I volunteered to help out at first grade field day today — I’m running the “chill station” (double dutch, hula hoops, and sidewalk chalk, oh my) — so I have time for only a couple quickies this morning before I run off to the park. Related: Anyone have any double dutch rhymes they remember from childhood? I taught Jackson “Cinderella Dressed in Yellow” which made me think of the clapping chants I used to do, like “Miss Suzy Had a Baby,” which I remember almost every word of even though it’s been almost 35 years since I heard it. Anyway, today’s quickies:
Am I reading too much into this or is he not over her? We both have made drastic changes in our lives to be together. I guess I just can’t figure out why he wants to keep these pictures up in our home even if it is in the garage. I have not considered, and would not consider, hanging any pictures of myself with past significant others. Are men simply different? — Not In the Picture
You’re not reading too much into it. It’s really odd — not to mention incredibly rude — behavior to move in with a girlfriend and hang up a big, framed photo of you and your ex-wife. The fact that he continues calling you by her name further suggests that there are unresolved feelings here, but, really, I would not have even waited for that blunder; hanging the photo of his ex-wife and then throwing a towel over it would have been enough for me to send him packing.
He was barely divorced when you started dating, and then you moved in together after less than a year of long-distance dating. You guys moved way too fast. He hadn’t processed and grieved the end of his marriage, and you two barely knew each other. Maybe you filled in the gaps of what you didn’t know about him with a fantasy of what you hoped he would be. Maybe it was easy to believe the fantasy because you felt lonely. But now you’ve got a guy living with you who’s hung up on his ex-wife and is happy to advertise it. Send him and his pictures packing, and next time be much more cautious about making drastic life changes to be with someone. And don’t date anyone who’s been divorced less than a year!
However, we live in different states now and recently she stopped texting me as much, which she attributed to her being busy with school and work, which I understood. However, when I would go on social media, I saw that she was out drinking with another friend. When I asked her why she did not have time to text me but she had time to hang out with her other friend, she got mad at me. This happened multiple times and I felt like she kept coming up with excuses. Then she began having issues with her boyfriend and leaned on me while her other friend was out of town. As soon as her friend got back into town, she stopped communicating with me as much. I told her I was hurt and I said some awful things that I did not mean because I felt like I was being shunned by her, the one person who used to tell me everything and who would text me all the time. She asked for a break after I said those things to her.
It has now been three months since then and she has not acknowledged my apologies and has blocked me. Now I see that she is doing things with that other friend that we had discussed doing together and it hurts to see that she is treating me like I do not exist and as though I mean nothing to her.
Am I foolish to remain optimistic that she will talk to me again? I know I need to work on myself and become more secure, but it really hurt to see her treat me this way when she had once told me that she was so grateful I was in her life. — A Hurt Best Friend
Yeah, she’s moved on, and by blocking you and ignoring you and asking for a “break,” she has been as clear as she possibly can while trying to spare your feelings that she is no longer interested in pursuing this friendship. She probably felt like you fell in love with her — it sounds like you fell in love with her — and she wasn’t interested in that. Or maybe she was until she wasn’t. People’s feelings change all the time. Or maybe it was genuinely a super-close platonic friendship and she got turned off by your possessiveness and neediness.
Yes, okay, work on yourself and become more secure, but start with accepting that friendships change and it’s not cool to get mad at someone for not being as invested or as available as you want them to be or as they once might have been. Accept changes gracefully, learn to take a hint, and don’t confuse abiding devotedness from someone you’ve only just gotten to know as genuine love or the foundation of a strong friendship or relationship. When that level of devotedness comes on that quickly, it’s usually a red flag. Sounds like she recognized that; now you need to learn to recognize it, too.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.