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Real Live College Guy Dale: He Thinks He’s My Second Choice


Tired of having to sort out the “nice guys” from the “bad boys”? Want to move up from one-night stand to full-time girlfriend, but unsure of how to do so? Stop worrying, because Real Live College Guy Dale is finally here to help with all of your collegiette love kerfuffles and help steer you clear of any unnecessary drama during your brief but ever-important time in college.

I was very casually dating a guy for a few months when I met another really great guy. So then I was just casually dating both of them at the same time, and they each knew about the other person. The newer guy was a little annoyed by the fact that there was someone else, but since we hadn't known each other for very long, he was willing to let it go.

When things fell through with the first guy and I decided not to see him anymore, I wanted to get more serious with the second guy. However, he told me he felt like I was just choosing him as a second option since it didn't work out with the first guy, and he was hurt. Now I think I've scared him out of wanting to commit. I understand how he feels this way, but I truly have had serious feelings for him from the beginning and I think that's part of the reason it didn't work out for me with the first guy. How do I let him know he's not my "second choice" and gain his trust again? – Sorry at Southern Utah


I feel like I need to call a bluff on this one.

Not in the sense that I don’t believe you, more so in the sense that I can’t believe Guy #2 has the right to be upset or hurt when he apparently knew you were seeing another guy.

While I’m not overly fond ofdating two people simultaneously, I understand its benefits. If both of these men were privy to the fact that you weren’t only seeing either one of them, I don’t think it’s fair for Guy #2 to catch a serious case of the feelings because circumstances put him in the backseat.

I think Guy #2 needs to not be so self-centered, given the fact that he not only knew what he was getting into, but he accepted getting into it as well.

It’s a crappy situation, obviously, and no guy wants to feel like a second choice. This fear goes all the way back to elementary school P.E., when the nerds or non-jocks would get picked last for kickball. Being picked last, or even second to last, is not a fun feeling. But at the same time, when you play a team sport, that’s exactly what you sign up for: eventually one of the guys was going to get edged out, and someone was going to be the last man standing.

I think that’s how this guy needs to look at the situation. Rather than feeling like he was picked last, he needs to realize that in this game of relationship Survivor, he outlasted the other man. I guess another comparison could be made to The Bachelorette: at some point, there are only two guys left. Do you think the last man standing feels like he was the last choice? No, he feels like a winner.

On top of that, it was your feelings about Guy #2 that influenced your ending your relationship with Guy #1. Guy #2 should take pride in that, unless you haven’t told him yet.

How do you let him know he isn’t your second choice? Make him feel like a winner. Tell him it was your feelings about him that made you end things with the other guy, and convince him that you’re interested in dating only him as opposed to sharing your affections with someone else.

Of course, actually convincing him of this probably won’t be so simple. Don’t go writing him a letter about your feelings, but I think inviting him over for dinner or telling him you want to talk to him over coffee would both be safe bets. Inviting him over will probably disarm him—how mad can he be when he’s in your apartment or dorm? Talking to him in public will push him to remain calm, and coffee is a great between-class, casual date. Either way, you need to sit him down and really explain to him that he was never a “second choice” and that your feelings for him are what pushed you to end things with the other guy. Find a way to spell it out for him.

Best of luck, Utah.

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