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Emotionally unavailable divorced man

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  • #395560
    Elena
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    I am Elena, this is my first post. I am spanish so please be patient with my English writing skills 😀
    So I am 31 years old, and half a year ago my boyfriend of 10 (!) years, broke up with me out of the blue, because he wanted to explore other options as he said, and actually he started dating a girl right after we broke up. So I was devastated and it took me some months to get up on my feet again. I moved, I started a new life, and there was a point when I finally started feeling really well with my new self and I did enjoy this freedom. So I was going out with friends, and I did a lot of personal work to become my new better version, and it showed, as everyone told me. So when I was radiating with happiness, I met a guy in a club. It started like a one night stand. But from the first moments, and while I was quite distant and just wanted to spend a fun night, he was very romantic. He told me before we did anything, that he was divorced (1.5 years ago) and he had a little kid (5 years old)-he is  10 years older than me. I  said it didn´t matter because I only wanted to have fun, and I was very conscious about it.

    So the next day he started texting me that he wanted to see me. That was fine by me, because I am not looking for a serious relationship, I don´t feel this what I want right now. So we met again, but this time it was a proper date. He brought me wine, we talked for hours, we had amazing sex, and talked more and so on… I caught him looking at me smilling like a little boy, and when I asked him, he said I was very beautiful. So he was in general very romantic, he liked cuddling, and kissing and everything that was date-like. After that we continued texting (most of the times he was the first one to text me), and he was really showing signs that this was more than a booty call thing. I think it also sparked his “hero” instinct as he wanted to help me with some things around the house etc.

    After our third date, which was absolutely amazing, we had so much chemistry  and connection, we were talking and laughing and it was just perfect, I could see a melancholy in his eyes. But it was also clear to me that he liked me a lot…it was crystal clear that he started feeling something..and so did I. So the next day, he calls me crying. He told me he has to be sincere and to explain his situation to me. He told me that he is not over his divorce yet, he doesn´t believe in love anymore, and he doesn´t think he will ever have a partner again. He told me that he really liked me, and yes we had a strong connection even if we dated for such a short time, and he really wished he had met me in some other phase of his life (he had told me this since the first night we were together… like “where were you all this time”). He said he cannot give me what I deserve, and started telling me what he thinks of me…all such nice things. He also told me that he really liked how I respected his time with his son, and that this was very important. He offered to keep in contact. I said no, because I am not the back up plan of anyone. Then we laughed with some other things, and hung up  the phone in the best terms possible. He wanted to tell me all this now, because he said that it´s easier now that it´s early. He said sorry that this had to be over phone, but he could not be facing me telling me this stuff.

    Now it feels like the door is still open. I mean, we did not fight or anything. I do miss him already. But I don´t want to contact him just yet (it´s been a few days). I am confused, I really saw it in his eyes that he was interested…and in his actions as well. I am thinking to give him the space he wanted for a while…a month maybe? Maybe he will miss me and contact me..I don´t know. As a person who rarely finds this level of chemistry and connection, I do believe that this is something worth waiting for. However I don´t want to make a fool of myself by waiting while he goes around sleeping with women. Of course this is not the case of a relationship, but I am thinking maybe the no contact rule for a short time will help…?

    Sorry for the long post. I would appreciate any thoughts/experiences shared.

    Elena.

    PS: The age difference and the existence of a child, don´t bother me at all. Personally I don´t feel like having my own kids. I love kids, but I don´t want to get pregnant. And also marriage is not an issue, I mean it´s not something I think of.

    #395680
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elena:

    Welcome to the forums! You shared that you had a ten-year relationship, approximately from the time you were 21 to 31. Six months ago, approximately in September 2021, he broke up with you, saying that he “wanted to explore other options“, and he indeed explored right after breaking up with you, dating another woman. Devastated, over the course of a few months, you “started a new life“: you moved, enjoyed a new freedom, did a lot of “personal work to become my new better version“, and as a result, you were “radiating with happiness“.

    You then met a guy in a club, ten years older than you (41). He told you that he’s been divorced for a year and a half and has a 5-year-old kid. Your intent was to have “a one-night stand… to spend a fun night… I only wanted to have fun“. He on the other hand, seems “very romantic“, and told y0u on that first night: “where were you all this time“?

    The next day, he texted you that he wanted to see you.  Still “not looking for a serious relationship“, you met him again: “He brought me wine, we talked for hours, we had amazing sex, and talked more and so on… I caught him looking at me smiling like a little boy, and when I asked him, he said I was very beautiful“.

    The third date was “absolutely amazing, we had so much chemistry and connection, we were talking and laughing, and it was just perfect, I could see a melancholy in his eyes. But it was also clear to me that he liked me a lot…it was crystal clear that he started feeling something… and so did I“.

    The day after the third date, he called you crying, saying, over the phone, that he “has to be sincere“, that he really liked you and had a strong connection with you in a short time, but he is not over his divorce, and “he doesn’t believe in love anymore, and he doesn’t think he will ever have a partner again“, and better say it all now because “it’s easier now that it´s early“.

    Fast forward a few days, and you “do miss him already… I am confused, I really saw it in his eyes that he was interested…and in his actions as well. I am thinking to give him the space he wanted for a while…a month maybe? Maybe he will miss me and contact me… However, I don´t want to make a fool of myself by waiting while he goes around sleeping with women“.

    And now, my thoughts: it is too easy for a woman in the situation you described to feel much empathy for that little melancholic boy you saw in his eyes (“I caught him looking at me smiling like a little boy... I could see a melancholy in his eyes“) and think something like- this sad boy loves me; this sad boy needs me! I want to help this little sad boy and make him happy! I want to give this boy what he wants and needs (my love). The man part of him is scared to get hurt again, but if I give him space, maybe he will relax and get back to me

    But what is REALLY happening?

    The following is a likely possibility: he wants a woman’s, or women’s love and admiration. He wants a woman to want him and chase him and look up to him. From his experience (and likely not a result of a cold-hearted calculation and planning), he learned that women really like him and want him if he wins them over with words, food, wine, an offer to help her around the house (“it also sparked his ‘hero’ instinct as he wanted to help me with some things around the house etc.“), and with that boyish smile. So, he did all of that and succeeded: you now miss him and want him. So, he got what he wanted, and he withdrew, knowing that he can have you when he wants you.

    You wrote: “he was really showing signs that this was more than a booty call thing” – at first, you wanted a one-night stand, but he wanted to have more than a singular one-night stand, I figure. He wanted you to be at his call for future one-night stands. He showed you signs that it is more than a booty call thing for the purpose of… having a series of booty calls with you, as needed.

    I am thinking maybe the no contact rule for a short time will help…?” – if my current understanding is correct, you are now caught in his web, like a fly in a spider’s web.

    But what if I am wrong, what if the little boy in him really needs you and your love… what if he needs you to get through the scared man’s barrier and rescue that little boy, give him the love that he needs?

    My answer to my own question: there really is a little boy in every man, even in the most hardened of men, but often that boy is trapped in the man, never to be allowed out and you can’t make it happen! No one can. You are not his mother, and he is not really a child. So, you don’t have that kind of power.

    My suggestion: If you settle into the spider web, and find yourself trapped in it for too long, you will lose the happiness you mentioned (“radiating with happiness“), and reverse the personal work you’ve done to become your “new better version“. Free yourself, Flap your wings and Fly away. Don’t wait for him and don’t chase him.

    If he initiates contact with you (and I suspect he will, for the purpose of another one-night stand), don’t accommodate him. Instead, sit with him in a coffee shop (no wine!) and talk. Don’t tell him that you are interested in an exclusive, serious relationship with him; let him tell you that. And if he says that, keep talking. Talk about his marriage and divorce, his relationship with his ex-wife and so on. Get to know him.

    anita

    #396376
    HoneyBlossom
    Participant

    Hi Elena,

    Welcome to the forums.  My advice would be to move on back to where you were before you met him.  You were doing well. It’s too early to know this man and what he is about. I agree with Anita, in that he seems to have gotten you hooked in and that’s something to be very easy of, especi i ally after only a few dates.  You owe yourself so much more. You also need time to get to know yourself and what you want from a m an and relationship.

    #400565
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Elena?

    anita

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