Philly Matt

Online Dating and Deception

I've tried online dating at various times over the years with limited success. I must admit, though, that I haven't been 100% honest on my profiles.

When I last had an online dating profile in 2008, my post-concussion syndrome symptoms were at their worst. (Back then, a high-pitched ring tone or whistling could cause me to vomit. I wish I was exaggerating on that one.) I didn't disclose details about that or any of my other health conditions. I figured that if I met someone with whom I had a strong connection, I would tell him about my health — or he would see how I was affected — soon enough.

Quite a few of my ex-boyfriends have lied on their online dating profiles, including the following:

"Buckeyes" Boy changed his race on Match with the seasons, even stating at one point that he's Latino. And, he still maintains that he played football in college.

According to his profile, Philly Matt had completed some college. Umm…that's news to me.

Military Attorney Boy clicked that he was either "Separated" or "Divorced" on his profiles. I later learned that his children were unaware that he and their mom weren't together anymore. (They thought their dad had to work out-of-town for a year.)

This topic has been on my mind, after reading the blog of Eleni Bakst, one of my students in my Sexuality and Social Media class. In her post regarding "Recreating Yourself," Eleni writes:

A potential downside of online dating is the possibility of misrepresentations in personal profiles. Recent survey research showed that “86% of online dating participants felt others misrepresented their physical appearance” (Hancock, Toma, and Ellison, 2007). Everyone tries to make the best first impressions, occasionally lying to make themselves look better, more fun, or more interesting. When creating an online profile there is an even greater temptation to be deceptive because daters know that everything they are writing is being “scrutinized by potential mates” (449).

Online daters can “engage in selective self-presentations—a more mindful and strategic version of face-to-face self-presentation. More specifically, asynchronicity ensures the relaxation of time constraints between profile creation and actual interaction with potential dates, such that users have more time to carefully formulate their self-presentation. ” (450). In addition, when online daters notice that something in their self-presentation attracts the wrong daters, they are able to go back and edit their profile, putting them at a great advantage when compared to “normal daters” (450). Online daters have the ability to create, edit, and re-edit the version of themselves that they feel most confident and happy about.

There are also certain factors that discourage deception on online dating profiles. When it comes to who lies about what, the answer lies all in attraction. Research has shown that men and women look for different features in potential mates. Generally, “men look for youth and physical attractiveness in their partners, whereas women look for ability to provide and indicators of social status, such as education and career” (450). Therefore, women are more deceptive regarding their physical characteristics and age while men are more likely to be deceptive about their social status or height (which is often associated with power and status).

In a study performed on New York City online daters using, Yahoo Personals, American Singles and Webdate, researchers witnessed that 81% of the participants lied on at least one of the variables assessed (452). The most frequently lied about variable was weight, then height, and then age (452).

While it may be particularly tempting to be deceptive when creating an online profile, it’s important to always be honest and open from the beginning. Find a person who wants you for who you really are, not for what they want you to be.

Wise words, Eleni! Her project will look at the following:

Do online dating sites really have the potential to create and maintain long-term meaningful relationships?

I can't wait to read more of her findings, including her transcripts from interviews with people who have tried online dating — successfully and unsuccessfully.

Okay, it's time to 'fess up. Have you ever lied on an online dating profile, and if so, what about?

2011 Wrap-Up

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, 2011 was the best of times and the worst of times for me.

Lessons I wish that I didn’t have to learn this past year:

  • That chemotherapy, the accompanying medications and low blood counts cause you to forget a lot of things that happened during treatment
  • That two people I considered close friends would belittle my cancer and judge how I handled it
  • That the hardest part of treatment is when it’s over because you don’t suddenly feel better – inside or out
  • That during menopause you: 1) are hot all the time; 2) can’t sleep well; 3) can’t get wet, even when you’re turned on; and 4) are moody and irritable
  • That Philly Matt not only didn’t have my back when the chips were down, but wasn’t an authentic friend or boyfriend
  • That not all charities and advocates are truly about the cause
  • That there was an expiration date to realizing that Best Boy was right about the fact that we'd be a good couple
  • That I have a long way to go before I look in the mirror and like what I see post-cancer
  • That the side effects from hormonal therapy for breast cancer can outweigh the benefits of taking the medication in the first place
  • That hearing about how great my short hair looks causes me to cringe because I didn't choose this
  • That far too many people have encountered the same feelings and reactions that I have during and after treatment

What I’m thankful for over the past year:

  • My amazing friends
  • Teaching, my students and my university. The joy I experience from teaching has been a huge unexpected blessing for me in 2011!
  • Not having to worry about a roof over my head, the clothes on my back, health insurance and food in my stomach
  • Best Boy and a dating life that's interesting without much drama
  • My doctors
  • My health
  • The comfort I get from my faith
  • Feeling like I’m doing just what I’m meant to do with respect to this site, my charitable endeavors and my advocacy work

Despite so many blessings, I can't wait to ring in 2012. I wish that I didn't learn so many hard lessons this year, but I know that in the long run, I'll look back on this year as one of huge personal and professional growth. For now, though, I can't wait for 2011 to be over, and I'm praying for a peaceful and healthy 2012.

I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and that 2012 brings you much for which to be thankful!!! xoxo

2011 in Haiku

Twenty Eleven
Started year in chemo haze
In my bed? Best Boy.

He said he loves me
But does that mean he’s in love?
Neither of us know.

Winter beach weekend
With close friend, ex Philly Matt
My Teddy Ruxpin!

Well, not anymore.
“Tsunami” ensues as beach.
Friendship is over.

Mr. Agency
Reappears. Then disappears.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

By April, he’s gone.
We are over now for good.
Yet become friends. Huh.

I date other guys.
But keep them all at arm’s length
Don’t feel any spark.

I let you all pick.
The choices rather lame, tho.
Drama-free dating.

Not much time for boys
(At least, new boys in my life.)
So happy. So busy.

Is heart spoken for?
Honestly? Maybe it is.
By Best Boy. For now.

No epic love tale
But we care for each other
Still makes me smile

Sometimes it does work
At other times, it doesn’t
Don't want the same things

So, I play the hand
I’m not yet ready to fold
Am I, “The Gambler?”

What will next year bring?
Hoping for more of the same
Without more cancer!

What I’m looking for in a partner

A year ago this week, I met Mr. Agency. A few days later, we grabbed drinks together. A year ago this week, Best Boy spent the night at my place for the first time ever and told me:

You’ve gotten in my head.

As July turned to August, I had two minor surgeries to remove the two cancerous areas in my right breast. That same week, I began sleeping with Best Boy and snuggling with Mr. Agency. A month later, I started having sex with Mr. Agency.

As I look back on the past year, cancer has taken center stage in my life. Treatment came first, and I placed everything and everyone else on the back burner. I've tried to convey that as best as I could on this blog, but at its core, this site is about dating, sex and relationships, not cancer. Ninety percent of the time the boys in my life were welcome diversions and provided a little help when I needed both of those things.

Upon the end of radiation, I started to think about the next stage of my life and what I wanted for myself personally and professionally. I’ll talk more about what’s next for me professionally in a subsequent post, but I’ll focus on the guys in this one.

Raise your hand if you’re tired of reading about Best Boy and Mr. Agency.

You can put your hand down now.

Who's in the lead? Who cares?

See, I got to the point where I was tired of them, too. During surgery and chemotherapy, Best Boy was the one guy that I could count on completely. And, then during radiation, that changed. I'm the first to admit that our story might have had a different ending if I hadn't chosen Mr. Exec, Mr. Agency and Philly Matt over him. What if I had realized what a great, caring guy Best Boy was sooner than I did? I wonder…

At the end of the day, though, Best Boy wants to focus on his career and move overseas. I want to stay in DC and have a family. Neither path is wrong, but those paths are mutually exclusive.

Mr. Agency and I fed off of our sexual chemistry for a while, and then we would get in a fight…until we made up and had sex again…and got in a fight again. Did we reconnect again? Of course. But, our interest in and expectations from each other had changed so our interactions have been calm.

Where does that leave me a year later?

Well, I’m friends with both of them. They’re not bad guys. (In fact, Mr. Agency and I actually talk more now than when we were sleeping together.) They’re just not the right guys for me at this stage.

For the overwhelming majority of my life, I’ve chosen passion over partnership. I was the girl who loved to date self-absorbed workaholics and craved the rush of never knowing what would happen next. But, I’m not the same girl I was a year ago. And, that’s a good thing. A very good thing!

I’ve thankfully had more passion than most people will have in a lifetime. Now, I’ve realized that I’d rather have the right partner or be unattached than be in an ambiguous or predominately sexual relationship.

“How do you define the right partner, City Girl?” you might be wondering.

I’m looking for a man who:

  • Values his health and the health of his loved ones;
  • Enjoys sports, dining out, helping others and relaxing in front of the television;
  • Believes in some higher power;
  • Is emotionally secure enough to lean on me and communicate with me;
  • Inspires me;
  • Prioritizes sexual health. (There still needs to be some level of attraction and chemistry here, people);
  • Is professionally stable and not interested in moving in the near future;
  • Gets certain things without me asking him. (I'm fine with folding his laundry or putting the toilet seat down. I'm not fine with having to ask a guy to take time off of work when I'm in the hospital or to get me ginger ale or walk my dog when I'm sick); and
  • Wants to be a father within the next four years and won’t be the kind of guy who expects extra points or kudos on Facebook for staying home alone with his kid(s) or taking his child to the pediatrician.

I don’t NEED a partner, but I’m truly open for the first time in a long while to having one.

My go-to guy

In 2011, Best Boy and I went from seeing each other twice a week to once a week. (I wasn't exactly sure why that was, but I didn't have a problem with it either.) In February, I saw him shortly before I headed off to the beach with Philly Matt and my friends.

Th events that transpired at the beach marked the end of my friendship with Philly Matt. I texted Best Boy on my ride home from Rehoboth, saying:

Any chance you’re free tonight? Long weekend. Would love one of your hugs.

Best Boy:  Heading downtown for a meeting. Will come over after. Hope you're ok.

When Best Boy arrived at my place, he was comforting. I didn’t want to talk about what had happened over the weekend. I just wanted him to hold me close, and he did that without me asking him.

Best Boy and I had sex that evening, and again in the morning. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but I was content with our sexual routine.

As we were laying in bed talking, I commented:

I just want my old life back. I’m tired of feeling so sick all the time and looking like this. What kind of cruel joke is it to get a type of cancer that causes you to gain weight?

Best Boy: You don't look like you’ve gained weight.

Me [staring at him with wide eyes]: I’ve gained 23 pounds!

Best Boy lifted up the covers and really looked at my body.

Best Boy: Where?!? I don’t see it.

I kissed him and shook my head with a smile on my face.

Me: Thighs, belly, ass. All over. [I laugh.] You flatter me, but I’ll take it!

Later, as we were both working on my couch, Best Boy asked me what had happened at the beach. I gave him a brief summary of events, and we got into an interesting discussion about the Friends’ Code.

Is it acceptable to sleep with your ex's friends or your friends' exes? Does it matter how close you are to the friend or were to the ex?

Best Boy and I fell into a similar camp in that it depended on whether we loved the ex or not. He recalled how I had tried to set him up with my friend, D, back in September.

Me: Yeah, I so tried to make that one happen for you! But, that was then. I would not be cool with that now.

Best Boy: You wouldn’t?

Me: No. I care about you too much now to be okay with that.

We talked about how the situation applied to our relationship. To this day, I don’t know if Mr. Exec is truly okay with how close Best Boy and I have gotten. But, the fact that Mr. Exec and I never loved each other or were that serious mattered – to all three of us.

When Best Boy headed off to work, I gave him a long hug and kiss goodbye.

Me: Thank you. For everything.

Best Boy was important to me, but I still didn’t feel like I knew if our relationship was going anywhere. And, if so, where?

I decided not to spend too much time overanalyzing what Best Boy and I were and where we were going. I knew that time would tell.

As a postscript:

For those of you who are interested in what I looked like bald and heavy from steroids, click here to see my interview on Let’s Talk Live.

A Cancer-versary Thank You

A year ago today, I was sitting in my stylist’s chair at my hair salon, when my cell phone vibrated in my lap. I saw that it was Sibley Hospital and excused myself to answer the call. As I remember how I felt when I heard the news from my doctor that I had cancer, I have tears in my eyes and goose bumps on my arms.

I think of the moments in my life that helped shape me into the person I am today, and being diagnosed with cancer at 37 years of age is definitely high on that list. I wouldn’t wish the past year on my worst enemy, but in the midst of the lows of treatment, I’m grateful for all my blessings.

I’m thankful for:

1. Knowing My Body. I've been vigilant about conducting self exams and contacting my breast surgeon, whenever I found a lump;

2. Early Detection. I had an aggressive strain of cancer that was caught early during my annual mammogram. Health technology isn’t perfect, but getting mammograms every year is the best thing that women can do for their breast health;

3. A Great Medical Team. At Sibley Hospital, I've worked with doctors who are experts in the field because they deal with breasts exclusively;

4. Health Insurance. Every step of this process is expensive, and a recent study discussed how many people with cancer are forced to declare bankruptcy. I appreciate that in the midst of such a difficult year, I didn’t have to worry about medical coverage;

5. My Other Health Problems. Treatment and the side effects were horrid, but I'm glad that I never became clinically depressed or questioned whether I was going to make it. I know far too many women who were not that lucky – either because they were diagnosed after the cancer had spread or they hadn’t ever emotionally processed major health issues before. I was as prepared as I could have been for surgery and treatment, and am fortunate enough not to be among the 30% of women who suffer from anxiety or depression after beating cancer;

6. This Blog. I had a forum through which I could express myself. With every post that I wrote, I was able to process my emotions and let go;

7. The Cause. Early on, I vowed to make this about more than just me. In the past year, I’ve volunteered, advocated and raised money for breast cancer awareness, prevention and research. Through helping others, I found a sense of peace as to why I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And, on the advocacy front, I know I'm just getting started;

8. The Wisdom to Know the Difference. There were loved ones who had a difficult time processing my cancer. They either couldn't help me out at all during treatment or had to make it all about them. There were acquaintances that clearly were uncomfortable with the fact that I didn't wear a wig. There were a few people who thought that I used my diagnosis to get attention. There were those who assumed treatment was easy because it was caught at Stage 1 or they would see me in public with a smile on my face. There were those who told me that I must be feeling fine when they saw that my hair was growing back.

I could go on and on, but everyone else’s thoughts and feelings were just that – everyone else’s! I couldn't take other people's comments or actions personally, and I knew better than to try to own their feelings about my illness;

9. Mr. Exec for letting me go without a fight;

10. Philly Matt for convincing me to continue with my treatment plan, even though the doctor had changed my protocol at the eleventh hour;

11. Mr. Agency for reminding me that I was sexy no matter how I felt or looked;

12. Best Boy for being there. When the going got rough, he stayed and helped;

13. My Cancer Crew. (I can't type this part without sobbing.) AB, AF, LF, TL, NP, LV – I honestly don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve friends as giving and wonderful as you. I can’t imagine those people who have to go through treatment alone, and because of you all, I never had to. Thank you will never, ever seem sufficient. I love you all with all my heart;

14. My Friends. Every note, every virtual comment, every care package and every visit meant so much to me. The compassion, support and love you’ve shown me helped get me through the many days in which treatment got the best of me. There’s a reason why friends are the family we choose for ourselves, and I’m very blessed to have such an amazing support system; and

15. YOU! Yes, YOU! The overwhelming kindness of my readers and online friends was humbling, motivating and so very appreciated. I hope that there will be a day in the future when I can give you a hug in person. Your emails, comments, gifts and tweets always brightened my day and my spirits.

In one year, I’ve grown more than I have in the past decade. Thank you for joining me for this portion of my journey and for being so supportive. I hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride. xoxo

The end. For real.

On President's Day Weekend, I went to the beach…and I lost one of my best friends.

I'm not publishing the story of what my ex-boyfriend and close friend, Philly Matt, did. But, I have written about it. If you're interested in having me send you what I wrote, please comment, email me at citygirlblogs (at) gmail (dot) com, or send me your email via Tweet or text message.


I felt like a little girl in a grassy field, holding a daisy in her hand.

I love him.

I love him not.

I really like him.

I don’t know what I want.

I felt like a woman of a certain age, sitting on a porch, fanning herself.

I might love him.

Ooh! I need some lemonade. These hot flashes are getting out of control!

I might just like the fact that he’s been around so much.

When will these prescription drugs get out of my system?

I had this idea that a date night with Best Boy would clarify everything for me. (It might have been the steroids or the menopausal hormones clouding my mind.) Could one night in public – our first since we had started sleeping together and I had started chemotherapy – help me figure out what, if anything, I wanted out of our relationship?

We decided to meet at halftime during the Conference Championship Playoff games at Café Milano. (I had lost a bet six months prior and knew I needed to pay up with a nice meal. But, since both of us were sports fans, we didn’t want to miss the game.)

Dinner was nice. The conversation was nice. We both looked nice. That’s a lot of “nice,” huh? But, all that niceness didn’t feel great. In fact, as dates go, it was rather dull. We were both exhausted from our respective weeks so neither of us was our usual extroverted selves. And, the game wasn’t particularly exciting by that point so the televisions didn’t provide much distraction.

I wondered if our dynamic didn’t translate well when we weren’t at my place. For several months, we had a great mode as friends who would socialize together. And, then, we began having sex right after I had my lumpectomy. Casual brunches and lots of time at my place had replaced our light-hearted and flirtatious conversations at bars and events. Did our relationship only work when Best Boy was taking care of me, or we were at my house?

I also wondered what, if any, role my upcoming beach trip with my ex-boyfriend and very close friend, Philly Matt, played. Earlier in January, I had shown Best Boy the house that our group was going to rent for President’s Day Weekend. He and I had sat on my couch, clicking through the photo gallery of the amazing 11-bedroom rental.

I had let Best Boy know that I wasn’t sure if the trip would be “Friends Only” or not, and that I was waiting to hear from Philly Matt about his plans. I had figured that I would invite Best Boy, if Philly Matt invited his girlfriend, Tammy. When Philly Matt said that he wasn’t going to invite Tammy, I decided not to ask Best Boy to join me. I also indicated to Matt that I had hoped to meet Tammy over dinner when I was up in Philadelphia in March for a conference.

I wasn't sure if it was just work and the holidays that had caused Best Boy to be less available to me. Was he tired of coming in second? In May, I had chosen his best friend, Mr. Exec, over him, and then in September, I chose Mr. Agency over him. Now, I was seemingly choosing a guy with whom I wasn’t even having sex! As easy-going as Best Boy is, that pattern might not sit well with him.

When Best Boy and I arrived home after our dinner date, we both had trouble keeping our eyes open, and yet, we still managed to have sex. There was more of the same in the morning before he headed off to work.

I had hoped for fireworks, but instead, there were only a few sparks. Why was that? And, was it coming from me, from him or from us? Maybe it was just too soon to tell. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or sad about the situation so I felt it best to simmer some more.

My mantra with Best Boy had become:

Time will tell.

And, as we all know, it always does.

A long December

After Mr. Agency and I discussed what worked for both of us, I had thought that we had agreed to spend one night a week together. I didn’t realize until after we started tearing each other’s clothes off that one night a week didn’t involve him actually staying over my place.

Since we had started spending time together back in August, Mr. Agency had always come over my apartment late at night and slept over. That held true for a month before we had sex and during times when I was too sick from chemotherapy to have sex. At this point in our "relationship," I needed consistency from Mr. Agency, not further confusion.

Me: Umm…no. That doesn’t work for me.

Mr. Agency: I should’ve thought about this before, but I didn’t know how our conversation was going to go. If I had, I would’ve brought work to do.

Me: Well, you can go now to get your work. Or, you can leave early in the morning. But, if we’re having sex, you’re spending the night.

Mr. Agency [pausing]: Okay.

Me: If I’m only going to see you one night a week, you need to be sleeping over. I don't think I'm asking for a lot here. I’m understanding if you don’t get done with work until 2 or 3 in the morning, but you need to be understanding of my needs, too.

Mr. Agency: Okay. [He kisses me.] I’ll stay.

Me: Thank you. [Pause.] And this arrangement works for you then?

Mr. Agency: Yes.

We resumed our regular scheduled programming of great sex…and more great sex. We didn’t sleep more than four hours that night, and I was perfectly content with that. In the morning, he kissed me goodbye. We briefly talked about his schedule that week, and he mentioned that he should be able to come over one night the following week.

During the week, we texted regularly per usual. The following Sunday (one week from when I had seen him last), I texted him after we exchanged our usual pleasantries:

When will I get to see you next?

Mr. Agency: Hopefully I will get to see you soon. Hopefully at some point next week.

I was thoroughly confused, although not necessarily surprised.

Me: Umm…after our conversation last week, I had thought we had found a decent compromise. Guess I was wrong…

Mr. Agency: Well, I didn’t look at our conversation like we came up with a definitive solution. I looked at it as we were talking about the perspective each other is coming from.

Me: Not really sure what to say…especially via text. Know you have a lot on your plate so I guess I’ll ask you to call me when it’s convenient for you.

Mr. Agency: Okay. Sounds good.

In the midst of texting Mr. Agency, I texted one of our mutual friends. She was also not that surprised by my latest exchange with Mr. Agency, commenting that she thought that he wanted to be there more for me than he could.

Friend: Judge his actions, not his words.

Me: That’s what I’m finally doing. His words might indicate that he cares about me, but his actions show that he doesn’t care about anyone other than himself. That’s why I didn’t pick up the phone to call him. At a certain point, it’s not worth it.

Friend: But he’ll call you back soon, right?

Me: I’m betting I’ll hear from him in two to three days. Work always comes first with Mr. Agency. I just need to focus on feeling stronger and moving on from him.

In a three-week period, Mr. Agency reneged on our agreement, Philly Matt forgot that he had offered to come down to help me out with one of my rounds of chemotherapy, and Best Boy didn’t wish me a Merry Christmas. I was physically and emotionally exhausted from the roughest month for me health-wise, and the actions of these three men – or rather, their inactions – just added insult to injury.

To quote the Counting Crows, it was a long December.

My 25 cents

After Philly Matt and I broke up in 2006, we stayed in touch and enjoyed occasional benefits with each other. We both dated other people, but for over a year, we never discussed that fact. Our break-up was too fresh, and we were still transitioning from exes to friends.

In 2008, our friendship really started to grow and the benefits became secondary. No topic was off-limits between us, although we tried not to be too detailed about other people we dated. When I started this blog, I was pleasantly surprised that he became one of my first regular readers. As I prepared to write the posts about our break-up, I asked him if he was okay if I included everything that happened.Philly Matt: Of course. What you write is honest and what happened. How can I have a problem with that?

In 2009, he passed on my blog link to a co-worker. The next day at work, the co-worker walked in, turned to Philly Matt and said:

You’re an idiot!!!

We both laughed about that and frequently commented about how lucky we were to be such close friends. It can be tough to be good friends with an ex, but we managed to do so. I also let Matt know that I would not care to read intimate details about him and any of his girlfriends (past or present).

Me: I don't mind knowing general details, but I give you credit for reading all the stuff you do about me with other guys.

When I was with “Buckeyes” Boy, I had a hard time figuring out how Philly Matt could join our group at our annual ski trip without causing “Buckeyes” Boy to get jealous or mad. When Matt started dating Tammy, I questioned whether his relationship would impact our friendship. I hadn’t addressed the matter directly with him before I blogged about it. The following day, he called me to say:

I want you in my life until the day I take my last breath. You are a very important person to me and anyone I date will need to know that and be okay with that. If you call me in the middle of the night and need me, she's going to need to understand that I have to go. Staying friends with you is not negotiable.

Philly Matt was my confidante and a great advice giver. I’m not normally one for tough love, but Matt always managed to phrase his constructive criticism in a way that was endearing and resonated with me.

In late November 2010, I learned that Philly Matt and Linda, the mother of his children, had been dating on and off since they met in the early 1990s. The fact that we were exes and close friends and that I hadn’t heard of this before caught me completely off guard. We regularly talked about Linda, Tammy, his ex-girlfriends and his children. Getting involved repeatedly with the mother of your children isn’t trivial information.

If I had felt 100%, I might have addressed the issue immediately. But, the combination of steroids, early menopause and chemotherapy drugs had me feeling emotional, foggy and exhausted. I figured I could bring the matter up when we spoke next and that’s what I did. When the topic turned to Linda and the children, I asked:

Has Linda brought up your relationship with Tammy again?

Philly Matt: No. I told her that she needed to let it be, and I think that’s what she’s doing.

Me: That’s good. [Pause.] You know…I was surprised to hear when we talked last that you and Linda had been on and off for all these years. When we dated, you told me that you guys hadn’t been together since Chloe was a baby. And, we talk so frequently, it’s odd that this never came up.

I paused to let him say something, but he didn’t.

Me: I’m happy for you and Tammy. I’ve never heard you talk about a girl the way you talk about her, and I hope to meet her when I’m done with treatment. But, I’m rooting for you and Linda. If you guys keep coming back to each other year after year for 17 or 18 years, then there has to be something there. [I pause again, but he doesn’t say anything.] And, anytime you’ve brought up Linda’s comments about Tammy and your responses, none of them are: Tammy’s the one. I’m in love with Tammy. This is it for me.

All of your responses are about how Linda had her chance and how she chose to break up with you. That sounds more like you’re upset at Linda than choosing Tammy over her.

Philly Matt: Okay.

I had given Matt my two (or 25) cents and have never brought up the matter with him again. I kept my focus on the fact that I was thankful to call him my friend and looked forward to having him down in DC for my fifth round of chemotherapy in December.