Do you buy into the thinking that it’s normal for guys to pull away just when a relationship is about to move forward? Because he is afraid to commit? And that if a man withdraws from you for this reason, most likely he really likes you? He’s afraid. He feels the need to get away before you change his world and you should give him that space?
I read that somewhere. Is that true. Here's why I ask ...
A friend of mine who has an on-line site just told me that he is back on-line but then he took it down again so he was only back for a few days. She got matched to him. She only saw it because I pointed him out when I first met him as we girls do. I took down my profile and cannot see if he's on. I guess it is good he took it back down on his own
He was very good about planning to see me and making the time but recently, he has been wishy washy about meeting. He eventually calls but instead of planning days in advance, now he called me the day before. He was also good about telling me what his schedule was for the week and recently did not do that. Perhaps it was just an off week? Perhaps he no longer feels the need to do this? Perhaps he is pulling away?
I know guys want to keep "looking" but after a couple of months, what is reasonable for me to expect? I see this as taking a step back rather than moving closer towards developing the relationship.
Do I mirror what he does and then pull away too? I read that somewhere. The goal is not to play games but to keep him chasing me .... or at least that is what the article said.
I guess I've been lucky in past romantic relationships where there was a comfortable progression and I am by no means needy and I take my time. Guys have complimented me that I make it easy for them to be with me.
I just would think this guy, if he's really into me would continue to build on the relationship to move it along. I sense a little hesitation now that we are intimate. I'm not use to that. I'm use to feeling him want to be closer to me.
Thank you for putting it so eloquently. Just to clarify ... you wrote "Guys do not keep looking after being committed for a couple of months. Instinct fueled by testosterone and primitive brain keeps them looking as long as they are alive."
1) Perhaps I misread but the 2nd sentence seems to contradict the 1st. Can you clarify?
2) While everyone has their own timeline, would it be reasonable to expect the guy to have a desire to spend xmas with someone he's dating who he met in September? Would it be a "sign" if he does not desire that and perhaps I should move on?
3) What is the best way to approach xmas? I was thinking of letting him take the lead and if he says nothing and/or makes no plans or makes no plans with me for NYE I simply tell him goodbye?
Thanks you replied as I was editing my question ...
So one the 1 hand you are telling me it is too soon to ask for what I want but on the other hand you are saying I should ask ... let me ask you how I would handle this situation ....
What I am sensing is mixed level of enthusiasm or diminished level of putting the right amount of effort into developing the relationship. Whereas he started off asking me what my schedule was and then giving me a specific time for us to meet, he is wishy washy saying "he's not sure when he'll be back" Here's what I've experienced so far ... can you let me know what you think and what I should do?
- As mentioned dating for about 2 months; he is a gentleman and seems very engaged when we are together; very attracted to each other; we talk about a lot of different topics; we laugh; we are playful; he seems to enjoy my company; makes plans to see me
- Last weekend, I had mentioned my company xmas party and whether he'd be around this weekend. He said he'd be around but he does not acknowledge the xmas party. On Friday I see him and learn he is headed to his beach house. I thought I'd be invited and said that I could come down on Saturday in lieu of my xmas party. He says that he has a bday party with the kayak guys and he needed to recruit the guys to go on his kayaking trip next week. (Long story but he has to recruit some people to join next weeks trip last minute). He didn't want to invite me to this shin dig. I did not make a fuss. I simply asked if I'll see him before he leaves for his vacation. He tells me we can get together Sunday and he'll call me when he gets off the water on Sunday I don't hear from him until 6 pm on Sunday and he says I can come to his beach house which is over an 1 hour away. He typically comes back home to town on Sunday night and I was expecting to see him locally. But he does invite me to the beach house at 6 pm on Sunday. I have to work on Monday. If he really wanted me to come down to the beach house on Sunday, why wouldn't he discuss that with me in advance? He must have known he'd still be down there on Sunday night.
- Do I bring this up with him? Wouldn't he made an effort to contact me earlier if he was really interested in seeing me and it feels like he intentionally stayed at his beach house and was not really interested in having me go there ... I mean it's a Sunday night! But I'm confused b/c he said he can catch up on Monday.
- I'm wondering if he is just taking me for granted so early on in the relationship? Is he trying to push me away? Is he trying to be distant? Do I "discuss" this with him? Or do I let it go. I did politely text him and say "perhaps we can mutually agree to communicate our schedules better with each other in the future ..." and he wrote back "fair enough" and didn't seem apologetic ... more like making an excuse.
Here's another article I read ...
"A man who can’t keep a plan in advance is quite often a man who is purposely keeping his options open. Men know where they are, and what they are doing. They do. And if they wanted a plan for a Friday or Saturday night they’d solidify it early in the week. They solidify golf night with their drinking buddies don’t they? They solidify a date with the new hot girl they just met, don’t they? They know exactly what to do, no excuses.
If he continues to put you on ice you may want to consider that you are a casual dating option for him and not his girlfriend. This type of man will never be able to solidify plans until the last minute because he doesn’t know what his best option is yet. There is one last thing to consider which is that he may be doing flaky act on purpose. Men know that when they date you expectations set in. It’s entirely possible that he does not want you to be a girlfriend. He doesn’t want to be responsible for you or have you relying on him to be there like clockwork.
To keep your relationship from progressing he may purposely keep you on ice and act elusive and unreliable. It is a tactic that keeps you from being his girlfriend and leaves you in the hey let’s hang out when convenient zone instead. He’s managing your relationship expectations down by such behavior. It’s up to you whether you’re willing to put up with that or not. Dating books advise that you should radically reject such disrespectful behavior from him at the get-go in a relationship. Boundaries are easier set and stuck to early on, before you’ve fallen head over heels for him."
In my past relationships which progressed ... I didn't have this uncertainty as I do with this guy ... but I am confused because when we are together, he is doing everything right and he is making an effort to see me.
What are you thoughts on this? Do you think I should still "play it cool" and just let this go for now?
Yes, I am not asking for "forever" by any means. I am NOT that girl and very different in comparison to most of my female friends when it comes to this so I just want to be clear about that.
So he offered to meet me tomorrow and he did a good job of saying we can grab a quick bite but he needed to be up very early to travel for his vacation (meaning, he won't be able to stay over my house).
Do I go ahead and compromise and meet him or do I tell him that we can get together when he gets back next week?
If I meet with him, what if I said the following:
"About this weekend, I just wanted you to know that when I asked you if I'd see you before you left from vacation and you said Sunday, you can understand that I thought you'd be back here locally and not still at the beach house. Perhaps you made a last minute decision to stay at the beach house? However I got the impression that you were planning to stay there Sunday night all along which confused me? Perhaps you forgot that you told me you'd be around this weekend? Even so, I understand that things come up and you needed to "recruit" more people for this trip, which is important to you. When you reached out to me, I did not get the impression that it mattered to you whether or not we got together. You did not express it.
As we continue to get to know each other, I believe it helps to have enthusiasm from both parties in this process. You can demonstrate this enthusiasm by scheduling time together which you did a wonderful job of very early on. I particularly appreciated how you made an effort to take my schedule into consideration in the past. For me there needs to e a mutual enthusiasm and interest to help me feel comfortable in allowing you to know me on a deeper level and my desire to know you on a deeper level.
I respect your passion for kayaking and believe me, no one appreciates more such passions as I have dedicated a lot of time to train for an Ironman. I am looking for a partner who can support me in that and my need for independent time to pursue this. I was also able to successful date someone long distance for 7 years. What made that relationship successful is an enthusiasm to schedule time to see each other and when we scheduled it, we made the most of that time. We'd spent long weekends and sometimes a week or more together and we spoke to each other every day.
I am willing to accommodate my busy schedule from time to time, particularly on the weekend. I could always go to the beach house with you on the weekend and plan time to bike with my triathlon friends near your beach house while you kayak. I could read, do work or work on my cookbook at your beach house while you are out or even travel to see you later that evening. For me, there needs to be some momentum and enthusiasm for me to want to share who I am on a deeper level. What do you think?"
What do you think about saying something like that to him?
Ok 1 more question ... do i just send this in an email first and let him digest then let him share his thoughts when i see him later?
Also, do I bring up that it feels like he is avoiding spending time with me on a Saturday or by not inviting me to his beach house even though he talks about it? do i be that direct or put it more softly? is this too much this early in the relationship?
I guess i thought we were in the "honeymoon" stage and in the past i had guys who were truly interested in me have no hesitation within 2-3 months introducing me to friends ... i am nervous that he is not that in to me (yes i've been reading too much of that crap on the internet) or is this just his way and process to get comfortable with me?
so far i've been patient as i believe its early and as you mention, men are different. i am allowing him to be different but i don't want to get hurt (self preservation) when it is obvious (or is it) that he's not that into me ... he certainly seems very much into me when we are together!
do i just need to give it more time or are these bad signs already
Ok LAST question, promise! I just texted him the following:
"It if helps I can leave mtg early and be home at 7:30 - we can walk to get sushi near my house?"
This was in response to his text to me yesterday
"Could get together for a quick bite when you are done ..."
He replied just now
"Ok lemme know when you are home"
1) I found that to be odd ... now my imagination is running wild. Wouldn't just say "ok, c u then"? Is he planning on not leaving his house until 7:30 pm? Why is he asking me when I'm home when I tell him I'd be home at 7:30 pm? Is he not going to show up and just call me to tell me it's not working out? That would be a shock honestly because our interactions have been A+ when we are together ... truly. He is affectionate, playful and seems really happy in my presence ... we are sharing and talking about things on an intellectual level (he enjoys poetry, jazz music, and guitar, we've gone mountain biking, he has taken his on-line dating profile down on his own w/o discussing with me). Despite feeling this, a part of me still feels insecure based on his most recent behavior and now the text.
2) Do I just leave it alone? Am I over thinking again?
3) Do I text him back and say "if you are not interested in getting together or feeling stressed, just let me now ... I'd naturally be interested in seeing you before your trip but only if the feeling is mutual" ... should I do this or just let it go?
Followup question. I did not have the "talk" with him when I saw him. I wanted for him to see that I was happy to see him as usual and to see his reaction which was also happy to see me as usual.
I wanted to see how he would respond to me and he was his usual playful self. He did grab my hand and he wanted to on my Facebook pictures of my triathlon friends. (He has access to my Facebook). I had the page up and I openly shared the screen and we shared a moment where he asked to see a video of me playing the guitar and other photos. He did ask who was filming the guitar playing video and I told him it was my ex (that video is a year old).
He tickled me and wrestled me but did not initiate sex which is fine. I knew he had to leave to drive 1 hour to carpool for his vacation early next morning. It was fun for us to have playful physical contact w/o the sex. I really appreciated that.
And then we said good bye with big smiles and I wished him a good vacation. He turned around and smiled as he walked out the door.
He returned on Sunday. It is now Wed and I have not heard from him and it is now late. No email, no text no phone call. While he was away, I sent him a funny jib jab holiday card via email.
Now I can imagine he was really busy on Monday returning from being away for a week. He is a doctor so Tuesday are very hectic at the clinic. He does not work late on either nights. I would have expected an email by Wed (he typically does not call and prefers to email). Still no word. Yeh, it is possible that tonight he had something come up. Before he went away on his vacation, I didn't hear from him all week until I got a text from him on Wed that his email account got hacked and he could not get into it and that he would ping me the next day Thurs. So he is on schedule from the week before but the diff is, he just got back from a week long vacation.
He is 48, a gentleman and from what I know about him, has some good values. I guess I'm panicking that he is unsure of wanting to be in a committed relationship with me. I saw he had time to post to his Facebook last night. He could have contact me?
1) he's clueless
2) fading out - which seems immature and lame for him
3) doing that Men are from Mars rubber band pulling back thing
My plan was to WAIT until he reached out to me. I was asked to do something Thurs, Frid and Saturday. I am booked now. So no chance of seeing him until Sunday at best.
What is going on? Someone said I guy will make the effort if he's really into you.
So do I just wait for him to contact me this week? I shouldn't even text or email him, "how was your trip" right? i read on line that I should not do that ... and he needs to reach out to me
The hardest thing is waiting for him to call. It is nearly 8pm. No email no phone call. It is so weird and rude. I know I have heard of this happening with other women and I read all of the articles on line but this is the 1st time its ever happened to me. Either the guy I'm dating and I know right away and we talk about it immediately, but I've never had silence.
Do you think it is possible still that the 2 options you mentioned is that he is #1 and #3 above? So funny how I doubt myself since yesterday and only 24 hours have gone by. I know I must not contact him at all. Is he testing me? Did something happen at work? Did something happen to his mother who had a stroke last year? He posted something on FB on Tues so he had time to go on-line but no time to contact me so I know he made that choice.
I am just really, really surprised. I felt really confident that things were promising between us. Usually I'm pretty certain of when this happens and he seemed smitten by me. There was so much for us to look forward to. He offered for me to borrow his guitar. He just seemed very attracted to me.
I met him on line and we exchanged many emails and he told me that he's not in it just for sex and just to date ... he will go months without dating because he doesn't see the point if there is no real potential. I thought we both had real potential on the one hand we were exactly where we should be in our relationship and not too committal ... i played it cool and we still were eager to learn about each other.
Not to mention when he saw me last, he initiated just playful touching (not sex) but wrestling, tickling in a very affectionate manner. Now that is not the behavior of a man who wants out. That much I know is certain.
If he wanted out he would not have the desire to do that. Perhaps I'm wrong.
Have you seen this before and have you seen it turn out that the guy eventually comes around and decides to become closer?
Hi I added a bonus (or tried to) and wanted to ask another followup question ... not sure if the note below went through?
Thanks so much. I was thinking of writing him a letter if I don't hear from him by xmas and sending him the gift I got ... it is a book on Buddhism that he was looking for. Below is what I was going to send to him. Should I do this I just remain silent and wait as you originally suggest to hear from him and maybe he will come around after the New Year professing his love for me???? One can only hope, right?
I hope you enjoyed your trip and this letter finds you well. I have not heard from you and will refrain from speculating as to the reasons. This much I know … if you had the desire, you would have reached out to me much sooner.
I had never experienced the “disappearance” of the man I had been dating. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to discuss such partings in person. While I am disappointed I was not extended the same courtesy by you, I would rather chose to treat you with the respect I would have expected in return from you. So here goes.
I am a believer in loving kindness and offer you forgiveness for whatever prohibited you from contacting me. Mostly I hope it is the result of poor judgment rather than something more serious. This does not mean that I accept the behavior.
I do accept that you made a choice not to know me better. I had enjoyed our time together and looked forward to getting to know you on a deeper level. For me, it takes time for me to feel safe in sharing. I was under the impression that you were the type who preferred taking the time to learn about me too. Perhaps you felt like you’ve learned enough to make a decision. Perhaps you learned of something that persuaded you to stop. To be honest I wish I understood what that was and wish you had the courage to share with me. I do feel that with your weekends away it made it difficult for us to invest enough time to get there. Trust me, I fully understand and respect your time on the water. It is very appealing to me that you live a very passionate and full life. At the same time, there needs to be a balance, and a relationship with another person requires the same investment of time and effort to succeed. We weren’t quite there yet. Perhaps you felt it was enough. From my perspective there wasn’t enough time invested to know each other beyond first blush. But you may have a different perspective.
In any case, I was looking forward to hearing about our trip. I wanted to share with you some news of my own, about my career and other things that were important about me. I was simply looking forward to us getting to know each other on a deeper level. I would only allow this if you wanted to pursue this with the same level of enthusiasm. I am looking for someone who desired to invest the time and work towards a committed and exclusive relationship with me. That requires planning for time together just as you would plan time to hone your kayaking skill or learn to play the guitar.
I wish you all the best Allen. I wanted you to have the present that I had intended to give you.
Thanks ... do you think I should wait for him to contact me first?
From your experience ... is it possible he really likes me and trying to decide on whether he wants to get more serious?
He is Facebook friends with me (his suggestion) and my updates from my friends have been filled each day with lots of activity. I am an Ironman triathlete so he sees me biking with my friends; I am writing a cookbook and he sees photos my friends posted of me cooking and entertaining my friends at my house, et cetera. I am being very strategic but REAL. He and i talked about learning to play a song on the guitar together. Well, I will just have to post a video of my friends and I playing without him.
I do know what he is attracted to in me ... he and I are very similar, intellectually, spiritually and with all of our interests, athletics, music, books.
More questions to prepare for my meeting with him:
1) I will incorporate your words but should I be a little ... stern? I know I should wait to set the guidelines but should I be so welcoming? I heard I should get him to feel like he could lose me (which I think i accomplished) and he should want to chase me.
2) I suppose I should let him do most of the talking when we do meet. Do I suggest we do not have sex anymore until he is ready to commit (it seems he may be agreeable to that).
Maybe I should just listen, take mental notes and tell him I'll get back to him so I have a chance to run it by you and then respond? LOL!
Yes, he is a quality man. He is a doctor, athletic and I think he is very honest and sincere. That is why I was so disappointed and confused when I did not hear from him. I knew he had better values in himself. He is a catch but so am I and he knows it ... he has joked that he knew lots of guys ask me out and I just smiled and just joked about a recent incident with 2 guys in my tri club ... but when he asked me if I date them, I told him that I never date any of the guys on the team. So I know that I need to show my respect and appreciation for him too.
Finally, you don't have any concern about his statement about how he has considered whether he should remain single? I suppose you will tell me this is quite common thought of men?
Then maybe I should not say that "he's worth compromising with"? Here is a draft of my reply to him ... can you give me your opinion?
Also, you don't think he is just offering to speak to me in person to tell me it's not going to work? I am referring to this sentence ..."I'm afraid that I do not have time to devote to repairing all this over these holidays (assuming things are reparable). I am willing to talk about this with you, but after these crazy holidays are over."
I know I'm dissecting here ... he writes the words "I'm willing to talk about this" ... I guess I would rather he say "I would like to talk about this". Do you know what I mean?
Here's a draft of my REPLY:
I appreciate your thoughtful and kind words.
I only wish you to be YOU Allen. My expectation is that you are your best self with me most of the time. I did not feel you showed me your best self recently and that is why I was disappointed. I felt disrespected and not valued.
I value you and the potential of this relationship enough to give you the space you feel you need. Of course this won't last forever and at some point we will have to revisit the definition of a relationship, but for now, you're worth compromising with.
I cannot convince you on the pros and cons of being happily single versus happily married. You have a bit of quandary that you and only you can find the answer to.
Lastly, I don’t view gifts as being “deserved” and there was absolutely no expectation of anything from you in return. I meant for you to have it and enjoy it, guilt free.
The poem belongs to you; I wrote it for you.
I edited my note as you suggest and ran it by a guy friend of mine who is also dating and the same age as Allen. To my surprise he was against me pursuing this guy.
Allen says a couple of key things that I will paraphrase. He says that he didn't contact you because he was really busy with work and seeing his friends. I find it hard to believe that a whole week passed by without him remembering to call or even text you; especially since his close friends would probably be asking him about his romantic life. It's not for me to try to guess why he didn't contact you but in any event you need to ask yourself this one key question "Do you want to be in a relationship with a guy who goes AWOL"? We need to depend on and trust those who we hold close.Second: He says that your physical relationship is ahead of your emotional relationship. To me, this means that he isn't feeling the emotional connection yet. I suggest telling Allen that you would like to continue as very close friends but remove the pressure of a physical and emotional relationship so that it may develop at it's own natural pace. That you will both then be free to pursue either a single life, a relationship with each other, or a relationship with someone else.Now I'm second guessing again. You are the expert and I want to keep an open mind but I also agree with what my guy friend says. If I wasn't in such a quandary, I would not have reached out to you to begin with.What are your thoughts on what my guy friend thinks?And maybe in my reply email I should also add, "what do you hope for us to accomplish when we speak after the holidays". Do you think he is asking me for an opportunity to share with me more or to take a step back in our relationship and move slower?
It does ... I just sent Allen the note and will wait for his reply. I have nothing to lose as you say. I was never his and he was never mine to begin with.
You say thought that it was "pretty much an oops to have met me and become so enamored". But he met me through a dating site so he was actively looking. He met me, and closed his profile after we became intimate on his own (which is good).
Sorry, now I'm dissecting your words! Haha. I just want to make sure I understand you.
I sent him a reply as you suggested about 48 hours after I rec'd his original note to me. I have not contacted him since. I have been having fun w/o him (as I always have) and only had some passing thoughts of him but none where filled with negative feelings. I was hoping he'd reach out to me today to schedule time for us to talk as he suggested. I have not heard from him still.
Now it bothers me. I guess I was confident he would eventually reach out to me. After all, it was his suggestion to talk and it was him who used the words he would like "repair" things when he had more time after the crazy holidays. Is this a bad sign? In your experience, is it possible for something positive to come out of this?
Why don't you believe he is simply a non-commital man and I should steer clear? Sorry, feeling less confident today. Before I believed I was the "oops". There is a part of me who wants to believe he got "scared" because he does really like me. I am more intelligent than average, very fit, attractive and have been complemented about my personality ... that I'm upbeat and "cool" to be with. Yes, I know I don't have an issues captivating a man and I really thought I captivated this guy. Frankly, I've never had a guy go awol after connecting with me so well. Am I fantasizing and being arrogant?
So should I say something to him tomorrow then? Do I wait another week? Or do I just say nothing and let it go if he never contacts me again?
So you think because I have not heard from him by now it is a sign despite everything he wrote to me? I'm trying to see it from his perspective and I know he is swamped at work and probably THINKING about what to do. He is a very mature man and intelligent. I wonder if I should give him more time or is he being completely immature and avoidant? Is it reasonable for him to reach out to me next week then? Is he that overwhelmed right now and my expectations for him to contact me this week unreasonable?
Unfortunately here is the reply I rec'd from him on Friday:
so I shouldn't send a letter to him at all? do you think that will do more harm than good?
i have no expectation but i just don't want to regret not doing anything that might be impactful. This was the letter I was going to send:
Allen, I genuinely understand how you feel. I too have felt the same thing for myself in the past. In my mid 20's - early 30's, I lived with a wonderful loving man. Everyone thought we had the perfect relationship. However, I found myself feeling stifled and lonely while in this relationship. I was inexperienced then; while we shared many values, we were not compatible. There wasn’t enough passion and energy for the same things in life. I felt ashamed feeling so free and alive when I left him. I was happier and he was hurt. There was a lot of resentment all around. Fortunately, I was able to learn and grow from that experience and would meet men who became great playmates, friends and eventually boyfriends. One would last 7 years and the one after 3 years. As you know, the former ended because neither one of us wanted to leave our country and in the latter, he was severely depressed and anxious. Still, I had so many positive experiences and feelings from both of those relationships; I remain a hopeFUL romantic.
This past year I too have enjoyed being single and not dating at all. During that time, I have completed an Ironman, decided to write a cookbook, and made some big career decisions that I am very nervous and excited about.
While I have no understanding how you came to your decision to remain alone for now, I truly understand it. You are correct. I am looking for a companion and something enduring. After all, if I find the "right" companion, who can share in my happy world, yet allow me the space to enjoy my selfish pursuits; be as fun as, but not replace all of my closest friends; share in my laughter, yet challenge me; see the world through the same childlike eyes, eager for the next experience; and cheer me on as I do my crazy things, why wouldn't I want it to endure? Not to mention how cool it would be if he could make my toes curl when he kisses me?
I cherish my time with you Allen and would not trade it for the world and I too am in my happy place. It was wonderful to be able to share time with you doing things that we both really enjoy, listening to music, and exploring a variety of topics that interest us. One of my sweetest memories is when you read your favorite poetry to me. It inspired me to dig into boxes I have not unpacked since I moved to find all of my old poetry books, that I have kept out of sight and denied myself the pleasure of enjoying. I am having great fun reading them now. Had I not seen the movie with you, I would not have tormented myself over the holidays trying to learn how play Sugarman.
I will remember you fondly XXXXX XXXXX think of you this summer when I compete in a fun triathlon where I will be kayaking instead of swimming, followed by biking and running. My friends gently reminded me that I promised to do it in 2013 after I completed my first Ironman.
If you like, let me know when you are docent-ing next. If you think it is appropriate, perhaps I can bring my friends' 2 children (you met them briefly).
Rest easy Allen,
Actually I wish I had a chance to hear him and I guess I would ask him how he came to feel this way and what fears, disappointments he's had in the past that lead to this decision?
I just don't know if he would be willing to share with me via email
Thanks for your reply. I am not hurt, angry or confused at all. I actually accept what he is saying. Must be the Buddhist in me, but I am more accepting of Allen than all of my friends. I am quite calm and while I was disappointed, I didn't feel in twinge of any hurt at all. I know you may find this hard to believe. It took many years of my father trying to teach me mediation, calmness, acceptance ... particularly after the breakup with my previous boyfriend who suffered from clinical depression. I dated that guy for 3 years and we are now friends. If you knew what he did to me you would be very surprised we are friends. We went to see a therapist but the best therapist was my father trying to teach me the "Buddhist" way and I have learned, and am still learning, that I can choose to be angry and hurt.
I choose not to feel any anger or hurt with Allen. Allen is also studying Buddhism and the book I wanted to give him was one of the books he was looking for. Perhaps if Allen continues to study, he may be able to figure out what he wants and find peace for himself wrt to committed relationships.
That is why I interpret his email to me a little differently than my friends. I understand the words he chose. Of course, I am grounded enough to ask for your advice and my friends as a sanity check and to ensure that I am not being too naive or blindly optimistic.
Generally, I believe in the good of people and if there is one thing I learned from being in a 3 year relationship with a clinically depressed man, is that you can learn to forgive and good things can come from loving kindness. In fact, I asked my ex about Allen and he thought I should give Allen a chance and sit and listen to him.
I am not trying to rehash things with him, but to give him food for thought.
But it sounds like you don't believe Allen is as sincere as we had initially thought. I don't know. Allen is a good man and thoughtful. I think in genuinely trying to find happiness and peace in his life. I think he has the capacity to commit to family and friends and I wonder if there had been enough disappointments in his romantic life that causes him to feel scared of a relationship? I think he is a strong and honest enough man that he would say to me, that doesn't think we will work out. Instead he is saying he may remain single for the rest of his life. That is a pretty big statement, don't you think?
Also, I was not planning to visit him when he volunteers to docent. I asked for his invitation if he is comfortable down the road ... perhaps several months from now. He is actually a physician and we had talked about me coming to see the tide pools when he docented and that I would bring my friend's 5 and 7 year old children. I am geniunely interested in that and he and I would watch educational videos on the ocean and biology and Buddhism together. We actually had a lot in common. Again, I am not going to buy into "he got scared because he really liked me" theory that I read about on the web and in books. I am merely asking your opinion if that is possible.
So a part of me thinks it is possible, he is being a total coward and he simply isn't into me ... and his explanation is his way of softening the blow, however I think this is unlikely because his profile is down from the site and I gotta tell you, I believe what he wrote. It is believable based on my interaction with him and the way he has talked about his past relationships and how he has told me that is positive ways ... that he and I were more passionate and that he and I had lots of common interests and that he once told me, he could not resist me. In addition, he made a point to tell me that "we don't have to have sex" and we can just enjoy spending time together but I know he really enjoyed having sex with me and could not resist me. So I behaved and he would behave too.
He was really trying.
I agree with leaving an air or mystery and dignity. I appreciate your encouragement in that.
He's an interesting cad ... he's not a player (he's been in a few long term relationships lasting a year or more) and is not interested in 1 night stands. He was a gentleman and did not rush things. I think he is really afraid of losing his freedom and worried that he would not be happy in a relationship or worried about getting hurt.
In case my theory is right, I want to plant a seed in his head that I am different than the previous girlfriend and fiancee. I am not as needy and he could still have the freedom to kayak all weekend while I trained for my Ironman.
Am I crazy to actually believe the man? What if you knew my theory of him being afraid of having a relationship were true? Would you still tell me not to write that letter? I suppose you would still tell me that if my theory is true, then it will still be up to him to have that epiphany and return to me down the road, if I'm available?
What if I shorted the note a bit. If he is not going to return at all, why not leave him with a sweet not he will remember me by ... or is complete silence and mystery still the best way to go?
My apologies ... I wish we could have a dialogue so there aren't all the emails going back and forth. I just want to make sure you have all the information. I am a bit of a perfectionist too and I want to make sure that I am 100% right ... but I know that unless I can read his mind, I can never be 100% right ... or even if I could read his mind ... because he doesn't even know what he wants!
I am trying to be smart about this and really compassionate.
I accept what he says and I am not mad and I don't find anything bad about it. I want to let him know that. Sincerely XXXXX XXXXX won't allow myself to feel one bit sad.
I am just trying to understand him as best I can and not turn away a man who could potentially be the right man for me down the road.
Does that make sense?
Thanks mom :-)
Hello Dr. Abbott,
I have a new question for you. I appreciated your help earlier.
I recently dated guy who we met as friends. I kept it as friends for 2.5 months b/c he's 12 yrs younger (he's 34). He knew my age & continued to show interest.
I felt like we got to know each other well as friends before dating: carpooled for 8 hrs 2x; spent weekends away w/group of friends,; exchanged emails, texts & met for dinners & ice cream (as friends). Then when he finally kissed me there was great chemistry and we became intimate & sex was great. We then dated; he seemed very eager to see me; he texted mostly every day and he asked to call/talk to me on phone; he kept in touch while I was out of town training; we talked about everything. He goes out of town with me for a big event and stays with me the whole weekend.
Then he tells me after 4-5 weeks of dating that he is too stressed and may want to move to another state to get away from his family and for a change, therefore he cannot be in a relationship now. He told me this after he took me out for a belated birthday dinner. We had a nice dinner, went out for a walk in town to get ice cream and he took time. It was like any other date. He dropped to bomb when we got home and sat down. I was stunned. His father was diagnosed with skin cancer (which is treatable) & his work is very stressful (he wants to change careers/maybe go back to school) and he says he knows 'how he can get' when he was depressed following the death of his mother 5 years ago due to cancer. He says he likes to be alone sometimes (particularly in times of stress0 and he recently drove off for 4 hours to no where. He says he just goes to his room & listens to music. I asked him about our age diff and he told me the thought never entered into his mind and that his decision has nothing to do with me. I was calm but surprised and just told him it was ok & that I understand. He said he was going back & forth, and he is sorry. He made a point to say that he didn't seek to have a short term fling with me; that he was in search of something longer term. I asked if he was telling me the truth, he said yes but wish I asked more. I was too caught off guard to think.
Does the rubber-band apply after 4-5 weeks of dating if we were friends for 2 months before? He's good about communicating & I am the first one he reaches out to when he needs to vent/talk. He texted/called almost every day (mostly text but initiated calls - I never called him, I let him take the lead and chase me). I felt good that he is comfortable talking to me about anything and early on he showed his vulnerable side, sharing about his regrets when he lost his mom; his difficult relationship w/his dad; hopes & dreams in life; a little about his last long-term relationship. It was a good relationship from my perspective and I didn't push. The ONLY thing I noticed was that he might have been hesitant to be public as a 'couple' in front of mutual friends but not too bad. I kinda felt the same way as I wanted to avoid gossip & drama during the early fragile stages of our relationship. (We both belong to a triathlon club where we met and have the same circle of friends.) I did not feel insecure about it and was going to wait until 2-3 months went by before we were an official 'couple'. I did not have the 'are we BF/GF conversation as it seemed he and I were on the same page, enjoying getting to know each other and having fun.
Do I believe him? Or do I wait and see if he reaches out to me in a couple of weeks? I'm confused b/c we were friends and it ended so suddenly. Good friends that get along w/common interests/compatible + chemistry should last longer than 4-5 weeks? What should I do? Thought about either:1) Writing a letter (very gentle & understanding) expressing my thoughts 2) or asking him to meet me to chat briefly where I would ask him "what is the primary thing about ME that you made your decision on" and to say "why not break up with me or whomever when you do decide to move"?
3) Send him the following email?"Hey, I was caught off guard last week and I didn't get a chance to respond by saying you were a good friend to me and I appreciated all of your help at Tahoe. I was grateful you were there, exactly at the right moment to comfort me.I admire that you are consistently there for your family and friends and I want you to know that if you need support, I would try to comfort you in return.
I'd like to talk more on the phone if you are willing."
I've been told by 1 guy this sounds desperate & too emotional; I've been told by another guy I need to put MORE emotion and to say "You mean a lot to mean and not just when things are going well. I'd like to talk. Let me know when is a good time?
I'm very confused. Girlfriend says he needs space & telling the truth. Guy pals think he is not telling me something, lost interest, etc. I really feel we have potential (assuming he feels the same way). What do I do? Talk to him (for purposes of closure) because there is no hope? Do nothing and see if he comes back? Send him a letter for both closure and maybe he'll think about it over time and then come back?
Again, many 'schools of thought' in this. One camp (mostly guys) say he made his decision and he is telling me what I want to hear as to not hurt my feelings and something changed or he made a decision I am not long-term potential; that he just came up with an 'excuse' to soften the blow but taking me out to dinner before is 'eccentric' as 1 friend put it.Girlfriends thinks he is telling the truth.
It was hot and heavy when we started dating and we took it slow before. He just was in contact and eager to be with me. Then he was stressed when he father came home so that makes his story plausible. But you would think you'd want someone you are 'hot' for and can talk to, to be around to lean on as your friend/lover through tough times? I'm the first one he called whenever something happened (as soon as his father came home; when something happened at work; when he fell and got a concussion and is sitting in ER).
I want to talk to him but afraid to; and not sure of the timing.
And just to share, this is what he told me after we came back to my house:"I want to talk about you and me. I want you to know that it was not my intent to have a short term relationship; my intent was to have a longer term relationship. I wasn't just trying to get into your pants. I been thinking about this and was thinking of moving to Portland, I might need to take care of my father from now on, my brother has financial problems and can't even afford to have a car ... I cannot be responsible for another person. I cannot be in a relationship. My decision has nothing to do with you."Is this a line "it's not you, it's me"??? I'm so conflicted by it. I want him to come around and tell him he is overwhelmed and that he does have feelings for me. My friends tell me that it is over but a couple of friends tell me that could see themselves doing what he's doing and that I should reach out. One says my draft note is too emotional and sounds desperate. Another says I didn't write enough about how I feel. So confused. It's been almost 2 weeks and I have not heard from him.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.
I do plan to 'cut him loose'. While I wish he would come to the conclusion he made a mistake and purse me further, it should be his choice and not for me to try to change his mind. I do seek clarity.
My question is ... do you think from your experience counseling other men if you've seen this before where the man had regrets and come back?
1) Do you think he is telling the truth?
2) Do you think he might have felt he could not be responsible for another person?
3) Do you think he lost interest or was not that interested to begin with? I guess the answer to this is 'no' if you believe it has nothing to do with me?
A part of me wonders if he wanted to discuss it further with me. Yes in my experience, I looked forward to the next guy. But after 47 years, this one is different. I can honestly say ... he was the best of the best I have met. I had not fallen i love with him as we had not been together long but I will tell you that our chemistry was like my 1st boyfriend 20 & first love years ago (and he told me he felt the same way too) and we spoke easily, and could have fun together. It was the most perfect I have ever experienced. Perhaps that is only from my perspective, but I really felt it from him, in the things he did to get my attention, to care for me BEFORE we ever dated. I think he was the real deal. I am not 100% certain of it and do wonder if he told me partial truth. But I do believe we had something really special (I know that sounds so cliche) and he could not or would not have behaved or reacted to me in the way he had if there were not real feelings there. He opened up to me about things. I was the first person he called about whenever. it seemed to change over night when his father came home. At age 47, I've date a lot and feel I have a healthy approach. I don't fall in love easily and do not become attached/infatuated as easily as most women. I am able to keep my emotions in check and kept my distance with him as friends for 2.5 months.
I guess I feel there is a chance that he got scared and might be worried he would disappoint me; maybe because his last girlfriend was too demanding or could not deal with him when his mother had passed away?
Am I being too naive?
Thanks. I don't want to lose this one. I accept it but I think I'd be happy with him. I don't think he's he type to chase then lose interest so easily like that. I could be wrong but I don't think he's THAT guy but I could be just very naive? I don't see him over-indulging himself ... rather I see him trying to meet his own expectations of himself and doing things for those he cares for ... he is a nurturer and enjoys that ... he had a conversation with me when we were dating about what we look for in relationships and he is nurturer and he gravitates towards those qualities too.i just think he's a good guy ... and of course I want him. I am just so stunned that he was so respectful as a friend, the way he proved what a good guy he was to me; the gentle way in which he showed interest in me ... and how it was electric when he was brave enough to kiss me. I want so bad for it to be true that he got scared and is overwhelmed .... that he didn't want to disappoint me (he said that he knows how he was when his mother passed away) and he and I could have a dialogue, his mind would be at ease about that and we would at least try to work through it.having dated others who I agree would need counseling ... I'm not sure he is one of them.
I guess I want to know what i should do to find out if what I hope for about him is true and what are the best next steps to get him there .... it bothers me that I virtually said nothing to him when he dropped the bomb on me ... I didn't get a chance.... I was speechless ... I just cannot believe that a man, who got to know me .... really liked me as a friend and hanging out with me; caring for me the way he did when we were friends, and interested for a while ... who finally gets me, and it is just electric when we do get together and it is good and seems to start building ... would simply lose interest. I am really having a hard time getting my head around this and replaying our interactions and reading all old texts/emails and there are no signs really ...nothing out of the ordinary ... the usual stuff and lots of interest on his part
Thank you Dr. Abbott. I just sent him a text thanking him for his friend/support when i neeed it and offering my friendship &comfort/support in return; and asking him to meet me to talk. Wish me luck and thanks again.