Ask Minda Honey: You’re Just not that into him

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Hi Minda,

Ten years ago, I had a massive crush on “Nate.” Nate and I never got past being acquaintances, even though he and I ran around with the same crowd. We would see each other periodically, but either he was in a relationship, or I was. Then, we both moved to different cities and that was when we lost contact. About six months ago, we accidentally reconnected via Facebook. We had both come to the defense of someone on a mutual friend’s post and started messaging each other and catching up. I realized that he was flirting and insinuating we might turn things into something, since we were both single now. I have to admit I was flattered and thrilled about the prospect.

He then said he was traveling to my city in two weeks (he has family in the next town over, but I truly think he just wants to see me). However, the next day I found out something terrible: A mortal enemy of mine is marrying his cousin this July, and he is attending the wedding!

This person, whom I will name “Bailey,” was very good friends with me back when Nate and I saw each other regularly. She turned out to be just really terrible — think backstabbing, kleptomaniac of small items in my home, lying to mutual friends to turn them against me and make herself look like a victim, etc. I had to cut her entirely out of my life, and that included blocking her on social media. When I found out she was marrying Nate’s cousin I was devastated. I cannot have any information about me possibly getting to her, and I know if we started dating, too much would be available to her.

I want to stop any possibility of me and Nate getting serious before either one of us gets hurt, but I don’t know if saying, “Bailey marrying into your family is a deal breaker for me.” What should I do? I hate to ghost but is lying and saying I’m not ready for a relationship worse?

—Conflicted

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Howdy Conflicted!

You seem to have enjoyed reconnecting with Nate on social media, but now with his visit looming on the horizon, you’ve realized maybe there was a reason y’all never got together a decade ago. Yeah, I know you said you were both never single at the same time, but people end relationships all the time to be with someone they’re attracted to. Neither of you did that.

It’s always fun to dip your toes in the pool of nostalgia. And it’s entertaining to have someone to text on the reg. It doesn’t require much time or emotional investment. But a visit? Well, a visit changes everything. All that uninterrupted face-to-face time. It’s a lot. And I think using the fact that Bailey is marrying his cousin is just an excuse to break things off.

I can’t stand shit going missing, and the thought of someone I trusted as a friend like pocketing my NARS blush or something, really gets me heated. I understand why you don’t want to bring her back into your life. But I just feel like if you were truly all about some Nate, you’d either check-in and see if Bailey’s become better in the past decade or you’d have a chat with Nate about how she can’t be in your life and devise a plan for avoiding. I mean, he doesn’t even live in the same city as her, so it shouldn’t be that hard. But you’re not trying to put any of that work in.

But you know what? You don’t need an excuse to break things off with someone. If you’re suddenly not into it, you’re suddenly not into it. Just be honest with Nate. He’ll respect you way more if you are. I had a dude who was supposed to come visit me. I’d reconnected with him after not speaking to him for over a year. We had ~history~. Two weeks before his visit, he picked a major fight with me and called it off. At first, I was so upset and confused. But as time went on, it dawned on me that his emotions had simply switched up and instead of just telling me, he’d decided to blow things up in the most dramatic way possible. So unnecessary. You don’t have to ghost or lie, just say what’s true, so you can both move on to other people with dignity. •

—Minda

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