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Dear John: Why Doesn’t He Know I’m ‘The One?’

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


What’s your problem? Write to John at [email protected]

Dear John,
I have a great guy who is really sweet, etc. This past weekend I met a guy who is young (25), energetic, awesome – MARRIED. I also met his 24-year-old wife and was in awe of them. I am so happy for them and love to see people ridiculously in love, but I felt so jealous. The way they danced, the way he looked at her, etc. I feel embarrassed and guilty even confessing these feelings. I guess I am stuck because after two-and-a-half years, my guy claims to still not know if I am the one. I know I am not wasting my time because we truly do love each other, but why am I admiring someone else's life?

I guess the real question is – how come that guy "knew" and mine doesn't? And furthermore, when do guys know?

Guilty and Confused

Dear Guilty,

I’ll answer the easy question first: you’re admiring someone else’s life because they have what you so dearly want.
Your other question is a little more complicated. I’m not sure I’m buying that your guy doesn’t know. Two-and-a-half years is a pretty long time. I think he knows, but he may not want to tell you because he likes things exactly as they are. Some guys share your desire to get married and will enter into a relationship with that possibility in mind. Many don’t and will simply keep you waiting indefinitely until you force the issue. I think your boyfriend is one of the latter.

Stop waiting for an answer. You’ve gotten one; it’s just not the one you want. If you want to be in a relationship that’s leading inexorably towards marriage, I think you should start looking elsewhere.

Dear John,

I have a friend who divorced her husband about four years ago.  The divorce process was long, drawn-out and just plain ugly.  My friend told me some pretty horrible things about her ex, but he was always nice to my husband and me.  After their divorce I did not have much contact with him and he has subsequently moved out of state.  My friend still has issues with her ex involving their two children.  Recently her ex "friended" me on Facebook.  I have ignored his request.  I think that being a Facebook friend is not a big deal, but I'm not so sure if my friend would see it the same way. I'm afraid to even mention the friend request to my friend because she has so much contempt for the guy.  So John, would you see accepting his request as a betrayal? Could I accept the friend request without compromising my relationship with my friend?
Facebook Flummoxed

Dear Flummoxed,

I would not consider accepting his friend request a betrayal, but your friend well might. Whether it compromises your relationship with your “real” friend depends entirely on her.

As I’m sure you know, when people get divorced, their friends are usually put in the position of having to “choose” one or the other, and this dynamic is very hard to avoid. I was in your predicament not too long ago, and I refused to choose. Well, the husband equated this refusal with tacitly choosing his wife, so he cut me out of his life.

If you like this guy, accept his friend request. If you don’t, don’t. But make sure your choice is truly that – your choice. Don’t be held hostage by your friend’s animosity toward her former spouse. Personally, I don’t want to be friends with someone if one of her conditions is she gets to choose who my other friends are. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need friends like that.

Dear John, 

A dear friend of mine has recently begun selling household products from her home. I’m sure you know the type of business – you sell things like cleaners, laundry detergent, etc., to friends and try to bring other people in as salespeople. Like so many people, she has been under a lot of financial pressure the past year, so I want to be supportive since she has taken the initiative and is trying to change her situation. However, now our friendship is suffering. Every get-together turns into a sales opportunity, and I end up feeling resentful that I’m guilted into buying something I really didn’t want. I really like this person but I’m beginning to dread seeing her! How can I be supportive of her efforts without feeling like I’m being taken advantage of?
Cupboard Full of Cleaners

Dear Cupboard,

Like you, I think it’s wonderful that your friend is doing everything she can to be self-reliant rather than wallowing in self-pity. Of course you want to be supportive, but her circumstances don’t give her carte blanche to take advantage of you. Let’s chalk up her overbearing sales pitches to her enthusiasm at being able to take control of her life.

I think you should have an honest talk with her. Tell her that you value her friendship and you’re happy she’s found a way to make a little extra money, but your friendship is starting to feel more like an extended retail transaction. Since she sells stuff you can use, you will be glad to buy detergent and other staples from her, and she can rest assured you’ll let her know when you’re running low. Until you do, however, she should see an invitation to get together for coffee as exactly that, not an opportunity to sell you the cups.

John is a middle-aged family man from Providence. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. Write to him at [email protected]


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