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Dear Guys,

I have a question about whether or not I’m being played by this girl that I adore. We have been off and on for quite a few months now and I’ve been struggling, trying to figure out if this girl loves me like she says she does. We dated about two months, but I broke it off with her because I didn’t trust her. Now we’ve been apart for about three months, but we’re thinking of getting back together. I’m not sure if this is the best thing. When I see her she acts like I’m the most important thing in her life, but other times she acts like I don’t matter. I try to please her, but I get the same actions and words. I am the one who has to call her. She often ditches me on days when I was supposed to see her. And I know she sometimes ignores my phone calls. I’m wondering if I should just give up and make a drastic change. Maybe you can help me figure out what’s going on.
Rob (17)

Dear Rob,

Thanks for writing and reading.

It’s clear to us that you really care for this girl and would love to figure out how to make this work. Obviously you wouldn’t still be hanging out with her if that weren’t the case. However, as much as you might be ready to be in a committed relationship, she might not be.

We’d like to present you with several scenarios of what might be going on. We can only help you see the big picture, but in the end you’ll have to make the call.

ONE: Your ex might be hurt because you broke up with her and not sure if she wants to be hurt all over again. This could cause here to act erratically. She’s protecting herself by mixing things up and throwing you off balance. This would explain why one minute she treats you like the love of her life and the next like a nobody. However, you mentioned that some of these behaviors were happening while you were dating, which makes us wonder.

TWO: She is young. Most seventeen year olds aren’t quite ready to be in a committed relationship. She wants to experience life, do some taste testing, and kind of go where the wind blows. Her frame of mind is probably closer to a “typical” seventeen year old, whereas you seem more stable and ready to commit, which makes you the exception. If you think this is the case and you really want to be with her, then you’ll just have to be patient and deal with her behavior. However, this could honestly take years. You might not even care by then.

THREE: She’s just not the right girl for you. You care for her deeply, you think she’s smart, cute/hot, funny, whatever, but she doesn’t feel the same way. She certainly likes you, but she also likes to do what she wants to do, which makes you feel uncomfortable. Ask yourself why did you break up with her in the first place? And has anything really changed with her? Or for that matter with you? Are you two really a good fit?

So think about these scenarios and see if one resonates more than the others.  And then ask yourself, “What do I really want from a relationship?” And once you visualize that, ask yourself if your ex really fits the bill.

Another thing to consider is, maybe it’s too soon for you to be in a committed relationship. It’s okay to experiment a bit. Look around. The world is a big place. You might surprise yourself and find someone who’s unexpectedly wonderful. Or maybe you could just be happy hanging with your friends and doing your own thing for a while.

After having said all of this, our initial reaction is, YES, you’re getting played. But you’re allowing it. You’re responsible for your own happiness, which means making good choices about the people you surround yourself with.

The biggest piece of advice we can give you is, trust your gut.