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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Boyfriend turned out to be a phony- how do I react?

Home Forums Advice & Chat Boyfriend turned out to be a phony- how do I react?

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  • #984116 Reply
    delta
    Participant

    So to start things off I would like to say that I am 18 years old. I am a female and I am a senior in high school. I’ve been dating this guy for two months now and we were friends even longer than that. When we started dating everything was great- we had long, meaningful talks and worked on projects together and I was never not happy. He also loved poetry. Which was convenient because I also love poetry. He wrote me a poem once and I loved it. It meant a lot to me and it was the main reason I started dating him, apart from liking him a lot. Recently, though, about two weeks ago I found out that the poem was not written by him but by a popular YouTuber. I confronted him about it and he confessed. He also went on a tangent about how worthless of a person he was and how he should end it all. I forgave him, but the thought of his lie never left my mind, and I started noticing more and more of them. I realized he lies a lot. Generally he does not talk about himself but every time he does it’s more and more lies. I have gotten to the point that I can’t stand to be around him at all and barely talk to him. I haven’t confronted him about any of this yet. Honestly I’m slightly afraid of what he will do if I break up with him. I want to, but I am scared. I don’t know how to do it. I just know I have to.

    #984690 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    You should just tell him you’re not feeling the chemistry and move on. No point in confronting a liar. Look at how he manipulated you here:

    “ I confronted him about it and he confessed. He also went on a tangent about how worthless of a person he was and how he should end it all. I forgave him…”

    He put it back on you and made you feel bad. Don’t stay with him because you feel bad for him / are afraid; just wish him well and then lose his number and block him everywhere.

    PS just so you know, you don’t have to have a reason to break up with someone. You don’t have to “confront” them. You don’t have to really explain anything. You don’t like him anymore, you tell him you’re not feeling it and want to break up. That’s it. Don’t overthink it.

    #984702 Reply
    Part-time Lurker
    Guest

    Ending a relationship is never easy. No matter how old you are it’s almost always going to be at least a little awkward and uncomfortable. And it’s super easy for a bunch of internet strangers to say, “just tell him it’s not working and leave” without necessarily offering concrete ways to navigate that conversation. You’re young and I feel like we really need more information before we weigh in. You mentioned that you’re “afraid” of what he might do. Are you afraid that he’ll hurt you, afraid that he’ll hurt himself or just anxious in general because you don’t have a lot of experience breaking up with people? Are you looking for specific scripts you can use to get the conversation started or …..?

    #984711 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    That IS the conversation, though. Let’s not normalize drama and trauma. You can stay calm throughout whatever the other person does, and keep stating that you care about them but there’s no chemistry. That’s a kindness. You do not need to (particularly after a 2-month relationship with someone you no longer even like) get into it with them and have a whole drawn-out thing. Yes, sometimes things are messy and that happens, but this does not need to be like that. You just stick to your line, and if it gets weird, you hang up or leave.

    #984720 Reply
    Ele4phant
    Guest

    Yeah I’m with Kate, while breaking up with someone can be hard emotionally, the actual act is simple. You don’t need to strategize an intricate plan for brainstorm how different scenarios will play out.

    Just say – I don’t feel any chemistry with you and I want to break up.

    However the person reacts is there problem, you just keep saying it.

    I think the one caveat is if she feels like he might physically harm her. I don’t think that’s what she meant – I think she’s just afraid he’s going to get emotional and she doesn’t want to deal with that, but if she’s afraid he might threaten her then yes, plan more, tell others what you’re going to do, do it in a public place, etc.

    Alternatively you could dump him by text and avoid the in person messiness.

    Just kidding.

    Mostly.

    #984753 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    To Ele4phant’s point, you don’t actually have to do it in person. If you do, somewhere public is awesome because it limits how much he can make a scene.

    I do think you can feel free to do it however you two most frequently communicate. If that’s by text, I honestly think it’s okay.

    For adults who spend a lot of time in person, a face to face breakup is respectful but not required. Phone is fine. A lot depends too on how much drama you think they’re going to put you through.

    And this is why it’s important just to keep repeating your line, so you don’t get sucked into a whole thing about how you’re the bad guy and they might hurt themselves. If they say they’re going to do that, say, “I don’t want you to do that, and I am going to let your mom know you may harm yourself so that she can keep an eye on you.” And then get out of the situation and send his mom a note. Seriously.

    #984760 Reply
    Part-time Lurker
    Guest

    Sorry all, my comment wasn’t directed at Kate’s advice. I think we hit “submit” at about the same time. Her post wasn’t up yet when I replied. But I do stand by what I said. If she’s afraid he’ll hurt her she needs to take appropriate steps to remain safe. If she’s just afraid he’ll hurt himself then yeah, she’s just being manipulated and doesn’t need to do anything other than say, “this isn’t working for me”. Full Stop. And then refuse to engage further.

    #984778 Reply
    Ele4phant
    Guest

    Yeah honestly I know a lot of people have VERY STRONG opinions that breaks ups MUST be done in person, but personally – if you haven’t been with someone all that long (check) and you know they are going to give you a hard time or draw you into an argument about why you shouldn’t dump them (check), doing the dumping not in person is sometimes just better, even if it’s not “right” or “decent”. It’s also not right or decent to try to manipulate someone out of dumping you, so…there’s that.

    If you dump this guy over the phone or text and you become that b*tch ex that couldn’t even do him the courtesy of dumping him in person, I mean who cares what he thinks?

    And if being pissed at you helps him not want to be with you any longer, I mean that’s a positive outcome.

    Point is – however you break up with this guy, keep it simple and keep repeating yourself that it’s just not working for you anymore and that’s just it, and if he won’t let up leave/hang up/block his phone.

    That’s all assuming LW you aren’t worried about him physically harming you, that will require more planning (and probably outside support) that frankly is above my pay grade to advise on.

    #985292 Reply
    bloodymediocrity
    Participant

    He’s showing a lot of red flags here. First, lying about the poem is really weird and a dumb thing to do. But jumping to self-flagellating after being caught to the point “you’re afraid of what he might do if you break up with with him” is the beginning stages of emotional abuse. If you stay, this behavior will probably worsen and his emotional manipulation will worsen. Breaking up now is the best thing for both of you – you don’t have to be in a relationship where you aren’t happy, and he gets a valuable life lesson on what behaviors are unacceptable deal-breakers.

    If you break up and he threatens to hurt himself, don’t engage him, just tell his parents.

    #985589 Reply
    Karebear1813
    Participant

    This is a 2 month relationship. There is no need to break up in person esp. if your scared of his reaction. Honestly, you don’t even have to call him. Just text him letting him know this relationship isn’t working out and that you no longer have romantic feelings for him. Don’t apologize or say its me, not you. Just stay firm and if he pressures you for “why” let him know he isnt respecting your boundaries and is becoming toxic. If he does not quit then block him. Surely it wont escalate any farther. If he threatens suicide, l’d call the police for a welfare check and most def. block him at that point. You should also let your parents know as a healthy outlet for guidance.

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