Dear Em & Lo,
So I have this guy friend who I met my freshmen year at college. We used to hang out a lot together and, well, I ended up liking him. The only problem was that he sometimes did not seem to feel the same way towards me. He would flirt back and lead my hopes of one day us being together. We even had a lil thing one drunk night, but in the end he would always get another girl or just call me sister, which I hate.
So, this has been going on for almost two years and I am just about tired of all of this. Every time I try to get myself into forgetting him and succeed, he comes around and I fall again. And every time my heart breaks more and more. I’ve never been the lovey-dovey type girl and I am not one to fall in love, but I think this time I fell and it sucks. I even tried that whole psychic thing and they told me that he is immature and that around June he’ll man up and it’ll work out. But it’s already June and it doesn’t seem like anything is going to be working out and I’m done with waiting.
I actually made up my mind to finally tell him so that I am able to move on and get the closure that I need, but my plan was a failure. There doesn’t seem a way that I can get him alone to tell him. Any ideas on how I’ll be able to do so? And trust me, me telling him we should hang out does not work. We have said that before and we just don’t hang out, not to mention that he is seeing someone and knowing him he is just not going to want to hang out. I am desperate to finally get over him, and in need of ideas, so any that you may have I will gladly welcome.
— Woman Down
Oh dear. You seem to be in what we like to call a unilateral relationship. Kind of like Em’s relationship with George Clooney. You say that he “sometimes did not seem to feel the same way towards me”? (Italics ours.) Um, we hate to break the news, but it sounds to us like he’s never felt the same way towards you. You like him; he enjoys the attention and flirts back. You start falling for him; he initiates a drunken hookup. You want more; he hooks up with someone else. You’re thinking “boyf!”; he’s thinking “sister.” And you’ve been putting up with this for two years?! Girl, it’s seriously time to move on.
Okay, you get that. That’s why you wrote to us, after all. But here’s the thing: If you were never actually dating — or even really hooking up on a regular basis — he doesn’t need to be part of this process. In fact, it sounds like he doesn’t want to be part of this process. Which is perfectly within his rights. Sure, it was kind of lame of him to lead you on — unless you just happened to misinterpret his attentions. It’s easy, when we’re super into someone, to pin all our hopes and dreams onto their smallest gestures. So what he thinks of as harmless flirting or a friendly hookup, you take as a promise of things to come.
Whatever the history, clearly there’s no future. Trying have The Talk with him when he won’t even agree to be alone with you sounds kind of like “You can’t fire me — I quit!” Except in this case you’re trying to quit and the boss has already informed security not to let you in the building.
We’re guessing that this guy had no idea you were waiting around for him to become “a man.” (By the way, we’re no psychics, but we can tell you that that process usually happens way after college!) Sure, the way you’re feeling probably sucks as much as if you had dated for the past two years, but you need to find some other route to closure. We’d recommend just ending the friendship/relationship/whatever-it-is cold turkey, since his any contact with him seems to unhinge you. If you think you can keep your feelings platonic (be honest, now), then just treat him the way he’s always treated you, i.e. keep your distance when you feel like it. Just remember, the more it hurts, the more you should keep your distance.
And now you’re ready for our 10 Steps to Getting Over a Breakup. Just because you didn’t get to experience the privilege of dumping him — or even being dumped by him — doesn’t mean you can’t mourn this thing like a breakup. In fact, we highly recommend it. And for the record, the actual act of having The Talk or breaking up is highly overrated. Just think of it this way: By being so unavailable, this guy let you dodge that particular breakup bullet. That silver lining’s on us.
— Em & Lo