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Collegedorkfilter: He's acting like he's in love with me, and I feel the same, but he seems to have another girl.
March 20, 2010 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Collegedorkfilter: He's acting like he's in love with me, and I feel the same, but he seems to have another girl. What do I do? Nerdy ass literary references, awkward silences, and lots of hot-wild cuddling action ensue!

Long time listener, first time caller. I am in the midst of a college Romantic Situation and would like some advice.

Me: 21 years old, aspirant writer/new media geek, has done a lot of solo international travel, very independent, outgoing, eccentric, very into all manner of geeky-ass literary and history subjects. I was a loser of the profoundest variety in highschool and really thrived in college, albeit with a bunch of mental issues related to being a type A grades whore. Am finally sane and relaxed for the first time in a long while during my last semester of college. Am finally at a point where I might be able to be with someone. Sexually: have slept with a (small) number of guys in foreign countries, haven't been with the same person in four years, or had a boyfriend in that space.

This may or may not be relevant, but I am generally considered very physically attractive. Tiny, blonde, daily gym habit, outgoing and friendly, male conversation ends when I walk into the room, asked to do modeling stuff before (have decline), am usually pursued by two or three guys at any given time, you get the idea. This is all very weird to me as I was Queen of the Dorks in high school, but I suppose I should put it out there. I'm pretty insecure about my appearance and attractiveness to men but try to hide it since, well, no one wants to hear that.

Him: Year and a half younger then me. Super smart, very literary minded, a bit arrogant, has a sweet, giving side that appeals to me a lot, very witty and dry-humored, very physically attractive to me. Really gets me - we can talk and read together until five AM without noticing the time has passed, we love to ride our bikes together, cook together, et all. Young, arrogant (especially about his writing) and needs to do a lot of growing up....very socially awkward (and not entirely aware of this), not interested in many social niceties. We bicker with each other constantly in that highly enjoyable flirtatious way. He likes strong, confident women, and has noted (approvingly) that I'm "the only woman who can push me around." Which seems to be true. He seems to admire me a lot: he raves about my writing, talks about my travel adventures, stuff like that.

Situation: We met early in the semester, noted the other was attractive, and did nothing about it: I thought he was still wrapped up in his ex (a very good friend of mine, but this actually is not awkward), he was attempting to pursue another girl. We get to know each other a little better, and I decide to do nothing as I figure he's into another girl and I don't wish to complicate matters. In December, we finally sleep together after hanging out at a party - I have to initiate the kiss but he reciprocates big-time. We end up hanging at his house until late afternoon, cooking, having sex, and talking.

Winter break comes. We text a bit. I come back and decide to make a move on him: his ex/my friend indicates he had a good time with me, she thinks we'd be good for each other, he's fairly passive and she says I need to do something - and he's been flirting with me a lot. I come onto him and kiss him. He returns the kiss, pauses for six minutes, finally mumbles, "Um, so there's this other girl." Apparantly he had "deflowered" the other girl the night before. AWKWARD.

I gave him a measured but clear lecture on how he'd led me on a bit, and how I wasn't sure I could be his friend, et all. For the next few weeks, I do my best to cold shoulder him and ignore him.

Then he comes on back. He invites himself to my parties, he finds me on campus, he won't let me cut him out of his life. I begin to relax despite my better judgment. We end up hanging out together. We end up hanging out together one on one. We discover we have a ton in common and have a great time together. The other girl is never, ever mentioned or discussed. I hear through the grapevine he finds her uninteresting and would like to date someone who's more of an equal. He apparently talks about how awesome I am a lot to other people. We hug a lot but are very self conscious about physically touching one another.


Two weekends ago, the other girl is going away for the weekend. We end up spending three days straight together - crashing at one another's houses, staying up all night reading, talking, and cooking. There's a lot of talk from him about how I'm his favorite person here, all the party he needs is me and him, I'm the smartest person he knows, how awesome I am, how he could forget "other girl's name" and just hang out with me. He writes a (good) poem about me. Our friends notice we spent all weekend together and begin making side comments. We finally end up cuddling together. She comes back on Sunday but he spends that evening cooking and snuggling up to me. Okay.

The relationship with the other girl is very strange looking. They never touch each other or talk to each other much, or talk about one another. She follows him around social gatherings, while he attempts to avoid her. He takes pains to ensure she and I aren't in the same room or ever interacting together- like I haven't noticed. He will lie by omission to me about "having" to go see her or talk to her.

When he talks to me, it's like she doesn't exist. She's very sweet, retiring, socially awkward, quiet, and innocent, and although I'm certain she knows what's going on between us, I doubt she'll ever do anything to call him out. She is not a member of our group of friends, and none of our (very tight) group know much about her. In the super rare event of the three of us being in the same room, he often follows me around or talks mostly to me, ignoring her. This is, needless to say, shitty behavior. (They ran into me at a coffee shop a week ago, we all sat together, they didn't talk or look at each other for two and a half hours while he talked to me normally. WEIRD.)

Many of our friends are perennially unsure if they are actually together. He's mentioned (to people not myself, of course) "not wanting to be tied to one woman before" and has mentioned how his semi-relationship with her is very casual. I feel terrible for her, but some of my mutual friends think she's being a pushover and needs to woman up and dump him. Hem.

Fast forward to now. We're basically best friends. Whenever we're alone together or making dinner together (which we do often) we have a great rapport. We have a habit now of sitting down on a couch and inching closer and closer together, eventually feverishly cuddling up to one another/falling asleep in one another's arms/stroking one another's hair. I have made no moves to kiss him as I am unsure of his relationship with the other girl, and generally don't know how he'd react. He hasn't either, but damn, do I ever think we both would like to. He keeps on inviting me to crash on his couch after our late-night one on on one study marathons and I keep on declining.

Our group of friends has been getting into some stuff he and I don't approve of (hard drugs, scary drama, don't need to go into detail) and we've been very much relying on one another for company and support in our literary and dorky pursuits. (We spend a LOT of time in the library). He's mentioned on a few occasions that I'm one of four people he cares about or finds interesting - the other girl's name is very obviously left off that list. He talks seriously about coming to find me overseas next year, how he'd like to buy the library and live in it with me, talks about all sorts of future plans with me, is planning to stay for the summer so he can hang out with me all the time. Around me, he acts very much like a guy who's in love with me: staring at me, sitting close to me, staring into my eyes, hanging on my every word, pillow-talk like banter, et all. We call each other "babe" and "darling" when we're alone.

What do I want? I'm not sure.

I'm leaving the country at the end of the summer. I am, unfortunately, a little bit in love with him and haven't felt this way about a man in a year and a half. I am one of those poor SOB's who is attracted to almost no one, and so finding another guy is an unlikely occurrence. Maybe I'd like a brief, passionate, and highly literary fling with this guy that would probably involve flinging volumes of Browning at one another, followed by enjoyable sex and lots of cooking. I would like to have sex with someone more then once, you know?

He's treating the other girl very badly, and as many of our friends have noticed, I'm the only one who can cut him down to size (which he totally needs). I would not want a serious relationship with him due to his crap behavior of late and because of my own impending departure, but on the other hand, I think we could have a pretty enjoyable (and intense) fling. He spends more time with me then the other girl, and is behaving rather like my no-sex involved boyfriend. Our friends have noticed we talk about one another and behave as if we are dating one another, and often note that they thought we'd inevitably end up together.

Do I ditch him? Do I hang out with him less, despite the fact that he's one of my dearest friends? Do I call him out and demand he make a choice? I am afraid to do this as the rejection last time really hurt, and well....I HATE drama. I am also afraid that if we DID get together, he'd REALLY fall in love with me and that would be all kinds of messy.

Is there any possibility this is all platonic, or am I nuts? Admittedly, 20 year old guys having platonic snuggling/cuddling relationships with attractive girls they've slept with before...uh. I haven't had someone to snuggle with in four years and I will admit that I am REALLY enjoying finally having that in my life.

I'm actually semi-content with things as they are, but this probably is not a healthy situation by any means, and it's not fair to the other girl either. So, hive mind: have at it and thank you very much in advance.
posted by cheberet to Human Relations (41 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do I call him out and demand he make a choice?

Yes. If nothing else you'd be doing his future girlfriends a favor, by teaching him that this sort of two-timing behavior is a Bad Thing.

Is there any possibility this is all platonic

No.
posted by ook at 11:21 AM on March 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you can write a solid 2 pages about it and not arrive at a resolution, it isn't worth your time. Look, the bottom line is that this guy thinks he's a player and he isn't even good at it. He's found a lonely hanger on (perhaps two at this point) and enjoys having some measure of power. He isn't worth your time. Hurry up and go abroad / get off campus and meet other men.

Our group of friends has been getting into some stuff he and I don't approve of (hard drugs, scary drama, don't need to go into detail) and we've been very much relying on one another for company and support in our literary and dorky pursuits.

You also would probably benefit from discarding the sort of trash that does hard drugs and scary drama and tries to drag others into it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 11:25 AM on March 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Too much drama. As long as you are enjoying ramping up the drama and the tension and the intensity, you aren't going to get any different results. As long as that's the result you want, more power to you.

But if that's not the result you want, you are going to have to take a different course of action. Your life, your choice.

As an example, right now you are choosing to have all-night study/cuddle fests with him. That's great, if you are enjoying it, but you will only get resolution to all that drama and tension by either kissing him or by moving on. Honestly, I think you are enjoying things as they are a lot (and why not? Things sound pretty good, in that collegy kind of snuggle way) and so I don't see any urgency to resolving anything. Enjoy the cuddling and the tension, perhaps have a torrid affair, and then you graduate and move overseas and you both have nice memories.
posted by Forktine at 11:27 AM on March 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why on earth you would want to be with someone who treats women so badly is beyond me. However, if you do, just point blank ask him what's up between him and the other girl. Ask him if he's in love with her and if he says no, or he's not sure, ask him why he's dating her. The answer should be interesting, at least.
posted by hazyjane at 11:30 AM on March 20, 2010 [20 favorites]


TL;DR for any who need it: cheberet is having a protracted flirtation with someone who may or may not be with someone else (who he "deflowered") and who tells mutual friends that he "doesn't want to be tied down."

cheberet, I think you know, deep-down, how unkosher this situation is. Do not assume the other girl knows about you. This guy is not honest with you--who he purports to respect--so he's very, very unlikely to be honest with her. I've been in her position before, and had friends assume I knew the whole story; it's terrible. And humiliating.

Do I ditch him? Do I hang out with him less, despite the fact that he's one of my dearest friends? Do I call him out and demand he make a choice? I am afraid to do this as the rejection last time really hurt, and well....I HATE drama. I am also afraid that if we DID get together, he'd REALLY fall in love with me and that would be all kinds of messy.

Your dearest friend wouldn't treat you in such a cagey way. You need to ask him, flat-out, if he's sleeping with the other girl. And if she knows about you. And no matter his answer, I'd take it with a grain of salt.

What it boils down to is that you deserve better--and could find it. All that stuff about other guys like this not existing is . . . well, really silly. I promise. I say this as someone who's been in grad school for English: artistic, egotistical boys are a dime a dozen (sorry, artistic egotistical boys). Particularly ones who will play off girls against one another. Wanting a fuck buddy is fine and dandy, but you pretty much need honesty for that, if for nothing else then for your sexual health (use condoms with this dude, please). Oh yeah, and you need to not be in love with your fuck buddy, too, because if you are, it's a fucked up, inequitable power dynamic, not a fuck buddyship.

I bet you ten dollars if you let things with this dude cool off, you'll find someone else to fuck and cuddle with by September. Hell, you're going abroad: let's make that twenty.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:30 AM on March 20, 2010 [21 favorites]


When he talks to me, it's like she doesn't exist. She's very sweet, retiring, socially awkward, quiet, and innocent, and although I'm certain she knows what's going on between us, I doubt she'll ever do anything to call him out. She is not a member of our group of friends, and none of our (very tight) group know much about her. In the super rare event of the three of us being in the same room, he often follows me around or talks mostly to me, ignoring her.

ditch the fuck.
posted by past at 11:35 AM on March 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Why on earth you would want to be with someone who treats women so badly is beyond me. Agreed.

I might add that you both seem to enjoy the drama of his having a second girlfriend and broadcasting the details of your relationship far and wide. That he's stringing another girl along suggests you've not "cut him down to size." He sounds like an asshole from your description. Even guys who self-identify as dorks or as more intelligent than their peers can be assholes.

Enjoy his company if you must, but you're setting yourself up for hurt sooner or later.
posted by vincele at 11:43 AM on March 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am afraid to do this as the rejection last time really hurt, and well....I HATE drama. I am also afraid that if we DID get together, he'd REALLY fall in love with me and that would be all kinds of messy.

It really seems like you do enjoy drama, so perhaps you ought to consider continuing to be involved with him in this ambiguous but titillating way. Seriously, perhaps you are someone who enjoys and thrives on being half-involved with someone ... a real romantic relationship might seem hopelessly boring and staid to you.

Sometimes I think these ostensible requests for advice on AskMe are really just people reaching out and saying, "I would enjoy everyone on Metafilter discussing my titillating romantic situation, because I really enjoy thinking and talking about it."
posted by jayder at 11:53 AM on March 20, 2010 [20 favorites]


Yes, you ditch him. It sounds like you are pseudodating the Fedora guy
posted by pseudonick at 11:57 AM on March 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure why you're asking us if you should pursue this despite him seeing another girl. You apparently have already spend a bunch of time publicly humiliating her in her face, so it's not the principle of not wanting to hurt her. I'm puzzled by this question.

It sounds like you really relish the situation, and I don't think having sex with him would be morally any worse, so I don't see any reason not to go for it. However, people who flatter you about how different you are while treating others like shit, usually end up finding someone fresher and newer and treating you like shit in the end.
posted by Ashley801 at 12:00 PM on March 20, 2010 [18 favorites]


My colege really is a pressure pot ain't it!
Right some questions for you:

Have you asked him out? What do you want that you aren't currently getting?
Sex, exclutivity, living together?

Oh and they'll be other guys for you if this doesn't work out.
posted by 92_elements at 12:06 PM on March 20, 2010


You should find another guy, preferably one that has something he admires but is lacking (great muscular body, great hair etc) and date that guy, but drag him around show him off to try stir up some jealousy. Then you fake being pregnant and refuse to say who it is. Also spread rumors that the poor innocent other girl is pregnant. Now have a breakdown because your mother is sick or your dog died, fake having a miscarriage, but first get into a slight physical altercation with your crush. Say you're going on meds and can't drink anymore, but then go out drinking. Write an email to the girl he is dating describing all the sexy thing you ever did with him and everything he said about her. You get the idea, go go drama llama!

You could just toss the pathetic jerk who treats women badly out your life, hang out with nicer guys and focus on your education. But you probably won't.
posted by meepmeow at 12:08 PM on March 20, 2010 [21 favorites]


I HATE drama

If you did, you wouldn't be withing a mile of this dude. You're being the other woman, creating a situation where all your friends gossip about you, and probably hurting this other girl in the process. Sure, you can be with this guy if you want, if you want to set your worth that low. The sex might be good, I guess. Basically the situation is: he's kind of an asshole. You, by being involved in all this, will be kind of an asshole. If you're ok with that, on you go. You say that you being attracted to a guy is "rare," but it's happened before, right? A few times? And you're... 20? Your definition of rare might need recalibrating, so you can realize that you can hold out for the ones that are attractive both physically AND ethically.
posted by MsMolly at 12:09 PM on March 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


If he wanted to be with you, you guys would be together, the other girl wouldn't even be in the picture. But he doesn't want to be with you. He wants to string you along. Sure, he likes your company otherwise he would be avoiding you just like he's avoiding the other girl. But he doesn't like you enough to try to be with you or to break things off with the other girl, he just wants to hang on to you in case he ever decides he needs to get laid/needs cuddling/whatever you guys are doing. He doesn't want to be tied down to one woman. Listen to him! It means he does not want to be tied down to you. When he finds someone he DOES want to be tied down to, he'll get tied down. I suggest you get yourself out of this situation before that happens, because then you would be really hurt. If he wanted to be with you, he'd make it happen. It's been months and it hasn't happened, so you should move on.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 12:17 PM on March 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Good Christ. Busy yourself for a while doing gym things and bookish things, get on a plane, have a wild oversees adventure, and when you come back this will all seem like a terrible episode of Glee.
posted by oflinkey at 12:32 PM on March 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


The thing you seem not to fully realize is that this guy likes things exactly as they are. He has arranged things this way on purpose. If he wanted to be with you, he wouldn't be dating this other girl. This means that he likes dating women he doesn't respect. Maybe he wants to feel like the more desirable, in-control one in the relationship. Maybe he just likes being quasi-involved with several people at once. But he is definitely getting things he wants from the current arrangement, including his relationship with the other girl.

Also, you have no idea what he tells his girlfriend when they're alone. My guess would be he says he loves her and wants to be with her and couldn't stand losing her, and you're just his good friend who he has no sexual interest in. In other words, I'd guess he's lying to her, and she's insecure enough or crazy enough about him to go along with it. I get the feeling you're trying to blame her for sticking around even though he's an asshole to her, but that isn't really fair.

The good news is you don't want to be in a relationship with him, because that would probably not go well. I knew a guy who seems similar, and he wasn't able to have a healthy relationship until he was thirty. If you want things to change (i.e. to have sex with him), you have to make him choose between you and his girlfriend. Maybe he would choose you. If not, you'd at least have a clear answer and stop wasting cuddles and affection on someone who's just stringing you along. That's totally your call - all this will be over in a few months anyway when you leave school.

And no, there is absolutely no way in which your situation is platonic. And no, it isn't fair to the other girl. You aren't the one mainly being an asshole to her. But what you are doing is letting this guy get away with disrespecting the women in his life, which is perhaps not the ideal lesson to be teaching him. But at this point it's not like his relationship with his girlfriend is going to be that much more or less fucked up if you maintain the status quo a while longer. So I say do whatever meets your needs and makes you happy - but do it while being aware of what's really going on.
posted by unsub at 12:40 PM on March 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


> I'm the only one who can cut him down to size (which he totally needs).

Well... no.

For better and for worse-- mainly for better-- there are tons and tons of people out there, even tons and tons of young pretty people. Remember that the only one really means the only one I've met so far -- just because there are many, many people neither of you have met... yet.

Also, it's entirely possible he's keeping this other girl around... entirely because she doesn't cut him down to size. Maybe you're the temporary shiny object. But these points matter much less than the larger picture:

You're 20, and you're engaged in something intense/exciting/confusing/frustrating/etc.

Feel free to continue this arrangement, until you come across something even more intense/exciting/confusing/frustrating.

And you will.

Either some new arrangement will catch your eye, or some aspect of the present situation will become less stimulating.

So don't worry about it.

This process will repeat, and repeat, and repeat, until you reach an age where such situations no longer involve you, at which point you can post somewhat censorious advice about the naturally rather chaotic love-lives of 20 year-olds.
posted by darth_tedious at 12:43 PM on March 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Do I ditch him? Do I hang out with him less, despite the fact that he's one of my dearest friends? Do I call him out and demand he make a choice? I am afraid to do this as the rejection last time really hurt, and well....I HATE drama.

Here's the thing: If you and him were to have a hot and heavy fling, could you ever really be sure that he wasn't still screwing that girl on the side? And I don't mean some hypothetical "him" or hypothetical "you", I mean that the actual guy you described seems like he might be able to have a hot and heavy fling with you, and at the same time continue to have whatever sexual relationship he's been having with this other girl. And it doesn't seem like you'd be cool with that.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:01 PM on March 20, 2010


It is time to rhyme! Respect yourself before you wreck yourself, woman!

He builds you up and compliments you and talks about future fantasies and all this bullshit when you clearly understand that all he wants to do is to fuck you. You're not a real person to him, and neither is this other girl, you're just on the opposite side of the coin. Meek, quiet, hopelessly attached girl who will submit to him socially and sexually? Or fiery stubborn girl with seemingly worldly experience and a strong bent towards self deprecation in spite of her high opinion of herself? Either way he's using both of you, and he's not treating either of you with the respect that you both, as human beings, deserve. You're young so it's going to happen, but I don't care how many people on AskMe say, it's not excusable. One of you needs to take initiative to extricate yourselves from the situation. It's not about whether or not you care for drama. It's about spreading around your crap, or cleaning it up. Cuddling is nice and all, but every time you do it you're sending him signals that say one thing when you intend another. Just like he shouldn't be allowed to use you, or manipulate you, you're fooling with him right back and it's clearly plaguing you. Value yourself, your life, your time, and your identity as a woman and DTMFA.
posted by Mizu at 1:35 PM on March 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks so much for the reality checks, guys.

I agree that I am 21 years old and a total tard, and also am (attempting) to metabolize the fact that there are Plenty of Other Guys out there. I'm so vastly under-experienced in the relationship realm that figuring all this out has certainly been very interesting to me.

I suppose I say I don't enjoy drama, but perhaps you're right...I am kind of getting off on this. Which is disturbing and needs to end. And yes, blaming the other girl for anything is wrong wrong wrong. I will argue that I've tried not to humiliate her to her face...I try to remove myself from situations where she's around as quickly as possible...but I'm still being an ass and that's not okay.

"I would enjoy everyone on Metafilter discussing my titillating romantic situation, because I really enjoy thinking and talking about it" may be right on, as I haven't had anything relationshippy at all in years and am (yes) entertained by the whole thing.

I do like things as they are. Do you think I am being wildly unfair to the other girl by continuing along this path? I do feel like an ass for dragging her into this.

I have tried the Getting Off Campus thing but it hasn't worked out for me. That's another issue I need to resolve. I did go on a date with a nice guy a few months ago but wasn't really feeling it. (Metafi has had some good advice on that conundrum as well).


I would, I think, be perfectly okay with an open relationship type thing...even prefer it. But he's enough of a douche that I'm not sure I'd even want to use the "r" word here.

Am attempting to ditch the aforementioned trash doing drugs and scary drama but this guy has been the person that's allowed me to do that without totally cutting myself off from everyone. However, he ain't doing me any favors either.

Thanks for providing censorious advice about my 20 year old chaotic love life. It is needed if I am to become an actual good person by the time I hit 30. Optimisic.
posted by cheberet at 1:35 PM on March 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


> The other girl is never, ever mentioned or discussed.

Um, why not? You guys supposedly have this great friendship, yet you have terrible communication. The reason he doesn't talk to you about her is - he's managing you. The reason you don't talk to him about her is - you don't actually want to know.

> He takes pains to ensure she and I aren't in the same room or ever interacting together- like I haven't noticed. He will lie by omission to me about "having" to go see her or talk to her.

He's managing both of you. Do you like it?

> He's mentioned on a few occasions that I'm one of four people he cares about or finds interesting - the other girl's name is very obviously left off that list.

You assume. He's managing you. Ever considered what he says to her? Bet he has a list of four people for her and you aren't on it.

He's being gross, and creepy, and disrespectful to both you and her.

My qualifications for these statements are that I dated a two-timing guy in my 20s. I was the girlfriend, rather than one of the other women, but I recognize the patterns of behavior. Mostly, he says as little as possible about concrete things that would let either you or her really know where you stand, and instead makes lots of vague proclamations, that let your ego fill in all the good stuff about how important you are to him.

He's gross. You're better than this.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:44 PM on March 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


Squeak Attack, I was the Other Girl. We should totally team up and go on a revenge spree. Or, we can just give advice on AskMe, you know, whichever way you want to go.

Cheberet, your followup tells me that what you really want is to live a romantic life. That's okay, and I promise, cross my heart and hope my router goes on the fritz, that there are plenty of people out there to sweep you off your feet and throw literary quotes around who won't make you feel like a bad person. You just have to go looking for them.
posted by Mizu at 1:49 PM on March 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do these guys have a fucking script or something? Here's what I wish someone had told me when I was way, way too old to be learning this lesson:

Oh, love you are going to feel like such an asshole when you come back to earth. Be better than this - or when he replaces her with you, and insists - INSISTS - that you're crazy and that he and the next new girl are just friends?

That's gonna suck so hard.
posted by Space Kitty at 2:02 PM on March 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think they do have a script, honestly. He's enough of a dork that his attempt at being a nihilist poet-playah thing is blatantly obvious, which is actually pretty lucky for me. (he also likes to make comments about being A Gentleman, though I do smack him down derisively whenever he says that, so, yeah).

A Romantic Life is exactly what I'm after, I believe. I just need to get over my cynicism about relationships in general. There was some serious trauma about getting rejected in the worst possible way in my past that I won't burden this question with, but I am happy asking the hive mind has convinced me to get rid of this guy, or at least see things for what they really are. (IE, totally fucked up.)
posted by cheberet at 2:10 PM on March 20, 2010


I do like things as they are. Do you think I am being wildly unfair to the other girl by continuing along this path? I do feel like an ass for dragging her into this.

Uh, yes! Of course! You sound too smart to be so coy about this. Yes, you're being an ass too.

Do yourself a favor: read Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride. You're totally setting yourself up to be a Zenia (you'll understand this after you read it). Being an attention-black-hole is fine if you never want any of your female friends to trust you, and you don't mind being that girl at parties who totally makes other women around her feel shitty and bad about themselves. But it's a terrible, terrible way to live. And unethical. Sorry for the tough love, but, seriously, ew.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:45 PM on March 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


Oh, GOD, The Robber Bride. Read that last year. Ewww. You're right.
posted by cheberet at 2:48 PM on March 20, 2010


Imagine what its gonna be like when your his girlfriend and he's intensely cuddling with "just a friend."

This guy is an emotional abuser. Flat out.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:19 PM on March 20, 2010


Am finally sane and relaxed for the first time in a long while during my last semester of college. Am finally at a point where I might be able to be with someone.

No, you are not. If you were, you wouldn't be chasing after someone unavailable.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:27 PM on March 20, 2010


Probably true vis a vis chasing after someone unavailable. This is all part of a yearlong process of Cheberet Learns How To be a Human Being and Not a Grades Seeking Robot. Harder then I anticipated.
posted by cheberet at 3:44 PM on March 20, 2010


he also likes to make comments about being A Gentleman, though I do smack him down derisively whenever he says that, so, yeah.

That "smack down" -- which never seems to be enough of a smack down to actually, you know, cause any discomfort or change -- is part of the script, too. You are playing right along, and getting a lot of attention and emotional charge out of it.

Dude, chill way, way out. You are so Ironic and Aware and Distanced that it is downright painful to self and others. You need to have some actual fun (not pretend fun with the pretend boyfriend), ideally something outside of your comfort zone and out of your current environment. Like, since it sounds like you are super intellectual and literary, go whitewater rafting or hike the Appalachian Trail or something super physical like that. (And don't invite the douchebag guy along, no matter how much he begs).
posted by Forktine at 4:05 PM on March 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think my college crush object must have traveled forward in time and found you, cheberet. Yes, he was so amazing I felt he was made just for me, yes, I though he and I were going to set the world on fucking fire together, yes, he had another girl but I was the one he truly cared about, and god he was so, so gorgeous.

But he and I were also such, such vapid assholes.

Being an attention-black-hole is fine if you never want any of your female friends to trust you, and you don't mind being that girl at parties who totally makes other women around her feel shitty and bad about themselves. But it's a terrible, terrible way to live. And unethical. Sorry for the tough love, but, seriously, ew.

Dude, chill way, way out. You are so Ironic and Aware and Distanced that it is downright painful to self and others
.

I would second these 10 times if I could.

Take some time out from thinking about your situation (and this counts constantly responding to all our comments and getting off on them, which you already know you're doing and yet can't seem to stop--I swear I would have been doing the same thing if I had even heard of this magical place where I could get people talking about me and Dream Boy way back then), because there are people out there with real drama in their lives. When you have lunch and dinner with your friends other than Dream Boy, does the topic of the conversation always somehow seem to end up being about you and him and her and UGH and drama and you you you?

Just stop. Stop drama-ing to everyone about it. If you keep a journal, stop writing about him in it. Try to solve some unresolved AskMes, or go volunteer, or cook something hard on your own and try to master it--better yet, join a new group at your school where you can make friends who don't give a shit about Dream Boy and who aren't doing hard drugs.
posted by sallybrown at 4:27 PM on March 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I just came here to say that I have also fallen for that stunt of being played against other women, hating them and myself for some boy's affection. Honestly, I think this is a pretty common experience. You are being manipulated against other women by a controlling man, which is a pity. Women make more powerful friends and allies than the men who try to control them can ever be. (At least, women who aren't currently being duped by a man into hating other women).
It was a turning point when I realized how superficial I was being, and what impossible sexist standards I was putting women up to.
posted by inkytea at 6:19 PM on March 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Cheberet Learns How To be a Human Being and Not a Grades Seeking Robot.

'Learning how to be a human being' should not begin by experimenting with being an asshole to other people. You don't have to be a baaaaad girl in order to prove anything.

And, I dunno, why not be a grades whore? There's nowhere more appropriate for this than at a college. FWIW: You are already a human being. Being a keen and able student is not a mark against your humanity.

Get the degree, actually learn something from your international forays instead of using it to project a fake mystique and intelligence, and to drum up reasons to feel superior to someone you are treating badly.
posted by honey-barbara at 9:02 PM on March 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


honey,

Nobody ever died saying they wished they spent more time at the office.

cheberet,

Look, there's nothing wrong with openness and hooking up and whatever, but if this other girl is getting her heart broken, that's sorta crappy. "Dude, figure out your shit with this girl, go get on the same page with her, I don't want her freaking out on me" is a totally reasonable thing to say.

You're in college, nothing should be taken too seriously, but sometimes people just have to *talk*. That coffee date, where the other girl was there but ignored? Little creepy.
posted by effugas at 3:38 AM on March 21, 2010


The kind of person who can do what he does is the kind of person who can do nearly anything to anyone, and wake up whistling, looking himself in the mirror with zero guilt whatsoever.

If thats the kind of person you want to be with, then by all means go ahead. Prepare to be confused and hurt while he uncaringly pursues the next you.

Guys like that have a "script" for a reason ... it works. You want to fall for a script, or a person?
posted by Admira at 5:17 AM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


A Romantic Life is exactly what I'm after, I believe. I just need to get over my cynicism about relationships in general. There was some serious trauma about getting rejected in the worst possible way in my past that I won't burden this question with,

It seems like you're using your semi-relationship with this guy as a forum for your love affair with yourself. Your pleasure in causing emotional upset and stirring up controversy is like a child exploring its power and efficacy in the world by breaking things. All of this stuff about how you've been a grades-seeking robot is a smokescreen ... someone can be a great student and at the same time be emotionally mature and responsible in her romantic relations. You sound very, very immature -- the main kick you seem to be getting out of this is the ego-rush of encroaching upon another girl's territory, not actually your connection with him.
posted by jayder at 11:56 AM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nobody ever died saying they wished they spent more time at the office.

College isn't the office. It's for four years, and it's for your own development. Not that you shouldn't seek a balance or that being a grade whore, speficially, is especially good.
posted by BibiRose at 6:35 PM on March 21, 2010


You are in college. You will never be in a bigger pool of available men/boys.

1. Your douchebag is not 'rare'
2. Mix it up, take that spare time and energy and do something new - join the ballroom dancing club or the outdoors club or the literary magazine at your school. You'll find lots of other guys to get interested in and one of the them might actually be a cool, interesting, decent human being
3. Even though you are only 21, your life is too short to waste on this guy
posted by zia at 2:24 AM on March 22, 2010


This: That "smack down" -- which never seems to be enough of a smack down to actually, you know, cause any discomfort or change -- is part of the script, too. You are playing right along, and getting a lot of attention and emotional charge out of it.

and this: When you have lunch and dinner with your friends other than Dream Boy, does the topic of the conversation always somehow seem to end up being about you and him and her and UGH and drama and you you you?

both get to the crux of it. You both love the drama. He's DEEP and TORMENTED and is TORN between the two of you blah blah blah but he's not one in a million, he's one in a dozen. You're flying high on the excitement of it, and when it ends, you get to be tormented and broken hearted. Repeat, repeat, repeat, because that's the only kind of relationship you will know how to have. Then in 5 years you can write to askme about why it is that you seem to date the same kind of guy over and over again.
Please stop. Stop being a character. Stop dating characters. Be a human being. Date human beings.
posted by 8dot3 at 11:17 AM on March 22, 2010


Alright, biting the bullet and doing the fade-out thing with Senor Douchebag. Results already look promising. Spring break approaches and distance can only help. Wish me luck.
posted by cheberet at 4:08 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


i know i'm a little late and it's doubly silly to post later when i'm only coming in to say something negative, but i suggest re-reading your post. you have an incredibly high opinion of yourself. that opinion is helping your make bad decisions, i'm guessing in more than one area of your life. humility will help. good luck.
posted by anthropomorphic at 3:44 PM on March 28, 2010


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