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Dating A Pretender

January 27th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted in Dumped

Dear Bitter Single Guy: My boyfriend recently asked for some “space.” We are in the same graduate program and have been living together for a year (the same amount of time we’ve been together). We have “broken up” but we have mutual friends within the program who do not know and when we are around them he pretends we are still a couple. He puts his arm around me, and talks about us like everything is fine. We are not living together, and when we aren’t in classes or out at social events he barely talks to me. I let him do this because in truth, I am not ready to deal with the breakup.

He told me that he may want to be with me in the future, but our relationship stopped him from doing things he wanted to do. (Namely, I am not a heavy partier, and he is. My preference for movies and intimate gatherings has clashed with his need to be the life of the party and get hammered). I am 25 and he is 30. Throughout our relationship he would stay in with me when he really wanted to go out, and he says he’s resentful for it now. I love him and he is the first man in my life who makes me laugh and really understands what I’m about.

I guess I have two questions. The first is: can two people who have such different ideas of a good time ever really meet in the middle and be happy? And the other is, pretending to be his girlfriend has hurt me a lot when I know in my heart we are not together. However, because the graduate program is so small, I’m afraid that things will be awkward with our mutual friends if we let people know what is up. If the relationship really is over, how can I be suddenly single and heal my heart without losing out on social events where he will be? Dating A Pretender

Dear DAP: Short answer: dump his sorry ass.  Wanting space should probably start with him getting his damned hands off you in public. Relationships end all the time and your mutual friends will somehow manage to deal with it.  In the beginning, you might miss out on some social events that include him (you’ll probably WANT to miss out on some social events that include him) because breakups suck and are painful.  The Bitter Single Guy recommends, since you enjoy intimate gatherings, is to schedule some with your friends.  Wine and cheese is a BSG favorite, especially on chilly fall evenings.

Your ex continuing to maintain the look of your relationship for your mutual friends and assuring you that he “may want to be with you in the future” is adolescent bullshit (the BSG got all riled up over your letter, as you can see). Don’t be the pawn in his little 13 year old game, DAP.

To your questions: Yes, two people with different ideas of a good time can meet in the middle and be happy.  Introverts and extraverts can live in harmony with a little mutual respect and communication.  The BSG should also say that if your 30 year old ex’s idea of a social life is all about going out and getting hammered, there is a possible alcohol problem there or just the aforementioned permanent adolescence.  Either way, the BSG will be interested to see if he can handle that lifestyle at 40 (the BSG doubts it).  Your second question: Pretending to be his girlfriend when you’re not is soul-crushing and as the dump-ee, you have more rights than that.  Separate from him…be cordial in public, but otherwise give yourself some time to feel sad and heal (as mentioned above…breakups suck and are painful).  Write to the BSG about the success of your first wine and cheese evening as a single girl.

…And They Told Two Friends…

January 27th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Cheaters

Dear Bitter Single Guy: A girl I know from work (but we are in seperate offices so I dont see her at work often) and I hooked up briefly. She had gotten out of a long relationship 3 months or so prior and got dumped. After dating me she then said she wasnt ready yet, but told me how much she liked me, the connection was awsome, all this stuff.. A few months later she is now seeing someone else and tells me despite how much she likes me yadda yadda something tells her she just cant be with me… what gives? – Left In The Cold

Dear LITC: The Bitter Single Guy doesn’t often hear from the other side of this equation, so he’s pleased you wrote! Typically the BSG hears from the folks who are just out of a relationship and are not sure how to re-enter the dating world (especially given how nurturning, affirming and fun the dating world can be).

Short answer LITC, you were a rebound.  If your Lost Lily was dumped in her previous relationship, she probably needed (unknowingly) to reclaim control over her love life by choosing not to be with someone that she could be with if she wanted…that’s a delicate way to say ‘dump’.  She was dumped, she needed to dump someone else in order to move on.

So you see LITC, she’s right…it wouldn’t work out with you because she would have never re-claimed her personal control. Don’t fret, though…you can always date someone who likes you then dump her as a way to reclaim your own dignity and self-control.  And the cycle continues….

Stop Me Before I Sin Again

January 27th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Cheaters

Dear Bitter Single Guy: Okay so I have a history of cheating. I’m still pretty young but I really need to stop this before I get into a serious relationship, you know? I mean cheating is NOT a good trait to carry. Can you help me out? — Can’t Help Myself

Dear CHM: Bravo!  The Bitter Single Guy is so pleased to hear that his readers are working to resolve their own tacky behavior quirks without the need for restraining orders and without leaving a trail of angry ex’s in their wake. Of course, the BSG has no idea whether or not these are true for you, CHM…you may have worked your way through every potential partner and cheated on them all, so are reaching out to the BSG on your move across country to meet folks who don’t know about your cheatin’ ways.  Either way, the BSG applauds you for getting help.

This one, believe it or not CMH, is easy.  Cheating happens because you decide that maybe you’re missing something, that maybe the grass is greener on the other side of the white picket fence, that somehow someone has something BETTER than you do. Sound familiar? There are readers right now recalling this behavior from childhood and adolescence, and some of these folks (probably you, CHM) can’t seem to leave this behavior behind along with the maladaptive fashion choices of adolescence (droopy jeans? Really?). The BSG doesn’t mind telling you that he has been this guy on at least one occasion.  OK, maybe two.

CMH, although it’s easy to identify the roots of cheating and call it what it is. It’s less easy to figure out what to do about it.  But let’s refine the issue here, shall we? Cheating is only cheating if you have a commitment to someone. The BSG is acquainted with folks who have chosen a lifetime (so far) of casual dating and weekend one-nighters over a commitment because they just want more variety than in your average committed relationship.  While this seems mildly titillating to some, it’s the BSG’s belief that it’s not really a healthy life-long choice (if for no other reason than that as one ages, this is quite frankly a tiring lifestyle).

So CMH, the easy answer is stop committing to relationships until you’re ready to see someone who seems cuter, sexier, funnier, richer, or more attractively mysterious than your current relationship; and then ignore that person (and their potential flirtatious ways) in favor of your relationship.

In the absence of that, and this is the obvious part to the BSG (now), but not the easy part: break up before you cheat. It’s only slightly less tacky, but it IS the right way to go about making the switch.

When Good Technology Goes Bad

January 6th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted in I'm A Tool

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I stumbled across your site tonight and think you have an awesome thing going here.

To the point: I’ve been involved in a long distance relationship for about three years now. She lives in NC, I live in AZ. There have been many times that we have talked about exchanging pictures and talking on the phone, and even sending letter snail mail. I have given her my address and phone number, yet I have received no call or mail from her. She hasn’t given me her info (phone number or address). She has pictures of me that I have emailed her and she has also viewed my webcam, but she hasn’t given me the same. We also used to talk online every day or at least email each other several times a day. These days, if I hear from her twice in one week, it’s a good week.

I feel like she has something to hide and it’s probably time to cut ties and move on. But I am the type to not let go of a relationship. I am deeply in love with her and don’t want to see things end. Please give me your honest opinion on what you think I should do. Love-Bitten, Confused Man.

Dear LBCM: Does the Bitter Single Guy understand you correctly that in three years in this relationship you have neither seen nor spoken to your girlfriend? That all your contact has been strictly by email? LBCM, the BSG thinks this is an example of when good technology goes bad. The BSG is all about online dating and using all of one’s resources to stay in contact, but the nature of a loving relationship is connection. You obviously have a strong connection through the words you type, but if you haven’t even seen her or spoke to her, what’s really there?

LBCM, the BSG is now feeling a little paranoid on your behalf (although the BSG thinks he would have felt this way after a couple of weeks, not three years). What if she’s a dude? What if she’s 75 years old? What if she’s a 75 year old dude? Not to say that there isn’t room for all types of love and that you and grandpa might live very happily together, but geez LBCM what else could be going on here?

If the BSG were you, he might stage a little reconnaissance mission to North Carolina to get a glimpse of this Tantalizing Tadpole from afar. But knowing how stalker-like that seems, the BSG just recommends moving on to someone with a face and a voice.

Now, there are those of you who have seen way too many after-school specials and are now thinking that the BSG has been unreasonably harsh here. You’re imagining a girl who was horribly disfigured when she saved a bunch of orphans from a burning bus. Now she’s so traumatized by the sight of her burned features that he can’t bear to be seen or to talk to anyone and doesn’t this girl deserve love, too? Yes dear readers…Burn Victim Girl definitely deserves love, but there’s a point where even she needs to step up and tell LBCM what the heck is going on with her elusiveness.

Or (the BSG is WAY out in weirdo-land here) maybe she’s a SPY!  And she can’t let herself be seen or heard because it would endanger national security…OR maybe she’s an ALIEN!  Yeah, probably she’s just a 75 year old man, but regardless of who this Tantalizing Tadpole is, you have a right to some more information LBCM. ~BSG~

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