Stop acting crazy, stay present

Joey Garcia

I was talking to this guy for a month. Before we started to like each other, we were friends. He broke up with his girlfriend at the same time that my boyfriend and I broke up, so we helped each other. All three of us attend the same university, and the guy I’ve been talking to is on the football team with my ex. My ex texted me that my new guy cheated. I confronted my guy and he didn’t say much, but asked if it was over between us. I didn’t know what to say, so I told him, “Yeah, cuz I don’t want to be with a cheater.” I can’t stop thinking about him, so I texted that I wanted to be friends. He hasn’t responded. What do I do?

Stop acting crazy. You felt an electric connection with a guy, then discovered that the two of you are wired differently. Don’t overload circuits by scheming ways to manipulate him into plugging back into your life.

Ground yourself in reality: He didn’t cheat. How could he? You were not in a committed, exclusive relationship. You were simply “talking” to one another, right? You assumed that the connection was headed in the right direction but never checked that out. Why?

Usually, people are afraid that an honest conversation about the status of a relationship will scare the person they care about. Guess what? If it does, the person sprinting away from commitment has signaled their inability to meet you as an equal in relationship. So it doesn’t matter if a man says all the right things to you, it doesn’t matter if you have an incredible physical connection or share the same dreams, it doesn’t matter if you had sex and he said “I love you,” there is no exclusivity until you have both agreed to a committed relationship. Until then, both of you are free to date others.

Or, like the guy you desired, you are free to take advantage of someone’s attraction to you.

I imagine that wanting to be friends with this guy seemed logical. After all, you were friends prior to developing a romantic interest. But your invitation to friendship, arriving after your accusation, reeks of desperation. Here’s a guy who knows the secrets of your broken heart, so you don’t want to let go of him. Do it. Release him and be friendly (a cordial “Hello! How are you?” when you run into one another—no texts). But don’t be friends. If he was a friend, he would have recognized your romantic feelings for him and responded to your confrontation, “Yeah, I was with another girl. It helped me to realize that I like being single right now. I know that we were moving toward something together, but that’s just not going to work out.” Friends are honest because truth is essential for the trust that friendship requires.

Of course, if this guy really cared about you, he would have responded to your accusation like this: “Yes, I was with another girl. It made me realize how much you mean to me. Being with her was a stupid thing to do and you may not forgive me, but I hope you do because I know now that I only want to be with you.” Since your guy opted to shut down and shut you out, you need to take control of yourself. When your mind fixates on him, bring it back into the present moment by silently narrating what you are doing (“I am stopping the car at a red light”).

Then, select a project that you have left on the back burner of your “to do” list and dig in. Use your energy for good.

Meditation of the week
“Never hold yourself up as the paragon of virtue. You’re better off if people think you’re a little bit of a rogue so you don’t fall so far when the public realizes you’re not perfect,” wrote Willie Brown, former speaker of the California state Assembly. Can you accept your imperfection as divine?

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