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My Fiancee Cheated While Planning Our Wedding
I was in a relationship for two-and-a-half years. We were supposed to be married in December of 2016. She lived in one world with me and the public, and another world without me or my family noticing anything. Over the course of our relationship, she became all wrapped up in my life, and then became resentful, and I couldn’t do anything right. But we talked about that, and said we agreed on all the decisions that were made. I believe we call this passive-aggressive. Then I found out that as she was planning our wedding, she was sending nude photos of herself to other men on instant messaging, and also meeting men when she said she was with her mother. She was also abused in the past by other men. I was so shocked because I never saw any of this coming. What can I do not to get bamboozled again?
Grant Langston: I wish I could give you an answer that would make you feel awesome. You did the right thing by taking your time. You dated her for two-and-a-half years. That is a significant amount of time, and usually we suggest you take that time so you can see that person in every conceivable situation. But, if someone is devious enough, they can fool you. You hear about men married 30 years and have another family in the Philippines, and somehow they’re able to compartmentalize and fool two families that have no idea. It can be done. So I guess I’m saying that there are no guarantees in life. So what can you do about it? Keep your eyes peeled and ears open, and when you see things that are “head scratchers” you can assess them. Now, I’m a fan of the benefit of the doubt, but that doesn’t mean that you turn off your common sense and that your brain doesn’t collect the data. If you see enough things that don’t make sense, ask your partner questions and maybe think about the worst case scenario. Like, maybe this person isn’t who she said she is. If she said she’s going to see her mom and then she acts different when she returns, maybe you know something’s up. You don’t want to be a hyper-suspicious person, but all you can do is be open-eyed and aware of people’s actions, because actions matter more than words.
Jeannie Assimos: I love what Oprah has to say about this: If things don’t add up, there’s a reason! Pay attention when things are weird. And be sure to get to know the person you’re dating. Get a good sense of things like their history, emotional health, family…that gives you a good indicator of what that person is all about. When you learn about them over time, meeting family and friends–all of those things will help you learn who they are and if they’re the type of person that segments their life and has stuff going on you don’t know about.
GL: Commons sense says that people aren’t perfect. People have problems, and when you date them, they will let you see see those problems, whether they’re neurotic, anxious, to do too much of this or too little of that. So, you can’t be in the position of wanting the “perfect person”, but a few things you can be insistent upon, and one of them is telling the truth. And if not telling the truth is one of their issues, the best thing to do is cut and run. Some other things may be negotiable, but not truth, given that you’ve gone through this. Be forthright with next person–not necessarily on on first date, but get a little further into the relationship, tell that person what you’ve been through, you have some scarring, some baggage that they may have to be sensitive to.
JA: The good thing out of this is you’re wiser now! And you didn’t marry a liar. Which is the plus! You’ve learned you can spot this type of behavior sooner. You’re growing. Not all is lost here. Sorry you went through this, but good luck!
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Am I Selfish if His Baggage Weighs Me Down?
My boyfriend and I are 10 years apart in age. I love him with all my heart and don’t want anyone else, but lately I feel like I want to leave him. He has three kids, two baby mamas and an ex-wife. I had a lot of plans for my life, like getting married and having kids and it being a brand new experience for my partner and me. I don’t know if it’s selfish to want to leave him because I don’t want to deal with his baggage. I really love him, and if I had things my way, I don’t want to get married right now, but I want to come back to him in a few years. But he’s 30 and I don’t know if he will want to wait around. I know if i tell him this that he’ll question my love for him and that’s not something I really want.
Jeannie Assimos: She’s 20 years old. And he’s 30. He’s already made some bad choices in his life with two baby mamas. If you’re 20 years old and you want to have a life with someone, want to have a family with someone, wouldn’t you rather be with someone that can share these things with you firsthand who doesn’t have the baggage the size of an airliner?
Grant Langston: That’s a fair point. I would also say, are you ready to be a stepmom to these children? Are you emotionally mature enough want that in your life at 20? I would have said no at 20. I wouldn’t have had the capacity or maturity level I needed back then. I needed to run around and be stupid and have fun. Ask yourself if you’re capable first of caring for three children and participating in that world. Those kids will see you as some kind of person in their life. Is that how you want to get started in life in this situation at 20? Right now, this guy feels like the best guy in the world, like you’ll never find another guy like that. I really doubt that’s true. You will be better able to have a meaningful relationship without so much baggage.
JA: Relationships are hard enough without all the extra stuff. You’re not selfish. It’s your life. You have one life to live, so pick the best partner for you. How nice would it be to meet a guy, date for a few years, and have a family for the first time together?
GL: This is the best time in life to be selfish when you’re dating. When you’re in your 20s, this is the time you have the right to say, “Is this person good for me?” When you’re single and figuring out what you want is the right time to be selfish. Because when you’re committed, it’s all about the other person, not just you anymore. So if you’re selfish when you’re single and figure out what you really want, then you don’t have to be selfish when you’re committed to making a life with someone. If you really love this guy, that’s nice, but at 20, if you have your preference and you’d rather be single, go be single! Go have fun! Let life take a different course for you. Have courage that you will meet someone else. You’ve got to be strong enough to say it’s not the right situation for you, and have enough self-love to hold out for something better!
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Dumped for My Best Friend
About three weeks ago, I got out of a relationship. My ex broke up with me because he said I was too clingy and my anxiety was too much to handle. So basically, he said he just needed space. But less than a week after our breakup, he started dating my best friend. I’ve been so upset. I’ve unfollowed them on social media but still look sometimes. I haven’t said anything to either of them, but I’m filled with such anger and sadness, I don’t know what to think. I’m just so broken inside. I don’t know how to get past this. What should I do? How do I get over it?
Grant Langston: Well first of all, there’s no magic pill. You need to quit following them on social media and tormenting yourself. Do whatever you have to do to stop peeping into their lives, that is just torturing yourself. These are just bad people. You’ve gotta feel good about the fact that these bad people are no longer in your life.
Jeannie Assimos: Say thank you! It’s blessing in disguise. You don’t have to spend any more time with this guy. You didn’t invest more in this friend. Cut it all off. Don’t communicate with them anymore and block them. You’ll feel a little better one day at at time.
GL: Unfortunately, this is how life is sometimes. A little rain must fall in everyone’s life. There’s nothing we can say to make the pain go away now, but it will go away. It will be a little better every day, and one day you’ll wake up and it won’t matter anymore. You’ll meet new guys, make new friends, and life will be back the way it should be.
When I first read this this, I thought the problem was going to be about being clingy and having anxiety, so I was going to address that. But based on what happened, I don’t think we can give that much credit. Chances are, he was just a bad guy looking for the door, looking for a way out. Do not give anything he said any credence. He’s proven he’s not a person you should listen to.
JA: Living well is the best revenge. Enjoy your life, and a year from now this isn’t going to matter. You can get through this.
GL: There’s a million of these obstacles that come along. When you get dumped, when someone dies, when you get fired. Now I’m gonna get really cheesy and deep, but these are all opportunities for you go grow and learn how strong you are. If life was easy all the time, you’d never know your strength. You need these problems to build these skills you’ll need in life. No one would wish this upon themselves, but when these problems come, just see them as obstacles to give you the opportunity to grow. You’ve overcome a lot and you’ll get more skills to better handle the next one. It’s a process, but you will be ok
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Did I Scare Away My Match?
A guy showed some interest online. We answered some questions back and forth, and we found out we had some things in common. I even read some books he suggested so we could discuss those. We messaged each other via eHarmony, and then he got scared and said he wanted to take things more slowly, so I backed off completely. My assumption is that he is recently widowed, and me being friendly and showing interest in finding out more things we had in common completely scared the daylights out of him. I haven’t contacted him for about a month, and he hasn’t messaged me. Any suggestions?
Grant Langston: Well, that’s a bummer. You seem like an interesting person that’s willing to put yourself out there and do things that make you attractive to people, and you have open arms to the whole process. I think that’s great! We don’t know what’s up with that guy. He could be off of eHarmony. You’ll never know, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out.
Jeannie Assimos: The bottom line is that you are clearly available, and he is not for whatever reason. Did you scare him? I don’t know. It sounds like you made an effort, have great energy and have a lot going for you. Find someone that can give back as much as you give. You’re a smart lady.
GL: I can see how you can see someone’s profile online, and everything about that person seems great. Oh, you’re so excited, and you want him in the boat but the line breaks and he gets away. I understand that feeling and don’t want to belittle your enthusiasm, but turn that on for the next guy who wants to talk, have a drink, have a coffee, and get to know you.
JA: I remember my single periods when I got to the point that I realized that the people that are meant to be in your life will just be there. I would meet people all the time. Some would stick around, some would disappear. Don’t take the blame for others’ actions. Who knows what’s going on with their life. It has nothing to do with you. It wasn’t meant to be; move on.
GL: What happens a lot in the world is that when you actually exchange phone numbers, you text over a period of a few days, trying to find a time to get together, and then it just peters out. Part of you wants to save it, but you probably can’t. That it dissolved is just a fact of the modern world. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to save things. Women drive themselves crazy trying to figure out what went wrong, men don’t. So if you’re being authentic and someone didn’t like it, you don’t want to change that. You have to be authentic and take the result of that. Sometimes that person isn’t into you. That’s okay. If it were that easy, and everyone liked everyone, eHarmony wouldn’t exist. Finding someone that aligns with you is not that easy, so focus your energies on moving forward and meeting the right person.
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I’m a Widow and Talk About My Late Husband on Dates
How soon is too soon? I’ve been a widow for four years and feel I’m ready to go on with my life. I’m 54, go to nursing college and miss having someone to come home to that doesn’t have four legs. My problem is that when I’m on dates, I can’t seem to come up with a story that doesn’t have something to do with my late husband. I don’t mean for it to happen. I’m not trying to compare anyone to him; I know he’s not coming back and I’m not looking for his clone somewhere out there. It’s hard to move on; it seems hopeless. Should I just resign myself to the fact that I am alone?
Grant Langston: Of course not! You’re not hopeless! It should be hard to move on because you loved him, and I’m sure he was a great man. So why is this happening and how do you stop it? I think you might need to not fight this as much. It’s about the degree, right? If you’re having a conversation or date and over the course of that date one of your stories relates to your husband that was in your life for 30 years, that’s okay! The person that’s with you probably knows you’re a widow, and that’s a huge part of your life. I can’t talk about the last 10 years of my life without mentioning my wife and children, because they’re in my life. In your situation, I don’t think it’s a buzzkill, I don’t think the person will shake his head. It’s about how you do it. If the point of the story is about you and your experiences, then I say no problem. If the point of the story is that your husband was a great guy, then you’ve got troubles. Then maybe you need to talk to grief counselor. You seem smart, so it doesn’t seem like you do that. I don’t think it’s as big a problem as you think it is.
Jeannie Assimos: Maybe a reality check is what you need. Check in with a friend. Tell them how you brought up your husband on a date, and ask them if they think it could be off-putting. If you find yourself constantly talking about him, there might be something going on to talk to a counselor about. You could need to do some self-assessment, too, to determine if you need some more time before you start dating.
GL: It sounds like you’re ready to move on, you miss a man, you feel lonely when you come home. You sound like a person that’s emotionally ready for another relationship, but then you have this little tick, tendency, habit you have to get a handle on. If all stories lead to this and you feel like it’s off-putting to people, you can edit yourself a little. You may take some time to think about what you want to share on a date, think about what in your life doesn’t bring up your husband, and practice that. Now, practicing for dates seems weird, but there’s no harm in it. Think about what are the things you like to say about yourself and how much is just about you and how much is about your husband. Put down some bullet points, go through this exercise, and you might be more confident next time you can have a conversation without bringing him up all the time.
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We Rolled in the Hay and He Bailed!
I met a wonderful guy online. To be honest, we kissed on the first date. Two weeks later, we had sex, which was Sunday. Today, he’s telling me we’re moving too fast. When I asked him what that means, he said nothing and just laughs. I’m really hurt inside. I need some advice. He works at night and sleeps during the day. I ask if there’s someone else, and he says there’s not, but for a guy to have sex with a girl and then say we’re moving too fast has really got me thinking.
Grant Langston: It’s unusual for a guy to say that unless there are other things going on in their relationship. I’m sure there are other conversations. If I had to guess, she’s talking about moving forward, meeting parents, going wine tasting… There’s a lot we don’t know. I’m not making her wrong, I’m saying that this is what tends to happen when you meet someone, then get intimate, and then it’s off to the races.
Jeannie Assimos: That’s exactly why you don’t want to be intimate so soon! If you’re a woman, there are so many feelings attached to this.
GL: I have been in this situation before, like… I really like her, the sex was great, but now she wants to get married! I feel like, why can’t we just have fun and take this slow, and why do we have to be something immediately? Why do we have to be in the social pages as a couple? And you feel boxed in, so all you can say to a woman is “Slow down!” Then she’s hurt. But a request to not go at the speed of light doesn’t mean you don’t care.
Because I’ve been through this, I see between the lines. Maybe she doesn’t know what she’s even doing. He laughed because he wants her to calm down. Right now, he’s right that they don’t know each other well enough. If this was two years later, she would be right, a year later, whatever. She’ll be more right as time goes on, but in the first six months, hold your horses, we’ve got to get to know each other!
She should go to him and say, “I think you’re fun; let’s go slow. Let’s get to know each other, talk about things that are meaningful. I don’t want shallow and cheap, but let’s live life together, have a good time, be authentic, and I won’t push. If I’m pushing, I was doing it unintentionally.” You know what? He will love that. He will feel relieved and think, “This woman is different and special, She’s confident enough to say that to me.” She’s got a really great opportunity to flip this around and be the hero. And if he does go a more casual route, wants to see other people, and that’s not what she wants, she can say, “This isn’t for me.” She has a lot of control in this situation, and that’s a great place to be.