Are friends giving you the best advice about your new guy?
Q: I've had two dates with a great guy who has expressed to me and to mutual friends that he is very interested in me. On Wednesday, after a dinner date, he asked me to do something this weekend. I said I'd love to, and mentioned I had a friend's birthday dinner, organized by her husband, on Saturday night. He said he'd call me.
Well, it's Friday morning and he hasn't called. My friends think I made a huge mistake by not being available Saturday night — they say I probably hurt his feelings or he'll think I'm playing hard to get, and he may not call again.
I've made the mistake many times before of dropping everything for a guy, and I know how isolating it gets. But I would also really regret not seeing where this relationship goes. Did I make a mistake? How do I fix it?
A: Yes, you've made a mistake — in seeking affirmation from friends who reinforce behavior you've wisely tried to outgrow.
You've had two (2) dates with a guy, and they think that's grounds for ditching what are clearly not informal plans to celebrate your friend's birthday? Because they think being genuine put you at risk of appearing as if you were pretending something?
Just writing that made my head hurt.
To fix this mistake, please take a good look at who these friends are, what they value and whether they help bring out what you like best in yourself. I'm not suggesting you ditch them all and start over; if we waited for friends who had perfect judgment, we'd all be completely alone. But there's a difference between laughing over a latte and actually trusting someone to have values in line with your own, and the judgment to match — or just trusting them to say, "Seems a little early to get all caught up in when this guy chooses to call." Know yourself, know the character of people in your life, then figure out whom you can trust.
Boyfriend seems clear that you should make your own choices
Q: I have a boyfriend. We're both in school, and he has a job lined up postgrad; I, unfortunately, don't. He's also working on securing another opportunity in a different city. We are at a point where I don't want to be long-distance, but he can't/won't tell me whether he's leaning toward staying or leaving, so I don't know whether to look for a job here or elsewhere. My gut tells me he might be purposely avoiding committing to a decision because he doesn't want me to move to a new city "for" him, but he claims he hopes to stay together regardless. What should I do?
A: Listen to what his actions are telling you, and learn. He says he hopes to stay with you regardless, but he's not letting the relationship drive his decisions.
So, I would suggest you stop expecting the relationship to drive your decisions — even as you hope that you two stay together. Work on securing your own opportunities in whatever city appeals to you, or makes sense to you, or does an interpretive dance for you in a fever-induced career-anxiety dream.
In other words, he's not living his life for you. You'll have to do that on your own.