When it comes to dating and relationships, we have all at one point or another needed dating advice when it comes to situations where we are confronted with the person after the relationship ends. Some examples of that would be like office romances, dating your neighbor, or getting involved with someone you met at a club like beach volleyball that you keep running into over and over again. This is one of the beautiful things about online dating for many, as it takes this right out of the equation and solves some relationship problems before they even begin.
But many women are still dating the old-fashioned way, and dating people that they just happened to meet when they share life circumstance. Well, one of our readers has run into a bit of a pickle with this. She was dating her neighbor, now she’s not, and now she’s stuck in this really awkward situation. Here’s Violet’s story.
I was in a very brief relationship with a neighbor, it ended because he was not upfront with me about the things he wanted from our relationship and we would have many arguments because he was telling me one thing but in reality wanted something else. After we broke up I reached out to him a couple of times and that created more problems. Also us being neighbors didn’t help as we both have neighbor friends and told them what happened so now people talk about it. Now he has hard feelings towards me. How can I change that and earn his respect? I think the best I can do is be indifferent and let him see I’m happy, maybe him seeing me with someone else. Am I right? Violet
I love it when readers answer their own questions! And I love that you come to us for relationship advice to seek validation on the choices that you are making in your relationships. As you can see, this is exactly what Violet has done here.
How to Gain a Man’s Respect
Her first question is, how do I make him respect me? Well if we could bottle up this answer and sell it we would all be millionaires, and we would all be happy in love. But the fact remains, that you can’t make anyone respect you. That is a choice that they all have to make on their own. Can you nudge them in the direction of respecting you? Absolutely. And the answer to that is, be someone worth respecting.
Obviously, there have been a few problems with this tactic along the way, as now the neighbors are talking about you, and he’s all upset about what’s going around the neighborhood. Give him that. I wonder, have you apologized for this? That could be a huge step for both of you, in having a meeting of the minds when it comes to this relationship. He may be harboring some feelings or resentment because he might feel that you don’t care that his feelings were hurt but this got about town. So for you, Violet, I would start with a very sincere and heartfelt apology that your relationship with him hit the rocks because you were excited to be with him. And that’s exactly how I would phrase it too!
Men Like to be Bragged About
Here’s the other catch. Most guys that are serious about love don’t mind being bragged about. So I really wonder how serious he was about you to begin with. Maybe, he got upset with you because he was only using you and didn’t want the world to know. And as Oprah would say, that’s a whole other show.
So if I were you, Violet, I would say that you still need to apologize to him, but apologize for hurting him. Tell him you didn’t think it would upset him for some neighbors to know that you guys were dating. Ask him why it hurt him so much if you are so inclined. Acknowledge, except, and validate his feelings. And own your part in it. But it’s really not the end of the world if you talk to people about your relationship, unless you’re Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and a global crisis actually arises when your relationship is discussed.
I’m guessing, Violet, that you are not Angelina Jolie. So personally, I don’t think you meant anything wrong by discussing your relationship with other people. But he has been hurt over it, then it is definitely a responsibility to own up and just take the responsibility there for his feelings. You can do it by saying this:
“Hey, just wanted to touch base real quick and let you know that I have been thinking about us and my role and what caused us to break up. I want to sincerely apologize to you for anything that I did that hurt you or upset you when people got wind of what was going on with us. I just want you to know, that I think you are pretty awesome and worth bragging about, and that’s the only reason I did that. But I am sincerely sorry if I hurt your feelings. I would love it if we could start off on a fresh slate and put this all behind us. What do you think? I’m going to reflect on this for a little while and would love to hear from you.”
And leave it at that. Yes, to answer your question about being indifferent to him, that is absolutely what you need to do now. And yes, let him see that you are happy. And if you want to go on dating other people, then by all means do so. But do not enter any relationship with anybody else for the sole purpose of making your neighbor jealous. No. That is not how you were going to make him miss you, that is how you were going to make him happy that you guys broke up.
Maybe you needed to break up, and maybe there is someone out there that’s a little bit better for you. But maybe you just need a cooling off period. The best relationship advice that I could give you, Violet, is to just own your part in his feelings, but still take the steps you need to start to be happy. Cool off a little bit with him, and give him a chance to think about this too. Check out our articles on what to do during and after the No Contact zone, and go out and live your life. Have a look to see if you are making one of the 3 common dating mistakes. Dear Readers, did I miss anything? Let Violet know what you would do in the situation. Have you ever dated a neighbor? What was the awkies scale on that?