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Friday, December 18, 2015

Should She Move On?

Dear Bro Jo,

I'm sure you get a lot of these every day, so I hope I'm not making your job more annoying. I normally wouldn't do this and I go to my parents for all of my advice, but I've been intrigued at the responses I've read on your blog, and I thought maybe I could ask you for your professional dating opinion. I've also read your book, Bro Jo's Guide To Relationships, but I couldn't find what I was looking for.

First I'll start with some background. I'm a BYUI student coming up on my 7th semester. I'd written a missionary, who came back in December and he wasn't "ready" for a relationship so I decided to break it off with him.

Long story there.

He just didn't grow as much on his mission as I would have hoped a missionary would have.

During that time of writing I'd been on A LOT, of dates, but never been in a serious relationship because I'd always compared them to my missionary, and never really "felt it" with any of them.

Well after things ended with my missionary, I was sorely disappointed. It's been almost a year since that happened, and I am so grateful it didn't work out with him because he didn't have as much substance as he should.

Also he was a taker, not a giver. He never really appreciated me and I bent over backward for the guy. I'm just being honest.


Anyway after the break up, I guess you could say, I had been on a few dates, and life had been pretty okay. A return missionary I went to high school with had a real interest in me and decided to pursue me.

At first I was not interested, not because of any red flags, but because I just wasn't. I didn't know him in high school, we hung out in two different crowds, and I just wasn't interested in getting to know him after high school.

There wasn't anything I found wrong with him, and he's an attractive young man, but again I just wasn't "feeling it." I actually got to the point where I told one of his friends I wasn't interested.

I know pretty snobby of me.

Well I can eat my words now.

So any way, he tried really hard to get my interest. He remembered things I would say. He knew I wasn't a fan of constant texting so he would make sure to call me every weekend and invite me out. He was a real sweetheart. I guess I just wasn't used to a cool guy really caring about me and giving continuous effort. It was just weird to me.

After I had told his friend I wasn't interested, I found myself really regretting what I had said, and I realized I was giving up a shot with a really great catch, who really cared about me. Shortly after that realization we started dating. It was the first time that I felt like I didn't need to worry about making someone stay interested in me. I could really be myself. It was also the first guy I couldn't complain about because he did everything right I guess you could say.

He truly cared and he made it known.


We got to know each other for the substantive things.

We never kissed, not that I didn't want to, but I made it clear that a kiss to me was commitment, and I wanted us to actually get to know one another before anything physical.

So we got to know each other over the course of 2 months. I had really enjoyed my time with him, more than I thought.

He's talented, fun, magnetic, personable, stylish (it doesn't hurt), sweet, hard working, spiritual, not to mention flat out hilarious, etc. As I got to know him I realized he was everything. He was my "list," and I didn't realize that at first. I just had preconceived high school notions.

It's more important to be the list than to find it, I realize that, but I'm just appreciating his qualities. I realized that he was someone that made me want to be more because he was so much more. Well unfortunately before getting more serious Bro. Jo he broke it off with me.

He said that he felt that it wasn't the right time for him to be in something "like this." (Yeah another one who wasn't ready, but this is a completely different guy from the guy a wrote.

I'm not one to put pressure on people, really I'm not. Just because I want actual commitment doesn't mean I want a ring. I never even talked to either of these not ready guys about marriage).

He said he felt like he needed to date more, but he had no one in mind. I guess maybe he didn't feel he had relationship experience.

I don't think you have to go through hundreds of heart breaks to gain experience. Experience is a relative term, and furthermore he dated so much in high school.

Way more than I had.

He then gave me a 2 page letter with all of the things that he loved about me in it.It was very tender, and heart felt. The letter also said how much he actually trusted me, and that he still wanted us to hang out.


We didn't have much time to talk because we both had places to be.


After that we messaged for a while, and he told me that he had sat out in the rain hoping I would be okay. I told him that I would be fine, and that I trusted that he was doing the best thing....

I told him that I didn't want to try and be friends, and that I didn't want to see him date other girls.I had said that, but because he had actually talked to me about his feelings and didn't avoid me as a lot of guys had done, I felt that I could eventually be his "friend," again, or at least that we could talk normally, just because I don't believe in that friendship term.


Well, that happened a month ago...


We started talking again recently, and we've even hung out a few times because we have the same friends.

The first time it really hurt, because old feelings were rehashed, but he said that he still felt super comfortable around me.

Yay more crying!

I invited them all over this past Sunday, and he actually stayed 3 additional hours after everyone left, and talked to me on our front porch.

We just talked about whatever like we used to. Not about our relationship.


3 hours Bro Jo.


My question has nothing to do with being friends, because like I said I don't believe in that term. My question is why?

Why would someone who was, and is still I know it, so smitten with me not want to commit to me?

He was so whipped.

He would do anything for me, and he says he still would, but he doesn't want to be my boyfriend?


All his friends say it's nothing personal, and they can't even find a reason.

I just feel like he's still in high school.

We aren't 16, we're almost 22 we can be serious about dating.

I know he still likes me, I know he hasn't been on any other dates by his choosing.


Girls like him, PLENTY of girls want to date him. He's a good looking, likable guy.

I have been on one date since the official split, but I still have feelings for him.

I didn't think I would feel this deeply about him, but I do. I truly admire him.


If I could get back together with him, I would in a heart beat without doubt. It just stinks, it really does.


You finally feel even-stevens in a relationship and for no reason it just ends.


Maybe I'm just looking in places where I can't find answers, and maybe I'm hoping for closure that you can't give me, but I just can't let this go.


How could I forget about someone like that?


How could I forget about someone so absolutely everything, so unique, so eccentric, and feel okay with life?


He's not replaceable.

I want to get back together with him, I do.


Should I stick around, and then call it quits if it's not going anywhere?


We have the same friends, so it's hard not to see him all the time?


I guess I could get new friends, but they are truly amazing to me, and a support.

There is something holding him back, but there's obviously more he can't let go of. He said he would be stupid, and missing out not to be around me.

Come on, at my house for 3 extra hours?


You said in your blog that guys don't stick around for a significant amount of time unless they are interested in a girl.


I'm sorry I'm overly analyzing, but it doesn't add up to me. It's not typical, and I still feel so good around him.I always feel at peace with him, always.

I know it's the Spirit.

Then what's wrong?

Does he just feel he's not at a place to move into the next step of life? I'm sorry this is unbearably long.....

Thank you so much if you actually get through it.

Again I appreciate it.

Sincerely,

- Not Getting Any Younger




Dear Not,

I'm not sure if this is so much because of what you said, or just something I feel based on what you've said . . . but I just get the sense, little sister, that the problem isn't him . . . it's you.


You kind of come across as cold and controlling. And, frankly, unappreciative.


More than affection, even more than sex, guys want . . . need . . . to feel appreciated.


Yes, sometimes that comes in the form of a smooch; and sometimes it's an actual out loud expression ("thank you", "I love you", "you're the greatest!"); and sometimes it's in the things that you do.


Now, before you get defensive and start telling me "but Bro Jo, I do all of those things!” ask yourself exactly what you're asking me: Why would a guy who clearly likes you, who likes spending time with you (3 hours!), and with whom you have such a great connection, tell you he wants to date other people BUT NOT DATE THEM?


If you were in his shoes, why would you behave that way? 

Why would you say those things?

Therein, I think, is your answer.


Now, let me tell you one more thing: if I got a letter from a guy who said "Bro Jo, I've been dating the same girl for two months, she's great! We spend all kinds of time together, and I love being around her, but she refuses to kiss me until we 'get to know' each other better" . . . I'd tell him to Move On.

Not that kissing isn't important . . . but it's not unimportant, either. 

It's not just commitment or sex. Yes, it can be those things, but it’s also a sign of affection and love and appreciation.

Given the other side of the story, I'd think "wow, man; she's kind of using you a bit; I'd never propose to, let alone marry, or even be exclusive with, someone I'd never kissed".


I'd tell him to not force himself on you, and to certainly not pressure you into anything you're not ready to do, but at some point he's got to be wondering "Is this what I want for Time and All Eternity? Am I just her escape from being in her 20s and unmarried, or does she really find me attractive? Do I want a marriage devoid of passion? Devoid of spark?"


Does that make sense?

It concerns me that you describe him as "whipped".

A lot.

I'd tell any guy whose girl thinks she's got him whipped to get . . . the . . . heck . . . out of that relationship NOW and go find him a girl that loves and appreciates him more than herself.


Look, I think you should make him cookies or brownies or something, go deliver them in person, tell him the truth (that you love him!), kiss him - a Good Kiss (preferably on the porch, not alone in his house), and look in his eyes and ask him how he feels.


It's a bit of a risk, but if you don't take it I think you're going to be regretting sitting around and letting him go for a very long time.

If, and I mean IF, you can respect him . . . which I'm not sure you've been doing.

At least, I'll bet he's not sure he can see that from you. If you can't, if what you value most is that he'll do whatever you want, then do the guy a favor and let him go find someone that actually loves him. 

But, I'm telling you now, I think you'll be making a mistake.

Better to change your heart than to be alone.

- Bro Jo 




Dear Bro Jo,

I appreciate your honesty and advice.

I'm sorry if I came off controlling, and cold. That really is just not me... :( .... I wish I could actually talk to you in person, but I understand that you only have so much to work with.

I know kissing isn't wrong...

And I never really unappreciated him.

I wrote him letters too, brought him lunches, held hands, cuddled...

But if you think there is more I can do then okay.

You're right, I do come off as selfish, and I do have some changes I need to make. I will take what you said into consideration and do my best to make it work .

Thanks again!

- Not




Dear Not, 

If all of that's true, and I believe you, then what do you think the problem is?

Maybe you should ask him.

- Bro Jo 

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