Today we have updates. We'll be off on Monday.
The first update is from someone who was dating a person who had doubts. (Read the old letter here.)
I can't believe it's been almost a year since I originally wrote to you for help in figuring out what to do with a boyfriend who shared too much about his doubts for our future. I decided to stick it out, told him I was sure about our future and recognized that he had to figure out for himself if he wanted to be with me; I wasn't about to do any convincing. I did not start playing games and was annoyed that commenters jumped on that idea. Otherwise, the comments were reassuring and/or made me laugh. I'm very happy to report that we are still together and going strong. I still don't know what the future holds but I'm loving every moment of this life, with him especially.
The next update is from someone who was deciding whether to meet up with an ex. (Letter here.)
I ended up putting off meeting up with him until the end of March. When we met up it was very casual and I pretty much just listened to him explain how he didn't mean to hurt me and (drum roll) the girl he left me for wound up breaking up with him in February. I made the decision to leave the door open for a friendship with him because in retrospect, he did hurt me but I don't think it makes him a bad person (I also probably wasn't prepared to let him go completely).
We got together a few more times over the spring months but I was making an effort to go on dates with others. We made a few … questionable decisions this summer which led to a lot of long conversations about our relationship and what we want. A few weeks ago we ended it for good. There are too many feelings happening and while we ultimately want most of the same things (to eventually get married and have a family etc.) neither of us could decide if we wanted those things from each other. He promised not to call again and if we run into each other we agreed to just keep it simple, since we can't be trusted to be alone. It hurts (again) but I know now that we made the right decision and it feels like more of a mutual split.
So I'm back on the self-focused train and exploring new options for myself. It hasn't been easy but I'm hopeful and trying to stay positive. Thanks so much for the advice and support in my original letter!
The next update is from someone who didn't love his girlfriend's friend. (Letter here.)
I figured it has been long enough that I can give an update on my letter! Other than my avid non-use of the word "bestie" (I still love exclamation points!), things are a lot better than they were when I wrote in over two years ago. I'm still with the same lovely woman (going on 3 years), and the best friend has since moved over an hour away to live with her significant other.
We still all get together once or twice every few months, and I've found that now that everyone's lives have fallen into a routine things are not as hectic and dramatic (maybe that's my two added years of wisdom!) Thank you to Meredith and all the commenters, even the harsher ones, who helped me with this problem!
The next update is from someone who needs another pep talk, please. (Letter here.)
I wrote you a couple of years ago after a rough divorce (actually, a rough marriage, the divorce was the best choice I ever made...a very difficult choice, but the best one) and some disappointing dating experiences. Since then, I met a guy whom I had a strong connection with, and we dated for a bit, and then played the on and off game for a bit, and then I realized he was not mature enough to treat me the way I deserve. By that I mean include me in his life, maybe introduce me to a friend or two, you know, normal stuff you do when you still like someone after a few months. Other than that, I've had a couple of one night stands, which were fun and never needed to be anything more. I've expanded my social circle, picked up with some old hobbies, joined every dating site, paid and free, even joined a well-known matchmaking service which turned out to be an expensive scam. I just thought they might get me out on more dates for practice, if nothing else. Nope. Nothing. To this day, the last man who was willing to admit in public that he really liked me was my ex husband. And I am way too good to be anybody's secret booty call.
Through these experiences I feel like I have answered my own question: maybe love exists for other people, but probably not for me. And even if it does, it sure as hell isn't enough to form a healthy long-term relationship. So I'd rather be happy alone than unhappy with the wrong person.
I've also learned that these grandiose statements don't keep me warm at night, but I'll live.
-Still Lonely But OK
The last update is from a woman who wanted to have the talk. She has an update -- and a question. (Letter here.)
So, I had the "Are you sleeping with anyone else?" conversation with Phil. It went well. He admitted that he was not ready to take the next step and fully commit. He said he was still active on dating websites, not because he was seriously looking for someone else, but just seeing who was out there and responding to other women who contacted him while his memberships were active. But I was the only person that he was interested in really dating, and the absolute only person he was sleeping with. I admitted that it hurt my feelings a bit to hear that, but as long as I was the only one he was sleeping with, and we were both on the same page of working towards a possible commitment, I was OK. He agreed that he liked me and could see a future, but he wanted to go slowly. This was three weeks ago.
I thought things were fine until this past weekend. He and I were out together Friday night and his phone was sitting on the table. He kept getting push notifications from three separate sites/apps -- including one majorly known hook-up site. I teased a bit, and said, "Oh you should answer those, you don't want to keep them waiting." He just replied with, "Don't be silly, that's just rude -- I'm with you."
Later that night I admitted (after a couple glasses of wine) that it still made me uncomfortable that he was active on the sites, and it made me feel like I was in constant competition and not good enough to be considered to be the only one. I told him that I was still more than accepting of going slow, but I'd like to see more of an effort from him in working toward something together. And I didn't think 3 separate sites/apps -- especially the hook up app -- sending him push notifications was backing up his declaration that he was working towards it.
He did not like that. He completely shut down, refused to talk to me about it, and told me that he "was not dealing with this nonsense and drama." That I was being ridiculous. That my insecurities were insane and I needed to back off.
I didn't know what to say other than that I would give him space, and when he cooled down I hoped we could talk and have a real conversation. He left my apartment at 3 a.m.
Then, on Monday, I got news from my doctor that I tested positive for an STD -- thankfully it is curable with one dose of meds and will not have a lasting effect. I had not had a sexual experience with anyone in the 18 months prior to meeting Phil. My last annual exam was clean for all possible diseases and infections. We were always protected, but had a few possible "interactions" that could have caused an infection. It had to have been him. So that night I contacted him -- breaking my promise of space, because this was an important health and life issue. He ignored my phone calls and voicemails, so I resorted to text. I was not accusatory, I was very matter of fact, and even made clear that I was more worried that he may have not known about this and should be tested and treated to avoid further possible complications. He never replied. I went Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with no response, finally caving (against my overall better judgment) and texted again to make sure he got the original message.
He responded, "I'm not ready to talk to you. I'm not ready to see you. Do not contact me for at least a week. Do not contact me during work hours. I don't know if I will ever want to talk to you again."
All of this has made me realize that he was only telling me what I wanted to hear in regards to a relationship to keep me around and entertain him. I was just something to do until someone better came along. His silence when I told him about the STD speaks volumes -- if he thought I might have given it to him, I would have anticipated an angry response. If he knew or suspected that he gave it to me, I would have anticipated an apologetic response. But no response seems to say "Oops, I got caught." I'm more hurt that he lied, rather than hurt that I lost someone I (thought I) cared about.
I haven't decided if I will contact him as he had restricted requested. I have a lot of questions, but I know I won't get real answers. I'm more concerned about his health and getting the STD treated for him and any future/past/current partners that may become infected too.
So -- do you or the readers have any fun follow up comments on my soap opera?