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It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Different Light Needed,” the 25-year-old student who’d been dating a 40-year-old guy for a couple weeks and was a little concerned that he seemed only interested in her in a sexual way.
I was overwhelmed with all of this at once and didn’t answer for a while. I wasn’t sure whether to be happy or sad. I said I understood and felt happy, thinking he was testing me to see whether I would be that “one” for him. I drove home thinking everything was great.
He went away on a work trip the next day, and that was the last I heard from him. It’s been a week, and nothing. Do I deserve a reason as to why he stopped contacting me all of a sudden? Or should I just send him off to the island of lost men? He said the age difference wasn’t a problem, so I don’t know what to think. And I keep going over it in my head, trying to find out where I went wrong — aside from sleeping with him too soon and all, which I kick myself for.
I’m so hurt and confused as to how so much happened between us but he could just ignore me all of a sudden and not say a thing. And no, it’s not my first relationship. I was in a serious relationship, lived for 6 years with a guy who cheated on me, and have dated on and off since for a few years before meeting this guy. I guess when I said this is the best relationship I’ve been in [after a few weeks], I mean that he has the qualities I like in a guy. I want something serious, but now his lack of commitment is showing. What should I do?
Oh, for cricket’s sake! He is not interested in you! I’m sorry. I know rejection stings. Trust me, I know. But you aren’t doing yourself any favors trying to justify his behavior or calling it a lack of commitment. (You’ve known him a few weeks! It’s not a “lack of commitment” after a few weeks; it’s a “lack of interest.”). He’s not interested in you, and what he was trying to tell you is that he enjoys your company but not anywhere near enough to, like, actually date-date you in a serious way — which is why he says he just wants a casual relationship with you — but he’s at a point — so he says — where he actually might want a more-than-casual relationship with the right person. But you aren’t the right person. He’s been trying to let you down pretty easy. Let him let you down easy and just MOA. Sure, if that means “sending him off to the island of lost men,” go for it, though I believe his ship already sailed off in that direction when he left for his “business trip.”
And look, you sleeping with him early on has nothing to do with him not wanting a serious relationship with you. It really doesn’t. I’m not saying you should just sleep with every guy you meet or whatever, but you should definitely not beat yourself up about sleeping with this guy, or about sleeping with someone else early on if you feel like it. There are plenty — PLENTY — of happy, committed relationships that began with pretty quick sex. I don’t mean the sex was quick — although, I guess it could have been; I just mean that many people have sex shortly after meeting/starting to date someone and then go on to have very long, happy relationships (they even, gasp, get married and have kids sometimes!).
I don’t know why this guy wasn’t interested in you for a serious relationship, but he wasn’t. It really doesn’t matter why. What matters is that he’s not the right guy for you and you need to MOA. This isn’t about anything you did “wrong.” This guy just wasn’t the right one for you. And that should be confirmed by how little interest he showed in getting to know you. The right guy will want to know who you are — what you like to do, what your passions are, where you come from, where you want to go. And if a guy isn’t interested in these things, guess what? It’s not that you aren’t right for him; it’s that he isn’t right for you.
You’re 25. You’re going to meet other guys. You’re going to meet some who like you more than you like them. You’re going to meet some who make your heart pitter-patter. And, sometime, you’re going to find someone who not only makes you feel something — he’s going to be a match for you. And it won’t matter when you sleep with him (or don’t sleep with him), because things will line up in such a way that the universe will be practically pushing you together. This isn’t that guy. And he’s not worth any more of your energy. It’s time to MOA.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].
Taylor March 10, 2014, 1:07 pm
mrmidtwenties March 10, 2014, 1:13 pm
Exactly what Wendy said.
PumpkinLatte March 10, 2014, 1:26 pm
Perfect response, Wendy.
Addie Pray March 10, 2014, 1:27 pm
Wait, you’re 25 and you lived with a guy “for 6 years” and dated on and off “for a few years” before you met this 40 year old guy? Assuming the “few years” of dating come after, and did not overlap with, the 6-year live-in boyfriend, then based on my fuzzy math skills you started living with the live-in BF when you were 16 … How does that happen?!
honeybeenicki March 10, 2014, 1:30 pm
I was trying to math in my head too but then it started to hurt my brain so I gave up.
Dear Wendy March 10, 2014, 2:00 pm
I did the math, too, and here’s what I came up with:
Starting dating ex-bf at 16. Moved in together at 21. Broke up at 22. Has been single and dating casually for the last three years.
katie March 10, 2014, 2:06 pm
that was more or less what i guess at too- which, if this is your past, LW, you dont really have that much “experience”, so i guess its not that weird that you are acting so crazy. so… learn faster?
Addie Pray March 10, 2014, 2:09 pm
But she said she lived with her ex (not just dated him) for 6 years (right?) And dated for a few years presumably after that break up. And she’s only 25 (right?)
rachel March 10, 2014, 2:09 pm
She must have meant her ex OF 6 years, because yeah, there’s no other way it makes sense.
katie March 10, 2014, 2:10 pm
is she a former emancipated minor? lol
theattack March 10, 2014, 2:14 pm
Boyfriend = Brother. It’s the only way that makes sense.
Addie Pray March 10, 2014, 2:27 pm
Ha. And let me guess, he didn’t get an invite to the wedding.
CatsMeow March 10, 2014, 1:34 pm
Seriouslyyyy? Do you have selective hearing? You are being willfully ignorant at this point.
lets_be_honest March 10, 2014, 2:53 pm
wCMs. You completely ignored what everyone said last time, so good luck to ya.
Just Max March 10, 2014, 1:46 pm
Oh, for cricket’s sake!
XanderT March 10, 2014, 1:48 pm
iwannatalktosampson March 10, 2014, 1:49 pm
Tangent Alert: I think online dating has caused people to give fake importance to fleeting dates. I find it strange that people can casually (not exclusively, not talking about the future, not officially dating) date someone for two months, and then when they quit seeing each other, they consider it a break up. Is it a validation thing? Do they just want to feel validated and okay with being sad?
And what’s with all these dramatics after two dates? Its like the forced search for a boyfriend has caused people to give a few dates people a person this fake importance, like that means something. It’s bizarre.
LlamaPajamas March 10, 2014, 2:00 pm
Maybe, but I went out with several guys I met online before I met my fiancé and it never occurred to me to consider them a relationship/break up, even when they went on for a month or so. I totally agree about the dramatics after a few dates though. WTF, LW? You don’t “deserve” anything from him – you went out a few times, had some sex, and it didn’t work out. THAT’S WHAT DATING IS.
katie March 10, 2014, 2:03 pm
yea, all these stories we get… i continually just want to be like “welcome to dating”. like what else do people expect? why is the behavior so weird and foreign? i dont get it!
iwannatalktosampson March 10, 2014, 2:13 pm
Yeah who knows, maybe it’s less related to online dating and more related to people being crazy. But I can’t imagine how creeped out I’d be if I went on a few dates with a guy and he told all his friends about the “break-up” and was still talking about it a year later. (This obviously doesn’t apply to this LW, but now that I’m in tangent territory I’m going with it.)
True story: I have a friend who “broke up” with a guy last year after 3 weeks, and I think they’d had 2 dates during that time and had sex a few times. She got mad at me because didn’t want to have a full weekend of “girl time” to help her get over it. I wanted to tell her the reason he probably “broke up” with her is because he could smell the crazy on her. But I actually do like this girl despite her issues with men.
LlamaPajamas March 10, 2014, 2:18 pm
Wow. Just, wow.
You know, it could be a matter of online dating and I’m just immune to it because I’m super special (or cold and callous). Who knows. But I’m so glad it didn’t take me ages to get over the guys I casually dated because I wouldn’t have messaged Mr. LP if I’d been wallowing.
Fabelle March 10, 2014, 1:54 pm
WWS. Maybe actually read it this time, LW? Because from your update, it seems like everything she said—& everything we said— flew so far above your head. Why are you still beating yourself up over sleeping with him “too soon”? Why are you still attributing his pretty clear “I ONLY WANT SOMETHING CASUAL” message as a “lack of commitment”? Honestly, at 25 with a couple serious relationships under your belt, you should know when you’re being dicked around.
I’m sorry you didn’t get what you wanted out of this liason, but that’s how it goes sometimes in the dating world. It seems like your lover has moved on; now you should, too.
katie March 10, 2014, 1:59 pm
ok so because this LW is just not getting it- can we talk about this amazing comment that was a late addition to the letter:
“I didn’t have a ‘one night stand’. I held an audition & the person just didn’t make it to ‘call-back’”
oh god how i love that
TheGirlinME March 11, 2014, 10:26 am
YAY!! That was me 🙂 Glad I made someone smile. TY Katie!
katie March 10, 2014, 2:07 pm
oh also, can i just say i love this- “I want something serious, but now his lack of commitment is showing. What should I do?”. this is the most blatant obvious answering your own question as you ask it situation i have ever read on DW, maybe ever.
Cassie March 12, 2014, 7:22 pm
I hate it when my lack of commitment is showing. It’s embarrassing.
snarkymarc March 10, 2014, 3:38 pm
My guess is that the LW is beating herself up over the sex probably because she gets emotionally attached with sex. The end result in this scenario wouldn’t have changed whether she had sex with him or not – he would have moved on – but if she attaches sex with emotions, then she probably should take things a bit slower. I think a lot of people give in to the pressure of sex because “that is what dating is”, but if you can’t be casual with it, then you shouldn’t try to act like you are.
mylaray March 10, 2014, 7:38 pm
The LW mentions God in her first letter and based on her attitude about sex and other things she mentions, I get the feeling she likely grew up religious (I’m not knocking religion, I’m a Christian). Either way, LW, you’ve got to stop feeling bad about having sex with him “too soon”. When you decide to sleep with someone doesn’t change the outcome.
You sound a lot younger than 25. He’s made it really clear that he’s not looking for a relationship, and you’re ignoring that, and then ignoring everyone’s advice. Why? Why are you holding on to this “relationship” that’s only a few weeks? I really think you should get to therapy to deal with some of your issues.
Cassie March 12, 2014, 7:37 pm
Sweet cheeses! What an update. I’m late to the party, but LW here’s what you should do:
For the love of chocolate, next time this guy contacts you (and, I’m guessing he will at some point… he may have disappeared without a word for a week but he’ll get around to booty calling you sooner or later), you need to have The Talk. The DTR talk. You tell him what you’re wanting: an actual, exclusive relationship with him, with real dates and everything, and if he can’t provide that then he should not contact you. See what he says. Chances are he’s going to tell you, in some way or other, that he doesn’t want a relationship with you. He’s already told you that in a few ways. But, see, you need to actually listen and actually believe the words that he’s telling you.
I also suggest you read the book He’s Just Not That Into You while he’s away on his business trip, .
For cricket’s sake indeed!