Can He Really Be a Good Guy Who Just Got Scared and Bolted, or I am I Right to Wonder About the Strength of His Character?

Can He Really Be a Good Guy Who Just Got Scared and Bolted

Dear Evan,

About 2 1/2 years ago I dated a man whom I thought was perfect for me. We clicked on all levels from the moment we met and I had never felt so comfortable with anyone as I did with him. It felt like we had known each other forever. He pursued me intensely and wanted to see only me. After a month of seeing each other he simply disappeared. I tried to contact him a couple of times but he didn’t return my calls. I was hurt but somehow not surprised since this had been a pattern in my life since my divorce. Reading your books and blog made me realize the mistakes I’d been making with men; namely falling into the pursuing role or coming off as desperate for a relationship.

As you know, people don’t change. Maybe someone will drop some weight if the doctor says it’s healthy, or someone will go to therapy when depressed, but, for the most part, we are who we are.

Two months later this man wrote to me and apologized. Since then he has contacted me repeatedly, asking for another chance. He says that walking out on me was a huge mistake and that he hasn’t been able to forget me. He insists that I didn’t do anything wrong but can’t really give me a straight answer as to why he disappeared, except that he was under an incredible amount of stress at work at the time and shut a lot of people out. A short time ago he asked me for another chance yet again, and I finally succumbed because I haven’t been able to forget him either. I saw him again and it was wonderful. I can tell he’s a lot more emotionally “there” than he was before. He’s saying and doing all the right things, but the past haunts me. Although he is great in many ways, I question his integrity. I would never do to someone what he did to me. Evan, can he really be a good guy who just got scared and bolted, or I am I right to wonder about the strength of his character?

Dee Anna

Dear Dee Anna,

You’re right to wonder about the strength of his character.

But that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t be wrong about him.

As you know, people don’t change. Maybe someone will drop some weight if the doctor says it’s healthy, or someone will go to therapy when depressed, but, for the most part, we are who we are.

We are not judged on our intentions or our heart, but our actions. Actions, we are told, speak louder than words.

I spent nearly TWENTY YEARS pining for a woman whom I put on a pedestal, only to find out that, in fact, she wasn’t as great as I thought she was. She’d come through half the time – kissing me in New York City, consoling me after my father’s death, intimating about moving to LA; the other half of the time, she’d shut me down, refuse to share her feelings, disappear for years on end. I always forgave her. Why? Because of my deep-seated, thoroughly irrational feeling that we were meant to be together. We had so much history! So much in common! So much chemistry! The fact that our communication styles never meshed seemed like an afterthought. Which is kind of silly, because if you can’t communicate, there IS no relationship, no matter how strong your feelings.

These are the same people who were cold, callous and clueless enough to disappear in the first place. Chances are, they regret that they lost you, NOT necessarily their behavior.

This past week, I’ve coached two clients through similar situations with exes who came back. Is it possible that the exes are sincere? Sure. People make mistakes. People want to atone. But let’s not forget: these are the same people who were cold, callous and clueless enough to disappear in the first place. Chances are, they regret that they lost you, NOT necessarily their behavior.

I mean really, who DOES that? What adult thinks a situation over and says: “Hmm, I could a) have an uncomfortable conversation letting her know that I’m under stress right now and not ready for a relationship…or b) I could disappear from the face of the earth, refuse to return her calls, and leave her wondering what she did wrong? I think I’ll choose B.”

For all I know, Dee Anna, he could be completely reformed. But if I were a betting man, I’d bet he’s no different than people who want to lose weight but lapse on their diets, want to stay clean, but go back to drugs, or want to stay monogamous, but can’t help but cheat. That very thing that allowed him to treat you that way the first time is still a part of him.

Only you can decide if you’re willing to take the risk that it resurfaces again.

Join our conversation (73 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Dee Anna, have you never gone through a period where you’re so busy in one aspect of your life that you drop the ball in another area? Is that why you don’t believe it could have happened to this guy?

    Evan’s mantra seems to be “believe what he does, not what he says.” Would you deserve a second chance if you dropped the ball on someone? You say this guy is saying and doing all the right things now. No one can guarantee that continuing. If that’s not good enough for you, then bail on him right now, because if he’s sincere it’ll just be harder on you both later.

    1. 1.1

      Well, seems like it’s a man thing to be so busy that you’d drop the ball in another area of your life. Really? How can someone stand there and even give such an excuse? Dismissing someone because you’re busy? I have only one thing to answer to these kind of crappy reasons/justifications/excuses: “Please, the day you learn I died in the meantime, don’t show up at my grave site to express your regrets or remorse.” Damn it, people! Life’s short, wake up! You aren’t always gonna get second chances so what about not screwing it up the first time? 

      1. 1.1.1

        I’m curious to know what happened in the end. Did you get back together? did history repeat itself? did he change?

  2. 2

    I’d tell him the truth: that even if he has changed, you were so negatively emotionally affected by what happened the first time that there’s no way you can continue to have contact with him.

    Then find someone who doesn’t shut you out. Then watch the episode of SATC where Samantha finally dumps Richard in Atlantic City (episode 1 or 2, season 5, I believe). He says, “but I love you,” and she says, “I love you too, Richard. But I love me more.”

    That’s how it should be.

  3. 3
    Relationship Advice From Penny

    So far everyone has been giving pretty good advice here… This is a tough one. I mean we all know there’s always a risk involved in getting into any relationship, but with this scenario, the risk is higher than usual.
    But all you have is your truth and to honor yourself. Think of yourself first. As Honey (post #2) said, speak your truth, tell him exactly how you feel about what happened. See how he responds. Then go from there…follow your instinct – your gut. Does your gut churn, or does it feel relaxed and settled?
    But whatever you do, think about you first. If you think you want to give it another chance for ‘you,’ so ‘you’ can find out for sure, so ‘you’ can learn and experience something – if that feels more right than to drop it altogether.. then, go for it. Jump in but with your eyes wide open this time! Be smart, courageous, have your purpose, stay focus to ‘your’ reason for doing this. It is your life, and you get to shape it, not fear it.
    This is not about him, this is about you, and how you choose to experience relationships, how you choose to grow and be better for you. So take your time to decide – there is no rush! He was the one who left, and now that he’s back, he has to play on your terms – so, take your time – he can wait. If he can’t, that’s just too bad for him! You have nothing to apologize for. You just get to see more of who he really is through this whole process. It’s about you, remember? While you take your time and feel things out, just keep in mind the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

  4. 4

    Personally, I would give the guy a second chance. If he does it again, he’s out! Of course we must take care of ourselves first, and if that type of behavior doesn’t mesh with the way you react to things you may be in for dealing with more of it, so ask yourself honestly if you can/want to have to deal with that. Love involves compromise. It shouldn’t involve putting up with crap. What is ‘crap’, however, can be a subjective thing.

    1. 4.1

      Let me tell you about giving a “second chance” . I am not a young kid. I am almost 59 yrs old, a Grandmother, a Mother of adults (who I do NOT enable) and a Medical Professional. I have been with the most WONDERFUL man on earth who gave me every line you could imagine except I AM A COMMITMENTPHOBE, which was the most important one of all. 10 1/2 years ago I thought this man dropped from Heaven into my life. Everyone was so jealous of how sickeningly happy we were.  He had an adult son from a first marriage and a “difficult” younger son from a second who he was raising. The engagement came, the wedding plans came….and they WENT (0ut the window at least twice). I bought everything he told me about getting this younger son to a “certain” point in life…..which always changed (16, 17, 18 etc) at 21 he bailed on me, causing yet another fight if I DARED tried to discuss where our relationship was headed.  Fast forward…..6 months after that on my doorstep….sobbing and with flowers! soul searched…blah blah blah, with you and “our grandson” is where I belong….blah blah blah. FInally after another 8 months of up and down, push and pull, avoidance of any “future” plans and the son now going on 22, we had an argument and I stated there was nothing left to talk about due to the SAME outcome over and over. Where did he head? Right into the arms of a younger woman….who knows where he met her. Long story short…people DON’T change.  Move on or get your heart smashed again. As my Mother always said..A Leopard doesn’t change it’s spots!

      1. 4.1.1

        Ugh feeling for you 🙁

  5. 5

    Been there, done that. Had a guy where everything was just clicking on every level, he was totally into me, and poofed about a month later. 8 months later he came back saying that he just freaked himself out with the intensity of his feelings, blah, blah, blah, and wanted to give us another shot. That lasted about a week and ended with the WORST DATE OF MY LIFE (where he pretty much ignored me the whole time).

    Another guy who I became totally infatuated with had broken things off, and then 6 months later wanted to renew things. I flirted with the idea as well, but before things even got fully started again he also fizzled out. He wanted everything exactly his way and wasn’t willing to compromise on the issues that had divided us. He was just hoping I’d totally cave and give him everything he wanted.

    Based on my experiences, going back to an old flame doesn’t work (unless it’s something like one of y’all moved cross-country and now you’re back in the same town). But how long have things been going swimmingly for y’all? If he’s been trying, and doing the best he can, and it’s been a while (months, not weeks) then I’d say give him the benefit of the doubt. If not though, I’d definitely be wary.

  6. 6

    I agree with Evan. Mr. Give Me Another Chance is basically a selfish person. When I don’t want to see someone again (especially if we’ve been intimate), I let them know. When they call me and leave messages, I put myself in their shoes and say to myself ‘how would I feel if he never returned my call?’. I live by the golden rule. This is a core value. Joe commented above about dropping the ball and being busy. Puh-leez. It is so easy to communicate these days. Those are just lame guy excuses. Some good guys I know tell me that men who “disappear” do it because they don’t want to completely cut off the chase of you having sex with them in future by telling you the truth now. They are just looking out for their best interests and don’t care about yours.

  7. 7

    I am actually going through this scenario right now. I met this woman, and we bacame really good friends. After 6 months, feelings grew between us and when i confronted her about it, she did admit that there was something there between us but she wasn’t ready to date at this time. She told me she was working on “her”. I totally respected that but we seem to keep getting closer when i thought things would cool down a bit.
    Well, here i am always available to her and i only hear from her when she wants something. She does lead me on a leash but ya know what? I know it’s my fault. Evan is right when he says actions speak louder than words. I also believe the mirroring approach works too. Only give a smuch as you recieve. So here it is my birthday today, and i’ve heard from all of my friends but her. Go figure. I now know there is no reason to call her anymore!!

    1. 7.1
      Lady in the UK

      Firstly Happy Birthday!!

      From a lady who is in her late 20s I want to tell you honestly that I have said something similar in the past when I wasn’t interested romantically. We may have had a little spark but I haven’t felt like I wanted to peruse things further and I am trying to be polite.  Put her down and move on. There is a vast world of women to talk to out there, especially with internet dating. All women can be extremely intense and present if we really want to peruse something with someone. Evan really does give amazing advice, I’ve been following his work for around 3 years now. You deserve to find happiness Andy, clear that lady out so you have space for the right lady to come into your world 🙂

  8. 8

    I think I would give this another chance, based on the fact that so much time has passed and he has been so persistant over a couple of years. Also, you only dated for a month, which is not enough time to know if someone is right for you, even if they seem great. It’s unclear why he flaked out. Could have been work, maybe another woman (which he might not tell you). I would say to take things MUCH more slowly than you did in the past, let him know that he’s on “probation”, and that you’ll sever contact for good if anything happens again.

  9. 9

    You dated this guy for one month. You really connected. Then he disappeared without any explanation whatsoever.

    Two months later, he wants to resume. You want to believe he “scared himself” and now that he’s ..uhm..’come to his senses’? it will all work out.

    These days many employers require a 90 day probationary period before a formal offer of a position. Reason being, to see if the employee is a good fit for the job. This guy took only 30 days to decide you weren’t right for the position of girlfriend. What do you think was up with that? Seriously. I don’t think it was because he was “scared”. Most likely? He was still/halfway/semi-involved with an ex. And/or knew he wasn’t as into you as you were into him, despite actually liking you and enjoying the time he spent with you. Not a lie exactly, more a matter of degrees.

    After only 30 days you don’t really know him. What was there was infatuation. People need more than 30 days to establish a connection to each other. (WWII stories from the Dear Abby columns not withstanding!) I can understand both your desire to explore something positive here, and well …the obvious…why put yourself through that when after only a month the guy proved out as a flake? Comes down to how emotionally tough do you think you might be. 🙂

    Since EMK prints these letters a month or so after receiving them, you have probably already made your decision. Curious to hear what it was and how things are going.

    1. 9.1

      I agree 100% with you, I am in a similiar situation, this guy I am with is into me but I get the feeling his getting texts from others and his two-minded about getting too serious with me in case he gets better options.  
      So just gonna enjoy the moments and make the  most of it.

  10. 10

    Sheesh! You guys are tough! While it is true that much of the time people do not change— there are, in fact, actual and real times when someone is sorry, when they see something or someone through a new lens, when they change and grow. I would hate to be held hostage to the person I used to be as though living, experiencing and learning had no value. However, if you are good together, he will work it through with you and you need to bring your whole self, fears and all, to the relationship.
    There are too many people on too many sites looking for love to just toss aside a person who may honestly have changed and seems to be showing it in what he is doing now.
    I know of a few situations where things have some apart and then come back together and worked out very, very well!
    You can’t lose something that isn’t yours. Give the guy a break and if he does something stupid again, you have your answer instead of your lurking suspicion….. that is probably the hardest to live with! Or once, shame on him, twice , shame on you.

    1. 10.1

      I couldn’t agree with you more Jane. I don’t believe necessarily that people don’t change. People grow and mature and they do d change. Like you said, otherwise it negates living and growing. There was an addict reference and I’ve seen friends who have completely turned their lives around and gotten clean. And of course they changed. They wanted to change. And that’s what makes the difference-only time will tell if someone asking for a second chance is sincere.

  11. 11

    Has this man been asking for a second chance during this entire two-year time span? That feels like a red flag to me. Could he be desperate or needy?

    She recently finally succumbed because she hasn’t been able to forget him. That doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement or a full embrace of him in her heart; rather like someone who is ignoring her gut instinct, but goes against her better judgment for a reason(s) only she can know. He broke her trust and trust is the most difficult thing to rebuild.

    She shares he pursued her intensely, and that she also made the mistake of falling into the pursuer role. If they were both intensely pursuing each other, maybe disappeared because he couldn’t handle the emotional intensity, and that would include trying to explain to her what he was feeling when he hadn’t yet deciphered what he was feeling. This is not meant to excuse his behavior.
    I always hesitate to give my opinion about a situation that has often left out important details. Still, if it were me, I would likely not continue to see him. She may still be fond of him and may wonder about the life they might have shared under different circumstances, yet I sense she has outgrown him.

  12. 12

    I mean no offense. The “he is so in love with me he has to stay away” is the dumbest bullshit rationalization I see women intentionally stepping in all of the time.
    If someone is interested in you, they will act the way you would act if you were interested in someone. No exceptions.
    If I met a fantastic woman while I was under a crunch at work or in my personal life I would call her and let her know. I wouldn’t drop her. In the same situation you wouldn’t and 7 billion other people on Earth wouldn’t.
    I call “bull shit”.
    Having no contact with you for 2 years is a pretty good sign that he wasn’t pining for you.
    He is coming back to you after something else didn’t work out for him. You have to ask yourself if you are happy being a second choice…

    1. 12.1

      VERY WELL SAID!!!! 

      Like I said, if you value yourself, others will too!

      NO GOOD PERSON will drop the ball under any circumstances, even if they don’t know what they’re going through, they will still communicate that with you. If s/he is considerate, cares enough, will not leave you hanging.

    2. 12.2

      Awesome, awesome, awesome answer!!!!!!!!  Well said!!!!!


  13. 13


    She writes they only dated for ONE MONTH before he poofed.

    NOW, after 2.5 years (!) he wants her to give him another chance?


    Am I the only one who finds this smells really off ? On both parts?

  14. 14

    I have to agree with Angie. People know exactly how awful it feels to be ignored–guys know how it will make you feel when they refuse to return your calls and disappear. They make the choice to behave that way. Stress at work (which happens a lot) is a convenient excuse but it’s not a justification. And you already stated you wouldn’t treat a guy that way. In fact, a guy could be in jail and still call you!
    If you want to give the guy another chance, then be prepared for it to happen again. I think you answered your own question, though. Do you want to date someone who doesn’t have the same integrity that you hold dear?

  15. 15

    I think some people have the timeline of the letter a bit confused (or maybe it’s me):
    – they dated for a a month and he disappeared
    – 2 months after he disappeared he asked for another chance
    – she said no (good for her)
    – it’s two and half years later and he still checks in with her now and then, asking for another chance
    – she hasn’t gotten over her feelings for him in all of this time and is considering giving it another go

    To me the answer seems simple- satisfy your curiosity and go for it. What do you have to lose? You’re thinking about him anyway. By actually giving it another go the ‘i-wonder-what-would’ve-happend-if’ mystique will wear away and you’ll no longer want him. OR on the flip side it could all work out wonderfully! Either way you’ll get some sort of resolution that you don’t have now (cause if you had it, you wouldn’t even still be thinking about each other 2.5 years later!) Be careful and aware (cause he pulled a punk-ass move and that may be how he handles all of his issues) but you might as well see what happens.

    People are perfectly capable of change if they are compelled strongly enough. The problem is we often fall into the trap of not understanding what’s truly motivating a person to act the way they do and what it will take for them to stop (ie, it’s not just gonna be because we want them too).

  16. 16

    To Jennifer #15, thanks for trying to set the time line for us. 🙂 I had to reread it a few times to try and get it. I still can’t fully determine from her words “when” exactly he started pursuing her again. But I am with you in that, at first, when I read Evan’s message about the “people don’t change” mantra, I thought, “Huh?” People change all the time. Evan changed when he decided to let go of his 20-year pinning relationship. 😉 I know that I have learned from my past experiences and have definitively made permanent changes in my life for the better.

    As for Dee Anna, she does have her heart to lose, if she’s not careful, and the guy retreats again. And this time she’ll kick herself hard for feeling like such a fool.

    I have experienced what it’s like to be with someone who was totally convinced he was a changed and apologetic man, giving his all to me. I had absolutely no doubt in my heart and mind that he completely believed it to be true at that moment. What he failed to recognize was his weakness and sadly, he proved Evan’s message to be true. This did not happen once, but time and again. I had the strength to put us both out of our misery.

    I don’t know if this is the case with Dee Anna’s guy. I do know that a second disappearance could happen within a month, a year, or decades later. Or perhaps never. Of course, she may get off her high with him and see other issues about him that concern her, and stop the ride before he might.

    Life is a crap shoot anyway. All she can do is navigate the waters as best she knows how, and have the faith to know that all will be okay.

  17. 17

    Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday to you.
    Happy Birthday, Dear Andy.
    Happy Birthday to you.

    Who needs a woman like that? Not you!

    Sally 🙂

  18. 18

    To Andy – belated Happy Birthday, I agree with Sally’s post …

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all burn our membership cards in the Groucho Marx school of dating?

    I agree with Evan on this one – and the most troubling part of Dee Anna’s letter is that she “can’t get a straight answer” from him yet later she says that he is “saying all the right things”. Sounds a bit like a sweet talker to me. Near as I can tell, the only words that matter are straight answers to tough questions. As for those sweet words, well, as the old saying goes, those and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.

  19. 19

    Here’s what I think: really, it could have been anything – he wasn’t over another girl, work stuff, family stuff, financial stuff, but was probably something he didn’t want to tell you, since he didn’t give you a straight answer. It was definitely NOT that he “got scared because he felt so much for you” or some other BS. However, I would still give him another shot for the following two reasons:
    -Um, you’d been dating for a month. In my opinion, that isn’t long enough to obligate him to tell you everything, so if he really wasn’t totally over another woman, or had some personal issue, and didn’t tell you and disappeared, it’s kinda shitty, but not some huge, unforgiveable transgression. It’d be a different story if you’d been dating a lot longer or had an established level of commitment.
    -It’s been 2.5 years since then, and people can grow a lot in that length of time. He probably regrets treating you that way, and has been actively pursuing you and treating you much differently to prove it.
    You can do a couple things — Talk to him, tell him how you’re feeling, and ask him for the full truth, and say you must know why he up and left you, no matter what the reason, in order for you to continue seeing each other. You can go based on how he’s treating you NOW, and just let it go. This requires contemplation on your thought, and active forgiveness, and is pretty much all on you. Finally, if you realize you can’t get over it, dump him and don’t look back. No more being friends or having him in your life in a quasi-romantic way. Cut him off as if you broke up once and for all with a boyfriend, and get on with your life.

  20. 20
    Relationship Advice From Penny

    Goodness.. poor Dee Anna lol. I feel so bad, it must be hard to absorb so much advice and info people are all sharing here. lol. What to do? Everyone has their points and all are valid and helpful, but ultimately, you need to get clear on what ‘you’ want and deserve! Listen to your gut. So as I’ve said before but I will say again but with even more to add:
    Speak your truth, tell him exactly how you feel about what happened. See how he responds. Then go from there follow your instinct your gut. Does your gut churn, or does it feel relaxed and settled? This is a major indicator of what your next step should be. So take it one step at a time..
    But whatever you do, think about you first. If you think you want to give it another chance for you, so you can find out for sure, so you can learn and experience something if that feels more right than to drop it altogether.. then, go for it. Jump in but with your eyes wide open this time!
    Be smart, courageous, have your purpose, stay focus to your reason for doing this. It is your life, and you get to shape it, not fear it. So guess what happens to the way you see things once you put yourself first? Everything will shift in your favor – with or without him.
    So remember, this whole process is not about him, this is about you, and how you choose to experience relationships, how you choose to grow and be better for you. So take your time to decide there is no rush! He was the one who left, and now that he’s back, he has to play on your terms so, take your time he can wait. If he can’t, that’s just too bad for him.
    You have nothing to apologize for. You just get to see more of who he really is through this whole process. It’s about you, remember? While you take your time and feel things out, just keep in mind the old saying, Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  21. 21

    This is another one of those caveat emptor scenarios. I agree that if the OP is curious, then she should see what happens. But only with her eyes wide open. I would not invest too much emotionally until I had consistent proof that he was in it for the long haul and for the right reasons. Sound tough? Sure is. But he’s the one that bailed. In my book, that puts the burden of proof on him.

  22. 22

    Evan, there’s a huge hole in your argument. I’m shocked that you would say that people don’t change. This is untrue. Everyone changes and change happens all the time. Humans are the most adaptable people on Earth. People improve their relationships all the time. People get back together with their exes all the time. Even divorced folks get re-married.

    I’m a completely different person now in a relationship than I was 10 years ago and even 5 years. I’ve grown in this regard even in the last 12 months. People learn from mistakes, increase their knowledge, and make changes ALL THE TIME.

    I will concede that change is difficult, and that it usually takes a significant change agent to spur growth (deaths, loss, etc), but change sometimes results from merely spending time studying something. Read some books and blogs, talk it over, and all of sudden you’re a better boyfriend. I would never recommend to the letter writer that she cut and run on this guy. She needs to test his character, yes, and lay down the law, but there’s no reason to believe he hasn’t made a shift.

    If you don’t give the guy another chance, you’re un-American.

  23. 23
    Relationship Advice From Penny

    wow, Lance (Post #22)…you totally read my mind! I was going to address this particular comment Evan made about “people don’t change,” but I haven’t made the time. And now I don’t have to.. You said it – I completely agree with you! I couldn’t have said it better. I have changed so much even in the last 6 months that when I look back at the way I handled things, I feel like I’m looking at a totally different person. All the reading, meditation, writing my relationship blog and making decisions to live a certain way has shifted my life into a completely different direction. I am a better person from it and will continue to learn, grow and make better decisions for a healthy, happy life. This, was something I would never have thought of doing (to this extreme) 10 years or even 5 years ago. I guess it’s all a matter of choice. And I made mine. Evan, you’ve changed too… at one point you were dating so many people, you might have been judged to be a player. But truly, you were just trying to find love, but some women might not see you that way. You also said you were afraid that you would cheat and therefore it’s hard to get into a relationship as you don’t ever want to hurt anyone in that way. But look at you now!… look how far you’ve come in just a short period of time (in the grand scheme of things). You made changes in the way you think of yourself and of others, that in turn, gave you more clarity, which in turn helped your personal growth. You saw mistakes you made in the past so you made a choice to do better, and with that, you found the woman of your dreams and made a choice to commit to her. And now, because of all the changes you’ve been through, you’re an even better coach than ever before. Wow! Talk about change! You did good! 🙂

  24. 24
    Evan Marc Katz

    Clarification from a Communist: People change mostly because THEY want to change, not because someone else is telling them to change. Which is why ultimatums are rarely considered effective. I speak in generalizations on here because I’m reaching a broad audience, but I think it’s safe to say that – for the most part – the man who cheats is a cheater, the woman who freaks out at flirting will continue to freak out at flirting, etc. I wouldn’t invest too much time in hoping those folks turn over a new leaf. If you do, you’re likely to be disappointed that the person is exactly who you knew they always were.

  25. 25

    That’s exactly how I interpreted what you were saying all along, Evan. People change because they want to (or, more rarely, are driven to by circumstance). They almost never change because we want them to, and rarely are we as powerful a “circumstance” in their lives to be the catalyst for change, however much we might want them to.
    What is more effective than trying to change someone else, and thus remaining the same yourself, is to find someone you don’t need to change – and change yourself.

  26. 26

    Dee, there is a good chance, your friend hasn’t dated anyone else in 2.5 years and wants to see you again. Man does sound clueless, he maybe inexperienced.

    1. 26.1

      Fact is he He/ She may still not be over a x happened to me this Summer 2014 

  27. 27

    Basic personality traits are not going to change. A nice person will stay a nice person, and jerk will stay a jerk. But a guy who was not ready for a relationship can always change IF he really wants to. It’s been 2+ years, so it’s POSSIBLE that this man has.

  28. 28

    I disagree, Ava. My boyfriend freely admits that he was a huge jerk when younger, but now he’s the best boyfriend I’ve ever had (and I’ve dated jerks, so I should know). In fact, when we went to his 10-year reunion a couple of years ago, he said that I was the proof that he’d changed, because if he could get a girl as awesome as me then he couldn’t possibly be a jerk anymore. Which is true 🙂

  29. 29

    #28 Honey
    Ok, my comment was a bit of a generalization. More specifically, I’d say that an introvert is not likely to become an extrovert, a slob won’t become a neat-nik, and a chronic liar isn’t going to become honest. Commitment–phobic men can behave in insensitive ways and eventually change, but my guess is that your boyfriend, despite some not-nice behavior he might have exhibited, is basically a good guy. Or you wouldn’t have picked him, right?
    That is not to say that you haven’t been a wonderful influence, though!

  30. 30

    Ava, I agree much more with these other examples. I should clarify, too, and say that from a developmental standpoint, it is incredibly challenging for folks under age 20 to sympathize/empathize with the situations of others. I do think that the BF was always a good person, it just didn’t fully manifest until he’d outgrown his youth 🙂

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