Ask A Dude: Why Did He Bail When Things Were Going So Well?

Dear Dude,

I have never had the urge to write in to a website for advice, but I’ve never been more confused or heartbroken in my life. It’s sounds dramatic, but it’s more just completely unexpected. Last May, at the end of the semester, I found out that one of my guy friends was (2 months) single, because he wanted to dance with me at a local rock concert. Then we ran into each other over the summer when we were both in town for a festival and spent time together at a bar, and ended up talking until early morning hours outside on the porch outside the house where I was staying. Then this fall semester, we have a class together and live in the same apartment building right off of campus. We see each other often, and it was really nice, as last year we didn’t spend much time hanging out.

Then just over two weeks ago, we ended up hanging out with a bunch of friends on a Friday night, and they ran off without us to the bar. So we walked there together, and he initiated holding hands all the way there, and all the way back. When we got back to my apartment, he grabbed me, kissed me, and we continued that for a short bit, when he told me he thought I was gorgeous. He wanted to see me the next day, when we just talked for a few hours. And then the next. And into the school week/nights. We hung out in the evenings a lot because we’d both be back in the building, doing homework. The next weekend we spent a wonderful Friday evening together, watching a movie and then stayed up late lying next to each other in my bed.

I told him I really liked him, and he said he liked me, too. Told me I was beautiful. Much romantic kissing and cuddling. I texted him the next day (I went out of town) to tell him how much I enjoyed the previous night, and he said he really enjoyed it, too! He hoped I wasn’t too tired that day because of it. Then he wanted to see me when I got back that night. And the next day. And again and again and again, until I realized we had seen each other every day/night to hang out for two weeks! Sometimes just doing homework (even in the library), sometimes at home being cute and all that.

Realizing that I cared about him a lot, and also realizing I was strongly assuming this would become a relationship (which I didn’t want to, but hoped very badly for), I thought I should talk with him after the coming weekend. Just to ask if he saw “this/us” going anywhere specific, and to let him know I was really enjoying it, and hoping we would continue with it. He’s very down to earth and nice (everyone I know vouches for his niceness), and I knew not to freak him out, but thought I should prevent myself from assuming anything too soon. Oh, I was so naive.

Then that Saturday night, after spending a long Friday evening/night together like before, we show up at live music separately. I had some to drink, but nothing I wasn’t comfortable with (I don’t drink often). We say hi in the dance crowd, and eventually I lose track of him, but it was okay because I knew many people there. Then I look back and I see him dancing (grinding) with another girl, who I have heard not lovely things about! (I go to a small college.) In that moment, I wanted to throw up, cry, and pass out – in that order.

I never realized just how much I cared about him, enough to react so strongly to this situation. I assumed since he was the one texting me every night to hang out, and he was the one that kissed me, etc. that HE was the one pursuing ME. I couldn’t control my reaction, and I stared a bit too strongly, giving a death stare/”how could you” look to the both of them. He didn’t dance with her long, and came to say hi to me at another point, but things were just off. He left by himself, and I left not long after. When I got back, I convulsively sobbed until my roommate got my message and came home to hold me. I have never lost emotional control like that before.

I have since been horribly emotional this week, and don’t know how to handle it. I try to hide it from people and act confident, so that I don’t look desperate. I have gotten so many different opinions at this point, but most say that if he wanted me, he would contact me. We had class together today, but otherwise, has not made any effort to talk to me. I texted him about seeing each other this week, but he hasn’t tried to make it work. I don’t even know if I want to talk to him anymore. But what I do know is that I’ve never wanted someone to work out so badly in my life. I have had an awful track record in that every guy I have almost gone out with in the last several years has suddenly transferred, moved to a different country, or actually been interested in a different girl. I have strong fears about losing guys I care about, and this one is hitting me harder than I could have imagined. My question is, why put in all the effort just to drop it? Does he actual care about me, or am I just the girl upstairs (easy)? Did I do something wrong or is it on his end? Do I have any chance of making this work?


Heartsick and Confused

Dear Heartsick and Confused,

First of all, thank you for writing in. It’s not easy to get a little distance from an emotional situation and take the initiative to get an objective perspective of things.

There are a few possibilities with regards to the timing of him seeming to lose interest in you:

There’s a point where it’s time to make the commitment or move on. And then he chooses to move on. We all know when we get to this point but we never really know how long it’ll take us to get there. Could be he found himself really liking you but decided that he was at the point where it was either be single or be a “we,” and decided to remain an “I.”

On the other hand, it could have been the other girl he danced with at the concert. Not saying necessarily he’s now hooking up with her. Being attracted to this other girl could have made him realize he’s still got urges he wants to indulge and didn’t want to get tied down.

Then there’s the fact that you indicated he was only 2 months single. This could mean that you were his, come on everyone and say it with me: REBOUND! And that blows! Like Hurricane Irene blows. Like torch the gym with him trapped inside blows. Like standing guard over a box your wife’s trapped in for 2,000 years blows. But it could be that’s the case.

In all honesty, I think it might be some combination of the three. Or he could just be a douche. I mean, you didn’t tell me how he got his bachelorhood back. Maybe he cheated on his last gf and she went all WTF FTW on his candy ass.

No matter the scenario, no matter his reasons, the end result is you in tears thinking you’ve got some allergy to being happy and there’s no Zyrtec H to help you with it. There’re a lot of people out there who convince themselves they’re unworthy of being happy. That they’re “cursed.” That becomes the overarching reason in their minds as to why they can’t get a good relationship, can’t keep a guy, no guy will be interested in them, all the good guys move away or are gay, and so on. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, “if no guy will be with me, then it’s because I don’t deserve to get one, and therefore I’m just not going to get one.” And you don’t.

You’ve got to break that thought pattern because 1) it’s not true, 2) it’ll cause you to self-sabotage relationships, 3) could make you settle for someone you don’t really want, 4) cause you to create unrealistic expectations for the next guy who shows interest, or 5) drive you to doing something self-destructive. I’m not an advocate of “The Secret” but I do know that thinking you’re not worth sh*t makes you feel like sh*t and therefore you’ll only be looking for sh*t. You’re not cursed, you just feel cursed because you’re down in the dumps.

To answer your last two questions: No, you did nothing wrong (based on the evidence you’ve presented). And I want you to remind yourself of that fact every damn day. Just because a guy moves on to someone else or loses interest or drops dead on you, it doesn’t mean it’s because of anything you did. It’s more likely than not because of his baggage. Things that seem inexplicable can be chalked up to you not understanding the explanation. And if the fault lies with him, then you may never understand it. That’s the part that drives people crazy, the lack of closure.

Can you still make things work? Maybe. Do you want to? You can get desperate and clingy, which will push him further away, not to mention make you wallow even deeper in the pit of self-loathing. You can be magnanimous and let whatever’s going to happen, happen. You could also just take this time to focus on yourself and what else is out there. Personally, I’d go with options 2 and 3. They’re not mutually exclusive, they’re freaking complimentary.

You got hooked on a guy and he wriggled away from you. You’re looking for a reason as to why when there may not be one that’ll fit in with what you think the reason should be. Let him go. Let the self-pity go. Let the feeling that you don’t deserve to be happy go. And nothing helps you let go than by putting your energies into an activity or a friendship that fulfills you. So go have fun. Doctor Dude’s orders. And if you can’t have fun, fake it until you realize you actually are having fun.

Who’s Next?

The Dude

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