When you say you aren’t sure about dating him, “considering the past,” I’m going to assume you’re thinking of the following issues:
1. The emotional cheating you did on your husband.
2. The emotional cheating this man did on his then-girlfriend of a year.
3. The connection you had and still have to the woman who was his then-girlfriend.
So, let’s consider the issues then.
1. While you were wrong to emotionally cheat on your husband for six months 28 years ago, he’s gone now and can no longer be hurt by your actions. If you feel too guilty to date someone who once posed a threat to your husband and your marriage, albeit unbeknownst to your husband (presumably), that’s something to think about. But if you don’t feel guilty — and I don’t see why you need to — then it doesn’t matter.
2. This guy not only emotionally cheated on his then-girlfriend for six months, but he also never told you that he was in a relationship. He deceived both of you. Does that mean he’s a bad person? Of course not. And it was so long ago anyway. BUT, it is something to keep in mind as you move forward. Can you trust him? Listen to your gut on that and go slowly until any fears are put to rest.
3. As for your connection/friendship with the sister of your friend who once dated this guy, it only matters if you feel like their relationship was significant enough and your friendship meaningful enough that she would feel hurt or offended by your dating him.
If you can address all of these issues and the idea of dating this man is still appealing, I say go for it. It’s not always easy to find someone you connect with, and maybe you can find that with this guy. If nothing else, you can reminisce about the days of mixed tapes with someone who remembers when you were young.
Our next trip was to DC to catch his favorite band in concert (he missed them in our current city). He flew us up and took care of just about everything financially. After this trip, things became weird. He started responding to my texts/calls with short responses, if at all. Eventually, he began ignoring me all together.
This past week I’ve felt crazy replaying our time together, trying to figure out what happened. I’ve sent him a few “I don’t understand”, “What happened?” “Is it me?” and finally a “Well, it was fun while it lasted…” texts – each one taking a bit of soul as I watched my pride go down the drain.
The thing is, I’ve never been wined and dined by a guy before. I’m used to chipping in and sometimes being the “breadwinner” in my relationships, which was fine since most of my relationships were with guys still in school or just gaining their footing, as I was. So, I wasn’t with this guy for the money; I truly enjoyed our time together and have let him know.
Wendy, what could have happened? And how can I move on? I’m a bit shocked, because his rejection has come out of nowhere. — Dazed and Confused
His behavior is not a reflection of you and it is not about money. I’m not even convinced it’s a rejection in the traditional sense, though I appreciate that it looks and feels that way. Really, anything could have happened – maybe he was in another relationship and was cheating with you and got caught; maybe on your second back-to-back trip he realized he wasn’t ready for a serious relationship and sensed you were and he lacked the emotional maturity to actually discuss with you how he was feeling and chose to ghost you instead. These are just two ideas among many possible scenarios. None of the scenarios really matter much. What does matter is that this guy clearly isn’t “it” for you. Not only is he not “it,” but he clearly lacks common decency and even the most basic communication skills. Something obviously happened that made him decide not to continue a relationship with you and he wasn’t able to tell you it was over. That’s pretty pitiful.
His behavior is a clear reflection of his glaring flaws – flaws that make him an inappropriate choice in a partner; his behavior is NOT a reflection of you. I know you’re hurting now and your ego is bruised but try to see this as a gift. You dodged a bullet and it only cost you three months of your time – three months when you were new to town and didn’t have many other people to spend that time with anyway. Next time you meet someone, you may be a little slower to get to know him, and that’s ok. But I hope you will continue to open your heart to the possibilities out there. Nothing great and meaningful comes without some risk. This time, it didn’t work out for you the way you wanted. Next time, it just might.