April 1, 2020 at 10:45 am #346538
we met 3 years ago. I was helping out at a bar and he came into sing. Instant connection. Few weeks later we matched on online, we dated for a month, I was totally smitten. But felt like he wasn’t ‘that into me’. So I called it off (I may have been inpatient). Over the years we’ve randomly bumped into eachother (I’ve never bumped into anyone like this guy, Fate?). each time we’ve been so happy to see eachother. One of these random times led to New Year’s Eve together, into New Year’s Day and the months have now passed to 3. It hasn’t felt easy. After the first week I asked how he saw this. He saw me as a friend. I got upset, I was painfully honest, explaining that I would like to see where things go but he was clear he didn’t feel like that. We continued ‘no strings’. 4 weeks, my feelings were growing and I explained I couldn’t continue doing what we were. He said he’d thought about that conversation and we weren’t just ‘friends’ we both agreed to see how things go, with the intention of a relationship. But taking it I’ve had some wobbles, why hasn’t he messaged? Why am I the only one making plans? We discussed this. He said he thought things were going well. He said he’d try more. I drunkenly text, ‘I really like you, not sure how mutual it is’. That didn’t go down well. He told me I keep doing this and it makes him feel down because he thinks it’s going well. He invited me to a friends function, invited me on a date, put a photo of us on his social media. He clearly made an effort. We’re now in lockdown and I could be over thinking (again). Or maybe it’s just not going well. Reflecting, after 3 months I want to have an excited feeling, a smitten feeling. I want to find out all about him and want him to enquire about me. I don’t really know about his past. He’s mentioned stuff about his family, I’ve enquired more, his response; ‘I’ll tell you sometime!’ I know he was with someone for 7 years, she broke his heart. I don’t know anything more. He’s not had a ‘proper’ relationship for 7 years since, just dated. His friend told me he’s dated some amazing girls but he can’t make anything last! Btw he’s 39 and I’m 34. I asked why he and the girl he saw before me broke up, he got awkward, app she wanted more after 6 months. He wouldn’t expand. I joked about quarantine, saying at least I know you’re not dating anyone! It felt awkward. He said he wouldn’t have done that. I said we hadn’t had a conversation about been exclusive so I thought he might still be dating. He said he was wrong to presume, but the thought of dating anyone else didn’t cross his mind. It was lovely hearing we’re exclusive. But I wish it’d have come about differently. I don’t get a ‘good morning message’ or a ‘good night’. We do message at points through the day, send memes. It doesn’t feel like much when you’re in lockdown. Or like we’re building anything real. I felt I needed to take the lead, last week we spoke daily on the phone (I rang him). He got a sore throat, couldn’t speak on the phone and now the calls have stopped (his throats better, but he’s not ringing! And I don’t feel I can be the only one ringing him).
I have suggested an online date on sat. He’s agreed. I just feel like it’s always me pursuing him.
I don’t want to be impatient like last time and mess this up. Maybe I need to calm the hell down? Or maybe I’m just wasting my time with this guy? Would love to hear how others would interpret this…..April 1, 2020 at 11:24 am #346572
A summary of your story: you met a man, “instant connection”, dated for a month, “totally smitten”, but called it off because you felt that he was not that into you. Next you randomly bumped into him several times over the years, one of which led to a three months relationship so far between you, 34, and he, 39. On the first week of the current three month relationship, you asked him “how he saw this”, and his answer was that he saw you “as a friend”. You were upset but continued “no strings”. At one point you expressed to him your dissatisfaction and he expressed to you that you and him “weren’t just ‘friends'”, and the two of you “agreed to see how things go, with the intention of a relationship”.
Next, he told you that “he thought things were going well”, but not so in your mind: you are anxious and distressed, “why hasn’t he messaged? Why am I the only one making plans?.. I drunkenly text, ‘I really like you, not sure how mutual it is'”. Next, he told you that you “keep doing this and it makes him feel down.
He put some effort into the relationship: invited you to a friends’ function, a date, put a photo of you and him on his social media; you want that “excited feeling, a smitten feeling”, but instead, now in lockdown, you are overthinking, and not relieved (for long) by the fact that he told you recently that even if there was no lockdown, “the thought of dating anyone else didn’t cross his mind”. You feel that he doesn’t ring you enough, that you are always pursuing him, and you don’t want to “be impatient like last time and mess this up”.
Seems to me that you are indeed impatient. You are anxious now, lockdown and all, but you were anxious no less before in the context of relationships. You get so anxious that you want to end a relationship rather than wait for .. a gradual progression of intimacy, trust and such.
You want it here-and-now, or else be gone!
“Maybe I need to calm the hell down?”- yes, of course.
“Or maybe I’m just wasting my time with this guy?”- maybe, but in a lockdown, there is plenty of time to waste: he can’t have a new woman in his life, not if he practices social distancing like he is supposed to, and you can’t have a new man in your life.. so what’s the rush when there is nowhere to go?
“Waste” your time now with this man by not calling him often, wait for him to call you, wait a whole day and the night to come while getting busy with other things, distracting (music, movies, this website, etc.) and let it be.
I put waste in parenthesis because I don’t see the waste yet, it’s been only three months.
How were your previous relationships like?
anitaApril 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm #346580
thank you for taking the time to reply, I’ve found that really helpful.
I’m sure my previous relationships are impacting my current thinking.
My last ‘real’ relationship was 4 years ago, we got engaged, I later found out he’d used me for a place to live and had being having an affair. It took me along time to recover from.
Since then I’ve dated people. There was the guy I thought things were working with, we spoke for hours on the phone, built a connection, spoke about hopes dreams, kids, marriage and everything inbetween. 6 months later I casually mentioned dating exclusively. I’d got it all wrong. He enjoyed talking to me but didn’t see that future with me.
another guy, 6 months of dating I mentioned been exclusive with. He thought I was asking too much after just 6 months. I walked away. Not really liking the thought of him dating and sleeping with other people at this point.
I guess when I say wasting, I see it like wasting my energy, building this expectation that something might come of this, then realising I’ve read it all wrong (again) and feeling hurt (again).
I don’t think I’m very good at this am IApril 1, 2020 at 12:37 pm #346582
“I don’t think I’m very good at this”- you can get better. It’s all about learning in the dating/ relationship context, no less than in the career context and any other.
More important than anything regarding a man you are interested in, is finding out what motivates him, what is it that he wants, and from whom. The guy who used you for a place to live, his motivation was.. a place to live. But you found that out after the fact, after you got hurt. Better find it before you invest too much, and before you get hurt
The guy you spoke with for hours on the phone, about “dreams, kids, marriage”- you probably figured out what he wants, but did you figure out with whom he wants kids and marriage, with what kind of a woman, what does he want in a woman?
You found out that “he didn’t see that future with me”, but you found that out later than you could. You could have asked him: who do you want this future with?
(Maybe you asked and he didn’t answer you honestly?)
It’s about clarity, you ask the questions (but not in an anxious kind of way, or in a way that expresses to the man that it’s all up to him, looking up at him as the savior, the one who you hope will make it all okay for you). Ask him questions so to get the information you need, it is your right to get information from a man you are dating. Dating shouldn’t be a guessing-and-hoping-and-waiting game, but instead an opportunity to get information, to make wise choices and to have some fun along the way.
Are you living alone or with family, at the moment, lockdown and all?
anitaApril 1, 2020 at 12:57 pm #346586
You’re completely right. I think I find those kind of questions hard to navigate. My logic is, we’re talking about the future, children, wanting the same things, we’ve been seeing eachother 6 months, this is going well. Asking if he wants these things with me seems too early at 6 months, possibly too ‘needy’. At this point I don’t know if I want it with him but I do ‘feel’ it’s going well. Yet it wasn’t!
i think the guessing and waiting game is a really good way to explain my experience. This seems to breed, over thinking and analysing! Which stem from this fear I have of getting hurt.
lockdown is a bit tough, it’s me and my daughter, she’s 11 and amazing, but goodness I am missing adult conversation and day to day distractions
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April 1, 2020 at 1:25 pm #346588
“Asking if he wants these things with me seems too early at 6 months, possibly too ‘needy'”-
-you can ask a man what is he looking for, in a woman. It’s a fair question. If he answers you honestly, you can figure out if there is a match between what he wants and who you are or want to be. Six months of dating is not too early to ask this question. It’s fair to ask it on the very first date, or before the first date (in the case of online dating).
“the guessing and waiting game.. seems to breed over thinking and analyzing! Which stem from this fear I have of getting hurt”- we are afraid to ask and get the wrong answers, so we don’t ask and suffer from the wrong answers we get anyway, without asking the questions.
We can hide from reality, avoid confronting it, deny it- but reality doesn’t hide from us, it will confront us eventually, and it will not be denied! So better confront it in our timing, before we invest too much in what’s not likely to work out for us.
Regarding appearing too needy for asking a question- depends on the wording and the tone. You can ask almost any question in a strong, confident tone of voice, and you won’t appear needy.
You have an amazing 11 year old- teach her to ask questions, to word the questions correctly and use a confident tone when asking, for the purpose of getting the information she needs so to make good decisions in every context of life.
I too miss sitting with people, particularly in our local taproom which I used to visit in the afternoons a few times a week.. when will that happen again.. I don’t know. How strange it is, first time in my life.
Post here anytime, no (biological) viruses transmittable through the world wide web, and although we are not present with each other in-person, it’s still real human beings, living and breathing, behind the keyboards and computer screens, interacting with each other.
anitaApril 1, 2020 at 3:34 pm #346614
Thanks so much Anita, your messages have given me lots to think about. I’m really greatful.
Sending best wishes to you and yours 🙂April 1, 2020 at 4:38 pm #346622
You are welcome, Carol, and thank you for your good wishes, good wishes back to you and your daughter.
anitaApril 2, 2020 at 4:44 am #346696ClaraParticipant
I’m hardly a relationship counselor, but have lived through what you are many times. I don’t like to advocate playing games in a relationship, but the reality is sometimes we need to chill out to get the result we want 🙂 You say he’s not making the effort you would like him to. But if you are always making the effort, it sends the wrong message. It sends the message: “You can continue doing what you are doing, because I will still be pursuing you”. That said, having a checklist of things he “should” be doing that you, and expecting someone to meet those, doesn’t make for a great relationship. You’ll always be disappointed. Of course you should have some deal-breakers, but this sounds a bit more like trying to control the outcome of everything.
I can’t think of a time in my relationships when backing off a bit hasn’t helped the situation- even if it only meant that the guy stopped contacting, which weeded out someone I shouldn’t be with anyway. This doesn’t sound that way. He seems into you, but maybe needs a chance to prove it. Some people just don’t want to communicate all the time. I am one of those, and maybe he is too. In this case, it’s not a reflection of how he feels about you. Good luck!