He hurt me; then he got sick

The guy I’m dating still won’t commit, but now he’s struggling with his diagnosis and needs support. Should I keep seeing him? He’s playing you, says our elder. You deserve better.


Dear EWC

So, I have been dating this guy off and on for about a year. At first it seemed like he wanted to date me. Although I told him a few things about me and it seemed that he lost “the wanting to be with me.” I could tell and this did not sit right with me because I wanted to be with him. He did tell me from the very beginning that he would like to take his time getting to know someone and he was looking at six months to a year to actually feel a connection with someone. I waited as long as I could, but I was upset because I just wanted to see him. He would talk to me about other girls and dates. He sometimes would hurt my feelings with what he would say to me. 

Then just recently he got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. At this point we weren’t seeing each other but he wanted to hang out again and actually he said he wanted to be with me. I was hesitant because of the past and plus I moved on. After about three months… He texted me and despite him saying hurtful side comments and not fully wanting me, I enjoy his company. So I chose to hang out with him. My feelings spike right up but I’m still hesitant. He still doesn’t know – says it takes a long time to know if he wants to be with someone – so it’s kind of back to how it has been from the beginning. I want to remain friends with him, but he said he’s unable to see me as a friend. I want to support him because I know he is struggling with his diagnosis. I want to be with someone who wants to be with me fully and get to know me.


Good-Listener replies

By the last sentence in your letter, I think you know what the truth is regarding the guy in question. Of course, you “want to be with someone who wants to be with you fully and get to know you”. You deserve that, and that’s what a healthy relationship (or start of one) is.

I would be brutally honest with yourself, which hopefully from that last phrase, you are being. This guy isn’t trustworthy, respectful or acting with a lot of dignity. He knows you will be there to “take care of him” when others are probably sick of his games and selfishness. I’m sorry he has a disease – if he really does have it – which can be debilitating. But people go on with their lives and it doesn’t stop them from being decent people and deserving of help and respect. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

No, I know that’s not what you want to hear, but reread your letter and see what it sounds like. This “time frame” business is a way of manipulating you. He makes hurtful comments to you, and you think that’s ok? It’s not!

You sound like a very kind and conscientious person, deserving of kindness, respect, friendship and love. This guy is off doing what he wants and doesn’t seem to care who he does what to, or when he does it. 

Some women are so afraid of being alone, that they will cling to a person (or the hope or fantasy of being with them) and will put up with all sorts of bad behavior, even abuse. If that’s what you choose, then – no judgments, however, it also means accepting responsibility for the hurt it may cause, and the confusion and bad feelings it evokes. But if that’s acceptable, then that’s your choice. Or, you can realize your worth and the type of guy you can and will get if you hold out a bit for someone who possesses some integrity and will treat you as you should be. I know, in the end, you’ll do what’s right for you. Good luck!

Article #: 490537

Category: Dating/Relationship

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