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Dear Uncle Mat


There’s this guy I’ve known for more than a year. Normally I’m very logical, but when I met him that flew out the window. I didn’t think that I could be capable of loving someone unconditionally who was imperfect, but I truly love him no matter what (as irrational as it sounds, I would put up with anything, even abuse, to be with him). We don’t have a lot in common. We share some of the same outlooks on life and politics, but we just don’t like all of the same things. More importantly, we haven’t really been getting along. I met him at church, so we’d see each other every week. He was such a sweetheart when we first met, but I was rather brusque then. Later, I’d email him just to talk, and he’d interpret everything I said as an attack (unfairly, I think). Now he’s moved to another part of the state to go to school, but I see him every couple of months. He’s still involved in the church youth-group scene. I should explain that the HS groups in our denomination from around the state meet periodically for a weekend to hang out. This makes for a unique phenomena, where many of us have girlfriends or boyfriends that we see in person at these events, but message constantly on Facebook. He’s gone through several of these girlfriends.

One day we had been having a seemingly inconspicuous little argument (I love to argue; he doesn’t) when he decided he had enough. He blocked me on Facebook, which was a surprise. I thought I was being respectful towards him, only emailing him when I had something important to say (that is, not “I love you”) and mostly trying not to become too involved when it was clear that he did not want my attentions. So I wrote him back, condemning what I saw as an uncalled-for insult, as well as sharing the depth of my feelings for him. He asked me to call him. I did, and he ended up telling me some things that really messed with my head. In short, he said that he had a crush on me when we first met, but doesn’t have feelings for me anymore; and he also offered to make me his girlfriend in the arrangement above, if I do the wooing. He sounded sincere enough about the whole thing, and I know him to be trustworthy, but I’m still very confused. Especially as he doesn’t seem interested in me at all.  

I’m very conscious that everyone thinks I’m just going through a phase and that I’ll grow up, forget about him, and find my “real” life partner when I’m 30-plus. I’m aware that I’m being irrational, but I’m still convinced that I will never love anyone except him. (Unconditionally, that is. Certainly there are a lot of other people who are dear to me, but not the way he is.)

What have I done wrong, and how should I proceed? 

— Astrophel  

Dear Star Lover,

If you want to “woo” the chap, I say go for it. Just watch out. Perfectly nice people can have horrible intentions just as easily as mean people, and a young woman blind with love is hardly capable of realizing she is being used or abused or led on. If there is no return on your affections and just further demands, he’s being a dick. Listen to your friends and let these other loves in your life help take care of your heart as well.

You are young, and chasing the greatest love of your life across the state is natural and the best thing you may ever do in your life. Ten years from now you may not remember what he looks like or where he lives, but you could also be happily married to him. When you’re 30-plus, you’ll know that the love of your life isn’t a tragedy. It will be grand and feel terrible at times, but it should never be demeaning or cause you to lose your self-esteem. Follow your bliss, but do not believe that the pain of unrequited love can be matched in the physical or emotional abuse inflicted by another. No worries about that now. Today is for falling in love. Your Stella awaits.

Much love and happiness,

Your Uncle Mat 

P.S. This isn’t elementary school; picking fights with the boy you like is no longer an acceptable flirting technique.

Uncle Mat answers questions about
relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at,, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.

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