Pennelope0214 asks: I’ve been dating a guy, but few days back I got to know about a senior who talks to him and doesn’t like me. So we were on a walk when she called him and as usual asked me if he was with me, to which he lied in front of me that he wasn’t with me. The next day I told him that if he has to lie to be with me then he shouldn’t be with me, and he cleared out by saying that she doesn’t like me and that he cannot tell her that he is with me because it may hurt her. He also said that he thinks that senior girl likes him but he has no feelings for her and if she confronts him he’ll directly say no and that I am his best friend, he expects me to understand this. When I insisted he said we are not in a relationship and that I can leave him if this is the case. I told him that he is hurting me and protecting others, to which he held my hand and said that he likes me and has feelings for me but he won’t say anything to that senior because according to him they are not that close. I told him that I get attached too easily and would like to protect myself this time. In the end I also said that I won’t talk about this topic ever again, I’ve said enough now it’s upon you to decide. I learned later on that he gifts her many things even if there is no occasion and that she made his projects. I don’t know what to do. What if he likes that senior and is lying to me about “us” but wants to be in a physical touch with me too? Should I stop being more than friends with him or should I let this thing go?
Hi Penelope0214 –
You are absolutely correct to question whether he is telling you the truth about this girl. After all, we know that he has lied to her about you.
And if so, yes, there are many possibilities of what he might feel or think or be doing.
But we have no way of knowing those yet. Instead, I just want to talk about the person he says he is.
Which seems to be a very nice guy – but maybe not what you need to get closer to right now.
Notice that I used the word “nice guy.” I am a very sweet and loving dog, but I also bark, growl, and even bite (I haven’t bitten a person on purpose since I was a puppy, but if someone was hurting my Handsome, OH would they suffer!). And I’m a hellacious fighter – whether for fun or for serious. So while people might say “nice doggie” to me, I’m not really nice in the way some people mean.
You see, “nice” often means a person who avoids conflict, who tries to please everyone, who doesn’t put their own feelings out there. And in many ways a person like that can be pretty great to be around. But in the end, you can’t fully depend on them as much as you might want to.
My human Handsome has had this problem a lot in his life. He’s gotten better over time (he credits me as his role-model!), but he’s had lots of experiences where he let friends – and people who weren’t really friends – take advantage of him, in ways he grew to resent. And the simple fact is that, when he was this way, he wasn’t someone anyone could fully count on.
Now this guy is saying to you that he isn’t in love with this other girl, and he really cares for you, but because she doesn’t like you he doesn’t tell her about you. I’m willing to believe him. But if that’s true, then he’s not really “manning up” for you, is he? He’s not being a full adult, owning his feelings and loyalties. In other words, he’s… a boy.
A nice boy. A very very nice boy who’s gotten you through some awful, horrendous times we’ve discussed other times. So I’m not going to hold this against him at all.
But… a boy.
Pennelope0214, you have a very understandable desire, a deep longing, to latch onto someone, to depend on someone. And you deserve just that. But I’m asking you to do the exact opposite with him. I’m saying to keep him in your life, because he does care about you and has been wonderful to you. But to also keep him at a little distance – because you’ve been hurt enough, and I really don’t want to see you hurt again (though in a far more acceptable way!).
I may have told you this story before – sorry if so – but when I was a puppy, I thought Handsome was perfect and could never make a mistake. And one day he put me into the back seat of his car, to take me to a park, so I was all excited, and then he slammed the back door… RIGHT ONTO MY TAIL! OWWWW it hurt! I screamed out, and he, in shock, threw the door open, grabbed me, checked my tail closely to see if he’d actually broken anything, and kissed me about a hundred times, saying over and over “Oh I’m so sorry! I’m sooooo sorry!”
The door really did hurt, but the bigger experience for me was the shock. I didn’t think he purposely meant to hurt me – I was just shocked that he’d made a mistake! He loved me, he took care of me, he disciplined me, he fed me… but he also shut the door on my tail! He Was Capable Of Screwing Up!
Since that day, anytime he invites me into the car, I’m thrilled. I jump in, excited, and instantly turn around, to make very sure that tail is inside and nowhere near that door! He sees it and knows why, and is actually happy – he sees I’m taking care of myself, and protecting him from making such an awful mistake again.
Pennelope0214, that’s what I wish for you to do with this guy. To accept his friendship and kindness, but at the same time, to protect the most vulnerable parts of yourself. Not because he’s mean, but because he just isn’t at a place in his life where he can dependably care for them.
And my friend, he will grow – and maybe someday he will be able to own his feelings for you in a way where he can be trusted with your heart. And if not, you’ll find other wonderful people in your life who will.
But right now, I want you to set some boundaries. Only you can know what they are – but boundaries to keep you feeling in control of yourself. Because your security is what you and I – and he – most want.
Lots of Love,