Love Is A Hurting Game
I told him that I was sorry for messing him around and I didn't trust him at first but can see now how honest he is.

Dear Rob,
I am wondering if you can help me with the following scenario ? I am looking for a very honest answer, even if it seems “negative” Thanks for your time.

I have liked a man in my church for a year now. At first John was really keen. ( he was talking about his life plans and asking me about mine) Because I have been hurt in the past by a player extraordinaire I was giving him mixed messages ( friendly one minute/ignoring him the next) this was to protect myself.

After 6 months of us flirting/being friendly I started flirting with Leo, a guy who also liked me, John then backed off. Anyway I then went away on a mission for a few months and since coming back he has continued to be non communicative, but is friendly when I approach him ( but no longer makes any effort with me) His family were “funny” with me after I was flirting with another guy. I spoke to his brother about fancying him and saying its like he likes me but has never asked me out. His brother said that he might just have been about to ask me out but because of all my flirting he didn’t know where he stood. His brother said that he is very shy and has never had a girlfriend before even though he is 29. His brother has repeatedly told me to approach John about this relationship and get some idea about how he feels.

In the meantime the second guy Leo told John’s best friend that I really liked him (Leo) and that he had rejected me because he only likes me as a friend. I believe that this guy did this to make it look like I was “sloppy seconds” to John (who I really liked). This is really mean but lets not go there as I should not have been stringing two guys along at the same time (but I was only doing it I think to protect myself from men after being so hurt in the past, I was thinking subconsciously no-one will ask me out if they don’t know where they stand with me- but lets stop making excuses for myself, I just wanted to try and explain my crazy logic at the time).

Anyway, to cut the story short after a year of waiting for a sign, I called the brother and asked for his opinion if I should call John, he said yes definitely, he has some stuff that he wants to get off his chest. I texted John to ask him if it was convenient for me to call him ( we have never spoken on the phone before) and he rang my phone more or less straight away.

We were on the phone for about 20 minutes, he said that when I first joined the church he got the impression that I fancied him (and asked if this was true, to which I replied I did). He said that he fancied me at first then changed his mind after getting to know me. I asked if it had anything to do with the Leo situation and he completely denied any knowledge of it!

But his family were funny with me for my flirtation and the fact that they suspected I was with this other guy, I asked him why he had changed his mind about me and he said that it’s nothing terrible but he doesn’t want to say. He also said that he doesn’t want to offend me but he doesn’t want to choose a girl who is second best for him. He said that he doesn’t feel a spark for me anymore. He also asked how I view dating, he asked if I viewed it as something that leads to marriage or just recreation (he expressed that it should lead to marriage).

He also said that he is really keen to keep looking now to find “the one” but thought that he had found the perfect one in me but time indicated I wasn’t. He said that he is really looking forward to getting married. When I am in the room with him he still continues to look over in my direction, but I would say he makes a point of not talking to me. If I talk to him he’s shy/embarrassed but happy and struggles to make eye contact. People say that I have probably hurt him and he is inexperienced in love which also makes it worse.

Also I feel that the comment about not wanting to be with me because he feels he would be accepting second best is because of my “rendezvous” with the other guy (who claims to have rejected me!) then it makes me look as if I am with John because Leo has rejected me. I told John that if I were with him , even though he feels that I am not right for him, I feel he is my perfect man, and it has taken me a year to realize this, and I am sorry for messing him around.

I told him that I had pushed him away deliberately because I didn’t know whether to trust him. So, do you think a lot of our phone call he was testing the waters to see if I really did like him in the first place and to check that I do not see him as second best.

Or do you think that there is no potential for anything in the future as he said that we are incompatible and there is no spark there.

I just feel so sorry for hurting him and hope we can re-build. I told him that I was sorry for messing him around and I didn’t trust him at first but can see now how honest he is. Some of my friends say that I have truly messed things up and he wont ever get with me now but others say that he liked me so much that in time he will get over it.


Hi Jessica,
I think that you are reaping the rewards of your mixed messages and being hurt before in a relationship.

There comes a time when we have to let go of the past, if only to make our future more certain. You did not, have not, done this.

I suggest a more sincere talk with John, a man of 29 years old that has not dated.
Sure, it’s fine to not date until “the one” comes along, but how would he know? Inexperience does not a man make!!

You need to have someone in your life (professionally) that will help you let go of the past. Enough of this playing games, flirting and shutting the guys down.

Seriously, date or go off the market.

Talk to a very close friend, your pastor, maybe even a counselor, that can guide you to starting a fulfilling relationship. Enough of going after/ flirting with, emotionally unavailable men so that you will not get hurt again.

Love is a hurting game.
Play it again!
You’ll love the rewards.
Best wishes,