Dear Uncle Mat,
I started seeing this guy last year. We always had a really good time and got along great. I could see that he really liked me. Then he had a loss in his family, so I just tried to be there for him. This is around the time the “what is this” conversation came up. He told me that we were just hanging out and didn’t want it to be a boyfriend/girlfriend thing, but that he respected me and wouldn’t take me for granted. All I asked of him was when you are not into this anymore or if you think you are becoming interested in someone else, just be upfront and we can both move on.
OK deal. Things were good. He did start showing some distance but I attributed this to his loss. And I have to admit there were a couple of times where I would get upset because it made me feel that it was just on his schedule. He would just shut down because he doesn’t like confrontation. Did I break our little agreement? I would ask him if he was still interested in hanging out with me and he would say yes. The last time I asked him was two weeks ago. I asked because I had the idea that he met someone he was interested in. Got the same answer.
Then last week he was playing a show, and I asked if it was cool if I showed. He said sure. Then he called me later that night telling me how his friend just broke up with his girlfriend, and he was just going to be hanging out with him. Needless to say I went with a friend anyway, and he was indeed hanging out with the girl I had suspected. When he saw me he did come up and say hi, but just went back and stood with her and his friend. Instead of being upfront with me when I would lay the cards out on the table, I just got slapped in the face with the fact that he is not interested in hanging out with me. So I just hung out, took pictures and left. I did go see him the next day to confront him. I said that I wasn’t going to hang out with him, and he told me not to overreact.
Well, I didn’t listen, and found out the very next day they were lying in bed together. I know this cause the girl is 18 and posts everything on her MySpace. I was in shock cause I had no time to process that he’s not interested anymore and we won’t be seeing each other. He said the reason he wasn’t upfront with me because he was scared to tell me.
I just don’t know what to make of it. Of course I’m sad. It was close to a year and it’s just something I need to get used to. The thing is, we enjoyed each other’s company, we have a lot in common, and I still want the friendship. Do you think that is a good idea? Do you think he doesn’t deserve my friendship?
— Big Ol’ Mess
Dear Big Ol’ Mess,
“Deals” are really just arrangements between two people who want to mingle their genitals even though they understand a relationship seems unlikely. Your pal is handicapped by the fact that he has a penis, and you are handicapped because you have more than just a vagina. Neither of you meant any harm, but these rationalizations are just lies to make sex convenient when it is not practical.
You didn’t do anything wrong. You’re human, and you have feelings that are incompatible with your “deal.” Your friend also wasn’t equipped for the deal either, and acted accordingly. This is probably the most common end to these arrangements. Don’t feel bad, but don’t lie to yourself or to anyone about the shared responsibility.
It is time to move on. If you can be friends that is great, but just be honest with yourself. Don’t create a new “deal” that is going to cause you more drama.
Much love without rules and arrangements,
Your Uncle Mat
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.