Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Says He’s Not In Love”

It’s time again for “Shortcuts,” wherein I answer readers’ letters in two sentences or less. Sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss loser boyfriends, lying about one’s age, and creepy old-man dance teachers.

Three months ago I started dating one of my close guy friends. Things were great at first because we already had so much in common and knew exactly what each other was looking for in a relationship. Recently, though, my boyfriend revealed that he is not in love with me and thought he would be “head over heels” by now. I have not said the “l word” to him and don’t feel three months is a particularly long time to develop strong feelings of love. He, on the other hand, is looking for “the one” and expected by now to be ready to move in together/start a life already (we’re both in our early twenties … there’s no rush!). In that same conversation, he also stated that he had to “get used to” the fact that I am not his ex and not hold me up to “her standard.” He has since retracted that sentiment, but it still stings. To make matters worse, he is very defensive/stubborn, making it hard to get him to do activities I enjoy. We always go out with his friends, but he is always busy when I suggest the reverse. Oh, and he’s lousy in bed. Why do I stay? Because I think I am falling in love with him. Am I a fool for staying? Anything I can do to encourage him to love me back? — Fooling Myself

Let’s see: you’re dating a guy who says he’s not in love with you (and indicates that’s a major problem), implies you aren’t up to the standards set by his ex, is lousy in bed, and completely selfish with his free time. Yes, you’re a complete and utter fool for staying.

Eight months ago, I did something very out of character for me (I’m not a prude, but I’m quite shy, and not terribly open) — I posted an ad on Craigslist Casual Encounters, seeking a FWB. I’d just moved to a new city, didn’t really know anybody, and was fairly fresh out of a long-term relationship. So, somehow I struck gold, and met this great guy. We hooked up casually a few times over the course of a couple months, fell out of contact for a while, started talking again, and for the past three months, have been dating. I love spending time with him, and am starting to develop genuine feelings for him. So, here’s the problem: back when I placed the ad, for some stupid reason that I can’t even remember, I decided to round my age up by a year. Silly, since I’m not a person who takes lying lightly, and am generally a rather honest person (to the point where I sometimes reveal too much). Had he remained what he was intended to be, this wouldn’t be such an issue, but as our relationship evolved, it’s changed things in a major way. So, with a birthday coming up in a couple months — one that he thinks is a milestone birthday for me — and my feelings for him deepening each time I see him, this little white lie has been eating me alive. How do I tell him without losing him? I’ve been completely honest with him about everything else, but I worry that this will ruin such a good thing. — White-Liar

“Hey, this is kind of awkward and embarrassing to admit, but back when we first met and I had no idea you’d come to mean to me what you do, I was afraid to reveal too much about myself to a stranger I met online, so I fibbed about my age by a year. I wish I’d told you sooner, but I feel a lot better now that I’m being completely honest about everything with you.” Done!

I’ve been taking dance classes for the past nine months. I usually get to class before the other students, and my teacher greets me with a hug and small talk. I’m not a very touchy-feely person unless I’m completely comfortable with someone (girlfriends from high school, family members and such), so long hugs like his are not very common for me. A couple weeks ago, he asked me about my boyfriend, and I responded by saying I wasn’t currently in a relationship. Afterward, I asked if there was any particular reason for that question, to which he said yes, but not much more. Today was rainy, and we were talking about how much I like wet weather. He opened his arms for his hug, during which he kissed my right and left cheeks gently (close to my ear) and said, “Don’t worry, you don’t have anywhere to be today.” It felt uncomfortable for me and threw me off for the entire class. My teacher is quite old, and has been married for a long time (with grandkids!). Does this sound like he was making a move? — Dodging the Dance Teacher

Move or no move, Grandpa is a total creep and you need to find a new teacher ASAP!

*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”}.