Ask Wendy

What Happened in My Relationship? Was it Him or Me?

Friday, March 9, 2018
sad woman with hands on her face
Hey Wendy,

A little over two months ago, a guy I went to high school with reached out to me on social media. We had always had a thing for each other, but we never acted on it up until now. We exchanged numbers and started texting, FaceTiming and Snapchatting constantly.

We lived in different states at the time, so it was difficult to see each other in person, but I did go see him a couple of times and would spend a few days with him each time. Every time we were together it was great, we had a lot of fun, and he made me feel special. He told me that he was serious about me, that he could see a future with me.

We did talk about the long-distance thing hindering the relationship, and so about a month and a half later I moved two hours away.

I had an extended stay with him recently. After a few days, I started to notice a change in him: he was distant and less affectionate. When I asked him about it, he said everything was fine and within a few days things seemed to be back to normal.

When I returned home, he seemed distant. I texted him and only got brief responses. I tried to FaceTime and got no answer. Finally, I texted and asked him if he was going to tell me what was wrong. No response. He ghosted me.

Meanwhile, he was still the first to look at my social media. I asked him to be an adult and tell me what happened. His response was, "I just have a bad feeling. It's not going to work." I asked him to explain and he just said, "It's just not going to work." That day he deleted me from Snapchat. What does that mean??? Was it me, was it him? Please help!! :/

Jessie T, Kansas City, MO

Hey Jessie,

Oh my God, I’m so sorry, you uprooted your life to get dumped! And if you’re still standing over there in shock wondering what the hell happened, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but yeah, that’s what just happened here.

You know, people always get so flustered with me when they hear me say “long-distance isn’t real,” but I stand by my belief. Are there times that a long-distance connection can turn into a real and lasting relationship? Of course! But there’s a whole lot of real that has to happen in between to get to that happily ever after.

You two had been crushing on each other for a long time, and that part is delicious. But chemistry has nothing to do with compatibility, and that’s what you need to discover in the dating process. Maybe we shouldn’t call it the “dating process” but instead the “discovery process.” And you two skipped that part. You need that time to hang out with each other to really see, evaluate and learn about each other. You need that time to haul out annoying habits, show your temper, and to also find your own inner answer to “can I do life with this person?”

Please stop asking the question “Why.” The answer won’t serve you. A woman will often ask the question “Why” because we think we could change to be the right person for him. Have you noticed guys don’t really ask “why” as much as we do? It’s because they aren’t inspired to change who they are. Instead, they think, “Oh, she doesn’t accept me for who I am. Okay. Huh, maybe I’ll go find someone who will, then.” I recommend you be like a guy here.

One of two things happened with your ex-boyfriend. 1) He doesn’t want to try to change you, and he saw something (or more than one thing) that is fundamentally not a match for partnership with him. Or 2) He’s the type of guy that when it gets too real, he bounces. I’m not sure which of these two scenarios is his particular situation, and it could be a combo of both, but either way, he’s not your guy. (I know this because your guy can totally handle all of who you are without disappearing.)

You didn’t do anything wrong here. You two crazy kids gave it a run, tested it out, and at the end of the day, you weren’t a good long-term fit.

I’m sorry he didn’t end it with more honor and dignity. I wish he’d been mature enough to take you out to dinner and tell you, “I think we made a mistake, moving you here so fast. We’re not a good match for each other. But I think you’re an awesome person, and I wish you good luck in your life.”

He does care about you and thinks you’re an awesome person; it’s why he kept looking at your Instagram after he disconnected from you. He just didn’t have the maturity for this, or the will to potentially argue a case that to him was already closed.

And for all the readers, please let this be a glaring example of why long-distance isn’t real. Three-day weekends don’t give you the information you need about a person to uproot your life. If you are contemplating turning something long-distance into a real relationship, you’ll have a better shot at it if you are both taking two-week increments at an Airbnb property nearby the other person’s house. You need real face time together over an extended period of time to see what you need to see. I had a platonic, long-distance friend for several years. We talked almost every day by phone. We spent three-day weekends together a lot, but it wasn’t until we went to Europe for 15 days that we saw each other. And the outcome of that caused us to break up as friends. You just can’t see the whole package over Snapchat or FaceTime.

Jessie, back to you. So. You live in a new town. Now you get to decide what you’re going to do with this experience. Are you going to get crushed by this and have this be your victim story? Or are you going to shake it off and decide that while it didn’t turn out, this relationship was the catalyst that springboarded you into your cool new life that took you in an unintended but spectacular direction? Only you get to decide.

Take care.

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