Relationship Status Unsure, there's some Tension, we're meeting for the 3rd time

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Eliana 10 months ago.

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    A single guy in his mid-30's and I (a single female in mi late 20's) met online 3 months ago and then we were looking for a long-term partner. We've too many common qualities and also some striking differences (one big difference being our religious beliefs – he's a strong believer who's also biased and I'm an atheist comfy with all religions but not interested in converting). He's been giving me too many mixed signals like saying “I love you”, sharing a lot of his personal stuff and even professional/confidential info, making personal erotic comments very rarely, showing signs of jealousy often, telling me “I love your company”, “I want to marry a bold woman like you but she has to be a strong believer”, etc. and when confronted (3-4 times I've done this), he'd act like he never meant any of that romantically and that we are friends. Also, he's flirtatious with some of his female friends and would tell me rarely that he's interested in a few of them, but before I could think I'd step back he'd get back to me and flirt way too much. His good qualities are that he helps everyone (initially I thought he did this only with me but later I realized that he's like this with family and friends) way too much, without them even asking, and he's quite gentlemanly most of the times. Somewhere around 1.5 months – 2 months, he began asking me repeatedly if I'd go with him on 2 two-month long trips abroad. In 3 months, we've met twice – once I'd to go to his city for work-related stuff and another time, he came to my place for work-related stuff (just about a few weeks ago). During the 2nd meeting, he acted highly romantic but then he again, after a few days when I asked him using my friend's name (it was my friend's idea that I use her name and ask him directly all the questions to get a clear picture, “my friend is asking me if we are friends or more?”), once again he gave diplomatic answers, “labels are for conservative people; this is a special bonding”, blah blah… When I pushed further, he said that he behaves this way (holding hands and gently rubbing them or caressing them for long, which seemed romantic to me) with a few other women, too. All this left me repeatedly confused: Should I stay or leave? Is he really a nice guy or is he a player? In the course of 3 months, we've argued several times, but somehow we always shed our ego and got back to talking to each other. When one is apologetic, the other would be highly forgiving and understanding. This is what i liked the most about this relationship. But with all this tension, one night when I called him casually, he was clearly upset with his work-related stuff plus overthinking all his pain from the past – his ex left him, he got cheated by someone who looted a big amount from him, etc. While I was trying to cool him down and cheer him up to be positive and hopeful, he went into unending negative talk, self-pity, etc. which kinda annoyed me, and suddenly he ended the call while I was still talking to him. While I was already pissed off with his “mixed signals” habit, this made things worse and I blocked his incoming calls. He sent an apologetic text immediately, called me the next morning to find out that I'd blocked him, and he texted me asking if I'd really blocked. I didn't reply, but I think giving someone the silent treatment is really cruel. Also my friend said that i should at least tell him why I'm annoyed and just say goodbye, so after 4 days, I texted him saying that he repeatedly hurts me and I can't take it anymore, I didn't mean to block him but I knew no other way. Surprisingly, he replied right back saying that during times of struggles, he gets really annoyed and unknowingly hurts others, that he's still facing bad times, etc. My responses were cordial and short.

    A few days later, he called again to find out that he was still blocked by me. He sent sad emojis. He's helped a lot for me, so I felt as though I was being ungrateful and letting him down, so I called him. On two continuous days this happened: the first day for 20 mins, and the next time for one hour – both times, he sounded apologetic and very low and I was cold (couldn't help it; I couldn't take the mixed signals) and cordial, asking him if his work, family, friends were all good. There were long silences and he really did feel bad. I realized that he wasn't even aware of what (mixed signals) was hurting me; he just thought that the loud arguments we had pretty early on over his biased statements about religions only hurt me! So i texted him explaining that one day he cares a lot for me, one day, he treats me like a stranger; one day he makes me feel loved and another day he acts like I don't exist; his actions highly contradict his words, he's broken too many little promises, etc. so how do I know whether I can trust him or not, that's what hurts me. The next morning, he called (I'd unblocked because I felt I was being really harsh on him) and spoke in a very cheerful tone: “Hey, dear! What are you doing? Wake up. it's already 10! Wake up now or I'll bring the shower there and you can have a shower on your bed. if you don't wake up now, I'll empty a bucket of water on your face. blah blah…”. This is his usual flirtatious self and I kept reminding myself to not fall for this anymore. I still responded in a cordial way. Only after this talk I realized that I need some help next week and I honestly can't think of anybody else who can do it for me, really. With confusion, I called him asking if he can come over for two days, he asked me the details and agreed immediately, easily (told you he's helpful). I've not yet got a confirmation from him till now, but…

    I can't even recognize what my feelings are at this point: do I want to meet him, or do I want to avoid the meeting with the relationship status being unclear. I don't know… I'm ready to be friends and just friends, but it's obvious that he'd be ‘the gentleman' and continue to politely flirt. How I wish I didn't need his help! How do I deal with this?

    He clearly doesn't want sex from me because he claims to be a virgin male because of his strong religious beliefs. The possibilities could be:

    1. He may want some money from me (He's already asked me twice and I said no, which left me guilty for a few days), that's why he's behaving this way.

    2. He may (not sure on this) try to convert me to Christianity (he's not directly said such things even once but for a month or two he was making biased statements about religions and after that i made him promise never to bring the subject again and he's obliged so far).

    3. Maybe he's just unconsciously using me as an ego boost to get over his breakup with his ex, other difficulties, etc. and isn't even aware of how it could hurt me.

    4. He's just playing me – enjoying my attention along with other females' attention.

    5. Or maybe he really is confused as he also likes me and religion is the only thing stopping him?

    I don't know what he really feels… I just wish circumstances favored me and I didn't have to approach him for help! Now it's like the power is in his hands again – he can call/text me when he feels like it; attend to his business while I wait for his confirmation call; if he wants, he can even cancel plans in the last minute giving me some excuse; phew!

    I know I'm overthinking all these “what ifs”, but how do I get myself to chill? How do I deal with him if and when we meet next week? Maybe if he cancels, it'd be the best reason and excuse for me to permanently close things with him! Now how do I stop myself from putting me through this mental torture?



    Dear Smiley:

    I think that it will be a good idea for you to “permanently close things with him” because “his actions highly contradict his words”- there are other reasons, but this one is enough. His actions highly contradict his words on a regular basis. As you wrote, he has a “‘mixed signals' habit”.

    It is not a good idea to have a relationship with a person with a mixed-signals habit. It is adding confusion and distress of the unnecessary kind, into your life.




    One thing to think about: Christians (and most people who ascribe to some sort of religious/supernatural belief) bring an entirely different mindset/lens to their thinking and perceptions of the world.  Their worldview is, in large part, based on fear, and their compulsive beliefs in their own inferiority and worthlessness. They are told their ONLY value is in “God” and that without GOD they are nothing.  They will spend their entire life attempting to overcome this sense of “worthlessness” in many different ways. Some choose to become “super Christians” spending countless hours in prayer, Bible Study, and church attendance. Others will attempt to defuse these feelings of inadequacy by defending their faith and attacking those who don't believe. Still others will project all of these confusing emotions onto everything and everyone around them.

    My point is that, as a non-believer, you simply can't see this as simple religious differences. It goes much, much deeper. You may want to point out to him what his own Bible says about being “unequally yoked”.

    Good Luck,




    Hi Smiley,

    Yikes..ooh..boy, right up my alley, with online dating relationships. I have been in so many I'm embarrassed to say. Social media such as Facebook and Google Plus to Online dating sites. And from my unfortunate experiences and warnings from my friends (whom I never listened to), these “relationships” never worked out.

    There were alot of reasons why, and most is what you mentioned. Mixed signals, different religious beliefs. Although in my case, alot of the men I met were out of the state, and some were even out of the country, such as Iraq, Pakistan, Israel, name it. Boy, I wanted it to work. I was infatuated, in like, in love, bonded emotionally, fell in love, we would use Skype, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, to videochat, they were the first person I saw in the morning, last person I saw at night. After about two months, I found out this guy was using a fake profile, after asking me for money, after him telling me he was going to come visit me. I did a reverse search image on his profile picture, and he had stolen someone's military picture. This was after I had fallen for him.

    The other guy ended up “Catphishing” me, he did not love me like he said. He just wanted to use me to get out of the middle east and come to America. I still have not gotten over him. I guess what I am saying, is that I saw alot of doubt and hesitancy, uncertainty in your post. There is too much conflict going on with this person and that is a red flag. Not something you want in the long run. Many people on line show their best self at first, but it's just show, then when time goes by, that's when you see all the obstacles and hurdles.

    I would say go with your gut. I'm not saying everyone online is “bad” but you do have to be careful, so many unknowns. Let me know your thoughts.

    • This reply was modified 10 months ago by  Eliana.
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