Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

15 Times You Should NOT Emotionally Invest In a Relationship/ Another Person

In the forums the other day, a LW described meeting a guy in person whom she’d been chatting online with for over a year. She says that after they decided to meet, she flew to his state, they had dinner, he walked her back to their hotel, and they had unsatisfying sex. The next night she checked out of the hotel and stayed at his place, where he told her she was welcome to share his bed or have the couch, which she thought was rude. In addition, he asked her to clean the bathroom she used before she left, she paid for everything herself, and he pushed buying a “grandma bag” on her when they were out shopping. She told him she wasn’t interested, he insisted all ladies are interested in bags, and then she jokingly told him she wasn’t a “lady,” she was transgender. Oy. They went back to his place, he immediately called an uber and kicked her out, she felt bad and wondered if she was wrong to joke about being transgender (yes, but it’s really beside the point). After reading about this ill-fated meetup, I liked Fyodor’s suggestion about having some sort of standing post we can refer people to to figure out whether or not they should be emotionally investing in a relationship.

Without further ado, here are 15 times you should NOT emotionally invest in a relationship:

1. You have not yet met in person.

2. You know you want kids, he knows he doesn’t.

3. He tells you he “doesn’t really know what he wants,” which is code for: “I don’t want a relationship, but I still want to have sex with you sometimes, so I’m pretending that maybe there’s a chance I’ll commit even though I know there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell.”

4. He won’t tell you where he lives.

5. He reminds you of your ex.

6. He just got someone else pregnant.

7. He refuses to get an STD test.

8. He’s mean to your dog. Or, worse, his dog.

9. Keeps calling you by his ex’s name.

10. The only time you hear from him is when he texts late at night: “What are you doing?”

11. He’s taking a job in another country in a few weeks.

12. You’re in your early 20s and he’s over 30.

13. You’re over 30 and he’s in his early 20s.

14. He voted for Trump.

15. And doesn’t even regret it. Girl, run.

26 comments… add one
  • LisforLeslie January 29, 2018, 2:13 pm

    +1. He won’t introduce you to anyone in his life, friends, family, coworkers.
    +2. He is always on his phone when he’s with you and 2a. He never lets his phone out of his sight. Incoming texts are always super secret.
    +3. Your basic life principles don’t align. You have different ideas about managing money, drugs & drinking, what “job success” means, self-care,

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    • csp January 29, 2018, 3:25 pm

      OMG – All of these

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  • haggith January 29, 2018, 3:01 pm

    #3: unfortunately people still believe this ooooold tale

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  • MMR January 29, 2018, 3:24 pm

    16. He lets his mother/sister/really anyone else control his life.

    17. You expect that things will get better when you move in together/get married.

    18. He shuts down/gets defensive/goes radio silent when you try to talk about your relationship.

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    • Anonymous January 29, 2018, 5:47 pm

      add to 17 – /have babies

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    Copa January 29, 2018, 3:47 pm

    #14: I went on a single Tinder date with a guy who voted for Trump and when I said I voted for Hillary, he burst into laughter until he realized I wasn’t kidding. 😐 He seemed legitimately stunned when I declined to go to another bar with him after.

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  • KItnkabutle January 29, 2018, 4:25 pm

    16: He talks very negatively about his exes and blames them for things that happened in their relationships. For instance, he says an unplanned pregnancy was *all* her fault.

    17: His ex tells you she is really worried about you.

    18: He tries to rush you into a commitment or marriage.

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  • Hannanas January 29, 2018, 4:26 pm

    Oh, ooh!
    16. He wants you to lose weight
    17. He thinks your partying single girlfriends are “sluts” and dislikes all your male friends to boot
    18. He chats and flirts with strangers online because he’s “curious”

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  • Kate January 29, 2018, 4:46 pm

    Can I have, “He’s your married boss at Golden Corral” for $500, Alex?

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    • MissD January 29, 2018, 4:53 pm


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      Dear Wendy January 29, 2018, 5:01 pm


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  • dinoceros January 29, 2018, 5:00 pm

    He makes sweeping generalizations about women (ALL women are bad at communicating, women NEVER want nice guys, etc.)

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      Kate B. January 30, 2018, 11:24 am

      All women want bags.

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      • LisforLeslie January 30, 2018, 12:47 pm

        Bags yes, but not baggage.

  • John January 29, 2018, 5:35 pm

    16. They write a blog

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  • John January 29, 2018, 5:37 pm

    16. They work for NBC and pretend to not have known about Matt Lauer’s behavior.

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    • Kate January 29, 2018, 6:09 pm

      They fucked a porn star right after you gave birth.

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      • Kate January 29, 2018, 6:13 pm

        And you weren’t emotionally invested in him by that point because it’s just a business arrangement, but now you DEFINITELY won’t catch feels.

  • Sara January 29, 2018, 5:50 pm

    Please add to MMR’s # 17
    17. You expect that things will get better when you move in together/get married/ (ADDED) have a baby

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    othy January 29, 2018, 7:55 pm

    You do all of the emotional effort to make the ‘relationship’ work.

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    Lucia_la January 30, 2018, 8:36 am

    He seems to always be on his phone when you’re together, but takes forever to text you back when you’re apart.

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  • Moe January 30, 2018, 9:32 am

    I am a lesbian and women show signs of not being worthy of emotional investment as well!
    -They are rude to wait staff or other people strangers they encounter.
    -They have gotten and been *unfairly* fired from MULTIPLE jobs in a short span of time.
    -They have a drinking problem.
    -They have clearly lied on their online dating profile (I don’t care of people say this is “normal”!)

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      Dear Wendy January 30, 2018, 9:57 am

      Thanks, Moe – I know I the gender pronouns were heteronormative and I considered changing some pronouns to “she,” but stuck with “he” for continuity and clarity. But maybe “they” is a better way to go in the future.

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    • LisforLeslie January 30, 2018, 10:15 am

      The rude to waitstaff and others is a good one.

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    Kate B. January 30, 2018, 11:26 am

    Guilty of #11. Learned that lesson the hard way.

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  • Jane January 30, 2018, 1:53 pm

    – He tells you he’s in love with you when you only met him two weeks ago.
    – He says he “never wears condoms”

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