#259: “I’m in love with someone who treats me badly.”
Do not date this man, even if he offers you your favorite beer. Source: Hungry in Houston.
I’m in a sucky situation. I’m in love with one of my friends and he doesn’t treat me very well – even as a friend.
I started seeing him very shortly after the end of a very long, serious relationship. I said “this has to be casual, don’t ask me what we are or where this is going, OK?” and he didn’t. Some time went by, we were seeing each other a lot, sleeping together, hanging out at his house – it was great. And then I found my feelings for him were actually pretty strong.
He realised this (partly due to a drunken confession) and got a bit weird, saying he wasn’t sure how he felt. I left the conversation there. Then I had surgery and while I was in hospital, I sent him an email asking if we could carry on casually for now, then have a think when he goes away for 3 months in the summer, then if we both still wanted it, start a proper thing. He didn’t reply.
I raised it with him next time I saw him in person. He said he agreed with what I said in the email and “if that timescale works for you” then it was cool, but I noticed he was being reserved and asked him about it. He said “Hanging out with you is like hanging out with a really good friend”. I was crushed. I said “What about all the sex, then?” and he said “…a sexy friend”.
The temperature in the room dropped about a hundred degrees and I went to get dressed and leave his house. I said we should stop seeing each other the way we had been, and just be friends. He said he really wanted to be friends and he hoped we could be.
Since then, I’m struggling. I love him. He never texts me first, he doesn’t invite me anywhere, and the only time I was supposed to see him (at a gathering with friends) he didn’t go. So I’m missing him like crazy and having to bite my tongue not to contact him all the time. In fact, I deleted his number so I couldn’t. He hasn’t contacted me, so we haven’t spoken.
I know he treats me badly, but he has some autism-spectrum social problems and I’m not sure how much of it is just that. He’s well known for being hopeless at communicating and he’s never asked a girl out (they always have to ask him).
So what do I do here? I love him, I want to be with him, but failing that I’d at least like to go back to hanging out and maybe boning. I want whatever I can get from him, really.
Please help me, I’m going mad thinking about him all the time.
First, read this.
Next, read this.
Third, let me answer your question here: “I know he treats me badly, but he has some autism-spectrum social problems and I’m not sure how much of it is just that.”
That sentence right there is why I discourage internet diagnoses. Diagnosis: May be somewhere on the autism spectrum. Behavior: Treats you like crap. You can’t fix or treat the diagnosis, so treat the behavior and perform a “Guy Who Treats You Like Crap”-ectomy. Seek out things you love doing and people who make you feel awesome and surround yourself with goodness while you recover from your Dark Side addiction.
Or, keep chasing/fucking him and feeling miserable until you are ready to stop. But know that this one doesn’t get better. It doesn’t turn into love. He doesn’t wake up and realize what a mistake he’s made. It’s just you, chasing him down, never getting his full attention or a kind word or even reliably good sex from someone who cares about you the way you care about him.
I’m taking your word for his badness. It seems that you were the one who wanted to keep things casual and got mad when he kept them casual…REAL casual. People who like you will act like they like you. He’s not acting like he likes you. Therefore, he doesn’t like you all that much. But maybe he’s not a jerk….maybe he just took you at your word and now that he doesn’t feel the same way, he’s keeping his distance. Real asshole behavior would be him reaching out from time to time just to keep you hooked so he could get laid whenever he wanted to and then doing a disappearing act. He skipped straight to “disappear.”
I don’t know what you thought I would tell you. There is no magic script for reforming bad boyfriends into good boyfriends or even good fuckbuddies. They pretty much keep sucking until you get rid of them and they go on to suck all the air out of someone else’s room.
I know you feel crazy and addicted right now, but you already took a great step by deleting his number. Time WILL heal the rest, if you stop exposing yourself to him and giving him the ability to reject and hurt you. I swear it gets better and in your future there is a someone who will treat you like you deserve to be treated.