Ask A Dude: Should I Dump Him Or Keep Trying?
By The Dude
I’ve been hanging out with a guy for a little over three months. We were inseparable almost from the start. When we weren’t at each others’ apartments, we were texting so a day never went by without us communicating in some way. HOWEVER, we were not dating because he “doesn’t date.” We never agreed to be exclusive and only promised to be forthcoming if things got physical with another person (it never did). Every once in a while he would make a comment about how hurt he was by his last long-term relationship and that he wasn’t interested in pursing something like that again. I know that this should have been a huge warning sign but I got caught up in how easy it was just being with him. Also, to make it clear, most of the time he seemed to be really invested in what we had together which always seemed to be a little more than casual sex.
This changed about two weeks ago. Suddenly, it seemed like I was a burden to him. I would come over and he would be standoffish and silent. I was worried that I was crowding him so I’d offer to go home but he always said that it was my choice if I wanted to stay or leave. I almost always stayed because I enjoy being around him and he would eventually unwind and act normally.
His distance was upsetting me though and the more upset I got the more withholding he became. A few days ago we got in a stupid fight. When I left he brought another girl over. I found out about it and asked what was going on with him. He told me he was making friends and that he never promised me anything more than what I got from him. I agreed with him, of course, because I was trying to be reasonable but I couldn’t help but point out that I thought we felt an affection for each other and that his behavior recently was hurting me. His response was that he liked everyone and I was no different than any of his other friends. I was a little put off by that and, rightly or wrongly, suggested that we stop sleeping with each other since I had obviously misinterpreted some stuff and needed to work it through. He became very angry and said that I was acting like a typical woman.
We argued for a little bit about what I feel versus what he feels. I tried to make it clear that all I want was to know that he cared for me. I’m not asking to “go steady” or for him to declare his undying love. He conceded that he did care and that our friendship wasn’t exactly like his others and reaffirmed that he would let me know if he began a sexual relationship with someone else. We hung out for a bit but I ended up going home to process stuff on my own. I thought we were at least okay after our talk but now he’s more distant than ever. I’m almost positive that he’s done with me and is waiting for me to just give up but I’m not sure. I know that I sound pretty desperate and self-deceiving but this is a man who declares his utter contempt for relationships one day and than asks if I’d take him with me when I move the next. So I guess my question is: do I back way off and just let him figure out what he wants from me? Or, should I try and keep in touch so he knows that I still want whatever it is we have to continue? I think it’s pretty obvious that I’ve developed feelings that he can’t or won’t reciprocate. My gut reaction is to just disappear. I really don’t want to be rejected by this guy and that seems to be where it’s heading.
A Walking, Talking Cliché
Dear A Walking, Talking Cliche
Gut instincts are funny things. For some people, their gut’s almost always on the money but for others, they go broke on all their hunches. Based on what your guy’s telling you, I’d list you as one of the former.
You are on the pain train headed to Hurtsville and now’s as good a tune to jump off as any. To get any kind of affirmation you practically have to put a vice on his balls or threaten him with green kryptonite. That’s not a healthy relationships, that’s almost you begging for emotional scraps. A position you haven’t done anything to deserve. Unfortunately, what you’re in is one of the dysfunctional pits of despair that a “not relationship” relationship can drop you into.
Boundaries shift as time goes on. There’s no way to avoid that reality. You can make all the rules in the beginning about what you are and aren’t but feelings evolve or devolve. Relationships, and I don’t care what kind we’re talking about, DO NOT REMAIN STATIC. They can’t. Because people don’t.
After a while, one person gets to feeling that he/she wants to go in one direction and hopefully, his/her partner will want to go in that direction also. Sometimes, it’s two people running in complete opposite directions. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case here. And make no mistake about it, trying to “hold on” to the status quo is in a force of movement. All movement’s relative after all. You want it to go one way and he’s trying to tug you in another and you’re just about at the breaking point.
You can make one last ditch effort and say, flat out: this is what I want, this is what I don’t want, if you don’t want the same things, then let’s call it quits now. On the other hand, if you don’t feel like going through that experience then cut the strings and free fall into emotional freedom.
Don’t let his indecision deprive you of what you need. Act first. Act now. Act according to what you need. That’s called growth. Do some of it. There might be some growing pains but they’ll be worth it to feel like the ground beneath you is that much stronger.
Make it work,