Why is my boyfriend toying with me over text?

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4ustra1ia asks:

We had a big fight, and at the end it was unclear if we are together at all. Yesterday, I did not text him back until he would, saying I’d leave him to have his space. He snapped me a few times, as I did answer his snaps back. One of the last snaps were “I feel so free” I asked why he replied back “Just am” with a big smiling emoji. He then texted me over snapchat, he said he wanted to keep talking so I asked him how his day was and if he did anything fun and he asked me, and at the end he was like “Well I’ll let you get back to whatever you doing. it was good talking to you” of course I asked him “are we still together?” he said ” idk” I replied back with ” still ok” and our conversation went from there again him saying ” I feel so free” I once again asked him why and he said umm nothing. well it kept going me asking just tell me what the umm nothing is. and he starts to laugh like ” haha” The next morning he called me like 10 times, but hung up after it rang maybe like 2 seconds, I texted back “what do you want?” he said “ohh ill leave you alone” why would someone do that? I have been crying for the past two days because I had a feeling he wanted to break up, but he doesn’t say anything. does it sound like he is? or what is going on? is he being childish and just not wanting to do it? ( oh and I am still all over his social media, in his bio, and pictures of me, even on fb it still says we are in a relationship. We have been together for 11 months) I do love him and don’t want to lose him, but I have friends who say he is messing with you, just let him do his thing and wait.


Demetrius says:

Good News, Bad News. Let’s start with the bad news first. Sorry but you’re about to be single. I know, it’s a very sad time. Good news: You don’t have to deal with someone who is too immature to express relationship dissatisfaction using words and instead prefers to act like human filth he’s upset.

You ever notice that sometimes after a  break up there is a certain amount of sensationalizing that goes into the narrative of the breakup story. Sometimes people purposefully try to craft a narrative that makes them either feel empowered or victimized. I’m not talking about people who are legitimately victimized in a relationship and leave, nor am I talking about people who overcome a terrible relationship and better their lives, I’m talking about people who try to force the narrative. Let’s say there’s a hypothetical couple and they’ve dated for a few years, then one or both of them decide that they want to end things. There’s no big drama or big reason behind it, just an assortment of small things that build into them realizing that they’re just not a good fit anymore. If one of the people wants to craft a certain narrative rather than just saying “Eh, things didn’t work out, shit happens”, they might emphasize small slights throughout the relationship that they realize are the REAL reason things ended. These people have never once mentioned these grievances, but at the end of the relationship suddenly it’s the first goddamn night of Festivus with the airing of said grievances. I get the impulse behind wanting to craft a retroactive narrative about a failed relationship because its way easier to get over someone who was TERRIBLE versus getting over someone who was good, but not great for you. I get it, but it’s still dreck.

I bring this up because your boyfriend is doing  two things. The first, is to artificially create drama so that either your subsequent breakup or subsequent reconciliation are on his terms. The other thing he’s doing is building a narrative of him as the grieved party who has finally decided to free himself, so that when the break up does happen, he’s viewed as a triumphant victim. “I feel so free” implies that he felt stifled in your relationship, and only a terrible girlfriend would stifle a loving and supportive partner. At least, that’s what he’s hoping is the message people will get. Why would he do this? New Rule for anyone asking why sewage people do scummy things:  Stop trying to understand the motives of shitty people, it brings you nothing. That out of the way, random guess off the top of my head as to why he’d be doing these things to you: Immaturity, insensitivity, he lacks empathy,  and he thinks your relationship is a joke. I mean…the reason why is inconsequential if knowing why doesn’t change how you’d feel, but I hate to leave a question unanswered. Even if he was lashing out because he’s hurt, do you really want to date someone with the emotional intelligence and ability to express himself the same way a 4-year-old would? I’ll answer for you: Nah.

So, what do you do now? Simple, ignore all his bullshit. Whether I’m right or wrong about motives or end goals, the thing that does matter and is true regardless of those things is his intent to manipulate you. Being vague about your relationship status but still maintaining contact is a great way to make you uncomfortable about your relationship status, but also make sure you’re still hooked. It’s an age-old manipulation tactic that play on insecurity and he seems to be executing this perfectly given your fluctuations between crying and wanting answers but also wanting him to stay with you. When I say ignore his bullshit, I don’t mean ignore his behavior and then accept him back when he’s done playing mind games with you. I’m saying ignore his bullshit,  stop responding or even checking for his texts, calls, snaps, or emails, and when he’s done with his bullshit you should probably just drop him and continue to ignore him. I know that after 11 months that sounds drastic but consider this: Whenever he’s done with this sociopath shit and you take him back, he’s going to remember that he can get away with it and you know what, probably do it again. Should you stick around with this  junk person to prove me wrong? Again, I’ll answer for you: Nah. No way you, or anyone, deserves to be treated like this. Definitely not more than once.

Too drastic? Fine,  I can understand your hesitance to end a perfectly garbage relationship with a detritus person because you’ve invested a non-renewable resource into building said relationship. I GET IT! In that case, you should confront him about his behavior. If you decide that you’d rather stay with someone who is a refuse-based humanoid life-form, you should at the very least confront him about his behavior. “I was angry” is not a good excuse, nor is any excuse a good excuse. If he doesn’t own what he did, the fact that he was treating someone who he presumably loves like a disposable person, he’s not worth sticking around for. Trust me on this, I’ve been in similar situations before and without fail, the first time you have a fight with someone and they go full-scale psychological warfare, there’s no way the next fight doesn’t escalate to that point, especially if they’re dismissive of their own behavior as acceptable because they were hurt.

You deserve better than this, and whether that means staying with your made-mostly-of-offal-boyfriend and confronting his grimey behavior, or leaving your rubbish-bin boyfriend behind because you know that rewarding pigs with pearls is pointless, you need to move on.

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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