Dear Molly, He Is EVERYTHING, is he playing me?

Okay girl, here’s the deal. I really like this guy. And when he pops up he is EVERYTHING I want. He’s funny and clever and incredibly smart. The issue is that he doesn’t pop up too often and when he does we talk for a little bit and then end up sexting. I don’t mind, because I want to, but I’d also like to have regular conversations or see him in person more. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong and what I can do right. (I’ll be honest, I’m also freaking out that he might have a girlfriend).

 

I hate to say it, babe, but you are being played. He figured out the steps to make you feel secure and he’s using that to get what he wants.

When you say “He doesn’t pop up too often and when he does we talk for a little bit and then end up sexting.” I hear “He texts me when he wants to get off”. Red flag. Cut him off. Cut him out.

You are not a vending machine that he gets to put affection and attention into when he wants a nude. He does not get to purchase your intimacy with a carefully worded joke. 

Listen to yourself. You feel out of control (“I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong”), you don’t feel secure (“I’m also freaking out that he might have a girlfriend”), and you deserve so much more than that. You deserve someone who will treat you like a friend, someone that wants to be there for you. You are infinitely more than this situation that is undermining your personal power.

I don’t have a long post for this one, because I think it’s very cut and dry. If you want to try and have a conversation with him about it or spend more time one on one than you are welcome to go for it, but if I were in your shoes I would walk away.

Whatever you decide to do, I’m in your corner!

 

xx

 

Dear Molly, I want to meet someone organically, how do I date outside of apps?

You mentioned once that you wouldn’t want to date through apps, but how do you do that? I hate dating apps, but I never meet people organically? Should I ask my friends to set me up? Sometimes I feel like the times of getting “set up” and meeting people out in the real world are behind us and I don’t know how to get that for myself. Anything you can offer is helpful!

 

Those days are definitely NOT behind us. If they are then how are middle schoolers still falling in love with their classmates? (Trust me, they are. I get the DMs.) Meeting someone in person is definitely more difficult than swiping through an inventory of potential loves on Tinder or Bumble or whatever new app has popped up promising you love.

A lot of people argue that the benefit of dating apps is that they are fast and easy, and they are. To me, this is their greatest flaw. They are extremely convenient to the point of nauseam. I was helping a friend get ready for a Tinder date last week and she was getting more and more flustered until she exploded in an anxiety-induced flood of questions.

“What if he doesn’t think I look like my photos?”

“What if he thought I was taller? Or shorter?”

“Do you think this photo makes me look fatter than in my profile pic?”

“I don’t want to wear an outfit he’s already seen, but that’s my favorite dress and I don’t know what else to wear.”

 

Meeting in person eliminates all of these questions. I have been on several Tinder dates and I’ve also had several guys ask me out in person. I promise you, being asked out in person feels better than a swipe right. And when asking someone out in person their faces say it all: it sets you apart.

While there’s nothing wrong with using dating apps and I know a few people who have met long-term loves, hookups, and every shade of relationship in between the two, dating apps are definitely not for me. Here’s why: I value the rapport of meeting in person too much.  When you meet someone you are instantly making calculations about them, learning more, and taking in how they make you feel. Do they hold eye contact? Do they respect your personal space? Are they easy to talk to? Are they slightly reserved? You get a preview of who they are in a way that a curated profile and awkward online chats cannot provide.

To me, that first meeting, eye catch, and who speaks (actually speaks) first is everything. I don’t want the first impression someone gets of me to come from an app profile, I want them to get and want the real deal.

So where do you get this magical interaction? You get it every time you walk outside your apartment and look up. Are you reading this on your phone right now? Are you in public? Put the phone down and look around. You can’t meet someone when you are wrapped up in the world on your phone. And if you think this will be like a rom-com where he taps you on the shoulder when you have headphones in just to break the ice I can promise you that won’t happen. No one (worth your time) is going to kick things off by disturbing your boundaries. When I leave the house and don’t want to be talked to I put on my sunglasses, headphones, and a hat. I refer to it as my “subway armor”, essentially what I wear when I don’t want someone to talk to me. They literally act as a barrier. Removing those pieces of “protection” is how you open yourself.

Another way to meet someone sans-dating apps? Interject yourself into the community a little bit more. I’m not going to beat this one to death, it’s pretty simple. No, this doesn’t mean you need to join a group for singles, it means finding groups or activities that you genuinely relate to and becoming more intertwined with those communities (ex: The November Project is a great group if you’re into fitness and it has chapters in several cities).

The last, and biggest one is to initiate the “meeting”. How many times have you been out with a friend and nudge-slapped her arm when a hot guy walks by. We all do it. When I worked in a bar we’d half-drag each other into the server station just to go “My god. The guy at 12? So fucking hot.” Granted, at work you shouldn’t be hitting on patrons, but if you’re out with a friend and see a hot guy, what’s stopping you from saying hello? You are the only thing standing in front of yourself. Swallow that little brick of self-doubt and put yourself out there. What is the worse thing that happens? He says no? Shrug it off and keep walking. Two blocks later, do it again.

These probably seem like very small suggestions, but they aren’t. They are how people meet without a digital device between them. Stop using your phone as a social crutch and be open to meeting someone. Join groups that will enrich your life and give you the chance to meet someone with similar interests. Stop waiting for someone to come to you and make the first move.

Make your own luck and make your own love.

 

xx

 

Dear Molly, How do I know if he’s an undateable fuqboi?

How do I know when a guy is undateable? Like where is the line? Because personally, I like a guy who’s a little bit of an asshole. Not to me, but just kind of in a doesn’t give a fuck way. I’m not sure how to describe it but I like rougher edges you know? So where’s the line… like how do I know if he’s a fuqboi and undateable or if he’s just a little rough?

 

Everyone has their own appetites for love and what they’re looking for. I can’t necessarily tell you what makes someone “undateable” because there is no such thing. Two people may be mis-matched and struggle to date happily, but that doesn’t make either person “undateable”. Maybe if he wears Axe you should consider him undateable. (I’m kidding… but not really).

The big question here is: How is he treating you? And not in the big ways, in the little ways. Has he truly earned the title of “fuqboi” or do you have mismatched expectations? The biggest pit-falls in dating come from when two people have different expectations around the current situation and potential future. If he’s just messing around and you’re secretly hoping for more it’s only a matter of time before he steps on your feelings. A little introspection goes a long when in the early stages of dating. If you haven’t chatted about being exclusive you cannot expect exclusivity. A lot of guys get mislabeled as fuqbois because they are failing tests that they didn’t know they were taking.

A fuqboi is going to be emotionally manipulative to the point that it will seem incredibly genuine, but what he’s doing is keeping you on a leash for when he’s bored later. This is why they are so damn sneaky. Example, your power goes out for the night. A guy who’s genuinely into you is going to invite you over or suggest the two of you go out or come up with some small way to try and make your night better. At the very least, he will reach out. Texting you the morning after because he was “thinking about you” is not checking in. It’s emotionally manipulating you when he knows that he’s safe from needing to actually support you. This may not be coming from a nefarious place, but the take away is that if you are not a priority for him, so he does not get to be a priority for you.

Take off the rose-colored glasses and be just as critical of this guy as you would be if he was dating your best friend.

Set up a list of boundaries and a list of needs you want from a partner. And then, simply, people who don’t meet these lists are out. It’s not about “testing” a person with a series of random scenarios, it’s about aligning your priorities and not letting them waver because he’s “super hot” or “great in bed”. We tend to make excuses for people we care about, even if they don’t care about us. Having your priorities together will help you filter out anyone who isn’t treating you the way that you want, and deserve, to be treated. The number one person you should be caring about is you.

I wish I could give you a list of attributes to look out for (okay, if he’s over 30 and still sprays Axe that is a problem, but not a tell of his character). The truth of it is that one woman’s fuqboi is another woman’s white knight and it’s impossible to give you an Urban Dictionary definition of what to look for. If this guy is a little rough around the edges, but treating you well and in a way that makes you fulfilled and happy then that’s great and no, he’s not a fuqboi. I sympathize with the struggle girl because, despite dating a massive sweetheart, you and I very simpatico. It’s tough to find the bad boy thrill without also getting the bad qualities.

The biggest way to find out if he’s a fuqboi is not in how he is but is in how he makes you feel. Here are a few boundaries and principles we should all have:

  • Always stay in your power. You should not feel like you are at his beck and call and you should not feel like he is the shot caller. If you are constantly adjusting your schedule for his you need to reevaluate the situation. If you are putting off going home with a guy at the bar because he might call, major red flag. Do you really want to be his “I couldn’t get another girl to go home with me so can you come over?” I doubt you do. Don’t put your life on hold.
  • He makes you cry. Period. Ever. I’ve been in relationships where I was in tears every weekend and I’ve been in relationships where after 5 years I’ve cried once. Guess which one was healthy.
  • Makes you doubt yourself. A little teasing can be a part of flirting and part of dating, but if his constant “teasing” is making you doubt aspects of yourself or feel subpar you need to get out. Breaking someone down is the first step toward gaining control over them. It’s emotionally and psychologically manipulative, it’s how we torture people. If he’s etching away at your self-confidence you need to go.
  • Time with him leaves you feeling used. He doesn’t need to be your boyfriend to respect you, your body, and your time. If you feel mistreated, guilty, or just down after seeing him then he is not worth your time. Don’t make excuses because you two aren’t “official”. If you have plans he can’t blow you off. If you made a deal, he should stick to it. Period.

At the end of the day, you are the woman in charge. You are in the driver seat. Someone who makes you feel like you are driving all over the road without a direction is not someone who is going to support you. Can he be a fun, couple of weeks fling? Absolutely, but you need to keep your head on straight if you plan on stepping into something like that. Stay in your power and someone who is truly right for you will come along.

 

xx

 

Dear Molly, How Do I Get Over Someone I Never Had?

This is going to sound crazy but I’m heartbroken right now about someone that I never even dated. We texted a little but he’s always been more of a friend than someone I’m dating. But I definitely fell for him and he has a girlfriend. I know he won’t leave her and I don’t want to confess my love or anything, but we just click so so well that it was hard not to have feelings. I stopped talking with him to get some space and it didn’t help, I just miss him and spend nearly all my time checking to see if he wrote me. How do you get over someone that you never even had? 

 

Feelings tend not to care how hard you are working to keep them at bay. They don’t care about the walls and excuses you’ve made to prevent them from wrapping around your heart. They feed on every inside joke you develop with that person, every time they text you first, every time they compliment you, and every time you two seem just too perfect together.

Every one who has ever had a crush knows this too well and I feel for you. I know the feeling of dread when romantic feelings creep in when you don’t want them to. What you need to remember is that when you are imagining a relationship or life with someone else you are doing just that: imagining. You are filling in the blanks in with the best case scenario. You are romanticizing every possible interaction. Just because you two like the same music does not mean he will dance around the kitchen with you as if you are staring in your own personal rom-com. Just because you both like the same band doesn’t mean he will read your mind and surprise you with concert tickets.

We tend to think that because someone “clicks” with us on interests that they will also “click” with us on needs. Sometimes that’s true, more often though it’s not. Maybe he seems wild and daring and that’s a massive turn-on for you. That doesn’t mean that someone like that would be a good support system for you and make you feel loved. Or the opposite, maybe he seems stable and grounding but would end up feeling suffocating. Remember that no one is infallible and that as perfect as this guy seems he is not perfect. Being with him would not be perfect. Being with him would not make your life perfect.

If he wasn’t attached I would 100% suggest putting yourself out there, but seeing as he is and you’ve chosen to respect that (good on you) it’s time to move on. Remember that you are romanticizing a potential that isn’t there. Take your space to discover yourself. It sounds cliché, but there is something to taking the time and energy you were putting toward thinking about him and investing in yourself. Come up with something you can do for yourself and whenever you start to get emotionally wrapped up in thoughts about him or find yourself checking your phone every other minute hit pause and go do the thing that is for you. Mute the conversation (you can do this on iPhone and IG, I’m not sure about Android) and reward yourself for going a whole day without checking if he wrote you.

And lastly, in the words of Dua Lipa and 100% seconded by me, “if you’re under himyou ain’t gettin’ over him.” Literally under him or under his spell, if you are wrapped up in him you are not processing and moving on.

 

xx

 

Dear Molly, Why Her and Not Me?

I’m wondering if you have advice on something…I just want to know, how to get over feeling “why her and not me” when it comes to guys. It just makes me feel not good enough 😦 Like if a guy is totally capable of treating you the way you secretly want to but chooses not to but then would absolutely do all of that for another girl. I guess I’m tired of feeling like the side person, or the placeholder for when something better comes along. Wondering if you have had experience with this before your current boyfriend or had any insight.

 

Totally know this feeling and it’s a very difficult series of emotions to filter through. I’d start by moving past the mindset that it’s “her” not “me”, because what it really is it “them”. She’s not a perfect being who doesn’t share any of your flaws, she just may be a better match for him. I’m a very different person in my current relationship than I was before. Previously, I was controlling and needy and suffocating because I wasn’t receiving the type of love and care I needed. Currently, I joke that my partner is “obsessed” with me because he’s so attentive and caring and affectionate. Him giving me love in the way I need it changed who I was in the relationship. I’m much more confident, laid back, trusting. (The Aries in me misses the drama, but c’est la vie!)

It’s not to say that my ex was wrong and my current partner is right, or that one is better than the other. What it is is the difference in relationships that Me+Ex v. Me+Current make. When two people come together and create a third thing that is the “relationship”. You both feed into the health of it, but sometimes you are mismatched in how you contribute to the relationship or how you give and receive to and from each other. It doesn’t mean that either of you is wrong or unworthy or, the dreaded word that 99% of guys like to fall back on, “crazy”. It means that the way you need to be loved differs from the way that he gave love.

It’s hard when we see things from the outside because we know that person in one way, but what we don’t know who they are in that relationship just because we’ve been with them before. People change slowly over time and quickly in situations. Being in a new situation with someone else doesn’t mean that he was capable of giving you everything you wanted and that he withheld it. Each relationship is unique in that way.

I’d also like to point out that you mentioned: “secretly want”. There should be no secrets when it comes to what you want emotionally, romantically, or sexually from a partner. Hiding that part of yourself does a few things. One, it makes you feel like they are withholding things from you because they aren’t giving what you are looking for. Two, it creates an unfair field in the relationship where you hold all the cards and he is working to decipher you like an elaborate scavenger hunt. I’m not saying to unleash all your emotional and sexual baggage on the first date, but it’s important to remember that dating someone is not a game to win. This is not to put the blame on you, but only to shine a light on the necessity for strong communication in a healthy relationship. If you felt like you couldn’t talk with him about these things that is a major red flag that you are better off out of that relationship.

As far as moving past the “her, not me” feelings that’s a tough one. Personally, I think it comes from within. I’ve found that small reminders really help me when those feelings come in. Remembering that it’s not personal (he’s not being kind to her to hurt you), each situation is different (you don’t know all the nuances of their relationship and it could have significant drawbacks. people share the good, not the hard), and that he didn’t leave the relationship looking for “You 2.0”. He left looking for something new and different to experience a new and different relationship.

 

xx