“He Ghosted Me After We Hooked Up, Then Texted Me Five Months Later. Should I Respond?”

Your website has helped me a great deal in the past (he wouldn’t even pay for my McDonald’s birthday lunch) and I come to you again with another peculiar love situation. Please feel free to share it wherever possible in the hopes that others in a similar situation may relate and find the means to get through a tricky situation.

In about June or July last year, I met a guy through an sex buddy website. We met twice and he stood me up the third time stating he was tired. He messaged me a few days later to apologize, but I responded in an unbothered way. I deleted his number but missed him, so I messaged him via Facebook. (He didn’t give me his Facebook — I searched for it, which I know seems very desperate.) Anyway, he replied saying, “You and me can’t do anything anymore.” I was so hurt by this but didn’t cry. I deleted his number and tried to move on with my life. I mean, we only met up twice — the first time we didn’t even have sex and the second time was for only a minute and I just wanted it to stop.

Luckily, during the time between then and now, I have become a qualified teacher passing with distinction. I feel so proud of myself, but of course a small part of me wants to see him again even knowing he’ll likely break my heart. I form attachments very quickly. Should I delete his number, respond and then delete his number, see him again, tell him I am now a qualified teacher? I am just so shocked by his messaging me just a few days ago after a five to six-month hiatus.

I need all the feedback I can get! — Now a Qualified Teacher

Congratulations on graduating with distinction and earning your teaching certification, but you really need to aim a whole lot higher when it comes to men. First the McDonald’s birthday lunch guy (which has since been deleted from the forums or I’d link to it for those who need a refresher) and now this dude? Look, he was only ever interested in you for sex, which makes sense given how you met him. He stood you up for your third meeting because the sex between you on your second meeting wasn’t any good and he probably assumed — and probably rightfully so — that your heart wasn’t into having sex with someone you only just met and that you were looking for more than just a physical connection. He’s in touch with you now because he’s horny, he remembered how you met and how you did have sex with him at least for a minute, and he figured it was worth checking in to see if you might be up for trying the sex out again. Maybe, he figures, it’ll be better this time.

And here you are, talking about how you deleted his number and “tried to move on with your life,” as if it took effort on your part to forget a guy you hardly knew at all. Here you are talking about how he is likely to “break your heart,” this guy you barely know, if you see him again. Here you are talking about seeing him again! Talking about telling him of your recent accomplishment, strategizing how to connect with him and then disconnect with him, explaining how you “form attachments very quickly.” Someone who forms attachments very quickly shouldn’t be cruising fuck-buddy sites and meeting up with strangers for sex. Someone who forms attachments very quickly shouldn’t reconnect with a man who hurt her after two measly non-dates. Someone who forms attachments very quickly should be in therapy, working through her issues, learning how to aim so much higher than men who won’t buy her even a McDonald’s birthday lunch and who stand her up for sex dates.

I have been in a relationship for about five months now. It moved very fast and we were both happy with that. She has an ex-boyfriend, with whom she has a 4-year-old child. She and her ex have been broken up for two years because he cheated on her, used to drink a lot, and supposedly smacked her. Since then, he has gone to rehab, gotten clean, etc., etc. When we first met, I became aware that they did things together with their child, such as go to parks, go to the beach, etc. I had, I guess, assumed that as we became closer this would tone down a little, but it hasn’t. The ex, whom I’ve met, even sent me a text explaining that this was only for the child.

Well, two months ago my girlfriend’s mom, whom she hadn’t seen in 20 years, died and she went to Arkansas to be with family. She said she needed me there, so I flew out. When she got back to the island where we live, it hit her how hard it is being so far away from family (we live 16 hours away from them), and she said she wanted to slow down our relationship, and she actually has become quite depressed, as might be expected. She says she still totally loves me but can’t concentrate right now, which I get totally.

Well, that in combination with her spending family time with her ex and my work schedule (I work offshore for three weeks at a time but then have three weeks home) has left me wondering if I can deal with everything, or if this is even normal. I love her so much, but now when I go offshore, I always wonder…

I am begging for some advice – please help! — Third Wheel

Yes, it is normal for two co-parents who love their child and are cordial and friendly with each other to occasionally do things together as a family (like go to the park and to the beach). It is also normal for someone who has just lost a parent to feel and act depressed and to withdraw a little bit. It’s normal for someone in her situation, feeling jealousy from a new partner and pressure to meet his needs, to be like, “You know what, I’m kind of dealing with my own needs right now — my mother just died, remember? — and so I wanna slow this relationship down so that I can prioritize my grieving over your jealousy.” And it’s normal and healthy, given the jealousy you have, the concern and worry you feel about what goes on when you are away working for three weeks at a time, and the seeming inability to prioritize your girlfriend’s grieving over your own insecurity, to end the relationship before resentment builds on both sides.

Simply put, your girlfriend is clearly not in a position right now to give you what you need — to prioritize your emotional well-being and to ease all your concerns, and to change the co-parenting dynamic between her and her ex to suit you. Even before her mother died, there were issues between you that needed to be worked out, and now that her emotional well is understandably run dry at the moment, she does not have any reserves to give you or your relationship. You have to put your relationship on hold — perhaps for good, but at the very least for a few months — while she grieves and figures out her next steps. Those next steps may be away from you, they may be toward her ex, they may lead her back home to Arkansas. And if any of those scenarios materialize, she was never going to be the woman for you anyway.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. LW1: stop cruising sex websites since you clearly become FAR too attached instantly. I really don’t understand why your heart would be broken over some guy you barely know. He did nothing wrong. The goal was sex, you didn’t want to really have sex and became clingy within seconds. He avoided you due to that. Even if the intent was dating your extreme reaction so quickly is way over the top.

  2. LW1. Go to the Urban Dictionary and look up the definition of fuckbuddy. What you want isn’t the same thing.

  3. LW1 you seem a bit bonkers. You met the dude 2 times and he blew you off the 3d. You’re way too attached. Delete his number, stop trolling sex sites, and figure your stuff out.

  4. Juliecatharine says:

    LW1 therapy, you’ll never find what you need from a guy, it has to come from yourself.

    LW2 it really disturbs me that you say her ex “supposedly” smacked her. Couple that with your assumption that she would change her coparenting style to accommodate you—someone she’s been dating for five lousy months—and you come off as really..just..ugh. Leave this woman alone. She doesn’t need to deal with your nonsense. You clearly don’t trust her or want to support her during a difficult time so just MOA.

    1. Yup, I agree Juliecatherine. LW2 writes like he is trying to be self-aware and is just struggling with the circumstances, but the way he wrote that she was “supposedly” smacked hints at a pretty ugly undercurrent here. I think he harbours a lot more jealousy, and a lot less respect, for his girlfriend than he trys to portray in his letter.

      1. Also: “smacked.” Not “hit” or “beat” or “abused.”

      2. Juliecatharine says:

        Exactly. I couldn’t put it into words but man it creeped me out.

      3. He could have written, “and she told me he hit her once.” The way he phrased it is telling.

  5. LW1: Who cares if you are now a qualified teacher? I don’t see why it would be an important thing for him to fall for you. And btw, how old are you? You remind me of the intensity of my early twenties, and I kinda understand being naive and the false hope of bonding with someone barely known. But now one does know things hehe, like casual sex and shit. I call it the whore path. Hope you can walk it someday, it’s liberating to fuck with no strings attached, and not having to think really much of the other perdón the next day.

    1. Wanting casual sex does not make one a whore. Having sex for money technically would. Stop that word completely it’s totslly innapropriate.

      1. Technically I was calling myself a whore, so I don’t see how you are so offended. It is like the word “queer”. Back to the days it was used as an insult, but now it has a positive connotation, and even a theory is named after it.

        You must be really new into the deconstruction of words framed as offensive and with a negative attribution. New generations are really into it, and nowadays a whore is someone confident, and with total control of their sexuality.

      2. Nope, no one see’s whore as anything positive. Tell yourself what you want. Take your horrible views somewhere they are wanted.

      3. If I had such thin skin as yours to disturb myself with a really blah comment, my life would be very problematic. My “horrific views” are a thing for a lot of people, so deal with re-signification of language.

      4. Sweetie, if you want to keep harassing me and calling me names I suggest you find a new hobby. I assure you no stranger online with small dick syndrome upsets me. That does not mean you are not an awful human being.

      5. Poor of me, I’m a horrible human being. I don’t remember calling you names, or attacking you. But you even called me a psycho! Gonna cry at the bathroom while I see my micro dick. And by the way, that’s called body shaming. For someone I perceive as having a sense of moral superiority, it’s kinda contradictory framing such wording to insult me.

      6. Yeah I kinda like the appropriation of the word whore. It just has been used so much to insult women who *gasp* like sex, I’m totally on board twisting it and making it our own.

        I mean, I understand why you have a reaction to it, but I think for a lot of us it’s just a word we have adopted, and it’s positive.

      7. We aren’t changing the word because two people changed their minds. Thanks

      8. That’s not what I meant. I’m not asking anything from you, I just thought I could give another perspective. The fact is that for many women I hang with, the word already has a different (and positive) meaning. That doesn’t mean that you should adopt it, or endorse it or anything. Just that it’s helpful, when one is trying to communicate with someone, to understand the meaning that they give to those words.

    2. anonymousse says:

      “But now one does know things hehe, like causal sex and shit. I call it the whore path.”

      Go home Leon, you’re drunk.

      1. LOL @anonymousse. I read that line and was like WTF.

      2. I wish I could WTF myself for such unnimportant things I read on internet like you all. Mornings could be so much fun.

      3. anonymousse says:

        There’s the door. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.

      4. Not leaving anytime soon, I love this blog and their passionate community.

    3. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      Sometimes the no strings attached path leads to unplanned babies and 18 years of child support if you are the guy. Sometimes no strings has massive strings and you should only take that route if you are prepared to handle any consequence that occurs.

      1. Have you ever heard about child control and ETS protection methods? They are kinda cool and you can use them to fuck. Not totally effective, but really helpful if you want the NSA.

      2. anonymousse says:


      3. ele4phant says:

        What is child control?

        Is that like, the leashes people use to keep toddlers from running off? Baby gates? The stuff you put in your electrical sockets so young children can’t stick their fingers in?

        I don’t see how any of that has to do with adults having casual sex.

      4. Hahaha my bad, you are right. It’s birth control.

      5. Ele4phant says:

        The fact that you have a lose grasp of the terminology gives me the impression you also have a lose grasp of the immensity of the consequences women (and not you) face.

        Yes, if used properly birth control is pretty effective. But even if it’s a slight chance, the consequences are pretty huge, and in a casual relationship, they are born nearly 100% by the woman. So even if the chance is slight, you have to weigh it pretty seriously.

        It’s pretty condescending that you suggest an adult American women is unfamiliar with birth control. We are WELL aware of all the various options, just how effective they are, what the side effects are, as nausem. We have had to think about the stakes around using them are, since before we were even sexually active. How much time have you spent weighing the various trade offs (cost, ease of access, ease of use, effectiveness, potential side effects) of IUDs vs condoms vs the pill vs a depo shot vs a diaphragm vs an implant vs numerous other options? Do you even know what all of those are? Like really understand what they are and how they work.

        I do support women being in casual relationships if they want – there should be no shame about getting yours – but get the f out of here in thinking you understand at all what has to go into women’s calculus.

      6. Mmm is not a lose grasp. I’m not a native speaker, and was wrong when translating the words in my head. Not really being condescending, I don’t know your age, status and etcetera.

        I think that the consequences weighed on women historically had been used as a manipulation of their feminity, so the liberation process of having back the control of their bodies have landed on some controversial issues. I agree that one does have to be aware of the consequences of having sex around, but with the right birth control, mindset, information, and ETS protection, it is totally posible, for woman and men alike, to have multiple partners.

      7. Ele4phant says:

        Dude I don’t care what you think, it’s not your lived experience, so you don’t get to weigh in here.

        Just as I as a cis-hetero person don’t get to tell you about how you should be defining your sexuality.

        That’s not my lane, and this isn’t yours.

        This isn’t hard.

      8. So your point is, that me, cannot say that women who, let me quote myself, “(with) right birth control, mindset, information, and ETS protection” can actually have control of their sexuality. Are you implying that only women to women can say such empowering and liberating sentence? Because, for me, it seems supportive and encouraging of their independence to do whatever they decide. I don’t see myself crossing boundaries to make such statement. I intend it to be as free as possible. I mean, if someone doesn’t want to do it, just don’t.

        You are wrong to assume that my comment goes on the way as a restriction on the way people should live their life, as you imply on the comparation between queer-cis. You could totally support me, as queer, as long you don’t tell what to do. I never intended to tell women what to do.

      9. I think she pretty clearly means “don’t tell them to be a whore,” which you did, with the operative word being “whore.”

      10. ele4phant says:

        “So your point is, that me, cannot say that women who, let me quote myself, “(with) right birth control, mindset, information, and ETS protection” can actually have control of their sexuality. Are you implying that only women to women can say such empowering and liberating sentence?”

        Yeah – I am saying that.

        Look – I know you reject gender norms and societal attitudes that push us towards monogamous relationships, but at the end of the day, you do not share our lived experiences. You do not fully understand the magnitude of what we have to consider, as people who can get biologically pregnant, in these sorts of encounters.

        Just the same way I don’t know what it’s like to be gender queer or non-white. I don’t know what it is you have to deal with, I’m not going to stand here as an expert and tell you how it should be for you.

        Be an ally, don’t tell us how it is for us or how it should be. At the end of the day, you don’t know.

    4. ele4phant says:

      What the hell happened here?

      1. People being prudish.

      2. Damn prude whores. Seriously dude, you are a pig. Bye bye.

      3. anonymousse says:

        Who’s being prudish? No one said anything to that affect.

      4. Because I don’ agree whore is a positive term as this psycho does I am prudish. According to him times have changed and it is now a positive word and I am just too out of touch.

      5. ele4phant says:

        Leon – you’re a dude right?

        Historically, whore has been a word that has been derogatory and aimed at women as a way to shame them and control their sexuality.

        In the taking back the meaning of derogatory words, it has to be done and owned by the community that it was used to malign, not the groups that have historically used it to do the oppressing.

        So – for instance, many people who are Black feel comfortable using the n-word amongst one another in a positive, empowering way. They are taking back the power of a word that has long been used to oppress and humiliate them. But I as a white girl can’t sure as shit can’t start using it, even if I mean it in a positive uplifting way and I want to take part in reframing the context of that word. Even I refer to myself in that manner, or use it in reference to my other white friends. Sorry, there’s a historical dynamic that is there that means I don’t get to participate in this process.

        You don’t get to reframe the word whore, or whoring around, even if you mean it in a positive way, even if you are aiming it yourself.

      6. Ele4phant says:

        Unless Leon you’re also one of those white people who thinks you can go around people calling them the n word (in a positive way!) because rappers do so why can’t you? It’s not fair and it’s confusing!

      7. Eleph4nt, I’m queer and latino, and not even a english native speaker. I suppose cultural differences have hit sensibilities, thing I dont get because: 1. Never intended to address a specific person, was even calling myself and on abstract terms, 2. I had explained the meaning of it, and 3. even explained the re-signification of words. For the record, in my community, whore, as I said, is not meant to be a derogatory word. It had been, but it is changing with new generations and with feminist and anti-patriarchal movements. The attribution to black people is not used as a negative word, because it doesn’t exist here as such, and as latinos is stupid to have those kind of racial dilemmas when we all are part of the overpowered group.

      8. If you don’t have a full grasp on the language perhaps you aren’t one to be telling people what you have decided something means.

      9. Ele4phant says:

        That you are queer and non-white and that the word is okay in your circles still does not mean this word is okay for you to redefine.

        This term was derogatory towards women historically, so if women are telling you don’t use it it’s offense, don’t use it with them.

        That’s it.

      10. JD. Not really, I’m practicing a lot of language skills. I would never say again “child control”, and that’s part of the reasons I like to comment here. Stop being nasty, this is the last time I’m replying back to you, so don’t waste your time typing back some utterly annoying and really unnecessary pile of poorly chosen words.

        El4phant, in my culture, both attributions (feminine and masculine) of the word “whore”, are seemed as derogatory. I’m able to reframe that word in that sense, and if we go further, as a queer person, who negates the attributions of gender, sex and its implications; it gives me the right to reframe the word with the positive connotation I had already explained.

        It seems as if in English “whore” is a word only directed to woman, so I understand the stired up pot that my comment have made here.

      11. You shutting up is a gift, not a threat. You were the nasty one dear. I just recommend you don’t attempt to school people on a language you don’t fully grasp. Now please, f off.

      12. ele4phant says:

        “El4phant, in my culture, both attributions (feminine and masculine) of the word “whore”, are seemed as derogatory. ”

        Well – you’re speaking to people from another culture right now. That’s great you want to practice your language skills and all, but you need to be cognizant its not just the language you’re practicing but also you are now in our cultural context. And in our cultural context, this word has been aimed at women. This is our word to reject or accept and redefine.

        “I’m able to reframe that word in that sense, and if we go further, as a queer person, who negates the attributions of gender, sex and its implications; it gives me the right to reframe the word with the positive connotation I had already explained.”

        No, it does not give you the right. This is like saying, I don’t see color, I reject all racial prejudices and will redefine what it means. The institutions are still there pal, still shitting on some people and not others. And in this instance, its not impacting you even if you personally reject the idea of gender.

        If you want to keep using this word positively in your own social world, fine I can’t stop you.

        But know your audience and behave accordingly.

      13. ele4phant says:

        ALSO – we’re literally fighting over a word. Nobody is disputing the concepts, that women have a right to bodily autonomy, a right to pursue their sexuality without shame, to have multiple partners, to be in casual relationships.

        We’re all on board with that.

        However, we are asking you to not use a specific word, a word that in OUR language and and OUR culture has been derogatory to us specifically.

        It is so condescending that you come in here and tell us how we should understand our own histories as someone who has not had to live our experiences (neither in body or culture).

        Great that you reject the societal expectations of gender and biology, but I still have to live them so f off.

    5. Ele4phant says:

      I’ll say it here as well but you don’t get to be one of the ones that gets to reframe this word.

    6. You call it “the whore path” and then say you hope she can get on it?? EW!

  6. anonymousse says:

    LW1: Please add my endorsement for therapy. Stay single. Block his number, and find a therapist.
    If you get attached easily, you should not be looking for fuck buddies on a site specifically for casual sex.

    Why would you do that? To me, that sounds like you really want to be hurt.

    How could a stranger break your heart? This all points to needing professional help to unpack your feelings and habits. Please do this for yourself in the hopes that one day you might be in a healthy relationship.

  7. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    LW1 Why are you wanting to meet up again with a guy you tried to have sex with once but it only lasted a minute because you really just wanted it to stop? Why connect with a guy who only wants to meet for sex if you don’t want to have sex with him? The two of you want different things. He wants sex and nothing more. You want more. Your different wants make you incompatible from the start. Having a teaching certificate doesn’t suddenly make the two of you compatible. He still just wants sex.

    Don’t look for guys on a fuck-buddy site if what you really want is an ongoing, emotionally connected relationship. You need to limit your search to guys who are also looking for an emotionally connected relationship. Even then, most guys won’t be a good fit. Dating is about finding out what you need and what won’t work for you. You’ve found that fuck-buddy sites don’t work for you. Your search for an emotionally connected relationship on a fuck-buddy site is like looking for a mountain on the great plains or a lake in the Sahara.

    Don’t reply to the guy. He will know it means you aren’t interested in being his fuck-buddy.

  8. LW2, I that it’s legitimate to decide that this isn’t the relationship for you. It doesn’t make either of you right or wrong but I think that this relationship may never really give you the emotional primacy you want. Your wanting it doesn’t make you a bad person but you aren’t going to get it from her.

  9. Bittergaymark says:

    LW1) Therapy. STAT! Sorry, LW, but this is all 100% on you.
    LW2) The Ex here is a red herring. It’s simply bad timing for you two to be together. You being away for weeks on end plus her wanting to move 16 hours away… I just don’t think this relationship has much of a shot with that much stacked against it.

  10. Northern Star says:

    LW 2, are you basically wondering if your girlfriend will cheat on you? Since you constantly worry about it and imply she lied to you about her ex hitting her, it seems clear that you don’t trust her. Break up.

    Also: Your work schedule will always leave a potential girlfriend/wife alone for 3 weeks without you. So you really cannot afford to be the jealous type, can you?

  11. LW1: I wish I remembered the exact phrasing, and who said it, but one of the wisest things I’ve ever seen on this site was along the lines of, “only have the kind of relationship you want to be in.” In other words, if you want a loving committed relationship, do not engage in hookups with strangers who’ve said they don’t want that. What are you doing on a fuck-buddy site? You are not going to find a boyfriend there. You are only going to find men who very specifically DO NOT WANT TO BE YOUR BOYFRIEND.

    You’re heartbroken? After two meaningless sexual encounters, one of which was so unsatisfying that you stopped it immediately? Why? You didn’t even like the guy. Why are you sad?

    I think this is yet another case of “If I have sex with him, he’ll fall in love with me.” That is not how it works. Sex is sex. Love is love. Two different things. Yes, sex and love can go together. But this was a guy who didn’t even know you. He was just looking for a physical release that was more interesting than his hand. Why would you expect that it would become more than that?

    Stop the hookups. Go on dates. Talk to them. If they only want sex, move on.

  12. Ele4phant says:

    LW1 – if you form attachments quickly you should not be on hookup sites. That is what they are for – casual, purely physical interactions. Sure sometimes love blooms out of these causal encounters, but you should go in expecting that to be the exception, not the rule. And you should not get physical with people quickly for the same reason. You’re a person that should be secure in a relationship first.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong in the abstract with casual hookups, but for you specially they don’t seem to be a good idea.

    If you are a person that wants or needs to be in a relationship, don’t settle for something more casual.

  13. LisforLeslie says:

    LW 1 – Q: I met a guy on a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am site. We bammed. We didn’t wham. Months later he texted? Does he want to be my boyfriend now?

    A: No. He’s interested in another one-minute bam session. He forgot how clingy you got and didn’t relabel you as “NEVER CALL AGAIN” in his phone.

    LW #2: I’m not sure if it’s the collective set of issues, the lack of her availability because of her mom’s death, or what but if you don’t think that sticking around is right for you – then you have to walk away. I don’t know if it’s because she has a relatively amicable relationship with her ex (kudos to them for figuring out a way to co-parent), the pull she’s feeling to be closer to family, or the emotional toll her mother’s death is taking that’s giving you cold feet. The first one should be seen as a good thing. The second two – death of a parent, especially an unexpected and sudden death is devastating and terrible. It took me about 9 months after my dad’s sudden death to start feeling normal. And the first few months were a complete and total fog. If this is too much for you – well, it’s a shame but you can’t take on more than you can take on.

  14. Ruby Tuesday says:

    Every time I see a LW attempt to justify moving too quickly in a relationship, I think “Well, this will be fun.”

  15. Dear Wendy,

    Thank you so much for replying to my message. Wow such a thorough, well written response. I am so grateful, I have had a few counselling sessions to work through the trauma I faced as a child. I was molested by my dad from the age of 7 to 19 and when I would complain he would say “what do you have?” In reference to my skinny frame, flat chest etc. My self value was and is at -100. Thanks again for your words of encouragement.

    1. Ele4phant says:

      LW1 thank you for your update, and I’m so sorry to hear what happened to you.

      If I may suggest, it seems like maybe you want to table any dating, casual, serious or otherwise, until you make more progress in therapy.

      1. anonymousse says:

        I’d like to endorse this option. LW1, right now you’re engaging in reckless behavior and getting hurt by men you don’t even know. You aren’t in a healthy state of mind. You aren’t in a good place for dating right now.
        Take care of yourself, keep it up with therapy and work on really treating yourself well. You should try to be extra considerate to yourself right now.

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