Playing Yourself

QUESTION: I am recently single, 37 years old, attractive and young at heart. I would say a true Gemini and I am confident and happy for the most part. I do wish to have a relationship someday but I am tired of trying to find it.

So now I am just living each day with the hopes someday “he” will find me, lol.

I met a man about 8 months ago. He is an ex football player, very, very attractive and somewhat confusing. He is a Virgo and seems to be following most of the Virgo traits. I went out with him and actually slept with him that night with the intention I was not going to see him again. I am not looking for a relationship right now and told him that. I just wanted to see what it was like to have a one night stand as it was something I had never done and my girlfriends all convinced me the previous year without sex was too long. To just go have fun so I did I was very nervous and drank a lot to be able to do it. He kept saying you are so beautiful, you’re perfect, you’re going to fall-in-love with me, we need to get our kids together and hang out, ect. It actually freaked me out, BUT the sex was amazing, like nothing I have ever experienced and the way he looked at me just melted me.

So long story short, we went out a second time and then I blew it or at least I think I did. I try to contact a friend of his (female) on MySpace to see what kind of person he was, but she told him and he said not to contact his friends if I don’t trust him, that it was silly. I told him the truth (big mistake) that I really was feeling something for him and it was scaring me, etc.

Well then he ignored me for a while and I let it go. He contacted me again a few weeks later, we went out, he was a total jerk, and I left w/o sleeping with him. Then he contacted me again, I played hard to get and a week later contacted him, we went out, he was a total jerk, I told him off and then left again. It has been 4 months w/o seeing him, a couple text messages sent back (friendly how are you) then he asks me for a reunion last week, I say I'm busy, so he asks the next night, I say I am busy again.

Does he like me or what? Did I scare him away? Does he just want me to be a booty call? I am so damn confused but I still think of him and I keep hoping he will be the nice guy I first met but I am very hesitant to see him again. I guess I just am trying to figure out if he is playing me or not. Is there a way to tell?
GARLAND: Thank you for your question.

Honestly, I'd have to say that he's not playing you - YOU are playing yourself.

Let's just look at this for a second.

You want a relationship and a seemingly decent guy falls into your lap, but for some reason you claim that you just want a one-night booty call with him... I guess maybe YOU were the Baller that night.

Then you stalk him out... yes, yes - you can word it as lovely as you want, but you were stalking him on his MySpace account and you contacted one of his female 'friends' just to innocently see what kind of guy he wants. Now say that to yourself 10 times and see if even YOU don't believe it. You wanted to know if he was screwing HER too and if he was [or wasn't] you wanted her to know that there was a NEW Aplha-Woman on the scene.

Then you go out, he straight disses you, BUT you go right back out again and he disses you AGAIN and then he kicks you to the curb, but the minute he contacts you again you WANT to go out, but you choose to play games.

Will he ever be 'the nice guy' you met that first night, maybe / maybe not - that first night, he was probably just trying to get what you claimed you wanted to give him - BOOTY. Honestly, we can all be pretty charming when we are on the hunt. I'm doubtful that any meaningful relationship is going to spring from what you just told us, but I could be wrong. Is he 'playing you?' Maybe a little, but I'm really sorry to say this, YOU ARE PLAYING YOURSELF THE MOST.

CHUCK: Garland's all over this one. If there's a bad move to make in a budding relationship, you have made it. I think you want to turn back the clock, but it can't be done. I can't even really pin down exactly which action of yours may have turned him off towards you the most. And I'm not even saying that it's right. But it is what it is.

I'm not going to take you to task so much for the first night sex, although I think your rationale and your way of getting to that point (by getting drunk off your behind) are faulty. I will tell you this, though: It may be a double standard, it may be unfair, but when a woman decides to act "like a man," she should expect someone to think less of them because of it. And it was apparent the this man was using the fact that you slept with him on the first night as an excuse to disrespect you.

Now, frankly, this guy sounds like a real ass for this "you're gonna fall in love with me" crap, but apparently he had your number. The whole MySpace escapade smacks of stalking, and was a major mistake on your part. His female friend owed you nothing, and was justified in blowing the whistle on you. And to compound your mistake, you confess your feelings to him at possibly the worst time. I'm surprised that he wasn't shopping for temporary restraining orders.

So, to address your questions: Yes, you scared him away. Any chance of you achieving what you are apparently looking for (now), a loving mutually respectful relationship is pretty much shot. Yes, in spite of the fact that he doesn't really think much of you, he is still willing to keep you around as a booty call. If that bothers you, don't bother with him anymore. If it's any consolation to you, this guy seems like a boorish, stuck-on-himself prick. No big loss. However, on the off chance that the next man you meet is not a loser, you should try to learn from your mistakes.


Be My Number Two

QUESTION: I want to move on, but I’m hurt. I can’t help, but to feel a sense of hope, should I?

When Randy and I met I was in a relationship . He insisted and I was not in the best relationship, so I found him pleasant and we became great friends. We continuously made numerous phone calls and through informal interactions at his place of work we began to develop feelings for each other. Some where along the line we actually became romantically involved and I was intimate with him. He was wonderful and did so many things to show me how much he loved me and constantly asked me to be with him and leave the other relationship. For so many unjustifiable reasons I could not bring myself to leave the other relationship although I was miserable in it. For a year and a half we continued to see each other and our bond was stronger and I did not get out of the other relationship. We became best friends and confidants to each other. I have worked out some issues in therapy now as to why I couldn’t move forward and leave this other person, but I so regret not leaving earlier not for Randy just because it was not good for me. In an effort to end our romantic involvement I attempted to leave so many times, and we could never really stay away from each other. I then decided to leave our friendship/relationship and made a grave error and got married to the guy who I was not having the best relationship with and left Randy the man that I truly love, I didn’t really know how much at the time. I hurt Randy so much at the time, I am so sorry and have paid my dues for the mistake I made, as my marriage only lasted 2 years, because I did it for the wrong reasons and became quickly disillusioned (about 4 months into it) with my decision and the marriage. Randy and I continued to talk throughout my marriage and when I things became clear that I had made a mistake I struggled once again to leave this man although it was clear he was not the right person for me. I dealt with guilt and what others might think as well as a great sense of failure as this was my second marriage. My first marriage lasted 15 years. Randy continued to display love and understanding for me through out this process and I then decided to separate and move towards divorce with the man I married. I decided to interact with Randy, but told him we should take it slow. He had a hard time with that, but warned me that he would not be exclusive if I was not truly committed. During this time I had an opportunity to meet his parents and his kids a couple of times. I also decided to go to grad school during this time and our time together was limited. This past December2008, he drove in a snow storm to come and see me and I remember his words “Don’t ever doubt how much I love you.” In January 2009 we became distant I had so much going on with my Grad program and I was attempting to make things perfect I wanted to start fresh by giving the news that divorce was final and I could fully commit to him. I decided to proceed with this plan in February and when I told him he was surprised and asked what changed my mind. Not the reaction I was hoping for. He then confessed he had been seeing someone else for 8 months and he was confused as to what direction he should go. I said I wanted to fight for our relationship if he wasn’t committed to her, he said he was not, but was confused. We saw each other a couple of times and he then withdrew from me and said he had to think because he felt he was being pulled in two directions and it was stressing him out. In April we met and he said he wanted to end it with me, but couldn’t bring himself to do it. Here we are in May and he finally came to a conclusion and decided to proceed with her. His reason was that she was always there very loving and caring and she did not deserve her heart being broken as he had his. He stated he was still in love with me, but he couldn’t face himself in the mirror if he hurt her as she did not deserve that. I asked if he had the same connection and friendship he had with me, he responded no. He confessed she is 28 years old, she is 14 years younger than he and she is from a culture who is very exclusive to their own and perhaps very racist as a culture as he is black and I know this is going to be difficult for them to surpass.

We’ve always been upfront and honest with each other as best friends are and I do feel he loves and is still in love with me. I don’t see how he will be able to move on when he still has feelings for me, so strong that he struggled so much to come to this conclusion. I am not that far gone to understand that I made grave errors in our relationship and that he deserves to be happy and have someone who gives him what he so deserves, but I can’t help but wonder if he will come back because I was never able to forget him even when I completely attempted to sever our bond by getting married.

His parting words were “ It was never my intention to hurt you, I love you, but this is something I need to do right now.” My sense is that he is doing this for some of the same reasons I got married. I made a commitment to marry and I had to follow through with that although I was very confused about my feelings.

I am hurt, but I intend and need to move forward. I have worked through so many of my issues that contributed to staying in a bad relationship for so long although I had someone wonderful offering me the opposite. I know I have so much to give, I wish it was him, I wanted so much to make up for all the hurt I caused by my awful decision. We constantly told each other we are soul mates. I can’t make sense of much right now, but I can’t help but think that he might come back. Please be real and tell me if I should even hold hope. Sorry for the length I thought I had to give some background.

GARLAND: To all of those who keep a candle of hope burning in their hearts, extinguish them, because they do little more than create an emotional fire hazard. (You heard it HERE first!)

Thank you for your question, but I think you need to step away from "Randy and You" and "You and Randy" and catch your breath. You are no where near over him and now you are pretending to be a mind reader and you've convinced yourself that you know how much he loves you; and you know how much he'll always love you; and you know how much he's struggling over is new young lover; and you know his true 'feelings' for you; and you know that one day he'll leave his young wife and come running back to your waiting arms. PLEASE STOP. For your own sake and sanity, PLEASE STOP.

I honestly don't know what Randy is thinking, feeling or planning and neither do you. You need to stop, for your own well being - stop trying to assume that he is dying to come running back to you. I somewhat doubt that he is, given the fact that YOU made him your number two man for years and then you married some guy that you claim you didn't love and then once you are free to love him [I suppose] he springs the new girl on you. The two of you sound like you might do each other more justice by just moving on and meeting new loves. Just because the sex might be good and the conversation might flow easily, it doesn't mean that the two of you HAVE to be together.

One other thing that leaped out to me was your comment, "she is from a culture who is very exclusive to their own and perhaps very racist as a culture as he is black and I know this is going to be difficult for them to surpass..." Do you realize just how far you are reaching with that mindset? You are laying the groundwork for the "Randy COMEBACK" that probably isn't going to happen. You are telling yourself that HER people are not going to like him and eventually he'll get tired of their 'racist' ways and they he'll leave her and come back to you. You need to accept that Randy has moved on and will probably not be coming back your way.

I don't think that you will ever be happy until you convince yourself that Mr. Randy is NOT your life or the measure of your happiness. He has moved on, you need to accept that and STOP STOP STOP checking your watch and waiting for him to come running back to you. And by the way, what I just said means to also NOT try to "just be friends" with Randy. So often Chuck and I will hear ladies talk about "just being friends..." this "My Friend" foolishness is pure horsesh*t. You and this man had a deep, intimate, odd and personal relationship that spanned years and from your letter alone I am confident that the two of you cannot be "just friends" without your heart getting involved, confused and broken. Step aside and let Randy move on pass you and then you turn your back on him and run away as fast as you can.

CHUCK: You and Randy are just like parallel lines, running on the same track forever, but never crossing each other. And frankly, that's probably how it should be. You had the chance years ago to get together with him, but you apparently lacked the emotional maturity to leave your number one at that time for your number two.

Sidebar: Why, oh, why would you ever get married to someone when the relationship was already bad? I do not get that. The rationalization is obviously, "things will get better when we get married. He/she will change." Please believe it: This never happens. I've seen people in my life treat marriage like a band-aid for a bad relationship, but all they end up doing is killing it. Anybody who does this, realize, you're just buying yourself a deferred divorce.

Randy must have deep feelings for you, if he kept up contact with you after being dumped like he was. But I'm gonna ask you to be smarter than he was with you and leave him alone. That means don't pursue this masochistic "we're just friends" fallacy. That means not looking for reasons why Randy's new relationship will not work (you hope). That means letting the thing die.

Do you have a reason to feel hopeful? Maybe. But I think the time for you two has passed. You have said that you sought therapy to help you during you marriage. Maybe you should do so again. Your and Randy's ongoing relationship is painful, narcissistic, and unhealthy. He may want it to continue, despite the fact that he wants to start something with someone new. But someone between the two of you needs to be an adult about this. Why not let it be you?


Simple Question, Simple Answer

QUESTION: Hi Simple Question: When a man is dating with a girl ( officially like a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship) , he wants to keep the previous girlfirend-could be as a real friend? Any saying? Thanks

CHUCK: There's no reason that a person can't remain friends with an ex following a break-up. Some people are better suited to be friends than they are to be romantically involved. It requires some maturity on the part of both parties, especially as they become involved with other people. I don't hear about it a whole lot, but there's no reason that it can't, or shouldn't, be done.

I'm gonna step out on a limb here, and speculate that you are perhaps a person involved with someone who is maintaining a friendship with an ex. And you obviously wonder whether that is possible. Once again, there's nothing wrong with you feeling a little apprehension about your friend having a friendship with a former lover, depending on what form that friendship takes. Do they remain cordial when they run into each other on rare occasions? Or do they hang out on a regular basis?

Either way, if you harbor any insecurity about this ex, you should voice it to your boyfriend. Better that than not to say anything, and to let things fester. Don't be confrontational, or ask him to choose between you. Merely let him know how you feel. Then at least, even if he doesn't agree with you, he'll know where you're coming from.

Thanks for the question.

GARLAND: I agree with Chuck. Yes, men and women that once dated can be platonic friends. REAL platonic friends. But, I think they need to tread lightly, especially if one of them starts to date someone else.

I see how it could be hard for you, assuming like Chuck, that you are in this situation and your new boyfriend still likes to keep in touch with his ex. Like I said, they 'could' stay just friends, but lets be real - these two were lovers, confidants, and probably much more - them being just friends is not going to be the best of situations FOR YOU.

I think you need to give your man a little talking to - Alone. Don't get upset or blow things out of proportion, because if your relationship is still kinda new - he may just walk away from you and move on to the next girlfriend. Let him know your concerns, don't throw 'TRUST' all up in his face because he'll be offended that you don't trust HIM or his ex. Let him know that your relationship is new and you want it to thrive without the emotional connection to his ex playing a part in his life now... OR something like that. Think hard about what you want to say and just don't make it come down to "her or me!" Sure, we know that it MIGHT come down to that, but leave that card in your hand for you to play, don't deal it to him.

Since Chuck and I play poker and you may not, what I mean by that last line is this: If you feel like it may come down to him choosing her OR you, then YOU decide if you want to walk away from him or stay - YOU take control of your relationship; Don't give him the choice, see where he's coming from and then you decide whether HE is worth it or not.


The Watchman (R)

QUESTION: I went out recently with a man I met in the grocery store. He picked me up at my place and we went to dinner for our first date. During the meal, he gave me a small gift box with a silver watch inside of it. He said it was a gift because I was very special. Something didn't feel right about it but I took it anyway. A few days later, my sister looked the watch up online and found that it cost $190. I tried to give it back to him but he refused to take it and insisted that we continue dating. What's up? Am I missing something here or am I just trippin?

CHUCK: An expensive gift too soon in a relationship should open up questions to any woman who isn't getting songs written about her by Kanye West. Questions like: Does he do this with every woman he dates? Will the gifts continue? Does he think this is gonna get him laid?

Good questions, but I don't know if they should be asked directly. He could be feeling really good about meeting you, and just wanted to express it to you. To place too much emphasis on the gift could offend him, and you might end up alienating him for nothing.

What I do suggest is keeping your eyes open. You don't know the Watchman yet, and until you trust him completely, be on the lookout for obvious game. I'm not saying be needlessly suspicious or untrusting. One of my least favorite Presidents, Ronald Reagan said it best, though: Trust, but verify.

GARLAND: I think a gift like that on the first date should be a warning sign. A guy that drops something like a $200 watch on a total stranger is a guy that's hiding something.

What seems shady to me is the fact that he doesn't really know you. You could be a psycho that drowns kittens on the weekends and he's telling you on the first date that you are so special. A normal guy with no tricks up his sleeves would probably give you some token of affection on the first date, flowers, a box of chocolates, a card [or something] but he'd maybe take some time to get to know you before dropping jewelry in your lap.

Unless this guy is so financially well off that he can just afford to give $200 gifts to total strangers, you need to look deep before you leap. Judge Mablean Ephriam [Original Divorce Court] always says that too, and it's usually to someone that ignored warning signs.

No, you're not trippin. This guy is probably hoping that you'll be so starry eyed over his gifts that you won't see his other girlfriend, or wife or 4 kids. I'm smelling a fake rat but that's just me. Don't dump him though, I could be wrong - just move slowly, keep your eyes open, keep your ears open and lookout for more foolishness. Don't be tricked by toys and trinkets.


The Not-So-Great Communicator

QUESTION: I've been dating E. for four months. He has a brilliant mind when it comes to his profession (he is a doctor) but I'm having a hard time understanding his mind when it comes to our relationship. We're both mid 40's, divorced, w/kids.

Problem: He communicates with me via text 99.99% of the time, even when we had our first "fight". His reason for not dialing up is he that he doesn't 'like' to talk by phone, he talks so much at work. So much of 'conversation' gets lost in translation. You can't hear inflection in a text. You can't hear sarcasm, nor can you hear warmth/sympathy. There is also the frustrating pause (minutes/hours/a day) between texts. calls this 'textually frustrated'. That I am...Sometimes he won't reply to a text at all which makes me feel like I'm being ignored, what I 'said' wasn't important, etc.

Finally, last week I told him something needed to change. He asked me how many times a week I wanted him to call. As ridiculous as this request seemed, I gave him the answer of a minimum of three. It's Saturday, and we've only spoken once by phone.

E. was out of town for three days this week. The last two days, he sent a total of 20 words via text. Nothing today until he got home and all it said was "Home". Long story short, I went to his place (not in the best of moods but wanted to talk to him about the lack of conversation, etc.) and he didn't answer the door. This has happened to me twice before. This time I left and said to myself F* It! Came home and hours later got a text that he had fallen asleep and knew he was in trouble and "I'm sorry". Replied "So bad I can't f*g see straight".

Silence... Not a call, not a text, f*g nothing.

He told me he loved me last month. Really?!?!?!

Do I let it go???

signed...Mrs. Thomas Edison

GARLAND: Thanks for your question.
Interesting situation. I have a feeling that your 'friend's odd, anti-social, juvenile and self satisfying behavior probably played a big part in his divorce. I certainly don't know for sure, but he sounds, uh... 'special.'

Not wanting to speak to you because he speaks so much at work is now the number one ranked crock of BS that I have heard since Chuck and I started this blog. Congratulations and thank you!

Your Doctor friend is pretty much giving you the most that you are going to get from him. A grown man that prefers texting to talking, who refuses to let you in his home, and who has asked you what number of times he should call you each week is nuts. There, I said it - NUTS. I really wanted to give you some fluffy / gentle insight, but that would just NOT be be true. This guy is a piece of work. He is showing you exactly what he is going to give you as your relationship continues. You know what he is about, so everything you do from now on is at your own risk.

You can certainly ask him to change, but I live in this little place called The Real World, and in the Real World a guy with this much non-sense as your fellow has - is going to be almost impossible to grow to where you want him to be. Good Luck... you'll need it.

CHUCK: At the risk of sounding like some grumpy old fart, I'm going to go off on a little rant. I don't know, but the technology that was supposed to bring us together is keeping us apart. These gadgets and gimmicks that were sold as tools to enhance our experiences seem to be replacing actual experiences for some people. So we don't talk, we send 140 character tweets, or twits, or whatever. To make a friend, we put a check mark in a box on a website. And we maintain our relationships with text messages. What the hell.

Mrs. Edison, make no mistake: E. is a jackass. If this were 1840, and you were writing to each other with quills with feathers on the end, he'd still be a jackass. But the technological wrinkles of today have just made it easier for him to live up to his jackass potential. Garland is 100% correct. That "I talk so much at work, I really don't want to talk when I'm off" excuse has got to be one of the most ridiculous I've ever read. If anyone out there has heard a more comically bullshitastic excuse from their boyfriend, let us know. Maybe we'll give a prize.

There are some women who might say, concerning your situation, "at least he's thinking about you." And they would be right. In fact, I'll tell you just what he's thinking: "What is the absolute least amount of effort I can expend on this woman, and still get sex from her?" I mean, he asks you what is the minimum amount of calls he should make to you in a week. You tell him, and he still can't even meet that minimum? Just unreal.

And finally, you paid him a visit, and he didn't open the door, although you knew he was home. When I was about ten, I did the same thing, and didn't open the door for this pesky kid up the street from my house, who liked to play with my toys. It was wrong for me to do that when I was ten. For him to play similar games in his forties is INSANE.

In closing, Mrs. Ed, yes, let it go. Dr. E does not have issues, he has subscriptions. He doesn't possess enough affection and caring to maintain a relationship with a houseplant, let alone a woman. Leave this guy behind, and find someone who you can relate with somewhere other than a 3-inch screen.