Wooff asks: There was this guy I liked intensely, but things didn’t work out because we were kids and we both made dumb decisions. Long story short, I kept regretting not talking to him and it’s already been 4 years. And I still like him, kind of. So I heard from a friend that he’s leaving the country, so I decided to just do it. Knock him and tell him that I’m sorry for everything. Sorry for acting like it was one-sided and to let him know that the feelings were always genuine. He told me that it’s okay and we’re on friendly terms. He also told me that it’s funny how, even if the feelings are just apologetic, they’re the same after so many years. But with all that being said, he plans to leave the country and so do I. So getting involved would be dumb, right? It was so fun talking to him, but he gets on very late because of school and I sleep early so it doesn’t really work. I kind of got annoyed when he knocked me late at night and I was sleepy, so I said I’m going to sleep and went off. It was mean but I was hurt, kind of. I understand but also it’s hard. So anywho, he got on for the rest of the week and didn’t knock, I think he was expecting me to. I didn’t, and the patterns keep repeating. It’s pathetic. And now he doesn’t get on at all. My question to you: what do you make of all this, and would it be dumb to get involved? Meanwhile, I was talking to this guy before I talked to the 1st guy, let’s call him Sam. And we were friends but we kind of hit it off and I like this guy but he has a bad reputation. But his story is different, and I honestly don’t know what to believe. So I want to continue just talking and being friends. There’s no point in hurting myself for no reason at all. Right? He’s known as a player but he’s also very quiet so I’m just confused. He’s super-shy so I don’t understand how that works, but also he wooed me in via chat so who knows? What do you suppose I do?
Hi Wooff –
My dear, I’m going to give you an answer that isn’t exactly what you asked, but I think it’s the truth.
I have this friend named Aria. She’s a very nervous dog, nowhere near as friendly and enthusiastic as I am. She came from a bad background, and never even learned to play when she was a puppy. So when her human gave her some toys, she didn’t know how to chase them or pull on them, or rip their insides out, the way I like to do! But instead, over time, she sort of adopted one. It’s a little lamb toy, and she likes to just carry it with her when she goes inside or outside. She then doesn’t do anything with it, just lies by it.
Why? Because it makes her feel comfortable. She feels less alone, naked, vulnerable.
And I find that humans, especially when they’re about to move away from home for the first time, often do the same sort of thing. They’ll suddenly care about childhood toys in a way they hadn’t for years. Or they’ll suddenly decide they’re great friends with people at school they never really cared about before.
None of these are bad things, of course. It’s just that I’d tell them to, instead, focus on what really matters. Spending time with those family and friends who have meant a lot to them. In order to ensure that those relationships continue after everyone’s moved away.
But one other thing I’ll see people do is to get romantically involved with someone at home. Right before they’re about to leave and meet hundreds of new people – people who will then be near them and available for hanging out and doing fun stuff with.
Why? Because, just like Aria and the lamb, they think they’ll feel more comfortable, less vulnerable and alone, when they’re in that new setting.
And here’s my harsh statement, Wooff – it doesn’t work. The people still feel nervous and alone, even if they have a boyfriend or girlfriend somewhere else. And then, over time, they get more comfortable with those new people, and almost always (not absolutely always – but almost always) they end up breaking up with that person from home. Because moving away has changed them each.
So my advice is to make sure both these boys, who sound fantastic, are well-connected with you. Be ready to have them at hand whenever any of you need someone from home to talk with or write. Make sure you can really count on each other.
And then get on that plane.
And maybe, a few years from now, you’ll end up moving to the same town as one of them and falling madly in love and marrying and having seventeen kids!
But that’ll be then. After a lot of changes and growing up and magical and awful and exciting experiences.
Now to be honest, if you do end up getting involved with one of these guys, it’s not the end of the world either. But I’m saying I think you’d both be doing it out of some fear. And I’d so much rather you moved on to relationships based on excitement, attraction, and mutual interests… and physical presence!
Lots of love,