Ask a Dude: Why’d He Act Like a Boyfriend?

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Dear Dude,

Over the summer, I met this really great guy at work; there was definitely a mutual attraction between us. With every conversation we had, we found out we had a lot in common with each other. I was about to ask him out, but then found out he had a girlfriend. Needless to say, I didn’t ask him out and things stopped there.

Fast forward to 5 weeks ago. I came home for Christmas Break (we are from the same town, but go to school 9 hours apart), and found out through Facebook that he was single.  I messaged him to see if he wanted to hang out. He gave me his number, and a few days later we went out. The next night we had drinks, and drinks turned into him inviting me to go skiing and to spend New Year’s Eve with him. We spent a lot of time together over break, and he even introduced me to his family and best friends. He would call and text me almost every day, and once he came to my house to hang out and said he was disappointed that he couldn’t meet my parents because they were at work. It seemed like he was really into me by the way he treated me, and I was hopeful that we would last beyond winter break. We hooked up on New Year’s Eve and we did have sex. I don’t feel like this was the wrong move to make because we had spent a lot of time together beforehand, and he certainly didn’t treat me like I was just a random hook-up. I guess I was wrong.

We both go back to school in a couple of days, and he’s been getting more distant and less affectionate. We don’t talk that often and haven’t gone out in several days. Normally, I’d just think that this was a winter break fling and move on. The thing that frustrates me and confuses me the most is why in the hell did he introduce me to his family and friends, spend all that time taking me out and literally treating me like his girlfriend if all he wanted was a little action?

Help! I can’t handle this and the fact that classes start next week!
— Got the Blues on Break

Dear Got the Blues on Break,

SON OF A BITCH!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water dating pool…The point of this story isn’t the mystery. What happened, happened. You wanted something more, he wanted a fling.

He probably toyed with the idea of getting serious but when your lives dictated going down two divergent paths, he decided to hedge his bet. Oh, sure, he’s busy getting ready to get back into the swing of things. He’s distracted. He’s preoccupied. He’s got a hectic mess of a life as most do when starting up second semester. However, the fact remains, if you were a priority of the girlfriend persuasion he’d most likely not be giving you the brush off. Not that this necessarily needs to be the end of everything between you, but it’s definitely being dialed down. I repeat, SON OF A BITCH!

Was he playing a long con on you? If he did, he’s a sadistic SON OF A BITCH! However, in all fairness to you and him, he probably wasn’t sure what he wanted until the two of you got further along and time became a factor. He’s getting out of a relationship, you might have been part of his rebounding. You needn’t blame yourself nor should you feel like you were necessarily duped for the sake of duping.

Since the mystery’s conclusion was anticlimactic, what matters is what you take from the experience and how you use that information/insight in the future.

Next time, if you feel like things are getting serious and you want them to get serious, then you need to check in with him. Next time ask the guy where he sees things going. Next time protect yourself. It’s about communicating. This clarifies the boundaries with what you have. I will say that it takes some guts and willingness to take control of the situation, but making sure you’re both on the same page is what (generally) prevents misreading of the signs.

It’s not easy to be the collateral damage of someone else’s life. Let’s not even pretend any form of fairness is involved. You got the short end up the rear end undeservingly. People aren’t guarantees. We’re all variables. There’s not a lot of justice involved. Mostly tears, tubs of ice cream, solace from your friends, and lessons learned about yourself.

Take comfort in that you’re on the threshold of a beginning, not an ending. Every choice will lead to at least one other choice. Next time, hopefully, you’ll choose to use what you’ve learned to make sure you take care of yourself better. Whatever else, don’t close yourself off because of that SON OF A BITCH!

Class is in session,
The Dude, Male Perspective 101

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