Dear John: Why Doesn’t He Know I’m “The One”?

This week Dear John talks about “the one”, Facebook friends after divorce, and sales-y friends.

This article originally appeared at

Dear John,

I have a great guy who is really sweet, etc. This past weekend I met a guy who is young (25), energetic, awesome – MARRIED. I also met his 24-year-old wife and was in awe of them. I am so happy for them and love to see people ridiculously in love, but I felt so jealous. The way they danced, the way he looked at her, etc. I feel embarrassed and guilty even confessing these feelings. I guess I am stuck because after two-and-a-half years, my guy claims to still not know if I am the one. I know I am not wasting my time because we truly do love each other, but why am I admiring someone else’s life?

I guess the real question is—how come that guy “knew” and mine doesn’t? And furthermore, when do guys know?

Guilty and Confused

Dear Guilty,

I’ll answer the easy question first: you’re admiring someone else’s life because they have what you so dearly want.

Your other question is a little more complicated. I’m not sure I’m buying that your guy doesn’t know. Two-and-a-half years is a pretty long time. I think he knows, but he may not want to tell you because he likes things exactly as they are. Some guys share your desire to get married and will enter into a relationship with that possibility in mind. Many don’t and will simply keep you waiting indefinitely until you force the issue. I think your boyfriend is one of the latter.

Stop waiting for an answer. You’ve gotten one; it’s just not the one you want. If you want to be in a relationship that’s leading inexorably towards marriage, I think you should start looking elsewhere.

Dear John,

I have a friend who divorced her husband about four years ago. The divorce process was long, drawn-out and just plain ugly. My friend told me some pretty horrible things about her ex, but he was always nice to my husband and me. After their divorce I did not have much contact with him and he has subsequently moved out of state. My friend still has issues with her ex involving their two children. Recently her ex “friended” me on Facebook. I have ignored his request. I think that being a Facebook friend is not a big deal, but I’m not so sure if my friend would see it the same way. I’m afraid to even mention the friend request to my friend because she has so much contempt for the guy. So John, would you see accepting his request as a betrayal? Could I accept the friend request without compromising my relationship with my friend?

Facebook Flummoxed

Dear Flummoxed,

I would not consider accepting his friend request a betrayal, but your friend well might. Whether it compromises your relationship with your “real” friend depends entirely on her.

As I’m sure you know, when people get divorced, their friends are usually put in the position of having to “choose” one or the other, and this dynamic is very hard to avoid. I was in your predicament not too long ago, and I refused to choose. Well, the husband equated this refusal with tacitly choosing his wife, so he cut me out of his life.

If you like this guy, accept his friend request. If you don’t, don’t. But make sure your choice is truly that—your choice. Don’t be held hostage by your friend’s animosity toward her former spouse. Personally, I don’t want to be friends with someone if one of her conditions is she gets to choose who my other friends are. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need friends like that.

Dear John,

A dear friend of mine has recently begun selling household products from her home. I’m sure you know the type of business – you sell things like cleaners, laundry detergent, etc., to friends and try to bring other people in as salespeople. Like so many people, she has been under a lot of financial pressure the past year, so I want to be supportive since she has taken the initiative and is trying to change her situation. However, now our friendship is suffering. Every get-together turns into a sales opportunity, and I end up feeling resentful that I’m guilted into buying something I really didn’t want. I really like this person but I’m beginning to dread seeing her! How can I be supportive of her efforts without feeling like I’m being taken advantage of?

Cupboard Full of Cleaners

Dear Cupboard,

Like you, I think it’s wonderful that your friend is doing everything she can to be self-reliant rather than wallowing in self-pity. Of course you want to be supportive, but her circumstances don’t give her carte blanche to take advantage of you. Let’s chalk up her overbearing sales pitches to her enthusiasm at being able to take control of her life.

I think you should have an honest talk with her. Tell her that you value her friendship and you’re happy she’s found a way to make a little extra money, but your friendship is starting to feel more like an extended retail transaction. Since she sells stuff you can use, you will be glad to buy detergent and other staples from her, and she can rest assured you’ll let her know when you’re running low. Until you do, however, she should see an invitation to get together for coffee as exactly that, not an opportunity to sell you the cups.

You may also enjoy: Dear John: Will His Old Man Be Hers Too?

Photo credit: Flickr / Gamma Man

About John Simpson,

John is a middle-aged family man from Providence. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. His column runs regularly on


  1. I’m so confused. I’ve been dating the same guy for four years…we’re high school sweethearts. However, he’s told me on several occasions that I’m not the one. It was very painful to hear and I took it very personally even if i wasn’t sure that he was the one either. I don’t know what to do at this point… I love being with him.. We’re best friends.. We’re perfect… But at the basis of it, it feels like a solid friendship. I don’t want to wait around until he breaks it off but I don’t want to break it off either… Help!

  2. There are married people who hate each other and there are people who are not married who live happily in a healthy, committed relationship.

    Being married is not a guarantee of bliss. “Confused” needs to realize that the couple she described were only showing a small part of their lives and it may be no different than her current relationship save for the legal recognition of their marriage contract.
    A relationship is about your emotional engagement, shared fullfillment and (in most cases) mutual exclusivity. If you do not have that, whether you are married or not, the relationship is probably not built to last.

  3. Confused: the couple you saw was really engaged and connected with each other. Apparently it’s not like that in your relationship. The question to me is, did you always feel that way and hope that getting married would create it? Or did just seeing this demonstrative couple wake up something in you and now you want to be like that?

    Chances are that this is the way the couple has always interacted with each other, and the fact that they are married is a coincidence. They may be college or high school loves who were always this way with each other, and getting married was not what created that.

    I think you should talk to your man about your experience at the gathering, and how you felt looking at those two. Maybe you just want to feel like he gives you more attention than you’re getting. If he can tell you that he is not into that kind of stuff, you will have a big decision to make on whether or not you can live with that. People put their best foot forward when dating. I don’t think you can expect that a wedding will cause him to change.

  4. “Confused” is 100% dead-certain she’s “the one” for him…. which may be the problem. Why is she so sure? What makes her think she’s the absolute best match for this guy and that he should accept it and pair up with her already? What makes her so all-fired wonderful?

    Maybe you’re still dating, Confused, because frankly you’re not a great catch and he’s unwilling to give you more than you’re worth, no matter how entitled you feel.

  5. I’m one of those people not into marriage. I really have no use for it as I’m ok with being in a committed relationship without the piece of paper. I got the feeling the letter writer wasn’t concerned just about marriage but about being the one he’s head over heels over like what she sees with her friends. Maybe she needs to have a conversation beyond just marriage with the boyfriend about how he really truly feels about her. Maybe he knows it’s just not going to work out or maybe he’s just not all that expressive but does have those feelings. Maybe she’s just not the one he sees himself with forever (marriage or not). But if it is marriage that is the end goal of any relationship and it’s not something he’s into or into with her she should leave or she’s going to be forever resentful of him, unless she is willing to compromise her goal.

    As for the sell from home letter. Everyone I know is selling something. I get a barrage of invites for any number of parties on my facebook every week (complete with daily or more reminders of sales and whatever). I also went to a “meeting” that I thought was going to score me some CEU’s put on by a friend of mine about naturalpathic sorts of stuff. Found out 2 hours in it was a sell from home scam. I was so mad at her for wasting my evening I literally walked out (along with a handful of others) and never spoke of it again to her. I’ve basically told everyone I know where to find you if I think I want anything but quit harassing me about your parties because I won’t be going and buying stuff or signing up for anything from you.

  6. Wow… I usually really enjoy reading this section and mostly agree. But honestly…
    “Stop waiting for an answer. You’ve gotten one; it’s just not the one you want. If you want to be in a relationship that’s leading inexorably towards marriage, I think you should start looking elsewhere.”

    After 2 1/2 years, which is NOT such a long time, you advice someone to break up just because her boyfriend is not ready to get married yet? Wow… I’m with my girlfriend since 4 years soon, we are very happy and might one day get married. But just looking at all these ugly divorce stories, makes me (and her) know that it is the only smart thing to consider and take your time with a decicion like that.

    • Hey Chris,

      I agree this advice may not be best. It’s great that you and your gf share the same perspective.

      But, when people don’t share the same perspective on the relationship in terms of marriage & family then this is going to create an issue. If either partner (man or woman) does not feel like they can give love on the other persons terms and 1 wants something more, the other wants to maintain the status quo for ____ amount of time then the person who wants to start a family has to ask themselves if they are willing to pursue that option with a new mate, or if their love for the person is strong enough to take that love on the other persons terms.

      While I might not have said dump the guy (and instead would have told the person to do some soulsearching), I don’t think the author is wrong in stating *she* is going to have to make a decision based on her values of creating a family, as clearly the man is happy with the way things are.

  7. It would take me probably 5 years of dating to be comfortable enough to marry someone, it’s a lifelong commitment and shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Not everyone is ready to dive in to marriage…


  1. […] You may also enjoy: Dear John: Why Doesn’t He Know I’m “The One”? […]

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