I need some advice on a break up and I couldn't figure out who to talk to about this, so I figured I'd send you an email to get an outside, unbiased opinion.
I was dating a guy for not too long and last night he decided to call me and tell me that he just wants to be friends. I told me that he was still attracted to me, was the most unique girl he'd ever met, and still liked me, felt connected to me emotionally and spiritually and physically, but he has liked girls more in past relationships. He told me that I was a girl that every guy was looking for and that when the right guy came along at the right time, that things will work out.
This guy also suffers from bipolar disorder and told me that he doesn't deserve to be happy and it wasn't in the cards for him to be happy. He also told me that he isn't ready for marriage for various reasons and knew that I wanted to be in a relationship that was progressing toward marriage and he didn't want me to waste my time waiting on him.
I guess I'm just trying to sort out why he really broke up with me. Was it because he really wasn't into me, or was it because he was scared of committing and couldn't bring himself to commit to a relationship?
I'm heartbroken obviously and I've done a lot of crying and replaying of everything that had happened. I feel like an idiot for trying to work things out with him despite him telling me beforehand that he didn't feel ready for marriage. Guess I thought I could change that.
Anyways, any advice or ideas about why he may have broken up with me and even advice on how to move on from this and not be scared of getting my hear broken again would be greatly appreciated.
- Name Withheld
My world is full of people who would love to have even been in a relationship at all . . . so I guess there's that.
I just read your email (keeping it anonymous) to my living room full of my YSA and Young Married Jo Kids. They all said the same things I had planned to say to you.
1. What a sad email!
2. That guy is a total loser!
3. She's lucky she got out of that relationship when she did!
I get that you like the guy . . . but he really does seem like he's not a very good guy. What he said to you is awful, and if he doesn't want to stay in a relationship with you he can't be very bright. Plus one needs to be . . . very . . . cautious . . . about getting into a relationship with someone who has major psychological problems . . . real OR imagined.
Time will heal this wound.
Be willing to go out with any non-murderer that asks (hoping that makes you smile), and as Sister Jo says, being of service helps us feel better. So do that, too!
It's been about a year and I never responded to your email! Figured I would thank you for your thoughts and update you on things.
That break up was difficult and it took a little time to get over it, but I did get over it. Once I got past feeling hurt, I realized how right you were. What he said was awful and I was lucky to get out of that relationship. I can see now why it was a huge blessing to not be in that relationship anymore.
I took your advice and tried doing more service and I went out with any non-murderer that asked (definitely got a big smile out of that one!). I went on several dates that never really went anywhere, but I had lots of fun.
One guy in particular asked me out and I wasn't really that interested, but I went anyways (I mean he was a non-murderer so I had to go!). We ended up hitting it off and spent hours and hours just talking on that first date. We are now engaged and getting married in the (Location Withheld) Temple in March!
If I had stayed in that past relationship, I know I would have been unhappy and I wouldn't have met my fiance. Because of that relationship, I learned what I wanted in a spouse and I found those things and more in my fiance. Thank you for your kind words and advice from almost a year ago.
Also as a side note, your list of stuff you need to know before you get engaged was extremely helpful! It was a great resource to refer to when we wanted to talk about the big and important things. There was stuff on there we would not have thought of on our own.
Thanks again for your advice and for your blog!
What a wonderful email to get to read today!
Very happy for you. Thank you for your kind words and positive outlook.
I've read a lot of advice from your blog, and I really love it and think it would be very effective in those situations. I'm in a situation of my own right now, and don't really know where to go with it. I'll take any advice you can give :) here's the deal:
I met this guy about a month ago. My parents and his aunt and uncle set us up on a date, and we hit it off very well. Neither of us even knew the other existed before this date, though he is my back-door neighbor (living with said aunt and uncle). Since then, we've gone out/"hung out" several times. We hug after every time, and he even held my hand once while we watched a movie. My family loves him, my dad thinks he really likes me, since he wants to do stuff all the time. However, he has never mentioned at ALL if he likes me or not or wants to continue to date me.
Part of me respects him for that. I have met lots of guys who are unreadable, but at least after a but they somehow try to tell me how they feel. I've gone out with lots of guys that are too bold, who I've not been interested in. Or those that flirt too much, I don't feel "special". But another part of me is confused as to why he hasn't said anything. If he just thinks I'm a fun friend, I'd like to know..
I do think he's shy or nervous, so he's trying to hide maybe? But.. I am shy too. But I've tried to slip in little things like "hey, I had fun with you tonight" or "I missed hanging out with you the last couple days" to give him a lead or whatever, but he changes the subject it avoids the question. When we DO hang out, many times his sister is there with us too, and to me, it seems to be a simple excuse not to do or say things, if she's there. Though she is super fun and I like her too!
I've met some of his family, and they've made little comments that make it seem like he could like me, but, it could also be that THEY like me and want things to progress... Who knows.
My family already considers us to be "unofficially dating"... But... I don't. Just because he has never said anything even closely related to the topic.
I guess then what my questions are... Does he like me? What should I do in this situation? How can I get him to open up and tell me how he feels? Do I be patient, or gather up all my courage to be bold? If someone else asks me on a date, do I go?
Thank you so much for your help.. It is greatly appreciated in advance. You're the greatest! :)
- Learning to Read Boys
You don't mention how old either of you are, so my answer could be one of two different things.
If you're still in High School, my advice is to not take any one boy too seriously and go on lots of Casual Group Dates with lots of different boys. Keep your "hanging out" in groups (movie parties, mini golf, stuff like that).
If you're an adult . . . well, that's a different story.
First of all, when people talk about “reading” often what they mean is that they expect to be able to guess what's on a person's mind instead of actually . . . you know . . . TALKING to them. All of the questions you're asking me you should be asking him.
"So . . . I'm sorry if I sound naive, but I'm really in the dark here. Do you like me? Do you think of us as a couple? Are we just buddies or is this something more? How do you want me to respond to other guys when they ask me out?"
Those are all fair, legitimate questions.
Sure, one can imply that because you're together so much that neither of you is seeing anyone else, but the problem is that you HANG OUT instead of GO OUT. It's fine to introduce hanging out AFTER one is officially a couple, but even then you should still GO OUT on dates at least once a week (a habit, by the way, which should never end, even during marriage; especially then, actually).
I'm guessing that this boy has no more dating experience than you do; that means you'll need to do some training. You'll need to teach him that he needs to take you out on an official date at least once a week. You'll need to tell him things like "you know, once in a while a girl likes to get flowers". If you do these things in a kind, flirty way, I think the two of you will grow AND have a lot of fun.
AND, if you are Serious Single Dating age, after your third official date (counting the ones he's already taken you on), you might want to ask "so . . . why is it that a smart guy like you hasn't tried to kiss me yet?" - Bro Jo
There have been two times in my life where I've been pretty sure a girl liked me. One was my freshman year. All the normal things: we talked alone for a few hours the first time we met (in a public place, don't worry), she texted first, we did lots of things together, and she was pretty flirtatious. Turns out, she had a boyfriend this whole time.
Pretty recently, a different girl was dropping some serious hints: playful pushes, sassy smirks, the whole shebang. One day, she mentioned that she was single. Three times. She mentioned that she wanted a certain guy to ask her on a date. So I take the "hint" and ask her on a date. She says no.
In both situations, I told friends (both guys and girls) about the things she said/did (honestly, no embellishing) and was told, "Yeah, she wants you to ask her on a date!"
Am I just forever doomed to being led on? Am I doing something wrong?
- Name Withheld
I don't think you're doomed. I just think you happened to have had two bad experiences in a row.
Might happen . . . I don't know . . . a thousand more times . . .
Any clear thinking individual would think these girls were interested in you. I have no idea what their deal was.
But I promise you that there are lots of girls out there that are not like this.
Might take a few more misses to find one . . . but it's worth it! - Bro Jo
I've debated writing this for a while now. I'm not really sure where to start, or what my question really is but here I go... I live in a place where the church is really quite small and attend a YSA ward where there aren't many guys that are dating. Basically the only ones that are, are in serious relationships already. I've tried hinting at going on dates and such, and have managed a few but never anything serious. I've been home from my mission for a year and have only been on 3 dates with 3 different guys in my ward. There is so much pressure to find a husband but there isn't anyone where I live that I think is worth dating. Mainly because the only ones not in serious relationships are either preparing for a mission (and I don't want to get in the way of that) or not temple worthy. There is one new guy in the ward who is an RM and temple worthy but it seems like he's fallen for the "cutest girl in YSA" and we don't talk very often.
Recently, I took a trip to Utah and met up with one of the Elders that served in the same mission as me that I had met in the MTC. We never really served together and I think I saw him 5 times max on the mission. But we met up nonetheless. And I had a really good time. We sat and talked for about an hour and I hadn't laughed as much as I did with him in my life. He spent most of the hour trying to convince me to move to Utah. He had it basically all planned out for me. I texted him later and asked him why he wanted me to move there so badly and he told me he just wanted me to be happy and he didn't think I was happy where I am (in Canada). Of course, he would be right. He's really nice and I really like how I feel and who I am around him. He makes me want to be a better person and gives me hope that there is a guy out there somewhere (if not him) that would want to see me happy and see me do well in life. Also, he gives me hope that one day I could be sealed in the temple. It's been a week since I saw him and I think about him constantly...I'm such a girl.
I was talking to one of my companions and she brought up the fact that if I do move there, it doesn't mean that I will date him, but it does open many more opportunities than what I have now. Not only for dates but also for spiritual growth as well as I would have more access to temples and such (the closest one right now is 6 hours away). So moving there looks like a good idea right now, even just for a semester or two. But my parents aren't supportive. Right now, they're paying for my school and say they can't afford to send me there. Even though it would only be a little more expensive because of the exchange rate. There is no way I could afford to go there on my own unless I were to take some time off from school and work which isn't bad but not the greatest plan either.
I guess what I'm trying to get at is do you think it would be a good idea to move down for a bit? And if so, what is the best way to convince my parents to let me go? Also, should I continue texting the person I met on the mission and see where it leads even if I don't move right away?
Sorry for my rambling, I just need an outsider's opinion on this and I think most of all, I needed to see my thoughts written out on paper. Thanks for all that you do!
- Name Withheld
You're an adult and a Return Missionary. You don't need to convince your parents or get their permission. If you feel the Lord would have you move, then move. (Which, given the circumstances, I also happen to think is a good idea.)
If your parents can't, or won't, help you financially then get a job. You're an adult. That's what adults do.
I agree that you should keep texting with this guy (just don't be the one that always initiates the conversation), but I also think you should make plans to move as soon as possible.
You are at the point in your life where it's time to begin forming an eternal family. If that isn't going to happen where you are, you need to move to where the odds are better. That's my opinion, anyway. - Bro Jo
I am coming to you today for advise because I'm have a hard time deciding on a plan of action. Here is some background on my situation. When I was in my senior year of high school I really had strong feelings for a young man let’s call him "Sam" who held very different beliefs than I did. I found out that he did not have feelings for me. With some very poor judgement I agreed to be in a "friends with benefits" situation this young man though had much higher expectations about what a "friends with benefits" relationship entailed and I think because of my own temptation, my desire to be close to him, and my insecurity. I made some mistakes, mistakes that really scared me emotionally because I had let myself be used, in fact I had chosen to be used instead of moving on. He eventually ended the relationship because I was getting too attached. I was left broken. I had shut my beliefs and my conscience (the Holy Ghost) to the back of my mind. It made myself numb to guilt and pain for quite a while. It took a whole lot for me to pull myself together. I did though, I eventually talked to my Bishop and got everything worked out.
I am very embarrassed to say that I am a female with a very high physical temptation. It's not something talked about very often and most of the time talks about pornography and masturbation are saved for the young men and young adults in the church. I've had a very hard time because I am very tempted. It makes me very sad and I am so very hard on myself when I make a mistake because I have a testimony I really do, but I'm afraid that I will never be strong enough to be pure. I'm afraid that I have ruined my mind. I have talked to my bishop and sometimes I get it under control for a while, but it something that I can never let my guard down on. As soon I do I make a mistake again.
At this point I'm afraid to date even because I know that if physical, I will be so tempted to take it further.
Recently I have come into contact with Sam. It has been two and a half years since we graduated high school. Through this time we have always remain friends, though not always close friends.
In April Sam was broken up with by his girlfriend of two years. He was crushed. Just completely heart broken, insecure, and lonely. Although I was dating someone at the time I did take the time to talk to him and try to help him through this tough time.
We became close.
After I broke up with my boyfriend due to his mission we became even closer. I feel like in a whole lot of ways he needs me to be there for him. The problem is that there is always a temptation with him. I know him well and I know he is an extremely physical person with very different standards. I had hoped that I could be strong, but I fell to temptation with him. In a lot ways its the same thing because Sam doesn't have romantic feelings towards me and I don't think I have them for him either.
At this point I am hurt and so sorrowful because I sinned against God who I know is the most important.
I feel empty.
I know that to repent I need to talk to my Bishop and I will. I guess my real question is, should I remain in contact with this person?
He is such a huge part of my life right now, not always a positive part, but also not always a negative part. I love him and care about so much as a friend and I don't want to abandon him in his time of need.
He is my best friend, but he makes it harder for me to resists the temptations in my life. In fact he is a huge temptation for me.
I know that he would be hurt if I cut contact with him. It is my hope that one day I will be strong enough to be an example for Sam, but my weaknesses have yet to become my strengths.
Any advice Bro Jo?
- Confused and Broken
Little Sister . . . you have so much more value than you seem to think you do.
Because I care, I'm going to be very, very honest with you.
“Sam” is not your friend. He does not care about you. He doesn't love you.
All you are to him is someone he can use physically to make himself feel better.
He doesn't love you. He can't. He doesn't respect you. You can't respect someone who doesn't respect themselves.
Your entire relationship with Sam is centered around him feeling better and you feeling worse.
It's sometimes hard for us to know what to do because we're in so deep. Not being able to see the forest for the trees sort of a thing.
What I'm saying is . . .
You need to cut him out of your life. Entirely.
He's a cancer.
Think of it this way: in order for us to heal we need to stop hurting ourselves. You can't heal the burn on your hand if you won't stop touching the stove.
Do talk to your Bishop right away.
And, seriously, consider please getting some counseling as well. It just seems to me that you have some lack-of-self-esteem stuff going on you need to overcome.
You need to realize that you are a beautiful, wonderful, daughter of God, and as such are awesome!
No man can ever prove that to be true, nor take it away.
I know that as you work to mend your relationship with the Savior you'll feel better.
And I really feel that cutting Sam out of your life, cleanly and right away, is essential to starting down that road.
(And, remember: because of the Savior and the Atonement, we're never totally "broken'!) - Bro Jo
My boyfriend and I broke up six weeks ago after dating for two months.
It's not my first broken heart and I'm moving on.
While I don't know exactly the reason he broke up with me it boils down to the fact that he is not ready to be in a serious relationship. I am! I loved the experience!
I felt energized by our conversations, loved trying new things together and felt totally accepted. I made changes to become a better person because of him and I am always going to be grateful for that. I was beginning to love him.
And yes, I could see a future.
I am moving on but still have feelings of wanting him back. I tell myself that it is just the addiction center of my brain talking, and I shouldn't listen. But it talks back.
Is it possible for us to get back together - that happens right?
How do you know if that's right?
Maybe he isn't the guy for me and his bowing out of what I thought was an amazing relationship is a blessing in disguise.
But there's also the fact that we got along like none other, he was really kind, honest and hilarious.
Can I find someone better than that?
Maybe I need to let my guard down and date more people to know for sure.
And wait. Upon. The. Lord.
- Name Withheld
I agree that you need to date more people and trust in the Lord's timing.
I don't agree that this is the only man you could ever get along with in this way.
Yes, people get back together, but it's rare, and even rarer that doing so works out.
Unless he's not ready to be serious because he's pre-mission, everything else that might "really be the reason" is . . . well . . . not good.
Most often (and believe me when I say that I think he's making a mistake here) when a person (girls do it too) says "I'm not ready for a serious relationship" they're leaving off the rest of the sentence.
The whole sentence is "I'm not ready for a serious relationship . . .WITH YOU".
I know that's painful. I've been on the receiving end of that more times than I care to admit. But if it's how they feel it's better to know right away than to be stuck in a going-nowhere relationship, wasting time instead of finding someone else.
So don't wait around.
If, someday, he actually realizes what a mistake he's made and IF you feel like he's ready to be serious and not just lonely and hanging onto you until he changes his mind or someone else comes along . . . IF . . . then you can consider it.
I had my heart broken, crushed and mutilated pretty badly earlier this year by a man I wanted to marry for 7 years, so I went on a "man-vegan" diet and actively avoided dating for many months until I was emotionally ready. Suddenly two of my friends from different circles both set me up with the same guy. The moment we were introduced I was overcome with peace. He exceeded all of my expectations, makes me happier than my original plan and makes me want to be better.
In the last month and a half we've seen each other about 3 times a week. I always have Sunday dinner and devotional at his apartment. We've been on about 4 official dates and they have been amazing! I can't say enough about how much I respect him and enjoy being with him. We haven't held hands yet, but that is definitely the next step.
But there's a problem.
I am getting so many mixed signals.
He is making the time to take me on dates and include me in his life. We have two dates this week, plus Sunday dinner. When we are alone together we have great quality time and super deep talks. We speak openly about the gospel and laugh about everything. Our quality time is so genuine. He says things like, "You and my mom would get along so well!" and then comments about how he wants to marry someone like his mom. We even won a "Celestial Marriage" game against 5 other partners! I feel so natural with him and it breaks my heart to think of him not being in my life. He keeps planning vague things in the future so I assume he wants me in his life as well.
BUT. Every other week is hot and cold. Sometimes I feel snubbed by him. He won't answer my texts for days at a time (he's getting better at that). When we are in a group I don't feel like he is trying to have "moments" with me.
I know that he is really busy; he works full time and is in the business school at BYU. He is also generally a really bad texter. I could never ever see him being mean or sending secret messages on purpose -- he isn't that kind of a person. If he didn't like he he'd tell me straight out so I figured that things were working out and that he was showing real interest when he asked me on two dates this week.
The reason I'm writing is because we went on our date today. When he picked me up from campus I hopped in his car and realized that he was talking on the phone with an old friend of his. He was talking to this girl about celebrating her good test scores by going out for milkshakes. He acknowledged me and was really friendly but continued to talk to this girl. He didn't try to speed up the conversation or say he'd call her back later. I don't know the context of their relationship...maybe it's totally platonic, but I felt like I was listening to him plan a date with someone else while we were on a date. The rest of the date was awesome and we talked for 2 hours instead of the quick 45 minutes that we'd planned on.
My conflict is that I don't want to invest more than I already have if he isn't going to make up his mind. Is he incredibly oblivious or does he not know what he wants?
I'm not the type of girl who waits around. It irritates me that I'm still sitting here.
Bro Jo, should I hike up my self worth and walk in a different direction or should I stay for a while longer?
- Uber Confused
What you should do is: Slow down
And stop looking for reasons to dump a good relationship ... especially this early. In our lives we often swing a pendulum from one extreme to another. Seven years is a very long time to be in a relationship that doesn't work out, but six weeks is way too early to make demands or jump ship.
I agree that he shouldn't be planning dates with his ex ... particularly while he's on a date with you. But if we look at the available evidence we have no reason to believe that he's experienced enough in relationships to know that.
The two of you have a great time together, and you're spending a lot of time together. That alone should tell you that things are going well.
At your age I don't understand how holding hands and kissing didn't happen three weeks ago... I agree that step needs to be reached very soon.
I don't agree that you're getting mixed signals. I think you just need to be a little more bold, a little more honest.
When he got off the phone you should have asked him why he was making date plans with his ex. That question, asked in a non-confrontational way, could have been enlightening for you both. He may have learned that's not something he should be doing, and you would have been able to express how you feel without seeming angry.
What if he's just looking for the opportunity to get some of his stuff back or finally get rid of her stuff that she left in his car?
And consider this: it's not like he was hiding this from you. That should tell you something. If things in your relationship bother you, talk about them ... in the most calm, rational way you can.
I understand that you're still wary and hurting from the last guy, but I see no reason yet to stop giving this new guy a chance.
Now, seriously, the next time you're together make sure you hold his hand and at least kiss him goodbye.
And by all means, ask him about this milkshakes plan.
Communication is the key in any relationship. .. verbal and non-verbal.
He surprised me last night by showing up at my house!
He was going to take me on a date but we all had so much fun playing music at my apartment that we ended up staying there.
Once everyone else had filtered out I brought up the milkshake plan. Turns out that she is his best friend from forever ago and he was just checking up on her. I also asked him why we'd been hot and cold...apparently last week he took a break to see if he really wanted to date me.
And he decided that he does!
We are official now!
I feel so much better about all of this!
Thanks for your advice!:)
- Uber Relieved and Happy
P.S. We had our third hug yesterday...hand holding should happen someday haha
Patience pays off!
(Still think you should have kissed him, though! It'll happen, I'm sure.) Congratulations, - Bro Jo
My stake has been invited to a multi stake laurel priest prom that will take place I'm a few months.
I would really like to go to this prom. It should be a lot of fun since there will be 10 stakes there, and I also want to do something that is part of my "high school experience," if you know what I mean.
However, my stake doesn't have many youth-and most of the them are actually in my ward. Unfortunately, even with that, there's really not much of an opportunity to go on causal group dates because most of them have steady boy/girlfriends, and several of them are actually dating each other.
Because of the steady dating situation that shouldn't be going on but is, I've never been on a group date. (I'm 17.)
So knowing I most likely will not be asked to the dance, I'm wondering if it would be ok for me to ask someone? Even if it's not an official "girls ask guys" dance?
I could potentially ask a nice YM in my ward who recently broke up with his girlfriend (who is actually not in our ward, by the way, so that's not a problem), but I don't know him hardly at all.
I could potentially ask a YM in another stake who I know a tiny bit better, but we haven't talked or seen each other in a while.
I could also potentially ask the older brother of my younger sister's best friend. They're actually a nonmember family, but are very active at the Christian church they go to, occasionally participate in some of our Church-related activities, and have nearly the exact same standards as us members do. However, I don't really know this boy very well, either.
I would be open to asking any three of these boys, even if it's unconventional. However, since I don't really know any of them that well right now, it would definitely be odd and awkward to straight up ask one them if he would go to prom with me.
Is there something(s) I could do between now and when I would need to ask one of them to prom that would make it less awkward?
For the example, my neighbor and good friend who is in my ward is friends with both the nonmember boy and the boy who recently broke up with his girlfriend. I know I can be direct with him without sounding desperate, so could I ask him to set up a group date sometime so that I could get to know this boy better? (Or say something to that effect.)
Thank you for your time and opinion,
- To Prom or Not To Prom
Dear To Prom,
Before you cross the "do the asking" bridge, I'd like to see you try to get these young men to ask you.
With the Young Man in your ward who is recently single, you could say "you know, I don't have a date yet for this prom thing coming up . . . it sure would be great if a nice, recently single guy would ask me . . ."
You could text the YM in the other Stake, have a bit of a conversation, and then after a while ask him if he's gotten a date to this thing yet. If he says no you could respond "me either" and leave it at that.
And as for the boy who is the brother of your sister's friend, I think it might be pretty effective to enlist the help of your sister and her friend. I'm sure the three of you conspiring together could come up with a way to get him to ask you.
Using our friends and relatives for dating help can be a great idea.
I realize that this you probably get hundreds of these a day. However, I have had something weighing on my mind.
I am now a senior at BYU-Idaho and I have known someone all semester and progressively developed feelings for this person but never really pursued it because he was sort of like my boss for a volunteer position.
I do this quite consistently . . . not pursuing my interests . . . I am tired of this pattern!
This person also graduates at the end of July and I'm not sure how to pursue anything whether, it should be a group thing so I can feel the person out more or if it should be a one on one type ordeal.
I do however feel that I need to start being more brave so I can get more experience dating while at BYU-Idaho whether or not I do meet my future spouse or not.
- Name Withheld
Sorry I'm just now seeing this message. The best way to communicate with me is by sending me an email. email@example.com
Boss at a volunteer thing is NOT an obstacle.
If you don't do something, your chance may be lost forever, and that inaction may haunt you for quite a while.
If you really like him, and if he's a Good Guy, go up to him (SOON), one on one, and say: "I just want you to know that I've spent this whole semester hoping you would ask me out on a date".
Then touch his arm, look him in the eye, and wait quietly to see what he does.
If after a moment he doesn't say anything, or doesn't ask you out right then and there, say "Here's my phone number" and hand him a piece of paper with your name and number on it.
(Yes, even if he already has it.)
Then smile, touch him again, and walk away not looking back. If he doesn't call or talk to you about it in a week or so, move on.