“He’s Wonderful, But I’m Just Not That Into Him”

I recently began a long distance relationship with a guy named “Mike.” We share a mutual friend on Facebook, and Mike sent me a friend request. He “liked” and commented on a couple of my pics and eventually sent me a private message regarding our mutual friend…and it went from there.

Our first phone discussion lasted five hours, and we have pretty much talked every day since. If we don’t talk, we at least exchange text messages or an email. One of us visits the other every couple of weeks or so. This has been the routine for five months.

Mike is a wonderful guy. And I seem to fall for him more as time goes along. But my issue is there’s no WOW factor. I continue to compare him to a guy I met about two years ago. He also lived out of state. However, I was extremely excited about the possibility of having a future with that guy. Needless to say, nothing really panned out. We talked on the phone sporadically for a couple of weeks and that was it. We, too, share a mutual friend, so we continue to cross paths every six months or so, and anytime we are around each other he is noticeably attentive to me and has always reached out to me during the holidays, but that’s it. He has never talked to me about it, but my take is that he is not interested in the long distance aspect and/or me. I do know that he does/did not have a girlfriend.

Either way, its fine. I just wish I had the same “crush” type of feelings for my boyfriend as I did, and honestly sort of still do, for this other guy. Very early on, Mike expressed to me where he wanted this to go, and he has always been consistent. His actions reinforce his words. I have an inkling that he could be “the one,” and there is really nothing I would change about him, and, yet, I am torn by the fact that I’m not head over heels, the way I was about the other guy.

The truth is that I wish I could transfer my Mike’s pursuit and purpose to the other guy. Thoughts? — Not Head over Heels

My thought is that I don’t understand how on earth you could possibly imagine that Mike is “the one,” or could potentially be “the one,” if you wish even the tiniest bit that you could just transfer his “pursuit” of you onto the guy you have a crush on. I just have to wonder what you mean by “the one,” because surely you don’t mean “the one I’d love to grow old with” or “the one I want to father my babies” or “the one I dream about making sweet, sweet love to all the days of my life.” Maybe you mean “the one who will do for now until the crush finally realizes what a catch I am,” or “the one who holds the place of boyfriend for the time being until I find someone who makes me forget about the guy I talked on the phone with sporadically for a couple of weeks two years ago.”

But here’s the thing: Mike is probably not “the one” — at least not the kind of one you seem to imagine he might be. If he were, you would not be daydreaming about some guy you talked on the phone with a few times a couple years ago. And that would be fine if Mike weren’t already pretty open about where he sees your relationship going. You know what he wants and you know you don’t want it. At least, not with him. And maybe Mike is putting pressure on you to move things along or maybe you’re putting pressure on yourself because you know Mike’s a good guy and he likes you and you don’t want to hurt him. And when we have pressure to decide quickly whether we like-like someone — enough to say “He’s The One!,” — it can make other options — like a crush from a while back who’s maybe still single — pretty appealing.

You might want to transfer Mike’s pursuit onto your crush, but I wonder if you’d be just as satisfied if you transferred the crush’s indifference onto Mike.

But you can’t. And my suggestion is that, if you’re feeling pressured to move forward with Mike in a way that communicates to him that you’re on the same page, you should let him down easy now and MOA. You’re doing neither of you a favor by staying with someone you’re so indifferent about. After five months, if there’s not a “WOW” factor, there probably isn’t going to be one. And as long as you believe you could have that WOW with someone else, you aren’t going to be satisfied staying with Mike.


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


  1. This letter made my head hurt.

    LW, WWS. Seriously.

  2. In the 8th grade, my little sister broke up with her middle school boyfriend because he kind of bored her. Like, he was a nice guy, he sat at her friends’ lunch table, he held her hand at the movies, he had good hair, he was taller than she was….basically everything you look for in a middle school boyfriend. Why is this relevant to an actual adult relationship? Because at 13, my sister realized that just not feeling it is an okay reason to break up with someone. Someone doesn’t have to do something horribly wrong for you to end a relationship. And I’ve watched friends try to force relationships (or extend them past their expiration date) because he’s a good guy or she’s a great girl. But there are more than one great guys/girls out there, and you’re not going to have those “wow” romantic feelings for all of them. And that’s okay. I’d argue the stability and good communication and all of Mike’s qualities that make him a great guy on paper are equally important to that “wow,” but cut this guy loose and try to find someone who has the “wow” connection and is emotionally available. (Hint: it’s not phone guy. He’s made it pretty clear he isn’t available for a relationship.)

  3. Let the poor guy go. You’re gonna break his damn heart.

  4. Man. Disney really sold us on that “the one” stuff pretty hard. Sets a lot of people up for failure, amiright?

    1. something random says:

      Yup. But I actually really liked Frozen. While it’s still all romanticized, I’m happier with the direction it went.

      1. Shadowflash says:

        +1 for Frozen (love that movie!), where Disney finally admitted that it’s *not* a good idea to marry someone you just met.

      2. I saw a gif with that line floating around the internet somewhere, but haven’t actually seen Frozen yet. It’s on my to-do list.

      3. I did too. Such a cute, fun movie!

    2. When I was a teen, my mom told me that when you find the right one “you’ll never want to look at another man again” and “you’ll know he’s the one when you’ll be willing to be the person he needs you to be”. (This is a small sampling of her exceedingly skewed views of men and relationships) Needless to say, the guilt and confusion this caused was massive.

      1. That really sets you up for failure, doesn’t it.

  5. Well, this is a pickle. Because I understand not wanting to throw a relationship away with a person who has a lot of great qualities. The truth is that our previous experiences can really get in the way of enjoying present relationships. However, I think you really need to understand that your crush, the “one who got away” is a fantasy. You never developed a relationship with him. When someone is unavailable to us for whatever reason, a crush can develop. But “crush” feelings don’t sustain you through life.
    LW, I can’t tell you whether or not you should break up with your boyfriend. But maybe ask yourself this question. Would any guy be able to measure up to your crush? Because this might be a case of unrealistic expectations that would sabotage any relationship.

    1. AliceInDairyland says:

      Tech, just wanted to say you have been on fire with the comments lately. Really insightful and kind. I love how you almost always ask kind of rhetorical questions to the LW. I hope she reads them!!

      ON FIRE!!!!

  6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    Ugh, when the choice is multiple guys, the answer is always no guys.

    Also, that “head over heels” your feeling might just be lust, and IMO that’s not the best long lasting relationship foundation.

    1. “Ugh, when the choice is multiple guys, the answer is always no guys.”
      Love this.

    2. Agreed, though I don’t think she’s choosing between them, just comparing, which is a little more self-aware, imo. The sentiment still stands, though.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, I do agree with that. IMO, it seemed like there was some love triangle going on in her head which is why I said that. Obviously I could be wrong. I do think that if another person is occupying so much of your thoughts, the person your trying to date likely isn’t the one for you.

      2. Yes. This. Maybe this guy – the current one – is good enough. But when you spend all day, every day thinking about someone else, it’s time to MOA. Again. Seriously.

      3. Exactly. Your last sentence was what I was getting at. But I was trying to articulate it while thinking stop F*ing around on DW and get back to work, you have a deadline today, TaraMonster!

  7. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    If you have to choose between two guys even if one isn’t really an option anywhere but in your head, the answer is none.

  8. kerrycontrary says:

    “you would not be daydreaming about some guy you talked on the phone with a few times a couple years ago.”—-You are in love with a fantasy relationship that never existed. You’re in love with the possibility. But like wendy said, it’s just some guy you talked on the phone with a few times a couple of years ago.

    1. Yea, I think she should explore those feelings a little bit. Like, was it that this other guy rejected her and that is why she is hanging on? Is this just the road not travelled?

  9. MOA. The intense “crush” feeling does eventually die down to a dull roar in a long-term relationships, and it’s not good to constantly churn through people looking for a new fix, as some people do–but at the same time, you can’t force chemistry when there’s none there. If there isn’t any, even at the very start of a relationship when it should be at its most intense, it ain’t gonna work.

  10. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    I’m confused by the concept that people find dates on Facebook. I mean, I get reconnecting with an old friend through Facebook and then things grow from there. But to just meet a stranger, whether you have friends in common or not, how does that work? I can’t imagine clicking on a friend’s friend and saying “oh hey there cutie pie how r u?” Or maybe it’s a virtual blind date, where your friend in common wants to set you two up and suggests you become friends? Have any of you met dudes off Facebook? Really, how does this work? I need a lover.

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I don’t get it either.

    2. I too find it a bit confusing. I’ve had acquaintances from years back message me on FB, clearly trying to see if I was up for a date, but it’s always kinda weirded me out. Maybe I just attract the weirdos?

    3. Back in college, my freshman year roommate messaged a rando on Facebook — literally a completely random person, no mutual friends in common — because she thought he looked like her very recent ex-boyfriend and she could tell by his last name that he was of Polish descent, just like her very recent ex-boyfriend. I don’t know what she said in her message, but I don’t think it was much more than telling him she found him attractive. A month-long relationship ensued. He was actually a very nice, somewhat shy, socially awkward-but-otherwise-very-normal engineering student who used to bring cookies to our dorm room. At the time (2004), Facebook was a MUCH smaller network — this was back when it was thefacebook (THEfacebook! in its original glory!) — and you needed to have a university e-mail address to verify that you were a student at one of the couple dozen universities that actually had the option of Facebook. I think that took away a little bit of the creep factor involved with sending a total stranger a “ur hawt” message, but it was still pretty weird and not something I would have ever done.

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I still remember how mad I was when facebook went public. It was such a cool college kid thing for a while. The glory days as you call them.

      2. I was mad, too. In retrospect, I’m embarrassed by how mad I was over Facebook since I don’t use Facebook nearly as much as an “adult.” Nowadays, I just feel old because I can remember the first version of Facebook. From a decade ago.

      3. Do you remember the man in thefacebook icon? Sometimes I miss that little man.

      4. Ha. I remember him well. I also remember walls that could be edited (even deleted) by anybody, and that creepy notification that would tell you where on campus someone was logged in from that was frighteningly accurate. “Copa is currently logged in from South Quad.” Facebook even knew my DORM.

    4. Yeah, I don’t understand this at all? I mean, maybe if the mutual love interest LIVES near you, but why start a relationship virtually with someone who you’ve never met before? Why do that, & why call it a relationship, “oh, I think he’s the one” “We’re boyfriend & girlfriend!” before even meeting?

      1. WAIT I take it back, I just saw that she said they visit each other.

      2. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Fab, I thought this was going to be a Catfish letter and was kind of bummed that they’d actually met. Iiiiiiii am a horrible person.

    5. Actually, though I’ve never done it, it makes a lot more sense than generic online dating. Most Facebook profiles (most) have people’s real names, life experiences, who they’re friends with…it’s a much better way to vet someone than Craigslist or match or whatever.

  11. Painted_lady says:

    Oh honey. Let me break this down into is basic parts: you like this guy, you just wish he were someone else.

    See how that sounds when you simplify it? This relationship isn’t that great. Do him – and yourself – a favor and find someone who is attracted to you and for whom you reciprocate the attraction. Those people are out there, you just haven’t found them yet.

  12. starpattern says:

    Of course you shouldn’t stay with someone when you spend all your time wishing you were dating someone else. It’s not fair to either of you.

    But as others have noted, you may want to adjust your outlook on relationships in general. All this forced romanticism kind of gives me a headache. IMO the “WOW factor” can be misleading. I’m not knocking LDRs – they’ve worked out wonderfully for a lot of people – but I think they sort of allow you to keep your head in the clouds if you’re a believer in fairy tale love stories and fate or whatever. That guy that you talked on the phone with a few times, and have seen appx 4 more times? Could turn out to be a total dick bag when you see him every day. You know? Anyway, if he’s not interested in you outside of being attentive when you happen to cross paths, all that energy you’re spending on this fantasy is wasted.

    Maybe it would help you to look for guys to date in your geographical area for awhile. Try to find a guy that’s nice to you and fun to hang out with, and don’t focus so much on whether he’s “the one.”

    1. Yup. Or, just like what actually happened in the OP’s story, you can finally meet the person in the flesh and there’s no chemistry.

      I’ve had a couple unsuccessful LDRs and one (so far) successful one that eventually resulted in a move. There are great things about LDRs–you have to communicate a lot and you do end up with a lot of emotional closeness pretty quickly. But it’s a good idea to meet the person in person ASAP and be frank with yourself about whether there’s chemistry. Because it sucks to build them up in your mind and develop all that closeness and then just…not want to make out with them at all, kwim? I don’t know how long the OP waited to meet this guy in person, but it sounds a lot like that kind of situation. He doesn’t even need to be a dickbag for it to just not work up close.

      And it’s also a good idea to spend some lengthy and “non-holiday” time with them to make sure your personalities mesh when you’re not in a state of euphoria. One of my failed LDRs, bakc in college, I think a lack of any values in common was masked by spending our first several trips in a whirlwind of tourism and seeing plays and going to parties and and and. It felt exactly like a Meg Ryan movie, and life is not a Meg Ryan movie.

  13. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

    The reason you think that your current boyfriend might be “the one” – despite the fact that you really have no strong feelings about him, you just think he has good qualities – is because you are thinking way too hard about finding “the one”. So let’s put your mind at ease – there is no “the one”. There are lots of people who you could be compatible with, who have great qualities, who you are actually attracted to. So MOA, both from your current boyfriend and the guy you talked on the phone with a few times two years ago, and maybe, I dunno, start dating people who live near you. And stop focusing on finding “the one” and just focus on the following – 1. Do you have good chemistry? (that’s that crush feeling) 2. Do you get along? 3. Does he have good qualities? 4. Are you compatible?
    And then just go from there.

  14. Sue Jones says:

    Guess what? Crushes and infatuation fade. And if the relationship goes the distance the crush fades into something more sustainable which can build into a longer deeper relationship. I was 33 by the time I first met my husband and while we liked each other and had a connection and got along well and the sex was compatible, by that age I no longer was “crushable”. I had been there and done that so many times that I was a bit jaded, that finding a nice solid guy that I could count on was perfect for me. So as long as your feelings for him seem to deepen and the physical intimacy part is compatible I would say go with it. As long as a long term relationship and family and marriage are what you want because this guy seems like great husband material. That crush feeling is basically Dopamine and some people just don’t make a lot of it. And that fades after a while. Or… some people make dopamine only for the wrong type of person, i.e. the Bad Boy, or the Addict, or the Abuser or whatever is bad for you that reminds you vaguely of your parent that you couldn’t fix and who is entirely disastrous for a long term relationship… so the fact that for some reason you are not making dopamine for this guy, but instead are building an Oxytocin bond (caring and deep bonding) is not a concern to me. In the old days people married without the crush and stayed together in good marriages and that was the norm. I think so many people get divorced because they have an unrealistic expectation of what it takes to sustain a LTR.
    BUT, and I say But for this – if he repulses you in some way, or you find yourself resenting him or being easily annoyed at small things about him because he somehow does not “measure up” then it would be best for both of you to MOA.

    1. something random says:

      I think that a couple can have a great, satisfying life together based mostly on friendship rather than physical chemistry. BUT, I think it only works if both people fully buy into that lifestyle and value system. I think lasting power comes down to what makes a person feel strongly motivated in their commitment. Having a lot of physical chemistry makes one WANT to bond and stay together. Physical chemistry waxes and wanes so feeling that strong pull towards someone CAN’T be the primary motivating factor in sustaining the relationship. You both really have to want the same life, together. And its much easier to stay motivated to work on this life when you truly are friends and compatible intellectually, emotionally, and physically.

      But I do think having that strong, can’t keep your hands off each other, moony-eyed foundation is icing on the cake! Not necessary, but definitely delicious and something some people will hold out for. And I speculate that it does help couples who are right for each other on the more substantial levels.

      1. Sue Jones says:

        We have a male friend who is over 50 and for the 13 years I have known him, has always been looking for “the one” I have known him long enough to know that he will never find “the one” because he has an unrealistic expectation of what being in a good relationship feels like. Some people are just like that.

      2. something random says:

        How sad. Yes, some people spend their lives chasing fantasies. I know a guy in his mid 70’s that has been engaged seven times and married four. Each of his last three marriages ended when he met and began a relationship with a subsequent spouse. It’s morbid, but the only reason I’m thinking this one will last is because “till death do you part” isn’t too far of a stretch.

  15. I am with TECH and Sue Jones here. Crushes are just that – there is no basis to the “feelings” you think are there. They are a fantasy and that makes them all the more exciting, especially when the dude is all attentive when you see each other. It fuels the “OMG I think he might like me, and oh, he’s sooooo cute! I like him, too….” Then, you never hear from him, save for holidays or special occasions. BFD.

    When I started dating my now boyfriend, he was all the things you say your boyfriend is: attentive, forthcoming with his feelings, made me feel important and loved, we talked for hours about nothing and everything. There wasn’t what you call a “WOW” factor with him, but it was EASY and he made me happy and I knew that, despite the “WOW” I had with my ex (with whom I was only with for 5 months), THIS guy was the one. Because by being with my now boyfriend, I realized the WOW you speak of is mostly just the thrill of the chase, the ups and downs of an emotionally unavailable guy and the uncertainty and excitement of the small indications he gives that he MIGHT just be interested. What you really should be looking for is someone you know is going to be there through the good, bad, and ugly.

    You say you feel yourself falling for him more and more as time goes on. I say see where it goes and how deep your love for him can grow. It’s only been five months. Real, deep love and commitment aren’t nurtured overnight. If there is truly nothing there, then that’s a different story. But don’t chase after the dream of a guy that isn’t even into you – trust me, he’s not.

    1. I think there’s a difference between the regular excitement of a new relationship and the insane excitement of drama–but that it’s damn, damn hard to tell the difference, especially when you’re in the middle of it. I had a very brief relationship 6 years ago that felt off-the-charts intense, and I didn’t figure out why until months after the fact that most of the “excitement” and “WOW” was fear–fear that he was cheating (he was), fear that he’d go back to his ex (he did), fear that I was living in a bubble made of nothing (I was). When I started my relationship with current BF, there were the butterflies in the stomach and giddiness and all that, but it was a happy kind of tension, and the difference really stood out in my mind. I think you can have a relationship without “bad” nervousness, and also that it doesn’t mean settling for a relationship with no chemistry at all, kwim?

      I knew a guy when I was younger who I felt absolutely nothing for except friendship, and several times I berated myself for bring so stupid and why couldn’t I just fall for him because then he’d make the best husband ever. Well, he did, for another woman who I’m sure appreciates him as I never could have, and I eventually found someone else too. You can’t just go by WOW, but you don’t have to force yourself to go without any WOW at all as if a relationship were like bad-tasting medicine that you choke down because it’s good for you. And probably only the OP knows which this is.

      ETA: And I agree that the other guy is not The Answer either. He’s just a catalyst for the OP to analyze the situation, whatever she decides. (Was Supermarket Guy on this blog, or was that Captain Awkward?)

      1. Agreed – and I shouldn’t say I had NO “WOW” with current BF, it just wasn’t the “WOW” I felt with most of the guys who were so so wrong for me. It was quieter, but I think a lot of it was because I wasn’t chasing him and was never worried about how he felt, etc. It was so much easier.

      2. That, exactly! With current BF, we’ve talked a lot about how we’re done with drama and with making stupid mistakes in relationships, and ready to make something work instead. I think “no chemistry at ALL” can be a sign of an incurable sexual incompatibility, but “no drama” is totally different. And there is a sense in which it was more intense with Bad Ex, but it’s a kind of intensity I don’t want anymore. I could do without feeling nauseated “for love” 24/7, kthx.

  16. Please save this guy more heart ache and just move on.

    I can actually kind of relate. When I first started dating my boyfriend back in November, I didn’t feel super intense feelings for him. I liked him a lot, but I wasn’t sure if the feelings were strong enough, if that makes sense. My first boyfriend especially I felt ALL the feelings right away, and I found myself comparing it to that. Now that we’ve been dating for a couple months, I realize that I really like him for who he is. I like how he treats me well, I like how he knows when to pull me into a hug, I like how he respects me and always listens when I need to talk, I like that he appreciates my cat, I like how he always texts or calls back, I like how he is close with his family, etc.

    If you can’t find things that you appreciate about him and reasons why you should be with him, then let him go. It’s not fair to string him along when you’re just not feeling it. The fact that you’re comparing him to your crush means that you’re not happy enough in this relationship.

  17. Shadowflash says:

    This is silly. I don’t think there is such a thing as “the one”, like there’s some static person out there who has nothing better to do with their life than fulfill your romantic fantasies. You will have lots of “ones”, and many of them will grow into and out of “one” status as time goes on. So first off, get off the “one” train. This ain’t Disneyland.

    What you call the WOW factor, I equate with instant lust (even if you’re lusting after his personality, not his body). Instant lust isn’t the only kind of attraction out there; there are lots of relationships where attractiveness grows with time. But if there’s really NO CHEMISTRY, stop stringing Mike along already! I also find it telling that you wish you could transplant Mike’s pursuit onto Nameless Crush, rather than transplant your feeling for crush onto Wonderful Mike. For that matter, you spent half your letter talking about Nameless Crush, who frankly isn’t in the picture at all.

    Granted, polygamy’s not legal therefore you will only marry one person at a time, so I guess there’s that “one”.

    TL;DR: No “the one.” No boys. Go home and think about what Wendy said.

  18. I’d be interested in knowing what the LW’s past relationships were like. Some people can’t seem to have love without drama, and a solid loving relationship that doesn’t have drama seems to lack the wow for them. But they are used to an unhealthy ‘wow’ factor.

    Maybe the old dude’s indifference, and the drama of that is what she misses because she’s not used to a mature, open relationship with a solid quality partner.

    Just a thought.

    1. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

      I think that the ‘WOW’ feeling she’s referring to is probably just basic chemistry that you have with people you’re actually attracted to, not necessarily the up and down crazy drama rollercoaster feeling of dysfunctional relationships.

    2. Chris Rock does a great stand up about how boring happy marriages are. It is pretty funny. You are either married and bored or Single and Lonely.

  19. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

    Everyone knows you only get two great loves, so you better not blow this one.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Mine are cheese and red wine.

  20. Why would you settle? You’re not satisfied with Mike now, so why would things get any better? Maybe instead of pining for that other guy who left you hanging, you really enjoy the attention and being looked up to now. And that’s cruel to continue staying with someone you don’t care for enough because it makes you feel good. It doesn’t make you a bad person that you don’t have those feelings for an otherwise good guy. But it does if you lead him on. Just let him go.

  21. LW, I would really delve into why you feel the way you do. So, I think it is totally normal to think about the roads not taken. I am not too ashamed to admit that I still look at my ex’s facebook page and we broke up 13 YEARS ago. Even worse, when I was looking at colleges, I went to this weekend prospective student trip at a university across the country. On that trip, I met a guy that I totally sparked with. I ended up not going to that school but almost did just because of that spark. If I had thought with my 18 year old heart and not my head, my whole life could have been different. Now, here are some things that you need to look at. 1.) do you fixate on your ex because it never really grew into anything. Is it that you believe that if you just gave it a real shot is might have turned into something? 2.) Is this current guy good in bed and can you imagine rolling over for him for the rest of your life? 3.) Noone is perfect so everyone settles to some degree. Do you think the benefits outweigh the costs? 4.) Why are you putting so much pressure on yourself to figure this all out now? What is the rush? 5.) Make a list of the life you want to have. Literally, write down the life you want and what it involves. Does the current guy fit in? Do you want a family in the suburbs? Do you want to hike in Nepal? Do you want to live on the beach? Do you want someone who will take salsa lessons with you? Do you want a guy who has a matching Harley Davidson? These exercises usually help solidify opinions about a relationship.

  22. whats this “one” thing? what do you mean by that? what does the “one” mean to you? do you just mean “the type of guy that you marry”? -because that will be a recipe for a not very happy life.

    to me you seem to be waiting for that relationship that gives you a marriage (which in itself is icky to me anyway), and you have a picture of what “those kinds of guys who you marry” look like, and you think you have found one, but you dont actually feel attracted to him.

    1. I got the same vibe–I don’t think she’s being sappy romantic with her use of “the one”, I think that it’s her shorthand for what you’re saying: the type of guy you marry/good on paper type guy. Which maybe IS what she wants? but it’d be worth it to explore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *