Q. Tim and I had been dating steadily for three months when suddenly he said that he wanted to "play the field." This hurt terribly because I care for him very much (it could be love), and I didn't want to end our relationship. Last night, he called me and said he still wanted to go out with me, as well as several other girls.Ashley: I think it's good advice, for once!
I talked it over with my mom, and she said I should go out with Tim if he called. When my dad entered the conversation, he disagreed and said that Tim was probably only going to call me when he didn't have anything better to do, so I shouldn't go out with him anymore. We all agreed to let you have a say before I make up my mind.
A. Keep dating him, but just make sure you're not sitting around waiting for his call. Put the relationship on your terms, not his. Do things with your girlfriends and family and, by all means, date other guys. Do not break another engagement to go out with Tim — only go out with him if you're not busy.
Lulu: I think it's good advice in THEORY, but it's impossible to do in practice.
Lulu: Basically you have to act as if you don't care what he does and how her interacts with you, because you don't want to care, and because you don't want him to know that you care. But if you do care, it's hard to force yourself not to, and it's hard to behave convincingly as if you don't.
Ashley: Perfect advice for Extraverted Thinking personality types though! Since I am one, it made perfect sense to me. Now that you mention it, she did say "it could be love." She might be Feeling or Introverted Feeling. People should be required to give their MBTI types at the beginning of each letter.
Lulu: I'm T--milder than you, I guess--and I just think I would always be second-guessing myself. Suppose he asked me out and I didn't have solid plans, but I had some possible irons in the fire. A lot of times plans don't form until last minute. Do I blow him off, if he asks, on the basis of probable or possible plans? And if I don't, is that prioritizing him? If I say 'yes' because I'm not busy, does it seem like I'm prioritizing him? It seems dumb, but it's easy to overthink when you're more invested than the other person. She would have to have a lot of self-discipline.
And she would also have to be able to distinguish between wanting to see him because she likes to hang out with him (which is a legit motive to go out with him) and wanting to see him because she wants to convince him to come back and be her steady boyfriend. Because if that's what she wants she should not bother.
Ashley: Maybe she should shop around his friends. That's what I would do. In-your-face happiness is the best revenge.
Lulu: I do think the best thing she can do is to live well and go after what she wants. Just because he wants to play the field doesn't mean she has to. It sounds like she wants to go steady so she should go steady with someone else.
Ashley: Right, but if she doesn't have anyone yet, it's too early to pitch a fit. She should date him casually until she finds someone, and then go steady with them.
Lulu: Why bother with him at all? If she's dating to look for a boyfriend, he's already told her he's not interested.
Ashley: Having casual dates will make her look more desirable to other people too.
Lulu: Unless they think, 'Poor her, chasing after whatever crumbs her ex will throw her.' I mean, you see, it could be taken either way. She should assume he'll never be interested in going steady, and go on a date him if and only if she thinks the time she spends will be enjoyable.
Ashley: Practicing dating has its own rewards. Some dates aren't fun. She should learn how to handle them. Isn't it better to practice on an asshole whose feelings you don't care if you hurt?
Lulu: Why make yourself miserable just for a learning experience? I hate that. Anyway, going on a date with someone you went out with for three months is not necessarily an accurate testing ground for going on a date with someone new. You need to line up a series of blind dates with people from the internet with whom you have no evidence that you have anything in common--to be SCIENTIFIC!
Wow, for once we have an approximate equal amount of arguing on both sides of an issue.
Ashley: Big surprise: the extrovert is arguing for going out and doing things, and the introvert is arguing against it.