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Real Live College Guy Sean: How Long Do I Give A Guy Recovering From A Break-Up?

Broke from calling late night love lines for advice? Looking for the lowdown on the hoedown when it comes to college guys? Real Live College Guy Sean is here to help you pick apart the mind of the average college guy. Whether it’s avoiding that awkward weekend hook-up, or full-on relationship advice, Sean is here to save the day!

So I’ve had a sort of friends-with-benefits deal (not sex though) going with this guy in my dorm for a couple months, and I consider him one of my really good friends. We’re not exclusive, but I’m hoping it will eventually turn into a relationship (which he knows). However, he’s still kind of hung up on his ex; they dated for two years and broke up at the end of the summer, and he doesn’t want to commit to another relationship. He’s a really good guy, but I’m also wondering if I’m being used on some level. Am I being stupid by waiting around for him or is there a possibility he’ll come around? The whole situation makes me feel kind of pathetic and desperate. – Vulnerable at Vanderbilt

Hey Vulnerable,

This situation is delicate.

Firstly, two years is a long time to date someone and he will probably need a while to completely get over his ex. If he’s not ready, moving into a new relationship will feel make him feel like he hasn’t had any time to breathe and I can promise you that you’ll be competing with his ex in his mind. Since this leaves you feeling, as you put it, a bit “pathetic and desperate,” you have to take action so you don’t feel like you’re simply “next in line.”

To shake this feeling, you need to keep it casual as you have been. If he’s not ready to be in a relationship and is still hung up on his ex, don’t force him into a new one. Besides, if he isn’t ready, you’ll only be getting half of him, the other half will be tied to his ex. A lot of guys have been there. There is someone else and you desperately want to move on, but for whatever reason you can’t seem to shake off your ex. These situations can be tricky.

I’m pretty sure he isn’t trying to use you, but you do have to make sure that you’re not just a rebound. Free yourself from him for a while and just do your own thing. Make him chase you once he’s ready, instead of the other way around. If your relationship is born out of you waiting for him, it probably won’t go too well. You’ll also be missing out on that exciting spark at the beginning of relationships, which is half the fun anyways! Don’t let his timetable of recovery dictate your life because you’ll just go crazy wondering when he will finally come around.

So don’t attach yourself to him so much. He clearly stated that he’s not ready. Give him the space he needs to finally move on. Don’t feel constrained by this situation and don’t be afraid to meet someone else (you’re not exclusive anyways). I get that you like him and that he’s a great guy. But until he’s ready, there’s no sense feeling suffocated by a relationship that simply doesn’t exist yet.

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Sean is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in communications and minoring in film studies. Attending NYU in the fall to pursue a Masters in Journalism, Sean enjoys writing about virtually anything. In his time at Pitt, Sean has worked as a DJ for an automotive program on campus and abroad in London.Sean is originally from Rhode Island, which is far from Pittsburgh, but he is fond of the scenic drive. Sean likes tea instead of coffee, photography, and fire alarm testing (through his cooking). Sean also enjoys playing guitar and piano, skiing, golfing, and practical jokes. You can follow Sean on Twitter at @seanmcfarland1.
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