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Dear Wendy: “I’m Tired Of Always Feeling Used By Guys”

I am a 21-year-old female college senior who has been physically involved with a guy for about three months. In the beginning, he told me how he thought I was “girlfriend material” and made it seem like he wanted to pursue a relationship, but after a few weeks, it became clear to me that all he wanted from me was sex. I allowed this arrangement to continue, because with my busy class and work schedule, I don’t really have much time for a relationship either. All of a sudden, over the past couple of days, he has completely ignored me, started posting things on Facebook about having had an “epiphany” and realizing what the “true meaning of love is.” I texted him saying that it was OK if he had met someone new or if he just did not want to sleep with me anymore, but that I would have liked to have been made aware of this (reasonable, no?). But alas, he has not responded. I truly am happy for him if he has found someone new, because there really is no future for us, but I feel disrespected. I am also in the place I always find myself after something like this happens: depressed, lonely, and my self-esteem is crushed. Do you have any advice for me as to how I can deal with this kind of situation in the future so that I don’t feel so used? — Used up

“My Boyfriend Won’t Remove the Condoms from His Car”

My advice is to not get too invested in people you only have physical relationships with, and if that’s not possible for you, quit having strictly physical relationships with guys, and choose sex partners you have an emotional commitment from. You also need to begin establishing self-esteem that doesn’t rely on acceptance and approval from guys. If that means taking a break from dating for a while, as you build your self-esteem in other ways, by all means, take a break. You’re only 21; there will still be plenty of guys to date three to six months from now. In the meantime, get validation from your friends, and though your skills, talents and achievements. Make these things — rather than guys you’re boinking — the center of your focus so that if/when you’re rejected by a guy, it isn’t such an overwhelming blow to your ego.

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