The Classic Ignoring Game

Hi Rob,
Recently me and my ex-boyfriend have been talking to each other again and doing some casual flirting.

Our first break-up was not very good (I broke up with him) but somehow we were able to pull our friendship back up, we were really close friends before we started dating. Over the summer we thought about getting back together but for some reason it didn’t feel right to me (chemistry?).

We had gone to the movies over the summer and it ended with a kiss and even though he sort of asked me out (he mentioned the fact that he felt it was implied over the internet that night on IM, I begged to differ) I didn’t go back out with him. Nevertheless after a really big fight, and a rough patch we were able to casually talk again.

In October when we had no school he came over to watch a movie and we ended up making out. It didn’t go any further than that and he was still extremely sweet.

He joked around a lot with me, spun me around in circles in my room and even gave me a piggy back ride downstairs. Now he isn’t the football type guy who gets all the girls and does the one-night stands. In fact I’ve been his only girlfriend, and he’s generally speaking a really sweet guy, although I know that he has a tendency to emotionally shut-down sometimes.

Anyways we talked a little bit after October, nothing too serious, and then we started talking a lot in January.

There would be some nights where even though it was a school night we’d talk till 2am or 3am in the morning. In one of these late night conversations he said that he was still very much attracted to me but wanted to try branching out a little (dating other people). After one of our really late night conversations we decided to keep texting during school and then later that evening he just stopped talking to me. Now he’s ignoring me. He helped me a little bit with an internship application but then after the application was done he stopped talking to me again.

My sweet 16 is in a month and I asked him for his address to mail the invitation letting him know that of course he didn’t have to give it to me if he didn’t want to come, but he still gave me his address even though he decided not to continue the conversation past that.

In the midst of all this ignoring, I’ve been subconsciously thinking about him more leading to point where *I* actually like him, but he’s still ignoring me – holding all the cards almost. Any advice? I feel like I’m getting mixed signals from him and so I don’t exactly know what to do even though I would really like to go back out with him. Please help.
Thanks Rob.

Sorry to say but you’re only the “last boat in the harbor” as far as he goes.
When a guy says “I want to branch out and date other people” he really means is that as long as you’re available he will make out with you, and maybe look for more, but you’re only ever going to be a friend with benefits.

His ignoring you is the biggest sign that he only wants you when he wants you, nothing more.

Stop expecting him to change and you’ll get over him. Find another boy, I bet you have plenty of choices if you only look around, or enjoy your ‘singledom’.

I hope this helps,

Breakup and Sex: A Long Distance Story

Dear Rob,
Hi. I am very confused right now.

I was dating this new guy for a couple months and things were going good, but a few months ago I broke up with him because I had moved out of town & the long distance wasn’t working for me. Although my ex later tells me that the breakup was a total surprise to him because he thought everything was going really good. He even said that he could have loved me.

I still see him and hang out with him & his family whenever im in town and whenever we’re with each other, it’s like we never broke up. We still sit next to each other, snuggle up under the blanket together & even still have sex.

I have been very devastated with my breaking off the relationship & i’ve been wanting to get back together with him. He always says he still cares about me & he always takes care of me when I need him.

He even let me stay with him & his family when I got kicked out of my parents house.

I have been wondering if maybe he wanted me back to so I asked him what he thought of us and our relationship but unfortunately he replied saying that he needed to tell me before I got to thinking something.

That what has been going on with us is just fun and that he doesn’t want me letting myself get hurt.

I asked why he didn’t want to be with me again thinking maybe it was because he was afraid of me leaving him again, but he said that he was single and that he wanted to stay single.

I am now so confused of what he wants from me and what I should do. I would greatly appreciate your advice!
A Confused Woman

Hi Confused,
Break off with him completely and do it now.

You’re just “fun and sex” now that you’re not 100% available because of the distance involved.
You will not have a relationship that works because he cannot commit to you.

End things now and stay away from him. He has said the truth, he wants to stay single and that does not put you into the picture of the life he wants for himself.

If he calls, then tell him what I said (tell him you read a similar situation online). He will either explain or say it’s the truth. Then you will have your answer from him.

Best wishes,

Am I Only His Booty Call Now?

Hi Rob,
I absolutley love your website and now that I have gotten myself into a confusing situation I thought I could most definately use your advice.

Well I met a guy about a year ago and we started dating after a while within a couple months I knew I was head over heals in love.

Which is completely out of my charactar, I don’t fall easy, I don’t give in easy.

Anyways I broke up with him after discovering that he was talking to another girl he says no cheating occured but I will never know exactly what happen.

After being without him for a while I started to miss him terribly and I have tried cutting off contact but it feels impossible.

We talked and he doesn’t want to get back together because he says love came to quick for him and he doesn’t want to get hurt or hurt me. I do not know whether that is the coward way of telling me he doesn’t want to be with me or if that is true. I don’t understand…

He texts saying he misses me, I can’t go more than 3 days without recieving some sort of text or phone call so I know I’m on his mind… Could this be a case of him wanting what he can’t have? Could it be a game?

As soon as I have my mind set on moving on and not speaking to him he does something that ruins my intentions. He talks about getting together later on but I don’t understand why not now.

And now I have become the ex girlfriend that sleeps with her ex which I DESPISE I never wanted to be a friends with benefits, I don’t need that but I can’t seem to make that clear.

I know most people would say hes using me or I have become his “booty call” and all that noise, but it just doesn’t feel that way; he’s my bestfriend when we’re together we laugh non stop, and even though we are broken up it doesn’t feel any different.

I thought that maybe if I stop sleeping with him and ignore him he will want me back since you always seem to want what you can’t have, and that maybe I need to give him time to miss me.

After all absence makes the heart grow fonder. But I haven’t been able to do so. What should I do? And from your perspective what is his agenda? Thankyou for listening, and for your advice…

Dear Paulette,
There are two things in your future:
1. You stop sleeping with him, and since you’re really not in an emotional or romantic relationship, that’s the last you will see of him
2. He will keep you FWB’ing him until someone with more potential comes along.

You can NEVER jumpstart an old relationship with sex. Doesn’t happen, never did, never will.

“He talk about getting together later on” is code for “what you have right now doesn’t count but maybe in the future, if I really run out of options, or lose my job and need you to support me, then we can start telling people we’re ‘hanging out together'” which, of course, none of your friends know about your secret, right?

The only thing absence will give you here, honey, is the opportunity to turn your life around, and fast. And you’re life doesn’t involves him, not on this planet, not this world.

You want to test him? Tell him you want a summer wedding and a honeymoon in France “when the time is right”.

The next sentence you hear from him will be “I don’t think we’re there yet” or some other nonsense.
– Tell him to leave, immediately.
– Pack up whatever stuff he left behind, throw it all in a box or garbage bag. Leave him a voice mail that all his stuff is on the curb, waiting for him, “And that is the last time I want your shadow on my part of the city!”

Of course I could be wrong, but my track record so far has been quite good.
Best wishes,

Does A Relationship Need A Timetable?

Hi advice guy!
You’ve answered me a couple times in the past and I’ve been very appreciative. I’m hoping maybe you have some advice for my current situation.

So, I’ve been dating a guy for six months now. When I met him, he had been divorced for almost a year and separated from his wife for a year and a half. His ex-wife pretty much pulled the rug out from underneath him one day and said she wanted out of the marriage. He found out about a month later that she was having an affair with a 55 year old professor at the college they both attended. Now that I’ve met his family and known him for 6 months, I am very confident that while things were probably not perfect between them, the divorce was mostly about her father issues. I don’t think my guy was much of a factor, though he probably missed some red flags about her since he married her when he was fairly young.

Now, he and I have a very good relationship. He still does a lot of pursuing, thought I reciprocate a lot more now. We spend a ton of time together, we have great chemistry on all levels, lots of fun together, etc, etc. All in all, it’s a very good fit and I’ve felt for a while now that I have probably met the person I will marry.

He seems to know that’s where we are headed, and it clearly terrifies him. He says it’s not so much the getting married part, but everything that has to happen after that overwhelms him — buying a house, having kids, etc. Though, he has been very clear that he wants a family some day. He told me he would never understand what he’s feeling right now unless he had been through the divorce and that he knows it’s probably hard for me to understand why he feels that way. He said he doesn’t want to date anyone else, he loves me and thinks I’m wonderful, but he just wants to take things one day at a time right now. Basically, things are great with us right now. We enjoy being with eachother a lot. He’s just uncertain about how soon he wants to do the marriage thing, while at the same time putting a lot of pressure on himself because he says he’s not the kind of guy who’s going to date me for two years without either moving things forward or ending it as soon as he knows he’s not ready to get married for a while.

So, in a nut shell, here is my fear: In six months or so, he’s still not ready to get married again and we break up because of it. The thing is, I have no timeframe and I’m putting no pressure on him. He’s doing all of that to himself. I just love being with him, and if we get married some day, I want it to be because he wants to be with me for the rest of his life, not because we’ve been dating for a while and it’s the “right thing to do”.

He treats me so well. He’s planned several very nice things for my birthday in December. We’re going on a trip together in January. I’ve met his whole family and he says they like me a lot. He calls me pretty much every day to talk, at least for a little while, he spends a ton of time with me. He does small sweet things for me too. He’s very thoughtful and caring.

In a way, I feel like there’s nothing I can do except what he said — take things one day at a time and things will become clear to him eventually. It just feels like such a huge risk. Things are great right now, but I’m very scared about the future with him.

Do you have any advice for me in this situation? Is there anything I should be doing or not doing? Do you think it will just take time for him to work through the remnants of his first marriage and that he’ll come around eventually? He is such a genuine person with a pure heart. Part of me is sure he will work through this and things will be fine. But part of me is worried.

Thank you in advance for your advice!

Hi Susie,
You have everything to be worried about. From what you’ve told me, on one level he’s this great guy, full of fun and affection, while on another level he’s this scared little kid about dealing with the future.

If he was a friend of mine in this situation I’d tell him that shit happens and to get his head out of his ass and love the woman he’s with and plan a future together. (Excuse my boldness.)

History does not have to repeat itself but if this is what he’s afraid of then he needs counselling to deal with these issues because they will not go away on their own, nor will they diminish over time.

Taking life one day at a time is a huge red flag that he may bolt when things do come to the point where he can’t deal with them. And, unfortunately, the clock is ticking.
Best wishes,