Dear Dr. Date,Here’s my situation. I liked someone for a long time. I was too messed up at first to even make a move when we met, and so we became friends, not really good, but we are so very compatible, I thought. I went through a rough period and I couldn’t withhold my feelings anymore, so I made a move. I got rejected, but I guess this person was trying to be considerate because they said it was only so that our friendship wouldn’t get ruined and because they were not ready. Fine, I can take a hint and I’ve been rejected before — I know I won’t die. The problem is I have to now watch this person flirt and get close to other people. I don’t understand why they couldn’t just be honest and tell me I wasn’t the one. Our friendship actually has been all due to me seeking this person out, so I’m wondering if the best thing to do since I’m starting to lose trust and respect in this person is to end the friendship totally before I feel more hurt and end up hurting them with my attitude? No sex has been involved, but I’ve been in this position before and I don’t want to go there again. Or should I be more honest about how I feel? How do I stop stressing about this on top of all my other problems and stop caring about people that don’t care about me?–Only Human
Perhaps I’m going to sound terribly idealistic, but I don’t think you should stop caring about anyone, even if they stop caring about you. It’s true that we live in a marginally reciprocal society (you buy the first round of beers, I buy the second) but we don’t always need to get what we give out. Don’t fawn over this person, but there is little need to become bitter, stressed and bent on some form of retribution. He’s the one who can’t communicate his feelings and until he fixes that situation it will eventually hinder him. He’s the one with problems, you’re fine.
Understand that every one of us has a “friend” like yours. We’ve all had to deal with insincere people that can’t tell you what they mean. Dragging this sad story out will only cause you more problems. The best retribution is to move on and live your happy life without him. Maybe someday the scientists of the world will unite and implant devices in our minds that can instantly detect bullshit from people we meet, but they haven’t yet. Meanwhile, don’t blame yourself for the shortcomings of other people and keep looking. The percentages are in your favor if you are patient.