Peyton’s Place..

Peyton wrote:
Dear Sean,

I’m hoping to receive some relationship advice from you. So here’s my problem:

I’m single as it is right now, and I’m not very good in relationships. I don’t think that I am very good in relationships because I haven’t really had many experiences in them. I’m 19 years old, and I’ve had 2 boyfriends, including my ex, which he and I recently broke up after dating for about two and a half months, because we didn’t hang out very much and I didn’t have enough time for him due to some family issues that I was working through. After becoming friends again and starting to hang out more (me having more time) we are starting to get back into our routine (we hang out a lot and the way we’re acting towards each other is the same way it was right before he asked me out. I guess you could say that it’s a little bit of both of the friends thing, and the friends with benefits thing) of how we started dating last time. The only problem is im not sure that I want to be dating him again. He has told me that he still likes me quite a few times, but the thing is I’ve found another guy that I find pretty attractive but he is the total troublemaker type (drinks, smokes, gets into fights, etc)and yet, at the same time funny. The new guy is also easy to talk to and always makes me laugh, the thing that bothers me about the new guy is that he talks about other girls and sleeps with a lot of them (he talks about it). My ex, on the other hand, is also a really good guy, he’s sweet, polite, respectful, and always listens to me no matter what.. the only things that really bothers me about him is that when we do have a plan to hang out, I’m the one that always has to think of things to do and plan it all out..and its just kind of tiring. He usually says “whatever you want to do is fine”.. and that drives me crazy. He is also kind of the awkward type, meaning when we see each other or hang out, its awkward at first and i’m not sure why.. it could be me…but i’m not sure. It’s just this weird few minutes when we are together that seems awkward. He also wants to see me all of the time. I’m more leaning towards my ex, but at the same time I’m not making a decision because I don’t wanna make the wrong one and be left heartbroken. So what I’m asking you is, have you had a situation like this? Who do you think is the right choice? And, if I do choose to get back together with my ex, what things should I do to make our relationship work better?
I appreciate any advice that you have for me, I’m just in a stuck situation and need help.

Peyton, I started to correct your letter for spelling and grammar but after my eyes started to burn, I gave up. I trimmed up what I could, and hope you can understand what I am about to respond with.

Personally, I don’t think you should date either of them. Sure, I could say your ex sounds like the lesser of two evils and you should go back to him, but between whatever happened between you and your uncle and you not having dated very many people, I’d say stay out of the dating scene for a bit. Learn what it’s like to be happy alone first. DEFINITELY do NOT go for guy number two. Troublemakers are not cool and the fact that he openly talks about how many women he is sleeping with in front of you only proves that he doesn’t respect you.

Yeah, your ex is needy. Almost every guy is at some point in his life. Your ex may be indecisive, but the fact that he is saying “whatever you want is fine” is better than not wanting to do anything with you or simply not caring. You stated that he was sweet, polite and respectful..those are all great qualities, and it seems like you’re overlooking the value of dating someone with those qualities.

The only “right choice”, as you put it, would be to date other people and experience what life has to offer. Stop the friends with benefits thing too. It’s just a bad idea that never works the way it is expected to. IF you decide against my recommendation to go back to your ex, then I’d say YOU need to work on your communication with him. Let him know what you’re looking for and reinforce any attempt he makes to come out of his shell.

Near the bottom of your letter you stated that you didn’t want to be heartbroken. There is nothing to fear in heartbreak. It’s bound to happen sooner or later..hearts never break evenly.   You don’t HAVE to choose one of them, you just may feel you need to.  You’ll be better off making the “right” decision and living life solo until you figure that part out. It’ll make your first big heartbreak more tolerable and your next love all that much more special.