I Screwed Up with a Guy. Do You Think I Can Fix It?

Should I Have a Long-Distance Relationship with a Man in Another Country?

I met a guy a year ago and throughout the year we went on 6 dates. He made me feel really special and great but I wasn’t ready to commit and something inside me stopped me. First, I thought I was not attracted to him and we weren’t compatible so I called it off in July. He even waited 2 months for me to make a decision. But now I have started therapy and am understanding myself more. I have realized that I want to give us a chance and give it my all. I messaged him and initially he said he would be keen if it progressed but then he backed out when I mentioned I am not looking for just sex. I think there was miscommunication over text because he thinks I am damaged. I texted him following day letting him know that I will wait and he is worth the wait but he never replied. I fucked up so bad and I really want to give it all in because I saw a future with him and here I am now. What should I do?

Leah McGee

In Love U, there’s an exercise called “Create Your Relationship Timeline,” in which I ask women to outline their previous patterns. Did you sleep with him on the first date? Did he become your boyfriend after two weeks? Did you stay with him for four years without a ring? From this process, patterns often emerge that are revealing.

You are entitled to feelings of confusion and ambivalence about a man.

There are – simply put – healthier ways to embark on a smooth, successful relationship than others. Let me ask you how this one sounds, Leah:

  • 6 dates over the course of a year.
  • You decided to stop the proceedings.
  • You determined that you were missing not one but BOTH of the main things needed for a relationship: chemistry and compatibility.
  • You left him hanging for two months without a decision (and he PUT UP with it!)
  • Then, when you decided to reconsider, you handled it by text but botched the messaging.
  • Somehow, this has given your guy the impression that you’re “damaged.”

I wouldn’t level such accusations but we can agree that, at the very least, you’re a little bit “confused,” which has resulted in a rocky courtship process he has finally withdrawn from.

What do you do now?

With him? Nothing. That ship has sailed.

You are entitled to feelings of confusion and ambivalence about a man. You are entitled to engage in therapy and practice personal growth. You are allowed to change your mind and reconsider your stance.

But that doesn’t mean a good man with self-esteem and options is entitled to sit and wait for you to figure your shit out, nor is he entitled to give you a second hearing.

As for what you do next? Learn from this experience and apply it going forward.

Quality, relationship-oriented guys don’t grow on trees, so the next time one expresses interest in you and makes you feel really special, try making him feel special, too.

You may discover it works a lot better than treating him like a safety school.

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  1. 1
    Malika with an L

    As much as i admire perseverance, sometimes it is best to cut ties and start all over again. This sounds as if you were willing to give someone you were lukewarm about another second chance. The thing is he probably sensed that he would just be given the chance to jump through hoops for someone who wasn’t very keen. In the dating world we have (or at least have the illusion of) more options, and we would usually rather hold out for someone who is keen to date us from the get-go, rather than flailing back and forth with someone who only sometimes gets back in touch with us intermittently. A great way of gaining perspective is to see how you would feel if you were in his shoes. Would you find this the ideal dating scenario if you were on the opposite side of this scenario?

    The important thing is to not see this as a screwup but as a lesson on how to move forward. You are in therapy now which is a great step, and you will be able to communicate consistently having learnt from this experience. Please do not see yourself as damaged, you are healing and working towards a better self. This is a far more empowering way of looking at yourself, and you will be astounded by just how much you will develop when you open yourself up to a constructive form of therapy and relationship with yourself.

  2. 2

    The letter writer begins with a gut feeling of doubt. I’ve found that that initial gut feeling was spot on, even though the cause was not obvious until much later. Evan clearly points out the problems one by one. Learn from this and move on.

  3. 3

    Only 6 dates in one year?

    Not surprising it fizzled, despite enthusiasm by both parties initially.

    Perhaps try dating more locally?

  4. 4

    When reaching out to a past person, it’s best to keep it simple. Friendly, kind, short. See if they’re open to meeting again. “I’m not just looking for sex!” doesn’t need to enter the conversation at this point.

    1. 4.1

      In that context, “I’m not just looking for sex!” strongly implies “I’m not sexually attracted to you”.

  5. 5

    Leah sounds like she might not be all that experienced or may not know herself very well. It’s good that she’s going to therapy, but at a certain point, if a dating experience which is still in its early stages has not worked out, it’s best to just leave it where it is and move on.

    Someone you’ve been on 6 dates with is not yet invested in you, especially if those 6 dates took place over the course of a year. (At this point, I am dying to know, was it on him or her that they only saw each other 6 times in a year? I mean, was he trying to make plans and she just kept blowing him off? Or did he just not try to see her all that often?)

    The first thing that concerns me about Leah’s letter is the level of emotional intensity which she is putting into this relationship that hasn’t even got off the ground yet. Surely, you get to know someone *first* and then decide if you want to commit to them? 6 dates in a year is not enough information to make that decision in my opinion (unless they are long distance). If you’re not ready for commitment, that is something you say upfront – no need for a big heavy conversation after a handful of dates unless he brought it up. And then saying, OVER TEXT, that she’s not just looking for sex when she is trying to get this guy back? A bit cringe-worthy,

    The second thing which is concerning is that she describes this guy, whom she has met 6 times over the course of a year, as someone who is “worth the wait” and someone she “sees a future with” and wants to be “all in”. I’m sorry, what?! How on earth can she know this? Is he the last single man in her city? What is making her try so desperately to make it work with this guy instead of getting out there and dating other guys with whom there may well be more attraction and compatibility?

    I can’t help feeling that this is a person with some issues who cares more about “fixing” her mistake than about this guy specifically, and this is probably registering as a bit unstable to the guy. And yes, I agree with a PP – I’ve found that if you don’t initially feel excited about a guy, it’s best to trust that feeling. Yes sometimes a person can grow on you but this generally happens naturally without all this angst.

  6. 6
    Karon B

    Agree with what I’m reading but the “I’m not just looking for sex”
    Remark could have insulted ‘this man, maybe that’s not what he was after and she implied he was a hound

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