“He Keeps Saying He Needs Time to End Things With His Girlfriend”

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I met a guy at work (different department) in February this year and things took off quite well. When this relationship started, he confided in me that he’d been having problems with his girlfriend of one year and they were on the verge of breaking up. He said they weren’t on the same page – he had plans of settling down but she wasn’t up for it. I told him that I wasn’t ready to be with a man who’s still in contact with someone else. He said he needed time to break things off with her, and I agreed to give him time.

I have met quite a number of his friends and he’s introduced me to part of his family. He says that he loves me and wants something long-term with me. I do visit him over the weekends and spend the night, and he prefers that I leave my stuff at his house. But I’m skeptical about all this because he’s still in contact with the other girl and says that he needs time to break it off with her. This woman knows about me and says that she’s got nothing to do with him. I have been patient, but it’s wearing thin. I made a mistake of texting the woman, telling her to let us be if she’s got nothing to do with him, and he got quite angry and told me to never call that woman again, that I was complicating things for him, and he asked why I wasn’t being patient.

I have walked out on him once, which left him distraught, begging me not to leave him, and saying that he loves me. I think I’m being lied to here and that he still has feelings for the other woman. This woman claims that he borrowed some cash from her and that that’s what she needs from him, but I think she’s using that as an excuse to keep him around.

I walked out on him yesterday while he was in the bathroom because of this issue. He’s apologized, but I don’t trust a single thing he says now. I love him, but I don’t understand why he has to keep contact with another woman with whom he’s been involved. Please advise me. — Not Trusting a Thing He Says

Come on now, the guy is playing you and you know it. He doesn’t “need time” to break up with his other woman. Who needs time to break up with anyone? Even a marriage can be gotten out of relatively quickly if it’s what both parties want. The only thing he “needs time” for is having both of you on a leash. You’ve known this guy for, like, three months, the whole time of which he’s been involved with another woman, and you’ve convinced yourself you’re in love with him? Really? Because he’s introduced you to some people in his life and given you a drawer in his home? Aim higher. This isn’t fucking love. Love doesn’t make you wait months while he pretends to be breaking up with someone else. Love doesn’t lie and cheat. Love doesn’t tell you that you’re complicating things for him with another woman. This was never love and he was never yours. There’s nothing else to do but MOA.


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


  1. What the fuck? Alright, I’ll read what Wendy has to say now, but I’m positive I could guess and I’m positive I’d agree.

  2. artsygirl says:

    SO very confused. Everyone including friends, family, and even the other woman all seem to acknowledge that his relationship is over and that he is now dating you but he still needs ‘time’ to break things off? When he asked you to move some things in, are the ex’s stuff still there? The whole situation sounds super shady and I agree with Wendy, it sounds like he is dating both of you and doesn’t want to be exclusive.

  3. “I told him that I wasn’t ready to be with a man who’s still in contact with someone else.”
    So LW, after you drew your line in the sand about not being with an involved man you immediately started spending weekends and leaving stuff at his place?
    This dude can play you like a violin because your words mean nothing at all. Stand firm for what you believe in and don’t let some bum help you throw away your self esteem.

    1. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      This! She isn’t willing to be with a guy who is still involved with someone else, except she is.

      LW If you had followed your own rules you wouldn’t be in this situation. If you had required him to be broken up before you would see him you wouldn’t feel the way you do. He’d either break up and be with you or he’d stay with the other woman. When you establish boundaries in your life, like not dating men who aren’t available, you protect yourself.

      For what it’s worth, it sounds like they are broken up but he hopes they get back together. He’s not over her.

    2. This is exactly what I was going to say! She started off well, and then caved. If you’re going to say something like that, you’ve got to mean it. Unless she has a different idea of what “be with” means.

  4. You can honestly re-read your letter on here, and not go what the actual fuck am I doing? I couldn’t ever imagine wanted to be with somebody so bad that I would put up with this shit. It’s basically having somebody walk all over you, and being ok with it. I love you how you were like. “After I slept with him for a while, I told him I can’t be with somebody who is already involved with somebody, so I’m only going to sleep with him on weekends, and meet his friends and family” way to stick to your guns.

  5. Ele4phant says:

    Um, so if I read this correctly, they are broken up but communicate on occasion. And you want him to break off all communication with her, which he is resistant to?

    If this is the case, I don’t think it’s unreasonable of you to feel how you feel, but you are acting like a crazy person. It sounds like he’s doing things a new boyfriend should do, letting you leave stuff over, introducing you to friends and family. I kinda feel like you’re being the unreasonable one here, at least in your heavy handed approach and it’s going to backfire on you.

    Talk about it with him about why you feel uncomfortable with him still being in touch with her. Listen to why he wants to keep in touch with her – he wanted to marry this woman, they had a long history. He may not be over her, but maybe he is and he just appreciates the friendship they built and he doesn’t want to let that go. Listen honestly and see if there’s a compromise.

    And stop contacting this woman yourself.

    1. artsygirl says:

      I wonder if he still refers to the ex as his ‘girlfriend’.

  6. Ele4phant says:

    Am I the only one that read this like the boyfriend has broken up with the other woman, but still talks to her and that’s what the LW wants to be broken off. No more talking to the ex? It sounds to me like they’re over…

    1. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      It sounds like they are broken up but he keeps saying she needs to be patient and wait for him to break up or break things off. I think they are broken up but he is hoping they get back together.

      1. artsygirl says:

        The whole situation is so strange. If she is spending her weekends with him. moving stuff in at his request, has met friends and family, apparently has confirmation from the ex, and has gotten the all important ‘i love you’ from him, I am not sure what is going on to make her think that the relationship is not over. It is like they need to preform some ritual to make either the break up or the new relationship official. I keep thinking of performance artist Marina Abramovic and her boyfriend Ulay who ended their relationship in the 1970s by walking from opposite sides of the Great Wall of China before meeting in the middle and sharing one last hug (or you could just make it Facebook official if you don’t want to pay for the flight to China).

    2. Bittergaymark says:

      No. Your NOT alone. I was baffled by this letter AND Wendy’s advice… I honestly DON’T know what the fuck this LW wants… But her texting of the ex is — frankly — full on fucking balls to the wall batshit crazy!! As her dramatic yet hilariously cowardly act of walking out on him while he is in the bathroom… But somehow the guy is in the wrong here? Okay, whatever…

      1. Ele4phant says:

        I mean he fully could still not be over his ex and just rebounding, and the LW senses that so that’s why she’s so uncomfortable with them still talking – but I find her reactions to be over the top. Either trust that he’s ready to be in a relationship and bring it down twenty notches, or recognize that he’s not ready and move on.

      2. Bittergaymark says:

        EXACTLY!! Honestly? The LW sounds so fucking nuts the BF is (wisely) just using his EX to keep the LW at arm ‘s length… This whole letter just screams I LOVE DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA!!!

  7. Monkeysmommy says:

    Yeah, I’m really confused. The woman said she “has nothing to do with him”? So, they broke up? Sounds like you got it twisted, OP. His ex (because I think she is based on what she is clearly saying) wants her money. I don’t blame her. I would too. Your “man” is the one who is hanging on to his ex, hoping to work it out. You are complicating it for him by making it clear to her you’re willing to settle down with him, because the reality is he probably wants to settle down with her. Aim higher.

  8. Ele4phant says:

    As a general rule, I do not think it’s reasonable to ask your ex to cease all contact with an ex. Many people retain some good feelings about their exes and want to keep them in their lives albeit not romantically. That can be okay.

    However as another general rule, people typically aren’t fully emotionally available to be in a new relationship right after one that had potentially been headed towards marriage has ended.

    LW your boyfriend maybe is still hung up on his ex. That doesn’t make him a bad person, it makes him human. Demanding that he cease all contact with her isn’t going to stop his feelings, and it makes you come across like a crazy person. You probably should move on, but I disagree that he is manipulating you. He was vulnerable, you were there.

    In the future, don’t be so quick to jump into a relationship with someone who just ended a serious one. If there’s a geninune connection there it can wait while they process their breakup.

  9. girltuesday says:

    Oh lordy, WWS WWS WWS. This guy is a selfish, immature douche. Aim higher.

  10. dinoceros says:

    Another confused person here. You make no mention of them breaking up, but he’s not hiding you from anyone, including her, and she says she has nothing to do with him. Except then she says she’s trying to get money from him. But then you talk about him breaking things off, which means breaking up. So, which is it? Are they still in a relationship? Are they broken up, but he still talks to her? Is she having something to do with him or not?

    Regardless, you acknowledge that he’s lying and you can’t trust him. I’m not sure why it’s a question as to what you should do. You should stop seeing him. He’s using you and trusting that you’ll be gullible enough to believe whatever lies he tells you and stick around no matter what. In the future, if someone says that they are dating someone already or they convey to you that they have one of your dealbreakers, then you should not start seeing them.

  11. Portlandia says:

    Oh honey, you were me a year ago. I met this guy and the connection seemed amazing. and he had a girlfriend (probably still does) and he just kept telling me ‘Im trying to break up with her’, ‘she deserves this happening the best way possible’, ‘I cant financially right now’ or the classic ‘this is just a hard time in life for her and I don’t want to add to it.’
    To my eternal shame I fell for it, and I have so much guilt for that. I deserved better, his girlfriend also deserved better. In my head I told myself six months. It would be the end of summer by that point and if he couldn’t do it in six months I was going to leave.
    I’m sure you can see the ending of this; six months pass and guess what? He was still with her, I was still a side piece and my self-esteem was in shambles.
    I left, one text saying I loved me more then I loved him and I deserved someone better as did his girlfriend. I never heard from him again and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me.

    Please leave; you deserve better then this bullshit. He’s playing you. You know he’s playing you. I knew it was wrong and so do you. He might not be with her, but something is shady and you’re being played.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      How so? The GF in question herself has told the LW — hell, REPEATEDLY told the LW — that they are fucking OVER. The way some of you project your own past miserable siruations onto letters is hilarious sometimes. Or… Did you also batshitcrazy STALK somebody’s ex by texting them, too? 😉

      1. I prefer to send a very haughty carrier pigeon.

      2. RedRoverRedRover says:


    2. Ele4phant says:

      Yeah I agree. I don’t see why so many other commenters are condemning this guys as being shady or playing her. Not over his ex, in denial and rebounding? Possibly.

      But I’m not convinced he’s a huge asshole playing these women. He ended a relationship not because he was over it but because he could see they weren’t on the same page. Then the letter writer comes along and hey, I think even the best among us have rebounded because being with someone, anyone, right after a hard breakup is comforting.

      I mean that sucks for the LW, but it doesn’t make him a player or dishonest.

      1. I agree that the LW problems are caused by herself as she is dating a guy who is not available.
        On the other hand, the BF is a lying scumbag, who was prolly kicked out by his ex, trying the use the LW as a fill-in the-gap, while trying to get back with his ex who is clearly over him.
        He cant even be honest about it but trying to keep the LW on the hook until he is sure he has no chance whatsoever of getting back with his ex.

      2. I don’t disagree that he probably wants to get back with his ex. It seems very clear that is never going to happen. I don’t even understand LW’s demand. She wants him to break up with an ex he is already broken up with. He just hasn’t come to terms with that rejection yet, but his ex clearly believes it’s 100% over. No evidence presented that he’s also dating his ex; indeed, evidence that he isn’t. So LWs complaint boils down to “stop thinking about ex and wanting her back”. He can’t do that. His mind returns to his ex. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t like LW, but she clearly is choice #2.

  12. Bottom line…if you don’t want to be or can’t handle being involved with someone and be their, “second best” then don’t. This life is too short to be unhappy!! Be happy and find someone you can be happy with….Love yourself completely!!

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