When She's Just Not That Into You, Bro

This week we have a college boy who's desperately clinging onto a long-distance relationship with a girl he's known since high school. Is she being unreasonable and ignoring him? Or is this dude expecting way too much?

Some people have problems that require delicate advice from a qualified professional. Others just need a random guy on the internet to kick 'em in the teeth (with honesty, that is). I'm the latter. Welcome back to Tough Love.

Note: I'm not a therapist or health professional of any kind. People ask for my advice and I give it to them. End of transaction. If you have a problem with it, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with it. This week, we're doing another special play-by-play analysis:

Hey Patrick,

I've known this girl since high school, and we both really liked each other. She moved away, and we became long distance for about 3 years. There was an incident in our relationship in which I broke it off so she could date other people.

Good. Long distance for three years is crazy difficult for people your age. You're both changing a lot and finding yourselves. You should both see what else is out there. Don't hold each other back.

Months later we got back together online. Communication was great, we even sent each other snail mail.

Oh, ok. That's not ideal, but it's cute, I guess.

However, things started changing slowly. She stopped communicating as much, and it got to the point where I got mad and asked her where we stood.

I'm guessing a few hundred miles apart, at least. Maybe she's busy living her life or something?

She said that we should just be good friends until she gets back into town, which is going to be during the winter while she finishes up college.

Great idea! Give each other some space, then maybe hook back up when you can actually see each other. Glad we talked this through — Oh, there's more...

So the communication got better after that, and we kept talking. I told her straight out that it hurt my feelings that one of my best friends wouldn't communicate with me on a daily basis, citing the example that my best friend and I talk every day without fail.

Wait, is she your best friend or a romantic interest? Long distance is tough for any kind of relationship. You know what, it doesn't matter! You're being needy AF, especially considering she's elsewhere living a completely different life with completely different people, places, and things. Have you even considered how she might feel about all of this? Probably not. I'm guessing she feels obligated to apologise to you now, even though she doesn't really owe you anything.

She apologised...

Swish! And now she'll make some kind of promise to keep you from getting all aggro.

...and said that she would talk to me every day and call me at night.

Heating up! Way to corner her, man. Good grief. There's no way this lasts for long. You know why? Because she doesn't want to talk to you every day, but she feels obligated to because she either (A) feels bad for you and wants to be nice or (B) she's worried you'll turn into an angry jerk if she's upfront with you. Either way, this isn't going to work out.

That lasted for 3 days until she fell back into the same old habits.

HE'S ON FIRE!

She also wanted me to date, and told me that she wants to date if it's right for both of us when she comes back into town, but isn't willing to put in the effort to stay in constant communication.

Take the hint, guy. This is what's known as a "soft no." She wants you to date someone else so you'll move on and let her carry on with her life; she offers the vague possibility of a date in the future to keep you from getting sad/angry; and she's not willing to put in the effort to stay in "constant communication" because, well, she's not willing to put in the effort. Look at the words you wrote, dude — she doesn't want to talk to you, or at least not every freaking day.

Well, I've started dating someone else, but I know I'm settling, no one really compares to her in my eyes. Any advice would be massively appreciated.

Thanks, Confused College Student

You want some advice, CCS? Here it is: leave long-distance girl alone. She's not feelin' it anymore, she's moved on, and you should do the same. If you want to contact her when she's finally back in town, go for it, but I wouldn't expect anything. People grow and change and relationships end.

If you actually like this new girl you're dating, give her an honest shot. But don't drag her along to make the other girl jealous, and don't waste her time if you don't really like her. Maybe you're better off taking some time to yourself and unloading this baggage, you know? I know you feel like you've been mistreated here, CCS, but that's just not the case. Your expectations need some adjusting.


That's it for this week, but I still have plenty of blunt, honest advice bottled up inside. Tell me, what's troubling you? Maybe I can help. I probably won't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love.


Comments

    Yeah, if someone who consciously decided to get into a relationship with you and decides to stop communicating, the cornerstone of any relationship regardless of distance, just chalk it up to "Maybe she's busy living her life or something" despite the fact they're your partner. A+

    While the dude did end up coming on strong, can't really blame him after being played hot and cold. Don't agree to be in a relationship if you're not going to communicate or commit. End of.

      Being "played hot and cold" isn't that simple, given what societies tell women that they are and aren't allowed to do. She's told him in various different ways over a long period of time that she's not interested and HE WON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. That doesn't make you feel safe. In a world where women are literally beaten just for saying "no" to a stranger (and more often for saying no to someone they know), telling someone that you're just not that interested isn't actually as easy as people think it is.

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