What's a guy to do: the update, the conclusion
In case you don't want to click the link above and read the original post, here's the abbreviated version: 40-year-old man is in love with 37-year-old woman. They function as a couple for five or six years. She gets antsy and wants more of a commitment...but doesn't tell him that. He is content as things are 'cause, he says, he assumes she's happy. She breaks down at a mutual friend's wedding and confides in another mutual friend that she wants more. The second mutual friend didn't get the hint and pass that tip on to The Man. So a few months later The Woman sort of breaks up with him and begins seeing a new guy. The Man finds out and is convinced he blew it, because he just didn't know she wanted anything more formal than what they had.
Most of you commented that they didn't belong together because clearly they had communications issues. But some of you - in answer to my question - said that The Man should not give up. That he should go to The Woman, plead ignorance, explain he didn't know, urge her to consider their long, loving history, drop the new guy and come back for a second chance.
And so that's how I advised him: put it on your sleeve; tell her you screwed up; tell her (if you really mean it) that you want to be with her the rest of y'all's miserable lives; remind her that you two have a long history, and hope that she gives that more consideration than how much fun she's having with her new, younger, man. One more thing: I told him to be prepared to be turned down and to move on with his life quickly, if that happened. My disclaimer is he was going to do all of this anyway. I just advised him to choose his words carefully and to watch his demeanor and tone of voice when delivering the message. Don't wanna come off as loony.
Anyway the update is she rejected his last-ditch effort.
No dice, she said. She wanted to head a new direction.
About a week after she shot him down, The Man learned the cold, hard truth: The Woman had been secretly dating the new guy for several months prior to the big breakup. So it was no skin off her back anyway. Apparently the formality of her break-up with The Man was done so she could let him down easy and not hurt his feelings, she said.
I don't buy it. I think she was hedging her bets. Either way, there is a valuable lesson here: never assume your significant other knows what you're thinking.