magnifier menu chevron-left chevron-right chevron-down

On Backing Down and Backing Off Gracefully [Dear DBN]


Are you entangled? Irritated? Frustrated with unrequited love? This week, just back off and let it go because these knights in shining armor are just tools in costume.

How do you act appropriately — and like an adult — when someone rejected you for someone else? I understand this is life, but after going on four dates with this guy, I feel like he totally lead me on and now has some new girlfriend.

The timings in which we meet people in life are never sorted. They are particular and peculiar and rarely convenient to all parties involved. And we consider to be rude may be quite difficult for someone else to understand. We so badly want all the pieces to fit nicely that, in our quest to fit, we are wont to forget that these pieces have feelings. I can assure you he did not date you with the intention of casual disregard. People rarely do. But I can assure you that some people don’t like to give up pieces — they like to hold on to them for a rainy day when the puzzle edges are easier smudged. I wouldn’t say be grateful the end came after four dates, but I would say be grateful it came before forty.

You can be furious and insulted and exhausted, but above those, be classy. People make fools of themselves by being careless with others’ hearts…but that’s no reason to make a fool of yourself.

Can we just stop pretending that FWB works? Ugh. I got myself into this stupid situation of agreeing to just be friends with perks and now I like him and hate everything. Help.

Stop hooking up with him, and stop anything other than cordial communication until he proves he’s actually a friend. Friends With Benefits is rarely aptly applied. Often times it’s actually just Hook-up Buddies. Also, stop drinking if you find that to be a contributing factor in how you communicate. The only sure fire way to know if he likes you is to take away his toy and see how badly he wants it back.

Also, don’t beat yourself up. In the Church of Science, having sexual relations with a person causes chemicals to release in a woman’s body that lead to attachment. Maybe if you just back off and have fun with some people who love you, you’ll move on quicker than you think. Godspeed.

    I've written for Teen Vogue, Thought Catalog, Leveled Magazine, College Candy, How About We, and have been featured on several HuffPost Live segments. Creator and leader of Bold Moves October featured on xoJane and Neil Gaiman's blog. Both Neil and Jane appreciate boldness. I specialize in pep talks, very long bike rides, and matching my lipstick to my heels.