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He's got a girlfriend, should I wait and see if it works out?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Friends, The ex-factor, Three is a crowd<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (7 January 2018) 6 Answers - (Newest, 7 January 2018)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Over 3 years ago, I met a guy in college who I began dating. We were both about 20. He is great and is a total sweetheart. We met and began dating in the summer 3 years ago. After our first date, he would always text and call, but was a little slow to act in asking me out on a second date. I soon lost interest because of the pace he was going and just assumed he wasn't into me. I was already kind of turned off/moved on by the time we went on the second date and then began dating other guys at the same time and my focus went onto them instead of him and I think he continued to like me. We still remained good friends and our friendship grew stronger when we began having classes together when the Fall semester started.

He soon became by best guy friend as we got closer hanging out and outside of class, going out with friends together, texting each other almost every day and he would call me very often. It was one of the best times of my life in hindsight.

During that semester, he had grown to be interested in me more and more, sometimes asking me why I wasn't interested in him or if he would be willing to date him, but given that I lost interest due to his pace during the summer, I just told him, "I'm sorry, I just lost interest and was turned off by how you took so long to ask me out on a second date. I thought you didn't like me." And he proceeded to tell me that he did like me and does.

and we began being, a little physical. We never had sex (not even oral), but we did explore each other bodies a bit. Whenever we would mess around, he would want to kiss me, yet I wouldn't. He never really knew that after all these years, I've regained interest in him because I realize he was the best guy I've ever known.

I dated a new guy for a while and he would sometimes reach out and ask me if I was still dating him. By the time I broke up with that guy, he had already gotten a new girlfriend, who he is still with til this day (3 years).

She broke up with him not long ago due to his busy schedule/lack of time for her, and he immediately reached out to me, knowing I'm single. He asked to hang out, but I was busy and said we should hang out later that week. I didn't hear from him for a couple days and when I inquired, he said he got back with his girlfriend because after putting thought into it, he felt it would have been a waste of 3 years to not at least try to make it work with her. (I'm sure a ton of his family and friends also convinced him to make it work with her).

Regardless, he still loves me as a friend, yet I wonder if they will ever break up again.

I don't want to sit around and waste my years waiting, but I do often wonder if we will ever reconnect again romantically later down the line in life.

How can I best handle these thoughts?

View related questions: broke up, text

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (7 January 2018):

How long are you willing to sit back the phone hoping that his girlfriend breaks up with him or vice versa?

Start dating other people and start distancing yourself from this guy. If you keep playing this “best guy friend” game it is going to stop you getting on with your life.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2018):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Of course he didn't do anything about pursueing me during the 3 years with his girlfriend--because he thought this whole time I was not interested in him after friend zoning him our whole friendship! At that point, he had already given up after trying all the time. When he and his gf broke up, he had NO idea that I'd happy to date him again.

Also, he's not just going to vigorously pursue me after just breakig up, he had not seen or hung out with me for years, how can he possibly know he wants to be with me again? She has more years with him, not me, so naturally he's going to be more inclined to try to make it work--after all, SHE broke it off with him.

Anyways, they're still together and I'm not gonna be waiting around

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (7 January 2018):

Honeypie agony auntYou know this "thing" has been going on for 3 years but neither of you have taken ACTIVE steps to make it happen. So far it's all fantasy and make-believe.

If he was SO into you he wouldn't be dating his ex-GF again. For him to still give their relationship a chance YET still claim that he loves you... Seems to me like he wants to make sure you wait around in case this relationship doesn't work out.

You friend-zoned (in lack of a better term) SO fast after your first date - all because he didn't ask you out "fast" enough for a second one. I think if you REALLY had liked the guy, that wouldn't have happened and you wouldn't have moved on to other guys. Just saying.

It seems to me that you are both thinking this is some rom-com where the passion and the "we belong together but things keep getting in the way"... kind of mentality.

If he doesn't work out with the ex/current GF and you two start something - YOU might just end up being a REBOUND for him. After all he has been with her for 3 years.

Look at reality. IF you two were really mean to be, it wouldn't be this complicated.

And maybe consider backing off a bit so they can either work it out or work on moving on. Can't be fun for the GF to know there is a girl waiting in the wing like a vulture.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (7 January 2018):

Move on. Don't waste your time. If he went back to his ex shortly after breaking-up, he wasn't over her.

It takes time to completely recover from a breakup. Especially when you felt you had to try it again! You didn't figure that out after being passed-over to go back to her?

Even if they break-up again; don't be waiting around for somebody's misfortune. That's too desperate and vulture-like! Hovering over some guy waiting for his relationship to die is just too morbid! You deserve better!

You've maintained an odd friendship; which only got a little touchy-feely. It seems you both have been dancing around each other for nostalgic reasons; or while on the rebound between breakups. You used each other for emotional band-aids!

Keep it platonic, or just end it for good. Most romantic-connections we made in college were never that serious. They're hit or miss, and should stay buried among fond memories of our college-days.

Those longer-term romantic-connections that had real potential continued into something serious "back then." They didn't carryover into the present, as strange make-out sessions! Maybe because you're between relationships; and had nothing (or anyone) better to do.

If you regularly read posts on DC from other OPs on this topic; people frequently reach-back to their old hook-ups, and people they dated back in college. After a divorce, breakup, amidst a failing marriage, or trolling the internet to reconnect with their exes.

The majority just turnout to be a brief fling, or just another hookup for old-times sake.

The guys are usually the first to cool-down (or go cold) after the sex. Then the sad posts come rolling-in to vent hurt-feelings, bare shame, or long tear-stained tales of broken-hearts.

If it didn't turn into anything over the past three years; I think loneliness or frustration is just forcing you to settle. Grabbing for a dangling carrot. More for the sake of convenience. Even worse, as if you're just waiting your turn!

Well, look back in retrospect. You got your original-turn three years ago; followed by several intermittent-opportunities thereafter. Real-chemistry should have triggered something hot somewhere in-between! At best, this is luke-warm. I know, some the ladies may say go for it!

I don't think you like him that much. You're single again; so maybe you feel you have to do what he's presently doing. Try try again?!! All because he said he likes you? Shortly after breaking-up with another woman, BTW! Whom he's back with at the moment.

Seriously, girlfriend?!!

Do you feel a sense of just being put on-hold? I would!

You both had over three years to poop, or get-off the pot! Don't be one of his old-college contacts set aside for booty-calls. While she's still fresh in his head and heart.

Better yet, don't lower yourself to wait for his ex's sloppy-seconds.

Start from a clean slate. Go find someone who is single and emotionally-available. Not some guy getting over a breakup; on the rebound, and just wants a handy hookup on-call. Until he finds something better. Consider the odds of that happening! Why put yourself through it again?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2018):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

@anonymous user, i was 20 at the time and was still in the phase of being wary of persuing the guy. Now, I'm not like that, but at the time I was.

Also, when they had broken up and he reached out to see me, he was asking me to hang out THAT night, which I was visiting family that night, so I said to him, "I want to see you too but tonight I'm unable to, I have plans set. But how about another day? I'm totally down!" And he had not reached out to set plans. About 5 days later I callee him and he said he felt like he should try to make it work out with her or it would have been "a waste of 3 years"

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2018):

What a mess! This all comes down to communication. You were convinced that this person was a nice guy and you did genuinely like him. Why did you wait for him to ask you out on a second date? This is the 21st century and you live in America. If you have something to say then say it. Don't wait around and let the right guy pass you. Life's too short. The opportunity presented itself again when was split up with her. Ask if he has gotten back with her already and if not you could still meet up and hopefully tell him how you really feel this time. If he is back with her however then push him further back from to the acquaintance zone, for both your sakes.

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