Updates: “May Have Over-Reacted” 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 “May Have Over-Reacted” who sent an angry email to a guy she’d been dating a couple months when she found out, after two weeks of no communication, that he was at the airport about to fly home for the holidays. She wrote: If I had not texted him, I would have never known he had left. I left him a long, angry email expressing my displeasure. He never replied and I have not heard from him since. Was I justified in feeling upset? I still do really like him and would love to work things out if he is willing.” Keep reading to find out if he was willing.

After the unfortunate email I sent, I thought for sure I’d never hear from him. On New Year’s Eve he sent me a ‘Happy New Year’ text. I told him “happy new year,” too, and that was it. Then in mid-January he texted me and told me he was back in the country. He didn’t suggest we meet or anything though. He texted me again a week after that telling me he had been busy, blah, blah, blah. Still no suggestion of meeting up and then we didn’t speak again until a few days ago. Then, on Valentine’s Day, I expected at least a phone call. Never heard from him. I was pissed. (By the way, the last time we were together was early November.) So, today I texted him basically asking him “are we dating or not.” He said he is not ready for a relationship and was leaning towards something casual but that he hopes we can stay friends.

So it’s officially over. I’m fine with that. I just don’t understand why he led me on if he knew he wanted a casual relationship. When we started going out, he told me that I had met him at a good time because he was ready to “be serious.” He had been a bit of a partier and all his relationships had been casual. He even stopped hanging out with his wild party friends in a bid to abandon that lifestyle.

In the break-up text, he told me that he takes a long time to get to know a girl before he gets serious and with his work schedule he just doesn’t have that time. His last serious relationship lasted a year and it was pretty serious because he even met her parents.

Basically, I feel like he never gave me a chance. He never got to know me. I don’t know. Maybe it’s something about me that doesn’t inspire commitment.

That wasn’t a “break-up text” he sent. You didn’t break up. You hadn’t seen each other in three months and had only gone on a few dates before that. Why you even needed to ask if you were dating is beyond me. Pro tip: A handful of one-line texts (not even full text conversations!) over the course of a couple months does NOT equal dating. Those one-line texts he sent were just quick bait to see if he might be able to score some fast and easy sex. He was probably sending similar texts to multiple other women, just to see who might respond and make it easiest for him. Clearly, you didn’t win the big prize of being his booty call on any of the times he reached out.

I don’t even know what to tell you except to try to relax a little and not blow things out of proportion. A text is just a text. A date is just a date. You aren’t in a relationship if you live in the same town and haven’t seen or spoken to each other in months. And just because you have now dated two guys who aren’t interested in serious relationships doesn’t mean you don’t inspire commitment. It means you’re choosing the wrong guy to pursue. You can’t always know right off the bat what a guy is looking for, but if he tells you pretty quickly that a serious relationship is not what he wants and he doesn’t have time for one, believe him and 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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  1. RedRoverRedRover says:

    Yeah, I don’t think the problem is that you “don’t inspire commitment”, I think it’s that you are reading things that aren’t there. Like, if you haven’t seen someone since November, why on earth would you expect to hear from them on Valentine’s Day??? To be dating someone, you have to actually go on dates. All you guys were doing at that point was occasionally texting. Having had a few dates months ago doesn’t change that into a relationship.

    And it was the same thing with the initial blowup at Christmas. Sure, you’d actually had some recent dates at that point (although it’s not clear how many or how often), but you hadn’t even spoken in two weeks. That’s not dating, I don’t even know what to call it. “Talking”, I guess, is the new nomenclature? If it were me I’d have considered it over at that point. If someone doesn’t even have time to talk to me once in two weeks, then they’re clearly not that interested.

    I think you need to do what Wendy said. Give yourself some time to get over your ex. And after that, when you start meeting guys, don’t assume that they’re considering it to be a relationship of any kind unless they actually ACT like it’s a relationship. Seeing you multiple times a week, initiating communication, making plans. That’s when you can start getting invested. Otherwise you’re just setting yourself up for more hurt, by setting up expectations that the guy never intended to meet.

  2. WWS and why did you think you were in a relationship and to expect a Valentine’s Day text? Why would you want one from someone who you hadn’t seen in three months? Is that what you want from a real relationship? And after reading your original letter and Wendy’s reply I’m left wondering if you actually read any of Wendy’s thoughts?

  3. Whoa.

    If you have to ask if you’re dating – you’re not.
    If you haven’t seen someone in a week (much less three months) with no contact – unless they are out of the country and you had that conversation – you’re not dating.
    If the total emotional investment in your relationship is three texts over three months then also – not dating.

    I have a more meaning relationship with my electrician. And did you not read any of the comments on your original post? You still sound crazy town.

  4. juliecatharine says:

    LW…Go back and read the comments to your first letter. This guy was not your boyfriend; you were not dating; at best you went out a couple times several months ago. If a dude doesn’t make time to see you he’s not interested. If he throws you a text now and then he is simply keeping the door open for a booty call. That’s it. There is no magical mystery here, he just wasn’t interested. That’s ok, it’s not a big deal. What IS a big deal are your expectations and attachments to dudes who have given you nearly-zero attention.

  5. fancypants says:

    WWS but also I have a question for the LW. You seem to want commitment but yet even if you were getting it from this guy, what do you actually want? Are you on like the 8-year plan as far as building a serious relationship with someone goes? If so, then you need to calm down. If not, then you need to think more about what you want from a relationship and less about what that guy means with his meaningless texts.

  6. Oh honey, no. If you haven’t seen each other in over two weeks (barring some obvious extenuating circumstance), you aren’t dating.

  7. I had a friend that had almost this exact same relationship. Even though, we (her friends) told her over and over that her “bf” was never around and that his month long “business trips” were lies, she never thought otherwise . She even started coming up with all these hobbies to take up time, cooking classes, wine tasting..etc etc. Finally she was contacted by some girl who evidently was dating the same guy. He was with the other girl on trips when he ditched my friend. It took her all of 3 seconds to get over it because he explained to her he was “confused”. Dont even get me started on this. I really think some woman accept this type of behavior for some reason because they have already setup a plan to marry him. Its not because they love the guy, but because he fits in the plan.

  8. I ‘d love to see an update to this update. :-p

  9. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

    Ohmygoodness. Oh, Sweetie, you need to wake up and get a clue. Your life isnt a movie, my Dear. You dont lock eyes with a stranger on the trian and then through 3 acts are pulled apart and then brought back together sheerly by the will of your love… or something.
    I doubt either of the guys you speak of actually thought they were in a relationship with you. You need to not read into every single thing that may be a shadow of indicia that a guy is into you. Any good, decent guy will be clear in his intentions with you. It isnt some reflection of you if every man you meet doesnt want to date you or get to know you better. When it is a good match, you BOTH want it to work and make that clear to each other.

  10. dinoceros says:

    Are you for real? He didn’t lead you on. You led yourself on. Why on earth would you expect a Valentine’s phone call from someone you hadn’t seen since November? You had no right to be angry over that because it’s so far beyond the realm of realistic. I find it extremely odd that you had no idea that you weren’t dating to the point where you sent a message asking if you were dating. Of course you weren’t. Like there was zero evidence whatsoever that you were dating at that point. I feel like you’re the kind of person who is going to call him up in a year and ask if it’s time to move in together yet, even though you haven’t spoken in all that time.

    1. Oh, this is great, dinocerous. LW, you did lead yourself on. There was no relationship here. I don’t think there ever was one. You dated casually a few times, months ago, and then *you* trashed any hope of a relationship by going off the rails and sending him a totally-uncalled-for nasty message.

      He’s just being polite by sending an occasional text. He’s not remotely interested in you romantically, or he would have made some effort to see you. He’s not your boyfriend. He never was.

  11. Oh, honey. I’m so sorry you were disappointed on Valentine’s day, because there was really no reason to expect anything from him. He sent you a few generic texts, that’s all. Valentine’s day is for lovers, which means someone who actually spends time with you, is interested in hearing what you have to say, and puts effort into maintaining a relationship. Not just sending a few texts that very well could have been mass sent to his all his contacts. Please listen to Wendy’s advice.

  12. LisforLeslie says:

    You know – I can slightly understand the reaction at the beginning of this saga. If someone is being ghosted, you don’t really know it at first right? But after receiving no message to your message – that’s it. It’s dunzo. Kaput. Finito. After that – this entire “relationship” was in your head. I did a spit take when you said you were expecting a call on Valentines Day.

    To date someone you actually have to go on dates. As in repeatedly see the other person. Being contacted by text once a month or so is not a relationship.

  13. bittergaymark says:

    Yeah, I think this whole situation is bizarre. And his sending you a few texts is just being friendly, I dunno. You are a bit cray cray!

  14. LW- while I agree with most commentators that this guy probably never considered you two as being in a relationship, I also noticed you said he flew back to his home country. Are you both first generation types, and/or I’d there a cultural aspect of these guys that we could be missing as well?

  15. I feel like you need to read the book He’s Just Not That Into You. And take notes.
    Do I think he lied when he said, in the fall, that he was looking for a serious relationship? No. But going on a few dates, like he did with you, is getting to know someone to see if you want a serious relationship with that person. He decided he wasn’t interested in you enough to pursue that. Now, this last text, he said he’s just wanting something casual. Perhaps his priorities have changed–and that’s perfectly fine, that’s his prerogative. Or perhaps it was just his way of letting you down easy (while keeping the door open for booty calls). This does not mean that you are undateable, or that you won’t meet a guy who wants a commitment with you. But you have to learn to not read too much into every little thing and recognize when someone’s not interested so you don’t waste your time.
    Also, I have a strong suspicion that the intensity that you displayed in your letters to Wendy also comes across in person. You may be coming across as needy/clingy without realizing it, and too intense too early into dating. And that’s going to scare most people away.

  16. Monkeysmommy says:

    You asked him whaaaattt?! If you were dating?! What the hell even remotely left you with the impression you were ever “dating”? Lady, if I were him, you’d never hear from me again. It’s not that you don’t “inspire commitment”; its that right now you are oozing the crazy vibes.

  17. You girls should go easy on LW. She probably was at the library studying for her math exam when you were at the back of the cafeteria taking “Advanced Dating 453” and that’s why she needs to ask Wendy some questions. Otherwise she would have worked it out by herself…

    1. Idk, my PhD didn’t come with a course in dating, but her assumptions seemed pretty ridiculous to me…

    2. I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not. I was the girl at the library studying for my math exam and somehow I still managed to have enough common sense to know that text messages spread out over months don’t equal a relationship. That and her original letter gave some great advice that the LW seemed to just ignore….

    3. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

      Yeah, realizing that you’re not in any kind of romantic relationship with someone you’ve exchanged a handful of texts with and haven’t seen at all over the course of 3 months is not ‘advanced’. It’s common sense. I have more communication than that with acquaintances.

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