Question: I wrote in several months ago about a guy I was dating who’d invited me to Thanksgiving with his family, but didn’t want to be in a relationship.We were only dating and sleeping with each other, we said we loved each other, we did everything a couple does except calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend.He said he wanted to lose weight, he wanted to get a job he was happy with, he wanted to be completely over his ex and other hard stuff from the past, that he had a lot to work on before he could be in a relationship.

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During sex, he did something that I’d already told him I didn’t like; I got upset. I just started crying and told him I didn’t like that and he knew it. I was incredibly confused and hurt and broke the Christmas gift I got him (anger/violence is really out of character for me). A month later (a day or two after I’d contacted a therapist to help sort out all my confusion and hurt), I got a three minute long voicemail from him, saying he was sorry, that it didn’t take him a month to realize he was wrong, but his ego was in the way, that I deserved better than that, that he didn’t want me to think he was a jerk who didn’t care, that he didn’t expect this to fix anything, but just really wanted to say he was sorry. He sent an email a few days later, saying he hoped I got his voicemail and that he hoped all was well with me and that he had a job interview soon.

I asked him to please talk with me so we could both be on the same page, so maybe he could understand, really, why I didn’t like that, and so I could stop hurting. I didn’t want to call or email, but I didn’t want to leave him hanging, either, because I know that that hurts.

I wrote him a letter, snail mail, and thanked him for apologizing, told him he still meant a lot to me, that his apology meant a lot to me and that it gave me what I needed to heal. I realize he sounds like an ass, and definitely screwed with my head, but I’m still hurt. I’m 30 and I realize that’s not common, but because of past sexual and verbal abuse, it was incredibly hard for me to let men get close.

I told him I just needed space, to process everything, to feel okay about it all. In his email he made a joke about the thing he did during sex; I don’t want to say what he did, but the joke went something like: I’m sorry I did that to you. If you weren’t so much fun to have sex with, maybe I wouldn’t have done it and maybe you wouldn’t be so mad at me. Anyways, after his email, I wrote back, saying I didn’t think his joke was funny, and that he explained his side after saying he didn’t want to discuss it anymore.

(I should note here that I’ve know him for thirteen years, though we only really got to know each other last year. He told his dad he loved me, but wasn’t ready for a relationship; he told his friends, too.

Believing I understood the situation, I asked for space, so he could get his stuff together and so I wouldn’t feel like I was being strung along.

He called drunk one night, saying he was a loser and missed me. He called me drunk again on New Years and talked for an hour, literally an hour, about how he was talking about me all night, how he missed and loved me, how I was so thoughtful, and then started crying about the sweetness of the Christmas gift I gave him.

It pulled on my heart so much that, like a dope, I went over his place.

He also said he didn’t want us to rehash/discuss what happened anymore, that he was tired of dissecting stuff like that . I wrote: people have the want/need to be understood, but they also have the need/want to not have to deal with hard things; maybe you needed both.

I told him I still cared about him, but was very hurt and to please not write back anymore.

He wrote back right away, saying he was sorry, and he included a link to a cute animal picture (I love cute animals). Several days later, he sent another email with another cute animal link.