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Monday, May 7, 2012

Communication Breakdown: When a Pre-Mission Guy Injects Some Distance

Dear Bro Jo,

So the rundown: A boy moved in next door to me when I was twelve. We didn't become friends instantly, actually I thought he was incredibly annoying, but over time we did become friends. There was nothing romantic, I thought of him as another brother (I have four).

We picked on each other constantly and fought like brothers and sisters fight, but it was all for fun. Then one day... well he wouldn't talk to me. He ignored me blatantly. Everyone saw it, we have many mutual friends, and yet no one knew why.

I was really sad and way stressed out over it for like 5 months, then I decided that I didn't need to be.

I decided that I didn't need him to be my friend again for me to be happy.

I thought that he would go up to BYU, get his mission call and leave for two years, and I would never have to see him again. In my mind, this made sense. By the time he would come home, I would be long gone in BYU-Idaho and I would never have to deal with any bad memory of him.

Well... that didn't work out for me.

He came home.

I knew this would happen, but I figured that he would ignore me like he has for the past year.


He came over the day we got back from Idaho.

He TALKED to me.

Then for the next three days he was over at my house every day. It was just like it used to be two summers ago when we were friends, but it’s weird because I can't trust him anymore. Things between us can never be the same, they don't have to be tense, but they can't ever be the same because he hurt me.

I don't know what to do. I have tried to ignore him, but he is constantly in the back of my head.

When I see him, I don't know if i am seeing my old buddy or the jerk that ignored me for a whole year.


- Besmirched Buddy

Dear Besmirched,

How old are you, how old is he, and when you say he "came back", back from where? School or mission?

- Bro Jo

Bro Jo,
Sorry, i should have clarified. I am 17 and he is 18. He just came home from college.


Dear Besmirched,

You’re not a baby anymore, and neither is he; if you want to know where he stands and why he ignored you then you'll have to ask him. If you're not going to ask, then let it (and him) go and move on. (You should have done this months ago, and saved yourself the stress and drama.)

My guess is that rather than be a jerk he was simply trying to put some temptation-free distance between himself and a girl he found (finds) attractive (remember, "Men Can't Stay 'Just Friends' with Women").

All of that said, if he IS a good guy (and I suspect he is) and if you ARE doing things in the order you're supposed to (and I suspect you are), then the two of you should go on some Casual Group Dates and nothing more until he comes back from his mission.

Then, if by some chance you're still available, the two of you can consider dating again.

Talk to him.

Communication is the key!

- Bro Jo

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks, Bro Jo.

I tried to talk to him a while ago, but it just confused things. I think you are right about it now though. When i talked to him about it last we were still in the heat of the problem, but i think that now because it has had time to cool off a bit it should be fine. :)


A Little Hopeful

Dear Hopeful,

Good luck!

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

Bro Jo. This is me... Besmirched Buddy. So, he got his mission call and left. Nothing ever happened before he left because he got a job and I went away. I haven't written him. I know I should get over it all, but it still hurts. It's been about a year since I last wrote to you. So much has changed in that year, but I can still feel the pain when anyone mentions his name. I've prayed to have the strength to forgive him and move on, but it is always still there. I wanted to write him, but every time I try my letters end up sounding harsh or inconsiderate and I end up throwing them away. I don't know if he even remembers what happened two years ago between us. Actually, he is probably not thinking about me at all. Should I try again to write him?

Dave Johnston said...

If you want to write him a "hope you're doing well, proud of you for serving a mission" letter, then do.

If you don't, then don't.

- Bro Jo