He Runs Hot-Cold
Q: I've been dating "Jake" for a few months. We go camping, fishing, hiking, and really have a lot in common. I've fallen in love with him. One day out of the blue he says, "It's over between us!" A few days later he comes around and acts like nothing ever happened, and this has become a pattern with him. I like him so much, so I just let him do his thing, over and over again. He has even made plans with me and the time comes and goes without so much as a phone call ... for several days. I went to his house yesterday, and all of my things were outside on the ground in a pile, with a note that read, "I hope we can still be friends and hang out together sometimes, Jake." I've been very sad and I really miss him. Why is he doing this and what is really going on ? -- Heidi
Dr. Susan: Surely you realize, Heidi, that when it comes to guys, you'll be treated as decently as you demand, or as poorly as you allow. Jake likes your company, but doesn't return your loving feelings. He leaves, has a spare moment (maybe his other girlfriend -- don't doubt that there is one -- is busy), misses you, and comes back for a little playtime. And you let him come and go as he pleases, no matter how miserable his indecisiveness makes you. Grow a backbone. When someone says it's over, he shouldn't be allowed back on the same terms without a good long conversation about what's going on for him. And how his unpredictability affects you. If I found my things in a pile on the ground, I'd pick them up and never show my face to this fellow again. Do you want him to think you're willing to crawl for his company? You'll keep missing him until you face facts: he's a creep.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.