We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Dale is here to help you navigate the college dating scene.
The guy I like was in a relationship with a girl for four years. She cheated on him, and they broke up five months ago. Recently I’ve been getting the feeling that he’s interested in me. But they were in a serious, committed relationship—they even lived together. How can I know if he’s ready for a new relationship or if he’s just flirting with me because he’s single and can flirt without guilt for the first time in years? –Flirty at FSU
I’ve heard of different recovery times for breakups, everything from, “half as long as the relationship lasted” to, “twice as long as the relationship lasted.” The simple fact is that there’s no set time frame for post-breakup recovery.
You simply cannot be sure if he’s ready for a new relationship because you aren’t in his head. Unfortunately, neither am I, so I can’t give you any guarantees. I know that for me at least, it took about a year to get over my longest relationship, which itself lasted a year.
They were together for four years. They lived together. If, by chance, he is flirting with people, part of me thinks he’s doing so for rebound purposes. He’s flirting with you to get over his ex or he’s trying to prove that he still has the ability to pick up girls. But then, for all I know, the man could have recovered from their breakup with great haste and is now ready to woo all the women on campus.
I think the question you should really be asking is whether or not you’re okay with possibly being a “no strings attached” kind of deal with this guy. Is he someone you genuinely like as a person, or is this just some guy you thought was cute?
If it’s the latter option, I don’t think you should bother getting involved unless you’re fine with something that may be purely physical. He may be using you — as bitter as it sounds — to get over his ex. He might also just be playing the field, and after a four-year relationship, I can’t say I blame the guy.
If it’s the first option, you need to decide if you’re willing to be with someone who might still be hung up on his ex. I’ve been with women who were still hung up on their ex-boyfriends, and that’s no fun at all. Take that bit of information as you will.
Communication, communication, communication. Find out where he’s at and decide for yourself whether or not you’re willing to get involved at all. Otherwise, you’re going to end up hurt as well.