Updates: “Second to Church” Responds

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 today. After the jump, we hear from “Second to Church,” who felt second place (at best) to her boyfriend’s job at his church. “I understand that his job is his passion, but when I attempt to make plans he is always busy or can’t commit 100%. Just this week he cancelled on our plans because he has a new church group.” She said she saw him at most once a week and wondered how to broach the topic of needing more of his time without coming off as, well, needy. After the jump, find out whether she figured out a way.

First off, thank you for publishing my letter; the advice/ideas that were given to me were awesome and were certainly helpful. However, about a week or so after I received all the advice and attempted to put it to use, he dumped me. He told me that “the timing wasn’t right” and that “maybe in a year or so it would be better”. I was (and still am, I suppose) devastated. In one fatal blow he dumped our relationship and our years’ long friendship. It’s even worse because we have three classes together this semester and he won’t look at me or talk to me. I didn’t expect this to be his solution (I say his because he wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to explain what we could do to fix our relationship). I can harbor a guess that the comments will simply say he is being extremely selfish, and they are absolutely right.

Bitterness aside, thank you again for publishing my letter. I’m sure one day I’ll be thankful that he dumped me and spared me of a lifetime of being second place, but now is not the moment— Second No More

If the guy doesn’t even have the decency to look you in the face when he sees you in class, and he never had time for you when you were a couple, then I’d say you probably dodged a bullet on this one. I know it’s hard to see it that way now, but I promise that his breaking up with you was not a “fatal blow.” Hang in there; it gets better.

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.


  1. iseeshiny says:

    I… don’t think he was being selfish. I think he was being honest. It sucks that he doesn’t want to be friendly in class, but if he wasn’t feeling it enough to make time for you, then it was going to end one way or another.

    What hurts is that he was the one to end it, not you. Being dumped sucks. Eat your ice cream, watch some chick flicks, and eventually you will realize this is a good thing. You’ll find someone who will make time for you, who values you and your part in their life. Best of luck!

  2. The_Yellow_Dart says:

    I feel your pain, LW, but I think the break-up is definitely for the best. Everyone deserves a caring and considerate partner, and it sounds like your ex-boyfriend was neither. Take some time to heal – pamper yourself a bit, spend time with your friends, take up a new hobby, etc. – and when you eventually do go out with someone else, demand respect!

  3. Bklyn Grl says:

    I don’t think he was being selfish for not working on a relationship that he no longer wanted to be in (and, the behavior you described in your original letter, hadn’t wanted to be in for a while)… but I do think he has been and continues to be immature about the whole situation (it was hurtful to just string you along like he did, and while it’s good he finally got the balls to actually end it, it’s beyond ridiculous that he won’t even look at you).

    Sorry this happened, but like Wendy said, you dodged a bullet. Even if he had listened to you about “fixing” your relationship, this one was doomed… you can’t convince someone to love you and want to spend time with you, they either do or they don’t. Take a little time to heal, then find someone who doesn’t need any convincing to be with you.

  4. caitie_didn't says:

    Sorry, LW, that blows. I had a shitty breakup in January of this year and it took me a LONG time to get over it, but trust me- you WILL get over it. He sounds like an immature ass hat, and he’s done you a favour by letting you be free to meet someone better. Think of it this way: every relationship you have that doesn’t work out gets you closer to the right one.

  5. I’ll also chime in with the assessment of his not being selfish, but honest in where he stands. I DO think he is being douchy for giving her the total cold shoulder. I know he wants to probably make a clean break of the romance, but he’s actively dodging her in the classroom when they had a years-long friendship before they started dating? That’s pretty douchetastic of him – you’re much better off LW.

  6. This sounds like one of those things that sucks and takes the wind right out of your sails…until you realize that it was the best thing ever to happen to you.
    The pretending you don’t exist in class is particularly charming. Perhaps he should pay a little more attention at his “church” events – it sounds like the real message may be alluding him.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Ha! Good pick up on the pay-more-attention-at-church comment!

  7. “he wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to explain what we could do to fix our relationship”

    That’s so odd, men LOVE it when women do that (and vice versa, I’m sure). How selfish this guy was, for not simply following instructions.

  8. Landygirl says:

    I find it rather hypocritical that he is so active in his church and yet can’t spare any decency for you, LW. I’m sorry that you are feeling bad, but I’m sure you’ll find someone who will give you the time and attention you both need and deserve.

  9. LW,

    I think you’re better off without this dude. I remember your original letter and it does sound like a slow fade. He should have manned up sooner. I know that doesn’t make it any easier.

    I have found the best way to get over a break up is to surround myself with friends and family. Honestly, it works.

  10. oppositeofzen says:

    I’m sorry LW. I would suggest you go get a massage or mani/pedi (or both). It sucks how he acted and still acts, but that shows that he definitely wasn’t good enough for you. Kepp your chin up. Someone who is better for you and to you will come along.

    Sidenote – I don’t know if your school has this, but some schools offer massage therapy at reduced prices to students.

  11. LW: Try meeting some older men in your community. I found dating in college to be a major drag, simply because college boys are exactly that…boys. You’ll be so much happier (as I was) when you put, “must already have a degree” on your non-negotiables list.

  12. Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com says:

    Honey, I’m just so sorry! Heartbreak is so hard and having to see him each week is really cruel. Give yourself some credit for walking into class day after day and facing that. Some people couldn’t even do it.

    In my opinion, his fault here is that he was cowardly. Somewhere along the way this relationship stopped being a priority for him. And rather than confront that and recognize what it meant about your relationship, he ignored it for a long time and that left you trying to unravel the mystery on your own. Not fair. But that’s sometimes how young men lacking self-awareness behave.

    But YOU will be fine in time. Take the time to heal, to analyze, and to distract yourself with other things. Be gentle with yourself when you have set-backs but be firm with yourself about the direction you are going (forward and away from him).

    Promise that by this time next year life will look entirely different (and for the better).

    In the meantime, big DearWendy hugs from all of us!

    1. “his fault here is that he was cowardly.”

      Good call. It sounds like he tried the slow fade-out instead of just being up front with her. I’ve had this happen to me in the past, and it was so confusing and hurtful.

  13. lets_be_honest says:

    Kinda disappointed she didn’t touch on the major argument us readers were having-gay v. straight.

    1. Why even bother any more? Him ending the relationship made it moot. Totally irrelevant (as well as insensitive) to the fact that the LW is hurting over the definitive end of the romance as well as a potential loss of a years-long friendship.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I understand its a moot point now for her, but it was such a major topic of conversation in our comments to her that I would’ve expected the update to clarify ‘omg, no, he’s def not gay,’ ‘its possible’ or something about it. Listen, breakups happen, luckily for her she got to see his true colors or however you want to put it. This guy doesn’t sound like a good friend for ignoring her now and doesn’t sound like a good boyfriend for ignoring her when they were a couple. Better off if you ask me.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        And to jump on me for being insensitive for asking when we often see MOA on here or as you call it Unfucking, come on.

      3. Whoa, back the frak up here LBH. Nowhere in my reply did I call YOU insensitive. I said mentioning the gay or straight debate that followed in the original letter is kind of irrelevant right now as well as insensitive to the updated response that the LW is obviously bitter and hurt regarding how the whole matter get down. If she didn’t want to get into her update about that train of comments, that’s her right, and we shouldn’t burden her mind with such thoughts when her MAIN focus should be recovering from the breakup.

        As to the whole “unfucking” thing – it’s my thing and I’ve explained my origins on how I’ve said it and I only apply it to guys who are obviously douchetastic in their behavior to LW that the MOA is a totally legit response. Now while this guy was douchetastic in his treatment following the breakup, at least he was honest to the LW about how he felt and in no way did he manipulate, abuse and/or deceive this LW.

        And I get that you don’t like my posts LBH. Then don’t read them. For you to call me out here like that though – it’s attention-grubbing and I’ll let the quality of your responses speak for yourself accordingly.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh my, calm down, I was pointed out that all commenters say things like MOA. Def wasn’t an attack on you, sorry you seem to have taken it that way. Of course its LW’s right to say or not say whatever she wants. Just sayin’ I was curious and thought she might touch on the subject since many of the comments were about that. Lets not start acting like kids throwing insults around. I don’t even have enough of a memory to say I’ve ever liked or not like your specific posts.

  14. Yea breaking up was not selfish. Sounds like he had been past the working on it desire for a while.

    Ignoring you is selfish though. He is doing that for him… likely because he has some feelings for you still and doesn’t know to handle it. I will say if you want to maintain a friendship you should probably ignore each other until you move past it anyways….try to talk that over if you care to.

  15. I don’t think this guy is selfish for ending it, but ignoring you is definitely pathetic. But the thing that pissed me the most off is when he said “maybe in a year or so it would be better”. Ugggg, this makes me want to punch him right in his penis. Hey douchebag, who said she would be WAITING A YEAR OR SO for you to get your act together? Like she should put her whole life on hold for his whim.

    I had a class once with a dude who dumped me, then ignored me in class, THEN proceeded to hit on other girls in class right in front of me. He would even walk really fast after class to dart to his car because we parked in the same spot and he didn’t want to have to talk to me. I, of course, wanted to be the one to ignore him, so every class I would actually chase him down, pass him, and then make a mad dash to car to beat him there. That way when he’d walk past I’d get to haughtily climb into my car while shooting him “I’m avoiding YOU, bitch” eyes. Maybe not the most classy response, but it was a great workout.

    I say, try to find some distractions in class. Talk to new (ie:hotter) people. You may not forget that he’s in the same class with you, but at least it’ll stop being your main focus.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Love this…I’m avoiding YOU, bitch. Great advice about not letting him be your focus in class.

    2. theattack says:

      And definitely don’t dress in sweatpants like you’re mourning your relationship. Alternate between looking hot and dressing normally.

  16. Oh, Lw, trust us when we say you most decidedly dodged a bullet. This “relationship” was so one-sided, you are so much better off moving on and finding a true man. This one, just wasn’t it. It really does suck that you weren’t the one to end it, but the simple fact is that it’s over – is one that you should be grateful for. There is no magic cure for a broken heart, but time will heal these wounds and you’ll be back on track before you know it. We’ve all been there and it’s so easy for us – on the outside looking in – to say what a blessing this breakup was, but seriously it IS!! Like others have said, keep the positive energy flowing and you’ll attract the right Mr. Right before you know it. Good luck to you, darlin’!

  17. bittergaymark says:

    I still say that anybody who is THAT into church has other issues. Plenty of them. Frankly, LW, I’d say you dodged a real bullet by getting dumped by the guy… I know that sounds very half full, but trust me on this, he is not going to make ANY woman happy.

  18. lemongrass says:

    I just went to a religious wedding last weekend. The pastor had said that “your marriage is second only to your relationship with God.” That stuck my husband and I as really wrong. Just wondering- is that a common thought out there?

    1. I think an alternate way of saying that is God should be at the center of your marriage. You both have a relationship with God that you share with one another in the way you life out your marriage and your interaction with each other. At least that’s how I’ve always thought of it.Hopefully that makes sense!

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