’t for this other girl, I’d swear he was working on reconciling with me.

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        oldie September 5, 2013, 1:08 pm

        Sorry, but since you quoted me I will say that nothing in what I wrote said the guy was terrible or that he had to talk about his gf. I think what I said was non-judgemental truth. He does not want a primary relationship with LW. He does not want to be her bf again. He has made very clear where the boundaries are in his current status with LW: his life away from her and with his gf and possibly other women is off-limits. This does not make him terrible. It is actually good. His current gf should reasonable expect that he is not discussing their relationship with his ex. There is nothing that violates the ‘just friends’ at all in drawing that boundary or in having a gf relationship with another woman. Also, I think the flirting suggests that he might well be interested in a FWB relationship, at least as a backup, with LW. That does not make him a terrible person, unless his agreement with his now gf rules that out. We have no idea what that other relationship is: casual, FWB, gf but not monogamous? That she is a backup plan for this guy doesn’t make him terrible. LW is going along with this and seems a lot more eager to string this thing along than he does. He seems to be treating her solicitously as a friend, and a little more. She hasn’t rejected the little more. It seems he has clearly spelled out that she can’t be his gf, but…

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        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 1:23 pm

        I understand your point, and I was trying to pick quotes that kind of crossed the border into blaming him. I interpret “blaming him” as making it sound like he’s doing something wrong (and I’d say the two scenarios you described would qualify under that definition, though reasonable minds may disagree.) I don’t think that it appears like he’s making her the back-up plan or that he wants to hook up with her while dating another girl; I think it looks like he’s in the pursuit of repairing his relationship with his ex while at the same time not closing the door on other women, much as one would go on dates with multiple women while trying to determine if he wants something more with any of them.

        I’m not saying I don’t respect your position, but it just sounds to me like you’re crossing into making him out to be doing something bad, which I don’t think he is. I appreciate your clarification though.

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        LW September 6, 2013, 12:13 pm

        Seriously, thank you for this. Of everything I’ve hear, this is the most reasonable and makes the most sense for where his head might be at. And I think that it is a fair place for him to be at. I suffered from the fear of being strung along because of this other girl as a factor, but this has helped me clarify that she has nothing to do with whether or not my ex is trying to reconcile with me. I can’t remember if I mentioned it in my other comment to you, but that would explain why his behavior towards me feels a lot like it did when he was trying to court me in the first place.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass September 5, 2013, 1:44 pm

        From what the LW wrote it doesn’t seem like he wants to get back together. If they were going on dates or had romantic correspondence then I would agree with you but the only thing she wrote that was close to your version is that he flirted with her. This girl is clinging to the hope that they will get back together. If he made any mention of even considering repairing their relationship, she would have mentioned it. But she didn’t- because he doesn’t want to.

        If he doesn’t want to get back together- is his behaviour acceptable?

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 1:46 pm

        I don’t think he really wants her back either, or at least to end up with ONLY her, so with that, no, I don’t think his behavior is acceptable. But she’s also gotta wake up and realize what she’s doing is dumb and won’t help her. Just walk away. If he sends another ridiculous letter, throw it in the trash and MOA for good.

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        MMcG September 5, 2013, 1:50 pm

        His behavior is acceptable if you are to take her at her word… that she wants to be friends and move on. But she doesn’t… and then it became he’s flirty and wrote one letter and she wants to reconcile. That’s her problem… and now she wants to dissect his new love interest and she has no right to do that (and wouldn’t want to if she was being honest).

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        Guy Friday September 5, 2013, 2:05 pm

        I agree. I don’t think getting back together is completely off the table for him; I mean, I think we all agree that she’s going a bit over the top here, and so it may be that his caution looks like disinterest by comparison.

        If he was clear about not wanting to get back together, I could see your point, but even then I don’t know that I’d go so far as to call it “unacceptable” so much as I would call it “misguided.” Flirting a little is not in and of itself leading someone on, is it? And the letter aside, more recently he’s listening and being supportive and rehashing the end of their relationship. The first two aren’t bad, and the last one he may be doing because he thinks he’s helping her figure things out since she’s told him how her life is in such disarray (i.e., he sees it as supporting her as she focuses on her own self-improvement rather than her trying to figure out how to get him back.) I think if he’s clear about not wanting to get back together with her that he may not be seeing all the signs that she doesn’t get that, which is why I’m saying that his intentions may be noble but misguided.

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        lemongrass September 5, 2013, 2:05 pm

        That’s not what my advice was- I told her to move on and not wait for this guy to cut the cord. She says that he knows she wants to be more than friends. He’s telling her that he wants to be more than casual acqaintences, writing her long emotional letters and dodging questions about whether he is single or not. Whether he wants to be with her or not (and I’m strong on the not) he is sending her mixed signals and that isn’t cool. But she plays an equal part in this and needs to cut ties with him.

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        oldie September 5, 2013, 5:38 pm

        Yes. It’s not like he’s hid the fact that he doesn’t want to get back together or that she has ever said that she expects to. He is not responsible for her unrealistic fantasies. She said friends only, he agreed friends only, he’s behaved as just a friend. How is that unacceptable behavior?

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 5, 2013, 2:27 pm

        I think whether or not people think the guy is douchey depends on whether or not they believe that he is “stringing her along” or keeping her around for selfish purposes, like an ego boost, as Wendy suggested. It’s not an unlikely scenario. I personally think he might actually just be trying to be her friend. But even when people pointed that out that his actions might be douchey, they also told the LW that it’s on her to cut off contact and called her out for over-analyzing everything he says/does. That’s why I don’t really understand why you felt the need to jump in and defend the guy…. which you do with a fair amount of letters.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 2:29 pm

        wCMs!

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      • landygirl

        landygirl September 5, 2013, 2:55 pm

        I call you out. Let’s meet behind the gym at 3:00.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl September 5, 2013, 2:20 pm

        I did.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom September 5, 2013, 11:56 am

    He’s doing this because it meets some emotional need of his own. He’s not trying to get back together, he’d have already done that if he wanted, he’s showing enough interest to keep you strung along and keep you from moving on.

    Maybe he gets an ego boost out of being so irresistible you can’t get over him. Maybe you’re his security blanket that he keeps around just in case his other relationship flops and he fears being alone. Maybe he’s like a kid who has outgrown a toy or clothes but doesn’t want anyone else to have them, not that I’m suggesting you’re a toy or can be outgrown, just that he may be childish and not want you to move on because once his always his.

    He’s showing enough interest and flirting enough to keep you from moving on. He’s actively working to keep you from getting over him so you don’t end up with another boyfriend. He can only do that as long as you let him, as long as you agree to sit on his back burner and out of any other guy’s bed.

    Leave him to the new girlfriend because you’re a great catch and there are a lot of men out there to choose from. He knows it and you will too if you climb off his back burner.

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    kerrycontrary September 5, 2013, 12:23 pm

    Ok, lets take a poll of who is truely “friends” with one of their exes and has had it work out? Without ANY jealousy on either side, any fights, etc…? I just don’t get the point. The relationship I have with platonic male friends is nowhere similar to any “friendship” I’ve tried to maintain with an ex.

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed September 5, 2013, 12:24 pm

      I’m friends with one of my exes. No feelings, no fights, none of that.

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        BreezyAM September 5, 2013, 9:20 pm

        Me too.
        I’m done fucking them, done being in love or like whatever with them, so I still like them as a friend.

        HOWEVER I have never been able to have this work until the dumpee starts banging someone else.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed September 5, 2013, 9:24 pm

        Agreed.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle September 5, 2013, 12:28 pm

      The only time I’ve been “friends” with exes was when I was also fucking them (or, okay, with my last ex, we talked all the time for a while, but that was more of a drawn- out break up) Even our friendly interactions in recent times (he used to work near me) was laced with weirdness, & I would never have said we were “friends”.

      I am friends with old FWBs though, but I guess that’s different? And I do know people who are completely in platonic friendships with exes… I think it can work under specific circumstances (broke up a long time ago, didn’t date that long to begin with, ended things ACTUALLY mutually & amicably?)

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      lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 12:34 pm

      My closest friend is an ex actually. He’s one of my favorite people. We have NO feelings for each other like that, and really act just like friends. I do, however, make a big effort to include his girlfriend and make it clear that I’m not some ex who wishes she was a current. They’ll both come over and play cards with me and Peter and its a great time. Here and there there will be a little jealousy from his gf and Peter, but that happens very little and they are quick to say they’re just being silly. I did once make it clear to my bf that if he has an issue with my friend, let’s figure it out quickly because I would not be willing to end our friendship ever, and explained why and what a great friend he’s been to me my whole life.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow September 5, 2013, 12:39 pm

      Me. (And I’m not talking about my most recent ex because I’d probably still bang him in a heartbeat).

      The point is, you get close to someone who understands you, who you obviously LIKE and often LOVE, and breaking up doesn’t always take away the friend-y closeness or the reasons you were drawn to each other in the first place. It just takes the romantic/sex part away. Or, you just have tons of friends in common and learn to be friendly to avoid drama.

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      joanna September 5, 2013, 12:41 pm

      I’m friends with a guy I’ve dated, but we spent a couple years not communicating or seeing each other after dating. Then when he was interested in rekindling a platonic friendship, I was amenable because I had time to clear my head and move on to dating someone new.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl September 5, 2013, 12:42 pm

      I am not friends with a single person I’ve ever dated, been in a relationship, or sleptwith. Not a single one.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 12:43 pm

        Bc you could never be their friend, or just the way things played out?

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        GatorGirl September 5, 2013, 12:56 pm

        Some because I never want to speak to them again and some just because our lives took different paths. Mostly the first.

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    • katie

      katie September 5, 2013, 12:58 pm

      im not good friends with any ex, but i think that is just how my life has played out?

      at this point, i *think* i could be friends with my most recent ex. i am actually still very close to his mom, so i hear about his family all the time, and obviously about him too. its weird, but its fine. i think that we are not friends more for his sake then mine.

      one ex, who was probably my most casual boyfriend, i tried to stay friends with, and i didnt see him for a long time, and then ran into him at target, and he invited me to dinner. he got super handsy with me at dinner, which was so lame. i was disappointed in him (and i didnt really find him fun to hang out with anymore either because i think the military squashed his sense of humor- but thats a whole other story)

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    • avatar

      rachel September 5, 2013, 1:23 pm

      I’m sort of friends with my high school boyfriend, not that we ever see each other. I only have one other real ex, and that relationship was just way too long with too much baggage to try to stay friendly.

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      MMcG September 5, 2013, 1:59 pm

      I’m friends with one ex… but we worked together for years and only dated for a few months. Had about a 6 month cooling off period and then picked right back up as friends with work and other common interests. He was invited to my wedding, and I was invited (along with 2 other ex-girlfriends, he’s really that nice of a guy there just wasn’t any spark) to his.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster September 5, 2013, 1:37 pm

      I do not talk to my most recent ex at all. But that’s because, even after a year (holy shit you guys, it’s been a year!) there would still be that connection. Being around him would undo all the progress I’ve made in creating my own life. I don’t want to get back together with him or anything like that, but we dated for far too long and had far too intense a relationship to just be friends without it being complicated. At least not for a good long while.

      The ex before him I have to see from time to time bc his brother is married to one of my best friends, they have a kid, and as an “auntie” I’m at all sorts of family parties. But we are in no way friends since I cheated on him as I’ve said on here before. I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m an awful human being even if he doesn’t actively hate me. It’s the way he looks at me when he’s helping himself to his mother’s deviled eggs… he gives me a “you really suck” smile.

      Now if my current guy and I were to break up (and… idk, that might happen; LDRs are hard), I don’t think we would be friends. I’d want to be his, but knowing him, he’d probably cut me off.

      As for guys I’ve slept with, I’m friends with a good number of them without any issue. There are a few with whom the undercurrent of sexual tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife, though. I stay away from those ones …usually.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 1:40 pm

        Wow, can’t believe its been a year! Time flies in DW world.

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    • the_optimist

      the_optimist September 5, 2013, 1:47 pm

      Yep, I’m friends with one of my exes, and have even given him dating advice lol. BUT that was after a solid year and a half of zero contact. No weirdness, no fights, no jealousy and certainly no pining. It’s almost weird how not-weird it is, but there you have it.

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    • theattack

      theattack September 5, 2013, 3:07 pm

      I used to say I was friends with an ex no problem at all…. until I ended up marrying the dude. I’ve tried to be friends with all of my exes, and there’s always something awkward leftover. I can’t even run into my old hookup from when I was 17 without my vagina wanting to jump out of my body and run to him.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 3:08 pm

        Well, technically you ARE still friends with an ex, he just happens to also be your husband 🙂

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      • theattack

        theattack September 5, 2013, 3:10 pm

        haha, that’s true! And by Kerry’s terms we still count. No jealousy or fights really. So yes, Kerry. I’m successfully “friends” with an ex.

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      Liquid Luck September 5, 2013, 4:09 pm

      I am. We’re not super close since we live like 800 miles from each other, but I keep in touch with him as much as any of my other friends from high school and I make it a point to see him when I visit my hometown. The breakup wasn’t mutual, but it also wasn’t awful. We did the no contact thing for a while, and when he was ready to be friends he got back in touch with me and we went from there. It was a bit awkward navigating the change at first, but it got better and now it just seems normal.

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      starpattern September 5, 2013, 4:46 pm

      I am friendly with all my exes, but not really friends with any of them. I think I would call them acquaintances. After my one “big” relationship in college crashed and burned we swore we were too important to each other to not be friends… I remember him saying something about standing up in each other’s weddings… LOL. Honestly I run into that guy and his girlfriend every once in awhile and we will catch up for a few minutes (how’s your family, how’s Mutual Friend) and occasionally I get a text from him if he hears of a concert or something he thinks I would like but I have no desire to have him or any of the others be a constant presence in my life. Onward and upward.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay September 5, 2013, 7:18 pm

      I usually don’t stay friends with exes, but I stayed friends with one and it worked out OK. I won’t say that there was never ANY jealousy or issues, but I know that neither of us wanted to date the other again. And with that guy, I think the fact that we dated allowed us to be closer than I normally would be to a male friend because it was out in the open what was going on with us (you know, nobody was wondering if the other was interested) and we’d already shared a lot of really intimate parts of our lives.

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  • the_optimist

    the_optimist September 5, 2013, 11:24 am

    Dude. Stalking is when an ex reads your blog and quotes from years-ago posts when messaging or texting you as a way to prove a point. Like, really nonsensical quotes from really old posts. THAT’S weird. And yes, that’s happened to me. Stalking is also when a current boyfriend’s ex obsessively searches for your blog and then uses it to contact you and tries leave creepy messages on it (God bless spam filters). This guy’s not stalking you. He’s interested in your life, which makes sense considering he’s still in it. Take a break from him, PLEASE. Wendy said it perfectly, so I’m not going to add anything else. Just go LIVE, girl!

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      Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 1:37 pm

      Exactly. I contend that “Facebook stalking” is not actually stalking in most cases if you don’t reach out to them and contact them. Like, if I go on my ex’s FB profile, it’s because I want to see what he’s up to because I genuinely cared about him at one point and want to see how he’s doing. If he treated me crappy and I just want to know if he is now a tub of lard and single, then so be it. I’m not going to use it to ruin his life and make him scared.

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      • the_optimist

        the_optimist September 5, 2013, 1:41 pm

        ” If he treated me crappy and I just want to know if he is now a tub of lard and single, then so be it.”

        Best best hilarious best.

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    Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 1:48 pm

    How can you tell if someone is stalking you on Tumblr?

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      Matcha September 5, 2013, 4:42 pm

      Maybe he likes her posts? I’m not sure.

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    ChemE September 5, 2013, 2:03 pm

    What the fuck is tumblr?

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      Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 2:42 pm

      It’s like a personal blog facebook hybrid kind of? You can “reblog” things you find interesting/funny. It’s basically like a facebook wall where you can like and share things, but it’s more picture heavy and gif heavy. It has tags just like Twitter and now FB. But when you’re on it, you gravitate towards things that interest you and you build a community of friends usually based around things that interest you. Lots of fanfiction and porn too.

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  • avatar

    MMcG September 5, 2013, 2:25 pm

    New rule… anytime Wendy starts off a response with “Oh Honey” I am automatically going to love it. Now all we have to do is add the appropriately placed “Bless your heart” and we are good to go 🙂

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      Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 2:39 pm

      Haha, I always read/hear “Bless your heart” as “fuck you”.

      Other phrases where usually the subtext is “fuck you”
      Just sayin’
      Whatever
      I’m fine/It’s fine

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 2:42 pm

        Man, had I used this word exchange thing you’ve provided, I’ve probably had entire conversations that really were just a lot of fuck yous.

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        Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 2:47 pm

        My friend (male) always says that “fine” is the dirtiest four letter word out there.

        I tend to agree when Chuckles pisses me off and I go “It’s fine” When really what I want to say is “you leave the tv on when you leave the house one more time and I’m going to finish you like Mortal Kombat”

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        Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 2:52 pm

        He knows this. And I know that he knows that’s what I really mean. But it never actually gets said.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 2:52 pm

        Peter will say any time I say just in a sentence, he should probably just run to the florist. Haha.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson September 5, 2013, 3:03 pm

        Haha Colin has already picked up that when I start a sentence with “you need to help me remember to do X” really what I’m saying is “you need to start doing X so I don’t have too”. I love that about him. That way I’m not nagging him to do stuff and he’s still getting the picture anyway.

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 3:06 pm

        I like that!

        Ok, t minus 40 min til I have the face of an angel!

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      • theattack

        theattack September 5, 2013, 3:08 pm

        huh?

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 3:10 pm

        Derm appointment!

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      • theattack

        theattack September 5, 2013, 3:11 pm

        Ohh, good luck! I’ve been following your face wash thread (obviously) up until today’s posts (obviously), so I’m rooting for you even though I have no knowledge to contribute. Just please don’t become so beautiful that you don’t need us anymore, mk?

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        lets_be_honest September 5, 2013, 3:13 pm

        We’ll see ta. It might be hard commenting on you lowlifes once I’m miraculously stunning. I presume I’ll at least have some ugly kid type my comments for me since I’m sure I’ll be too pretty to type with my fairy-like fingers.

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        Jessibel5 September 5, 2013, 3:21 pm

        Or could you just turn into Amanda Bynes and start calling all of us ugly?

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        MMcG September 5, 2013, 3:52 pm

        In the southern US cultures I’ve experienced Bless your heart directly translates to – what the fuck is wrong with you and/or fuck you you shitty human being, that i will pretend to like to your face but can’t wait to spread gossip about behind your back.

        I like your other phrases too 😉

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        GatorGirl September 5, 2013, 3:56 pm

        Ha, I love “Bless your heart”. It’s such a slap in the face.

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        Liquid Luck September 5, 2013, 4:12 pm

        I like to think of it as a verbal head-pat. Like, “Oh, it’s so cute that you think anyone cares about what you have to say. Maybe you should just smile and nod from now on. Bitch”

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        MMcG September 5, 2013, 4:31 pm

        I LOVE the verbal head pat image!

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay September 5, 2013, 7:15 pm

    So, I personally wouldn’t assume that he’s just milking the attention or whatever. He may legitimately want to be friends. But regardless, it doesn’t mean that he wants to date again. Like Wendy said, if he wanted that, you would be.

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    BreezyAM September 5, 2013, 9:26 pm

    Going on the assumption he DOES want to get back together (and like I said above I am betting some conditions are on this LW is leaving out) whether or not he is dating now, or whom, really is entirely irrelevant. GF is really right on this one. It’s none of her business until such time as they choose to resume a relationship. There are people out there who really just do not like to share who they are casually dating, or even if they are, and this LW sounds like she’d make all their talks about that. I don’t get why she needs to know either. Just because he may or may not be dating someone doesn’t mean he’s not interested in her (or is either). LW needs to concentrate her thoughts more on the two of them and their relationship if she’s serious about getting back together.

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    d2 September 6, 2013, 1:17 am

    My suspicion is that she said she wanted to be friends and he took her at her word. But she changed her mind and is trying to use the friendship to leverage back into a romantic relationship that he doesn’t want. And now they’re both in an awkward disconnect of her trying to nurture the romantic relationship and him trying to nurture the friendship. She doesn’t walk away because she is clinging onto the hope of the re-igniting the romantic relationship. He doesn’t walk away because he doesn’t want to reject her a second time (romantic rejection then friend rejection). She’s hoping he will change his mind and want to be romantic; he’s hoping she will change her mind and want to be friends.

    Perhaps he is entertaining the possibility of having a romantic relationship under the right/different conditions. It is unlikely she is entertaining the possibility of only having a friendship.

    I don’t think either is leading the other on. If anything, they are both leading themselves on, hoping the awkward disconnect somehow resolves itself. One of them needs to have the courage to end/suspend their current attempt at a “relationship”, until they are both on the same page.

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