SL Letter of the Day: He Threw You A Bone—Throw It Back

Comments

1
Any woman who bets the farm that a man will change should start packing up the livestock. They don't change. And that is especially true if you get pregnant.
2
@1 Hey! Plenty of men get pussywhipped (btw, its there a gay euphemism for "pussywhipped"?) and change at least some of their habits.
3
*is
4
Relationships only work when both parties make sacrifices for the others needs. Those needs may be different from relationship to relationship, but they are still there. If he is not willing to do what you need him to do then its not a relationship, its just fucking around, which can be good, but only if that's what you want.

I've had a number of friends who really really like to sleep around, and who also want the whole relationship thing, but more often then not they tend to lack the maturity to either follow through or find someone who is fine with things being open without some bullshit double standard. As a result they tend to just lie about not sleeping around and that leads to all kinds of fun.

At least this guy is being kind of upfront.
5
Ohh been there. I don't know why guys do this, especially gay guys. If you don't want a relationship fine, tell me, i'll still let you fuck me, i'll just beat down my romcom fantasies.

Letters like these make you want to loose hope for a meaningful relationship.
6
This is manipulative behavior on its face. I'm guessing RNCA doesn't have a whole lot of actual relationship experience, otherwise this bullshit would be easier for her to see through. Clearly, his expectation is a FWB arrangement with zero commitment. He likes to bang her, and maybe he does actually like hanging out with her, but he does not want to be her boyfriend. Better luck with the next guy.
7
When any man says he might change, you can bank on it, so you hang in there, li'l girl, 'cause your ship is sailing in any day now.
8
Oh, man is Dan right on with this one. You are totally being played. When I read "There is a chance I could fall for you.", I did the most massive eye roll imaginable. Really? She fell for that old canard?

If you like the sex, and can be happy with occasional no-strings-attached sex, then keep doing what you're doing. Nothing wrong with that.

But if you want an exclusive committed relationship, you'll never have it with this guy. "There is a chance I could fall for you." is utter bullshit. I've heard guys lay out versions of that for more than 30 years. It is a lie every single time, without exception.
9
@2 - Dickmatized.
10
The difference between men and women is that women go into relationships thinking they can change the man, and they don't. Men go in thinking that the women won't change, and they do.
11
I largely agree with Dan, but nowhere in the letter does this person explicitly say they are sleeping together. She says, "...while I'm not sleeping with other guys he has told me he's been with other girls while he has been with me." It is possible to date a while without having sex.

Either way the point still remains and she needs to get out. He sounds like a douchecanoe.
12
Yes to all of these things, and my advice would be slightly meaner. Like @8 said, if you can manage to emotionally disconnect, then continue to have NSA sex with him (breakup/"trying to hold on" sex can sometimes be the best kind) while actively pursuing others for actual romantic interests, and being upfront with him about that, it will be interesting, instructive, and potentially gratifying to watch all the different stages he goes through to try to keep a hold of you when you start telling him about some of the other folks you're dating.
13
Dan's right and so is your intuition. Don’t start playing the sucker role now or in any future relationship.
14
Dear RNSA,
You know what you want and you know how you feel. You're trying to keep an emotional distance to protect yourself, but I don't think it sounds like you can do it.
He might like you; he might care for you. But he is not going to change and he is not going to become what you want him to be. The longer you are with him, the more emotionally invested you will be.

Hard as it might be to end it now, it will be harder later, when you have logged more time, when you are more emotionally invested, when you have more memories to torment yourself with.

End it. Leave yourself open to someone who loves you and wants you like you love and want him. You deserve it.
15
@9 LOL, thank you.
16
Oh my, I've heard this one before. "I could fall for you" is the oldest game in the playbook. Liars are the worst. Dump this guy and find somebody who can be honest about their wants and needs.
17
Yeah, dump this loser. If you are sexually positive and intelligent you WILL find men willing to commit to SOMETHING.
18
RNSA, always ask yourself: "What would Lucy Ricardo do?"

While this specific situation never came up in "I Love Lucy", it's pretty clear what would happen if Ricky said he was going to keep sleeping with other women, and Lucy wanted an exclusive relationship. She would dress up in ridiculous disguises and date Ricky as a dozen different women, so he could sleep around not knowing that he was actually having an exclusive relationship with her.

So, that's what you should do.
19
@2: "Plenty of men get pussywhipped (btw, its there a gay euphemism for "pussywhipped"?) and change at least some of their habits"

Hah, no. All those elements of their personality existed beforehand. "Pussywhipped" is obviously the (bizarre) view from an outsider, and it has nothing do with the woman, everything due to the person's personal choice to change. If you think you can change a person, you're not going to "pussywhip" them. It's just not going to happen.
20
Well before this point in any relationship, both parties are aware of their feelings for the other. There is no potential for new romantic feelings to magically appear.
21
@beccoid:
but sometimes deeper feelings develop over time. It's different to "falling in love", but it can still be love.

That said, I agree with Dan and the majority of posters: he plays her.
22
Knocked it out of the park, Dan. Poor girl. Her tone makes me wonder how old she really is.
23
#10 you have made my marriage.
24
@2: I say "pecker-whipped," but I like "dickmatized" too.
25
@18 Of course, the obvious solution. Thank you, Gus.
26
@19 - Exactly. In a healthy relationship, people will grow together, learn from each other, and find ways to complement each other's strengths and shore up each other's weaknesses. At least with regard to straight couples, outsiders may not perceive these developments as mutually beneficial. The guy's friends think he's "whipped" and the girl's friends think she "fixed" him. The reality is that in good relationships, such accommodation is voluntary and extends both ways.
27
Not sure whether the wording you used, "there is a chance he could fall for me" comes from him. If so, it pretty strongly implies that at least in the present moment, he isn't feeling that "falling for you" feeling AT ALL. Not even a little. That should tell you something about your prospects.
28
RNSA, I'm offering an allegory:

He's in a cafeteria with a tray. You're a sandwich on display. He picks you up and puts you on his tray. Mind you, he's not committed to having that sandwich, because he's not sure whether he'll see some other dish along the way that would wow him much more than you. And it's really important for him to have as many options as possible. But, for the time being, he'll keep you on the tray in a fallback position.

So, do you really want to know that he's settling for you for right now but may dump you in a heartbeat if any of his other prospects seem better? And, in the meantime, you've been waiting for him to make up his mind but not seeing anyone else? Not very equal, is it?
29
Seriously, dump this asshole. Yeah, there's a chance he could fall for you. There's also a chance that a meteor could strike the next time you two are together.

If you don't, he's going to continue stringing you along - telling you he cares about you just enough to keep you around, but not enough to actually commit. He's not even bringing up the possibility of an open relationship (at least, according to your letter he's not) - he wants no relationship, whatsoever. And then your self-esteem is going to be utterly destroyed, as you try to make yourself more lovable in his eyes and strive ever harder to have him fall for you. But he's not going to, because he's getting exactly what he wants from you, which is sex without commitment. And you will continually wonder how you can make yourself better or more lovable or change so that he will fall for you. Don't do it. You're awesome just the way you are, and you deserve to be with someone who actually wants to be with you and respects you way too much to string you along.
30
Just to be fair to all the gender stereotyping jerky women also use this line. Difference is men just want to keep the no-strings pussy, women want the adoring but friend-zoned emotional tampon.

31
If you're with someone out of hope that the person will change, you're with the wrong someone.
32
@30 "Emotional tampon" is a pretty useful, if inelegant, term. Kinda like "pecker-whipped," I guess.
33
@2: Dick-lashed.
34
LW - the guy won't commit because he thinks he can do better. Who knows, maybe he can - he's obviously got something going for him to attract so many women without the promise of a commitment.

Dumping him would be the obvious, easy, and unoriginal thing to do, but that kind of defeatism only guarantees you'll eventually wind up with an ordinary unremarkable schmo. Maybe that's fine - lot's of women settle for nice schlubby guys that no one else wants to fuck.

Alternatively, put on your game face and figure out how to ensnare this guy. Pick a night and blow his mind with the hottest, naughtiest sex you can imagine. I'm talking a no-holds-barred application of your sexual wiles. Then, cool it off again and leave him wondering how he can get the wildcat back. Meanwhile, drop a hint that you're seeing another guy who's super smart and funny, and that some 3rd guy is chasing you but you're just not into the perfect overly-handsome type.

Need to prepare yourself for the possibility it doesn't work, but what the hell, seems worth a shot, and these are good skills to practice.

@10: Brilliant.

@18: LOL!
35
@34 Funny, that sounds to me like great practice for a lifetime of playing games with assholes. The guys you call schlubs are what some of us call "grownups" and "keepers".
36
@2 What about "cocksmacked"?
37
@34: Why are you channeling Helen Gurley Brown Seandr? Seriously that advice is straight out of Cosmo, and as such is crap. Lie to him? Play hard to get? To land this jackass? Why?
38
Hi RNSA,

You knew what Dan was going to suggest when you wrote the letter. Your choice of words and tone point to a manipulative prick trying to get away with whatever he can. Cut him off and find someone that isn't such a user; and get tested if you've been sexually active together.

Peace.
39
@12
It may also surprise you. I was in an FWB for about 2 months when I finally turned to him and said," Hey, I know you're not ready for a relationship, so I think I'm gonna need to back off the benefits part. I need to find someone who wants to date me exclusively."

His response," Oh, I thought we already were."

... Still dating 8 months later. But don't hang your hat on this, OP, it was a bizarre situation. (And I kinda suspect he gets antsy with monogamy, though he's turned down my Poly invitation every time.)
40
Old fashioned expression: he's stringing you along. But it all comes to the same thing, doesn't it? He gets you and everyone else and you get him and his omissions. (Notice I did NOT say "lies.")
41
@29 - agree with your advice but "he wants no relationship, whatsoever" is not true - an NSA IS A type of relationship. It's just not the best choice for her right now.
42
@37: Why?

I don't know. To liven things up a bit? To disrupt all the earnest bah'ing and bleating around here? Because it was fun to write? Because I imagined someone might find it amusing?

Never heard of Helen Gurley Brown, but she sounds fun.
43
RNSA,

What everyone else said. @30, I'm not a fan of the phrase "emotional tampon," because I just think menses and feelings should be kept separate, but I see what you mean. In my younger more reckless and immature days, I had a few fool-around buddies (though I generally kept sex to one guy at a time) that I liked, but they *reallllly* liked me. I knew this but would not commit to any one guy. It felt nice; I had power, just like this fool. I let it keep going on even if in my heart I knew I wasn't going to be with them. It was unfair and dickish of me and I felt guilty for it for a long time. I still am not proud of it, but we have all moved on, and quite simply, I'm not a teenager anymore. One finally had enough of that shit and it was (idiotically) hard for me to let go even though I had screwed him over.

My point in this story is that I was being an asshole and so is this guy. If you leave him, it will make everything better especially for you and (although you may not and definitely should not care) also for him. He knows he's making this into a mess but doesn't have the balls to tell you the truth while also reaping the benefits (more sex!). It'll be easier to cut him out of your life now than in the future.

I don't know why I included so many parentheses (but I did).
44
@seandr, I believe we've had our disagreements, but I genuinely appreciate every bit of cynical humor you bring to Slog.
45
@37: Y'all are new here, right?

seandr's brand of sly deadpan delivery is a fine thing to behold. Any legs around here need pulling, he's your man.
46
@44: Thank you!
47
Everyone lies to get laid. Get used to it.
48
You don't need Dan Savage to answer that one. But you did.
Now, if you are like everyone else who gets this advice, you will ignore that advice and be damaged until you turn 37 going from promise to promise. And then you'll be angry for being played and angry at everyone for a few years, narrowing it down to men over time. Then you'll mellow at about 58, but you will have missed out on so much fun because of the naivete and the anger. Finally, you'll get this glassy, blissful look as you walk down the street and see strangers engaged in equitable relationships.

So get to it.
49
@ 42: Ah! Just joshing around were you? Well then, well played. :) The "why" wasn't directed at why you would write what you did, but why anyone would follow that game plan . Helen Gurley Brown founded Cosmo.
50
@45: avast2006, no I'm not new here, but you must be.
51
LR:

Every time this guy uses the subjunctive, you need to mentally add the following to his statement: "...and monkeys might fly out of my ass."

Keep checking for those monkeys.
52
@43: Spot on. And I <3 parentheses. And your avatar.
53
@52, I thank you. I think I overuse parentheses sometimes (but only sometimes).
54
I just ended one of those exact non-relationship relationships. It was shockingly easy to do, because I had protected my feelings carefully enough during the process. I told him that I wasn't interested in anyone who expected to see other people while sleeping with me, and that I needed to be with someone who desired only me. Period. He wasn't such a great guy after all, and I walked away with my feelings and self-respect intact.
55
The LW sounds about 17 to me. It's like it never occurred to her that she could just see other guys, too.
56
You know, she may not being played. I was in this same situation, and that man is now my husband. I just made sure that whenever the point came where I knew that I could not go further without more commitment from him, I told him. We had several conversations about our needs, my desire to be more committed and his need to be a bit of a playboy. So when I knew we had to be boyfriend and girlfriend or else I'd end up brokenhearted, I told him, and he chose me. When I had to choose between leaving the state or staying with him, I told him, and he made more commitments to me. And when he got offered a job in another city, I told him I wouldn't feel right going unless we got married, and we did. Along the way were several years, some therapy for him to deal with a past relationship, and monogamishness. She may not be getting played, he just may be being honest, and she needs to decide what she really needs.
57
@50: That was a rhetorical question. Do you not even know a rhetorical question when you see one?
58
On the can people change thing:
Can/do people change in relationships: hell, yes, and a fine thing it is, too. Dan's written lots about this, pretending to be a better person for your loved one until you actually are better.
However, is this change predictable or reliable: hell, no. You can't base a relationship on it, you have to like/love/be happy with the person as they are at the outset as a basis for further improvement.
59
I <3 mtnlion too (rawr).
60
@56 Your advice to figure out and speak up on what exactly the LW wants is spot on. Also, I appreciate you sharing about your marriage, I'm just not sure if it is the best example for our LW.

Based on your comment, your relationship seems to have ultimatums all over the place. I understand life brings sudden circumstances that add momentum to a decision, however the most defining moments of your relationship have been based mostly on ultimatums. This typically ends bad for people. I'm glad you told him what you wanted and that it worked out for you guys, but believe you are the lucky exception to this norm.
61
@57: Ohhhhhhhhhh! Rhetorical you say! Well I never! xoxo
62
@60,

One man's ultimatum is another man's compromise. If you can go through life without making difficult decisions, your life is very different from mine.

Peace.
63
I can't help but wonder if the advice would have been different if the letter would have been from a guy.
64
@56 I also started out in a similar place. I was fresh out of a relationship and met a gorgeous dude who I really liked. He told me he was a playboy and wasn't sure he ever wanted monogamy on our first date and I thought, "you know, I'm still too raw for a relationship... so why not?" We continued dating other people for about 4-5 months. He was sleeping with a couple of other girls and I wasn't doing much of anything. Sometimes I felt jealous because I was falling harder and harder each day but I knew what I was getting into from the beginning and I wasn't about to ask him to change. But we communicated about everything and always treated each other like a priority. Around the same time he started hinting that he didn't actually *want* to be sleeping with anyone else, I fucked someone else. We became monogamish that night. We still have the occasional threesome and I don't care if he flirts or even makes out with other girls occasionally. I go on fairly innocent dates with other girls and we both have skype and chat sex with other people. I feel fairly certain that if I hadn't let him find his desire for commitment on his own terms, it never would have happened. And, it just so happens that he's head over heels in love with me, treats me like I'm the sexiest thing alive (I mean, I am, duh), brings me coffee in bed almost every morning, rubs my feet, stimulates me intellectually, makes me laugh, and fucks me better than anyone else ever has. I'm glad I stuck it out. But I did so on my own terms and I think that's the point.