He Told Me To Date Other Guys

Dear Lucia,

I’ve been dating my former boss since 2005. There is no subject he cannot talk about, but he is not very nurturing for me emotionally.

I often got the feeling there were other women. When I would be at his place the phone seldom got answered, unless the caller ID showed a man or a relative’s name. Our last time together was Super Bowl Sunday and not one phone call since. I got angry because he was flirting with someone at the party.

Now he drops me a note saying he plans to call, yet the call has never come and I refuse to call. His last words were: Go date another. I won’t be what you want.

All I want is his love and respect. He can keep the gifts and horrible trips where he would completely ignore me.

Where did I go wrong? Why can’t I get him out of my system? I am shocked he could just walk away so easily with no feelings for me. Why does he do this? Broken spirit.

Dear Broken spirit,

I’m so sorry to hear about your situation.

The question is not: Why does he do this? The question is: Why do you do this? By blaming him, you are saying that you have no power here and are therefore a victim. Yes, you are a victim – of your own behavior.  Let’s look at the warning signs you chose to ignore:

1. He is not emotionally nurturing: One of the great benefits of being in a relationship is that this is where you go to be emotionally supported and nurtured, especially if you didn’t get it from your parents when you were growing up.
2. Other women: When all the signs were there that you were not the only one, why did you stick around?
3. He told you to date others: Someone that loves you would never say this to you.
4. He ignored you on trips: Someone that loves you is elated to be on a trip with you and doesn’t ignore you.

Why did you choose to ignore all these red flags?  If someone came along and treated you well, would you know how to handle that?

You’re hooked on being mistreated like a junkie is hooked on heroin. He can’t respect a woman that would stick around no matter how he treated her.  Of course he doesn’t respect you. You don’t respect you.

Where did you go wrong? When you realized he wasn’t there for you, both emotionally and physically but still stuck around.

The best thing he ever did was tell you to, “Go date another. I won’t be what you want.” At least he was telling the truth that time.

I would suggest you run, not walk, to a therapist to figure out why you are keeping yourself from being in a healthy relationship. Otherwise, you’ll end up alone or, even worse, in another bad relationship.

He Ghosted Me!

Dear Lucia,

I recently started seeing a guy. At first, he was the best. He would text me every other day, and if he had an unexpected day off from work, he would call and ask me to do something.

About a week ago I could feel him pulling away (he wouldn’t text back so quickly or instead of returning a call right away, he would e-mail me when he got home). I texted him on Sunday to say hello and that we should get together this week. He wrote back: Sounds great! That was his standard response when we were going to do something. I haven’t heard back from him since.

We went out for about 4 weeks and luckily I didn’t have sex with him. I wasn’t really into him, but I thought, “I’ll give this guy a chance because he’s so nice.” 

I am really disappointed in his behavior. If he doesn’t want to see me anymore, I would have expected that he call me or something, not just flake out altogether. He was a real gentleman from day one and now this. Candace

Dear Candace,

This proves my theory that those who are willing to rush in will be just as willing to rush out. I know the movies and tv have us brainwashed to think that it’s romantic when someone we hardly know starts to text every other day and want to spend all their free time with us, but it’s generally a big, red flag. They’re more in love with the idea of love than the actual person, because it’s too soon for anyone to really know who they’re dealing with.

You said you’re not really into him so this is more about your ego being bruised than anything else.  The only thing you can do now is to pull back and if you do hear from him, give him less of your time.  If he wants to see you more often, he’ll have to earn it.  Don’t make someone a priority when they only see you as an option.

I Want To Marry My Cheating Boyfriend

Dear Lucia,

I recently caught my boyfriend of 6 years cheating when I found a receipt from a short stay hotel. I believe it is the same woman he was seeing when we were having problems in the past. We obviously worked things out and he said he wasn’t dating her anymore but did speak to her from time to time. When I recently found the receipt I said its over and he cried and begged. I love him so I accepted and stayed.

I am 34 and he is 38. I want to eventually get married, have kids and buy a home. His goals are to move up in his field, buy a home, have kids and get married. We are working on getting a place to rent so we can split bills in order to save money for a home. We’ve discussed marriage in the past and he stated he eventually wants to marry me. He hasn’t proposed yet but says he fears losing me.

I love him and panic at the thought of things not going well but his cheating has lowered my self esteem. Shelby

couple

Dear Shelby,

You said you worked things out, but apparently you didn’t.  If he’s messing around before marriage, when he’s supposed to be putting his best foot forward so that you’ll accept a proposal, how will he behave after you’re married?

When a man wants to marry a woman, he will usually propose within 2 years or less.  You’ve been with him for 6 years without a proposal and he still doesn’t know when he wants to get married, or so he says.

It’s interesting how you listed your priorities.  You wrote that you want marriage, kids and a home.  You also wrote that he wants to move up in his field, buy a home, have kids and get married.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that you put the two priorities in that order.  It would appear you’re not on the same page.

Moving in with him would be one of the biggest mistakes of your life. Living together is a convenience, marriage is a commitment. Do you want a convenience or a commitment? Studies show that couples that move in together before marriage have a higher divorce rate than couples that don’t. On top of that, his goals are the exact opposite of yours. His priority is his career and he’s willing to have kids before marriage. How do you know that he would even marry you if you had a child together?

If you still want him, you need to do the following:

1) Get to the truth as to why he cheated. If necessary, go to counseling.

2) When you are certain that the cheating issue has been dealt with sufficiently, tell him that you “love him and want to be his wife and if you don’t receive a proposal and a ring within 3-6 months (you choose the length), you will move on.” Yes, this is an ultimatum. Though not generally recommended, you’ve already wasted enough time with him. You must be mentally and emotionally prepared to follow through.

3) Actions speak louder than words. If he doesn’t propose, stop seeing him. Don’t accept any excuses. When he calls you, keep the conversations light and short. Tell him you’re busy and have to run after 5 minutes.

4) If he wants to see you, it has to be because he has a ring for you. If not, there’s no point.

I know you won’t want to do this, but I believe you have no other choice. Let’s see how much he really fears losing you. Staying with a man who cheats and doesn’t want to get married would lower any woman’s self esteem.

The only way to have high self esteem is to impress yourself with the courage to make the right decision, even when it’s the most difficult thing in the world to do.

No Contact Worked!

Jodie and her partner together in their latest holiday.

Dear Lucia,

My ex broke up with 3 months ago. He texted me, and said that he’s not the man for me, and that I needed to move on and find happiness. And that’s just what I did.

I completely stopped calling and texting him. Every once in a while he would text me, and I would give friendly yet very short answers. I busied myself with friends and family.

Before long, I was thinking about him less and less. I was finally getting over him.

After 1 1/2 months of not seeing him, he called me one night when I was out with my girlfriends. He asked if what I meant by a commitment was being his girlfriend, settling down, being a family, buying a house, and getting married. I said it was.

He burst into tears on the phone. He said he was ready to commit to me and that he missed me so much that every time he saw a car like mine, he would see me in it and get sad.

I had my girlfriends drop me off at his place and we talked for hours. He said that he was in love with me. He realized that I had always stood by his side, despite everything he had put me through. He apologized for the way he had talked to me and treated me.

He is getting out of the Marines at the end of this month, and was offered a great job 2 states away. I told him that I didn’t want him to go…but that I would respect whatever decision he made. Last week he turned down the job, and he said I’m part of the reason why he did!

Things have been so wonderful. He tells me all the time that he loves me, has no problem calling me his girlfriend to other people, and actually spends hours on the phone talking to me now. (He never spent over 2 minutes talking to me before) I can honestly say that I am so happy with him. I wanted to thank you for your advice. I did no contact , and now things are great!  Jodie

Dear Jodie,

Wow. I am so happy for you.  Your story is a big inspiration to everyone that is in a similar situation and doesn’t know what to do. Often, our instinct is to stick around and try to convince the other person to change their mind.

As usual, actions speak louder than words. People don’t respond to words as much as they do to “no contact”. When you are no longer around, they experience what the truth of the situation is.  If they have strong feelings for you, your silence will ring loudly in their ears.

Most people are afraid to back away, for fear that the other person doesn’t care that much and will move on.  However, if that’s the truth, it’s better to know sooner rather than later.