Stop Expecting Men To Do All The Heavy Lifting

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Stephaniedoctoring-online-dating-profiles

Comment: I’ve been seeing a guy on and off for slightly over a year now. It started out as just sex. We have been friends for a long time but there are a few complications with us – he is good friends with my ex and he moved out of state for grad school 9 months ago.  I assumed we would stop talking when he moved but we actually started talking more and I got to know him even better since we were forced to get to know each other instead of just sleeping together. Things were really good for awhile, I flew out there, he flew here and he actually started telling me all the things about falling in love with someone that I wanted to hear and that I trusted since it took us awhile to get there. Then one day even though I didn’t ask, he told me he didn’t want a long distance relationship. I was scheduled to fly out there the following week so I cancelled my flight and told him I wouldn’t be coming. I’m good at shutting off the emotion and we didn’t talk for a few months until recently. He now is starting to call/text me every day again. I tell him to stop, I don’t write back and ignore his questions, but then it’s as if he knows every weak moment I have and will contact me in the midst of something and I’ll cave.  My question is – why on earth is he doing this? We both know he doesn’t really love me or else he would have made this work a long time ago, but it seems like a lot of work for not a lot of reward on both ends. I know he’s met a lot of people in AZ, but is he using me for emotional support perhaps? Does he just like the attention? Either way, how would you handle this? I have a weak spot for him, but I also want to move on if this isn’t going anywhere.

Age: 26
City: Denver
State: CO


I’m sorry, but I don’t have an answer for you. I don’t know him. I’m not privy to his thoughts. Looks like you’re just going to have to suck it up and ask him what it is that he actually wants. That’s the only way you’re going to know and the only reliable source of information.

When he said he didn’t want a long distance relationship, did it occur to you to ask him what he did want? Or was your first impulse to just shut down? Because if it was the latter, then you have a tough rode ahead of you. You’re never going to solve anything but closing off conversation in a situation like this. Acting mad or hurt as a way to get a reaction doesn’t help, either.

We both know he doesn’t really love me or else he would have made this work a long time ago,

How do you know how he feels when it doesn’t appear that you’ve even discussed this with him in any kind of reasonable or mature way? You’ve decided that you know exactly what he’s thinking and so you’ve proceeded to act accordingly. Again, big mistake. Huge.  Why does he keep writing you? Because you cave. If you really didn’t want to talk to him, you wouldn’t.

Also, why is it his job to make it work? Because he’s the one who said he didn’t want a long-distance relationship? Allow me to enlighten you on a new change to the dating landscape – there’s no more wooing or chasing or courting in the traditional sense. You want someone? You’re going to have to go get them. That window of time that we all had to right a wrong is juuust about closed now. No more time for pre-emptive strikes or games. Oh, you want to cut things off with someone because they didn’t reply to you on your time table? Go ahead, write that email and tell them you don’t think things are working. No, really. Go ahead. Then wait three minutes for them to reply and say, “K” and then disappear. They’ve already lined up a few people anyway. They aren’t heartbroken, nor are they falling for these tricks anymore.

You’re playing a game here. You’re waiting for him to open up the appropriate line of communication so you can feel pursued and wanted and blah blah blah because you resent him for appearing to end things. You want to make him sweat it out. I got you. Well, you can do that. Just don’t be surprised if he eventually gives up and moves on.



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5 Responses to “Stop Expecting Men To Do All The Heavy Lifting”

  1. Howard Says:

    De-programming from the fairy tales one heard growing up and the “Pretty Woman” type movies, is really hard. I suppose guys have their own task of deprogramming from the garbage they heard from the older men regarding the never-ending chase for sex.

    Either way, we all have to find a better way of doing things in the brave new post-feminist world we have. The one bit I want to leave the OP with, is that, ASSUME means that you are making an ASS of U and ME.

  2. Lisa Says:

    I’m unclear about one thing: he was saying/impying he was falling in love with the OP or someone else? Or do you mean you were talking hypothetically about generally falling in love? Did any of it seem to relate to the OP or their relationship?

    What are his plans for moving back after school or not?

    Sounds like he met someone else in his new city so he called it off w/ the OP. Then that relationship ended and he has some time on his hands again.

  3. Michelle Says:

    He keeps in touch because he’s lonely in a new state and he likes the connection and the familiarity she provides. There’s nothing wrong with her being open to that as long as she see’s it for what it is. She’s absolutely right that if he loved her and if he thought she was really worth it then the messages would be more clear and direct from him about what they are; it’s true however that it’s no one person’s job to make a relationship happen. There needs to be reciprocal give and take, but since this is a long distance thing, the give and take requires more energy than what it’s worth, OP was right about that.

  4. Selena Says:

    Sounds to me like both of you are in this long distance whatever for the attention.

    You don’t think he loves you, but it doesn’t sound like you love him either. You canceled your trip to see him and didn’t speak for months. If the two of you really had something to build on you could have flown to see him and talked about what you each wanted in person. You didn’t.

    My guess is there is a lot you are leaving out about these conversations of the last 9 months with this guy. If you are only interested in talking to him in your “weak moments”, it’s seems obvious he’s kind of filling a temporary void for you – a fantasy boyfriend. And it seems likely he is doing the same regarding you.

  5. Nathan Says:

    She’s invented a whole set of stories around this. First off, there’s the “it was just sex” story, which might have been true in one sense, but she also says they’ve been friends for “a long time.” Presumably before they started sleeping together.

    Secondly, there’s the “things were really good” story, which is probably how it felt, but at the same time, they were living in different states and seeing each over very infrequently. In addition, they don’t seem to have had any significant conversation about their relationship and what it meant to each of them, so how good could it have actually been?

    And finally, you have the “he hasn’t made any effort, therefore he doesn’t love me” story. Which is basically a way to feel ok about the fact that the relationship didn’t work out the way she wanted it to. It’s easier to pin the blame on the other person in dramatic terms than to realize you don’t know what happened, and also don’t want to put in the effort to find out.

    The fact that she keeps “caving” when he writes is a sign that she’s hoping for yet another story – the fairytale ending where something like he rushes across the country, and appears at her door ready to commit to her happens.

    Hard to figure out what’s real when you keep writing one act plays.

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