Duchess Digest: The Ex-Games

By - Jill Brown

One of the things that I find refreshingly unique about my divorce is that I’m still friends with my ex. And oddly enough it is from this highly unlikely source that I get a lot of dating advice! Most of it unintentional but it’s good material none the less.

So it’s only fitting that today’s column is helping a Single Minded Woman who is tired of the games; and my advice for her is coming from my own experiences and observations with my ex.

This week’s Miss Guided reader asks:

“Why do so many men play games? I’ve been seeing this man for almost two years and while things started off wonderful – about six months into the relationship things cooled down. Since then we’ve broken up and gotten back together several times, he no longer has me do things with his friends and last Christmas we spent separate because he didn’t want to take me to meet his family. He says he loves me, but he can’t give me more than what things are now. He says that he’s just too busy with work to be in a committed relationship. The only problem is, he’s been “too busy with work” for over a year now and things aren’t getting better. We’ll do really well for a month or two and then if I ask him for more of a commitment he totally withdraws. We go days without talking and it really bugs me! Recently I thought I’d see how long we would go without talking if I didn’t make the effort to call . . . and it’s been almost three weeks of totally not communicating! I can’t believe he wouldn’t care if we talked that long! What do I do? How do I get things back to how they were in the start? Help! I love him but I’m so tired of the games and the inconsistency!”

-Sleepless and in-commincado in Seattle”

Hey there S.A.I.I.S. – ouch! Boy do I know that game. Luckily I’ve only been through it once but like you, it took me a long time to figure out how to solve the riddle and get what I wanted and needed from a relationship with the man I loved. And that answer was to let go and move on. I know that’s not the answer you want to hear – it certainly wasn’t the one I wanted to hear either. I cried, I went to therapy; hell I started a blog and wrote a book about this man breaking my heart. So believe me when I say – I know how you feel and coming from someone who tried for years every tactic, skill and patient method possible – save yourself another few years of frustration and heartache and let go now.

A man who doesn’t care if you talk for three weeks doesn’t care. It’s not that you aren’t worth caring about – it’s not even necessarily that he’s a horrible guy and a bad person. But this man doesn’t love you enough to show up for you the way you need and you shouldn’t settle for that with any guy. Men who love you will show up for you and make an effort however they can. Even if it’s a text or a phone call on really hectic days (hey, we all have them!)– they’ll find ways to make you feel special, important and loved.

This is actually a very positive lesson I learned from my ex-husband believe it or not! When we were together he didn’t go a single day without emailing or calling; and this is from an Emmy award winning journalist who spent six plus months a year in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. So believe me – if a man loves you, he’ll find a way to reach you. If my ex could find a way to call from Baghdad every day – there is pretty much no excuse for the modern day man living in America to be out of touch for weeks (or hell even days!). Unless he’s just not that into you, and Miss Guided, no matter what he says when he does call again (because they always eventually do) he is not going to change. Believe who he has consistently shown you he is and what he is available for – which is not much – and if that’s not good enough for you, move on. No discussion, no closure (that is my most despised word in the English language!) no more games!

Trust me, I know how bad it stinks. I also know how hard it is. But my best advice to you is TRUST him when he says he can’t give you more and turn this three weeks of silence into a permanent vacation from him and from settling. You’re too smart and too old to play games like this! The only winning move is to move-on!

And that’s dating according to the Duchess!

-Jill Brown

Have a question of your own you’d like answered? Please leave your dating questions in the comments below or email me to get your dating questions answered at: jill@theduchessguide.com. Jill Brown is a Los Angeles, California-based coach and writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous selves for dating success.  For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: http://theduchessguide.com/


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