Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a comedian and one of the “Bros” at HeTexted.com. HeTexted is a site where girls can get advice on the texts they receive from guys. Every Thursday on PostGradProblems Jared will answer one of the questions from his HeTexted mailbag. These are real questions from real girls visiting the site each day. If you have any of your own dating questions go to www.HeTexted.com and ask Jared or any of the other Bros that fit your particular situation.
Q: I dated a guy for a little more than ten months and he ended it because it was “getting too serious.” Things ended with the whole “lets be friends” convo and a month later I texted him to wish him a happy birthday. He didn’t respond. Am I an idiot for texting him after he broke it off? Why would he not respond if we are friends, and does this mean that I should completely move on?
A: There are two ways the “let’s be friends” conversation can go. One party sits down with the other and says, “I think we are better off as just friends” and both parties walk away knowing that meant something totally different. It was less “let’s be friends” and more “I’ve seen your taint and now I want to pursue other taints.” Some would call this dishonest, and others would say to the people calling it dishonest to get off their high horses. In general, people want to be nice and they don’t want to actively hurt someone who they don’t necessarily hate, but also don’t see a future with. They sidestep saying the brutal thing that could be hurtful by saying that the person they’re looking at would be a friend of theirs in any other situation that didn’t involve all that nipple play. Of course, there’s the other way the “friends” talk can go. It’s a little less cut and dry. One party says, “let’s be friends” and the other party is completely delusional.
I’m always surprised when a girl gets convinced by the “friends” talk. If a guy asks you to “watch a movie,” are you surprised when he’s rubbing his boner against your hip during the first montage? We’re at the point where the “we should be friends” conversation is only used for breakups. I’ve never even said, “we should be friends” to a person I wanted to become friends with. I don’t even think I’ve used the word “friendship” in a sentence about my actual friends. (Well, except when I go with a friend to get subs and we get a third one to split. It’s called the “friendship sub.”) That’s what’s so dumb about the conversation. This person came to you to tell you he or she wants to be friends by spending less time together. The fact is, if you did end a relationship and then woke up the next day as real friends, then it wouldn’t feel good. You’d get the other person’s calls about Tinder matches or excited texts about first dates, and those wouldn’t be fun. The only thing worse would be a friend who only calls when you’re hungover and after they went to the gym.
I’ve become friends with girls after we’ve dated. This didn’t happen because of an agreement–this happened because of chance and honesty. Somehow our paths would cross and we’d have actual conversations without any lies. New significant others would be brought up, we’d laugh at our past relationship, and we’d talk about our hopes for new ones. These friends I’ve made after dating have been some of my most open and honest relationships with the opposite sex. We’ve been naked in front of one another, so why not be naked about our emotions, hopes, and fears? It can happen, but after some time.
Her question is, “Should I completely move on?” My answer is yes. There is nothing that hurts a person more than “semi-moving on.” I know it’s difficult to just cut someone off who you’ve spent so much time with because there’s a void, one less person to text, talk to, or hug. The easiest person to fill that void with is the one you just left, but that will always make you feel “less than.” Each time you text him, you’ll wonder why you’re not enough. Each time you decide to “hang out” with him, you’ll wonder who else he already asked. Take the things you like about this person and use them to judge the next person. Rip him off quickly, like a Band-Aid. The pain with be there, but it will be short lived. Your real friends will be there to support you, and it won’t be because they struck out at the bar.
Jared Freid is a comedian and HeTexted “Bro” based in NYC. You can ask him dating questions at HeTexted.com or find him on Twitter (@JTrain56) for weekly columns, podcasts, and videos.