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Should I stop being petty and stay friends?

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  • #388994
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    First time posting, really appreciate any advice…please forgive my rambling as I’m really confused

    So I fell hard for a really nice guy who I texted for a month and we met up twice (he initiated and I think he was quite interested). After the first date he became a lot more distant. I used real photos so I didn’t know what’s wrong, or maybe I was too shy/reserved? The second date he no longer flirted with me though still took care of things and we talked friendly. Nothing physically intimate happened. However I’m so emotionally attached. After the second date he became more responsive and I asked him to come over for dinner the third date, which he initially accepted but two days later he ended up sending some long messages:

    The guy:“[…some nice chit chat] also I wanted to say, I’d love to come for pizza/cats next week or after (after your defense!!), but I think I should share something first” “I’m having a great time getting to know you, and you’re super cute 🙂 But I’m both pretty overwhelmed by work and confused about being away from life, friends, and ex back in LA” (note: first time he mentioned he’s confused about an ex in LA — he just moved from LA after spending a decade there back to the city, his hometown, and he’s doing a one year contract job that’s pretty busy. However I think that’s an excuse, esp the work part, cuz he’s busy too while we’re still texting but he managed to make time and talk to  me back then.) “I’m more comfortable being friends now. I genuinely don’t know how you’re feeling, but don’t want to waste your time if you’re looking for something romantic. Does that make sense?” “Apologies if this sounds lame :/”

    Me: “Ah well, it’s okay. I’m actually more relieved to know how you’re feeling. I’m pretty overwhelmed as well, but it’s by some ridiculous romantic feelings…so it shall be better if I stay away” “It’s been sweet getting to know you a bit, too 🙂 Hope you feel better”

    The guy: “Ah totally understand, really sorry. If you change your mind someday, please say hi” “Was so fun talking 🙂 Now go kick your ass with your defense”

    Me: “Thank you :)”

    As I made it clear I’d stay away I thought that’s it, and I didn’t believe he wanted to be friends sincerely. But a week later he reached out and I struggled to reply:

    Him:“Hope your presentation went swimmingly, and hope you got to celebrate it last night 🎉 ” (a bit surprising cuz he remembered the date of my presentation, which I mentioned to him. It’s also thoughtful cuz the presentation is an important milestone for my grad work)

    Me: “I did! It went a like a dream. Am so happy now” “How have you been? Hope the banquet was fun (note: an activity that he mentioned before I went NC)”

    Him: “[explains that he’s been sick the past week but gets better]” “Hope you get to do all sorts of enjoyable things now that you’re happy n free :)”

    Me: “You, too! That’s nice to hear you’re feeling better now…the snow is here, take care :)”

    He “liked” my message and that’s our last convo 10 days ago. My questions:

    1. What does this post-rejection follow up texting mean?? Did he feel bad letting me down and wanted to make me feel better?? Did he want to keep me as a back burner? Either way it only made me feel worse. Did he get more interested after he rejected me? But nothing beyond the friendly texts happened so it didn’t feel that way.

    2. I start to think I acted petty and immature by turning down his offer of friendship, and I’m craving for some contact and reconnection with him now. I’ve accepted the rejection but still hope he could like/value me in a way, even just as a friend, though yes deep down I know I want more. But I keep in mind that he’s not romantically interested and things may never work out. I’m slowly dating other people at the same time. Am I in a good position now to reach out to him again and let him know that I could be friends? Would this be a bad idea? While I restrain from holding up any false hopes, at least I want to keep the door open, but how should I let him know it’s open without being awkward/needy?

    #388998
    anita
    Participant

    Dear LetterBurner:

    deep down I know I want more. But I keep in mind that he’s not romantically interested… I’m slowly dating other people at the same time. Am I in a good position now to reach out to him again and let him know that I could be friends? Would this be a bad idea? While I restrain from holding up any false hopes, at least I want to keep the door open“-

    – I think that it is a bad idea to reach out to him now with an offer of friendship because (1) You want more than friendship, and he does not want more, at least, he doesn’t want more strongly enough, (2) Having contact with him is likely to hinder a possible romantic relationship with any of the men you are dating now or in the near future, (3) You can reach out to him in a year from, now- no need to rush. He is not in a rush to reach out to you, being it’s been 10 days since he liked your last message to him.

    but how should I let him know it’s open without being awkward/needy?“- by reaching out to him in about a year from now, I am thinking.

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by anita.
    #389000
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita — I really appreciate your advice! Thanks so much. I think you’re right. On another note, how can I edit my post? Just wanted to delete some personal info but realized there’s no edit button. Thanks again! -LB

    #389001
    anita
    Participant

    Dear LetterBurner:

    You are very welcome. I am only a member here, so I can’t edit your original post. I know that you can edit a post a few minutes after you submit it, but not after. I think that you can request the website owner to edit your original post by going to HOME at the top of the page, and scroll down to CONTACT. I imagine though that there is a very little chance that anyone you know will be reading your post, and if you don’t add to your thread, it will soon move to a 2nd page and be out of sight. In any case, I hope to read from you again, if not in this thread, then in a new thread, whenever you would like input and advice.

    anita

    #389008
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thanks, you’re so kind, and sound so calm & experienced! I do have a lingering thought / question. I’m exploring other dating options now, but nobody sparked a similar level of passion/strong feelings in me as did this guy (let’s call him M), yet all of them are interested in pursuing a relationship with me, while I still pine for M. I ended up rejecting them all, though some of them keep talking to me as friends. Why do all of them want me but the one I want the most doesn’t want me back? I couldn’t help but feel frustrated and wonder if I did something wrong while dating M: perhaps because I invested so much emotionally this early, and he’s the first non-Asian (I’m Asian and had only dated Asians before) that I dated and my first OLD experience as well, all of which made me so nervous around him. With the rest of guys I dated, I was more confident and laid back. I keep obsessing over some “what if”s, like what if I could be myself around him, maybe he’d like me back? What if he’d actually want me if he gets to know me better? How should I come to terms with the idea that it’s me who screwed up?

    Sorry again for rambling, I’d appreciate any words of wisdom.

    LB

    #389009
    anita
    Participant

    Dear LetterBurner:

    You are very welcome and thank you for your kind words. I read your recent post and I want to reply to you again tomorrow morning my time when I feel more refreshed (in about 11 hours from now). If you are reading this before I return, you are welcome to add any information that can help me understand better: what he shared with you before meeting you, such as his relationship history, what he is looking in a romantic partner, etc.

    anita

    #389010
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’m clueless about his relationship history or what he expected in a romantic partner. Apparently he was dating someone back in LA (sounded long-term), but I haven’t got to ask any questions about his past relationships. If it matters at all, he’s 39, has no kids and most likely never married / divorced (not confirmed, but seems so to me). He’s not settled in life as well, as this is his first teaching job (one-year-only contract) after he got his PhD, and he wants to have a job that gives him more free time for writing instead. When we first texted he mentioned he loved my note about taking things slow (I wrote this in my profile) cuz things are still crazy for he just moved here. Should I tell you about his personality if that gives away any info about what he might want from a romantic partner? Please ignore it if it’s not helpful, but anyways, he’s 1) a bit shy / reserved, or maybe cautious / serious about relationships — which made me feel like he’s holding something back / and could be a bit lukewarm; 2) in person, he’s like in his 20s (in a good way; not meaning that he acts like a 20-year-old, he’s quite calm); 3) he never flirted in an obvious or sexual way as other guys do, always very subtle & cordial;4) he didn’t do a ton of texting, but before we met he’s pretty earnest and interested, as he’d remain tender and caring in tone, share things about himself, or say things like “I can give you a great tour of LA–maybe someday…,” and set up the first date in a quite formal manner. 5) As I’ve taken a look at his writings and based on our interactions, I’d say he’s also very romantic, though he didn’t fully show it for he seemed to have lost interest quickly.

    I didn’t know what he wanted. He never mentioned if he wanted to get married / have kids. I’m 10 years younger than him and equally unsettled in life — we both might move in the near future. For me I may even move to another country, though I’d have loved to stay in the states if I have romantic ties here.

    I hope any of these could be helpful…but I don’t know. I hope I’d known him better before calling things off.

    And, of course, no rush in replying to me — take your time, plus it’s Thanksgiving! I hope you have a lovely holiday. :))

    LB

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by LetterBurner.
    #389017
    anita
    Participant

    Dear BurnedLetters:

    Good day to you, and Happy Thanksgiving! I’ll re-arranged what you shared (and my assumption or two) as a story where the characters are M (the man your thread is about) and B (you, BurnedLetters), so that I can have a clearer picture. After that I’ll offer you my best understanding at this point.

    M: a 39-year-old, non-Asian man, single or divorced, no kids. He recently moved back to his hometown in the U.S., after spending 10 years in Los Angeles. In LA he earned his PhD, had friends, a girlfriend-turned-ex, and a life: all left behind for a one-year contract teaching job, his first teaching job, during which he hoped to have more free time for his writing. He is not settled in life and might move to another state at the end of his contract teaching job. He joined an online dating site soon after his arrival to his hometown, while “things are still crazy for he just moved here”. During texting and dating B, “he never flirted in an obvious or sexual way as other guys do, always very subtle & cordial”.

    During texting, before meeting in-person, he was “Pretty earnest and interested… tender and caring in tone”. He initiated and “set up the first date in a quite formal manner”. In person, he appeared “a bit shy/ reserved, or maybe cautious/ serious…  holding something back…  could be a bit lukewarm… quite calm”, “He never mentioned if he wanted to get married / have kids”.

    B: a 29-year-old Asian woman, a professional, single, no kids, not settled in life, might move out of the States or out of the country altogether, but would consider staying for a romantic interest. Has dated only Asian men, M is her first non-Asian dating experience, and her first online-dating experience. Following meeting M, B rejected all online dating prospects who showed interested in a relationship with her, and she pines only for M.

    In texting, M expressed that he liked it that B, in her dating profile, stated that she wants to take things slowly. During the first date, he flirted with B. After the 1st date, “he became a lot more distant”. During the second date he was friendly, but did not flirt, and overall “nothing physically intimate happened”. After the 2nd date, “he became more responsive”, and B initiated a 3rd date (dinner). M accepted, but two days later, the following exchange took place:

    M: “I’d love to come for pizza/ cats next week…  but I think I should share something first…  I’m having a great time getting to know you, and you’re super cute. But I’m… overwhelmed by work and confused about being away from life, friends, and ex back in LA… I’m more comfortable being friends now. I genuinely don’t know how you’re feeling, but don’t want to waste your time if you’re looking for something romantic. Does that make sense?”…

    B: “Ah well, it’s okay. I’m actually more relieved to know how you’re feeling. I’m pretty overwhelmed as well, but it’s by some ridiculous romantic feelings…so it shall be better if I stay away… It’s been sweet getting to know you a bit, too. Hope you feel better”

    M: “Ah totally understand, really sorry. If you change your mind someday, please say hi”…

    B: “Thank you”.

    A week Later:

    M: “Hope your presentation went swimmingly, and hope you got to celebrate it last night”.

    B: “I did! It went a like a dream. Am so happy now…  How have you been? Hope the banquet was fun”.

    M: “[explains that he’s been sick the past week but gets better]… Hope you get to do all sorts of enjoyable things now that you’re happy n free”.

    B: “You, too! That’s nice to hear you’re feeling better now…the snow is here, take care”.

    M: “liked” B’s last message. No Contact since, 11 days ago.

    My best guess at understanding:

    It is very interesting that (1) Having connected on a dating site, neither in his dating profile, nor during texting and meeting in-person, did he share with you anything at all about his relationship history (including whether he is single or divorced), nor did he share with you what he expected in a romantic partner, and you didn’t ask him, (2) In his text to you two days after you initiated a third date, he wrote in regard to how you feel about him, or about the very-beginning relationship: “I genuinely don’t know how you’re feeling“, and that he doesn’t know “if you’re looking for something romantic“.

    I understand that you were interested in taking it slowly and he liked that, but in my mind, this is way too slow, considering you met on an online dating site, and where it is not abnormal to seek “something romantic”. I wonder how casual and on-the-surface the communication between the two of you has been throughout texting and in-person, so casual that you had no idea that he had a girlfriend in LA, no idea whether he was single or divorced, and he had no idea how you were feeling and if you were looking for something romantic… on a dating site.

    He is a writer, and you mentioned that you think that his writing is perhaps very romantic: (1) I am guessing that he feels safer, and therefore, more comfortable to express himself spontaneously in writing/ texting than he does in-person, (2) I am guessing that he feels more comfortable to express himself in writing when the reader is no one in particular (the potential reader who will not be writing back to him) than when the reader is a specific woman who will be responding to his writing (how, he doesn’t know).

    He sounds reserved and held back, and so do you: quick to disentangle from a potential relationship, quick to remove yourself from any interpersonal conflict, perhaps- seeing how quickly and casually you accommodated his let’s-be-friends-text: “Ah well, it’s okay. I’m actually more relieved“, feeling relieved that the relationship was not going to progress romantically, and referring to romantic feelings as ridiculous: (“some ridiculous romantic feelings“).

    In your efforts to understand what happened, you asked: “maybe I was too shy/reserved?“- I think so, but so was he. I think that the two of you have a lot in common: wanting a romantic relationship on one hand, and not wanting it, on the other. It seems to me that the two of you are afraid of romance/ intimacy: wanting it and fearing it at the same time.

    It is possible that you rejected all the online men (and interested men otherwise, perhaps) who were interested in a relationship with you because you are afraid of such, and that you pine for M because it feels safer to pine for a man who is reserved, and who later expressed a disinterest in a romantic relationship.

    You asked: “What does this post-rejection follow up texting mean??“- It seems to me that he was interested in you in some way, that he missed talking to you.

    Did he feel bad letting me down and wanted to make me feel better??“- I don’t think so, because like he said before that he “genuinely (doesn’t) know how you’re feeling. And you didn’t tell him much about how you felt after this sentence right above.

    Did he want to keep me as a back burner?“- doesn’t read like the type to do that. He reads like a conscientious, principled man.

    Either way it only made me feel worse“- it made you feel anxious that he showed some interest in you ten days after his last contact…  because you felt safer, alone, during the 10 days?

    how should I let him know it’s open without being awkward/needy?”– I think that this is a key sentence, revealing that you are afraid to appear awkward and needy because this is how you feel: awkward and needy. And that you are afraid of a romantic relationship because such will cause you to feel even more awkward and needy than you already feel.  Maybe he feels the same. What do you think?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by anita.
    #389026
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I am now in total awe of many of the things you pointed out there, and how observant and sharp you are — I never thought that I was afraid of intimacy but I think you’re right. I didn’t realize this cuz if the other person showed consistent interest in me, while I liked them back, I was not afraid of intimacy both physically and emotionally. That’s my previous experience with my two exes, both long term (5 years and 2 years). With one of them I was the one who initiated intimacy, though it’s because I knew that they liked me enough, instead of being confused as I was with M.  That said, I’ll respond to some of the things you wrote here:

    It is very interesting that (1) Having connected on a dating site, neither in his dating profile, nor during texting and meeting in-person, did he share with you anything at all about his relationship history (including whether he is single or divorced), nor did he share with you what he expected in a romantic partner, and you didn’t ask him,

    – I thought that’s common in OLD, because before meeting, no one assumed you’d get along or like each other in person, and the dating app only allows you to indicate if you have kids / want kids, but no “relationship history” section. But, yes, M is the only person who never mentioned them. Now that I’ve dated multiple people, I see that people do bring up their expectations, or hinted at them, during the first dates. On my part, I never asked them until they asked me…I guess because I’m afraid of showing being interested / probing before they show that they’re interested and want to talk about these things. That’s why I didn’t ask.

    (2) In his text to you two days after you initiated a third date, he wrote in regard to how you feel about him, or about the very-beginning relationship: “I genuinely don’t know how you’re feeling“, and that he doesn’t know “if you’re looking for something romantic“.

    Similarly, I understood it as that he had no idea if I’m still romantically interested after we met, since he’s no longer interested after that, and it happens a lot with OLD. But it could be an excuse as well, because I believe he had a good idea that I’m into him? Otherwise he wouldn’t write those messages? I think I was showing enough interest except for initiating physical move, confession (until I responded to his rejection), or outright flirting (I only do this when I’m sure the other person likes me). Inviting him over was also a way I thought that could help us being closer or more comfortable, which he turned down.

    I understand that you were interested in taking it slowly and he liked that, but in my mind, this is way too slow, considering you met on an online dating site, and where it is not abnormal to seek “something romantic”. I wonder how casual and on-the-surface the communication between the two of you has been throughout texting and in-person, so casual that you had no idea that he had a girlfriend in LA, no idea whether he was single or divorced, and he had no idea how you were feeling and if you were looking for something romantic… on a dating site.

    To be honest, I wrote the taking it slow note in my profile to better turn down dates if I decide I don’t feel like going out with them after we exchange a convo, which happens all the time — I have to communicate with them in a way at least a bit to see if I feel potential attraction, but in the past 3 years (in 2 of which I was with my ex) I was never attracted to anyone. M strangely was the first person who I felt the attraction just looking at his photos and profile on the app, and the communication over texting also enhanced that attraction. Our texting stage the communication was mostly pretty casual, though we also shared some more personal stuff on a deeper level (why we both loved to write, how we write, his writing [upon my request to share them; he’s hesitating and said “I keep wanting to send you more poems but gotta try hold it off until we meet”, which I understood as either he had to see if he liked me in person before being too emotionally intimate, or that he thought it more fun to share in person]) and did some subtle flirting.

    He sounds reserved and held back, and so do you: quick to disentangle from a potential relationship, quick to remove yourself from any interpersonal conflict, perhaps- seeing how quickly and casually you accommodated his let’s-be-friends-text:

    I’m really struck by this. By being “relieved” I thought I could stop guessing and being confused about whether he liked me and if I should keep trying. After the first date I felt that I had to try to gauge his interest, which was a terrible and anxious feeling (I lost a ton of sleep on it, both before and after we met), and now that with the clear rejection the solution became clear to me, and that is I should stop trying. Again, maybe it goes back to me not wanting to feel awkward and needy.

    It is possible that you rejected all the online men (and interested men otherwise, perhaps) who were interested in a relationship with you because you are afraid of such, and that you pine for M because it feels safer to pine for a man who is reserved, and who later expressed a disinterest in a romantic relationship.

    I’ll need to think about this, I’m so struck by it as well. I thought I rejected them cuz I didn’t like them enough (I admired M for some reasons, while I felt bland towards other men). And if it’s important at all, I started to pine for M even early at the texting stage, when I felt he’s available and interested.

    Either way it only made me feel worse“- it made you feel anxious that he showed some interest in you ten days after his last contact…  because you felt safer, alone, during the 10 days?

    I’d say partly, yes, and it made me guessing (while not being able to know). Also made me feel pitied and pathetic thinking that he’s sending me consolation — cuz he rejected me.

    how should I let him know it’s open without being awkward/needy?”– I think that this is a key sentence, revealing that you are afraid to appear awkward and needy because this is how you feel: awkward and needy. And that you are afraid of a romantic relationship because such will cause you to feel even more awkward and needy than you already feel.  Maybe he feels the same. What do you think?

    I think that’s pretty accurate, though I can’t say for him.

    Anita — I’m a bit confused, however, about whether it’s our both being avoidant that caused this situation, as that gave me hope to try reconnect with him and be more straightforward. I can’t get over the assumption that “being friends” is a way of saying “I’m not physically / romantically / sexually attracted,” and since he became uninterested after we met, it led me feel that the real life me is not good enough for him…

    Overall, I think me being afraid of intimacy is true. I felt overwhelmed with most of the men I dated, when they started to pursue me. Once I turned them into friends, I have way more fun and more relaxed conversations with them. Last night I lost some sleep again thinking if I should just be a good friend to M, so that at least we can have some more fun talking.

    If I being more enthusiastic is worth trying to make it work possibly, romantically, I’d love to try again, despite my anxiety. I’m more worried about whether it’s a “don’t feel the spark” / “sexual attraction” thing, so even I keep trying the biochemistry can’t be changed? Since I’ve only been in a serious relationship with one man (my second relationship was with a woman), I feel I don’t know men well. What do you think?

    LB

    #389030
    anita
    Participant

    Dear LetterBurner:

    The more I read from you, the better chance I have to understand you (and M) more accurately, correcting and adjusting my previous understanding with new informatio. I can’t read all of your recent post, but will do so later, in a few hours or so from now.

    anita

    #389031
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Before I run to a Friendsgiving dinner, just wanted to quickly add a crazy thought I have now. After reading your post, I started to feel the urge even more to talk to him again, imagining that he may have suffered at one point in the hesitation to reach out, just like me — so, a text that maybe skips the being-friends announcement, but just saying hi and let him know that I’ve been missing him, to see how the convo goes?

    I still don’t know if I should start pursuing him, if he’s avoidant (which I’m not sure). He may assume that I want to be friends, since he said “please say hi if you change your mind.” And I don’t know if I should make it obvious that I still have feelings. There’s another guy who’s talking to me now so enthusiastically (the only guy I haven’t turned down yet), who knows about my feelings for M and wants to work through it with me, that I thought “Oh, it could be this easy and clear when someone’s strongly interested and all-in — why isn’t M or myself capable of doing that? Should I learn from him and pursue M, if there’s still any tiny bit of hope?” I’m a bit terrified at the idea of pursuing M, but at the same time am so tempted to do so.

    Anyways, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday so far! I’ll be back in touch later.

    LB

    #389042
    anita
    Participant

    Dear LetterBurner:

    On my part, I never asked them until they asked me…I guess because I’m afraid of showing being interested / probing before they show that they’re interested and want to talk about these things. That’s why I didn’t ask“- (1) Not asking can indicate to the other person that you not interested in getting to know him better, (2) There is nothing wrong about “showing being interested”, after all: why would you spend any time with a person without an interest in him, or her. Also, showing interest in another person- as long as it is sincere- is kind and generous, and it makes it possible for the other person feel special, not a bad thing, (3) Asking questions, gently and sensibly, is an excellent way to gather information, and when dating- you need information so to figure out if, and how to proceed, (4) Being a woman does not mean that you have to let the man lead the way, at least not in every way. I often see a boy in every man (and a girl in every woman). Men are not all-powerful and all-knowing: they do need help from the women in their lives!

    I believe he had a good idea that I’m into him? Otherwise, he wouldn’t write those messages?.. Inviting him over“- I don’t know what was on his mind. Maybe some of the things you said (which you didn’t report here on your thread), or things you were silent about, led him to believe, or to suspect, that you are not fully interested in him. This is why it is so important to communicate clearly, honestly and courageously, to that no one has to guess.

    By being ‘relieved’ I thought I could stop guessing and being confused about whether he liked me and if I should keep trying“- As I see it, what’s been missing is clear, honest communication between the two of you, and you are at least 50% responsible for that lack, and therefore, for the guessing and confusion.

    I started to pine for M even early at the texting stage, when I felt he’s available and interested“- it makes sense to me that you did, because I get the sense that the two of you have a lot in common, the reserved, cautious attitude, for one.

    I can’t get over the assumption that ‘being friends’ is a way of saying ‘I’m not physically / romantically / sexually attracted“- it is possible that he is not attracted to you in these ways, but possibly- it is not the issue. What is the disadvantage to you, if you asked him this very question, in a way that promotes an honest answer?

    “it led me feel that the real life me is not good enough for him”– he may feel that he is not good enough for you, and this may be the reason why he did not proceed with the third date.

    I’m more worried about whether it’s a ‘don’t feel the spark’ / ‘sexual attraction’ thing, so even I keep trying the biochemistry can’t be changed? Since I’ve only been in a serious relationship with one man (my second relationship was with a woman), I feel I don’t know men well. What do you think?“- There are lots of men who would feel sexual attraction for almost any woman, even if the woman dislikes them, pursuing her regardless, just so to have sex with her. But there are men who care about how a woman feels in general and about how she feels about them. Part of their spark and sexual attraction for a woman is the belief that she likes them and is interested in them. I get the feeling that he is one of the latter group of men.

    After reading your post, I started to feel the urge even more to talk to him again, imagining that he may have suffered at one point in the hesitation to reach out, just like me… And I don’t know if I should make it obvious that I still have feelings. There’s another guy.. who knows about my feelings for M and wants to work through it with me..  I’m a bit terrified at the idea of pursuing M, but at the same time am so tempted to do so“- it’s clear to me that practically, you have nothing to lose by contacting M and asking him a few questions in a gentle, sensible way (I can help you with phrasing the questions). As is, it is over between you and M, and therefore, there is nothing for you to destroy and lose. The terrified feeling that you have has no practical value, meaning: there is no real danger for you in contacting him, and practically- nothing to lose.

    If you receive a rejecting response from M, then case over and you can perhaps avail yourself to the other guy. If M’s reaction is accepting and inviting… then there is a possibility for some magic between you and him.

    anita

    #389043
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’m at my friend’s home so please forgive my short responses for now. Thanks so much again, I’d be grateful if you could help me with the phrasing! What should I ask him?

    And,

    What is the disadvantage to you, if you asked him this very question, in a way that promotes an honest answer?

    Just wondering, what do you mean by this very question?

    LB

     

     

    #389044
    anita
    Participant

    Dear LetterBurner:

    I’ll be back to you Friday morning, enjoy the rest of your Friendsgiving!

    anita

    #389047
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Of course! As I re-read your reply, I think I should add more info:

    But there are men who care about how a woman feels in general and about how she feels about them. Part of their spark and sexual attraction for a woman is the belief that she likes them and is interested in them. I get the feeling that he is one of the latter group of men.

    Yes, he’s definitely the latter camp. My gut feeling is that he has high standards — or some very particular standards/tastes? I thought he had some type, and that I might not be his “type” in person.

    I don’t know what was on his mind. Maybe some of the things you said (which you didn’t report here on your thread), or things you were silent about, led him to believe, or to suspect, that you are not fully interested in him. This is why it is so important to communicate clearly, honestly and courageously, so that no one has to guess.

    Yes! I think there’s some communication barrier between us, but I don’t know if it’s just me. As I mentioned, I was so nervous for our first date. He’s always cordial, while I tried my best to remain casual / calm (which might have come off as uninterested?). We talked a lot, but the conversations paused several times. There’re pauses when we looked at each other and I felt both of us were uneasy (though I think I was smiling, I could appear incredibly shy / quiet) — for me it’s a butterflies feeling, but still accompanied by awkwardness. I’ve no idea how he felt — maybe I made him uneasy? One more thing that might account for the off vibes of our first meeting: I’m not used to teasing. With my exbf, it took me a while to fully get his sense of humor or understand that he’s teasing; with my exgf, we just had very incompatible sense of humor. With M, there’re moments that I objected to what he said too earnestly, while he replied that “he’s just teasing,” and in retrospect I wonder if that made him uneasy as well. Maybe I’m overthinking minor details…Our second date was much more pleasant; I was being myself, less on edge, but his energy went down a lot and he acted more friend-like (like stopped complimenting me, interacted in a more casual way, and sounded tired at times). There’s a moment before we parted, when just the two of us were sitting on a bench inside a heated, locked tunnel at a train station, talking about a manuscript of his book in a quite tender manner — that’s when I thought any interested man should make some physical move, but he casually stood up and went to the other side while talking, as if to avoid the intimacy; I was tempted to make a move, but thought he’s not interested given he’d been so distant and weird after the first date — I didn’t mention, he asked for two dates before we met, but after the first date, he suddenly became not sure if he could make it to the second date, though eventually he showed up; so when I met him the second time, I was already feeling he’s fading out, didn’t hold up much hope, but wanted to see what’s going on.

    Sorry if I’m rambling! As I’m talking to the other guy, with whom the convo flows much more naturally (and when I tend to end the convo casually he’d insist to carry it on), I just realized how off my communication with M was — so restrained, overtly careful, on edge, though I think I was more gentle. Ah, why when I didn’t care much, everything seemed to work, while when I had feelings I screwed things up? I wonder if that’s a compatibility issue, or something that could be worked on.

    It’s very late! I look forward to hearing from you again tomorrow,

    LB

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by LetterBurner.
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