Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Waiting for the L-Word” 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 today. After the jump, we hear from “Waiting for the L-Word” whose boyfriend once told her he cared for her but didn’t think he was capable of love. Still, she kept hoping he’d eventually drop the L-Bomb and wondered if she should ask him directly to say it. After the jump, find out whether she’s finally heard those three little words.

My boy and I have always had a challenging relationship. The first year was fun, but he was very emotionally distant and we broke up because of it. A few months later, he came to me saying that he needed me in his life, and he made a huge effort to be emotionally available and to show how much he cared for me. This is why I hoped that his attitude toward loving me had changed as well.

I decided that I didn’t want to go through the challenge of long distance, etc., for someone who can’t love me, so I finally steeled myself and asked him straight out: “Do you still feel the way you did when you said you didn’t love me and never will?” He responded that he did not still feel this way and it was cruel of him to have said that in the first place. He had only said it to “burn the bridge” between us (didn’t work, obviously).

Because he is so different from the way he was in the first year of our relationship, I only think of us having been together a year without him saying “I love you,” since I know he wasn’t capable of it before. I know that everyone reaches that point in their own time, so WHEN he says it doesn’t worry me too much. In the meantime, we have discussed a future; our life paths are complicated but we know we want our futures to be with each other!

Some readers voiced concern about my statement that he “will stay until you tell me to go” and that I’m the best he can do. He meant the first statement, basically, as “I will always stay with you,” because doesn’t want to lose me again, not because he’s resigned to it. As for the latter, it was meant quite literally — that he really thinks I am The Best: the best girl, the best for him, and the only one he wants.

Thanks for all your advice and input. I hope my story — and all of yours — has a happy ending.

 
Thanks for the update. I’m glad you’re happy with where things are and wish you all the best.

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.

28 comments… add one
  • avatar

    PFG-SCR July 25, 2011, 12:46 pm

    I appreciate the update, but this by no means gave me the warm fuzzies. You start off with saying, “My boy and I have always had a challenging relationship.” While I don’t know what the complexities are that you mention a bit later in your update, no healthy relationship should be difficult from the very beginning.

    I understand you love him, but that’s not always enough. You’ve spent two years with him, and while he seems to be more emotionally available now than he was in the first year, it seems like you’re still unhappy with that aspect of your relationship. You say it’s not important when he tells you that he loves you, but I don’t think this is as much about him saying those three little words as it is about you feeling a lack of a healthy and satisfying emotional connection with him.

    While he may say that you’re the best for him, and he never wants to be without you, you need to decide what is best for you, and if he can’t give you what you need to be happy, no amount of love for him is going to be enough.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark July 25, 2011, 12:50 pm

    It always amazes how me how easily some women accept mediocre (at best) relationships that are “challenging” from the get go and clearly require far too much work. Again, it simply astounds me.

    Best of luck, LW. Sadly, you’re gonna need it.

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    • avatar

      PFG-SCR July 25, 2011, 1:25 pm

      Agreed – too many of these LWs view “He says he wants to be with me,” as being more important in a relationship than “I’m happy with him”.

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    • avatar

      Coughla July 25, 2011, 1:32 pm

      Seriously. This update just made me feel sad for the LW.

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    • avatar

      LTC039 July 25, 2011, 1:29 pm

      Completely completely agree with you. This update wasn’t very settling. But, to each is own, I hope things work out for her…

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  • avatar

    kali July 25, 2011, 12:54 pm

    This update is rather rambling and confusing to me. I hope this is simply a case of poor communication skills and not another LW settling and making excuses.

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  • avatar

    MissDre July 25, 2011, 12:54 pm

    I didn’t quite get this update… I don’t really understand why you decided to stay with him. It kinda seems like you just decided you were willing to settle for less… Sorry.

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    • avatar

      kali July 25, 2011, 12:55 pm

      Exactly.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey July 25, 2011, 1:06 pm

      Yes. This whole update basically seemed like a long internal rationalization of why she chose to stay with someone who she doesn’t have a very healthy relationship with at all. LW – this STILL is not a healthy relationship, regardless of what you may be trying to convince yourself of. Frankly, it sounds like you two are forcing something that doesn’t work. And neither of you realize you’d be much happier apart. I hope you realize it soon…but your denial seems firm (even if your relationship isn’t).

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      • avatar

        Amber July 25, 2011, 1:14 pm

        yep

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  • avatar

    Amber July 25, 2011, 1:14 pm

    I totally couldn’t follow that.

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  • avatar

    TheOtherMe July 25, 2011, 12:21 pm

    Glad things are better between you !

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  • avatar

    Sarah July 25, 2011, 1:26 pm

    I was like half way with you until that last bit when you started explaining about how your boyfriend didn’t mean to say cruel stuff, but we just TOOK it wrong. When he says I’m the best he’ll have, he means the BEST. BEST IN THE WORLD. BETTER THAN RAINBOW UNICORNS! Yeah-no. He meant it as demeaning as it sounded.

    “Hey gf, you know when you told me you loved me and I said I could put up with you as my girlfriend, I meant I would PUT UP my life for you baby! Yeah, but seriously, I still can’t say I love you.”

    If you’re looking for excuses to why your bf isn’t as emotionally invested as you (I only *count* it as one year because he was such a jerk last year but that doesn’t exist anymore, lalala!) then you’re looking for excuses to stay in a relationship that isn’t working.

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  • avatar

    jena July 25, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Sooo. overall, you’ve been together TWO years now and he still hasn’t said it. And that he told you he WOULDNT say it in the beginning to “burn a bridge” (aka purposefully hurt you). Sounds like a real winning relationship.

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  • avatar

    em July 25, 2011, 1:48 pm

    oh… 🙁 Been there, done that. I spent five years in this kind of relationship… I feel sad reading this. It takes a lot of energy searching love in every single thing he does or says. Good luck!

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  • Budj

    Budjer July 25, 2011, 2:15 pm

    Sounds like an emotionally immature dude that wants sex and to not be alone when he probably should be…

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster July 25, 2011, 1:26 pm

    Let me summarize the update:

    He still hasn’t said “I love you.”

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    • avatar

      Spark July 25, 2011, 6:32 pm

      Because he doesn’t, and he probably never will. MOA, LW. What you’re waiting for isn’t going to happen with him.

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  • avatar

    sweetleaf July 25, 2011, 2:29 pm

    huh?

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  • avatar

    Amber July 25, 2011, 2:36 pm

    I think I’m just as confused as the others. So did he say that he feels himself falling in love with you now? Or are you still essentially in the same place you were? I feel like this is another update that needs an update.

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  • avatar

    Steph July 25, 2011, 2:48 pm

    I totally agree with everyone here. If two years have passed and a person can’t communicate that he loves you then there is a big problem. Especially if the LW has voiced a concern. Its better to just move on rather then continue to be in a relationship that isn’t working!! You deserve to be with someone that can love you and make you feel loved.

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  • avatar

    SGMcG July 25, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Ms. Borgia (that would be the LW in the letter) –

    Does it still matter to you that he, once again, failed to say I love you? Or, if everything else makes you happy, have you just decided to settle? Do you still get to say “I love you” to him, even though he has yet to say it to you? I’m sorry if I come off as harsh, but I’m trying to understand where you are coming from. Because when I hear that you are, to him, “the best he can do”, I feel that he’s resigned to having you because nobody else is willing to settle for him. Maybe I’m nitpicking on semantics here, yet do you at least feel valued and elevated by having him in your life? Because the way things are sounding now, you guys are in a period of contentment. That’s all fine and good, but if you don’t have any progress in how you two grow, as individuals as well as a couple in your mutual relationship, you might as well be dating a stranger.

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  • avatar

    Marie July 25, 2011, 3:39 pm

    I remember this letter and I still don’t understand.LW,if you wanted him to tell you he loves you(with him meaning it,of course) and he still hasn’t done it after 2 years,why are you now okay with him not saying it? And saying the best he can do isn’t exactly an encouraging phrase.It’s like saying that while he wants better,he can’t find anyone better.I think you should reconsider your relationship with him.Can you be with someone you are in love with but does not love you back?Because if he loved you,he would tell you.

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  • avatar

    RMM0278 July 25, 2011, 5:13 pm

    I echo the sentiments of everyone else — this isn’t really an update since nothing has changed. The only thing I’d add is that this guy sounds like he really doesn’t want to be alone moreso than he wants to be with you, which renders any affection he holds for you useless.

    At this point, if he came out and said it, would you really believe him? I wouldn’t. I can totally see you bringing this up again and he’ll just blurt it out if he senses you might leave. Besides, do you really want to wait around for another two years for some guy’s love? (In reality, it doesn’t take that long. Really it doesn’t.)

    He’s told you everything but the one thing you need to hear — sounds like pure torture to me. That’s emotionally manipulative. In the meantime, you’re trying to act calm and cool and that those three little words don’t matter. But they do.

    I honestly have no idea what you want to get of this relationship, but whatever it is, I doubt you’ll get it. Unless what you want to be strung along for another two years.

    I will ask you one thing: go home tonight and ask him point blank if he loves you. Seriously. Ask him.

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    • rubyroo

      Ruby July 26, 2011, 10:53 am

      “The only thing I’d add is that this guy sounds like he really doesn’t want to be alone moreso than he wants to be with you”

      I would agree with this, and I would also add that she doesn’t want to be alone either, which is why she’s rationalizing and settling for someone who doesn’t love her.

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  • avatar

    SweetChild July 25, 2011, 11:19 pm

    If it’s been a year and his still hasn’t said he loves you (and that’s even using your weird rationale for time spent together) I’d be out quite frankly. A year is a long time.

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  • rubyroo

    Ruby July 26, 2011, 10:51 am

    So basically, after everything…the LW has gotten back together with her boyfriend and nothing’s changed. He still hasn’t said he loved her. If he didn’t say it when he wanted to get back, then what’s the point?
    I think he’s just continuing to lead her on.

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  • avatar

    Red_Lady July 26, 2011, 7:36 pm

    Do you even feel loved, LW? It took almost a year into my current relationship before we said the “l” word, but I could tell he loved me well before that based on his actions and other things that he said to me. So maybe these slightly awkward things he’s saying to you are his way of saying he loves you. Some people are more about showing it than saying it. But if he’s unable to say it even ONCE in the two years you’ve been together… that sounds pretty fishy.

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