Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Needy or Not?” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Needy or Not?” who wrote in over two years ago about how she felt like her boyfriend wasn’t making her a priority in his life. “Between volunteer groups, organized sports, and networking events, I pretty much never see him, yet we live only a few miles apart,” she wrote. She wondered if she was reasonable for feeling ignored or if she was simply being “too needy.” Keep reading to see where things stand now, over two years later.

I have to say that your response, and the reader comments, were absolutely correct. I had to move on, but it was really hard to see that at the time. Reading the comments really put things into perspective for me though, and things came to a head a few months after I wrote to you, when I once again voiced my frustration at feeling unimportant in his life. Things after that argument went largely unresolved, and, shortly after that, we broke up…again. This time for good.

He remained in touch for a while after that – I think he once again regretted his decision. But this time I held my ground, replying to his calls/texts/emails in a polite, but distant, fashion. I wanted to be on friendly terms (we have many mutual friends), but I wanted to make it clear that I was no longer going to drop everything for him. I had my own life and new relationships to discover. Leaving him was the best thing I could have done.

Despite some rough times for the first few months after our breakup, I am so much happier without him in my life. I know that he’s not a bad person, but I was not, nor would I ever be, an important part of his life. It hurt my self-esteem when I was with him, and this was actually the source of a major anxiety problem I eventually developed. It’s been about a year and a half since we broke up, and I am in a caring and loving relationship with someone else. We are truly a team together, and I feel so much more fulfilled. I definitely came out a stronger, more independent person from the entire situation.

Thanks for the advice and support (from you and all of the commenters)!

 
What a nice update, and one I bet will strike a chord with someone reading right now who is in the same boat you were in with your ex. You didn’t settle for crumbs of a relationship and now, after healing, you’re in a much better place because you were strong enough to MOA. Good for you.

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

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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].

56 comments… add one
  • avatar

    MissDre July 16, 2013, 1:32 pm

    YAY! Happy updates are the best 🙂

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    • avatar

      Lily in NYC July 16, 2013, 1:51 pm

      I just read all of the comments on the original post and I really liked yours, MissDre!

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      • avatar

        MissDre July 16, 2013, 3:58 pm

        Now I have to go back and read. I don’t even know what I said!

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      • avatar

        MissDre July 16, 2013, 4:05 pm

        Oh man, I went back and read the comments and there are so many people on that thread that I miss!!

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  • avatar

    Amanda July 16, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Updates like this make me so happy. Congratulations LW!

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  • avatar

    Jessibel5 July 16, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Holy crap, this was 2011? I feel like this was more recent than that, time flies!

    Yay for a happy update!

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark July 16, 2013, 1:53 pm

    But if you’d just stuck it out… Surely, he’d have changed his ENTIRE life for you..

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 2:06 pm

      Do you always have to be snarky?

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      • kare

        kare July 16, 2013, 2:14 pm

        Well otherwise he’d be known as Sweetgaymark and that doesn’t roll off the tongue nearly as well.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom July 16, 2013, 3:41 pm

        I like the snark. I love sarcasm.

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    • avatar

      Lily in NYC July 16, 2013, 3:12 pm

      Wow, someone does exactly what they should and you still can’t muster up a kind word.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 3:17 pm

        I think BGM was more making fun of women in general and saying that if this LW was like everyone else she could have easily spent another 2 years in this mess. Not that that makes it better.. but you know… This is his nice way of saying,YAY LW. You win life.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark July 16, 2013, 3:35 pm

        BINGO!!

        PS — Is this room REALLY getting too dumb for even the most basic and obvious of sarcasm?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 3:37 pm

        Well, the room IS full of women…

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 3:42 pm

        Even if it was intended to be sarcastic, the constant commentary on how stupid women are gets VERY old and, IMO, discredits even your best points.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 16, 2013, 3:44 pm

        Obviously it’s sarcastic. No one thinks that you actually believe this bf would have changed his life for her. But the sarcasm in this comment is presumed to be directed to the LW in a biting way since that’s the way almost all of your comments read.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 16, 2013, 3:45 pm

        P.S. – Sarcasm isn’t a defense for being mean.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark July 16, 2013, 3:49 pm

        No, this comment was meant to be a satire of dumb comments some people are likely to make… Or would make if they actually paid attention to their own actions. Good grief EVERY OTHER letter lately is a variation on this theme…

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom July 16, 2013, 3:53 pm

        I thought it was funny. It’s like you were winking when you said it. I don’t see any attack on women just a funny comment.

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      • theattack

        theattack July 16, 2013, 3:55 pm

        I didn’t say it was an attack on women. Just that it was mean.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 3:56 pm

        But who was it mean to?

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      • theattack

        theattack July 16, 2013, 3:58 pm

        The LW of course.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 4:00 pm

        IMO, it’s not really even this one comment. it’s the constant “women are dumb” bull that is really f-ing old.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 3:58 pm

        So are you saying you think people would comment that she should try to change him? Because I’m 110% the resounding DW chorus would not say that.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 4:02 pm

        drink!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 4:04 pm

        I’m about to be! Off to the brewery I go!

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark July 16, 2013, 4:07 pm

        The Chorus might well do what You predict. But good God every other letter lately is “my boyfriend is perfect except for one teeny little thing…” “Help… My boyfriend has such a great personality, if only he wasn’t an asshole…” Lately every other LW wants their boyfriend to change after YEARS of not doing so…

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom July 16, 2013, 5:04 pm

        I think that comes down to people in general, men and women, not knowing how to set limits in their life. Lots of people are raised to see all ways as being equally as good and so when they meet someone who does things that don’t fit with their life they say that it is good. It may be good but that doesn’t mean it fits with their life but we don’t ever talk about things like that with our kids. You have to know what will work for you and what won’t and speak up when something bothers you and not just keep doing the same old thing and expect a different outcome. You have to accept what won’t work and try to find the thing or the someone who does work.

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC July 17, 2013, 1:27 pm

        I am NOT stupid, and of course I know you were being sarcastic. But it still has your usual nasty undertone and for some reason I am completely fed up with your comments lately. Your schtick just gets old sometimes.

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      • MackenzieLee

        MackenzieLee July 16, 2013, 3:51 pm

        I took it as the valindinator thing we all talked about a while ago where we just tell people what they want to hear in really sarcastic tones

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 3:54 pm

        God I miss her. She was the best. People just love to hate BGM. I for one, am glad he exists.

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      • MackenzieLee

        MackenzieLee July 16, 2013, 7:41 pm

        I don’t think I could possibly be more pro-BGM (but don’t tell him….we don’t need bittergaycockymark)

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    • MackenzieLee

      MackenzieLee July 16, 2013, 3:34 pm

      Y’all clearly that was sarcasm. I thought it was pretty funny.

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  • avatar

    bethany July 16, 2013, 2:00 pm

    Great update!!

    I think a good take away lesson is that he can be a good guy, but not a good guy for you. I’m glad you realized that and moved on!

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 2:51 pm

      This is such a good point. I think sometimes people stay stuck in the anger-I-hate-you phase after a break up. I hope that when people get some distance and clarity from a break up they can see that someone doesn’t have to be a bad person for them to just not be right *for you*. This is a perfect example. There will be some girl out there who will be fine with seeing her boyfriend once a week. I know couples that have great relationships that operate that way. It would never be okay with me, but hey to each their own. It’s much easier to find someone that is right with the way you are now than to try to change someone to fit your needs.

      Also did anyone else think that Wendy was hinting to someone? I’m trying to figure out who it is. Who is trying to change their S/O right now to fit their needs?

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      • MackenzieLee

        MackenzieLee July 16, 2013, 3:36 pm

        Yes!! Who is this mystery person? Clearly not you…

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 3:42 pm

        Yeah definitely not me. This person took a healthy amount of time to reflect and learn before jumping in to something new. I wonder what that’s like.

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      • avatar

        Zepp July 16, 2013, 9:06 pm

        I think Wendy means it as in there are lots of people who could relate to this. This is a super common problem! Also, it’s not Wendy’s style to call out individuals problems from the forums. I really don’t think she is doing that.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest July 16, 2013, 3:38 pm

        I think I know who it is.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 3:43 pm

        I’m 99.9% sure I know.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 3:49 pm

        Are you sure you’re not 110% sure? 😉

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        GatorGirl July 16, 2013, 3:52 pm

        Nope. I am 110% sure I’m having a beer in about 38 minutes though.

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      • avatar

        bethany July 16, 2013, 3:56 pm

        I caught that, too, and I know who it is 🙂

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson July 16, 2013, 4:03 pm

        WHO? I will not stand for everyone on DW being in on a secret and keeping me on the outside. WENDY?? Where are you? Have you set your website up to e-mail you if your name is printed? That would be neat. Who would benefit from this advice? Ready- GO!

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 16, 2013, 5:08 pm

        Gee I wonder…

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark July 16, 2013, 5:30 pm

        We ALL know…

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 16, 2013, 5:32 pm

        I haven’t exactly kept it a secret!

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark July 16, 2013, 6:04 pm

        Although… Seriously? Numerous recent LWs also spring to mind…

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      • avatar

        Zepp July 16, 2013, 9:07 pm

        like every girl i know (at one point or another) springs to mind

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 16, 2013, 9:44 pm

        Yeah, it’s kind of an ugly thing to say but it’s almost a rite of passage… not for EVERY woman but all too common. I think it just points to the fact that we still haven’t gotten all these gender relations (esp. pertaining to sex) quite ironed out yet. And even more so now that the binary is breaking down as same-sex couples, polyamorous “couples” (for lack of a better word), and other “unusual” manifestations of sexuality are coming more and more into the public eye. It’ll take a while yet for us to get it right, if you ask me… (if we ever do – maybe this is just part of being human!)

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      • KKZ

        KKZ July 16, 2013, 9:45 pm

        #KKZsDeepThoughts

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  • avatar

    rachel July 16, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Yay! How awesome for you LW.

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  • avatar

    TECH July 16, 2013, 2:39 pm

    I think this is a great reminder for people contemplating breakups that just need to happen. The first few months are really tough. But it does get better and you end up being such a stronger person and in such a better place in your life. Kudos to this LW!

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  • avatar

    Tax Geek July 16, 2013, 2:53 pm

    I saw the title to this and thought it was about an article in the Wall Street Journal about being needy. Interesting coincidence.

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  • avatar

    You Go Girl July 16, 2013, 2:59 pm

    I am probably a lot older than the LW, but I can totally relate to her situation. After my husband died, I dated a man who was nice but did not make me a priority in his life. I accepted his explanation that his son had to be his priority, and I was content because I was in graduate school and very busy. His son graduated from high school soon before I expected to graduate. I needed a more serious relationship as I began my job search, yet he remained busy with a lot of activities besides me. Like the LW, I decided that I deserved a relationship in which I was a high priority, and I broke up with him. So far, I am not in a new relationship but I still feel I am much better off.

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  • avatar

    Boosker July 17, 2013, 12:05 pm

    Love this. Why be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to spend time with you? That person is sending a very clear message about how much they value you, even if he or she doesn’t realize it. You should WANT to spend time with the person you’re in a relationship with.

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