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 “Uneasy about His ‘Friend'” who was feeling apprehensive about her boyfriend’s friendship with another woman, especially since he would soon be moving to the other woman’s city for grad school. “I don’t want to tell him to not hang out with his friend,” she wrote, “but I don’t feel like this is a good friendship and I’m a bit uncomfortable. Is there a better compromise/solution to be made here?” Keep reading to see whether they found a compromise.
Looking back at this, I feel so silly. At the time, I was happy in that relationship, but it definitely feels like I blew things, like my boyfriend drunk texting his female friend, out of proportion, because at the time, that was the only place I had to put my LDR worries. Or as a friend suggested, I was looking at escape routes from a narrative that wasn’t working.
As I struggled to balance my turbo-demanding masters program, make new friends, and move forward professionally and personally, he wouldn’t acknowledge everything that I was balancing and just said that I always worry too much and everything will be OK, and similar platitudes.
He is doing a part-time masters degree…and that’s it. He kept talking about getting a job, but never made a proactive move on it. He only hangs out with people he knows from our university. He says he wants to intern at a well-known firm in his field and knows someone who writes for their journal, but in three months, never worked towards submitting, despite saying he was going to do so.
I made time to talk to him three nights a week, but he pushed back if I wanted to talk during the day and would call and beg to talk on nights when I had told him I would be busy — out with friends or in the library preparing for a big assessment…but he never had any conflicting engagements!
My final straw was when I told him about a really cool doctoral program in my area (more of a professional degree than others I had been looking at) and he gave me the options of two other cities because he could never move to where I am because he had no professional opportunities (a research institute and a doctoral program are close by…) and then later in that conversation, told me he wasn’t sure he was in the right field and didn’t know what he was going to do after getting his degree.
I broke up with him and he tried to negotiate for a break, for just a month. He lashed out at me when I reiterated my mindset (gently). We talked a few days later to affirm how wonderful our relationship was for that specific time in our lives where we were in the same place and on the same page in life and that we would always mean something to each other. He’s going to check in when he feels ready.
With that resolved, I’ve been able to focus on school work and make some really terrific friends here.
I think he needs to focus on himself and his future, and I was happy to hear he will be hanging out with P this weekend. According to Facebook, she’s happy at a new job and maybe could give him some perspective on making circumstances work in your favor?
Yeah, people outgrow each other. C’est la vie! At least you got out before things got nasty, right?
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at email@example.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.