Auntie SparkNotes: I'm Dating My Crush, So What's the Problem?
To cut to the chase, this boy that I've liked for a really long time asked me out on Halloween. Over Snapchat. After telling me just a few days before about all of the girls he had fighting over him and how he's so popular and amazing. I, an idiot who has never had a boyfriend and practically idolizes anyone who shows me affection, said yes. He texted me shortly after and said "You're my girlfriend, right? My friends don't believe me."
I've been on 2 dates with him and it's just awkward. We text a lot more than we talk, and when we see each other in real life it's typically us sitting there spinning our straws around in our water cups and listening to the ice clink around. I've been around him with other people and he's nothing like he is when it's just me and him. Maybe he's nervous. Maybe I make him want to throw up. I don't know. But I'm honestly not sure how much longer I can take this whole "online relationship" thing. We don't go to the same school, neither of us can drive, and he's an absolute ass over text. When I see him in real life, though, it's totally different. He's a genuinely awesome person and he makes me insanely happy! So what's my problem, really? I'm incredibly confused about how to go on with this, even though it's only been two weeks and we've seen each other twice. Everything should be just peachy.
Going to press send and probably going to regret doing so, but I need some positive reinforcement. And maybe some advice. And a big hug (even though you can't help me there).
Ask and ye shall receive, Sparkler. You see that illustration, up at the top? THAT'S FOR YOU.
But let's be honest: you don't need a hug from the weird internet auntie who lives inside your computer. What you need, actually, is some ding-dang confidence in your right to call off a relationship that's totally not working for you.
Because you can do that! Just because you liked the guy for a long time before he asked you out doesn't mean you're obligated to keep him around when his quality as a boyfriend turns out to be Not As Advertised. It is a sad but unavoidable truth that fantasy and reality often don't match up in the dating world—and that sometimes, even when things "should" be just peachy, they aren't. Not every online crush translates into real-life chemistry; not every spark of attraction becomes a burning inferno of red-hot romance; and not every guy who claims to be in such high demand that girls are literally fighting over him actually turns out to be the World's Greatest Boyfriend. (Actually, that last thing? I'm gonna go ahead and say it has never, ever happened.)
And when it comes to the expectations vs. reality of this particular dude, you said it yourself: he's terrible over text (which might not be a deal-breaker ordinarily, but certainly problematic when it's your primary means of communication), he's awkward one-on-one, and he can be awesome, apparently, but only when he's got other people around to bounce himself off of. In short, not what you signed up for! And while you are absolutely entitled to hang in there and see if things get any better, you are also entitled, at any time, to recognize that you're not enjoying this and reclaim your time accordingly.
Of course, you wrote this letter just two weeks in, and another several weeks have elapsed since then, which means that the passage of time has likely worked its magic to resolve this situation in one direction or another—whether the whole thing imploded under the weight of its unmet expectations, or whether you guys found a way to a more comfortable rapport after the awkwardness reached its breaking point.
But that's why I'm less concerned with the outcome of this particular relationship than I am with making sure you trust your judgment, value your happiness, and avoid wasting your time. I want you to be able to say to yourself, "I'm not having fun," or "I'd rather be somewhere else," or "This isn't what I want after all"—and to then do what will make you happy, or at least happier, without apology. Not just this time, and not just in your dating life, but in general and forever. And if this is where you start practicing the exquisite art of valuing your own feelings, then great! Do it now, but more importantly, do it next time, and the time after that.
Got something to say? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at email@example.com.
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