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January 9, 2015

Ask Me Anything: Boyfriend Material or Straight Up Cad? {Weekly Advice Column}

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Dear Elephants,

Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, where no question is out of bounds! To submit questions for next week, please email me at [email protected] or private message me on Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you!

~ Erica

Dear Erica,

In 2014 I met a guy through an online dating site.

He was recently divorced but he told me he was ready to move on. His wife had cheated on him.

We exchanged numbers and spoke non-stop, then one day all conversations stopped. I later found out he met another girl named “Jenny” and they were dating. I was bummed, but I didn’t get too down.

A few months ago he reached out to me again after breaking up with “Jenny” (she also cheated), and he told me he was sorry for never giving me a fair chance. We began talking again and had great conversations. He made me feel really good about myself. I have chosen to be single for many years in order to get myself right and get on the right path.

I am a single mom of two kids, I have my own counseling practice, am working on my Ph.D, own my own house and car etc. I think I’m a good catch.

A couple of weeks ago he told me he just wanted to be friends because he needed to work on himself. I understood that and respected it. By this time we had planned a trip to Vegas with some friends and he began to act odd. I asked him why and he told me he wasn’t sure if going was a good idea because he had been talking to two other girls from another town.

I was absolutely crushed. So, not only was I in competition with other women, at some point I didn’t add up in comparison to the others. I cried—and I never cry.

I asked him several times what it was about me and he couldn’t answer—he just kept saying he is not sure what he wants or needs which I’m having a hard time believing.

We went out to talk and grab a beer one night after all this and we did end up being intimate for the first time, which always makes feelings stronger for women, but afterwards he was distant. Then he went and spent New Years Eve with another woman and I was so upset.

We ended up going to Vegas anyway last Friday and we got home Monday—we had a blast and he is so open and honest with me about everything but me. We were intimate the whole time we were gone. He did, however, wander off the first night with two other women. He knew I was upset and stopped that.

He has so much potential, he loves God and has many great qualities.

When we got back from Vegas I waited to hear from him and I did yesterday. I told him I had a complete blast with him and that I truly have feelings for him and care about him, but that I needed to know where his head was at.

I don’t think I’m being a pushy emotional chick, I think it’s fair. I get mixed signals from guys like this all the time and if his feelings are not on the same page I would like to know so I can move on.

He seems to be avoiding me. I don’t want to bring it up again and look desperate, but I am also afraid of walking away and losing him. They say fight for what you want, but to what point?

I am normally the one to walk away from men, but I’m struggling here and really being hard on myself about everything. I think I have a lot to offer.

Any advice?

~ Good Catch

Dear Catch,

Somehow this cad has cast a magical spell over you, causing you to lose sight of everything you value and hold dear.

Please never contact him again and chalk this up an unfortunate lapse in judgment. Here’s why:

This guy says he doesn’t know what he wants, but he knows exactly what he wants, and he is very good at getting it, thank you very much.

As you said, he is open about his wish to see numerous women, and probably believes this openness absolves him of the responsibility of hurting anyone’s feelings. After all, he’s telling every single woman he’s involved with precisely what he’s doing. This seems to send otherwise rational female adults into a tailspin of jealousy, competition and self doubt—even ones with Ph.Ds and their own counseling practice.

What fun for him!

Strictly ethically speaking, he really is doing nothing wrong as far as you tell it—but this isn’t a potential romantic partner. At best, he’s good for a rollicking weekend in Vegas. At worst, he’ll continue to tear down your self esteem as you become ever more desperate to figure out why you’re not good enough for him.

You say you are a good catch—you are. He isn’t.

Take a deep breath, hug your children and move on to greener pastures.

Dear Erica,

I don’t know how you feel about the issue of abortion but yesterday I found out I was pregnant. I’m a twenty year old college student that has recently entered into a relationship that I can see as going somewhere.

In my current situation I can not support a child nor do I want to. I know that my significant other is pro choice as am I but I’m unsure if I should burden him with this information. I would not want to because we have talked about it before and I feel comfortable that not knowing would be the best decision for him.

But, I still need $80 more for the abortion and the day that it’s being done is when I’m supposed to be moving in to my dorm, for which I may now require help and emotional support.

 Should I tell him? Or will that ruin what is only beginning to bloom?

If you think me horrible or wish to attack me please know I feel horrible that I am in this position and was only a few days from getting an IUD put in. Is that sick irony or what?

Thank you for listening. I have told only one person about this and it’s beginning to weigh on me.

~ Should I Tell Him?

Dear Should I,

I am definitively pro-choice. Do not second guess your feelings or your judgement in this matter.

For what it’s worth, I think you are doing the right thing for you. I also think you should not have to go through this alone—either emotionally or financially. That being the case, yes, you should tell your boyfriend about your pregnancy.

It is anyone’s guess how he will react, but I am a believer in giving people an opportunity to be their best selves.

In terms of what this may mean for the future of your brand new relationship, that is a mystery as well, but much will be revealed about your boyfriend’s character upon your disclosure. Pay attention.

If he doesn’t rise to the occasion, have a back up plan. Be willing to ask for help from a trusted friend or even a mentor or counselor at your school. Though you are clear on how you want to proceed, you will undoubtedly need to process many emotions, and getting a support system in place is important.

 

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Author: Erica Leibrandt

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

 

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