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Confusion, rejection and despair…

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  • #369923
    CelleBelle
    Participant

    Hello, I’m new – found the blog by chance while Googling for some information and I think fate has led me here.

    In May 2015, I met a guy online via a dating app and after our very first face-to-face meeting, we just clicked. At the outset we both knew about the age difference – I’m 13 years older than he is, but we got on like a house on fire because we had so many similar interests and things in common.

    We actually embarked on a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship (at my suggestion) because both of us were not looking to be tied down at that point, but we did say that if we did meet anyone else, we would tell the other.

    I could tell that he was interested in me by the things he said and the way he treated me, but coming from an Italian family, he was feeling very pressured to look for a wife and have children. Children were out of the question for me, as at my age, there would be too many complications. We’d been seeing each other for about a year, when I realised that I had fallen for this guy and foolishly decided to voice this one night. He was taken aback by it, but only said if circumstances were different, there’d be no question about us being together, but that there was no way that we could be.

    Looking back now, I should have opted out right there and then, but we continued our relationship and a year later, he confessed that he’d had a fling and because he respected me so much, he had to tell me. As we were only in a friends with benefits relationship, I forgave and got over that and we continued to see each other right up until 2020, however, our meetings had dwindled to maybe every 3 months due to Covid lockdown regulations, etc. The last time we actually met was in July 2020, but we did occasionally text one another.

    My birthday was in October and a couple of days before I texted him to ask if he’d like to meet for drinks. He took a while to answer, but then replied that although he’d love to, he was in a predicament because he had met someone, but wasn’t sure that was going to last due to various factors. I thanked him for his honesty, wished him well, but was actually quite devastated, but did not let him know that. He replied that we needed to chat, which I agreed would be a good idea.

    A couple of weeks went by with no contact when suddenly one afternoon I got a call from an unknown number and it was him calling to ask my advice about what he should do about this person he had met because he is so confused! He wasn’t sure whether he loved her, he wanted to know how you know you are in love, he wasn’t sure whether he actually wanted to marry her because baby-making could be risky at her age and there are no guarantees that she would even be able to conceive. In short, he just sounded a mess, so I gave as best advice I could by saying that if she is the one, he’d know that and wouldn’t need to be asking me. He again mentioned we should get together for a chat.

    A week later, he messaged to ask if I’m free the next day, which I was, thinking that this was the chat we were to have, but then it turned out that he was looking for moral support and some input at a medical hearing for his sister. When I got to the hearing, I was shocked to see what he looked like. He looked really bedraggled, head shaven, unkempt facial hair and generally just looked like a stressed-out wreck. After the hearing, we briefly spoke about his woman problem because he was still very confused and didn’t know what to do. I asked whether his very over-protective parents knew about her and was told that they did not because another complication was that she was of another race, so he wasn’t sure whether the old folks would be happy with that. At the end, we once again agreed to meet for a sit-down chat…which took place last night at his apartment.

    The long and the short of it is that once again he admitted that he really was into me at the beginning of our relationship, but that the age factor was the problem and there was no way around that. Despite being confused about this woman for the past few weeks, he is still no clearer on what he feels or what he wants to do with her and was almost asking my permission to tell her that he can’t see a future with her. I know this guy is not one that can easily show his feelings, don’t think that as a male, that was encouraged in his family. I’ve made it clear that I cannot make that decision for him, but he keeps pressing me for advice, which hasn’t changed from the day that he phoned to ask me the first time. This chatting round and round in circles went on all evening long…but he did take a time-out to chat to her via text, which I thought was rather rude and told him so. Eventually, I ended up sleeping over, but as friends only, no funny business.

    This morning, while we were having coffee, he again wanted to know what he should do and if we can remain friends, which I said we could and once again I asked him if he expects me to write her a “Dear John” letter or what! Before dropping me off at my car, with a pleading look in his eyes, he also made me promise that we would stay in touch with one another…

    I’ve been trying to get my life back on track, going outdoors, exercising and just caring about myself for a change, but ever since that call from him a few weeks ago, I’ve felt really low. Today in particular, it is pretty bad and I just cannot shake this feeling of confusion, rejection and utter despair, it’s making me feel physically ill. I’m at a loss as to what I should do. He really is one of the nicest people I know, but I get the feeling that, knowingly or unknowingly, he is trying to keep his options open here at my expense. I’ve always been his go-to-person if he needed help with anything be it internet problems, tax returns, technology advice, etc. I really feel sorry for him because he looks a wreck, nothing like the person that I got to know and I have told him this straight out, but now I need some guidance and I’m hoping to get it here.

    I know I should be wiser and I don’t blame anyone if they judge me in that light, however, I am not a believer in just burning your bridges because you may need that person at some stage. I really can’t go on like this anymore, but I also don’t want to just throw away a friendship that has lasted this long.

    #369974
    anita
    Participant

    Dear CelleBelle:

    I will be able to read your post and reply in about 14 hours from now.

    anita

    #370035
    anita
    Participant

    Dear CelleBelle:

    Five and a half years ago you met a guy who is 13 years younger than you. The two of you “just clicked.. like a house on fire”. You suggested a friends-with-benefits relationship, and embarked on it, promising each other to let the other know if either one of you met anyone else. Also, children were out of the question for you, and his Italian family pressured him to get married and have children.

    A year into the relationship, you realized that you “had fallen for this guy”. You told him so one night and he was taken aback, saying that “if circumstances were different, there’d be no question.. but that there was no way that we could be”.  The relationship continued and a year later he “confessed that he’d had a fling”. You forgave him and the relationship continued but “dwindled to maybe every 3 months due to Covid lockdown regulations, etc.” You met him last July this year.

    A couple of days after your birthday in October you texted him if he’d want to meet you for drinks, and he replied that “although he’d love to, he was in a predicament because he had met someone, but wasn’t sure that was going to last”. You wished him well but felt quite devastated.

    A couple of weeks later and he asked for your advice regarding that someone that he met, “He wasn’t sure whether he loved her, he wanted to know how you know you are in love, he wasn’t sure whether he actually wanted to marry her, and mentioned that she may be too old to have children (“baby-making could be risky at her age”).

    A week later, he messaged you again regarding a medical hearing for his sister. You then met him for the first time since July, and you were “shocked to see what he looked like.. really bedraggled, head shaven, unkempt facial hair and generally just looked like a stressed-out wreck”. After the hearing you spoke briefly and he told you that the woman he mentioned earlier was of a different race and he didn’t know what his parents would feel about it.

    The night before last, Nov 25,  the two of you met again, “for a sit-down chat” at his apartment. He told you that he was into you at the beginning of the relationship, but the age factor was the problem. He expressed again his confusion about the current woman in his life, “almost asking my permission to tell her that he can’t see a future with her”, “This chatting round and round in circles went on all evening long”. You finally slept over, as friends, and the next morning, Nov 26, he asked for your advice once again, and asked if the two of you can remain friends.

    Following all these recent interactions with him, you’ve been feeling “really low.. cannot shake this feeling of confusion, rejection and utter despair.. feel physically ill.. at a loss as to what I should do”, “I get the feeling that, knowingly or unknowingly, he is trying to keep his options open here at my expense. I’ve always been his go-to-person if he needed help with anything be it internet problems, tax returns.. I really feel sorry for him because he looks a wreck”.

    “now I need some guidance and I’m hoping to get it here.. I really can’t go  on like this anymore, but I also don’t want to just throw away a friendship that has lasted this long”-

    – my input: it seems like his significant recent mental confusion and distress- evident by his appearance, his verbal communication, and his choices-  rubbed off on you big time during the recent interactions with you, and as a result you are feeling unwell.

    Seems to me that he’s been anxious and distressed for a long time, having a complicated, unhealthy relationships with his parents/ family, that he is fearful of commitment, doesn’t want to be tied down to a woman and a marriage, doesn’t want the responsibility of children, and recently, his mental condition worsened.

    In his condition, I don’t think that he is capable of having a healthy friendship with you, or a healthy intimate relationship with anyone. Clearly, he needs quality psychotherapy.

    You may have to end contact with him so to recover. What do you think?

    anita

     

    #370042
    CelleBelle
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.

    I must say that after having a very good sleep last night, I’m physically feeling a lot better today 🙂

    What I might not have brought across in my original post was that the driving force in this guy at the moment is the need to have a child. Not sure whether the pressure from the parents has increased or if he feels that his biological clock is ticking, as no-one really wants to be dealing with young kids when they are past middle-age. I think it’s a case of him trying to find a brood mare to have a child with and that is never a good reason to just marry someone and deep down he knows it, that’s why he is in such a state.

    I am going to suggest to him that he speaks to a professional because I’ve reached the limit in the advice that I am able to give him and I think there are underlying issues that he needs to deal with.

    It is often best to get a neutral party’s insight in these situations.

    Thanks again for your time!

     

    #370055
    anita
    Participant

    Dear CelleBelle:

    You are welcome and I am glad that you had a very good sleep last night and feeling better! Yes, you shared that his family, his parents I assume, have been pressuring him to get married and have children, but from what you shared, it seems to me that he may want to please his parents, feeling guilty perhaps to not meet their expectations of him- but doesn’t read to me that it is his desire to marry and have children.

    “I am going to suggest to him that he speaks to a professional because I’ve reached the limit in the advice that I am able to give him and I think there are underlying issues that he needs to deal with”- excellent thinking on your part, I say. Wise choice- to suggest professional help for him.

    You are welcome to post again anytime. I will be glad to read from you again and reply.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by anita.
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