Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Shortcuts: “How Do I Tell My Boyfriend I’m Dating Someone Else?”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss the difference between true “platonic” friends of the opposite sex and friends who probably want to bang more than they want to sit around having beers and watching an episode of “Homeland” together.

My boyfriend of four years and I have been having trouble so I decided to take some time away. In that time away I decided to start hanging out with a guy friend who become a little more I guess, with feelings. So when we were hanging out, he asked me to go to a wedding (this weekend). I agreed, but, now that my boyfriend and I are trying again slowly, I don’t know how to tell him about this wedding. Neither of them knows I still talk to the other. — Twice the Drama

 
Sounds like you aren’t “trying” all that hard with your boyfriend of four years if you’re still “talking” to another guy you have feelings for. Come clean with both of them and accept that perhaps it’s better you take a breather from monogamy for a while and enjoy being a free agent.

A couple of days ago I broke up with my boyfriend because I had fallen out of love with him. I lost that spark that makes a relationship work. The last week of our relationship I felt like I was only with him so I wouldn’t lose him. I still want him to be my in my life and to be my good friend, but he told me that it takes him a long time to get over things. He was more of a best friend to me than a boyfriend. When should I talk to him again? I don’t want anything to be awkward between us and I don’t want him to be in pain. I just want him to be my friend. What should I do? — Impatient for Friendship

 
Since you did the breaking up and he’s the one who needs time to get over you, he has to be the one to initiate a post-breakup friendship. The only think you can do is let him know you’d welcome that and then sit back and wait to see if/when he’s receptive (and you must accept that he never may be).

I’m 23, am a virgin, and have never had a real relationship. I was, however, “seeing someone” for about four months at the beginning of the year. It took me a while to get close to this guy, but he said all the right things and made me feel special, and I honestly believed I was falling in love. I then found out from a friend that he had slept with someone else. I confronted him, he apologized for hurting me, and I gave him another chance. We continued “seeing” each other, and things seemed fine (in retrospect they probably weren’t – he never introduced me to his friends and I rarely saw him on weekends).

Then one night a mutual friend had too much to drink and told me that not only had be continued seeing the girl he had previously slept with, but he had been hooking up with multiple other girls. Once again I confronted him, he claimed that he could do whatever he wanted, and he suggested we end things because he was worried I was becoming too attached. I asked if he was leaving me for the other girl and he said no.

We decided to try be friends because we got on with each other really well. It was hard and rocky, but somehow we managed (even though I found out he was now “seeing” the girl he slept with). He then met another girl and left the girl he was dating to date her. We still maintained a friendship and hung out and went for lunches, etc., and it was nice. I was happy. Then I heard last night that he cheated on his current girlfriend. I was really disappointed in him, so I sent him a message saying so. He claimed it was untrue, and he got really angry. He also said that, if I didn’t tell him who had told me that, our friendship was over. It got really nasty, and I said things I regret (I swore at him and told him I would be happy if he got an STD). And basically I don’t know how to fix the friendship, or if it’s even possible? — Just Another Girl with Boundary Issues

 
If you’re really OK settling for a friendship with a guy you have more than friendly feelings for — a guy who cheated on you and then cheated on the woman he cheated on you with — you need to aim higher. Not only is he not boyfriend material, he’s not friend material either. And the reason you lost your temper with him is because you were projecting the hurt and anger you felt from him cheating on you and then dumping you, so, the next time someone disappoints you, address it when it happens and don’t sweep it under the rug and pretend everything’s honky-dory when it’s clearly not.

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

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 wendy@dearwendy.com.

92 comments… add one
  • JK

    JK November 9, 2012, 9:08 am

    WWS x 3
    Also, I wish LWs would call a spade a spade. I get confused when they talk in round about ways. like LW3 with “seeing” (and why the quotation marks?) seeing as in hanging out? dating?

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      ktfran November 9, 2012, 9:44 am

      Oh my god. I know. What does “seeing” even mean?

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        kerrycontrary November 9, 2012, 9:54 am

        I used to say I was “seeing someone” if I was going on dates with them but we weren’t exclusive. But that’s me.

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        ktfran November 9, 2012, 9:57 am

        I agree. If I were seeing someone, we might also be seeing other people. And we’re deciding if we like one another enought to stop seeing other people. Then we would decide to be exclusive and we would be dating.

        Anyway, I was bothered by the continue use of quotation marks. Either you’re seeing someone or you aren’t.

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        Leah November 9, 2012, 12:31 pm

        I said that I was “seeing” a guy because we were sleeping together but not going out on dates. Otherwise, I would have said we were “dating”!

        My guess is that for the letter writer “seeing” was the same as “hanging out”, as in they spent time together in low-stakes situations like going to the other’s apartment but didn’t officially go on dates.

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        Lilybell November 9, 2012, 10:43 am

        That doesn’t bother me at all. It’s not vague; it just means you are dating the person casually.

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      • JK

        JK November 9, 2012, 10:50 am

        Then why the references to girlfriend, cheating etc? if its just casual dating, I dont think those terms would apply, no?

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow November 9, 2012, 11:07 am

        That’s exactly what I was thinking. If they weren’t exclusive, it wasn’t cheating.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar November 9, 2012, 1:45 pm

        Agree.

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      6napkinburger November 12, 2012, 10:55 am

      Also, sometimes people use “seeing” as in a relationship, like when people on TV are talking to their ex and things get too “friendly” and they say, “… I’m seeing someone” — “is it serious?” …”we just moved in together”

      But in all other usages, I tend to use “seeing” as more casual than “dating” which is more casual then “with” which is more casual than “in a relationship with”

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  • avatar

    Desiree November 9, 2012, 9:11 am

    LW3, this guy does sound like a tool. But you should also recognize that being this involved in the life of guy friend is not healthy. Why is it your business who he is sleeping with? It’s really not, and I think the only reason you followed all that stuff is because you still had feelings for him.

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    kerrycontrary November 9, 2012, 9:14 am

    LW3- were you exclusively dating this guy? By “seeing”, do you mean you were going on dates but you weren’t actually boyfriend/girlfriend? In that case, he had every right to go on dates with other girls and sleep with other women. A lesson that most women must learn is: never expect monogamy without exclusivity. And yes, him cheating on his girlfriend (whether its true or not) is none of your damn business. I would let this guy go and move on with your life.

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      Riefer November 9, 2012, 10:09 am

      Yeah, especially if you’re college-aged, I think. When I was that age, I actually was able to assume that dating was monogamous. I don’t think that’s the case anymore. There are more women than men on college campuses now, which means the men are able to get more than one woman at a time. There’s no way they’re being monogamous unless they actually say they are.

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  • avatar

    SuzyQ November 9, 2012, 9:20 am

    Why on earth does LW 2 even WANT to be friends with a guy who has no integrity or moral compass? Are you hoping he’ll eventually want you back? If you really do just want friendship, then part of being a friend is accepting someone for who they are and not try to change them. If you were truly a friend, you’d lend an ear if he needs it and go grab a beer. There would be reason to get so wrapped up in who he’s dating and/or cheating on.

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      SuzyQ November 9, 2012, 9:20 am

      *no reason

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      Riefer November 9, 2012, 10:10 am

      You mean LW3, right?

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle November 9, 2012, 9:27 am

    LW1: WWS. Come clean, stop seeing your…uh…original? boyfriend, but I’d say go to the wedding with the new guy if you want. But definitely, definitely avoid monogamy for a while.

    LW2: You broke up with the dude. Just because YOU think the relationship was more of a friendship doesn’t mean HE feels the same way. He needs time– possibly forever. You don’t get to decide whether he’s now your friend.

    LW3: I kind of have a different take on this–since you keep putting “seeing” in “quotes”–maybe this guy wasn’t actually *exclusive* with ANY of the women he supposedly cheated on?? I mean, he straight-up told you that you were getting too attached, right? I’m thinking he was just dating/sleeping around & you completely misinterpreted everything.

    It’s just that you sound kind of… unbalanced?… about this situation (sorry if that’s harsh). Maybe these other women know what the deal is? It’s not really your place to be “disappointed” in this dude for “cheating” on somebody else (even if that’s what it was). Either way–I don’t think the friendship can be saved, & I don’t see how EITHER of you would want to. MOA. You told the dude you’d be happy if he got an STD, for fuck’s sake. This sounds like a total mess.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow November 9, 2012, 11:29 am

      Unbalanced is right. I was thinking exactly the same things you said.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray November 9, 2012, 9:54 am

    LW1 – Tell him a friend asked you to be his “plus one” to a wedding. Done! Is it really a big deal to go as someone’s date to a wedding? I don’t think I appreciate the significance of it. Friends go as friends’ plus ones all the time, no? I mean, LW1, your boyfriend of 4 years doesn’t have to know you’ll also be canoodling at the wedding. Not that I’m advocating you continue to cheat on both, but… I don’t know what I’m saying. I guess I’m just saying that I don’t know why it’s this wedding that’s throwing a wrench in your two-timing-ness. Maybe I didn’t read the timelines close enough. I’m officially moving on to LW2.

    LW2 – WWS. For the time being (and maybe forever) you’ll need to rely on other friends for friendship.

    LW3 – I’m hooked on your first sentence, that you’re a virgin. How is that relevant? I keep going back to the fact that you’re a virgin and I’m wondering why you wrote that. Do you think if maybe you had slept with him he would have stayed with you? I don’t know, I’m just confused by why you included it here. Like Wendy said, this guy does not seem like good boyfriend or friend material. But maybe he offers something else? Can he mount a flat screen TV? Can he paint walls, around crown molding and chairails? Does he know how to install a hook in the garage so you can hang your bike from the ceiling above your car? If so maybe keep him around a little longer. And give me his number. Otherwise, move on.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson November 9, 2012, 10:04 am

      He may not be good boyfriend or friend material but he sounds like GREAT friends with benefits material amiright?!?

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        Riefer November 9, 2012, 10:12 am

        Depends how safe he’s being, I guess. If he really does end up with that STD, then no. 🙂

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 9, 2012, 10:40 am

        Psh buzzkill.

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      Addie Pray November 9, 2012, 10:19 am

      I have two random things to share. Mostly because I have a lot of work to do. So naturally now is a good time to share this:

      1. I’ve been having a hard time accessing Dear Wendy from work because for whatever reason I can’t sign in, which means even when I refresh the page I don’t get the most up-to-date comments and posts and it means I can’t access the forums. Well, by day 5 I had had a enough. So I brought in my personal laptop and am DW via my firm’s wireless. I guess the point of this story is two fold: (a) to those having the same problem, just bring your personal laptop to the office! and (b) I’m such a dedicated Dear Wendier, aren’t I?

      2. I’ve never seen a Star Wars. Not the original, not the new ones nada. Is that weird?

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      • JK

        JK November 9, 2012, 10:26 am

        I´ve never seen Star Wars either!!! I mean I´ve seen bits and pieces, and pretty much know the characters and plot, but have never seen a single movie all the way through.

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        Addie Pray November 9, 2012, 10:29 am

        You’re a few steps ahead of me then, I don’t get the characters or the plot. Something about a father, right?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson November 9, 2012, 10:39 am

        ME EITHER! I’ve never even seen a snippet of them.

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        ktfran November 9, 2012, 11:45 am

        Add me to the never seen star wars list. I’m ok with that too.

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        Caris November 9, 2012, 11:01 am

        Never saw them either, to my bf’s disbelief. I kinda know a tiny itty bit of the story, but not really. And I once saw like 1 minute of it cause I was trying to find something to watch on the tv. The scene had this dude and Princess Leia or whatever her name is and that minute alone was enough for me to tell that there was NO chemistry whatsoever between them 2 and I was like, omg this must be the worst couple ever.

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        Rachel November 9, 2012, 11:03 am

        I’ve only ever seen one of them, the first “new one”.

        Ross is very upset that I have not seen the originals. I think he is going to force me soon. He said it’s okay if I hate them, but I need to watch them. I think this is going to require a lot of alcohol.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow November 9, 2012, 11:15 am

        I’ve seen them, and I dont’ like them. DID YOU HEAR THAT? I don’t like Star Wars.

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        Rachel November 9, 2012, 11:57 am

        We seem to always watch the originals every year around Christmastime. I don’t know why, but it’s not a bad tradition to have fallen into. Honestly, they’re all worth seeing once, however, I’m one of those geeks who prefers Star Trek over Star Wars and would encourage you to start watching The Next Generation to if you’re looking to power-level your nerd cred. =)

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle November 9, 2012, 2:23 pm

        My parents still have a record player, & without fail, always, ALWAYS play the Star Wars soundtrack as the tree is getting decorated. It’s the most (delightfully) bizarre Christmas album!

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow November 9, 2012, 12:11 pm

        Also – I’ve been having DW issues as well. All week, I would just KNOW there were way more comments than what I was seeing, and refreshing didn’t make the comments load. I think that issue is back to normal for me, but now I can’t see the recent comments in the sidebar thingie.

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        Addie Pray November 9, 2012, 12:22 pm

        That’s the problem I had / am still having from my work computer. I think it’s my work computer’s fault b/c here on my laptop DW is fine. DW was always messed up on my work browser, with text off the screen, etc. And this week it was just really frustrating not being able to see all the comments or sign in to see the forums. I’m not savvy enough to fix it, or ballsy enough to call IT and say “hey, can you come fix Dear Wendy right away?” when I should be working anyway.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy November 9, 2012, 12:46 pm

        So, I looked into it and I can’t find a problem on my end. I had a techy person check things out and he couldn’t find an issue either. But after doing some Googling, I found this, which may explain things: IE 10 Preview for Windows 7 Set to Arrive ‘Mid-November’

        I know it’s not quite mid-November, but they could have launches a few days early and this MAY explain why so many of you using IE have been complaining about issues. If this is the reason, I don’t really know how to fix things. I hope the plugin I use will update soon and things will be back to normal. Anyone else have any ideas/solutions?

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        Addie Pray November 9, 2012, 12:51 pm

        My best solution is to lug my macbook to work every day. The other idea I had was to DW only at night at home at the end of a long day, but (1) I don’t have wireless set up at home yet anyway and (2) let’s be honest, I can’t wait that long.

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        MMcG November 9, 2012, 1:24 pm

        Google Chrome – no problems!

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        Addie Pray November 9, 2012, 1:40 pm

        Oh can you explain (in really simple terms) how to get that? Seriously, start with “1, turn on computer.” (I’m 33. That’s old.)

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        jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 1:44 pm

        Go here in Internet explorer https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/ and then follow the directions 🙂 They make it easy. You’ll thank MMcG every time you use the internet now. I love Chrome, it’s the best.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow November 9, 2012, 2:12 pm

        Chrome IS the best! 🙂

        <33333

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        MMcG November 9, 2012, 4:40 pm

        Glad others answered because I wouldn’t have been able too… it popped up on my computer once and all I had to do was click. And if you are old at 33, then I am ancient at 36 — because it’s closer to 40 whereas you can still cling to your early 30s 🙂

        Side note – can anyone else claim to have taken their first computer class in school on the commodore 64? Made it draw a line… it was so fulfilling

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        Mr. Cellophane November 9, 2012, 11:45 pm

        How about the Commodore PET, which was predecessor to the 64. 8K of RAM, and the only memory was a cassette recorder plugged into it. You had to write a program to draw that line!

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow November 9, 2012, 1:37 pm

        yeah, I hate IE but I can’t download another browser on my work computer. 🙁

        I use Chrome at home and I think it was working there, but now I can’t tell because my computer broke. 🙁 Poor me.

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        MMcG November 9, 2012, 1:23 pm

        I had never seen Star Wars and when they all got re-released before the prequels I had a friend take me… I didn’t know Darth Vadar was his father and I thought I was the only one in the world who was clueless. Yeah DW!!

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      CG November 9, 2012, 10:22 am

      ITA on the wedding thing. I’ve been to a few weddings as platonic friends’ plus-one, and I’ve taken platonic friends as my plus-one a few times, so it seems like LW1 making too big a deal of it. And I’m with you on the LW3 virgin reference. When I read the first sentence, I thought it was going to be some variation of the “I’m 23 and a virgin and what’s wrong with me and will I ever get a boyfriend” letter DW gets sometimes, but then it just kinda went totally off the rails. Maybe LW3’s mad that he slept with all those other chicks but not her? IDK. But yeah, I don’t get why she included that either.

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    • Roxy_84

      Roxy84 November 9, 2012, 3:23 pm

      I got the impression she said that as a sort of implied excuse for him. Like maybe she thinks that he needs to get his groove on somewhere?

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    SallyS November 9, 2012, 10:16 am

    Gahhh. General statement about exes – People need to learn that when you break up a serious relationship, you can’t just have a friendship immediately in place of the relationship. It’s sad, because taking that person out of your life really hurts, even if you did the breaking up. But if people would grasp the inherent unfairness of asking someone – even expecting someone – to understand that you’ll miss the person lot, but not enough to keep the relationship a romantic one, and if they’d just back off for awhile to let both sides heal and grow used to a life without the other, I think there’d be a lot less confusion, a lot fewer perceived “mixed signals,” and it’d be that much easier to heal and move on.

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      kerrycontrary November 9, 2012, 10:33 am

      So true. I’m glad I learned the lesson, but you can’t just break up with someone from a serious relationship and jump into a friendship and expect everything to be happy go lucky. There are so many complex feelings attached to that person and the relationship.

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  • avatar

    j2 November 9, 2012, 10:29 am

    LW1 and LW2 sound to me to have reasonably normal dilemmas — WWS and all that.

    LW3 may be in a different category. If I’m interpreting her correctly, the relationship she has with the guy is far, far different than the guy thinks it was/is. In fact, and I apologize if this comes across as harsh, it sounds like it may have little contact with reality. Part of the disconnect may well be explained by her opening sentence. That is, she is being honest here and she acknowledges that the perception issues may be mostly hers. (The guy does sound a bit like a lizard, though.) I will say, though, that if she were older-slash-more-experienced, her letter would make me bring out the face palm.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay November 9, 2012, 10:31 am

    LW3: I’m sorry things didn’t work out, but it sounds like being friends with this guy isn’t worth it. Also, it sounds like you weren’t exclusive, and he probably was technically allowed to sleep with other people. Make sure you and your guy on the same page about that in the future.

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  • avatar

    CSP November 9, 2012, 10:57 am

    This goes out to all the V-card carrying people out there. I know that saving yourself is a virtue but it takes a very special guy to wait. I think that you put more emphasis on courtship than the average person. If you are committed to this kind of stuff then you need to stay in your specific dating pool because the mainstream world will just hurt you. LW3 – you are the perfect example of this.

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      jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 11:03 am

      I don’t know there are plenty of relationships where it takes 4 months or longer to have sex and neither partner cheats on the other. This guy was a jerk, not all are going to be like him. I don’t think the LW needs to stay within her own dating pool to find someone who won’t cheat on her within her 4 months. She just needs to find a guy who isn’t a cheating jerk. I mean what’s the likelihood that the second girl he was dating was also a virgin that he didn’t have sex with? Yet he cheated on her too.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed November 9, 2012, 11:06 am

        well to be fair to the guy (who is being sleazy) we don’t actually know that he cheated on her. She says “seeing” each other, which doesn’t really make it seem like they were exclusive.

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        jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 11:13 am

        very true! i still feel the same way. i don’t think that dating within your own pool though would change the need for better communication either. like someone said above i hate terms like that because i never know what they mean.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed November 9, 2012, 11:15 am

        Oh I agree with the main point of your comment! Dating other virgins doesn’t mean she wouldn’t face the same problems.

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        jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 11:29 am

        yeah that’s what i was trying to say with my comment 🙂

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed November 9, 2012, 11:31 am

        yay agreement! 😀

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 1:17 pm

        Honestly, I was looking more at the “(I swore at him and told him I would be happy if he got an STD). Which makes me believe that he is in Sexual relationships. Here is my point. I feel like Virgins put a huge emphasis on conversations and dates. I believe it is a quaint, rules focused, courtship. So this guy thinks they are hanging out and she sees it as a commitment. There was no expecation of exclusivity and she is treating this as a snubbing in a Jane Austin novel.

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        jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 1:23 pm

        You’re assuming that she’s saving herself for the love of her life. She’s only 23, not all 23 year old virgins want to court someone and follow certain rules. I don’t think she’s handling this well at all, but I also don’t think that all virgins need to only date other virgins. Maybe she is someone who believes in courtship and rules, but you can’t really tell that from this letter. If anything she sounds incredibly immature to me and inexperienced.

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 2:10 pm

        I would say we are saying the same thing. It sounds like she is really sheltered and hanging out with a faster crowd. I think she won’t have these crazy blurred lines if she stuck with a similar crowd. If you are 23 and a virgin, there are decisions that you made to make that true.

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        jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 2:17 pm

        I don’t think so at all. Being a virgin at 23 isn’t always because you’re sheltered. I didn’t have sex until I was older than 23 but I don’t think I should have dated people who were similar, because to be honest other than being a virgin we had zero in common. She’s immature and inexperienced, but that doesn’t mean that she needs to only hang out with other virgins or not so fast of a crowd. She just needs to learn to communicate with the people she dates better. Maybe she was sheltered but that doesn’t mean she needs to hang out with other sheltered people forever.

        And the only decision you have to make to be a 23 year old virgin is to not have sex. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making that decision for the same reason every other 23 year old virgin does. And you don’t have to be a virgin to be immature or inexperienced. There are plenty of LWs like Lindsay said who have sex in situations like the one above and do similar things when they break up.

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 2:44 pm

        But I will argue that she needs to learn the rules of dating with guys that are her speed. instead she is freaking out on a guy that she had no claim to. I will argue that you have avoided deeply intimate relationships and longer term adult relationships to remain a virgin. She lead her letter with that fact so in factors prominently into how she defines herself. I think any choice that takes you out of the norm should factor into who you choose to spend your time with. How can she navigate a “Dan Savage” world when she hasn’t even dipped her toe in. It becomes clingy and awkward. I think she needs to step back.

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        jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 2:55 pm

        I don’t know I don’t think she’s that out of the norm. She’s an immature 23 year old, there are plenty of those both sexually and not sexually active. She’s learning to navigate the dating world. She obviously messed up big time with this one. But, I don’t think that means she needs to revert back to dating someone who might not hold the same values she does. What she needs to do is evaluate what she learned from this relationship and what she wants out of dating and move forward. Maybe that will mean dating someone with values you have outlined or maybe it won’t. Some people mention their virginity because they place too much emphasis on it in a negative way. They feel like they’re weird or strange for being a virgin still and have some shame with it and therefore get defensive. Maybe I only have that opinion because I have friends who were in that group, but I’ve seen it more than once.

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 3:09 pm

        I am not trying to sound negative about it. However, if 75% of people have boned by 19. I tried to look up after college or 23 but I couldn’t find that dat. By the time you are 25 it is 2 in 100 that are still virgins. It leaves alot of people in the same boat. But I think there is so much crazy variety with sexuality in people. You will find swingers, and S&M and an bi curious. I think all that stuff shows up after high school and early college. So this girl can be jumping into the very deep end of the pool. She needs someone willing to explore slowly and not be pushing her head down on the first date.

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        jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 3:23 pm

        We’re just going to have to agree to disagree. Because, as one of the rare people who had sex after 25 (and know of others who have waited, none for reasons related to wanting courtship, etc or religious reasons) I didn’t need someone to treat me like a fragile flower. There’s something between pushing your head down on the first date and willing to explore slowly. I had sex within the first few weeks of meeting someone I decided I was willing to trust. And I think I was more ready to experiment because I was mature enough to handle it. I’m not so sure that can be said of this LW. But, I don’t think 23 is that old in general. I guess statistically speaking based on those facts it is, but the more we harp on that the more people feel they are weird or off because they’re deciding to wait. Especially when so many are waiting because they’re just not ready. They shouldn’t be made to feel like they need to be treated as a special case because of it. And personally I don’t think that many of the 16 year olds who are having sex are really ready for it. In the respect of they’re not ready for the consequences (STDs, talking about protection, potential pregnancies). And having sex at a young age isn’t going to make you any more mature or able to handle a situation like the one in LW3’s case. And having sex with someone like in LW3’s case is not going to make him any less likely to have sex with other people. Should she stay away from people like that guy, definitely, but so should anyone wanting a more committed relationship whether they be virgins or not.

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 3:52 pm

        @jlyfish. I agree with everything you have said and i am not saying that there is anything wrong with waiting. I am simply saying that trying to negotiate a crazy sexual world when you have no experience is like taking an amish person skydiving. Like, put them in a car first and start there then go skydiving.

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        spark November 10, 2012, 12:04 pm

        Well said, jlyfsh! I agree 100%. I think it’s very common to be a 23-year-old virgin who is just waiting for the right guy (which doesn’t mean she is waiting for marriage or even commitment). There is a huge difference between myself when I was a 20-year-old virgin (hoping for a boyfriend and interested in sex but pretty shy and sheltered) and a 20-year-old Duggar-style virgin.

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        Lindsay November 9, 2012, 1:46 pm

        Virgins aren’t a whole other species of person. It just means you haven’t had sex YET. At 23, it could easily just be that she hasn’t met a guy yet that she wants to sleep with. Waiting until you know you both want a relationship and trust him is not the same as expecting a Victorian courtship. I think young women sometimes just misunderstand and think that if a guy is treating you like his girlfriend, then he thinks of you as his girlfriend. It has nothing to do with virginity, considering how many LWs we see how think someone is into them when they aren’t.

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 2:15 pm

        I will argue that virgins are a whole other culture if you are an adult. This is a cultural choice. She states in this that they were seeing each other. This was not a confirmed boyfriend. They she freaks and wishes STDs on him for seeing other girls? If you are making the choice of valuing virginity, then you should find people to date that support that. But most of socieity does not and I think expecting a guy who is sexually active to stop is unreasonable. I think when you cross that line, you do not cross back. And Virgins stay virgins so long because they are trying to navigate a dating world that doesn’t support thier lifestyle.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle November 9, 2012, 2:31 pm

        I think I understand & agree with the majority of what you’re saying, when you apply it specifically to this letter. The fact that the FIRST thing she mentions is her virginity (& then ties it in…never) and her kind of over-the-top “I hope you get an STD!” reaction to a person with multiple sex partners indicates that she’s inexperienced, possibly a little judgmental, & immature.

        I mean, Lindsay’s right about how many LWs on this site seem to confuse casual dating with commitment, but this young woman’s sexual inexperience seems to compound the problem in this case.

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 2:58 pm

        Right. I don’t mean to make her sound like a freak or anything. But the average age to lose your virginity in the US is 16. So 50% have been having sex and maneuvering it for the better part of a decade while she hasn’t even come up to bat. I mean, the world isn’t 50 shades where and experienced man brings this girl into the mix. I think she needs to find a sweet, slower speed guy to date. Not a player juggling a bunch of girls.

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        ktfran November 9, 2012, 3:07 pm

        Seriously? The average age is 16? That means a whole lot of kids under 16 are having sex. I honestly can’t fathom 12 year old girls having sex. Maybe that makes me naive, but wow.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow November 9, 2012, 3:13 pm

        Trust me. They start YOUNG.

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 3:13 pm

        it isn’t that many 12 year olds. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4784939.stm. Here is global numbers from a few years ago. I could find more recent but I don’t have time today. It is really high school. By 19 it is 75%. You can argue that loosing it before 14 is just as rare as losing it after 24.

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        ktfran November 9, 2012, 3:36 pm

        Thanks for that.

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        lets_be_honest November 9, 2012, 3:22 pm

        I too find it hard to believe that the average is 16. I could understand if it said most lose it at 16, but the average?! I don’t think that’s correct.
        Plus, I think its pretty normal to lose it in college, which means she isn’t really too far “behind” at all.

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        CSP November 9, 2012, 3:58 pm

        I posted the numbers above. but think Jr. year of hs. That is the 1/2 way point for virginity. by 19 it is 75% and by 24 it is 96% and by 25 it is 98%. I would say it is pretty normal freshman year of college. I am not trying to make virgins feel bad. I am just saying that there are some crazy crazy things people are into and have been doing for years by her age. This guy is way too fast for her. she just needs to find a slower paced guy.

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        MMcG November 9, 2012, 4:54 pm

        I’m wondering if that first statement was more of a catch-all in her mind to indicate she doesn’t have experience with sex, dating or relationships… because the rest of her letter seems to indicate that. I mean the guy came out and told her they weren’t together and she was becoming too attached, and she thought they were together!

        FWIW – I lost it in college but I was the only one of my friends who still had it by HS graduation, I was close enough to them and the oversharing of experiences to at least have felt more experienced in dating and shitty boyfriends and sex to have a bit of a clue even when I personally didn’t have it (which helped tremendously with the association of sex = commitment, which I never had and this LW seems to have assumed).

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson November 9, 2012, 11:22 am

    LW 3 – I am really confused by your whole story. So while you two were “together” you were exclusive? Because it doesn’t sound like you were at all. You didn’t even meet his friends or hang out with him on the weekends. So anything he did during that time was not cheating. Also he was “seeing” other girls. These other girls could also have had a non-exclusive relationship with him. Then you said he cheated on his current girlfriend. This is the first time you use the word girlfriend so I’ll assume this time it was exclusive. He denied it and got angry. So he could have not cheated. That is if you’re his friend and choose to believe him. And he could have been angry because you were all up in his biznass. This is the story as I see it. Now I have some thoughts for you.

    You need to quit being friends with this guy. You kind of sound like you’re trying to act all cool and be his friend – but you’re clearly too invested in him – I would say stage 5 clinger – but I don’t think that would go over well with the crowd. So we’ll just say you do seem a little clingy towards this guy you have no claim over. I’m not sure why you care who he dates. It’s not you so why does it matter? Are you really trying to say you’re genuinely mad at him for cheating on his girlfriend (if that is what he did in fact do) or that you’re just mad he’s got some swag that he’s not dishing out to you?

    Walk away. Find a hobby. Find new boys to date. Find new friends. But don’t worry so much about what he is or is not doing with other girls. It’s really none of your business.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow November 9, 2012, 11:51 am

      Seriously, she’s a little off her rocker. It seems clear that she thought there was more going on between them than really was. ANNNND he tried to tell her! “he claimed that he could do whatever he wanted, and he suggested we end things because he was worried I was becoming too attached.” For future reference, LW3, that means you’re not exclusive. And for more future reference, don’t assume that you are unless you have a discussion.

      Am I even making sense? Ugh, no sleep + hangover = brain mush. At least it’s Friday.

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      • avatar

        MMcG November 9, 2012, 1:31 pm

        I think a new rule is in order… when your SO tells you straight out “he claimed that he could do whatever he wanted, and he suggested we end things because he was worried I was becoming too attached.” TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD — HE DOES NOT CONSIDER YOU IN HIS DECISIONMAKING AND DOESN’T WANT TO BECOME TOO CLOSE TO YOU — sucks but convincing yourself it’s something more sucks worse.

        Men, and women, who are interested in you and wanting to perhaps become something more and explore a relationship – don’t make this declarative statement. There is nothing to read between the lines… you were never exclusive!

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh November 9, 2012, 11:37 am

    LW1. If you weren’t working on repairing a 4 year relationship with either I would say that you don’t need to say anything. But, it sounds like your heart really isn’t in repairing it. Let your ex know that you’re seeing other people and still trying to decide what you want. It’s unfair to let him think you’re both working towards a common goal of getting back together if you’re not actually.

    LW3. First I am confused as others what seeing means. I hate these terms. If you’re casually dating someone and haven’t had the exclusive talk it’s not cheating. However, I’m going to guess that you never talked about it at all. In future relationships if you’re having feelings like you might be falling for the guy, talk to him about where the relationship is going. Ask if you’re going to be exclusive and set limits. Also I don’t know if you think you have to be friends with an ex, but you don’t. It doesn’t seem like you’re capable of separating the him that dated you from the him that you’re trying to be friends with. It’s not your place to call and scold him, you’re not his mother. Maybe you didn’t give enough time between dating and trying to be friends, or maybe you’re just one of those people who isn’t capable of being friends with an ex. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless you try to pretend it’s not true. Move on and find better people to date and be friends with, like Wendy said.

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  • Brown-eyed NoVA Girl

    Brown-eyed NoVA Girl November 9, 2012, 12:23 pm

    LW3- WWS and you can do better in both the boyfriend and boy-who-is-a-friend department. Maybe you don’t think you’re worthy of something better because, as you say it, a 23 year old virgin. You haven’t wasted your v-card on this guy for a reason, probably some gut feeling you had about him. Go live your life for yourself, find some great hobbies or read all the Pullitzer Prize winning novels. You’ll find some better guy friends and be able to be a better girlfriend because you have a ton more self confidence.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson November 9, 2012, 12:50 pm

      RR?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray November 9, 2012, 12:53 pm

        RR got BUSTED! (Really, RR? This is cruel. I can’t take it.)

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        Addie Pray November 9, 2012, 1:29 pm

        I think this is RR but I’m not sure she would say “a ton more self confidence.” Not that there is anything wrong with that. That part doesn’t sound like RR’s voice. Unless she purposely said that to sound more informal and throw us off. … Busted, RR!

        Seriously, I can’t take this. RR, stop messing with me.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl November 9, 2012, 3:03 pm

        What happened to her? Why did she desert us?

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      • Brown-eyed NoVA Girl

        Brown-eyed NoVA Girl November 9, 2012, 4:32 pm

        Sorry Addie, it isn’t RR. I guess I’m another NoVa girl on DW. I’m a long time reader, first day commenting. Hopefully, my comments will be as awesome at RR’s.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl November 9, 2012, 12:34 pm

    I fear that soon my palm will be permanently attached to my face.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark November 9, 2012, 1:53 pm

    Eh, the lack of common sense and basic understanding of humanity in all three of these letters is absolutely appalling…

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  • Copa

    Copa November 10, 2012, 9:22 am

    Oh, LW3. This vaguely reminded me of me when I was 18 (but with far less drama). I was horrified that the first guy to kiss me didn’t want to be my boyfriend and only wanted to “sometimes make out” when I finally asked him what we were doing. I was hurt (in retrospect, embarrassingly so), but I didn’t want to be his friend. That said, you sound equally inexperienced, and maybe that affects your perceptions and expectations of how things work.. This guy has told you flatly, several times, that you are not together. You shouldn’t want to be this guy’s friend. At all. MOA. There are sweet men out there (or so I hear) who will treat you well (regardless of your virginity, and yes, even if you are waiting). Go find one!

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    • Copa

      Copa November 10, 2012, 9:24 am

      *but with far MORE drama. I meant to say that my 18-year-old love life was far less dramatic than LW3’s. Whoops! I can spell. 🙂

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