Ask a Guy: “I Can’t Get Him Out of My Head”

Man oh man have we all been here…


Haven’t met Isaac yet? He’s our dating guru (genie?) and group therapist. Check out his past answers to readers’ questions here.

Hey Isaac,

I am trying very hard to get a guy out of my head. We met online then spent a wonderful month together. We’d both been single for a long time prior and we were having fun. He told me he really liked me, that “it happens when you least expect it…”

And then, he ran for the hills. I did not mention the word “relationship” once. He messaged me after 2 weeks of putting off meeting face to face saying he was sorry, that he wasn’t ready for a relationship, and that I am the closest he’s come to having one. He told me he was with someone for 7 years who left him one day and moved in with someone else, and she only spoke to him after that to tell him what an awful person he was. This happened about 2 years ago.

I told him I appreciated him being honest with me, and that he probably needs to speak to a therapist if he wants to have a relationship with someone in future. We left it at that.

I’ve since discovered he has a profile on 2 dating websites. He is constantly online and his profiles state he “Wants a relationship.”

I need some payback/closure. It’s so hard because I saw myself falling for him in a big way.


Big Girls Do Cry in Dublin

Hey Dublin,

First up, my apologies that this has happened to you. It is without a doubt an unfortunate turn of events. I’ve come to two conclusions:

1. He’s a player who promised everything to get laid, then delivered nothing once he got what he wanted.


2. Based on his relationship history, he’s terrified of getting emotionally attached, because in his experience, emotional attachment is the precursor to pain.

Do I think you were played? Honestly, no. I imagine he probably embarked on the relationship in good faith and then either realized he wasn’t 100% certain about the two of you being together, or was triggered in some way that caused him to run for the hills, as you put it. In that case, you were simply the unfortunate victim who got caught in the crossfire.

We could scrutinize his behavior until the cows come home, but it’d be a waste of time because the fact is that you guys weren’t meant to be. It’s better that he showed his true colors within a month rather than two years down the track. Maybe he should seek help if he hopes to have a successful relationship in the future, but at the end of the day, that’s on him, not you.

Same goes for whether or not he’s meeting women on a dating website. He hurt your feelings and as tempting as it might be to publicly humiliate him or call him a liar or a cheat or a player or a douchebag, our therapists tell us that all we can ever do is keep our side of the street clean. This means that we can only control our own behavior. Frustrating, isn’t it.

Time to let this one go.

– Isaac

Have your own question? Post your questions below or email with ASK ISAAC in the subject line. Follow him on Instagram here, Twitter here, and check out his website here.

Now, let’s hear it for the boys! Need more advice from smart cookies? Read some skin tips here. If you’re more of a hair gal (and said hair happens to be of the curly variety), Rita Ora’s hairstylist could show you a thing or two. And even if you’re a human cucumber, you could probably use a lesson in cool. For relationships with happy endings, check out our It’s Kind of a Funny Story series.

Get more Postmodern Love ?
  • Caro

    Yep, totally agree lady. Was that saying, people don’t tell you who they are, they show you…? It can be confusing because Maya Angelo also told Oprah that when people tell you who they are, LISTEN. You’ve gotten a mixed message, which is NOT clear, which is therefore NOT a yes and you should walk away like a Queen.

  • Or just understanding why your brain is reacting the way it is might help:

  • Ruth

    SSSSSSoooooo Extra Cute profit with manrepeller…….

    ———- Continue Reading

  • Love Isaac’s posts, always agree with what he has to say.

    My dating insights or advice always boil down to “if he can’t handle responding to a text, he won’t be able to handle being a boyfriend.” You deserve a great boyfriend, Dublin!

    I base so much of what I feel for my boyfriend on his behavior and commitment in the relationship. I always wonder how people like or are in love with someone who can’t commit

  • Whit

    Thanks Issac and Dublin! I had an insanely similar experience last month. Glad to hear Im not the only one.

    • Alice

      This post freaked me out. Almost the exact same thing happened to me last month as well. I met a guy, we dated for about a month, he even said ‘I love you’ (which I did nothing to prompt and I didn’t even have a response to it). Then we made plans to meet for dinner, he didn’t show up, and I haven’t heard a word from him since. Just very bizarre.

      Maybe it’s our Tinder-conditioned minds that are leading us to believe people are disposable/swipe-able/etc. Breaking up with someone via text used to be horrible, now we just choose to disappear instead.

      • Nanda

        I am freaked out as well! I feel you girls, my experience was almost like Dublin’s, except I’m in Brazil 🙂

  • Grace Marano

    Hate to see them go but you’ll be thankful if you just walk away. Let someone handle their mishegas on their own or let the clean up woman take care of it. We work so hard working on ourselves I’m done trying to figure out if I should help fix someone else. Spent a couple months going back and forth with someone who was enough for me, but not for himself and boy was that a miserable time of projected insecurities and constant second guessing. GIRL YOU GOT IT, JUST GO GET IT. Or just listen to Big Sean and develop a stronger “I don’t fuck with you”, mentality.

  • Totally agree with Isaac! I had an similar experience two months ago. He was a player and I sent him away before falling for him! That would be a nightmare!

  • Meg

    I have been in that exact situation, it’s almost creepy how similar it is.

  • soniadelvalle

    Gah! I need Isaac’s (or, really, anyone’s) advice, because I’m about to ask my long distance guy (who I haven’t seen in 6 months) if we’re going to get serious or what. Am I crazy? Should I just cut and run? My gut tells me to hold on, because this one is the One, but I’M TERRIFIED. Someone sedate me!

  • Frustrated girl

    Isaac. I am in the same situation as the girl who wrote you. But I wonder, WHY IS GUYS DOING THIS.

    I datet my dream guy for 6 months, and he left me disappointed when he called me to tell me that he did not want to see me again. At that time I lived in another country, because of work (I was away for 3 months), but I did not meet with someone else at the time, because HE told me that if I slept with someone, it would be over. The thing is, we never said anything about “being together”, because of his career, and he was very clear about it. But on the other hand, was he talking about babies, apartments, things that is very much relationship talk.

    I always thought I could win him at some point, and was soooo heartbroken when he told me over the phone that we shouldn’t see each other anymore. I tried meeting with him, to talk about my feelings, but it never happened.

    Now, almost a year later, I am still thinking about him. Lately he has been texting me, and asking me if we should met up. I don’t know what his agenda is, but I am now in a new relationship with someone else, and don’t know how I should act.

    I feel like I never got any closure, and really want to talk with him to get all my frustration out and tell him exactly how I did feel about the situation. He just let me hanging, no explanation ever, no nothing. I feel like I really deserve it, and I just want to see him so I can think “I am sooooo over this guy, thank goood we’re over”.

    On the other hand I am really afraid that my heart is gonna pop, and that I will fall for him once again. But! The first date we had together was the worst ever, so hopefully I will discover his weird side again and just let him go.

    I am in such a wonderful relationship, and have never had a better time than now. But pleeease, I need this guy OUT OF MY HEAD.

    What do I do??


    • Yuyun

      I have similar problem. The ability to shift my mind to not think about him is soooo hard. I feel like it’s a skill for human to evolve to the next level. It is that hard, at least in my case.

      i need to move on, but allowing my self to feel what I feel (heartache) is important as well. Yet, being hurt and thinking about him destroys me. Letting go has became impossible while I’m still attached to him. But, you know, loosing a superhero is harder than a human. He may seems perfect but he is human with weakness too. We are all humans.
      Live in the moment. With or without others, the most important relationship is with ourselves.
      Btw, I just noticed your post was 6 mo ago.
      Tell me what happened. Did you ended up seeing him?

  • Nunya

    Um, this was the worst dating “advice” article I have ever read. He says “move on.” Okay, yeah, we have all come to that realization at some point that a relationship is not meant to be or won’t work out and the most logical thing to do is move on. But how do you get the stupid guy who played you (or whatever – I don’t give a pass to guys who show EXTREME interest initially, then suddenly DISAPPEAR b/c something “triggered” him b/c he was ACTUALLY on the fence/uncertain the whole time – it’s still fucked up and recklessly hurtful.) out of your damn mind? All the logic and rationalizations for why you shouldn’t be together are meaningless if you don’t have a strategy for putting them into action. Isaac: big time fail.

  • Ben

    So I met a guy on holiday , and we have the most fantastic connection. But since I’ve come home I cannot stop thinking about him and what a great life we could have . He’s not come out yet and he’s younger than me , but I’m finding it hard letting him go and it’s driving me crazy

  • Gentz

    Today in my English class, this boy I’ve liked for months, he held my hand and massaged my neck and put his arm around me while we were watching a movie since it’s near the holidays. I questioned him about it, and he said he did it to annoy me. What do I do. I ant get him and them moments out of my head, it was the best feeling I’ve felt in a long time 🙁