Dear Harlan,

I have a crush on a guy who I have known since kindergarten. We lost contact with each other after high school, but recently became reconnected. He asked me out for dinner and I agreed. We went one two dates. On the second date, we had sex. He said he didn’t want to do anything, but he still slept with me. He said that he used to have a crush on me in high school. We were supposed to go out on a third date, but never did. When I text him, he says that he will text me back but never does. My sister talked to his best friend and he told her that this guy said that he really liked me. So why is he avoiding me? Why has he not texted me back? I’m sincerely interested in this guy. My mom told me to fight for him, if I don’t want to lose him. But, I don’t want to scare him off or freak him out. What should do I do?


Dear Textless,

How do you fight for him if he’s ignoring your text messages? I know your mom is happy you’ve reconnected with this guy but there’s something going on with him. The idea that you’re running after a guy who isn’t treating you the way you deserve to be treated is confusing to me. If you want to date him, wait until he texts you back. When he does text you back, ask him if everything is OK, because you were concerned when he didn’t text you back. If this guy wants to date you, make it clear that you don’t like being ignored. A lack of attention is not a sign of affection. Fight for respect, but don’t fight for him.

Dear Harlan,

How do you know when a man wants more than just sex? I’ve started dating someone, but I can’t tell if he wants a relationship or to just jump into bed with me. How can I be sure?


Dear Waiting,

A man who wants more than sex will stick around after he sobers up. He will listen to you, talk to you and be patient. He’ll take you out, kiss you good night and call you the next day. He won’t use pressure, guilt or threats. He will respect you, appreciate you and get tested for STDs for you (if he’s not a virgin). He will encourage you to stay true to yourself, and he will take care of himself if the wait is too long.

Dear Harlan,

I’m off at school in the middle of a long-distance relationship. My boyfriend is back at home and he is very insecure. He never wants me to go out and do anything. How can I fix that problem?

Dealing with Distance

Dear Dealing,

You might need to fix it by getting a new boyfriend. When a significant other doesn’t want you to do anything on your own, it’s significant. He’s probably imagining all the other guys who will want you. He doesn’t want you to do anything because he’s afraid you’ll date one of them and find someone better. A man who knows he’s the best isn’t threatened by a girlfriend with a life. A man who doesn’t think he’s the best feels threatened. Either he encourages you to be happy while you are apart, or I’d part ways.

Harlan is author of “Getting Naked: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life (While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober)” (St. Martin’s Press). Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online: All letters submitted become property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan!, 3501 N. Southport Ave., Suite 226, Chicago, IL 60657.

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