Tag Archives: reciprocity

Edited to Add: Guys, the first time you comment here (or if you’re using a new identity), WordPress automatically sends it to moderation, which is why we’re not overrun with MRAs and other jerkbags. If you don’t see your comment show up right away, it’s either because I’m busy doing other stuff and not watching the moderation queue, or I deleted it because it was annoying. In either case, don’t resend!

Re-Edited to Add: ¬†Comments on this thread are now CLOSED FOREVER as of 4:20 pm CDT on Thursday, April 26. I can’t prevent you from commenting without turning off all the comments on the whole site, but I will send anyone who comments further on this thread to permanent moderation.

Re-Re Edited To Add: COMMENTS ARE REALLY FUCKING CLOSED. I deleted all of the uncivil stuff from yesterday and comments that have come in since. But I don’t have time to monitor the thread and make sure it stays civil, so we’re done here.¬†Next person to comment on this thread is banned.

Dear Captain,

Your last post (#232) really struck a chord with me. I’m in a somewhat similar situation, but with several important differences. This e-mail is probably going to contain too many details, but as my main question is about the applicability of “people who like you will act like they like you,” I think those details matter.

I met I really tremendously awesome lady about six months ago. Everything was really perfect; I was convinced we were falling in love. But we didn’t talk about it. It didn’t seem to me that we needed to, because absolutely everything felt perfectly reciprocal for five of those six months. Oh, we had a few oblique conversations about how neither of us thought of what we were doing as “just having sex,” and we made an explicit agreement not to sleep with other people, and we expressed how much we like each other a lot, but we never used our words to have a conversation about where we wanted things to go, and never quite got to the big “L” word or anything. As I said, that all actually felt perfectly natural; I didn’t feel the least bit insecure that she liked me as much as I liked her, and I think he felt the same. So it just didn’t seem necessary.

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Firefly's Jayne gives the old side-eye

Jayne, not the most empathetic of men, gives your "friend" the side-eye.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I’ve been reading your column for a while, and am dearly in need of advice. To cut right to the chase, I have a friend. He is a lovely lovely person, but there are some things about him that have been making maintaining that friendship well…difficult. Complicating this is the fact that both of us recently cut a mutual friend out of our lives (independently of each other and at different times) for much the same behavior. I have only been in this city a year and am in an extremely demanding job that makes making friends difficult in the first place, and we’ve been through a lot together (when he’s a good friend he’s really really amazing) so I don’t want to just cut another person out of my life, but I’m at a loss to figure out how to make this livable.

I guess what it comes down to is he is incredibly self centered. He’s kind and caring and really there for you when it works for him, but….he never meets someone halfway let alone on their terms. It’s his way or no way at all. He hardly ever comes to my house, though we live close. I’m at his place all the time, on his invitation. He consistently can’t make it when I invite him. When I am at his house he continues about his day like I wasn’t there. He hangs, but he’ll continue to answer emails, fix his bike, play guitar, even if I’m dying of boredom. He’s fine if you leave, but if I want to see him at all it’s 100% on his terms: his time, his place, his choice of activity. “No I won’t go get coffee with you and chat, but you can watch me play guitar!” Even when, say, I’d love to catch up or really need to talk. I tried bringing it up, but that brings me to the second point:

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