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In Misery

I began casually seeing a guy in August, hanging out once a week . Lets call him Joe.We had a convo after hanging out for two months and he told me he did not want a girlfriend. I also told him I was not looking for a relationship and he seemed to warm up to me more . However after that he started to bring me around his friends and they all told me how much Joe liked me and that they hadn't seen Joe act this way since his serious girlfriend he got out of a relationship 2.5 years ago. It was mentioned to me he had typical bachelor tendencies but since meeting me that ended.

The holidays rolled around and he got super busy as he is opening up his own business. We still talked daily. I saw him for the first time in a month in January and after spending the day together, and a few drinks later he told me that he loved me but could not have a relationship. Joe said he has a bizarre need to talk to random women but does not pursue a relationship with them. He also mentioned being very busy with his new business. He clarified that it was not that he didn't want a relationship with me but did not want one period. I told him that I understood and that we did not have to start off super serious. Joe said he felt like I want a boyfriend and to pursue that need with someone else. Joe previously mentioned that his ex-girlfriend cheated on him and he saw her being intimate with another man.

I am not the kind of woman who constantly needs a boyfriend to feel secure. I am picky and felt like I found what I was looking for in Joe. We laughed constantly and had natural chemistry. After we had that talk we would still text but not as often. Last week I saw him out at a bar flirting with other girls. Seeing this made me feel sick.

I am miserable. I feel like I lost one of my best friends. I have been going on dates with an open mind but am trying to move past this. He told me if he was in a place to have a girlfriend it would me be.

Does he mean what he said or was he letting me off easy? How do I move forward? Do you think he will come around? Should I just be there for him as a friend a few months down the road once I have healed?

Re: In Misery

I'm sorry you're upset. It must be disappointing to have someone you felt used to be your best friend, ignoring you and flirting with other women. :( The problem you're facing is that he was straight up with you when he said he didn't want a relationship at all. Not with you. Not with anyone. When a guy tells you this, he means it. Some people are just not interested in a commitment and want to play the field. So, I think you have to take him at his word. And that means you need to move on. If you do, and he changes his mind and comes back to you, you'll know that he felt he made a mistake. But unless you do move on you'll never have that opportunity. I know it's scary to let go, but in this case, it's like ripping off the bandaid. He's not into you and your life is going to be better if you accept that and start dating other people. Stay busy, do things that are fun and interesting. Accept invitations and offer them, as well. Focus on yourself and after a while, you won't feel as badly that he's flirting with other people -- because you will be, too. You may even be dating someone different. Be careful not to step int traps -- like the friend zone. You should definitely not be there for him as a friend. After all, do you really want to hear about him dating other women? I know the answer to that is no -- so don't even think about befriending him. Just move on. And when guys tell you they don't want a relationship, accept it and move on. It's just an incompatibility, but it's one you shouldn't ignore.

I hope that helps!
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.