Dear Victor the Cat:
I got back together with an ex about a year ago, but he didn’t want to commit to a serious relationship, preferring that we keep it casual (meaning he has freedom to sleep with other women). I thought our “relationship” would fade away when he moved to another city this fall to go to grad school. But he’s kept in constant contact, and we talk daily. He even still tells me that he loves me. But whenever I bring up the idea of us becoming exclusive, he refuses to discuss it. I’m dating other people, but it makes me feel guilty. And thinking of him being with another woman makes me feel sick. What should I do?
Stuck and Sad
Dear Stuck and Sad:
You seem nice, so I’m going to give you some kitty-cat straight talk. Why is this guy making all the decisions in your relationship? Or, more to the point, why are you letting him? If he wants to see other people but you don’t, you’re clearly at a difficult impasse. But instead of respecting yourself and walking away with dignity (which is what you deserve), you’re letting him get everything he wants, while you don’t get anything you want. And he won’t even talk to you about the situation or consider your feelings? No offense, but this clown sounds like a first-rate dawg/dog. (And I don’t think I need to tell you how I feel about dawgs/dogs.) Look, there’s a reason why human parents warn their daughters against guys who “don’t buy the cow because they can get the milk for free.” Unless you’re in a mutually-agreed-upon casual relationship that you’re happy with, you deserve someone who wants to date you exclusively. If you want to be a real girlfriend, you deserve a real boyfriend. Not someone who tells you he loves you and then sleeps with other women. (Those are just cheap words, anyway – you know that, right?) Most importantly, you basically told me that certain aspects of this relationship make you sick to your stomach. This is not a good sign, my dear!
Here’s my advice (and why they pay me the big bucks): Why don’t you stop waiting for this douche-b to figure out what he really wants, and instead, do what you really want to do, which I hope is to make yourself happy. And the only way to do that is to leave this half-assed relationship and find a complete one. I’m positive that there are lots of fellows (perhaps even in your own city) who’d be thrilled to be your exclusive boyfriend. I’m not a therapist. I’m a cat. We don’t take bullshit from anyone, especially dogs. And neither should you.
Victor the Cat