Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Looking for a Pretty Face” 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 “Looking for a Pretty Face” who was trying to get over an ex-boyfriend by slowly dating again. She started seeing a guy who had a lot of qualities she was looking for, but she didn’t think he was attractive or successful enough. She said she was confused about what to do since she “badly wanted someone” new in her life. Her update below.

A few months ago I wrote you a letter asking for your advice, and I think it’s time to give you an update. I told you that I felt like I needed a man so I could be happier and totally forget about my ex (even though two years have passed since our breakup). I was starting to see someone and I wasn’t sure he was the right one for me. You said that I better work on myself before I get into a relationship, because I felt empty inside, and you were right. However, I decided to give this man a chance and to see where it would go.

There were times where I felt that he was the one; I felt safe with him. He gave me a lot of attention and made me feel special. After two months I started to notice the things I didn’t like about him, and what bothered me more is that I was comparing him to other men, his younger friends for example. I understood that something was wrong and decided to move on. I talked to him; at first I didn’t want to tell him the real reasons that led me to make this decision. I told him I felt that I was not ready yet; he didn’t believe me and asked me for the truth. (I have to admit he did this in an aggressive way and with a lot of drama.) I decided to be honest and to tell him the truth, it hurt him a lot, and he told me that even though he went through divorce and unsuccessful relationships in the past, no one has ever hurt him like this. He was really aggressive and said to me things like , “What kind of person you are you?” and “It will come back to you” and stuff like that. I was really hurt and even scared.

After what happened, I decided that right now I don’t want men in my life. I understood that sometimes it’s better to be alone than to be with someone who is not right for you.

I won’t lie and say that sometimes I didn’t feel lonely, especially because I live in a small village and my family and friends always ask me about what’s going on in my life and they always expect “good news,” which for them means a boyfriend.

Now I’ve met someone whom I’ve known for almost a month. I don’t know where it’s going, but it feels different this time. I feel more ready for a healthy relationship. I am trying to have a totally independent life where I do things I enjoy. One of these things is that I started my Master’s degree, a goal that a few months ago felt really far from happening. I also started volunteering at a university project, in which I tutor and guide a disabled student.

Now I know I should’ve listened to your advice, but I was afraid to miss out on an opportunity. I WAS WRONG! I learned that the hard way.

 
Glad you’re feeling in a better place now and that some time on your own gave you a clearer perspective. I hope that when you say you were honest with the ex about why you wanted to break up, you didn’t say it was because you found him unattractive and not successful enough! If so, I could understand why he would feel so hurt. In the future, don’t feel obligated to share the whole truth and nothing but the truth, especially if bits of the truth are particularly hurtful. For example, “My heart isn’t in it” or “I simply don’t feel a romantic connection with you” are truthful without being super-specific.

Anyway, thanks for the update and good luck to you!

***************

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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6 comments… add one
  • avatar

    JD October 29, 2018, 12:49 pm

    Dear lord woman! Honesty is not always the best policy. You are cruel.

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  • avatar

    Kate October 29, 2018, 12:59 pm

    Jeez, haven’t you heard of a “Just not feeling it / the chemistry isn’t there?”

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  • avatar

    dinoceros October 29, 2018, 2:13 pm

    Glad you came to some realizations. But I also agree — no need to be “honest” with someone about why you are breaking up if it involves telling them things you don’t like about them. Not just because it’s kinder, but also because, I’d say, that saying you don’t have the chemistry or spark is still pretty accurate — if you did have that spark, you may have overlooked those things or not found them to be problems at all.

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  • avatar

    Janelle October 29, 2018, 2:45 pm

    People often say that they wish the person who no longer wants to date them would be “honest” about why. This is proof that no,you really don’t want that-it is hurtful and only a reason that applies to that particular person that broke up-but it will make you feel crappy and insecure. The kind words suggested by the other posters above are the way to go!

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster October 29, 2018, 3:07 pm

    I agree with everyone that she shouldn’t have told him the literal truth, but if he was being aggressive to the point she felt frightened, I can see how she’d blurt something like that out to get him to stop- it’s just that it was pretty callous and so it obviously backfired. Take this as a lesson learned, LW. If there’s a next time, end things with the generic (and true!) “no chemistry” line, and do it sooner than later.

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  • meadowphoenix

    meadowphoenix October 30, 2018, 12:44 pm

    Personally I feel like you shouldn’t ask questions that are inevitably going to hurt you (wanting desperately to know what about you someone doesn’t like anymore is asking for pain) if you wouldn’t actually like the honesty, but yeah girl, the best thing to do when someone is that angry is retreat!! “I can’t talk to you right now when you’re like this” is perfectly okay to say!! And guess what? You’re not actually obligated to talk to him after you’ve broken up. He’s not owed an answer beyond that you don’t want to date him anymore.

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