Updates: “Eaten Away” Responds

updatesIt’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 “Eaten Away” whose non-boyfriend of three months went away to Portugal for a month to write his book and film some things for his YouTube career, and she was worried that, since they never defined their relationship, he wouldn’t hesitate to pursue other women who might show interest in him. She wrote: “I’ve spent the last few weeks wondering what he’s doing and whom he’s with. It’s eating at me constantly because I know that since I’m not his “girlfriend,” I can’t even be mad if he sleeps with other girls. What should I do?”

As it turns out, I don’t think that he did end up sleeping with anyone else. He says he spent most of his time camping with his friends. But, really, who knows. Before he left, he promised me that he would call me once a week. This already seemed too little, considering we’d spent almost every day together for the last three months. He frequently forgot to call me. When he realized he’d forgotten, he came up with excuses and called me again later. I spent so many hours just waiting for his call…

When he returned from Portugal, he wanted to start seeing me again. We went on a few dates, but something wasn’t the same. I found out on his Facebook, NOT through him, that he was going away for another two months. One month after he got back. I called him in sadness and shock. He had told me that when he came back from Portugal, he was going to settle down with me. But, he always knew the best things to say to keep me wrapped around his finger.
I told him I couldn’t wait around for him anymore. I told him that I had waited like a puppy dog for him, and it broke me. Also, I should mention that I was 19 and he was 25.

We broke up, I sent him the most heart-breaking, loving letter goodbye, and I didn’t see him again.
A month later, just before he went on his travels, he contacted me saying he wanted to start seeing me and having sex with me again. Thankfully, I said no. Even though I miss him, I am so much happier without him.

Well, good for you for ending things with him, but in the future don’t wait around like a “puppy dog” for anyone – especially someone who can’t even be bothered to check in with you once a week.


If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com 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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  1. I feel like LW was clingy. Only 3 months in and worring about him cheating. Spent every day together for 3 months. He is living his life and most certainly should. He is building his career. She doesnt sound like she could hang for the long haul on this relationship due to his career. If he was out of his country it cost more to make calls unless his carrier doesn’t charge. It sounds like LW needs a hobbie. I sure jope she doesnt act like this with all her relationships.

    1. dinoceros says:

      Yeah. I don’t think how often you see someone supersedes the fact that you’ve only been dating for 3 months. Like, if it’s every day, great for you, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’ve barely been dating. Also, weekly calls might have to work if someone is abroad.

      But at the same time, I think the real reason it wouldn’t work is because he didn’t want a relationship at all. Even if someone seems “clingy,” if the other person sees it and knows that’s not what they want, then they need to end it. But presumably, he just wanted to have someone to sleep with when he got home.

  2. Considering that she says she knew she wasn’t his gf, at least yet, she certainly freighted this nascent relationship with a ton of expectations and tried to build her whole life around. LW, it is good to have moved on. Seeing someone every day from the beginning is too much too soon. His statement on his return suggests that he just sees you as a source of constant sex when he’s in your country, but not sufficiently important to call once a week. It doesn’t matter if he had sex with other women in Portugal, although he almost certainly did.
    I guess you are likely a student and this sounds like it was a summer romance. Did you at least have a summer job to fill some of your time?

  3. Bittergaymark says:

    NEWESFLASH — next time when somebody refuses to “define their relationship with you” … consider that rather clearly defined. 😉

  4. Hm. A 25-year-old dating a 19-year-old starts raising red flags for me. Anyway, sounds like he was just enjoying something casual while LW was putting all her eggs in his basket even though he was off living his life and having fun international adventures. Hopefully this is a learning lesson for LW, who is still really young, to not put her life on hold for anyone. (I can only imagine the things I would’ve written in to this site at 19…)

  5. Oh, sweetie, take some time off from dating until you learn some self-respect. Don’t ever do this:

    “I told him that I had waited like a puppy dog for him, and it broke me.”
    “I spent so many hours just waiting for his call…”

    Good men want women who will be a friend and partner, who have lives of their own and can stand on their own, not someone who’s “broken” because they didn’t call and “waits like a puppy dog” for them. Ugh. All you’re going to attract with that attitude is guys who are looking for women they can control.

  6. wobster109 says:

    Good for you for saying no to him. Please understand that he did not want to be in a relationship with you. He wanted no-strings, no-responsibilities sex. He didn’t care if it would break your heart. He would gladly lie to you, give you false hope, and then break your heart to get sex. In the future, believe the actions not the words.

  7. Teri Anne says:

    Why are women condemned as “clingy” if they dare to state their needs and wants to their romantic partners? While the LW did not say she was looking to get married at 19, she wanted a steady and monogamous relationship. Her normal desire for a more committed relationship conflicted with the desire of the non-boyfriend for casual sex with no strings attached. Neither the LW or her non-boyfriend’s desires were wrong, but the non-boyfriend is a real jerk because he was not honest with her. Congratulations to the LW for learning this lesson so young, and for having the courage to eliminate him from her life even though she still cared for him.

    1. Teri Anne, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a steady and monogamous relationship, and there’s nothing wrong with stating it! People are saying she comes across clingy, however, because of how she desperately waiting around like a puppy dog for some guy who very clearly couldn’t even be bothered to call her.

      We’re all saying she should have more respect for herself and aim higher (as in, aim for a guy that respects and actually takes steps to define their relationship) , rather than holding on for dear life to a guy who isn’t giving her what she wants and then being heartbroken when it doesn’t work.

      1. Saying he doesn’t respect her simply because he doesn’t want a serious, defined commitment after three weeks is a stretch.

  8. She’s coming off as clingy because after a mere three weeks of dating she needed the relationship to be defined. You don’t even know someone yet, too soon for that. Plus the puppy dog thing

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