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Parallax - Advice

November 18, 2002

She's the one

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!My girlfriend graduated from college before I did. While we were apart, I was so secure of her feelings for me that I cheated on her a few times, which I regret. She was annoyed that I was still in school and didn't have any solid job prospects. She was also lonely, and begged me to leave school and move in with her. When I refused, she broke up with me. I was okay with it, because a girl at school liked me, and I also felt my girlfriend would call a few days later to get back together. Instead, she started seeing someone else—a rich, smart, good-looking co-worker, with a Lexus. (I was just a punk college kid who didn't want to grow up.) I begged and pleaded pathetically, and offered her everything she always wanted...marriage, kids—the whole nine yards. She said she loved me but turned me down. So I started a project to get her back, and every dollar, ounce of energy and my heart went into that project. I graduated and got an impressive position near New York (she wants to live near NYC.) I took her to dinner, bought her gifts and slept with her. But I couldn't control my emotions and would ruin moments by crying or asking her to get back with me. One weekend, I spent over a thousand dollars on her and she said she wanted to move in right away. The next weekend I drove to her house and saw his car parked outside, so I didn't speak to her for three days. When we finally talked, she begged me to take her back, but I didn't want to give in right away. Two days later, she said she wanted to be friends only, because she didn't want to hurt me again. I said she couldn't call, write or see me for a while. She said, 'I love you so much.' I said, 'Goodbye.' It's now been a week and I'm dying. Please help me. Despite how this letter sounds, she's the one. She's the best friend I've ever had—the prettiest, smartest and sexiest. What should I do? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Drama King,

Give it a few weeks with the two of you apart—no calls, etc. This will allow both of you time to think more clearly, and not instinctively react to the enormous loss by trying to get back together as soon as possible to minimize the pain of loss.

She is seeing someone else. It won't stick, but that isn't really your barrier, anyway. You have had a cat-and-mouse relationship. You've cheated, and you've both slept around with other people. When you have her you don't want her; when she leaves you for another, you die. Give it a rest for a few weeks.

You say she's the one but I'm not so sure. You wouldn't be so inclined to cheat if she were. Yes, you've made a project to get her back, but only after she had gone and introduced a rival—so that is very natural. You aren't thinking clearly at the moment; it is all too new and you are in a state of panic and jealousy.

Calm down and work through life without her, for now. Settle on yourself for the moment. When you've done that, you'll have your real answer as to whether she really is the one...and she'll have her answer about you as well. A little space from you will make her crave you all the more, which is an added benefit. But your hiatus must be perfectly timed. You need just enough space for her to get some clarity about her feelings and really miss you.

If your intuition is right, and at the end of this reprieve you have decided she is it, I have one word for you—propose. Do the most telling gesture you will ever do and hope she loves you still.

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His view:

Dear Drama King,

You do have a flair for drama. You make a huge deal of a very small problem. Unless you are delusional, and what you write is biased or untrue, it seems very clear that this woman is just waiting for you.

Yes, there have been some complications along the road, some bad timing and some misunderstandings. But the only thing keeping this story from having a happy ending is your desire to continue to build up the drama and play games and draw things out as if it were a cheesy soap opera.

I'm surprised she hasn't dumped you yet—but I don't think she will, either. So, stop playing the 'prima donna.' Call her and tell her you are an idiot. Then go pick her up.

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