Dear Jil, I’m not exactly sure what this guy means when he said his relationship with his girlfriend is stale. How can a relationship be stale? Is it bread or what? Has the relationship gone moldy or expired? What’s he saying? Is he in a relationship but not in a relationship? It’s not very clear and you better be clear. A relationship is a relationship whether moldy or not. Whether stale or not he’s still in a relationship. Ascribing the characteristics of a fungi-infested bread to a relationship isn’t exactly helpful in this circumstance.
I told you to be careful because you could end up in a relationship with a guy in two relationships – one “stale,” one fresh. His status not being clear gives him plausible deniability in the event of a burst. If things go south he can tell you he already told you he’s still in a relationship, that they just had issues. In fact he may turn around and call you an exploiter of his circumstances since you knew his relationship subsists. When a guy stays in a “stale” relationship, it often means he and his girlfriend have known each other for some time. And it may mean the relationship petered out when the sex suffered devaluation. The two parties don’t know what to do with the husk of the relationship. It’s why it’s stale and moldy. You can end up hanging in the balance for years, hoping against hope in this kind of situation. And at the end of the day he may just go out and marry a third person, someone “fresh.” You shouldn’t put yourself in this position. Clarity is important in a relationship. Is he out, or not? I’m even more worried these facts are just emerging. You didn’t even know about the stale relationship.
So there are questions you need to ask yourself to ascertain his true status. You need to ask yourself, is he still in touch with her? Does he visit her? Do they still go out? Does he go to her house? Does her family believe they’re going to marry? Does she cook for him or vice versa? Does he buy her presents? Did he send valentine greetings? What’s his Facebook status? Does he still have her pictures on his phone? Is her picture his wallpaper? Does he have a lot of her pictures? When he has issues does he turn to her? Does she still see them as together despite what he told you? Does she still confide in him? Does she turn to him in trouble? Does he go with her for family affairs? Does he still regard her as his confidante? Does he go to her flat to sleep? Does he eat at her flat? Do his friends still see her as the girlfriend? Do they chat regularly? Do they chat till late?
If the answer to most of the above questions is yes, there’s nothing stale about the relationship. It’s very much alive. And if so this a booby trap you’re walking into. Yet you’re not an animal. Already you’re hoping things are otherwise in this “relationship,” if we can call it that. It just seems you guys are flirting each other up while descending into serious attachment. If his status with his girlfriend is solid you’re going to be the loser at the end of the day. You’ll have wasted your time chasing what is not available. In truth, he was never available. An unclarified status is a pointer to non-availability. If he wants to date you let him come clean. He can’t be hanging on to his moldy relationship and be pursuing fresh bread. If he doesn’t want to date his girlfriend again, he needs to tell her. Or he’s going to end up jilting two women. The irony is that if he goes for a third woman he may not be satisfied. He’ll be used to both of you. This is how guys get themselves confused. Too much biological and emotional data to process. There’s a reason Solomon said to guard your heart with all diligence. You’ve got to watch your heart. You don’t want your emotions messed up. And you don’t want your desires putting you in emotional prison. In which case you’ll be the prisoner, jail and warder. That’s a very complicated tripartite phenomenon. Emotions are powerful. And the more time you spend with someone the more emotionally exposed you are. It’s a case of if you’re looking for something you’ll find it. So you’ll start seeing things that aren’t there, things you want to be there. You’ll start fobbing the data you’re accumulating, trying to rationalize what you see. And therein lies the danger. You’ll start believing a lie. Warning signs your commonsensical self would have detected will go unheeded. Your desire will overwrite the signs. You’ll be egged on by your lusts and desires, pushing envelopes of acceptance. Before you know it you’re totally in. And if you have sex in the mix you’re gone! You have a chance now to pull out. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself sucked in.
You have to be careful what guys like this one say. It may not be a reflection of the understanding of his girlfriend. You don’t know what he tells her. And if the relationship is truly stale, he wouldn’t be texting her. What I suspect is they have an unresolved argument and the issue is lingering. This is an active stale relationship. He loves his girlfriend. They’ve been together for some time. He’s emotionally attached to her. You’re not strong enough to break that bond or you would have. So he’s doing all these calculations in his head, trying to accommodate your benefits outside commitment. You want commitment. But what you’re asking for he cannot give. He’s committed to another. As long as the “stale” relationship subsists he can’t give you the commitment you want, and not without being duplicitous. Yet you don’t know if he loves stale bread. You’ll only discover after he’s started a relationship with you. So beware of the man with a stale relationship. It’s still a relationship. Clarity is always emotionally healthier in a relationship.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org
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