In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
I broke up with my boyfriend of over 1 1/2 years in April. I love him very much, but I don’t feel like I’m in love with him. Meaning, I care about him and his feelings but want to date other people. I’m 24, just out of college, and he was my first and only boyfriend. He didn’t do anything wrong; for the most part he was a great boyfriend (which is part of the reason he’s having a hard time accepting the breakup). I was just bored. We share no common interests or hobbies and have no interest in participating in each other’s hobbies or interests. We’re two completely different people who fought all the time. We both admit that, if we had spent more time getting to know each other (we were “official” after our first date), we probably never would have gotten together.
When we were together, he had a low-paying job and could never afford to take me out. Now he’s got a new job making double what he made and wants to take me out all the time. I tell him not to do those things if he’s trying to get back together with me, but he says he just does them to make me happy and because he loves me. I must admit, I am enjoying these dinners and gifts only because I hardly ever got them when we were together, but it’s definitely blurring the lines, so I have to stop letting him do this.
Sometimes I feel like I will never find another guy who loves me the way my ex did. I’m afraid I’ll find someone else but end up getting hurt and want to go back to the ex, but it will be too late. So maybe I should ignore the lack of “spark” and “chemistry” and just be with someone who loves me more than I love him. Then I think, maybe I think that because I’ve never been in another relationship and have nothing at all to compare this feeling to. Advice? — Afraid to Miss My One Chance
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 9:02 am
Don’t use him for his money. Not cool. You’re 24. You have PLENTY of time to go out and date and find someone you fit better with. He will also be able to do that, but you have to let him go.
kerrycontrary July 17, 2013, 9:07 am
Stop using this guy for money and dinners when he clearly wants to date you again (despite what he says) and you don’t want to date him. Plus you both admitted that you shouldn’t have even gotten together in the first place! So to address your questions: 1) “Sometimes I feel like I will never find another guy who loves me the way my ex did.”—Yes, you will. Love is not a special unicorn. You will fall in love again and next time you will hopefully pick your boyfriend better and you will actually like him. 2) “I’m afraid I’ll find someone else but end up getting hurt and want to go back to the ex, but it will be too late.”–Yes, you will probably get hurt. But don’t run back to the ex when it happens. You don’t have anything in common with him, remember? 3) “So maybe I should ignore the lack of “spark” and “chemistry” and just be with someone who loves me more than I love him.”–No, Just NO. You should date someone you want to sleep with and that you enjoy spending time with. End of story.
Stop talking to your ex and then make an online dating profile and go on a lot more dates. Get your heart broken and then put yourself back together and find another relationship. Repeat until you find someone you are totally in love with and want to share your life with.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 9:33 am
Um, kerry, my love is similar to a special unicorn actually. Some might call it a “special love.” Maybe you just need to find a better match for you, so you can have that special love too?
kerrycontrary July 17, 2013, 9:58 am
What I need to find is “My Perfect Match”. Has anyone seen that Disney movie? With Aaron Carter? It will blow your mind.
Jessibel5 July 17, 2013, 12:15 pm
It was no “Model Behavior” with Justin Timberlake in his acting debut, but it was pretty awesome!
Jessibel5 July 17, 2013, 12:17 pm
I don’t think the name ended up being My Perfect Match though, I think it ended up being another name.
othy July 17, 2013, 10:36 am
And me and the hubby were destined to be together. You’re just jealous that your love can’t be as perfect as ours 😉
artsygirl July 17, 2013, 9:11 am
Woah – LW you are not doing him or yourself any favors. Dragging out a relationship like this is unhealthy and is giving him a false sense of hope no matter what he tells you. Break it off cleanly and move on. Hopefully this will let him find a girl that is in love with him.
sarolabelle July 17, 2013, 9:12 am
Um….LW, since this is your first boyfriend I must say, it sounds like you are dating him and guess what? The second you tell potential other people you could date that you are going to dinner with your ex boyfriend it will not be cool with that guy.
You need to make a choice.
–Breakup and move on (no contact with him at all)
–Date him and get back the benefits of a relationship (kissing, hugging, etc).
But to be clear you aren’t going to find anyone else while still dating your ex.
Addie Pray July 17, 2013, 9:12 am
I *really* don’t know how some women sleep at night, using men for gifts and dinners out and shit. It’s disgusting, period. It’s even worse when you know he has feelings for you that you don’t reciprocate; that’s disgusting and cruel. I mean really, you must be better than that, aren’t you?? I would hope.
Firestar July 17, 2013, 12:18 pm
I agree. If you like fancy dinners and gifts, put yourself in a position to get them for yourself.
Northern Mermaid July 17, 2013, 1:45 pm
Bittergaymark July 17, 2013, 9:12 am
The greatest thing about most young ladies today is just how truly deep and profound they so often are… Never are they shallow or materialistic. Nope. Never.
Addie Pray July 17, 2013, 9:17 am
9:17 AM ET, 2-2
Bittergaymark July 17, 2013, 9:22 am
It’s a rarity that I am up so early… Sitting on a plane… Off to the woods and lakes of Minnesota for a few weeks… I will be a bit MIA as I will be too busy sailing or chasing my nephew along the shore.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 9:22 am
Addie Pray July 17, 2013, 9:26 am
Have fun in Minnesota! I love, love, love Minnesota. And I particularly love chasing my nephew along the shore, so I know exactly the fun you’ll have. Enjoy the lakes – they have, like, thousands, I hear.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 9:45 am
That sounds so nice. Have fun!
bethany July 17, 2013, 9:57 am
Have a great time with your family!!
Lyra July 17, 2013, 10:16 am
Where in Minnesota where you be?
Bittergaymark July 17, 2013, 12:43 pm
Pelican Lake… The one near Detroit Lakes and an hour from Fargo.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 12:53 pm
Very nice! I used to have friends who went there a lot back when I lived in the ol’ N.D.
rachel July 17, 2013, 10:19 am
Have an awesome trip!
Heather July 17, 2013, 11:54 am
Welcome to my neck of the woods! Where’s about in Minnesota are you headed?!
Addie Pray July 17, 2013, 4:36 pm
4:36 pm ET, 45-14, with AP in the lead. Boom!
landygirl July 17, 2013, 11:57 am
Right, and guys never date a woman purely based on how she looks. Mark, quit hating on people who have vaginas.
KL July 17, 2013, 12:38 pm
He still hasn’t realized that the reason more women than men look stupid on Dear Wendy is that more women than men write to Dear Wendy, period. There are just as many men out there being stupid.
Bittergaymark July 17, 2013, 12:53 pm
Um, if a guy wrote on wanting to go out with his ex as she was suddenly HOT… Do you REALLY think I wouldn’t rip him to shreds? C’mon! I rag on people for their bullshit — its what I do.
landygirl July 17, 2013, 2:18 pm
Your gross generalization of most women as gold diggers is inaccurate and unappreciated. I know plenty of women who are not gold diggers. That’s like saying most gay people have AIDS, it’s insulting and uncalled for.
GatorGirl July 17, 2013, 2:49 pm
Thank you for calling him out today, I did not have the energy.
landygirl July 17, 2013, 5:13 pm
Yet he gets 15 upvotes for each nasty post.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 5:18 pm
That I’ll never understand.
iwannatalktosampson July 17, 2013, 5:21 pm
16 now. Guys he’s hilarious. You take him much too seriously.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 5:22 pm
landygirl July 17, 2013, 6:09 pm
I don’t take him seriously but it annoys the crap out of me when he posts bullshit like that. Considering that is pretty much all he posts I no longer find him amusing.
Some Guy August 6, 2013, 9:14 pm
Wait, you’re telling me not all women are like that?
That’s one no dude has heard before.
bcamber July 17, 2013, 1:13 pm
Right, “most” young ladies.
In case you haven’t noticed, this community is chock-full of “young ladies”.
All of whom are saying in the comments that it is wrong to date someone for their money.
iwannatalktosampson July 17, 2013, 2:44 pm
Woah woah woah. Speak for yourself. I don’t think I’d ever classify myself as a lady.
bcamber July 17, 2013, 5:36 pm
AKchic July 17, 2013, 8:17 pm
As I keep telling people. I’m female. I’m certainly not a “lady”. Ladies have table manners and cross their legs when sitting and don’t cuss like a sailor. I’m soooo out of the running to be a “lady”.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 9:15 am
No, you shouldn’t go on dates with a guy you’re not in a relationship with. No, you should not get back together with someone because you think that you won’t find anyone else or because he buys you gifts and dinner.
I’m sure we’ve all thought it before, but it’s absurd for you to think that at your age you won’t find anyone else and that you’ll be wanting to crawl back to your ex. I mean, do you think you’re going to be throwing in the towel on dating in, what, a couple of years? Or do you honestly think that at age 40 (or whatever) you’re going to be wishing you’d stayed with your first boyfriend?
I know the grass is greener, but you broke up with him for a reason. Getting back together with him would be unfortunate for you, because you’d miss out on meeting someone you actually like and would probably just break up with him again anyway, and you’d also be cheating him out of being with someone that actually likes him. The dude may act like he just wants YOU, but deep down, what he wants is someone loves him for being him, which is not you.
6napkinburger July 17, 2013, 10:25 am
Just to clarify, you think that she shouldn’t go on dates with this guy because she dated him before and broke up with him. You’re not saying that people shouldn’t go out on dates with someone they are not in a relationship with (assuming they are not in a relationship with anyone else either), right? Because that is how you get INTO relationships — going on dates with someone to see if you like them. You are talking to this LW and not in general, right?
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 11:47 am
Well, yeah. I’m replying to this LW’s situation. I guess I meant to write “… not in a relationship any longer,” but I figure she’ll understand what I mean.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 11:49 am
Or “not in a relationship WITH any longer.” Either way, I promise I’m not Amish.
lemongrass July 17, 2013, 10:58 am
In the words of the hilarious Erma Bombeck, “the grass is always greener over the septic tank.”
Bunnycsp July 17, 2013, 9:17 am
LW – I will tell you. I am older and the couples in your situation never last down the road. Because the passion fades. If you didn’t have a lot of it to begin with you will have none later. When you are together for a decade, it is hard to find things to talk about and if you already hate each other’s hobbies, you will resent each other. seriously, get on a dating site and start filling your calendar. Put yourself out there and see what the world holds for you.
GatorGirl July 17, 2013, 9:20 am
Um, no. You should not date him, you don’t even sound like him!
Also, I’d love to know how your ex “loved you the way your ex did” when you spend a whole paragraph bashing him and your incompatibility. Fancy dinners does not equal a good relationship.
ktfran July 17, 2013, 9:22 am
Oh honey, this is all kinds of wrong. Seriously. All kinds.
One thing I’ve learned, and fortunately I learned it a very young age, is that once a decision is made, don’t look back. As in, don’t do exactly what you’re doing. You two broke up, and with good reason. Now, you’re leading him on and messing with his head because you’re wavering on that good decision. Trust me, it’s better for all involved to just let it go.
Also, if you really stay with this guy – one with no spark and shared interests – you’re going to leave miserable lives. You’ll be writing into DearWendy saying you married the wrong guy because you didn’t now how to say no and now you cheated on him because you’re sooooooooo in love with your coworker.
Dude, don’t be that girl.
ktfran July 17, 2013, 9:24 am
* lead miserable lives
Addie Pray July 17, 2013, 9:26 am
Um helloooooo missy, get over to the forums and update us.
ktfran July 17, 2013, 9:45 am
Lol. I’m on it.
cdobbs July 17, 2013, 9:22 am
LW this is what I am stuck on: “I was just bored. We share no common interests or hobbies and have no interest in participating in each other’s hobbies or interests. We’re two completely different people who fought all the time”….but if you share nothiing in common how the hell are you even still friends with the guy?…what do you talk about when you go out to dinners?…do you just go enjoy the dinners and what he is buying you, but not his company?…do you ever pay when you hang out?…LW this behaviour is not cool at all! you are using this poor guy who is trying to win back your affections….that is not fair to him….please don’t treat another human being like that….i see nothing wrong with staying friends with an ex, provided it is a friendship and not one person taking advantage of another person (and no making up for not doing these things while you were together does not make it right either)
Fabelle July 17, 2013, 9:24 am
O…kay. So, I’m not going to be too harsh on you, because—I’m ashamed to admit—I had a similar mindset at age 21 (& I know you’re 24, but you got a late start, I guess? so I’ll cut you some slack). Anyway, I’d just broken up with my boyfriend but he still was VERY much in love with me, & part of me missed him (& the familiarity), so I still hung out with him for a little while— went out to dinner, let him pay for my gas (I always drove, in the relationship & outside of it), etc. I figured, well, he was OFFERING, right?? But he wasn’t offering out of the kindness of his heart…he thought he could somehow win me back. And yeah, in the back of my mind, I wondered if ~maybe~ I’d get back with him—one day. But that “one day” wasn’t soon, & after I stopped seeing him, I realized “one day” would be “never”. “One day” was only something I said to comfort, not only him, but myself (because, like you, I was all, “what if no one ever loooves me again??” Plus, it didn’t help that my ex was one of those, “No one will love you like I do!!!” people.)
So, LW, I think you already know that you don’t want this guy (you outlined the reasons for your breakup very well…) And yes, you’re being shitty right now. He may have extra money that he’s dying to spend on you, but you need to shut down his offers. You need to remind him (& yourself!) that you two are NO LONGER DATING. You need to allow this relationship to die in peace, instead of dragging it out into something that will ultimately blow up in your face.
As a final note—stop with the “my only chance” thing. No one only gets ~one chance~ at love in life. (Seriously, no one.) You will have other chances (& so will your ex), & you’ll QUICKLY realize this once he is out of your life. Stop what you’re doing.
Kate B. July 17, 2013, 10:38 am
Is 24 really that late? I started later than that. Way later. Uh-oh.
lemongrass July 17, 2013, 11:01 am
Depends on the person. I started way earlier than 24, I’m 24 now!
Fabelle July 17, 2013, 11:12 am
haha, I think it’s objectively considered a bit late? but I mostly mentioned it because my story was all “I was 21…” & I was preemptively warding off any “At 21 it’s understandable, but not at 24!” comments. And like lemongrass said, it does depend on the person.
Kate B. July 17, 2013, 11:17 am
Ok, I feel better now.
TECH July 17, 2013, 9:28 am
I read a blog by Sheryl Paul recently (www.conscious-transitions.com someone on DW turned me on to her) and she wrote about how healthy relationships are not always about butterflies in the stomach and “chemistry” like you see in movies. People often foolishly turn down or leave relationships because they think there’s no “spark” even though the man is a wonderful match for them. I think it’s a really valid point.
However, the rest of the letter is complete foolishness. This man is obviously in love with you and you are using him to buy you dinners and gifts. You need to stop talking to him and seeing him. You need to stop breaking his heart. He deserves better than that.
You will meet someone else. You need to have other relationships to compare this one to. And P.S. don’t EVER treat another guy like this.
kerrycontrary July 17, 2013, 9:29 am
I agree that relationships aren’t always butterflies, but I think for it to be a romantic relationship there needs to be some physical attraction. We can all agree that sex is an important part of a relationship, and you should want to have sex with the person you are dating. It seems like this LW doesn’t.
Christy July 17, 2013, 9:41 am
Yeah, you should consistently want to bone your significant other. (According to how often you want to bone, that is. Asexuality and differing libidos and all.)
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 9:43 am
Yeah, and have some things in common and not fight all the time or have no interest in each other.
SasLinna July 17, 2013, 9:47 am
I feel that people get different senses of there being a “spark” conflated when they say you don’t necessarily need it.
You don’t need to feel instant attraction (meaning of “spark” no. 1). That’s for sure. Friendships can turn into romantic relationships etc.
You don’t need to feel super romance (meaning of “spark” no. 2). It can start out as a fling and turn into something more serious later without any huge romantic moments.
You DO need (IMO) to feel sexual attraction at least once you’ve started actually having sex with the person (“spark” no 3). If there’s no sexual attraction & chemistry, you’re going to be miserable at least if you’re not asexual.
kerrycontrary July 17, 2013, 10:00 am
I like your system! Yes my boyfriend and I did not have a spark no 1 because I met him while I was dating someone else and he’s not my normal “rawr I’m going to jump you” type. But then I got to know him and totally wanted to do the dirty. So now we have a spark no 3 with some moments of spark no.2
SasLinna July 17, 2013, 10:05 am
Same for me! Particularly, I’m always pretty late on “spark no. 2”, I tend to only feel super romance after a few months. Whenever I felt that in the beginning, it was in the context of unavailable crushes. Otherwise I just add friendship + sex and at some point it becomes romantic.
Older and (hopefully) wiser July 17, 2013, 9:29 am
It’s best to treat others the way you would want to be treated.Would you like to be used? Probably not. And by the way, when you do find someone you’re really crazy about, you’ll probably be just as happy playing cards with him as going to expensive restaurants.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 9:36 am
I don’t know why, but I’m feeling sorry for this LW. Yes, you’re 24 already and should know better. Yes, you sorta acknowledge that this is fucked up. But I guess since its your first time, I can understand the panicky feeling of ‘what if’ that you’re experiencing. Bottom line, you know what you’re doing is wrong. So stop. You know you aren’t right for him and vice versa, so jump ship, take the risk, and know you will probably find someone better for you. Its always going to be scary leaving someone and not knowing if you will find someone better, but that’s NO reason to stick around. If you continue this, after reading all this advice, you’d be an asshole.
6napkinburger July 17, 2013, 10:39 am
100% agree. I don’t think she’s a bad person for being scared no one will ever love her, for enjoying “finally” being made to feel special by someone she had wanted to feel special by, for thinking it might be ok because she’s being so honest with him about her feelings, and just generally being confused and lonely and loved. I understand how they can be “Bored” and not care about each other’s interests but still have a deep affection (“love”) for him even if she didn’t think there were enough sparks to be a forever thing.
I think the fact that she is honest with him about her feelings makes her not a bad person — yet (as LBH just said). People will say LW isn’t being fair to him. I think that by being honest, she is being fair to him. He has autonomy — he can make decisions for himself. But I think that you should put an end to it because it is not good for you AND because it is the “right” thing to do for him. You aren’t moving on, you aren’t getting stronger and you aren’t getting over your feelings for him. Someone WILL love you again. And as someone who cares for him deeply, you should put a top to it so he can get over you and meet someone who feels the same way about him. Not because you aren’t being “fair” but because it isn’t really all that “nice.”
But take a moment, and think about whether some of your reticence originally was because you felt he had no earning potential and you didn’t think it would be possible to have the life that you wanted with him. Or if you thought he lacked ambition to excel and seemed happy to settle for half-assing it. If either of those was the case, that is OK. It isn’t PC and it isn’t something that people like to admit outloud or on blogs, but it is ok if you just wanted a different life than you felt you would live if you married him/made a life with him, or if you were attracted to more ambition, that’s ok. Ask yourself if that was the REAL reason you broke up with him and if his changes to his life mean that he is more ambitious than you thought he was, or if he has the potential to help support the life you want. If that was the only reason, then you should reconsider. It isn’t being a golddigger to make choices based on the reality of the life you want, especially if YOU put in the effort to get there and want a partner on more equal footing or with similiar expectations for the future. It is ok to think back over the reasons you broke up with him and to evaluate whether those reasons are still valid. (But it isn’t ok if all the reasons remain, but now he’s rich, so you’ll overlook them.)
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 12:25 pm
It’s good that she’s implying that she doesn’t want to get back together, but I’m not sure if telling someone not to do it for that reason is enough to express to him that you do not WANT to get back together or that you won’t. He certainly has autonomy, but I think that morally, it’s best that if you know you’re leading someone on, to stop. Obviously, if he wrote in, we’d be like, “Hey, you brought this on yourself. You need to stop asking her to dinner,” but I think it’s MORE fair to understand what your actions are saying to someone and change them if it’s not the message you want to convey. I don’t think she’s being a bad person, though.
meadowphoenix July 17, 2013, 4:06 pm
It’s fair to read something into someone’s actions when they’re telling you differently? Really? That sounds like condescending bullshit to me.
If LW is indicating in some way that she might be game to have a relationship if he just keeps giving her gifts, then she is leading him on, because she is telling him something that is actually different than what she is feeling. But that isn’t what she’s doing and that’s not what she’s telling him.
On the other hand, if LW’s ex is telling her that all these things are done in the name of platonic friendship but is secretly hoping to get back into a relationship, then he is in fact leading her on, because his words about his feelings are different than his actual feelings.
She is not responsible for his unexpressed feelings, and she is certainly not responsible if he is taking her firm “no” as a soft “yes, if you do this long enough.”
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 4:30 pm
Condescending bullshit? Geez.
I’m not saying it’s fair for him to read into it like that. My entire comment was in reference to HER perspective, not his. My point is that it seems silly if you know full well that someone is misinterpreting your actions to just sit there and do nothing about it simply because it’s not your responsibility. In an ideal world, this dude would say, “Hey, she dumped me, and told me not to buy her dinner, so clearly she’s not into me. If I continue to take her out, it’s only out of friendship.” But it’s not an ideal world. People get their hopes up or think they can change someone’s mind. Sure, she can say it’s not her problem since she already “told” him, but I think it would be a good idea to stop the dates.
I guess I’m not sure what’s so wrong with stopping going on dates with him? Free dinner? Gifts? The fact is that actions speak louder than words and letting a guy take you out to dinner and give you a bunch of gifts sends a different message than “I’m not interested.” It’s not her responsibility, I suppose, but I personally sometimes do things that I’m not “responsible” for, just because it makes sense or is considerate. But maybe I differ from the LW in that I would feel uncomfortable being taken out to dinner all the time by my ex.
meadowphoenix July 17, 2013, 8:07 pm
Because she doesn’t know he is misinterpreting her feelings. She can only guess that because he hasn’t said that’s what’s going on and she could still be wrong. She cannot actually read his mind. She should not make a decision based on what she thinks about what’s in someone’s head. There lies a trunk full of monsters.
For instance,it is equally as likely that LW’s ex is just as lonely and scared as her, and so he’s less trying to date her and more trying to convince her to keep him company, and he doesn’t know how to do that without feeling pathetic. Look ma, no romantic feelings implied.
I absolutely think she should stop the dates, but not because he might misinterpret them, but because it is in her best interest to open herself up to other people in a way she in not doing in this friendship.
letting a guy take you out to dinner and give you a bunch of gifts sends a different message than “I’m not interested.”
If you explicitly said this dates do not indicate interest on my part, no that is not a fact.
The fact that you think someone’s actions in one thing should erase their “no” in another says a lot though.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 11:59 pm
“The fact that you think someone’s actions in one thing should erase their “no” in another says a lot though.”
Oh, come on. If you want to try to extrapolate my opinion on other topics based on my response to one LW’s letter about freaking dinner dates, then that’s fine, but I think it’s pretty presumptuous.
iwannatalktosampson July 17, 2013, 11:22 am
Ask GuyFriday. Before I moved out I was convinced no one would ever love me again and this was as good as it was going to get and omg I’m going to be in love forever. And I’m a pretty rational person. It is scary sometimes to think you might never find love again.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 11:28 am
You are the 4th person in under 6 months who has said that. All 4 being totally rational, normal people who just happened to have been in a long term relationship that was or should be ending.
iwannatalktosampson July 17, 2013, 12:03 pm
I don’t know what it is about going through a break up that makes you think of every single tiny nice/good thing they ever did and try to rationalize that to stay with them. Who cares if he scares the shit out of me and takes shots in the morning – remember that one time I was too tired to walk to the bedroom and so he tucked me in on the couch and made me a makeshift bed? That was adorable. Remember that one time he bought me a dog because I pouted? That’s love right?! No one will ever buy me a dog ever again. Wahhhhhhhh. It’s so irrational. Like people said above – love is not out of the ordinary. People fall in and out of love many times in their lifetime (normally). It’ll happen again.
TECH July 17, 2013, 12:23 pm
Well, when you go through a breakup you think about all the nice things they did because you are having trouble letting go. It’s just part of the grief process. Similar to holding onto memories of a person who passed away. Even if they had really bad qualities, you think of all the good stuff. When you experience life altering love, that’s what happens.
But it’s kind of sickening because this LW pretty much says she never loved the guy. I don’t think she experienced “life altering love.” She experienced self-centered love (if that’s a thing.) Basically, “OMG, this is the only guy that ever cared about me, I have to cling onto that because it’s my only shot, and even though I don’t love him back, I just have to have someone to pay attention to me!” Yeah, very self-centered.
There are unlimited opportunities to fall in love in our lives. Those who don’t have just closed themselves off to those opportunities.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 12:30 pm
For as much as it sounded like she never loved him, the same can be said about him. They both admitted they weren’t a good match. And she started off saying she does love him, just isn’t in love with him.
I think this lw’s getting a bad rap for simply have no experience with a relationship before.
6napkinburger July 17, 2013, 2:08 pm
I totally disagree that it is “sickening” that the LW is scared that this is the only guy that ever cared about her, clinging to him because she feels like its her only shot. I feel like that everytime I realize I need to break up with someone. Fears of “What if I’m just not “meant” to find someone I love and if I end this, I’ll be alone forever, and I like spending time with this person, even if I don’t love him the way I want to love someone, so surely that has to be better than being alone forever.” Especially when books like Marry Him: the case for Mr. Good Enough make it clear that some women really do miss their shot by expecting too much.
Of course it’s self-centered — you are worrying about your life! You should be at the center of that! Which is why she knows what she needs to do, she’s just scared for herself and needs to be encouraged to do the right thing. Which is why she wrote in. If being scared that you’ll be alone forever and that you sacrificed “not so bad” so that you could find “better than imagined”, count me as “sickening.”
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 2:35 pm
Of course it’s self-centered — you are worrying about your life! You should be at the center of that!
This. And really, no one in the history of the world has gotten into a relationship only for the other person’s benefit and not their own as well, and more importantly, not initially for their own benefit only.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 2:22 pm
I don’t know, she says straight out that she loved him, specifying that she wasn’t “in love” with him. I think it can be very difficult sometimes to distinguish between loving someone and being in love, especially once you’ve been together for a while. And also ESPECIALLY when it’s your first relationship. Her complaints are about having things in common, etc. You don’t have to have things in common to care about someone or love them.
She’s inexperienced and confused. That doesn’t make her a bad person.
6napkinburger July 17, 2013, 2:25 pm
Also, I can’t agree with your last paragraph. I want to agree with it and I wish it were true, but it isn’t always true. Some people end up alone. I feel like that sounds like the Guru person in Sex and the City who tells Charlotte that she’ll find love if she “puts herself out there”.
Charlotte: Hi… l’m wondering how long that woman was doing her affirmations. l’ve been doing mine every day. l want to believe, but nothing is happening. l just don’t think it’s working. l don’t think it will work for me.
Guru: l hear fear. l hear doubt. You have to believe love to receive love.
Keep repeating your affirmations. Your heart will catch up with your head.
Charlotte: That’s the thing, though. l did find love. l believed there was someone out there for me and l met him finally. We had a beautiful wedding, and then everything just fell apart. l’m worried. l’m afraid that he took away my ability to believe. l hate him for that because l always believed before. And now l just feel…lost. And l am, l’m trying to put myself out there but…l feel hopeless.
Guru: Perhaps you’re not really putting yourself out there.
Carrie: No, she’s out there.
Guru: l mean emotionally and physically. Maybe you’re not looking for love in a real way.
Maybe you’re not really trying. Maybe you’re not really out there.
Carrie: Believe me. She’s out there.
bagge72 July 17, 2013, 9:45 am
This is kind of ridiculous. You write in your letter that you have nothing in common with this guy, don’t love him, were bored with him, and fought all of the time, but for a year and a half you have strung this guy along, and now that he has money and can take you out and buy you things, you want to know if you should get back to together with somebody you pretty much hate? You need to cut all contact with this guy, and let him move on with his life, he deserves way better than what he is getting. I’m not saying you don’t deserve what you want either, but you know you don’t want this guy, so you are the one fucking everything up here. I mean seriously you can’t even be friends with this guy, because he can’t handle it, and maybe you can’t either, because your guilt for him is keeping you from moving on as well.
Scooze July 17, 2013, 9:50 am
Why are you so afraid of being single? You are totally focused on finding a guy. At 24 you should ve playing the field, enjoying life and discovering who you really are. Then you will know what you want and why you shouldn’t settle for less than you deserve.
iseeshiny July 17, 2013, 9:53 am
You’re being a user. Stop quick before you stick that way.
bethany July 17, 2013, 9:54 am
It’s really rude to accept gifts and dinners out from a guy who CLEARLY wants you back when you have no desire to be with him. Stop that. Now.
Copa July 17, 2013, 10:00 am
You should not keep dating him. I think it’s pretty normal after a relationship — especially the first longterm/serious relationship — to have those feelings where you wonder and worry that nobody else will ever love you again. But you WILL find it again, if you’re open to it… and you won’t be open to it until you cut ties with your ex. I think, for most people, the next big love is actually better in a lot of ways. Maybe it’s not quite as intoxicating, but it’s better. 🙂
Sophronisba July 17, 2013, 10:05 am
Errrr..you broke up with him 1 1/2 years ago and he still loves you and takes you out and you haven’t moved on to someone new…so I guess you two are still in a relationship, right?
Quit this horrible half-life and cut off contact, for his sake (since you say you love him as a person) and also for yours.
And go to counseling, clearly there are issues here.
Fabelle July 17, 2013, 10:07 am
They were dating 1 1/2 years—she broke up with him in April. (I think someone else made this mistake, though. I had to go back & re-read to make sure I didn’t miss something after I saw your post :))
rachel July 17, 2013, 10:21 am
My advice is to let the poor guy off your hook! You don’t even seem to like him. It is absolutely NOT a good idea to choose a relationship just so the guy loves you more than you love him. That will not bring you happiness.
Lily in NYC July 17, 2013, 10:21 am
Well, if your goal in life is to be a gold-digging jerk with no self-respect, then go for it.
oldie July 17, 2013, 10:26 am
I take a gentler view of LW than many commenters. I don’t think she’s using this guy for his money or trying to treat him badly. She is trying too hard to convince herself that she should like him, because he loves her so much and is a good guy. She is acting out of fear, not greed. She fears that she is never going to find a better love. Those of us older than 24 know that this is an extremely silly fear, but when you’re only 24 and have only dated one guy and don’t have any better prospects on the horizon, the drama can build. I believe she thinks this way because she started dating late at 22. There is a tinge of panic here, just as there was a tinge of panic/desperation on both their parts in deciding they were in a relationship after the first date and before they really knew anything of consequence about each other.
LW — you give a ton of red flags that should tell you this isn’t the guy for you. You have no interests in common. You feel no chemistry for him. When you were officially dating, you fought a lot. You are very inexperienced in dating. His behavior suggests that he is also. You are both clinging to each other out of the fear that you can’t ever find someone better suited for years. In reality, you have quite a few years left to date other guys and find the right one. Continue to develop yourself and your interests. Join clubs or organizations related to your interests — that is the best way to find a guy who will share your interests. The more accomplished and well-rounded you are as a person, the more interests you will have to share with a future SO. It will also give you more things to enjoy in your alone time and should increase your confidence. You are taking a way too panicked approach to dating for a woman of 24.
ktfran July 17, 2013, 10:34 am
I agree with all of this, oldie. I think she’s staying with him more out of fear than anything else. That’s why I was trying not to be too harsh in my response.
Copa July 17, 2013, 11:27 am
Yeah, I agree, too! I didn’t really think she was using him for money or gifts, even though she admittedly likes it. I think the title of this post swayed people to thinking that her indecision is more about money and less about what I think a LOT of people go through when their first serious relationship ends (that being fear of the uknown/what comes next).
Lily in NYC July 17, 2013, 11:43 am
Copa, what a good point – I now realize I was definitely swayed by the title, but in reading the letter again more closely and with an open mind, you are right. She’s not intentionally using this guy for his money and it’s not really the main point of her letter.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 12:10 pm
Definitely. I found the title misleading, and I do think it influenced people. The LW doesn’t even mention money as a reason she might want him back, just as why she knows he wants her, etc.
oldie July 17, 2013, 12:24 pm
This is very true. Sometimes I think Wendy is conducting a psychology experiment to see how the tread title will warp the comments.
Also, I either missed it or it wasn’t there before, but the link to the LWs prior post and update certainly present her as more worried/low self-esteem than mercenary. Her persistent great fear, going back several years is that she would never find somebody to love her. Now she wonders if that is enough, even if she doesn’t truly love the guy who loves her. The update shows that she was initially very happy with this guy (or else just very relieved)
j2 July 17, 2013, 11:32 am
I agree completely!
LW, you just need more and varied life experience now, and you’ve recognized that. There is nothing wrong with seeing one’s first serious boy/girlfriend as special and wanting to hold onto it. Now you need to respect your previous partner and let go. Let him go.
I would add one more thing. While it’s certainly possible that the two of you will both grow and end up happily back together again, it would be cruel to bait him with that [small] chance now. If it ends up happening anyway, sobeit.
Amanda July 17, 2013, 10:27 am
WTF LW? NO just NO. Your behavior is appalling. Stop using your ex and break up with him. You seem to realize that you must do this, so DO IT ALREADY. You aren’t doing him any favors by stringing him along. It’s a very cruel thing to do to another person.
Kate B. July 17, 2013, 10:36 am
Women who use men for their money are called golddiggers. So, unless you like the idea of being a golddigger, please stop what you’re doing. All the reasons you gave for breaking up with him in the first place are perfectly reasonable. I stopped reading when I saw the word “bored”. That, in itself, is enough. Lots of people think their first love is the best love they’ll ever have, but then they go on and find someone else. You’re 24! You’re too young to have that fatalistic attitude. Get out there and find someone who really rocks your world and leave this poor man alone so he can do the same.
Kate B. July 17, 2013, 11:26 am
And by the way, you are not doing the rest of us women any favors. I have met several guys who complain that girls only want them for their money, or don’t want them because they can’t buy them things. Please don’t do that to us.
Ammie July 17, 2013, 5:01 pm
My boyfriend made a few jokes about this when we first started going out. I laughed in his face, because I was dating him in SPITE of what I’d guessed was his financial situation. 😛 Several months later, I figured out he wasn’t in as bad shape as I would’ve been expecting given his degrees/profession/purchases, but at the time we started dating, I was assuming I was gonna have to do the heavy lifting monetarily in our dating life, and had made the decision that I liked him enough to do that. For him to joke with me with the implication that I might be after his hypothetical money because I was a woman… hysterically funny. And sexist enough that I briefly thought about not moving forward with him, too.
Glad I didn’t end it, because he’s awesome and has never said anything like that since (and we switch off paying for stuff, so no one had to do the heavy lifting after all), but geez. Sexual politics.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 5:07 pm
If a guy is going to make a generalization like that, that girls are only after him for his money, or not dating him because he has none, that guy really doesn’t deserve a gf.
lemongrass July 17, 2013, 10:55 am
Leave the poor boy alone. It is so cruel to lead him on like this. You know it isn’t going anywhere so why are you selfishly letting him spend his money taking you out? So what if it’s nice for you, it’s heart breaking for him! You need to do some growing up and thinking about what it means to be a good partner in a relationship. It is not all about what he can do for you, its about what the both of you can do for each other. Right now you are a shitty partner in this pseudo-relationship. Figure your own shit out, tell this boy that you are ceasing all communication so that you can both move on, and THEN start looking for another relationship.
Leah July 17, 2013, 11:06 am
Holy crap! You’re only 24! You have PLENTY of time to find someone who you have a ton in common with and also shows you the love and attention you deserve. Once you have those things, YOU will be able to show him the love and attention that HE deserves. You don’t need to be in a relationship right now! Sure, it’s really great to be in love and to be loved, but what I’m describing is worth holding out for.
Let me tell you a story. I had my first date at 21, a one-off that didn’t go anywhere. I had my first kiss at 22 with someone completely inappropriate. I had sex for the first time at 23 with someone I got along with but didn’t have an emotional connection with. I had my first boyfriend at 24 and was completely in love with him, but he was on the rebound from his last relationship and we only lasted 3 months. I had a two-week fling at 25 but he screwed up so spectacularly that I ended it and promised myself I would wait for the right guy. Yeah, my twenties sucked and I had to take it on faith that I would one day find the right guy. I had no guarantees, but believed that he was worth waiting for.
I met him when I was 27 and we got to know each other more and more until we started dating when I was 28. I’m 33 now, and we’re getting married a week from Sunday. I could not be happier! I’m surprised by him every day and feel lucky to be with him. I enjoy all of our time together and miss him whenever he’s gone. I have no doubt that we’ll be together for the rest of our lives because we’re ridiculously compatible, are incredibly in love with each other, and most importantly, put the work into our relationship to keep it strong and make sure we are being good both TO each other and FOR each other.
It’s worth waiting for! Really! And you might have to take it on faith that you’ll find it, but trust me when I say that it’s worth the wait and settling on someone just because they love you will only wind up making you feel worse.
stilgar666 July 17, 2013, 11:15 am
How is this even a question? Of course your should use this guy as a vampire would.
katie July 17, 2013, 11:51 am
the man who you had no compatibility with and who you had no real desire to be with when he had no money is the exact same man who you have no compatibility with and no real desire to be with when he has money.
money doesnt change people. money might change habits, as you are seeing with gifts and dinners now, but he is the same guy. the same guy you spent the whole letter talking about you dont like.
you need to grow up. this is behavior that most people exhibit in high school-ish, and learn quickly how shitty it is to act like that. you shouldnt use people in your life, that is just a rule. about you wondering when/if/how future relationships will compare or not to this one- your doing that ALL wrong. if you want to break up, you do, and you move on. you make the decision and move on. you dont have compatibility with him, he was not a good match, so move on. breaking up is not about the future. breaking up is about the NOW, and how you are not happy in the relationship you are in. so you break up because you unhappy with the current situation, you do not break up because of any future or past potential gains or losses.
theattack July 17, 2013, 12:00 pm
1daysoon July 17, 2013, 12:26 pm
Please don’t. I was in a similar situation but I just didn’t want to leave my boyfriend of 5 years b/c essentially he was a really good guy. However, I always felt “something” was missing…chemistry, connections, passion…idk. But you still feel wrong about throwing away a perfectly good guy!
Well, after getting pregnant, breaking off our engagement and now 5 years later, things are not ideal. I have my beautiful little girl and life is great with my fiance but I could have avoided some hard, trying moments.
Always go with your gut.
melancholia July 17, 2013, 12:39 pm
Are you waiting for someone to suggest that you should, in fact, lead this guy on so you can be entertained and wined and dined by this poor guy? Not gonna happen, chica. Get over yourself, make up your mind! If you don’t want to be with him, make it clear to him that you do not see a relationship in your future, cut ties and stop being such a bitch.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 12:40 pm
“I tell him not to do those things if he’s trying to get back together with me, but he says he just does them to make me happy and because he loves me. I must admit, I am enjoying these dinners and gifts only because I hardly ever got them when we were together, but it’s definitely blurring the lines, so I have to stop letting him do this.”
Did any of you notice this whole paragraph? She tells him not to, and still says she has to stop him. At some point (which has passed), its on the guy here.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 12:42 pm
Yes, but if you are bored by him and don’t want to date him, why are you hanging on to this if not “I must admit, I am enjoying these dinners and gifts only because I hardly ever got them when we were together.” What other reason? She doesn’t want to be with him. She has nothing in common with him that would prompt a friendship so why bother?
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 12:45 pm
Sure, why bother. But he’s the one pursuing her. She’s tried to stop it. Just because she hasn’t started ignoring him entirely, doesn’t make her a bitch.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 12:48 pm
It’s not that hard to say that you’re trying to move on, I don’t want to get back together and I need space from this. Then stop responding.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 12:58 pm
I agree (and I’m well aware I’ll never win this argument, haha), BUT she sounds like she isn’t sure she even wants to be 100% over, which is probably why she hasn’t done that. She should though, I’m with you there.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 1:00 pm
haha, well I think why I’m so frustrated is that her reason for potentially wanting him back is because she’s scared to be alone, which is RIDICULOUS at 24.
theattack July 17, 2013, 1:03 pm
Why is that ridiculous at 24? There are plenty of 24 year olds who are afraid of ending up alone.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 1:04 pm
Because there is so much time left in her life to find someone. Especially when she just starting dating. Unless she has a fatal illness, she has decades upon decades left in her life. No need to start worrying you’ll be alone forever.
theattack July 17, 2013, 1:15 pm
It might be unfounded and irrational, but I don’t think it’s ridiculous. It’s pretty common, especially if you see all your friends getting married but you just broke up with your very first boyfriend and have no real legs to stand on in the dating world. That has to be scary.
GatorGirl July 17, 2013, 2:39 pm
Just want to say I totally agree with you, ta. It’s a pretty common, albeit irrational, thing women worry about at just about every age.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 1:06 pm
I think irrational is a better word for being scared to be alone forever at 24.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 1:06 pm
Its ridiculous at any age, but I really think 90% of people have done the exact same thing, so I guess that’s why I’m sympathetic? Plus its her first relationship at 24, so there’s that too.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 1:08 pm
I agree it’s ridiculous no matter what age. And while I agree people have worried about it, they normally don’t go talking about how bored they were in the relationship and how they have nothing in common. They focus on the little things that they can point to as reasons to get back together.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 12:46 pm
And it sounds like she’s hanging onto this because she’s still unsure, not because of the dinners. She’s scared she’ll never meet anyone, or anyone as good as him. Have we all not been there?? That is scary, especially when you are out of your very first relationship.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 12:48 pm
Yes, but it doesn’t mean she should take advantage of his actions that are trying to win her back.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 12:59 pm
Totally agree, just trying to give her the benefit of the doubt I guess, or at least say to her ‘I get it, but you gotta quit this.’
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 1:01 pm
And seriously, someone trying to literally buy someone else’s love is just as fucked up, imo. And that seems to be exactly what he’s trying to do.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 1:03 pm
Oh yeah, not disagreeing with you there!
meadowphoenix July 17, 2013, 4:14 pm
How is she taking advantage of his trying to get her back, when he’s expressed that that’s not what he’s doing? Are we advocating not taking people at their word here because they might have unexpressed feelings? What happened to “If someone tells you who they are believe them.” If that’s only applicable if we believe them, that’s a useless phrase.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 4:16 pm
Actions speak louder than words…his actions say otherwise.
meadowphoenix July 17, 2013, 7:37 pm
Oh so if A tell B that they are not in a relationship, but they do relationship things, then we would totally tell B that they should assume they are in a relationship, despite all of A denials?
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 7:40 pm
I recall past letters commenters say that if he’s acting like he’s in a relationship, but not willing to call it what it is, have a conversation with him about why he won’t call it a relationship.
If someone is treating someone like shit, but telling they love them and will change should the person believe it?
Neither mine nor yours works all the time.
meadowphoenix July 17, 2013, 7:52 pm
Nope we’re talking about feelings, so someone saying they intend to change but not changing is not within the scope here (intent to change is describing an action).
However, you can absolutely believe someone when they say they express their love with you by treating you like shit.
You putting up with it has nothing to do with whether you believe them and everything to do with whether you can accept that love = treated like shit by this person.
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 17, 2013, 7:56 pm
I guess we’ll never agree…someone treating you like shit doesn’t show love to me…especially once pointed out to them. I don’t buy it and never will.
meadowphoenix July 17, 2013, 8:11 pm
I don’t personally believe that means love either, but I don’t get to interpret what love is for anyone else.
What I get to do is decide whether their type of love means love to me.
So no I don’t think we’ll agree
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 4:21 pm
In 2 comments, you summed up my points much better than me. I agree.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 5:37 pm
If a phrase is not applicable 100 percent of the time, it doesn’t make it useless. What if someone says that they really love you and want to be in a relationship with you, yet they treat you like shit and hook up with other people? Words are only one way to express feelings.
meadowphoenix July 17, 2013, 7:44 pm
If that’s only applicable if we believe them, that’s a useless phrase.
My phrasing here seems applicable to your entire point. This isn’t about the percentage of time applicable, this is about the circumstances of applicability being dependent on its own applicability.
But further, you can be selfish as fuck and still love someone. Treating someone like shit doesn’t mean you don’t want to be in a relationship. It means you don’t want to be in a relationship on their terms.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 11:46 pm
I don’t really know what any of that first part means, to be honest.
The factual accuracy of telling someone you love them really wasn’t the point. I was just addressing the idea that sometimes it’s in a person’s best interests to react to another person’s actions more than their words.
I’m not really good with philosophical/existential debates, though, so I give!
oldie July 18, 2013, 10:26 am
No, love is unselfish. Neediness, fear of aloneness, and lust, on the other hand, can be very selfish. This distinction is why many of us scoff at the notion that LW’s ‘loved’ someone after an initial meeting or date. You just don’t know the person well enough for that at that point. Lust or a chemical sexual attraction can be instantaneous, but that is not love. Love takes time to ripen and requires being able to empathize with and consider the needs and feelings of your SO as much as your own. You can have a lustful high-chemistry sexual attraction to someone you don’t even like, let alone love. It’s best not to conflate the two, it leads to a lot of grief.
lets_be_honest July 17, 2013, 12:43 pm
Also, burn the bitch for enjoying dinners and gifts! I mean, really. What kind of a total gold digging whore is she for admitting she likes dinner and gifts?
iwannatalktosampson July 17, 2013, 4:30 pm
I like dinner and gifts. Is anyone shocked by this? Mostly dinner. Sometimes gifts. The other day I was gifted a package of M&M’s and I immediately felt loved.
Boosker July 17, 2013, 11:51 am
Clean break that shit! I am from the camp of never being friends with exes (I’m sure a lot would disagree with this policy). I am also very pro-clean break. Even if you want to leave the possibility of friendship open for the future, you have to clean break for a while. Otherwise lines get blurred, messiness gets even more messy, and neither of you gets to move on when it’s really important that you do.
Red_Lady July 17, 2013, 1:07 pm
LW, I think you need to get back in the frame of mind you had when you wrote your last update. You found out that focusing on yourself, and being open to accepting dates, led you to a relationship that you were very happy with at the time. Yes, it’s good to go on dates with guys even if you’re not too sure you really like them (unless there’s some creepy vibes coming from him. That’s not good. But if he’s blonde and you usually like brunettes – give him a chance). However, it’s not good to stay with someone that you don’t really like. It’s just rude. You’re not doing him any favors by spending time with him – you’re making it harder for him to move on, which will inevitably have to happen. So please, let him move on, and focus on yourself for a while. Do all these hobbies that you couldn’t do with him, or maybe find some new ones. Take responsibility for making your life awesome, and before you know it, another guy will show up – one that you’ll have more in common with.
Lindsay July 17, 2013, 1:11 pm
Yes! And hopefully she’s learned from this experience not to become “official” with someone before you’ve decided if you like them.
Laurel July 17, 2013, 2:00 pm
So, definitely agree that clearly no getting back together should happen, or going on dates, or anything like that, obviously. But I didn’t really read it as the LW “using” the dude, more like not believing anyone else is ever going to like/love her that much again (which a bunch of people already said). I do think this situation would maybe make more sense if it seemed like she at least enjoyed spending time with him as a friend/person. Like, the thought of repeatedly hanging out with someone you share “no common interests” with and also have no chemistry with sounds just overall kind of miserable despite gifts/dinners? But I can see how it could happen.
AKchic_ July 17, 2013, 1:45 pm
WTF? Fuck no. You should cut all ties since YOU are the one that wants to be separate. You aren’t just “blurring the lines”, you are giving him HOPE that the two of you will get back together and giving him the IDEA that you only like him because he has money, can spend money on you, and you are generally looking for a mate with money, not any other quality/characteristic you previously spouted off.
Do not be a money-grubbing female. It’s nice/good when guys have money and CAN SUPPORT THEMSELVES. However, money simply because you can be wined and dined? No.
You aren’t getting any new relationships because you’re still technically in one.
Break it off. Completely. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 (in dinner).
meadowphoenix July 17, 2013, 4:56 pm
Okay, I agree with the thrust of the advice, but I heartily disagree with the spirit in which it was given. Heartily. I find it really telling of how women and men are socialized that people are putting the responsibility of coddling his UNEXPRESSED feelings on you, because he’s giving you something, when you’ve been clear about you want. It’s really telling that people don’t realize that if he does have feelings for you, then what is happening is that he isn’t taking no for an answer and he’s willing to misrepresent his actions in order to get you to accept them. And seriously, the next time someone says something like “Women aren’t as direct as men,” with several people agreeing without so much as a single second thought as happened in the comments on another letter, I will direct them to this letter, in which the commentators are perfectly willing to believe in the directness of a guy, when he is doing literally nothing that is direct if their feelings about his feelings are correct, and the indirectness of a girl, when she is actually being clear. Society is a hell of a drug.
But I do think you should own you feelings here. Do you want to be friends with this guy? If he wasn’t buying you dinners and gifts would you still want to hang out with him? Because if you aren’t spending anytime with him except when you are compensated for it, then you are not a friend, you are a paid companion and that’s a job. So if that’s not the job you want, then you need to quit. If you actually would want to hang out (and from your letter it really doesn’t seem like that’s the case), then try initiating contact with him sometimes, without him buying anything. A better and more reciprocal friendship with him is in both your interests.
It sounds to me like the two of you are lonely. Do you hand out with other friends enough to satisfy you? If not then maybe you should find activities to do with people you want to hang out with, as you might be trying to mistake general loneliness with relationship loneliness. If you do have fulfilling friendships, then I suggest you stop using this person as an emotional crutch. The more self-fulfilled you are independently, the more likely you will be able to recognize good relationship opportunities when they come, and the less likely it is that you will be alone.
Many people are afraid of being alone. Would you rather be afraid passively with no end in sight to that fear (since you know this guy could one day decide he doesn’t want to be friends with you anymore as is his right) or afraid but actively trying to end that fear by finding someone you are happy to be with?
CatsMeow July 17, 2013, 11:10 pm
The letter says that he told her he does these things (dinners, gifts) because HE LOVES HER. Why are you so insistent that his feelings are unexpressed?
Esteban August 6, 2013, 2:57 pm
Don’t be a rapacious little whore. And you know that is exactly what you are doing or you wouldn’t have written your letter. Better yet, give me the guy’s number so I can try shake some sense into this moron, and teach him to shake you out of his life and out of his wallet.
Brian G. August 6, 2013, 4:26 pm
It is pretty clear to me that he is a beneficiary of the policies of the Obama Administration, which have helped reverse the rampant destruction of the lives of millions, especially those of women, children, minorities, and gays. Thanks to Obama, he will continue to have more and more money and there is no reason for you not to enjoy what he is spending on you. If he is a Republican, though, you need to dump him as they are all vermin.
Don Gwinn August 6, 2013, 6:26 pm
She’s not writing for advice. She articulated her decision very well and made it clear that she knows what to do: “I’m enjoying all the dinners and gifts, but it’s blurring the lines, so I have to stop . . . ”
She knows what to do, she just wants people to confirm that it’s necessary. So . . . yeah, kid, sorry, but you’re right. None of the reasons you don’t want to date this guy have anything to do with money, so money is not going to solve the problem. If the two of you could come to an honest agreement that you’re just going to go out and have fun with no strings attached, you might have a good reason to try it, but the fact that you both jumped into “being official” so fast last time makes that unlikely. You handled this correctly the first time. You liked him, he liked you, you dated, you found that you weren’t compatible, and you broke up. The next step is the part where you get over it and go find your next experiment. You don’t have to wait for him to get over it before you do; it’s OK if it takes him longer. It’s also OK to break up with someone who’s “a good boyfriend” if you fight all the time and have nothing in common. You’re doing it right.
mickey August 7, 2013, 3:41 pm
As a 23 year old guy who has never had sex or a girlfriend, never been on a date, never spent more than five minutes alone with a girl, never asked anyone out or been asked out, never kissed or held hands, to me at least you seem to be playing him and should be honest with him.