Direct Answers – Clever Disguise

Clever Disguise

Over a course of dry sobbing searches I found your column. I am desperate for advice, so I've come to this.

I've been dating a guy almost two years. Things started out like a movie as first dates turned to a full-on relationship in only a month. I was 19 and he was 23. We met each other's family early and within a month he took me to a park and told me he loved me.

We were the perfect couple with fights always turning into apologetic laughter and jealous friends asking "why can't I find a relationship like you guys." A little after a year he began talking about a break. It was out of the blue.

After many tears and him trying to end the relationship over the phone, we ended things for good. He slept with a few people and eventually one of those people was me. Finally I placed a no-contact rule for good. I had to move on.

A month later he asked to meet. He told me he'd spoken with his family about how much he wanted me. He said I was perfect and he was an idiot.

Five months later we are the perfect couple. We spend weekends and occasional weeknights together. We meet on lunch breaks, he surprises me with gifts, he holds my hand around his friends. All the great boyfriend stuff.

The only problem is I'm not his girlfriend. He won't ask me to be. He says he wants to be sure and doesn't want to hurt me again. HELLO?

Yesterday we had a fight. He said he doesn't know if he loves me. Does he even know what love is? I know I love him and we talk about the future and our plans. But will he include me in his?

I'm 21 and have my whole life ahead of me. Can I waste another year on our relationship? Or do I begin the healing process now?

~ Taylor

Taylor, in nature, some creatures use mimicry to gain an advantage for themselves. For example, some moths resemble tree bark and some butterflies have "eyes" on their wings to scare off predators.

None of these creatures is what it pretends to be. They are something else.

In the same way, your boyfriend can mimic a man in love. Most of the time he says and does things which are supposed to come from love, but he is not in love with you.

When he fooled you the first time, he not only convinced you, he convinced those around you. Now he is not even telling you he loves you, though he still does things to make you love him.

He knows how to act in a way that makes women fall in love with him. He learned a trick that can be found in almost any relationship book, and he mastered it. But he didn't come back because he realized you are the one.

You should not feel qualms or engage in self-recrimination because you thought you loved him. He's the one pulling the trick.

There is one advantage in him coming back to you a second time. Now you get to dump him. Permanently. Once and for all. No sex. No contact. A complete break.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of March 7, 2016

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