Ever since then, I began to watch myself. I tried really hard not to get mad at anything she said/did. A week later, I took her to a KISS concert. She said it was the best concert she had ever been to. And in the following weeks, I went with her entire family on a three-day vacation. A week after getting back, I went with them to Six Flags for the day. It was pretty much her goodbye gift because she was leaving for her senior year of college.
Since her college is six hours away from here, we — her family and I — all spent the night at a hotel after moving her into her dorm room all day. She was really emotional when she had to say good-bye to all of us. She was scheduled to come home a week later for the weekend, so I took a bus up there the day before so she wouldn’t have to drive home alone. We had a lotta fun and the ride home was amazing, too.
About four days after she went back to school, I texted her telling her how I was already planning my next visit up there. She then called and broke up with me. She said you can’t force someone to love you, but that she really wants to keep me as a friend. The problem for me is that it’s extremely tough to keep someone as a “friend” when you’re crazy in love with them.
I hadn’t talked to her in about three days. No contact at all. Everybody had been telling me the same thing: Don’t call, text, tweet, message or contact in anyway. “Let her miss you.” She tweeted me that day saying: “Wanted to say thank you for the rice pilaf 🙂 hope all is well.” I had sent her a box of rice pilaf because we both love it. That was about a week ago and I haven’t heard from her since. She has asked about me to one of our friends at work, checking up on me to see how I am. Also, her Mom LOVES me. She and the rest of the family thought I was the best boyfriend Jessica ever had and she’s praying we find our way back together.
A few hours ago, her Mom told me she was coming home for Columbus Day weekend and she wants to go to Six Flags. She told me I can always go as a friend. I think I’m gonna tell her mom no. Maybe if I still avoid her, it’ll give her time to miss me more. But I don’t know. When I tell anybody what happened, they always have the same reaction: A HUGE gasp! Like they all can’t believe it. Dear Wendy, is there anything I can do? Any advice you can give me? Any help would be appreciated. — Crazy in Love
You are right not to go to Six Flags with your ex and her family. You are right to give her space. And though I wish I could tell you that time and absence will make her heart grow fonder, the truth is it probably won’t. Because the thing with 20-year-old girls is that 80% of the time, they don’t go for the guy who takes a bus six hours so they don’t have to drive home alone and they don’t go for the guy who sends them rice pilaf in the mail or the guy whom their moms are crazy about. They go for the guys who ignore them and cheat on them and break their hearts. Not always, of course, but a lot of the time.
And for a while, it seems like no one is happy because guys like you are pining away for girls like your ex and those kinds of girls are pining away for someone else and everyone is sad and a little lonely and wishing they could just love the people who already love them back. The good news is that eventually the 20-year-old girls turn into 25-, 30-, 35-year-old women and they’re tired of longing for the guys who don’t treat them well. And they long for the kind of guy who will go on a family vacation with them and help them move and bring them their favorite food. And you’re going to be in luck when that happens because you’re going to have your pick of the litter. In about 5 years or so, the kind of girl you like is going to be looking for someone exactly like YOU. And then it’s all just going to be a matter of timing to find the right match.
I know that doesn’t help you much now. It doesn’t do much to soothe your broken heart and make you feel less alone. And the only thing I can say to that is that it WILL get better. As long as you remain the sweet, thoughtful guy you are — the kind of guy moms love and girls want as their “friend,” it won’t be too long before they’re going to want so much more than that. And who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and you’ll find the rare breed of young woman who has no interest in dumb games and already understands the value of a guy who wants nothing more than to be a great boyfriend.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ktfran September 30, 2013, 9:11 am
Ahh Wendy, that was really nice.
LW – listen to Wendy. This girl won’t come around at this time in her life. To be perfectly blunt in the hopes that you don’t continue holding out for her – she wants to be your friend because she likes the attention and she likes being fawned over. But she doesn’t like you how you want her to.
It sucks getting over a first love, but unfortunately, I think you’re going to have to cut your losses and move on. And don’t sit around hoping that the distance will make her want you back. You CAN’T make someone want to be with you. It’s a recipe for disaster and future unhappiness.
Mara September 30, 2013, 9:13 am
LW, If you haven’t already, start getting involved again with school, friends and work. You will find someone special enough that deserves you!
eljay September 30, 2013, 9:17 am
Wendy is so right, LW. I know because I was that girl. I think back at my twenty-year old self and want to shake her. I had the most amazingly wonderful man in the world (kind, thoughtful, generous, would do anything for me), and threw it all away because I was so sure I wanted “more.” I didn’t even know what the hell “more” was, still don’t. I didn’t even understand me, so good luck trying to understand where she’s coming from. Just listen to Wendy and all the intelligent commenters here, she’s told you what she wants. It doesn’t make sense to you now, and it probably won’t make sense later, but find a woman who will appreciate you for who you are, and don’t change who you are. Three months is such a short time, don’t invest any more time and feelings into someone who has clearly stated they don’t want what you want.
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 9:21 am
Dude, she broke up with you. That’s really all you need to know. And you may be a nice guy, but that doesn’t entitle you to a girlfriend. Her messages aren’t signs that she wants to get back together, she’s probably just trying to be polite. (And I don’t think her breaking up with you means she likes “bad guys”.)
It’s best for you if you stay away from her for a while. As you say yourself, it’s hard to be friends with someone who you are in love with. So don’t be friends with her until you are completely over her. And don’t be in touch with her mom either. It’s not going to help you get over her. If you hear from her mom again, just politely tell her that.
Fabelle September 30, 2013, 9:29 am
“And I don’t think her breaking up with you means she likes ‘bad guys’ ” <— I agree with this, & didn't think it was fair to put that idea in LW's head (that most girls his age are gonna go for assholes). I know Wendy was careful about saying SOME girls (which, let's face it, is obviously true from the letters we see here) but that's the kind of sentiment that abounds in the heads of Nice Guy(s)™ , so it rubbed me the wrong way a bit. This guy sounds GENUINELY nice, so I'd hate for this breakup to be the thing that tips him into "All she wanted was an ASSHOLE JERK RAWRRR" territory?
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 9:38 am
Yeah, this girl might be sending him mixed signals (breaking up, getting back together, breaking up again, but still maintaining contact) but I don’t think it would be good for this guy to think that she broke up with him for the wrong reasons. I mean, the girl said it quite well, you can’t force someone to love you. It doesn’t help him to think she’s somehow wrong to break up with him. What he should do is just accept it for what it is.
Banana September 30, 2013, 10:08 am
Ditto this. So, so much.
And for what it’s worth, I don’t think she was sending mixed signals. She was clear she didn’t feel a spark. He pressured her into staying together, so she said she’d give it a shot. If I were in her position and already struggling with how to break up with The Perfect Boyfriend (on top of already being young and relatively inexperienced) I would probably cave too. She gave him another shot, like she promised, and came to the same conclusion. It all seems pretty cut-and-dry to me. I don’t think she’s playing games, I think it sounds like she was genuinely struggling with her feelings vs. pressure from him and her family to stay together.
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 10:11 am
I agree, I’m not getting a “playing games” vibe either, I was just trying to appreciate that there may have been some back and forth that may have confused him. But that often happens at the end of relationships, especially with 20 year olds. So I wouldn’t hold that against her. And yep, what she said is pretty clear.
MMcG September 30, 2013, 12:26 pm
I think the dude wanted to be confused… he “fell in love” with someone he barely knows (I mean I love a good summer fling but c’mon) and wants to leverage mom’s support as a reason to become a stalker.
kerrycontrary September 30, 2013, 10:07 am
Yup, I agree. It’s basically saying “nice guys finish last” which I’ve only heard from the grossest, creepiest men. Maybe this girl just doesn’t like the LW, it doesn’t mean she likes assholes.
BreezyAM September 30, 2013, 10:48 am
For all we know he just sucks in bed. I mean we don’t know. I know lots of nice guys and dated many, and honestly, I ended up breaking up with them when I was no longer sexually attracted to them. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. For whatever reason.
kerrycontrary September 30, 2013, 11:14 am
YES! Omg I dated this guy who was so attractive and so nice, but he was so boring in bed. I mean there was nothing “wrong” with him but I was just so bored with him. Plus he was also a little dumb. And I’m sure afterwards he was like “nice guys finish last”.
KKZ September 30, 2013, 1:16 pm
Yes, I was disappointed in Wendy trotting out the “girls only like bad boys” pony again. *facepalm* “that’s the kind of sentiment that abounds in the heads of Nice Guy(s)™ ” EXACTLY and I have spent a LOT of time and energy arguing against that mentality so it definitely disappointed me to come here and see it being implied as the cause of this breakup.
It’s not that young adult women are too blind or misguided or idealistic or whatever to accept the thoughtful attentions of a nice young man. It’s that no matter how many 6-hour bus rides and packages of rice pilaf you send her, if she’s not feeling it, she’s not feeling it. And that could be for ANY number of reasons, so PLEASE, LW, don’t latch on to this “I’m not Bad Boy enough to be attractive” thinking. That just leads to a lot of bitterness.
Romantic comedies and popular storylines have a lot of people convinced that “If only I did JUST THE RIGHT THING I’d get what I wanted” but fact is, that very, very, very rarely happens and it shouldn’t be a Rule of Thumb for dating and relationships.
kerrycontrary September 30, 2013, 1:23 pm
Fabelle September 30, 2013, 9:21 am
LW, it sucks, but this girl doesn’t want to be with you. None of the rest matters— her mom could love you, all of your friends could think you’re the best couple ever, but if she broke up with you (twice!) then, that means it’s over.
It DOESN’T mean there’s anything wrong with you, though. You sound like a great boyfriend. But stop, stop, stop wasting your energy on this girl. It’s good that you’ve decided to cut contact… however, you need to remain out-of-contact, not just as a ploy to get her longing for you.
Which COULD work, if she’s the kind of girl who will go back-and-forth about things. Is that what you want, though? To only be with her because your absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder games have worked? That’s not the mark of a good pairing, anyway, you know? It’s time to let her go.
Jenny September 30, 2013, 9:31 am
WWS. There’s a great girl out there for you – just not this one. You’ll find someone who appreciates your kindness. Don’t settle for anyone who takes you for granted.
ktfran September 30, 2013, 9:35 am
Speaking of mom’s. As a side note, my mom totally tried to convince me to stay with my ex-fiance. She told me I had cold feet. That I would get over not EVER wanting to have sex with him. Thanks for the support mom. He was also a “good” guy.
The reason I’m telling you this is I just found out he got married a couple months ago. And I’m sure it’s to someone who truly loves him. I’m glad neither one of us settled for the other.
KMJ September 30, 2013, 9:38 am
Spot on, Wendy! Great great great response!
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 9:48 am
Aww, LW, you are such a sweet guy! She doesn’t love you back and there’s nothing you can do about it. I hope this experience doesn’t make you jaded – another girl will come along and be just as sweet with her, ok?
Bittergaymark September 30, 2013, 9:54 am
So true. Wendy. Far too many young women these days seem to get off on being treated like utter shit. I don’t know why this is… and yes, it baffles me. But, more often than not, it seem true. Honestly? If you fucked both her mother and her best friend in some whacked out threeway — and then decided you never wanted to see any of them ever again — she’d probably be instantly and forever obsessed with you. Twentysomethings love drama, drama, drama… Actually, sometimes? It NEVER ends…
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 10:01 am
Yeah. Young women these days are the worst.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 10:35 am
Whatever, young men these days are no better. I’m tired of all the girls being pooped on.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 10:38 am
Or old men, for that matter. Everybody sucks. Except for a few good people who are already taken. At 34 I think my best bet is to just take care of myself, do what I enjoy, and waht for a few of the good ones to go through a divorce in a few years and snatch one of those.
ktfran September 30, 2013, 10:42 am
I think I found a good one! Yay! Maybe he has friends . . .
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 5:10 pm
Helloooo, it’s been about 7 hours…. what’s the status on whether he has friends? Geez.
bittergaymark September 30, 2013, 10:39 am
Young men, have problems to be sure. But they aren’t nearly as predisposed to hopelessly romanticize being shit on. Sure, some pine for cunts and bitches rather hilariously — but it is nowhere near the epidemic that asshole worship is among young women…
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 10:43 am
So what’s worse to you: the asshole worshiper (ie, young women) or the asshole (ie, young men)? I think the former camp are sad and don’t know what’s good for them. But the latter? Evil. They’re the ones who want to have commitment-less condom-less sex, who expect women to look like porn stars, and who want to giz and poop on girls’ faces. I mean really, if we’re going to generalize here, I say the latter is worse.
ktfran September 30, 2013, 10:49 am
And don’t even get me started on the dudes who keep girls around just for the sake of not being alone. Are the girls stupid enough to stay with them a little too long? Most definitely. But the dude usually will say or do something to give them a glimmer of hope.
Really, it’s a vicious cycle and both sexes are equally at fault.
Bittergaymark September 30, 2013, 11:37 am
The worshippers irritate me more as they make themselves suffer so. And constantly whine about it. It’s easy (for me) to simply remove assholes from my life. I refuse to be friends with guys who treat women badly… Sadly, many of my solid female friends are constantly drawn to assholes and it’s exhausting…
JK September 30, 2013, 11:43 am
So treating women badly is wrong, but talking crap about, generalizing, insulting, etc. women is fine? Good to know.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 11:44 am
Oh point, JK! BGM, you get a rebuttal but it has to be two sentences or less and cannot include the words bitch or cunt. Shithead is fair game. Go!
Bittergaymark September 30, 2013, 12:30 pm
Eh… Peace, out for a while. Clearly, my views are not appreciated. Or often — by many — even remotely understood.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 12:58 pm
Awww, come on back! I was actually following you with the whole “worshippers irritate me more because they make themselves suffer so” and “it’s easy to simply remove assholes” points! It’s just that JK essentially threw your generalizing/insulting women into the asshole camp. Without saying asshole. JK, way to call someone an asshole without saying asshole! That takes skill.
Ok, BGM, come back and stir things up. The site will be down tomorrow so we DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME!!!!!!!!!
Nadine September 30, 2013, 1:06 pm
Understood, and not appreciated, is correct.
Everybody is a jerk sometimes, regardless of gender.
McLovin September 30, 2013, 1:41 pm
Really? Is poop face a thing now? I honestly hope not because I’m way too old to make those kind of fundamental changes to my “game.”
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 2:08 pm
I dunno, probably.
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 10:54 am
Let’s meet halfway and just say all young people are the worst.
Diablo September 30, 2013, 11:04 am
Am I the only one who notices anymore that BGM often refers to women as cunts and bitches. Doesn’t anyone even want to take the time to challenge this anymore? Is it just not worth fighting this fight? Mark, it’s just so reductive. It’s a shortcut to thinking.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 11:05 am
I think we’ve all tuned it out by now. But yes I agree.
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 11:08 am
You know, as women we sometimes just need to be reminded that we’re worthless. Amirite?
landygirl September 30, 2013, 11:16 am
Jodee September 30, 2013, 11:23 am
Yep. Cause obviously it’s the women who are starting wars, raping, and murdering. Clearly we’re the bigger to blame for the world’s problems. OH WAIT. Yeah, I think on a scale of “worse human beings,” guys pretty much win the day. Every. Time.
lets_be_honest September 30, 2013, 11:25 am
This is pretty extreme.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 11:32 am
The irony here is we’ve just had a few people bash all women, and now Jodee says men are worse and people are acting like she just kicked a baby.
ele4phant September 30, 2013, 11:39 am
I think by a few people you mean bgm – and it’s been week established that’s what he thinks and no amount of arguing is going to get him to come around. The vast majority of people are good – if flawed – and making sweeping negative generalizations about the human race, or broken down by either gender, are apt to be wrong.
lets_be_honest September 30, 2013, 11:44 am
Eh, its just BGM doing his usual, and everyone disagreed with him as usual. But I don’t think BGM doing his usual woman bashing means we should all say men are the absolute worst.
I just said it seemed like an extreme comment, not making it sound like she’s a baby kicker. (fwiw, I’d say BGM’s comments were extreme too obviously, but everyone beat me to it).
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 11:47 am
no you called her a baby kicker. that’s a little extreme, lbh, no?
i’m kidding. yea, i just thought it was funny that BGM and sas both commented with essentially “women are the worse” and then jodee said essentially, no, men are, and then right away you and ele4phant were like “whoa, that’s uncalled for!”
lets_be_honest September 30, 2013, 11:55 am
Yea, I don’t really bother telling BGM how crazy/wrong his comments about women are anymore. Its pointless, and plenty of other commenters will tell him how crazy/wrong he is.
Lemongrass September 30, 2013, 12:07 pm
Don’t feed the trolls!
ele4phant September 30, 2013, 11:30 am
Whoa there I don’t feel that’s a fair aprassial of men. It’s not fair to judge an entire gender based on the actions of a few (and really the criminals and world leaders you refer to are a fraction of a fraction of all the 3 billion men alive today.) Most men are decent human beings.
ele4phant September 30, 2013, 11:22 am
Meh I came to realize it’s not productive to reply to him, so I don’t.
Lindsay September 30, 2013, 4:15 pm
I notice, but it seems like everyone else has taken on a “he’s crazy Uncle BGM, but he’s family” kind of attitude.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 5:11 pm
Ha, that’s a cute way of saying it.
MMcG September 30, 2013, 12:28 pm
Except for this LW obviously… he’s pining and thinks mom’s vote will help out. Harsh but my initial reaction for this guy was PATHETIC.
bittergaymark September 30, 2013, 1:01 pm
Actually, I am frankly confused how THIS statement was supposed to reflect somehow on ALL women? I was talking specifically here about guys who are hopelessly drawn to the WORST of women… i.e. cunts and bitches. Just like some guys are total assholes… some women are total cunts and bitches. Honestly? That this is even remotely controversial… And was somehow taken by so many of you as me saying that all women are cunts and bitches makes me seriously question the intelligence of this board.
So, peace out. For a while at least. Honestly? The letters and problems here are beginning to bore me as the are all the same lately. It’s been fun, but it’s just not as entertaining to post around here as it once was…
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 1:06 pm
OH COME ON………… True, your original comment was pretty benign, as far as BGM comments go. Stick around! Stir things up. Your posts and the replies they solicit are always my favorite. Everybody, show BGM the lurve. We ganged up on him.
Diablo September 30, 2013, 1:23 pm
So, to recap:
1) You rarely read what posters say carefully, and your responses are often kneejerk reactions to what you think they are saying, rather than their actual words;
2)You frequently claim that people are being careful enough in reading your views, despite the above;
3) You frequently claim that people who have not understood you as you wish to be understood are too stupid to understand you – your views are so far ahead of anyone’s else’s, and based in some hidden system of “knowing society” that we could not hope to comprehend;
3) Because of this, you frequently feel entitled to name whole classes of people (not ALL women which is not what I said if you actually read my comment) bitches and cunts, and this is appropriate and not a step beyond any real thought or analysis;
4) When anyone calls you on your crap, your typical response is to say that the LWs, the commenters, and sometimes Wendy, are some combination of stupid, boring, wrong, deliberately misunderstanding you and not worth the bother of responding to, so passive aggressive peace out, you’ll take your ball and go home.
You clearly need to find an online community that is up to your rarefied level. Uh, peace out, Mr. Crankypants. Feel free to denigrate me according to your perception of my online character.
Painted_lady September 30, 2013, 7:52 pm
Diablo, if M didn’t already have dibs, I might propose.
MMcG September 30, 2013, 10:36 pm
Mine!!!!!! Ha ha ha… all mine *rubs hands together Dr Evil style*
Painted_lady September 30, 2013, 11:51 pm
It’s ON, gurl.
Addie Pray October 1, 2013, 12:03 am
um, MMcG, I don’t know if you know but Painted_lady is derby girl. Those girls are TOUGH!
While you two kill each other, I’ll be over here canoodling with diablo.
Diablo October 1, 2013, 10:38 am
Actually, I wrote my comment while you were writing yours asking us to give BGM the lurve, and i instantly felt guilty for being so pointed. This raises two important points. One, did I go too far, and how far is too far in addressing what I consider to be BGM’s frequently pointedly misogynistic comments. Two, are you guys all just giving me the lurve because I am now such a demonstrated badass, in which case, are we setting a bad example for the LW?
LW. I’m actually the nice guy. Not a lot of girls actually went for me in real life, but the best one did. That’s what you should hold out for.
Painted_lady October 1, 2013, 12:09 pm
I just gave you the lurve because you were wonderfully concise in your wording and put into polite-but-honest words about exactly why this might not be the place for BGM and why his opinions are met with such hostility. It was exactly what I thought but couldn’t verbalize.
Also, I think you’re right that calling people out *can* send the wrong message, but given his propensity to shape himself according to his girlfriend’s needs, perhaps being given permission to stand his ground a bit could help him. Especially given that you’re almost always very kind, even when you’re being blunt.
Lindsay September 30, 2013, 4:12 pm
Is this different from all the other times that you told us DW was boring you?
Banana September 30, 2013, 10:04 am
I actually kind of disagree with Wendy. When I was 20, I actually wanted a sweet guy like that. I dated a couple of them — and broke up with them. Not because I was irresistibly drawn to bad boys…just because there was a lot of niceness there, but not a lot of connection. You need to have both. I don’t know if you girlfriend wants a badder boy or not, but either way, she told you pretty clearly, very early on, that she didn’t feel a connection. And she’s right. You can’t force someone to fall in love with you. You can’t say, “I did all the right things, and she still refuses to fall in love with me! What’s wrong with her?” Maybe nothing’s wrong with either of you. You just aren’t right for each other.
Get out of your ex’s, and her family’s, lives for good. Obviously her mom is very fond of you, so it’s going to be hard, but be firm with her too: “I know we had some great times, but your daughter and I are no longer going out, and I think I need some distance to get over it. Thank you for your kindness, though.” Honestly, it weirds me out that her mom is inviting you to hang out with her after you’ve broken up. Her mom should be staying out of it entirely, so don’t mistake her mom’s enthusiasm for enthusiasm from your ex.
Good luck. Don’t get bitter about how you weren’t appreciated. Just continue being a caring, thoughtful guy, and when you feel ready, get out there and meet someone else. You might not have to wait 5 – 10 years for all the girls your age to “mature” to your level. There are tons of them out there who like what you have to offer. You’re only going to find them if you stop obsessing over the one who didn’t.
Lyra September 30, 2013, 10:25 am
Agreed. I’ve always been drawn to the sweet, nice guys. Douchey jerks are just jerks, plain and simple. I never had an urge to go out with the “bad boys”. I didn’t see the point since they treated their SO’s like crap anyway.
landygirl September 30, 2013, 10:47 am
MMcG September 30, 2013, 12:33 pm
This guy might be a genuine nice guy… but there’s something about the notion that if he just hangs out more and isn’t mean to her and LOVES HER SO MUCH that she will come around that’s also a little Nice Guy (TM).
LW – don’t become that Nice Guy. If you aren’t sure what I am referring to, look it up. There’s a big difference between declaring your loving intentions and respecting your partner’s ability to make their own choices, and trying to negotiate a relationship into the one that you want while seemingly ignoring your ex-girlfriend’s wishes.
kerrycontrary September 30, 2013, 10:10 am
I kind of disagree with Wendy. I mean maybe it’s the case that the girl wasn’t interested in the LW because he’s a “nice guy” (yuck! hate that phrase), but maybe the girl just wasn’t interested. That happens all time. People date for 3 months and then they realize that the person they are dating isn’t into them and they break up. And then that guy hangs around (instead of moving on like he should) and offers to help and she’s not going to say “no” because she needs the help and doesn’t want to seem like a bitch. And she feels a little sorry for this sad puppy dog following her around and she likes the attention.
I don’t know. There are plenty of 20 year old women who date quality guys, and there are a ton of 25, 30, 35 yr old women who repeatedly date assholes.
Nadine September 30, 2013, 1:10 pm
Yeah, I dont think its fair to say her judgement is off here, and she is wrong and doomed (for a while) to date jerks. No one is helped by that observation, the girl or the guy. However I suspect Wendy is trying to build up this guys self-esteem, which IS important after a sad break up, so there is that.
Amybelle September 30, 2013, 10:13 am
I kind of disagree with what Wendy is saying here, just because this guy is nice to her and treats her well doesn’t mean he is right for her. There’s nothing in the letter that indicates that she only likes jerks or doesn’t like guys treating her well, she just isn’t interested romantically in the LW any more, it happens. It sounds like both the LW and her family were really pressuring her to stay with this guy and give him a chance, she told him she wanted to break up (a 3 month relationship/summer romance kind of thing) and he wouldn’t accept it. I was actually expecting Wendy to tell him he should have accepted it when she first broke up, and instead she says “guys like you are pining away for girls like your ex and those kinds of girls are pining away for someone else”. What kind of girls? The kind who date someone for a few months, decide they’re not really feeling it and break up? Since when are you some kind of bad boy loving immature girl because you don’t want to continue dating somebody, even if they treat you well? And honestly I’m not all that convinced the LW did treat her well, not taking no for an answer and continuing to try to force a relationship on someone who has told you they don’t want one is not treating them well. He needs to MOA
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 10:23 am
For what it’s worth, I agree that this particular ex-girlfriend may not be an immature girl pining away for a jerk. She seems to have given him a fair chance and was direct to him. And her asking how he is doing shows she cares and feels bad for breaking LW’s heart, which I think is a sign of a good person. Doesn’t make them right for each other, and doesn’t mean she should or will fall in love with LW. But, I think the advice to the LW was just fine. And someone will fall in love with him BECAUSE he does those nice things.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 10:31 am
But, actually, you know what? The whole “someone will come along and love you for who you are” line we feed everyone is kind of bullshit. Like, say, take an 85 year old who is lonely and without a love. Do you tell that person “oh hey the right guy will come along, just you wait.” Um, probably not. Ok, 85 is pretty old, so what about a 70 year old? Still seems unlikely. So work backwards and you realize, meh, 30 is a slippery slop to 40 and then 50 is right around the corner and 50 is close to retirement age which is basicaly 70 and god for all intents and purposes that’s the same as 85 so we really should not be acting like time is indefinite. It’s not, it’s short. And we’re all basically dying. And we should stop pretending like someone who gets us is going to walk into our lives and be available and want the same things. We need to figure out a way to be happy with what we got – work, a few good friends, family, gym/movies, whatever to get us throughthe day, repeat the next day – gawd i’m depressed today.
Lemongrass September 30, 2013, 10:58 am
Okay there, Dr. House.
Banana September 30, 2013, 11:11 am
Aw, AP, I’m sorry you’re depressed. But I think you have a good point that “the right one will come along” is bullshit. I think that applies whether or not you’re in a relationship. Too many people give up good relationships because they think someone out there will “complete them” and there’s all this pressure to find your One True Love. I don’t think there is such as thing as soul mates or one true loves. I think you find someone who works for you, that you feel a connection with, and then you sort out your own goddam life. No one is going to make you happy but yourself, whether or not you have a romantic partner. The LW should hear this as much as his ex: if you think any one person is your soul mate/completes you/is your one true love, you don’t sound like you have yourself figured out. Know who you are as a person, and you realize that a romantic relationship sweetens life, but doesn’t make it “complete.” It’s just part of everything else.
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 11:17 am
Are you a therapist?
Banana September 30, 2013, 11:44 am
LOL. No. But here’s my dirty secret (haven’t shared on DW yet): I used to be an advice columnist. I still write for the same publication I used to, but I quit the advice column and moved on to write about other stuff because, ironically, I got so overwhelmed with other people’s problems that I wound up getting over-anxious and couldn’t handle my own shit. So now I carry on writing about other topics for my publication (in my free time — it’s not my day job) and come to DW for my advice giving/reading fix! I really, really, really hope this doesn’t piss of Wendy. I don’t want her to feel like I’m stealing her turf. That’s why I hadn’t told anyone before about my previous gig. I just enjoy the community, and honestly I need advice at least as much as I give it.
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 2:53 pm
I think that’s great and big part of why I enjoy this site (apart from Wendy’s advice) is the quality of comments.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 11:40 am
Way to try to ruin my lovely depression this morning with words of wisdom and reason, gawd!
MMcG September 30, 2013, 12:38 pm
Amen!! One reason I hate the whole “the right one will come along” mantra is that it makes it sound so passive. Like I will be sitting in a coffee shop one day and BAM a guy will spill something on me and our eyes will lock and it will be LURVE… ugh. RomCom BS UGH UGH UGH.
You know who meets someone they really connect with? Someone who tries to meet new people at work, volunteering, school, theatre performances, etc, etc, who they have something in common with. Someone who values themselves and has something to offer, but isn’t a narcissistic cray. Someone who puts themselves out there and knows it will be hard and even terribly painful but doesn’t make it all into a black or white death spiral when it doesn’t work out AFTER THREE MONTHS 😉
starpattern September 30, 2013, 10:19 am
It’s true that a lot of young women date “bad boys” and then later date down to earth “nice guys,” and the same can be true for young men – they want to date “bad girls” and then later want someone they can settle down with. As people get a little more mature, they start to value stability as much as or more than excitement… but as someone else said, the connection still has to be there.
LW, it’s hard, but I think you have to accept that the connection just wasn’t there this time. It’s painful to let go of someone you are crazy about, but it’s so much better than hanging on to a person who isn’t also crazy about you. Onward and upward, you know? Good luck.
SasLinna September 30, 2013, 10:27 am
I’m honestly surprised that the false dichotomy between bad/sexy guys/girls and good/unsexy guys/girls still convinces so many people. I mean, it’s really a false dichotomy. This guy will hopefully find a girl who just wants him the way he is, not because he “does things” for her. And likewise, she’ll hopefully find someone who she’s into and who’s nice, too.
starpattern September 30, 2013, 11:35 am
I totally agree with you that it is a false dichotomy, and I did not mean to sound like I think “good”/stable folks are not sexy. It is my experience that when my friends and I were very young, most of us were more concerned with the thrill of dating than with finding someone we could build a good, healthy relationship with. As we have gotten a little older and started to do things like build careers and buy houses, our dating habits changed. Not that I ever wanted someone who was *mean* to me, but I care a lot more now about my SO being considerate and reliable, not JUST fun and sexy – so I agree with Wendy that a considerate and reliable guy will be more highly sought after as his potential partners get a little more mature.
Whether all that applies to the couple in this letter, though, I have no idea. Yes, the bottom line is that this LW’s ex is just not feeling it and he should find someone that does not need to be convinced to be with him.
DesiDad September 30, 2013, 1:53 pm
I think of it as another unfortunate manifestation of the 80/20 rule, rather than a “dichotomy.” (I imagine a dichotomy to be a 50/50 kind of statistic.)
Lyra September 30, 2013, 10:33 am
LW, the best thing you can do for yourself right now is not pine for her and not hope that she will come back. Realize that she doesn’t want to be with you. You can’t force someone to be your girlfriend. I know that’s hard, but do you REALLY want to be with someone who isn’t in the relationship 110%? You deserve someone who will appreciate everything you have to offer and who will love you as much as you love her.
As someone who has a great appreciation for nice and respectful guys, the biggest piece of advice that I have for you is to keep on doing what you’re doing. There are PLENTY of girls out there who will appreciate that you treat them with respect and that you care about them so deeply.
sia September 30, 2013, 10:48 am
This rubbed me the wrong way. I am in total agreement with that this LW seems like a very caring and considerate guy, but I disagree with the take-home message, which I perceive to be, in short, “Wait it out until girls no longer go for assholes 80 % of the time, because your chances of finding someone who doesn’t will be slim-to-none for the next five years or so, anyways”.
First off; I’m pretty positive that the LW would have been perceived as desperate and a bit pathetic for the inability to see the writing on the wall, were he a girl. Second; Labeling guys under 25 as being shallow game-players 80 % of the time would never fly here – with good reason, because it’s a blatant and unfair generalization. I’m a bit stunned by reading something like this at such an awesome and progressive site. That’s all!
Katie September 30, 2013, 10:58 am
Lyra September 30, 2013, 11:00 am
I really don’t think that was the intent in Wendy’s underlying message. She just wanted to point out that a lot of girls have a tendency to go for “bad boys” at that age. Not all girls are like that — I sure wasn’t — but sometimes nice guys like this LW can lose hope in this particular situation. She was trying to reassure him that in 5 years, dating will be less dramatic and there will be lots of girls who are on the same page as him.
I dove into the dating pool at the age of 25 wholeheartedly and I’ve definitely noticed that there are a lot more guys on the same page as me. There are a lot of guys who have matured and are looking to settle down instead of go out and meet as many girls as possible. Sometimes it just takes time for them to grow out of that phase.
sia September 30, 2013, 11:10 am
Oh, I agree – I don’t think there was any malicious intent in Wendy’s advice. However, reading that the girls under 25 who *doesn’t* want to be treated like shit are “rare”/few and far between, is a notion that I (and several other commenters, it seems) just don’t agree with at all. That’s not to say that people won’t grow and mature over the course of their early 20’s, like you experienced at 25.
Lyra September 30, 2013, 11:43 am
I can agree with that. I definitely was one who didn’t want to be treated like crap, even in my early 20’s.
KKZ September 30, 2013, 1:32 pm
When nice guys like this LW lose hope in situations like this, the answer is not to feed them feel-good bullcrap about women just not being into the kind of guy he is.
Build up a person’s self-esteem after a breakup, yes, fine, well, good.
Build it up on a foundation of stereotypical, generalized, biased and not-quite-relevant statements about women because they might help this guy feel better? Nuh-uh.
I’m not questioning Wendy’s intention, just the message she chose to deliver it. If he reaches 30 and decides for himself after a decade of dating that young women are shallow bad-boy-chasers who aren’t worth the effort, then fine, so be it, but don’t plant the seeds for misogyny in the fertilizer of hurt feelings or you end up with very, very bitter fruit.
acastil5 September 30, 2013, 10:49 pm
YES. I hadn’t signed into Dearwendy to comment in forever but this advice really rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve always gone for the nice guys and quite frankly, his actions don’t smack of nice they smack of can’t take a hint. You are not doing anyone any favors by telling them if their actions look right then they are doing a good thing. Their intent matters, and by “helping” and doing nice things you are making the girl have to be a bitch to make you back off, which contrary to popular belief is hard for many young women to do. Either way you win. You get what you want with continued contact or you get to talk about that bitch that wouldn’t let you help her move. How ungrateful amirite? I remember college-times, I learned the hard way with quite a few “nice” guys, you have to go a little over the top to get them to really understand you are not into them. You feel like you are being really cruel, but otherwise they won’t let up.
rieux September 30, 2013, 10:50 am
Gotta say, I think what Wendy says is true of both genders. I mean, look at the LW. A girl said she wasn’t that interested in him; he convinced her to stay together; she accepted concert tickets and his help MOVING HER INTO COLLEGE and his willingness to travel all the way to her school just to keep her company on the way home, and then she was like yeah… I’m still not that interested.
I’m not saying the girl is a cheating lying asshole–it sounds like she just hasn’t learned the tough lesson that it’s actually kinder to dump someone than to let them convince you to stay with them, while the LW hasn’t learned that it’s not only futile, but wrong to try to prevent someone who wants to leave you from leaving. But my point is that the LW is willing to accept being treated somewhat poorly and still remains crazy in love with the girl. It’s not like guys are walking around all emotionally healthy at the age of 22, dating only girls who are respectful and devoted. Just saying.
Red_Lady September 30, 2013, 12:05 pm
Yes! I definitely thought that this girl was just trying to be “nice” by giving this guy another chance, being polite, etc, even though she knew there was no future between them. LW, just because she’s having a hard time completely cutting ties doesn’t mean she might still like you. Unrequited love sucks, but think about how much better it’ll be when the girl actually loves you back! Why in earth would you want to be with someone that doesn’t really love you? That just sounds horrible.
rieux September 30, 2013, 12:35 pm
Yeah, it’s one of those times when being “nice” is actually the less kind option. That, perhaps more than not dating jerks, is a lesson many people have to learn the hard way.
Lemongrass September 30, 2013, 10:52 am
Moa! There is no point in trying to be friends with someone in this situation. You both can find other friends, ones that it won’t be confusing and awkward to figure out. Leave this girl in your past and move on. Wendy is right in that lots of young women like jerks but not all of them do and you shouldn’t give up on dating because of it. Just know that it doesn’t matter how nice you are or how much you want to work on things, for most relationships you will be in eventually one of you will realize that the other person isn’t who you want. That is okay! It isn’t a relflection on you, you’re just the too hot or too cold porridge that goldilocks wasn’t looking for.
PurpleIsAwesome September 30, 2013, 10:52 am
I don’t think it’s a case of this girl only liking bad guys. The fact is…she’s 20. She goes to college 6 hours from home and maybe at this stage in her life, she wants a fun summer fling, and then the space to focus on her college life. This is all totally normal. And in a few years, she’ll reach the point where she’s ready for a serious relationship and all the time, effort, and compromise it entails.
LW, she’s trying to let you down easy because girls are often taught to be nice. It was a lopsided relationship (you were far more into it than she was), which probably made her kind of uncomfortable. It’s all well and good that her mom likes you, but it would be age-inappropriate for her to keep dating someone she felt meh about because Mommy thinks you’re swell.
I gather you’re around 20 yourself. You don’t need to find The One right now. In fact, it will do you some good to lick your wounds and begin dating again when you’re ready. Go experience different relationships, so by the time a good one comes along, you know how to recognize it. You obsessing over this girl even though you had to put in most of the effort shows me that you don’t yet know what a good relationship feels like. Go forth and learn! You’ll get to make out with a lot of people that way, which is always a plus.
tbrucemom September 30, 2013, 10:52 am
This article could have been written about my daughter except that she’s 18 and just left for college. Her younger BF is as good as this guy, maybe even more and I love him. She broke up with him before going away to college because she didn’t want to be long distance and wanted to experience being away at college (dating included). I understand why she did it and they’re still close. He’s still crazy about her but keeps very busy so I know that helps. She is starting to realize, as I told her she would, that there are a lot of jerks out there and they’ll help her appreciate her ex-BF. If it’s meant to be (which I think it is) they’ll find their way back to each other. I would tell the LW however to stay sweet but also have a backbone when it’s called for.
ele4phant September 30, 2013, 10:58 am
Sooo…I agree that this girl does not like the LW and he needs to let go all ready. But wendy I disagree with the whole “20 year olds like bad boys”. First of all, generally speaking, that’s not true, plenty of 20 year olds (male and female) have their heads on straight and want to date genuinely nice respectful people. Sure more 20 year olds than 30 year olds are drawn to crappy people, but I wouldn’t say most, even the majority.
And more importantly, we don’t know that the LW’s ex dumped him because he was “too nice” or because she’s pining after someone else. She could just not feel any chemistry, he could actually be less nice than he believes himself to be. We don’t know, all we know is she doesn’t want to be with him, and that’s totally legit. I think there’s a danger in telling guys “Oh you’re too nice, girls will come around eventually” because they could have some totally unrelated issue that is turning woman off. It also perpuates the “nice guy” syndrome, where guys (or girls it totally happens in the reverse) act in a way that is considered “nice” they are deserving of a partner.
Sophronisba September 30, 2013, 11:13 am
You can’t earn love, dear LW, that never works out. The saying is “what you fight to get, you fight to keep,” and I’ve found it quite accurate. If extraordinary measures are required to be in relationship with someone, it’s probably not a good relationship, hm?
rainbow September 30, 2013, 11:19 am
“A few hours ago, her Mom told me she was coming home for Columbus Day weekend and she wants to go to Six Flags. She told me I can always go as a friend.”
1.- Why are you still in contact with this girl’s mother? Where are your boundaries? (even if she’s the one that initiated contact, the next time something like this happens try saying “thanks, but I don’t think it’s your place to invite me. I’m sure Jessica will ask me herself if she wants me to come”).
2.- It doesn’t matter who anybody else thinks of you as a boyfriend. She said stay away and no amount of looking worried and charming her mom is going to change that, give you both some space ASAP.
3.- jump-starting/rebooting is for longer, more committed relationships. At three months you just accept that the summer fling is over and move on.
4.- “She said you can’t force someone to love you”. SHE’S RIGHT. LISTEN TO HER.
5.- I usually agree with Wendy, but not so much in this case. You’re obviously making a bigger effort to see things as you want them to be instead of as they are, and I’m worried that you’ll feel encouraged to dismiss her choices and become one of those entitled Good Guys (TM) that believe women don’t like them because they prefer jerks.
6.- She’s in college. Far, far away. Maybe she’d rather party, meet new people and fuck them all than spend her weekends in a bus traveling to visit a guy she hasn’t felt a spark with since the first weeks of the relationship. This wouldn’t mean she’s into jerks, a slut, heartless, or anything. It would just mean she wants to make her college experience as fun and simple as possible. It must suck to be you, but please don’t ever let yourself believe that it makes her a bad person.
I hope you feel better soon and learn a lot from this. You’ll find a better girlfriend soon enough if you don’t let this make you bitter.
rachel September 30, 2013, 11:26 am
Something Random September 30, 2013, 11:20 am
I agree with Wendy that a lot of young people are still figuring out what they want from both life and a potential life-partner. Sometimes the only way to discover what you are looking for is through trial and error. I hope in the future the letter writer is less likely to keep investing in someone who is pretty reluctant from the start. Having a broken heart is very painful and I hope that he can recognize his limits as far as friendship goes. Letter writer, rejection hurts like hell. But it sounds like after you grieve this relationship you will be in a place to look for something serious with someone. I hope you take your time and really try to see and hear what a potential partner is telling you through words and actions. It sounds like you are invested in being a great boyfriend and you deserve the same.
lets_be_honest September 30, 2013, 11:24 am
I think this is as simple as you needing to understand that not everyone wants a boyfriend and not everyone wants you to be their boyfriend, no matter who you are, how nice you are and how close you are with their parents.
Your ex went to college and likely wants to experience that as a single person which, frankly, is smart of her in my opinion. This says nothing about you.
Let it go. Accept that she broke up with you and move on.
bethany September 30, 2013, 11:37 am
Yes. Some people just want to have a little fun/companionship while they’re home for the summer. Some people are looking for a LTR. I’m not sure if the LW and GF ever actually had a conversation about what their expectations of this “relationship” were, but it’s clear that they were different.
LW, MOA. This girl doesn’t want to be your girlfriend. Why would you want to be with someone who you had to convince to be with you? In the future, look for someone who genuinely likes you and is looking for the same thing you are.
rainbow September 30, 2013, 12:20 pm
Nadine September 30, 2013, 1:15 pm
Perfect – ‘this says nothing about you’.
He did everything right for him, but he has to realize she did everything right for her. The right thing for her to do was break up with him.
sarolabelle September 30, 2013, 11:29 am
yep I had a guy break up with ME for the same reason…..it was then that I said I wouldn’t love a guy that didn’t love me…..what can I say, it was now something I looked for in a guy….and low and behold I found one that loved me!
ele4phant September 30, 2013, 11:47 am
LW to you I say aim higher. And I don’t mean aim higher in regards to your ex, for all I know she’s absolutely lovely. What I mean is if you are interested in a long term commitment, and the person you are with wants something more causal (or doesn’t want a relationship with you at all) take that as your cue to move on instead of trying to bargain or argue with them into what you want. Don’t settle for less than you want, don’t settle for someone who isn’t into you as much as you are into them.
The fact that she doesn’t want to be with you isn’t necessarily a reflection on you (although a little self reflection never hurts anyone) but you need to let go now. And for gosh sakes stop talking to her mother. That’s verging on crossing some boundaries.
MellaJade September 30, 2013, 11:48 am
Ok, did anyone else originally think the LW was a girl? I apologize if I offend anyone but by the time I read “best boyfriend” I was shocked. In reading this letter I thought it was about a lesbian couple… ouch.
Either way LW, you need to MOA ~ this 20 something has moved on and wants to enjoy campus life and all its learning opportunities; both in class and out. You’re a sweetheart and I’m sure you’ll find someone new who treasures you for who you are.
JK September 30, 2013, 11:51 am
I think this whole “women want to be treated like crap in their early 20s” thing has some truth to it, for different motives:
1) thanks to movies, books, TV, etc, we learn that “love” is supposed to be tough, and complicated, and have to work for it, etc
2) the “in love” feeling you get at the beginning of a relationship has at least part of its roots based on the insecurity- does he really like me? will this last? Once you get comfy it usually subsidessomewhat. If the guy is a jerk/cheat/whatever then you are kept on your toes, hence this feeling lasts longer
3) that idiotic thought that a person can “change” another person.
4) something about self esteem. I slept like crap, and really can´t put together this thought. Like they don´t believe they deserve a guy that treats them well?
Also, LW reminds me of a friend I had in my early 20s. This guy was the nicest “nice guy”, he would run around after his female friends, take us out for drinks or whatever, be there for us through our rocky relationships, etc etc. ANd eventually he ended up hitting on nearly all of the girls in the group. but a) he was kinda unfortunate looking, b) his whole act just reeked of that, being an act. LW, dnpt try to be something you´re not. If you like doing stuff like this for people, please continue to do so, but dont do it because you want someone to fall in love with you.
ele4phant September 30, 2013, 12:17 pm
I will concede that for the reasons you listed, there are a number of young women (I wouldn’t go so far as to say most though) who end up dating jerks until they mature and wise up.
I think it’s really irresponsible to suggest that this is the reason he got dumped to the LW. It could be this is not the case at all, and I think it is dangerous to tell guys that because it could potentially make them think that for all future break ups, meaning they won’t self reflect on whatever issues they may have or accept that a girl just isn’t into them nexus de she just isn’t (and this is totally true in the gender reverse as well).
We don’t know why she isn’t into him, but she isn’t and he needs to accept that and move on.
JK September 30, 2013, 12:22 pm
Sorry, but I don´t believe I said most. And I definitely didn´t suggest that this is why the girl broke up with LW, I was just theorizing over why it can be true that girls prefer jerks.
I do agree that the girl dumped him because she wasnt into him, and the reasons arent really important. And I think they were both wrong for continuing the r/ship after that. I mean have some pride LW!
ele4phant September 30, 2013, 12:30 pm
That’s true I was mostly responding to Wendy’s initial letter to the LW. And like I said, I think your reasons why some girls gravitate towards jerks are legit. I’d also add:
5. 20 year old girls can be assholes too. Like attracts like. I know I was a huge self centered ahole at that age.
6. Many 20 year old girls are *not* looking for a husband yet, they just want fun so they consciously or unconsciously are attracted to guys that won’t want a commitment they aren’t ready for. When I first met my now BF I had just gotten dumped, and was in no mood to get into another relationship. So I ignored him until I was ready, dating some really jerks in the interim.
7. Women like confidence, but they don’t have the experience to recognize the difference between a confident nice guy and a confident jerk. Only way to learn is by trial and error.
GatorGirl September 30, 2013, 12:12 pm
She told you more than once that she doesn’t want to date you…what is there to discuss?
MMcG September 30, 2013, 12:24 pm
LW – she’s just not into you. She has not told you in numerous ways… listen to her.
And stop talking to her mom. It’s creepy and weird that she would even want to invite you along on a family outing when you were just a bf for a couple of months. I mean talk about really terrible boundaries – that’s a reason to stay away even if the girl did dig you – she’s trying to manipulate her 20 year old ADULT daughter into staying with someone… and not because there are children or because they put years into a marriage! FFS stop talking to helicopter mom!! Sorry to be so blunt but you are in the past now and it would be best for all concerned that you focus on yourself and finding someone new.
jlyfsh September 30, 2013, 12:49 pm
Is that what you want from a relationship? Someone saying they know it’s not going to work, they no longer feel a spark and they want to end it. I can almost imagine a response to that of I mean I guess we can stay together, I don’t have anything better going on. Do you want to be the back burner that sends rice pilaf?
And honestly I wouldn’t read in to the Mom thing. How is she communicating with you? Facebook? Phone calls? Did she run in to you at the store and mention that weekend? If it’s the store I remember one friend’s Mom wanted to include EVERYone in everything when we were growing up. I’m pretty sure she would have invited the whole town to her birthday parties,. etc if she could. She didn’t want to see anybody left out or hurt. But, reality is just because Mom is being nice to you and likes you, doesn’t mean she thinks you should end up with her daughter. Even if she invites you to Six Flags (which yes definitely say no to!)
Also she’s 20, maybe she’s just not ready for the falling in love. Maybe she wants to enjoy her senior year and be single. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself and please stop trying to make her ‘miss you’ because it’s not going to work and all it’s going to do is make you in to a desperate guy that you don’t want to be.
And this comment is super long already, but what did this mean, ‘Ever since then, I began to watch myself. I tried really hard not to get mad at anything she said/did.’? Did you think that agreeing with her 100% and making sure she felt like she was always right would win her over? You can’t prevent conflict in a relationship. You can lessen it by good communication, but there is going to be conflict in any relationship. Doesn’t mean you have to fight all the time. But, making sure the other person always feels like they’re in the right, isn’t the answer either.
Moneypenny September 30, 2013, 1:56 pm
Totally agree with your last paragraph. It’s best to be honest and be yourself than to capitulate to the other person at every turn.
oldie September 30, 2013, 1:48 pm
LW — Been there, done that. It’s over, you just need to accept that and move on. Just being friends is tougher than a clean break. Your chance of ever winning her back by that route are zilch — not that they’re high with the go away and try again later (as in years, not weeks), but that approach at least gives finite odds, plus in a couple years you will have likely found somebody else. I did. The hanging on ‘let’s be friends’ just friend-zones yourself. With how much her family loves you and integrated you, that would confirm your status as a near brother, not a potential lover and bf.
A lot of young women are in some measure of rebellion against their parents, especially their mothers, as part of the path to adulthood. I found that being liked too much by the parents was often the kiss of death. Far better for the parents to find you at least mildly unacceptable.
Leslie September 30, 2013, 2:03 pm
LW – You sound like a really great, thoughtful guy. Don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t appreciate all of the nice things you do. You deserve better and better is out there somewhere.
AliceInDairyland September 30, 2013, 1:09 pm
So, I have been this girl. My very first boyfriend and I dated for a lot longer than you (2 years, rather than 3 months) but it was a similar dynamic. We dated from age 17-19 so a similar age range. Maybe reading this can give you a little bit of perspective, LW. I knew all along that my BF at the time was way crazier about me than I was about him. He was (and still is) one of the kindest people I have ever met, and always treated me extremely sweetly the way you did with your girlfriend. We had fun when we spent time together most of the time.
But ultimately we weren’t a match on some of our core values, and that meant that the spark was basically missing. I loved trying new things, he preferred to do the same things and the same routine all the time. He was content with the status quo, didn’t like reading or learning. I loved learning new things and was really really ambitious. Neither of these are necessarily right, but it created a lot of frustration, especially right as I was entering college and going through all these changes.
But man, I LOVED him dearly. Please LW, know that if this girl says she really cares about you as a friend that she is most likely telling the truth. I cared about my BF so, so SO much and wanted the best for him and I still do even though we don’t really talk anymore. And it was the fact that I cared about him so much that caused our relationship to last basically a whole year longer than it should have. Because he was scared of something new, and I couldn’t stand to break his heart even if it meant prolonging the fights and the pain. I knew we weren’t a long term match, but that didn’t mean I didn’t love him… if that makes sense? And it didn’t mean that I wanted to date a bad guy, or sleep with everyone, or anything like that. I just knew it wasn’t right, and maybe that’s the case for your ex, LW. And she’s giving you a gift by letting you go find the right person.
So, what advice do I have? Take the gift she has given you and go be happy and hopefully find someone else who is a better match. Try not to be my BF, who 2 years after we broke up wrote me a letter professing that he still really cared about me and everything he learned from me and how he would have done things differently. Because all it did was break our respective hearts all over again a little (although our hearts broke in very different ways, I’m sure). And try to focus less on making sure you are being nice, and more on being yourself. Because a person who is right for you will like you when you send rice pilaf and when you are a cranky-pants. 🙂 Good luck!
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 5:15 pm
I have NEVER been that girl. I have never been with anyone who was crazier about me than me about them. First sign that a guy liked me more, and I’d bail. I wouldn’t even give it time to see if I could like them back. I mean, even when I thought I liked them back, but they were so nice to me, I’d freak out and bail. … And I can’t really articulate why. I’ve never gotten used to men being nice to me. And in the end it makes for a very disatisfied camper: I want someone who is nice but not nice to me but who is nice to me. … I think they don’t exist, per se.
Addie Pray September 30, 2013, 5:59 pm
^ god that’s so sad
snarkymarc September 30, 2013, 10:03 pm
It’s not sad, it’s cray-cray. But I like that. But yeah, I guess it is kinda sad, but not for us. So just remember your cray-cray brings us all joy. So keep up the good work.
katie September 30, 2013, 2:12 pm
LW, this reminds me a lot of my own relationship as i left for college. my boyfriend was a wonderful person, and i just… didnt want to do it anymore. i was leaving for college, out of state, and i wanted to be able to experience that to the fullest. i didnt want anything tying me anywhere. he took it terribly, of course, and it was messy and cruel and not fun all around. and, switching the script a little, im actually the one who keeps in touch with his mom, haha.
she broke up with you. its like what LBH said- it says nothing of you, and it really says nothing of her either, but you two just cant have a relationship anymore. its fine, it happens to almost literally everyone. you need to find someone who you click with, who you would never need to “jump start” your relationship with.
above all, dont do what my exboyfriend did: he became a total douche. i dont know what happened, if his heart was broken so much, or if he would have turned that way regardless, but when he went off to college the year after me, he could give a shit about studying and almost failed out his first year after being top in his class, he started dating my good friend and then cheated on her all the time (and continues to, i think? yikes), after never wavering with me ever… i mean, at my joint birthday dinner, he was talking about how this random girl just started having sex with him on the lawn in front of some house at a college party. he was not that person when i knew him. so, just be you. dont get jaded, dont intentionally change just to become something you believe that girls want or whatever- just be you, and you will find someone who genuinely wants to be with you.
Lindsay September 30, 2013, 3:57 pm
I think this is a good time to imagine yourself in her shoes. Have you ever had someone be interested in you romantically that you weren’t interested in? Do you think that them simply doing the right things or the two of you having fun would suddenly make you develop feelings for them? No. And a person who is not interested in you is not going to suddenly develop interest because you’re not there and they can “miss you.”
I would agree that if you should probably not try to be friends right now because it sounds like it’s not something that you can handle. You should only be friends with someone if you know that it’ll never go further than that and are OK with it. Not because you think they’ll suddenly start being interested in you.
You mention a lot of minor details like they affect things — like that her mom likes you or that people seem surprised when you tell them what happened. Neither of those mean anything. It doesn’t matter if you survey 100 people and they think that you and another person would be good together — if they don’t agree, that’s the only opinion that matters. Same goes with their mom.
Something that you’re just going to have to learn is that not everyone that you’re interested in is going to want to date you. Even people that you date briefly may not want to date you. Dating in the early stages is about deciding if you are compatible; it doesn’t mean that you’ve both already made that decision. You’ll meet someone who wants to be with you as much as you want to be with them, and that’ll be much better than this!
Lucy September 30, 2013, 11:27 pm
Cutest. Letter. Ever.
jack February 21, 2014, 5:14 pm
Most important point –
Never give a wedding ring to the kind of girl who threw over good men so she could party with jerks.
Just don’t do it.
Make them live with the consequences of their poor character. Give them the husband they deserve – NONE!