Did I Lose A Great Guy Or Did I Avoid a Selfish Player?


Hello Evan. Four months ago I met this guy. I had just broken up with my ex-boyfriend, so I was a bit reluctant to take the new guy seriously. However, he was so persistent and romantic that I finally gave in and started to have what I thought was a relationship with him. A week or two later he started to act really cold, not texting or phoning me unless I did it first. He would only see me once a week because he said he was busy (which he was). I felt horrible because I had fallen for him and he didn’t care much about us (in fact he did state that we were incompatible and that he couldn’t imagine a future with me). That’s why six weeks ago I started dating other guys. I didn’t tell the guy about this, which was totally wrong. He wouldn’t tell people he was my boyfriend and he wouldn’t hold hands with me on the street. A week ago a friend of his told him that he had chatted me up and that I had somehow responded. He went completely nuts. I told him all the truth and he’s now furious. He says I cheated on him and that I’m a slut and things like that. He doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I’ve now realized he did love me but he didn’t have the guts to admit it or to show it. I feel like crap. I’m desperate and don’t know what to do because I feel I’ve lost a great guy just because of a big misunderstanding. What should I do? Please help. —Rose


Although your question is very similar to this one, which I wrote a few years back, I wanted to tackle it and see if I could shed some light on your situation.

Quick, let’s play a game called “What’s my emotion?”

How it works is that I give you a choice of the emotions I could possibly be feeling after reading your question and you guess which one is the most accurate one. Ready? Go!

Bemused — Because literally half of my questions sound something like this: “I met this guy and the chemistry was really great and we slept together and I thought he was my boyfriend but now he’s acting distant and doesn’t seem to want a relationship. What should I do?”

Pity — Because even though this guy wouldn’t call or text you, see you more than once a week, commit to you as a boyfriend, and finally called you a slut for dating other men, you’re STILL delusional enough to think he’s a “great guy”, that you “cheated” on him and that he “loved you” after a few weeks of “dating”.

Anger — Because you need a dating coach to tell you what is patently obvious. Your guy is not a keeper, you didn’t blow it, and the fact that you’re in great pain over this “loss” drives me absolutely crazy. What does he need to do to convince you that he’s not a good guy? Burn your house down? Torture your dog?

Frustration — Because this situation is so very common and it’s so hard for most women to distinguish their feelings for their boyfriend from his feelings for you.

So let’s make it really clear.

Good men don’t call you “slut”.
Good men call you regularly to make plans because they’re excited about you.
Good men don’t freak out if you’re seeing other men — especially if you’re not exclusive.

You dated a man who, like many men (including good men), look for sex first and figure out the relationship stuff later.

What does he need to do to convince you that he’s not a good guy? Burn your house down? Torture your dog?

I’ve written volumes about this phenomenon and don’t think there’s much to add to that discussion. Men feel attraction, act on the attraction, but don’t determine whether they like you as a person or are emotionally ready for a relationship until AFTER.

This is common.

What’s not common is the amount of psychological abuse you seem to be willing to put yourself through in order to win back this douchecanoe.

He’s done NOTHING to earn your loyalty and EVERYTHING to hurt you.

I’m not going to try to play shrink to figure out how low your self-esteem has to get for you want to win back a psychotic, selfish, abusive commitmentphobe, but let’s say that what happened to you should have driven you far, far away from this guy.

So at this point, I’m not pissed at him.

I’m angry at YOU, Rose, for not getting it.

That is, I would be angry if anger were the emotion I was feeling in this hypothetical game.

Really, I think I just feel sad for you.

Join our conversation (110 Comments).
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  1. 61
    Karl R

    Kim asked: (#62)
    “do you think he will come back to me after we had so many years together.”
    You were together for six years. He didn’t marry you. If he had wanted to marry you, he would have proposed and gotten married a few years ago.
    Kim said: (#62)
    “I gave him his space, took care of him and the house.”
    For six years, it cost him nothing to stay with you, and he received a tangible benefit from having you around.
    Kim said: (#62)
    “He’s kicking me out of HIS house and removing anything that contains me.”
    Your continued presence would prevent him from dating his work colleague, so there’s now a cost to continuing to keep you around.
    Kim said: (#62)
    “He’s a very selfish guy”
    Then why  do you want him back? Find someone better.

  2. 62

    He is certainly king of the jerk  

  3. 63

    My updates…   I left my ex before Christmas. I did not know that my ex is a narcissist.
    I met new friends during New Year’s Eve party. I’m having best time hanging out with them, time alone to look back at my life and what I miss and meeting a guy that I had to learn to control my emotions and taking control. You want me, you come and get me. 🙂

  4. 64

    I woke up from my most recent relationship with a douchecanoe.   Reading this reminded me of done of the crap I put up with.   I wasn’t really deluded about what was going on with him/his abusive behavior towards me.   What kept me there was him throwing his two kids in my face, trying to keep me around for favors or whatever.   The best example: he had older kids and he was being on back support.   He wanted me to help him get out of paying arrears on that support and I refused (I’m not a lawyer! Hello!).   He was about to lose his license, months later, and calls me saying how he was counting on me and if it was just him, who cares but he had the two kids… blah blah blah”. It was awful, manipulative and totally scuzzy.   I told him what he needed to do to save his license but told him I would never do another favor for him again.   Well he’s history.   And to the original OP – just dump the abusive chump.   You will feel so much better.   I finally cut all contact and it’s the best feeling.   

  5. 65
    Jenny Ravelo

    “I’ve now realized he did love me but he didn’t have the guts to admit it or to show it.”

    When a man, or anyone for the matter, loves some, he does have guts to show it. If he’s the rare kind that doesn’t, then it means he’s got some issues with which dealing is not worth it.

    And jealousy doesn’t equal love. Jealousy is an instinctive reaction to our competitors. You can feel jealousy for some one that you only interested in sleeping with.

  6. 66

    I’d be mad too if someone touched a free gift sample (slut) from my mailbox.

    Come on, he’s not seeing a future with you … not clear enough????   He doesn’t need you to think for him. He knows exactly what he wants or DON’T want and that is you.

    As they say, love makes you stupid…guess you are in that situation huh?

    Sorry it sounds blunt but that’s precisely the score.

  7. 67

    Some women can’t help who they’re emotionally attracted to….simple. Even if the guy is abusive, if the woman was initially attracted to him, the abuse may not turn off the attraction. It’s really that hard. The sentence, ” I know I SHOULDN’T like him, but I still do for some reason” rings true here. Some women have less control than others.  

    it also works in reverse. If the woman is not attracted to the guy initially, no amount of convincing will change that fact. Women either finds men attractive or not…logic does not play much of a role.   

  8. 68
    Karmic Equation

    Just as there are good guys who get sucked in to re-engage with a crazy woman, just because he’s a good guy and trying to keep the peace. lol
    I knew she was setting us up so she could be “right” and have the last word.
    I pinky swear to ignore certain posts no matter how wrong the advice or how high the provocation.
    Unfortunately, I don’t think you can do the same since you need to make sure this blog remains helpful to the sane women who read it.

  9. 69

    Hahaha Evan once again you got me laughing at your sarcastic sense of humour playing “What’s my emotion?” As always you give a very good objective advice, however I do feel you are being hard on Rose in the last few sentence of this letter. The last thing she needs is to feel even worst about herself and drive her self-esteem further down the bottom less pit. She just needs to learn the lesson (hopefully), forgive herself for not knowing any better, don’t feel sorry or sad and just move on. Your advices are great and I have a lot of respect for it but I don’t think making her feel like an idiot is very helpful, it’s like kicking someone who’s already down, just saying!

  10. 70

    I think that these kinds of strong feelings occur for assholes because they know how to suck you in, then when the downward spiral begins you get anxious. Like batshit anxious. Then when they throw you a bone you feel relief which we somehow twist into “love.” Guys like this are also good at gaslighting and allow you to take the blame. I had one guy actually tell me I stressed him out (trying to get him to explain himself), and ended up blocking me after I got angry at him for shitbaggery. Then he saw me on the street and unblocked me and wanted sex. I didn’t fall for it, I said you could take me on a date. He agreed. Then it was groundhog day. He blew me off for coffee and I said a few things and he blocked me again. Because I’m the jerk. Hardy har.

  11. 71

    Never underestimate the power of    prolonged, soul-thrashing loneliness to destroy your ability to  think rationally. Judges gon’ judge, but I have done the exact same thing to myself that the OP has, become delusional and lost my mind because I temporarily needed to believe someone I knew didn’t give a damn about me cared about me.   It’s a mistake, not a crime. And everybody makes those.  Pick yourself back up, walk with your head held high and   keep moving forward.


  12. 72

    Men chooses women for the following: friends with benefit, friends only, girlfriend, possible future wife. Men don’t automatically make you girlfriend and wife. Women can bring drama and pain too. And as a guy most of you women know, love sex, admire the female body and beauty. Most young men as I am, would go in for the attraction first, then decide from there if she is trustworthy, honest, loyal. Then, begins the guy taking the next step. All the decisions are formed by us guys observing you women as we date or hang out, test you if you’ll lie, easy to cheat, easy to be taken for sex by other guys. We happen to either, leave you , break things off smoothly, make excuse, or come to a decisions to be just friends, friends with benefits or really take the next step forward together. This is the dating scene, men and women do this. The part alot of guys get wrong, is either not feeling comfortable enough to say whats on their mind, and that’s part of the women’s job and also the guy to make each other feel secure and not to be judged harshly in order to speak honestly and open. But many times we expect the opposite sex to read between the lines and most of the time, opinions are formed without open communication. Even players and playettes who play around in the dating scene are all looking for the right person, some play games and determine if the partner is deemed trustworthy or not. The big issue we young people face is “TRUST.” Love and lust and attraction is already proven true when a guy and a girl starts dating. Atleast from my POV and experience. So no hard feelings, this is the dating scene and we are all doing this or will do these in the near future, these things happen this is called “life.” Many times people don’t intend to hurt each other, many times its simple as a misunderstanding or differences. When we choose to date we must know this ahead of time, and date wisely, slowly and surely we will all understand the invinsible rules to follow in the dating world. Good day buddies! have a good one

  13. 73

    oh yeah and one more thing, women know this as well. when you and a guy are dating, whatever he says your a slut blah blah… or had a arguement broke up etc…. you might be guilty and are wrong at one point or him or both. But don’t question the love he had for you or still have or yours to him. You can erase it and move on. But always know if he chose you he saw something in you he wanted and if he stuck around he found himself to love you with or without saying it. Young ladies, from experience even friends with benefits with nothing exclusive, people fall in love, people learn to love and find love in the one their seeing at the time. Just look at the bright side, the good things you learned from him or good memories and take it with you as a lesson and move on. Don’t hold grudges, try to wreck his world. Who knows you two might become in laws or future friends mature enough to let go of the past etc… dont judge a book by its cover. Go in clean, get out clean. 🙂

  14. 74
    Dina Strange

    The problem with us women is that we meet men who PROMISE mountains. When we question them not acting on that promise, they PROMISE AGAIN. They BEG, and PROMISE if given another chance they WILL ACT ON IT.

    And as good human beings we women give them a chance. We can’t be expected to be mind readers, we can’t be expected to destroy millions of years of evolution that made women nurturing, and seeking ONE mate to be with.

    Oh, the disaster of  testosterone and oxytocin.

  15. 75

    The problem with women is that, by and large, too many of us beleieve that we ‘need’ the love and affection of a man and that we ‘need’ it so badly that we are willing to compromise on our values so that we do not end up ‘spinsters’ (yes, I realize this term is archaic).   We are too willing to settle. At the end of the day, no one can treat you less than what you allow them to treat you. You always have the option and women should work on having the courage to walk away from relationships that do not bring them happiness.   It always astounds me at how many women to Evan about whether they should leave or stay in a relationship. No offense to Evan, because I think his advice is great, but a good rule of thumb to live by is that if you have reached a point in your relationship such that you feel compelled to reach out to a complete stranger regarding the issues in your relationship, your relationship is not working for you.   That could be because of your issues or it could be because of your partners.   If you work on loving yourself as much as trying to be loved by others, you should get to the point where you can rule out if being your issue.   If you can’t ruke out it being your issue, you should probably see a therapist, though Evan IS super helpful.

  16. 76

    Break the pattern!   Unfortunately Evan has said it before, women look for love and men look for sex.   It is so true.   And even in this article, once they get sex they really don’t think about where the situation will go.   They will continue to enjoy the free ride, and yes, even mislead you into thinking they are your boyfriend to keep it going.

    I unfortunately just fell into this trap just recently.   This is the first time I was conned.   I have dated guys where things did not work out but I have never been used before.   This recent guy was sweet, charming and at times used past history of serious medical issues to keep things going.   I liked him but knew things weren’t right.   I honestly felt bad for him and stayed with him for mainly that reason.

    I will try to make the long story short… during this time he had a work injury, lost income and was stressed.   we were together 7 months and except for the 3 dates, i paid for every single meal for the past 6 months.   he brought wine.   but the meals were at his place or mine.   i thought it was off to never go anywhere in public.   i suggested we go to the beach, do stuff that does not cost anything.   but he blew that off.   I was getting pretty annoyed with always having to dish out free meals.   well just recently, i was helping him to find a new roommate and in the process looked into using Facebook for advertising.   i saw his profile and wala, his status was SINGLE!!   Then i saw a picture of him and a girl at an event (she posted it), being low on funds i am sure she paid for the date.   And to top the dating profile where we met was still up.   Needless to say i was pissed!!

    So i called him out on it and told him if he wanted to go out in public and be a real couple to let me know.   That was 3 weeks ago and no response.   My comment was rhetorical, i obviously caught him so was not expecting a response.

    Here is the important part, what I have LEARNED…   I am a Christian and in all ways except one I have been doing the right thing.   I decided to sleep with a guy not immediately but before marriage.   WHY, well, being intimate is a great feeling and I thought that it would lead to marriage but being used is not great and was the result instead.   So my ADVICE, do it God’s way and if you are not religious then respect yourself and hold yourself in high regard.   Get to know a guy and decide in time if he truly is committed and then move to marriage.   I’ll be honest, most guys wont stick around since all they want is sex.   But you will weed out a lot of the ones that are not for you.   I am taking my own advice. 🙂

  17. 77
    Vanessa D.

    This concept has been told & taught to women for so long yet obviously women continue to be confused sometimes (myself included lol).

    Obviously both men & women have both logic & emotion however it seems that in relationships men are logical first & emotional second whereas women are naturally primarily emotional & rely on logic way later.

    The thing that makes me angry is that when men give advice such as above they dont seem to grasp how powerful a woman’s emotion is & how quick it’s developed. On the other hand it’s difficult for a woman to understand how non-emotional men are at the same point.   This is the problem.

    A man pursues a woman heavily at first, calls, texts, sweet talks, talks about a future, etc. Men can’t understand how powerful that is to a woman. They sleep together & now it’s really deep for the woman & the man gets bored & can’t understand how she could have real feelings so quickly.

    Men need the script flipped on them. Seriously. It’s sad because so many men are never truly challenged so they can never fall deeply in love & that’s just sad.

    Ladies- we need to evaluate a man based on his actions. WE determine if we want a relationship. Not THEM!! Be cute & flirty all you want. Enjoy the compliments & attention but never ever believe that he has feelings in the beginning. Make him show you. As soon as you realize you really like him & see potential be direct about what you want. But be prepared to walk away (calmly!!) as soon as he doesn’t deliver. I know it’s hard but I like to think of it like acting lol…. & the best part?? If there was a genuine spark at all he will likely miss you & this is what gets him to develop genuine feelings & most likely come back in a very genuine way.

    & the way I see it even if he doesn’t at least you get to walk away with your head high & your self-respect 😊



  18. 78
    [email protected]

    Sometimes we all get lonely and get caught up in our fantasies of the person we want to believe there is a rainbow at the end. That if we just hang in, the other person will see how special we are and want to be with us, treat us better and get settled down. I met someone recently who acted very innocent but was very conniving and was using me as his booty call girl while he was scouting out for a real girlfriend. When he found someone and it could be even two women I don’t know, he still wanted to keep up the charade but I finally figured out why he was busy at times when a “normal” nice guy should have been seeing me (he had a variety of excuses which finally made no sense), I felt very betrayed and played by this loser! Looking back, I see the signs that he was extremely vague about giving any details that would give his agenda away, what he was doing when he wasn’t seeing me, did not make any commitments to me (the usual I don’t know what I want yet) BUT I should have seen that as I know its not you.. He did make promises when this happens we will be together.. but honestly he was committing to a Saturday night date just B-calls and he is not married.   Please learn from my mistakes. Look at actions not at words and ask a trusted friend who will help you see the truth!

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